Wednesday, 24 February 2010

And breath...

Phew. Need to catch my breath a little. Not because I've been exercising like mad (although I am doing well in the health department again) but because I'm working like crazy.

Its weird knowing how many opportunities there are out there. I feel in a rush, no, pressured to achieve them all. You need to be organised though. Realising and obtaining are two different things. I mean, what's better? Contacting 20 people quickly and getting 1 deal or contacting 10 in a personal matter and getting 5? Sure, you may lose out on the 10 you didn't reach in time, but you gained more from the ones you did.

I also love talking to everyone I work with as we all have one big thing in common (poker) and usually others. They are such an interesting bunch of people.

During my working day I feel a huge amount of stress, but that's only because I want to succeed so, so much. The main part of my job comes easy, but its the extra bits I want to do well in. I need to learn to relax more whilst working. Practice and patience.

My results are good though. I am competing against huge companies who have 20 people doing every aspect of my job, or others who hire in big marketing companies to assist. Yet right now its little old me, securing partnerships and contacting people no others have been able too. I feel very proud of myself.

Today is a happy day; I purchased a new Macbook Pro with my first paycheck. I've had this one for nearly 3 years and its life is coming to an end. It still has OSX Tiger which is a big drawback. Every day I dread its going to crash and all my work will be lost forever (I do backup, probably more than most, but still not enough).

I am going to completely remodel my working environment. Gone will be the budget student set up and in its place will be a slick, custom designed space. I look forward to having it finished.

I met with my accountant for the fist time last night. Being self employed is hard work! What's great is I've known her for quite a while now. She used to rent office space at my old studio and I even did sound at her weddings, so we go way back.

The weekend was fun, my first enjoyable and social one for weeks. Its a great feeling to 'need' a night out as you must of been working like mad. Not sure what's in store this coming weekend yet, it will need to be a little lean after my MBP purchase but no doubt one or two beers will be consumed.

Right now I need a lie down.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

iBrain

Squash really brings out the worst in me. Friendlies are fine, its a laugh and I enjoy the exercise. However, put me in a competitive setting (a local league, for no money, no prize, no nothing. Competitive, reeeeeally?) and I completely lose my rag.

I'm trying to figure out why. Perhaps its my competitive nature embracing the little chance it has to release. I mean, I've always competed. I used to play golf tournaments, at least once a week, with decent results. Then with poker, I was playing that 3/4 times a week, again winning consistently. But over the last year, since getting my head down and starting my career, I have not been playing. So my once well exercised competitive nature has been laying dormant for quite some time.

I have played the odd game of poker over the last 18 months without even raising an eyelid when a bad situation comes my way. My approach to the game has been a reserved one, not expecting to win. With squash I have been playing a lot, so maybe that's my minds one expectation to win. However, I am still inexperienced and seriously lacking in athletic ability, unlike most of my opponents. This puts me at a huge disadvantage as I am mostly playing people of equal or better skill. No chance.

I hope its some petty reason like this and not some more serious anger issues. Am I an angry person? I don't think so. Sure I went through a lot over the last year or so, some stressful times, but who doesn't. I did have some wild racket slinging sessions whilst concerned about job applications, so maybe I am coming down from that still. At least my rackets are no longer being hurled.

Anyway. Work is going great. About two weeks ago I was getting very stressed as I was moving at an incredible rate and trying to keep track of everything with pen and paper. Before I used to use an online CRM system called Highrise. It was pretty good and helped keep me organised. However, its a pay to use service and pretty pointless if its only going to be me using it. I tried a few free online CRM's but they were, for a lack of a better phrase, fucking shit.

I HAD to find a solution though. I had reached my brains capacity and was not where near achieving the work output I needed. I messed around with a spreadsheet, but those are clumsy and take a lot of effort to maintain. I then tried to see how customisable iCal was after fiddling with it before. Wow.

Click three of the buttons below the calendar and you have an extremely powerful event planner. These don't need to be events, but can be business deals. Viola. I now have a computerised brain. I enter the deal, update its progress in the notes, set a date to check it again then completely forget about it. Its a weird sensation to just use your brain to process as opposed to memory. Its lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and improved my productivity incredibly.

Seeing friends and eating out tomorrow night which should be fun. Im sure we will hit a few bars afterwards too. I will probably hit the casino as I know people are playing this weekend but I definitely wont be. Saturday I shall relax and may even go out for another swift half in the evening. Sunday probably squash and more work. Sounds like a fun weekend all in all.


Sunday, 14 February 2010

Fishing with a single hook

On Friday night I went out for an old school friends birthday. His and his families (Friday night with your mum, dad and aunties? It's sweet and I've seen it before, but no way I could do it) idea of quality establishments were places I frequented as a 16/17/18 year old, so I was eager to move on.

Luckily Marc took me to hook up with one of his personal banking buddies who I know quite well. We hit a couple of higher class bars with a higher average age, all wore nice shirts and drank decent drinks. I felt much more comfortable and must admit I prefer this type of place now. Getting old? Perhaps not, but definitely growing up. Last week was out with an old college pal who is a year younger. He suggested we go to the big student pub, where its cheap drinks all the time (£1 on a Monday). I used to hit this spot at 5pm before the £1 pints start, just so I could enjoy the entire budget period! Not anymore, the idea of that place, the noise, the teens, the rank watered down beer, really put me off. I dragged him to a nicer place and enjoyed a quality pint.

Its very strange as I still cling on to elements of my rebellious youth, for example the extreme music and funky clothes, but I must admit after spending my time as a poker agent socialising with nice people in nice places I love that scene. I love wearing a shirt and buying an expensive drink. I don't think I will every be 100% Mr Corporate. Instead the abstract, almost rebellious businessman, much like my time as a club golfer. As a junior I always stayed within the dress rules, but my luminous hairstyles and unheard of piercing gave me a slight edge. I believe its always going to be the same with me and business. I hope so anyway, I never want to fully fit into the stream of people. I like having my head above the clouds.

As is the case with most of my nights out, I head to the Casino for one last drink. Not to gamble (anymore) but again for a more upclass, quieter environment. Most of the time I will know someone there or will bring someone along, but occasionally I like just sitting at the bar with one last beer, winding down for the night. However, the Grosvenor has done something rather annoying; they have re-introduced poker.

I purged my gambling vice a while ago. At one point it was getting a little hairy, running off to the casino to spin the wheel of misfortune on my own, but I came out of it a little wiser (and a better poker player...) and luckily before I busted myself. I enjoy the odd sports bet these days, but that's about it. I can go to a casino happily and drink without gambling now as, like I said before, I really enjoy spending time in them. Seeing some of the fish I've had my eye on for the last few years drinking and playing poker however has a terrible pull on me.

The last couple of weeks I've gone to watch the game and within minutes been sitting. The problem is Im not willing to risk much, so I play with one bullet, around 50bb's. And as any half decent player will know, this is not good. I sit there, hope to get a good hand before I blind my chips away and stack one of the fish. I know I have an edge, so use that as an excuse, but really this half arsed attempt is still gambling, right? I mean, one bullet, thats a gamble.

For the second time I got stacked in a totally standard spot and walked away from the table cursing. That is not poker. So from now on I shall resist the temptation to play, instead wait for the time Im more confident in my game again and willing to risk more. Then we can play.

Saturday I played some squash and then had a COD4 chill out. I love lads nights in, where we can forget about the weird world out there and act like kids again. Today I played a squash league game and lost, so tilted. I then did some work, but the combinations of not really sleeping the last couple of nights and lots of sport has left me feeling EXHAUSTED. I am literally struggling to see right now. Going to get an early night and try to rise nice and early to plan some new marketing plans. There is one I want to get cracking on, but my contact who will be a big help is proving to be unwilling after previous bad experiences. Determination.

Greetz to everyone now viewing this blog, I should of made the change sooner.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Beginning

I am back to blogging. Oh yes, these are exciting times. Am a little sad to of left LiveJournal, it contains some of the biggest moments of my life. But onwards and upwards, am really looking forward to writing once again.