Problem solving made easy

One of the best tips I ever heard about problem solving goes as follows – it really is problem solving made easy.

Consider the main thing holding you back at the moment. It could be that your job is unfulfiling, or you need more money or you want some help and advice, or guidance on overcoming an obstacle.

The only materials you need are peace and quiet, a piece of paper and a pencil.

Then all you do is turn the problem for solving into a question. That makes it action orientated. So for instance I need £3,000 saved up for my summer holiday and it’s now February becomes “how do I save £3,000 before my summer holiday in August ?”

Then of course as soon as you start to answer the question you start to have your answers. It is a great and simple device to stimulate your brain to think. As a solo brainstorming technique it is fantastic. You’ll also find that within 10 minutes or so you’ll have 90% of the answers. So stop there – don’t force yourself to sit there for an hour – it probably won’t contribute much more anyway.

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Learning ideas and free business development tips

Now is the time to ramp up learning. First customers have the opportunity to shop around, and spend longer over their decisions. So they will deal with people they like, people who are knowledgeable and people who are motivated.  Secondly there are more hours available for many people at the moment – so now is the time to open yourself up to new ideas.

Some great things we’ve come across. Try searching the internet for subjects you want to become  more knowledgeable about. Go to the library or your local bookstore, there is a wealth of both fascinating and mind stretching material that can both stimulate and motivate you. It also helps get you into a more positive frame of mind. This will also help you carry out your job more positively. You win, your organisation wins and your customers win !

Finally the other thing with reading about wisdom is that it is so inexpensive. So invest in yourself, you will almost certainly find that it’s the best thing you could spend your money on !

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Self-belief is what entrepreneurs have

Clearly self-belief and a whole lot of commitment to their ideas is what entrepreneurs have.

At the weekend I was reading about Michelle Mone the former model turned business woman who runs the Ultimo brand. She is 37, and since 1996 has built up a company now worth £45 million according to the Sunday Times.

And yet, it wasn’t always so. In the Sunday Times piece she said “setting up the business was hard and I had to find a lot of money to get it going. Iwas in debt by about £420,000 when the company finally launched. I had to remortgage the house and also take out a number of business loans. I also had debts with every credit card company known to man.”

So what kept her going ? She had overwhelming faith and conviction in her ideas. Now surely for every Michelle Mone there are 100 people that gamble and lose, but what an inspiring story.

While we don’t have audio CDs available yet on how to build a £45 million company, remember that Mao Tse Tung said “the longest journey begins with a single step” and we can help with that. Click through to see the audio CDs on self development and goal setting at  http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_list.asp?Section=SELF%20DEVELOPMENT

But what we can learn is that self-belief and commitment is what she, like other entrepreneurs have.

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Use your mental downtime to learn

We are interested in how and when people use their time to learn. Time management is a key challenge facing us all on a daily basis. Ever wondered why some people in business seem to get more out of a day than others ? Take Sir Richard Branson for example or Stelios of Easyjet. They have the same amount of hours in every day as anybody else. However they achieve more because they spend more time on the big things, than on the little things. Our audio CD “So you wanna go places” covers this in detail http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=23. Our customers for our range of audio CDs typically tell us they listen to the CDs in the car (often driving to or from work or to meetings.) Alternatively some transfer them from their PC onto MP3 player.

Whatever works best for you, it is important to try and take on board any new information when your mind is most receptive. Early morning before the day is underway is good, as can be the middle of the evening (depending on what else is going on in your life of course !)

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Goal setting works – it’s a fact !

There are many scientific studies that show goal setting works. People in life who set themselves personal goals simply achieve more – it is as simple as that !

After all, it is sort of obvious isn’t it ? If you have a well defined plan, you are more likely to focus on the things that will help you get there. As somebody once famously said “people who are going nowhere, usually get there !”

So spend time regularly writing out details or headlines of your goals. Review them frequently. Ideally you want to have some which are short-term, some which are medium-term, and of course you will need long-term goals.

And one of the other great things about goals is that they are completely personal. It’s all about you ! You decide what is important to achieve the things you want. You can find out more about how to do this using a structured approach with our range of goal setting CDs : follow this link http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=23

It will explain why writing it down works, and why we all need goals and focus.

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The London Marathon – an inspiration to us all

Mass of runners  I stood on the Embankment in London a couple of weekends ago for the best part of 3 hours watching the runners stream past. It is incredible HOW MANY people are capable of running this distance. It was 34,00 according to their official website  http://www.london-marathon.co.uk/site/?pageID=5&n=141 (92,00 applied !) Apart from the elite athletes who run all around the world, there is simply a stream of ordinary looking people doing an extraordinary thing. At the peak of the race, there are just 100s of people passing by every minute.

Then apart from the ordinary people (like us), and as if that wasn’t hard enough, there are people running along tied together, and people running with huge cumbersome costumes. And that’s without mentioning people who are disabled. I saw many people running with one leg – using a blade. I even saw one guy running who had no legs using 2 blades.

It is simply inspiring. It makes any worries or barriers we have to overcome pale into insignificance. We really can do anything if we put our mind to it. The only thing that stops each of us achieving what we want is ourselves. There are a growing number of CDs available through the Associated Learning Systems website on goal setting ; follow the link http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=18 to hear Alastair Campbell of the Ideal Marketing Company in an inspiring interview cover how to set goals. You can also try this link to hear further information, tips and advice on setting goals from Andrew Seaward of To Market training http://www.associatedlearningsystems.co.uk/product_detail.asp?ProdID=23 

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