Tag: jobs

Ballueder Thinks (6) – is it 2021 yet?

Hello again.

This post was started a few weeks ago, as I am reflecting on the first half +1 month of the year. Is it 2021 yet?

Whilst I am not someone who wishes time away, this has been an awful year so far.

I joked with the boys the other day, imagine you go to sleep and wake up, and it is 2021. The world is back to normal and Covid19 never happened. Now, discussing this with other people, there were those thoughts of sleeping pods, where you go in and time travel to the future. Why not?

We still don’t know if the virus was man-made, escaped a laboratory or if it was deliberately released. There are numerous accusations from the US to China, from UK to Russia, and the more I look at it, the more bored I get. Is this virus the result of a modern war fare, a new nuclear bomb, paired with ‘virus’ hacker attacks. Is that showcasing how world war 3 might look like? I am not sure, no one knows, and certainly I won’t. And if anyone in politics is reading this, I just want it to go away and have a more liberated life again. And I don’t give a toss about all those conspiracy theories quite frankly.

What came out of it for me? What did I learn?

I found work wasn’t too disruptive. But I am in working in a digital native industry, a lot of video conferencing and phone calls were the norm before the outbreak. Less face to face meetings are not too bad, and less of a commute too. That means, that we might see a decentralisation of the UK and other countries, as more people move to the country side? That would be good in terms of balancing house prices and all.

It was of course disruptive to my job. I managed, just, but a lot of people were out of their jobs, furloughed, or are still looking for their next adventure. Luckily I am a self starter – falling down 7 times, getting up 8 times – and I have pushed and pushed and hopefully will announce more contract work shortly. Do I still consider full time work? Yes, I wouldn’t not consider any options at the moment, but maybe that’s for another time. I also work on some other exciting ideas. So stay tuned, as always, there is never a dull moment in the Ballueder World.

Getting my hair done the other week was great. My first massage post lockdown was amazing. There are things I missed, and I am very grateful for having them back. And next week I am getting reflexology. My egg deliveries every two weeks are back, and enough delivery slots from Tesco.

But are we out of lockdown yet?

At time of writing, the PM announced that there will be less easing of restrictions, as the virus is spiking. Of course, look at the beaches and pubs, what do you expect? Why would a country suggest to start wearing face masks from a time in the future, if it is safer, it is safer now. Anyway…

There is a lot of talk about a second wave, and another lockdown. There is talk of changing measures. More face masks, more social distancing, but no restrictions going to the pub….our government, IMO, has failed massively in having a clear and concise strategy. I am more than disappointed with the Torries, and the way they handled the crisis. Again, I don’t like to get involved in politics, but it needs to be said.

When Boris first came to power, I hoped it might be ok, him as a CEO pulling the strings of very competent people. The problem is, the people around him are everything but competent, and Boris is directed by Dom Cummings. It makes me angry to see this country going down the hill, and IMO it will get worse with Brexit next year.

It’s like sitting in a car and driving down the road of 2020. As you start worrying about the wall ahead of you, let’s call it Brexit, the wheels of the car come off thanks to Covid. The driver is not able to control the car, and we are about to crash the car = country into the wall. I am frankly scared of that.

We are now in August. We are more than half way through the year. August is a quiet month, so from a work perspective, not much will happen. People are away, working from home or the garden, taking it a bit easier. I thought people would be working harder to make up from things missed during lockdown, but people are tired. I am tired. We need a break, recharge our batteries to recharge the country. That’s what it is.

I have been busy still, up to now, I revamped Ballueder Partners’ website, worked on my positioning, edited meditation recordings and so on. Never a dull moment. I have recorded videos, scheduled content on social media and written thoughts. I have been busy, and will take some time off soon. Even if it is just a day here and there.

To be honest, I have been taking a little bit of time off already. Here and there, a half day here, a day there. I will take more time off during August, as I am recharging. I already repositioned, and it is a constant change out there, and decision making is happening every day. Leadership, walking the talk, and making things happen are what we do. And opportunities are out there. The more I talk to people, the more opportunities I discover. I cannot sit still and do nothing, and I am always seeking to BeBetter.

That’s what I do I suppose. Or as Vishen from Mindvalley says, try to be better by 1% every single day. Just 1% better. That’s 365% in a year. If you can keep that up, you enter 2021 on a high, ready to conquer ‘your’ world.

There is something else to consider with Covid. And this nicely leads me on to some fundraising efforts.

As you might have seen, I am getting closer to the £2,000 for which I run the marathon distance in October – regardless if the London Marathon is on. If you haven’t donated yet, please do so here:

PLEASE DONATE FOR THE RNIB

I wanted to share some facts people might not be aware of, as we taking our sight for granted. Due to Covid19, and I have heard that from a few people that are blind and had difficult experiences:

  • 66% of blind and partially sighted feel less independent now, compared to before lockdown.
  • 80% said the way they shop for essentials has drastically changed, with the number of blind and partially sighted people who feel confident to go shopping independently, reducing by half.
  • 74% are very or quite concerned about getting access to food and 21% have had to ration food.

I have never been blind, and forbid this will ever happen. But if you think for a moment to socially distance in a shop where you are not sure where things are in the shelf, asking for help….. I’d be terrified. And it seem that this is true for people that are used to not seeing too. It must be hard not to go to work, not being independent enough to go to the shop and get what you want. What about bumping into people? The concern for food is even more worrying.

I want to support the RNIB for all of the above reasons!
The RNIB does such a fantastic job supporting those people. And I am committed to support the RNIB to support those in need.

That’s why I went for a gruelling run on Saturday morning; I went early to be fair, avoiding the above 20 degrees. I didn’t feel it and yet went longer than anticipated.

PLEASE DONATE FOR THE RNIB

And if the London Marathon gets postponed, I will run the marathon distance that weekend of the 3rd and 4th of October, and will try to raise even more money for next year. So please give generously.

They deserve it so badly. But I do need your help.

There is so much going on in my life, in anybody’s life. I spoke to someone earlier, that it’s been a weird year, obviously, and that we are all in the same boat. We will get through this and finish 2020 on a high. We must.

We also said that mental health is key for us to bounce back. Anxiety, Depression and other mental health issues would have flourished during Covid and lockdown, and this is scary to think. But the stats from the RNIB are probably true for a lot of other groups too.

Keep it positive, and keep the positive energy going. I am a firm believer that you fall down and get up again. Fall down 7 times, get up 8 times. My life’s motto. We will be alright in the end, and if we aren’t alright, isn’t ’ the end. Giving up is not an option.

That’s why I continue to work on my projects. My podcast is returning in September with a new logo. We are in season 4 and I start recording from next week. I am excited about the guests we lined up so far. People that can help you to make the most of the situation you are in. Coaches, Consultants, Health experts. I have them lined up and will keep you posted.

I am pumped. I am worried, but I am more pumped than worried. Because we, as a nation, as humankind will survive and get through this. Like I get through my marathon running and we will make things happen. Always.

With those words it’s time to stop.

Have a great August everyone,
Volker

Living in a new world – Days at home (30)

Thanks for reaching out to me, those who did, as I was writing about my job yesterday. Yes, I enjoy the creating of the online course – I actually just reviewed the final cuts from the week 1 videos. It is so much fun, and I hope it pays off. It makes me interested in the whole online learning space and technology behind it.

But yes, I am glad I was asked to do more work for a company to build deeper relationships driving sales. When a mate asked me why I enjoy it so much, I explained that whilst I have enjoyed my leadership positions, and management positions, it is nice to be the one owning a number, owning a company and being the sole contributor. I wouldn’t call it less responsibility, but being more in charge of what I do, less reliant on others. In my early sales days I was called a ‘pitbull’, I since learned to let go if there is no deal 😉 It’s muscle memory sometimes, but with experience comes what the German call ‘Fingerspitzengefühl’ – nothing like a good German word. It translates as instinct but it’s not quite the same. Literally it means ‘feeling in the tips of your finger’. Just knowing I guess.

Also, as you get experienced, you value the longer sales cycles. Yes it is more at stake, but it is also more fun, closing the million pound strategic sales deals rather than the transactional small ones. But I am just saying.

It also makes me think what I want to do moving forward. I guess it depends how various industries recover from the crisis, how deep the recession is, and what’s out there. But the more I discuss this with friends, the more I believe it is back into sales.

Anyway. Aren’t we all in sales all the time? It’s also puzzle time at the Ballueders.
We are quite far along, but I thought I share it with you. A great puzzle to do. It even slows me down, and I truly enjoy it.

Quick update on the boys. They are good, and they are happy. The work isn’t sufficient to fill the whole day, but it keeps them busy a significant amount of time.

Have a good one,
Volker

Sunday Column (481)

Spring is in the air. If you listen carefully as you board the early morning train, you can hear the birds singing. Our cats got a lovely mouse I rescued from them, and there is a ‘new beginning’ in the air. I signed another advisory role for a blockchain and ICO/ITO (Initial Coin/Token Offering). This is exciting for many reasons. On the one hand I get to work with some very smart people and on the other hand, I am able to learn a lot from them and the product/offering itself. There is no doubt this part of technology is going to be big, so getting involved early is never a bad thing. Exciting times ahead, and more info will be shared on LinkedIn when appropriate.

So as you can see I keep myself busy. That is essential. It is interesting how weeks evolve and things happening out of nothing and your week just gets a different spin. For example I spoke to a company one day which after only 30 minutes thought I wouldn’t be commercial enough, despite my experience definitely being able to do that. Then just a few hours later I was in knee deep discussions how to help a business to structure their sales and account management team across EMEA. Wowsers. Let’s see. I am hopeful.

I won’t, for obvious reasons, discuss any details here, and I am deliberately vague. However, the point I am trying to make is that with every interview you learn. I even discussed my education and went back throughout my whole career. I enjoyed the thoroughness and the chat, being very reflective, it helped me to focus on what I enjoyed in each job, which is what my interview partner wanted to know. It is somewhat fun this journey, to explore opportunities, technologies, and meeting very interesting people. Yet is can also be tiring adhering to time lines, chasing etc. I am hoping that at the end of this journey, besides a job, I will come out with a position that will last me for a few years. And as of the paragraph above, people see and spot different things in different people. The reason that’s the case is because everyone has their own filter of the world, I am going back into NLP here now, but if you are someone that is keen on finding X in someone, then that’s all that matters. Chin up.

On top of that I recorded 2 of 4 scheduled podcasts this weekand, and I scheduled another 2 to be recorded next week. Amazing conversations, each of their own kind. Maybe I need to increase the frequency and the best thing is, I so love doing them. The thought crosses my mind to build my own media company in years to come. Producing podcasts, events and venturing out into new areas. There is no limit to what you can achieve in life, is there? And I am still trying to identify the perfect way, but to be honest, is there ever going to be something that is perfect? Is there something ever going to be the life you dreamed of? As my wife pointed out, life isn’t a straight line, and once you accept it being up and down, ride the wave. F* it. Easier said than done when you are the breadwinner. Who knows what life holds. One interview this week might have lead to some media deal – oh I love those days in media really LOL – Don’t I?

I am trying to figure out bigger questions in my head, and to be honest, my question supporting those thoughts are around ‘why did we dream of the perfect life in the way we did’. Maybe I should have studied philosophy and psychology, but if we imagine for a moment, and I discuss that in my podcasts, that our dreams are influenced solely by upbringing and parents. So success, and however you want to define that, is based on what ‘seed’ was planted for your dreams. Did your parents suggest you dreaming big or small? In colour or black and white? Were they taking risks or not? One of my podcast guests coined the phrase of ‘entrepreneurial GM’ which I like to adopt for myself. Fits the bill, dont’ you think? He made me a great compliment too 🙂 . And he made me think whether I am already at the right place at the right time, but I haven’t noticed it yet. You ever thought that sometimes you step out of the future you dreamed of, to be sidelined into what you should do (or what seems right to do), but not realise it?

My other theory which goes in line with that is that life is constantly changing. So if I discuss what my career looks like in 5 years time, there is no point. I believe that in 5-10 years our lives would have changed so much, that we essentially work and live completely different to the now. I shared Elon Musk’s theory this week which suggests we all live in a simulation. Maybe we do. Stephen Hawking died this week, one of the greatest philosophers based on physics/science of our time. How is the universe and the universal conscious putting things together to move you forward as an individual? How do we know what is right or wrong, and can our intellect really rely on our gut feeling at all times?

I am drifting again. And people keep telling me that my blog is getting too long. So apologies. Feel free to reach out – with jobs, contract work or for a chat or feedback re the blog 🙂 – as someone said the other morning when we both met on the train ‘Volker, feel free to reach out anytime for a chat, things will be fine, but happy to listen’. Thanks, and you know who you are. And for anyone out there going through the ups and downs as well, ping me, I am always happy to help if I can. Life is about giving back and rising with the tide.

Have a great week,
Volker

Sunday Column (226)

I finish writing this post sitting on our patio, a dram of Lagavulin in my hand and the sunset in my face. Life is good to us. We spent the day with friends in a park in Tunbridge Wells. It is also the 7th of July – so I remember what happened in London a few years back.

First and foremost I’d like to thank everyone who keeps me motivated these days. My family, friends and of course YOU – the reader of this blog. I got quite a few compliments this week for keeping others sane and motivated, and I am glad I can give some of what I receive back. Quid pro quo.

I saw the following quote this week which goes in line with my thinking. Weak companies hire the right experience to do the job. Strong companies hire the right person to join their team. Over the past few weeks I have been speaking to a few companies and some ruled me out for limited experience in one area or another. Whilst of course there is competition to have all the skills for a job, it is also as much about the person you hire, most often even more though. But going from 24 down to the last 2 and then losing out doesn’t pay the bills. Things meant to happen for a reason. Also frustrating is to know that you want to be hired by a company but they don’t have a position suitable for you. That goes in line with above. But I will summarise it all once I reached a conclusion.

On another note I read an article about time management. Someone lost their phone and said that they had the best night eating out with friends ever. And the reason was simple: focus. No text messages to attend, no emails, no Facebook, no disturbance. A lot of us have too much noise in the background dropping in and making us changing our focus from one task to another. Our parents didn’t have that. Emails coming in every second of the day, people wanting your attention and you never ever get to focus on the things in front of you. I have my wife to proofread my book on Time Management and hopefully publish it shortly. It will allude to some of those topics also. Focusing on the task at hand whilst ignoring other things is key.

IMG_1700

Will Smith’s quote, and I didn’t know until recently that he is into motivational things, is quite true. Often people excel after they got hurt or felt pain. If that is after rejections of any kind, an accident or death of someone close. We seem to gain power by proving our point after something happens. His movie “Seven Pounds” is about that too (trailer below). You can do anything you want, anything you put your mind to. Like a Phoenix out of ashes we have a lot more strength after pain, and a lot more reason for achieving something. Yet, we get a lot more attention too.

I guess that’s where personal development comes in and makes you capable of changing your mind set and frame, your thinking, language and attitude towards winning. Contact me if you want to find out more 😉 I’d love to do more coaching and actually signed up to be a mentor for graduates of my old university this week.

A few years ago, Peter Maffay, a German singer, did an album which included songs he recorded with people around the world. One of them was Lokua Kanza from Africa whose album Wapi Yo (Where are you?) I really enjoy listening to. I slowly get a bit of my interest in music back. Allegedly music releases the same hormones or triggers the same reaction in a body as sex and other rewards. They say it takes a few weeks to relax after leaving a job, and that is why you should spend at least three weeks on holidays each year. Disconnected. I might not quite manage that this year but we shall see. Life is full of surprises.

To my astonishment I enjoy my life at the moment. Not that I wouldn’t want to change it, and if I could spend more time with the boys not worrying about the future it would be better, but it gives me great flexibility to spend more time with the boys, we are getting a lot closer I believe. Too soon this will be over. For better and for worse.

One last thought maybe on Beckenham, where we spend 9 years of our London life. We went back to see some friends for a birthday party. We still very much like our friends there but somehow felt we outlived the commuter zone so close to London. People seem less open and friendly and outgoing than people in Hassocks; they seem being more Londoners. Of course not all people in Hassocks are friendly, or all in Beckenham are reserved, but the ones that moved “down from London” like us seem to have done that for the same reason we have: for a better life in the country and for their families. You seem to get along quicker and have more things in common from the outset, similar motivations. We all seemed to have arrived. Arrived at a place we like to settle. This of course is not limited to Hassocks as other people who moved away from Beckenham or similar communities felt the same. I am not sure where I am going with that but it seems that we made the right move for us.

If I could do it all over again I’d done the move years ago. Just before the kids arrived. But things happen for a reason, at a certain time in life. That is what life is about. My life. I love my life. I really do.

However, time to go back to the grindstone, working on my future and the one of my kids. I cannot wait. Fingers crossed.

Have a great week!
Volker

Sunday Column (13)

Another week full of excitement. Where do I start? At the beginning I guess.

Besides a doctors appointment that started the week with some mixed feelings, I had a few meetings on Monday to find out more about my opportunities. As they say, “too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem to be more afraid of life than death“, I found that one on Twitter. And, on Tuesday nothing changed. More meetings, a proper interview and a lot of input on different areas of online marketing. All very helpful, but I am not much closer to my decision on what I want to do. As often, if you are put in a situation like myself where you have to find a new job to make a living, you tempt to go into a survival mode to find a job instead of doing what you like. I try to avoid that and early on got myself lots of information on what I could do and therefore the interviews I had and the ones that are coming up are going into the right direction. More about it hopefully next week.

On Tuesday night I met a friend and we went back to the Thai place I liked. As always it was good to catch up and see what she is up to and how her business develops. Self-employment is still on the cards but I think that is something I can pursue later in life too. Not sure yet, but maybe it is too early?

I had to go back for another back massage on Wednesday. If you remember, I twisted my back when I had the man flu and ever since then I cannot straighten it 100% and it still hurts. My massage therapist says it takes up to 4 weeks to heal. No gym, no exercise, no heavy lifting.

On Thursday I managed to go to Tai Chi after I met a friend for lunch. Again, she had lots of useful inputs and useful things to tell me. Having a great network of friends and colleagues helps in times of these and beyond 😉

Saturday (after a slow Friday) was great. Jen and I went to Bromley to buy a present for one of our friends who gave birth this week. We are getting very excited and it won’t be long until Colin Heinrich Ballueder will be amongst us. It is as if he is already there, engaged and all, ready to come out. However, he is not here yet but won’t be long 🙂 Night time we spend with our neighbours and had a great BBQ. We could sit outside until after 10 pm although it was not too warm. We also had our first home grown radish and first home grown salad. Quite chuffed! If the link to the picture does not work, just go on my Facebook profile and see it there 🙂

Now, today was another quiet day. Sitting and sleeping in the sun lounger, going for a walk and have another BBQ. We are very grateful to have a house, a garden and all what belongs to it. You sometimes forget how fortunate in life you are and then you need to take these 5 minutes and come back to where you are and remember yourself! For the BBQ we got ourselves some pork fillets and some big prawns. We might as well enjoy this bank holiday weekend. And, we should enjoy our time together until the little one arrives. Who knows, next week my update might come from the 3 of us.

Have a great bank holiday Monday and a successful week. Let’s hope that next week gets me closer to securing this job I always wanted!

Love and Happiness from us in Beckenham,
Volker