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Think You Can Do Without Coaching? 3 Reasons Why Y...

Many would-be entrepreneurs think they can do without business coaching. And it’s not just limited to newbies wanting to save the pennies, but seasoned vets in the business world tend to shy away from mentoring or coaching programs. If you’re one of those that falls in the ‘coaching is a waste of money’ camp, we’re going to tell you that you’re wrong –and here are 5 reasons why.

You’re Working Too Many Hours

Business isn’t just about reading the bottom line – even if your company is consistently turning out healthy profits doesn’t mean that you’re healthy. In fact, most entrepreneurs work ridiculously long days and can often be found burning the midnight oil on a daily basis.

Try and work less. If you’re not able to make that happen, it’s a clear sign that you need coaching to try and figure out how you can streamline your business. Delegation is an important skill that often needs to be acquired through experience, hard work, and advice. Don’t shy away from coaching to help get you there.

Even Experts Need Help

You may know your industry to the smallest detail. You may already be running at a healthy profit as well. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need a little bit of help. Even the most seasoned professionals that know their jobs inside out need a helping hand.

DC Mentors (run by Frank Sovinksy, author of the acclaimed E-Myth Chiropractor), for instance, runs a coaching program that’s built specifically for chiropractors. If doctors turn to coaching for their business, what makes you think you can handle it all on your lonesome?

Outside Perspective

Even if you think you’ve got it all figured out, you don’t. Successful business owners are aware that they have very real limitations and coaching won’t just help you find out what those are, but you’ll also be given the tools to leverage your strengths and have others do the heavy lifting on the items where you’re a little weaker.

Coaches, even if they don’t know a lick about your line of work, can give you a clearer perspective on both your organization and the industry you operate in. This outsider view will often lead to an ‘aha!’ moment that would otherwise never have materialized organically.

Coaching isn’t a gimmick and it’s not a waste of cash. Provided you do your research and weed out the snake oil merchants, it’s an opportunity that will allow you to leverage your core skills, identify where your flaws are, and how you can turn your business around to provide maximum profitability. Give it a shot – we’re confident you won’t regret it!

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

How do we learn?

Every person is unique. As a result, each of us processes information differently, depending on various factors including personality and cultural orientation, among others. A person’s learning or thinking style describes his or her typical mode of remembering, thinking, or problem solving. Basically, your learning style is the approach that best enables you to collect and use knowledge in a particular manner. Each individual may have a single learning style or a combination of different learning styles.

More often than not, the characteristics of a learning style can be observed early in life, and once it is identified, you will be able to determine the ways in which you can adapt the learning process to maximize your education.

There are several perspectives regarding learning styles, two of which are the global analytic continuum and sensory preferences. Sensory preferences indicates that individuals maintain dominance in one of the following types namely, auditory learners, visual learners, and kinesthetic learners. Visual learners, for example, may benefit from online revision tests.

Auditory learners are keen listeners who are inclined to absorb information more efficiently through the use of music, sounds, lectures, and discussions. These learners tend to record teachings so that they can replay them for future reference. They appreciate reading material on tape and may find that reading aloud will allow them to retain information better. Instead of written reports, auditory learners are more likely to perform better on oral reports and presentations.

Kinesthetic learners, on the other hand, are tactile learners. These individuals receive information best through acting out, doing, moving, and touching. Hands-on projects are best assigned to kinesthetic learners as they tend to become restless and frustrated when they must stay put for long periods of time. They thrive in activities that involve conducting experiments, as well as exploring and performing tasks.

Visual learners typically learn through the things that they are able to see with their own eyes. Students who fall into this category are usually found at the front of the class; other visual learners can be spotted on the front row of the theater, and prefer to watch sporting events from the first rows of the arena.

Knowing your learning style has numerous advantages from academic, personal, and professional standpoints. Students who are able to gather knowledge through their learning styles can maximise their learning potential, understand the best way to study, overcome classroom limitations, expand existing learning strategies, and lessen their stress levels. From a personal perspective, you can gain insight into your own strengths and weaknesses, boost your self-confidence and self-esteem, hone your skills and natural abilities, and learn how to enjoy learning more. As a professional, understanding one’s learning style can help a person increase his earning power by staying up to date on the latest business topics, improve communication skills with colleagues and clients, and manage more effectively.

That being said, it is safe to say that there is really no correct or even incorrect way to learn. When a person is having difficulty studying in school or adjusting to their job, it could mean that the learning style being applied is not appropriate for them. On the other hand, if you apply the most effective and efficient learning methods based on your learning style, you can enjoy improved academic, personal, or professional success.

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

What you can expect when you study for a part-time...

Fitting in a full-time degree course when you are young is far simpler: the chances are you won’t have many, if any, commitments and you can throw yourself in whole-heartedly to a new venture.

For anyone interested in completing a degree course slightly later, the options can be rather more complicated. Whether it’s being able to cover financial outgoings or the dilemma of whether to give up your current career, there may be many compromises to make either way.

Unless of course you opt for a part-time degree course.

Providing you with exactly the same qualification upon completion, part-time degree courses are specifically designed for individuals who are unable to attend on a full-time basis but still want to strive to reach their full potential.

A degree will help you advance in your career.


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We take a closer look at part-time degrees and what you can expect if you choose to study for one.

How a part-time degree works

There are a few very select types of degree (often in the medical profession) which require the course to be completed on a full-time basis. However, these are few and far between.

The vast majority of courses are suitable for studying on a part-time basis; you simply need to find a university who offers the degree you want.

Don’t fear that you may be the odd one out at a university if you are only studying on a part-time basis; most universities will have thousands of students who aren’t there on a full-time basis. And there are lots of reasons for this, including younger students who simply want to find a more economical way to get a degree or who wanted a more versatile way of studying! Of course part-time degrees are perfect for those with outside commitments such as a young family, or who want to carry on working alongside.

Undertaking any kind of degree course requires commitment and dedication, and part-time study is no different. However you can usually choose how long you want to spread your degree course out for; the typical lengths vary from four to six years.

There may well be a minimum number of hours which you need to be able to study for in order to sign up for the course, but this should be manageable alongside your other commitments.

A part-time degree is not any less of a commitment and is just the same as a full-time course, but spread out over a longer period.


Outgoings and expenditure may well be two of the reasons that you have opted for a part-time study course rather than jumping in with both feet.

By opting to study part-time, you should be able to continue in your existing job too, earning money rather than having to exist solely on a grant.

The certificate can help you a lot.


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Tuition fees apply to part-time students too but you will be eligible to apply for a grant to cover this, in exactly the same way as a full-time student. Even if you have the money to pay for fees upfront, you may find it better in the long run to wait and see how you manage. There are no penalties for paying off your student loan early so if you decide later on that you want to clear your debts, you won’t lose out.

You will be eligible to apply for a student loan providing that the number of hours you are working is at least 25% of the full-time equivalent.

However, it’s worth considering the way in which student loans are repaid. You won’t start repaying your borrowing until you reach a certain threshold of earnings (currently £21000) and even then, you will only have to contribute 9% in excess of this amount.

A degree will further your learning.


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Whatever you haven’t repaid 30 years after you finish studying is wiped off and the debt is never entered on your credit file.

An alternative to taking out a student loan for the tuition fees is asking your employer to cover the costs. This may be an unusual request but if you can demonstrate to your employer how the course would benefit the company, you might find they are more willing. If you can link any aspect of the course more directly to the job, you stand a better chance.


Being a part-time student doesn’t mean you lose out on facilities and services: although you may be part-time you have the same rights of access as your full-time peers.

This includes student services and career advice as well as other facilities including the library and sporting amenities too.

If the course you are doing requires physical equipment such as cooking and hygiene, you will also have full access to all the items you need to help you complete your studies.


Gone are the days where you wrote out each piece of coursework laboriously by hand: it will be essential for you to have either a laptop or tablet device so that you can access the internet. In the vast majority of universities, having access to those kinds of facilities is an essential, not simply a nice-to-have.

A part time degree can help suit your schedule.


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You may have planned out time in your calendar to attend the course lectures, but it’s just as important that you set aside some time to do the coursework or carry out some revision. A degree course will only be as effective as the time you invest into it and with a busy lifestyle; this can be easy to do.

You should therefore consider sitting down and scheduling in exactly when you are going to have some free time to study and where you will do it to escape any distractions.

Modern courses include more traditional lectures and classroom type work with online learning modules. This means you will not only benefit from different methods of teaching, but that you can enjoy a more interactive experience, allowing you to tailor your learning to what you need.

However, as a rough rule of thumb, you should expect to spend around 18hours per week on studying. This could be significantly more during the period shortly before you take any examinations.


One of the best things about studying part-time is that it gives you a great degree of flexibility.

With intakes at several different points during the year, it’s possible to be far more fluid about your arrangements. Your chosen university may also offer some options to get around the difficulties of managing your time. For example, classes may be held for one evening a week or periodically at weekends to ensure the demands on your daytime routine are kept to a minimum.

You should be aware though that many courses will be run during the day and you might need to check with your employer that you can be released to attend.

Some universities permit individuals to take a short break, or even vary the length of time spent learning each year so if you need to take a while off, it shouldn’t impact on your plans in the long term.

The impact on other areas

If you are studying for a part-time degree you will probably be also working, either in the profession that you had before or a new job which fits in with your academic demands. You may be working in a field which is directly related to the subject you are studying or it may be vastly different.

The benefits if you are working in a related area are manifold and obvious. Whilst you may not feel the full effect until you obtain your degree and finish your learning, you and your employer will still see some advantages along the way.

For example, customers will appreciate a member of staff who is not just experienced but knowledgeable about the more technical aspects too. This could help boost a company’s reputation and enhance the customer service that is provided.

Why not start a degree in September?


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But it isn’t just companies working in a related field which can benefit. Even if the degree which you are studying isn’t related to your job, there should still be some tangible differences.

Studying for a degree can instil a sense of self-confidence which extends into all areas, and this will arise as a result of managing your time; being efficient with the use of time will become an essential skill to have. Confidence and excellent time-management can only mean one thing: a more productive employee without any compromises on quality.

There are lots of different reasons why you might have opted to study on a part-time basis but whether these included benefitting your current employer, there’s no denying that some of the most positive skills you will develop will have a big impact on your professional life.

Time management will become absolutely vital with different demands on your time. If you don’t get this right, you will feel slightly harassed and may struggle occasionally to balance the different tasks. On the flip side, if your time management skills are honed to perfection, you will be able to multi-task far more effectively both in your personal life as well as at work!

Image credits: Andyschanelle, Michael Leza, N A I T, 38 Degrees and Jordanhill School

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

Trust is the key to finding the right business par...

There’s no such thing as the perfect business partner. He, or she come to that, simply doesn’t exist. At least not in the real world. Strengths, weaknesses, passions, foibles, life experiences, educational attainments – the list could go on and on – should all figure somewhere in assessing the suitability or otherwise of any potential candidate.

However, there’s one single quality all should possess above all else. Trustworthiness. Whether by shrewd gut instinct borne of the school of hard knocks, or through the incisive gathering of business intelligence, you’ve got to believe the person standing in front of you is someone you can trust, implicitly, with your life if it comes to it. There’s no room for doubt.

Talking to the network

Nobody just suddenly appears on the business scene. Everybody has a past record, a finger print if you like, marking their progress up until the present time. So get talking to your acquaintances, the members of your business network. Have they ever had dealings with your would-be partner? Have they overheard any whispers which might cause you a bit of disquiet? What about your colleagues in the local chambers of commerce, for example. Have they heard anything that’s usefully positive – or maybe a little negative?

Widen the net

If you’ve come up blank and are happy to take the idea of a partnership to the next level, fine. But if a tiny doubt still keeps nagging away, perhaps it’s time to call in some professional help. Companies like are past masters in the business intelligence game. Use them wisely and they could end up saving you a lot of your hard-earned cash further down the road.

If your would-be partner, for example, has ever held a previous directorship, or still holds one, DueDil and its company search will unearth the pertinent information. They’ll link all current and previous directorships together, with timelines, appointment dates, functions and company performance. If that still doesn’t satisfy you, or help you to make a decision one way or another, perhaps you should really be looking to yourself and not to others. Maybe the fault lies with you? Just a thought.


Of course, if you’ve the time to spare, you could do some of the checks yourself. The Internet is a great place to start, if more than a little time consuming. Check to see if your potential partner has a Facebook page, for example, or is an active Twitter user. If he’s held a directorship before, and perhaps the company is still trading, take a look at the company’s website. You can often learn a lot from that.

Companies House

Always a great starting point for accurate information. And it’s free if all you’re looking for is some basic details. You can find out a company’s registered office address, it’s date of incorporation, the type of business it’s involved in and any previous names it might have used, its status and any details or actions registered against it. For a mere £1.00 per document, you can also grab a copy of the annual accounts, annual return and company record report. The Companies House website can be found here.

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

The Graduates: Tips for transitioning from student...

Having a university education doesn’t quite carry the same weight it once did. Gone are the days when a degree meant a chance to ‘study’ in a beautiful place for a few years, have fun and come out of it with a guaranteed job. Today, many young people are faced with new decisions about their futures and many of them begin with education.

Image by Amanda, shared under a Creative Commons Licence

Here are a few great things that are sure to help young graduates enter the working world with confidence and success.

Seek guidance

Support is available in the form of learning mentors or peer groups, and they can be invaluable resources for graduates who are just starting out after graduating. They are able to offer objective and informative guidance about any number of pursuits and are the best types of sounding boards as they’re likely well informed about the desired field and any opportunities that may arise.

Be a good multitasker

New graduates should always have several projects or ideas on the go. In the absence of years of experience and a steady career, graduates have to cast a wide net. Pursuing a variety of opportunities and interests can be rewarding, but only if they’re well managed. Being an efficient and effective multitasker is a valuable skill for job seekers but even more so for actual employees as it almost always leads to professional success.

Look into work experience programmes and internships

While they may not pay well, internships and work experience are priceless on a CV. Bulking out a CV with little to no professional experience with a few months working for a prestigious person or company is one of the best ways to get noticed. These types of experiences provide great introductions to all types of people already working in the industry who will be great contacts moving forward.

Get Online

Taking advantage of the World Wide Web is a no brainer for pretty much everyone uses the internet. Having access to a global market means that opportunities can come in all shapes in sizes when they come through the internet.


Graduates who are prepared to be flexible and even relocate may find that there are interesting and promising opportunities abroad worth pursuing. With Skype interviews and file sharing capabilities, someone in Scotland can easily apply, interview for and accept a job in India with no trouble at all.

There are still loads of professions that require formal and higher education for even the most basic entry-level positions, but there are also a wide variety of professions that may require a specific college diploma or even a certificate course.

Having a sense of a future profession in which there are job opportunities is an important first step for young people. Choosing a university or college course that relates specifically to a chosen field and provides real world experience within that discipline is highly likely to result in gainful and satisfying employment.

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

Making education count with distance learning

Some would argue that your whole life is an education, but putting that on a CV is pretty unlikely to get you a job offer. While you’ll mount up plenty of life experience in your years on this planet, chances are you won’t find an employer who’ll appreciate them without cold, hard qualifications to back your wisdom up.

But gaining a degree from a bricks-and-mortar university can be a bit of a pain when you’re juggling a job, home life and bills. So, how can you gain one to pique a potential employer’s interest?

The internet is the answer, with an online degree allowing you to study anytime, anywhere and at a fraction of the cost of a physical university.

Distance learning, as it’s generally known, didn’t used to be a byword for convenience. Back in the day, only about a decade ago, they were a long and tedious affair, requiring you to scour local libraries for obscure course books, wait aeons for your modules to be sent via post and study in almost complete isolation.

On the whole, it was like being stuck in an ever-winding queue that never quite takes you where you want to be. But now we’ve got the internet, and not just any old internet – hyper fast broadband, with fibre optic cables that run like a bullet train.

The endless benefits of distance learning

All this means that you’ve got a wealth of information at your disposal when it comes to studying, including JSTOR, Google Books, Google Scholar and Box of Broadcasts to give you a world of knowledge at the click of a button.

This rising net efficiency also means that you’ll be able to communicate with your tutor and peers via instant messaging services such as Skype or email. That lonely feeling, when the studying doldrums descend, is no longer an issue.

That was the main problem in the pre-internet days of distance learning, an abundance of isolated study. But now you can communicate with anyone on your course to make sure you’re on the right track, or to gleam new ideas from your tutor’s knowledge-filled brain.

The online degree also stands as a welcoming alternative to the “campus lifestyle” – wild parties, chattering young people, cut price drinks and excitable student halls. When you’re a bit older, you can’t really be doing with all that. You just want to get your head down, avoid distraction and study, study, study.

All in all, an online degree gives you the perfect opportunity to gain a qualification that matters without putting your life on hold. So, have a gander at distance learning and see what it could do for you.

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

Tips for Dealing with a Messy Apartment Roommate

Apartments all over the country are filled with messy, messy people. For some, this works – both roommates are equally messy, so the clothes on the floor and dishes in the sink don’t seem to bother anyone. The problem comes when one roommate is much messier than the others. Unless you found rental properties with affordable cleaning services (good luck!), then you and your roommates will have to come up with an agreement as to how clean, or messy, the apartment will be.

Lead By Example

There’s nothing worse than someone who gets mad at a roommate, then proceeds to do the exact same thing. If it really is that important for you to have a clean bathroom, make an effort to never leave your stuff out. Your roommate is likely to catch on. Before too long, your roommates will realize that the only papers on the counter and shoes on the floor are theirs – and they’ll start to pick up after themselves.

Create Easy Ways to Keep Things Clean

Does it drive you nuts when your roommate leaves shoes everywhere? Maybe put a basket for shoes by the front door. Your roommate may not care one way or another where the shoes are, but if it’s easy enough to slip them off when she walks through the door it may happen more often than not. The kitchen can also be organized in a way that’s easier to keep it clean. Obviously a dishwasher is a plus, but many rental apartments in Los Angeles and other major urban cities don’t come with this much-needed amenity. In that case, keep a scrub brush, soap and drying rack handy. If your messy roommate sees that it’s easy to wash up the bowl after using it, even if you have to maintain the cleaning supplies, you will both be happier.

Be Direct and Be Willing to Compromise

One of the best ways to deal with a messy apartment roommate is to tell your roommate how you feel. Everyone has a different tolerance for mess. While it may drive you crazy to have a spoon and bowl in the sink, some people don’t mind having a pile of dishes in the sink for days. The key is to respect each other’s differences and try to find a common ground. If you don’t want to live by yourself, you may have to deal with the breakfast dishes in the sink until dinnertime. However, it’s quite reasonable to expect moldy dishes to not pile up for days. Ask your roommate to meet you in the middle. Agree to be more tolerant of the mess in common areas and see if he or she is willing to make an effort as well.

Also keep in mind that you likely have a room or space of your own. If you are a huge neat freak, concentrate on the area you can control. Go all out, neat-freak crazy on your own bedroom, but try to dial it down a notch when you venture out into the kitchen and family room.

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About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.

Expand Your Computer Literacy: Three Courses You N...

Most people now have at least a basic level of computer literacy. However, many people either wish to expand their skills to a more advanced level of literacy or find that basic computer skills are simply not enough for today’s competitive job market. As such, whether you are looking to prepare for a career in IT or simply want to grow your skills, it is a good idea to become familiar with several key areas.

Other operating systems

Most everyday users are only familiar with Windows computers. However, Microsoft’s offering is just one of three operating system families. Apple’s rival OS X and the huge open source family of Linux operating systems are becoming increasingly important.

Many job adverts now require Mac literacy, and Apple’s computers are widely favoured in the creative industries especially. Familiarising yourself with how to use a Mac can be a big step up when looking for a career in this area or with computers, and for many roles it is nearly or entirely essential.


Aside from consumer usage, Linux operating systems are not widely used professionally except by some IT workers and on servers. Linux is rarely distributed with new computers and is seen as more of a specialist solution. Though it is seeing increasing consumer usage, this is mostly among people who are at least computer enthusiasts. As such, Linux can be very useful for specialist roles or boasting rights, but is not as essential as Mac literacy.


Just because you have always used Windows, it doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know about Microsoft’s operating systems. This is particularly true since the release of Windows 8, where many things on the surface and a few ‘under the bonnet’ were radically altered. A course in advanced use of Windows operating systems can significantly improve your computer literacy and help familiarise you with more advanced aspects of computing.

If you are looking into a more technical career in IT or systems administration, a course in Windows Server operating systems is also essential. These differ in many ways from standard editions of Windows, and a course will also familiarise you with the way servers work. You can see here for a selection of accessible online Microsoft courses to help you improve your skills in your own time.


For a specialist career, programming is near essential. When the first personal computers came out in the 1980s, at least a basic level of programming was necessary to make them work. For this reason, many early adopters of home computing went on to become competent programmers. However, now that computers can be operated without any programming knowledge, computer programming is often seen as an esoteric skill held by a mysterious techno-elite.

In fact, while programming is certainly an advanced computing subject it is not nearly as difficult or unfathomable as many people believe. Knowing how to program adequately can open up a new hobby, or a rewarding career in IT. There are many programming languages, which can power anything from simple web pages to advanced software packages.

About Tracy

Tracy has been an education professional for over 20 years. She loves sharing knowledge, helping other find their path in life and everything coconut.