Tag: goodbye

Sunday Column (521) – the end for now

Farewell, Goodbye and Amen. That’s how Hawkeye Pierce said goodbye to his friends at MASH. I adore Hawkeye and loved MASH and think the same. It’s not a goodbye though, it is a creative reshuffle, to focus more on my podcast and less on the weekly blog. So please check out my podcast where I continue to interview successful people for their Stories of Success.

Looking back over the past 10 years when I started this blog, my wife was just pregnant with our first boy. I am reviewing the blog for a book that I shall publish at some point in the future. It is about 10 years of blogging and this is the final chapter. It covers my first redundancy in 2009. Before that it was me making the decision. Then it covers the next redundancies in 2013, 2016, and 2017. 3 out of 4 redundancies were after an exit through a US company buying themselves into the European market and technology. 2009 was due to the recession. Unfortunately this is how the cookie crumbles for mid management in our industry.

It is funny to look back, and this year alone, I learned so much about consulting vs. working full time for a company. It was bad timing with GDPR but in the end I had 4 permanent offers. I made the right choice, and as I recently read, there is always a higher purpose for the choices you make. I will look back to 2018 and the next few years in this job and realise the huge opportunity that was given to me. As I look back to 2010 when I made one of the most important career decisions ever.

What is missing in my blog is people dying. This sounds terrible but I have been extremely fortunate that no one very close to me has died in the last 10 years. My grand parents died long before I started the blog, my MIL’s mum before that too, and my other granny is hanging on with being 98 now! Some industry friends have moved on though. This experience will come to us as well, probably sooner than we wish yet it is fantastic to have so many people still around. I am feeling blessed and apologise for the morbid thought 🙂

I ran a marathon and woke up neighbours being on the treadmill. I lost weight and put it back on again. We moved houses and got a new car. We decided on where to settle and how to live our lives. See last week’s post on that thought. The blog is full of those memories, the trips to foreign countries, the fear of change. The change. Full stop. Whenever I read another post from years ago, I remember where I was, what I did, and it brings back some vivid memories. This is my life. But this is only a 10 year snapshot, 25% of what I should remember of my life.

I have always enjoyed writing this blog. It gave me an outlet, and I anticipate that I will continue to write the odd post, maybe once a month. Maybe I call it the ‘New Column’ or ‘News from the world of Volker’. I will not be gone, I am just re-focusing. My energy is bundled and ready to put elsewhere. Books. Development. Kids. There is so much I could tell you about life, that I will start my ‘Volker book’ soon. Yet it will take years to finish, I am not in a rush, I am not even half way. That’s what I hope anyway. Remember, 120 years we got…

Christmas is around the corner. I am a grinch. I don’t believe in Santa Claus or cutting trees, or putting up decorations. I don’t believe in God or the Jesus child either. I believe in the quiet time and having the fire on, drinking a hot chocolate, a coffee, an Old Fashioned or an amazing glass of wine. I like to overeat, and go for a walk, slumber by the fire and have chats with friends and family. I enjoy the relaxing time. I cannot wait.

And once Christmas is over, it is going to be 2019. The year before 2020. Latter was a big date growing up. It was in the future, flying cars and all. It still is. The future is near though. A new year, a new beginning, new goals, new focus. Given my personal development background, it won’t be all new, because if I wanted to change something, I did it today. That’s why quitting smoking on New Year’s Eve hardly ever works. You need to quit when you are ready, not when the calendar year turns. It would be coincidental if those dates align. Anyway, enough said I suppose.

I want to say thank you. Not least to all the readers but also to my wife for giving me honest feedback for 10 years on those posts. For people telling me how much they enjoyed the columns and how human it made me. I am just a normal bloke, yet ambitious, German living in the UK, married to a Scottish lass, and I love to write. That’s it. I have an opinion and this was my outlet. So thanks for staying with me to the end….the end for now.

So have an amazing Christmas, feel free to reach out, drop me a line, email me, LinkedIn me or tweet me. Whatever works. I am very much in the public domain, hard to miss 🙂 Links in the sidebar.

All the best.

Yours truly,
Volker Ballueder

Sunday Column (399)

Iron-Sharpens-Iron-So-one-man-sharpens-another

Iron sharpens iron – one man sharpens another. Darren Hardy spoke about Rivalry this week. It’s a proverb. Nothing wrong with that of course, the key is what the quote stands for. Iron sharpens iron – as one iron, one man grows, the other grows too. If you are getting up every morning and have someone to fight, you want to better yourself daily to become better than the other person. You want to win. Then he wants to win too. You might become friends and you strive by competing with each other. You help each other to stay focused, motivated and push each other towards the top. Like a sparring partner. I like that analogy and think you should too. Find someone to work against, someone who motivates you and take massive actions towards ‘beating’ that person. In a good way of course, become friends and push each other to success!

A different, in between week, this week it was. I mean, it was my last week at my old work. I tidied things up, did a final hand over, updated what had to be updated and put my work and mind to rest. I reflected on the last 2.5 years. The accomplishment of putting another product on the map. The ability to put something out there in the market, position it, sell it, make it successful. I enjoy that part. There were struggles, challenges and fights but overall, it wasn’t a bad time. I had a few managers I learned from. Good mentors. It was good and I am truly thankful for the opportunity. It was also time to move on. One email I got this week summed it up. Farewell, Goodbye and Amen, as Hawkeye Pierce said in Mash4077.

Listening to another Mentee Podcast, career development is not only about money and what you do, but more about why you do it. The ultimate thing is if you can give back, and if you are able to make a difference. And I deep down believe that I can make a difference and help, support and develop myself and others. That in itself is worth the change in career and focus. Having met most of the people, it will be a fun time ahead! I really look forward to start working with my new team. A team to grow and coach. Unlocking potential and driving business forward. Working on strategies, new technologies and deep diving into some industry topics. What is there to learn? Where can I make a difference? Getting direct input from clients, that will be different. Weren’t they the holy grail to sell to a little while ago? Also, the ability to change suppliers and technologies if they stop performing. Not relying on one but more than one supplier if you like. There are many solutions that are interchangeable, so building the relationships with the right ones is key. Spotting the sales people talking BS when trying to sell you the latest programmatic solution.

reflect

For now I still have some time to reflect. I start at the end of the month. My priority for the coming week is to spend as much time as possible with my family and give them some time back. When you get to the cross roads of your career, open a new chapter in your life, one likes to think about life. About priorities. Those are clearly with my family and the progress of my children – personally and in education. I guess for any parent, there is no doubt that health, development and happiness of your family comes first. Then it is you/your partner, and what you have decided to do with your life. Both of which will impact the main priority of course. I have been thinking about how we model our life on what we know from when we grew up and realised that over the years the technology advancement, let it be iPads or iPhones as the obvious ones, have influenced the way our children grow up. The younger generation is working seamlessly it seems with the challenges of technology and uses it to their advantage whilst we use it as a necessary evil almost. And by the time they have children, things and life as we know it would have changed again. When I was a kid I was dreaming of this big house with this big stereo in the corner. CD shelves. Video cassettes. I enjoyed libraries and always thought I would have one myself. And virtually we do. We have the videos, the CDs and books I wanted. It is still the same, yet different, and in a different format. The world is changing, advancing and nothing will be the way it was. That’s not a bad thing though.

So let’s embrace future developments. Let’s embrace change and let’s embrace technology. Let us accept change in our life and the opportunity to influence the outcome. To trust in the positive outcome. That is fun, that is helping you to grow and make a difference for the better.

Go get them and enjoy the last days of summer.

Best wishes,
Volker