Tag: 2011

Sunday Column (148)


I hope you started the New Year off well. All the best for 2012.

Let’s continue with my 2011 review rather than trying to predict anything for 2012 and tell you that I want to loose more weight, eat healthier and spend more time with the family….

Half time – July saw our first family holiday to the New Forest. Whilst only for a week it was great to get out. I gave up on my “precious moments” posts. Google+ launched, I went to Germany, and did a whole lot of things in one month. Going through the archive, this has been a busy month with on average 1 blog post a day!

In August I gave up drinking. Also, I was bored and thought a lot about my life and directions. I love those months where you have time for doing that. The thought sticking in my mind is that some people just come into your life for a reason, for a limited time or forever. One other highlight of what we did was to join MyDaddyCooks at a show at London Bridge.

September kick started the season of shows. dmexco in Germany and ATS (Ad Trading Summit) in London showed that RTB (real time bidding) is the future of online marketing. A joy to be part of this development and I am grateful to be in the position I am in. The following months have seen publications and thoughts from myself about the industry, RTB and what is there to come. I feel confident and joyful in the field of RTB and see much growth – I am very excited for 2012….at the very latest. When RTB becomes the only measurement and booking technique for media, then things will clearly take off. Onwards and upwards.

October – autumn. We went to Germany. It was a great trip and I enjoyed driving as much as you could enjoy driving. However, it was our last trip with our car as it ended in us needing a new transmission. You can read the ongoing rants about KwikFit who turned out to be quite good in accommodating our costs, and the hiccups we had on the way. However, the car was not to be saved, and maybe should have never been driven to Germany in the first place. But as things happen, they happen. And we have been without a car ever since. I am sure we get a new one next year but I am not sure yet. I don’t miss a car, and I don’t think it is very important to us either. But it would be a lot more convenient. We shall see, I have my eyes on a few models like the Ford Galaxy, the Mercedes Benz R350 or the Chrysler Voyager. And, of course I could imagine getting another Volvo XC90. Why not. I loved that car.

November saw me being promoted to a new job at work. I took on the responsibility for three offices in total: Italy, Spain and the UK. I am really doing a dual role as Managing Director in the UK and VP International Sales. But I enjoy it and help is on its way for 2012. I enjoy the travel and getting away from the family, my day to day job and London for a day or two a week. Of course I don’t like the extra burden I put on my wife and leaving her with the kids. But in all honesty, it is usually one night I am away which doesn’t count for much less time away than being stuck in the office for 2 or 3 evenings a week. It surely made November pass very quickly.

Will 2012 be that bad? I hope not!
Will 2012 be that bad? I hope not!

December. What should I say? We got fibre optic broadband, a new stereo and a new bed. All well planned for Christmas and in unison with our plans that we potentially have to move next year to get Colin into a better school in 2013. Another year came to an end. I managed to have a few 30 days challenges, lost 3 kg lately and made it under 100kg again. I still want to get into a routine of exercise if Rohan sleeps through the night. I still want to write my book “my life” at some point. My life moved into the clouds and Steve Jobs got me hooked on Apple from his grave – yes this year has changed me and admittedly Steve was a great influence.

We got curtains this year, we cleared the loft, we painted the fence, we lost our car, we had our 2nd son, we didn’t win the lottery but a few quid, and I re-potted the plants. Life was just normal. We got more toys, got rid of old ones and trying to stay on top of the boys, sorting out routines, doing a good job, being a good mum and dad, and we are trying to contribute our bit to society. We are living the dream 🙂

In January I wrote about 2011: “I want to do more sports. I know I have to incorporate exercise in my daily routine, lose weight, get fit, get rid of my back pain and get fit again. Not only for me but also for the kids.
I have to stop overeating, stop smoking cigars and stop drinking alcohol altogether. The hang over this morning was the worst this year, so I might as well stop for the next 12 months. I instead will meditate every night, practise Tai Chi, and be a good boy.
And most days, I will just live. Just eat, drink and sh* as normal.”

I guess that is it. 2012. Yes, the Olympics are in town. I will be travelling a lot more with work. We probably buy and move into a new house. God knows where I write my review for the coming year. And if I do. But I didn’t want to get morbid 😉 But seriously, does anyone know what life will bring for us? Let’s do the best in order to live as long as possible and necessary for our kids. And, let us enjoy Christmas parties like this year with the whole family getting together. Those are getting rarer. Let’s embrace the single moments. The here and now.

I look forward to this year.

And now, just imagine for a short moment, that we had lived on Mars. Not only would we have to wait over another 300 days before we could celebrate our next year, we also would have only been in the middle of this one. Weird ey?

Whatever comes, let us embrace life.

All the best to you and your family for 2012.
Volker & family

Sunday Column (147)


Another year. Another 12 months, 365 days or 8,760 hours of life. How lucky are we? Many people didn’t survive the past 12 months for whatever reasons. Steve Jobs of course comes first to my mind as he had a huge impact on me this year. Or Vaclav Havel who died just a week ago. I was lucky, no family member or close friend passed away.

But life is not about the ones that died but about what you experienced and what you learned and of course what you are going to make out of it. Positive outlooks, the now and the future. Let’s not be morbid but full of joy and look at what 2011 brought us…and ultimately what 2012 might have in stock for us.

January saw the last month of Jen’s pregnancy. A time, as everyone could imagine, that is full of emotions, tears, fun, and a toddler that can be annoying at times. Not only did I write my 100th Sunday Column, I also wrote about Cancer and Death in the same month. Are we back to the morbid topics? No, the post about that I may die today was a Buddhist thought on that you should live a great live and a compassionate life to the day of your death, reminding you that death could happen any day. And, that you shouldn’t worry about it but embrace the thought that it might be today. A comforting thought I think.

February was all about positive stuff and LIFE. Rohan was born. A few posts about happiness but also focusing on my work. We got a new member of staff and despite me being off I had to spend a lot of time working from home. I felt a lot of pressure at work that time and over the whole year. Lots of changes but overall this year was fantastic. For 2012 I can only see more and better growth. A stronger team. I cannot wait. But back to Rohan – he is now over 10 months and I can hardly imagine how he turned out to be the way he is. I was carrying him in the hospital: a fragile baby with a bony bump – a wee little tiny parcel. And now he has this cheeky smile, crawls around and cannot get enough attention, competing for it with his older brother. Life has been so good to us and seeing them both now, you wouldn’t think that Rohan had a very hard and dangerous time just after he was born. Thank who you need to thank for healthy children.

March was about coffee, no sleep and of course Iceland. I finally made it to Iceland on a trip where I spoke at a conference. Hopefully I go again next year but I haven’t heard, and March will be very busy with other conferences in other exciting countries. As with all “first baby month”, this one just passed. With probably around 7 hours sleep on average – per week 🙂

April saw me turning 34. My aim to become Managing Director before I was 35 had been fulfilled. How fantastic. Now I put my next challenge out: to be CEO or at least having one or two non-executive director positions before I am 40. We shall see what the future holds. Anyway, I got my netbook in April. I am still happy with it. A bit slow, and maybe I would prefer a tablet with keyboard now instead of a netbook but I wasn’t ready then. So still a good investment. The iPad is coming when version 3 comes out next year.

May – looking at the history of the blog and my notes: a very normal month. Nothing special happened. I had time to tell the world that it was me who invented Facebook. But I am still to receive Mr. Zuckerberg’s cheque 😉

June came with more changes at work. Personally and privately this month was similar to May. I believe you get to this saturation point, particularly if you live of little sleep, where you just live. You are happy in your routine and you just do as you are told. Life is just normal. A few thoughts about life, some about dreams but nothing that will ever change the world.

Now, these were the first 6 months of 2011. I’ll post the next 6 months next week. I thought a marathon blog post on Christmas day might just be a little too much to read whilst you are sitting under the tree, stuffed with turkey, having a wee zip of wine or whisky.

Have a great Christmas holiday!
Volker & Family

Happy New Year Column – 2011

Another year. More goals. More reviews and more expectations. WTF – why not just carry on as it is?

A year ago I wrote:

“… I imagine sitting here in 12 months time, reflecting on 2010. Wouldn’t it be nice to say that I successfully launched a new company in the UK market, that my wife gave birth to a second child, that all of my family is healthy and that I managed to work on my personal development, also had time to give something back by supporting a charity. Maybe these are modest goals, but that is all I wish for.”

Now, here I am. 12 months on. I successfully launched a new company in the UK market, my wife is about to give birth, everyone is well, but I was short of one thing last year: T-I-M-E. And, I don’t think it is going to change in 2011.

Of course, 2011, I want to do more sports. I know I have to incorporate exercise in my daily routine, lose weight, get fit, get rid of my back pain and get fit again. Not only for me but also for the kids.

I have to stop overeating, stop smoking cigars and stop drinking alcohol altogether. The hang over this morning was the worst this year, so I might as well stop for the next 12 months. I instead will meditate every night, practise Tai Chi, and be a good boy.

Dear all, you know me. If I want to do something, I will. And I will make it independent from a day in the diary. Of course, the main priority for 2011 is to have another healthy child, a good birth for mother and child and find a new routine with 2 kids. That is the Q1 forecast for me.

Q2 should see the growth of the boys, and hopefully a new routine for daddy to actually start doing some exercise again. Not because he wants to lose weight but because his body is aching. And that needs to stop.

From Q3 we should see an increase in travel and visits to and of friends, including weddings and later early Q4 a Reinhard Mey concert in Germany. The year is expected to phase out with a strong discussion about our future, place to live and opportunities for work and live. Where will we build this house where we settle, or will we ever….

December 2011. I will be sitting here, calling it the “New Year Column – 2012”, talk about sports (like the Queen did in her Christmas speech) and think about the Olympics coming to London. I will be dreading the thought of tripling the amount of people in the uberfull underground. Hence goals in Q4 🙂

Is life that simple? In between I have my stepping stones. Playing more with the kids, spending more time with the family, seeing more friends, giving Jenny more time to herself, travelling with work, earning more money, paying off more of the mortgage, not getting sick, being a good dad, being a good manager, being a good coach…….

And most days, I will just live. Just eat, drink and sh* as normal. To be honest, I don’t have any goals for 2011. But I wish it will be a good year. I wish your dreams come true and you are having a good time. You achieve a lot, being able to give a lot and spend a lot of time with your family. Because that is important. I remind myself daily of it. And will continue to do so in 2011.

I just want to continue to be happy and healthy. And, I would like to find more inner peace.

We wish you all a Happy New Year!