Returning to do the THE WORK


Note: Some of you may have received this post already, so my apologies for sending this again. I'm sending it again as Google (GMAIL) marked this as spam. Who knows why! If you have not done so already please add into your email address book to prevent this from happening. THANKS! 

Note: I know it’s been several weeks since my last post, but here’s the stark reality: sometimes you have to take time out to figure out the way forward, get perspective and recharge. 

I've been quite busy. I'll talk to two things and get back to working on my next post.

I was in Vietnam for a month. It was a vacation with my wife and 2 kids. This was an experience of note - highly recommended. We started in Ho Chi Minh City then to Phu Quoc Island, then to Hanoi and on to Halong Bay and then back to Hanoi, then to Hoi-An and then back to Ho Chi Minh City. Each place was quite unlike the other. Here are my two cents on Vietnam.

1. The food was sensational. The markets are an education in fresh produce - albeit a little adventurous when you see frogs, snakes eels and ocean creatures I never knew existed. Compared to us in the west our food is old - a lot of what we eat is processed and comes from a warehouse and they eat mostly fresh food. We refrigerate a lot of food and they eat it on the day of purchase or day of slaughter. We did a cooking school in Hoi An - it was pretty basic but well worth it.

2. We met a local Vietnamese couple who have their own travel company in Hanoi. Tuan(him) and Thoan(her) were lovely. Getting to know local people when traveling opens up the experience to a whole new level. These guys touched us with their openness, kindness and generosity. They run a remarkable travel business at Travel Authentic if you're thinking of a less touristy experience in and around Vietnam.

3. We checked out a school in Phu Quoc Island. This was touching. The Vietnamese kids went wild with excitement - and so did I. See a short clip here. It was also great to get our kids to see how kids in another country learn and get taught with very few amenities. Despite language barriers the communication was clear: we are connected by our humanity.

4. Hanoi is like the Paris of Asia. At times I had to remind myself I was in Vietnam. Culturally Hanoi was the city of choice in Vietnam for me. Getting a French style patisserie and great Vietnamese street food in the same place is surreal.

5. I've been to 26 countries and Vietnam would have to be the hottest place I've ever been. Returning to winter in Melbourne was a welcome change.

6. Halong Bay is just beautiful - it's one of the 7 natural wonders of Asia - not the World. Watch out for the jelly fish if you like swimming.

7. Life is hard in Vietnam. Looking in from the outside it seems that life for many focuses making enough money each day to feed yourself for that day. Despite this there seems to be a level of contentment I found inspiring.

I have also been preparing a public talk. I'm booked to speak at the itSMF LEADit national conference in Australia (for those of you who don't know, this is a notable Technology event focused on service management.) I had to hole myself up and get the slide pack out for review.

The title of my talk is: How to be remarkable and remain viable in the Social Age. The research required has given me a lot to talk about on Despite it being at a technology conference it’s very much about you and me and how we deliver value in a new economic era (the Social Age) that is already here.

In preparation I read through numerous books. If you need some ideas for reading I can highly recommend the following:

1. Choose Yourself - James Altucher. James is irreverent and I dig him. You've never seen honesty like this. I have a forthcoming post all about James and finding your voice.

2. Mastery - Robert Greene. It’s confirmed. Robert is my favourite non-fiction author. I don't comprehend how he writes his books. The research required beggar’s belief. He blends true life stories into a theme with distinct take home lessons. It's like a history lesson mixed with personal development on steroids. The message is sharp with a weightiness and distinctive tone of authority.

I would also like to thank you all for subscribing. Its sobering for me to realise that people would appreciate what I have to say. I'm honoured and feel excited about creating more content for you.

A point in my upcoming talk is about providing value to the market as an individual. In many respects you are my market and I know your attention is precious. If I can make this more valuable for you, please let me know; just reply to this email.

To those of you who have been chasing my tail for the next post thanks. I'm back at work!