Riding a rollercoaster or why a nail could be an investment of €100.-

After having a bloody intense working weekend and a surprising momome (Monday Morning Meeting) with the playmakers I jumped on the plane in order to head on to Rio de Janeiro. My journey would begin and my game would be tested.

In Madrid I experienced the first micro wonder meeting a funky group of Spanish. Those guys partied wild, (some pix will follow soon) and learned me some very important Spanish terms. Listen girls, now  I know to survive in Spain!! :))
Since my plane left at noon of the next day I needed to survive another couple of hours in Madrid. So I went to a 24 hours copy shop to work at 4 am.

After writing some emails and following up on the playmakers projects I met Bernhard Niesner from busuu. I am deeply impressed by him. He is another flowrider!!! Discussing some opportunities of social media tools, campaigns and gaming dynamics was real fun and I felt terrible to move on to plane. Though I left for one of the best flights ever. Nearly empty plane, friendly staff, double portion of the meals and a lovely girl teaching me Portuguese!!

what a great experience. So it was also not a big issue that the movie collection was lame (eat, pray, love was giving me some nice time but the rest.... :))

Coming to the airport was kind of a mix of my feelings. First of all there was this intense feeling of sexuality and lust for life which is welcoming you in Brazil. Then I realized that I didn't inform anybody of my arrival nor that I checked out where I am going to stay for the next couple of days. Of course I had no map, no directions and it was 1 am in the morning.

My first way was to Copacabana to go to the beach and enjoy the silent sea with my whole luggage. (The other day I learned that is a common place for getting robbed.)  I felt miserable. Why was it that I was always taking the hardest way in order to prove myself. I liked the challenge of getting along and trusting in the good that will happen, but do I have to dare my faith all the time???

When I stopped putting myself down and I decided to go for a welcome drink to a bar at the Copacabana.
Filipe the barkeeper and Renata, a very lovely Brazilian girl made this night a pleasant experience and in the end I was happy to get connected with a beautiful Braziliera and having met somebody who was selling SAP products, lived in Europe and might boost busuu.com. Let's see if something like this turns out...

I took a taxi and ended up in one of the most gorgeous hostels in town. However on the next day I woke up and was still a bit freaking out. I was there alone, no real contacts, limited money resources, I still need to sell one challenge and I just have 1,5 months to find a 500 person company to sell busuu. What the fuck... :)) I checked my emails. In order make the pain even more painful... I found out that the HP was still not running properly and that I didn't manage to align the 'Challenge.Me' team in order to have properly working work flow. Nobody did anything because nobody was clear what was needed. As you can imagine I was really down.

Under the impression of our long working sessions and the long flight without any sleep for two days I was also very exhausted. Fortunately some people from the hostel, Maya and Manuel, asked me to join to see the city. I agreed which was a good decision. Low in energy and having the feeling of failing was not a great state of getting work done. Besides that I needed get myself established in the city and get acclimatized. So I joined them to get to know the way to the Metro and after checking out the largest church I have ever seen (for 20.000 persons) we split up and I went to the beach. On the way there I was so tired that I decided to go to a park and sleep there on a bench for a while.

When I woke up I realized that I was not the only one using that great location to rest, sleep or meet. There was a very special atmosphere in the park. Some people next to him studied Portuguese, were making jokes and enjoying a great deal of their time. A homeless tried to communicate with me and I felt really sorry not having the opportunity to get his jokes. He seemed to be very funny and nice.

After a while he gave up to tell me his joke and I really had an insight. I had taken €100.- in cash with me in order to buy sun glasses and shorts since I was really out of any cool swimming equipment. Suddenly I had the feeling, that I should give this money to this guy, Magno, as I learned later on.

Well you should know that I normally I really don't do this and I am not a person who is running around playing Mother Theresa. Not at all, especially the last days showed what a selfish person I am. But somehow with all my low energy and despite the knowledge that I needed to take care of what and how much I spend, I had such a strong feeling of giving him the money. I liked the idea that he would need to find a way of getting it exchanged and finding solutions in order not to get ripped. But there was so much fear in me. What if I would need the money later on? Would I do that just to calm down my feelings? What would the people around think about me?

All of a sudden a couple next to us which studied Portuguese stood up and I needed to take some actions if I would do it. Well to make a long story short. I finally went to them asked them if they could translate. This was a start of a beautiful story. I told Magno, that I would see a great potential in him as a business person (what I really did since he was collecting tins and easily connecting with other people) and I would like him to give this money in order to start his own business. He promised me to write me an email in one year in order to tell me about his progress. I still don't know if he can write....
Dionne, who came from the UK, started to tell amazing stories and even more astonishing, her friend who works in a restaurant close by agreed to help Magno in the future!!! Wow all of a sudden there was a real community involvement going on!!!! So cool. That was even more worth than €100.-

I would like to share one of the stories of Dionne. She told me about this guy who was living on the street. He had nothing. No education, no family, no hope. Then he decided to build a house and he started with one nail. He changed this nail with something else and by just exchanging goods and without any money involved he managed to build a house.
Well to tell you something about serendipity, after I left the park I look on the street and found....  a nail. What a wired experienced and I started to laugh that people around just would smile and greet with their amazing way of enjoying life.

That experience really made my day but it was not over yet! I went to the beach and had one of my best days. I met Wera from Sweden, who lives in Rio on and off. She just came back from Sweden and showed that is really possible to life my dream of staying 6 months at the beach and the rest of the time in the mountains. I was so lifted up by our conversations. These conversations, her admirable sense for enjoying the beauty of nature and life. So I took the decision right at Ipanema to move to Rio. I am in love with this city, with the people there and its great nature. It is such a great location!

And after coming home I read my emails I figured out that everything was going ok, with omission and faith in life. Sandra Ghitescu, follow her great blog, put it so perfectly well that I would like to share her email with you.

On Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 2:45 PM, Sandra Ghitescu wrote:
hey again babe,

a little concerned that nobody has yet answered your emails than me...

i understand this last request you have for me, i understand i must wait for nico to put something together and make it funky. i wait.

in the meanwhile, i suggest a big meditation for you.

go to a sacred space - a place with amazing nature, a church...
set a clear intention for the meditation. ask to be connected to Spirit, the Source, God. set yourself as a channel, a clear, clean and beautiful channel, to receive God's words. close your eyes and relax, tie a silver thread to your coccis (last bone of the spine) so as not to get lost during your travel. ask for a guide, a power animal to take you on this journey. let yourself travel and receive guidance from your Guide, the Angels and God.

fear, worry and misunderstanding arise when your personality/ fears/ ego/ personal history starts interfering with the Grand Design. Ask to be strongly reconnected to the Grand Design, and nurture that connection each day from now on. it will tell you everything you need, including how to make the homepage and how to be more easy to understand for people.

as you come back from the mediation following the silver thread, ask Guide, Angels, Universe to help you integrate and embody what you have learned/ received. feel how all the information is encoded in your body, help you body be clean to receive it, help it be strong to keep it.

don't forget to thank for the gifts :)

over the next days, use totems and symbols to make sure you are connected even in the toughest times.

i will do the same.

this is not about you, me, other people, social media, a homepage, this project. this is about what the Universe needs us for. this is the common ground for all the people in this story. if we respect this and stay connected to it, everything will do itself. as Diana says, "let God work" :)

i'm sending you all my love,

With the right energy we can really accomplish great things. We do not have to search in the outer world but inside us.
I felt so empowered and full of life till I was just acting so selfish since I felt so unbeatable.... But that is the story of the next blog entry. Stay tuned and share some micro wonders with us!


  1. hey philippe,
    nice to get some insights. I have a small first challange to you. Take the 100€ I borrowed you in fall and pay it forward as social investments. I would suggest you divide it / 10. Then look for 10 (small) social challanges, were you can invest 10 € each with the aim, that each 10 € get min 100 € through the wise investment. Tell us some stories about that.

    what do you think?
    all the best, jay

  2. additional challenge: get 10 people who join you in the challange given by johannes. make a deal, that they also get 10 people to join in! and antoher ten and so on...

  3. Ok I take this one! Elias, are you the first person who joins?