Tag: passion

Ballueder Thinks (8) – September 2020

Sorry, I haven’t written for a while. To be honest, writing for me is to get things off my chest, process things. With my marathon training I get a lot of thinking done whilst running. 3.5 hours this weekend. So there is less to process in writing, unless your life is super complex. I keep thinking (literally) that running long distance, or do any kind of form of exercise, it is a bit like therapy. It is very much recommended to exercise for a good mental health and work life balance after all.

But I feel lucky, my life isn’t too complex to be honest. I recently took on more work and should have enough work to see me through to the end of the year. Hopefully beyond. From there, I want to grow my practise for coaching and personal development more. I am working on concepts for change management, organisational change management and productivity seminars and workshops around holistic approaches to better yourself and your company. It’s no secret that this is what I am really passionate about, and I see a window of opportunity to make this a main profession through 2021. We shall see.

Whilst this of course sounds complex, personally I find it less complex than my life has been. With the kids being back at school, I get more productive, and manage to get more done in less time. We are returning to a new normal, with a new outlook in and on life. The endless discussion whether we return to an office or not. I mentioned it in my video update this week, I am not working for any company that has an office, but I am open to go to London (or elsewhere) to meet prospects or clients. The flexible approach works in my opinion.

This also means that demand for office space is decimated, demand for sandwich places too, and transport is less busy, which also means less revenue for train companies. All of that will result in changes how we live and travel. How? I am not too sure yet myself, but the first impact has been seen with the travel industry on its knees. I am curious how the future pans out. I am positive, always the optimist, that humans will survive and find a way to succeed. It will also be tough, no question about that.


If you haven’t signed up to my newsletter yet, please do so. I am writing there too, yet less content of my own but sharing content around ‘leadership’ and ‘personal development’. The feedback from my first newsletter has been overwhelmingly positive, and I thank all subscribers for the confidence and support. You can sign up and find the latest issues here.

Having said that, my consulting experience in the digital sector is still very rewarding. I love technology. I just do. I am still getting excited by data in the programmatic and media buying world. And, how this will all change over the next couple of years. I also learned to say ‘no’ to assignments, despite having the time, as the roles weren’t suited for me. As always, I am learning a lot and making huge progress. I like that.

On the note of learning, my interview for my 2nd podcast of season 4, which goes live at the end of September, covers the topic of learning as part of a discussion around ‘body-mind-connection’. It triggered me to look more into the different philosophies of learning and perception of the world, and how we can define things differently depending on our point of view. I also ordered a few books on neuroscience, as I want to study more of the scientific background that leads to high performance achievement in leadership, as I start signing up more leaders to help them get unstuck, and enhancing their emotional intelligence.

With the marathon training it is a bit like coaching someone to build resilience. Whether that is through mindfulness or being able to work on the stimulus-response gap. If you don’t know what that means, you should join one of my seminars or courses on mindfulness and resilience. But what I teach helps you to get unstuck, to see the world from a different view, and to look at things differently. Abandoning the autopilot (that’s about 80% of your doing) and live in the moment, being in the moment. All that for free (the meditation is, not my coaching 😉 ). I will launch more around this programme in the forthcoming weeks, once the marathon is out of the way. Feel free to reach out for a complimentary coaching session in the meantime.

On the topic of marathon. I never felt more fit and more ready to go for the big race. It’s only my second one, but having done a few longer runs, a half marathon in under 2 hours (first time since 2016), and generally I am feeling up for it. It helps me to look at the event in a very positive way. I am ready to take on the challenge, and I trained hard to get here. So please please support me by donating to the RNIB for whom I am doing that.


I will run this marathon and then another one next year or year after. Given my current mindset I might just go for an ultra early next year too, but that won’t be decided until after the marathon, as the alternative is around some weight training and shedding some weight instead. We shall see, as always never a dull moment in the Ballueder world, and new goals to be achieved. Whatever I do, the more money I can raise for the RNIB, the better. They are a great charity and helped so many people!

That’s all for this time. I titled the post September as I fear this becomes more of a monthly blog post, in line with a 3-weekly podcast and monthly newsletter. That’s how I remove ‘complexity’. As you would have noticed, I love creating content, sharing things that add value and help you to #bebetter and improve your life. That’s my mission in life, to help others, and to help you live a better life.

We are only here once, aren’t we. Let’s make the most of it, and live life to the fullest, responsibly and holistically, in unison with our values and purpose.

Love and Kindness from my little corner of the world.

Stop Listening To Your Notifications! Productivity Tip 1

How do you manage your time?
Are you living by the reminders on your phone?

Stop this now! Stop Listening to your notifications.

As a series that I published a while back on Linkedin, I wanted to repeat this on my blog to make you aware of the top productivity tips I find fit for our day and age.

One of my key productivity tips is to turn off any notifications and alerts on your desktop, phone or tablet.

Start being in charge of your time and be in control of who you answer to. And when. You must be in control of what’s happening with your most valuable asset: your time. It’s not necessarily about how you manage your time, but how you preserve your time for what’s important in the now.

Watch my productivity tip number 1.

If you are interested in more tips around productivity, head over to my playlist on YouTube.

You can also check out my personal development course which helps you to align your inner values to your goals and purpose in life.

This is return leads to more success and productivity.

Mobile: +44 (0) 7814 467 965

My 2020 plans – what are yours?

I have been debating what 2020 has in stock for me. Of course we don’t know, and we will never be able to live anywhere else than the here and now. But if I had a wish for 2020, I’d like it to continue the way 2019 ended.

As people know, I left what we call a ‘permanent’ job in order to pursue my passion: working on projects I enjoy and where I am in charge, where I can make a positive difference. I found a few of them. One in the data space working with very talented data enthusiasts on exciting projects. This actually is the most enjoyable job in adtech I ever had.

My mindfulness journey lead me to work with another company called Moment Pebble. Their aim is to revolutionise the way we are being more mindful at work and life, reducing stress and becoming more skilful around mindfulness. This goes in line with my latest course I took. I am super excited to scale that business and bring more of the skills around our pebble to the masses, and I will deliver my first Workplace Mindfulness course from early January.

Lastly, I work on a few other projects, such as D:PULSE, a new conference concept for 2020/21 and supporting other companies on their business development efforts. I am happy to be able to split my time between so many talented businesses and people and work in areas I enjoy. This includes new areas too, being a trusted advisor and board member.

I was born to be a consultant, so if someone now asks me, I am a business consultant and trusted advisor. Within the trusted advisory ‘box’ you find executive coaching, my book on productivity principles which sold over 7,000 copies so far, principles for success, my podcast on success and mindfulness practise. It is all coming together, and it becomes an ever bigger toolbox with one aim: to support and help businesses and people to achieve more. Simple. And the real satisfaction I get, is to see people and business thrive on the back of my input.

In the meantime I am blessed for having a healthy and fun family. Anyone with kids around the age of 10 knows that those little people growing up very fast, forming their own character and challenge you. Every single day. It is fun though, isn’t it? I have been able to spend more time with them, more connected time.

So for me personally, for 2020, I want to learn more about health, and go deeper into that topic. Whilst in 2019, thanks for some external influences and people, I had to learn a lot about mental health; 2020 is about my physical health, maybe shedding a few more pounds. It has been over a year since my last marathon, so maybe….just maybe, but then there is food and drink. I have a healthy relationship with alcohol and that won’t change, but drinking less alcohol and eating less meat, becoming a more sustainable ‘element’ of humankind, that’s a goal worth pursuing. And if I learn how to cook some healthy meals, then this is a bonus. It’s an area I still want to be better in. I just love learning new skills.

That’s it for me. 2019 is almost over. 2 weeks of hibernation, editing podcast, preparing some work, good food and wine over Christmas, celebrations and gifting. And dwelling on what’s happening with this country moving forward. A topic we can cover some other time.

If you need help formulating your 2020 goals, need a shift in your direction or just want to have a sounding board, schedule a call on calendly.

Let’s have a chat and see how we can work together in 2020.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

How you can shift your mindset to win!

As I am sitting here just watching Eliud Kipchoge breaking the 2 hour barrier for running a marathon, I am looking back at history and what mankind can achieve when they put their mind to it. It is amazing, isn’t it. When are we landing on Mars?

It is also what gets me up in the morning. The drive to help people achieve the goals they want. Coaching, advising, helping others. That’s my passion.

What is it I am doing? I advice executives and boards on their company, personal life and coach them to change teams, staff and themselves to be better and more productive. That is what I do. For Q4 I still have 3 individual or about 2 company places available. Now is the time to reach out and hatch plans for 2020. The results I have seen with clients so far are amazing. Get in touch on www.ballueder.com.

I also teach mindfulness, meditation and help companies to embrace a better way of working. It’s change management, mindset change. Just like breaking a 2 hour barrier on the marathon. That’s something I have been passionate about for many years, being able to work flexible, take breaks, and bring life and fun back to work. After all we spend most of our time there, don’t we.

This week I edited a podcast which makes me think. My former manager Andy and I had a chat about his life. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour after collapsing in the office in 2016. I remember that day very vividly, and 3 years on, two operations and a virus infection later, he speaks to me about life, and what it means to be successful. The episode goes live later in the year, yet you can just imagine how is outlook on life and death, his goals and objectives, have changed. A fascinating conversation, and I am grateful for him sharing his experience so openly.

I am grateful for being healthy, for being fit. Andy thought he was. And as we close the podcast he is saying that what he worries most about, are the others, and the changes like climate change, bring with them. I guess he is more than right. We, as humans, have managed to drive this planet against the wall. We will be spending lots of the money we made in the first place from destroying the planet, trying to rescue it. Will we survive?

I suppose we will, in one way or another. That’s the nature of our species. That’s where we continuously push boundaries. Humans are fighters. It is a mindset thing! We might be smaller in numbers, maybe living under a dome, under the sea or on another planet. Who knows. Some of us will be alive to witness it, some might not. But we will survive.

From a mindfulness perspective, the here and now is what we should experience and focus on. Only here and now can we influence our life, what we eat, what we do, how we keep fit and how we save the environment. The massive action towards our goals has to be taken now. And here.

Don’t put things off!

Take your action today. Let’s have a chat how I can help you with your mindset, your goals and objectives and how we can break your barrier!

Sunday Column (193)

Another week, another travel I suppose. As you might have read I went to Milan for a day. I think this was the first flight this year where I didn’t order a drink on the way back but slept most of the time instead. I am exhausted. Not really worth this short trip overall, however very much worth it given the clients we visited. So overall a good trip, but very tiring. A 4 am start, 3 hours flight return, waiting, client meetings. At least my back seems to improve a bit whilst I think I might come down with another cold. A never ending story.

Then someone broke into our office this week. That was fun to sort that out….not! I have the feeling I am in front of a giant tennis ball machine constantly trying to avoid the tennis balls. Life throws things at me, minor as some might seem, and I need to avoid them. Like in the matrix avoiding these bullets…. Anyhow.

Naturally, I am very positive, enthusiastic and motivated. Life is ok. I am ok. I am breathing. You remember? I might have a little low at the moment but that will pass. Things will pick up and we will fly. Of course 🙂

I wrote about fish dying recently. More died and it might just be due to overcrowding and stress due to me mixing breeds that don’t go together. A close friend gave me an analysis and after a few more fish are dead I will re-arrange the species in there. Learning I suppose. I still enjoy it but need reassurance that I am doing the right things. What else happened this week?

The US election of course. Barack Obama, the first black US president and Noble peace price winner, got re-elected. I liked Romney, seemed like a good and capable guy to run a country, however I am glad Obama won. He seems solid and on track. I saw Bill Clinton during the election. Boy did he get old but he still got the spirit. I look at those leaders and wonder what they possess what I don’t have or I cannot learn? 20121109-200111.jpg What if the answer to the above question is “nothing in particular”. I think it is.

Without disrespect, those guys are smart, Harvard educated, have a daily coach I imagine and a bigger team, also a lot more funding, but I believe that a lot of people will be able to speak and motivate like those guys with the right eduction and coaching. Maybe even myself. A lot of people don’t want to of course. It comes back to what I was writing a few weeks ago: some people are happy of doing a job, come home for dinner and watch TV. I need progression. I love/hate ceilings, I need to break through them. For me this has always been like that. I find something to do, want to excel in it, grow with it but when I hit ceiling I abandon it like an unloved toy. Sometimes I play with it again, sometimes I just put it in the shelf. Depends.

As a reference for later. This might explain why I have so little hobbies. If asked about my hobbies i I would have to say: I read a lot, productivity, personal development, NLP, chess tournaments, my fish, running, family. But I don’t have a motor bike anymore, an old timer, a dog, or do any wood carving. My passion is myself & others. Maybe boring for some but people are people are people.

Ok, so much happened this week that I need to summarise. 11/11: remembrance day. The poppy appeal I was talking about last week. A fantastic parade in London with veterans from the war and service man. Thanks guys for giving for us. You gave your today to save our tomorrow!

Then we got the garden started.

20121109-200652.jpg That means that by mid next week we should have nice lawn, a patio and a path with space for our bins. We are excited. Also we should have a new WC downstairs. Hopefully this will conclude renovation but my wife and dad decorating next weekend. Almost done 😉

On Saturday we met a friend I haven’t seen properly since leaving Aberdeen. A trip down memory lane and good catch up. A good day. On Sunday we re-homed Gretel, our tortoise shell cat. She never was the same since we got kids. After we moved and she got attacked by a neighbouring cat, she hasn’t been happy. Luckily a good friend was happy to take her. Thanks. It is hard to see her go, we got her as a kitten, but it will be the best for her. We keep Haensel of course.

On Friday I was at home with a stomach bug which is why I might have been so tired all week. My back is still not 100% and I went back to the chiropractor. My personal todo list gets longer by the day. One day I will be fit again to sort everything out. At the moment I am just not. That concludes another week to be honest.

A nice Sunday with the boys. The wife was away for most of the day allowing for great time to bond with the boys. We had a blast as you can imagine.

Have a great week. Mine is so busy that I cannot wait for a few days off from Friday.


Inspirational Thought: Do What You Know

You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. ~ Tony Robbins

Another quote I really enjoy. Lots of people go through life not knowing what to do. I used to be like that. I studied things in university I thought were necessary. I didn’t chose a subject because I liked it. That changed after I transferred to the UK to finish my studies.

Few people actually do what they like and what they know. Only few people are aware of their passions, believes and skills, yet certain to know what they want to do in life.

Hence I like to work with children and students in coaching. Helping them to identify their passion and turning passion into profit.

Are you happy with what you are doing?
Do you do something you are passionate about?

I do!

Love and Kindness,

Sunday Column (100)

100 Sunday Columns. My wife was hoping the wee man number 2, or as the FT columnist would say, “cost centre number 2”, had arrived by now. But no sign yet.

However, this week I spend the day at work, the evenings in the hospital, and the nights working more….where to start? My wife has a high blood pressure resulting in her having to be under observation, so she was in hospital. My MIL is down and looks after the boy, so things overall were well planned and worked out very well. Thank Buddha for MILs and family 🙂

Now work was busy with meetings. Most of them with my boss who was over from Germany. We achieved a milestone this week for some meetings, and also in regards to recruitment. Things are going well. We also open more international offices, so things are overall on the up.

All week, particularly on Friday, I had some problems with my waterworks. That resulted in me calling in sick. After a handful of pain killers, a GP visit, I decided to drop my wife off for another check up. I ended up spending my afternoon in the car park, working via mobile internet and got quite a lot of work and calls done. What times we are living in? Working anywhere any time?

That was the week really. I guess my breakfast meetings with loads of black coffee didn’t help me. Anyway, I was in real pain on Friday night again, and slept most of Saturday afternoon, doped with ibuprofen. Now I abstaining from coffee and alcohol. No red wine at the weekend is weird 🙁

Due to all of that, I didn’t spend enough time with Colin all week or at the weekend really. I enjoy going shopping to Waitrose, gas my car at independent gas stations, buy books from Play.com and wondering if Amazon or Tesco notice my change of habits? I am more content these days whilst being more stressed about things. I am living but just to get through the day.

What is happening? It is the “living in between your lives“. Still waiting for the baby. Being ready anytime to jump on the train to get home. Giving 100% at work, knowing there is so much to do. Waking up at night not sure whether we need to go to hospital. Managing the office and staff. It is all good, but I want to be the best at everything, not taking time off for me. But I know I should. I should just stop being online for a day. Someone just said he will be on holidays for 3 weeks this summer without internet access. My friend went to Africa a few years ago where there was no Blackberry reception – on purpose. I sometimes think it is sad to think we need to escape in such a way. But we are all very passionate about what we do. So it is difficult to just stop it.

We seem to be chasing daylight. We are passionate about what we do but smart enough to take a full break. But we need to do it. I just think about at the moment it but I will. I will extend on that in more details when I publish my ppt about the way we are working.

Yes, I will change my life. Once I get into a routine with the boys I plan to be back at the gym, eat a little different, and slim down a bit. I am not unhealthy but I could be so much fitter. That needs to be done. And, a proper week’s holiday this year maybe. With 100% time dedicated to the family. That is what I want to do.

And whilst I think about all my little problems, my theories about life, and what I want to do….there are so many other people to be considered.

I worked in Egypt for a while and see the pictures on TV. I feel for my Egyptian friends. They need my compassion more than anyone else at the moment. They are on the eve of a revolution – or already in the middle of it.

Let us be compassionate with all the people that have so many more problems than ourselves. And, let us hope that the baby finally comes. This way I can start planning my life again and get my life back….it is not all that bad but I keep telling clients I might have to cancel due to the baby being born. I said that 2 weeks ago…..

Love and Kindness from my corner of the world.

Sunday Column (59)

A week that starts with a Monday off cannot be a bad week. Only problem, if you work in sales/marketing, you cannot call people the first day after Easter. Or you can, but with little success.
So this week, just work wise, was both slow and successful. We are moving big time!

My private life is focusing around work-life balance. Or life-life balance. After last week’s post about “what the future holds” in terms of where we would like to live, my wife and I started discussing where and what is the right way forward. Don’t worry, we haven’t come to any conclusion, and nothing will happen for a while. Again, there are reasons for that 🙂

However, at the moment I am struggeling to find the motivation to get up in the morning other than for work, e.g. my motivation to go to the gym before work seems gone. I am tired and worn out. It seems I need, according to my wife, a big kick up the ass. That is fine. I am known for pulling myself up and giving myself a kick in the ass, so I don’t consider that a problem. However, I still cancelled the gym 🙁

I am open here, although in public, but my life has been focused around work for most of its life / part (interesting analogy). Anyway, whilst work is the center of my life, I am thinking that maybe that has to change. And, by all means, this is not because I don’t like my job. Just the opposite, I enjoy my work very much, enjoy what I do and don’t want to miss it.

Then, watching Masterchef this week made me think that people like Dhruv, Tim or Alex have something everyone has: passion for something. In their case it is cooking and food. My passion is dealing with people, developing, training and making people great: coaching people. Managing people or dealing with people in my job is enjoyable for me. I am at the right job where I am.

However, I believe I need to look into a passion outside work. I hear people saying “you have your wife and kid, a great family”, and they are right. My family and their development is my passion, I just need to realise it more often. I love being with them, doing things.

An example is this weekend. We managed to spring clean the house, tidy the garden and got so much things done. Colin was enjoying being outside discovering many things. And I didn’t even manage to bid on the Grand National. It was all family, home and enjoying time off. And it was great. A very relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

I am very positive and looking forward to achieving lots of things. In my work, but also in my private life.

Anyway, enough of a blether, enough thoughts and views inside my head. Hope I didn’t bore you too much.

Have a great week, full of energy. The weather is surely helping!