I am now focused on tripling the turnover of my business, restructuring the delivery side to be more efficient and effective and putting key people in place so I may truly become a business owner and not just an operator…

My Name is Pat Ikonomidis. 

I am an architect in Melbourne. Our clients typically include Builders, Developers & Investors in the residential sector looking to create Multi Dwelling or apartment developments. We assist with providing designs that offer creative solutions to sites that allows their full potential to be explored.

I was at a crossroad with my business. It was completely reliant on me for all decisions moving through the office. I was struggling with delegation / trust of team members and feared hiring more people as it was only adding more work for me. I worked 60 hours per week, seven days per week and constantly felt exhausted. It was at a point that something had to change as the status quo was not sustainable.I knew where I wanted my business to be but year after year I was stuck in the grind and not able to implement the changes.

I was initially concerned about the investment in both time and money that the program would take – especially if it turned out not to be productive or not to achieve its aims.

I was concerned about the kind of advice I would receive and if in fact it would resonate with me.

I was also concerned about the lack of a structured curriculum for the whole program from the onset.

Although we touched on plenty of business-related topics throughout the year, my biggest breakthroughs occurred on me personally both as a leader, a person and on my mindset.

I now have an altered sense of identity. Some of the restrictions I had been placing on myself have been lifted. I have rediscovered my drive and energy for my business and see it as a vehicle to achieve my goals rather than a ball and chain to be burdened with.

The ideas and initiatives are now coming from within, rather than looking for a magic bullet. As a result, my goals have expanded and I feel I am making decisions from a higher place. Importantly the relationships with all the people around me have improved. I no longer see my team members as a necessary but annoying and draining “cog” in the machine of my business. I now truly appreciate them and the value that they bring to the table. They are assets and not liabilities.

Not only have I been exposed to systems that have given me a confidence in being able to attract work despite outside circumstances, I have come to understand what my role truly is in the business, being a strategic thinker, not just a person who is busy working. 

I am energised to listen to books again, sparking thoughts and creative ideas. My health, diet and wellbeing are prioritised, and I have learned an important lesson that I need to slow down in order to speed up.

I have enjoyed looking at business from a completely different point of view. It has opened my eyes to a world that was previously foreign to me and at times uncomfortable, but I am glad that I went on the journey. 

I am now focused on tripling the turnover of my business, restructuring the delivery side to be more efficient and effective and putting key people in place so I may truly become a business owner and not just an operator.

I would have to say that I would totally recommend Johan (or Yoda as he is lovingly referred to in my household). Business owners stuck in a rut, wearing all the hats, and not able to make the necessary breakthroughs in their business would benefit the most. 

All the initial reservations I had in stepping into the programme have long disappeared and I am very grateful for all the guidance and growth Johan has caused me to experience.

Pat Ikonomidis


Jeremy Roither


“I am no longer just trying to get through the day; his program has allowed me to grow into my position and set the foundations to thrive long term…”

I am Jeremy Roither, Associate at Wingate Hughes Architects in Washington, DC. We are an interior design firm working with companies, associations, and building owners to create beautiful, functional workspaces for their staff and end users. I manage the design studio and direct the flow of work from upper management to the designers. 

I was new to management, having recently risen from a designer position myself. I was crippled by stress and worry because I did not yet have the structures and tools to deal with them effectively; I could manage neither the deluge of information coming at me, nor the responsibility of overseeing the execution of the entire firm’s work output. I could not sleep properly, I had trouble eating, I struggled to focus on my job obligations. I was worried that my performance would not measure up to the expectations; I felt that if I did nothing differently, I was on the path to a nervous breakdown.

At the beginning of Johan’s program, I was a little wary about taking steps that may require me to change my habits or take time out of my day to engage in recommended activities. But, I knew that whatever I had been doing was not working, so I was willing to at least give it a good try.

After having worked with Johan for a year, I am much more at peace and able to manage my stress throughout the day. I am no longer just trying to get through the day; his program has allowed me to grow into my position and set the foundations to thrive long term. There is more available for me to help the partners build their vision of the company. I can actually look forward now, set short, medium, and long term goals, and take steps to achieve them. I can now participate in setting the direction of the company, rather than just reacting to crises. I am now present with the designers and can be the powerful and inspirational mentor that I want to be for them. There is now more of myself to give to them.

I would highly recommend Johan’s program to professionals at any level who find themselves struggling to cope with the burden of life and work, trying to keep from drowning under the pressure. That used to be me, but no longer is. It has surprised me how dramatic the shift has been in the course of just a year. I am also surprised by how easy it actually can be to reframe my mental processes to realize positive outcomes at work and in life – mental processes that I have carried around since childhood. I found that I am still capable of powerful change in my life! I do not have to be stuck in my old, unproductive ways. I have created habits that have entirely shifted my way of seeing myself and my role in the world. I have come to a deeper understanding of who I am, the principles that guide me, and how my mind functions. I still have further to go, but it has been a holistic change in my life and has set me on the path to greater happiness and fulfillment.

This internal transformation has set the foundations for my growth as a business leader. As I come to understand myself better, I also understand others better. As I reach clarity, I can lead and manage others more effectively, train them faster, give them necessary feedback, and inspire them to push beyond their normal limitations. This has helped lead the company to greater success. I am grateful to the managing partner for inviting me to participate in Johan’s program – for both the profound personal growth I have experienced, and for how it has enhanced the dynamic firm we are in the process of building.

I was searching for someone that could match my level of thought and discernment. I needed someone to help me execute the lofty goals I had for my life and the company...

Who are you, what do you do professionally, who do you typically help professionally?
What do they come to you for?
I am Gavin Daniels, Managing Partner, Wingate Hughes Architects. I am a father, a husband, a leader, a designer and a thinker. I typically help people who are stuck in a particular way of thinking in need of breaking out. Additionally I help people who know 
they have a better idea or creative way and need someone to help express that idea.
My playground and my battlefield is the world of interior architecture and design.

What problems, challenges or aspirations caused you to invite Johan Taft to help you?

A feeling that there had to be a better way to do. I was searching for someone that could match my level of thought and discernment. I needed someone to help me execute the lofty goals I had for my life and the company.

What were you struggling with, what were you frustrated with? 

I was struggling with my soul, exhausted with the daily battles within myself of what I thought I could vs. what I could actually do in any given day

What were you not achieving?

I was not achieving…to my standards. I was not satisfied with the success of the company or with my own success. Both of which by many measures had outperformed what was reasonable to expect. But I knew I had more to do and did not have anyone who I felt could really get me there.

What was the gap between where you were and where you wanted to be?

What was the gap? What was the fucking gap??!! It wasn’t a gap, it was a chasm, it was the grand fucking canyon. My mistake was in thinking it was a gap. Something that with a little duct tape and ingenuity I could bridge.

What initial reservations or concerns did you have about engaging Johan?

That he would be like so many others I have hired or consulted with professionally. Recent history showed me that it would take a rare mind to keep up with my thought process, take it in and generate NEW helpful content as a result. I have been looking for someone that could elevate my ideas and visions. Many people I encountered became numb and gun-shy once they heard what I had already done. They thought they could work at my level and perhaps thought they were. Unfortunately, they could not and I ended up wasting time, treasure and resources on people who could never understand me and much less how to work with me, not for me. 

And I thought Johan was a bit brash. No one talked to me the way he did. He dared to have the intuition and vision to know what I needed and give it to me. Well, not give it to me, but not force feed me either.

What major breakthroughs in your performance and what key specific results in your business did you generate through your participation on Johan’s programme to date?

I had overcome addiction before I met him. However even the best addiction recovery programs do not prepare you for recovery. I understood how to live in recovery with Johan. Keep in mind I hired Johan for my business, not for my personal life. 

I now recognize in a profound way they must be linked. I have said for years there is no work life balance, it’s all work and it’s all life. Johan helped me understand how to stand in my own self and live that successfully and with purpose.

My business had a real issue with collecting on invoices. Cash flow was a problem. Johan helped me clarify my process and provide direction for this effort. Outstanding receivables over 60 days has dropped more than 80%. The cash flow my business needed was restored for the first time in far too many years.

Johan spoke early on about this bullshit idea of work on the business, not in the business. I don’t have time in my life for gimmicky sayings like this. I mean, it’s like…No shit! Of course that’s what I want to be doing. I thought I was in fact doing that. Johan smiled and didn’t stop there. 

He gave me the tools to understand how I could truly manifest that potentially harmful platitude into a meaningful way to work every day. The fucked up part is that Johan doesn’t actually do anything; he hasn’t made anything happen in my company. He hasn’t made me a better business leader.  He has caused me to do it myself and now I own all these skills. He hasn’t imposed it on me. I have transformed into the person that can do it. Judo

How have things improved or progressed in your business and/or life as a result of the transformations you have experienced? What problems have disappeared?
What new future/opportunities have now opened up for you?

This is a tough question. I am typically so focused on the future I do not take time to reflect on the past. I am teaching more now than I ever have. You see I always thought people could learn from being around me and seeing how I do things (how I design, how I talk to people, how I win business, etc.). This is how I grew up. No one ever really taught me shit about how to BE a professional Architect and Designer. No one ever taught me how to talk to clients and win business. 

I just had a lot of raw talent and a hunger for knowledge. When I quit hoping people would just BE like me and focused on training and teach them what I know and how I do my job and more importantly the expectations I have for them and how they can achieve those expectations things drastically improved.

What has surprised you most about working with Johan? What do you enjoy most about working with him?

a. Our friendship.
b. Our friendship.
My friendship with Johan is perhaps the most important friendship of my recent adult life second only to my wife. He is authentic and caring, reflective, and introspective. He is spontaneous and calculating. He is the South Pole and the North Pole. He is raw and pure. He is quite remarkably himself and because of that he is who I need him to be. Johan’s remarkable ability to think and run-down new ideas with me is essential to our relationship. I have needed someone in my life that can bring ideas and brilliance to the table while simultaneously supporting and thinking through my own ideas and brilliance. We are mentally matched well for each other and our collaboration together has truly elevated my own levels of thinking and creativity.

Would you recommend Johan Taft to other business owners/professionals?

Yes, I already have and will continue to do so.

Gavin Daniels


"...Working with Johan is a centered and focused experience..."

There is a great deal of noise and misinformation about what’s important in life and how to achieve these goals. Working with Johan is a centered and focused experience, helping you develop the discipline needed to shape the life and career you’ve always wanted. We live in a very competitive world, and it’s hard to find anyone who is genuinely interested in helping us be our best selves. Johan demonstrates through his words and actions, his interest in helping you achieve your success.

Stephen E. Baker, AIA, IIDA, IDSA

President & Design Director
Baker Design Group, Inc.
Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA

…The business is running better, with more involvement by everyone. Sales have increased. Our visibility in the hospitality sector has increased. The owners are now working more closely and in partnership…

My name is Walter Pancewicz, I am an Architect, Principal/CFO/Managing partner at Aria Group Architects in Illinois. 

Typically I am involved in most decisions since they all impact finances to some extent. These include HR, Accounting, policies/Firm direction and Marketing [ to a lesser extent].

We reached out to Johan to help plan the future direction of the firm. Finding the next generation of leaders, strategic planning for the growth of the firm, and how to analyse the issues objectively.  We struggled with understanding how best to see the abilities of our future leaders with an open mind and to get then to be on the same page. The gap could seem very wide at times due to generational demographics.

 Each of the owners had different priorities that needed to be addressed and compromise. The gap has narrowed with Johan’s help and insight.

Our main concern in engaging Johan was the idea that one man cannot do it all or understand the aspects of every facet of business.

Some of the breakthroughs and results generated to date (we are still on the programme with Johan): 

 I learned to see the differences thru different lenses, more objectively.  A calmness has become part of me in personal and business life which helped me to treat every problem equally and with more of an unbiased lens and to know when to let go and not interfere. 

The business is running better, with more involvement by everyone. Sales have increased. Our visibility in the hospitality sector has increased. The owners are now working more closely and in partnership. This has allowed for me to put more trust in everyone and for me to be able to unwind and plan my slow retirement.

The best part with Johan is the ability to communicate honestly without judgement. I wished I had this training much earlier in life.

 I would whole heartily recommend Johan for anyone that needs to find themselves, to learn to focus on what really matters and avoid the little things that do not matter in business and life. Johan’s mentoring can benefit any business leader who wants to be on their A Game.

Walter Pancewicz, AIA

Principal Vice-President,
Aria Group Architects, Inc.
Oak Park, Illinois, USA

My partner and I both immediately felt Johan, more than simply a business mechanic, was a true mentor. He was the man who could help us go big…

My name is Gavin Wingate Bowie. For over a decade, I have been a partner at Wingate Hughes, a leading architecture firm in Washington, DC, focused on design of premier office space. 

Our firm was struggling with stagnation on many levels. Although we had a steady flow of work, we had difficulty completing the work quickly, profitably and to quality standard. Our staff turnover was excessive, resulting in a drain of knowledge base, overwork for remaining staff, and a high cost of sourcing and hiring new talent. The impact was exhaustion, as well as an inability to delegate effectively while maintaining excellence, and a feeling of being on the hamster wheel.

As leaders, we had become bottlenecks in our business, working far too hard and living with all the resulting stress. The challenge of keeping pace with growth became overwhelming, and our partnership became very strained. The frustrating thing was that we knew that our firm had all the fundamentals to elevate, regain our success, and grow beyond. 

Suddenly we faced the market challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, when overnight the very last priority at most companies was design and construction of new office space, resulting in a staggering drop in demand for our service. And yet, we needed to maintain staff to complete works already under way. Because of the structure of our billing cycle, this became daunting and unpredictable. Despite limited government support through PPP, we faced a potentially devastating cash flow crunch.

As an avid reader of business fundamentals and inspiration, I initially believed that we could continue to bootstrap ourselves through the next phase of recovery and growth. “Consultants,” in my prior experience, were paid overly well to repackage hackneyed information that is readily available by reading any of myriad titles available in the press. Yet, we had reached the stage where I knew we needed help.

We had met a few other consultants who reinforced my initial beliefs, and were completely uninspiring. Yet I knew we must change course or die: our choice was to go big or go home. At just that moment, I was introduced to Johan by a fellow entrepreneur. Upon our initial meeting, my partner and I both immediately felt Johan, more than simply a business mechanic, was a true mentor. He was the man who could help us go big, and we were impressed by his track record of success. Working with Johan has proved to be a game-changing, eye-opening experience. 

Information was not what was holding us back. We did not need to know more about how to do our work. There was no magic key to success out there that we didn’t know about.

What we did need was trusted, effective, clear and actionable guidance enabling us to double down on leadership, our management, and our organization. We needed to get the business properly organized with a fully developed and shared vision. We needed to distill that knowledge into a relevant strategic plan, apply improved leadership skills to a properly documented process, and achieve results through selecting, developing and empowering the right team. 

Following Johan’s guidance, we were able to achieve consistent results, and now the business is on track. His mentorship, when matched with our diligence, perseverance and effort, is resulting in profitable, efficient and sustainable operation, delivering better work for a higher caliber of client. 

What I realized through that process, however—which would never have happened without Johan’s guidance—is that I had become trapped in the wrong business, for the wrong reasons. My role was no longer the right fit, and I had become stagnant, unfulfilled, and depleted. I knew that I was now ready to invent my new future. 

Under Johan’s tutelage and encouragement, I negotiated an exit and we restructured our business. I developed a new-and-improved business and life plan which gives me energy and which I am excitedly undertaking. The new business is now launched, with phase one up and running, with a vivid vision and a solid plan for the future. 

What surprised me about working with Johan is that we worked together as much on me as a person as we did on the business. What I had wanted was a mechanic to fix the flaws that I perceived in my business. He was able to see through and beyond my short-sightedness and cause me to elevate my thinking. Together we succeeded in navigating my business through the pandemic, and he helped me open my mind to other bigger possibilities. 

I haven’t looked back.

Gavin Wingate Bowie

Architect & Entrepreneur,
Washington, D.C. - USA

…Ninety-five percent of proposals I write now lead to a signed contract. I am no longer saying yes to every project out of fear for not having enough work…

I am Elaine Keiser; I am an Architect that works with all types of residential and commercial clients. These clients typically come to me to resolve their difficult design problems and commercial designs that need a licensed Architect.

The problem that I invited Johan to help me with was shifting my business from small design projects that were no longer serving my design appetite to larger interesting, noteworthy projects. 

What I was struggling with was that after twenty one years in business I was not consistently doing the elite type of work I thought I would be doing. I became very frustrated to see other local design professionals doing these projects instead of me. 

I was not achieving the result I wanted with the techniques I was using to grow my business. The gap between where I was, and where I wanted to be was the lack of tools and knowledge to take my business to the next level.

My initial reservations about hiring  Johan was the cost. Would I really be able to afford it? Was it going to be worth it? Couldn’t I just attend some seminars and read a book, or twenty, on my own? 

No. I had no idea where to even start. It would all be a waste of time.

Some of the major breakthroughs I have experienced as a result include time management, prioritization and setting up a process to handle both new client calls and meetings.

Having new clients call for me is no longer an interruption, but a well-oiled machine of taking potential clients through a process to determine if they will be a good fit or not. This is saving me vast amounts of stress.

The problem of a potential client calling in the middle of a task, or their call not being returned in a timely manner, is now gone. 

I no longer meet with clients that do not meet my standards for project type and budget. Ninety-five percent of proposals I now write lead to a signed contract. I am no longer saying yes to every project out of fear for not having enough work.

Future opportunities include being available to immediately start new coveted work, rather than being booked with insignificant work. 

The most surprising aspect about working with Johan is his methods are not the traditional type I thought I would be encountering. Instead, the methods are much more intellectual and rooted within us. This is not about just reading books or attending seminars but rather also about engaging your mind and spirit. I thought this would be more like business school, which it is not. 

I really enjoy the way that he is able to take the lesson and tie it into practical daily use.  Johan has very interesting stories about similar situations and how it is applicable to the lesson. These stories Help me relate even more to the process of what I am supposed to be learning. The examples are very fitting and is what helps me learn in the best way.

I would absolutely recommend Johan to other business owners and professionals.

 I would recommend his work particularly because he is able to discover the issues at hand and guide someone in a way that makes it understandable for them.

I think anyone who owns any type of business, small, medium, large, individual or partnerships really need this foundation for how to handle the obstacles that will arise in all areas of business, especially if they wish to grow beyond their current level of results.

Elaine Keiser

Elaine Keiser Architect, inc.
Michigan, USA

…And it worked. To my great surprise, I am now in a very interesting role in finance. A seemingly impossible transition!

My name is Alex Webb-Bowen.

I met Johan whilst working in the wine trade.

My role was in client facing roles including sales, relationship management and business development. 

The reason I wanted Johan’s help wasn’t so much in order to address a specific problem or overcome a particular challenge.  It was more that having met Johan in the early stages of my career, my motivation was the desire to equip myself with the skills that would see me thrive in the world of business and for his mentorship to act as a catalyst to accelerate my career at a rate unmatched by my peers. Ultimately, I wanted to expand my capabilities and ensure I was operating at my full potential, and therefore increasing my chances of success. An investment into my future.

My initial concern about working with Johan was the financial investment.  Given the early stage I was at in my career I was initially hesitant about the cost of the plan Johan had put together.

Johan never tried to hide any costs and we reworked the plan into an agreement that we were both happy with. I saw the cost as a short-term investment that will pay off in the long term, and I am today confident I made the correct decision and more than pleased with the results I got from the programme.  

Thanks to Johan’s guidance I now have a heightened understanding of my skills, as well as an increased mental awareness and capacity to analyse situations and read people. This has made me a more effective communicator and allows me to interact with people on the level they feel most comfortable at, boosting sales and improving business relationships.

 I also have a renewed sense of purpose and motivation given the emphasis  Johan placed on the fact that one works for ones’ self before anyone else and to make and stick to your own plans to avoid other people making them for you. 

Thanks to that I realised that the wine trade is not where my heart lies and where I want to put my talents, time and energy long term. I came to the realization that Finance is the industry that really excites me. Having no degrees, experience or qualifications in that field however kind of made it look like a dead end dream.

But together we changed that. We got absolutely clear on my strengths, weaknesses, and how I could be a contribution to the world of finance and came up with a vision and a plan. If we can’t get in through usual traditional routes, let’s get courageous and creative and use other tactics! 

And it worked. To my great surprise, I am now in a very interesting role in finance. A seemingly impossible transition!

So I now work for one of Johan’s other clients who runs his own wealth management company. I have just graduated from a fast track training and FCA certification programme.

Never did I think it could all happen so fast!

What I have really enjoyed  about working with Johan are the pointed, specific questions that Johan regularly puts my way that encourage me to think about the actions I took and analyse how I could turn them to my advantage. It seems most of the time we know the answers to our own questions and we just need nudging in order to articulate them; an enriching experience.  I also enjoyed the regularity and simplicity of Johan’s advice towards taking ownership of my career. 

I would definitely recommend Johan’s mentoring. If you have a specific vision, goal, hurdle or challenge that you want to achieve or overcome, I have no doubt Johan can help you achieve it. Specifically, I would commend his deep understanding and skillful reading of people because of the communication benefits it entails. 

Alex Webb Bowen

Client Relationship Manager at Credius Wealth Limited, London, England

“It’s great that during this COVID-19 pandemic … I’m closing large deals because of a strong mindset developed with help from Johan”

My name is Enoch Sears, and I help architecture firm owners thrive in business and life.

I started working with Johan because I knew I needed a fundamental shift in the way I view myself and how I approach business. I know all the tactics and strategies, but I was still hitting barriers I wanted to overcome. In my own work and personal development I’ve come to realize that the key to higher levels of performance lies in beliefs, mind and being – Johan’s mentorship touches all of these.

My initial reservation in working with Johan was whether I could afford the investment to work with him. Johan and I were able to come to a value proposition that made sense.

It’s great that during this COVID-19 pandemic, while many business owners are stuck and retreating in fear and anxiety, I’m closing large deals because of a strong mindset developed with help from Johan.

I enjoy that Johan has such a broad repertoire of skills that he can advise and mentor me on that really move the needle in my life and business.

I recommend Johan without reservation because of his skill in effectuating transformation in people that have the drive and desire to do what it takes!


Enoch Bartlett Sears, AIA

Founder and Publisher, Business of Architecture, Visalia, California, USA

...with Johan's help I have grown from being stuck in a rut, stagnating and frustrated with the prospect of being in no better position in the future to now being a leader working on his business rather than always in his business...

I am a financial planner. I help wealthy individuals and professionals who are generally too busy to attend to the detail of their financial affairs. They are concerned that if they do not address this area they will miss out on opportunities, or worse, set themselves up for future of potential exposure, disappointment and/or financial loss.

At the time I met Johan, I was struggling to keep motivated in growing my business. I had been in business for some time and had varying degrees of success in certain areas.

However, I felt I did not have the skills or understanding of how to take my business growth to the next level. It was demoralising. Time was always too short. There was always a reason out of my control that meant I could not achieve what I wanted. I was stuck in a rut.

I felt I didn’t possess the skills to evaluate what was missing. I had also made some mistakes hiring and felt anxious about getting it wrong again.

I had worked with a coach before and was not sure of the value I had previously received. So I felt cautious in engaging someone else in my business and sharing the problems and challenges I faced. I was not fully convinced anyone could help me. Johan took the time to explain the value he could add and put my mind at ease, which gave me the confidence to take the leap of faith to engage him.

Johan helped me to take a step up from the day to day running of business and look at things from a more strategic perspective. We came up with a plan to create new facets to the business in tandem with making improvements in the running of the existing business.

We redefined my role as the leader of the business and developed a roadmap to start moving my business in the direction I wanted.

I  have developed my management ability, and become a more strong and stable leader. I now have a clear understanding of what is missing and what to do next and am moving powerfully forward with it.

I now have a clear understanding of what is missing and what to do next.

I have hired a new team member  who Johan actually referred to me, and started looking positively to future growth. I am now set to prospect the right sort of clients that will help me achieve my growth targets.

I have been surprised by how things have developed. I was skeptical to start with and had reservations as stated previously.

There was a curve ball in midst of my programme in the shape of Covid-19 – this posed further challenges to overcome and we dealt with them professionally without losing focus.

Throughout the program, I felt I had developed a good team with Johan. He was involved in all the decisions and fit well with me. We developed a great rapport and could be dead honest with each other. I appreciated his directness and humility. He opened my eyes to the flaws in my own character that were holding me back.

I think other professionals feeling frustrated with why they are not achieving their targets or at how they seem to be stuck in Groundhog Day would benefit greatly from working with Johan.

Wealth Specialist,
Founder and CEO of Credius,
London UK

I was caught up in a confusing world of priorities and “noise” and was looking for a way to get clarity on my direction, to understand my strengths…

My name is Nick Williams and I am a Principal Consultant with Proxima Group. I help companies to improve and upskill their procurement expertise, uncover value and deliver business benefits such as cost reduction programs

I was caught up in a confusing world of priorities and “noise” and was looking for a way to get clarity on my direction, understand my strengths and to reduce the noise to get a clear platform for higher performance in my working life.

I was initially concerned about the amount of work required and the fact that the reading and personal development work would be too much to manage.

I experienced a number of breakthroughs with Johan.

His ability to help me see through the confusing and competing priorities, to be a “lion” rather than a “monkey” or “gorilla”, to see the value in taking time out to “sharpen my sword” is the stuff of legend!

The changes introduced allowed me to step back, consider my position, refocus on what I was trying to achieve, prioritise my time and deliver against my objectives which included increasing my work, completing projects, understanding the value I was providing and focussing on what is important.

These have all contributed to improved team management and the support to junior colleagues.

I was very pleased that Johan was so easy to work with, was very open and honest in his approach and expects the same from those he is coaching.

I would highly recommend Johan to anyone in business – he will raise your game and help you develop in ways you couldn’t predict possible!

Nick Williams

Principal consultant,
Proxima Group,
London UK

Sam Beard

President - GIFT Global
Delaware, USA

“Johan provided me with methods and systems that changed my life”

I am Sam Beard. Creator and Chairman of programs for 8 US Presidents.

My life has been an adventure. My core is service: helping others. I have had the privilege of creating and then running programs for 8 presidents of the United States – from Richard Nixon through Barack Obama. With Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, we created programming that worked with 1,000’s and 1,000’s of businesses and created self-sustaining systems that have created more than 10 million jobs in low-income communities. 

The reason I started working with Johan began with severe stress. A personal crisis got me on the path to explore my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual sides.

With joy and hope and Johan, I began an intense journey to love myself and love others.

I had no initial reservations in engaging Johan’s services. Johan’s personality automatically makes you feel comfortable and you open up to the path to excellence.

As I mentioned, it started with severe stress. I couldn’t sleep and I largely couldn’t work.

Johan provided me with methods and systems that changed my life. I use Johan’s methods every day. It’s life-saving.

Thanks to Johan, relationships with my friends and my love relationships have been transformed.  I learned to explore all about Sam – self-discovery and self-love.

I found that I was emotionally weak. I was not a good listener. To improve, I needed to sincerely look for, understand and empathize with other people’s passions. That’s the basis of true friendship and love.

I learned to increase and trust my intuition and strengthen my creativity. I started a journal to record serendipity – the many times that my intuition mysteriously guides me to a better place and opens significant opportunities.

When I am in “FLOW,” ideas come to me and I reach my best self. Understanding that each of us has these capacities and how to connect to find your individual greatness is life-changing.

Johan has helped transform my new nonprofit organization GIFT. We have developed a whole system following Johan’s training. “Connect with Self. Connect with Others. Connect with The Universe”.

In every session with Johan, I am continually and wonderfully surprised about his depth of knowledge and experience. Johan offers practical, simple-to-understand self-improvement messages that are life changing.

I most enjoy Johan’s sincerity, authenticity and guidance to success.

Working with the 8 Presidents, our team worked with more than 100,000 business owners and entrepreneurs. One basic message emerged: Improve yourself. You improve your business.  Johan Taft is the most skilled professional I know with proven results to magnify your greatness.

…I think the biggest surprise in the process has been how fast momentum builds once you start to effect change. Small changes become seismic shifts in thinking and very quickly the culture of the business is one of change and growth…

I am the founder of a medium sized architecture practice in central London working with private clients, developers and hospitality groups to create exceptional spaces.

I asked Johan to work with us for two reasons. Firstly as the company transitioned from a small practice, we were so focused on the work that a culture of independent and fragmented teams grew in the business. As this became more entrenched, it was impacting on our ability to retain good people and deliver work efficiently and effectively.  Secondly, I was so swamped working in the business of everyday architecture and neglecting the business of business, that I was unable to focus on key tasks such as sales, people development and growth. This left us with an inconsistent pipeline, an unhappy team and an extremely fragile cash flow. These things occupied my life entirely, leaving me with a very poor work/life balance, constantly worried about our immediate future and unable to see an end to the problems we faced.

I had initial concerns regarding the cost of the programme. Johan is not the cheapest mentor out there and he is very demanding, but he was upfront about these issues so the commitment was clear from the start.

We have achieved some major breakthroughs in this first year (I have now signed up for a second year), not only in the transition of a fragmented office to single team, but also understanding my role and my value to the business. By separating myself from the operation of the business I am able to think and act strategically and with greater vision for the future. This shift in thinking has allowed me to make powerful decisions about the business I want to build and given me the time and the space to put strategies and plans into place. Cash flow is recovering as a result of time invested in sales and selling; the office is operating as a single unified team; we now have outline systems for almost every aspect of the business; we are planning growth in turnover and a move into new premises. This is all a direct result of the change in my thinking brought about by Johan.

I think the biggest surprise in the process has been how fast momentum builds once you start to effect change. Small changes become seismic shifts in thinking and very quickly the culture of the business is one of change and growth. I am so happy to see that the demands of my business and my deep love of architecture are not incompatible as I once thought and in fact, I can build a company that can fulfil both these needs more deeply that either one alone.

I would recommend Johan to creative leaders; to entrepreneurs driven by a passion for design but struggling to make the next move, be that a change in direction, or growth or refinement. When I started this journey, I could only see a mountain ahead of me to climb. Now at the summit, with Johan’s help and guidance I can see a whole range of opportunities ahead. We still have many mountains to climb, but I can see that my limitations are not markets, or staff, or cash flow, or bad clients; I am only limited by the choices I make.

Rod Moreno Masey

Founder and Director of
Moreno Masey,
London, Uk

…Johan’s mentoring and guidance in this area were invaluable in helping me bridge the gap from being a “technical recluse” to becoming an engaging, inspiring trusted leader of people…

My name is Prabu Narayana. I am a qualified chartered management accountant specialising in the hospitality and catering sectors and my most recent role was Managing Director of Splendid Restaurants (Colonel) Ltd operating 43 franchised restaurants across the Midlands and the North East. In my role I had four direct reports, thirteen indirect reports and eighteen hundred employees at restaurant level.

Our aspirations were to instill a culture which drove sustainable top line sales through outstanding customer service and maximising bottom line profitability through best in class processes. Our aspirations were confronted by many challenges.

Challenges such as having ‘the right people, in the right places, doing the right things, the right way, delivering right results’.

Johan came to us highly recommended, being known for turning around QSR businesses through instilling right leadership behaviours.

The role as a Managing Director was new to me after being in finance as the CFO of the Hospitality business for 4 years, hence my CEO Stuart Bailey was keen to facilitate a seamless transition from finance to a senior commercial leadership role with all the right leadership behaviours.

 Knowing that Johan has a strong Navy upbringing in his early career, we were concerned how regimental tactics would work in a civilian environment. However, it proved to be contrary to that: Johan’s mentoring was all about taking people with us whilst creating powerful business minds and clearly demonstrates his vast commercial experience in fast paced and high pressured environments.

The first thing we had to do was to identify fit for purpose leadership qualities in the senior leadership team with a view that this process would enable us to determine who was a right fit for their role and who wasn’t, who can be coached to make them a better fit  and who can’t be; this largely stemmed through determining if one had the right attitude and behaviours.

That meant a whole new world of communication opening up to me in needing to win the hearts and minds of the people and take them with me on the enduring journey. Johan’s mentoring and guidance in this area were invaluable in helping me bridge the gap from being a “technical recluse” to becoming an engaging, inspiring trusted leader of people.

This transition in communication, managerial and leadership style enabled me to keep my people at their fullest potential in the rapid learning zone without tipping them into the terror zone where commitment and productivity nosedive.

This resulted in reshaping my senior leadership team with roles and abilities better matched, and an increasingly committed, productive and engaged management team and work force moving from being stagnant to results driven, customer and mission focused.

The beauty of it all is that his methods made learning something seemingly alien and challenging to me become relatively enjoyable and stress free.

Throughout the programme everything evolved around keeping ‘the main thing the main thing’. This meant prioritising and focusing on what matters the most and what adds the most value to the business and its vision. And for me personally, to my career and my life.

This helped shape and put everything in perspective.

What surprised me the most working with Johan is that I could have an open and honest conversation with him about anything that was on my mind, business or not. Being at the top can be a lonely place and we all need someone who understands our position well to challenge us to find our own destiny.

Despite his mentoring being focused on business, commerce and leadership I have found it extraordinarily useful in all areas of my life. It is hugely adaptable. It has helped me gain greater control of my health, my mind, my work and life balance. And better yet, all the skills and behaviours have stuck with me and are strongly embedded.

 In short, I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience of being mentored and coached by Johan.  

He helped me unlock my greatest potential  and maximise my performance to powerful effect. I have grown immensely as a businessman as well as a human being, and have learned  and successfully applied so much – well beyond my expectations and  well beyond my “blind spots”.  Real coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than merely teaching them.

I am excited about my future.

hospitality and catering sectors financial and business management specialist.
London, UK

…I am hitting more fairways sinking more putts… my stats have improved dramatically!…

Being a keen golfer, I recently engaged in Johan’s services to become a single handicap golfer. I have yet to meet another lady golfer and most men that can drive the ball further than me. I have had all the potential in the world, yet my awesome golf swing never reflected on my scorecard.

I was anxious about working with Johan initially as Johan has never played golf. It become apparent very quickly that Johan did not have to play golf in order to help me with my golf.  Johan was transferring his martial art principles to my golf game.

Johan has a wonderful gift in breaking everything into small chucks to analyse (something that I have never done before), practice and improve my game. Like most sports 90% of golf happens in the mind. Johan has been instrumental in getting into my head space. Most days after starting with a few pars I would get bored and then lose it. I can now stay focused for 18 holes.

Having worked with Johan I have changed my whole approach to golf. I arrive an hour before my t-off in order to be calm on the first shot. I now have my own little ritual I go through before each shot. I talk to the trees and the fairways. My stats have improved dramatically!

The rest of our local golf club now gets nervous when I enter competitions. My fellow athletes have remarked on my new approach and striking of the ball. I am hitting more fairways sinking more puts and soon will be happy to update this audience that I am playing off 7.

Thank you, Johan, you have played a massive role in my achievement to-date.

Nadine Rodgers

Hampshire, England

…To be challenged by Johan most of the time in every subject we work on is very good for me and my goal !…

I’m Serge Betsen,  ex-professional rugby player for more than 20 years, I represented my country 63 times and played with Biarritz Olympique (Top 14 in France) and for London Wasps here in the Premiership.

I retired from professional rugby 9 years ago and in that time I’ve created companies as a social business entrepreneur in sport B2B and B2C. I am now able to dedicate myself fully to these businesses.

Through Serge Betsen Consulting I am sharing my keys to performance and success to my clients, using conferences, workshops or team building activities. My aim is to use my previous experience on the field and to bring it to the corporate world, empowering people to get a new understanding of both their body and mind.

My second entity is a rugby coaching programme that I run in London, where we teach children from 6 to 18 years old, from beginner level all the way to performance. I believe it’s at this young age that you create habits and skills for life, and where you create a passion for sport which can only improve well-being when they grow older. 

Despite my retirement being on my own terms, which I was lucky to have, it has been hard to find a new rhythm and a new organisation. Suddenly, I had a lot of free time, which I filled with lots of activities and projects but it all seemed pretty ineffective and I was not reaching my goals. This struggle began to impact my personal and family life; my wife sometimes mentioned the concept of burnout maybe down the line.

I wanted to get back to a certain level of consistency, taking the discipline I had in my former sportsman life to this new consultant life. 

Johan helped me get a clearer vision of what I was doing by questioning every project I was involved in, and refocusing my competitive spirit on the things that matter. To be challenged by Johan most of the time in every subject we work on is very good for me and my goals!

What initial reservations or concerns did I have about engaging Johan?

NONE. When I make a decision, I stick with it. My whole career I’ve used different coaches for my fitness, speed, flexibility, diet, physiotherapy. I even had mental coaches which was quite new back then.

Johan is passionate about his job, and has a very detail-focus approach which made it very engaging for me. His former experience allows him to see the bigger picture, and have a full understanding of people and how they function. In just 6 months I’ve learned so much, and have managed to focus on the things that make a difference, enabling me to achieve my objectives. 

One aspect of my work with Johan I particularly enjoyed was the attention given to your mind: how to set goals, how to focus, most importantly how to clear your mind, create some space in your brain to rediscover feeling good – Re-connect within your soul. Recharge your battery.

What has also really helped is learning about human relationships, how to sell and how to identify the needs of my prospects.

What has surprised me most about working with Johan was to discover the strategy on questions & answers. To every question, he has quite an analytical approach, getting to the bottom of things through research and reading – it’s always an element of science and psychology, and above all asking questions , asking questions ,asking questions!

What I also very much enjoy is that Johan is half English and he speaks French. Also his knowledge in well-being.

Would I recommend Johan? Why not? As athletes you need to be very curious to find that 1% that makes all the difference for you. And I feel Johan could bring answers.

Serge Betsen

CEO of Serge Betsen Consulting London,
UK Ex Rugby Union France World Cup Captain and London Wasp Legend

Kim Le

Business Class flight attendant, Emirates Airlines
Dubai, UAE

…Johan has also taught me to take responsibility for my financial future beyond just income from my job…

My name is Kim Le,

I am a business class flight attendant with Emirates.

I came for Johan’s help at a stage in my life where I was unsure of which direction to take professionally. 

Up until then I just went through life “going with the flow” pretty much whichever direction it took me and ended up at University studying topics that I did not enjoy and as a result  was worried about how I could create a worthwhile rewarding career. I was at a stalemate. 

I wanted to change and realised that I probably needed to understand myself better. 

Making the decision to work with Johan was not easy. I knew that in his programme I would need at some point to confront myself and my “world” would most likely be shaken up and never look the same again. 

The alternative however of keeping on doing the same things the same way with the same predictable outcomes was the incentive to take the risk and jump in.

I have not looked back since. Johan has helped me to  understand myself to a level that has enabled me to safely shed the old that no longer served, to harness and develop my core strengths and to reinvent my future.

So now I have been in the airline business for 5 years, thoroughly enjoying it. It was an unexpected choice yet a great fit.

Johan has also taught me to take responsibility for my financial future beyond just income from my job. As a result I am now building a portfolio of appreciable assets and multiple streams of income. I am delighted with the returns so far.

What I particularly loved about being mentored by  Johan other than of course the results I am experiencing is that it was casual and very relevant without ever feeling like a series of lectures.

My point of view is now widened. My doubts and the disruptive  inner chatter have been quietened and my courage to step up, make powerful impactful decisions and just “do it” has been massively amplified. I feel very proud of myself.

Thank you very much Johan!

…I now know that additional capacity does exist in me and I now know how to get to it. Channeling that has lead to a very successful period….

My names is Matt Leipnik, I’m 38 and run a company called Chalk Circle Ltd. cutting my teeth as an entrepreneur.

Actually this was one of the (many) reasons I decided to work with Johan. I offer Cyber Security Consultancy and Managed Services but one of the things I struggled with was trying to refine (from a very broad range of expertise) what we did, who we did it for and how to talk about it.

What brought me to ask for Johan’s help is that apart from trying to pinpoint what we did as described above, I would say it had a lot to do with a feeling I had that I wasn’t operating at my full potential and that I had it in me but I just didn’t know to unlock it and then channel it effectively.

My number one fear and reservation about starting with Johan was the cost, because it was a commitment and it was expensive but I knew investing in myself is always a good thing. I had faith in Johan because we got on so well initially and I felt he “got” me.

I have had many results as a result of Johan’s mentoring; I think the most important being that I now know that additional capacity does exist in me and I now know how to get to it. Channeling that has lead to a  very successful period.

I have grown in self confidence, I am less stressed and I have managed to quiet a lot of my internal thoughts and dialogue that was affecting my attention and energy.

What surprised me the most about working with Johan and the results we got during sessions was the initial realisation and then connecting all the dots as we discussed certain concepts and then put them into action. The stand out breakthrough though was coming from a place where I enjoyed creativity and freedom to do whatever I choose (but this meant I wasn’t getting anything done), to understanding that I actually needed a great deal of structure in my daily life and putting that in place has lead to success but also in much shorter time frame.

What has really impressed me has been Johan’s patience and flexibility and how he worked out what made me tick.

I would recommend Johan because he knows what it is like to play powerfully at life, understands how people tick and empowers you to make some real positive change in your both your life and business, even if you don’t see the two connected at the time.

Best Wishes

Matt Leipnik

Chalk Circle Cyber Security,
Kent, England.

…I went to auditions with full confidence and capacity and got the job competing against more than 300 applicants…

My name is Brígida Pereira Neves and I am a professional ballet dancer.

With 15 years professional experience, my performance career has taken me to many countries such as Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Lithuania and the USA.

At the moment I am a soloist with Tanz Company Innsbruck at Tiroler Landestheater in Innsbruck, Austria.

A few years ago, I had reached a turning point in my career and was looking for a way to overcome my sensed lack of self-confidence. I didn’t feel I was performing or showing myself to my best, specially at auditions, and this was stopping me from getting the jobs I felt I deserved and wished for. I longed to come out of my “shell of fear and judgement” but was not sure how.

At first I was unsure about starting the programme with Johan as he is not a dancer and might have not known the ins and outs of the profession. I was also anxious about opening up and talking about my deepest fears and doubts, which seemed so inherent to me.

Through the programme, not only did I release the inner dancer and artist that was ready to shine through (with Johan’s interest of dance as well as his own experience in Martial Arts), but I also dealt with questions and conditionings of my childhood and youth. I was able to apply the tools that Johan provided and taught me, not only in my professional endeavours, but also in my everyday life. Still today, I surprise myself when I think back to how I felt before the programme and am immensely grateful for the progress achieved.

I went to auditions with full confidence and capacity and got the job competing against more than 300 applicants! I take responsibility for my career and my ups and downs, and even though I am employed I consider myself “My own boss” and plan my work, my growth and my goals.

I realise I have so much more to learn and to achieve but I feel without this first impulse from the work developed with Johan, I might have never gone beyond my fears and taken the risk to see who I can become.

I recommend Johan very highly because he is dedicated to what he does and applies passion, generosity and empathy into all his work. To professional sports people and artists I go even further by adding that although we use our body for our work, our mind must be ready to be working at its full capacity and finely tuned, if we wish to achieve our goals, no matter what they may be. And for this, Johan is the right person to go to.

Brigida Perreira Neves

Professional Ballet Dancer, Innsbruck, Austria

…what has surprised me the most about working with Johan is how fast tangible results have come to me…

I am Liam Thomas; I am a striker at Derby County Football Academy in England. Derby Football Academy specialises in developing talented young players to make it as professional footballers.

My career aim is to become a pro footballer at Manchester City Football Club. I am currently 15 ½ years of age and am progressing through the system.

The challenges that caused my personal manager and I to seek Johan’s help were that I was going through a lot of frustrating times with more downs than ups which was affecting my football performance putting me behind in my development and potentially causing my contract at Derby FC not to be renewed, which would have been a major setback.

I was struggling with opening up and talking about how I felt about things. I was worried about how my football coaches and managers were perceiving me, and my confidence was at a big low. I was beginning to think that if I was already struggling at this stage, that maybe there was something wrong with me and would I really be able to make it all the way to professional level? The more I thought about it all, the worse my playing got and the more under pressure I became.

My initial concern about working with Johan was would I feel comfortable opening up to him and sharing what was really going on? The fact that Johan is not a footballer himself did not disturb me as I was keen to get a different viewpoint from a different perspective.

So far (we are entering month 5 of Johan’s programme) working with Johan I have finally developed an approach to the game that really works for me: calm yet very alert. We have found my “zone”.

I have gained a deeper inner confidence which has resulted in better match day and training performances. The feedback from my coaches and managers has been very positive. In fact they have told me that this pre-season, I have surpassed their goal scoring expectations, impressed them with my work ethic, and my ability to retain information and retain the ball have increased.

My parents have said that they have seen a big change for the positive in me: I have matured, I have become a lot less frustrated on and off the field, I have become more responsible and I have opened up more becoming a better communicator all around.

What has surprised me the most about working with Johan is how fast tangible results have come to me and how much Johan seems to actually know about things in football that really matter despite him not being a footballer himself.

What I have really enjoyed about working with him is that we put into practice not just key football skills but also day to day life skills, which are very handy.

I would happily recommend Johan to other committed footballers and sports people especially because he has enabled me to unlock my own potential on and off the field in a very short amount of time.

I feel that it is very important to get one’s mental state absolutely right in competitive football and Johan gets the job done.

Thank you very much Johan!

Liam Thomas

Derby County Academy striker.
Derby, England

…I can attribute this success to Johan’s business acumen coupled with his naval discipline…

My name is Lyndon Fisher and I am a self-employed consultant, specialising in complex construction cost plans and assisting clients with frustrating budget numbers and the possibility of stressful cost over-runs.

I am also starting a drone surveying wing to my existing business of cost planning which is using camera drones and photogrammetry to make 3D models that can be used to quantify and record progress or, create a permanent digital record of a building or area.

My initial interest in having mentoring was that I was aware of my limitations in business and in my financial life and needed to do something about it. The question was what?

Having met Johan at a breakfast meeting I was reasonably interested in what he had to say and he was warm and approachable. We discussed what he did and why he was there. I decided to meet him somewhere else after this first encounter and a few days later I found myself in Canary Wharf discussing my concerns and hopes over tea. He said he had been in the Navy and that he had run a highly successful Burger King outlet and that most of his sales training and people management come from those two careers. These of course are great references; Burger King’s empire is huge and any Navy will give you incredible discipline and experience. Based on these and my impressions over the two meetings gave me confidence in my decision to use Johan.

We have moved forward from ideas into physical action, of marketing and developing the drone and cost planning business into actual sales and I can attribute this success to Johan’s business acumen coupled with his naval discipline and his  interest in eastern philosophy. He has a good understanding of people, their habits and frustrations and guides you to a more elevated way of seeing the world.

Lyndon Fisher

LMMF Cost Planning and Quantity Surveying services, St Albans, England

Simon Jacklin

Senior Partner, Daniel Connal Partnership.
London, UK

…the key is to embed habits that become permanent…

My name is Simon Jacklin. I am a chartered surveyor and senior partner of Daniel Connal Partnership.

I met Johan at a networking event. Whilst not immediately thinking I needed some help I was intrigued with Johan’s story and his approach to business.

Having not had any form of management training before I decided to embark on a 12 month training programme.

Although the costs of Johan’s fees were high I took a calculated risk that the cost of the fees would be recouped with my own increased productivity and the business as a whole.

Johan initially focused on me as an individual and was very quick to identify my strengths and weaknesses.

Amongst other things we identified my leadership style and worked on how I could adapt my style to react to different behaviours and situations more effectively.

We also worked on methods to increase my vitality and decrease stress.

I identified one key area I needed to develop was my selling and marketing skills. Johan helped me put in place strategies to win more business with more confidence.

With any type of training the key is to embed habits that become permanent. Johan definitely holds you to account during the programme.

This certainly helped in keeping me on course to achieve my goals.

Since working with Johan our turnover has increased by over 15% and I have definitely become more focused and driven as an individual.

For anybody thinking of working with Johan, there is an old saying you get what you pay for. The advice and mentoring you will receive will be second to none. Once you conquer the initial fears of making the financial commitment there will be no regrets.

…courage to change direction…

My best way to sum up what your exercises did for me was…..‘Courage’ 

– Courage to change direction, courage to ask to achieve the bigger goals!.

Fabian Bullen

Senior Partner – St James’s Place
London, UK

…Johan has been a catalyst for me to react less to the bad shots…

I am Mark Gershinson, I am a 1 handicap amateur golfer. I have played golf all of my life and now, at 54 years old I am playing my best golf ever.

I have suffered over the years with the “yips” (nerves under pressure) both in putting mainly and chipping, sabotaging key moments in tournaments.

My initial reservations working with Johan were that it was expensive and “would it have a long lasting effect?”

Johan’s approach was to deal with business before golf (I am in property investment) on the basis that everything would fall into place in my golf if I trained the mind for life situations starting with business.

Results so far (I am still on the programme):

  • Winning my club championship this year, where in a tight pressure situation at the final closing holes, I honestly believe that my newly developed strength of mind reflected in my poise and as a result may have adversely affected my opponent coming down the stretch.
  • My handicap went up last year and after working with Johan it went down to the lowest ever (for those who do not play golf: a low “handicap” is good)

Johan has been a catalyst for me to react less to the bad shots, to forming a new identity on the course for myself, and to making me believe that anything is possible, which culminated in a season-end major final victory in a tough situation coming from behind to win on the last putt. As I stood at that last putt I told the “chattering monkeys” in my mind: “take a hike!”

Thank you Johan!

Update 18 months later:

At 53 years old my golf handicap was sliding from a peak of 1 to 2.

I was playing worse, suffering from nerves under pressure which was affecting my short game and thus my scores.

With Johan we worked on the mental side of my game to create a shot by shot process and a specific pre-shot routine which put my mind into the right place before taking a shot, never allowing me to hit an “anyway” shot.

Consequently my game has thrived. I have become calmer, have more clarity and focus culminating in better scores, more enjoyment and reaching my lifetime goal of becoming a scratch golfer, at the ripe age of 55.

I have also become the oldest club champion, for the 6th time this year.

Johan’s thoughts and teachings are always in my mind and have pervaded other aspects of my life, especially my business, work-life balance, procedures and time management

Mark Gershinson

Property developer and golfer
London, UK

…being able to clear the cobwebs and negativity that would create excuses for not getting to where I wanted to be…

I had the fortune to work with Johan over a six month period last year.

I am a magician, actor and musician and wanted to work at re-engaging with the acting business and see how I could make inroads using my various skills. Having felt like i had been moving backwards in the acting industry.

I was very cynical at how Johan could help, but after an initial meeting on a sunny day in London, over coffee we developed an agreeable plan of action.

We looked at what was going on in my life and what I wanted to achieve and why I was not making as big leaps forward as I would have liked.

Working with Johan opened up a clarity in how to move forward, using the skills I already have and developing them further.

Creating a clearer mental state by addressing the positive aspects and not getting bogged down in the negative.

Learning how to be bold in asking for what I want were clear successes and being able to clear the cobwebs and negativity that would create excuses for not getting to where I wanted to be.

Moving forward I am thoroughly engaged with new entertainment industry contacts and have been developing my guitar playing skills, taking a consistent and concerted development in my life over the last year.

Sometimes an objective viewpoint and helping hand really can move things forward.

I thoroughly recommend taking the first meeting with Johan to see what he can help you do for yourself. He takes a very individual and bespoke look at you and your needs, listening to what you want to achieve be it in your personal life or business.

Paul Roffman

Associate of The Inner Magic Circle with silver star.

…gave me the confidence to walk apart from the herd, to tackle the Tour and its preparation as my own journey,…

I am a 40 year old fund manager for a FTSE250 listed investment company.  Through a friend I was introduced to Johan.  He is a first rate story teller and has a fascinating life history.  His experiences are very different to mine, which is why when we first met I felt I could learn a great deal from Johan.

Although I was unsure exactly what I would learn, I was impressed by Johan when we first met and I decided to employ him in spite of not knowing what he would be able to offer.

We worked together over a period of six months.  In this time I went from being a non-cyclist to completing the full route of the Tour de France and raising over £420,000 for a cancer charity (against an initial objective of £50,000). It was an enormous challenge.  Not only was I not a professional cyclist, I didn’t even commute to work by bicycle!  On the odd occasion when I found myself cycling with friends, I always felt like the weakest of the group, the person everyone had to wait for, holding everyone back.

So to take on the Tour was the hardest thing I could possibly conceive of doing.

Another concern was that I ate a predominantly vegetarian diet: how on earth would I consume enough protein to ride over 100 miles each day, nonstop for three weeks?  After research into the eating habits of two of the world’s most successful endurance athletes – Scott Jurek and Richard Roll – I decided to go vegan, and became the first vegan ever to complete the full route of the Tour de France, just one day ahead of the professional peloton.

Johan’s mentoring gave me the confidence to walk apart from the herd, to tackle the Tour and its preparation as my own journey, to adopt my own approach and not worry about the thoughts and training schedules of others.

Johan gave me the confidence to accept that just because something might work brilliantly for someone else, it may not be the best approach for me.  Really it was a mental undertaking, and Johan gave me the skills to train my mind and focus clearly on the task in hand.

It is impossible to know how much of this would have been achieved without Johan’s help, but what I can tell you is that above and beyond helping me reach these phenomenal goals, he helped me think about life in broader terms, to approach the Tour not just as a physical event, but rather a physical, mental, and spiritual challenge.

I never ceased to be amazed by Johan’s expansive knowledge and emotional intelligence, and in this small testimonial I could not do justice to the wide range of subjects he introduced, of which previously I had been ignorant.  He has broadened my mind and strengthened my resolve.

Whatever area of life you are currently grappling with, Johan most probably can help you.  Without any reservations, I highly recommend him.

James Maltin

Founder of Ridgeway Investment Management
Wiltshire, UK

…through working with Johan I manifested the thing I had really wanted the most for a number of years…

I met Johan through networking and from talking to him I felt he was a very switched on integral individual who understood human dynamics.

I felt Johan could enrich my life and take me to the next level.

Money is always a factor in these situations but I understand that you have to invest in a personal coach if you really want to succeed – all the most successful people invest in coaches and their growth. I believe that your life business etc will only go as far as you develop yourself.

Through working with Johan I manifested the thing I had really wanted the most for a number of years: my soul mate, I have built a strong spiritual practice and I am looking at taking my business to the next level.

So far so good. Looking forward to the next three months.

Kitty Waters

Author, Speaker and Mentor

…my business confidence has grown enormously and I have enormous focus and energy…

I’m Rion Willard an Architect and director/founder of my own architectural practice The Thinking Hand Studio. I met Johan through a friend at a networking event who suggested there might be synergy between us due to our mutual interests. During this period I was struggling to get my fledgling business to turnover a liveable wage. Having met many business and performance coaches, mentors etc through various networking events I wasn’t even thinking about hiring anyone to assist with my business goals until I had a cup of tea with Johan.

I was incredibly impressed with Johan from our initial conversation. Finding out about Johan’s military background, Zen discipline and his own business excellence instantly struck a chord with me, and got me thinking how might Johan’s experience be able to assist me in creating my business dreams into reality.

My initial fears and reservations about Johan were the cost of his fees. I had no doubt that they were most certainly worth but it was beyond any budget I had. However after a conversation with Johan we developed a 6-month plan of how this might be achievable and what were the obstacles. This conversation itself was a massive breakthrough for me how I was viewing my own financial constraints.

In those 6 months I spoke with Johan once a month with mini progress reports – with this small amount of structure I was able to raise the funds and win enough work to begin his programme and boost my business.

Since we’ve begun the programme less than 3 months ago, my business has already begun to grow rapidly and I have been able to win clients that I previously thought were going elsewhere. I have been able to negotiate business deals powerfully and effectively creating win-win situations for myself and the client to create the best work. In the last few weeks alone I have secured 5 new jobs, already close to total amount of jobs I had in the previous year.

My business confidence has grown enormously and I have enormous focus and energy towards clearly defined inspiring business goals and vision. The inner work has been the most important part of this so far – limiting internal dialogues or the ‘gremlins’ as Johan calls them, that have plagued me since childhood have been replaced with a confidence that I can do anything I set my mind to – what I once saw as closed doors now appear as opportunities and possibilities. One of the most profound revelations of this is in how much I love every aspect of my work.

Johan’s approach goes deep into your internal mechanics and helps illuminate and destroy self-restricting and habitual modes of thinking. Johan’s programme is a structure for your own excellence and superior performance. To have a powerful mentor like Johan in your corner will most certainly help you unleash dormant potential by the shed load, allowing you to achieve your goals and aspirations. I look forward to the rest of the programme and the results I will achieve.

Rion Willard

Founder and Director, TTHS Architects and founder of The Business of Architecture Blog, UK edition
London, UK

…challenges them to push far beyond their self-limiting beliefs…

Johan shoots from the hip. His history as Ops Director of Burger King probably drove him to become a vegetarian but professionally as a consultant, coach and mentor he is a flesh-ripping, bone-crushing carnivore. Years of martial arts training and meditation has given him extraordinary self-discipline, balance and focus. Grafting his way to the top of corporate life in the fiercely competitive and tough fast-food business has given him insight into people, politics, behaviour, motivation, systems, customers, accountability, responsibility and commercial good sense. As a coach and supporter he helps his clients focus on the real causes of their issues, challenges them to push far beyond their self-limiting beliefs and notional boundaries and holds them to account. What Johan does is tough, it’s expensive and takes real effort. Don’t waste his time if you just want your skewed worldview endorsed. But if you really want to make positive change quickly, and you’re willing to make the effort of implementing and embedding those changes into habit, Johan is the man to go to.

DON’T expect an easy ride. His mind is sharp, he learns faster than almost anyone I’ve ever trained and he’s not afraid of taking risks. He drives his clients hard and your commitment to your own success is the only variable open to doubt. Any restauranteur who wants to crush their current levels of performance; any athlete who wants to break through their best historical levels of performance and compete on a world stage; any performer who finds the lifestyle and pressures of life in the public eye and on the road; or any business person who is falling short of their optimal career or commercial performance will experience value in retaining Johan. Fast, lasting change isn’t achieved without effort or investment. His path isn’t ever going to be easy but it is exciting and effective. I’ve no hesitation in recommending Johan Taft if you want to grow well beyond your current possibilities.

Marcus Cauchi

Sales trainer
Berkshire, UK

…Making history, by achieving eight consecutive wins at the Scottish Men’s Gymnastics Championships, was done before any competition had taken place, and I thank you for making that possible…

Dear Johan,

I am writing to thank you most sincerely for the sports-coaching and motivation sessions conducted by you over the past few months.

The sessions that you held, I found to be not only educational, but spiritually motivating, which is a quality that education alone cannot offer.

As an international gymnast I found the fact that with you being similarly involved in a disciplined sport, you could relate to my needs and understandings, which helped with assurance and gave me the confidence to use the skills and techniques taught to me.

The Eighth Scottish Men’s Senior Gymnastics Championships to me was to be the hardest competition of my career. It was not only my eighth consecutive title defence, but was also a battle with motivation, expectation and self-belief.

To defend the title successfully and go down in history as the most successful Scottish male gymnast of all time, I had to find a link to regenerate the belief and passion from inside of me and I feel that through the programme that you taught, together we found that link.

I particularly found the visualisation exercises useful to me because it helped me to focus completely on myself, which was a main problem to me, especially during competition, where I tended to lose focus.  I could use the visuals and exercises taught to me to remain isolated and focused. During the build up to the event I was completely in control of my preparation both physically and mentally and for the first time felt fully prepared for the task to come.

Once again Johan thank you for all your help and inspiration in helping my dream to happen.  And thank you for your motivation which I shall never forget.

Making history, by achieving eight consecutive wins at the Scottish Men’s Gymnastics Championships, was done before any competition had taken place, and I thank you for making that possible.

Steve Frew

8 times Scottish Men’s senior Gymnastics Champion, Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist for Scotland Gymnastics.

…you’ve always been such a strong inspiration…

Johan,  you’ve always been such a strong inspiration to me. Respect for all that you do for humanity. You really are a shining star!

PP Arnold