Tag: 2013

Success like it was 2013

As recent as 5 years ago I wrote a PowerPoint with the ‘Top 10 Principles of Success’. I rediscovered them by accident when researching for my latest work on ‘Principles of Success‘. The principles are based on my interviews on my podcast, Stories of Success. A lot of success in there.

So in 2013 I collated the following:

1. Begin with the end in mind, focus on the outcome and make sure you have stepping stones which are like mini goals on your todo list for your big goal
2. Communicate: whether it is active listening or understanding people
3. Think Win/Win: sustainable business and business ethics, trust and belief in building a relationship
4. Have fun, be positive about work and enjoy what you are doing; be passionate
5. Reflection: take time off to relax, calm your mind and meditate
6. Time Management, whilst a topic in itself, made it on the list with planning only 70% of your time and using a trusted system
7. Financial Planning: Taking a calculated risk, be able to live of less than you have, creating a buffer for unexpected expenses
8. Helping, developing and coaching others
9. Having mentors
10. Balancing life and stay fit, looking at hobbies and purpose for yourself in life

Fast forward and the Principles of Success I collated from my podcast are not much different.

Success is …

1. Not all about money
2. About improving the world around you
3. A journey
4. Being lucky
5. About balance
6. Created and helped by visualisation
7. About values
8. About routines
9. About meditation and relaxation
10. About Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
11. Accepting failures and move on
12. Having mentors

Over the next few weeks I will go deeper into my learnings from the podcast and share more examples, a more in depth analysis and more content around each principle.

But I love how over the past 5 years things have not changed that much really.

Old vs. New:

– 1 matches 6
– 2 is somewhat related to 2
– 3 is related to 2, but also to 1
– 4 is underlying in 1,2, 4, and 5 – a lot of my podcast guests mentioned to have fun and enjoy themselves
– 5 matches 9
– 6 matches 8
– 7 isn’t really reflected, if it was then in 11
– 8 matches 2
– 9 matches 12
– 10 matches 5

So you can see that there is a lot of correlation and my new principles are very much a development of the old ones, without having taken the old ones into consideration. So it is nice to see that what I developed 5 years ago is still strong today and supported by my own research via the podcast.

Watch this space for more content around success later in the month.

Have a successful day,

Sunday Column (200)

The 200th Sunday Column. That makes it just under four years. I am happy and proud that I found an outlet by continuing to write this column which started as a blog about personal development, then a personal blurb to now a mixture of thoughts, ideas and my weekly thoughts about life – my blurb I suppose.

It is almost the end of 2012. Maybe a good time to reflect on what happened this year.

Milestones this year were probably in January when work announced that the company was sold to another company. Whilst it didn’t have too much of a direct impact this year, it will have a bigger impact next year. Exciting times ahead and I am happy in the space I am at. Also, we got a new car and after deciding to move away from Beckenham after over 8 years we found a place in Hassocks. We made an offer in January for a new place.


In February a mayor change happened. I split my private and personal phone, sold my HTC Android phone to work and got myself an iPhone. The rest is history. Two iPads and an iMac as well as AppleTV later… Steve Jobs convinced me from his grave, through his biography, that Apple is the way forward. I never looked back and I am amazed to see things just working perfectly together. Oh yes, I still have an iPod too from years ago…. My iPad is my productivity and laptop replacement I couldn’t live without anymore.


I am not sure if anything big happened in March but we were in the process of buying the new house. Things I believe came through in April and despite delays we moved into the new place in June 2012. Something which not only changed our lives but also was the best thing we have done (ever). Better schools for the boys, a proper family home, space, country life, country walks and a commute which helps me to unwind after a long day at work and lets me have lots of time to work and read in the morning. The train line is often a pain but other than that we cannot complain at all. 25 minutes to Gatwick airport, from there into the world.

I turned 35 which could start my midlife crisis any day now 😉 Most of those months, looking back, are a blurr of travelling to mainly Italy, working and sorting out the house. I am sure more happened, like with the kids and getting a treadmill. Funny how certain aspects of life just show through above most others. May was just another month flying past with a trip to Rome and final preparation for the move.




Summing up July, August and September I’d say: we worked on the house. Organising the removal of asbestos, a new front door, window repairs, garden tidying, removal of a shed, a new shed, removal of lots of rubbish, cleaning, new garage ceiling, decorating, new loo downstairs etc. Some didn’t get finished in that time period but closer to the end of the year, however it was a big project to move into that place. But it is ours now and we are happy. What else could we wish for?

My parents, particularly my dad was a great help and sitting here at the end of the year it is amazing to see how much we got done. The summer as most of this year was wet. Pending the next couple of days we might have the wettest year in Britain since records begun.
Oh we also went to a wedding, Colin started school and I injured my back doing weights. We re-homed one of our cats too.






Looking through my calendar there weren’t any big things in October. I believe life just continued in this month. I travelled a bit to Italy, was ill and couldn’t travel to Madrid but on the other hand tried to make an effort to do things with the kids every weekend. Our 5 year anniversary was due. We went for a “posh” country pub diner with live music. A treat for us 🙂

Life has changed so much since we started living together. From DINK (double income no kids) to one income, two kids and a mortgage ;-( I guess we moved from one to four bedrooms in the same time, from city flat to country life. No regrets. I sometimes wonder what the next five or fifteen years bring. I will go with the flow and will patiently wait.

Not sure when it was exactly but this guy doing the free fall from space still fascinates me. I cannot think of his name just now but what he does needs so much mental strength I cannot imagine. I hardly cope with two kids balling around me 😉 Lots of respect to him.


In November I got a bit reflective. Also, it was very cold that month. Maybe a month too early I looked back at this year and realised I put on a bit of a belly, hence I started running again, did my back in over the summer (getting old?) and now I was back to a routine of 5 am run in the garage and weights. Was I at the end of my goals? Is that it? Routine. End of life? Will I do that until I retire?

Certainly not! I have lots of energy left I need to release for good causes, and use my time to achieve more. Let’s see what 2013 has in stock for me. Needless to say that by writing this post, reflecting on this year and re-reading some of my old diaries, I learned a lot. I closed more chapters, wrote a few cards to people that are important to me, and trying to close a few more conversations I had. Yes, a bit sentimental, a bit morbid thinking I need to tell people what I think before I die. Not really running out of time soon I hope. Anyway. Done.

2013 is year which I think will be very important for me. For us. For the family and myself. Both in terms of settling into the new life, but also for me progressing in my career and life ambitions.


December just flew past. A week in the office, a week in Boston and a week full of Christmas parties prior to a two week break. Decembers are like that. Probably a good thing.


Overall a good year. I learned a lot and met a huge amount of new people, in the new place but also through work. Some great influencers and key industry folk. Loving it.

We stayed healthy but my back which improved a lot from October. It is almost where it was. That is without counting various bugs and viruses of course.
We started working out again and getting into a routine to exercise. My belly will eventually go, aim is to be back at an ideal weight around my 36th birthday. Darn, I better get going 😉
We found friends in the new place, and so did the kids. They are settling in well. We do too and have fantastic neighbours. Gladly we stay in touch with our old neighbours who we met again this weekend.

I am very grateful for what we have and how we live. I am blessed with two healthy if handful of boys. I am delighted to share my life with the most amazing, intelligent and beautiful woman ever.

The world didn’t end in 2012. So I am looking forward to add a dog to the family in 2013 (subject to approval by my beloved wife), settle more into our country life (maybe get this Landrover Defender?) and make the job I have the success it deserves. Also I would like to take on some more extracurricular activities. There is a club I might join or find another one that might suit me. We shall see. Loads to do! 2012 with the move and things put me a bit in stealth mode for next year.

BRING IT ON! Onwards and Upwards!!!

All the best to you and your family for 2013.

Love and Happiness from my corner of the world.


Sunday Column (199)

I thought I had overcome the jet lag but when I tried to get up for my 5 am run on Monday I just couldn’t move. Worse I slept the whole train journey into work. On a high side our new family iComputer arrived and it is fantastic. A lovely little toy. And beautiful too.

20121219-073601.jpg There are a lot of things you need to get used to but ultimately it is my wife’s working machine. Future proof I hope 🙂

I often feel a little overwhelmed on a Monday. A lot of people want to know lots of things all the time from you. Particularly if you have been out of the office for a week or so. This is ok but if you have deadlines to meet it can be quite annoying. So I try leaving early on Monday and catch up with the stuff that needs done at home or on the train. Too much information these days. The year end stress of course accelerates things, so I was very glad when it was Friday. Time to chill out for two weeks. Family. Toy story. Christmas I suppose 🙂

Not sure if I will put a goal or wish list together for 2013. I am excited about the opportunities at work. I am excited about Colin starting proper school. I am excited for Rohan to start talking. There is so much life has to offer us. And it is just there to grab and live the moment. I am tired just now (in general at the end of the year) but full of enthusiasm and positive energy for next year. Bring it on, I can take it!

Now, going with the flow, I plan to do some catching up over my holidays. A bit of writing and reading. Running. This week seemed like running wasn’t possible because of tiredness and Xmas parties. I got a massage this weekend which helped me to relax. My muscles are much looser than in the summer when I had my back ache. I got a few plans for the holidays. Spending time with the kids and going down to Sealife in Brighton again. But, going with the flow (this will be my new mantra I think), there is no pressure for anything but to spend time with my loved ones. Look at what kind of family man I become 🙂 I am loving it too.

20121219-074837.jpg You probably heard a lot about sleep and tiredness there but there is one detail I haven’t mentioned: C sleeps through the night. He now wears socks and has a gro clock which shows him stars when he is supposed to sleep and a sun after 7 am for waking time. He loves it. He gets up and is all excited to have seen the sun. Bless. R also, after almost 2 years, sleeps through the night. A bit more food, a bit of crying and off he went. So after two years I seem to get my life and wife back. Catching up with sleep I never thought I would get back.

I believe I survived our Christmas party alright-ish. I was fine to the point I came home and my wife offered me a few zips out of the bottle of wine she had open. So it got later than anticipated and I did feel it a bit the next day. Crimbo drinks with some “industry veterans” the next day were a bit messier but I survived even that. A bit ropey on the Friday but lucky me worked from home as all trains were cancelled into London. Due to a fire in the signaling box along the line trains were cancelled even at the weekend. So that all worked out well, overall a good last week in the office. I am now off until the 7th of January, a proper break.

We got a couple new fish at the weekend too. Some Neon Tetra, two plecos and more catfish. A friend advised me on the right set up of the fish tank, so fingers crossed this all works out.



To be honest, this is concluding the highlights of the week. We are very fortunate and happy. Things are good in our little village and our little home. All set for Christmas. I am sure I will post a picture of a few toys that are meant to be for the boys but I will spend most Christmas Day playing with 😉 Christmas is really for the kids and hence we are more excited for them than for us. We already got our Christmas iPresent this week, so we are all set.

This year has been a bit rocky road. With the move, some changes at work, some changes with the kids. But overall it has been a really good year. It went fast but not too fast. We didn’t manage to catch up with as many friends as we wanted to but you never have enough time for everyone. That is mainly true for the guys living in Scotland or Germany. Having said that we saw a lot of the family this year. The move is probably still the biggest thing that happened. One of the best things that we have ever done. We slowly settling in our little village, found friends and just going with the flow.

Maybe one last comment or thought. I read the other day a quote that went like this: “Just because it is better, doesn’t mean it has value. Value comes from improving people’s lives, not impressing them with your technology.”

I work and sell technology. I try and help people to improve their lives. That is very enjoyable. But sometimes more technology, a better computer, a nicer tablet, another laptop, a faster car or just a bigger TV won’t get you anywhere. Just because things are better than others doesn’t mean you add a lot of value to your life. A 42 inch TV doesn’t add more value than a 32 inch TV. It isn’t about “the longest” or “the biggest”, it is about what value you add using technology. And I am determined that this will always be the case for me. With work and with my private life. Value adding, giving and sharing is so important. And, if we can do that utilising technology to make it better, faster and more valuable for everyone, then this is a good thing. That is why I love technology, embrace Facebook and Twitter.

Enough now. I hope you and your family, wherever you are, have a fantastic, peaceful and happy Christmas and a great break.

Love and Kindness to you all.

Yours, Volker