Say It In An Email or Don’t Say It At All

e6a3482f8d2147dc2d19f54da1d1682a

Okay so time’s important, right? Nobody is going to argue against me there, right? Time’s important and we get really cranky when people waste ours. Which brings me straight to my point (no small talk before and no cuddling after. This is serious business.)

Are You Just Wasting People’s Time?

How many times have you sat through a meeting, only to discover that everything discussed could have been covered in an email? 15 minutes of dedicated reading could have saved everyone and hour or more in face-time. Sometimes you can’t avoid it. Some people just love to get together and talk and tell you what they’re thinking. This is usually due to 1 of 2 things:

  1. They’re a cuddler. They like to be in close contact for long periods. The longer they are away from you, the more uncomfortable and needy they become.
  2. They want to show you they know what they’re talking about. “See how many details I know! I must be good at this!”

What If You’re The Windbag Timewaster?

Okay, shit. It’s you. You knew this day would come. You spent your teens rolling your eyes as your parents droned on, but now it’s you. You’re the one giving the lectures. What’s worse – you’re calling meetings!

Continue reading “Say It In An Email or Don’t Say It At All”

“It is fun to fail” and all the ways that little saying has changed my life

via pinterest

Lately I have been enjoying the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It details how she strives to find more happiness through taking on different routines and outlooks on life. One of the greatest points that I have taken away from the book so far is the saying “It is fun to fail.” Let me explain.

As a perfectionist it is definitely not fun to fail, in fact that is my biggest fear! I have hated any type of criticism, or public mistake to the point that it has stifled my chances of really growing and reaching my fullest potentional. My vocabulary was riddle with says of “Oh I can’t do that.” Or “I don’t have enough time to get this done.” What I was really thinking was “Oh, I can’t do that… perfectly the first time so I am not going to try.” And “I don’t have enough time to get this done…perfectly the way I know you and I would want it.” You see what I mean. Perfectionism is crippling.

Continue reading ““It is fun to fail” and all the ways that little saying has changed my life”

Why Professional Development Is Important For Your Career

d8c1adfd5649b3fb99b2813df11db8d1I was sitting at my desk yesterday listening to the buzz going on around me.  The rest of my department were busy talking about their units of work for the term and throwing ideas back and forth

  • “Hey, check this out!”
  • “Have you thought about using a PMI with that activity?”
  • “I wouldn’t use Multiple Intelligence; kids had enough of it last year”
  • “I sent you the link I use”

You get the picture.  We spoke like this all through lunch.  Sure, there are some days when all we do is complain, other times when we speak about our families.  But most of the day is spent collaborating with our peers, asking for help, reframing questions and reflecting. It isn’t a specific curriculum meeting.  We don’t have an agenda.  It is just the natural flow of professionals learning together.  And it is magic. But it is also limited to the people in the room and whether they want to participate in the process.

Personal Learning Network.

The above example is a traditional definition of a “Personal Learning Network”.  Another would be when you meet with friends for coffee or talk on the phone with a colleague from a previous school. My definition of a Personal Learning Network is a group of people who together communicate and collaborate to reach a common goal such as a community of online GED learnersIt isn’t gossiping or just rehashing your day.  And it isn’t necessarily formal.  But it does involve mutual trust and an understanding that each person is there to be both supportive and a critical friend.

Online Personal Learning Network.

With the advent of blogs and social media, many teachers have developed Personal Learning Networks around the world.  At the touch of the button I can: Continue reading “Why Professional Development Is Important For Your Career”

The Secret Fears of Perfectionists

I’m a perfectionist. I’ve come to see that as a bad thing and, as is my nature, I’ve got to fix it. Seeing it as a bad thing has to be half the battle because being diligent about doing quality work doesn’t 7aeb9bb5cb5c69629a118c9031a544beseem so terrible. Perfectionism is a pretty glamorous problem to have. It sounds really sexy to want to be mindful about every detail.

As a student, perfectionism took a toll on my GPA. I’d turn in perfect work weeks late. My teachers were impressed. They’d say that I understood the assignment when no one else had. My papers usually dropped two letter grades before they were even read. And then, I wanted to overcome whatever impression they had of me. Did they think I was a slacker? I’d work extra hard. I’d prove myself. Continue reading “The Secret Fears of Perfectionists”

HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT– THE OH-SO-SIMPLE SECRET

This evening in my talk to the VOX teens I’ll share tools including visualization, affirmations, the use of Treasure Maps or Vision Boards, and creating time & space to think–instead of constantly cramming their heads full of blather which prevents connection with the still, small voice within–our true wisdom.

I’ll suggest to step out on faith, trust and surrender, and don’t hold the goal so tightly in your hands that you squish it out just like jello oozing through your fingers.

At the end of the talk I’ll perform an amazing magic trick.

I will receive from the group a credit card (usually it’s a gold or platinum card);a $100 bill (who knows, this is a teen group so that might not materialize, but it always does elsewhere!); and the keys to a new car. (I KNOW somebody’s daddy has given one of them a new car for graduation).

Then the two cutest boys in the room will stand up on either side of me and we’ll link arms, ready for a night on the town… fully loaded with a credit card, plenty of cash, and a new car.

And HOW will all these items MAGICALLY APPEAR at my disposal?

I WILL HAVE ASKED FOR THEM!

So often we do what we think will bring us what we want, but we FORGET to ASK for it!

Seek and you will find. Ask for what you want. Knock and the door will be opened.

Continue reading “HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT– THE OH-SO-SIMPLE SECRET”

What is Social Enterprise

I attended my first logging conference, the first day was an “unconference”, affectionately called “moosecamp”. This is modeled on the popular “barcamp” which is usually a day comprised of computer geeks, who initiate informal conversations on topics of technical interests (and there is usually some of beer). I was particularly interested in Sharepoint, and it was suggested that we also attend the session on Social Enterprise first as the topics are related. The majority of the conversations circled around company culture and how it related to collaborative culture when the software was introduced. Why use collaborative software?

Some companies found that there were issues of permissiveness in emails. With problems opening email attachments, due to formats used and problems with viruses it was preferable not to send documents as attachments. One such solution was to use collaborative software to share documents. There were also the capabilities of using software systems such as Sharepoint as a closed system, in the case of certain documents not everyone is authorized to see all projects. I’ll try to give a summary of some of the points Continue reading “What is Social Enterprise”

What Happened in One Year

learningOccasionally when I’m driving to and fro (as I do a lot for work these days), I get a half-baked idea in my head about something that would make a good blog update. Unfortunately I don’t ever remember these things, and whenever I’m actually sitting at a computer I’m usually feeling too guilty about my pages-long to-do list to come up with an update.

So now, because I am taking a self-enforced “lunch break” and I’m just finishing up my fries & Coke, I thought I’d write a long, rambling update with no specific topic or importance. You can’t even call this a stream-of-consciousness update because the “conscious” part is highly debatable.

First off, if you haven’t picked up the hints and rumblings lately, you may be surprised to hear that I’m pregnant. (insert sound of bombshell dropping here). That’s right – Sue is knocked up; in the family way; eating for two… I can’t think of any other silly euphemisms right now but that should take care of it nicely. Continue reading “What Happened in One Year”

Spaced Learning Method

ea434e439f62819c536d9f4d33c11057I was fortunate enough to have a fantastic couple of days in Newcastle this week – with two impressive school buildings featuring alongside the Angel of the North, the SAGE building and the Tyne bridges in my visual memories of the trip. It’s not easy to describe Monkseaton and St Robert of Newminster – I’m afraid I was so interested in what was going on inside the buildings that I didn’t take any pictures! But each building had been carefully designed – no hidden corners, lots of curves, impressions of space, breakout areas and lots of natural light.

But school buildings are only the packaging for the learning that is going on inside. Monkseaton are using a method called Spaced Learning, which builds gaps into a lesson by including something physical, something distracting and unrelated to what is being learnt, so that process of letting the learning sink in can take place.  It’s not something to use in every lesson – after all, we all know that variety is the spice of life and learning – but it certainly seems to be having an impact on the learning that is going on. It makes a lot of sense to me, as often it’s when I’m doing something mundane and physical – usually vacuuming or ironing(!) – that something I have been reading or learning or thinking about really sinks in to my consciousness so I can make sense of it. Continue reading “Spaced Learning Method”

Is sharing important in learning?

I’ve been at the Partners in Learning European Forum this week.

It has been as interesting and inspiring as the previous Partners in Learning events I’ve been to – looking at the event and the projects through more experienced eyes and not as a competitor was a huge privilege. To see teachers sharing ideas, what’s going on in their classes, experiences and passions is an amazing thing – but begs the question why so many other teachers aren’t as open to sharing as these individuals. Hence the Shakespeare paraphrase that makes this blog post title.  I suppose one of the reasons that I think sharing is important can be summed up by another (paraphrased) Shakespeare quote:

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy  classroom.”

Continue reading “Is sharing important in learning?”

TEDxLondon – The education revolution

There was a call for revolution at the Roundhouse in London.  Not thepower
sort of revolution that we have seen that involves civil unrest. Something much
more constructive and lasting – a way forward for education.  A way that gets
back to the basics of education – something that can have an impact on our
society, our economy, that values our culture and the cultures of others, that
is personal and personalised. If the bare minimum that is needed for theatre is
an actor and someone to watch (Peter Brooks via Sir Ken Robinson) and only things that enhance the theatre should be added in, then the bare minimum for education is the relationship between a teacher and a learner. I’d go even further than Sir Ken and suggest that teacher needn’t be “me” in a classroom – it could be another child, a friend, a parent, an aunt, an outside expert.  But I completely agree (and have often been heard to say!) that learning is dependent on relationships. Continue reading “TEDxLondon – The education revolution”

I didn’t fail; I got 73% but it’s not enough

While searching YouTube the other day, I ran across a video for from one of the Mom Bloggers. The video was about affiliate marketing and her experience with it. She particularly mentioned Clickbooth as a company she works with. I have been planning on getting into the world of affiliate marketing for some time now, if for nothing more than to expand my internet portfolio. So I figured I might as well take a step forward and give it a shot. When I first went to the website I spent a little time getting acclimated with it then proceeded to go through the registration process. The registration was not that bad at all, pretty straight forward and short.

edisonfail

After finishing it I was prompted that I will receive a notice within 72 hours notifying me if my application had been approved or not. So since there was nothing further for me to do I just sat back and waited for my email.
I received my email a couple days later. 48 hours is much better than 72 hours in my book. I read the email on my phone because that is where I screen all my messages and if need be I pull them up when I locate a PC. Continue reading “I didn’t fail; I got 73% but it’s not enough”

Jazz recordings and Education

I listen to a lot of jazz, mostly early jazz from the 60′s and late 50′s. These are classic recordings that move me because the artists have managed to share their art with us on precious recordings.

Today too many people use iPhone to listen to music and that’s too bad because music on your iPhone is compressed and as such it loses some of its sonic capabilities. I know who has time to sit at home and listen to great music ? You would if you had a decent hi-fi system.

Jazz is my inspiration and regular listening allows me to stay motivated so now I listen to the jazz recording and learn.

There is a belief that you need to spend ten’s of thousands of dollars to get a great hi-fi system. To this I say “bullshit” ! You can get an excellent hi-fi system for under $2500 if you know what you’re doing. The key is to take some CD’s of some of your favorite music down to a local hi-fi dealer and listen to them on some systems. By the way if you like rap or other overly produced music a good hi-fi system won’t make a damn bit of difference.

jazz-perks Continue reading “Jazz recordings and Education”

Calling it Quits on The Bachelor

Reality TV stars, Jake and Vienna from ABC’s The Bachelor, have called it quits after a lengthy engagement, of what—four weeks? I’m not sure—I don’t read tabloids and I certainly don’t follow the comings and goings of celebrities, or others for whom fame is bestowed upon based on a reality show stint. I am, after all, an educated woman, with a master’s degree, which means that I only read literary fiction, and my TV watching is limited to educational programming on the PBS channel.

I think I did stumble across The Bachelor one night while searching for the educational show, and I might have watched it for a few minutes. It’s entirely possible that I stayed with it until the first commercial at which point I did get up from the couch—to make popcorn. When the commercial was over, it occurred to me that I’d already missed the first fifteen minutes of the educational show, and since I had the popcorn….

Ok, I watched The Bachelor from beginning to end that night, but only as an educated observer of current trends. When it was over, I had to remind myself that it was indeed 2010, because what I witnessed was quite appalling. The premise of the show is that 25 beautiful young women will compete for the attention of ONE debonair single-guy, known as the bachelor. Each week the bachelor picks only those women for whom he feels most compatible with and the others are sent home. That happens all the time in real life, right? Continue reading “Calling it Quits on The Bachelor”

Domain Name and Hosting for Online Business

I strongly recommend registering Domain name and hosting at different companies. It’s usually due to the fact that companies which focus on hosting has a higher domain registration fees and also offer less domain management features.

On the other hand, companies that focus on domain registration, doesn’t have a great hosting service.

Besides, when you have two different companies, you always lower the risk and are able to diversify.

For domain registration I recommend Namecheap or Godaddy. I have been using Godaddy for years. Lately I tried Namecheap and it’s far better than Godaddy.

You don’t have the annoying sales funnel Godaddy follows while you register at Namecheap. Also Godaddy has bad customer service as far as I know.

So get yourself a good domain name from Namecheap and a stable hosting from Hostgator. Continue reading “Domain Name and Hosting for Online Business”

Announcing a New Social Sharing Group

Social sharing is a powerful thing. I’m constantly telling people that social media is a fad! At least the term “social media” is a fad. People are social, and media is always going to be talked about, so social media is just our natural way of talking about things that are happening, or things that we like.

Social networking, social bookmarking, and social media promotion are all terms that any blogger or marketer needs to be very familiar with. I’m issuing a special invitation for you to consider joining a social sharing group powered by Posterous through which socially savvy (and unselfish) marketers can mutually share links across a broad range of social platforms.

Abby

Here are the rules…

  • I will be more of a giver than a receiver, sharing for at least 3 people for every sharing reuqest I make.
  • I will not submit direct affiliate links, though links to posts and pages that include affiliate links is acceptable.
  • I will not ask for sharing of the same link twice.
  • I will send no more than 1 email per day with my requests.
  • I respect the rights of all to choose what they consider worthy of promotion and relevant to their typical readership.
  • I realize that being a member is a privilege and inactive members may be purged from the group.
  • If I am accepted, I pledge to never, ever, ever kick an innocent llama in the neck… or an alpaka. Yaks are fair game.
  • If all of that sounds good to you, then by all means, apply today! Oh, and of course it’s free. That’s how I’m able to have so many stinkin’ rules! Which reminds me, I plan on keep the group at 200 people or less. It’s a “soft limit” but that’s the goal.

How to Use RSS Feeds to Build Backlinks to Your Blog

Bloggers are always looking for ways to create more back=links to their blog to help boost their blog’s SEO. RSS feeds are a simple and effective way to generate back links to your blog, but the best part of all is that it’s somewhat automated. So, for once this is not a strategy that is going to add a bunch of new tasks to your ‘to-do’ list. Once you’ve submitted your RSS feed to several directories your links will remain there working for you into the future.

Let’s first take a look at what an RSS feed is, and then we’ll walk through setting up a custom RSS feed that will generate lots of relevant inbound links to your blog. RSS, which stand for really simple syndication, is an XML feed composed of the content of your blog, in a list of your posts that readers can subscribe to. Using an RSS feed reader the content of your blog is pushed to the reader in a convenient, easy to consume format rather than their needing remember to go to your blog to catch your latest post.

Now that we’re clear on what RSS is, the next step will be to submit your blog’s custom RSS feed to RSS Aggregators or Directories, so now every time you update your blog or any of the other profiles that you included in your feed, those feeds will be updated as well. Here is a link to a site that has the top 55 RSS feed directories. Continue reading “How to Use RSS Feeds to Build Backlinks to Your Blog”

How to Make Your Customers Fall in Love with You.

I know that’s why you’re here – you want to know the secret to making your customers and prospects fall in a dead heap at your feet, like teenyboppers longing for the Fab Five or Justin Bieber.
Well, despite the name of this blog – the truth is, there is no magic love potion – at least, not how most people think about it.

You can’t buy one product or one course or one WordPress theme or opt-in box and have it slay your audience. It just doesn’t work like that. You can’t “make” someone buy your products or become screaming mimi fans, any more than you could make your spouse fall in love with you.

All you can really do is present your best side, playing up your strengths and hiding the little inconvenient things like the fact that you pour orange juice over your Frosted Flakes, or that you use four towels when you take a shower and leave them all in one sodden heap on the bathroom floor — at least until they’ve become so enamored of your good side that they’re willing to give you a pass on the other stuff.

As the old song says, “Accentuate the positive, eliminate (or hide) the negative.”

So figure out what YOUR positive is.

Are you a tech whiz, never having met a WordPress plug-in you couldn’t tame into submission?

Are you a people person, able to sway grumpy customers in a single bound?

Or maybe you just have the ability to show up, every day, day in and day out, like a finely tuned Swiss watch.

You’re not the flashiest thing on the block, but by gosh-darned, you are dependable.

That’s YOUR love potion. Use it wisely.

Why Linchpins Aren’t Safe

2092da9In his blockbuster bestseller “Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?” Seth Godin did his usual Seth-y thing by pulling together some fantastically inspirational – and totally unrealistic – ideas. In the book, he suggested that the way to true longevity in your career is by making yourself indispensable to your organization. And you do that by going above and beyond, creating unparalleled value, and in general becoming so remarkable that the organization can’t survive without you.

I know firsthand that the more “remarkable” you become, the more you are despised, feared, and outcast by your co-workers. Go above and beyond and the rest of the unremarkable workers don’t cheer you on; they detest you and do everything they can to sandbag your efforts. You are a threat to the status quo, and to the realms of ordinary folk who surround you — you know, the ones who desire nothing more than to show up for their 9-to-5 and then head home, only to repeat it all the next day. Repetition doesn’t bother them; what bothers them is anyone who dares veers outside the norm, making the rest of the worker bees look bad. Continue reading “Why Linchpins Aren’t Safe”

Brand YOU: Five Tips to Get It Right

You’ve likely heard how important it is to hit the ground running with your brand. The second you register your domain and get hosting, you should have a brand you can build toward. You need to make a statement in a busy market, stand out from the hordes, and show people who they are. To just start with a generic WordPress theme and stock photos is to risk obscurity. Or so says a recent article on the importance of early branding from Fast Company.

But you’ve probably also heard the recommendations to take action now and revise later, to get something out there as soon as possible, and to ship the beta. You can always make changes later, right?

So what is a new entrepreneur to do: Spend hundreds on a logo design from 99Designs, even though you’re not clear what you’re all about? Or to bide your time and build small, with the belief that it’s better to do it right once than to keep changing your mind and look like a five-year-old choosing between flavors of ice cream.
It’s not easy, being a business owner even with the MBA degree:)  “Life’s full of tough choices, isn’t it?” Here are five tips you can use to get your brand off to a great start, even before you’ve got all the avatars crossed and YouTube graphics dotted:

step1-mba

1. Start with what you know. You know yourself. My friend for example launched a successful website about MBA  programs because he wanted himself to find a good MBA program and was looking for some free GMAT practice tests, he could find them so he developed these practice tests himself and now have a nice website with GMAT sample questions and many visitors, haha. When he did the whole research it was easy to launch a website. Now 2 years later a lot of people check this website as a source of  reliable information about MBA market.  Try to do the same, use knowledge you have, my friend changed his website many time, always for better..  You hopefully know more than a little bit about your market. So find an intersection between the two. If your goal (haha!) is to appeal to septuagenarian soccer players, then you know they’re going to be hip and active, and your site and logo and personality will need to meet them where they are. That’s actually a lot to go on.

Continue reading “Brand YOU: Five Tips to Get It Right”

Dominating Facebook to become expert in your niche

totalDomination_enBefore I continue on with suggestions for making your presence known on Facebook, let me tell you that I don’t believe that everyone SHOULD be on Facebook. You need to go where your market is, and where you feel comfortable. Facebook may not be the correct place for you to focus if you are, say, an undertaker. In that case you might be better off at MySpace, which is totally dead (haha!).

No, seriously… not everyone’s business is suited to Facebook. And that’s okay. But if you think your peeps are hanging out at the big FB, here are some resources to get you on the boards, so to speak:

1. Decide if you want a fan (“group”) page or a personal page. I am not convinced that group pages are all that much better than personal pages. For my scrapbooking business, I have one of each, and people seem to like connecting with me more on my personal page than on my Layout a Day group page, but that could be a function of my business and my industry. I also have trouble keeping multiple, same-colored balls in the air at the same time. For instance, do I post the same post on my personal page AND my group page, or just one or the other? Do I send scrappy friends to my group page and refuse to accept their requests on my personal page? It’s all so confusing! Continue reading “Dominating Facebook to become expert in your niche”