Category Archives: Tips

Continental who´s who – are they serious?

A couple of days ago I did receive a letter from a company called “Continental Whos´s Who”. Content of this letter basically was a list of compliments regarding the goals that I did achieve in my profession. I now should feel honored because they are about to approve me becoming part of the “who is who” in my industry.

Indeed I did feel honored and I did not doubt that this is a serious association interested in having me in their group of successful professionals. Since they are based in the US we scheduled a meeting at 3pm to avoid inconveniences caused by the time difference.

In this call a Lisa started to ask some questions about my career and about the way I´m doing business. At that point I still had no doubt about their professional attempt. After 20 minutes she finally congratulated me. “You are a real professional that we want to work with, having you in our exclusive group of executives and professionals from around the world”. Man, I really felt proud about this. After all the years of hard work finally somebody was proud of having me as a member.  I almost felt like a celebrity.

Unfortunately this conversation did change dramatically.  After a couple of more questions she than explained that there are two different memberships. Lifetime which goes for $ 899 and a five year plan going for $ 599. Of course all professionals are choosing the  Lifetime plan.#

At that point the red light in my head already did shine and blink like on judgment day.

I was angry at myself. I knew best that nobody in the world ever will give you something for free. Everything in live does cost. Even for death you have to give your live.

Lisa lost in the second she mentioned the amounts. Nevertheless I did want to see how far she goes. It was impressive how much she did push. It became extremely intrusive. Fortunately I already knew how this is going to end up. I kept on playing. During the conversation she came up with new plans that she only can offer for me and that almost will cost her job.  For some reason it seems that they can´t postpone decisions. They want to close the deal during this call.

Ok, I finally agreed on a $ 99 plan for 2 years.

I could hear her breathing out when she finally nailed it down, she thought. She didn´t knew that I was playing since the second she started to talk about money. What came up next almost would have been good enough for an oscar. But I don´t want to go into to much details. At the end even after not closing the deal and not getting my credit card details nor personal information she stopped the conversation by saying:  “It was my pleasure to talk to you”.

Finally I´m not sure about this company. Online I did found tons of reports accusing them of fraud or even scam.  I don´t want to go that far. I just think the way they did approach me was not the way I want to be approached. In my opinion  becoming a who is who simply should be something that can be achieved  instead of bought.

The funny side now will be that I will laugh for myself whenever I see “who´s who” listed in someones profile. Now I know that this person did not achieve it, he simply did not manage to stand against the pushy sales person of that company. Something that I would not be proud of.

Please feel free to leave a comment.

Seven easy things you need to do to become more productive.

Recently I did find an article explaining 7 things you need to know to become more productive. In this article Ilya Pozin explains what he did learn from his meeting with Tony Wong, a project manager whose client list includes Toyoto, Honda, and Disney, just to name a few. This rules are easy to follow. So if you want to get more productive, here is how it works.

  1. Work backwards from goals to milestones to tasks. Writing “launch company website” at the top of your to-do list is a sure way to make sure you never get it done. Break down the work into smaller and smaller chunks until you have specific tasks that can be accomplished in a few hours or less: Sketch a wireframe, outline an introduction for the homepage video, etc. That’s how you set goals and actually succeed in crossing them off your list.
  2. Stop multi-tasking. No, seriously—stop. Switching from task to task quickly does not work. In fact, changing tasks more than 10 times in a day makes you dumber than being stoned. When you’re stoned, your IQ drops by five points. When you multitask, it drops by an average of 10 points, 15 for men, five for women (yes, men are three times as bad at multitasking than women).
  3. Be militant about eliminating distractions. Lock your door, put a sign up, turn off your phone, texts, email, and instant messaging. In fact, if you know you may sneak a peek at your email, set it to offline mode, or even turn off your Internet connection. Go to a quiet area and focus on completing one task.
  4. Schedule your email. Pick two or three times during the day when you’re going to use your email. Checking your email constantly throughout the day creates a ton of noise and kills your productivity.
  5. Use the phone. Email isn’t meant for conversations. Don’t reply more than twice to an email. Pick up the phone instead.
  6. Work on your own agenda. Don’t let something else set your day. Most people go right to their emails and start freaking out. You will end up at inbox-zero, but accomplish nothing. After you wake up, drink water so you rehydrate, eat a good breakfast to replenish your glucose, then set prioritized goals for the rest of your day.
  7. Work in 60 to 90 minute intervals. Your brain uses up more glucose than any other bodily activity. Typically you will have spent most of it after 60-90 minutes. (That’s why you feel so burned out after super long meetings.) So take a break: Get up, go for a walk, have a snack, do something completely different to recharge. And yes, that means you need an extra hour for breaks, not including lunch, so if you’re required to get eight hours of work done each day, plan to be there for 9.5-10 hours.

Hope this one helps you to increase your productivity. Further I would like to recommend a book that is even more effective than this seven rules. It goes far beyond them. Please be aware that you need to be willing to change your way of doing business completely. Are you ready? Ok, than go and get this book.

REWORK by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson. 

By far the best business book on the market. Enjoy the rules as well as the book.

My first article published in the Nikonians eZine

Yes, I really feel proud to announce that first time an article written by me did made it into the Nikonians eZine. “The Nikonian” is an awesome magazine containing all about photography and of course everything interesting about the Nikonians community. Since it is even more unusual for Back office staff having real article published, I´m even more proud. By mid January almost 190,000 people will have seen my article. Isn´t that awesome? If you also want to know, what I recommend to protect your gear while doing outdoor sports, please feel free to download your copy for free.

Trying to worship at Mount Nebho Baptist Church in Harlem

The worst experience I ever had.

Late October 2011 me and my wife made a visit of New York. I had a couple of business meetings in town and an exhibition regarding my job on schedule. But for Sunday we did plan to enjoy our self.  We are Christians which recently did marry. So of course our Sunday should start with a worship.

I did find several churches around the town which could have been visited. We decided to visit a worship down in Harlem. From several websites we knew that there are several chapels that are mainly visited by tourists just for amusement. This wasn´t the purpose for us. I wanted to enjoy the spirit of having a real worship.

To make this happen, we tried to find a church that is as less touristic as possible.  Based on the information we got online, we decided to visit “Mount Nebho Baptist Church”. This church invited us online by saying: “

“Welcome! We are overjoyed at the fact that you have visited our online ministry. We would like to personally invite you to join us in one of our worship services here at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church.  Anytime you are in the New York Metropolitan area, please visit with us on the hottest corner in Harlem.  Don’t forget to bring a friend or a family member and we look forward to seeing you real soon.”

Since I couldn´t find any offers for tourists I hoped that we will get access after talking to the minister and explaining that we are here to worship and not to disturb the celebration in the way tourists are doing it elsewhere.

Once we reached the church early Sunday morning, everything seems to be fine. As expected only a very small group of tourists have been in the  line. This was very different to the lines we have seen in front of other churches we did pass.

Unfortunately everything changed very soon. When I asked for talking to the minister, politely I was prompted to go into the line. Since the line was short I still expected to visit a regular worship without all this touristic stuff.  But it became even worse.

The line, we have been around 10 feet away from its beginning, kept on growing and growing. This still didn´t seem to become an issue. I still expected that soon the church members to be seated first. This of course would have been fine.

Starting at 10:40 one bus after another arrived.

People from all over the world jumped out of the busses. Crying, laughing, wearing al kind of clothing. I bet that more than 90% haven´t seen a church from inside for a very long time.

I became angry when all of the group got into the church before us.  Please consider that we have been waiting for 45 minutes outside at this time. Temperature around 32 degree Fahrenheit.

In the meantime a young lady did show up. She asked us to be patient. We need to wait until all busses are inside.  Than she did start counting. A few rows behind us I could hear her saying that being seated might be unlikely for the people afterwards.

I became even more angry. What the …. Was going on? What I could see did have nothing to do with a regular worship. It became, what I call “Selling of God”.

Church did start at 11:00am with us still standing outside. Finally the last bus did arrive. I guess nobody of this tourists did care that they have been late. They entered the church disrespecting any of the rules. They even didn´t stayed quite. I couldn´t believe what I have experienced in the past 75 minutes.

This was to much. So I stepped outside the line to ask the lady as well as the over weighted bouncer what this is all about.

He yelled at me that I shouldn´t disrespect him and that I should “move my ass back in the line”! I asked back, why they are giving access to people that don´t care about the spirit, first without considering that there might be people that really want to worship. Again he yelled that I´m not allowed to disrespect him, the dekan (dean) of this church, by asking this questions.  He does not care about my wish to worship. If I want to have access, I should buy a ticket for a bus tour as everybody else. If I have a problem, I should talk to his manager. He than pointed out to a thin white man standing right behind him.  I was fed up. I couldn´t believe this.

I remembered the sentences I did read on their website:  “ We would like to personally invite you to join us in one of our worship services here at the Mount Neboh Baptist Church”. At this Sunday morning, this sentence turned out to be nothing else than pure crap.

In fact all they did in fact was selling God to those who pay. I don´t know how the service in this church has been held. So I can´t say if it was more a show for the crowed or a real worship for some believer and hundreds of gaper.

We left Harlem as fast as possible.

As a lesson to learn out of it I came to the following conclusion. If you are a believer willing to worship on Sundays in New York please choose any church outside Harlem. In case somebody has a good example for a church inside Harlem, please feel free to let me know. I would love to guide believers there.

If you are a tourist that wants to visit a worship show like a Broadway show please sign up for a bus tour. Prices start at $40 and can bee booked in almost every hotel.

Hope this helps all believers and tourists in the same way.

(Btw. Picture and some films I will post soon)

The “no response means go” strategy.

If you are in business you often have to deal with another team members. Sometimes a decision simply can´t be made because of one team member was not able to reply in a regular time. Not being able to make decisions slows down your efficiency, interrupts your workflow and simply prevents you from being successful. In my business life this happened several times until I found a solution that really works.

Once you send out an idea, a plan or just a guideline for the upcoming strategy you simply need to enter one single sentence. “If no reply till XXXXX at XX am it means that you agree to the plan”. I could not believe it. But after having this started years ago everybody involved has started to take my emails into the first row. Everybody knows that I have already a plan, or at least I plan to make a decision. If my team members don´t reply in time it means that they have agreed as well.

No worries. In average I don´t get any replies since most of the time they agree with my plans.

Some of you might think that this reduces the creativity of the team members. To be honest, I don´t care! We have to work on time, we have to decide fast and we have to do a perfect job. So if you can´t follow the speed of the team you might want to change your team. But please don´t ask me to wait for your input. But talking about team and writing a sentence like this does not really match. Of  course this guideline has to be used by every member. This does mean that of course also I have to reply in the given Time frame. At the end it´s also a sign of respect giving the your team player a high importance in the row of tasks you follow.