Einstein once said that you cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it. Well, Verity is someone who never approaches life with the same thinking. She’s gone from walking 1200km across Europe in Hi Tecs, to performing in high heels to packed houses in Nashville and New York. From acting in local and international films to speaking at the TEDxJohannesburg in 2009 and again at TEDxCapeTown in 2018.
As a singer and songwriter, Verity was an unsuspecting international forerunner of crowdfunding when she acted on a crazy idea to sell an album online before she recorded it. Her journey of ‘acting out the box’ rather than merely ‘thinking out’ of it, had such success, that she now speaks nationally and internationally on innovation and thinking differently. Her story has been featured on Journey To The Core and Carte Blanche, and is also included in the HSBC ‘Top 100 Business Ideas’ in the UK and is the Wits University MBA case study on viral marketing.
With a degree in Psychology and Anthropology from UCT and as a professional speaker and strategic and lateral thinking facilitator, she works across South Africa to enable companies to innovate, problem-solve and gain the competitive edge in their industries. She has worked and spoken to teams in Mass Mart, Engen, Woolworths, Transnet, Chevron, Sanlam, Vodacom, and Distell, among others and is also an accredited Six Thinking Hats trainer and Insights Discovery team effectiveness facilitator.
She works with organisations to inspire their staff, align strategic direction, solve old problems, uncover new ideas, and gain the competitive edge in their industries. But, most importantly, Verity is passionate about helping change South Africa 1 idea and one happy team at a time.
Please tell us a little more about yourself and your journey thus far.
In the last 15 years, I’ve gone from being a singer and songwriter to a speaker and facilitator – not what I had planned for myself at all! It’s been an amazing journey of realizing that what I thought my life should look like, was not the life that my soul had planned for me. When I got out the way and started following the opportunities that showed up, my life really took off. The last ten years have been an incredible experience of stepping onto my path and learning as I’ve gone along. Somehow, I’ve ended up speaking to thousands of people and helping numerous companies to change the way they think about things and how they interact with each other.
At 40 I met my husband and got married at 43 (not 28 as I had always planned 😊), and at 44 I got the gift of becoming a mother to a beautiful little boy. I’m now learning to balance motherhood and my work and am super grateful that my career allows me so much time with my baby. Being in lockdown has been an extraordinary time for our family to really connect whilst still getting super creative in working virtually and adapting to this crazy new world. I’ve gotten to speak to people all over the world, be a virtual MC for inspiring events and even teach presenting skills to students in townships using only WhatsApp. I have no idea what the road ahead holds, but I’m learning to just welcome each twist and turn and discover the opportunities it might offer.
Please tell us a little more about how your company came about.
My business TAP Results was born out of my increasing facilitation and training work for companies across South Africa. Through teaching thinking and presenting skills, I have discovered that I love helping businesses solve problems and uncover solutions. My programs and processes are all designed to align teams with a common vision and purpose and tap into agreed behaviours, values, positive mindsets, and set powerful and actionable strategies in place.
Should you be busy with any interesting initiatives, please tell us a little more about it.
I am an ambassador for Ocean Pledge – an NPO committed to reducing single-use plastic pollution and to creating awareness so that people can take action to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. (www.oceanpledge.org)
During lockdown I have been running my Lead With Optimism – Get Positively Productive program for people around the world. It’s a 90-minute deep-dive into the world of Positive Psychology that then takes people on a 21-day journey of applying the principals to their own lives and seeing the results of improved optimism and well-being. It’s such exciting work to do at the moment when people are dealing with so much stress and need ways to boost their resilience and happiness.
What is it that you are passionate about?
I’m passionate about inspiring people to realize what they are capable of and how by changing your thinking you can change your world. Whether looking at solving problems, overcoming confidence issues, or just feeling happier, I am always blown away at how small, simple changes in our thinking and daily habits, can make the world of difference. I love that I get to work with people who want to live their best life and be the best they can be and that my programs and processes get to play a small part in them doing that.
Who or What has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
Not to sound cliched, but my parents.
My father had an incredible ‘can do’ attitude that I only started to appreciate as I got older. When he died, I was only 24, and a letter he sent me just months before he passed, has played a pivotal role in my life. He ended it by saying: “work on an attitude of gratitude, polish your goals daily and watch for a miracle.” Those words have been a guiding light for me.
My mother was someone who lived very gently on this earth. From growing up in the second world war, she learned to never waste anything (something our throwaway society has forgotten). Her message to me was “always try to leave everywhere you’ve been a bit better than you found it.” It is something I try to live out in all I do. 😊
What is your personal “motto”?
Speak your truth. Live your dreams. Be you.
What advice would you give a woman wanting to follow her dreams?
Make a vision board and have it as your screensaver so that you are constantly seeing the image of where you want to go. Then get out there and take small steps towards it. Make sure you surround yourself with people who make you better and don’t pull you down. Finally…. Learn to listen to what your soul’s dream is, rather than your ego’s. The dream your soul wants you to realize, is the one you should follow. 😊
Who or what is your inspiration and why?
I’m inspired by people who face their fears, especially when the odds are stacked against them.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust the process and don’t think there is a set timeline for life. It will make sense when you look back, so enjoy the journey rather than worrying about the destination. You will get there but in time!
Your favourite daily affirmation (if you have one)?
I am loved. I am safe. I am blessed.
Your favourite quote:
“Until you learn the language of gratitude, you will never be on speaking terms with happiness”. (unknown)
Which book are you reading now (if any)?
Feeding Sense. Sleep Sense. Baby Sense. 😊
Which book can you read over and over again?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo.
What are your top 3 business tips?
- Use your personal story to differentiate you.
- Build meaningful relationships with the people you work with / work for.
- Under-promise and over-deliver.
What would you say is your secret to success?
Saying yes to opportunities, even if I didn’t know how I would do it. Trusting that I can figure things out as I go and backing myself to do that. 😊
One piece of (general) advice that you’d like to share:
You have two choices in life. You can either react to what is happening, or you can create what happens. When you start creating, that it when the magic happens.
Is there anything that Xtraordinary Women can do to assist you on your journey?
I’d love to do my Lead With Optimism / Positive Productivity Talk and 21-day program for your ladies. 😊