Tag: Sunday Column

Sunday Column (41)

This week was rather interesting, not to say quite busy.

As you might know by now I have left my job after only 6 months. In summary: it just didn’t work out. However, onwards and upwards. I have been in touch with a few companies over the last few weeks and continue to do so. So far we have not had to cancel Christmas, and I really enjoy the time with my boy!

On Tuesday afternoon I went to see an osteopath for my back and she cracked it well. I felt better afterwards but my muscles that are mainly used to lift heavy things, e.g. Colin, are still very weak and hurt. It also doesn’t help to sit on a too low desk I suppose. However, I go back next week to get more mobility into my back. And, they recommended me to do some exercise….I know πŸ™ Although, a neighbour got me to go to the gym on Saturday, and I did do some exercise, went off to the Sauna and steam room too πŸ™‚

Wednesday was busy. I had an unexpected meeting with a good friend in the morning which resulted in possibly another job opportunity. Afterwards I met a friend for a late breakfast, another friend over lunch, having a frutti di mare pizza. Trying to abstain from meat until Friday for my weekly kebab πŸ˜‰ In the afternoon I found time to catch up with a good friend before heading to a Tweet-Up.

I met two guys I met on Twitter, hence Tweet-Up, who are very much into Social Media. We met in the Albannach and tested a few whiskys that night, later being joined by another good friend. So overall that day has been very sociable, online and offline. Unfortunately one meeting had to be canceled which I hope to reschedule for next week.

I spent most of Thursday to catch up on emails and sorting out some potential part time work to tie me over to January. In theory I could start working in telemarketing for a friend in Germany as of today, but I don’t really have an office space yet. So that decision has to be made depending on a few things next week.

It is great to have a reliable network and friends who can offer and do offer you jobs. Because they know, how reliable, hard working and honest I am. So it is good to have friends and to help each other out sometimes.

What else happened this week. Whilst speaking to so many people, the nice things that I heard was a mortgage approval for friends who were seeking to buy for a while. Congratulations again, we will be neighbours soon! Then, another friend’s wife is feeling much better and might be home for Christmas, which I hope for him and his family. Fingers crossed and good luck.

We got a couple of early Christmas cards too and I realise again how strong our network of friends is. Particularly around Christmas and in these hard times. But, it is all good and we enjoy the company with our friends, and as hard as the times might seem, there are still people out there that are much worse off that us. We should not forget about them!

On Sunday we had an excellent breakfast with our friends and Colin’s god-father. “Il Coskino” and his wife were over for a cooked breakfast where I had some bacon, and a sausage. But that should be all for the meat for a while. Back to veggies and fish.

Have a fantastic week, not long to Christmas now!

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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.


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So I am looking forward to two days off….. πŸ™‚

All the best,
Volker
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Sunday Column (39)

Hello,

This week must have been the best in years. It is almost like I found my life and found a way how to achieve it. Really, I spend a lot of time with the family and noticed how important that is for me. Just on Saturday I got myself, I mean I got Colin, a hippo for the bath:

On Wednesday I met with good friends from my old work and realised how much I enjoyed the job. Working with the people you like and working as a great team towards a common goal. It was so good to catch up over a few glasses of wine, pizza and great chat. Thanks people.

And, I heard this story about life, work and work life balance – still not sure what to make of it:

A farmer once got some land and thought it was on the sunny side and has a fruitful and great soil. So he was full of enthusiasm to have the responsibility to dig up the land and grow his crops.
He knew that it would take until the next year for him to harvest the fruits, and that it would be a long way to get there. But he wanted to make sure that the soil was perfect, the seeds were perfect and that things would grow in it came out perfect too. So he worked together with some friends who helped him choosing the seeds, and helped him choosing the water, and helped him choosing the right time to put things in place. Some lend him machinery and some helped him to understand how he got the best crops in the world.
Times weren’t easy, times were hard. He had to chase people to get the water for the field before the few shoots dried up. He had to chase people to get some of the machinery in time to get the seeds in the ground. Whilst sometimes it happened in time, sometimes it didn’t. At the same time he started looking around.
farmworkOn the left was a field his predecessor had worked on and he noticed that it was drying up and didn’t really produce any profit from the crops. It seemed as if they had tried to put more and more effort into the field, just to see that they couldn’t harvest enough to make a profit. However, on his right was a big field. That belonged to a farmer who had done what he was planning to do. But look, he had all the equipment, a few full time helpers and has started a few years earlier than him. He had been harvesting for long, made more profit and ultimately could afford more machinery. Really, a field how it should be.
The farmer got really sad. He knew what he was doing was right, but he thought that he was a few years too late. It seemed that no matter how much effort he put into his field, and however much help he might get, his field would never meet the expectations he had for himself, nor would it be able to compete with the older, flourishing fields. It just wouldn’t work out.

The morale of this story is simple. Sometimes you get into situations in life where you never harvest what you sow. Even in the best playing field with the best players in any game, you never get the best result if they don’t all play towards the same goal. And the same was true for the person who told me this story. He eventually gave up his field and moved on to a new pat, with new friends.

Enough of a story telling for today. Have a great week.

Love and Happiness to you all,
Volker

Sunday Column (38)

What a week. “What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen“, Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Starting with that quote, I am sitting here and reflecting on a big bang start to a week. Although I felt very knackered with my man-flu last weekend after I was in the garden and all, I went out after work on Monday and did some excellent networking. I actually was sitting there with my bottle of cough syrup and thought, tomorrow things will be much better. However, on Tuesday I ended up feeling more tired. I almost didn’t go in on Tuesday but I had important meetings. Tuesday night my wife went to see a movie, so I stayed in and thought whether I should go to work at all on Wednesday.

Since I met our head of strategy for breakfast, I decided to go in, and like it is with colds, the earlier you get up, the better you feel. However, that feeling was over from Wednesday lunchtime and the aches got worse with the result that I had to cancel a client’s invite on Wednesday night, went home early from work and were off sick on Thursday and Friday. Now, you know me, I cannot sit still and do nothing. Being off work is bad enough. Although I know that my boss trusts me, I still think someone might think I take the mickey. Which I would not! But, Thursday in all fairness, I slept most of the day. Just around night time I got a bit more awake. And I was glad not to have gone to work. I believe I managed to sleep most of it off but Friday I still slept all afternoon.

SchweinebratenSaturday, now I find that interesting, I felt better when I got up in the morning, went to get my massage but then noticed that my head rushes had gone whilst my cold, e.g. runny nose and cough, got worse again. The boy and I had a long snooze in the afternoon watching the Domino championship. In the evening I made some nice roast pork with crackling.

Enough of a moan about my man flu now πŸ™‚

Over the last week I thought a lot about my blog post of the six basic human needs and what my values and my goals in life are. Whilst I only published this post on Thursday, I wrote it last weekend. And, I noticed that whatever situation I am in to make a decision, these six needs are really helpful.

What else happened. Saturday was a horrendous storm and the window in Colin’s rooms started leaking again. So we need to examine it and maybe replace this window after all. Out of all windows in the house, this seems to be the only one that never got replaced. It got colder too, so we want to make sure Colin is warm enough. Our radiator in the bathroom, so we were told by the guy who laid down the new floor, would be leaking soon. However, we spoke to a professional and he said we shouldn’t worry. The usual worries when you own a house, you just have to make sure you are keeping it in shape and things are in order. With house prices slowly rising again, we don’t want to devalue the property by not maintaining it.

Also, I thought a lot about coaching and, as aforementioned, about goals in life. I believe to get closer to what I want to achieve and how. The latter is a good question and I hope to have some time next week to put more thoughts on coaching down.

From how I am feeling today I am confident to go back to work next week and be able to get through the week. I never had so many colds and whilst I would love to blame the boy, and this time he got the cold first, I believe it is also my weak immune system and the paranoia around swine flu.

Have a great week. I don’t have any more wine reviews lined up but hopefully will post some more on personal development shortly.

Buddha bless,
Volker

Sunday Column (37)

This week I spent a lot of time with the family, and it becomes more and more important for me. Particularly since I started digesting more about Anthony Robbins’ six basic human needs. I write a post about this later on this week – it is very simple yet powerful stuff.

I think with the changes of jobs and life, e.g. the birth of Colin this year, I have a lot of things to digest and it is ongoing. It doesn’t help that I have the man-flu again and seem to have less energy overall. But, I am confident of getting there, some things just take time.

Maybe it is time for another review of being a dad? Things have changed so much. Colin is much more responsive, much more lively, eats food now and he gives so much more back. I hate it when I go to work and he is crying, looking at me. But that is life for you, unfortunately there isn’t this big lottery win so you can spend all of your day with your son. Life is odd in this way. But without work we cannot afford life and family. So it has to be done. But, it is still something I am getting used to. However, every other dad in this world has mastered it, so will I! Besides I love what I am doing, I love working and enjoy it. However, if I can afford it time wise, I work very hard whilst being at work, don’t do lunches and be very productive, but then leave on time to spend more time with the boy. This might change soon though as there are a few things coming up on the horizon that look like I might get busier.

So what did I get up to this week? Not much to be honest. I went to a summit on Tuesday about Local-Social. This was a very interesting summit and you can see the post in the blog with some thoughts.

On Wednesday I had my second last coaching session and I have the feeling that I make progress. Things get clearer and I understand my needs and objectives much better. Not 100% sure yet where that leads to but growth seems to be a mayor factor which satisfies me. That ties in with me ordering more books from Amazon about digital advertising, strategic thinking and inbound marketing.

happinessWith both the boy and me being ill – just a common cold – the weekend is rather slow going. We met a friend on Sunday and that was nice. I practised Tai Chi as we are getting closer to the end of the form. Fingers crossed for next week. Also, I went to clean up the garden for the winter and spend about 1.5 hours in the garden on Saturday. With the cold and all I felt really ill and knackered afterwards. Didn’t stop moaning all day πŸ™‚ Then I tried the cocktail from yesterday’s blog post and I can tell you: it tastes awful!

Overall I am very happy with my life at the moment. Lots going on but that is always the case, so no rest for the wicked. But, being happy and content, and having a wonderful family, is nothing you should ignore.

Have a great week. All love and happiness to you.
Volker

Sunday Column (36)

This week ends with Halloween, also known as “day of the dead” in Mexico. Hence we had two pumpkins this year.

pumpkin The first pumpkin was a rather normal one. A bit shaped like a pear but generally ok. So let’s have a look back at the week.

Work seems rather busy but nothing that sticks out as being a big project. I expect things to kick off any day and getting really busy. So fingers crossed for that. Monday after work I went to meet someone to network and find out more about the industry from a different perspective.

I love digital marketing but there are still some areas I need to learn more about. Whilst I continue to pick brains at work, I also try to meet people outside work to do the same.

Tuesday just passed whilst Wednesday was the highlight of the week. A whole day from Microsoft Advertising, imagine09, which allowed me to see the latest developments of bing, digital marketing, touch screen technology and the Microsoft phone. Wow! That is all I can say. I am sure there are plenty of detailed reviews about, so go and check them out. All I can say that Bill Buxton said that anything we see as an innovation has been around for about 10 to 20 years. That means that we already hold the innovation of tomorrow in our hands, it just might take another 5-10 years to realise it. And things are moving faster by the day. We finished the day with a few drinks and good chats!

Colin as Pumpkin Thursday I went to the Tai Chi as normal after work and realised that we almost finished the long form, that is our form from the Hine Institute of Tai Chi. We started in February and I am hopeful to finish the “mechanics of the form” in the next two weeks. If that is the case, we can polish them off, which means another 12 years πŸ™‚ It would just be such a great achievement.

On Friday, as mentioned, was a Halloween party, and we had our own pumpkin. Jenny, my wife, organised a get together with the babies from her baby and Yoga group. I got to meet them over at a house warming party on Saturday. Good to meet new people in Beckenham, particularly blokes that have babies and go through the same experience I do. Very good to compare notes.

We didn’t get much gardening done this weekend, but I made progress on the coaching side of things. I have another session next week. Later this week I will also publish a video from Anthony Robbins who I think is great!

Sunday was spent being lazy. We went swimming with the boy and he seemed to enjoy it. Overall it was a relaxing day.

Buddha or God bless weekends and time with the boy. What a fantastic week.

All the best from Beckenham,
Volker

Sunday Column (34)

I know you expect me to say that I had a busy week. But I didn’t πŸ™‚ I had 3 days off, so had a short week and a good break from work!

Monday I started the week with a Mobile Networking event after work. Then caught up with a good friend of mine over beers. Having had the man-flu again, I didn’t stay too long and was home before 10 pm. That seems to be early these days.

My mother-in-law came to visit for the week, and Tuesday, after a successful meeting at work, I went straight home and saw her. We had a nice take away and a few glasses of wine to properly celebrate her coming to visit us, and for me to celebrate the start of my “holidays”.

Wednesday I had a couple of meetings, including another coaching session. Problem with holidays are that you seem to have time to do things you normally don’t have time for. Some of which are meeting people you haven’t seen for a while, working on your website or working on your personal development. Whatever the case, you don’t have more time for your family either. I wonder if I am just getting too busy?

Coaching went well, and I believe I am making progress. I don’t want to disclose too many information here, but generally speaking, I come a lot clearer with myself. That is very good and highly progressive. Now, the next 3 weeks I need to step up the game and re-visit some NLP and coaching notes myself to make the progress I am after. Hard work again.

However, back to my holidays. On Wednesday my wife and I went out. My mother-in-law babysat. Colin had a terrible cold and we didn’t really enjoy being away from him. But also, we realised that “going out” is not as exciting as it was. Yes, we had fantastic food and a good bottle of wine, but we are less keen on the going out bit. Maybe we are getting very settled and are pleased with what we have at home. Maybe a good thing.

Anyway, Thursday/Friday, with exception of the usual Tai Chi, was all about family. I realised how much I enjoy being around the boy, my wife and see him being fed, feed him, play with him and spending time with him. It reflects in my time management at the weekend, so I now try to spend as much time as possible with him. Sometimes I wonder how I can fit it all in, but I guess my “work” has to wait until after he went to bed.

The weekend was quiet. We went to Bromley and did some shopping, had a lovely Kebab (I know, please don’t comment) and enjoyed some fantastic wine. I might continue writing about some of those shortly. We bought a couple of movies, a jeans and some stuff we needed, but really just enjoyed getting out.

Sunday seemed to be a sunny day. A lovely day to spend with the family. Quiet and relaxed, as always.

Have a great week ahead. It is our 2nd anniversary coming up. Sometimes hard to believe how quickly time flies. So far so good, I love my wife as much as on the first day….not only of our marriage but also when we met over 5 years ago.

Love and Kindness to you all,
Volker

Sunday Column (31)

This week was great from a networking perspective. I met a few good old friends from the industry at the annual ad:tech London conference and exhibition. It was great to catch up with so many and see what the next trends in the industry are.

We don’t really know what the future brings, but Microsoft’s “looking glass” surely might reveal some inspiration of what is to come. Social Media is definitely a place to be, so is mobile – however, mobile might never take off as much as people were hoping.

On Friday I held a workshop at Digipharm, a digital marketing conference for the pharma industry. It is amazing what you can still do with little efforts of PPC and SEO in order to improve the pharma industry’s visibility online. Definitely something the industry needs to catch up with soon.

On Saturday I made my own pizza. Four weeks were over and this week, or to be precise on Saturday evening, I got myself a nice bottle of Zinfandel. The 4 weeks were hard at times but overall not a problem. The wine tasted sour but ok, a pleasant drink and I don’t think I go back to not drink wine ever again πŸ™‚

A general note on life. This week showed me once again that I need to start prioritising what is happening in my life. My wife and I sat down and discussed priorities, time tables, expectations and all. We are going through a massive phase of change. The boy, my new job and a new life. And the latter is formed and determined by the first two – or should it be more integrated? We are figuring it out at the moment, and I am confident that it will soon all fit together again more smoothly.

This weekend I just slept. Seriously, I seemed so tired that I spend most of Saturday on the couch sleeping and Sunday hanging about. It was nice weather but somehow, I was very content on the couch. Not even hungover or anything, just lazy and chilling. Needs to be done. We had lovely friends over from Scotland, and next week is going to be a busy one….

Speak soon,
Volker

Sunday Column (30)

Alright. This week was nothing like the ones before. It started off with a revelation I had seen coming and since, I have been thinking about “the meaning of life”. Funny that every now and then you get thrown off your path and then you start thinking about purposes in life and what you want to achieve. However, maybe I should just sit down and map out life regardless of how it develops. Maybe I should make my own master plan.

Tuesday was my first pitch at work. I enjoy it very much and things are going well. Time for things to pick up of course as it is September and budgets are made for 2010. I hope πŸ™‚

On Wednesday I caught up with a good friend who runs a successful business and on Thursday I met with a friend from the CMI who I enjoy meeting, unfortunately not often enough, for a Harvey’s Bitter in the Ole George in Beckenham. So this week was very social. Oh, almost forgot that on Monday I met another friend which works in the same industry and emigrated to London a few years ago from Germany too. So plenty of thoughts and input this week. Really enjoyable.

My Tai Chi is less enjoyable at the moment. Part of it is due to the fact that we are about 2/3 done with the long form and I am too impatient to actually wait and finish the form. The other reason is that I am always rushed to make it in time, which I often don’t. So my increased work load and long commute don’t help. Overall I hope that I will have enough stamina to finish the form and take it from there.

On Saturday, now this week was very social, we met good friends in Dulwich Village. We went to the Piaf where the food was great. However, prices and service were not as good as the first impression of the place suggested. It was a great Autumn day, very warm and muggy, and we had great fun with our friends. Colin behaved and was passed around which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Today I managed to get rid of the last vegetables. It was a failure to grow broccoli and courgettes and for next year, we might not grow many veggies at all.

The garden, the boy and many other take up a lot of time. Time, I personally have less and less of.
I realised that writing the blog becomes a shore, that I don’t enjoy being on Twitter as much, hardly have time for Facebook and that I hardly get enough time to myself, my family or hobbies.

Hence, you might notice a slow down in my online activities. My first priority for the remainder of the year is to make sure that my job is progressing the way I want and gives me the stability and security I need for the family.
To ensure that I have to work beyond 9-5; whilst I enjoy doing that I need to see the outcome. And I do, as otherwise I wouldn’t do it. I am confident the hard work will pay off towards the end of the year.

Until then I want to prioritise. My blog will take a 2nd priority and will mostly be ad hoc stuff and of course my Sunday column to keep you up to date.

I would almost consider this phase a reconsolidation – I cut everything possible down to focus on what I consider the most important thing. And, once that is becoming a routine, I will add other pieces to my life again accordingly.

Hope that makes sense.

Oh, and before I forget, don’t forget to sponsor me, I look silly and would hope to make money with that Volker’s Tacheback Profile.

Sunday Colum (28)

This week started off with a lazy Monday bank holiday. It was great to have such a long weekend, however I went back to a rather busy week.

I am settling in well in my job now (I find anyway) and things are getting momentum. Before I know it, it’s Christmas. By the way Christmas, it feels like autumn already, getting colder everyday and very windy. And no grapes yet on our wine plants πŸ™

My boy is now 3 months. It is amazing to think that it was only yesterday that he arrived and he has grown so much. We spend some great time together this week, so mummy could go to the hairdresser, go out etc. Very enjoyable.

However, now that he starts sleeping at night, I got a cold. Just when I thought I got my energy back, it went right down below normal due to the evil man-flu! man flu Hopefully it will be gone again soon. I spent most of the weekend drinking juice, whiskey, lemsip, and eating garlic & chili. Fingers crossed.

My efforts to live without wine are going well. I made up with a nice rounds of ales on Wednesday meeting friends. Also, I had a whiskey drinking session via the phone on Friday night with a good friend. So, I make up by swapping drinks πŸ™‚

My moustache is growing too. My wife hates it but I love it. Not really but for charity it is all worthwhile. I don’t have any pictures, so maybe next week.

To be honest, this is it. Just a normal busy week with a bad bad cold and no sympathy πŸ™‚

More next week.
Have a good one,
Volker