Supply Chain and Returns in uncertain times


In this week’s podcast I welcome Al Gerrie who is the Founder and CEO of ZigZag Global, a software solution to help e-commerce retailers manage returns domestically and globally. We recorded this at the peak internet time during the first week of national office closures due to the Corona virus, and unfortunately the connection dropped a few time. 
 
We speak about Corona/Covid-19 and how it impacts his business and the supply chain. ZigZag Global is connecting a global network of over 200 warehouses, 100 courier services and multiple international marketplaces. ZigZag whitelabels the solution to 9 international carriers and postal provider. 
 
Success for him is about right business at the right time; a thorough business model to stick to and being laser focused on the end goal. For him it is all about building the best business with the best people; winning awards as part of a marketing strategy, and building the best technology in the world. It sounds simple but it has been a lot of hard work for him.
 
Al has over 20 years retail, logistics and ecommerce experience as a consultant to major brands and is former Head of Multichannel at OFFICE, Mountain Warehouse and WeArePentagon. He was a very early pioneer in the mobile shopping space, launching one of the first PayPal mobile shopping experiences as early as 2007 (pre smartphone). He is an expert in international delivery and returns, technical integrations, as well as building ecommerce fulfilment and warehousing solutions with 3rd Party logistics providers.
 
I found it interesting to learn that more and more people, close to 40%, buy to try things out at home and then return the item. VR (virtual reality), to his account, doesn’t have a huge impact yet, as people still want to touch, feel and try the product in flesh; consumers want choice. Hence the process for returns must be nailed down for both consumers and retailers. Workflow, experience as well as cost. A very complex process, which has to take a lot of factors into consideration.
 
Al explains how local shipping and local drop off becomes more important for buyers; it also reduces costs for the retailer. 
In today’s world, the consumer doesn’t want to pay for delivery. However, the costs of the returns needs to be covered somewhere, and a hidden cost which affects the retailers’ bottom line.
 
I love when Al tells the story how he got into the business, thinking I’d love to have a pound for every return. Listen in, the ideas are there for entrepreneurs to take.
 
ZigZag has four types of clients, e.g. large retailer, warehouse groups, Carriers (Whitelabel), and Marketplaces. Their process takes only 60 seconds, and it makes it super easy for customers to return. I love his holistic approach, e.g. not only does he focus on the process for the consumer and customer, but also the reduction of waste from the label printing to the avoidance of air miles. Also, they are using a lot of data, to for instance identify users that are returning more often, or don’t pay the bill. Those would then be excluded from future ad campaigns for instance or flagged in the system as being problematic. I wonder if there is anything they haven’t thought of yet?
 
At time of recording the Corona virus hasn’t taken a toll yet. However, he anticipates a disruption around ports and goods moving across countries. Long term, he expects that buying habits will be changing for good. People will buy even more online, as we have seen in China a few years ago. Once that habit has been established, it is difficult for people to go back.
 
There are of course challenges with a reduced workforce being in place, but he is confident we are getting through the crisis; yet the consumer behaviour will change.
 
We also talk about his company taking measures for everyone to work from home; ZigZag had planned this for many years and they are quite prepared. Of course other business aren’t or are not able to work from home. Another challenge in this crisis, and it will have an impact on the way we are working moving forward.
 
The impacts he suggests to consider isn’t only work, but the social impact like family. He also gives us his advice on what to do when you work from home, balancing both work and life/family.
 
Unprecedented times indeed. Thank you Al, for being my guest.
If you want to reach out to him, please go to Linkedin or www.zigzag.global
—-
Volker coaches transformations (career, life & business), and helps individuals and companies through change. He is also a mindfulness trainer and productivity expert. In his podcast Stories of Success he interviews successful people and wrote a book on the back of it.

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Leadership in unprecedented times


My podcast this week is with a former colleague and friend Luis Esteban (LinkedIn). Not often do I ask colleagues to be on the podcast, but after meeting Luis Esteban last year, we just hit it off and have so many things in common. Luis is now CEO of Initiative Spain, and I moved on too. His Twitter handle is @lesteban
 
In wake of the Corona Virus, we actually recorded this episode only last week. It hangs over us, yet we are focusing on leadership in unprecedented times as well as his mantra, ‘be a warrior’.
 
His bio reads like a dream profile of a successful entrepreneur and business person: Digital CEO with Entrepreneur Spirit, Loves Mobile, E-Commerce & Social Media. Now in the Performance and Direct Response world (Programatic, Search, SEO and Social PPC). He was awarded as Executive of the Year 2018 in the Bing Europe and APAC Awards amongst 700 agency contenders and he was twice (!) included in the 100 Most Influential Under40 in Spain by GQ.
 
Luis latest challenge moves him into TV as well, which in Spain is still a huge media channel, and will be moving digital at some point. However, whilst we start off on digital marketing, I guess that’s where we met, for him it is all about having fun at work and being happy; balancing his life.
 
His leadership is about enabling the right people around him, to make them successful, whether that is within his organisation or outside. This leads the conversation to different generations in the workplace, and what millennials want from the workplace versus the older generation. This ties in with the new regulations of working from home or working remotely due to the ongoing global crisis.
 
Luis has been very successful in his career, and no doubt this will continue. However, he is very humble about it. So he boils it down to respect, being humble, and working with talented people. He is very positive and has a very forward looking, positive outlook on life which helped him to be successful. However, he warns to not confuse this with being naive but being pro-active or positive.
 
My main take away from the conversation is that you should be in it for the long run. Of course you have to do your job, but be patient and persevere and you will reach the level you were meant to reach. It’s all about hard work and a long term view, having a long term career plan. Being able to coach millennials and staff in general seems to become more and more important.
 
Luis quotes Microsoft’s CEO Nadella stating that the biggest influence on business is: empathy. It goes in line with my previous podcast on Compassionate Leadership. The use of EQ (emotional intelligence), compassion, and empathy in the workplace is key. Showing this in times of these, where we are separated by screens, and cannot socialise directly, it is something we should encourage in the ‘remote workplace’ situation. Luis has already had a virtual beer and lunch, why not? We are all in the same boat, and isolation can lead to mental health challenges. Let’s combat this now.
 
At the end of the podcast we touch on WLB (work life balance) and how it is important to have the right people around him at home, similar to work. He praises his wife for her support and having his balanced family life with his three children. His advice is to leave all business at the doorstep and come into the house and focus on your family only. I guess another challenge in terms of working remotely. We touch on hobbies and making the most of the time you gain by not commuting, and keeping up the social spirit. #BeaWarrior
 
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor, business consultant and mindfulness trainer.
 
Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his bestselling book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 

If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

 

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Retaining Talent


When recording this amazing episode with Wasim Benharch I was buzzing – and it wasn’t only because of the caffeine I had that day. Meeting Wasim opened my eyes to Learning and Development in organisations and the role it plays for retaining the right talent. 
 
Wasim introduced an onboarding programme at Methods Business and Digital Technology that has seen attrition reduced from almost 30% to single digits in the space of 12 months! So that’s clearly a success, and a story I wanted to hear from him. He didn’t always work in L&D but gives us a good overview how he worked with retailers and partners over the years and started to understand the necessity for the role he has now.
 
He filled us into a model called the 70-20-10 which looks at three areas. It holds that individuals obtain 70 percent of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20 percent from interactions with others, and 10 percent from formal educational events. Whilst we also discuss how many people use YouTube to find information, aside from Google’s search, and we used the example of repairing a washing machine, and finding a step by step instruction.
 
What I liked about Wasim’s attitude is that he believes in having a good place to work makes all the difference. He is humble that there is no secret sauce to what he does, however I have seen too many companies not adhering to the basics. However, when telling his story, he outlines the buy in from the C-Level and the front-line staff. He is bridging the gap between what KPIs leadership wanting to meet, whilst on the other hand maintaining the work environment and matching the needs of the people doing the day to day work.
 
He looked at pre-boarding, induction and probation. His task was to make each stage a huge success, e.g. engagement, for the individual. Every line manager involved in recruitment would be involved, and of course the leadership as described above. Further, he introduced a 2 day introduction programme which is relevant for everyone. Not, like many I have experienced, it was for junior or senior staff, or you are too busy in the job to actually attend it. And the product in his case are the people. We discuss the whole process in detail and I am sure you find many pointers there if you are in L&D or running a company. Given I have gone through a few redundancies and had different HR experiences from onboarding to ‘off boarding’, it was refreshing to hear Wasim’s approach. And it clearly works!!!
 
When we discuss freelance workers and how they integrate them, Methods’ approach is long-term rather than short-term thinking, which is a testament again (!) as many freelancers join them full time. A great approach to integrate everyone and using recruitment and positive WOM as a recruitment tool, as a company’s responsibility is all about offering an opportunity to grow and have a career within an organisation. His approach, similar to mine, is all about developing staff, mentoring staff until they cannot progress further; good managers rise with the tide. Retention as its best.
 
He defines success as finding happiness in what one does, and how he can be beneficial to others. 
 
If anyone wants to reach out to him, they can go and find him on Linkedin
 
Wasim inspired me so much, and we had so much fun recording it, I also wrote a blog post on the back of this podcast, as Wasim got me to think about my personal story of joining and leaving companies. You might enjoy reading that too.
 
 
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor, business consultant and mindfulness trainer. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his bestselling book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 

If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Trust your gut or not – all about executive decision making


In this week’s episode I welcome Dr. Gleb Tsipursky. We recorded it on a Friday night without having had a chance to talk about his topic in great detail before. What attracted me to Gleb’s profile is that he is on a mission to protect leaders from dangerous judgement errors – widely known as cognitive biases. So his expertise is around decision making and gut instinct, and actually not relying on your gut instinct.
 
An interesting episode where Gleb speaks about his life and how he came to the US from Moldovia as a child, a country which seems to be one of the unhappiest in the world. He shares his story how he started being interested in decision making based on his personal story, the dot.com boom and bust as well as his research.
 
He recently published his book Never Go With Your Gut, How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Avoid Terrible Advice, Cognitive Biases, and Poor Decisions)  in which he summarises his findings.
 
Gleb argues that our gut feelings haven’t adapted to the modern world, but still have the instincts from our ‘savanna days’. Therefore, if we rely on our gut feelings, we make the wrong decisions as they aren’t good decisions in today’s world anymore. That’s where the cognitive bias comes in too.
 
In order to make better decisions he suggests to follow a basic 5 step process:
  1. What Information didn’t I yet fully consider?
  2. What dangerous judgement errors haven’t I yet addressed? 
  3. What would a trusted advisor suggest I do?
  4. How have I addressed all the ways how it could fail?
  5. What information would you hold to change your mind?
This decision making process should overwrite your gut, particularly for major decisions. His book goes into more details, however listen carefully to his examples in the podcast which are fascinating. It shows how the confidence level changes due to cognitive bias. It goes in line with how the body mind connection is helping you to be more positive and confident for instance; we discuss how Emotional Intelligence (EQ) can or cannot help us to make better decisions too. It’s important to understand our instincts and how to connect them to our behaviour.
 
We conclude on discussing how the CEOs of this world hear from Gleb about not listening to their gut or their instincts, which they probably like, yet it goes against latest trends. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did, as it is a fascinating and insightful. I loved every minute of our discussion!
 
If you want to find out more please please contact Gleb on any of the following channels:
Get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace, by signing up for his free Wise Decision Maker Course.
 
 
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor, business consultant and mindfulness trainer. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his bestselling book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 

If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Start Being Yourself – Turn fear into confidence


This episode of my podcast was another “cold interview”. I enjoy those conversations, where you meet someone for the first time and record the conversation. This one is with Barbara Vercruysse. Apologies for some audio glimpses which are due to connectivity issues.
 
Barbara is a coach, spiritual mentor, thought leader and public speaker. After facing several challenges in life and surviving stage 4 skin cancer at the age of 32, she decided to live her second life at the fullest. In this episode she shares her story of success. She also wrote a book, founded an online school, gives talks and inspires people to deeply transform their lives. 
 
We are looking at the first life she had prior to cancer and her second life after cancer. She sees her cancer, which she had at 32, as a blessing. A concept some might not understand, but for her it was a eureka moment which made her change her life completely. For her it is all about leaving a legacy, an imprint on someone else’s heart.
 
It was as if she was living someone else’s life until she started being herself, finding herself due to her experience with cancer. She overcame this and openly speaks about the debts she had; she had to close her company and was ready to give it all up. But she persevered and ended up fighting even harder to get to where she is now! She turned that fear into a confidence in life.
 
She learned how to say yes, worked hard and took the opportunities and made it a success. Her online school is called ‘Barbara’s School of Wisdom’. She was published in the Huffington Post and wrote the book: ‘7 Most Powerful Techniques to Release Stress‘. We discuss the power we have inside us to make decisions and how we react in any situation. Whilst we touch on spiritual experience, and how we would define this for ourselves, there is also the Peaceprize which she was selected for. It is a Thought Leaders School founded by Bryant McGill. 
 
A complex episode with loads of input and take aways in order to encourage you to live the life you want to live!
 
If you want to find out more about Barbara, please follow the links below:
 
Linkedin:
Facebook:
Website:
School of Wisdom:
 
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor, business consultant and mindfulness trainer. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his bestselling book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 
If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Compassionate Leadership


Happy 50th Episode!
 
I sometimes do not believe that it has been a 2 year journey of ‘Stories of Success’ and we arrived at episode 50. I have enjoyed the journey so far, and how my podcast has changed from interviewing ‘successful adtech leaders’ to ‘leaders in personal development’. As my life is pivoting, so is the podcast, and maybe you see a refresh of positioning in 2020. The book I wrote on the back of the podcast has become a best seller and sold close to 10,000 copies by now. I am delighted to be able to bring you the tools and stories of leaders in order to make you a better person, and help you in your self improvement journey, learning about leadership and personal development. It helps me with my consulting and coaching clients, and it is a lot of fun too. Thanks for your ongoing support and loyalty.
 
This anniversary episode is with Manley Hopkinson who has a number of strings to his bow; as an internationally acclaimed and admired inspirational speaker, as a mentor, coach and catalyst for personal, team & organisational transformation, as an accomplished author and as an Executive Board member.
 
His strength lies in creating and developing the transformational leadership behaviours needed for people, organisations and sporting teams to perform at a high level, consistently. Aligning leaders, executive teams and the wider community to the strategic intent enables true delegation, leveraged effort, effective decision making and high performance at all levels.
 
Rather than forcing “compliance”, the focus is on gaining “commitment” by raising levels of self and team awareness, then aligning personal and organisational values & purpose leading to more effective business and personal relationships. It’s a very holistic approach that needs to be taken, which then also leads to more success for companies, e.g. a win/win for the world and the business.
 
He mentions John Adair’s model of leadership too, which I recommend finding out more about.
 
I am delighted to welcome him on my podcast where he tells his story of compassionate leadership, and we discuss not only what success means but also what leadership means, and how we can be better leaders. For him it is about conscious leadership, where leaders get a commitment to follow, and it goes in line with Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Awareness comes first, then taking positive actions.
 
Success for him is about being truly content with oneself; it is about being happy on the inside. The values he lives by are ‘deep sense of what he believes’, ‘courage to be yourself’, ‘confidence to believe in yourself’, ‘joy in the moment’, and ‘compassion’. This contentment leads to him or anyone being a better person, partner and human being.
 
As an Inspirational Speaker Manley understands the impact of stories; tapping into that power of story and metaphor to accelerate reflection, discovery and revelation, creates moments of deep understanding, breaking down barriers and leading to lasting transformational behavioural change.
 
He speaks about his experience as a skipper in the 2000 BT Global Challenge round the world yacht race, leading a team of volunteers, including novices, for 9 months in a 32,000 mile journey, the “wrong way”! Manley continued his adventures as part of the 3-man team that won the inaugural race to the Magnetic North Pole. The team faced polar bear attacks, and sub-zero temperatures, learning huge lessons about both surviving and competing in very difficult circumstances. 
I read his book which he published in 2014, “Compassionate Leadership: How to Create and Maintain Engaged, Committed and High-Performing Teams” , and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The brand-new online Compassionate Leadership Academy (CLA)  is a continuation of all Manley’s work that will transform the way people access leadership development and further spread the impact of compassionate leadership worldwide. 
 
A podcast you don’t want to miss; a high impact leader which an in depth understanding of both leadership, communication and how to achieve goals. I truly enjoyed the conversation with Manley. Every journey changes you, if you take the time to reflect on it afterwards.
 
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor, business consultant and mindfulness trainer. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his bestselling book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 
If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Let go of that fear of letting go


I interviewed Sidar Ok, an executive coach and renowned independent management consultant in IT strategy, and founder of IQoach. His clients are Fortune 500 companies. However, despite his success, he had to evacuate his family home to record the podcast from a car, because he couldn’t risk waking up his two young children. So throughout the podcast we were worried he might be picked up by the police 😉
 
His journey is amazing; fleeing Turkey to avoid going to war and likely to die, working for Microsoft, working in the US, then Dublin and settling in Belgium. His motto is ‘struggle is real”, and it reflects in his story, as he taught himself a lot of skills around IT and programming and languages. 
 
What I enjoyed was that we are both doing something similar. We work with companies as a “coachsultant”, offering value as a consultant, then moving on to continue working with companies as a coach. It is about experience first and coaching second. I often use the term ‘trusted advisor’.
 
Success for him is about measurable smart goals, but ultimately about your definition of quality work which you deliver over a period of time to meet the client’s needs. The end in mind, stepping stones and clear goal settings which will be measurable within 2 months of his coaching programmes.
 
Sidar also gives me the best ever compliment of calling me ‘a coaching genius’ which I found very flattering. He always created a necessity, an urge, to get out of bed and make it happen. His motivation is his drive to achieve more, and to create urgency. For him it is like ‘being dead’ if he doesn’t find a necessity inside himself. His drive is phenomenal and he reveals how he motivates himself.
 
It’s about one’s calling and just going for it, particularly if there isn’t a safety net. To let go of that fear of letting go, to go for what you want to do in life. Fear is what moves you forward, because the cost of inaction is much higher. Sidar then reveals his framework how to implement change with clients. His advice is to go for it, make today the day you going to make it happen.
 
Just to let you know, he did survive the recording from the car without any permanent damages 😉
 
—-
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor, business consultant and mindfulness trainer. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his bestselling book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 
If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Living with Cancer


Interviewing Andy Nobbs was an honour. Andy and I worked together, and I always enjoyed his management style. Down to earth, a very active person, a family man and full of life. I am not only saying this. He used to go sailing and running, and his whole family was involved. On the other hand we went for long media lunches, had fun in Cannes and at dmexco. He was razor sharp from a business perspective, the prize always in mind. We had so much in common, and we still do, and shared so many experiences.
 
Please note, due to some technical challenges, we had some audio problems in this recording. It gets better as we go along. Please accept my apologies for that, but I don’t think it takes anything away from the actual story.
 

Today, Andy has a life-limiting condition, and recognises that he will die sooner than he should. This is his story, and I am glad he shared it with me, so I can share it with you. It is a powerful story about life, and death. About perspective, personal choice and success. 
 
One day in 2016 I came back to the office after a client meeting and Andy was gone. He collapsed in the office earlier, and everyone thought he’d had a heart attack. He was taken to hospital and the doctors found out that he had a brain tumour. Totally unexpected. It was, as he said, as if ‘someone hit me over the head with a baseball bat’.
 
In this podcast he talks to us about his experience, and how this has changed his life and his outlook on life. The definition of success has changed massively for him. Unfortunately, many people don’t want to talk about cancer, so I am more than grateful for Andy to do so, and share the awareness of what it means to discover one has cancer, and how quickly it can change your life.
 
Andy is both a mentor and a friend of mine. At 53, still young, his life changed. The cancer came back, he had a relapse and got a virus of the brain. He survived all that.  In late October his latest brain scan showed the tumour had not returned.  Another few months till the next check up. What does that mean for someone? 
 
The question is not if he will die, and I suppose we all do, but when.
 
It might be next year, or in 6 months or in a few years time. He was told that the cancer will return, It changes a man, any person, when you think your time might be up tomorrow.
 
Andy was a work-driven person, going to the US a lot on early morning flights, back and forth, and I have known him as very hard working. Goal driven, successful. For him that has changed of course; from a career person to surviving, setting himself shorter term goals. Holidays he enjoyed in the past, like going to Vietnam or sailing, living an active life, are just not possible anymore. Things he does are different now. He doesn’t have to achieve things anymore, so he says.
 
His balance is very poor, so he struggles to walk, let alone go skiing. It’s about making the most of your life, seeing your kids more often, and spending quality time with them. The way success is defined in Western culture is bizarre, he thinks. The radical change in his life makes him philosophical, reflective. He became a better person because of it, as the cancer put things into perspective. From every bad comes good. Even with his condition he shows a strong will to survive and achieve things, never giving up! Andy is truly remarkable.
 

He respects what he has and wants to enjoy the time he has left on earth. It is about every moment, bringing quality to every bit of his life. Andy believes his condition is down to life’s lottery. He praises his wife and started to bring his house in order. He has prepared his funeral, transferred his assets, ready to go any minute. Yet Andy still has plans, and enjoys seeing his kids grow up. He worries about them, and what the future holds for mankind. Climate change, politics. 
 
Andy praises the NHS, the doctor for their support and kindness.
 
I can logically understand what Andy said but emotionally I am very detached from what he is talking about. This is his story, but it hits my empathy.  I guess I cannot relate to it, I have never been in the situation before; however, we can only imagine what he and his family are going through. My thoughts are with you, Andy, and of course your wife and kids.
 
If you want to get in touch, please reach out to Andy via Linkedin.
 
—-
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor and business consultant. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his new book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019. 
If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).
 
From January, he offers mindfulness courses for the workplace too, so please be in touch!

 

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

Success through Health


This week’s episode is of a different kind, but I am confident that you will enjoy it. I certainly learned a ton about healthcare, personal care and had huge take aways. I am sure you will too.
 
The conversation is with Payal Mehta who was a GP for over 9 years! She has now founded her own business, a health clinic, called Nirmana Life. She is guiding her patients in understanding the root causes of chronic illnesses. This conversation is not all about ‘business success’ but about success and looking at it in a more holistic way of health.
 
Payal is using the soft skills that she developed when dealing with her patients – counselling, communication, advice giving, mentoring, guidance and the ability to equip those same patients with the capability to look after themselves. That’s where she overlaps with the work I do in coaching and mindfulness, as she is also acting as a life coach and looks at the spiritual side of life.
 
Some might call her a healer, but the conversation is about stepping into authenticity, which is one of the key principles of success I defined in my book Principles for Success
 
When looking at holistic health and wellbeing, the three areas to focus on are mental, physical and spiritual health. Traditionally she looked at the physical health, given her ‘Western medicinal background’. That’s where her up-skilling is coming in, as her true purpose is about helping people in all areas of life.
 
We discuss how she got into medicine and what makes her tick; plus the emotional part and empathy for people, which according to Payal might be missing sometimes within the NHS and the pressure they are under. She also explains that more younger people have multiple chronic illnesses, despite us living longer and spending on healthcare has increased. A fascinating discussing about age and longevity.  
 
Whilst Western medicine is treating acute illnesses, and we are very good at that, the long term and chronic illnesses are better treated with traditional medicine like Chinese medicine. And the reason we get more of those illnesses is based on changing lifestyles, e.g. less sleep, less exercise, different food from what we were originally designed to eat – and instead of treating those chronic illnesses with the right medicine, e.g. a holistic approach, we are using the wrong medicine, Western medicine. 
 
This really made me think about how we are treating our bodies and whether we live the right lifestyle for how our bodies are built? Hence, in my opinion, we cannot continue the way we are working and living throughout the 21st century without ruining our bodies, mental health and of course our productivity. Again, this is where the work I do on mindfulness and productivity comes in, looking at the long term effectiveness of teams, helping them to cope with stress and soft skills to perform better under the ‘new pressures’. 
 
How do we stay healthy? Payal suggests it is all about three areas of genetics, lifestyle and environment. We discuss how walking, and particularly walking in nature, is beneficial for all mental health conditions and also works as an anti-inflammatory. Genetics is about 5-10% of influence, whilst 90% is down to lifestyle and environmental factors. That is huge.
 
To have a healthy lifestyle, we need to look at the following 5 areas:
  • Food: how and what we eat
  • Movement: how much we move, and what we do to exercise
  • Sleep: how we sleep and what we do before sleep
  • Stress: how we manage stress and mental health
  • Love: purpose of life and social interaction
Balancing all this and looking after yourself will result in a successful life. And we discuss that on the podcast, on how much of those 5 areas I look after. Am I on track? Are you on track?
 
Payal also explains another principle called Psycho Neuroendo Immunology. The lifestyle medicine is working from one side whilst coaching works from the other side. So by looking at the influence of psychology, e.g. how your thoughts influence your brain and chemistry, you start looking at its influences on your hormone production and changes in your cellular level; this then influences you on a physical health level. Most of the thoughts are on a subconscious level, and research is in its infancy; however, we agree the concept isn’t new, ‘we are who we think’, which is what Buddha said many years ago 😉 Another topic I could have spend a whole podcast on to be honest. I am fascinated by so many things I don’t know yet!
 
We close with her main advice which is to manage stress and hire a coach. I couldn’t agree more on either, offering both coaching and mindfulness or a combination thereof. 
 
This podcast is hosted by Volker Ballueder (Ballueder Partners), a trusted advisor and business consultant. Volker wrote a book on productivity and life improvement #BeBetter. He launched his new book Principles for Success, based on the interviews on this podcast, in 2019.
If you are interested in working with Volker Ballueder as an advisor, coach or consultant, please reach out to him via email (volker@ballueder.com).

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!

How to win clients on LinkedIn as a coach


I hardly laughed as much as with Catherine B. Roy in my latest episode of Stories of Success. She is just so much fun, I think I need to have her back for another chat sometime very soon. So we started with a great laugh (literally, if you tune in).
 
We start the conversation around her IQ which is over 156, and she is a MENSA member; I actually did a test on the back of it. My result was less, still within the top 9% of people. She is a personal growth and business growth coach and developed a system for emotional and intellectual development, living from your heart and mind. Catherine describes her talents that she can learn quicker, accept differences easier and has a longer memory; her system is about tapping into 2% of the brain that helps you to raise your game as an individual to become better at what you do.
 
Without controlling her talent, she can get overwhelmed, as she has high attention to detail. Her system looks at Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and IQ at the same time. We are both experienced in EQ and realised that unfortunately a lot of senior and successful people don’t have a high EQ at all. 
 
Catherine differentiates between feelings and emotions which leads us to a conversation about mindset and alignment of mind and real life. Her system is about balancing your mindset and tapping into your inner self, looking at 10 areas of life like relationships, problem-solving, overcoming obstacles, love, etc.; and she goes into detail of her love algorithm. 
 
We then go on and discuss her social media strategies, including how to get traction on LinkedIn; her huge amount of followers came after Bryan McGill, from the Human Potential Leadership community, endorsed her. However, whilst the numbers are big, it is all about the core audience, and maintaining the right message to the right people, and keep engaging on a daily basis.
 
Catherine gives me a great lesson on how to build a social media strategy, and you will find that helpful as well. She loves LinkedIn and that’s where most of her clients are coming from. One of her tips is to make LinkedIn more of a landing page than a CV, which a summary that explains what you are doing and which value you add to your clients. The strategy is to give video content up to 2.5 minutes with value add for your audience.
 
We also discuss the importance of Twitter and whether Instagram is the right channel, and if so, for whom. You can learn a ton from her how to use social media in the right way. 
 
Success for her is not about material success but all about fulfillment in every part of life: reaching the level of joy in life when you are able to live an extraordinary life, within and outside of yourself.
 
Before we finish, Catherine reveals a life-changing experience for her, which lead her to be the person she is today and which gave her so much energy. We are getting philosophical about life, death and the time we have left. A powerful story that shifted her life, and made her create her own life!
 
I am confident you find this episode super useful and find a lot of takeaways for your life; how to live your life fulfilled, and what kind of outlook in life helps you to be successful.
 
If you would like to find out more about Catherine, you can find her homepage here: https://catherinebroy.com/, where you can request a free ebook sample, and also check out her LinkedIn Profile and other social media, feeds you find via her website.
 
The Link to her Book Live from your Heart and Mind: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1687644802/
 
Volker Ballueder is an executive and productivity coach, and works with executives, boards, and leadership teams in order to evaluate strategies and positioning, improving performance and get the most out of their people. For more information please visit Ballueder Partners’ website, or contact him on Linkedin. He hosts this podcast about success and published a best selling book on Principles for Success. Volker is a qualified meditation and mindfulness trainer.

Check out the new episode of Stories Of Success podcast!