Get motivated to take enthusiastic action that will help you turn that dream into reality. One step at a time and you will surely achieve anything.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Some Building Obstacles are just Unneccessary.

Hi Everybody

I was out with a wheelchair user last week attending a meeting together. Everything was fine on the street, although there were several obstacles that he had to navigate around such as tables and chairs outside cafes and A-Frame advertising boards. 

Then we approached to building where the meeting was being held. This was  relatively new building of around  20 to 30 years I would imagine. It had been recently re-furbished (probably this year) and was used as a community type centre. There was a ramp up the side of the building to the main entrance door and there was an upright edge to the ramp so that wheelchairs couldn't veer off and white stick users had a tapping board to guide them. But at the door my friend just could not operate the entry system because he could reach it. It was tucked in the corner. I had press the button and to open the door for him.

Once inside the desk was low so that was good but we had to pass through two locked doors both with digital keypads that he couldn't operate. The doors themselves were extemely heavy and more than the prescribed pressure laid down in Part M of the Building Regulations. In fact to heavy for my friend to open. Then there was the lift. Just big enough for him and another person but the side walls were open and he had to keep pressing on the control for the lift to move. He couldn't do this. As he went in frontways and couldn't turn inside so he had to reverse out. There should have been a mirror against the rear wall, as specified in Part M so he could see behind him as he did reverse so he could see when the door ws open and if there were any obstructions. 

Then we had to go into a meeting room. There were two sets of doors which were very heavy with a short corridor between of approximately a metre so he had to have both doors open simultaneously to pass through, which was impossible for him on his own. There should have been either just one door or a passage sufficiently long to allow the first door to close before opening the next. In reality there was only need for one door. 

I guess this was designed by an architect and am surprised that the refurbishments were passed by the local authority. In this day of accessibility I could not believe the barriers  within this building so here are some guidelines.

The ramp leading up to the main door is good as it gives access to the building as is the upright edge for safety. But there should be a handrail on both sides. There is no need for steps in addition to the ramp because the rise is only about 300mm. 

The door controls and intercom button should be within easy reach. In this case the controls were on the far wall in the corner and not easily accessible. It would have been better to place the controls on the side of the door first reached when moving up the ramp. 

It is understood there is a security issue here and that people in the reception area may have restricted access further into the building. Inside the doors should have been controllable from the Reception  desk or self opening. Digital locks are the worse as visually impaired people cannot distinguish different buttons or the text upon them, whilst those with digital restrictions cannot press the right spot. The doors should have the least resistance to open but to ensure a firm close as these are fire doors. 

Floating lifts where two walls are open to the lift shaft are most unsuitable for some disabled people, Visually impaired people may not realise the walls are moving or that the have to continually hold the lift control between stops. Others may have a difficulty giving a continuous hold, wheelchair users may have a problem reaching the controls if they cannot move their chair. In addition there should be a mirror on the rear wall so wheelchair users can reverse out safely.

The doors to the meeting rooms should be easy to push open or be on automatic openers and be single leaf for easy entry. I didn't check the width of any doors so it's not known if they comply.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Courses Old and New

Hi Folks

Online courses seem the rage right now with almost everybody producing one. Some exceptionally good but many really aweful. But online courses, as opposed to attending night school are certainly not new. There have always been postal courses, the most popular being on writing, languages and body building. 

This is the last DVD copy of my first course I created back in 2006. Just to show that the new wave of online courses isn't new, except that we often couldn't download courses because of network speeds and other issues so in many cases we sent out DVDs.  And here are 3 covers. I produced a range of 6 or 7 courses mainly based on basic Powerpoint with a speak over. This was the easiest as video was not as easy as it is today.
My courses included The Evacuation Chair Trainer which was very niche but popular with health and safety officers in large organisations. I used to do on-site training across the UK but it was expensive as travelling time was always high.

Other courses included The Marketing Professional. Running an Exhibition Masterclass, High Flier Sales Masterclass and The Health & Safety Adviser aimed at small to medium businesses.

I ran  quickly through these courses and was surprised how relevant they were for today. Unfortunately the sound quality is really poor as we didn't have the benefit of the current range of good mics at accessible prices. The visual quality is poor too. It would have been impossible to imagine the vast improvements in video quality back then, Today we are really fortunate that anyone can make great video at little cost.

Just using a smartphone you can produce high definition video, plug  a lapel mic into another smartphone for quality sound and use a third smartphone with torch app to get some light on the subject, or use natural light through a window and you can produce a course. Many people have home studios now with low cost lighting, quality mic and webcam such as the Logica 920c and they are in business.

The major issues in producing a course today are taking positive enthusiastic action in creating the course right up to getting it online and being fearless in working in front of the camera. You can read every book on making course, watch every video, listen to every podcast, but if you aren't prepared to take action you just wont get anywhere. The third issue is the fear of failure. Remember, its better to do something now than keep trying for perfection because life isn't long enough.

Get the strength, be creative and make some money. The world is full of people waiting to learn what you know. The  saying was "we all have a book inside us". Now I think we all have a course. But because of technology its much easier to produce a course than a novel.

good luck.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tips to influence people

Hi Folk

I've often heard people say "They are a born salesman. They could sell ice to an Eskimo" Usually implying that sales skills are mainly the ability to talk. Nothing could be father from the truth. . Yes there are some attributes that will help a sales-person succeed but I firmly believe that sales-people are made.

Would you go for treatment by a born doctor, particularly if they were untrained and wielding a scalpel. Would you take your car to a born mechanic who hadn't been through an apprenticeship to become capable. No you wouldn't. And sales-people are the same. They need good training in all aspects of the job. Selling is about bringing produces or services together with someone who wants, needs or desires that product and can afford it. People are reticent about making decisions and so the sales-person job is to help them come to that decision.
This course is created to go through the closing aspect of selling. The part where you do need to nudge the buyer. A bit like a sheepdog driving his flock into a pen, maybe across rough terrain and open country.
The art of closing is a great skill in life too. It will help you influence people to your way of thinking at home, with friends, in the community and at work. Closing is an art that is associated with selling but in fact one that we can use successfully every day.

This course covers many different ways to influence others, some you will know and others may be new. You may want to try some and see how successful you are. Remember, closing is an art, And any art needs practice, whether painting, writing or even talking..Conversation is a real art and by dropping some closing techniques in, they will become natural and part of talking. 

My favourite social or family close is the alternative. It's described in the course as a selling tool. Let me tell you how to use it at home. 

Lets say you want to go to see a movie. Most people would say "Lets go out tonight. Do you want to see  (name of movie)? and often the reply is "I've had a bad day today. Lets stay in" or "I don't want to see that film. Lets go for a meal or get a takeaway"

And you are shot in the foot - figuratively of course. You didn't figure that out did you.

If you had firstly talked about the film in broad terms and used expressions like "So and so is in it. I know you like him" "We haven't been to see a movie for ages" and so on.

Then say "Honey how about going out tonight. That movie we talked about looks really good. Shall we go at 7 or would the later show be better?" Suddenly the emphasis is on which performance, not whether to go or not. And that's an easier choice to make. This is so simple but it works well. Not every time but most times. Why don't you try this next time you want to go out. Remember it doesn't have to be the movies, might be a meal or other entertainment. There are about 20 different ways to close in this course so you have plenty of choice. You just need to transform them from a business situation to a home or social occasion.

Kids are easier to persuade with this type of psychology too.


Go to the Course
As a special I'm offering a special discount on this course of 75% dropping from £24 right down to £6 for my regular Blog readers. Click on this link now and start learning these skills today.

If you feel that you have a course in your head and want any help in writing and producing it do leave a comment. I'd love to see you succeed. Whether about a hobby or interest, a skill such as make-up, cooking or motor mechanics this is your opportunity.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Learning from our Fathers

Life should be full of fun. OK. Maybe a few problems thrown in. That's life. And I've a message for you today not unrelated to learning.

I guess the message is that we have benefited from the hard work and creativity of our past generation, well those over 65.
Many have given their life to bringing up a family, giving their children opportunities they never had, and encouraging them to better things. Some parents didn't have that attitude and their children didn't have the best upbringing, but that doesn't mean they didn't try, maybe they had problems of their own.

My point now is that this generation are often being neglected and I was really sad to hear about the elderly couple who dialled 999 because they were lonely and isolated. The local bobbies who called expecting an emergency realised the situation and stayed for a cuppa. The article written by Dr Max Pemberton in the Daily Mail on Saturday 14th November talks about loneliness and the fact that it is estimated that about one million people go without talking to another human being in over a month, and that this has both a psychological and physical profound effect. We all know that their used to be a community spirit around but this has gone. Now we don't often know our next door neighbour.

Christmas is the time when the appeal goes out: Look out for your elderly neighbours and why not invite an elderly neighbour in for Xmas dinner. This is all very good but this should be a round the year effort. I delivered meals on wheels for a year finishing a few weeks ago and was staggered by the number of older people who never see anyone, and often have relatives no too far away who don't bother to call. I was actually losing considerable money offering this service but I didn't stop because I felt I couldn't dessert my customers. Finally I was forced to stop. Whether I was right or wrong is immaterial. What matters is that we can all finf an hour a week and there is just no excuse for not seeking our a lonely neighbour.

Yes! Some will be cantankerous and grumpy but stick with it. You may be surprised and certainly you will get a new outlook on life. And these older people all have amazing stories about a life long gone. PLEASE GIVE IT A TRY.

Some of the skills that many of us have lost are knitting, sewing, darning, gardening and creative hobbies. My mother taught me to iron shirts, clean shoes so they gleam, sew on a button, knitting a hat and how to cook well. I learnt great gardening techniques from my father who always had fresh vegetables ready for the table. In fact on a Sunday we always picked vegetables and fruit and dug potatoes ready for lunch. And to get good crops I learnt how to prepare the soil and grow from seed. I'm sure these skills aren't being passed on nowadays. How do you feel about this?

I hope you have something to think about in this post. I hope I've encouraged you to take some action. Make a comment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Interview Techniques to Make better Video

Interview techniques are straight forward but often we forget some of the basics so here's some tips.

Decide the format of your interview.
  •  Is it a two-hander showing both the interviewer and interviewee
  • Just the interviewee 
  • A documentary with the interviewer  telling the story and cutaways of interviewees to accentuate a point. 
Once you've decided then stick to the same format. If you change mid-stream it will throw the audience.

Are you using one or two cameras? You can make an interesting interview cutting between both parties with one camera but it takes a bit or organising and planning. With two cameras
you can direct one at each party, lay them down in parallel on the time-line when you are editing and then then  cut between. This is the simplest. Firstly when you are editing it's possible to see the two 2 faces and cut to the best shot. If there is hesitation or any reason to edit something out then you just cut to the other party and there is no jump in the

click here to continuity.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

The Human Chain Reaction

Hi Folks

Have you ever given way to a car when you are crawling along on rush hour and see what can happen? The driver gives a wave and you all crawl along again. You see a car waiting to pull out ahead and think “I’ve done my share this morning” and think you’ll drive past. Next thing is that the car you helped does the same.

And there is often a chain reaction. I’ve seen it with people being polite and holding doors open, giving way and many other small things. And they almost always result in his chain reaction.

But the opposite isn’t the same. If you have a bad day and snap at a shop assistant or shout at a motorist, you don’t see the same happening. You don’t see that same motorist snarling at someone else, or the next person in the queue be aggressive to the assistant.

After researching this over recent months I’ve come to the conclusion that we all know what we should do, that there is an accepted code of conduct. People ignore that code very often but when someone acts with thoughtfulness then it does snowball, And I'll tell you what. Everybody feels good.

 When we have a kindness then it sort of reminds us start being gallant. Unfortunately I also discovered that this good feeling doesn’t last and needs constant reminding. Maybe it’s because we are all too busy. Maybe we are becoming more self-centred; selfish and introvert. Unfortunately I think it’s a mix of the two.

We do lead busy lives but in many cases that’s our own fault. We don’t have to do everything. We can slow down. Do you look at your emails of Facebook throughout the day? Do you sit around thinking about what you could be doing, but not doing anything about it.

So maybe you should think about slowing down, getting focused and putting people at the top of your list. Try a little experiment. Start really appreciating someone. Might be someone you work with, a friend or even someone in your family. Don't go over the top or you;ll give the wrong signals. Just thank and praise them when they do something. Make them a coffee if you don't usually. Tell them to sit down for 5 minutes. Tell them you like their hair or clothes if they look good. But be sincere, don't flatter and say something that's not true.

You will be amazed at what happens. In the majority of cases that person will start doing better at their job or whatever the relationship is with you. If you go through life acting like this towards everyone you'll certainly gain more friends and influence people.

Finally, thinking or planning to have a stand at an exhibition? I'll be running an online course shortly. If you have a query about exhibitions leave a comment. Meanwhile here is a photo of me with my son the rabbit. This was my Radio Pager Company in the days before mobile phones. "But that's forever ago" I hear you say. No! I think about 20 years. So much has happened.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Shall I SHOUT then?

Hi Guys
I had some top tips given to me yesterday by a lady suffering from a hearing lose. She can hear high tones but not low ones so many people's voices are just lost. And this is a disability suffered by many older people as the symptoms seem to creep up on you.

Going out for a meal, to a busy event or to the theatre can be a nightmare. You just can't hear the other person so there are 3 alternatives that I see. First tell the other person, secondly not say anything but watch their lips and face and nod or disagree by guessing, and third to just not go out.

And staying at home seems normal for many. They'd rather miss out on socialising than not hear and feel left out or being embarrassed by their companions who start shouting or worse.

 You can tell the other person and hope they use common sense and maybe look at you when they talk so you can see their lips better and so connect hearing a little with seeing. Many people react by shouting close up which doesn't help. It doesn't make hearing clear, just puts up a bigger barrier.
  Most people with a hearing impairment will have some lip-reading experience so its very important that you don't cover your mouth. Just look at the person trying to hear and talk clearly without shouting.

The other major issue is the lack of, or ignorance of hearing systems. These are either infra-red or induction loops which we will describe in another post. It is your responsibility to remove barriers for disabled people and in this case you need to make adjustments that will allow them to hear, and this generally means supplying a devise that will improve hearing so that a system must be installed where necessary. You'll have noticed these devices in shops and offices, and at most reception areas. They are kept switched on and the person with a hearing aid switches it to the "T" position. This enables them to pick up the signal and hear the receptionist or whoever.

Unfortunately many devices are switched off, often under the misconception that the hearing aid wearer should ask for it to be switched on. This is not necessary, they are designed to operate off a permanent power supply. And there are battery operated portable models that can  be taken into meetings if necessary.

In larger rooms, theatres and movie houses etc then either the whole area or designated parts are covered. The problems here are that when a deaf person says they need the hearing system sometimes the staff don't know which seats are covered, or the headset has a flat battery or the whole system is switched off. The lady I spoke with said that recently she was seated in the back row so not only was the hearing system not working for her but she couldn't see the signer or the text that was shown each side of the stage.

Not having a system is  have service users, customers, clients, patrons or whatever you call them in your work, then you must have a system avaulable and staff who can use it. In addition there should be suitable signage and the device should be regularly checked and a record kept.

 We have some English/Welsh bi-lingual tactile signs available

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Write a great course

 Getting a course written and up on your sales site is difficult enough. But then there is the marketing without which there are no sales.So there are two stages, firstly creating the course and making it public; and secondly marketing it to make those sales.

Here are some hints that I've found useful already. Firstly, creating and selling online courses is not a hobby, it is really hard work. Nothing comes easy in this world, if it did there would be a lot more successful people around. And it takes time. You hear about overnight success stories but I bet you that if you look up the information about that person you'd find the "Overnight Success" came after years of trying. Edison took 10,000 shots at making a light bulb. No. He realised that each mistake was taking him nearer and was a learning experience. Look at successful people in showbiz. Simon Cowell spent years hawing around music labels and being thrown out of every producer's office before becoming successful. And that goes for the finalists in the X Factor too. It's unusual for someone to suddenly find fame without any experience or pain.

Some platforms such as Udemy will promote you as one of their 30,000 courses but you are just a number and won't get any dramatic marketing that will sell your £200 course. The marketing they do id across the board and they dramatically offer all courses for peanuts. I understand that the average sale price on their courses is around £8. So many course are discounted by over 90%. And that's OK provided you sell enough. You'll also see that many courses have hundreds if not thousands of students but many of these have enrolled free. Free is OK provided it encourages others to sign up, or is it? Now the sad thing here is that most people who have signed up for free don't actually complete on video lecture on the entire course. Many seen to be bounty hunters, seeing how many courses they can get for free, instead of enrolling in courses that matter to them, and then studying. There are some really great courses on Udemy. And you are encouraged to to do your own marketing to bring in your own sales in addition.

Most other platforms expect you to do all your own marketing. They provide the platform, encourage and assist you in creating courses, building your free website/landing page and advising you on way to create sales. They charge a much lower fee on your sales.

Either route is hard work. With Udemy they work to strict criteria and restrict any outward links to yours or other sites. This means that you are in general in a prison of your own making. Nevertheless it is a good route for many people and you can get a good return on your efforts. I think the secret is to write as many good courses as possible and cross-sell where you can. With many courses you only need a couple of sales per course per week and it mutiplies through the range.

I think that many have gone down the other route, particularly when they have a business site and have built up social media. And when they feel they are a in a niche and a leader.

I have courses on both Udemy and other platforms, as do many others.

There is a formula for success from the moment you think about starting. And this post isn't about that formula, its about broad concept.

First you need to look inwards and determine if thee is enough knowledge there to create a course. If not it doesn't matter because you can read up on a subject. They you need to look at gthe market a determined if there is a market for the course you have in your mind. Check it out on search engines and keyword searches.

Next you must actually create your course and starting is the most difficult decision to make. Will it be be good enough, can I do it? These and many other questions pop into our heads and of course procrastination creeps in, the TV show looks good, should take the dog out, what about that loose carpet that needs fixing. You have to be really focused and take postive enthusiastic action.

You have to write promotional material for the site, prepare a promotional video and much more, It takes time. Then, with Udemy, you need approval so there is both a wait and anxiety. Will it be rejected? If it is don't worry just make the changes and submit again. With other platforms you don't need approval so there could be a drop in standards, but in my experience I haven't seen that. In fact I think that many started on Udemy and either changed or added another platform.

I believe it is essential to maintain the highest standards for course content and promotional material, the promo video and the image that you use to front up your course. I personally looked at dozens of other courses and made notes so that i could make informed decisions. You have to do this for yourself, despite the information available on the platforms.

Salesan elude ou for no reason that you can find. You may have atop idea, create a
brilliant course, promote through every possible avenue and nothing, it happens. Try to never get depressed about it. Keep going, it takes effort. You will be rewarded. And there is nothing more satisfying than getting your first sales.

But that is just the beginning. You have to keep on the ball. And if you are lucky and work hard you may get a few thousand in each month. Wouldn't that be nice. Keep that dream in your mind.

Some points will surprise you. Having good English isn't always necessary if your course is in demand. But for most of you a good grasp of the English language and a good understandable voice is important.

The most successful courses are to do with web coding and making money. I do wonder if some authors rely on the financial needs of others, big their courses up, build up huge followings and possibly exaggerate the outcomes. This is just a personal thought. 

.I've said before that I'm happy to reply or talk to anyone who is at any stage of creativity. I don't know everything but I am going through a very steep learning process and know the pain and some answers.  Hopefully in a few short months i will be too busy to spend much time helping so utilise my time now.

Visit my courses here

Friday, October 30, 2015

Disability Access Auditing

Hi Everyone

Although we carry out disability audits you can do your own on small offices although if you miss anything you may be liable if there is action taken against you by a disabled person. So beware.

Let me tell you about the types of disability that you have to cater for. You might be
 surprised.A disability is defined under the DDA as a physical or mental impairment, a specific learning difficulty or health condition that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

A substantial adverse effect is more than minor or trivial and more than the normal differences in ability that exist between people.

A long-term effect is one that has lasted at least 12 months or where the total period for which it is likely to last is at least 12 months or where it is likely to last for the rest of the person’s life.

The definition of disability includes physical disabilities, mental health difficulties, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, sensory impairments. severe disfigurements and facial disfigurements, progressive conditions with an effect, however small, on day-to-day activities, which is expected to become substantia, conditions with a number of effects, which have a substantial cumulative effect (such as pain or fatigue), people with a history of disability even if they have recovered (for example a person who has had a mental health condition in the past).

Conditions such as cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis are covered from the point of diagnosis. When deciding whether a person has a disability, any medication or other treatment that they receive is disregarded. The only exception to this rule is the use of spectacles or contact lenses to correct vision. In this case, a person’s vision is considered with the help of contact lenses or glasses rather than without.

But you need to know the definition of disability does not include: loss of mobility due to a broken limb, which is likely to heal within 12 months, hay fever, which is seasonal, addictions to alcohol, nicotine or other non-prescribed substances, tendencies to steal, light fires, physically or sexually abuse others, exhibitionism or voyeurism, tattoos and body piercing, in the disfigurements category.

Normal day-to-day activities mean activities that are carried out by most people fairly regularly and frequently. They are defined as:mobility, manual dexterity, physical co-ordination, continence, ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects, speech, hearing or eyesight, memory or the ability to concentrate, learn or understand, perception of the risk of physical danger.

Normal day-to-day activities do not include activities which are normal only for a particular person, such as playing a musical instrument or performing a specialist task at work. And an individual is only protected if it is recognised that their impairment has an effect on their day-to-day activities, regardless of the extent of the discrimination.

If you have any questions then leave a comment

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Socialcam gone Native Video on Facebook and Twitter is here

Hi Guys

Socialcam is dead. It's official. Or it will be on Friday 29th October 2015. It was founded by a small team of 4 people and was a spin-off of JustinTV. I will miss it.

Socialcam was launched in March 2011 and on 17th July  2012 was acquired by Autodesk for £60m. went from zero to ths staggering amount. So in just 551 days Now just 3 years on it gone.

If you are over 40 you'll remember the days of the first computer game with the ping-pong ball. Days before digital cameras, let alone smartphones. Now video is beginning to rule, particularly with the advent of Native Video for Facebook and twitter.

Just to remind you, native video is dropped straight of your smartphone onto Facebook or Twitter with no interface such as YouTube or Vimeo. This has just recently been launched and you may not have noticed but there is now a tab on Facebook for your videos. With
editing apps it's now not just possible but downright easy to edit in-phone and add effects too. Take a look at your Facebook page and check out the menu: Timeline - About - Friends - Photos - More, Click on More and the top item is Video, That's where all your videos go. Now I don't expect many of you have much there but this is the future - and you will.

So to download just bring the video up as you do with a photo and look for the "Share" sign. Click and it will bring up a variety of possibilities. Click on the Facebook symbol and its done. Add some text, post and its done.

I used to take the video and upload onto Socialcam, this was programmed to relay to Twitter wwhich shared with YouTube and Facebook. So for minimal effort I would be on all 4 within 20 minutes or so. Now if you want to be ranked and found on Google you must download onto YouTube because Google doesn't pick up anything on Facebook.

As a bonus I just found this video on YouTube of Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak "Woz"talking not just about how he met Steve Jobes when he was a student and Jobes was just 16 years but how the two worked closely together, Woz being the creative guy and Seve being the marketeer, and how well that worked.

But interestingly he went on to talk about how to become the best at anything. I have the same ethos. If you dig deep and learn everything you can about anything you'll become an expert. I've always said that if you read a book about your subject for an hour a day, you will become an expert in 3 months. Obviously we aren't comparing this to a university degree but in my experience an enthusiastic positive approach will take you much further that any disinterested person with a higher education.

Take a look at this video that was with a 14 year-old. Woz is very open and gives some good advice.

Make your future. Invest your spare time now and make a better life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Is a university degree worthwhile?

Having a university degree seems important today, with a high intake recently. Although I'm not totally convinced. 

I see so many graduates who have their degree but are working in low paid jobs that probably don't lead anywhere. Graduates that are working in shops or cafes when they have a good degree in law, marketing or geology. And although universities train students to think and create this is only happening with a minority. Sure we all know graduates who are doctors, lawyers, teachers and nurses, and who are successful and settled in a career. But these are a minority.

I personally feel that the old system of layered education was far better. There was a place for all. Universities for the brightest, colleges for the majority who wanted to learn skills over a shorter period and to a lower standard, and apprenticeships for those wanting to specialise in manual skills such as mechanics, plumbers, electricians and brickies. Ok. So there are some apprentices around and colleges too, but not enough of the former and not enough discipline in the latter. By discipline I mean ensuring students attend, behave in a socially acceptable manner and learn. I've been in colleges recently where this just isn't happening. I gave a course on entrepreneurship a couple of years ago in a college and only 7 out of 23 students bothered to turn up. Two were totally disinterested and one fell asleep. Now I'm not a trained teacher but I do put my message through with enthusiasm and was surprised. The tutor told me that this was common, and incidentally they left a year later.

We are now in a world of insecurity with jobs, and the need to change. So life-long learning is really important from a jobs perspective. Learning new life skills can open up  big opportunities for anyone who continues to learn.

Now it's true that you can learn anything on YouTube for free. But online courses offer so much more. Firstly they offer a comprehensive course in one place, then they are structured so that you learn through a system, usually tutors/lecturers are available to talk over particular issues but there is usually a a discussion board so that both students and lecturer can cover points in depth. And you can learn anytime, anywhere where you have an internet connection, and any topic. 

That knowledge you gain can help you at work but also throughout your life. And if you have some knowledge about a specific topic you might even become a lecturer with your own courses. It's not difficult. 

Meanwhile watch out for more

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

My gift to you for September

Hi Guys

Now launched another course aimed at overseas students coming to the UK. Covering areas like medical care, money and banking, English social customs, 200 most used words with voice recording so you can speak alongside, eating aout and shopping. 

You can access this course without paying. Because it is new and I want to get some feed-back so go to the course at and enroll. You must sign in and start the enrol procedure. Next to the final amount is a REDEEM button, click and enter INTROCODE and this will get you in. You can then take the course at no cost, There is a life-time no cost upgrade guarantee so whenever I put in additional material or change what is there you will get notified. 

Take a look and you can take any of the other courses too using the same web address and coupon code. If you are thinking of making extra money on the internet this is a very good route. Like any other good money maker it takes a lot of work to get set up but once established there is a good continual income and your efforts will diminish with time. So put the effort in now and get small income then as your income grows your efforts with slow down. 

Now I've given this a lot of thought and I feel that many people dream of having an online business but few achieve it. I believe there are only three reasons and they are:
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Lack of enthusiastic action
  • No self-believe

So lets look at these. Fear of the unknown  is very common and we because we are generally will not stand up to our fears they continue to hold us back. Then, when its too late we take a look or give it a try. We then realise it was easy and nothing to worry about. And we want to kick ourselves for being sacred of something unknown. NOW. Why are you afraid of something that is private and that nobody else will see until you tell them? Why are we afraid of a new idea or new process that we will have to learn? We are afraid because we do not want to look stupid. We are afraid because we do not have a believe in ourselves. 

You have to overcome this fear by just letting go and having a go. GO and have a look at or Both are good platforms that you can launch a course on. Both have free help courses to guide you through and both will encourage you to succeed. They make money from every course you sell so of course they will support you. 

The second reason most people don't go ahead and write a course is that they dream about it but do not take POSITIVE ENTHUSIASTIC ACTION. And when they look at what other people are doing they say "Well I could do better than that". But the truth is they will never know and never be able to prove it. But doing better isn't the point really. The point is just doing it because once you launch a course or anything else you can improve it. Just take action.

The third reason is really a combination of the first two reasons. Having no self believe. The longer you fear the unkown and the longer you do not take action then the deeper your self believe will plunge. Confident people just take the plunge and do it.

If you don't have self believe and confidence fake it till you make it. Eventually you will realise you are very capable and then go from strength to strength.

If you are worried about spelling ang grammar then just ask someone to look your work over. Tell them you'd appreciate their help because you want everything to be right and you think they have better skills than you. WE all have better skills than the other person in some areas so its just a trade off.

Finally if you have any queries leave a comment.

So enroll in the courses and and give a bit of thought to how you could do the same. And maybe you have the get up and go to take some positive enthusiastic action and create a course.

Good luck

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

My Online Courses & Products. Day One

This is an adventure in setting up sites to sell products and courses. I've no real experience except minor E-Bay that we've all done. But I've read many articles and seen many videos so lets get started.

Firstly, I've found that it's unusual to be given the whole story and secondly I can see that you have to be dedicated, hard-working and versatile. You must take action and keep taking it to keep the ball rolling. And In think you have to start on different fronts before you even begin to sell anything. You could just have a page selling your product or services but, unless you have e-mail addresses for dozens of people who you can tell an who will buy then nobody will know about you. So it's basically 3 things. You need your products, you need people who will buy from you, and you need somewhere to store them to be delivered (order fulfillment). 

To find new potential customers you really need to look at several ways.  I've listed these out here:

A blog
Landing Page
Auto Responder

Before we begin lets look at each.of these elements.

Your Blog
Your blog should be a articles or videos posted on a regular basis. They must have top quality content and be relevant to your topic. So if you are setting up a course or membership site about Dogs then each article should be about dogs inj some way. Maybe dog training, dog exercising, dog diets, dog illnesses, dog as a companion.

No matter how knowledgeable you are I'd suggest you need to keep researching so that you become an authority. Once you are recognised as an authority you'll find your courses or membership sells better and more people sign up for longer. You need to become an authority so you firstly don't run out of material to write about and secondly so what you write is reliable and true. Your members will come to rely on you.

A really good way to build up your knowledge is to ask members what is their biggest concern and to write and tell you, You may have to check this out or you may be able to advise straight away. Whatever is the situation you should use those questions as part of your course or membership site. Answering questions will also bring in new members because they might look for the answer on Google and so come to your blog, or else they may be tld about you by the person who originally asked the question.


You'll need to set up a Facebook Page in addition to your personal page. Or set up a Facebook Group. If you don't know the difference then a Page is run by you as your official authentic page that others can follow, receive updates in their News Feed and interact with you. So for example I could have a Page Mike Leahy's It's a Dog's Life.
A Group is also run by you but this is for a group of people with a similar interest. The Group can be Open whee anyone can join, or a closed group where the administator authorises membership of anyone applying to join. Members discuss issues between themselves.

In my opinion a Group is better for you with a course or membership site. It allows transparency between members and yourself, and it brings members closer to you, they will get to know you, like you and trust you. When that happens your members will buy more from you or recommend you.

Both Pages and Groups have to be set up and managed. This takes time and effort which we will go into later. You can use both for announcements, photos and videos, thanking members, giving them news, asking them to share and so build up more followers, members and customers.

We all know what a website is. And before you needed to be technically minded to produce but now its simple. There are free websites around but you may need to spend a little here and pay fr hosting.Hosting is like the ground space and then we build the house with different rooms for different purposes. In a house you have the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, lounge and so on. In a website you may have an opening page, an "about" page, a page with products or services that you are selling, a blog, and perhaps others. 

We get our hosting and then build our website, or we may have a pre-build house and move it onto the hosting site. Then we send out messages to our friends that we have moved or built a house and they can contact us or visit us. 

Your first website might consist of a page with your products, an opening page and a blog. So you can welcome people people and they can see you are alive and kicking, on your blog they can see interesting videos and articles that will instill confidence and a product page where they can order. There should be an auto-responder on each page. (See auto-responder below).

Once you have built up confidence you can send out e-mails and take potential customers right to a product page where they can purchase. But I feel this won't happen overnight unless you have a list of names or friends with lists who can recommend you.

Landing Page
The Landing Page is the product page where people are sent to see your products and place an order. So it may be part of your website or in addition. 

You need to start writing articles. But you can buy them There are sites such as where you can have articles written at a very low cost. Articles with really good content are important. Articles should be about what you are selling but should not be a sales pitch. They should be everything except selling the product. That comes later. 

Take a look at some blogs and articles online. Go to Google and type in your subject "Dogs" and look down. You will find articles of course, and many will be on blogs. Check them out. Then try being more specific "Dog exercising" for example. 

If you haven't written much before then try reading an article, writing some notes about what is written then write your own original article. Not good at spelling and general grammar? Ask a friend or someone in the family to help you. People are always happy to help.  Go to Google and type in "Help with writing an article" and you'll find how to write, grammar, spelling and much more. If you are using a word-processor then switch or auto-correct and words will be underlined that are spelt wrong, after you finish try spell-check. There is no excuse.

Be regular with article writing, at least one a week. Soon you'll have build up a large blog.

Video is now critical to online success. You can have video about products, about you, about your business and much more. The big problem is that nobody likes talking on video. We'll talk about that later. Video is so simple today. You just need a smartphone, that is all to capture simple video. Point and shoot. 

Obviously it gets more complicated as you want to make better video but its not necessary t start. Your videos can go on Facebook, Youtube, your website, Landing Page, and on your blog. For simple everyday videos I take and don't edit I go to where I post up and this gets sent automatically to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. If you want to see go to "Mike Leahy". here's an app which I highly recommend this, and its free.

Take the plunge and make some video. Try talking over. Just keep it private until you are confident. Stick with me and I'll make you a Video champ.

You need to set up an auto-responder. There are several available. There are some free to start ones and that's what I'd recommend because you can upgrade or download the data and take elsewhere.

Right. An auto-responder is a system that asks for information such as e-mail address and name and puts that data into a list that you can use to send  e-mails too. But there bis much much more. You can send a series of e-mails that you have written as a package so someone might get an email ever 2 days after they fill out the form. They might get an e-mail when you have a new product and then a follow-up in a day or so. There are many combinations. We'll go into more detail when I set up an account.

And Finally
And the most important attributes you must have is to take positive action and the second is to be able to write (or have someone who can do this for you) articles, front up videos and become the brand.

Sound difficult? Well it isn't really. Like everything it's difficult until you start. So the time you waste because you are afraid to start is money lost.