Ready, Set, Write: How To Kick-Start Your Freelance Writing Career

Freelance writing sounds like such a glamorous career, doesn’t it?

No boss to answer to. No office to commute to for five days a week. No soulless cubicle to work in from 9 to 5. And don’t forget about the amazing feeling of seeing your writing in print – not to mention receiving that lucrative freelance writing paycheck!

But if you think that you have to graduate from a top journalism school or work for The New York Times for decades before earning a single freelance writing cent, then make sure you’re sitting down, because you’re absolutely going to love this next part.

What if I told you that you don’t need to be a published author to learn how to make money writing – in fact, all you need to know is how to string together a sentence to kick-start your freelance writing career?

It’s true… and I’m going to show you the first three steps you need to grab on to your freelance writing dream!

Forget Traditional Writing Jobs.

Think that major freelance writing profits come from magazines and newspapers? Think again: the online world has completely changed the way freelance writers make money writing. In fact, some of the most lucrative freelance writing projects involve writing articles, web content and eBooks for entrepreneurs and businesses – to the tune of thousands of dollars per project! So stop wasting your time on spec projects for traditional published media, because the wonderful world of online freelance writing is where the real money’s at!

No Portfolio? No Problem!

Letting the absence of a portfolio full of published articles stop you from learning how to make money writing is a classic example of thinking inside the box – and I’ll show you why.

Think about how art, architecture and film students land their first paid gigs. They don’t wait around for a paying job before they start submitting work to potential clients. Instead, they use previous projects that demonstrate their talents to lure those high-paying clients to them…

… And that’s exactly what you need to do to make money writing! Most online clients don’t care if you’ve been published or not – they just want to ensure that you’ve got the writing goods to get the gig done well and on time. So assign yourself some homework and whip up a couple of 500-word articles on subjects that clients pay big bucks for.

Start Thinking Like A Sales Person.

Wait a minute, you might be thinking to yourself. I thought this was about making money with my writing – not Sales Marketing 101!

Sure, once you kick-start your freelance writing career, a large majority of your time will be spent on freelance writing… but have you stopped to think how you’re going to convince those prospective clients why you’re the right person for the job? It takes more than just a stellar writing sample: it involves a perfectly pitched project bid that’s so enticing, prospective clients will instantly become lifelong loyal customers.

So if you’re ready to find out how to put these steps into real action – and start to make money writing! – then head to, where you’ll find free insider tips, hints and strategies from your fellow freelance writers!

The Ultimate In Dog Training: Schutzhund Dog Training

Its true, Schutzhund training is the ‘ultimate’ in dog training.

Although its now a sports activity, it was traditionally employed to examine different German Shepherds and ascertain their suitability to be police dogs. Dogs which successfully complete Schutzhund teaching can be regarded as a perfectly trained canine given the rigor needed for Schutzhund success.

Instead of relying on a dog’s appearance to establish if the dog would be effective, trainers can use the Schutzhund method to find the dogs best suited for the job – to be a effective Schutzhund dog demands an interesting combination of intelligence and temperament – and that’s just the dog owner!:) Nowadays, a lot of dog breeds undertake Schutzhund instruction, though very few pass what is the ultimate in dog training.

The Basics of Schutzhund Dog Training
Schutzhund training is very rigorous. It’s a highly structured and focused method to evaluate each animal fully. Most of the Schutzhund training that took place in the past was based on a handful of organized courses and manuals, while today there are videos and DVDs that are used by dog owners to undertake the training process.

The actual teaching process assesses a dog in the specific behaviors critical for law enforcement tasks. These include scent examination, tracking, retrieving and protection. Typically, Schutzhund training starts when the dog is a few weeks old and lasts for weeks to even months to make sure that the dog is perfectly trained with all of the required key skills.

The Essence of Schutzhund
There are a selection of components essential to Schutzhund instruction but most Schutzhund courses will emphasis the following:

Clicker Training – Although using a clicker is not required for all Schutzhund courses, clicker training is considered a nearly universal method which works extremely well with German Shepherds and other breeds for Schutzhund training. Clicker training should start at more or less 10 weeks old.

Obedience – The first true test in Schutzhund dog training is core obedience training. Most programs have 10-11 basic obedience commands such as “sit, down, and stay,” “focus and attention,” front, targeting, pointing out an object, heeling, heel positioning, jumping, retrieving, motion exercises, and “leave.” Mastery of all 11 training points is needed to successfully complete the Schutzhund discipline.

Protection – Police dogs, guard dogs, and attack dogs are trained to protect. Specific commands for identifying a threat and attacking that threat are used in this training. They can also be trained to protect specific persons or objects with commands and gestures.

The core of Schutzhund training is to provide dogs with a very highly specific skill set that they can use to complete given tasks quickly and efficiently. For dog owners at home, Schutzhund dog training can be as effective as an obedience training regimen and even more so.

If you’re looking into using Schutzhund to train your dog, make sure that you take the time to research the different training courses based on testimonials, success rates and the fundamental philosophies they use. Schutzhund Dog Training requires working with your dog using much more advanced techniques than mere obedience training.

You will need to have a special dog to start with if you would like to get involved with Schutzhund dog training. Schutzhund Dog Training

People often ask how the police train their dogs and the answer is quite simple; Schutzhund dog training. If you want the best trained dog, then you need to train your dog the Schutzhund way.

Transforming Ohio Schools

Ohio Public Schools have undergone significant changes since 2004 due to the Ohio High School Transformation Initiative (OHSTI). This is a plan that replaced the Ohio Schools massive and ineffective high schools with almost 60 smaller schools. The funding for this effort came from a number of both government and private sponsors.

The Problems with Ohio Schools

Ohio Schools are not in good shape. According to information from one of the supporting partners, Knowledge Works, only 32% of graduates from the Ohio Schools are ready for college after graduation, only 70% graduate, and only 30% will receive a bachelor’s degree within ten years. In addition, the racial gap is alarming. Only 12% of African-American and Hispanic students are considered college ready. This ranks Ohio Schools as the second lowest in the nation for this measurement.

But the problems within the Ohio Schools don’t stop there. In the large Ohio Schools attendance was poor, high school students were not engaged in learning, and the expectations were low.

A Possible Solution for Ohio Schools

The OHSTI has been described as “one of the nation’s most aggressive school improvement efforts.” It doesn’t hurt that the initiative has the backing of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In fact, the initiative was largely spurred by Bill Gates’ assertion that American schools are in a crisis state, and that smaller schools have more to offer. In June of 2007 the Ohio Schools received $7.4 million to strengthen the OHSTI. Here’s why.

Numerous studies over the past 3 decades have found that students in smaller schools exhibit better grades, increased college enrollment, better attendance, and a better sense of belonging, safety, and security. All were missing factors for a large number of students in the larger Ohio Schools.

The smaller sized Ohio Schools are showing success with the new high school model by doing a number of things differently. Ohio Schools can now focus on individual learning styles and multiple intelligences; both pedagogical methods proven to increase student achievement. Students in small Ohio Schools also focus on a specific major, like business or languages, which makes learning more relevant. Finally, students participate in real world activities that require teamwork and higher level thinking skills, rather than the traditional “lecture and regurgitation” method.

Funding for Ohio Schools

Since 2004 the Knowledge Works Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, along with the Ohio and US Departments of Education, and local organizations have funded 58 small Ohio Schools. The small schools are showing improvements. But the nation will watch Ohio Schools closely to see if funding, improvements, and government support for the program continues. Private funding for public schools has become a national trend that many think may be the solution to public school woes.

Learning Geometric Shapes at School for Spatial Understanding

Doing Geometry gives exercise to the mind and thus develops sharp mental abilities like creative thinking, visual imagination, analytical thinking, precise measurement and spatial sense. It activates both sides of the brain and gives much space for right brain activities.

Knowledge in Geometry opens up avenues of career in civil engineering, surveying field, sports, athletic field, functional food designs, quality quilting, video games and recreational activities. A fundamental knowledge of Geometry is required for doing Calculus courses at the college level. Further, learning the subject enhances the aesthetic sense of a human being and helps him enjoy the shape and beauty of the things around him.

Geometry has various shapes. They are triangle, polygon, square, circle, quadrilateral, pentagon, hexagon, hexagram, trapezium, cube, cuboid, sphere, prism, cone and many more. Students start knowing about these shapes from their primary and pre primary level through various hands on activities. Doing all these shapes is necessary for improving one’s deductive skills, spatial reasoning, problem solving skills and understanding transformations.

At the elementary school level, students indulge in many hands on activities to understand the shapes and sizes of Geometry. They learn the shape of various geometrical objects through perception as in Pizza pie, cookies (circle), tiles on the floor (square), apartment buildings, cell phones (rectangle), sandwich cut in half (triangle), the design on soccer ball (pentagon), ice crystals (hexagon)among various other shapes and sizes.

Small fun activities like using building blocks to find out the hidden shapes, sponge paintings and cutting shapes like circles and squares in a picture chart to understand their dimensions and properties. In 4th Grade, they learn about lines, line segments and rays through drawings. They move on to learn about angles with related terms like acute, obtuse, vertex, circumference, circular arc and a protractor. They start classifying geometric shapes.

In middle school, students learn about rotation, classifying polygons, congruent shapes, constructing quadrilateral, rotational symmetry, finding surface areas and many other topics to know more about geometric shapes. They engage in many interactive activities to get into the depth of these topics and understand Geometry with more clarity.

At the high school level, students learn measurement, plane geometry and the concepts of congruence, similarity and symmetry. They start learning precise definitions and developing proofs. They learn to express geometric properties with equations moving on to modeling with Geometry. At this stage, practice plays a lot of roles in developing geometric proofs with clarity and precision. It is also good to memorize theorems, postulates and axioms learn the subject at the high school level without difficulty.

Thus learning Geometric shapes through elementary, middle and high school grades end up with great visual thinking, spatial understanding and analytical reasoning in students. Hands on experiences, interactive methods and classroom activities like drawings and proving theorems help a student analyze various shapes of Geometry and understand the fundamentals of the subject.

Students who struggle in Geometry classes can contact online Geometry tutors who help them comprehend various shapes with proper examples and lead them through their difficulties in Geometry learning.

Learning geometric shapes and understanding their significance is a fun experience if a student connects them to real world objects and realizes their importance thereby.

How to Best Prepare For the Math Portion of the SAT Exam

The SAT Exam allows colleges to compare different students from different schools on the same scale. For this reason alone, it is important for students to study methodically and thoroughly for this exam. The math portion of the exam is weighed very heavily when the student is interested in pursuing a college degree involving mathematics, science, finance, technology, or related fields.

Like other standardized exams, the SAT Exam is a test that can be studied for quite strategically. This is because the math topics included in the exam are well-defined and fixed. Moreover, the same question types appear from year to year, and so they make great practice material for students. Therefore, the logical way to master the math portion of the SAT Exam is to master the topics that are included on the test.

In order to best understand the topics on the exam, it is necessary to first review the textbook(s) that describe the concepts in detail. Study the relevant chapters until the material makes sense to you. Once you are done studying the relevant chapters, move on to the problems at the end of the chapter. Attempt to solve as many problems as possible until you are fully confident that you have mastered the solving procedure.

After you are done reviewing the material and practicing on the problems in your textbook, it is necessary to work on an actual math SAT Exam. Take this exam following the rules that would be followed on test day. In other words, time yourself when you are working within a section, and take the required breaks (as allowed) between math sections. After a sample SAT exam is completed, grade the exam and study your results. Note if there is a specific question type that appears to be causing problems or if there is a specific subject topic that continues to baffle you.

At this point, it may be appropriate to consider specialized, focused tutoring to fill in any gaps in comprehension. The tutor would be able to focus on SAT math and to place extra attention on the weaknesses until understanding of the concepts is improved. The tutoring may be either in-person or online. Recently, online tutoring has become more popular, as it is more convenient for both tutor and student. Moreover, online tutoring tends to be more affordable than in-person tutoring.

In an online tutoring session, the tutor and student can work on the same interactive whiteboard and share problems, answers, and explanations. Using the computer’s microphone or a telephone, the tutor and student can communicate via voice to further communicate with each other. The tutoring session occurs in a private, interactive classroom and can be scheduled at the student’s convenience.

Educational Toys – Our Partners in Raising Smarter Babies

Every eight seconds, more and more babies are being born all over the world. Every minute, more and more parents are thinking of ways to make their children the best among the rest. These parents are more likely to explore the whole world just to be able to give everything to their kids to make them grow smarter and wiser. They believe that educational toys are absolutely their partners in raising smarter babies. Hence, most, if not all, these parents will look for every educational toy they can grab in the market today.

But what makes an educational toy different from an ordinary toy? Essentially, these toys, just like other toys, are simply invented for and to be used by children. Any person can argue that an educational toy is in fact any toy. The only difference they have is how the children perceive these toys or the reality of their significance.

Ideally, an educational toy, which is believe to be our partners in raising smarter babies advances intellectuality and imagination, and promotes the emotional, physical, and social development of children. These toys pave ways to faster learning of children with new skills. Therefore, what really makes this toy different from other usual toys is the child’s learning and development associated with playing with them.

Simple wooden blocks are actually a good start for preschool children to instigate learning the elementary principles of science and causal relationships, as well as patience and basic hand-eye coordination. Elementary children can be encouraged to play with interlocking manipulative toys like Legos or puzzles to further improve their mind-body coordination, virtue of patience, and appreciation of spatial relationships.

All educators hold the same opinion that is, the most effective, most natural, and the best method of educating children is through play. Among the most important elements in teaching children are educational toys, developmental games, and learning materials. But there are really no rules in deciding the right choice of toys and games for your children. You can try experimenting from simple books and educational toys moving gradually to more intricate educational games, science activities, and puzzles.

If there is actually a rule, it can only be one that is, to go after your child’s interests. You can tag along your kid’s interests be it play dough clays or electronic keyboard or pirate games as you will never go wrong with these. For sure, they will inspire your children’s imagination, senses, and cleverness. Let them express themselves either through academic subjects (i.e., music, art, history, language) or sports (i.e., ball games, skating, ballet).

There are indeed so many ways to raise our children to be smarter and wiser people. We have all kinds of educational toys available in the market. We just have to know well what are outside there and learn how to listen and support our children’s interests. We can give them heaps of educational toys but if the child has no interest, then it cannot serve its function to educate the child.

Make sure you will introduce your children to variety of educational toys and when they already choose one or two, you just have to guide them along the way. Remember, these educational toys are just our partners in raising smarter babies but they are not the sole key to success. As the saying goes, Nine tenths of education is Encouragement. Parents as well as educators just have to make these children realize that learning is not so boring after all, but rather a fun development of themselves.

Five Golf Courses Worth Traveling To

Golf, as we know it, was started in Scotland during the mid-15th century. It is a sport that is filled with history, tradition, and legends. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that golf made its way over to America. If you’re a fan of the sport, traveling to golf courses can be an exciting way to see the world. Here’s a list of five golf courses that every golfer should visit.

1. St. Andrews, Old Course

No list of golf destinations would be complete without talking about St. Andrew’s course. It’s one of the oldest golf courses in the world and is often called the “Home of Golf.” It’s located in Fife, Scotland. You’ll get the chance to soak in the history of golf while digging around for your ball in the Scottish heather.

2. Pebble Beach Golf Links

When you’re done relaxing at their world-class spa, take a swing on the rocky California cliffs at Pebble Beach. They’ve hosted the U.S. Open five times. Take a swing on the same course played on by great golfers such as Jack Nicklaus and Graeme McDowell.

3. Osaka Golf Club

Located about an hour north of Osaka, Japan, this course is nestled among the striking cliffs of Osaka Bay. It was established in 1937, when the influence of Western culture was spreading through Japan. The course was closed and confiscated by the Allies during WWII. It wasn’t until 1953 that the course re-opened.

4. Royal West Norfolk Golf Club

Located in Norfolk, England, this club was established in 1892. The course was built on a series of narrow strips of land between Brancaster Bay and salt marshes. Be sure to check the tides before you play! During high tides, the course turns into an island. If you’re not up for the adventure of golfing on a half-flooded course, have a drink and a snack at their Victorian clubhouse.

5. Princeville at Hanalei

If you’re looking to play a round of golf on one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, this is your place. The Princeville course is located on the scenic Hawaiian island of Kauai. You’ll be surrounded by lush green mountains and the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean, as you make your way down the steep slopes of this challenging course.

Next time you’re planning a vacation, consider touring one of these amazing golf courses. Maybe swing by the Princeville course on your way back from Osaka. It’s sure to be the trip of a lifetime for any dedicated fan of the sport.

5 Consumer Protection Tips for College Students: College “Credit” Takes on a Whole New Meaning

It’s no secret that college student have long been the target of credit card companies. Pre-approved credit cards and “you deserve it” enticements worked for these companies for years. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 held some intended consumer protections for college students.

The Credit CARD Act Basics:

It’s a myth that the CARD Act restricted credit card companies from marketing their wares to college students on campus. Many students and parents alike may not realize that this is big business not just for issuers but for colleges and universities as well. Colleges have long received payments for the opportunity to market to students and even alumnus list.

There were “suggestions” and “restrictions” that simply involved notify colleges about marketing near campuses in the Act related to protecting college students. Companies could no longer offer “tangibles” better known as “freebies” to students who sign up for a card. Some people mistakenly believed this act issuers off of college campuses. That’s not true. They can be there, culling for those students who are over 21, have a steady income or a co-signer, they just can’t offer anyone a free t-shirt or pizza.

Beverly Blair Herzog of writes, “I’m actually in favor of college students learning how to use credit cards under the guidance of a responsible adult. I just don’t want a stranger on a campus giving my kid gifts in exchange for signing on the dotted line.”

Those responsible adults Herzog refers to do come in to play with the Credit CARD Act because issuers are no longer able to give cards to applicants under 21 that don’t have a proven income to pay the charges without a co-signer. In most cases, that means the parents. While math courses abound on college campuses, in many cases it’s left to dear old mom and dad to teach Credit Smarts 101.

Here are 5 Consumer Protection Tips to Teach Your College Student:

Beverly Blair Herzog, a finance writer once who was once wooed into debt by credit offers, offers the first two.

1. “Think Twice Before You Sign: When you spend a little more money than you have, you end up carrying an outstanding balance. And the companies charge you interest on that balance, over and over again, every month.”

2. Herzog also says, “Don’t Charge Tuition: In a 2009 Sallie Mae study, 30 percent of students were using credit to pay for tuition, which is a very expensive way to pay for college. If your family is tempted to use this option to finance college costs, CPAs urge you to research much less expensive student loan opportunities.”

Some more sage advice for all ages that needs to reach college students.

3. Balance your checkbook. It seems obvious from Civics 101 but research has shown that over a third of college students rarely balance their statements and or checking account balances. This is an important life skill every college student needs to make a habit now.

4. Create a budget. Students can be so creative but when it comes to creating a budget they just don’t have a lot of real life experience. College students, and parents who are footing the bill should be able to tell what money is going to the bookstore and what money is going to the bar.

5. Don’t throw your credit in the trash.

Whether or not a student has credit card, issuers will still be sending offer letters. While the Credit CARD Act may have deterred marketing strategies on campus, direct marketing, like life, still happens. A bird in hand may be worth two in the bush but a credit card application or worse those blank checks from the credit card companies can be like a fat cat to identity thieves, hackers and credit needy scammers.

How credit smart is your college student? Do you have tips to share with other parents or college students?

7 Secrets Of A Winning Sales Coach

I recently heard a fascinating story from a Sales Coach who told me how he succeeded in overcoming some major challenges when he was recruited as a rookie sales manager for a major-brand forklift dealership in the late 1990s. Despite the brand name and the brand’s reputation for quality and excellent resale value, the dealer’s sales record for new, reconditioned, and used forklifts was abominable and had been lousy for quite some time.

At this Sales Manager’s request, I’ve agreed to keep him anonymous, so for our purposes, I’ll simply refer to him as George.

George had been the number one salesman for a southern California forklift company selling more units in his territory in a month than most of his competitors sold in a quarter. George was fairly well known throughout the industry so a failing dealership in the northwest desperately needed to sell or die, so management went after George like the hare chasing the tortoise.

Well, this was nothing new for George. He’d been recruited for years by dozens of other dealers all over the country. But the dealership the northwest was something else. Sales had been slipping for several years, market share had plummeted to historic lows, and the service and parts departments were experiencing a serious revenue shortfall due to the cumulative, drop-off in overall new, reconditioned, and used forklift sales. So, the dealer principal called George and literally begged him to meet for dinner so he could offer him tons of money and complete freedom to run the sales department anyway he saw fit.

George is anything but dense. So he looked at this opportunity for what it could be, not for what it seemed to be. The new job would undoubtedly be tough challenge with lots of inherent risk of failure. On the other hand, it could be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When he looked at the new job’s potential, George realized he had nothing to lose. Not really. After all, if he could turn this company around, he’d be able to write his own ticket with anyone, anywhere. On the other hand, even if he failed, he could always hit the road and earn six figures selling forklifts for any dealer, anywhere.

So, he looked the dealer principal in the eye, shook his hand, and accepted the position.
George inherited seven salesmen and two saleswomen with his new job. The only producer in the entire sales department was a mid-forties lady we will call Jasmine (not her real name). Now, Jasmine had only been in the industry for about five years, yet she was selling forklifts like there was no tomorrow. None of the other eight salespeople seemed to have the experience, training, motivation, or the character necessary to focus on much of anything beyond a draw, driving a company car, and taking paid holidays.

Morale had dropped as low as sales, profits, and the infrequent commissions check.

George immediately sat down individually with each sales person to talk about what was really going on. He promised to keep each conversation confidential as he asked each sales person to talk about why they weren’t generating more sales and profits. He was disappointed but not surprised to hear the usual excuses for poor performance he’d heard from salespeople for years: “There’s no business in my territory because it’s saturated with forklifts” and, “Our competitors outsell us because their prices are lower and I can’t compete” and, “The economy is slowing down and no one is buying” and on and on.

Within 3 months of George’s arrival in the sunshine, all those excuses faded like memories of last year’s Grammies, and the sales department was selling new, reconditioned, and used forklifts like never before.

So, what happened?

What did George do to change things around so dramatically?

Well, here’s what he told me:


George’s 1ST Secret – Do nothing: For the first few weeks after he became Sales Manager, George did nothing at all. He didn’t make any changes; in fact, he didn’t even make any suggestions.

The sales crew was delighted because they began to believe that George would never be as good a sales manager as he had been a territory salesman. There were two reasons for this unlikely attitude. First and foremost, the sales crew didn’t want things to change, not really, because they didn’t believe change would do anything but make them work harder for less. Secondly, they’d heard all about George’s heavy hitter reputation, thought it made them look bad, so they secretly rooted for George to finally fall flat on his behind.

Given the severity of the sales situation, the big question floating around the company was why isn’t George doing anything? Is he just lazy? Is this the Peter Principle in action? Is George simply not up to the job? Or, is he too much of a wimp, too scared to tackle this huge, long-term problem head-on?

Not hardly.

George did nothing because he was too smart to move too quickly, too soon. He knew that before he could institute changes to increase sales and profits, he first needed to invest some serious time and patience learning to understand the dynamics that had killed sales for so long at this particular dealership.

This time and patience thing took more than a little courage on George’s part. It was tough for a results oriented guy like George to overlook caustic comments from Senior Management and pass off the disappointed stares flashed his way by the few people in the sales department who really did want change. Nevertheless, he stayed focused on gathering information, analyzing sales records and call reports, talking with sales people, managers, department heads, and customers, digging for the root causes of the only problem that really mattered: Not Enough Sales!

GEORGE’S 2ND Secret – Build Relationships with Sales Players: After George analyzed management support, financial resources, company image in the territory, facilities, equipment, customer service, parts and service support, product quality, and the company’s relationship to its factories, he concluded that he was right about the root cause: The sales team was simply incapable of doing its job. Sure, like any warm body, each sales person was capable of taking an order for a forklift, but nine of nine sales people weren’t trained in the skills they needed to sell significant numbers of forklifts. Eight of the nine obviously lacked confidence and direction and had never experienced any consistent success . . . so they had no positive history to fall back on. Nine of nine sales people worked – when they worked – only for themselves because not a one of them had a clue about the collective importance of working together as a team. Last but not least, since Jasmine had always been off doing her own thing, completely disassociated with the rest of the group, her colleagues had no role model to emulate.

George made it his business to continue to get to know each sales person, both as an employee and as a person. Each afternoon, he would invite one of the nine to come to his office early the next morning for 15 minutes or so before the switchboard opened, just to talk. He provided fresh coffee, hot chocolate, and a variety of pastries to please any taste. Discussions were friendly, casual with lots of give and take. Over time, each individual came to learn that George wasn’t a threat and, at the same time, they began to believe in George as a leader and as a coach who could and would help them sell more and earn more, more often.

GEORGE’S 3RD Secret – Create a success role model on the team: If you’ve heard the term “Stepping Up”, you probably heard it in the NBA or NFL. “Stepping Up” means that a top performing player assumes a leadership role on the team. Because Jasmine was the only real performer in the sales department, George decided to help her “Step Up”. He trained her thoroughly on the ins and outs of the Sales Coaching concept to help her realize that despite years of separation, the team really needed her to become a Success Role Model. George knew very well that the best way to transform eight below average producers was to get them to emulate the one strong performer.

George also realized that if Jasmine’s sales began to drop – for any reason – she would lose credibility with the rest of the team. So, he worked to coach her, subtly and quietly, because he didn’t want to offend her sensibilities as a top performer. He worked with her consistently because he wanted to keep her numbers strong. In George’s second month as Sales Coach, Jasmine was able to generate nearly 200% of budgeted new, reconditioned, and used sales in her territory. And, senior management and others around the company began to drop their doubts about George’s abilities.

At this point, we asked George why he didn’t simply set himself up as the team’s role model. After all, his sales history was nothing to sneeze at!

His reply?

“I felt that my example wouldn’t be as meaningful as the example Jasmine could set,” he said with a smile. “After all, even though these sales people weren’t particularly friendly with each other, they knew Jasmine well enough to respect her abilities as a top-notch sales person and would therefore be more likely to emulate her strategies and tactics.

“We started slowly at first. In Sales Practices and Team Meetings, I’d ask Jasmine to talk about her week was going. She’d tell us who she sold to and why. It was just casual conversation. No lectures, no pressure. After a couple of weeks, I began to encourage the others to interact with Jasmine, to ask questions, to talk about their successes and failures. And, in no time at all, we had our Success Role Model working to help the team sell more, more often, with no resentments and no resistance.

“Over time, I realized that Jasmine had become Sales Coach in Sales Practices and Team Meetings while I had become the moderator. Gotta tell you, I couldn’t have been more pleased that my plan worked out so well, so quickly.”

GEORGE’S 4TH Secret – Clearly communicate performance goals: George refused to waste time with mealy-mouthed platitudes. Because he felt obligated to turn the company around as quickly as possible, because forklift sales people work in an incredibly competitive business, George refused to take anything for granted. He believed that he owed it to Senior Management, to himself, and especially to Sales Players, to come clean and communicate his expectations to everyone concerned.

So, George established the following three categories of Performance Goals for the team:
Activity Goals, Behavior Goals, and Results Goals.

An ACTIVITY GOAL, for example, requires each Sales Player to send out a minimum of 25 mailers per week with telephone follow up calls within seven days of each mailing.

A BEHAVIOR GOAL requires each Sales Player to provide a customer quote within 24 hours of the initial contact.

The RESULTS GOAL that got the most attention requires each Sales Player with at least one year in a territory to sell a minimum of $100,000.00 in sales of new, reconditioned, and used forklifts each and every month.

GEORGE’S 5TH Secret – Set your standards high: No matter how effective you are as a Sales Coach, George says, no matter how hard you and the company work to support the sales department, there will always be someone who won’t step up to the plate. George doesn’t hesitate to confront poor performers because he refuses to tie the team’s performance to the lowest common denominator. He focuses on the only thing that really matters: Consistent, profitable sales! If a sales person can’t or won’t generate enough in profits to exceed the company’s cost in payroll, commissions, benefits, etc., George recruits a replacement and immediately cuts the player from the team.

If a Sales Player is a marginal performer but is willing to admit the shortcomings that need to be fixed, George, Sales Coach, works to bring that person to the point of making the “Final Decision” which means they either ‘decide’ to join the team, immerse themselves in the Sales Coaching process, and start selling or they ‘decide’ to leave the company . . . immediately.

George told us that that the only thing worse than someone who quits and leaves is someone who quits and stays . . . so he never allows anyone to quit and stay.

Author’s comment: Sensible approach . . . no wonder this guy’s a winner.

GEORGE’S 6TH Secret – Emphasize dignity and respect for all: Look, George says, after the dust settles, we are all just people. We are fallible human beings who make more mistakes than we care to admit. So, George makes it his business to firstly admit his own mistakes, no matter how tough it may be to do so. Because he agrees with Dr. Phil when he says you can’t change what you won’t admit, George expects Sales Players to accept responsibility for their own shortcomings. Irrespective of performance failures and character flaws, George constantly reminds the team of his expectation that everyone – Sales Players, senior management, department heads, key personnel and, of course, the coach – will treat everyone else with complete dignity and respect.

George promotes this aspect of his Sales Coaching effort by taking the entire sales team out of the office once a month – every month – for a fun dignity and respect building group activity – go-karting, golfing, dinner, lunch, breakfast, something.

GEORGE’S 7TH Secret – Coach hard, play hard, and win: George believes that his job as Sales Coach is just as important as Joe Gibbs’ job was as Coach of the Washington Redskins. Like any winning NFL coach, George recognizes that he has to stay close to the action. To be an effective, credible coach, he has to be visible to Sales Players, customers, prospects, senior management, department heads, and key personnel in the company. So, like any good coach, George spends a great deal of time each week talking to people, on the phone, in meetings in his office, traveling with Sales Players, in front of prospects and customers, asking questions, and observing how sales plays are won and lost.

As a result, George has gained incredibly accurate and timely insights into his performance, into the performance of the Sales Team, and into the real needs of customers and prospects. These insights of course have helped George set realistic team goals, reward winning Sales Players, supply real customer needs, and thereby triple sales within 12 months.
You can do the same and more . . . if you really want to.


Take time now to discover just how good you can be by taking time to understand how good you already are!

Respond to the following scenarios using five basic scales. A quick way to score this test is to simply use a highlighter to hit the number that most closely matches your response.
Your responses will not only help you determine where you stand on the following five critical elements of Sales Coaching, but will also help you prioritize those areas you may need to improve:

1. GOAL SETTING SKILLS: My goals are realistic, clear, compelling and support our company’s complete sales success in our territory. I discuss Sales Goals with Senior Management and with every Sales Player, individually and collectively, on my team. I supply lists of Sales Goals to Senior Management and Sales Players on a regular basis for their review, discussion, and final approval.

NEVER. . . [5] RARELY. . . [10] OCCASIONALLY. . . [15] USUALLY. . . [20] ALWAYS. . . [25]

2. COMMUNICATION SKILLS: I communicate often, easily, and quickly. I double-check to make certain each person I speak with understands my position and I also double-check to make certain that I understand the other person’s position. I place a greater emphasis on listening than I do on speaking.

NEVER. . . [5] RARELY. . . [10] OCCASIONALLY. . . [15] USUALLY. . . [20] ALWAYS. . . [25]

3. JOB SATISFACTION AND PERFORMANCE: I enjoy my work. I make a solid contribution to the bottom line with my Sales Coaching skills. I take good care of myself, physically and mentally, so I remain capable of performing at the top of my game.

NEVER. . . [5] RARELY. . . [10] OCCASIONALLY. . . [15] USUALLY. . . [20] ALWAYS. . . [25]

4. PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS: I work to maintain a sense of balance between my position as Sales Coach and the responsibilities of my superiors and colleagues. I consistently challenge myself to improve my performance as Sales Coach, as a colleague, and as an employee. I constantly search for newer, better ways to expand my skills and the skills of my Sales Players. I am willing to delegate wherever necessary and I freely share coaching responsibilities with Assistant Coaches and role models.

NEVER. . . [5] RARELY. . . [10] OCCASIONALLY. . . [15] USUALLY. . . [20] ALWAYS. . . [25]

5. TEAM BUILDING SKILLS: I stay in close, daily touch with each Sales Player to coach, motivate, and help in any way I can to increase sales and profits. I am quick to praise Sales Player successes and I never publicly criticize anyone in the organization.

NEVER. . . [5] RARELY. . . [10] OCCASIONALLY. . . [15] USUALLY. . . [20] ALWAYS. . . [25]


What does this test mean? How did you score? Add up the total number of points and consider the following score analysis:

TOTAL POINTS – 125-115: EXCELLENT. You are doing a great job. Your goal setting skills, communication skills, job satisfaction and performance, professional relationships, and team building skills are well thought-out, realistic, and viable. Pat yourself on the back and keep up the good work.

TOTAL POINTS – 110-95: GOOD. You are performing well. Your scores tell you which areas need improvement. Prioritize objectively; select the single most critical area to work on first and take immediate positive steps to develop the skills you need. Put your ego aside and ask your Assistant Coach(s) and Sales Players for suggestions.

TOTAL POINTS – 90-80: FAIR. Review your responses. Pay special attention to high scores and low scores. On reflection, do your responses accurately portray you as Sales Coach? Would you change any response? If you wouldn’t change any response, change your behavior relative to the lowest scored scenario. A tip: The most critical scenario is number 1, Goal Setting Skills. If you didn’t score well on number 1, jump on the problem and get all the help you can . . . immediately.

TOTAL POINTS – 75 or LESS: TIME FOR A CHANGE? If you are not suffering some sort of temporary setback (domestic problem, health problem, personality clash at home or on the job, short-term financial crisis, etc.), stop what you are doing and discuss your situation with someone you trust. If you’re unable to immediately change your responses to these scenarios, you should seriously consider stepping aside in favor of someone else in the organization who is better equipped to perform as Sales Coach.


This team thing is nothing new. We all play our lives out on a variety of teams . . . the team at home with our families, the on the job team with colleagues, the team we play on with good friends and close neighbors and on and on.

Some of us stand on the sidelines, watching and cheering . . . we are called receptionists, sales coordinators, service and parts folks, truck drivers, and senior managers. Some of us take the field and compete . . . we are called Sales Players. And a crazy few of us do it all: we watch, we cheer, we train, we cajole, we motivate, we even play . . . we are called Sales Coaches!
As Sales Coach, your primary responsibility is to create a Winning Environment in your company, an environment that comes about only when you:

*Identify precise goals . . . be clear and very vocal about what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it and colleagues & friends will hold you to your goals!

*Clearly communicate winning ideas to your team

*Transform winning ideas into winning realities

When you clearly communicate your goals to individual Sales Players, they will begin to adopt your goals as their own. And, when your Sales Players understand the value and significance of your goals, they will play harder to help you achieve them.
And that’s how you play the sales game to win.

Copyright © 2008 by l.t. Dravis. All rights reserved.

Fundamentals of Career Change Success

Here are my top four tips for your career success:

1. Don’t neglect your career!

The work you do has a huge impact on your happiness. It affects, if not determines, your self-esteem, income, lifestyle, health, friendships and even your love life. Yet most people spend more time researching a holiday trip than they do their career options!

My advice – put some time and effort into managing your career direction and developing your job search skills. If you don’t know how to get help from a career counsellor or career coach.

2. Your boss won’t do if for you – LEARN HOW TO MANAGE YOUR OWN CAREER.

No one else can take responsibility for your career. It is essential that you invest some time to learn two things: first, how to discover your ideal next career move and second, how to make it happen successfully.

Career coaches, career advisors, and career consultants have all developed a lot of knowledge in this area but unfortunately it is rarely taught at school or even at university. Seek out this expert knowledge and develop your career change and job search skills.

You will need to use these skills many times in the coming years. It is now predicted we will all experience career change between 5 to 7 times in our working lives. Yes… that is careers NOT jobs! Most of us will be changing jobs at least every 2 – 3 years!

3. Remember… being good at your job is NOT the same as being good at managing your career.

Many of the retrenched people I’ve been paid thousands of dollars to help in corporate outplacement programs have been the most loyal, hard-working employees. They made the mistake of thinking that if they just did what was asked of them they would be taken care of.

Don’t just do what you’re told. Learn how to be strategic with your career and create opportunities which match your real strengths with the changing world of work so that you continue to have a future.

4. My final tip – build your career on your strengths.

Don’t worry so much about your weak areas. Successful people identify what their natural strengths are and look for careers which allow them to do what they love by using these strengths as much as possible. This means a career where you’ve cut out doing the things you don’t like – you weren’t very good at these things anyway.

Do you think high achievers like Nicole Kidman really don’t have things they’re not good at doing? They certainly do. However they’ve found their strengths and zeroed in on using them. It may sound simple but it’s true – success flows when you have a laser FOCUS on finding and applying your strengths.

These are important fundamental points. If you were a life-long friend seeking advice I would want to share these 4 tips with you. But there is more I’d also want to share…