San Antonio's Rockstar Turned Realtor®: Surviving Your Serengeti - Stefan Swanepoel - Business Book Review

Surviving Your Serengeti - Stefan Swanepoel - Business Book Review

Surviving Your Serengeti - Business Book - Stefan Swanepoel7 Skills to Master Business and Life

I was going to reblog ActiveRain's post about the Surviving Your Serengeti Challenge, but reblog is currently down.  As you can read in my comment, I received an advance copy of the book and I thought the book was an excellent read - both as a story and as a business book.  Stefan definitely has a way with words, no doubt about that.

What I liked most about the book was that as I read through the tale of the epic journey the animals of the Serengeti take (often rated as the number one natural wonder of the world), I was enjoying it as a story.  An interesting Discovery Channel-esque look at one of the few places on earth I have yet to go.  By the end of the book, I was trying to figure out how to convince Stefan to take me on his next Serengeti trip.

But there was more to it than that.  Yes, I enjoyed the story, but all along the way, I was beginning to make connections to business through the parable that Stefan was spinning.  Parable is a tough art form, it takes skill to connect two seemingly non-related items and (this is the key) have the reader make the connections without much explanation.  The goal of a good parable is to have the reader do the connecting and then reinforce it at later points with examples.  Stefan not only accomplishes this, he excels at it.

What Animal Are You?

Throughout the book, Stefan references seven animals and their particular skills and behaviors in the most incredible annual migration on earth.  As each animal plays its part in the journey, each plays a role in the modern world of business and life - each animal defines a certain set of characteristics and thought patterns that we all possess.  Are you the strategic lion or the enterprising crocodile (of which I am a member)?  Are you the graceful giraffe or the enduring wildebeest?  Each animal has a role to play and by knowing the roles of the other animals that surround them, they can better use their skills to perform their functions on the Serengeti.

Take the quiz yourself and find out What Animal Am I?

A few personal words about Stefan: If you've never seen him speak on real estate trends, I suggest you find the nearest place he's doing one of his presentations and register to attend.  After culling through mountains of data, Stefan nails the trends and influences on our industry like you wouldn't believe.  This year, he'll be expanding to look at the global market, which is sure to be an interesting look at where we are and where we're going.  I've never met him personally, although I was standing about five feet away from him once, but he's shown himself via social media to be wickedly funny, extremely responsive, and both knowledgeable and willing to share.  You can learn a lot from this man (and the ladies love his accent).

After you've read the chapters available through ActiveRain, head on over and buy the book (you can advance order it as well): Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business and Life [this is an affiliate link to - it helps fuel my iPad fund]

Disclosure: and

Comment balloon 7 commentsMatt Stigliano • February 19 2011 11:32AM


Thanks for this post, Matt! I took the test ..giraffe! It's funny because for years I wore a silver giraffe lapel pin as a reminder to 'stick my next out.' Now I'll be buying the book ..

Posted by Diane Kawell (Windermere Real Estate / West Campus / Federal Way WA) almost 7 years ago

Diane - Welcome to "The Herd" as we have been calling it.  I'm the crocodile, perhaps I'll write a post about what that means to me.  Enjoy the book!

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) almost 7 years ago

I read the first two chapters and must read the entire book.  My 2010 Serengeti trip was canceled due to drought and tribal disputes...I'm sure I will view the animals with new appreciation when I go.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes & Beach Cities Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) almost 7 years ago

I'd love to read all about your Crocodile!!! Tell me.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Frisco TX Real Estate Co.) almost 7 years ago

Love this post! Took the test...good questions...great way to get your email address huh!


The Giraffe

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) almost 7 years ago

Matt, I loved your blog. But I couldn't find a designation for vampire bat. Did I miss something? :) 

Posted by Gwen Banta (Sotheby's International Realty) almost 7 years ago

Gwen - I will speak to Stefan and see if we can get this added to the second edition just for yoU!  Haha.

Posted by Matt Stigliano (Kimberly Howell Properties (210) 646-HOME) almost 7 years ago