School Signs: Helping to Keep Your Kids Safe

Principals and school administrators sometimes have a thankless job. For one thing, they have to balance their responsibilities to their students, teachers, non-teaching employees and parents as well. On top of that, they have to answer to the school superintendent and school board. Just a small example of their responsibilities include:

a. Make sure students are safe
b. Be understanding and/or tolerant towards the different home situations that students may have which can inform their behavior in school
c. Help develop action plans with teachers regarding student’s behavior
d. Make sure that school grounds are clean and secure

There are many other responsibilities, but looking at the above examples, one will realize that to be a principal, one has to do a very delicate juggling act regarding how to manage the concerns of the students, the teachers, employees and parents. No matter how diverse the responsibilities of a principal or administrator, the one area that he or she can do without much resistance from everyone is in the area of school security.

The need for a secure school environment cannot be understated. For all intents and purposes, a school serves as a child’s second home, so making sure that one is safe in them is very important.

The spate of campus violence notwithstanding, it is good to know that children are safer in schools than outside them. In fact, while still tragic, less than 1% of the 55.6 million students in the 2007 to 2008 school year were reported to have died from school violence.

Still, it never hurts to increase school safety especially if it is relatively affordable to do so, especially if it is your job to make sure of these things. One good and relatively inexpensive way of increasing school safety is to install the proper school signs in and around a campus.

There are many kinds of school signs on the market for a variety of safety issues. Signs that warn motorists of the presence of student crosswalks are an example of a sign that, when placed properly, can go a long way in helping to reduce the incidence of traffic accidents involving students. Because traffic accidents in school areas happen, making sure that motorists are properly warned of the presence of a student crosswalk is a necessity.

Another type of school sign is one that can help in controlling dangerous substances and items. An example of such a sign is those which warn individuals of policies towards carrying firearms and illegal drug possession. No parent wants to send his or her child to a school where there is a presence of firearms and illegal drugs. Signs warning individuals to cease and desist having these items on their person will also greatly help in creating a safer and more secure campus.

Typically, one must choose a school sign that’s made of aluminum as this material is rust free. This means many years of service for you and your campus. Also, when choosing a sign for your campus crosswalk, choose one that is MUTCD compliant. These MUTCD signs feature highly reflective surfaces making them more visible at night.

When making sure that school grounds are safe and secure, the proper school signs can certainly help a lot in creating such an environment. School signs inform individuals of everything from road dangers to the behavior expected of them. If you are a principal or school administrator, consider putting up a school sign in and around your campus. Everyone will appreciate the gesture.

In Online MLM Education is Power

Do you tear your hair out trying to do all the tasks on your online MLM marketing calendar? If so, then you are not alone. Many newbies to the online MLM industry have a hard time keeping up with this marketing method, and that’s where ongoing education comes in handy. In this article I detail ways in which you can get an online education at the same time that you do your regular online promotional activities.

Why Ongoing Education Helps with Online MLM
My buddy’s frustration is quite typical of newbies to the world of doing MLM online. I find that what helps these people the most is education. “Education is power” is one of my upline sponsor’s mottos, and it applies very much to a person who wants to successfully promote online. Other relevant mottos (just in case you want to know) are:

– Don’t hit on people.
– Do not close people.
– Be realistic. Do not make pie-in-the-sky claims.
– Do not pitch-answer questions instead.

These four mottos are very important, but I think this fifth one about education may be the most important of all when it comes to online marketing. While the MLM industry as a whole has become more credible and solid over the last few decades, the basic offline promotional techniques have remained the same. It’s important to be educated in these offline techniques, but they don’t change much so once you master them you’re in fat city.

The online world is completely different. It’s fast-paced, constantly changing, and demands constant learning. Even web marketing leaders like Chris Brogan, Brian Clark, and Seth Godin are continually revamping their ideas of what’s possible, practical, and people-friendly for the average Joe when it comes to online marketing. In a world that moves this fast, ongoing education is a “have to” activity, not a “want to” kind of thing.

How to Educate Yourself in Online MLM Marketing
If you are like my buddy, you’re probably scratching your head (if not actively tearing out your hair) trying to figure out how you’re going to fit yet one more task–ongoing education–into your already impossible online MLM marketing plan. You’re probably blogging, article marketing, forum marketing, and doing SEO. Or maybe you’re just blogging and having a hard time keeping up with just that.

How in the world are you going to fit in education about online marketing? By making as many online marketing activities as possible serve double duty as learning experiences. Here are two examples of how your online activities can serve double duty.

1. Comment and Learn
To increase your online visibility, it’s always a good idea to read other people’s blogs and add insightful comments to their posts. Depending on whose blogs you read, the time you spend adding comments can also serve as classroom hours for your online marketing education. Choose to comment only on the blogs of thought leaders who are in line with your style of online marketing. This helps you in two ways: first, commenting on highly-ranked blogs will increase your online presence; second, you have to read the post before you can comment, and you are bound to learn something in the process.

When you comment on a blog post, really read the post first and think about what the author is trying to teach you. That way you actually learn something, and you can leave a comment that actually means something. Comments like “Great post. I liked it!” don’t really enhance your online presence. If you’re going to comment, learn something from the post, and then leave a comment that will add some benefit to the conversational thread. Leaving a good comment tells readers as much about your online marketing expertise as writing a good blog post. To see some really good comments, visit Chris Brogan’s blog or Copyblogger.

2. Article Marketing: Post and Research
If you are doing article marketing right, then you are taking the time to research strong, long-tail keywords that will drive traffic to your articles and your blogs/websites. Here’s a nifty trick. As you submit your article to one or two major directories do a search on your keywords and see what your competition is writing. You’ll learn something–whether it’s good, bad, or ugly. You’ll see some really great writing that you may want to emulate. You’ll see some really bad writing that will remind you not to be a slacker and write sloppy copy. And you’ll see some intriguing ideas that would never otherwise cross your mind. Taking just a few minutes to do a quick scan in the article directory after you submit your own articles will give you a quick but jam-packed education. It’s short and sweet.

I hope these help you tap into the free education that the online thought leaders are providing just about every single day of the week. “Learn while doing” is my motto when it comes to education in online MLM marketing.

What do you think? What works for you when it comes to educating yourself about online marketing in general, and online MLM specifically?

5 Reasons to Add Seminars to Your MMA Training

As a Martial Artist I am a big advocate of Seminar training. There are many reasons that attending seminars and workshops will help you quickly develop your training as a Martial Artist. You would be amazed how many instructors discourage you from attending seminars, while others will only encourage you to attend ones at your school or from your discipline. Seminar training can be beneficial to strengthen your training within your discipline as well as add new elements to your game. Here are the reasons I feel that Seminars are essential for an aspiring Mixed Martial Artist.

Community College of MMA Training

Whether or not you have ever been to community college, you will most likely understand the concept of it. Community College is a way for you to test the waters and try different classes to figure out what you like the most. It’s a smorgesh board of different curriculum options if you will. Martial Arts Seminars are the same way. In particularly, if you train in one style, you may not have the opportunity to train in different arts and see if there is something about that style that you like or could add to your development. For example, if you train at a Karate school, you may not do much boxing, or if you train at a Muay Thai school, you may do much grappling. Training in seminars will give you the opportunity to test the waters with different styles without having to make a major commitment.

Learn New Skills

Many times the instructors who are hosting the seminar are certified under the person giving the seminar. For example, if your instructor runs a Combat Submission Wrestling school, then he or she is certified under Erik Paulson. Assuming the seminar is given by Erik Paulson, he will usually use that as an opportunity to pass along more new techniques or curriculum to your instructor and his/her student body, as well as refine current techniques and skills being practiced. If you are taking the seminar at the school that train at, you will be learning the same tricks, tips and techniques as everyone else. However, if you are going outside of your school, most likely you will be bringing new techniques back to your current school or training location. You can use this as an opportunity to pass along your newfound knowledge, or surprise your friends with the techniques during sparring sessions, which is what I like to do.

Barometer

Judging how you are advancing in your training is sometimes difficult. Many times when you join up at a school, you can never really judge how good you are getting. The reason is that everyone at your school is usually continuing to advance at the same time you are. As new people come in, you recognize you are better at certain skills than they are, but you usually dismiss it at “well, they are a noobie”. Going to seminars is a good way to evaluate your skill. You can evaluate how quickly you are able to pick up new techniques and skills. Also, many times not everyone attending the seminar is from the place where you train. Because of that you see how you compare to other from different places. Seminars are one of the best ways to evaluate your skills aside from competition.

Social Networking

No I am not talking about Twitter or Facebook or Myspace or whatever other Social Networking craze takes place in the future. I am talking about real life social networking. Going to seminars is a great way to contact and meet like minded people from all over the world. I have met and made friends in places like Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Delaware, Austrailia, England and more. It’s great because as I travel, I find that I usually have a place to train at. This is even more of a reason why I suggest you don’t just look for seminars in your area, but that you expand yourself and travel to different areas for your seminar training. I have taken seminars in Connetticut, Georgia, Las Vegas and of course Thailand. Get out of your bubble and meet some new people. You will tank me later.

Rejuvenation

Many times with my training I start to hit a rut. It’s usually around that time where I decide to head out for a seminar. After a seminar or some other training excursion I usually feel completely rejuvenated and refocused on my training. Sometimes it’s as simple as having someone point out the basics and fundementals again. Other times, it’s the feeling of learning something new which inspires you to be refocused. Either way, without fail whenever I come back from a seminar or camp training I always feel reinspired about my training. If you are starting to feel that your training is becoming dull and boring, you don’t need to look for another place to train, just search out a seminar and trust me you will come back refreshed and full of life.

I hope this article inspires you to attend a seminar to further your training.

Article Tips – Write Fast, Write Better

Have you ever felt that if you could just write faster you could get more done and earn more money? Maybe you need to be able to write better but you’re afraid speeding up will sacrifice quality. What if you could write faster and write better with a few simple tips? I believe it’s possible and any writer can learn to do it if they take the time to discover how.

The first step to writing faster and better is to get organized. This doesn’t necessarily refer to the paperwork on your desk or how you file your article ideas. Some writers may seem like the sloppiest people around but when they have organization in their heads, they get more done and they get it done faster.

Organization is about more than just mapping out your article ideas. Instead, it refers to a state of mind in which you take article writing seriously as a business or a part of your business. It means you approach it from a mindset of someone who knows that this is something very important in your life and not just a fleeting thought or idea that you’ll get around to when you can.

Have you ever seen those writers who seem to make it all look so easy? It’s not always an easy path to get to this point but the first step to making it look easy is to learn discipline. If you want to take your article writing seriously and begin to write better and faster, you will need discipline.

If you’re willing to get organized as a writer and treat writing like a craft that demands organization and commitment, then you are ready to learn to write fast and write better. When you get organized, you will be able to write more, sell more of the work you write, get your message out to your readers successfully, and have more free time to enjoy the other things in life that you love. For many article writers, it’s this last one that motivated them to start writing articles in the first place.

Organization will help you write articles faster but you also need to move from faster to better. More articles won’t do you any good if you sacrifice quality in them. Getting organized clears your way to write so it allows you to write better than ever before. You need to learn to generate and organize workable ideas, maximize and speed up your research process, write faster, edit faster and still produce great work.

Become A Career Entrepreneur

The nature work is changing and this change is accelerating all the time. We can no longer expect “the job for life” that previous generations experienced.

The concept of career entrepreneurship is that each of us is responsible for our own careers – we need to read the market, anticipate trends, innovate, do things differently and as discussed in previous blogs, build our own personal brand.

In the old world, we could leave responsibility for our career growth with our employers, these days no-one but you should be taking responsibility for your career. Careers are no longer linear, and are far more like a lattice or a “snakes and ladders’ board where we are moving sideways, down, and across every bit as much as up. Those entering the workforce today are more likely to change jobs, and even careers, far more frequently than generations before us.

It is therefore essential that all of us be able to anticipate change, to be innovative in our approach, to think ahead what our “customers” want and to be able to deliver it with speed and quality.

Career entrepreneurs own their career and build it with vision and imagination. No-one has your unique set of talents and skills. While that vision of the future may be hazy, the career entrepreneur moves ahead regardless. The end of a working relationship with a company is not seen as cataclysmic, rather it is seen as part of a natural progression towards a new and more interesting opportunity.

As an entrepreneur does, you can also benefit from a board of advisors. Who would you like as part of your Board of Directors? Who can you learn from? Choose people with specific expertise, knowledge or contacts to help you. Include dreamers and efficiency experts and those who will help you keep on track as you build your career.

Think carefully about building your own brand identity. What do you want to be known for at your place of employment and with those you deal with beyond the organization. Do you want people to think of you as the person “who delivers ahead of promise and with a smile every time”? or perhaps “Bring it to me if you want it done!”.

We have seen many people offered exciting opportunities by their suppliers and customers once their commitment, attitude and quality of work is perceived by others.

Thinking like an entrepreneur means you need to view your career as your own business, build a vision, be prepared to adapt, move fast on your feet and also reap the rewards of daring to be unique.

┬ęCareer Analysts 2008 You are welcome to “reprint” this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the “about the author” info at the end).

What is Your Coaching Business Yardstick – How Do You Measure Up Against the Competition

Do you know how you stack up against your competition?

Do you even know who your competition is? Or what your target market is so that you can define your competition.

Once you have a yardstick to compare you against your competition you have a way to measure

  • where you are now,
  • where you want to be,
  • how fast you are getting there.

So, how should you measure?

Well, what counts the most?

  • How much money you make
  • How many clients you have

Both of those may be a bit hard to get statistics for your competition. But, you can see several things that you can compare yourself against.

  • What search engine position you have in comparison to your competitors
  • How much traffic you have in comparison to your competitors.

I have found it extremely beneficial to know how much traffic my competition gets to their website. I assume that they are getting maybe 1% or less of that traffic calling them. So, if, as I have discovered most of my competitors are getting fewer than 100 visitors a month, at best they are getting about 1 call a month from their website. And, that makes me feel pretty good knowing that I get lots more than that, lots.

But, on the other hand, I also know those coaches who are getting tens of thousands of visitors a month and hundreds of new clients a month. Some are getting hundreds a month, some are getting hundreds a week. Yes, that’s correct. And because I know who they are I also know what they are doing. I’ve adjusted my own marketing to put myself into those brackets that I have identified.

That’s why you should be holding that yardstick up to measure yourself and those around you. There is a lot to learn, and a lot to benefit from.

I have several goals for my own coaching business, for local coaching, and for nationwide, and I want my own clients, coaches and small business to baseline themselves against their competition the same way.

Local, around the Kansas City area, around Missouri and Kansas.

I already have a #1 search engine position for “Small Business Coach Kansas City” and I want to hold that, although there are several making a run on my position.

No matter what your location is, frankly it should be easy to get a search engine position mainly because most coaches don’t have the skills necessary to hold a very strong search engine position. Getting a search engine position for your metropolitan area should be easy.

You SHOULD have one of the top three positions in your metropolitan area for the type of coaching you do, and for several other keywords based on the problems you solve.

But what does that say about the traffic, and the number of new clients this brings to you?

You can measure the traffic for everyone on page 1 (the top 10) for your local coach listings. The easiest way to do that is use http://siteanalytics.compete.com/

Once there, click on Profiles, Site Profile, Compare Sites and then enter your own site and at least 4 other site URLs from the search engine. (NOTE: Make sure that you type in the URL of only real coaches,not directories. The directories of hundreds of thousands of visitors that aren’t even related to coaching, so only enter those coaches that are real coaches.

You will quickly see where you stand in comparison to other coaches in your area. It might surprise you seeing that some you think are very successful and how little traffic they have, or some that may have more than you expect. I any case, now you have a way of comparing where you are against your competition.

Do the same for your national competitors.

That is the traffic IN to their website.

Here are some other guidelines to help you estimate how many clients that brings to them.

A well designed site should be delivering between 5% and 10% of that traffic to them either as signing up for their list, calling them, or some other first step into their marketing funnle (not necessarily a sale).

However, I will tell you that most coaches actually end up much closer to 0.1% website conversion. So, if they don’t have a sign up form and a freebie giveaway,assume that they are getting 0.1% or less as an estimate. Now take their traffic times 0.1% and you have a rough estimate of what they are likely getting from their website.

Now,what conversion rate do you get from your website? That’s website output divided by traffic in. Are you getting 5% to 10%?

And where does that leave you in comparison to your competition?

What are you going to do to drive to

  1. The top search engine position in your local market, and in your nationwide market
  2. Get higher response rates, and new clients from your website?

Do you get a dozen calls or more from your website on a monthly basis? Or maybe it’s been months since you did get a call.

What are you going to do about it?

Some Preparation Tips For Clearing the MCTS Exam 70-652

The 70-652 is a test for system administrators in Windows 2008 Server and/or Windows Server 2003 environments. Clearing the MCTS 70-652 exam provides you an edge over your competitors during interviews, and also makes you eligible for a higher pay scale and promotions to senior techie positions.

The 70-652 tests your aptitude in various areas including event handling, establishing web applications using server controls, customization of web server controls, AJAX based web applications development, integration of internet applications with databases, building SOAs, detecting and solving bugs in ASP.NET based applications, building applications that can run on mobile devices, and increasing security by adding authorization features in applications.

Once you pass the MCTS 70-652, you will grow to be an expert in setting up, configuring & optimizing Hyper V. You will also become proficient in the installation and administration of virtual machines. Overall, you improve your employability in a big way.

Preparation for MCTS 70 652

There are two types of preparation. Either you can do it all by yourself or get help through online training material and experts. There are also various e-learning centers online, where you can get the required study material with concise content. This allows you to grasp the basic concepts covered by the exam with ease. You can also find downloadable exam training kits on the web at reasonable rates. Such preparation material is very useful for candidates looking to attain practical proficiency in the topics covered by the exam. Apart from helping you to pass the MTCS 70-652, the training material also comes in handy for your job interviews.

Although you can get the theoretical training from Microsoft, it is better to go for other online resources for the practical part. So see that you select your online training provider carefully. While there are many reputed online training centers available, there are also the fake ones that are only interested in making money out of innocent candidates. So watch out.

Good Blues Guitar Courses

If you are thinking of learning blues guitar, you must be on the look out for blues guitar courses. There are some excellent course materials available. And if you get one of these, you can learn blues guitar in the comforts of your home, progressing at your own pace and enjoy each lesson in the process.

Nowadays the guitar courses are available in various forms. There are books, CDs, DVDs and online courses which can help you learn in a very effective way. The books are more traditional ways of learning and are still quite popular. But with the advent of the audio-visual methods like DVDs and the online videos, one can actually see the techniques being performed in front of their eyes. This has a greater benefit as it gives the learners all the privileges of a live lesson even while they are sitting in the relaxing atmosphere of their homes.

Many expert blues guitarists have put up websites reviewing various books and DVDs about blues guitar. They are quite authentic ways of knowing the best and the most cost effective courses available in the market. But they can also be biased to an extent because they are based on personal opinions. As for example, if someone likes the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan or Robert Johnson, he or she will appreciate a course that is based on their styles of playing.

You need to check out certain basic factors about the books, the DVDs or the online courses. First of all, they should be really comprehensive and organized. If you are investing a good sum of money on buying course materials, you should also get the adequate benefits. Some of the courses are good for learning a certain part, but you have to rely on additional materials or a guitar teacher for picking up the other important techniques related to blues guitar. As a beginner, you need to avoid these kinds of courses and look for a basic, all encompassing course which will help you form the introductory ideas.

A beginner’s course should also cover a little bit about the more popular genres of blues music and should not be based on a particular style alone. As you progress along the road, you can select more specific courses designed for the advanced learners.

A good course can reduce half the difficulties associated with learning blues guitar and investing in the right one will help you reap rich dividends.

Article Tips – Write Fast, Write Better

Have you ever felt that if you could just write faster you could get more done and earn more money? Maybe you need to be able to write better but you’re afraid speeding up will sacrifice quality. What if you could write faster and write better with a few simple tips? I believe it’s possible and any writer can learn to do it if they take the time to discover how.

The first step to writing faster and better is to get organized. This doesn’t necessarily refer to the paperwork on your desk or how you file your article ideas. Some writers may seem like the sloppiest people around but when they have organization in their heads, they get more done and they get it done faster.

Organization is about more than just mapping out your article ideas. Instead, it refers to a state of mind in which you take article writing seriously as a business or a part of your business. It means you approach it from a mindset of someone who knows that this is something very important in your life and not just a fleeting thought or idea that you’ll get around to when you can.

Have you ever seen those writers who seem to make it all look so easy? It’s not always an easy path to get to this point but the first step to making it look easy is to learn discipline. If you want to take your article writing seriously and begin to write better and faster, you will need discipline.

If you’re willing to get organized as a writer and treat writing like a craft that demands organization and commitment, then you are ready to learn to write fast and write better. When you get organized, you will be able to write more, sell more of the work you write, get your message out to your readers successfully, and have more free time to enjoy the other things in life that you love. For many article writers, it’s this last one that motivated them to start writing articles in the first place.

Organization will help you write articles faster but you also need to move from faster to better. More articles won’t do you any good if you sacrifice quality in them. Getting organized clears your way to write so it allows you to write better than ever before. You need to learn to generate and organize workable ideas, maximize and speed up your research process, write faster, edit faster and still produce great work.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Fluent English?

Many English learners have the goal of speaking fluently – but how many years of study does it take to reach fluency? Every student is different, and the answer depends on three things: your native language, your natural learning ability, and your level of effort and time invested in learning.

Some languages are closer to English in grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure than others – for example, Spanish is more similar to English than Korean is. This means that a native Spanish speaker will have an easier time learning English than a native Korean speaker. For one thing, Spanish and English use the same alphabet, whereas Korean, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, and other languages use a different alphabet.

Your natural ability to learn languages also impacts how long it takes to become fluent in English. Some students pick up languages easily, while others struggle to make progress. One thing that can help you learn English faster is identifying your “learning style.”

For example, some students learn best through a systematic study of English grammar and vocabulary, with lots of practice exercises. Other students find this method boring – they may be “visual learners,” who prefer learning English through reading and pictures. Still others are “auditory learners” – these students like learning English by listening to movies and music, and by practicing it in conversation. Whether or not you are a “natural” language learner, knowing your learning style and following your strengths will make it easier (and more fun) to learn English.

Finally, how long it takes to learn fluent English depends on how much time and effort you put in. A student who takes daily English classes will progress much faster than one who only studies twice a week. Visiting or living in an English-speaking country can improve your English very fast, because you’re surrounded by English and you have to use the language every day. If you can’t go to an English-speaking country, you can still “immerse” yourself in the language by reading in English, watching English-language movies and TV shows, and communicating frequently with an English-speaking friend.

One final tip – most English learners can understand more English than they can produce, meaning they may be very good at reading and listening, but their speaking and writing skills are weak. This common problem usually results from taking in a lot of English, but not using the English language in practice to express your own thoughts and ideas. Putting your English into practice is one of the quickest ways to learn the language well.