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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Why Most Teens Will Not Graduate College-Ready

Most teens are doomed to have to take some sort of summer preparation class as a condition of their full acceptance to a university.  When I say, "some sort," I'm really talking about two main subjects universities assess as part of their placement process: math and english.  Being able to start freshman year of college in English 101 as well as Math 101, meaning Calculus A, is a big deal.  It means not having to take extra pre-requisites and pay more money for an already costly college education.
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Credit: Pic
Every parent reading needs to understand this: High schools are not college readiness factories.  They are college acceptance factories.  Yes, there is a difference.  You are being sold by every high school Principal a product that does less than 50% of what it claims to do.  Go to a meeting at your kid's future high school and count the number of times you hear the words, "college-prep," linked together.  How could courses be college prep, yet according to the latest Nation's Report Card, only about a third of all high school graduates score at or above Proficient on college readiness examinations in English and Math.  These may even include kids with outstanding grades!

In California, almost all high school juniors take the Smarter Balanced Assessment (formerly EAP) to have their English Language Arts (ELA) and Math skills gauged by the Cal State University system, and now as many as 80 community colleges.  In 2015, only 56% of juniors tested "met or exceeded" the standard in ELA.  Only 29% "met or exceeded" the standard in Math.  That means a ton of kids will have to take remedial courses next summer, especially if they didn't address their deficiencies as seniors this year.

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Who Doesn't Have To Take These College Readiness/Placement Assessments?

Students who kick butt on the Scholastic Aptitude Test are automatically deemed ready for college.  You can see the required SAT scores here (for Cal State enrollment--they may be different in other states): Cal State exemptions.  If students take Advanced Placement classes in English and Math, they too are exempt from taking the college readiness exams.

Why aren't students graduating high school college ready even when they take tough classes and do well?

Well, this may sound offensive but...teens these days are illiterate.  And I don't mean they don't know how to read.  I mean they don't read enough.  And what they read is usually something they are being forced to read by their teachers at school.  Yet, even though some teens read for pleasure, they are still not reading what they need to read.  They're reading useless fiction.

What good can come of your teenager reading tales about talking animals, wizards, vampires fighting werewolves, fantasy worlds, and so on?  Do they plan on writing genre fiction books for a living?  If not, then they're wasting their time.
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Why????


Teens need to be reading a lot more.  I've worked in schools long enough to see how behind they are in their reading.  But not just any type of reading.  They don't read enough non-fiction!  People, we are living in the Information/Knowledge Worker era, and your teen is reading what?--Chronicles of this or that, love novels, and wizardry school adventures.  Really?  No wonder high school graduates aren't college-ready.  Teens are getting blown out of the water by these assessments that have them analyze expository, mostly non-fiction text.  Get your teen reading non-fiction like yesterday.

Here is a list of some non-fiction texts your teens can read:

1.  Wisdom from Rich Dad, Poor Dad for Teens: The secret about money that you don't learn in school! by Robert Kiyosaki

2.  Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris.
 
3.  The Teen Girl's Survival Guide: Ten Tips for Making Friends, Avoiding Drama, and Coping with Social Stress by Lucie Hemmen, PhD.

4.  Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky.

5.  For Boys Only: The Biggest, Baddest Book Ever by Marc Aronson.

6.  What Do You Stand For? For Teens: A Guide to Building Character by Barbara A. Lewis.

7.  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey.

8.  The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make: A Guide for Teens by Sean Covey.

9.  The Success Principles for Teens: How to get from where you are to where you want to be by Jack Canfield.

10.  Go Teen Writers: How To Turn Your First Draft Into a Published book by Stephanie Morril and Jill Williamson.

Alright, there are ten great teen non-fiction books to begin with.  But there are so many more and in case these don't interest your teen, then have them pick a non-fiction book related to a hobby they're into right now.  

Main Points of this Post:

1) Your kids aren't reading enough.
2) If your kids are reading, they're mostly reading fiction.
3) Kids will need to be able to analyze non-fiction in college a whole lot more than fiction.
4) The real world in the 21st century demands that people read non-fiction quickly and vastly.  Unless of course you want to be replaced at your job by a robot.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Why Monday Is The Most Important Day of The Week

If ever a day was misunderstood by people it is Monday.  Monday is dreaded by most Americans.  On Sunday nights you can expect like a gazillion Facebook posts, especially memes, garnering groupthink sympathies about the end of the weekend.  Monday has inspired songs like The Bangles, Manic Monday.  Monday is the first day of the week, a winner, but treated like the worst day of the week, a total loser.

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Americans need an attitude adjustment about Monday.  But just simply telling someone to have a positive mental attitude at the start of the week won't work.  You have to look inward, or approach the attitude from the inside-out, as Stephen R. Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests to do with any established paradigm.  Why do you lack the appreciation that a new day, one that happens to start your work week, gives you?  For most people, it's because they hate having to go back to work.

If this is you, then why do you go to a job that you hate?  Find yourself another job.  If you can't do that, then you must have a deeper understanding of how your perceptions about your job deeply ruin a perfectly good day like Monday.  Monday gives every employee or worker in this country the biggest of opportunities.  Consider the following:

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1.  Monday, every one of your coworkers will be "tired" from the weekend.  Despite the weekend being the time when one is supposed to get recharged, everyone seems to be tired on Monday.  What if you showed up full of energy instead?  At first, you'll be considered weird, but in due time, everyone will want whatever it is you are on.  (Life!)

2.  Similarly, Monday is when your customers will be feeling being back in the grind.  Use your energy to make more sales or connections than any one of your co-workers.  This is when you can distinguish yourself from all other people, and get more market share.  Simply by being more effective on Monday morning you'll gain a leg up on the competition.

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3.  Monday is the first day of service.  For many professionals, Monday is the day they get to go back to helping people.  That's enough motivation for a teacher like me.  I realize many of my counterparts wish they had another day or two, but not me.  I don't feel like I've had a complete day without helping someone in some way.

This is where many people go wrong with Monday.  They see it as a loss of freedom, rather than another chance to gain financial freedom.  If you're constantly counting down the days until Friday, it is a sign that you have nothing going for yourself.  You're passionless, and have no projects of your own that excite you.  You're not working toward anything in other words.

When someone has goals, every day is just as valuable as the next one.  Monday becomes Friday.  You are so engrossed in your work outside of work, that the days are seamless.  The solution, therefore, to a Monday full of possibilities is having an agenda.  Not a to-do list.  A real agenda, like what you're trying to accomplish.  Want a promotion?  Use Monday better than anyone else at work, and the days after too, of course.

Be pleasant to talk to on Mondays

Be happy on Mondays

Be willing to do whatever it takes on Monday

Say "No" to nothing on Monday

Be grateful and compliment at least five people on Monday

Listen to people on Monday, avoid excessive talking on Monday

Be glad you're alive on Monday because someone else died on Sunday...that's a fact!

I'm gearing to make tomorrow, my Monday, the best one yet!  Until next time.  Thanks for reading this post.  If you liked it and want more like them, please subscribe to this blog.  You'll get some freebies too like, 10 ways to defeat financial inertia, and Do you want to be rich or wealthy self-quiz.


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Thursday, November 24, 2016

An Immigrant's Thanksgiving Message to All Americans

This is my Thanksgiving story of success.  Successfully reaching America from Europe is one of the things the pilgrims had to be thankful for.  Well, successfully reaching America from Mexico is one thing I have to be thankful for this and every Thanksgiving.  My first Thanksgiving dinner happened sometime in the mid '80s.  I was perhaps 7 or 8 years old.  It didn't take place in the 1-bedroom apartment my family lived in San Jose, CA.  Like most immigrants who come to this country, we were invited to a Thanksgiving dinner by more Americanized friends.  My father's new Mexican-American friends to be exact.


My wife, Jessica, making apple pie.

What I remember the most about my first Thanksgiving is the food I got to eat for the very first time.  You have to realize, the significance of Thanksgiving was beyond me at this point in my life.  Plus I was a kid, and eating was my second favorite thing to do with playing coming in first.  Back to the food.  I fell in love with two things that first Thanksgiving: oven toasted rolls and pumpkin pie.  The rolls with melted butter were so delicious and the pumpkin pie with whipped cream was out of this world.  Mexicans don't make rolls or pies.  That's pure Americana.


Rolls! Thank-you state of Hawaii.

An abundance of opportunities is also something uniquely American.  Sure, there are other countries on this planet where anyone can make it big.  None like, "The Land of Opportunity," however.  I was given a huge opportunity by INS (Immigration and Naturalization Services) when they approved my "green card" way back in the mid '90s.  I didn't squander it.  (I became a naturalized citizen in 2004).  How often people squander opportunities in this country amazes me.  How do they do this?  They don't take advantage of the available freedoms.

For example, so long as it isn't illegal, you can practically start and open up any small business.  Seed money, a customer, and an idea is all you need.  Try doing this in Cuba.



They don't take advantage of the freedom of expression.  So long as you don't threaten anything or anyone, or infringe on copyrights or trademarks, you can impart information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.  Most Americans see this as the right to constantly complain about the laws, their politicians and leaders.  They obsess about this right and blame the President, the Republicans, the liberals, the Democrats, basically everyone except themselves for the misfortunes of their own making.  I see this freedom as the opportunity to grow my following, potential customers, and brand using everything at my disposal, including this blog and social media.  If you want an example of an American squeezing everything out of his freedom of expression, check out the work of Grant Cardone.

I've enjoyed great success in my life.  Willing to put myself out there, not playing by the rules, being unreasonable with my determination, not caring what relatives or friends think about my inner drive, working harder than others, and not settling for nada, are my key attributes.  These are the things anyone can do!  You just have to start.  The type of success you've always wanted can be yours, but it may take you giving up what you've come to know as American--the average American mind-set.


Rum cake in progress.

I know our country has really struggled as of late to live up to the spirit of brotherhood, "From sea to shining sea!"  How divided we've become.  But if this immigrant from Mexico can tell you something to uplift you today it is this: America is still a place where anyone can succeed.  That hasn't changed.  There is enough success available for everyone, despite how limiting your beliefs can be.

Today is a day to be thankful for what we have.  But it's also a day to be thankful for the things you can have.  Tomorrow is Black Friday.  Heck, some of you won't even wait for Black Friday; you'll be out of the house tonight, ready to go spend your hard earned money on products you don't really need.  That's being an American in your mind.  Trying doing something unconventional to you instead.  You can buy gifts for the needy.  You can tithe the money to your church.  You can buy yourself two to three books on the principles of success or financial education.  You can buy yourself an audio book on the previous topics.  You can buy something for your personal business (and write off the expense next year).

Appreciate what you have, a great country, like I do.  Don't take it for granted.  Be the best you can be because it's your duty to give all you have for your family and for your country.  In other words, hustle like an immigrant!  Happy Thanksgiving! Until next time.  

If you liked this post, please don't leave without subscribing to this blog so you can get more post like these in your inbox.  (And to get some freebies).  By the way, my eBook: Common Core Money: Financial Literacy for Educators and Other Professionals is free at Amazon for the next couple of days.  Get it while you can.
        
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Monday, November 21, 2016

How Becoming A TeacherPreneur Can Rejuvenate Your Teaching Career

Teachers that simply teach have careers that eventually stagnate.  It doesn't matter if they keep themselves on top of their game, reading the latest education articles, or participating in the newest professional development offered by their district office.  Similarly, tweaking lessons and even taking on a new subject to teach, gets old.  You teach long enough and you come to lose that zeal you once had as a beginning teacher.







I discovered the secret to teaching every single day with joy, enthusiasm, and passion to inspire students.  It doesn't involve drinking two to three cups of Starbucks coffee a day, taking that "sick" day once a month, or even getting everything you know you need to be effective, i.e., a smaller class size, students willing to work.  The solution to the drag you currently feel or will one day experience isn't about lacking drive to be the best teacher you can be.

The day I stopped being a mere investor, investing and saving for my retirement outside of my monthly teacher contributions, and became an entrepreneur, changed me forever.  Despite the added work outside of the school day, learning the dimensions of being an entrepreneur online, from books, and from problems I faced while taking action, I never felt tired or overworked.  I still don't!  I come to school every Monday smiling and I end Friday the same way.  Other teachers notice my energy and wonder if I'm on something.

The benefits of being a part-time entrepreneur are immense.  Let me share some of them:

1.  You learn to see your students as customers you need to service with the utmost integrity and respect.

2.  You begin to see your craft as a continuous sales pitch.  You "sell" the concepts you must teach, and the lessons you must deliver with conviction or lose a "sale."

3.  Your self-confidence grows two or three times fold as you pick up ideas and understandings from the business world that you can relate to your own career.

4.  You get to share your learning experiences with your students, especially how you failed and did something new to overcome the challenge.

5.  You get to help other people with your small, side business.  Working with adults can be as rewarding as working with kids and teens.

6.  You get to make extra money, as much as you want, and not worry as often about your finances.

7.  You feel like you're part of something big that can escalate at any minute.  This gives you constant excitement.

8.  You have a frame of reference for success that doesn't involve the traditional pathway of going to college.  That's a huge plus these days!  You get to appreciate the hustle and ingenuity of your low-performers.



 So what's a teacherpreneur?  A teacherpreneur is a teacher by day, and entrepreneur after school and on the weekends.  A teacherpreneur lives in the 21st Century with every other employee in America who realizes that although they may work for someone else, ultimately, they are the bosses of their own corporation, as the great Brian Tracy puts it.

Teacherpreneurs sponsor entrepreneurship clubs at school and if they have the option, do like me and teach an entrepreneurship elective.  They encourage students to start businesses instead of simply complaining about a lack of money.  They become mentors of kidpreneurs and guide these young entrepreneurs even when the education system discourages non-academic endeavors.  Teacherpreneurs ask students questions like:

How can you turn that idea into a real business?

How can you turn your hobby into a something you get paid for?

What would you want to do after high school if going to college isn't for you?

As much as I've tried to stay fresh and energized about the teaching profession, nothing has had as much success as becoming a teacherpreneur.  My teacherpreneur persona in the classroom, something you must have to inspire students, is named, "Homie G."  Why?  Because I do more than teach science.  I demonstrate first hand to students what life is about, constantly improving yourself, and living to the fullest.

In truth, having your students see you only as their teacher means you've done very little to share your life with them.  The stuff you can share, of course.  You lost moments to gain their trust, and build on the rapport you have with them.  This is the currency you need to inspire greatness from them, beyond grades.  I know the power of transformation that can occur within teachers once they become entrepreneurial.  It will make all the difference in the world and perhaps even keep many great teachers from leaving the teaching profession.  So if you're a teacher reading this, find a niche you can get into business in and go for it.  The outcome need not be about getting rich, or even leaving the teaching profession for good.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

5 Smart Entrepreneurial Things You Can Do With $1000 Right Now

Hello everyone!  I was glancing at article titles online to see if any would be worthy of my click when I came across, "5 Smart Things You Can Do With $1,000 Right Now," by Motley Fool.  When I surveyed the 5 "smart things" I was very disappointed.  They included:

1) Create an emergency fund
2) Pay off bad debt
3) Save for retirement
4) Invest in your kid's education
5) Invest in your education (add a degree or certification)

How are any of these "smart"?  They are boring, trite, regurgitated, and average pieces of advice at best.  This is why most Americans won't have enough money to retire.  You've seen enough of these dire, foretelling articles glorifying the retirement crisis.  The media is scaring you daily into playing it safe.  Frugal living is safety.  Motley Fool's article cited above, more safety.  Safety is the problem in America.  Taking risks is the solution only a few dare promote.

Stop living in fear and take immediate action to defy that fear.  Do one of the five entrepreneurial things I suggest below to spark your income generating engine.


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1)  Become a sales associate with a network marketing company.  Most cost around $500 to get started.  These are business you can do on the side until you make enough to quit your day job.  Google: Top 50 MLM Companies.

2)  Buy your domain name.  No one but you should own your name online.  Once you buy your domain name, start making plans for a website.  Are you going to be doing consulting?  Will you an information and resource expert?  Will you finally take your small business online?  Spend the rest of that $1000 on the website.  Have someone at Fiverr.com build it for you.

3)  Start a small business.  Look, there really are no limits to what you can start doing business in.  Read, The $100 Startup book by Chris Guillebeau for inspiration and examples.     

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4)  Pay for an e-commerce, email marketing, Facebook Fan page, Success, or Best-Selling Author training, business courses from gurus like Anik Singal, Anthony Morrison, Tai Lopez, Steve Chou, Ramit Sethi, Jack Canfield, or Brian Tracy.  Don't waste your money on college courses.

5)  Loan the money to your kids to start their own business.  Just put it out there and see if they take the bait.  Tell them you will give them seed money, $500, to start a business.  If you can't stomach being an entrepreneur the least you can do is encourage the next generation.

You have to think outside the box with money these days if you're to get ahead.  Being part of the crowd will not get you anywhere.  Hiding under a rock when it's clearly obvious you have to be your own boss (even with a job) these days is a surefire way of never succeeding.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

An Exercise That Trains Your Child To Take Goal Directed Action

Hello everyone!  I'm in the middle of writing my latest book, A Teacher Like Homie G: Real Talk On What It Takes for Students of Color to be Successful.  Students at school call me, Homie G.  Why, because I'm like a homie, a friend who looks out for them.  My last name is Gomez, so that's the "G."  I'm writing this self-help book on success for teens of color because it's desperately needed.  I think many of you would agree with me.



I happen to know a lot about success, and what it takes for a person of color to be successful.  That's why the book includes many of my private stories of struggle with family, self, school, and life.  But I'm also equipping the reader with knowledge of the success principles that are universal, hard work, positive mindset, goal setting, taking action, are just a few.  And I've customized exercises so that they are fun or at minimum interesting to the young reader.

I'd like to share an excerpt from my book.  It's on a concept I call, Profitable Action.  At the end is an exercise that could help your adolescent or teen really get into goal writing and taking action.  Enjoy.


What is Profitable Action?
Profitable Action is the beneficial and accumulating action one takes to accomplish a goal.  I like to describe any other type of action as, “Dead Chicken Action.”  There is a popular saying: “Running around like a headless chicken.”  It’s a scientific fact that if not decapitated correctly by a butcher a dead chicken can run around aimlessly until its muscles stop twitching.  Symbolically, this is what the majority of all people are doing, including you.  Dead Chicken Action is aimless, clumsy, fatiguing, and deadly to success.
On his blog, Brian Tracy, the premiere authority on the topic of personal success, writes that less than 3% of all Americans have written goals and only 1% review and rewrite their goals daily.  So what?  Mr. Tracy, as well as multiple other authorities on success found that there is a common thread among the wealthiest and most successful people in America.  They write out, review, revise, and take action on their goals.  This is why the most important aspect of Profitable Action is that it’s goal oriented.

Profitable Action has three components.  One, it’s beneficial to you.  This can take many forms.  For example, exercising benefits your health.  Saving your allowance helps you make a later purchase.  Studying for tests benefits your grades and can even improve your chances of getting into a top university.  Shooting free throws daily makes it more likely you’ll make them in a game.  What you take part in must be useful.  If it isn’t, consider yourself headless poultry.  

Two, Profitable Action is accumulating.  This means that the action you take must build on itself like money earning interest in an account.  Case in point, if one of your goals is to run a half-marathon, you train daily.  You need to vary the volume and intensity of your workouts.  You wouldn’t just go on a 4-mile run one time and show up on race day.  If another one of your goals is to learn how to code before graduating from high school, then you’d take beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses at school, online, or at training academies.  Imagine packing snow from a small ball into the base of a snowman.  That’s accumulating action.

Finally, Profitable Action is goal driven.  Here is where we separate the super successful from the average.  Super successful people undertake activities that serve a greater purpose, to meet a goal.  Average people participate in activities that have disconnected purposes or no purposes at all.  That’s why average people don’t get anywhere.  If ever there was an expression to describe not taking Profitable Action, it is: “You’re all over the place!”

Below is an exercise that will make writing goals and taking Profitable Action fun for you.
Two Jars, One Bright Future, Exercise:
Whenever you write out a goal, pay yourself $1.  Simply take a piece of white paper, size doesn’t matter, and write “$1” on it.  Drop this slip of paper into an empty and clean spaghetti sauce jar.  Label the jar, “My future-Goals,” with a Sharpie.  There is no limit to how often you can make a deposit.  If you write out five goals, place 5, $1 deposit slips into the jar.

Get another jar and label it, “My future-Action.”  In this jar, you will deposit $100 dollar slips every time you take decisive action on a goal.  You may be wondering why taking action earns you $100 of funny-money while writing a goal only makes you $1.  Taking action on a goal is 100 times more difficult to do!  You have to get past your fears and doubts, and put your body in motion.  People fear failure.  They let doubt overtake their thought process so much they won’t even try.  Have you ever told yourself: “That won’t work,” or “I’m not good enough,” or my personal favorite, “I don’t have time”?  These are the excuses both lazy and/or fearful people give to keep from challenging themselves.

This exercise is true to life.  Those that take goal directed action win at life.  Those that don’t will struggle at life constantly.  Your jars will be visual reminders of how hard you’re working on your future.  The jars help you keep score.  You’ll see that after a few deposits, you’ll start really getting into it.  You’ll get the urge to keep doing it.  Using this strategy is not silly or stupid.  Silly or stupid is expecting money, fame, health, love, intelligence, success, to come knocking on your door.

If you have a student of color, this book will be one you will want them to read.  I shared this particular segment because it's really for everyone.  I didn't share the stuff that tugs at your heart, or your sense of humor.  I'm safeguarding that material until the book is out.  If you'd like to be updated on the publication of this book, please send me an email: calilimexica@yahoo.com.  Thanks for reading.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Donald Trump Has Nothing To Do With Your...

The Black Swan event Nassim Taleb predicted took place yesterday evening.  The Donald is now President-Elect.  Hillary supporters are having one horrible day, and probably got very little sleep last night.  The masses have taken to protesting the results of the Electoral College.  I don't tune into the news but I did briefly get a glimpse of what's happening out there as I turned the channel to Nick Jr. so my kids could watch Paw Patrol and let my wife and I catch up.
Image result for Black Swan event

School was very interesting today.  Middle schoolers say the darndest things.  One in particular, a female who is a muslim, was going around interviewing kids about the result.  She came by to me, holding her notebook as a mic.  She asked, "So, Homie G (that's what my students call me) what do you think about last night's results.  My response, "It's 8:15 a.m. and it's in the 70s.  Life is good."

I put a daily message to my students on the corner of the white board.  A young lady recently made me into a cartoon, so I put a text bubble coming out of its mouth so that my message is more noticeable.  The messages I give to kids have nothing to do with the content I teach, science.  They have everything to do with success and life.  A teacher is more than a subject matter expert.  A teacher is someone who can, if they choose to, inspire students to see beyond their limitations and fears and reach for their dreams.  That's my mission even with Common Core Standards hovering over me.

Image result for Donald Trump

My message today was quite simple: "Get over it.  Your success is not up to Donald Trump."  Take this to heart yourself.  However you may feel about the election, whether you're upset or excited, the results of the election won't change your personal situation of hardship.  Ultimately, whether Donald Trump helps you get a job or not, you're still stuck living paycheck to paycheck.  This has to do with financial illiteracy.  Most Americans can't tell the difference between and asset and a liability.  So long as this is true, Americans will struggle.




Not to mention, people still neglect their number one pathway toward success: reading specific non-fiction books on the areas the 21st century is in demand for.  Many Americans don't like to read, yet they expect to have jobs available to them indefinitely.

Hillary supporters need to get off the road, and stop their protesting.  It is a complete waste of time.  Instead of protesting, Hillary supporters should be writing down goals to take back control of their future.  They should be coming up with a M.A.P., a Massive Action Plan.

Do yourself a favor and let go of what you can't control.  You can control your own destiny.  But you must first stop focusing on outcomes that you had no part in, or very little if you consider your one vote important.  Focus on the outcomes of your own activity.  If you're taking action to protest Donald Trump winning, you can take action to meet a professional or personal goal.

Don't spend the next four years obsessing about Donald Trump, his promises, and deliveries.  Obsess about yourself.

Until next time.  If you liked this post, please subscribe to get more like them.

   
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Monday, November 7, 2016

12 Ways to Boost Your Success Productivity

Success isn't going to come easy.  It's takes massive amounts of action to realize your goals.  A huge challenge for most people is the feeling of not having enough time in the day to get to the success building activity.  Too many mundane tasks getting in the way.  Another challenge people have is feeling overwhelmed.  How many times have you said, "I'm overwhelmed right now."  Or, "All this work is making me feel overwhelmed."

Image result for worker bees

So some tough talk now.  Here's the thing, everyone is overwhelmed.  Even the super successful feel overwhelmed from time to time.  Successful people do more things in a given morning than the average person does in an entire day.  It's not by accident.  Rather, it is entirely by design.  In fact, every successful person starts and ends their day with a plan of action.

Right now I'm working on this blog post.  It's 6:30 a.m.  I have to be at work by 8:00 a.m.  This entry is the second thing I've done to build on my success.  I got up at 4:00 a.m. and worked on my latest non-fiction book, A Teacher Like Homie G: Real Talk on Life & Success for Students of Color, for about two hours.  This future best-seller (positive mindset here) isn't going to write or sell itself.  Today I'm going to share with you twelve ways to boost your success productivity.  Taking it up several notches is the only way you will ever reach your goals.

My upcoming book in the making

Ways to Boost Your Success Productivity

1.  Sleep less.  But you need your 8 hours of sleep?  No you don't.  You can live on 6 hours until you get that latest project completed.  Besides, with kids and your spouse taking up a big chunk of your day, how else are you going to make progress.

2.  Delegate chores.  We have this stupid notion that we have to do everything around the house ourselves.  Laundry, the yard, the dishes, vacuuming, taking out the trash, shopping for groceries, and on and on.  Hire a neighborhood kid to do some of these things for you!  I know what all of the Frugality bloggers have told you.  Save, save, save.  DIY, DIY, DIY.  You know what I say...Bull feces!  You'll never be successful if you can't delegate things off your plate.  Show the help exactly what you want, and let them go to work for you.

3.  Get a mentor.  If you've started out in business or are trying to build credibility in a certain industry, you can't do it alone.  In fact, you'll kill your productivity trying to figure everything out for yourself.  Do this instead:  Get on the Internet and find someone who is already successful in the industry you wish to break into.  Write them a short email or letter requesting a few minutes of their time once a month so you can ask them specific questions.

4.  Schedule your work sessions and insist you have absolutely no interruptions.

5.  Use your smartphone and productivity apps.  If you have a long commute, and you're trying to write a book like me, you can use a dictation app.

6.  Stop watching TV.  I've stopped watching sports, and shows altogether.  I spend my days at work, exercising, reading or writing.  I've never been so productive.

7. Turn off your notifications.  If you keep being bombarded and distracted by push notifications from all of your social media, you'll never get anywhere.

8.  Write a plan for each of your goals.  Mastering goal setting involves not only writing great goals often, but also plans of action for each one.  You can't expect to meet your goals as quickly as possible without a concrete plan.

9.  Ignore the neat and organizing freak in you.  Don't be the type of person that needs to clean or organize the office before sitting down to work.

10.  Stay hydrated.  You're supposed to be drinking water all day.  Water helps your brain be at optimum so make sure you get plenty of it.

11.  Take breaks often.  You're not a robot.  Your mind needs to unplug after prolonged concentration.

12.  Learn to say "No."  You don't have to agree to take part in every thing people throw at you.  Just say, "This isn't about you, it's about me having the time to complete an important project that will benefit me and my family."

They say success is 90% perspiration, and 10% inspiration.  So if you're to be super successful one day, you must boost your productivity.  I hope what you read above can help you become an even more productive individual.  Until next time.

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Friday, November 4, 2016

5 Ways to Stay On Top in The Information Era

One big problem for Americans is that they haven't pivoted completely into the Information Era.  Even though they may be living today as members of this new age, they really aren't alive.  They're more like zombies, in between worlds.  Their minds are in the Industrial era, where careers and job security ruled.  Their bodies are in the Information Era, where careers truly don't exist and job insecurity creates more panic in them than ever before.

Do you know someone who doesn't "get" that things have changed?  That information and technology is rapid.  That most people will have several jobs over the course of their lifetimes, not as a result of choice, but because companies and businesses too are insecure.

Look at this staggering graph:

Image result for prime age labor force participation rate


What's going on?  Why are so many prime working-age males not part of the labor force?

"Nearly 36 percent of prime-age men not in the labor force lived in poverty in 2014--casting doubt on the hypothesis that nonparticipation represents a choice enabled by other personal means or income sources."

"Participation has fallen particularly steeply for less-educated men at the same time as their wages have dropped relative to more-educated men, consistent with a decline in demand."

--Source: The Long-Term Decline In Prime-Age Male Labor Force Participation, Executive Office of the POTUS, Council of Economic Adviser, June 2016.

You could title the top of that graph: The Industrial Era.  Our former economy was more industrial in nature than all other economies of the world.  During these times, Americans developed some nasty habits:

1) You don't have to learn beyond high school
2) Your career or job will pay you consistent wages
3) Devote yourself to your employer and you will be taken care of
4) Your pension is waiting, just keep working

So now let's get into how we can help men who are lost, angry, confused, or even sad for their unemployed situation.  The following information may also help you never be included in the top statistics.

5 Ways to Stay In Top In The Information Era

1)  Mind pivot: Consider your mind the greatest asset you have.

2)  Read at least two hours a day.  Read the latest about sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, business, finance, and technology.  If you can't afford books, go to a library!

3)  Learn to read quickly.  The faster you can read, the more information your mind can consume.

4)  Learn to retain more of what you read.  The better your mind can assimilate information, the better you will "own it."

5)  Learn how you learn best.  That's right...this is about you.  You may have hated school.  This could've easily been because the way you were taught didn't suit your specific needs.  So figure out how you learn best.

The Information era is here and it is very real.  The age of job insecurity requires that you keep your best asset, your mind, like a well-tuned machine.  If you're not advancing, you're falling behind.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

7 Ways to Prepare for a Forced Retirement

Welcome everyone.  The focus of today's CCM blog post is on helping people who are going to be forced out of their career.  You may be thinking this is illegal, and for the most part, you'd be right.  The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 banished the cap of 70 years old in a 1986 amendment.  Yet, there still exists certain careers with working age limits.  Some of these careers and their age limits include:

Image result for Pilots

Pilots (Age 65)
Air Traffic Controllers (56)
Federal Law Enforcement and Firefighters (57)
Partners in Law Firms (Varies)
Partners in Accounting Firms (Varies)
Partners in Doctor's Offices (Varies)

Being kicked out of your job is emotionally destructive.  People die with nothing to do!  Those who want to continue working are left in uncomfortable situations when they apply elsewhere.  Employers may ask during an interview: "So why did you leave your last place of employment?"  Tough to answer if you don't want to disclose your age.  Remember, you don't have to provide anyone with your age during an interview.  It's none of their business!  Plus you're protected by the Employment Act of '67.
Image result for older workers



Being older at the workplace comes with stigmas.  Employers, even with the best intentions, subconsciously hold stereotypes about "more experienced" workers:  1) They don't have the energy to keep up, 2)  They won't be as productive as younger workers.  These are just two examples of biases toward older workers.  I know all of this is garbage because some of the most energetic people I have ever met include Boomers.  My 66 year-old buddy, Larry, can still kick my butt on bike rides longer than 3 hours.  Stamina people!

People are working longer than ever for various reasons.  Money shortage is a big one.  But get this: The labor participation rate among workers older than 65% is expected to rise to 21.7% in 2024, up from a current 18.6%.  So what should you do if you know ageism is alive and well in your industry, and you foresee your employer pushing you out the door?  Here are seven ways to be prepared:

1.  Start using anti-aging skin care for your face.  Even though I'm not in a career where I'll be forced out, I still take advantage of anti-aging skin care for my face.  My students all think I'm in my thirties!  My wife got me into using the Arbonne's Men's Line.  I was skeptical at first, but it really did make a difference.  I look at least 5 years younger.  Looking younger may keep you from getting axed by sneaky employers.

2.  Try finding your next job sooner.  In other words, get ahead of your current employer.  That way, when you do have to retire, you are ready to step into the next act of your life.

3.  Polish your resume.  Also write in more active verbs in your job duties so it looks like you are still taking plenty of action at work.

4.  Sign up for training or continuing education at least five years before your forced retirement age nears.  This sharpening of skills will make you more employable.

5. Stay physically fit.  Look trim and toned.  Flabby people get perceived as lazy and out of shape.  Buy perfect fit long sleeve shirts prior to any interview.  See a tailor!  This will make your physique stand out.  Not to mention, it will make you seem fashionable.

6. Anticipate your new employer's concerns of working with younger people like generation X'ers and millennials.  Join a Meetup group of younger people and get to know the work attitudes of these generations.

7.  Practice what you will say about being overqualified.  You will be way overqualified for many post-retirement jobs.  How will you address this with your concerned future employer?

It sucks to be forced to retire if you love your job.  Things need to change.  But since here at CCM I tell people to not worry about things they can't control, the next best thing to do is to take action and move forward.  Always forward!  Thanks for reading.

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