Posts Tagged coaching

Success Stories – first quarter summary.

Dear listener (and readers of course),

You have been likely to listen to my podcast Stories of Success over the last few months. I have been going for 3 months now, and I figured it was time to write up a solo episode which I then decided to put into writing rather than ‘reading it out’ or podcasting it. Again, thank you for staying with me over the first quarter and we have some existing guests coming in Q2 this year. Please rate my podcast if you like it and also, please subscribe on your favourite podcast outlet, as this will help me to increase my fellowship and amount of listeners.

I started the podcast in January to explore how some of my friends are successful, some aren’t as much and what it takes for some of my mentors and industry leaders to climb up the career ladder. This was triggered by a) me looking for a job and looking for inspiration but b) also to build more of an expertise of what it takes to coach people to become (more) successful. So a lot of my learning is based on their learning and experience. Naturally, as it is in adtech, we are a male dominated industry which sees a lot of male leadership. However, I have since managed to get a few women onto the podcast and there are many more to come. Also I have been venturing outside the industry a bit. It is and has been an exciting journey with me having a lot of fun recording the podcasts, meeting new people and digging deep into principles and habits. Thanks for sharing your stories! I appreciate my guests’ time and effort and patience.

What are the main learnings? I think the main learning for me is that most of the successful entrepreneurs and leaders aren’t feeling successful because they earned money. Money seems to be more of a measurement of success in the USA, whilst overall for most interviewees success is all about achieving a goal, being on the journey of achieving things and ideally making the world a better place. Making that famous ‘dent in the universe’ Steve Jobs spoke about, and money usually follows. Follow your passion of being in the moment, create experience with others, and help others achieve their goals. Rise with the tide and lead from the front. Success as a term seems to be very objective, and further is not really the same as happiness.

Is it that simple?

Yes, as a summary maybe. It is also about a lot of hard work and clear cut prioritisation. On the back of that, work life balance seems to be key for most Europeans, and a key part of the success story. From what I gathered, this is because you work very hard, you sometimes neglect the family a bit, but you will make up for it as and when you can. And sometimes that means to put family first, and turn off emails or calls for a while. That is dedication on both ends, and a bit ‘black and white’. Preparation and being thorough is key too – whether that is to prepare a board and investor meeting or just to organise your thoughts. The focus on the bright sparks in your brain that move you forward, focusing on positivity rather than negativity.

Not that I want to quote Steve Jobs too much, but a lot of the success is due to serendipity, and that means, that the ‘dots connect looking backwards’. Being at the right place at the right time – but how do you know? You don’t until you had the success or you are on your journey of achievement.

We also spoke a lot with my guests about routines and habits. I have, as most of you know, a 5 am routine. That means for me to get up at 5 am, exercise for about an hour, meditate, shower, breakfast, out of the door. That’s what works for me, and it wouldn’t work for everyone. But I noticed that a few of the guests I interviewed had a morning routine, to achieve something before everyone else does; or you had, similar to myself, a journaling routine, a planning routine or to take time off on a regular basis to do what David Allen would call a ‘brain drain’. And those habits are sacred, and from what I learned more instilled in men than women, given the way our brains work. However, I have heard of fantastic morning routines from females, so not all black and white after all.

Meditation is a common theme and really relaxing and focusing on things outside work, which could be reading or building models, or just family as of above. It is the focus and drive, the razor sharp prioritisation of the right things that make the difference. The yin and yang of work and life.

Another topic and theme I explored was upbringing. You would expect upbringing having a huge impact on your life. Whether an entrepreneurial family breeds an entrepreneur or quotes and mantras instilled into you from a young age. Or the influences you had from a cultural point of view. A lot of success is related to self awareness, being emotional intelligent (EQ). In contrast to that I found that the connection across the globe was mentioned and people being more connected through smart phones and social media. That in return leads to loneliness and as one guest (episode with Chris) pointed out a higher suicide rate. Is greate connectivity really leading to more loneliness? This is an area I would like to explore more, yet it is a bit outside the scope of a success podcast, more of a view on the social development of the world. I do have an opinion on that of course but maybe that’s for another time. We often drifted into different topics and got philosophical, which I found interesting and the listeners appreciated from what I heard.

And as we found more and more philosophical terms and discussions, we learned about visualisation and how there seems more energy in America to push things forward. The law of attraction (LOA) was discussed without many using the term of it. The visualisation of what is going to happen and how life will plan out. However, some cultures hold themselves back or express their energy in a different way. But we all move towards the same connectedness and realise the potential of coming closer together. Like failure used to be a stigma in the German culture but now is more and more recognise to lead to success – as long as you learn from failure I suppose. The more mistakes you make, the more you avoid those same mistakes in the future.

Another trend I noticed is that we find more coaches and mentors being present in the Anglo-Saxon world (US/UK culture) and this is a trend that continues into the rest of the world. To have someone you can trust with anything, you can share your fears with and also to speak to like a mother or father. But someone who understands the corporate world and the values that are important to you. They are helping with being persistent, with helping to move forward. I do this coaching too, so if anyone has an interest in that, please feel free to reach out. Nothing like someone that can help you develop and understand the situation you are in. Someone you can trust.

Yes, as we are looking at some of the key drivers above, we notice one more theme: don’t take yourself too seriously and make time for a laugh with friends. Life isn’t all work. Play it well.

I am looking back at an intense and amazing quarter of podcasts and discussions around success. Some philosophical, some flowing, some less flowing conversations. Some I listened in awe, others I got right in. It has been a lot of fun, so thank you for your time and input.

Please if you get a chance, subscribe to my podcast on your favourite podcast outlet, and please rate me 5 stars if you think I deserve it of course. If you can share this post or the podcast with friends, that would help me too. This project is going to continue for the foreseeable future and please let me know who else I should have telling me their Story of Success.

If you are looking for the books that have been recommended on the podcast, please got to my recommendations page.

Thanks for listening, and please leave me feedback (just email me)

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Thursday Flash (51 and last)

Flash…for one last time.
After a year of publishing some hopefully interesting articles, it is time to think about a new concept for 2018. Maybe some more about consulting and coaching.

So this week will be my last Thursday Flash. I hope you enjoyed reading it and had some takeaways from the weekly column.
And, given this week’s selection, is an amazing source for personal development.

LOA and reasons you are or are not attracting success in your life – this article highlights what you need to do to make the LOA work.

Now are you ready to take the next step in your life. If not, give me a shout, I can help you with some advice and support.

And last but not least, if you are after success, and you read about the LOA, understand that success is something that must be attracted not pursued.

Easier said than done.

So look back at the year and realise how far you came. How much you achieved and what else there is to do.
Understand which success you want to achieve and where you want to go.

Please stay loyal and check out my regular Sunday Column or feel free to connect on LinkdedIn and stay in touch.

We’ll be back with more exciting content next year.

All the best for 2018 and beyond.

Cheers, and thank you,

, , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

I would like to be your coach and mentor!



No Comments

Buddhist Thought: Sutra

A monk asked, All of the buddhas and all of the buddadharmas come forth from this sutra. What is this sutra? Qinshan said, Forever turning.

– Zens Chinese Heritage

The Sutra, not the Kama Sutra ;-), are oral teachings recorded from Buddha and old Buddhist folk.

So this little quote says that Sutra is “forever turning”. Constantly changing, evaluating, improving.

You recognise that? To succeed in life or work, to be the best you can say, you need to constantly change, evaluate, improve. That is why Buddhist teachings are helpful for you to improve yourself, to use the theory for personal development.

I use it more and more in coaching.

Have a great week!

Love and Happiness,

, , ,

No Comments

website restructure

Dear All,

Just as a summary that I forwarded my website now to

I have two subsections, one for coaching, and one for consultancy. More to follow over the course of this year, as I have big plans.

Any questions, please let me know.

Yours sincerely,


No Comments

Sunday Column (40)

Yes, this week was quieter than expected. However, this has been my happiest week for a long time. Really since February if you exclude my two weeks paternity leave this summer.

Monday kicked off with lots of meetings. Caught up with good friends and interesting partners which hopefully leads to more business soon. The same really happened on Wednesday, another busy day. Also had to go to the dentist which resulted in us buying a new toothbrush, an electric one: Oral B Professional Care 3000. Not only do we get the “dentist feeling”, which I am not sure about whether that is a good or bad thing, but we also get a polishing function. Wednesday ended with a networking event on Search Marketing organised by the great guys from NMA. Thanks again for a great night.

Thursday I finished my Tai Chi form. Finally 🙂 I only started Tai Chi in Beckenham this February. But, given the size of Bromley, we are not really many in our class. The Greenwich Tai Chi group allegedly is much bigger. Anyway, we finished the Hine Tai Chi long form in less than a year. Now it will take probably another 10 years to perfect it……

Friday I set up a PPC (pay per click) campaign for cb consulting. As you know, besides my main job, I am offering coaching and consulting services, mainly focusing on inbound marketing for start ups in London. But also, I am focusing on youth and career coaching. A friend asked me for some help, so I thought I try out some Google Adwords campaigns myself before spending money for someone else 🙂

I often get asked how I have so much time. But, often all my posts are written during the weekend, and I try to do them outside the “Colin time”. This way they just get published during the week and don’t take up much time.

The weekend was great too. I booked 2 days holidays Monday and Tuesday, so we went away over the weekend. We visited friends in Raleigh in Essex, and also went to Leigh on Sea, a small fishing village. It was a beautiful but windy and cold day. We really enjoyed our first night away with Colin who managed not too badly.

View Larger Map

So I am looking forward to two days off….. 🙂

All the best,

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

Ultimate Success?

As a big fan of coaching an particularly career coaching, I am currently listening to Anthony Robbins again.

In his session today he spoke about the ultimate formula for success. So of course I was very excited and want to share it with you:

1) Be clear of what you want to achieve and what outcome you want to have.

That really reminds me of one of the seven habits of highly effective people: Begin with the end in mind! And, it is so true. If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there. So be sure, whatever you want to achieve, that you set out to achieve a certain goal and outcome. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know when you have achieved it.

2) Take actions.

Again, this is one of the seven habits: be proactive. You will never achieve anything in life without being proactive, take initiative and lead from the front. Even as a sale executive, without picking up the phone and dialing the number to the client, you never get your sales. And, as a manager, you never be able to lead from the front or get anything done, without taking the necessary steps and action. “Stepping stones” come to mind: which actions do I have to take in order to meet my objectives. What are the mini-goals in between to achieve what I want?

3) Sensory acuity.

This ties in with the stepping stones. I referred to Sensory Acuity when writing about “turning passion into profits”. If you aren’t aware of yourself and what you are doing, how people perceive you and how you come across overall, then sensory acuity is very important. But also, as in my previous article, you can link certain music or smell up to for instance peak performance in order to boost your energy and performance level at a later stage by using music as an anchor. So sensory acuity can relate to a few things really.
Important is that you measure yourself against your goals. You need to be sure you are happy with the baby steps you are taking and it leads you in the right direction.

4) Change your approach.

Of course you should only change your approach if the first one is not working. Again, this is not rocket science but gives you an idea that you should not stop if your approach didn’t work. It is not about how you achieve things but that you do achieve them. And, from every time you fail, you learn more about what you want, what you can improve on next time and so on. Never give up!

I thought I feed in a video and came across Adam Khoo. I personally don’t like websites that promises you the secret recipe of becoming a millionaire, however the four steps of success are similar to the ones above.

A video however that goes with this post is about “unlock what is stopping you”:

, ,

No Comments

Sunday Column (32)

Good evening.
From next week, there might be less blog entries, so this blog might stay a tat emptier than usual. I am trying to give this blog and my websites a new face, look and feel. However, this might take a while. Re-branding always takes time. I have a few days off soon and hope to be able to change some design, content and was also thinking of doing some PPC management. Why not? You need to keep learning.

On Monday I didn’t feel well and went home early, was off sick with some kind of virus all Tuesday. Everyone I speak to suggests that if you have a baby they give you all kinds of illnesses. Ach well, better get used to it. However, Wednesday I felt better but gave a party a miss, still suffering from the virus. Thursday was our work party and I enjoyed thoroughly to catch up with a few colleagues over wine. That was the first time in almost 3 months that I had a chance to properly discuss things with colleagues “off site” and in a more relaxed atmosphere. Mainly that is due to my family commitments and other events during the week.

Then, this week I had my first coaching session. That means I am working on myself rather than on / with other people. We made quite a bit of progress to identify values, patterns and things I am interested in. I guess it must be easier for a coach to coach a coach for progress, but in terms of thinking it might be a bit harder. We all have our own ways. But it helped me a lot already. What I am hoping to gain from these sessions is more direction of where I want to go and what to do.

This goes in line with a couple of thoughts about the future in London. Whilst I am sure that we are here for at least another 3-5 years, having a child and a family and a house….it all changes perspectives.

tacheback Then on Wednesday night I finally shaved off my tache. I didn’t raise any money but I didn’t really try. This is a bad excuse I know. It is a shame to have not tried harder but I guess I was thinking that I would support the corporate group more than anything else. However, for any next charity events, I plan my own bit. Glad the tache is gone though.

Other than that there wasn’t much happening this week. A lot of work, a lot of new stuff. And, on Saturday, we went to London Borough Market to get some nice wine, prawns, coffee etc. We even had a Bratwurst. I was carrying Colin around London, now that he passed the 9 kg mark, this is hard work. It replaces my gym workout 🙂

Saturday night and all Sunday we relaxed and chilled. I had to catch up with some work, both for my coaching and for my job. I am still struggling to get someone else, e.g. Colin, to take over my routine and determine what I have to do.

I wouldn’t say it is inconsiderate, but I have my plan in my head and know what I have to do. But with someone around that needs constant attention and fitting his demands in with mine – taking shared duties with the wife – is not as easy as it sounds.

Maybe that is why I need to re-think the blog. I just don’t have the time to write a lot during the week, and now I don’t even have time during the weekend. Life is changing, constantly, but hopefully for the better.

Have a good week!

, , , ,

No Comments

His Holiness the Dalai Lama – Daily Wisdom

It is not too long ago, I was writing about me reading the Dalai Lama and the Path to Tranquility. A book you can purchase at Amazon.

For the 21st of September it says:
Western brains work, they work a great deal, but always in the direction of efficiency. In that way the mind puts itself at the service of the result. Like all servants, it renounces its independence. I am talking about another form of spiritual life, more detached and deeper, free form the obsession of a goal to be reached. In a way, the universal invasion of technology, everywhere it goes, lessen the life of the mind.

I like that thought. We are always trying to achieve more: more money, more status, more respect. We seem to always want to achieve more in less time and better quality. Hence, so the Dalai Lama, we become servants.

By abandon this life, we are becoming free, and we can reach a life that is less obsessive. And, we can focus on our spiritual development.

It is however a challenge to balance life in that way. Our western lifestyle is asking us to be productive, efficient and delivering more and more in less and less time. On the other hand, we are trying to improve our personal development, spiritual freedom and self awareness. We are stuck in the middle of where we are, should be and where we want to go.

Coaching is a way of giving you perspective, a third opinion and many inputs. It cannot do any harm but gives you the opportunity to stop in your tracks, take a holistic view of what is happening and move in the direction you want to go to, rather than away from where you don’t want to go.

Have a great day!


, ,

No Comments

Turn your dreams into reality

If there is a dream, there is reality!

But let’s start at the beginning: Coaching is based on 3 supports.

1) Beliefs – challenge your limiting beliefs and reinforce supportive/positive ones!
2) Values – know your values and live them.
3) Goals – what do you want to achieve and how do you want to achieve it?

People say that goals are dreams with legs – they go somewhere. Or, you can put it differently, if you are dreaming to achieve something, then you can support this dream with actions and turn this dream into a reality, a goal. This goal becomes achievable when you are putting your efforts and beliefs behind it.

Coaching is based around goals. We all start in the here and now and have a reality check of our current life. What is our present state and what do we like or dislike about our current life. This could be the job, the love life, the amount of exercise we do etc. Check for the wheel of life to identify what you might want to change.

From there you define your goals and the desired state. This state is now your aim, your goal, something you need to put your mind to. As we say in NLP, now imagine you are already at your desired state and look back to your present state, how did you get there?

That might sound complicated, but if you want to cross a river, you can either think of building a bridge or you can imagine that you already crossed the river and look at the problem from the other side. You might discover a new way across, something you cannot see from your current perspective.


NLP uses that technique quite a lot. Put yourself in the corner of the room and watch yourself having this conversation or interview and evaluate yourself whilst doing so. Also, you can then watch the reaction of your opposite conversation partner and act / amend your conversation accordingly. This enables you to build stronger rapport and more effective conversations, communications and connections.

In regards to goal setting, always set positive goals. Move towards a positive goal rather than away from something negative. You don’t want to loose weight, as you focus on the weight. Focus on the healthy aspect and formulate your goal “I want to be fit and healthy”.

Also, be specific about your goals. That means it has to be measurable and reward yourself by achieving part of the goal. stepping stones are important. These stepping stones will provide you with the right feedback and you can see whether you are on track for your big goal.

And, whilst pursuing any dream, any goal, any stepping stone, think of the 3 coaching supports. Be true to your beliefs and values. Be cautious what some actions might mean to you and your environment. What costs are involved, what time etc.

By making an action plan and making sure that you have a can-do approach, you eventually will achieve your goals. If you need help defining them or setting stepping stones to reach your goals and turn your dreams into reality, please give Coach Volker a call.

, , , ,

1 Comment