Archive for March, 2008

Total Success Institute

Great day today. Got that video submitted to the competition – I’ve had that lingering on my to do list for several months now. Then, it was wedding planning. Phone calls made, meetings arranged, all very exciting!

Following that it was congrats to my *Twinkle*, who in the month of March saw sales in excess of 1.8 million yen (about £9,200) – a new record for her (our) relatively young direct marketing business (organic food, organic supplements, eco-consumables etc). Says a lot about her character, and what she expects out of life. Good to have a successful partner, keeps you on your toes. If you get too lazy they bring a millionaire home to replace you.

A bit of Japanese homework, and then finally, the call I’d been waiting for.

A few days back I blogged about a call I’d had with a life coach. It was interesting, inspiring, but not especially life-changing. A bit like the latest audiobook on personal development I’m listening to. You find after you’ve read the ten or fifteen core texts there’s not much but rehashing, people just jumping on the bandwagon to make money, lacking any real creativity or insight themselves. I’ve been pretty fortunate in that I’ve only found myself stuck with two such duds. And last week’s coaching call.

But today was a bit different. I’d mentioned that previous phone call to my sister, who then recalled a one-day seminar she’d been to a year ago run by the Total Success Institute (new website on the way). She’d been really impressed, and personally knew of two people who had taken their courses – I should contact them. I did, and got prompt replies from both of them.

“Everyone should take this course, it makes for an all-round better life”.

“It will definitely be a worthwhile investment”.

So, the next step was to get a taste of what they offered. I listened to an interview with the founder, it sounded good. I read some of the information on their website, and signed up for a free coaching call.


Why do I feel I need coaching?

In the next few months, several things are going to happen:

1) I’m going to graduate
2) I’m going to marry my *Twinkle* and thus have my own family (includes baby mac)
3) I’m going to be faced with the choice of where I direct the bulk of my energy for the first time in 5 years

These are pretty mega changes, and I want to make sure I make the most of this huge opportunity to steer my life in the direction I want it to go in.

I don’t have much experience of marketing myself in the professional field. Sure, I have a popular website (thank the horse cocks for that; they remain at No.1 in the Search Query Report for the 6th year running), I have language skills, computer skills, people/communication skills …but when it comes to the marketplace I’m lost, and don’t know how to position myself to utilise my full potential. I lack the necessary confidence. I lack these skills.

Books can only give you so much. At some point, you have to put them down and act, otherwise they only have as much of an impact as one hand clapping loudly against the air. A book doesn’t know my specific skills set, and a book can’t set me specific targets to help me motivate myself and move forward. Coaching can do that.

I’ve invested over £20,000 in my BA Japanese Studies degree. It’s been money very well spent. Thinking of that, it seems only prudent to invest a little in learning how to take these skills and turn them into something that generates an income.

If I was the type destined to enter a big company and then leave my development/future in the hands of their HR department, well, perhaps I’d be alright as I am. But I’m not. I love being creative, making things happen, making a difference. I want to generate my own income stream doing the things I love to do, whether that be consulting, speaking, writing, teaching or whatever.

(Incidentally, this is one reason why I am keen to work as a CIR on the JET scheme – annual contract with not a sniff of a pre-determined career in sight. It’s like an internship. Opens doors.)

So, this is why I would like to have some coaching. It feels like natural progression (especially considering the way I was introduced to it). Like a logical next step in this 18-month journey.

Some may scoff and say “you don’t need coaching! what a waste of money!” I wonder, would these people say the same to a wannabe singer who has a fabulous voice but is yet to learn how to control it?


I called Cliff at the agreed time (although it took a bit of thinking to figure out what the ‘agreed time’ was, as the clocks have just changed here and he’s in the USA!) and was soon struck by the homework he’d done. He’d been reading some website called Tame Goes Wild, and knew all about me. He even knew I’d spent some time this afternoon preparing for my wedding. How does this information get out there?

I was pretty staggered to learn that he knew what a Steiner education was; this of course meant he had a better idea of what kind of person I was, what with the (good?!) reputation us Steiner / Waldorf kids have! I also found he was open to my ideas on spirituality, which served to help build my trust in him.

As we talked so I found myself wondering at his intuition. He was incredibly observant and picked up on a lot of stuff that I hadn’t mentioned during the call and wasn’t posted online. “Have you got a brother called Wayne Dyer?!” I asked at one point, laughing.

In the end we were talking for an hour and a quarter. Having got a pretty good idea of where I was in life, he made some concrete suggestions regarding how I approach the opportunity on the horizon, one of which had never even occurred to me, yet fits my skill set perfectly. I was impressed, and realised that were I to agree to work with this coach, ‘things would happen’.

There was no high-pressure sell, and there has been no high-pressure sell in the follow up. Just demonstrations of professionalism and integrity.

I can’t say I recommend the coaching that TSI offer yet, because apart from today’s phone call, I’ve had none. Still, I’ll be signing up for an introductory course when my student loan comes through, and keep you posted so you can laugh with me, or at me (whichever suits your personal opinion the best). I hope in the long term to take it further with 1 on 1 coaching. I have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

I would say though, that if anyone is already seriously considering coaching, consider TSI. It was in a totally different league from my last coaching experience, real big-picture yet pragmatic life changing stuff.

Oh, and if you do contact them, do mention TameGoesWild!

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Real World Awards

I finally submitted my video entry for the Real World Awards today. This annual competition sees students recognised for their extra-curricular activities: I’ve chosen to focus upon those things I’ve done that fall into the “Socially Responsible” category.

It was very difficult to edit this video down to 3 minutes – the original was over three times that. Thus, it’s a bit jumpy and I have to miss stuff out, but nevermind, I’m still me.  I quite enjoyed filming it, despite the fact that our office door was being painted at the time and thus the room stank of solvents. Come to think of it, that might be why I enjoyed it so much…
It’s a blatant bit of self-promotion, but that’s what they want!
I think the idea now is to ask people to vote for me. The prize is £5000, a portion of which I’ll donate to charity, and the remainder of which I’ll put in a fund for our two baby girls (yet to be conceived). 
The only snag is, you have to be a UK university student to vote! The company running the awards is a graduate recruitment company, and they require you to register using a UK university email address.
If you have one of those, please do vote for me! Think of it as a wedding present for myself and *Twinkle* if you like…!
Thank you!

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Multicolour tadpoles


Yesterday, mum decided to take her easel outside and draw some inspiration from our pond life. Currently, it’s playing host to thousands of tadpoles, who are happily developing the most extraordinary gills and reabsorbing their own tails.

Yesterday afternoon however, the tadpoles were in for a rude shock, as mother tripped over a paving stone and fell in the pond – taking her pots of paint with her! 
Well, there ensued a great commotion, the outcome of which is a pond now host to a huge swarm of multicolour tadpoles! 
More tadpoles on my Flickr account.


Mother. Not a tadpole.

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Father’s efforts finally pay off, netting £1.6 million

Hurrah for my father!
In 1990 my dad took up a headship at Staunton-on-Wye Primary school. The school was in long-term decline – there were only 28 pupils, and the local education authority was about to close it down. 
When Peter came riding along on his trusty steed (old green Volvo) he declared that the school was far from beat. Over the next seven years he battled to get it back on its feet – and succeeded. 
Thanks to those efforts the government has just announced that instead of closing Staunton-on-Wye primary, they will now be investing £1.6m in building a new school next door to replace the 1862 building.

Three Cheers for the (ex)headmaster Peter Tame!

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Sunday morning stuff

Woke up feeling a bit sad today – is it due to the ‘loss’ of one hour as we enter British Summer Time? I think not, as it’s no loss at all.

Decided to tackle the sadness and so went for a jog up to the top of Cole’s Tump from where one can see most of Herefordshire. Beautiful. Then, coming down the hill I said good morning to two horses, one dog and a human, shared words of Spring and suddenly the sadness dropped away, in an instant. That’s how quick change can occur! It is a lovely day.

Looking down Springfield Lane.


Checking my bank account a moment ago I found some payments to PTI Europe Region, and then corresponding refunds. I look online, and there’s loads of references to such payments. Is it fraud? No. If you shop with Amazon, or AOL, or one of any other 40,000 companies that 2checkout.com process payments for then you too may find such debits on your statement as they have made a big boo-boo. See their website for an explanation.

I’m finally getting my act together re. applying for Lottery Funding for our publishing company, completed the proposal and application form last night. Should be about 6 weeks until we get the result. In the meantime, we need to finalise our entry for round two of the Business Creation Competition, deadline the week after next.

(thoughts flick back to photography)

I’m really impressed by Photoshop CS3′s Photomerge function (File > Automate > Photomerge). Below is a panorama I took this morning from Coles Tump. Don’t forget, when shooting panoramas it’s essential you use the same exposure for all shots. Also, to help hide the stitches, try and overlap your images by at least a third, as I didn’t do here!

tarra.

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