Tag: recession

Ballueder Thinks (2) – I believe in you

To believe in someone, you have to believe in yourself. That’s my opinion anyway. Did you know, according to Coach George Ravelin who was interviewed on Tim Ferris’ podcast the other day, not many parents tell their children that they believe in them.

The coach, now 82, also talks about ‘staying alive’ was his goal for most of his life, living in America as a black man. Every time he got stopped by the police, he feared for his life. A sad, yet fascinating podcast. It takes me back to my life in Kansas. A year as an exchange student, being pressurised into (soft) drugs, guns, drinking, sex and witnessing racial discrimination. It might sound horrible now, but at the time, I thought that’s what America was like. This is over 25 years ago, and I had a teacher back then, I might add a black teacher, who told me that he believed in me, and that one day I will become someone great. Whilst I still wonder when this might be, I wonder if I am already there. Who knows what ‘great’ really means?
You were a great mentor, Dr. Stone!

I have witnessed racism against me at the time, and against black people. I have witnessed a lot in my life, that I have forgotten, or pushed aside. But I believe in myself. That’s the main thing. And, I am very keen on making sure my kids believe in themselves, and their lives moving forward. When my son had his birthday recently, I wrote exactly that in his card. Hopefully, he will read it over again. And he starts believing in himself.

Whilst this is all 25 years ago, it sometimes comes back to the top of my mind. Just recently I remembered some scenes from that time, and it feels wrong now. No one would blame me, being 15 at the time, to not stand up for things I felt were wrong then, but felt I couldn’t speak out about back then. This is all a very long time ago, but you sometimes wonder what I have learned from all that. A whole lot I’d say, as I am someone who processes things and likes to reflect on things. And, I am willing to learn, to strive and make things better.

What have you done 25 years ago when you look back? It might sound as if I was a total idiot. Actually, I don’t think I was, given the environment I was in. But comparing it to the environment I came from, maybe I was 😉 It’s all good, wounds heal, yet it also gave me a deep inside into the heartland of America, the Mid-West. I learned a whole lot, made some really good friends too, and to this day would like to visit again. And what we Europeans often forget is the size of America. Kansas, where I was, is only about 20,000 km2 smaller than the UK as a whole. Or, to put it into perspective, Kansas is the size of the UK minus Wales. That’s a big country for one member state of a bigger United States, and it would have its own dynamics.

Enough about that, as with everything in life, we live and learn. I recently decided to launch a business with someone else. This is very exciting. And of course I will reveal more as we go along. We are still pretty much in stealth mode. We spoke the other day and had a good chat. Business for us is about TRUST. Trust for me comes back to belief. I believe in him, and he believes in me. We believe in what we do and how we will trust each other. That’s more powerful than a contract I suppose.

There is something else I wanted to write about. Teaching. Now, my dad and uncle both were teachers. Both in Germany, both successful in moving up the teachers’ ranks, and both have had a good life, brining up a family, owning a house etc. It is pretty much a good middle class family job. When I grew up, and most children do, I wanted to become a teacher. I wanted to do what my dad did. Thinking back, I am glad I didn’t become a teacher. Despite Covid19, and teachers going through a tough time, they also have a secure pension and a secure income. However, the income of a teacher will most likely always be lower than the income of someone in the open economy, however that’s not why you become a teacher. It’s because of passion.

I know that now, but back when I finished high school, it was all about the money for me rather than the passion. I wanted to become a CEO, a manager, and that was it. And, to a certain extend, I still love working with people, grown ups, and manage and coach/consult them. Now, you could argue, I am an adult teacher. Not quite, but kind of fulfilled two areas, e.g. being an expert in what I do, and passing that knowledge on to others. I couldn’t be a teacher, that’s for sure. In the UK, teachers are worse off financially than in Germany too, but that is another topic in itself. And me dealing with more than two children at a time isn’t my idea of fun either.

The point I am leading to, is that in life you should follow your passion. Which, to a certain extend, I did. I did it without the right reasoning. In NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), we differentiate between two motivational directions, e.g. moving towards something and moving away from something. In my case, I moved away from teaching for the reason of earning potential and moved towards consulting for the reason of earning more money and having a ‘career’. Coming to a point in my life where I am launching my own business, working with my own clients, I essentially realise I got the best of both worlds. I am teaching, training and helping people to achieve their goals. I guess I arrived at my destination, didn’t I?

Let’s stick with that thought for a moment. What if, based on what was mentioned above, I am already great and where I should be in life, then the next few years will be key to proving that what I am doing is successful. As you know, based on my podcast, success is defined by your own individual perception of success. So it could be money, or building something, or proving something.

For me, the next few years are about building a business that I can take with me, no matter where in the world I live, and which I can operate remotely too. This way I want to be Covid19 safe, and add value to anyone globally. I want to help people achieve their dreams and tell more people that I believe in them, and that they can achieve their dream. Things will always fall into place, no matter what.

And whilst I fear Covid19’s impact on the economy as much as the upcoming recession (or the recession that’s here already), and Brexit, and whatever else might come, e.g. a 2nd wave of Covid19 or another virus or global warming – for me it comes back to believing that anything is possible. I believe, despite fear and anxiety of the future, that we as humans will survive. We will find a way off this planet before we destroy it, or we find a way of not destroying it; and I find a way of making my business grow during a downturn. And, in the end, I want to look back in years to come and be proud of what I have achieved.

But I don’t want to be alone on the journey. I want to have enough time for my family, help them to believe in themselves. I want my friends, mates, coaching clients and consultant clients to believe in me, and them to believe in themselves. I want to help and give people confidence in what they do, and support them on the way. If I can achieve that, and make the world a better place in my circle of influence, I achieve success.

Now that’s something to live for.

And every time I think about that, there are people that come to my mind, people I met in Kansas, people I met in London and elsewhere on my way, that do not get it. People that tried to f* you over, that couldn’t be trusted, that treated you like sh*, and didn’t care. People I sometimes think about with compassion, sometimes with anger to be honest, how they could treat me, and a lot of other people, in a certain way. I don’t wish them bad or anything. I am not an evil person, just the opposite, I hope they find peace in what they do. And more often than not they were obsessed by either a wrong ideology or greed. Latter, mainly in the business sense.

My whole life I have and will always try to treat people with the utmost respect. Without prejudice. I hope that Covid19 will help people to see the human aspect more. With all the video calls, we look into living rooms, meet business’ contacts children and dogs. We are getting closer to each other, trying to help each other. That can only be a good thing.

I am a strong believer in Karma. That anything bad you do in life is coming back to you eventually. I also believe that anything good you do in life is coming back to you. The circle of energy, proven in my mechanics class back at university, the forces in any system need to be equalised for the system to be stable. Simple math really.

We are who we are. I am who I am, and you are like you are. Konrad Lorenz, who I read as a teenager, wrote a book called ‘I am here, where are you’ and ‘the so called evil’. I am here, who are you? How can I help you to achieve more? How can I help you to be more successful? How can we avoid evil? I enjoy helping and do that via my coaching. I love helping others to grow and do that via consulting. That’s what I do.

Yes, I could do with more business, but I am confident that once Covid19 goes, and we go back to a more normal business life, that things will continue to flourish. Where would humans be without optimism and belief?

It is key now to not give up. I know a lot of people who are looking for a job, or looking for others to help them. Let me know, I am happy to help you. I don’t have all the answers, but I have all the belief to move forward. Today I am positive.

And when I say today, then this means that some days are dark. Like for anyone at the moment, we have more time to think. Someone I know and lives in the USA, was debating whether to return to the UK. In our times, we have to make decisions where we want to live. How our outer circumstances define our living standards. Happiness, which is the topic of a podcast in a couple of weeks, is key. We, as humans, will always seek happiness. We think that by going somewhere else we are happier, and yet we might find out it’s not the case.

As many in these difficult times, we think a lot. One day this, the other day that. Stay or go. Whatever you are thinking about, you will notice that it changes all the time. And the reason is simple, we cannot plan at the moment. We think that by changing things we will be in a better place. That might or might not be the case, and our thoughts are a bit clouded.

The best thing is to sit down, and take stock. Write down what you enjoy/don’t enjoy, and what is important to you. Look into the future, taking into consideration that you cannot determine the future, and that it is likely to change too. Change is constant. Nothing is set in stone. You can only live in the now.

Then evaluate, talk things through with a person you trust, and wait until Covid19 has passed. Make a decision then, with a clear mind, a mind that can start planning a bit more. Don’t rush into anything that you might regret or didn’t think through, having less information and parameters due to the situation we are in. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make decisions.

At the end of the day we always need to move forward, whatever that means in your situation, and however big or small that step might be.

In the end, you have to believe in yourself and make sure you believe in others.

I believe in you!

Ballueder Thinks (1) – Covid19 Column

Hello.

The regular reader knows that for over 10 years I have been writing a Sunday Column. I kind of replaced it with my podcast, now with some videos on Linkedin. But that’s just not the same.

Let’s face it, I do love writing. No question about that. In my strength coaching profile, ‘writing’ was a number one skill. I am not sure if that is due to my academic background, or due to my intellect. And I am not saying that in any arrogant fashion, but I love thinking about the world, and making connections of how things work.

Just this weekend, I listened to a model called ‘disruption mapping’. Any input that clarifies thinking, any model that helps you to simplify trends is great. More about the mapping soon on my podcast in season 4.

Anyhow, after a few weeks pause of writing about my life, I am back on it. I am not promising a regular column. But if there are a lot of things going on in my head, I kind of need to get them out. And I like processing things that are on my mind through writing. Yet, whilst I write a daily gratitude journal for myself, I want to share my thoughts with you in form of a column.

What I am thinking at the moment? Black lives matter. I am actually speechless that in 2020 people are still thinking that there would be any superiority of one race over another. Whether that is white over black, or one belief over another. This is just something totally incomprehensible for me. Again, earlier this weekend I wrote an article about mindfulness and how it might not fit with a ‘male stereotypical picture’ – again it is totally wrong to think about those stigmas. But, of course, we grew up with that. It reminded me of the movie ‘Philadelphia’ where the ‘white collar, old grey haired lawyers’ sit in the sauna cracking jokes about gay people. This used to be acceptable, but in my opinion is now out of fashion. At least in circles I socialise. So let’s hope that this will once and for all put this inequality to rest, and no more lives will be lost. I am disgusted.

I am also thinking of Covid19. For me, having the Aufbruchstimmung, or in English the Spirit of Optimism, I think it is over. We should get back to work, even if it is 99% remote, and that we need to move on, make decisions and get back to work. Maybe I think it is too easy to do. But what stops us from doing so? Some industries, hospitality for instance, will have difficulties, but some other industries should easily be able to work remotely and do business in a remote fashion, powered by Zoom. Btw Zoom, their share price jumped 90% on going public, good on them. But yes, let’s move on.

And what about my job. Oh….there is a lot I can tell you about. There is this fear of a recession and then Brexit and all. But again, we must think positive, stay fearless and move onwards. It is about making decisions and moving forward. I am in the process of launching something new, adding a new contract to my portfolio and continue with coaching and mindfulness trainings. So I am keeping busy. I will of course share some more news in the weeks to come. But I am very excited. With every fear and downturn, there is an opportunity! To my knowledge, this is what crisis means in Chinese.

I couldn’t give up. Falling down 7 times, standing up 8 times. Let me into a secret. As soon as the tattoo shops will open, I am on there to get this tattooed. Silly? Mid-Life crisis? Maybe. Whatever you fancy, just go for it.
Earlier this year I had some transformational therapy to rid myself of some limitations and limiting belief. I couldn’t recommend this more. I have tried a few over the years, this one was great. There is nothing like experimenting with different forms of therapies. Yes, I have to say that my best therapy is meditation, which I practise daily. Without meditation, and without the love of certain people, I don’t think I would have achieved what I have achieved. Life takes turns, my industry has been full of redundancies and change, but I have mastered it. Without mental health issues. But, looking back, and as explored in a recent podcast, I think I have been sailing very closely to the wind. I sometimes think that my meditation is like a sail that helped me to stay on this side of the storm. Hence, I am so passionate to teach people about it.

And then the lockdown. We are all struggling. Juggling home schooling, family, jobs, progression in jobs, interviews, zoom calls, and the earlier evenings which leave more time for drinks. I have been keeping fit, with 3 half marathons so far during lockdown. I do my weight exercises and added more to the regime, hoping to rid myself of the Covid-Stone. A term I coined for the additional weight I have put on. It’s just too easy to snack all day long. With the return of school runs, I am getting more walking time in again, which is good of course. And, personally, I think it’s a good thing that school returned.

Fingers crossed we are out of the worse and Covid19 will disappear, just burn off over the summer. That’s what I am hoping for. And will we learn anything?

What have we forgotten over the past few weeks?

Brexit.
Whilst the topic is slowly coming back to us in the press, let’s keep a close eye on it. I am still not a friend, but we have to live with it I suppose. A friend of mine posted something awful about the background and intention of the Tories behind Brexit, which I a) don’t want to repeat and b) hope it isn’t true. If it was, I would think this country is going down big time. Let’s hope this isn’t the case. We handled Covid19 very badly from a political and preparedness point of view, so if we handle Brexit the same, this is going to be really bad!

Dom Cummings.
Is he still the Chief Advisor to our PM? This is so bad. Sorry, I am speechless to think that he gets away with it. Not having a backbone to step down and admitting that he f* up. That’s what I don’t get with leaders. I learned early in my life to owe up to mistakes and apologise and trying to make it right. It’s a fundamental lesson I teach my children. For me this says it all about our government, prime minister and political situation. I am actually becoming a big fan of Kerr Starmer, the Labour and opposition leader. There is hope! There is always hope.

And what about ocean pollution?
Will we think about recycling still when Covid19 is over? And how to clean our oceans? Or is that all forgotten? Will we, post Covid19, go back to normal and just pollute our planet, take unnecessary flights, treat others with disrespect and carry on? I hope not. There is always hope.

Over the weeks and months to come I want to pick up more regular writing again. I would enjoy hearing from you what you think. I’d like to hear what your opinion is, so feel free to reach out to me by whatever means works for you.

I enjoy writing.
I want to share.
I want to get you to think.

Thanks, and please stay safe,
Volke

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!

Coaching yourself

Not too long ago I wrote about career coaching in a recession. Now, things have changed a bit and I am revisiting some great coaching resources. Also, I should expand on the time line on when the coaching in a recession is most useful.

The question if you are in a situation, like I was many years ago, where you thought that nothing would move forward and your whole life is in shambles, you decide to coach yourself. Similar to Baron von Muenchausen who pulled himself out of the swamp.

muenchhausen

Ideally I have some partner coaches I work with at cb consulting but sometimes, for smaller things, and my own dream fulfillment, I work with myself a lot. You need to be your own coach and chose mentors to work with.

As a coach you are always a leader at the same time. Leadership consists of skill, knowledge and being able to provide examples. You just cannot coach people without identifying their problems, knowing what to do and giving examples of how other people have done it, or how things would be in a similar situation. So you become a role model for your clients by being a good coach and doing what you know and be the one you are.

This sounds a bit weird. Maybe I expand on this. If you know how to pull yourself out of the swamp like Muenchhausen, then you know how to pull other people out too. You need to be confident and do the same things that you would do with clients to yourself. And, when you build up the skills and knowledge, you are the example for your clients.

This is growing into the role of a coach. You live your values and become a role model to your clients.

You need to identify
– your identity: passion, vision, ethics and doing that by being curious and observing yourself
– relationships with others: be curious about them, build rapport and set the standard needed
– facts: understand the facts and be creative in your approach, building new models

Now, if we look at the above, I cannot help but thinking of my current job as a manager. I have been managing for quite some time, additional to my coaching – or vice versa if you like.
Being a good manager also means to be a good coach.

First you need to know where you stand and know what you want, represent, what your goals and objectives are and how you can fulfil your role. This is usually done during the decision making progress of choosing a new job. Once the job has been chosen, you identify your role in more detail and set up an action plan, targets, goals and objectives.

Secondly: you build rapport, relationship and be a role model for the people you manage. Set time aside each week, or every other week to discuss their role, their aims and their objectives. Make sure you understand what they want to achieve with their role, if they feel self confident in the role and how you can support them. Let them fail if you have to but don’t make them fail on purpose. Let them learn and give them guidance.

Thirdly keep yourself up to date. With your job, the industry, your contacts, your staff, staff morale, situations at work etc. Be the one you are and be informed about as much as possible. I am not referring to gossip but to a simple understanding of what is going on.

So from coaching yourself you can take the step to be a good manager and coach to your staff. A quality I find very essential for any manager. Develop your staff….but develop yourself first.

If you want more answers about coaching, please visit our website for Personal Development Coaching.

career coaching….continued

Hello,

This last week was quite busy so I thought I pick up the topic of career coaching again. Found this interesting blog, Grow Rich Me?! It’s all about following your dreams and making the most of your life. Which in all fairness is good.

But, looking at coaching, you structure your dreams. You need to really. If you search for Career Coaching you find all sorts of sites. But what would it mean for me or cb consulting?

I have written a lot about coaching in this blog and for me it means to really give yourself some focus.

Starting with a good hour of sitting down and writing up what you want to do? What you like to do? What are you good in? What are you not good in? That gives you a good basis for defining your goals.

Goals: where do you want to be? What drives you? What gets you up in the morning? Where do you see yourself in 3, 5, 10 years time – or 20 even?

From there we work backwards. NLP does that quite often. Imagine you were already in a situation you want to be in, how did you get there?

And work it out. Step by step. Baby-steps. And, we will help you planning steps out. Where to look for a new job, how to tune your CV and cover letter, how to prepare for the interview.

That is what we do. And, in a recession that becomes more and more important.

stepping-stones

On the one hand you want to stay put and do not move, on the other hand you want to see where is the recession going. Be ready when you get made redundant or if you think your company is going down. Be the first to hit the road running. Maybe just to be prepared to do nothing as you might have more influence once you get out of the recession with your current job.

What ever motivates you, contact us today and we sort something out!

Career Coaching in a Recession

I was speaking to a friend earlier today. Really, I was helping him to get his CV updated and to tidy up his cover letter. Unfortunately, that was more work than I thought it was.

He has been with his company for a few years, has been in a few jobs, however the recession makes him fear he might lose his job soon.

So he asked me to look into that and since I run my own consulting and coaching business I was more than happy to do that.

He was pleased with the fresh input I gave him for his CV, the way he can sell himself much better now. And, he also is much more confident to apply for jobs and do his cover letters too.

I said, no problem, anytime. He answered that he would like to pay me but instead suggested to pay 2% of his new job’s salary to me. With his position, that could be a nice promise if he keeps it.

Maybe I should offer that to everyone – if you run your CV by me and cover letter, I help you to identify your goals, aims and objectives to where you want to be and coach you to find a job. You then pay me an agreed percentage of your new salary.

He got me thinking – did I get you thinking?

With Coaching it is all about having a personal consultant that looks at your processes, your aims, your career and identifies where you want to go. S/he helps you to see how you can get there and gives you support on the way. Why not try today?

Contact me through the contact form on the right or via my contact details of cb consulting.

Have a great weekend,
Volker

Starbucks and the recession

Hello,

After a very busy start in the year, I want to take a few minutes to give you my 5 cents on Starbucks.

In a recession people in general buy less coffee on the go and rather make their own at home or in the office. Particularly with Starbucks it saves them £1.65 per day, accounting to about £75 a month. That is quite a bit if you think about it. Special coffees are probably even dearer.

Now, with Starbucks closing more and more stores, they also do more marketing. As a registered Starbucks card user I got a letter in the mail with a wallet for my travel ticket and 50p vouchers, one for every day of January. That means, I got £15.50 free at Starbucks this month. Putting that into perspective, if I only buy weekdays, I save about 13% of my bill.

That was clever. Your travel card needs to come out of your pocket the moment you exit the train/tube in London and you get your instant reminder to your savings on the daily coffee.  So why not treat yourself. The letter going with the wallet btw. was rather cheap looking. I didn’t keep it but it was A5 on rather old looking paper and bad quality printing if I remember right.

Why do people still buy at Starbucks?

The coffee tastes the same everywhere! Exactly. It is the same principle as McDonalds, you walk into a shop anywhere in the world and the taste is the same.

Why do people stop buying Starbucks coffee?

Because it tastes the same everywhere! Exactly, people are fed up spending the last pennies they have, and this is particular true in a recession, on a product that might be to their taste but is just the “same old”. I even bought Starbucks coffee powder for the coffee machine in the office and…..yes, it tastes the same 🙂

So my conclusion is that people start buying less and less at Starbucks. Really because they don’t like to spend more money on something they can substitute at home or in the office. Also, they don’t want to spend their precious money on something that is the same everywhere, e.g. they rather buy at the local shop in support of local businesses and in support of their taste buds.

Will I personally continue to buy at Starbucks?

Yes, to a certain extend. Mainly because I am picky about my coffee and at Starbucks I know what I get. Even if it ain’t the best.

What about you?

starbucks

Recession

Now I am trying to be an economist 🙂 No, not really. But what is happening around me is tragic.

We all know that Woolies, the flagship of the British High Street goes into liquidation in January. We also have noticed that more Starbucks shops are closing and you might be aware on your own High Street that estate agents close offices or the little shop selling baby stuff or lamp shades has disappeared. Most of those shops are on the limit to profitability and therefore will have to close when people stop spending.

More people might buy a lamp shade at Homebase for instance because it will be cheaper than in the local lamp shop. Whilst a year ago you might have preferred to have a better service and spend a couple of quid more, today you would not.

However, there are other stores that seem to disappear too:

The Pier – one of the shops where my wife buys lamp shades and we bought curtains, carpets, glasses, candles, CD racks etc. etc. – no shopping spree without a visit to The Pier. Well, from now on it will have to be.

Whittard of Chelsea – I bought my first ever coffee beans there and it is one of those shops you know that you find a nice present, good tea or alright coffee. The latter because my coffee taste developed 😉 Then again, I bought some espresso coffee there the other day. Maybe I go back today and buy some sales items. 120 years of history being vanished in one recession.

I believe it was Keynes who said there cannot be continuous growth. There will always be a time when we enter a recession and companies that are not profitable will disappear. I personally believe that is healthy and do not believe in bail outs. But I don’t want to be political in my blog 😉

When the recession is finally over, maybe end of 2009, maybe much later, we might see new shops appear. Very similar to the ones we have seen. Or, we might not, depending on how much consumer and seller confidence there is. The Pier for instance will re-open, I am sure. New management, slightly different style but a very similar shop. Why? Because I believe the UK High Street has a need for a shop like it. Maybe there is a business idea.

Until then we have to wait. See more redundancies, see more shops and banks closing and need to wait. We will shop in Asda instead of Waitrose, eat less take aways and cook more at home. We will gas the car less frequently and walk more and be glad if we can afford the mortgage payments. Unfortunately not everyone can.

So let’s hope for the best and have a Merry Christmas. As a survey suggests, people will celebrate Christmas because it only comes once a year. Then again, that might change too, you never know.

A day in History

Hello,

Today’s day does mark an interesting mix of stories in my BBC News Alerts.

Here we go:

In 1941 Germany and Italy declared war on the US. Now that is history, luckily.

Present is that Germany and the UK fight about recession counter measures.

Future is the gender of our baby which we found out yesterday but are only 90-95 percent sure. We accept bets and guesses 🙂

So, that is what I call a day in history.

Have a good one.

Volker

How am I doing? How are you doing?

What a nice week lays behind me. Non stressful I have to say but very productive.

Now, having had a massage today, shopping, anticipation of more nice wine tonight, I wonder, “how am I doing”. The recession is there (or almost), the continuous growth for almost two decades has stopped (Keynes could have told you that) and now…what is on the horizon?

People and companies spend less money on marketing and if they do, they spend it on online marketing as it is measurable. So my industry should do “ok”. Am I ok? I think so. Not only am I not too worried about the recession in our industry, then again we notice the outcome too, but also I am not yet too worried about the mortgage and the family. That might change of course.

People say in a recession you sometimes find the spending goes up. People try to buy themselves out of the recession, buy extravagant things to feel as if they can still do it. That they are noticed and show off that the recession is not hitting them as hard. Not sure if I would. But, I cannot say I am spending less. Maybe, I am going out less often but I have not been a big fan of going out anyway. Maybe I cut back on my gym membership and maybe we are all out of the recession before we all know it. Time flies, you remember? And, after every recession, we hope and the past says, there should be prosperity. Interesting FAQs here.

But that is just about me. Selfish me? No, because I am interested in how you are doing too. How my friends are doing and how they cope. Will the financial sector and my friends working in it be ok? I think so. Not only because I believe in my friends but also because I believe in the financial sector. All those people saying it is their fault. That is capitalism for you. Would you prefer a communist system – I don’t think so.

Greed – is greed part of our culture. For some. Maybe even for me. But money is not the answer to everything, is it? For some it might be but sooner or later they find out it is not. Surely, money can make ones life easier, possibly more enjoyable, more lavish. However, will it make you happy – no.

So, sitting here today, looking outside and enjoy the almost winter-ish atmosphere, I am happy. Very happy.

I am not doing badly, maybe could do better. But, I could do a lot worse. I appreciate what I have, what I own and what love I get from my family and friends. And, I am happy to share the love.

Now, before I finish there are two requests:

1. please do not count the amounts of “maybe(s)” used.
2. let me know how you are doing.

Volker