There is such a thing as too much of a good thing

5a A little bit too much exertion in 14.5, out a little too late at my friend’s birthday, and one too many suitors.   Localised rhabdo, a hangover on a week day, a little bit of confusion, and priorities perhaps not all in the right places. Yes, I’m behind in my blog again!!!

Then, car problems again, cat lost for > 24 hours throwing me into a mild state of distraction, and irritation bordering on anger at my U.S. bank, who were completely unable to get a wire transfer instruction done either properly or quickly. I swear that’s the last time I complain about Vodacom for a while. Well, at least until my next call drops.

Like something out of a British movie

Like something out of a British movie

Perhaps my week felt “off” because I was in Cape Town the whole week. Who knows? It started off well enough on Saturday, with a baby shower for my lovely friend Jade at a beautiful estate in Constantia. We even had baby shower bingo! But what a beautiful time to go sit in a rose garden, with the crisp autumn air around me, and a sun that was bright but not so hot.

Jade :)

Jade 🙂

The last day of March fell on a Monday and it was, indeed, a great day: a painless bit of admin done, followed by a phone call from my soon-to-be-new CTO accepting the offer I’d made (SO excited!!!), followed by a phone call from a partner with some good news about a deal we were pitching, and I guess that was about it for the good news.

Monday was also my last day in the Skyrove offices, including my final commentary/explanation on the financials for the directors, auditors, and new CEO. So …. Strange. But a place is just a place, like a brand is just a brand. At least I won’t have to deal with that crazy car park any more!!

Then, 14.5 happened. This was a workout that was totally in my wheelhouse and following the advice of everyone and their brother I went out pretty easy …. Or so I thought. Until I bonked. Which was weird; I’m used to doing such workouts but I just completely hit a wall, and for no good reason. Maybe stress, sleep, or diet, all of which have been largely fine but not ideal, but somehow about five minutes in I just hit a point I should not have hit at that level of exertion.

Normally I love that sort of a workout where it’s mind over matter. Not that day. No, I just wanted to quit, but if I quit I knew I wouldn’t make Regionals so I didn’t quit. Then I felt faint. After I finished the workout it took me a good 15 minutes to recover well enough to drive.

Exertion is one thing; this should not have been that hard, and actually I should have done a lot better.

Well, at least it's pretty out

Well, at least it’s pretty out

Someday I will redo this beast of a workout. But I woke up the next morning with my left tricep so sore I couldn’t bend my arm without pain. Fine, I said, I guess I can’t do front squats or anything overhead but I can do barbell carries, rowing, and handstand walk.

Oh and shuttle sprints. Maybe next time I wake up with what looks and smells like localised rhabdo I’ll just massage and rest. First time in four years; although I did get mild systemic rhabdo once. Moral of this story? There is such a thing as too much CrossFit. Knocked me out for the rest of the week, save for a trail run I did with Kate.

Following my realisation that I’d really messed myself up, I had a call with a bona fide mobile marketing and privacy expert, met with the designers for a logo for the new company, then a partner in Bellville, then a drive through the autumn-tinged Durbanville winelands before meeting with my Cape Town-based technical team. This was meant to be a 20-minute check-in to make sure the high level systems diagram was correct and wound up staying for nearly four hours.

Rudolph was right. These guys are ace, and nice, and smart, and practical.

As if the rhabdo wasn’t enough, other things started to go wrong, culminating in the cat going missing. She’s an indoor cat so she must have just slipped out at some point, then gotten lost and scared. This is bad enough as it is, but worse when I’d brought the [stuffed] Ruckus dog into the house a few days earlier, causing some claws, hissing, and general paranoia. I felt so guilty for laughing at my cat for being afraid of a stuffed animal, and then she vanished.

Here she is ... staring it down!

Here she is … staring it down!

Guilt is a funny thing, how we take on responsibility or ownership of things that really, really have nothing to do with us.   It was an interesting experience, having a lost cat. She got out once before and came home the next morning, so I figured let her do the same this time. No dice. And it was windy so calling a half-blind, half-deaf cat wasn’t going to work too well, either. After a while I did start to become worried. I didn’t go anywhere, just stayed at home and tried to work while getting up every 5-10 minutes to go call the cat.

It was, in a word, distracting. It threw me off balance so I could not focus and damned if I recovered when I finally found her (Friday evening at dusk, of course). Even this was an interesting lesson. Cats are nocturnal so it makes sense for her to come out when it got a bit dark. I called to her and she could hear me and respond but couldn’t see or have good enough location information to understand which direction to go, and she was over a fence in the neighbouring carpark. I could have climbed the wall to get there, but by the time I got to the wall and up to the top to climb over, she had gone off somewhere else. So in one of those flagrant disregards of private property, I raced the direction I thought she’d gone, and stuck my hand through a fence to get her close enough that I could grab her by the scruff of the neck.

Then I had a problem.

Scared cat that barely recognised me, one arm unusable due to rhabdo, and more fences to climb. Well … I made a plan, as one does.   I was glad I found her (or she found me!) when I did, because I had plans for the weekend and having a cat’s well-being weighing on my mind would not have been good for my enjoyment of the weekend.

Unrelated to my week that was a disaster after about Monday 3pm (!) was the recurrent theme that a good product, or solution offering, without the right sales approach will go nowhere. More on this in the next post, because a new business acquaintance and possible partner made a very profound statement that I’ll analyse next, but in this week it just came up over and over again –

No, not how pretty Cape Town is

No, not how pretty Cape Town is

It doesn’t actually matter how good your mousetrap. Doesn’t matter. It will languish in obscurity unless and until people know about it, and not just know about it, know what benefits it provides to them, and are willing actually to pay money to the salesperson who pitches it.

Awareness, Benefits, Comfort, Sale, and then, in B2B at least, preventing buyers’ remorse.

Can I tell you actually what annoys me when people are trying to sell to me? Calling me on my mobile. It’s best to figure out or ask the best way to interact with your customers, partners, etc. and in general I revert to ‘anything but calling on the mobile.’ Heck, I could be in another meeting. Or driving. Or in the shower. Or still at the gym if you call me at 8am.

In this world, anything that does not require a knee-jerk response is a good thing. And anything or anyone who requires you to provide one? Something to be avoided, because expecting an immediate response of busy people is actually just selfish.

Then again, we are a pretty selfish culture. A little calmness and patience would do us all a world of good.

Or cocktails in paradise

Or cocktails in paradise

  • “Girls are like deer.” – Alexis
  • “Ooh! I should open my thoracic spine! Will you be a super friend?” – Ellie (#CrossFit)
  • “Have you been bought out by the Chinese yet?” “The Chinese? No.” – Roland & Ellie
  • “I had no idea it was you!” – Herby
  • “You are a crazy cat! And you don’t want to drink vodka.” – Kate
  • “You do an entrepreneurial MBA or something?” – Craig
  • “Do you guys not have internet?” – Tim
  • “It’s funny that someone from the outside could have so much more insight.” – Charles
  • “Some people whose lives are chaotic, love chaos. And they complain about it, but they like it.” – Jade
  • “It was 84 thrusters and 84 burpees. What did I think was going to happen?” “Yeah. It was going to be difficult.” – Ellie & Kate
  • “They’re a bank! Have they never done a transfer before?” – Anita
  • “I think I gave myself localised Rhabdo.” “Isn’t that what you said you were going to try not to do?” – Ellie & Anita (no one expects localised Rhabdo…)
  • “He looks … good.” – Donovan
  • “You misspelled Sandton. … At first I thought you misspelled Internet but you spelled that correctly.” – Ellie
  • “They have custom firmware.” “That’s not a good thing.” “No it’s not.” – Enrico & Ellie
  • “Welcome back.” – Kim
  • “No, just a little fascial tearing.” – Bryony
  • “It’s not going to be fun.” “Did I say I was expecting it to be fun?” – Bryony & Ellie
  • “I was pleasantly surprised that I could create multiple machines but then I was very disappointed when the system didn’t work.” – Enrico
  • “What, that’s 20% of the world’s population right there?” – Ellie
  • “He gets stuff done.” “So I’ve heard.” – Rian & Adam
  • “Money’s not a problem for you because you have access to money.” [words of wisdom]
  • “Doesn’t it look like we live in paradise?” “We do live in paradise.” – Ellie & Kate
  • “You made it a whole week in Cape Town. Well done.” – Anita
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