Volker’s blog

Welcome to my personal blog. I have been writing this blog for over 15 years, and love sharing my views of the world. I work as sales and strategy consultant, career and leadership coach, and offer mindfulness trainings. I also host a podcast on success, wrote a bestselling book and published an online coaching course on how to #BeBetter. Feel free to follow the links on the left-hand side, or reach out to me directly! This is my personal ‘blurb’ which at times is a rant, other times just a philosophical point of view. Please let me know if you enjoy reading it.

Living in a new world – Days at home (53)

53 days. That makes it….almost 8 weeks. Monday we go into week 9 of lockdown. However, I get the feeling that business is picking up again this week. Why?

Simple, people are returning to work. The ‘wfh’ worked realise that this is the new normal, and that over time they will return to the office at least for part of their week.

Garden Centres are opening across the country:

It feels like spring is in the air, as people start acting ‘normal’ again and come out and meet others – if at distance. Now all I need is more work coming through. But it all looks promising and hopefully this is the sign of a quick recovery.

How are the kids?

Good, with the anticipation of going back to school in 2 weeks time (older one) and needing more support (younger one), we are trying hard to make it as best as possible. Changes from Monday have helped us getting through the week.

It has been a busy week, a good week, an odd week at times.

Let’s start looking forward, let’s make it happen and let’s stay safe.

Best wishes for the weekend,
Volker

Living in a new world – Days at home (52)

Hey, how are we all doing?

It seems, given recent discussions, that the world is slowly returning to the new normal. April was a write off, and we are now going back to new normal, a normal of working from home, schools and services resuming, if slowly.

What are we missing, and what am I up to?

Actually, let me share a video I shared earlier on this week on social media and earlier today on FB/IG. It’s an update about me, but also about my most recent podcast.

My podcast focuses a lot around stress management and prevention, as well as burnout prevention. Why?

It’s simple, so many of us are stressed. What does the future hold? What is going to happen? Stress becomes anxiety, becomes depression, leading to burnout. It’s not conclusive, but it might happen. I don’t want that to happen to anyone, and so far have avoided it for myself. Having said that, I publish a podcast soon which actually defines burnout in a way where I identified I was a few years ago. It’s time to talk openly about it, hence I was very pleased to welcome Sean Betts on the podcast to talk about his experience. Let’s remove the stigma.

As you can see it also talks about my personal development course #BeBetter. It is designed to identify your values and underlying drivers, your purpose and goals, for you to achieve success and become better, to achieve your dreams, to improve your productivity.

Maybe something you or someone who has been furloughed might benefit from?
We should all do those exercises and #BeBetter and understand ourselves. That’s what it is designed for.

Enough of a self promotion. But I just come out of a discussion with my agency to promote the course and see the uptake on it. Great stuff, keeping me busy 😉

Have a good one and speak tomorrow.

Best,
Volker

Living in a new world – Days at home (51)

Wednesday already. This week is passing quickly. That’s good, right?

I watched ‘A Hidden Life’ last night, a 3 hour movie. I don’t normally like long movies, but it was a very good, very intense movie, which I also recommend to anyone given the time you have on your hands 😉 That’s of course if you do.

I managed to sign up for another coaching course which helps me coaching stress and burn out prevention. A topic I am interested in, and you hear a lot on my podcastpodcast recently.

The boys had a good day today actually. They seem to engage well, and the mood is great. Just something (good) in the air, not sure, but things seem to lighten up. Fingers crossed.

I kind of love some good music videos. This one was shared in a popular sales newsletter by Revcelerate (Thanks Phil!) and I thought I re-share it. Times like these, ey?

I am sure I have more pictures again tomorrow. We have been on our daily walks in the country side and things seem more normal. All good I suppose, and things are moving, aren’t they.

Yet, there is a lot to sort out still.

But we will get there. Of course we will.
Never ever give up!

Stay safe!

Living in a new world – Days at home (50)

I promised some thoughts on our PM’s message. I am two ways about it. Given I am not a healthcare professional, it is hard to believe we might not go back to a ‘normal’ lifestyle until 4th of July, America’s independence day. Just saying.

But hey, what needs to be done, needs to be done. Most of us won’t go on holidays this summer, so work will hopefully pick up quickly from August. An article I shared this morning, from the FT, suggest it might be a quick return for the economy. Let’s hope so.

I am hopeful, however, that things will return quickly and enthusiastic about the new normal. It means more working from home, and potentially more opportunities but delivered differently – if that makes any sense. And, of course, I feel for hospitality and pubs, and the general public (which includes me) that cannot be in the pub when the sun is out – what happened to the Great British Summer? Safety, and protecting lives has to take priority. And that’s the right decision, no doubt.

Enough about politics. More rules in our household.

Similar to most parents I spoke to, kids are using the time in between studies, or should I say in between video games, to play video games. There isn’t enough home schooling material and more time is spent on devices. Unless you have a home schooling parent, but in our case my wife is back at work more often, and I am busy. Hence, I had to come up with a new structure of the work/school day to limit video gaming and make sure the overall aim of schooling and learning wouldn’t be cut too short. Let’s see how this goes.
It is very challenging to juggle it all, but we get through that. The oldest might be back to school as early as in 3 weeks time. Fingers crossed.

Below are a few impressions. We keep up our daily walks, enjoy the South Downs National Park, and good company. We are happy, which means a lot, and we are confident, which means a lot too. Life is good, given the circumstances, and we will get through this. Together!

Living in a new world – Days at home (49)

49 days. 7×7 = 49. Week 7.

Let’s start with some impressions from the weekend. Glorious sunshine on Friday and Saturday, saw us getting some fun times in 😉 I started the long weekend with a long overdue catch up via Zoom with my uni friends. A few beers got the weekend off in style. I enjoyed the bank holiday weekend being on a Friday. We – socially distancing – spent the day on the street, chatting with neighbours, and celebrating VE Day. What a laugh.

Above’s pictures include the new shelf/desk for the living room. Not planned to get this for home working, we ordered it prior to the pandemic and the delivery date got pushed back. The original plan was to have the main computer sitting in the living room to a) have more control of the boys, and b) free up space in the spare bedroom AKA my office. Given the home working situation, and home schooling situation, we probably keep the current set up until the boys return to school. Once they do, it will mean we get more space in the spare bedroom abandoning a desk, but also using the bigger desk top on my desk….in other words, I upgrade my office. I cannot wait 🙂

Anyway, the announcements from our prime minister about easing the lock-down are still settling in. Maybe I write about that tomorrow.

Stay safe, be well.

Living in a new world – Days at home (45)

Yes, it is Friday – sort of!

We are back on Monday 😉

I had a busy week. I am good at keeping myself busy, but besides the launch of my online coaching courseonline coaching course, I have been designing banners, making marketing plans, learning things and having great conversations. However, I did manage a few 5 pm finishes, and enjoyed the sunshine, some walks and socials.

I put one podcastpodcast live this week where we talk anxiety, depression and burnout. I recorded another one with an amazing woman from Germany about stress and burnout. It’s a hot topic, for the wrong reasons unfortunately, but a topic I am a) interested in and b) want more people to talk about.

The boys have been better. The lockdown has an impact on them, and I hope we get more freedom from next week. Fingers crossed.
Kudos to my wife for being just super awesome! She isn’t a bread baking person (that’s down to me), but she is great in engaging and entertaining the boys individually, helping with the home work etc. Super proud (of course!).

We also got a shelf delivered we ordered early February – things just take longer atm. Pictures to follow.

So not much new stuff, just turning over one page at a time, plugging away at things.

Enjoy, as much as you can, a great bank holiday weekend. Speak Monday.

Over and out,
Volker

Living in a new world – Days at home (44)

Does it sound silly when I would say that we needed a long weekend. It’s not that the boys are too busy with their learning or one day doesn’t blend into the other… it is more that we need days to not strive but to let go, to not worry. That’s what weekends are about.

This week was quite intense tbh. A few things sorted, a few things moving. The online course, advertising, conversations, …. full on.

During the week I balance work commits, personal projects, marketing activities, networking and job hunting. On top of that I add childcare, walks, family time, and cooking, shopping, and house work. Most of that is shared with my wife, but she will get busier again too.

In short, it is a lot to juggle.
We feel it. We all feel it.
We are tired, worn out and need a break. From each other, from being locked in, from not being able to do the things and strive for what we want to do.

I wonder how others feel.
At least we got a nice country side to go for walks in, and a garden, and enough food, and everything to live for.

Given our circumstances, we are doing well. We are grateful for what we have! Don’t get this wrong. But I do need a good moan sometimes too.

We get through this. This shall pass!
We are fine, and it is ok for us to say we are struggling.

I encourage you to say and admit when you are struggling. Let it out, and share it. Like I do.
Things are hard and not easy at the moment. We are all in the same boat.

Stay positive, we are getting through this. The long weekend isn’t far away. Let’s make it happen and get through this together.

And we will. You must believe, and stay positive, and look for the little wins in the day. The nourishing activities, the walks, the bits that are ‘normal’, and the precious moments with the family; the human connection.

Stay safe, and stay well.

Love and kindness,
Volker

Living in a new world – Days at home (43)

Tuesday. Already.

A shorter week this week, and the kids seem to be ok. Going out for our walks, entertaining them, watching the Hobbit, and laughing a lot. We are ok!

I launched my online coaching course yesterday. That kept me busy. Today was more of a an ‘admin’ or catch up day. The rest of the week seems fairly busy, with the anticipation of finally getting back to ‘normal’ from next week. Fingers crossed.

Below’s picture might not capture the mood or the scene 100%. However, it is a picture of a church in Clayton, a small village close to where we live. Walking across the meadows, surrounded by sheep, looking at this old institution and beautiful building.

For me it captures history. How church had its place for centuries, supporting the community. Yet, whilst I am not into any kind of religion, the buildings and the institution will survive me. They remind me of a time when I was going to church, over 30 years ago. It will be part of anyone’s DNA growing up in Germany, a country dominated by the Christian belief.

Hence this picture captures childhood memories, steadiness, progression, peace and tranquility in uncertain times for me.

This too shall pass. It might pass like a kidney stone but it will pass.

I saw that quote the other day and had to laugh. We are going to be ok. We always have been, and we always will be. We will continue to dream, to form and shape our present, preparing for the future, and yes, we will look back one day and wonder what it was all about.

Living in a new world – Days at home (42)

Day 42. Week 7.

I finally launched my online coaching course today. I really hope it helps people to discover their true values, purpose and mission in lifediscover their true values, purpose and mission in life. The time is now to explore and identify what you really want to do in life.

It’s a project that kept me busy for the past 6 months, and one of the reasons I focused on part-time / contract work. I hope this course not only offers value, but it will transform your life. If it does, please recommend it to others too.

As of an update: the weekend was busy. With rainy weather, we focused on indoor activities, including finishing this 1000 piece puzzle of approximately 200 VW camper vans. That was fun 😉 I also listened to a lot of Tim Ferris podcasts.

The boys enjoyed watching the Hobbit.

I also updated this blog template a bit, and will change some of my websites over the coming months. Change is good, it is constant.

Now, this week, I am curious how Boris will get us out of the lockdown, and then full steam ahead. All I need is a new job I suppose.

Have a great week,
Volker

Living in a new world – Days at home (39)

It’s always a long day when you had a glass too many. But that’s fine, the day flew past in the end being busy and in calls most of the day. To be honest, the whole week passed very quickly which is good.

I am hopeful that, as promised by our PM, we will see a plan next week to come out of lockdown, and that it will start week after next. Whilst I am not an expert, that is what I am wishing and hoping for.

This charming picture of me will be the ‘normal’ I think. That’s me going to the supermarket, to work, commute – whenever I go outside really. FaceID on my phone and iPad is overrated I suppose.

Let’s see what happens…..

Anyway, I promised an update on the kids. Another few zoom sessions for the little one, and some more help from us concluded a busy week for them. It’s not easy, and it’s great to see them getting along so well, playing and entertaining each other. Even I have a Roblox and Minecraft account now.

Let’s hope they all go back to school again soon and end up having more time with their mates.

Have a fantastic weekend, stay safe.