Tag: holiday

Sunday Column (398)

The news is out this week. It is official. I am leaving my current job, and I will be officially leaving the end of next week. I has been a great 2.5 years of exploring a slightly different angle of the industry, going through another acquisition and finding new friends and colleagues across the world. It was nice to hear just last week that clients would have loved to work with us, just because it was me. Those compliments are amazing and make me appreciate the lives I am touching, and the lives I am touched by. I am a people person, I care about people, in business and private. I am feeling flattered and it shows that sales and business relations still come back to personality first, product second. Sustainability, honestly and win/win go a long way. I was always keen to deliver on promises, and learned lessons early in my career that you don’t over promise and under deliver.

Now, the new role is different. It is still about promising to clients, internal and external, yet it is also about evaluating the sales people and technologies I have been representing in the last 6+ years! I am turning the table and apply my knowledge on the other side. It feels like I move from sales to procurement, get a lot more managerial and strategic tasks and joining a company that is on the edge to really move the needle in the space. I like to hope so anyway, and I cannot wait to join them at the end of August! I am going agency side. When working agency side in 2007, being responsible for sales, I enjoyed it and then got dragged into the tech sales, which in all honesty I enjoyed a lot too. Now I am back, with more experience and knowledge about the space, and I am excited to not pay the bills for lunch and ask those questions to sales people trying to sell me the latest tech. If you cannot summarise your solution in 30 minutes without a powerpoint…. 🙂

So the news is out, and the dates are set. I am very much looking forward to my new direction and another step in my career.

hand-over

I kicked the week off with another 25K run. I started early at 5:30 am and was back just around 8 am. It was fantastic, running with the sun rise, overlooking the South Downs being dipped into the golden morning light. Not a lot of people around and it was great to just get on. It cleared my head, made me think and came up with some solutions and ideas. Great start to the week!

Unfortunately my adidas Adistar Boost trainers are broken again after only 350K. My first pair was broken, the 2nd pair lasted, the exchanged first one now broke and I am ‘breaking in’ another pair just now. Definitely my last Boost pair, I can assure you. Having said that I went to sweatshop on Saturday afternoon and tried the new UltraBoost trainers. They are amazing, very soft and cushioned, and feather light. I am keen on getting a pair but it all depends what adidas says about whether the old pair was a manufacturers fault. Given I contacted Sweatshop 3 days after they sent the replacement, I have to take it up with adidas directly. I emailed them, let’s see, sending off the old pair on Monday. Definitely something wrong with that shoe! I did a cheeky 7.5K later in the week with the new pair of Adistar’s, just to be ready to hit the 10K in them next week again. Over are the days where a pair of trainers lasted me beyond a year.

adidas-ultra-boost-deep-sea-blue-1

Then I have been back to Scotland this week. I flew up on Wednesday and then drove the family down again on Friday, with another stop over in Preston. This time the journey was a little bit more pleasant as traffic was better then going up. So we arrived on Saturday morning. Enough time to get the washing on, settle back in and be home again. It was good without the family but it is even better with the family! I missed my two boys and my wife of course. Now the cats pester the others not me 🙂

Also it marks my last flight for a while. At least my new job won’t demand me to fly regularly around Europe. An era of good 10 years in a European role coming to an end. There will be travel and potentially more international ones but for now I can hope for some fewer flights and hotel stays abroad. This will be nice for a while.

Some people asked me what I did, 10 days without the family? I can tell you that much: it felt a lot shorter, as I had been very busy. Partly I was working on some forms and test assignments, and on the other hand I made progress with my book. Yes, I now need to find the best way of drawing up some nice graphs, put the overall flow together and get it finalised. The end is in sight, early 2017 I should be able to publish my new Productivity on Life book. I thought of calling it #bebetter but feel free to come up with better suggestions.

I also found a lot of time to watch TV, movies, chill out and read. It is almost weird to be able to organise your own days and work around your work. Not sure I ever watched that much TV in a long time. And I also ate healthily, didn’t drink a lot (besides the stag do without a stag at the weekend in Brighton), and overall got a lot of chillaxing time in. A holiday as it should be on my own terms.

Now, having the family back is great. Catching up on 10 days of excitement and experience with my boys is fantastic. Almost a lifetime at their stage. The next break is with them, and I look forward to sharing experience with them too and maybe give the wife a wee break too. Life is hard, yet beautiful 🙂

That’s about all folks. I love driving the new motor, particularly the cruise control that breaks on your behalf and then accelerates if it can. Just like a self driving car.

Have a fantastic week.

Volker

Sunday Column (284)

A first week after a week off is never easy. This week saw one of the oddest days I have had for a long time. You are so tired you are imagining things, things not working not due to your fault and things that could go wrong do. And you are stuck without emails for a day due to a server blackout. I had better days and weeks, yet I started getting up at 5 am again – making it all worthwhile to get back on track to exercise and taking action towards some of my goals.

Family: for the first time since I moved to London, my brother and his family came to visit. This was great. Not only did it give us time to catch up, but the cousins managed to play all day, entertaining themselves. It might sound odd, but we almost get to the point of not knowing what to do with ourselves if the kids play all day upstairs. You still have to be there for them of course but they get really independent. Life is getting better. Day by day.

Also, it seems as if I slowly convince my wife to add a dog to the Ballueder household. Stay tuned 😉

weimaraner

Some of you might have seen the pictures of our camping holiday. It was a great time we spent together. Going back to work this week made me think a lot about last week’s break. Nice to be able to just switch off for a week. Nothing to worry about.

Then you come back home and the builders haven’t finished what they promised. The rain keeps penetrating out walls and you get a bit worried. Surely it will sort itself out soon. Maybe some interior work needs to wait till September. We had enough building work for a while, time to focus on something else and not to worry about the house. Given the latest weather this is easier said than done.

I also stayed away from Facebook for a week. Over the past few months I added more people on Facebook, increasing my circle to non family and close friends. As a work colleague said, we crossed the a Rubicon, we can now share things on Facebook. It is fun to connect and one cannot worry about privacy issues. People will see my kids and will see what I am up to. However, I already noticed that I post a lot less. After the week’s break I realised that besides ‘googling’ something and emails there is not much to do on a phone. The news and Tetris, catch up TV, podcasts. But nothing urgent, and playing with the kids takes priority. Lego does anyway 😉

It is interesting to see that sometimes you just need to remove things for a while to break a habit. In return, to form a habit, it takes 30 to 60 days. That is something I am doing at the moment. As mentioned I started getting up at 5 am again, instead of alternating between a 5 and 6 am start pending whether I exercise in the morning or not. I want to use my mornings. For exercising, meditation, writing, brainstorming. In return I am happy to go to bed early. Routines and habits form our backbone of life. And as mentioned above, with the kids being easier to look after, there is time to be spend on a variety of things again.

It has been a good week. Despite the slow summer I still manage to fill my diary and have many meetings. Agency wide presentations and individual C-level meetings. I had bad days but also made a lot of positive progress. Life is good. I ordered my Sonos subwoofer and look forward to a relaxing bank holiday weekend.

One sometimes just need to get on with things. Loving life and make it happen.

I have the feeling this is exactly what I do.

Have an amazing week.
Volker

Pictures from Spain

I know, whilst my wife usually handles all the picture uploads….I am sitting at home on holidays, finished my tax return and thought to myself “why not upload a preview of some of our Spain holiday pictures?” – so here we go, more to be seen soon on Picasa.

Also, you find one more picture on our website.