Category Archives: Professional Development

Becoming a Success Warrior

What is it to be a success warrior? It is the willingness to fight for our success. It is standing forcefully and strong for the realization of all that is within us. In this blog, I introduce to you Nudaan Learning Center (Nudaan), an information and training vehicle for those, like me, who choose to be success warriors, who choose to be more than the ordinary. At the end of this post, I offer a free live web-based training for those who have a goal you would like to achieve.

Choose to be more is the motto for Nudaan Learning Center, a training initiative focused on helping people be the best that they can be. I call myself a success warrior, for I have fought many demons within myself to achieve many goals, some of which have been monumental.

Training to Succeed

I developed Nudaan Learning Center to train people via the web, to hone the skills that accelerate their success in the achievement of their goals, and defeat the things that slow them down. I will share much with you here. But perhaps most important, you can access, live training, via the web. All you need is a computer and fortitude.

Learn People Skills for Success In Today’s Economy

Nudaan Learning Center is based on a program I developed, called “people skills for success in today economy”. It covers skills such as confidence, speaking, writing, relationship building, interpersonal relations and other skills we need to battle for our success, in a world where we are our greatest opponents. With Nudaan, we can choose to be more than our limitations; we can choose to be all that we are inside.

As our first initiative, I am offering a free program called “Achieving Our Goals: It’s a People Skill.” This is more of a group coaching program, and is based on achieving practical results. Participants must have a short-term goal they would like, and be willing to work to achieve. You must also be able to devote one hour a week for a group coaching and accountability session. The dates and time will be determined at the end of June, once participants are selected.

How I Became A Success Warrior

The program was conceived following a detrimental stroke, which I suffered 4 years ago. Medical practitioners could do nothing but prepare me for living with severe long-term disability, and never working again. Facing this possibility, I looked inside myself and saw the wherewithal to work and thrive again. I saw what only my soul could see; that with true commitment and effort, I could be better than I ever was. Today, I still have visible physical disability, but inside where it counts I am better (more successful in the achievement of my goals) than I ever was. I found the answer to being all that I can be, and I have developed a program to help others find that answer for themselves.

Taking a Road You Have Never Taken Before

Taking on something that you have never done before, can be like driving on a narrow, dark and curvy road, unable to see what is around the corner. It can be rather scary. For many, this is like doing business and socializing on the web. We feel we must travel on a road where we cannot be sure where it leads.

Taking the road to LinkedIn

I initially felt that way about LinkedIn, and came up with countless excuses why I could not get an account, build my profile, join a group, or build a group. Yet what was around the corner for me was the opportunity to connect, build relations, and market my services. Still LinkedIn was a bit intimidating, because it’s new and I was scared of looking bad.

Sometimes you have to look bad to look good. Looking bad is really about how we see ourselves. I saw myself as not good enough to go on LinkedIn. My resume was not ready, my website was not ready, my blog was not ready and the excuses went on.

What I Could Not See or Do Before

My excuses would not go away. So I had to feel the fear and take that road to where I cannot see, to places I have never gone before. After taking the leap, my perfectionist self, will tell you that my profile is yucky. However, my sensible self, will remind me that I am now connected with some great people, I know how to include Slideshare and files, and I know how to build LinkedIn groups well enough to get paid doing it.

LinkedIn is a social media site for professionals and businesses, who want to increase or maintain their visibility. If you are not on, get on! If you are on, join a group, start a group, or post some useful information. Just start using this incredible networking resource.

We are in the days and times when we have to take roads that we have never taken before, if we want to keep moving. Do you have a road you need to take to keep moving? What is stopping you?

Can You Sell Yourself Like Hines Ward?

This year’s Dancing With The Stars (DWTS) winner, Hines Ward, demonstrated just how far you can get, by being good with people.

It wasn’t just his great dancing skills that gave the recent Super Bowl MVP, the Mirror Ball Trophy. Hines did it by selling his confident and relaxed way of being, showing off his absolutely phenomenal people skills.

Hines was the best at selling us on the idea that he is the best. Here is what we can all learn about great people skills from Hines.

  • He was confident. He made errors, but wasn’t thrown off by them. He took on his dances like he was playing a football game to get to the Super Bowl.
  • He showed his ability to lead. He effortlessly lifted his partner high in the air, and took the lead in dances with his partner (though she was the professional dancer).
  • He worked hard to do what it took to win. He took risks, relished in practising long and hard, and persuaded us that he deserved to win.
  • He demonstrated an inviting personality. His smile seemed to brighten up the room, making many of us look forward to seeing him on camera, and the magical friendship he seemed to have with his partner.
  • He was inspiring and caring. He shed joyful tears for his partner, Kym, when she came back from a potentially very serious shoulder injury.
  • He effectively spoke his message. He clearly and eloquently communicated to the world. He expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to compete, the constructive criticism from the judges, the teaching of his partner, winning the trophy,  and the support from fans.

He totally sold me, and it looks like he sold a lot of others. He proved that we can be great at anything, but it is the ability to communicate effectively, to sell others on what we have to offer, that can reap the greatest rewards.

Speak Your Passion: Awakening To Spirit

As a continuation of my last post, I want to share something that happened to me yesterday, which testifies to the awakening of greatness within us all. It is an experience about letting go of ego, letting go of the need to be good, and letting Spirit take over.

Me, Taking a Public Speaking Seminar?

I went to a public speaking seminar recommended by my coach. Specializing in adult education for some 20 years, I told her that my time could be better spent elsewhere. That kind of sounds arrogant right? So when she reminded me that I didn’t know everything, I knew I had to go.

Going From my Head into the Arms of Spirit.

In the seminar, each participant made a short presentation (up to 1 minute), and received constructive feedback from the instructor and the rest of the participants. When it was my turn, I was a little nervous. For the first 5 seconds as I said my name and my business name, I was aware of my rigid hands beside me.

Then it happened. I lost all awareness of me and the instructor’s (Thomas) evaluation. My hands moved with a wonderful energy in front of me, as I said:

I help you answer the question, who am I? What is my unique gift to the world? And what is my target audience?….”

I felt eyes open wider, as I spoke with passion, emphasizing every question, every statement, with my heart. My hands seemed to be speaking with me, expressing my inclusion of, my love for, everyone.

They Saw Spirit in Me

After a 30 second talk, I received feedback. One participant began. “Why are you here?” He smiled and answered with a question that was really a statement. Then another said the same, “yah, why are you here?” Thomas, agreed with the feedback. He had an expression that seemed like the respect of a colleague, on his face. He said he had no advice to give me. He noted my rigid hands, which were initially placed, motionless, beside me. Other than that, he said it was a great, well paced, passion filled presentation.

As I left the front of the room to go back to my seat, Thomas asked me, “where did you get your training?” I hesitated for a moment because I did not get formal training in public speaking. I told him that I learned from being a trainer. However, the presentation I did for the group came from my spirit. It was not something I learned on the job. It was based on:

  • dropping ego,
  • shifting the focus from me to them,
  • forgetting about the judgement of others,
  • letting Spirit and true love for what I am doing take over.

The Lesson

Sometimes we are meant to be someplace not because of what we need to learn, but what we need to teach others. I believe this is my lesson to teach.

I have always been a decent speaker, but it has never been consistently effortless. It has not always been infused with Spirit. The stroke had a lot to do with waking me up to the truth of who and how I needed to be. I thank God that we all will not have a stroke to clot-up the lies that we and others say about us. However, we can choose to be more aware of what is true about us, and the unique blessing we all are. First awareness, then focus on practicing and surrounding ourselves with the truth. This is the path to awakening to our spirit, and passionately sharing ourselves.

Speaking Your Passion

Public Speaking is one of the most important skills for all people. If you can speak who you are and what you do with great passion, you have the power to influence others and move them to action.

Beyond Training in Public Speaking

In a public speaking session, I listened to an immigration consultant (I will call her Sophia) do a presentation on herself and her business. Her voice was low, making her seem almost timid and unable to project beyond the front row of an audience. The instructor gave her some good tips on projecting her voice from her diaphragm, which improved her presentation. However, it was obivious that she was not being her best self.

Hearing me speak, and knowing that I was launching my business in people skills training, Sophia came to me and asked for help with public speaking. She explained that her problem was largely due to lack of confidence in English, as it is her second language.

Following are a few things I  recommend to Sophia and others who choose to go beyond discomforts to passionately reveal themselves:

  • ask yourself “what do I fear” – go deeper within yourself to confront the source of your discomfort
  • speak your most personal and powerful truth about what you believe are the shortcomings in yourself and the work that you do – then let it go
  • practice speaking and speaking, saying “so what” to labels such as “bad” or “failure”
  • learn to trust yourself, and believe in yourself, without concern for the opinions of others
  • participate in a group that will enable you to get support in developing your public speaking skills, and other skill areas affected by lack of confidence

Needs Assessments: Questions to Ask

I conduct needs assessments, which help to uncover essential things about who we are being, that can add a powerful punch to how we are presenting ourselves. The purpose is to reveal what is deep inside and confidently project it to the world. These questions, which I have presented below, normally need to be administered and assessed. If you complete them and would like some help with assessment, share any question you may have.

  1. What is wrong with your public speaking, and who says so?
  2. When have you received or given yourself this feedback and why?
  3. Why are you not able to reveal your passion in your public speaking?
  4. What are your unique personality traits and how are these gifts integrated into your presentation? For example if you are humourous, or really friendly, how are these traits integrated into your presentation?
  5. What are the innate talents (things which you have always been good at, such as writing and creating things, for example), and how do we see these talents in what you are speaking and who you are being?
  6. What are the most important goals for your business, and how is this integrated in your introduction?
  7. Who is your target audience?
  8. How is your target audience integrated into your presentations?
  9. What is the primary message you want your audience to
  10. What do you want your audience to know about you as a person, and how is this integrated into your messages?

The act of questioning will not only reveal answers, but more importantly bring you closer to the right questions that need to be asked. In the process, always remember your ultimate goal is bringing out your passion in your speaking. Stay with it and you will achieve it.

Who am I?

This morning, I reluctantly went to see my business manager. I slowly sauntered into her office, my head lower than usual, expecting a well deserved lecture and a kick in the ass. Afterall, I am being paid by the government to develop a business, which would provide live web-based training on soft skills or people skills. The problem is, I have been focusing on everything but live web-based training.

“What is your pitch,” she asked? I stuttered. My speech slurred as I gave her some feeble response that seemed to focus on web development, with slight mention of live web-based training. She knew she caught me. I felt a little embarrassed as she pointed out what I already knew.

I was losing my focus on the talent and training that makes me unique. I was losing my focus on the inspiration, the interpersonal skills, the positive attitudes, the networking skills; all which would be the center of my on-line interactive training. I was losing me.

The truth is, I was starting to fear the passion within me was not good enough to develop a successful business. I was going where I was before my stroke; a time when I would not, cold not, risk embracing the uniqueness within me. I was being swayed by the voice within me that always seem to be whispering:

“You have to go where the money is being offered, even if you have to bury the diva within. You really aren’t all that. Not now.”

I was beginning to listen again. Even though year after year, that God-less voice is still saying, “not now”.

Those self-defeating thoughts almost killed me and was beginning to affect me now. But today, I had to remind myself a six figure income is not my goal especially if it drains the very life out of me. Our focus has to be on what gives us purpose, what is our unique talent, and why we are still here. It is working fully in this area of giftedness that we find joy, purpose and fulfillment.

I don’t need an image make over. I am who I am, even if that means you see the unfocused and sometimes confused me. I just need to focus on allowing the me, that I am here to be, to dominate my life; the me that passionately lives to impact the world by inspiring people to be the best of themselves (at least most of the time).

I make every effort to walk my talk. Therefore, on June 6, at 7 p.m., I am doing an
interactive session on Social Skills and Networking on the Web. This session will include expert guest speakers. So, if you have a webcam and a headset, and would like to participate, let me know. Please note, I will only take a limited number of people.

My image is not one dimensional. Web development is a small part of my image, which you will see sometimes. To that end, I recommend CrownCore Technologies for good quality, cost-effective web design, content development, logo design and graphic design. The focus here is also on positive image development, and being the best of ourselves on the web.

So, who am I? Who do you think I am?

Do You Need an Image Makeover?

People are not inclined to pay attention to us, if they cannot see us.

Have you ever introduced yourself to someone at an event, and noticed that they were not at all interested in you or what you were saying? You learn very quickly that people listen to you, support you, judge you and relate to you, based on the image they have of who you are. If we create the right image on the web, people can not only have a positive image of us, but a compelling image that causes powerful reactions.

The following is an amazing short video you may have seen on the web, which shows the power of words in projecting a compelling image.

Our images define our success. Our websites, our logos, what we say and how we say it, create an imagination of who we are, which becomes lodged in people’s minds.  I know you have an image of me, as a result of this blog or anything I do on the web. The question is – what is my image? Is it the image I want to create? My answer is, “not always”. Therefore I am launching my image makeover in my next blog. What about you? Do you need an image makeover?

Developing an Appealing Online Image

CrownCore develops images to appeal to target markets. We create websites and logos that builds positive images and attract people.

Do you have a website, social media presence, or bio online? Has any articles being written by you, about you, or which mentions you. In this day and age, having an online presence is a definite must, for almost all business and most professionals.

With every web presence, comes an image. Here are some tips used by to develop images, which capture positive consumer perception, as well as tell people who you are, what you are about and what you stand for.

  1. Make sure your website says quality by its look and written content. Ensure it has great design which appeals to your unique audience. Make sure the colours, fonts, images, and content says to your target market that you know them and you care about them.
  2. Write a great bio, which emphasizes your uniqueness, strengths, and shows interest in your target market.
  3. Get a professional logo reflecting the quality and look you want for your business or yourself; a logo that represents your personal brand.
  4. Get a good headshot that represents your professional self, one that shows you off as attractive and inviting to the people you want to appeal to.
  5. Ensure you have good content, which is valued by your target audience and projects a caring image. For example, persons with disability could be offered more information on how to find accessible services on the net; and the information could be presented in large fonts to accommodate the visually impaired.
  6. Make certain anything you write is of great quality, simple, clear, lacks errors and is grammar free.  This reflects professionalism, quality, and inspires people to take you seriously.
  7. Show how your products and services benefit your target consumer. Have a blog, talk about what you have to offer on social media sites, and respond to people’s needs. Most importantly, freely give what you know. Create an image of yourself as a giver. People like to give to those who give to them.

Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

"Randy" Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008). At his last lecture, he looked his impending death in the face and joyous spoke of accomplishing our dreams.

A friend sent me a  great link to 12 Dozen Places to Educate Yourself for Free. This site has some good resources from a host of top-notch sources, including some of America’s best universities. It is filled with lectures and other post-secondary resources, which is particularly good for the academics among us. Me, I am particularly interested in gut-wrenching resources that push us to work hard to be the best of ourselves; and I found that too.

I came upon iTunes U (university), and found some real gems. In particular, my heart exploded as I watched the last lecture by the late Randy Pausch, several months before he was to die of Pancreatic Cancer. He was funny, he was explosive and he powerfully demonstrated what it meant to really live. He was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. In the lecture, he used his life as an example of what it is to not only go after and achieve our dreams, but also to help others achieve theirs. If you haven’t already seen this impactful video, I invite you to watch it now.

Much gratitude for the memory of Randy Pausch, and the privilege of being touched by his dreams. He demonstrated what it is to live powerfully in the moment – not focusing on yesterday’s pains or tomorrow’s gains. He reminded me that my energy and joy is not an expression of denial of any reality (his cancer or the effects of my stroke). It is instead a celebration of living in my dream, and contributing to the dreams of others. Life is not infinite for any of us. Yet if we live each day, focusing on each moment as an opportunity to add to our gift to the world, then a part of us becomes immortal.

Development Means Changing Self

 “If you want to change the world, start with you baby. Change you and everyone else will follow.”

These words were used by Jacob’s Lusk, in his rendition of Man in the Mirror, on this Wednesday episode of American Idol. He reawakened me, and brought me back to a day last week, when I was looking for a host for my new website. I decided to use HostGator. The problem came when I received an email saying that in order for the account to be approved, I needed to send them a copy of my driver’s license or my passport, and my credit card.  I had never before heard of this type of request. I was so shocked, that a migraine silently began pounding in my head. I was really upset.

I began to agonize over how I would get those digital copies of my I.D. “Use a digital camera or a cell phone,” I was told by the representative on the phone. There was no compromise. There also seemed no end to my agony. My daughter had lost the memory card in my digital camera. And don’t laugh, but I have no idea how to use the camera on my phone. I felt old. I thought, ‘what would it take if I wanted to go out and get the copies done’. But there was another aggravation. I lost my license since the stroke – and  felt seriously sorry for myself, disabled and helpless!

‘This is discrimination against the physically challenged and baby boomers’, I silently screamed. Or was it? Sure HostGator and a lot of technology-based businesses cater to the younger folks. But I realized I should just register my complaint and leave it at that. I should not be fuming at them. I should be fuming at myself!

It was time to look myself in the mirror and let go of those darn excuses I comfortably held on to. This is 2011 and no matter what age we are, we can learn and take advantage of all that technology brings. The world becomes different every day. Who am I to get mad or whine because things don’t stay the way I am use to? In the same way, I had to say to myself enough with these feelings of disability.  So what if I needed a ride to get a copy made?  Once I started thinking how I could get what is needed, instead of how HostGator was preventing me from moving forward, I saw that I could easily get a camera from my brother, who I saw every day.

Each day brings us great opportunities to overcome our excuses, and remind ourselves of our indomitable abilities to handle whatever life puts in front of us.  To stay fully present to who I am, I will keep my eyes focused on me, and away from the excuses which blind me.