After weeks of taking different meds to kill the sudden burst of pain and reduce my knee swelling, the first diagnosis by my GP has been drawn. There are fractions of cartilage around the knee that should be ‘cleaned up’.
Why and how this ‘cartilage delivery’ works is not clear, but the X-ray results showed it clearly. The loose fractions around the knee are causing the body to react and produce moisture to encapsulate the danger. An orthopedist has been asked to examine me further and probably come up with a surgery proposal to do a ‘clean up’.
I can’t wait as this has been dragging on now for seven weeks already. The moisture in my knee prevented the GP to track the cause of the pain and swelling, as it basically formed a medical ‘cover-up’. Only after weeks of meds and eventually a reduced swollen knee, the injury could be diagnosed and the X-ray picture requested.
So much for the Dutch medical ‘1st line care’: patients should be seeing their GP as much as possible ‘in the 1st line’ and only when really necessary visit a specialist in hospital, called the ‘2nd line care’. This is believed to lead to a reduction in medical costs. But in my case, this has so far lead to 8 weeks of limping, a painful and swollen knee, 4 GP visits and 3 different medications, before finally an X-ray was requested and steps to surgery taken. Who knows how long this ‘2nd line of doctoring’ again will take. Keep you posted.
It happens once in a while, especially at indoor games: players behaving like they are on steroids.
Nr11 of the guest team last night behaved as if he had taken a pile of cafeine pills. A popular performance enhancing substance among football players. Not illegal because it’s easily confused with drinking 3 cups of coffee.
The away team played brilliant futsal and dominated the game. They are heading for promotion to the highest Dutch futsal league. Nr11 got his first warning after 8 mins. I was secretary for this game so had to control him on his penalty seat for 2 mins. Fuming over “the low quality referee” while he had just hit an opponent on the attack.
In 2nd half it became quite tense when nr11 was suddenly screaming with pain and dropping to the floor. In an effort to get the ball, his direct opponent touched him on the shoulder. I could see it from less than 10m distance. Even his team mates were taking a step back. No support for what seemed to be a ridiculous piece of acting. The ref told him to get up and act normal, which made him scream even louder. Everyone around him looked in utter disbelief.
A 2nd yellow for acting and unsporting behavior would mean expulsion and 5mins time penalty. I saw the ref taking his time while nr11 was crawling on the floor. Eventually, his coach would speak the magic words: sub! He was told to sit on the bench and cool down.
The aspirant champions scored some more amazing goals and won the game easily. I had a quick chat with the center ref before my own game would start. He admitted considering a 2nd yellow but feared the outcome of that. I was disappointed. A higher raking ref with no guts. Time for me to step up. Bring them on, you futsal-on-steroids-players.
What if customers, before they decide meeting you, first check you out on Google and LinkedIn. What will they find? Just a brief summary of who you are, because ‘the rest will be added in a personal meeting’? What if potential clients decide it’s too vague and pick your competitor in stead? You will never know.
In order to become more visible and authentic, consider two important issues. First, all online content, from web and ad copy to social media and print materials, everything that’s published about you and your brand will become your brand. You are your own Personal Brand. Just because your company isn’t a media publication doesn’t mean people can’t go there for advice and insight. They will. All the time.
Secondly, in order to create a better and strong online reputation, you should start producing bits of content. Present all aspects about your personality, or have someone interview you. Talk about where you came from, what you do right now and how you envision the future. Cover all dimensions of your life, not just your business. You are more than just your job!
Produce this content (text and preferably also video) on WordPress and distribute it through social media. People will pick it up, read it and by doing so link back to you. This will help you perform well in search and Google will eventually present your ‘online-you’ more in sync with your ‘offline-you’.
And remember: ‘no news’ in search does not mean ‘good news’ on Google page 1. Start the digital clean-up today and build yourself a strong online reputation. It will ultimately generate more business opportunities.
Last night I was assigned to replace a colleague ref on two late night futsal games. Maybe he preferred watching Champions League or the outcome of the Dutch national elections. Two events close to my heart, but I decided to go refereeing anyhow. I need this distraction.
The hall was still empty when I arrived, so this game could have been scheduled earlier. Checked the digital player passes and got the game on track. The away team was ranking low, whereas the home team was close to promotion. But the away team scored early goals and got the other team frustrated. The game needed my full concentration from scratch.
This focus helped me to spot a handball near the home team goal: yellow and penalty kick. Made the call and got compliments from the home team for spotting it and taking the correct measures. But they eventually made more fouls and I had to send off three of their players in total with yellow.
I ignored all their comments and showed yellow where appropriate. The game resulted in a narrow one goal difference victory by the away team. Handshakes from most of them, but still a talking home captain and goalie. I told them I heard enough and said I now understood why the futsal FA sent me to this game. He looked at me surprised. “Seriously? Are we being scrutinized?” He walked off steaming.
I was already into my second game when I saw him walking towards me with his sports bag and wet hair. With a smile this time and a hand on my shoulder. “Sorry ref, we were a bit frustrated.” Sure, I understand, I said. “But what was that about the FA and you reffing us?” Ha ha, got you bro. I pulled your proverbial leg and you went for it. He laughed and wished me a good night. I used my second game to cool down and left for home with a great feeling.
My game on Saturday had a weird twist. It started with the Assistant Referees instructions; the one AR was German, the other Dutch Turkish. The German assistant requested gently if I could do it in German or if not, maybe English. Despite being able, it was too much asked for, sorry. We decided to do it in Dutch, at a lower speed though, and he seemed to understand. No further questions.
The home team were ranking three places below the away team, who in fact were leading the table. Both AR’s also appeared to have a son playing in each team. The German AR didn’t seem to know the rules, or at least how to deal with it, especially on offside. He would deliver me lots of trouble during the game, raising his flag at the wrong moments or not at all when he should have. He in fact missed an important offside situation which let to the 1-1 equalizer for the home team, but I only had a hunch to go after and decided to allow it. He would also indicate wrong directions for in-out balls, as I understood from the supporters on his side of the pitch, but followed him anyhow.
The home scored 2-1 shortly into 2nd half and kept pushing for more goals. But they somehow missed the final touch and the away team was defending well at the same time. And then the game went into the final game minutes, and the home team was about to celebrate their much needed three points against the leader of the table and as result jumping a few places up. But a sudden break-out by the guests changed everything. One of their fast attacking player sneaked from behind the home team defense and in a flash, the home AR raised his flag to indicate offside. I immediately signaled him to lower his flag as I believed it wasn’t offside. The guests scored the unexpected 2-2 equalizer and as I walked towards the AR I marked the goal on my card. The home AR exploded and shouted it was offside by at least meter. He wasn’t doing this for nothing, you know, I should follow his flag signal. The usual club AR comments. The indicated offside distance, however, confirmed my suspicion it wasn’t offside indeed. Sorry mate, but I’m overruling you and allowing the goal as result.
Four more minutes into injury time and I decided ‘game-over’ at a 2-2 draw. Happy guest players, angry home team players as a result. The home team coach gently shook my hand without further comments. He realized they had only to blame themselves for not scoring some obvious scoring chances. Don’t blame the referee.
I showed him a yellow card, minutes before the last whistle and seconds before the away team scored the long awaited 0-1.
Just had enough of his ‘comments’, not extremely negative, but just enough to make my head turn. Had pointed my finger to him before and noted number 7 in my head.
I hate issuing cards for dissent early in the game as it leaves no space for any fouls or be sent off and influence the game. Still, some players sense that you are that kind of ref and test your tolerance to the max. This young fellow chose intervals of 15 minutes average. Smart ass.
Number 7 would come up to me after the game and I wanted to explain my decision. He started first: “it’s not my first yellow ref, I’m a collector”. Right, always the same players. I laid my arm on his shoulder and told him to be smarter and stop talking when I tell him so. Not try to have the last word and look at me to see what I would do. “You just don’t tempt me”. He smiled and joined his fellow team members to discuss what went wrong in the 0-1 last minute lost game. Probably his concentration.
Always have a story to tell. Not just your elevator pitch and consequent sales story, but an anecdote or cracking joke. To elevate the atmosphere or simply get people’s attention in a different way.
I seem to have a good memory for jokes and know when to tell the right one. The one I most often tell came back in the caroussel when I saw the pope shaking hands during his visit to Mexico. My hero for this particular joke – Mr. Johnson – is eventually recognized by a total stranger on St. Peter’s Square while the pope is addressed as ‘the guy in the white dress’.
After telling jokes like this, people normally burst into laughter. They experienced an unexpected turn in a story, realized it is indeed funny, and let go of their emotions. You got their attention now, with their brains focussed on what else you have to tell. I bet they will ask you to tell another one – of these great jokes.
Being invited to train people in an international school is a welcome deviation in the life of an ad sales man. Especially when it’s a school in an exotic location. Admission marketers working hard everyday getting the seats filled for next education season, only 3 months into the current school year. They were invited to join a 2-day training course to be initiated in the world of social media. Despite being inundated by work, they managed to keep their phones off and gave it their full attention. The national government demands a list by last day of November of all pupils attending next school year, so work was piling up in the meantime.
We talked about creating more virtual touchpoints with the help of social media tools like Twitter and YouTube where prospective parents would be able to get a good feeling about the school, the teachers and the USP’s of their teaching plan. Happening all before they visit the school website and schedule a (short) visit. How to become that ‘purple cow’ (Seth Godin) among the many international schools in their city – what makes them stand out of the crowd? Extra curriculum activities, mother tongue teaching, flexible child care before and after school hours. How to reach the new generation of parents, the millennials, who demand a mobile communication platform and look for multiple referrals before they decide on a purchase.
We set up some new online profiles, checked the competition and I helped them with first social media tool choices and suggested schedules to fill the tools with content. All in all, a heavy but satisfying training project with that neat extra touch of exotic destination to tick off the list of ‘been there, done that’.
While working and living in New Jersey, I used my skills and experience in soccer crazy Holland to ref games on weekends. It became an excellent way to discover the state of NJ and meet lots of people, starting with colleague refs, different level of teams and team coaches. So many good memories and also lots of weird situations unthinkable in the Dutch football tradition. I decided to record them and collect them into a booklet. Still available in the MijnBestseller store.
Along the media rep contracts for longer term, I am also available for short term sales projects. This is where my Sales Power Provider service kicks in.
This could vary from short term sales power injection and help kick-start a new product or service to producing blog content for a busy manager. I wrote weekly blogs to help a busy sales director stay in the loop with his followers, challenging readers to react and think along. Another project consisted of finding research content to support a certain publishing cause (power of print).
But, sales power can also be provided like in the case of the management pockets Below the Line. A white-label publishing concept where service providers in the financial sectors use the content in pocket format to wrap their own cover and write their own foreword and distribute among their prospects. Or the case of the start-up platform for sole-traders Victor Mundi.
Most recent cases of Sales Power Providing is PRonto, the GMA PR service that helps the marketing sector to communicate their latest news, notify the market of staff changes or expansion to fresh premises or new products/services.