I generally like to adhere to Henry Ford's advice, as such, my blog posts will always focus on things I've done rather than my plans.
Henry Ford "You can't build a reputation on what your going to do"
The blog was quiet for a while as I have been busy in what I'm going to call money making scheme 2. This scheme was entirely different to scheme 1 (Kanye Glasses) and what's brilliant is scheme 3 which i will be implementing shortly combines both (I know, I said I wouldn't talk about things I haven't done, but just felt it was relevant). Scheme 2 came about after a very positive reaction to the response I got for my "Top 5 Tips for College Exam Success". I realised that I had managed to get good results in college even though I didn't work as hard as my peers. Is it because I'm a legendary genius? maybe, but most likely it's because I studied incredibly efficiently. I created a system for learning off answers that allowed me to reproduce them in exams the exact way I'd learned them off. This meant that my answers always were really well structured and had great examples (also lots of big words!). What I only discovered after beginning scheme 2 was that most students did not do this. So I enlisted the help of another great speaker (and recent graduate) from my Toastmasters club and we created a 45 minute seminar to improve study efficiency.
Now there is a wealth of information about studying and exam technique out there. one book in particular had fantastic reviews. So I went to the college bookshop and looked at it....it was about an inch thick, and right there and then I decided that our seminar would be a different approach. Students are trying to get good grades without reading the book, so what are the chances their going to read a book about studying before their assigned material? A very small amount will, and will probably do very well, but the vast majority will not be willing to put in the time and effort of reading a study book. They just hit the books hard day and night for a few weeks before exams. So I wanted to create a study seminar that would actually help the majority of students (not just the top tier) and would be easy to implement. That is why the seminar is so short, we give the students a few ideas to try out and then let them off. We finish each seminar with a little motivational pep talk as well because motivation to study is crucial.
Once we created our seminar we ran a few trial seminars in colleges for free and got a great response. Doesn't everyone say that? The difference is we KNOW the students thought it was great because we got each of them to fill out an anonymous feedback form which asked them to rate each section out of 10. IMPORTANT NOTE for any business or service provider, feedback is what it's all about, it's not about the service (in our case seminar) you provide and how good it is, it's about what the students/customers get out of it. Getting the students to rate us, was incredibly beneficial. After every seminar we would input data into a spreadsheet and work out our averages, anytime one section scored poorly we analysed delivery and content and how to improve it. Likewise when we got a very high average score we also analysed performance and learned from it. The result was that after a month we had given 5 seminars for free to college students witch crowds varying from 7 to 80 students!
We got our first corporate gig up the country and were required to give two seminars in two days.....to be continued
Posted by Fiscal Student on Monday, May 24, 2010
It's been a while since I sat down and read a book right through. My closest experience recently was "The Secret Billionaire, The Chuck Feeney Story" by Conor O'Clery but that was a larger book and so took a few days of intense reading. But yesterday I received the first of 16 books I recently bought off amazon.co.uk, (what an amazing service, 16 books with a mixture of second hand and new for €110, including delivery).
It is called "Dream On" by John Richardson. I spent so long on amazon adding and removing books from my basket that I honestly can't remembered which ones I've ordered. So when I started reading it I didn't really know what to expect. The book is a bout John, a regular bloke who enjoys a round of golf in his spare time. That is until he sets himself the challenge of playing a level par round within a year. Needless to say almost everyone John meets says it's not possible to improve that fast while maintaining his job and family life. But John purues his goal with incredible passion and a ridiculous work ethic. This book is not just for golfers though, this book is about a 37 year old man, who looked back to his teenage dreams and aspirations and decided that it wasn't too late to fulfill them. He proves the fact that with enough determination, effort and persistence you can achieve more than you ever thought possible. Needless to say it was a very inspiring book and John writes in a very easily accessible style even for the non golfer.
He ends the book in the following fashion, wish think is pretty powerful...
"Most of us allow the daily grind of life and circumstances to trample on our dreams. But please don't let your final living thought on this earth be: "I wish I had...." Far better that it was, "I'm so glad I did....." And be sure to ignore anyone who says it isn't possible. Just go for it"
As a side note I was delighted with the speed in which I read this book. I think it took me around 3 hours, and while short enough and written in basic language there is still over 70,000 words in it. So my reading 5 nights a week is paying off!
Posted by Fiscal Student on Thursday, May 20, 2010
On the recommendation of a friend I recently got a goalbook. What is that you ask?
Well, it's just a word I made up to describe a small notebook to keep track of my goals. I've tried to keep track of my goals before, many times, in fact it is something that I consider very important and I am always trying to discover the best way to track goals and develop better time management. Over the years I've tried writing in an a4 pad, a small notebook, on my phone, in macjournal, in iCal, using producteev.com and rememberthemilk.com. Has anyone else had a similar experience? None of the above mentioned worked because I would always either forget to write something down or fail to review it in time to complete a goal. So why does my new goalbook work? The simple answer is because it's incredible small and handy, you might say so yours phone, which is true, but I use my phone for so many other things that I often simply forgot to check my to do lists. But with my goalbook, it is always just in my pocket so I can add a goal quickly and I'm also very aware of my goals due to its physical presence and the fact the only reason it's in my pocket is to track goals, unlike phone.
So I am crediting my next blogpost thanks to goalbook! Also the goalbook cost 50 cents. One of the first goals I wrote in my goal book was to review my 2010 goals, which were posted on this blog. We're almost half way though the year, and amazingly despite all my work on my blog, or maybe because of it, I never reviewed my New Years Resolution/2010 goals until just this week when I put it on my To Do List. I had honestly forgotten much of my goals, but to my delight was well on my way to accomplishing many of them, so this post will now analyse each goal and it's progress to date.
1. Post at least one new Blog Post per week
2. Read a book 5 nights a week
3. Summarise key points from each book
4. Complete Toastmasters Competent Communicator Manual
5. Study a foreign language
6. Have a letter printed in the Irish Times newspaper
7. Conduct the role of Toastmaster at at Toastmasters meeting
8. Have read at least 15 books by years end
9. Invest in 2 companies
10. Launch my new website venture
11. Create new look for blog
12. Triple total number of blog readers for 2009
1. Nope, not even close, disappointed at myself
2. +Amazingly (at least I think it is) yes, I have read consistently in 2010 strangely for me, most of them were about war
3. Nope, but in defence a lot of books not that relevant for this blog (thankfully!)
4. +Well on my way, doing speech number 6 in 2 weeks and that doesn't include my competition entry speech
5. Damn! my friend started spanish classes in January, I was meant to join but didn't, totally forgot about this
6. Nope but have sent three
7. +Boom! done and dusted, great experience going to do again
8.+ On track for this, so far this year I've read "One Bullet Away", "Band of Brothers" "Generation Kill" How to Win Friends & Influence People" "10 Rules For Revolutionaries" "The Innovators Solution" "Dream On"
9. No but more annoyingly haven't done the sufficient research
10. + Done & dusted, although a different one to the one I planned when written
11.+ Mission Accomplished, hope readers enjoy it as much as me, such an improvement imho
12.+ Very possible, getting terrific response on StumbleUpon
Result 7/12 = 58% success rate in Goal Completion
I'm half way through the year and I have over half of my goals either accomplished or on track, so I am pretty pleased with that, especially since I haven't actively been tracking them. However that will change now thanks to my goalbook so I am confident I can have all 12 come next Christmas! Go me!
"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion... or... it will be killed.
"Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle... or... it will starve to death.
"It doesn't matter whether you are a gazelle or a lion, when the sun comes up... you better be running."
1.Set your alarm clock to go off 10 minutes earlier than usual.
2.The first thing, after you get up, is to immediately remake your bed.
3.Go to the kitchen, pour yourself a glass of water and drink it all.
4.Go to the bathroom, take care of "business," brush your teeth, wash the sleep out of your face and eyes and brush and comb your hair.
5.Next, put on some exercise clothes like sweatpants, a sweatshirt and sneakers.
6.Leave the house immediately and take a 20-minute walk.
7.As soon as you get back have a healthy breakfast and a banana.
8.Take a shower.
9.Dress in fresh, crisp clothes and go about your day.
9. Dress in fresh, crisp clothes and go about your day. Ritual completed. You're loosened up, oxygenated, clean, crisp, nourished, starting your day with no added baggage.