An attractive business woman talking on her cell phone and writing something down in her notes.

12 Questions to Ask–Before You Quit Your Day Job

Do you have what it takes to become a solopreneur?

Starting your own business requires a huge level of responsibility and you get all of the risk. Gains or profits are likely to be delayed. It’s not the right choice for everyone. What about you, Could you do it? Yes? No? Maybe?

Consider these questions. Your answers might help you avoid making a massive mistake or encourage you to take the leap you yearn for. Answer truthfully–it’s only yourself you will fool if you’re not honest.

YesNo14Am I able to delay gratification to achieve a goal?

YesNo14Do I recognize good ideas and initiate projects?

YesNo14Am I a person with the kind of energy it takes to get the job done, consistently and no matter what?

YesNo14Do I complete projects successfully?

YesNo14Do I work effectively and efficiently without supervision?

YesNo14Am I good at being in charge?

YesNo14Do I like being in charge?

YesNo14Can I negotiate and compromise? Without guilt?

YesNo14Can I hire and fire?

YesNo14Will I fire, even if it’s a friend or relative?

YesNo14Can I delegate?

YesNo14Can I critique work, constructively, to get what I need from the worker?

There are no right or wrong answers here. If you gave mostly no answers, likely solopreneurship is not your best choice. Many prefer the structure and stability of holding down a job and for the immediate future, you might want to stay put or consider a career change rather than a change to solopreneurship.

If more of your answers were yes, then you have additional options to consider. It’s likely you are a risk taker. Consider whether you have a talent for handling risk and explore where that talent might take you.

Regardless of what your answers say about who you are at this moment, remember that business owners, of all kinds, are pursuing an avocation that requires more than a taste for risk. Reach out to successful business owners you know. Look for mentorship, build your leadership skills, and find a business niche that touches the passion in you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

learningmindmappencil372

The Secret to Online Learning Success

Online learning is here to stay. Educators had better figure out how to incorporate affective learning to enable effective learning.
Huh? Say that again? Is CaZ speaking in tongues? Not really. Just using a term you might not have heard before. Let’s find out what that bit of seeming double-talk means and specifically, what it means to you as an adult learner.

There is a lot of research trying to measure the efficacy of the online learning experience. And it seems that there are as many controversies as there are studies. However, agreement is clear in one area.

Any adult, no matter their preferred learning style, can be a successful learner via the online format.

Affective learning is an academic term used to group together and define the attitudes and feelings that students have about themselves during the learning process. Still confusing? Think about it this way. Do you remember your first day of classes in grade school? High school? College? At the Library’s free basic computers class?

Be honest. While your anxiety level was probably not a 10, you certainly had an emotional reaction and feelings about how successful you were likely to be. Affective learning considers the student’s attitudes and feelings during the learning process and how these attitudes affect the success or failure (effectiveness) of the learning.

If you are not comfortable in how the learning opportunity—the class—is presented, then you will not learn as much as you are capable of learning.

Adult learners today have largely come out of the traditional education style of Instructor lecture, rote memorization, long courses and classes as well as time-consuming effort. The online learning style is dramatically different. Here is a quick comparison of the two styles.

Traditional

  • Professional curriculum design
  • Instructor led classes
  • Volumes of reading materials
  • Rote memorization of course materials
  • Testing and grading system
  • Courses lasting 6-9 months
  • Expensive tuition and book fees
  • Huge time commitment

Online

  • Professional curriculum design
  • Instructor moderated classes
  • Multimedia learning materials
  • Memorize only the core concepts
  • Self assessment preferred to tests
  • Courses delivered at your pace
  • Low membership cost and no book fees
  • Time commitment is flexible and self-controlled

The traditional methodology works. Except that it is not flexible and it cannot quickly adapt to change. For adults who crave a continuing education experience without the formality of the college experience, online education is a perfect match.

Adult learners entering the online education world gain sense of the freedom the environment brings to learning. We also understand that most adult learners have complex lives that make it difficult to commit to an inflexible learning schedule. And we understand that there is an underlying trepidation (I did not use the Fear word) about using a computer for many adults.

I am a teacher, by nature. If I know it, I teach it. My brothers used to call me bossy, but truly I just needed to tell what I learned, what I knew. That’s why no matter what aspect my professional and business life takes, there’s always an element of learning, shared knowledge, and instruction. Can’t help it, folks. I’ve created SchoolingBytes to serve this need and offer online, tutorial-type training.

There is a very old joke that asks how you eat an elephant. Of course the response is one bite at a time. And the very reason that old joke can still evoke a smile is why SchoolingBytes presents classes meant to be consumed one bite at a time. All of our classes are designed for you gain the essential concepts of each lesson in 30 minutes.

Do you have 30 minutes? Three minutes or 30, take time to learn. Whether with us at SchoolingBytes or somewhere else, learning keeps us young and involved.

technology overload

Three Sanity Checks to Avoid Technology Overload

Technology, whether you embrace it or fight it, technology is difficult to avoid. Here’s a realistic scenario for a typical morning, any of this sound familiar to you?

It is 8:10 am, about 2 hours into my day. So far, I have listened to the radio; started the dishwasher; used a coffee maker; watched the morning news on television; checked text messages on my smartphone; used my tablet to google how to get to a client site later today; made and received phone calls using my smart phone (of course); listened to my voicemail; read and responded to a dozen emails; checked my online calendar and the to-do list on my laptop; scanned my Facebook newsfeed; read dozens of tweets; and made changes to a google-docs file. Once in my car, I will plop a Bluetooth earset on the side of my head and make more phone calls. Technology is part of my everyday life.

Technology is part of YOUR everyday life, too. Often the biggest challenge of the day is how to create balance–to be both productive and human–when the day is infused with gadgets that frustrate, frighten, or annoy.

Do I have the magic solution? The cure to all of your technology headaches? Of course! Hire me and I’ll make it easy. In all seriousness, however, while I would certainly love being able to help everyone make sense of technology overload and find balance–I struggle with it myself. Here are three areas where I think we can and should take control–just for sanity’s sake.

Email

The inbox is a major source of information overload. I teach what I call a “B.E.T.T.E.R.” process for managing email. B.E.T.T.E.R as in Browse. Evaluate. Trash. Table it. Everything else. Respond. These days, it’s pretty easy to find a variation of this theme, whether it’s Email Triage, or Inbox Zero, or the B.E.T.T.E.R process. The ‘e’ stands for electronic and it’s time to make the electronics work for you instead of against you–automate that inbox.

Social Media

By all means, use the Internet both for work and pleasure. Be findable on the Internet. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, as well as your Blog and website are effective tools when used to promote your relationship with your market as much as your products and services. But trying to maintain a viable presence everywhere on social media is just plain nuts. Be selective. Choose the services that you enjoy the most and find easiest to manage. And if it’s something you need for business, then look for a social media company or an expert like a social media virtual assistant to manage the business accounts for you.

File Management

You deal with documents, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, financials, emails–a plethora of files and information pouring in from electronic sources. Put the power of your computer to work so that you can get busy doing what you do best. To cure your technology headache if it’s caused by lost and misplaced digital files, there are only two choices, realistically. Hire someone to clean up after you or learn the basics and set up a system–then follow it. If you can manage a filing cabinet, then you can manage digital files. This is a one-time lesson to learn. Even the age-old (well, decades old) difference of opinion between Mac and PC users comes down to the same basic facts. Digital files get stored in digital file folders that get stored on digital pages (filing cabinet drawers) and hard drives (digital filing cabinets). Mac confuses the issue with libraries, but they’re just the card catalog that provides a map to the filing cabinets, drawers, and folders.

What area would you most like to master?

Colors

Colors Online

Color_Blind_by_terrye634Ever surfed by a website and fell in love with their color pallet? Or maybe one color in particular and you wondered what it might be? Well, if your browser is Firefox and you have a tool called Firebug, you could simply mouse over the color to find its hexadecimal color code.

Huh? What did I just say? OK. I get it. You are not really into website design, you only want to know how to identify color and use the same color, consistently, on your own website. So let's make this easy.

What is a Hexadecimal color and why do I care?

The hexadecimal color code system has been in use by print professionals for years, so if you ever worked with a designer or printer to publish a paper product, you'll have some idea of what it's all about. There are truly billions of possible colors that can be made by mixing digital pigments which means those cute names we learned for colors using our Crayola (tm) crayons simply won't do for a website.

Hexadecimal codes are standardized formulas that each computer's screen and website browser can interpret in roughly the same way. Monitors are calibrated (able to display color) differently and these hexadecimal color codes make it relatively easy to use and deliver mostly standardized color.

There are six number and/or letter combinations that make up a color's hex code.

Why are there 6 numbers or letters used?

Simple answer, RGB. Digital displays (i.e. computer screens and monitors, tv's, theaters) use a combination of Red, Green, and Blue to create all of the color that you see. There are two letters/numbers to represent each color. For instance this hexadecimal code will give you a deep red color: 99oo33 / FFCC66

FF = 153 percent red; (255 is the highest, most dense amount of color possible, 0 is the lowest)

cc = 0 percent green; and

66 = 51 percent blue.

Combined, that hexadecimal formula makes red.

What color do you think FFFFFF makes? Nope, not red. It is white. That's 255 percent of each color and because we are viewing it on a digital display, combining all of those colors makes white.

What about 000000? That's black. It's a digital world, all made up of pixels of light and the absence of light is? Black.

OK. I know. This stuff hurts your head. For now, just accept it. Keep in mind that the rules change when you are dealing with color in the real world instead of a digital one. I am not going to get into all the technical ins and outs of subtractive vs additive color and why out of all those billions of possible colors available we use only about 256 of them in web-safe colors online. Those are discussions for another day. It is, however, helpful to understand a little about the makeup of hex codes, if only because it will make it easier to be consistent with your use of color in your online documents and websites.

Getting back to the Diva Tech Tip, how can you find out what the color pallet is for a website? Well, if you don't want to learn how to use website designer tools, then check out the application on this website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and type in the URL address of any website you like. This nifty application will list all of the colors displayed on that site along with their hex codes.

Here's a short list of frequently used hex codes. Go ahead and use them. When it comes to the internet, frequently used color is good because the multitude of different technology and equipment we use handles custom colors poorly and inconsistently.

 
Color
Color Code
Color
Color Code
  Red #FF0000 White #FFFFFF
  Turquoise #00FFFF Light Grey #C0C0C0
  Light Blue #0000FF Dark Grey #808080
  Dark Blue #0000A0 Black #000000
  Light Purple #FF0080 Orange #FF8040
  Dark Purple #800080 Brown #804000
  Yellow #FFFF00 Burgundy #800000
  Pastel Green #00FF00 Forest Green #808000
  Pink #FF00FF Grass Green #408080
         

What you do with that hex code is the topic of the next Diva Tech Tip.