Category Archives: Personal Development

Why do you go to school?

Why DO you go to school?

I have been thinking about this a lot recently.

 

My daughter, Scarlett, is almost 15, and a few months ago she started a period of work, preparing for her GCSE exams, which will take place, spread out over the next year or so.

 

I have been helping her with her revision, and my thoughts on this subject have changed ever since I read MINDSET by Carole Dweck.

 

This is how I USED to think….

You go to school to learn subjects, like Maths, Chemistry, French, Latin, Geography and so on.

 

During your years in school you find that you are good at some subjects and not so good at others. For me, I was good at Maths and Physics, and not very good at languages.

 

You work hard to learn the subjects, you get qualifications (GCSEs, A-Levels etc.), which then prove (or at least indicate) to a university, or to an employer, that you are reasonably bright, and good at Maths/French/Cooking etc.

 

You then went on to a University course, or a job, which was vaguely related to the subjects that you did well at, at school.

 

So it was a big advantage being Bright/Smart/Clever because you got good exam results and hopefully got a job doing something that you wanted, and got reasonably well paid for it.

 

Now this way of thinking always made me question why on earth we studied things like Latin, History, English Literature at school – because the number of people who then went on to get jobs that required them to speak Latin, recite Chaucer, or know the names of Henry VIII’s wives, always seemed to be tiny.

 

This is what I think NOW….

You go to school to learn how to study, and to learn the benefits of working hard.

 

During your years in school you have to learn a wide variety of subjects. You have to learn different ways of studying them:

  • reading about them;
  • listening to a teacher explain them;
  • watch videos about them;
  • experiment with them.

You have to learn how to present the results of your studies in different ways:

  • You have to talk about subjects (oral tests).
  • You have to be able to think on your feet (applying theoretical knowledge from the classroom to field trips).
  • You have to learn about a subject so you can write up what you have learnt at a later date (exams).
  • You have to work hard to understand something you do not have a natural talent for.

 

These skills that you learn will then last you for the rest of your lives.

Regardless of the subjects you were studying at the time.

 

In fact the most useful subjects at school are the ones you are not very good at.

You can probably get by without doing much work on subjects that come to you very easily. The problem with that is, you never learn how to work hard. Then the first time you do have to work hard – in a job, or maybe at university, it is a complete shock to you, and you can get very disheartened and struggle badly.

However, to do well in subjects you struggle with, you have to work out different ways of learning it. Do I learn better by listening to someone talk about it, or by reading about it and making notes, or by experimenting with it?

 

By working hard, and developing different learning techniques, you are picking up really useful skills.

 

Then – if you do go to University, or a job, based around a subject that you really like, you can excel at it because you have a natural talent AND you know how to work hard on it when it comes to that.

 

So actually being Bright/Smart/Clever only gets you part way. Learning how to work hard on something you struggle with will get you a lot further!

 

This is what I am trying to help my daughter to understand, so hopefully she will leave school with great subject knowledge, a good attitude to working hard, and a knowledge of how to learn things that she struggles with.

 

Bye for now.

 

Chris Smith

 

Don’t spend Major time on Minor things

Do you find you just don’t have enough time in the day? You have so much to do, and just not enough time to do it in?

 

That’s what I’m like – my to-do list never gets done! No matter how much time I spend doing the things on the list, there are always more things added to it.

 

Now I think I am a pretty organised person. I have my to do list. I plan my day. I follow the plan. I adjust the plan to hit my goals, and so on. But I always thought I could do more, or I could do things more efficiently.

 

So a couple of days ago I took a look at what I do, and I’ll share with you my findings.

 

It all started with these two guys – Jim Rohn and Darren Hardy. You may know them – both terrific authors and speakers on personal development.

 

One of Jim Rohn’s speeches is about people who spend Major Time on Minor things, and end up spending Minor time on Major things. I think this is one of my problems. I spend lots of time doing stuff, I am always busy, and I work hard. But am I working hard on the right things?

 

This is where Darren Hardy comes in. Darren explained that if you really want to improve things in your life, you need to measure it. Keep track of what you spend your time on.

 

So I started keeping a diary of what I was doing. Not every minute, but every half an hour. From when I woke up in the morning, to when I went to bed.

 

…and I grouped these into 11 categories. They will be different for you, but for me, the categories are…

  • Supporting my team (one to one)
  • Retail (delivering catalogues, orders, etc)
  • Talking to prospects
  • Generating Leads
  • Emailing prospects
  • Team infrastructure (setting up training etc.)
  • Goal Setting
  • Branding myself (my Blog)
  • Personal Development
  • Admin
  • personal stuff (lunch, family things, etc.)

…and every 30-minute slot was allocated to one of these categories.

 

Then I decided which of these categories are REALLY important to achieving my current goals. My current goals are around increasing my income from my business. I have other goals as well, personal development goals, family goals, health goals, but for the moment, my business goals are my focus.

 

Here are the categories I decided are my MAJOR ones…

  • Supporting my team (one to one)
  • Talking to prospects
  • Generating Leads

and when I analysed the time I spent, I found that I was spending 26% of my time on these items, and 74% on other things.

 

So clearly I have been spending MINOR time on MAJOR things. Time for a change. If I am serious about my business goals, I need to spend more time on them.

 

Over the next couple of weeks I will be thinking a lot more about what I do, and my aim is to spend AT LEAST 50% of my time on the activities that will have the biggest impact on me achieving my goals.

 

I will let you know how things progress.

 

Bye for now

 

Chris 🙂

Are you a NEET?

This morning I saw this article on the BBC News website – click here. The title was “NEETs lack skills needed for First Jobs”

 

Now I had no idea what a NEET was, but it aroused my curiousity, so I had a look, and now I do know what a NEET is. See? You learn something new every day.

 

 

A NEET is a young person who is Not in Education, Employment, or Training.

 

 

 

The article explains that so many young people leave school and do not continue their education, they can’t get a job, and they don’t do any further training.

 

They often lack the “soft skills” such as communication, team working and customer service that so many jobs need these days.

 

 

And they are stuck in a Catch-22 situation. They don’t have the skills they need, and they can’t get a job where they could learn these skills.

 

“We know that if young people haven’t got on to the first rung of the job ladder by 24, they will suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives,” said Shaks Ghosh, chief executive of the Private Equity Foundation, which supports the report.

 

So – are there any solutions? Well one of the options is to join one of the many “Work From Home” opportunities.

 

 

 

 

 

I have been working with Kleeneze, the Home Shopping Business, since 2008. Anyone can join (although you need to be aged 18 or over), and it is like getting paid to do a training course.

You will learn communication skills, you will work as part of a team, and you will learn excellent Customer Service skills.

 

This is a great way to break that Catch-22 vicious circle.

 

If you’re interested in finding out more, just fill in your details on the Right, and I will send you an info pack.

 

Bye for Now.

 

Chris 🙂

3 ways to get a pay rise

If you’ve read many of my posts, you will know that I love the philosophies of Jim Rohn. Here is another of his….

 

You get paid in this life by bringing VALUE to the MARKET PLACE. These are Jim’s words.

 

Now it may take you some time to add that value. But you don’t get paid for the time, you get paid for the value. You might say you get paid £10 an hour, but that’s not true, you get paid £10 for the value you provide in that hour. If you got paid for the hour, you could just stay at home and they could send you the money.

 

Is it possible to become more valuable? Absolutely!

 

Some people get paid £10,000 in a year. Other people get paid £1,000,000 in a year. Do the second people have a way of finding a hundred times more hours to work? NO! They provide more value in each hour!

 

So – can you find a way to become more valuable? No problem. Learn some new skills. Have a more cheerful attitude at work. They will pay you more. Or if they don’t someone else will.

 

 

Think of it like a ladder.

When you first start off at the bottom of the ladder, you probably have just a few skills, and some enthusiasm. They pay you minimum wage, maybe £5 an hour.

But you can climb! Find out what other skills would be useful to the people that pay you, and learn them.

 

You”ll soon be on the next step. and once you learn how to climb, you can continue! Learn another skill, and another skill. You add more value to every hour, you get paid more for each hour, and you climb higher and higher.

 

 

Now. There are other ways to get a Pay Rise.

 

 

You can go on strike for more money.

The problem with that is that you just get small pay rises, and you will never get Rich by Demanding that people pay you more money.

 

 

 

 

Or you can wait for a pay rise…

 

 

 

Really – it is easier to climb.

So, my advice to you is to work out what value you are adding, and then see what you can do to add more.

 

Bye for now.

 

Chris 🙂

Are you searching for your hidden talent?

I have recently been reading a book which I’d like to recommend to you. Actually, there’s a couple, so I’ll go through them both…..

 

 

The first book is “BOUNCE” by Matthew Syed.

 

I have admired Matthew Syed for a couple of years now. Firstly – he was a national Table Tennis champion, and in my youth I loved table tennis, and have a lot of great memories from those times, so I was aware of Matthew as a sportsman, initially.

 

But secondly, as a sports writer and journalist. Matthew often writes articles in The Times, and I always found his articles insightful, going deeper than the usual sensationalist or factual sports reporting.

 

BOUNCE explains that excellence in sport, or in fact in any walk of life, is nothing to do with talent, and everything to do with purposeful practice.

 

In the 1980’s, the street that Matthew Syed grew up in produced dozens of table tennis champions – county, national, and international. Was there some strange genetic mutation that the people in that street were exposed to, which gave them special table tennis skills? Of course not. Just round the corner was a table tennis club, open 24 hours a day, and one of the best and most inspiring coaches in the country.

 

The coach inspired these young table tennis players to practice, practice, practice.

 

Matthew discovered that any expert, in any field, had generally practiced purposefully for 10,000 hours to get them to where they were.

In fact, having a “talent” for something when you are young can actually hold you back…. I’ll explain that in a moment.

I really enjoyed reading BOUNCE, and Matthew recommended the second book that I wanted to talk about… “Mindset” by Carol Dweck.

 

 

Carol Dweck talks about two different mindsets. She calls them the Fixed Mindset and the Growth Mindset.

 

People with a Fixed Mindset believe that you’ve either got it or you haven’t. You’re talented, or you’re not. You’re Smart or you’re dumb.

 

People with a Growth mindset believe that you are able to change. You can learn more skills, become better at something, by practicing, making mistakes, learning, improving, and practicing again.

 

This Growth mindset is what Matthew Syed talks about.

 

If you have a Fixed Mindset, you believe that if you are going to be successful at something, it is because you have a talent for it. If you try something out, and you fail, then that is obviously not your talent, so better not do that any more, better keep trying new things until you find something you’re good at.

 

But that leads to very limiting behaviour. If you believe you have finally found something you are good at -You tried it a few times, you were successful, you received some praise, some reward for it – you then tend to avoid doing anything that might put that image of yourself at risk. You want people to thing you are talented, successful, so you don’t want to do anything that shows people you make mistakes. So you keep within your comfort zone, you keep doing the things at a level that you can do, knowing you will be successful at it, but never growing, never trying new things.

 

However, if you have a Growth mindset, you believe that you can be successful at anything, as long as you practice, practice, practice, find the good coaches, and the good facilities. You deliberately push yourself, make mistakes, learn from them, and improve, then push yourself again, make more mistakes, and learn more.This way you are constantly improving, and becoming an expert in your chosen field.

 

One great thing about human beings is that we can change. If you have a Fixed mindset, you can change to have a Growth mindset.

 

So if you feel you are unsuccessful in your life because you haven’t yet found your hidden talent, and you think that maybe you have a fixed mindset, then read BOUNCE, and MINDSET, and you might find a way to be successful at anything you choose.

 

Bye for now

 

Chris 🙂

Who do you Blame?

The author and speaker who has had the biggest impact on my life and my business is Jim Rohn – a philosopher on life, business, health, wealth, and other stuff.

 

One of the subjects that he struggled with in his early days when he was learning his philosophy was Blame. I’d like to share with you my views on it, based on his teachings….

 

Most of us, at some time in our lives, have things that go wrong.

 

Not necessarily disastrous events, but a gradual feeling that you are not happy with your life, or maybe one aspect of it.

 

Maybe it is your job – do you feel that you are not paid well enough? Or that your boss always overlooks you for promotion?

 

What about your relationship with your partner? Do you feel he never listens to you? Or he doesn’t care about your opinion?

 

So the question you might ask yourself is – whose fault is it?

 

It is easy, and comforting, to blame someone else – YOUR BOSS overlooks you for promotion. YOUR COMPANY doesn’t pay you enough. YOUR PARTNER doesn’t listen to you. YOUR PARTNER doesn’t care about your opinion.

 

Does that help?

 

Well in a way it does. It relieves you of the responsibility of doing anything about it…..

“I’d love to get paid more, but my company won’t give me a pay rise”

“I’d like extra responsibility, but my boss won’t promote me”

“I’m often upset because my partner won’t listen to me”

 

See? It’s not your fault, you can’t do anything about it unless someone else changes. This takes away some of the stress of the situation, because you have to wait for someone else to do something about it.

 

However – do you think they will? Probably not. They didn’t in the past, why should they now? So you will continue to have the boring, low-paid job, and the unsatisfying relationship. But that’s OK, it’s not your fault.

 

However, a different way of looking at things is this…..

 

“It is not what happens to you that determines your future.

What happens in life, happens to us all.

What is important is what you do about it.”

 

Instead of waiting, waiting, waiting. You can take responsibility for everything that happens in your life.

 

By taking responsibility, I mean that you can take action. If you want to.

 

Overlooked for promotion? Take an evening class to learn more skills. Start volunteering to do more difficult parts of the job. Do these things BEFORE you are promoted, and it won’t be long before your boss notices.

 

Paid too little? Look around for other opportunities, other jobs, within the company or outside. With the extra skills you now have, you have increased your value and will be worth more. Find someone who will pay you what you are now worth.

 

Partner doesn’t listen? Listen to him. Understand him. Explain to him how it upsets you when he won’t listen. If he doesn’t love you enough to start listening, maybe he is not the right partner for you.

 

Now how does that feel? Probably uncomfortable. I am asking you to do something that might be difficult – how to find the time to do the training? how to find the right time to have that conversation with your partner? But you are already half way there. You have realised that, if you want to, you can do something about your situation.

 

Has something changed? Instead of waiting for something that might never happen, you are now empowered to do something about it. To learn the new skills, to take more responsibility, to have better relationships.

 

Want to get paid more? You can do something about that!

Want a promotion? You can do something about that!

Want a more loving relationship? You can do something about that!

 

So – forget about blaming anything or anyone. That doesn’t matter. What does matter is are you going to do something about it?

 

Bye for now.

 

Chris 🙂

Do you educate yourself?

One of my favourite quotes is “Formal Education will make you a living, Self Education will make you a fortune” by Jim Rohn.

 

I have been going through a quiet time in my business recently – team building is quieter as a result of some changes we made and Retail is fine, ticking along nicely, but, you know, I didn’t have my usual buzz.

 

Now that doesn’t worry me – I know I have ups and downs. Good Days and Bad Days…… and I don’t let the bad days worry me any more, because I know that is just my emotional roller coaster doing its’ stuff.

 

Yesterday was Wednesday, and Wednesdays are quiet days for me in my business, so it gives me a chance to reflect on how things are going, what changes I might need to make. A bit of working ON the business instead of working IN the business.

 

So I took the chance to watch a couple of old webinars. One of the leaders in the business, Andy Boswell, arranges a monthly webinar where various leaders present some motivational stuff, hints and tips, a bit about their story etc. and one of the webinars was by Doug Roper.

 

Now I had noticed that Doug Roper was always high up in the New Business Tables, so I knew he was doing something right, so I watched it. Just half an hour or so.

 

….and it really perked me up! He didn’t have a mind-blowing new idea, a fantastic new gadget or system, but he just had a really easy-going way about him. The fact that he is originally from the North-East (like me), endeared him to me. He recommended a book, which I had come across before but never read, and he reinforced some thoughts that I had.

So I came out of that short session feeling much better, just half an hour listening to someone else who is doing what you want to do, can give you such a boost.

Which brings me back to Jim Rohn’s quote.

 

When you’re at school, you are not usually there because you want to be, you are there because you have to be, so you learn what you have to learn.

 

After you leave school, any education you take on then, whether it is an evening class, reading a personal development book, watching a video or whatever, you tend to get a lot more out of it because you CHOOSE to do it. You do it because you know it can help you in your life, your business, or wherever.

 

So thanks to Jim Rohn, and Doug Roper, I feel all motivated again!

 

See you soon

 

Chris 🙂

Welcome to Chris-Smith.me

Hi! This is me.

 

My name’s Chris Smith, I’m married to Sarah, and we have two beautiful daughters, Sophie and Scarlett (visit Scarlett-Harp.co.uk here).

 

 

I hope you find something useful here. On my website you will find information about…

  • Personal Development
    • Leadership
  • Financial Independence
    • Residual Income
    • Self-Employment
  • My Business
  • Social Media for Business
    • Twitter

 

Personal Development

Personal Development is something that we should ALL be doing. In the words of Jim Rohn: “Formal Education will earn you a living, self-education will earn you a fortune” For “Self Education”, read “Personal Development”.

In this section you will find a variety of blog posts about personal development, and also sections about my favourite authors on Personal Development: Robert Kiyosaki, Jim Rohn, and others which will be added.

 

Leadership

Whether you want to lead a team, or just set a great example to yourself and your family, Ledaership skill;s are a great part of personal development.

Here you can read my blog posts about Leadership.

 

Financial Independence

What is Financial Independence? I read a great way to measure your financial independence:

If you stop work today. How many days would it be before you would run out of money?

You can read my blog posts and articles on Financial Independence here.

 

Residual Income

… and what better way to achieve financial independence than through a Residual Income. That is an income that you continue to receive, even after you have stopped doing the work that created it. For example, Pop stars get paid royalties on their songs, after they have finished the work of recording them.

In this section you can find my posts and articles about Residual Income.

 

Self-Employment

One of the best ways to build a residual income, and become finaincially independent, is by running a home-business. In these businesses you are self-employed, and there are many questions and issues you would want to address if you are self employed, or thinking about going self-employed.

Read my thoughts on self-employment, or being self-employed here.

 

My Business

I have a small Home Shopping Business which is one of the ways I am building my Residual Income, hopefully leading to Financial Independence. I am self-employed, and it requires some Leadership on my part, and I have goine through my own Personal Development journey to get where I am now.

If you would like to know more about my business of choice, Kleeneze, take a look in that section.

 

Social Media for Business

I love using Social Media to promote local businesses, and my business aswell.

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn etc are all great tools to get your message out to your community.

In this section you will find loads of great hints and tips on how to get the best out of them. You can find it all here: Social Media for Business

 

 

I hope you find something of interest. I do waffle on a bit, so bear with me. I work hard to earn good money, and I like to spend that money on my family and me, and offer them a lifestyle that they can enjoy. I hope you get a feel for that here.

If you would like to do something similar for yourself and your family, then please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.

 

If you’d like a FREE information pack about joining our team and working with me, Click Here

 

Bye for now

Chris Smith 🙂

Chris Smith