Author: Volker Ballueder

My 2020 plans – what are yours?

I have been debating what 2020 has in stock for me. Of course we don’t know, and we will never be able to live anywhere else than the here and now. But if I had a wish for 2020, I’d like it to continue the way 2019 ended. As people know, I left what we call a ‘permanent’ job in order to pursue my passion: working on projects I enjoy and where I am in charge, where I can make a positive difference. I found a few of them. One in the data space working with very talented data enthusiasts on exciting projects. This actually is the most enjoyable job in adtech I ever had. My mindfulness journey lead me to work with another company called Moment Pebble. Their aim is to revolutionise the way we are being more mindful at work and life, reducing stress and becoming more skilful around mindfulness. This goes in line with my latest course I took. I am super excited to scale that business and bring more of the skills around our pebble to the masses, and I will deliver my first Workplace Mindfulness course from early January. Lastly, I work on a few

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Mental Health, Mindfulness and the Workplace

Since finishing my Mindfulness Trainer course and preparing my first deliveries for January, I often get asked if I can solve Mental Health issues. The answer is ‘no’, as I am not a therapist. When you get asked what mental health is, I bet you say something like ‘it’s a disease or illness of the mind’. But is it? For me that sounds really bad. An illness, a disease. Wow. But, you aren’t wrong, and often we put it down to stress, or someone not being able to cope. But mental health, and I need to stress again that I am not a health professional, can be anything from a mood disorder like depression and bipolar disorder, anxiety, personality and psychotic disorder. It can result in eating disorders, trauma related disorders and lead to substance abuse. I looked that up, admittedly, as I didn’t want to miss out on anything. This is huge. Let’s just take a moment and reflect on the extend of those disorders, and what it means to you and people around you. I openly admit having had anxiety. Yes, that is very common, but up until a few years ago, people didn’t talk about it. Most

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A no brainer, why health is so important for all of us

When I interviewed Payal Mehta on my podcast, the owner of Nirmana Life, I became very thoughtful. Years ago, I quit chain smoking and started looking after my health. I understood how and what to eat, and how to lose weight. As a matter of fact, I lost almost 10 kg at one point, a great achievement. Yet, when it comes to the ‘doctor’ kind of things, it is a bit different. I am not a doctor, I don’t understand all the ins and outs, but I understood what Payal tried to tell us in the podcast, Stories of Success. We are all living a lot longer, however we all have more chronic illnesses. So whilst our quantity of life goes up, the quality of life might go down. And the challenge we have is that our Western medicine isn’t geared up to treat chronic illnesses, but it is more geared towards dealing with acute illnesses. Chronic illnesses are better treated with traditional medicine and on a preventative basis, as well as holistically looking at your physical, mental and spiritual health. Whilst of course there are several factors influencing this, and some of those conclusions might be wrong for some

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Smart Devices & why I ditched my Apple Watch (kind of)

I have been mulling whether to get the Apple Watch 4, or is it series 5 already, for a few weeks. And my decision has been to not get it. I looked at what I used the watch for, and realised it is all about fitness tracking. Quite frankly, that’s why I got it in the first place. It measures my heart rate, which I hardly check whilst exercising, and it gives me my measure of calories burned. Now, I can achieve that with a Fitbit (recently bought by Google, what a surprise), and I can achieve that with a smart ring. So instead of ditching my Apple Watch completely, I keep it for my outdoor runs and added a smart ring to my gadget list. The ring measures my steps, my heart rate and my sleep. Actually, my sleep app on my phone is as accurate as the ring, but it never harms to have too many devices measuring the same thing, does it? My overall aim was to simplify my life, not make it more complicated. Hence, adding a ring instead of a watch, makes my life a little bit easier. Whilst I cannot really charge it overnight,

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How you can shift your mindset to win!

As I am sitting here just watching Eliud Kipchoge breaking the 2 hour barrier for running a marathon, I am looking back at history and what mankind can achieve when they put their mind to it. It is amazing, isn’t it. When are we landing on Mars? It is also what gets me up in the morning. The drive to help people achieve the goals they want. Coaching, advising, helping others. That’s my passion. What is it I am doing? I advice executives and boards on their company, personal life and coach them to change teams, staff and themselves to be better and more productive. That is what I do. For Q4 I still have 3 individual or about 2 company places available. Now is the time to reach out and hatch plans for 2020. The results I have seen with clients so far are amazing. Get in touch on www.ballueder.com. I also teach mindfulness, meditation and help companies to embrace a better way of working. It’s change management, mindset change. Just like breaking a 2 hour barrier on the marathon. That’s something I have been passionate about for many years, being able to work flexible, take breaks, and bring

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What is your agenda 2020? How can Coaching help you?

For those of us that have been around for a while, you might remember the EU member states agreeing on the agenda 2020, looking at principles, priorities and approaches for their youth policy strategy. Now, with the year coming to an end, you should think about what your agenda is for 2020, and how coaching might benefit your strategy. I have been involved in personal development since the early naughties, gaining a Master Practitioner in NLP in 2003 and subsequently dismissing EQ (Emotional Intelligence) as a fad in 2004 during my MBA thesis. I thought both approaches were common sense, being aware of yourself, striving for being better and having a growth mindset. Always giving your best and defining your goals, reviewing them and making plans. This, as I know now, looking back at 15 years working in a corporate career and with technology start ups, isn’t the case. People don’t apply common sense, not every manager is emotional aware, and yes, I have seen printers and fax machines being thrown through the office. It is time to understand what the workplace really needs! Hence, after coaching teams, executives and advising businesses and boards on strategic positioning and outcomes for

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About Principles for Success (4)

I have a few more chapters I want to share of my book Principles for Success. So if you haven’t bought and read my book, have a look at it. And feel free to tune into stories of success on any podcast outlet or www.storiesofsuccess.fm We discuss life-life balance, realising that work-life balance doesn’t work, given we are spending more time at work than with our family. Maybe it is just a phrase but the underlying thought is that you only have one life. Why divide it between work and life, if you can combine the two. My prediction is that the way we are working is changing in the future. And we discuss visualisation. Did you know that the brain can’t necessarily differentiate between the real experience and a good visualisation? This is a huge thing for athletes who go through a run or a swim over and over again. Just to get the brain and body to think you have done it. I did that for my marathon and it helps. Try it! You would have guessed that mindfulness and meditation foster success, whether that is through journaling, reflection or whatever it means for you. I found that

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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

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About Principles for Success (2)

Today I wanted to share a few more chapters of my book Principles for Success. Thanks for the overwhelming feedback and ‘likes’ on social media so far. Please continue to share the book and buy it of course :-). I have had, and many of those I interviewed, mentors all my life. From early in school to business. They help you to achieve your success, and similar to coaches, give you an external opinion. They are trusted advisors. Having mentors and guidance in building a business, helps you to be more successful. Learn from those who have done it before you. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Good coaches know of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic-Programming), allowing for modelling behaviour. This can really accelerate things. But also learn from your team, be good in delegating, a good team player and trust in your team and people. Be a compassionate and empathetic leader, someone with a high EQ (Emotional Intelligence). Trust is such an important topic. One want to trust the leadership to get the business where it needs to be. Or, as Jim Rohn says, and I mentioned this in most episodes, surround yourself with the right people, as you are only as good

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Launching my book Principles for Success (1)

I can officially announce the launch of my book. I want to be honest on my blog here, I am quite chuffed to have achieved that. Yes, I wrote a book before, but juggling a full time job, family and writing a book on the back of a podcast….but it can be done. It is down to time management, discipline and routines. Latter you heard over the years, and it is mentioned in both of my books. After interviewing 40 people in 18 months of my podcast Stories of Success, I am delighted to summarise what I have learned in terms of What makes you successful. Thanks again to all my podcast guests for sharing their stories. I name them all in the book! In the next few days and weeks, I want to share those principles in short videos. You can find them on my LinkedIn feed, Facebook or Instagram. The first few chapters are about understanding and identifying your WHY, the why of your business and what it means to you. Understanding yourself and what drives you on. It is such a fundamental question to ask. We then solve the question if money means success. A question I

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