Posts Tagged future

Sunday Column (474)

I thought I start differently this week. The weather: cold, yet warm. Sunny yet rainy. Lack of Vitamin D (supplements!) and it all seems slow. But, there is energy. Positivity. Fun times and conversation with people that make you rock. A hot chocolate with a neighbour who just gets it. A benchmark to mastering life and to understand I am not alone with the problems I face. The challenge with the kids to make their bed, wash their teeth, get dressed in the morning and eat breakfast. Being at home brings those things into focus. It is good to be home, and it has been a fun time, but it is time to go back and work, to contribute, to make a difference.

Anyway, next week Tuesday, my 2nd interview goes live on my podcast. I cannot wait. I got loads of feedback (shoutout to Debbie, Anna and Spencer) and the third episode will see some changes; from the 4th episode onwards the quality should improve. I am recording 4 (!) podcasts next week. So this week it is going to be a different angle on Stories of Success. Another great industry friend, a fun conversation about life. As I investigate jobs I think about what he said:

1. Can I make a difference to the job?
2. Can I learn something?
3. Is it going to be fun?

I found a few jobs where that is the case, e.g. where I can say YES to all of those questions. Some are more formal, some are more fun, and at some I will learn more, others I can make more of a difference. Weighting, values, priorities and what I learn more and more, there is an emphasis on meeting your manager early on. If the chemistry sucks, you are out. For both parties this makes a lot of sense.

However, the companies need to want me first. And I am not at the stage yet where that’s necessarily the case, and I update you as I go along. I am hopeful though, and everything else would be worrying. The pipe isn’t as big as it could be but things only started to pick up. When I first left my last job I had one verbal offer which turned into a ‘no more recruitment before Christmas’ and another where I lost against an internal candidate. Things happen for a reason and things will work out in the end. I am very positive about things and I am keen on moving on.

That’s my update. Or is it?

The most important part happened over the weekend. My youngest got a red belt in Karate. Only a few months in, he managed to get the first accreditation. He was chuffed and proud, and so should he be. And I am too. I am very pleased he enjoys it and keeps going at it.

We also saw my mate who recently had twins. It is somewhat weird to see these small babies. It is as if it never happened to us. It seems so long ago, I feel so old ;-( No, actually I don’t, but I am glad the days of nappies are over. It was a great afternoon with lots of industry friends.

Weekends can be super to chill, spend time with family and friends. That’s how it should be!

Have a great week ahead,

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Sunday Column (467)

Another week in the run up to Christmas. It was a week I spent predominately at home, researching, studying and mulling over my coaching and consulting proposition. It was also a time of writing and outputting more content. On a personal note, if you haven’t done yet, please read and like/comment on the following articles, maybe even share it. No apologies for the shameless punt, but any exposure would be greatly appreciated, despite the Drum feeding me exciting figures back already. What I write resonates within the industry, that is good to hear!

* DMP/CDP post in the Drum
* Consulting and Career post in the Drum
* Growth Mindset

Why I write about data, and hopefully I embark on a few data projects moving forward, is because it becomes key to programmatic execution and is now available at scale and quality. Two factors that haven’t been met over the past few years. That is where programmatic comes into full play.

The other article is more about a shift in our industry. Just this week I spoke to someone who took redundancy at a big tech company this summer, who joined a start up which might be sold again. It is a cycle of exits, M&A and redundancies on the back of it, unrelated to your quality of work. This is madness compared to what a career was supposed to look like according to the old view of the world, but has it changed. Let me know!

Change is everywhere and with everyone. Like a butterfly we are on a constant metamorphosis.

Yet hold on a minute. Another interesting conversation this week suggested that the career is dead and that it doesn’t matter what you do, how you do it but that you do it. To not miss the boat, to take a risk and overcome fear (despite having a family and a mortgage) to gamble essentially on the big exit. Can it be done? Did we all miss the boat on Bitcoin. Guess not all of us. I just heard about someone investing a cheeky £1,000 a couple years back, now not having a mortgage. But hold on a second, when do we know if something like Bitcoin takes off, something like Facebook etc. How much of a gamble are you willing to take and how do you cheat the system? Or, as a matter of fact, can you actually cheat the system or is it all down to luck? Can you influence luck through the LOA (law of attraction) and by playing the lottery and being a good person?

You can see that I am throwing around some buzzwords, connecting the world of believe with the world of realism. Not sure if that is the best way of putting it, but what would we have to change in our ‘personal’ system and view of the world to make the output of what we are doing just ever so slightly better. To take a punt on something like Bitcoin, or gamble on predictable things. Latter is an oxymoron isn’t it.

I am fascinated by that idea. For me, and I had enough time on my hands this week to think about it, the barriers of business and personal development, to overcome fear and building your own system into the greater macro system (see my book on #BeBetter), is an ever increasing key to success. On the back of that revelation, I started working on a framework around my book to apply to high performance achievers moving forward. Plus, I am having my first concept of a new idea at the ready to be launched in Q1. I have been busy and I will keep you posted. These are exciting times. The plan is to relaunch the ‘Ballueder’ brand with some exciting content, alongside some kind of job of course.

On other parts of my life, I manage to uphold my exercise routine and try very hard to not slack on bad food intake. It is all about what you buy and have in the cupboard, the accessibility of junk food. We are getting better at that. I increased my weekly runs to 30K in total plus two gym sessions. I find it hard but know that I will have a week off over Christmas where all I do is accompany the wife for some longer, yet slower runs. I’ll be fine and my body will have time to recover and soak up Christmas food and drinks. It is the festive season after all 🙂

Being able to take the kids to school most days, making their lunch and becoming part of their daily life, is great to get engaged. When working in London every day, I didn’t have that. Or less of it, thanks to the commute and long hours at work. I think I will get back to that at some point, however whilst it lasts, I am more than happy to enjoy the engagement and what I can do to help on a daily basis. It makes me think what life would be like to live in the country side, have a local job and be home for dinner every night – but as my wife said it would do my head in, as I am just wired completely different. So it is what it is. And she is right.

On that note I hope you are all well, getting your presents sorted and enjoy the quieter time.

Have a great week.
Love and kindness from my corner of the world.


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Thursday Flash (32)


Maybe things calmed down out there a bit. However, never too late to be productive and improve your productivity over the summer.

Then there was an article about the iPhone in 2020. A longer read but if you are interested in some futuristic thoughts and like Apple, this one is for you.

And last but not least, there are dangers of measuring performance. Not in general but for some start ups, and some not so start ups, as you measure the effectiveness of the system and not the performance of the individual. Some interesting thoughts there, so worth a read.

Enjoy your summer,

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Thursday Flash (8)

Thursday Flash!

This week I thought it is worth sharing an article from a couple weeks ago, fuelling the discussion around Snapchat and TV. Is TV moving more mobile? Is TV as we know it dead? How do screens look like in the future? I am curious to see all that, and also how things will move along with content consumption for our kids. What is the main medium (video?) and on which screen (mobile) – or will new forms emerge? The future is going to be interesting, no doubt. I already commented on it via a Linkedin article.

On productivity I enjoyed reading about Evernote tips for mobile. I love Evernote and use it all the time. Most notes, meeting notes and reminders go in there. On the go, in the office, at home. Work notes, private notes, industry news, or how to tape my leg. Or the video below on back pain. I love Evernote, and if you ain’t using it yet, maybe you should look into it.

For the first time I also like to share a video. Why? Because my chiropractor recommended it to me to solve mobility challenges in my back. So I am sure some of you might find it useful:

Did you like this weekly read? Did you find it useful?
Then please don’t forget to share it with your friends and let them know about my Thursday Flash.

Thanks you and see you next week.

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Sunday Column (362)

This week saw the start of the Syrian war, the time when Britain decided to attack the terrorism in Syria. I am not very political but I remember, as a teenager, to listen to the 6 am news one morning, that the US announced to go into war with Iraq. It must be 20+ years ago. I am still not sure if the world is a safer or better place since. I cannot make those decisions and will just accept things as they are. However, as of discussion with a fellow father, what are we leaving for our kids to be sorted. Essentially we have been at war with terrorism for more than 20 years, right? It is a different war to the world wars. That’s for sure. But isn’t war war?

Another of my lowlights this week was an early morning start. Not because it was early but more because it was early out of the door. And surprisingly to me, when you catch a 6.13 am train from Haywards Heath it is ram packed. That’s a 5.53 am from Hassocks btw. Crazy. No way you can work or get anything done. So I started writing this blog post on my phone 🙁 I am getting too used to be able to get a good hour of work done on the commute each way.

What followed that day was awesome. A really well attended panel discussion, 8 am breakfast meeting, delivered by a few people on the convergence of social and TV. Digital and TV. And it is coming together. Finally. We are far from connecting the dots but we are getting there. I am excited for next year. As the industry evolves, so does the attribution, the connection of the silos and the cross device connection. And we are in the middle of it. Amazing.


Then my wife called me a Tidsoptimist this week. What’s that? Oh someone thinking they have more time than they do. And because of that they are late for things. Time, as it seems to me, expands. But it doesn’t. It is the same for everyone. It all started when I worked for a company that made meetings with agencies. I arrived in time and realised that 9 out of 10 meetings started 10-15 minutes late. So I started being 10-15 minutes late, to make my work flow more efficient. In London you can always blame the tube.

Having said that, even when moving closer to my clients, I was still late, as there was always something to finish off taking only a minute. And none of my clients mind, as it seemed to be the norm. I have gotten better again now, as the meetings become more senior. After all, I am still trying to leave a positive impression 🙂 So nothing to be proud of, just I get a lot more done really.

On another note I published another article on productivity. Whilst writing my next book chapters I realise that being productive is actually not that difficult. I also realised there had been one advice I got in 1997 that is still true today: only plan 70% of your time. As soon as you step over that red line something will be left undone. This is because you are having to account for the unexpected. For the unknown. The incoming pitch, the email from your neighbour to help or the information about something you need to action on.

Days sometimes don’t feel busy but turn out to be quite manic. And also over the summer I had little time to breathe and think. Sounds mad but if you don’t have time to think, things will be missed. So give yourself time to think, to breathe, stare out of the window and come up with some cool ideas.

We also managed to get all out Christmas presents ordered. The tree is up and cards sent. We went to Winchester to see a friend and his family. Christmas is all about the children. I totally enjoy looking at last year’s Christmas pictures, and the ones before, to see the glow in the kids’ eyes when we put up the tree. The future, the love, the activities, anything we do, is about the children. And then there is Syria.

It is a bit of a damper for Christmas. However, we decided to give some money to a charity supporting a child that got cancer and the hospital he is in for which they collect money or unused toys to give to the kids for Christmas. Isn’t that nice. Nice to give. Nice to be able to make other kids’ Christmas as special as our own.

No, life for me isn’t about myself. My job is for myself, and my goals. But the greater things in life, they are about the children. And they are who really matter in life. Everything else is just not as important. No matter what it might be at the moment. If you are with your kids, the only thing that matters is them. If you are with clients and something happens to your family, everyone understands if you had to cancel a meeting. It is everybody’s first priority. It took me a few years to learn that too.

We had a blessed and great week overall. Despite some lowlights. We also had plenty of Christmas lights and sparkle!

We are truly grateful.

Love to you all,

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Inspiring TED Talk: 30 year history of the future


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Inspirational Thought: Past vs. Future

Time spent fixing the past takes time away from building the future.

I often spoke about the “Here and Now”. About not living in the past and drill on things that you cannot change anymore.

A few years ago I got rid of this rucksack I call the past. I rid myself of a burden and package I was carrying to focus more on what is happening in my life. I did that by writing a book. Today I write a blog doing it I suppose. It helped me a lot to close my past, catch up with what I was doing up to now, and then making the conscious decision to look forward.

That is when I started getting more involved in personal development. Training yourself, working on yourself to constantly improve yourself. Reaching for the stars.

I stopped trying to fix the past but instead took all learning from it, closed it, coped with it, and ended the chapter. From here I started spending my time living in the here and now to build my future. As everyone is their own master of destiny it is up to you to decide when you want to make the cut, get on with life and focus on what is necessary.

This doesn’t have to be the CEO career but your decision on what you would like to do. Work for the UN, found your own charity, run a marathon or just building a nice business.

Cut yourself loose and get on living.

Have a great future,

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Sunday Column (93)

This week I don’t know where to start. The year is coming to an end. I start reflecting. Today I should have been with an old university friend. Reason I am not is that Colin has an ear and eye infection. Whilst he is getting better, travelling with an ill toddler is just not fun. So instead Jen and I spend a nice weekend together. Both having the start of a cold/infection – it never seems to stop when you have children.

Not another moan I was thinking. But how can I help it? At least my new Android phone, the HTC Desire Z, finally arrived and I absolutely loving it. Intuitive, clever, user friendly and quicker than the Blackberry. Loved the Blackberries but time came to change and move on and up.

The only drawback I think so far is that there is no real task application, e.g. you cannot sync your Outlook tasks and productivity is limited. However, there are solutions and I start looking into it.

Now, looking at the news from Friday night it gets me thinking. First of all that a noble peace prize winner cannot come to the ceremony because a country like China has imprisoned the winner. How can that happen? Either our perception, or the perception of the Noble Peace Prize committee are wrong, or China’s? Who decides what is right or wrong. Leading on from the world peace, we are looking right into London to the “student protests”. What is going on there?

Most of you know that I am rather on the conservative side when it comes to politics. Not that I am very political anyway. A healthy balance of social welfare and harsh decisions. I wasn’t objecting to Mr. Cameron becoming PM but what happened in this country? Students have to protest against fees of up to £9,000. Wow, I couldn’t afford that now, and I am working. If a student has a loan of that size, it takes probably ten years to pay it off, then another 5-10 to save for a house deposit. That harms the economy all over again, as the money spend in the system will be reduce. Or, students just go abroad to study in order to avoid the fees. Either way, we starting to ruin the UK. So well done protesters. How can I support you?

Now Charles and Camilla got caught in the protests. First of all, well done to the Metropolitan police of not avoiding the crowds. With today’s technology, you were unable to avoid protester pockets. Right, just drive a non armoured vehicle with windows down into a protest. WTF? Are you guys dumb? I really don’t get it. If I was Charles I would make you all redundant. And, what really annoys me, you are now launching an investigation into the whole thing that costs probably as much as it costs to put a few students through university.

I don’t even want to dig any deeper. Why the Liberal Democrats betrayed their country and voters. For f*&! sake – what is going on. Either I am getting really old and grumpy, set in my ways or this country is just deteriorating. Customer service is one thing, and not being able to cope with the snow and ice. Now this customer service, or people service, is going down the drains too. Nick Clegg stopped caring for his voters, the party will be split and never going to be back in power for many years to come. The Conservatives just show everyone how to NOT rule a country and treat the future generation of lawyers and bankers and managers who for sure will remember what happened last week and will NOT vote for them again.

Whilst I am not a Labour fan, it seems to be the lesser harm for the country. The more I think about it, the more I think after 10 years of having a good life, it will be time to move on. No, I am not bitter but very thankful for the hospitality I received in the UK. But I am looking ahead. I have family, children, a future. I don’t want my kids to grow up in a country where people have to go to the streets to protest for their rights. If that is what I wanted, I could go to any 3rd world country and had this kind excitement every day.

I am afraid – this is the bottom line. Afraid for my own security, for my kids’ future, my wife. What about house prices? What about tax. What about security for everyone. Maybe I am seeing black and white, but if less people go to university, without a real alternative we are having problems. There is no proper apprenticeship, no alternative “degrees” or qualifications to obtain. Of course that is why you can study football or “knitting” at university.

Maybe I should stop moaning and start looking into the future. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe things will change for the better. I just cannot imagine it. I cannot see it. I dream of a future where I can live in a house, have a safe neighbourhood, and of course where my kids can grow up safely without having to pay huge fees for schools, for universities or healthcare. I don’t want to live in a country separated by education, by money, status or heritage. I do want to have freedom of speech, freedom to protest and don’t see politicians wasting my tax money. I want the education system to be cheaper but good. A system where we pay for most things through taxes, maybe some additional fees, but in return get good schools, a good education. A state where money is wisely spent. I don’t want my children to not have the chance to become doctors or lawyers because of money. I would love to see a future where I am happy, my children are happy and where basic needs of human kinds don’t need to be paid for. Money must not be a divider for society.

I guess it will be difficult to find that place. That place where kids can be kids, grow up to be youngsters. Where kids don’t grow up in a society of fear and drink. And, NO, I don’t take things for granted. And some might say “go back to Germany if you don’t like it here”. And maybe they have an argument there. But this isn’t a solution. My life, my wife, my kids, my job, my friends are here in this country. I care about this country, otherwise I would have disappeared already, wouldn’t have I?

Have a good and peaceful week.
Love and Happiness from my little world,

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In less than a week the third and final eclipse of the current series of life-changing astrological events will be over. Before then, you can expect more of the same recent uncertainty. Afterwards, however, the puzzle pieces will begin to form a recognisable image of your future.

What is happening??

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