Supporters and Mentors

Hi, how are you?

Did you spend some time researching what you would like to do in life?

Remember, it’s researching that will save you money and time. You don’t want to invest heavily in something and then after for six years of schooling and apprenticeship find out that you really don’t like to do the job that you just learned. Believe it or not, this happens to many people.

Part of your research should be finding people who are willing to talk with you and give you some encouragement towards your goals. Trying to improve, can feel like trying to move mountains.  Having people who are willing to help mentor you is a great benefit to your work and your morale.  Find your supporters and invite them to be on your team as mentors, collaborators, partners or friends.

Most people are proud of what they do, and it is easy to get people who will talk with you for 20 minutes. It is easier if they can feel you are not going to put them on the spot, ask for a job, or take too much time from them. Below we have some do’s and dont’s and some ideas on finding and setting up mentors.

Ask those who you admire and look up to in your profession if it would be all right for you to call them some time with a question.  People who rise up in their business are frequently proud of what they do.  Professionals like to talk with others about what they do and how it helps others.  Most of them usually make time (20 minutes or so) to talk to someone or answer a few questions. 

As the person seeking the advice of a professional or mentor, it is important you not waste their time.  When you talk with them, have questions ready to go.  Pay attention to them.  Ask follow-up questions; however, do not argue with them.  Whatever you do, do not ask a professional who is giving you a little of their time for a job.  Asking for a job would put them in an uncomfortable position and cause the interview to end prematurely.  If they ask you, then you can give them a copy of your resume.

An Exercise in Collaboration

Call ten supportive friends and ten people whom you respect and who work in the same profession you want to work in.  Tell the friends what you are doing and ask if they could be part of your support group. Ask if you could speak to them, on occasion, about what you are doing. 

Ask the professionals if you could ask them a question now and then, and count them as a mentor.  Keep track of who says yes.  This looks hard, and you will be surprised how easy this exercise ends up being.

What does a new person to an industry want to know what they want to become?  Each of us will have different questions.  Some of these issues may be:

  1. What does the professional I want to become actually do?
  2. What are the pros and cons of the profession I am going into?
  3. What does the job I want to go to pay?
  4. What are the milestones in the business that I should look for to tell me I am doing well?
  5. Who are the industry leaders in my profession and what sets them apart?
  6. How much do the industry leaders make?
  7. What is an industry leader’s lifestyle in my desired profession like?

Many people will give you 20 minutes to ask a few questions about what they do and how their business actually works.  If you ask to talk to anyone, they will probably say yes.  When you meet with them, you want to ask real and specific questions and honor the time limit agreed to unless they wish to spend more time with you

Here are some Dos and Don’ts.

Do

  1. Have questions ready.
    1. It is hard to think of the right questions on the spot.
  2. Be polite, the person you are talking to is freely giving their time.
  3. If you have questions based on what the professional says go ahead and ask them.
  4. Be on time.
  5. Dress professionally.

Do Not

  1. Ask questions that you can find out from their (or their companies) Website.
    1. Do your research.
  2. Ask them for a job.
    1. Asking for a job often puts them on the spot and ends the interview.
  3. Waste their time.
  4. Dress or act unprofessional.

Next time, we will evaluate the desired positions in relation to new technology that is taking over many positions. 

Have a wonderful day.

 

Congratulations – It’s a Website

Here at ReadingSticks, we have exciting news today.

Today we have launched our newly revised website ReadingSticks.space.

This allows you us to bring everyone the ability to find and procure our courses, books, charts, and other help.

On our new site, you may contact us either by email, on our scheduling and contact page or you will be able to schedule a phone call with us. The first phone call which can last up to 30 minutes is free.

This offers us the ability to communicate and collaborate with anyone who needs help, or individualized service for them or for their companies.

Although this site was brought online today, you will see many additions installed and various changes in the next few weeks as we calibrate the site to the needs of our audience.

Please enjoy viewing this site at http://www.readingsticks.space

Please leave us a comment telling us what you like about the site and/or what you would like us to add or take away.

Thanks,

Mike Balof, Director Reading Sticks, LLC

 

Doing Research Is Critical

We hope everybody is doing well.

Did you take your time last night to consider what you would like to do in life?

Now it’s time the time to research what you would like to do, or what you would like to be. As a matter of fact, research is the most important thing you can do when trying to plan what you want to be or and where you want to go in life. It’s even the most important when you decide you’re going to go on any trip

I want to share a story with you about a true incident that happened when I was in basic training. This really identifies why research is so important when you’re looking at doing something.

When I was in basic training, on our second week we all went to a briefing and were given a chance to sign up for our jobs in the Air Force.  I went into weather maintenance.  It was a career field with a 9-month technical school.  I learned all about electronics and the weather.

Others in my flight chose their desired profession.  One of the airmen in my flight wanted Fire Control Operations on a bomber.  He was very happy and very proud.

We asked him if he liked to fly.  He said he did not like to fly.  The obvious question then was why he signed up to be a gunner on a bomber with the Viet Nam War in high gear.  He told us his position as Fire Control Operator entailed loading all the fire extinguishers and refilling them when and if the planes came back.

Everyone in the flight tried to convince him otherwise, and he would have no part of it.  Three days before the end of basic training the Drill Sergeant called the flight together. The drill sergeant told us about a hero to be in our midst.

The airman who volunteered to be a Fire Control Operator was being graduated from basic three days early.  The reason was the airman’s new crew flew in to pick him up.  They were waiting in a jeep out front to meet their new gunner.

It Actually Happened

For today, please do research on your goals and destinations.  Tomorrow we will look at who to talk to, and about finding mentors.

In the Eye of the Beholder

Everybody looks for perfection in the world. Yet finding perfection is tough. Perfection is found in the eye of the beholder. And therefore, it would be very hard to find two ideas of perfection which are the same. It reminds me of the speech from John F. Kennedy who said,” We do these things not because they are easy, we do these and other things because they are hard.”

People like the idea of heading towards perfection, because they look at perfection as black and white. Yet we do not live in a world which lends itself to black-and-white. Rather, the world looks upon all things in unlimited hues, shades, dynamic colors, and variables. What is perfection? That depends, and it is up to each one of us to decide what that meaning is for us.

This week, we will talk about perfection, versus reliability, versus sustainability, versus the ultimate, versus the needed.

I promised to keep this short. And I will.

For today, think of your ideas perfection, and how often you truly achieve it.

Some truths are universal, and they will never change.

One of the greatest things that we are going to have to learn soon and many smart people have already learned now is self-determination. It used to be that manufacturing, whether it be the wool industry, cotton textiles in America, early watchmaking or weapons manufacturing for settlers and the military required a vast army of workers both skilled and unskilled to build the quantities of finished products required. Automation, taking the place of workers, is not new. It was always sought by the best and the brightest of manufacturing.

The desire to build something cheaper, faster, or better has lived with us since the first product was made and sold. In our own colonial days, a rifle was sold by the purchaser piling up pelts next to the rifle stock, standing on end, until the gun and pelts were of equal height. One pile pelts for one rifle. The traders got smart fast and built rifles with longer barrels to maximize their profits.

The watch, which until around 1850 was too costly for most people, was affordable to almost everyone once the small gears and other parts became mass-produced. At the cost of only $13, rather than hundreds of dollars, the watch could then be purchased for military personnel, anyone needing to synchronize with railroads or children, mainly young men who were given the watch as a sign they were going to go places.

The fact is if somebody or something does a job better than you, faster than you, or smarter than you unless you are an outlier, you are not going to be able to take their job away from them. If you are an outlier, you’re probably not going to try to take that job away. Mainly because you know better.

You need to work on what you can do better. Better than others, better than computers, better than the present technology. If you can do this, you will probably be able to have jobs continuously. There are some catches involved.

If you want a job or series of jobs that you can count on you need to be an outlier. Outliers are not followers. Outliers are the people that others follow. Outliers do so because they are driven, not because someone is driving them. Outliers are like the young cadets at the Air Force Academy. Cadets are told the first day they came to the Academy, I’m sure most days after that, that they cannot go through the Academy for anybody else. Cadets must go through the Air Force Academy for themselves. If cadets don’t want to put up with the Academy’s rigid standards, and hard work, they will not be able to survive the riggers, just because somebody else wants them to. The same is true of outliers.

What do outliers do? Outliers figure out what they’re good at and what they like to do. Outliers learn everything they can about their profession and stay abreast of all current trends, usually setting those trends. Outliers never follow the crowd, they lead the crowd. Outliers never worry about being alone or lonely, because leaders rarely find themselves along, everyone else is looking to follow them.

Jobs will change. 

Times will change.

Needs will change.

People will change.

Some truths are universal, and they will never change.

Are You At The Top of the List of People Who Do What You Do?

Well, are you?  Some people will tell you that no matter where you are on the list, there will always be somebody above you and always be somebody below you. I don’t think that this works out logically.

There are over 1 million people who work for franchised car dealerships in America. If we had a million names on the list and measured them on work performance, somebody or a group of somebodies would be number one on the list. In the same for the last place on the list. Somebody has to hold the last place also.

The real question is, ‘How important to you, is your place on the list?’

Are you driven by a Desire to be number one?  If number one took home $50 million dollars a year, and you only take home $40 million a year, so what?  What difference is $10 Million a year?  Does it put you in a category of higher wealth or status?  Is the drive to number one an ego trip?  Would you still be going after the number one spot if the rewards did not make up for the losses you would experience along the way?

As our world economy evolves, those who are positive outliers will be the ones to profit.  Outliers are a given.  Yet, I wonder why, for some, just being an outlier is not enough.  Some look at themselves as failures unless they can be the best.  Number One!

The thing to know is, in the rest of the list below first place, there are plenty of people looking to unseat the leader and take over.  Being ‘Number One’ is a very tenuous and temporary position.  The money is good, yet is it that much different.

Spending more time working with the family, helping relatives, planning a future with the kids, and enjoying a well-cared for house and life, these are true works with great rewards.

Is being ‘Number One’ in business a good feeling?  Sure.  Are there greater rewards and good feelings to be found in live?  You Bet.

Love is a human trait

Love is a human trait.  Being loved in return proves success at being human. Not everyone gets to experience being loved. However, for those who do there is no better feeling in the entire world. Love is something that is fleeting, emotional, and full of risk. Love is also something which may stand the test of time, or be gone five minutes from now.

At its essence, love is. And, is given unconditionally. 

The why is rarely the same from individual to individual.  Often love evolves as small isolated actions are recognized and brought into a gestalt focus. Although almost impossible to define, the entire experience is undeniable to those who experience the actions.

If you do not identify the experience from another, it does not necessarily mean love is not there.  It only means the reception may be poor or not focused.  For some reason, and managed by higher forces in the universe, love is there for most.  The strange thing is that love almost never happens where we expect it to. 

The scariest part of love, it is quiet.  To experience love you need to open yourself to emotional dangers.  Becoming defenseless to any danger is not a normal human trait.  Not knowing the outcome to be positive or negative, each party stands in emotional danger.  True love is best taken slowly and built layer upon layer.

Love builds the bonds over time that are stronger than any other substance known today.  Love is more precious than gold or jewels.  Mainly because love is so much harder to find and flourish.

For all the hazards and pitfalls of the trail to real love, there is nothing like it and nothing better anywhere.

I highly recommend it.