The Manual: Mindset

Hey folks.
This is a bit of a heart-to-heart email. I have been doing some behind-the-scenes work that I wanted to share.
I honestly think Draken is capable of becoming one of the top microbrands, potentially even a mainstream tool watch brand on par with some of the big German brands.
But for that to happen, I need to change. At the beginning of this year, I made a commitment. Change my attitude, change my habits, change who I am becoming. There is a rule in business (and in life in general) called the 80/20 rule. To be successful at anything, it takes 20% skill, and 80% mindset. It’s also called the Pareto Principle.
The biggest challenge for me this year is to change my mindset. Draken and I are inextricably linked. If I flourished, Draken flourishes. If I stall, Draken stalls. So over the next few months, I’ll be sharing the occasional update on my progress.
Feel free to ignore these posts. I’ll preface them with ‘The Manual’ so you’ll know what you’re in for. But I also implore you to keep reading, as I think some of what I’ll share might be helpful to you too.
And if you have learnt something that you think could be helpful then please also share by commenting below.
I’m looking forward to taking you on the journey. Stay tuned.
Kia kaha.


  1. Nico Labuschagne

    Good luck with your journey, Mike. Thanks for taking us along. I’m looking forward to the trip.

    1. Cheers Nico!

  2. Bob Waters

    There’s a wealth of mindfulness resources available. I recommend checking out the “Secret of Deliberate Creation” recordings by Dr. Robert Anthony; Lynn Grabhorn’s book “Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting”; and the Holosync meditation recordings from the Centerpointe Institute, among many other excellent resources.

    1. Cheers Bob, will look into those. Appreciate it!

  3. I can only offer my admiration and hope you are able to retain the reputation as an integrity Brand. An awareness for real Customer preference as opposed to hype/blogger’s BS, is a real challenging balancing act, for example, if a Seiko 8F/——— quartz mvt was available , would the public embrace it ? putting its quality above prejudice ?

    1. Cheers Michael. 100% agree with you. I have done a bit of research into high-accuracy quartz (HAQ) movements. I hadn’t heard about the Seiko 8F**, and looking at our normal suppliers catalogue, I’m not sure if they have them. There are ETA and Ronda HAQ that are available. I think it will be about educating our audience, and also understanding the needs of our customers, in terms of how they are using a rugged analogue watch in the field.

  4. Kia Ora Mike.
    I’m looking forward to following and learning from your journey.

    My Ramblings…
    You are correct, Draken can be what you want it to be, we are witnessing this with several micro brands outshining the big players. (Even San Martin).
    I think your Draken process for ‘outfitting’ the ‘full tool solution’ is what makes me happy each day.
    (It’s not just a cardboard box and paper/plastic warranty card!)
    My freind Bens brand;
    By this I mean the Ti case and bracelet with quick change bars for Kruger so I can swap out to a nato on the run, the molle pouch and embroidered patch is definitely your signature for these tool watches, the Ltd Ed colab with RedBar made my Aoraki special.
    I can’t imagine an Aoraki without that colour highlight. And it was available to the mere mortal enthusiast, not exclusive through pricing or availability like the Revo/HDinki releases. Aoraki inspired me to acquire the Magrette Ti Moana X RedBar also.
    Your past and current cultural inputs are what drives the story along.
    I like your action videos with the tool watches at work, supporting the staged stills, it’s something I’m thinking about to
    document my watch journey.

    I’m on a path of discovery also, and would like to suggest ALI Abdaal … (I think this one)
    I wonder if you should extend your website /blog The Manual, a daily “Boy from the Bush + #8” with a Patreon / Discord process as per, for the constructive private direct conversations, and auto-upload Insta/FB/UToob / X/ TikTok feeds for quick upload to attract more solid enthusiasts.
    The revenue can be reinvested for more viewer acquisition.

    As Jack Conte suggests this will attract the 5% total Draken addicts (who may contribute to your daily growth and success) without having to appease the algorithmic giants.

    I’m really impressed with your outreach to reviewers like Watch Chris, Jodie and Peter Kotsa to name a few.
    They have great user intuition and influence for the end enthusiast.
    Any way, that’s my ramble…
    Kia Kaha Bro
    🥝 Jon in Cairns 🦘 ⚓️ 🍍

    1. Cheers Jon for the message and the references. Watched a bit of Ali Abdaal and have now subscribed to his channel. Definitely want to get the book he was talking about ‘Show your Work’. Also like the idea of an Patreon/discord that caters to 20% of my loyal customers (20% of customers bring in 80% of the revenue). I do need to get over my fear of being on camera, so lets see what happens.

  5. Thanks for Sharing Mike, yours is an inspirational story.
    Not many can walk the talk and actually create a brand with great offering and loyal customers all over the world
    I always speak highly of you and Draken to my friends and colleagues. I’m proud to be a Draken supporter!

    Patreon sounds interesting, it does need more time and energy but something fans could get into

    1. Cheers Jono. Great to have you in my corner!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *