Time to confront some painting and decorating

Well it’s a happy blog post from me, because it looks like the Japanese deal is in the bag. I’m really pleased because I was very concerned about the language barrier and the effect it would have on getting a deal.

But I used a specialist online Japanese translation service and it’s really paid dividends. It took time but getting proper translations to send and receive has really helped to get things moving more quickly when it’s come to the important part of the negotiations.

So using a Japanese translator has transformed what could have become a real issue for me and maybe have made me really paranoid. I won’t hesitate to use a translation service again, and I’m going to recommend it to the other sales managers as well.

But the problem is that means I now have to confront something which been putting off for years. I’ve got to get my place painted and decorated. I never did it when I moved in and that was three years ago and it’s getting a bit tatty round the edges. So I have to deal with it now that I have time coming up. I think I’m just going to take a week off once I’ve sealed this Japanese deal and do it.

I think I’m going to start with the spare room and then the living room, I’m just going to move everything from one room is the next and get them knocked off one at a time.

I suppose am writing this blog post ready to commit myself to it, because just like a lot of people I find it incredibly boring and I don’t want to do it. I’m hoping that by writing this blog post I will get it into my head it has to be done and I can’t back out with it, otherwise I would just get annoyed with myself.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I probably won’t blog for a few days because I’ve got to get on with finishing this Japanese deal. I’ve got the contract at the Japanese translator at the moment, and hopefully that will be back tomorrow and I can get it sent off, as long as there are no issues then it should be signed sealed and delivered pretty soon. That’s great news and it means a big bonus for me.


Something tragic nearly happened today

I was at home today and working in my kitchen. I looked out of the window and saw a big van pull up opposite my house. Two men got out and one climbed up the side of the van onto the top and passed a ladder down to his mate at the bottom. They had obviously gone to do some work on the house opposite.

As he passed the ladder down he overbalanced and went straight off the side of the lorry and landed on the pavement. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt apart from what looked like a bit of lost pride. I laughed and his friend laughed as well. I didn’t think much about it until after they had driven away a couple of hours later.

I was looking at the spot where he had fallen and it occurred to me that if he had passed the van of the ladder at a different angle, he could have ended up falling into the road. And just as he fell a car had passed behind them. He may well have been hit by the car and maybe even killed. It would have traumatised his friend and me and changed a lot of lives.

Just something happening slightly differently could have transform people’s lives forever. It really made me think and I thought back to that butterfly wings ripple effect thing that people talk about.

I suppose it’s the same with many things, and it made me realise that in my mind that’s why I decided to use a Japanese translation service for this Japanese company deal. I realised that even the slightest misinterpretation due to poor translation could ripple all the way through the deal and the trust within it, so I’m really pleased that I used a proper Japanese translator rather than trying to wing it.

It’s little things like that which can make all the difference but people often don’t consider them, but I do think you have to trust your gut feeling sometimes because when it comes to things happening differently in life, I think often we forget and ignore our gut feeling which can so often be right.

Making progress on the Japanese deal thanks to accurate translation

I’m sitting here quite happy and even smug tonight because my decision to get a proper Japanese translation service involves rather than trying to wing it is bearing fruit.

I had been concerned about how I was going to deal with translating into Japanese and understanding what was going on, and that has been borne out. If I had not had the translations done properly and I would not have spotted a small error in what we were agreeing today. That would have put things right back to the start negotiations and thankfully it was spotted because I was using a Japanese translator that was professional in terms of conversion to writing, rather than just relying on someone to help me interpret stuff as it went.

So I’m really pleased about that and it’s great to know that my business decisions are working out.

I have to say though that it is dragging things out and making these will stressful having to get the Japanese translated and I’m hoping that this is one of those rare deals, rather than something that becomes more common. It could do though because our company is expanding and looking to do deals more globally than locally. See you never know.

I’ve also been quite pleased about my diet and exercise. I’ve been jogging twice this week and I’ve done light weights twice this week as well. So that’s really good and I’m pleased that I’m making some progress on that front. I think it was beginning to worry me that I was really getting unhealthy and I’m not getting any younger.

On top of that, I suppose the back of my mind I’m thinking that how can I go into the dating world again if I’m not in good shape, that just means that I will attract somebody else is not in good shape and we will just end up spiralling downwards. That’s not what I want, I want somebody who is going to help me move upwards, and I can help them move upwards as well, if you are going to have a relationship you need to be beneficial to each other, not sink to the lowest common dominator.

Time to face up to my lack of physical fitness

I’ve been worried about my lack of physical activity for some time. I know as most of us do that it’s good to be healthy and get your heart rate up and grow your strength. It makes you happier and it can make you live longer. But the problem is when you are busy working and also when you are bit down, physical exercise is harder, because you struggle to motivate yourself, which means that it becomes a vicious spiral downwards.

Which is why I’m using my blog today to push myself to get on with something. At my age I have got to do something gentle, but I have to do something, and it has to be consistent otherwise it will be a complete waste of time. So I’m going to start by gently jogging and doing some light weights.

The plan is to do that twice a week for half an hour, just one hour of my time to start off with to see how much better I feel. We can’t do me any harm and I’m sure there will be significant benefits by keep sticking at it.

I’m starting to feel a bit of stressed about work, this Japanese deal is really slow at the minute. I’m using a Japanese translation service to deal with a company in Tokyo who we are negotiating with, and although it’s inevitable we had to use translation, it is making it difficult.

On the plus side I am hoping that using a Japanese translator will help to ease the language problems as things get more complex, and it also gives me more control because I understand exactly what’s going on.

I suppose that I got to get used to this, because the other alternative is to hire an actual translator which showed cost a fortune and also require time and communication anyway. So perhaps just using an online translation service to convert text into Japanese and Japanese to English is probably best way forward.

Anyway, that’s it for today, I’m going to start my exercise plan tomorrow. Of a busy day at work with Japanese work to do and also a local deal as well. But then when I get home I’m going to do half an hour’s weights and go for a jog.

About my job and my worry around this Japanese language issue

The first thing I want to say is that I really love my job. I negotiate for my company in all areas, basically I am a company negotiator. When it comes to sealing deals, setting things up and making arrangements I’m the man who manages the projects.

I will go into more detail than that because I don’t want to bore you I don’t want get specific about who I work for. But mostly it is domestic work, with the odd foreign contract or negotiation to deal with.

But I have got a bit of an odd one now because they want me to sort out a deal with a Japanese company based in Tokyo. Now although the basic English is fine, I speak absolutely no Japanese and so I’m looking for an option for how I can communicate thoroughly so that I can get this right.

The idea I have come up with is to use an online Japanese translation service. Something like translateshark.com, or similar, basically a website where you upload the text in English or Japanese, and a Japanese translator, or an English translator will translated expertly into the opposite language.

What I’m thinking is that if I make sure that emails are translated, so I create it in English, send it to the Japanese translation service who will then translated into Japanese, then I email it. Then when the reply comes back I get that translated Japanese and English and I can then understand exactly what’s going on.

Although having to use a Japanese translator for every piece of communication in or out will maybe slow things down by about a week over the course of negotiations, it does mean at the end of it all that things should be a lot more tight than they would be otherwise. I’m paranoid about confusion and I like to be in control, and actually bit of a control freak and I think that this will help me to feeling control otherwise I will be wondering what is falling between the cracks.

Anyway, that’s basically what I do. I’m not going to bore you with any more details on it now, just update this blog as I talk about myself. I also want to attack some other issues I have, apart from the loneliness, I also suffer a bit from stress at times. I think I maybe the unhealthy and at something else I think I need to address. I think setting goals and backing them up in this blog might be a way forward.

My name is Simon and this is my blog

Life has been a funny journey for me, I have had to deal with an awful lot in it, I feel I probably had to deal with a lot more in my life the most people have. I do feel a bit beaten down by things that time, and when I look around all my friends who are happily settled in marriages, relationships, seemingly having fun, I look at my own life and I get quite upset.

But then I suppose that’s the thing, you can’t see what is beneath the surface. Although people can look happy, and say they are happy, the truth is that underneath they could be really miserable. I know that is the case for me. When I was married I was unhappy for two or three years at the end. I would convince myself I was happy, I would tell my wife I was happy and my friends would also think I was happy.

It also turned out that my wife wasn’t happy either, so we were both lying to each other and ourselves. But then we had younger children and I think we wanted to both protect them and maybe just get through their childhoods in one piece.

Looking back, what we were actually doing was delivering them an unhappy childhood because of the way we were together, I think they are happier now although it took a couple years to get over the shock.

In my professional life I negotiate for my company. I’m very good at it and I’m very knowledgeable about what we do as a company and can do for other companies. It takes me around the country, and occasionally around the world. Thankfully I’ve never had to negotiate in a foreign language, but this is now about to change, because I have two negotiate with a Japanese company. This means that although they can speak a bit of English, I simply cannot comprehend any of what is coming back my way, so I’m looking at options on that and I will speak about that soon.

Personally, I like to play sports, I try to play golf and I can and that is a great way of networking with the people I am negotiating with as well. But it does often feel like even my hobbies and leisure time are part of my company life.