Tag Archives: Personal Development

Are you climbing your staircase?

Are you climbing your staircase?

Or are you waiting for the things to come to you?

 

The world is changing. You can’t stand still. You must either climb, or you will descend.

 

I’m talking about your life, the quality of your life. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

 

So if you have a job, and you go in at the same time every day, do the same stuff, and go home at the same time – you are standing still.

 

However, the world is moving – prices go up, new gadgets come along, kids get more demanding. If you are still doing the same thing that you’ve always done, you’ll be getting the same wages, and you’ll miss out on things.

 

If you want to improve the quality of your life, you must climb your staircase.

 

What does that mean? It means learn some new skills. Make yourself more valuable. When the next promotion comes along, and your boss sees that you’ve been putting in some extra hours, that you have some more skills, and you’ve been doing an evening class – there’s a good chance you could get it.

 

Jim Rohn has a great story of life in USA – he talks about work and pay being like a ladder.

 

First you have to get on the ladder. At the beginning it pays only $4 or $5 an hour, but learn a new skill or have a good attitude, and you can step up.

If you work at McDonalds they pay you $4 an hour. If you whistle while you take the rubbish out, they pay you $5 an hour.

See – good attitude doesn’t take much, and you’ve taken a step up the ladder already.

 

Most people do it the wrong way round –

“When they give me a pay rise THEN I’ll have a good attitude”

Why should they?

Have a good attitude first – put in some extra hours, learn some extra skills, become more valuable – THEN they will give you a pay rise!

 

So if you feel you want a change in your life…..

  • Take a look at the Staircase you are on.
  • Face the right direction.
  • Now take a step.

 

Bye for now

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Where’s your special place?

Where’s your special place?

 

Do you have a special place? Here’s mine. Let me tell you why it is special to me.

My special place

 

This is Goredale Scar, a spot in the Yorkshire Dales near Malham.

 

About 10 years ago, my Dad and I went for a walk round here. I don’t see my Dad very often, maybe once a year. We live at different ends of the country, and I guess we’re just not the communicative type. ….and then when we do meet up, we chat for about 5 minutes, and then run out of things to say.

 

Anyway, we had agreed to meet up for a walk. I was coming up North for a couple of days, and we decided to meet at Malham, and walk around the tarn, and the cove and so on. My dad has always been the organised type, so he brought the map and planned the route. I had never been to Goredale Scar before.

 

So we walk out of Malham, along the road towards the Scar, beautiful countryside, pleasant weather. We were making idle small talk, and admiring the dry stone walls and the sheep. As we come to a field which has a camp site in it, Dad turns off the road and into the field.

 

We walk along, through the campsite, and take a path which follows this lovely stream. Either side of us the Valley walls rise up steeply…

(Looking back from Goredale Scar towards the campsite)

 

This is really beautiful countryside, and I look forward to seeing what lies ahead, as I can see the valley walls are closing in…..

 

…. we continue to the end of the footpath, and have to tread carefully amongst lots of stones, and the stream bed. At this point I can see the Waterfall….

 

…and I am thinking, “wow, the footpath must take a hidden route around the side”, but I couldn’t really see where it could go.

 

My dad keeps walking carefully along the stream bed towards the Waterfall, gets to the foot of the waterfall, and says “Right, I think it is safer if we climb up this side. The other side is a bit damp and slippy.”

 

Climb?

 

Damp and Slippy?

 

Now I am sure we had discussed going for a walk. Taking ropes and belay devices and suchlike had not entered the conversation.

 

However, I didn’t think of myself is being a scaredy cat, and I didn’t want to decline the invitation to climb, so I just swallowed hard, and waited to see where my Dad went.

 

…and up he went, large rucksack on his back, climbing up the side of this huge, vertical, cliff face (well, when I say huge, vertical, and cliff, I exaggerate a little) but I can tell you I had a fair old surge of adrenaline flowing round at that point.

 

So I started climbing behind him, carefully placing hands and feet, and every time I looked down, all I could see were the jagged stones at the bottom of the waterfall, and what a mess they would make of me if I fell.

 

After a couple of minutes, the climb became less steep, and we were able to scramble up to an area where we could stand up and catch our breath. Well, catch my breath.

 

I looked back and saw the other walkers at the bottom of the waterfall looking up at us in awe (well that’s what it looked like to me), and I thought to myself “Yeah! we are on the top of the world!”

 

The buzz of the adrenaline, and the feeling of excitement having attempted and succeeded in something that I could not imagine myself doing was amazing.

 

We then carried on along the path to Malham Tarn, around to Malham Cove, and back to Malham village for a pie and a pint. At least, I assume that’s what we did, because to be honest, I can remember a lot of detail of that 5-10 minutes at the waterfall, and I can hardly remember any of the remaining 2-3 hours of the rest of the walk.

 

I guess that is why this place is special to me.

 

I work hard on my business, and it can be stressful at times, but every now and then I like to go and visit Goredale Scar.

 

I have never climbed the waterfall since, but just as you walk into the stream bed, and approach the waterfall, on your right hand side, there is a ledge that you can climb up to, which gives you a view down onto any other walkers in the area, and it is large enough to sit and have a sandwich and a drink, and listen to the water, falling down the Scar.

 

I remember back to that unexpected, scary achievement of 10 years ago, and all of my worries and stresses of my day to day life drift away for a little while, and I remember that, even though I had not planned it, just for a few minutes, I was on top of the world.

 

Do you have somewhere special to you?

 

Bye for Now

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Are you following the right path?

Are you following the right path?

Actually – are you following any path, or are you just wandering along aimlessly without any plan or direction…..

are you following the right path?

This photo is from the New Forest, Hampshire, near where I live. Last week I was just stretching my legs, getting some peace and quiet, and I came over a small hill and saw the footpath leading off ahead.

 

It made me think – this could be like the footpath of your life……

 

 

 

Some people have a dream, a goal, or a destination, and they plan the route, they decide which footpaths to take to get there.

Other people live in the moment, and they don’t know where they are going. They just react to whatever life throws at them, avoid the difficult paths, and just stick to the easy life.

 

Are you on the right path?

If you can answer YES or NO, that’s GOOD. If you have no idea, thats BAD!

 

YES?      NO?

If you answered YES, or NO, that means you have a clear goal, perhaps to get a promotion by the end of the year, so that you can save up and buy your first house.

 

If you answered YES, then maybe that’s because you know what you need to do to get that promotion, what skills you need to learn, what extra commitment you need to make, and you are learning those skills, you are making that commitment.

 

If you answered NO, then maybe that’s because you know what you need to do, but you are struggling to learn the skills, or you are unable to make that commitment. HOWEVER – at least you know that you are on the wrong path. You can find a different path, a different route to earn the momney to buy that house, and that path may require skills that you CAN learn, and commitments that you CAN make. All you need to do now is decide to change paths.

 

DON’T KNOW?

The big problem is if you answered I DON’T KNOW to the question. If you don’t know whether or not you are on the right path, then maybe you don’t know where the path is leading, or even if you are on a path. Maybe you are simply being blown by the winds from pillar to post, not sure whether one direction is better or worse than any other.

 

That could be that you don’t have any dreams or goals, so you just live from day to day, spending money as soon as you receive it on consumables. – food, drink, clothes.

 

If you don’t decide on a path, your life will continue to be what it has always been. Are you happy with that? Yes? That’s great, I wish you well. No? Then you need to discover a dream, set a goal, and find the right path to achieve it.

 

Bye for Now.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Design Your Best Year Ever

I saw Darren Hardy speak at a Kleeneze showcase in 2011, and I really liked what he had to say. Very motivating, Clearly a very driven man, and with a lot of advice that clicked with me.

 

As part of the conference gift pack, we received a copy of one of Darren’s books – “Design Your Best Year Ever

 

If you feel like you are drifting along in life, never making any progress, promising that this year is going to be different, but then it never is….. then this is the book for you.

 

It is all about goal setting:

  • Dreaming big;
  • Breaking the dreams down into manageable chunks;
  • then setting yourself small achievable tasks so that you achieve your dreams.

 

The book is split into two halves.

  • The first half explains how to set fantastic goals, and then how to achieve them.
  • The second half is a workbook, that takes you through a whole year, week by week, monitoring your steps, until you have achieved your goals.

 

It really does help you to do what it says on the cover. Don’t just hope for a good year, but DESIGN YOUR BEST YEAR EVER.

 

I found that it really keeps you focussed, keeps you concentrated on the important things to achieve your goals, not the day to day distractions that leave you with nothing.

 

If you are an action-taker, but need some structure to help you achieve your goals and dreams, then this is the book for you.

 

Bye for now,

 

Chris Smith 🙂

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 🙂

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