LESSONS FROM THE FRONT LINE OF LIFE
If you are going through hell, keep going. Never give up.
We only have 600,000 hours in our very short lives, before we are inevitably consigned to entropic oblivion, so it is important to make them all count.
Choose your life partner very carefully. It is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make. Ensure that he or she is willing to unreservedly support your life ambitions no matter how extreme or humble these may be.
When interacting with remote native tribes, where the entire wealth of the village may be limited to just one goat, it is worth remembering that the most generous people on earth are often those who have the least.
With regard to employees, don’t ever carry any “dead wood” under any circumstances. Hire the very best people that you can possibly employ, and then empower them to absolute excellence.
If you find yourself kidnapped by murderous rebels in West Africa, always look them in the eye, don’t ever cower.
In business, as in life, always take personal responsibility and risks in equal measure.
Monkey brains, monkey eyeballs, crocodile, snake, larvae, cockroaches, and insects don’t taste as bad as you might think.
If you are not failing you are not trying hard enough.
No matter if you are being attacked by a local tribal warlord or a larger business competitor, always stand up to bullies.
If you walk into a house that has no books, turn around and walk out again immediately.
Ask your favourite charity what their plan is to put themselves out of business.
A black dress always looks better with heels. Always!
Human flesh is not zebra no matter what it says on the menu.
Entrepreneurs, like leaders, are born and cannot be made.
In both, disruptive international business in the world’s largest financial capitals, and saving millions of lives every year throughout the developing world across 4 continents, always have a little chat with the local “witchdoctors” first.
Some places really do have a pall of evil
Require courage and loyalty from all your friends and employees at all times. There is no exception to this rule ever.
When being shot at you can take cover behind the engine block of a car.
Falling into a sea of floating human effluence in your best work dress in front of esteemed colleagues from all over the world, is an excellent opportunity to hone one’s leadership skills.
If you are being robbed at gunpoint by Maoist rebels, don’t forget to ask for a receipt.
Interview with Dr. Marie Charles
How did you know you didn’t want to be a “normal” medical doctor. How did you discover your purpose?
Growing up as the eldest of 6 children in Belgium, as a young girl I used to watch my father, who was one of the most famous Professors in Europe, travelling to, and working in, impossibly exotic and far away places at the time, such as MIT and Peking and I just knew that I wanted to live my life on the largest stage possible.
I also reasoned that as we only have about 600,000 hours in our very short lives, that I wanted to make mine count as much as possible, and I wanted to leave the planet a better place for having been here, by helping as many people as possible that could not help themselves. A “normal” doctor treats patients one at the time; instead I wanted to treat entire nations.
You have achieved a lot in your career – what moment made you feel proudest?
When the CDC ordered myself and the medical volunteers who were working for me, to evacuate the epicentre of the SARS pandemic where we were deployed on the Vietnamese/Chinese border.
At the time SARS was considered 100% fatal. We were the extremely “thin line” working in absolutely hyper-contagious conditions and the only thing standing between the local populace and total disaster.
I was able to tell the CDC representative that actually we were exactly where we were supposed to be and that not one of us would be leaving, no matter what the cost to us personally.
How did you begin your speaking career?
The largest banks and financial institutions, biggest corporations, most prestigious universities, most powerful international parastatals, most famous charities, etc etc have been requesting that I speak to them for over 20 years.
What is your biggest goal right now?
A disruptive investment in the Swiss private banking industry that will set new standards in terms of investment returns in the fields of healthcare, environment and energy investments.
Who or what inspires you most?
My husband. He is a real life superhero to me.
Why should clients use you for their next event?
Don’t be afraid of using the very best…