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 (58)

Hump Day, and you know what….I just realised it is half term next week.
That means, that this week is my last week of daily blogs.

Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the writing and still do, actually one of my key strengths is writing. That would explain why I have written two books so far 🙂 But seriously, what turned out to be a project for the boys and me, turned into a chore for me at some point.

9 weeks of lockdown for the kids, and counting for the youngest.
10 weeks since I have been to London.

Now, I have enjoyed writing this blog. On some days anyway 😉
Maybe I manage a weekly post moving forward, until we are truly out of this. But no promises!

60 posts. That’s a bit isn’t it. I hope you enjoyed reading about my feelings and thoughts. And how it all went with the family. Actually, that’s more than a year worth of Sunday Columns back in the days 🙂

This week for instance, I was hoping for less work. A bit more focus on the family. But far from it. Maybe I just create too much work for me, or maybe I have too many plans. Whatever it is, there is so much more I want to do.

Yet, I am still looking for one thing, and need your help. Please reach out to me with some ideas. A hobby.

I discussed that with someone on a call this week who discovered gardening for himself. Something practical (e.g. not another blog, podcast or online course), yet not too complicated, maybe not too detail oriented. I love building my Revel models, but I also hate them. Maybe I just stick to those, but maybe something bigger I could build. Restore an old motorbike, but I don’t have space in the garage. Lock picking was suggested before, hmm 🤔

If anyone has any ideas, please let me know. I have learned a lot more about cooking recently and enjoy it, but besides me, vegetarian isn’t the cuisine of choice in our household.

Anyway, those are my Wednesday thoughts. The boys would spend all day on their computer games, yet actually listen well and have been really good.

Nothing to complain about.

And the sun is out!

Stay safe,
Volker

Living in a new world – Days at home (57)

A day blends into another. Last minute changes to campaigns, learning about WordPress, getting on with a job, finishing a project.

Life doesn’t stop. It never does and always goes on. A bit like a treadmill.
I am just preparing for my 3rd half marathon of the lockdown and managed 15K yesterday.
We managed to get our walk done last night and met a very friendly sheep, or lamb to be precise. Life is good in those moments.

I wonder what happens post pandemic. Articles by McKinsey and the FT, and the article in the Independent I quoted yesterday, give me hope that things return to a new normal quickly, and that we rebound quickly from the crisis. Germany seems to be.

I hope this happens soon, and that maybe we can carry on a bit longer to follow our dreams, to live the life we wanted to be living. Then again one seeks security, new opportunities and a balance of the lot. What I am alluding to is, indeed, the new normal. The drive to succeed, to overcome, to make it happen. And, the willingness to take risks and to start all over again. Exciting and scary at the same time.

I worry about mental health. It is mental health awareness week.
I published content this week on Linkedin which shows the impact of Covid19 on mental health. We are ok, and I hope the boys will be ok. One doesn’t know but I am confident. Yet, we know of people who are more affected. And it is nice to know that I can help, and that I do help, and that mindfulness helps with stress reduction. My stress coaching course I finished today gives me another string to my bow. Stress reduction, anxiety coping and burnout prevention. My generation never talked about it, whilst the Millennial and younger generation does. And it is good that they do.

Speaking to a company the other day, they argued that the reason for them to offer unlimited holidays is that you can take time off when you need it. No one wants you to burn out. I absolutely loved that; no one told me before, when I was close to a burnout a few years ago, that they would actually care about me (from a corporate POV). It’s usually about working hard and playing hard…but it is so re-assuring to see companies changing.

Enough about mental health thoughts for the day.

It’s only Tuesday, but I had some time to share my thoughts.

Stay safe.
Volker

Living in a new world – Days at home (56)

Wow. Welcome to week 9. I sometime wonder, if I had known we were in lockdown that long, would have I committed to a daily blog post?

Sure, I love writing. I love sharing. And, I have time most days to just write a few lines. But not always tbh. But thanks for all the positive feedback.

It’s Monday, a new week. We are coming out of lockdown. It feels like spring is in the air, and I need the industry to kick off some new initiatives now, and recruitment to commence.

What’s the plan? To be honest this week seemed quiet until this lunchtime. It’s good stress, I suppose. Things are moving in the right direction, without me getting any work done.

The boys have been good today, and home schooling is going ok. My wife is at work.

But let’s recap on the weekend. We were allowed out. The boys loved it, and Jenny and I loved it. We drove down to Littlehampton Beach, also called ‘Daddy’s Beach’. Sunshine. Feet in the sea. Long chats and walks. It felt like we are free again, yet social distancing from people. I guess that’s the new normal.

Below are a few impressions if you don’t follow me on Instagram.

I hope you are safe, and I hope you managed to get out a bit this weekend. We had a BBQ too, the weather is getting nicer. So let’s hope this is the beginning of the end of Covid19. An article in the IndependentIndependent suggests the virus will be gone soon. Let’s hope this will happen.

Have a great rest day.
Volker

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