Are we letting our Children down with post education options

Listening to a leading teacher speak at a recent event, it came as no surprise that he admitted that teachers were probably the worst people to give students and pupils career advice. It has always been so when I was about to leave School in 1975 a tweed clad teacher of advancing years gave the careers talk to me. It appeared I had a number of options which included.

1. Getting a job at a bank (a job for life…)

2. Joining the armed forces (and branch would do)

3. Attending further education to resit as is was expected my exam results were to be less than average.

4. Do the above and then apply to a polytechnic or university.

5.Become a teacher

6. Apply to a local engineering company for an Apprenticeship (7 years before a living wage)

7. Stay unemployed as the State at the time was a generous benefactor.

None of above suited me but I persisted with 3 and 4 because at that time grants for education were readily available which meant that it was one step up on 7 but staying pretty close to it.

Now moving on 45 years what is left of that approach? More than you would have thought… Listening to teachers there are the very similar options although the University one comes a quite a high personal cost.

Having experienced overseas working there is an option which if handled well and supported properly by qualified and experienced people is probably more appropriate for the current workforce of the most recent generation this would be enjoying the freedom and pain of becoming an Entrepreneur or even just working for yourself without the backstop of anybody sitting around waiting to bail out the failures.

Why aren’t our Children leaving school with higher aspirations and a business plan in tow?

If we don’t want a failed generation we have to give them the tools to be successful not more of the same…

Speaking & Listening

We have all heard the concept that we have two ears and one mouth and that we should use them in that ratio. I came across this speech given by Julian Treasure on TED in JUne 2013 – I only wished I had found it earlier as anyone who gives speeches or presentations will tell you all of this is absolute gold. So much so that I am now reading his book “Sound Business” which gives an insight into how and why we can use sound to our advantage listen like and learn…

Before you decide to offer discount…

Before you decide to offer any form of discount or, preferably increase your prices take a look at the two graphs below and then decide which is best for you please be sure to have the following tattooed to your hand/arm or head.

Price is never the reason for a sale or for losing a sale – EVER EVER EVER…

obviously if you are going to the Tattooist then you may embellish this with a few colours or a dragon or two. I have included a nice one by © Dragon pictures gallery. 2014. to give you inspriation,










Loose Change or Loose Morals?

Or should this be “The rant of a time poor shopper”
This is not strictly a business matter but does help to highlight the way the different genders deal with negotiating transactions.
I always seem to join a queue in a shop with a lady in front of now this lady can be any size and any age but I only notice it’s a lady because of what happens when we get to the checkout counter…

Now I, and I believe that includes most men, have some rough idea of what the items they have chosen to purchase are going to total up to so can prepare to cover the cost when asked to in a timely manner. But get behind the person I was recently, when finally the counter comes up on them it’s almost a shock and, additionally, the amount requested seems to come as a complete surprise.

The person in question is clutching hold of her handbag as if her life depends upon it and grudgingly opens it to retrieve her purse when the total owed becomes clear. This then escalates into a search of the deepest crevices of her purse to finding what cash is hiding away. After some rummaging she withdraws the amount and then what she says next brings a cold fear into my heart; “I think I have the extra change”! This throws the mathematically challenged shop assitant into a cold sweat of panic and now all calculations will have to be done again. After payment is carried out we have the purse closing ceremony where it is repeatedly checked and finally closed then returned to the handbag which is also then closed and checked, but please note this has to be done at the counter, exasperatingly we then the receipt has to be put away safely before finally moving off to one side to let the next person in the queue have their turn. If there are three or four women in the queue in front of you, take my advice, give up and go elsewhere. For me the process is simple, regardless of the total, men get out the largest note in their wallet and quickly pay taking the change and receipt in one hand and then stuffing into their pocket for later checking if they can be bothered.

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This is by no means a modern phenomenon if I remember correctly in the famous film The Glen Miller Story starring James Stewart as Glen Miller and June Allyson as his wife Helen there is a scene where Helen is tired of living the life of a nomad and wants to settle down. Glen says that they can’t afford it and Helen replies that she has saved enough for a Deposit by emptying his pockets of change every night. Now in the late 1930’s I can believe that may have been possible but now finding £50K in my pockets or down the back of the sofa is downright impossible however women are still predisposed to carry out the change liberating routine.

I would never contemplate riffling through my wifes handbag, god knows what I would find, as that would be a gross violation of trust.

The point I am making is that the speed of transation allows men to close a deal and move on where a women needs to be sure that it is all going to plan.

If nothing else it explains why I never seem to have the right change for the parking meter…

Changes and then more changes

I was going to start this narrative with another question but instead I’ll start with an observation. Most humans hate change… not just fundamental mind numbing panicing forced eviction change but even the smallest of changes like moving furniture or losing a usual parking space. Minor stuff and no more than irritating really. So when huge uncompromising change comes along most people just freeze or burst into tears why is that? Change is as important in our lives as food or water. Our ancestors had the unenviable task of dealing with unknown changes every day. Now we know that the sun comes up every day and warms through (sometimes) so we can get on with doing stuff. I am against doing the same stuff today as I did yesterday as it’s so mind numbingly boring it encourages self harm. I want something new every day and like some other people I know if it isn’t a bit risky then I ask myself how do I make it so. Behind every change forced upon us by incompetent public school boys playing at running a government there is an opportunity to be found. So when I see change it fills me with energy and enthusiasm for the next great idea to come along. So don’t just sit there change something, Moving the furniture about does not count…