Tag: work life

Principles of Success – Balance is key to Success (5)

SUCCESS isn’t created by business itself; a balance in life with family and hobbies is key; happiness is an important factor closely aligned with SUCCESS.

I touched on that in the previous principle. Happiness is closely related to success, and my humble opinion is that without a partner and maybe children, or a healthy family that balances work, success in work alone is not worth it. But that might just be my perception.

It is a bit of a bold statement of course. And how you define family is down to you, and whether you want to or would like to have kids. I wasn’t sure for a long time but couldn’t wish for anything else but my two boys, my wife and us sharing experience and life together. You can read more on this blog in my weekly Sunday Column.

However, if you aren’t lucky enough to have family, you need a hobby. This is something I realised very late in life, because my focus was always on work and family. There wasn’t much room for other interests, particularly as my wife never allowed me to get a motor cycle 😉 Yet the key is to find something you enjoy outside work. Maybe you play golf, or hike, build car models or exercise. It is important to have a focus outside work. Ideally it is family plus a hobby.

The reasons are simple. Life is there to be enjoyed and being happy. And most people are happy when they spend time with family and friends, relax, chill out and have fun or create experiences with others. So if your sole focus is work and career, and if you are success driven, there is a danger to get stuck in that rut. So instead one should ensure to have a balanced life to relax from work and get a different perspective at least.

Research has shown that people who have a happy and satisfied life outside work are actually better at their day job, circling ever so much higher into the orbit. Just switching off your phone and not checking emails after work is a win/win situation for both work and life!

Download a free copy of Principles of Success!

Thursday Flash (9)

I got asked the last week why I don’t share all of those articles on Twitter. Good question. The reason, however, seems straight forward. Whilst I overheard some older people discussing on the train, whether to join Twitter, I have been using Twitter for 9 years or so. If I am not mistaken I joined in 2008. But since the engagement rate has gone down. So has the engagement rate on Facebook. For reach, I still use Twitter and for important things, I use Facebook as people are still reading it (yet less so I find). Hence the Thursday Flash got a place in my weekly blog to just collect what I find read worthy. And then I still share it via social media.

If you are enjoying it, please share it on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook or where ever else you like to share it!

Thanks. Here we go with the Thursday Flash!

I am a big Tim Ferriss fan (4 hour work week, 4 hour body week, amazing podcasts!), and this article about Deloading is worth a read. A must read in my opinion. If you like it, please visit his website and look for more of his stuff.

Deloading is about having some time to just do things without purpose, to think, brainstorm, enjoy and chill. Loving the idea and coining that phrase.

The next one is an article you might have seen before, about work life balance, trust in employees and working from home. It is a great summary of how our work place culture is changing and how to structure and create a great work place! Did I mention that I work for a company that has been voted ‘Best company to work for’?

Last but not least, most people in the industry think of Artificial Intelligence (AI) being a fad. Let me tell you, it is not. We are just scratching the surface of applying AI to our lives. This article in Exchangewire about Deep Learning hit the spot with me. Ciaran, the founder of Exchangewire, and I are going back a while. I wrote about Deep Learning myself in this article about AI on Linkedin.

Great, that’s it for this week. Enjoy yourselves and see you next week.


Sunday Column (325)

Hello there.
Another mad week. In a good sense though!

The weather wasn’t great on the days I was off, but it was nice on the days I was busy. Not fair, but the usual scenario. Monday was a bank holiday, yet it seems like it was flying past. We finally managed to put our tent up we bought a while ago and decided a ground sheet would be a good idea. That was last weekend.

We are now all set to go camping. With the kids having been off for half term and me having had two major work engagement, one on Tuesday in London and one on Wednesday in Eindhoven, it was nonstop on the two days I was working this week. Essentially I flew to Eindhoven on Wednesday morning and came back late at night. Thursday and Friday I was off work but had to keep an eye on a couple of things.

On Thursday night we managed to sleep in the tent too. As always we didn’t sleep right and were tired, and thanks to the aforementioned bad weather, we were just hanging around on Friday, lighting the wood fire at 11 am and got all cosy, snoozing on the couch and watching TV….lazy times! It was raining most of the day, so fair enough. And, of course, we had to test our new fire wood that got delivered, and fits just perfectly into our shed 🙂

I like being busy and I am off to a conference in my fatherland tomorrow. Another three days away from the family but it is getting less travel over the next few months. Summer is upon us and the summer break is near. It has been another busy quarter.

I really enjoy it though. I had very inspirational chats this week, lots of good things happening. I am very excited. So things are good and I am happy. That is what counts.

Spending time with the kids is getting better by the day. By each weekend if you like. The engagement is going beyond what I ever expected, so that’s fun. Not only being on the trampoline with them, cooking, having chats and discussing the world, just getting those hugs and kisses, just really being valued is a nice thing. And them using their brain to actually help! Life is getting better by the day. Building a foundation of more trust in the future – so I hope.


Prompted by an article I read this week that stated that most people regretted on their death bed of not having followed their hearts but acted on their minds, I wondered a bit. I wondered whether I do follow my heart. Will I sit on my death bed and regret of not following my heart?

I don’t think I would. No, I won’t. I am following my life path which I enjoy. When I was younger there were a lot of things I wasn’t too keen on: mortgage, marriage, kids, fast cars, family cars, camping … but now most of these things happened. Do I have any regrets. None whatsoever, I love my life, and I followed my heart. And they were all the right things to do.

Job wise it is the same. No, I never started to say that I wanted to work in sales but I always wanted to work in management. I didn’t know what that was, but helping people and managing them, firing them and hiring them, speaking to them and presenting. That is what I do now. And: I love it.

If there was one regret it would be of not having done my own thing. But I am not dying yet and I still got plans. Maybe to do something that is mind changing or changing minds. I have been working on my next Ebook/Whitepaper this week. Maybe I will be making this dent in the universe and setting an example for future generations. Yes, that is still a dream, but no regrets if I don’t achieve it.

Are you the same? Can you sit there today and say that you living the dream?
I do and I cannot stress enough to make sure I keep reminding myself about it daily. The grass is always greener, but currently there is no way it really is.

Yet, as I have written this post earlier this week, I had to amend it for two reasons. Firstly, I have had such a great time with my boys this weekend, that I feel so blessed. Don’t ever forget the precious things you have, right there, in front of you.

And secondly, I came down with a temperature/flu. So no trip to Berlin tomorrow 6 am – and I see if I can join the industry event on Tuesday. My old boss, a serial entrepreneur and workaholic, actually not too dissimilar to me, always said I don’t need ill employees. I need people being healthy. Get well and give 100% the day after. He is right. And it is one of my values ever since. Look after yourself. There is only one you, and you are still needed.

So to all others not being well, get better.

Have a great week,

Sunday Column (274)

This week was a “back to the roots” week. Back to work, busy days, lots of progress, having fun. Yet, as so often, I am thinking of my boys and found this amazing song by German artist Reinhard Mey. I must have listened to it a hundred times but only this week the meaning became really clear to me. I am not alone with my feelings, balancing work and family, yet enjoying both!

Vaters Nachtlied (Father’s Lullaby)

The translation goes roughly like this:

I’m sorry, I could not come home sooner,
We had a difficult negotiation at work, man oh man, lasting until after eight!
Well, you took Benno Bear and Fritz Fuchs to bed
And Cookie Monster too? I have thought a lot about you.
Were the grandparents over, has it been a good day?
And you blackmailed your mother again for an ice cream?
And I? Oh, I’ve only read the stock market report,
and whilst doing that I was thinking about, how I can glue your boat.

Then Doctor Schulze-Wüstefeld invite me for a working meal,
I moved from “one bum cheek to another”
There was “spicy venison stew,” how gladly would I have instead
Had a bratwurst with you and sucked licorice.
Then I completely forgot to laugh at a joke,
Which Senator Kühn thought was very funny,
I was probably just thinking about beating eggs for pancakes
meanwhile one has chosen me for the board of directors.

It is true indeed, since I am here, not only have the balance sheets improved,
the growth rates are doubled, and the index rose.
Today would have been the day to repot our pumpkin,
And then I would have liked to show you how to sow radishes.
Maybe I landed my biggest deal today,
Perhaps the major order of which the whole company dreams,
But certainly, I have not sung with you at bed time,
And a day that never comes again, I failed to be with you.

Now the regular reader knows two things about me. I enjoy working and if I hadn’t had family I would probably do that all day. The other is that I have family and love being with them, trying to be a good dad. Balancing those two powers can be difficult at times, so days like the one I listen to in the song make me think: about both sides! I am not alone with my feelings, it is totally normal and I get a lot of reassurance from the song and speaking to other dads. I guess it is “back to work” this week, a full on one but really enjoyable one too.


This week we also got a delivery of logs for our wood burner. It might sound funny but I felt like a child. It was exciting to stack wood for my own stove, making sure we have enough for the winter, which actually I am not. It Is only June and the weather should get warmer before it gets colder, but hey, it is an exciting thing to do. A bit of self sufficiency, independence. Roll on winter, or before that our camper van trip, Hippy, self sufficiency, independence. Roll on the 60ies 😉

There has been one other thing on my mind. And I try not to elaborate on it too much. Friday marked the 70th anniversary of D-day. This is a long time since Britain and the US invaded occupied France to free it from Germany. It has been a dark chapter in Europe, Germany in particular, but it also is history.

Speaking with my 5 year old, asking whether they discussed D-day in school, he said yes. Not that he would really understand. Understand that he is living in a free Europe, being half Scottish (and don’t get me started on the independence campaign there) and half German), growing up in England, and that the privilege to live in a peaceful Europe is down to the brave men who fought in the war. The allies, yet also the resistance in Germany and other countries. But foremost thanks to the guys who on Friday remembered their comrades and all fallen in the Second World War.

Without those I would not be sitting here, working in London, enjoying what I have. I am grateful for that. Grateful for the freedom, peace and opportunity we as a generation need to understand where it is coming from, accepting and remembering the past but letting go of it at the same time.

I think this is a good way of closing this week’s blog. A bit sentimentality about love and war. About how life really is and that there is always something better, something greater, and more opportunities to grasp. Yet, not ever to forget the opportunity we have today, being grateful for what we have. That counts.

Buddha bless.

Sunday Column (265)

As you know I spent last weekend away from the family. On a stag. I didn’t know I could handle (or judgement thereof is down to my companions) that many shots. Never mind. Thinking you are still at uni whilst ‘rocking the dance floor’ coming up for 40….

It is odd to travel without family for pleasure. No one but myself to look after, nothing to worry about but myself. It is a bit selfish but also nice. I enjoyed it and truly relaxed.

This week was different. I flew to Paris late on Wednesday to start a long day early on Thursday. Busy with meetings and work, travelling and working. This is less fun, one is more engaged with work, less relaxed. But that’s what I do, and I still enjoy it.

One thing stays the same: You miss the kids. It is nice to hear that the highlight of school was me doing the school run. Nice to get the hugs and kisses before I leave. I am used to not being there for bedtime but the older the boys get the more I feel that I am missing out on not being there.

Colin suggested I should stop working. I tried to explain to him that this wasn’t a good idea. Whilst we are looking to rent a caravan we cannot live in it forever. A five year old’s mind works in mysterious ways.

But don’t get me wrong. I love my job, my travel and the European challenge. I enjoy what I do, yet need to be stricter in separating work and life, being more in the moment with the kids. I am improving at weekends. I am making it work.

Just this weekend, despite the stress of packing up our downstairs in anticipation of some renovation work, I didn’t even check my phone nor Facebook all day. I spend some quality moments with the boys and enjoyed their company. At the same time of course they are getting easier in entertaining themselves. Win/win as they say.

Next week I am travelling again, yet it is a good thing as the downstairs renovation starts. For the next four weeks, if we can sit in the living room at all, we will sit on chairs. Our couch went on eBay, the new couch will arrive early May. The result will hopefully be amazing. I cannot wait.

I am closing this blog with a video this week. When watching this, I got a lump in my throat and a few tears. This week I got good and bad news, and some very sad news. Life is a roller coaster ride, yet I am very positive about what is there to come. I am so ready for the challenge of it.

What do you think?

Should we sometimes be a bit more considerate with the people we tip…..

Have a great week,

Sunday Column (260)

Having achieved a nice even number for my Sunday Columns, I thought I divide it by 52 weeks to see how many years I am writing my column. It has been exactly 5 years. It was 1st of March 2009 when I first published a column: Sunday Column (1).

At that time I didn’t know that I would take redundancy about 6 weeks later, 8 weeks prior to my first son to be born. It was 2009 and a lot of businesses weren’t doing too well. I didn’t know that the remainder of the year became a challenging journey which ended in a job that catapulted me to where I am today. And I didn’t know that it repeated itself, if slightly different, 4 years later.

I am not planning to write my autobiography (yet) but maybe one day I will look back and notice patterns. Many years ago I listened to someone giving a talk suggesting that every 6 months there is change. That doesn’t mean a new job every 6 months but maybe something changes within a job/relationship. It has been a challenging time the last 5 years, yet a good time. Lots of learning. Lots of fun. Lots of tears. Life as it is.

Supposedly the years that you have children, kick start your career, buy your first house and go through lots of changes meant to be turbulent. Not even mentioning the recession and downturn. But since 2013 we are back on the up, and 2014 will be awesome. I feel it. Maybe my Sunday Columns will one day form part of my next book.


Sometimes I wonder whether my Sunday Column becomes a diary or summary of the week. I set it up initially to talk about my view on things. More often than not I try to keep it non political and avoid hot topics, as I don’t like offending anyone unless absolutely necessary.

But of course I have some opinions. Over the years I found other media to express my expert opinions, like Mediaposts, iMedia or comments on personal development sites. That leads to me having less of a focused blog. Less work related and more life related stuff. Of course this might change.

If nothing else I discovered my inner self over the past few years, and in much more intensity during the last few months. Coaching, and unleashing power from within is very powerful. Unfortunately this year’s event by Anthony Robbins is too soon, I was hoping it was in May. I feel that over the past few months I have touched on the new Ballueder on to whom I am going to build even more. Writing itself has helped me expressing both my thoughts, experience and actions. It helps me to cope with life.

When I started this blog I had no idea that I would end up being where I am today and now I don’t know where I might be in five years from now. I might be back in London, Germany, Scotland or still live where I am. I might have more kids and a bigger family close by or….but you never know, do you? I wish it stays the same and just becomes more amazing.

It comes back to the thought that we should live in the here and now and enjoy every bit of life when we can. If that is the weekends with the kids or my train journey using the time, sleeping less to exercise or taking time for myself to go mountain biking. Whatever it is, treat time as precious, you cannot stop it or bring it back. And, isn’t it nice to not know about the future?

Excitement. Looking back and looking forward.

Let me finish with that. Let’s see what the next five years hold.


Cheers, Volker

Sunday Column (247)

I am starting this week by explaining the day I had today, Tuesday. For the past few weeks I have had a cold, thought I had overcome it, when I came back from a client meeting feeling rubbish. It hit me. Paracetamol and Ibuprofen later I feel like sleeping and cancel my evening meeting with a good friend. I then manage to leave the office early to find myself on a tube. Overcrowding. London Bridge station shut. Overcrowded train to Victoria. Sweating, tired, exhausted. London Victoria station shut due to overcrowding. Open again. I press myself on a train with plenty of space inside yet no one moves down. Clapham Junction. A seat. By that time I was very exhausted (whinge) and as a result worked half ill from home the next day, was ill the following day and only felt better on Friday. Of course I worked normal again on Friday, felt worse again on Saturday, ok-ish on Sunday. What’s happening?

I believe I have discussed that before. We don’t really take time off anymore when we are ill. I have been pushing myself for a while and should have taken time off a few weeks ago but instead taking it a bit easier, working from home, yet ending up doing the same amount of work just not physically in the office. Silly. Luckily my boss understood, or not actually, and told me to get better, stay at home and be fit again next week. He is right. Good to have good bosses. Yet I find it difficult to let go, too much work, want to pull my weight and lots of things I need to get done. Nevermind, I seem better now. Fingers crossed this will last this time. And enough whinging!

Sometimes I think I am in a film. Not only with those colds and stuff but also with the above tube and train journeys. I don’t think anyone has thought of a movie called the “commuters nightmare” yet. That day it took me an hour from the office to a train. Then another hour home. I had some comfort food and an early night. Did I mention it was only Tuesday? The commute in London is getting worse as more people are moving to London and then, as they have family, move further out. Whilst I am unlucky tonight, if you followed my tweets, I am waiting for a few delay repay claims to arrive. Trains are catastrophic lately: signalling problems, overrunning engineering works etc. When we moved further out it never crossed my mind. We are on the main line to Brighton and Gatwick airport. Surely this is a priority line. Maybe not, or are other lines even worse?

I am not sure why those problems exist in the first place. Poor management with only one peak hour train to London Bridge? Poor management of train capacities, putting smaller capacity trains on at the wrong time? Old equipment? And all that for just under £450 per month. That is a lot of money! Particularly if think of the service you are getting. Appalling to be honest. Some people on twitter suggested to get the Germans in. I don’t actually remember it being so much better, yet more people drive and hence the trains are less crowded. But that might just be my perception and maybe it is so much better? Not much they can do here I believe.

Btw, the picture was taken when I was chairing the Admonsters European Publisher Forum in Berlin this year.


Anyway, let’s focus on positive points this week. I published my first article on MediaPost Publications. The aim is to have a monthly column there. Thanks to Admonsters I have been looking into 2nd screens and their modelling lately, a fascinating topic allowing for some early adopters to really put their name out there with their technology. That and topics like viewability and view through attribution are still not solved, even years on. Brand Safety is on the agenda too.

Another positive thing was me being at home, if ill. I got to see the boys a bit more and realise how much they miss me and want to be with me. How much they enjoy me reading the good night story. And I learn to prioritise them over my work and work in the evenings after they went to bed instead. Servicing Central Europe, I started with an 8 am demo on Friday, took the boys to school, and finished in time for the Hassocks Light Up. The kids loved the lights and afterwards the dads met for some pints in the local. I tried to cut it short, still overcoming my man flu.

The weekend was the usual but again I kept myself wrapped up, concentrating on getting better. Next week is big. I have three busy weeks ahead of me. Lots happening at work.

Now this week’s blog had a theme I suppose. Work, work life balance and commute. A bit sad maybe…..yet that is life sometimes.

Have a great one,

Sunday Column (220)

This week started out very slowly which I kind of enjoyed. My project got postponed to September which means I could slow down a bit and focus on other things I wanted to sort out for a long time. This was really to de-clutter. First of all I de-cluttered my Facebook news feed. Too much stuff you follow, you like and don’t really care about. Then I did the same for twitter, removing a few people I followed, then my Google Reader feed which I moved to Feed.ly. I wanted to decrease the background noise, the noise that constantly keeps you thinking you are missing something despite the fact you didn’t miss anything. Nice to feel a bit more at ease, and less disturbed. I also de-cluttered a few books, old pictures and “stuff” you carry around. Good to do a spring clean 🙂

I also managed to spend more time with the family this week. Despite interviews and interview preparations, I managed to go swimming with them, went to the park and also entertained Rohan for 2 hours (!). He is a wee pickle, so I found those hours very intense, really not used to him being full on. It seems so much easier to look after an almost 4 year old instead of a 2 year old. Normal you’d say, but I am still learning. Or will I ever understand properly?

On Saturday a friend and his two kids and I with the boys went to Brighton. Two brave kids who pulled through with no sleep. Daddy was tired though and fell asleep on the sofa. I really admire the daily work my wife puts up with!

Regarding the swimming: that was fun. I was the only bloke with 5 other mothers, R and I playing for 30 minutes under supervision and sang songs. Just that I don’t know any of those children songs, so besides being the only bloke I was the only one not knowing the songs. Never mind, we had great fun and R was exhausted afterwards. So was I to be honest as I had been back on the treadmill that morning. We are getting there. C was funny in the afternoon but as an almost four year old he needs a lot of attention. All the time. It is hard work, so a lot of respect goes out to my wife (again).

On Wednesday, and you can now tell I write this as we are going along this week, I managed a 5 am start on my bike to cycle across the South Downs. I didn’t take any pictures but absolutely loved it. I saw a deer, a fox, many rabbits and the odd early birds (in terms of people). I was very energised all day and drafted a few more blog posts 🙂 So watch this space on some more updates. Thursday was my day in town and I had a few meetings, catch ups and input on what to do next. Also, I got a few requests to do things and made progress with my project. I love being busy and catching up with friends too.


I also managed to make progress on my book this week, go swimming for myself (1000m) and I almost finished reading a book. With R being up most nights and the exercise regime, less food and dull weather, I have felt tired most of the week. Never mind. My wife and I got into a new routine of doing things which make us work alongside each other much better. This is important, as I haven’t really worked from home for such a long period of time. It is working out quite well and I am busy most days, however I believe moving forward I’d prefer a 9-5 job out of the house. Not only will it have more security, it will also mean that I progress in my career which is important for me. I can always decide in 5 years time to not continue doing it and become another ‘digital consultant’ but by then I’d have more experience. However, in the meantime I might just take another project on to tie myself over. It is a difficult decision and with the consultant offers I get it might be a close call.

With the long weekend I spent, as said above, lots of time with the kids and friends. I haven’t really done that since I got time off but can now afford doing so. The initial seeds are planted and I need to see which ones will come to something and which ones not. It is an interesting job market out there with lots of room for freelance and consultancy work. I enjoy it and meet a few good and intelligent people which is just a fantastic way of networking and understanding things better.

Life is good for the moment. I could be happier but generally speaking things aren’t that bad. However, give me another 4 weeks and my wife will try to chase me out of the house 😉

Oh, I forgot to mention that I took all my coins to the bank and we got around £180 which we donated to Save the Children. I feel privileged by putting change aside to be able to donate this sum once a year to charity without it having any impact on me. It feels good to know it makes a huge difference to children around the world.

Have a good week!


Sunday Column (214)

If I had unlimited money, won the lottery or inherited from a long lost aunt I have never heard of, if….when did you last dream about that? How often do you chase your dreams?

Daily. That would be my answer. I am chasing my realistic dreams daily, the above unrealistic dream too seldom.


Living the dream. Having a place to live, a job I enjoy, a great wife and kids. Healthy kids. A network of support, friends and work colleagues. I am living the dream and often I don’t notice it.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have challenges. With work, with the wife, with the kids. I moan (a lot) and I can get angry. But I try, like in moments like now, to calm my mind and focus on the essentials. And those are in order, they make me happy. Of course everyone and then someone manages to unbalance my Zen. I guess the most annoying bit is if you do a reality check on something with someone, and what a person says is really unrealistic compared to most opinions.

Are you one of those people that think if something awful happens, then you will change your life? I used to think that until I realised that whatever happens, no matter how bad, will only be as bad as you experience it. To simplify: you decide how bad a death affects you as suppose to you almost getting run over by a car or missing the bus. All of those events, no doubt one worse than the other, will affect your life. But whether you going to make it a life changing one is entirely up to you. Some people get really motivated from bad news they receive to changing their life.

Living in the now and forming your future is entirely your call. Your decision and responsibility. No one will make decisions for you. You decide entirely yourself. Question: are you ready to make the decision?


Decisions. I made a few decisions this week. One was that a club I looked at is not for me. Then on Wednesday I made the decision to stay at home. I had a temperature, stayed in bed most of the day. What I realised lately is that people don’t call in sick anymore. They work from home and be partly sick. Technology allows me to stay on top of my emails. I work, Skype with colleagues, and don’t relax. One isn’t ill and detached anymore. One is working from home. Odd isn’t it?

I believe that we are no machines and need lots of relaxation to cope with the stresses and strains of life. Life got really busy didn’t it? I do believe I have a good balance. However, four weeks of viruses and lack of sleep because of the boys keeping us up at night, took its toll. Hopefully this week’s temperature is the final step before I return to normal? We had to cancel long term weekend plans too. And, the reality is that we should just de-tach ourselves from work when ill. Technology is both a blessing and a curse. We still feel that we need to stay on top of things.

Anyway. The weather is supposed to get better next week, so fingers crossed this will get rid of all the viruses and bugs. The kids seem better. Hopefully the wife stays healthy, so far so good. We cancelled our weekend plans and the sunny Thames River walk on Sunday which I was looking forward to had to be cancelled due to train issues. The joys of living too far out of London.

I have three busy weeks ahead of me. To be honest, before I know it, I am on a week off for half term. Life is busy. Life is good.

Have a great week,

South Downs

You know when people ask you why you like to move further out of London and you can tell them that South Downs National Park will soon be on our door step, it makes you feel so much more relaxed.

Then you start thinking about a 10 km (7 mile) drive to Brighton or any sea side town down on the South coast of England. And you think of the summer. And you think of your kids and the weekends away from the big smoke. You think of a life worth living. A work life balance.

Sorry, I got asked that question a lot this week. And, I am so looking forward to our move. Fingers crossed the paperwork goes through alright.