Hugely in demand as a mentor, coach and hypnotist, Benjamin Bonetti has been described as a ‘21st century Paul McKenna’ and is considered one of the leading authorities in the self-help arena. Although his client list remains confidential, Ben – a ‘celebrity must have secret weapon’ – is often spotted behind the scenes at national events supporting well know A-list stars and artists…
Hello Benjamin. You’re a man of many talents it seems; can you tell us exactly what you’re involved in at the moment?
At the moment we are heavily investing our time in promoting and sharing our principles around the three pillars of success, well-being, fitness and nutrition. Our main focus over the next 12 months is to reach those who have perhaps tried one part and are now ready to commit to a complete overhaul using all three.
Can you tell us about the new book you’ve just launched?
In a nutshell, it’s very easy for people to get lost in the mix of self-help advice; How To Change Your Life brings it back to the basics using simple steps formed in an analogy of building a temple (legacy); first clearing, then the foundation preparation then adding the structure itself. It contains lots of fun and interesting techniques that readers can use from the comfort of their own home.
A lot of people have heard the term NLP, but don’t actually know what it is. Can you explain?
NLP has a number of meanings depending on whom you ask. For me it’s about making sense and having control over your “thinking”, being consciously aware of what you are thinking and how it affects your behaviours, it’s a great tool that should be taught in schools.
You’re now a very successful hypnotist; can you tell us how you got into this line of work?
I fell into it more than anything else; having left the Army in 2002 I found it hard to find re-employment, and with a child on the way I was forced into a number of unfulfilling positions. It was while scrubbing dishes in a local restaurant that I made a personal vow to never let anyone tell me what I could or couldn’t do again, and set about re-educating myself in business and personal development. Within the following five years I had worked my way up the private and corporate estate agency ladder, before opening my own estate agency business, which I later sold. During this time I was lecturing business skills and studied NLP – hypnosis was actually the by-product but has ended up being the main focal point of my business. You could say, “it just worked”.
What sort of comments do you experience from cynics of hypnotism, and how do you deal with the criticism?
Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion so I respect that, and actually I welcome those cynics as they keep me motivated. I appreciate that hypnosis or even self-help isn’t for everyone, but I keep my focus very much on those I can help and those who do want to listen. Whenever someone makes a negative comment I kindly ask how many people they have helped globally, to which I usually get a blank response before moving on.
Can you tell us more about the learning process involved when becoming a hypnotist?
There are many different options, especially now with online training; each suit different learning styles and are all equally beneficial. From experience I believe the entrance is to combine one of these while working on the job.
Can you explain a little more about the methods you use and how they work?
These I keep close to my chest; I have a varied and diverse tool box which combine aspects of many therapies including: neuro-linguistic programming, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and a few others, namely my own.
You’ve been described as a 21st century Paul McKenna. Have you had the chance to meet him yet?
I haven’t as of yet, as we’re both very busy people. I have a huge amount of admiration and respect for Paul; the industry was very focused on the mystic arts before he commercialised and made it more of an accepted profession. I am sure our paths will cross one day, perhaps we could hypnotise each other…
Why do you think you’ve become so successful in this area?
I think we all have professions to which we are perfectly aligned, but unfortunately many give up searching or trying new ventures before they find theirs. I’ve tried a few, however, hypnosis and the self-help area just seemed to really work for me. It’s not a career in my eyes (although it is), it’s a passion, and I awaken everyday excited about what I can learn, who I can help and what difference I can make. I think this contributes to the success.
You have a celebrity client list which obviously must be kept confidential. Can you reveal how you keep information from slipping?
It’s simple, when you become entrusted by people, celebrity or not, you have the responsibility to keep their information private. I wouldn’t like my personal thoughts being banded about so it would be highly unfair to go against my own principles. I just don’t talk about it; it’s the most effective way.
Do you find people are persistent in trying to find out who your clients are and if so, why do you think they feel they need to know?
All the time; we all like to know what’s happening to everyone else. I have a naturally inquisitive nature so can relate to those “beakies”. I think the public like to know “everything” simply because they want to “normalise” those held within the public eye and believe it’s their right to know.
Many new entrepreneurs need to learn the art of discipline. Have you any advice for making discipline a daily habit?
My advice would be to remove “all distractions”… with modern technology being at the hand of most, it’s so easy to waste time on needless and pointless tasks. Removal and replacement is usually the best way to regain focus and get back on track.
As a life coach and mentor, what sort of issues do you find people are most concerned with?
Weight loss, confidence and self-belief, in that order and are linked, hence we promote the triad of change – if you were to package this it would probably be described somewhere within the self-image category.
On your website video, you mention the importance of identifying problems in your current life before you can decide how to change. Have you followed your own advice to get where you want to be?
Absolutely. I am constantly altering aspects of my life, sometimes I have to go back a few stages but overall I have consistently made progress in each of the aspects of the triad. I think there are too many therapists not practicing what they preach – in my world I couldn’t expect others to follow my advice when I fail to follow it myself.
You also mention fear is the one thing that holds people back from changing; what are people so scared of?
Without a doubt, failure; the fear of failure is something that will stop the most successful entrepreneurs laying their first brick. For me failure is exciting, it’s a learning opportunity… think about it this way: an engineer will test a product to failure, using the results to make it stronger – I follow this strategy and the more I fail the better I seem to get.
People don’t like to be specific as they are scared they will be less likely to fulfill what they are trying to achieve; what do you say to convey the importance of being specific?
It’s scientifically proven that the mind will only work to specifics; whether a road trip or an internal vision – the specifics (the directions) are how the mind will guide you to arrive safely, this is closely linked to the failure question.
Do you think hypnotism can work for everyone?
I am yet to personally treat a person that hasn’t benefited from hypnosis, I can’t say that there aren’t those it won’t work with because the world is a large place. For me it’s about managing the expectations – if you can relax with a deep massage then you can enter into a hypnotic state, it’s as simple as that.
Do you find people act differently to their natural selves once they find out you are a hypnotist?
I don’t look like the stereotypical hypnotherapist so it rarely comes up, however most people are intrigued and will ask lots of questions, usually instantly opening up to endless issues and asking me to cure them there in the moment.
Okay, so can you tell us what sort of breakfast sets you up for the rest of the day?
It massively depends on whether I am intensively training or testing out a new diet; however it will usually be a bowl of Scottish Oats with honey and blueberries, scrambled eggs or both.
Regarding food, you’ve said that ‘If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be eating it’. Does that mean you stay away from foreign food that you might not be so familiar with? Or do you mean something else?
(Laughs)…it means in terms of the ingredients; Butylated Hydroxyanisole is an example. BHA is in thousands of foods and has links to terminal illnesses, it’s also found in food packaging and cosmetics. BHA has many aliases, so the only way you can guarantee you’re not eating it is by eating clean. For me it’s about stripping back the diet and consuming RAW unmanufactured foods, if it’s processed then you shouldn’t be eating it.
What is your best tip for an easy way to be a bit healthier every day?
Eat healthier, exercise more and invest in your overall wellbeing. Most people spend more on a car than they do over a lifetime on education; I think this is bonkers and would personally opt to reverse it. By “education” I mean learning everything you can about ways to enhance your life, via any medium available.
Where does your knowledge of fitness and nutrition come from?
I have come from a sporting family, my uncle played football for Chelsea and England and my father semi-professional so you could say it’s within my genes, the Army had a huge influence within my early adulthood. My knowledge and education comes from learning and the application of theories upon my own body, again I can’t expect others to take my advice seriously if I fail to have an understanding on the actual effect it has, for example, recently I underwent a 4-month vegan diet for the experience. The more different theories and concepts I apply the better I understand my body, thus the more I am able to improve and share this knowledge.
We like your comment about what we see in the mirror reflects what other people sense and feel. Can you explain a bit more about this for our readers?
It’s related to the internal communication and what words we use to describe ourselves. This has a fundamental effect on our behaviors. How we see ourselves in the mirror is a great and honest way of that all important reality check.
Can you tell us what you see about yourself when you look in the mirror?
Ah that would be telling…
Who and what do you find inspirational and motivating?
My children are the most inspirational people in my life; they are fantastic at pushing boundaries and are yet to be cultured into limiting beliefs. Everyday they come out with some new and exciting visions about life.
What are your goals in 2014?
To spend more time with loved ones, help more people including myself achieve their ambitions and work on my legacy.
What are your plans for the long-term future?
To constantly improve my life and those around me, not forgetting those who continue to support me by purchasing my products and services.
Ending on a lighthearted note, can you name some of the most popular ways people procrastinate on a daily basis?
The usual ones are: I don’t know how, I can’t do that because no one has shown me, I will never succeed in that, I always fail so it’s not worth trying, someone else can do it, if I avoid it long enough, it will take care of itself.