How to Pass the Real Estate Exam

Taking any exam is enough to make most of us break out into a sweat and taking the exam for your real estate license is no exception. The real estate exam is the last piece of the puzzle that stands between you and a lucrative career. Online schools have led us to an entirely new method of studying. There is now online testing preparation software that can help you ensure that you pass the real estate exam in your state, the very first time that you take it.

Regardless of what material you are being tested on, knowing how to take a test is crucial. First you have to understand precisely what information you will be tested on. There is an overwhelming amount of information regarding the industry. An effective online testing aid will help you understand how much of that information will be included on the exam. Understanding what the exam will test you on can help you focus on the areas that are needed on the real estate exam.

Once you are aware of the specific material that will be covered on the exam, there are practice tests included in the exam prep software that can help you locate the areas that you need help on. This further narrows down the material that you need to study more. You can study smarter without wasting time re-covering material that you are already comfortable with and keep the focus on areas where you need improvement. You will also have an explanation of every answer so you know more than the right answers, but what makes the answers right.

Sometimes it’s the most obvious advice that is the most helpful. The single most important thing to remember when testing on either practice or graded exams is to be sure to read all the words to each question. It is easy to skim over a word here or there when reading. One word can completely change the answer to a question, and the examiners know this. There will be choices on the exam that include what the answer would be if you skipped a word, so read carefully.

Online exam preparation software gives you a familiarity with the material that brings calm to the process that is essential to a successful testing environment. Many people crumble under the pressure as soon as they see the first exam question. Being able to take repeated practice exams that reflect the questions of the actual exam will alleviate this stress making you much more relaxed, an essential component to passing the exam for your real estate license.

You can study every word of every text written about real estate and still not pass the exam. Being prepared for the exam requires a specific understanding of what types of questions you will get. Online exam preparation is the best way to ensure that you will be ready for any question so you can pass the real estate exam the first time.

Coaching in Knowledge Workplace


The modern day workers are knowledge workers and are highly empowered.
They are as forceful as the river water; always find ways to direct their energies in directions that allow them to. Because of the dynamism and flexibility the knowledge workers may go in all directions which was not the case in case of skilled and unskilled workers of yester generations.

It is said that knowledge workers probably require more direction and guidance than skilled and unskilled workers of manufacturing era. Because they can see more world than what their predecessors could see, the opportunities to loose themselves into the wilderness are more.

Be it a research assignment, new product development, a short term engagement or a long term project, directing the workers is the only way to achieve even intended results. One of the effective ways of directing the high power knowledge workers is coaching.

Coaching in the knowledge environment

Coaching in the knowledge environment needs to be handled with a high degree of involvement from the coach who is normally the leader in charge. The leader may or may not hold a formal managerial position in the team to act as a coach. A senior member of the team with sufficient maturity can act as a coach in directing the energies of the team in to intended directions.

Modern day workers can be motivated, their energies can be directed and can be guided but these workers cannot be controlled by organizational barriers. It is important to motivate the employees to improve continuously. The knowledge workers possess inherent urge to learn and move up both from learning and organization perspectives. In the absence of proper direction, the learning can go into directions which may not be useful to the organization and can prove to be hindrances to achieve the target performances.

Why coaching

Coaching is a technique aimed not just to help the employees to achieve a specific intended goal. It should trigger a success which can engender another and instill the self confidence that leads to high levels of performance and productivity of all subsequent tasks. The employees under coaching should eventually transform themselves into high power dynamos to energize the rest of the workforce.

How to coach

Coaching is a leadership function that calls for directing and influencing skills of the leader. While coaching the leader in charge should follow some fundamental principles to influence the team under coaching. A systematic nine step approach towards the Coaching exercise can deliver good results.

Step 1 – Taking responsibility

Being a coach involves taking responsibility. Coaching is an exercise taken up to impact and improve someone’s workplace behavior be it interpersonal behavior or executing assigned tasks.
The coach should take the responsibility of observing the team member under coaching, providing positive feedback without distracting the employee from the focus, keep providing the required inputs during the coaching period and rewarding the positive response.
Coaching requires complete attention and time of the leader and the commitment of the leader to act responsibly to direct the team members under coaching is the key factor for a successful coaching exercise.
The coach should be assertive enough to keep the focus on the intended results. Team members under coaching can offer justifications for a specific act/behavior pattern the leader is focusing and thus try to get away from going through the painful process of change.

Step 2 – Showing path

The leader who has taken the responsibility to coach an individual or team should show the path by walking the talk. The leader should resist temptations of following shortcuts while executing tasks because the team members under coaching look up to the leader to mould their personalities.
The leader if commits a mistake should accept the mistakes candidly. Any attempt of justification for a specific behavior can bring the leader’s position in the eyes of the team member down and the leader will loose the ability to influence the team members.
In the conditions of formal authority where the leader’s decision can impact a team member’s growth opportunities, the team may show patterns of following the leader’s advice but the intended results of coaching can be achieved only if the leader can exercise individual influence because of the strength of personality and principles.

Step 3 – Involving the Team

Often coaching exercises may not target entire team as such. Growing a team started fresh is different from coaching a team. Coaching often is required to motivate the team members to work towards a positive result when they are showing the behavior away from the goal.
In majority of the cases, leaders try to use their single heads to generate ideas to resolve team’s issues in turn wasting the most valuable asset – the good ideas of the team. Often the ideas generated within the team results to be much simpler and close to the intended solution.

To generate good ideas from the team, it is important for the leader to show that the team’s opinion is valued and used. Also while taking ideas from the employees the leader should use active listening skills – to listen, understand and respond. If the leader does not respond to a team member’s advice, the team may stop talking to the leader.

Two important issues while dealing with the ideas generated by the team are – leader’s ability to handle the ideas on their merits and tendency to assign the task to execute a specific idea to the person who came up with the suggestion.
Leader’s often try to interfere their own interpretations or small diversions to the ideas generated within the team and try to claim the credit of generating the ideas or innovating the basic common thought. This will de-motivate the team leading to new issues rather than resolving the existing issues.

It is also a general pattern to assign the task of executing a good idea to the same person who generates the idea. Generating idea is a different skill from executing the same. The act of assigning the idea back to the owner can lead to closing the team’s ability to generate good ideas.

Step 4 – Challenging the Team

Coaching is a two level exercise. The coaching exercise should start at the team level and then focus on individual. The common direction for the team should be established at the group level and individual different should be observed to focus individual coaching.
To make the coaching effective, the team members should be challenged with some achievable results rather than just involving in motivational lectures. The motivational lectures often become idealistic leaving the team members bewildered about their fundamentals and action points required to reach the levels mentioned as a part of the motivational lecture.
It is important to put a challenge with clearly defined goal, provide necessary resources and the leader just need to stand back observing the team members emulating themselves to meet the challenge. If executed carefully, this can become a better learning exercise for the team than direct class room teaching or motivating lecture.

Step 5 – Reward the deserving

It is important to have a fair system of rewards for the team under coaching. When the team responds to the challenge, it should be rewarded. A fair system of rewards doesn’t mean that the rewards will even out over time. All workers must have an equal opportunity to compete for the reward, but the rewards must go to those who earn them.
Rewarding the group evenly can impact the team’s cohesiveness and balance. It is important to establish the acceptable parameters transparently; the rewarded can be admired within the team resulting into a good balance of providing internal guidance within the team.

Step 6 – Coaching Individually

The actual coaching takes place in one on one session with each individual employee. The group level coaching direction through lectures and challenges will have individual impacts. Each of the team member takes the challenges at different levels depending their maturity and confidence. It is important to have one on one coaching sessions where the leader should bring out the topic directly, positively and honestly.
One on one session may involve review of individual performance or behavior patterns. How the leader is communicating with the team member in individual coaching session is as important as what is being said. The tone and eye contact are as important as the content itself. As much as possible, the coaching discussions should focus on the issues positively rather than touching individual limitations which can divert the team member from the topic leading to counter productive results.
When a leader is resorting to coaching, the key intention is to convert the team member into positive and more productive and these outcomes should be clearly communicated to the team member through the conversation and tone and body language play a vital role in establishing the same.

Step 7 – Keeping the focus on the subject

While designing the coaching for an individual or team, it is important to keep the purpose very clear and staying honest about the motives.
The discussion and questions during the coaching session should strictly be on the subject and on target. If the answers are straying off the point, the discussion should be refocused tactfully. Because the coaching deals with behavior patterns and improvements, it is highly probable to get emotional and divert the whole discussion and thus defeating the very purpose of the coaching.

Step 8 – Giving feedback

During the coaching period, the leader should keep regular contact with the team members. It is important to move around the team members motivating them. The leader should provide feedback to employees – especially the positive feedback which can energize the team to achieve the intended results faster.
The feedback provided to the team members should be honest, strait and objective. The team members should not become conscious about their capabilities or behavior patterns which will lead to developing defense mechanism. The response from the team members to coaching should always be positive.

Step 9 – Closing the Coaching Exercise

The coaching session at individual level should be closed formally with clear feedback to the employee about the whole exercise from the beginning of the coaching session to achieving intended results.
The coaching session should not be left incomplete else the whole effort will leave the team members confused about the intended direction.
Often one successful coaching session motivates the team members so much that they keep on working towards continuous improvement consciously similar to the coaching session concluded.


In the knowledge work environments increasingly challenged by the Globalization and Competition, it is important to maximize the value of Human Resources. With high growth patterns viewed in major economies of the world, shortage of skilled manpower that can fit the bill directly and deliver the expected results quickly is a rare happening. To meet these challenges and bring up the right workforce to meet your business needs, groom all your managers dealing with your workforce in understanding the challenges and limitations to move towards a model where Coaching becomes an institutionalized exercise in your Organization.

How to Create a Mission Statement for School Districts

What is the purpose of mission statements for school districts? How do you begin to write a mission statement for a school district? Is it one of those corporate type hoops to jump through that keep pushy board members happy, or can it serve a real purpose?

Mission statements for school districts, when developed correctly, are tremendous tools that can help guide school districts through the murky waters that often surround them and the decisions that school leaders must make. Outlined below are some of the benefits and a few best practices for those who may be attempting to write mission statements for school districts.

Benefits of Mission Statements for School Districts

  • Clarity: All young infantry leaders in the Marines are required to attend Infantry Squad Leaders’ Course (ISLC). One of the most important skills taught at ISLC is decision-making skills. Decision making skills in young leaders are essential due to the nature of combat. Young leaders are given opportunities to plan and execute training missions and are given ample time to prepare for the missions they plan. Instructors at ISLC drill the mantra, “Never fall in love with your plan” into the heads of young leaders because actual combat is fluid and dynamic. Perfectly laid plans are often derailed minutes into a mission. To help keep young leaders focused on the overall mission, they are explicitly provided the “commander’s intent.”

The commander’s intent is a simple statement from the commander (often a high ranking officer) on the overall objective of the mission. An example of a commander’s intent statement might be, “Our primary objective is to disable the communications capabilities of the our adversary located at grid coordinates 345 678.”

The commander’s intent is so important in decision making because when the mission begins and the “stuff” hits the fan, resources and avenues that existed when the mission was planned and would have allowed Marines to accomplish the task may no longer be available. When all tactical decisions are based on a top down approach, the seeds for inertia are sown. However, through commander’s intent, young leaders do not sit around and wait for orders, rather they are empowered to remain focused on the overall objective of the mission and find alternative methods to accomplish the mission.

A district’s mission statement is the commander’s intent that can guide staff and board members through times of uncertainty in decision making. It can help board members work through an old impasse with clarity on the overall purpose of the district.

  • Continuity: Let’s face it, district leadership changes frequently. Sometimes changes in leadership are amicable and other times leaders separate under less than desirable terms. Regardless of why or how leaders move on, the students in the school district are still the most important factor to consider. A clear mission statement helps provide continuity from one leader to the next during times of transition. More information about this will be provided below, but a mission statement should not be developed by one person, it should be developed in collaboration with students, teachers, administrators, and community members and should survive transitions in leadership. In fact, it should be the filter in which new school district leaders and teachers are ran through. When school districts have a clearly defined and easily understood mission it becomes far easier to identify staff members who will help the district achieve its goals.
  • Credibility: Public school districts receive a portion of their revenue from state and federal funding. For most districts though, the largest share of their revenue comes from local tax revenue. People move to communities for two main reasons: jobs and schools. If people are moving to an area because of schools, they are choosing to invest their lives and tax dollars in that community and that type of commitment requires credibility. Additionally, when schools require funding for large projects, such as new schools or sports facilities, they must turn to voters and ask them to pass tax levy or bond issues to raise capital. “Yes” votes require credibility in the eyes of the voters. If patrons of the community see credibility in the purpose and actions of the district, they will be more likely to support the district both at the ballot box and with their wallet.

Now that you know some of the benefits of creating a mission statement for school districts, take a closer look at some best practices for actually creating one.

Best Practices for Creating School District Mission Statements

Form a Mission Statement Committee: I know, another committee. School districts and churches find some kind of cruel pleasure in the forming and meeting of committees. There are times though that committees are necessary. School districts are comprised of many interested parties and each should have a voice in the process of creating the final product. School district leaders should invite representatives from the community, school board, staff members, and students. That may seem like a lot of people at the table, but keep in mind each has a unique view point in how they want the district to help serve the community they live in. As mentioned previously, districts should strive to ensure they create a mission statement that endures through changes in leadership and trends in education. If school districts hope to write an enduring and representative mission statement, they need to form a mission statement committee.

Ask the Right Questions: Once the committee is formed ask the right questions. Among the many questions that can guide your mission statement here are some important considerations

  • Ask why the district exists. What service to you hope to provide for the students and the community.
  • What are the school district’s defining characteristics?
  • What makes your district stand out?
  • What are your district’s concrete goals?
  • What will members of the community value the most about the school district?
  • What value does the school hope to add to the community, the country, and society at large?
  • Why would others want to be a part of this district?

This is not an all inclusive list, but it is something to get you started. An inspirational and thought provoking TED Talk video that may help keep your committee focused on the point of a mission statement is one by Simon Sinek titled How Great Leaders Inspire Action.

Keep it Simple: The final step in creating a mission statement is focusing on simplicity. In product development companies often say simplicity is where you start, but in a mission statement simplicity is where you end. You take big ideas and distill them down to a few single sentence statements that are easily understood by all.

Mission statements need to cut through the clutter. Ideally mission statements for school districts should be 8-10 (preferably) single syllable words. You goal is to simplify your district’s mission for the community, not string together a bunch of fluff that includes multi-syllable education buzz words (hello rigor, relevance).

When your mission statement committee gets stuck and struggles to reach an agreement, use the 90-year-old grandma rule. If your 90-year-old grandma would not understand it, it may be time to rework the mission statement.

Your grandma wouldn’t understand a mission statement that claims to:

Help each student come into confident possession of their innate talents, improve the skills needed for success in secondary school, and establish values that will allow them to act with thoughtfulness and humanity.

Your grandma would know:

Working together to provide students with superior learning opportunities and providing the community with well-prepared citizens of tomorrow.”

So are you simply dumbing down your mission statement?

Not exactly. Thirty years ago the average person saw 2000 images a day. Today people see closer to 6000 images per day due to the rise of handheld digital devices on most desktops and in our pockets. Add to that number the thousands of words you either hear or read each day and it is easy to see why people often tune out the world around them.

The human brain is composed of billions of neurons that are all searching for the shortest path to process information. Imagine millions of little bouncers waiting at the doors of these neurons ready to kick out anything overly complicated. Mission statements need to be able to get past the “bouncers” that help people process information. They need to resonate and stick, Effective mission statements are clear, concise, and meaningful.

Final Thoughts on How to Create a Mission Statement for School Districts

Clearly mission statements are more than a few trendy buzzwords that are hung on school building walls and displayed on the district’s homepage and then forgotten about. Well-written mission statements can guide the district through major decisions and onward towards the accomplishment of broader district goals. Re-evaluate your mission statement every five years to ensure it continues to align with the direction your community wants to go and what they need from the students in your schools.

Up Your Training Intensity With HIT

Are you tired of your current workout routine? Does the thought of doing another chest workout this Monday kill your motivation? Have your muscle or strength gains stalled? If you answered yes to any of these questions, don’t worry because you’re not alone. The human body is a fickle beast that adapts to training without continual variation. If you’re seeing diminished gains or need a change of pace, you should consider bumping up your intensity through the HIT method.

High Intensity Training (HIT) is a form of exercise that utilizes progressive resistance training by way of short, intense workouts that reach muscular failure. While there are many iterations of this style of training that have utilized this approach to building muscle and strength, such as DC Training, Dorian Yate’s Blood and Guts system, and Mike Mentzer’s HIT training, High Intensity Training was defined and popularized back in the 1970’s by the founder of Nautilus, Arthur Jones.


Until Arthur Jones formulated his beliefs on muscle building, the common adage was to train with high volume made popular by fitness mogul Joe Weider. Employing Arnold Schwarzenegger as the face of bodybuilding through magazine publications and supplement/fitness equipment ads, high volume training was regarded as the superior training style. While not considered as “hardcore” as HIT, high volume training is arduous in its own right, consisting of hours, upon hours in the gym lifting with an incredible amount of volume, in order to induce muscular hypertrophy.

Jones saw a flaw in the high volume approach, as it didn’t encourage progressive overloading of the muscle that he believed was necessary. After developing his program, known as the Nautilus Principles (Jones never actually named it HIT) he put his reputation and body on the line, creating the Colorado Experiment in 1973. Performed at Colorado State University, this study examined two subjects, Jones and professional bodybuilder Casey Viator, to test Jones’ method and see how much muscle could be gained in under a month. Needless to say, the results were nothing short of astounding with Viator gaining 63lbs in 28 days and Jones gaining 15 in 22 days.

As incredible as these results sound, they should be taken with a grain of salt as Viator was coming off multiple injuries in which he lost substantial muscle he once had. Both men also strictly dieted for weeks leading up to the experiment to insure a perfect environment to gain weight. Regardless of any controversy or not being entirely “empirical, the experiment gave merit to Jones’ claims.

The Training Philosophy:

High Intensity Training fundamentally relies on the less is more mentality because there is an inverse relationship between the amount of volume versus the intensity one can exert on a given exercise. While the high volume approach advises repeated stimulation of a muscle, Jones’ HIT relies on overloading the muscle over a shorter period of time.

In a given exercise, HIT advocates recommend using the least amount of sets to achieve muscular failure, while performing each repetition in a slow and controlled motion. This all-out set hasn’t been proven to be more effective than multiple sets in building more muscle or greater strength, but the theory behind only doing one set to absolute failure ensures that the workout be kept brief to limit any unnecessary movements that’ll prolong the recovery period (remember that muscle is built during recovery workouts and not the actual workouts themselves).

To ensure maximum recovery to perform at one’s best it’s recommended to rest at least 48 hours in between workouts, while not going beyond 96 hours without training because risk of muscular atrophy increases. This works out to a three-day-a-week lifting schedule with four days of recovery. Jones argues that this schedule is beneficial not only for recovery, but also for preventing the body from becoming adjusted to a regular routine. This, along with added intensifiers, will guarantee continual progression.

The All-Out Set:

After reaching muscular failure on a lift, there are intensifiers than can be added to a set to overload the muscle even further. Say a person performs 10 repetitions on a bench press and cannot do an 11th. To add an intensifier to the set, one could perform a few more negatives (having a spotter pull the weight up during the concentric part of the movement and let you lower the weight to your chest yourself), partial reps (moving the bar from your chest to a few inches off of it, not performing a full repetition), or a drop set (after completing the ten reps, take off a certain amount of weight from the bar and instantly try to get another ten reps with the lowered weight). There are many more intensifiers that warrant their own article, but these are a few that can be added to take a muscle beyond failure.

Training Frequency:

With this style of training, frequency becomes one of the most important aspects of it. In a higher volume approach to strength training, it isn’t uncommon to see people lifting anywhere from 4-6 days a week (even 7 for the crazies out there) for an hour to multiple hours at a time. If proper rest and nutrition are implemented, this isn’t a big deal, as high volume training doesn’t use as heavy of weights that tax the CNS system and require more rest.

When training with high volume and not using maximal effort in every set, muscular fatigue is an issue that requires rest to recover from but CNS fatigue is much less common. Often brought on by lifting too heavy, too often with inadequate rest times, CNS fatigue affects one’s neurotransmitters, which send signals from the brain to the muscles. With compromised neurotransmitter function, one might feel constantly exhausted while being well-rested and have reduced cognitive abilities.

Because of the increased risk of CNS fatigue and injury, advocates of HIT believe that training should occur no more than three times a week, limiting an hour (at the absolute most) per workout. This will help ensure a proper amount of recovery time per workout and reduce the risk of injury or overtraining.

Risk and Controversy:

Arguably, these techniques this will elicit a greater increase in muscular strength and size since the body will be taken beyond muscular failure, while high volume training will not generate the intensity. This form of training has proven to be very effective, but it’s also very hard on the body and requires far more precautions than a high volume training method. One’s risk of injury will be reduced if proper warming up, impeccable form, and proper rest and nutrition aren’t adhered to.

Sample Workouts:

With one of main principles of HIT being variation, there are is an abundance of ways to set up a workout routine that adheres to the HIT philosophies. Based off the recommended three-day-a-week schedule, workouts can be set up as a three full body workouts, an upper/lower body split (two upper, one lower), or a push/pull/leg split. Exercise choice can be tailored to fit the equipment available or to personal preference, but here’s an example of a week using each routine:

Full Body:

Day One:
1. Barbell Squat
2. Bench Press
3. Pullup/Chinup
4. Stiff-Legged Deadlift
5. Seated Shoulder Press
6. Bicep Curl
7. Triceps Extension

Day Two:
1. Leg Press
2. Bent-over Row
3. Chest Press
4. Lying Hamstring Curl
5. Military Press
6. Skull-Crushers
7. Concentration Curls

Day Three:
1. Deadlift
2. Bench Press
3. Low Cable Row
4. Lunges
5. Upright Row
6. Dips
7. Barbell Shrugs
8. Preacher Curl

Upper/Lower Split:

Day One:
1. Bench Press
2. Bent-over Row
3. Shoulder Press
4. Pullup/Chinup
5. Dip
6. Barbell Curl

Day Two:
1. Barbell Squat
2. Stiff-legged Deadlift
3. Leg Extension
4. Lying Leg Curl
5. Standing/Seated Calf Raise

Day Three:
1. Incline Barbell Press
2. Single Arm Dumbbell Row
3. Dumbbell Pullover
4. Upright Row
5. Skull-Crushers
6. Preacher Curls

Push/Pull/Leg Split:

Day One (Push):
1. Bench Press
2. Shoulder Press
3. Incline Dumbbell Fly
4. Dip
5. Triceps Rope Extension

Day Two (Pull):
1. Bent-over Row
2. Lat Pulldown
3. Low Cable Row
4. Barbell Shrugs
5. Hammer Curls

Day Three (Legs):
1. Barbell Squats
2. Stiff-legged Deadlifts
3. Leg Extensions
4. Lying Leg Curls
5. Standing/Seated Calf Raise


Since being conceptualized in the ’70s, High Intensity Training has become an increasingly popular method of training, largely attributed to its versatility. While high volume training’s merits are limited to bodybuilding and physique enhancement, HIT can be used as an effective bodybuilding or strength/powerlifting program. HIT’s benefits aren’t limited to physique and strength development though; High Intensity Training has been shown to improve metabolic conditioning and cardiovascular health as well.

Despite numerous success stories and proven benefits, HIT isn’t without its flaws. The risk of injury is greatly increased with this form of training, as the intensifiers take the body beyond failure and perfect form becomes hard to maintain as the body reaches this threshold. But with strict adherence to proper form, rest and recovery, High Intensity Training is a training method that can produce dramatic changes in body composition and physical strength.

Why Career Path Counseling?

In 1991 I took my first “calculated” career leap from practicing vocational rehabilitation counseling to career counseling. After my son was born, I took a ten year “hiatus” to create KidzArt, an acclaimed International Art Franchise. It is often said that many of us return to our first career path when we get “older”. When I became obsessed with KidzArt’s success, I had to take a step back and reassess my goals. In doing so, I realized that my true career is and always has been career path counseling.

With my Treasure Map in hand, I knew that career counseling would incorporate many of my preferences for doing work that I love using the skills I love to use – working with motivated people who are confused and want/need direction. As an educator, my job now is to provide valuable information about the importance of seeking career counseling before making any career-related decision. The truth is that this work is really essential to helping anyone, particularly in today’s media-rich, recession-focused society. Taking steps toward ultimate career satisfaction will not only bring a joy-filled life, but puts you heads above any competition that you “think” is stopping you. Armed with a Roadmap and new found confidence in your career direction, you can beat the odds in ANY job-related climate.

Here are some reasons why you may want to consider one on one or group career path counseling:

*You seek medical help when you’re ill; you go to a counselor when you need a mental health check-up; when your car’s sick, you see a mechanic, and on and on. So why not use the same self-care toward the development of your personal career path. The result: doing a a lifetime of work that is fun, exciting, fulfills your mission, is purposeful, rewarding and financially satisfying.
*Navigate career-related information via media, internet, social media, with ease.
*Overcome the “Safekeeping Self” who keeps you stuck in jobs and careers that just don’t work, no matter how hard you try.
*Develop Roadmap to confidently take the next step on your true path.
*Receive unbiased support to stay on the path and focused on determining your true career direction.
*Explore career options and overcome blocks to success while staying true to yourself and accountable.
*Strategize realistic options with a trained professional who asks the right questions at the right time and allows you to discover and digest the answers at your own pace.
*Craft a college major that really works to your benefit to learn new ideas AND gain important lifelong skills, while developing your career path.
*Have FUN, be confident and prepared for the journey.
*Receive professional guidance, human connection, support, wisdom and action plan from a wise source.
*Receive support to stay on track until you reach your first goal.

I recently met with a mother and son who own a fairly successful business. The mom told me that her parents spent thousands and thousands of dollars more on her education than was necessary because she didn’t have any understanding of who she was and where she wanted to go before changing majors several times and attending very expensive private colleges. She told me that her parents would gladly have paid a professional to work with her to help her focus on a few areas, explore those areas one-on-one, and learn more about herself and what really makes her happy before launching into several majors that she could not leverage later on, had they known. The cost of professional career counseling is a fraction of what it cost her in frustration and debt incurred by her parents.

The following are just a few more reasons why career path counseling can be compared to preventative medicine and what a difference it can in the bigger picture.

*Provides clarification of possible directions by taking a confusing and somewhat ambiguous process and putting a structure to it. It is short term v. long term, and within two months or less, you will know what to do next. Your counselor is your guide in this process, providing feedback and helping to navigate the waters of all the possible choices out there, and always coaching you to see the patterns and to take them seriously, becoming your voice of reason – or career alter ego.
*If you are a “Jack of all trades and master of none, career path counseling can get to the heart of what’s preventing you from making a choice to pursue one avenue and to stick with it. Or, to move on.
*If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and not much patience (no labels here, but you may recognize yourself), career path counseling can help you identify your ideal business. Or, it could lead to identifying your best work environment and structuring how best to spend your working hours.
*Do you already know that you want to go into business for yourself, but don’t know what in? Do you have loads of ideas, and one thing looks better than the next, but you aren’t completely comfortable or confident in your decision even after you’ve done all the research on several businesses. Now is the time a career professional can really help you focus and identify what is right for YOU.

As you can see, there are so many reasons to work with a highly skilled professional who understands the world of work, human nature, coaching and mentoring to aid in making one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.

At this point, you may be asking why use the word “Path” in career path counseling? Isn’t it extraneous? The Path denotes that over the course of a lifetime, one’s career is never linear. Unless you are one of the few who still unrealistically think that you will work for the same employer until retirement and be promoted according to the company plan, there are generally twists and turns, starts, restarts along the “career path.” Career is not necessarily defined as doing one thing. It is a series of experiences. Personally, my career took me from one type of vocational counseling to another, to the founder of an art franchise and now back to career (more definitively defined) path counseling. Yet, my transition from one to the other was fairly painless because I’ve always had my original Roadmap. The forks in the road lead to easy decisions. Knowing who you are in relation to your career path help you recognize the signs when it’s time to move on.

Online Education to Become a Teacher

You might want to consider acquiring an online degree if you are interested in becoming a teacher. The field of education is one that gives you plenty of opportunities to try out different roles. As a teacher, you can focus on early, middle, or secondary aged students. You can also take on administrative roles with an online degree focused on teaching.

Kinds of Online Degrees:
Similar to any other field, there are lots of options available for you when it comes to online degrees. To start with, you can go for a bachelor’s degree in education. You can become a teacher in any college or university by earning this degree along with a certificate in teaching. Normally your college major will decide which subject you are going to teach. Once you have earned a bachelor’s degree in education, you can further go for a master’s degree in education. This degree can come in real handy for individuals who want to advance their career.

Different Areas in the Field of Education:
The education field consists of various specializations that include elementary education, early childhood education, administration, higher education, secondary education and middle school. Each of these specializations needs a specific educational qualification and certification for becoming a teacher. For example, it is mandatory for teachers to get a license from the state in which they are teaching.

Online Bachelor’s in Education:
To start a career in teaching, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in Education. The course structure of this online degree program includes planning lessons, handling discipline related issues, psychology of learning and making sure that students do not face any problem in understanding concepts. You can earn between $25,000 and $30,000 as a first year teacher with an online bachelor’s degree in education.

Online Master’s in Teaching:
Certified teachers can attain promotions as well as pay raises with the help of online a master’s in teaching degree. Another good thing about this degree program is that it gives teachers more opportunities in private schools and universities. Upon graduation you can also enroll in a PhD in education degree program.

Schools Offering Online Education Degrees:

o Western Governors University: Regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Western Governors University offers Bachelor in Education, Masters in Teaching, Masters in Education, Higher Education, Secondary Education and Special Education.

o Ashford University: Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Ashford University offers Associate, Bachelor and Master degrees in teaching. Some of the programs conducted by Ashford University are Bachelor in Education, Masters in Teaching, Masters in Education, Masters in Teaching, Higher Education, Early Childhood Education, Secondary Education and Elementary Education.

o Grand Canyon University: Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, Grand Canyon University offers Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education in Secondary Education and Master of Education in Special Education.

The acquisition on an online degree in education can help individuals in acquiring better career opportunities and go for well-paying jobs. But before enrolling in an online college or university, you need to make sure that it is accredited.

Increase Writing Speed Like A Pro

3 Tips To Speed Up Your Writing

There is absolutely no denying that writing can be a dreary and draining task. Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer, Anne Tyler, once said, “If I waited till I felt like writing, I’d never write at all.”

If professional authors and writers need to force themselves to write, one can imagine the sheer willpower required for an ordinary person to sit down and put pen to paper… or fingers to keyboard just to produce a piece of content.

Even if you love writing, there will be times when you’re just not into it. What do you do then? You may still have deadlines to meet or your blog will need its scheduled post. You don’t have a choice but to write… and it can seem torturous.

The best way to get around this problem will be to become a more productive writer. That essentially means that you’ll be able to write more in less time. For example, if it takes you an hour to write your weekly blog post, by becoming a faster writer, you might be able to write two posts in that same hour.

You’ll then have content for two weeks and you won’t need to worry and fret so often about having to write. Being faster also means that your work gets completed sooner. If you’re a freelance writer, you’ll be able to take on more work and double your earnings.

You’ll have more free time to do what you want to. There are many benefits that can be accrued just by writing rapidly. This article will give you three tips that will make you a faster writer, if you follow them.

Learn To Type

This may seem like a very basic tip yet most slow writers are also slow typists. Your typing speed has a direct correlation with how fast you can churn out content. Even if you know how to type, you should try to become a faster typist.

The faster you are, the better. You’ll be able to think through your fingers. There will be no lag between your thoughts and the words appearing in front of the screen. The best writers usually type very fast.

You can learn how to type online from sites like There are many such sites. Find one that you like and get started.

If the idea of learning to type seems too much of a Herculean task to you, there is always the option of dictation software like Dragon Naturally Speaking. You’ll be able to dictate your article or whatever content you want written.

Another option would be to speak out your content and do a voice recording of it. You can then send the audio file to a transcription service where it will all be typed out for you.

Whatever option you choose to go with, what really matters is that you try to accelerate the speed at which your thoughts become text.

Use A Countdown Timer

Another important tool you should be using is a countdown timer to increase writing speed. You can use an online timer at

The goal here is to always try to do more in less time. For example, if you take 15 minutes to write a 500 word article, you should aim to do it in 14 minutes or even 12 minutes. Use a countdown timer whenever you write and always try to beat your personal best.

Over time you will become much faster and you’ll also be more focused.

Have a Fixed Time

Writing is a habit that must be cultivated over time. Ideally, you should have a fixed time to write. Some people do well early in the morning before anyone else has awakened… while others work well into the night while the world sleeps.

It doesn’t matter which way you go but what you’ll need to do is find out what works for you. Writing should almost seem like a ritual. The same time, at the same place and for the same duration.

Aim to make it mechanical and predictable. This is ideal to making your mind and body accustomed to writing. Once you have gotten used to the ritual, the moment you sit at your desk at the specific time, your mind will be ready to write. You’ll be in the ‘zone’… and will photograph your thoughts and put them on paper or on your word processor quickly and easily.

By following these three tips, you’ll see your writing speed improve and not only will you write faster, but you’ll also write better. The fear and hesitation you anticipate at the thought of writing will dissipate. It may not go away entirely… but you’ll not loathe writing as much as before, since you know that you’ll be able to do it fast.

10 Accelerated Learning (AL) Methodologies That Make Sales Training Stick

We are interested in the achieving the following individual sales training outcomes in the shortest time possible:

(I) Improved Learning Outcomes and Increased Competence;
a. Retention to fluency (Mastery*),
b. Behavior change through accountable reinforcement,
c. Improved application,
d. Advanced individual performance and
e. Advanced organization performance.

  • You will ensure that every person reaches true mastery in the shortest amount of time. Mastery produces people who have the adaptive reasoning skills required to effectively apply knowledge to new situations.

The $64,000 question is: Out of all the Accelerated learning (AL) methodologies available, which one(s) will deliver the best individual sales transfer results in the shortest time possible?

The best learning, transfer and individual performance improvement results will come from training programs that include these learner focused, accelerated learning components. By using these AL methodologies, each learner will be presented the information in an optimized way, which ensures that your critical sales information will be individually learned to mastery (fluency).

“Accelerated learning” utilizes participant focused, research based, learning methodologies, that empower individual participants to learn, remember and apply critical information more effectively and efficiently.

In sales, this is the means to bettered individual transfer. This results from: a. participants learning new information to fluency, b. individuals successfully and appropriately applying the information, with appropriate coaching reinforcement, over time, c. individuals changing behaviors to best practices and d., individuals improving personal performance.

Here are the 10 core components of accelerated learning methodology, which if included in a sales training initiative, will accelerate and solidify individual learning transfer and result in advanced individual sales performance improvement:

1. Knowledge about the Human Brain

AL includes the research based, best practices, for individual learning to mastery

  • One to one delivery
  • Learning to individual fluency
  • Individual coaching and best practices reinforcement over time

2. Emotional State

AL focuses upon promoting positive mindsets in each participant

3. The Learning Environment

AL focuses upon a positive, participant, learning environment that is inviting for learners to experiment discover and learn.

4. The Role of Music and the Arts

Music creates emotional engagement and memorability. It can be a positive educational tool in conjunction with AL.

5. Personal Motivation

Al promotes individual self-confidence, intrinsic motivation and personal expectations.

6. Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles

AL theory includes these individual differences.

(Editorial comment: There is divergence in the learning community specific to the individual impact on learning that these elements have]

7. Imagination/Metaphors

AL uses these items to support individual learning and to make it more memorable.

8. Suggestion/De-Suggestion

In AL the facilitator pays attention to each individual and supports him and her to move beyond their personal limitations

9. Team Learning and Cooperation

The sharing of learning reinforces individual learning and group results

10. Improvement and Results

Individual learning expectations must be clearly defined and shared with participants.

  • Participants must understand how they will individually benefit
  • Facilitators must be able to measure individual progress and connect that progress to individual and business objectives

Accelerated learning methodologies have empowered learners to accomplish more in less time.

AL methodologies have delivered the following participants results, all Consistent with your key, organization, business objectives:

  • 11% less study time, 22% less test time and 95% higher test scores
  • Learning was bettered, up to 239%
  • Content Creation was streamlined, up to 50% faster

The College Search: A Student Financial Aid Tool

Conducting a college search can be a long and arduous process of elimination involving countless hours of research, discussion, campus visitations and comparisons of college sticker prices. Many families, however, choose to limit their search to one or possibly two colleges on the grounds of price, location, admissions or other considerations. But, limiting your college search by not exploring your options can do you a disservice financially in your pursuit of student financial aid.

Recently, a family received an offer of financial aid from their daughter’s college choice and asked me for guidance. The award notification from a state supported public college contained only federal student loans in the amount of $5,500 toward a cost of approximately $25,000, including room and board. Their daughter had her heart set on this particular college and her parents felt fortunate that their child selected a “reasonably” priced tax-supported institution. This college had a fair degree of good academic programs, nice amenities, and was only forty minutes from home. As a result, Mom and Dad felt that a full college search was unnecessary. Nevertheless, when the offer of financial assistance arrived in the mail, they were surprised and disappointed.

Why did the college not provide any scholarship or grant awards to them? The parents would argue that their young lady is nearly an “A” student with notable results on her SAT exam and performed a small but adequate amount of community service. Surely, they thought, their daughter would qualify for some amount of merit aid based on her high school record. Sadly, it was too late to tell them that if they had extended their college search to additional public or private colleges in their state, a merit scholarship covering full tuition and fees, renewable for four years, was waiting for them just down the road.

Why such a great difference in college offerings? Some colleges simply do not have the institutional funds to offer merit awards. But many public and private colleges, some without large endowments, find the money to offer merit-based scholarships to students in their freshman class. Some may offer merit awards to their new transfer candidates too.

These scholarship programs may offer one year awards, two year or even full tuition and fees coverage for four years of education. Colleges often use lofty names for these institutional programs, like Trustee or Presidential scholarships. Schools advertise the availability and details of their scholarship programs on their web site or in their admissions materials.

Keep in mind that you do not need to be at the top of your high school class to qualify for one of these scholarships. Hardly, and this may surprise you. Colleges award these scholarships not solely based on recognizing your talent, but to attract you to their college or academic program to fulfill one or many of their institutional goals. A common enrollment goal, for instance among state public colleges who are competing with their sister institutions, is to increase the average SAT score and class rank of their freshman class and offer merit awards to students who exceed the college’s current average student scores. Students with average scores can find a full scholarship award letter in their mailbox.

Perhaps a college has a new academic program being offered this coming year. To fill the seats, they award tuition scholarships to those who declare a major in this program. Or, a college has a directive from their state agency to increase their student diversity so they offer scholarships to a diverse ethnicity of students or non-resident students to address that requirement. Your talent may be an important consideration that colleges use to distribute their money, but it may not be the only criteria for awarding you a scholarship.

You’ll need to invest some time, but it will be well worth it. Remember, there can be any number of reasons why a college offers a scholarship. Casting a wide net in your college search can pull in offers of financial aid from competing colleges that are anxious to attract you to their institution and provide the discount you need to attend the college of your choice. Good hunting!

Beauty Therapy Courses – Important Factors You Need To Know

Beauty therapy courses are professionally developed lessons designed to train beauty experts. Most of the courses have been developed by trained professionals in this field so that they can be able to disseminate information to novice beauty trainees. The information is aimed at equipping the novice beauty trainees with knowledge and skills that will make them become beauty experts.

The courses are categorized into different groups depending on the skills that are being offered. That means one has the liberty to pursue any course that one seems fit to train on or depending on the market needs. For example if one desires to become a nail technician, one can pursue the nail treatment course.

The nail treatment course encompasses different aspects of the beautification of the nail. We have the manicure and the pedicure. This entails the filling cleaning and the beautification of the hand and the toe nails. We also have the nail artistry course which mainly deals with beautification of the nails. These include nail painting and performing some artistic drawings on the nail. We also have the gel and the acrylic courses that mainly deal with the artificial nails. That is the fixing of the artificial nails and the beautification of the nails.

We have the beauty therapy course as part of the beautician courses. At this stage one learns more about body massage, electrotherapy, reflexology, skin care, body therapy and aromatherapy. All of these courses are concerned with the wellness of the skin. When one trains on these courses he/she can be able to conduct any therapeutic techniques on a client.

Apart from that we have the hair designer course. The hair designer course mainly deals with the beautification of the hair on the head as desired. The beauty trainee is taught how to make different professional cuts. They also learn how to perform hair dyeing where the hair can be dyed in different colors. They also learn how to color the hair depending on the color of the skin and the needs of the client.

All these courses are taught in a formal setting where the trainee is taught in a classroom setting. The training includes both theory and practical classes. For the theory classes one gets to learn different issues on beauty training. The practical classes mainly involve one putting into practice whatever has been learnt in the theory class. The time taken for the beautician courses normally vary depending on the content and the program of the school offering the training.

For certificate beauty therapy courses, the training might last between five days to one month. You can be able to take a certificate course on your own specific area of study. Certificate courses are mostly offered online since they do not entail a lot of work. For the diploma course it may take you between three to six months. Most of the times this course is offered in the formal classroom setting but there are other schools that offer the training online. For advanced diploma and degree beautician courses, it might take between one to four years. These courses are offered in a similar manner to the diploma courses.

Beauty therapy courses provide the best way to train beauticians. They are the most efficient way of equipping beauticians with skills on how to beautify men and women and in turn generate a substantial amount of income.