Jacques de Villiers Interview


The Person Behind the Name

About Jacques

I help sales professionals gain control of their lives so that they have full pipelines, high conversion ratios, and reach their professional and personal goals. I have chosen a life of two intentions: to be a deliberate and courteous human being in all my endeavours.

Deliberate: By being a deliberate human being means being process-focused and not outcomes-focused. I’m definitely in the, “Man plans and God laughs” camp. In my experience most of my plans haven’t worked out and if I had to base my life on what I planned and didn’t achieve, I’d be in a sad place indeed. I believe that my real job is not the one I’m in, or have been in, or will be in. My real job is to prepare for the most cataclysmic event that’s going to happen to me: death. My mission is to get to my death in good shape where I can give it all up with grace and gratitude and not regret and remorse. I’ve no way of knowing how my life will turn out (probably not the way I planned). I do know that it’ll work out as it should regardless of any endeavours on my part. To be able to reach my end in good shape (which is ironically and outcome) I choose to live a deliberate life and making every moment count.

Courteous: I’ve come to realise that I’m not here for myself but for others. The only way I can show courtesy for being allowed to play with others for the brief time I’m here is to set them up for success.


  1. How did you decide to become a motivational speaker?

In 1998 I had this silly notion that I wanted to help people become the best version of themselves. I wanted to make a difference. I’d been a Dale Carnegie Human Relations instructor part-time and saw how people’s lives were changed. Dale Carnegie was the catalyst for me to go out on my own and try and change lives too.

  1. You motivate others, but who or what motivates you?

My #1 motivation is the health and well-being of my 13-year-old daughter, Rebecca. This is why I’m on this path I’m on. I have three philosophies/spiritual practices that keep me grounded and grateful every day: Sufism, Stoicism and Carlos Castaneda.

  1. What is your favourite colour?


  1. What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about writing. I’m passionate about knowledge and intellectual pursuits. My perfect world would have been that of a professor lecturing at a university in the morning and writing in the afternoon. I’m passionate about running. When I’m not injured (which is almost all the time), I try and put in at least 50km on the road a week. I’m also passionate about meditation and journaling.

  1. Talk us through ‘a day in the life of Jacques.

Seriously? It’s like watching paint dry. If I’m not speaking and training, this would be my typical day: Generally, before 9:00 I meditate, pray, journal and exercise (I try and get in 750 words on a page i.e. Julia Cameron’s morning pages). Somewhere before 9:00 I eat something. Then, I typically get onto my trusty iMac and write content for my blogs and my websites. I develop public seminars and market them. I’m pretty much on the computer the whole day. Except, of course, when I have a nap … which seems to be an everyday thing – just half an hour mind you. After 17:00 I’m useless to man or beast. Typically, I do an hour’s gym. My evening is usually spent reading a good book. I’m currently ploughing through A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

  1. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

There are a lot of the usual suspects (mostly writers – Hemingway and co.). If it couldn’t be Carlos Castaneda, I’d have to say, Charles Bukowski, poet and author (Ham on Rye and Post Office, amongst others). The man was a raving lunatic (Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.) and misogynist (I don’t hate people. I just feel better when they aren’t around.) I don’t think he’s a nice man. But, I’m drawn to dark, damaged characters because I suspect I’m the same and I’m trying to figure out how to close the fractures in my soul.

  1. Please give us a few more details on what makes you so successful?

Cute. Are you talking about me? I’m far from successful in the conventional sense … money (little), marriage (none). But where I think I’ve cracked the code is that I’ve found my groove and I do what I love: writing and speaking. There’s no Plan B for me. If this endeavour ends up catastrophically for me that’s okay. I’ll have worn out rather than rusted out. But, essentially my saving grace is that I come from a place of fullness. I’m convinced that just by being born I already have enough. I know that this story that’s playing out in my life was written just for me, to enchant me. So, because I don’t come from a place of emptiness I am not trying to fill a void in me by striving for material things. Don’t get me wrong. I love all the trappings that this life has for me, I just don’t need them in excess.

  1. What do you like to do for fun?

I like to play chess, Scrabble and Rummykub. I like to fish (bass and carp). And, of course, I like to read.

  1. What do you dream about achieving in your life?

That ship has sailed … I only ever wanted to be a time traveller. But the second-best thing for me would be to become a best-selling novelist.

  1. Do you have a small piece of advice for any new writers out there?

Huh? How many pages have you got? The best and most cynical advice I can give is that none of us authors have figured out how to be really successful as writers. We’re all throwing stuff at a wall and hoping some of it will stick. So, what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. What worked for JK Rowling won’t work for you and me. I’m assuming you can write. So, just write. Glue your arse to the chair and write every bloody day. It must be like breathing. Write shit. And most of it is shit. Write lots of it. And maybe one day with enough effort and huge amounts of luck, you might actually produce something worthwhile. Write for the love of it and not for the outcome of it.

If you would like to find Jacques, you can find him at the following places:

Jacques de Villiers:

Email: jacques@jacquesdevilliers.com

Website: www.jacquesdevilliers.co.za

Professional Speaker Services:

Website: www.professionalspeakerservices.co.za

Go and check out this very interesting man with a dry sense of humour that can have you in stitches in no time. If you’re looking for a motivational speaker, he’s your man!

That’s it from me for now…

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Enjoy the moments


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