Tag: hard work

About Principles for Success (3)

How has your week been?

I wanted to continue sharing some content from my book, Principles for Success.

We spoke about teams last week. Another important factor is diversity in teams. I cannot stress this point enough, and still don’t believe that there are people who discriminate based on gender, race, political or sexual views. WTF? It drives me potty. The only way you should ever judge people is on their performance, if they can do the job and if they fit within the team. And if they don’t fit into your team due to them being diverse….now think what this says about your team?

Hard work and discipline. My grandmother used to say, that I will always have a job, because I am good with people, disciplined and hard working. Make sure you keep those skills up. Don’t slack and be good to people. Emotional intelligent!

I want to be honest, since launching my own business, I realise how hard you have to work to get anything off the ground. But I enjoy it! But of course you have a huge motivation too.

The other thing, and you would recognise that from my first book, is about routines and habits. Try to automate things as much as you can. I keep mentioning this. This is so important. When working on a project last year, the questions from the company were always the same:

– Do you need it?
– Can you automate it?
– Can you do it better and cheaper elsewhere?

Then you decide. I like to outsource some of my marketing, and automated some of it too. Why? Because I only have 24 hours in the day, and my time is best used creating content.

You find out more about my podcast on www.storiesofsuccess.fm or in the book itself.

Sunday Column (385)

This week seems to have gone on forever. I found it tiring. Very tiring indeed. Not sure if it was because the weather played up, things were a bit sluggish or just because it was one of those weeks. We had brilliant sunshine, torrential rain, long winded discussions, great decisions, good presentations and awesome chats. We made progress, we won things, we lost things. It was just another week really.

Another week. Another decision. Car ordered. A Skoda. Brand new. The finance deals you are getting these days are just too tempting. If you had told me a year ago I would ever buy a new car, I would have told you that you were crazy. Anyway, I wrote a lot about it and will write about it again when it arrives. I cannot wait. It feels like it completes something. We are back to having a car instead of a functional vehicle to accommodate rear facing car seats that are long gone. As a family, we are growing up.

Skoda Superb

The bathroom is done. I mean to 99%. Still some niggles, some electrics, some parts. Only took 6 weeks 🙁 We might still have to exchange the bath tub, don’t ask. We might have got a faulty item. Happens I suppose. Anyway, the bathroom finishing completes the house renovation. A 4 year project. All rooms have been done now. It is done. Sometimes it seemed forever but it didn’t. And yes there are small things to sort, and things to be redone, and of course, last but not least, my beloved drive way. We put that project back a bit, hopefully autumn, to prioritise family holiday, the car and sanity above all 🙂

Things cannot be rushed yet not happen quickly enough. I am writing this bit as I am sitting on the 8 pm train home because I had a great meeting with someone I really value. Someone I know I am going to be friends with for a long time. And that’s when you don’t mind the longer night. You write your blog as the sun sets when you leave Victoria station. Good things take time. And a drink. Something to seal what you have, right. Something to seal that there is more to come. Our industry is a group of friends, this is so nice.

As I am writing this and getting emotional, I am listening to Jack Savoretti. An artist/singer I recently discovered. I love him. Just the right mix of what I’d call folk and ballads. Lots of guitars, good songs and a great voice. I keep listening to him, and cannot stop listening to him. Something in his songs gives me this feeling back of being young and wild. Riding my motor bike down the country lanes in Ireland, getting caught out by rain, seeing my friend skidding off the road. This is years ago and you longing for that freedom and independence you once had. The lack of responsibility but for yourself. Things changed of course. I am an adult now and don’t need to ask for permission or acceptance. I am responsible for my own action and, yet, I cannot have a motor bike. That’s of course where family responsibility and common sense comes in. That is where my new toy, the family car comes in. And following from that, the mid life crisis Jaguar XK 8 or the Porsche for my 40th birthday. Long time to go and who knows what is going to be then. We don’t even know what’s happening tomorrow.

On that note I got a call from someone this week. I value him very much as a friend and mentor. A great citizen, a fantastic boss, an amazing person. He hasn’t been well and he might just read this post, and I want to give him a shout out that I am thinking of him. And if you aren’t reading it, others will. When your life changes from almost over to full steam ahead within a few weeks, it must be the most awful roller coaster ride you ever had. I wish you well. You will be alright. Don’t ever give up. Your Facebook post touched me, and I wrote this prior to seeing it. Anyway, your story should be a reminder for us to always look forward, to never give up and to always nourish and value what we have. What we don’t appreciate, depreciates. One of my many mantras. For yourself, for anyone, it is always worth trying. We miss you! It was so good to speak to you and we see you soon. Sending wishes, prayers and positive thoughts your way.

never give up

Towards the end of the week I spoke at a conference. Another event to show off the great solutions we are working on. Being on a panel with industry friends from years ago, people that have shaped our industry and pushed boundaries. We are, no question, leading the market. And in the areas we are not, we definitely should. I am going to meet a few guys in HQ over the next couple of weeks to discuss that evolution. To discuss how we can continue to lead that space we are so good at. I am pumped about the opportunities we are facing. Look forward, live the now and make sure things are moving in the right direction. And that is the most important bit. The belief and future looking aspect of where things are moving to.

Below the post is the video.

What else happened. I believe I am transforming a bit. There are changes I am looking at, things I am developing on. One is family. I am putting a lot more focus, particularly weekends to engaging with the boys. The wife ran another half marathon and I looked after the youngest. He went to a party, the oldest was away with Beavers. I was in charge of the team this weekend and enjoyed every moment of it. Yet I noticed when I came home one night and worked all the way home, I was very edgy with them. I will learn. Learn to reflect, and learn to relax. As they are the main focal point of my life. No compromise.

Last but not least, and maybe insignificant to you but for me it’s a big thing 😉 The Gatwick Express trains that I use, changed, at least on Thursday night. Instead of sitting on an old 1950 refurb comfy train coach with sofa like seats, we got the new hard seated commuter trains. All change. We are arriving in the 21st century with WIFI on the train, cleaner trains, that make us, England, look very modern to visitors. The tables seem to be very far away from the seats, making it awkward to work on, but maybe we will be getting used to it. And we must avoid the temptation to work just because we got wifi. And we got plugs for mobile phone chargers. And the lights are bright. It is a bit nicer really. Yet, there have been some strikes, some delays and cancellation. New trains won’t change that I suppose. I almost missed the event I was speaking at. Never mind, made it in the end.

I made it to Friday too. I enjoyed the weekend. And I am back on it tomorrow. 3 weeks of travelling ahead.
I am loving it. I am winning.

Love and Kindness from my corner of the world,
Volker

Sunday Column (380)

If I look back at this week, it was a funny one to be honest. People are back from their Easter break, heads down, on with their work. So I had days at work just catching up on admin, last minute meeting cancellations and then days where I went from meeting to meeting. Some weeks are like that – not one is the same as the other. I suppose it is good for variety.

Evenings were filled with watching Outlander on Amazon Prime on Amazon Prime. Found some awesome Outlander Quotes, see one here. The wife and I finally found a series we both enjoy. I also watch Bosch, a police drama, which is ideal for treadmill runs. No thinking required whatsoever!

outlander quote

I also managed to catch up with a few friends this week which was nice. What I realise more and more is that one gets so busy doing things, that one can loose focus on the little, enjoyable things in life. Like meeting friends. Like making that difference to one particular person. It is great though and often I am sitting there on the train home, thinking it was a really good day. Most days anyway.

The bathroom arrived too. The next three weeks we are getting our wet rooms done and that will conclude house renovation part ‘one’. Means we have done the front door, back door, garage door, asbestos removal, downstairs loo, downstairs kitchen and living room completely with fire place, upstairs carpet, ceilings, floor boards, most radiators in the house and now the bathroom(s). Forgot anything? Once through, hurray. Last thing on the list is some garden work and the driveway which we hope to have done in May.

Then the new motor. I had another look on Saturday and we are test driving the car again soon. We made up our minds, and given the finance options, we might be able to do it as early as May….then we have to wait a few months to get it of course. We shall see. One step at a time. Oh, yes, the Skoda Superb with most the trimmings.

I ramped up my exercise routine this week also. After a 10 mile run (16K) on Sunday I swam on Monday and did 2 kettle bell sessions and two 10K this week. I am feeling fitter than ever, yet don’t seem to get enough quality sleep. I am struggling with lots of things going on in my mind atm. And this causes me a headache I am not sure how to get rid of.

Whilst I wouldn’t call it stress, there is strain on decisions and from discussions I am having. Sometimes when you wake up and think about things, it is difficult to go back to sleep. Yet my cats keep me company, they are settling in and got their last injection this week too. That means they can all go outside as of this week. Hurray. We are getting there. They are still a bit coy to venture outside but they have been. Of course Lula got herself locked into a neighbour’s garage on her first outing. The joys.

Guess life is about patience. The famous roses and perspective. Another great podcast this week said that you only create barriers in your mind. I tend to agree. Reading about Elon Musk who founded both SpaceX and Tesla, you realise human potential and what we are capable of doing. Yet not everyone is willing to take the same risk.

Elon Musk
Tony Robbins nicely summarised it with his human needs. Some people are more security driven then others. Some need more love and growth and others might thrive more on contribution and adventure. We are all individuals. And looking at it from a corporate perspective, a company needs to adjust to every one’s needs. Not just one person’s or the other’s. So understanding the individual, their goals, their background and what makes them thrive is key to being a good manager.

The reason I bring that up is that I am going through a bit of a recruitment spree at work, adding to the team and in the process restructuring some processes. That is fun and never ends. Not without challenges of course but great learning. As a company we are transitioning too, and are in a very sweet spot of our industry. Full steam ahead. I am excited!

One must trust the universe and that things fall into place. Having the above patience and enough stamina. That’s key to success in my view. Things never go as planned and nothing ever comes easy. Hard work always pays off and in the end we are going to be ok. Trust. That’s key to anything I suppose. Any relationship.

Let me leave you with those thoughts. It is just before 7 am on one of those days that I drafted my post. With the real time streaming on Facebook and Twitter, maybe I should consider a ‘Ballueder Video Blurb’ from the breakfast table. Maybe one day 😉

Have a great week and stay safe.
Volker

trust the universe

Sunday Column (376)

Hello to this week’s column which seems to really gain on popularity given the latest stats.

My Monday swimming is going well. It was fairly empty this week, as it seems that New Year resolutions are wearing off, so people stopped going first thing on a Monday. This is nice as us regulars, a lot of retired people and myself, get a more room in the pool. I aim to go bi-weekly and alternate with my cross trainer. Despite travelling I keep up exercising and on average manage 5 days a week.

The main challenge around it is that I eat a lot of crappy food to keep up the energy, which is fine as I am burning a lot, but if I stopped exercising tomorrow, I might gain a lot of weight again. A #firstworldproblem I suppose but still, my aim for Q2 is to get leaner and ‘meaner’. We shall see.

I did my run on Tuesday before heading to the airport, as I had to go to a meeting in New York. I have not been to NY since 1993 when I moved to Kansas for a year as a foreign exchange student. So this was somewhat of a treat. Very exhausting travel, yet very rewarding to be back in such a wonderful city. NY is special, no doubt!

Being on a long haul flight makes me think. Not that I am on a long haul flight often, but when I am, I like to wind down. The thoughts are about being disconnected. About missing out and not being able to do emails or call loved ones. On short haul flights it is a couple of hours, like a meeting. But long haul is a working day. And flying back in time, New York is 5 hours behind us, makes the day even longer.

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I guess life is what you are used to. And what you are getting and wanting to be get used to. And that is somewhat something we all know yet don’t apply on a daily basis. Makes sense?

Whether this is to have kids, take on three cats, change the layout of your house, changing jobs or dealing with any kind of change. Whatever gets us out of our comfort zone will make us learn. It will make us grow. It will help us pushing and extending boundaries.

But if we are not going to get used to things, we are just dealing with them. Then we learn behaviour for the next time. Same reaction. Same worries. Only by getting used to things we remove those worries. Sales works similar, where the first meeting to present a new product is pushing boundaries. Ten meetings down the road you will be used to it. It will be easier.

Guess by the time the kids leave the house and we prepare for retirement we have seen and learned it all. And we pass on to our kids what we have learned. Some learning they will take on and accept and apply. Some advise they will ignore. Just like we have done. Just like our parents have done. Some things never change I suppose. Sending them on a world trip, which I have never done, might expand their comfort zone and gets them to look beyond every day life. Will they do it?

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Coming back to my trip. I watched the story of Lance Armstrong on the way over. It is amazing, in a bad way, what he got away with in life. Like a bad sales person selling who is overselling on capabilities. I am glad it backfired. He destroyed hope in people. It was very unethical.

I also managed to go through a few podcasts that I had downloaded for while. If I listen to most management and productivity gurus and experts, I realise a few things. One is that I need to stop reading more personal development books. It is getting repetitive. I believe I have all the tools to make life happen. Yet, I have to stop more often, smell the roses and examine where I am, what I do and which 20% of my efforts result in 80% of my positive results. Time to tweak life perspective a bit and re-assemble, then move forward more focused and stronger.

2016 seems to be the year I am on the runway…I am getting onto that plane, ready to take off. Which airline will I be on? Which class will I be in? How long will it take until we reach flight height? Where am I going? Who am I taking with me? Who is the pilot? A nice analogy for life. I know who my co-pilot is and she was truly missed this week!

Before I get too sentimental…that said…when I was sitting in the bar at the airport waiting for my flight home I was reflective. Very tired. It was 2 am UK time, only half seven in NY. I had run 10K in Central Park, trying to catch some fast runners. Then I met a social media celebrity and some good friends. I soaked in some sights and some atmosphere. I love New York. Got a T-shirt too.

Life is good. Work was very productive. It was a good week. America is great. Space, friendly people and an energy one doesn’t find in Europe. Shame. If I was younger I might consider moving here. Or would I? It is great working in the space I am in, exciting times ahead. We are getting ready for lift off.

Yet travelling makes you tired and coming home is the nicest bit. I missed the kids. I missed the wife. At the weekend I tried to get back to my normal schedule.

Whilst I sit at the bar and bite into an amazing burger with fries accompanied by a glass of Californian CabSav, I realise how awesome life is and what opportunities lie ahead. Full throttle ahead. The opportunity is now.

I hope you have a great week.

Volker

Inspirational Thought: Hard Work

I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work. ~ Thomas Edison

A nice little quote by Edison to tell you to just get on with what you are doing.

Hardly any entrepreneur or inventor for that matter ever sat in the garden and came up with the big idea to change the world or earn millions of pounds. A few might have but hardly any have.

Getting things right, coming up with good ideas or inventions is about one thing: HARD WORK.

My grandma who would be over 100 years old now never said anything else: Volker, she would say, you going to be ok. You have the gift to get on with people and the stamina and attitude to work hard. And that is exactly what I do.

I get on with things and put a lot of hard work into it. That got me where I am.

No, I haven’t changed the world (yet), not earned a million (yet) and I haven’t invented anything or founded anything (yet). But I got to a place I am happy with: work, life, family – all-round.

Things just don’t come to those who wait, do they? Although a bit of patience would have helped me along the way 😉

Get on with it, work hard and make it happen. You got it in yourself.

Volker

Sunday Column (129)

Oh well, a fantastic week, wasn’t it?

Sitting here at the weekend I try to remember what all happened this week. Work seemed to be very busy the first half of the week with it getting less busy towards the end. However, then picked up last minute again. I guess it is holiday season and most people are away. Nevertheless I can’t say I am bored, just the opposite, plenty to do. That means, September is going to be mental?!

Enough about work, although I realised this week that more and more people in the industry are friends rather than colleagues. I guess we are a small little family in online, and particularly in RTB. My article about RTB has been published by more people now, and it is an exciting space to be in. And this space is growing, and I keep meeting great people.

Now, enough about work 🙂 I keep having discussing with people trying to figure out where I would like to live, and when and how and why….really by the end of this year I’d like to make the call and decide where I want to settle for the next 2 years. I don’t mind London, but I mind the endless thoughts and ideas of it not being London. That sounds like I wouldn’t like to go abroad but that’s not it. I wouldn’t mind at all, but if so, it needs to be soon, and I’d like to get started sorting it. But one step at a time, there are still lots of discussions to be held. Work and private ones.

Oups, did I mention work again? I guess it is where I spend most of my time, but I love it too. Just Friday I had a great conversation with my COO about things, and I am very excited about the next few months.

And (non work related) there were another couple of companies this week that are worth mentioning:

a) Southeastern: for the past 7 years I travel with them into London but keep not getting a seat on half of my journeys in, and think they don’t do anything to listen to their customers. It starts to really p* me off!

b) Ocado: the last two weekends they managed to make mistakes again. I don’t mind a company making mistakes, we all do, but Ocado’s mistake seem to happen every week. I speak to them each week, get refunds and free bottles of wine. But that isn’t helping. All I want is for them to keep their promise and deliver the best service and products ever. I am fighting for it, as I don’t want to shop anywhere else. Maybe I write the CEO a letter this week, we shall see.

Now the kids: I mainly sit with Colin in the morning having breakfast. And he gets upset if we don’t. I sometimes manage to be home to put them to bed, settling them. We are making progress in settling Colin by leaving his door open and stand on the door, waiting for him to sleep. And if he gets up at night we put him back to bed rather than taking him in ours. Allegedly the way forward, less stressful for him than holding the door shut and letting him cry to sleep. And we are feeling better about it too.

Rohan started moving backwards a bit and will be on the run soon. I truely enjoy them both but I am also quite certain this is it. 2 are enough 🙂

Then Oma and Opa came to visit over the weekend. Colin got all excited and loved to see them. We went down to Sevenoaks to visit Knole. This is a deer park and castle. A lovely day out which we finished with a nice meal. A fantastic day, great for walking and strolling, and playing golf.

We chilled on Sunday, got some family business done and some shopping. Just what the doctor ordered. I am planning to have a detox next weekend for 3 days from Friday to Sunday, so finishing my t-total month with a proper cleanse. And then I will be off to the next challenge.

Have a great week,
Best,
Volker