Never Stop Learning

People ask me all the time how to become a trainer, what makes a great trainer, how to you get to be a presenter, etc… My answer is simple: NEVER STOP LEARNING.

Step 1: Buy books that pertain to your industry. 
Step 2: Shove the info into your brain. 
Step 3: Learn like a mother* and be smarter/better! 

*photobucket is being a B so forgive the missing #1

Sure you need a degree and a certification to get started/hired, but the great leaders of any industry are always pushing themselves to know more, stay ahead of the curve, and THAT’S why they end up being the leaders of their industry.

Yes, I have my degree, 
a couple certifications, 
and years of experience, 
but I’m far from knowing it all. 
And if you think you already know it all, 
you’re dumber than you know. 
So invest in yourself. Especially if you’re a business owner. I spend lots of money on continuing education each year. I go to conferences, I take courses, I read books. And THAT’S what separates me from Joe Blow down the street that just likes to work out and has a good body, so he became a trainer at Bob’s Gym. I try to get a new book every month and my reading goal is to spend about 20 minutes a day reading for my profession. It’s a small goal, easy to hit, and I usually end up engrossed and reading more…
What am I reading now? 

So take that $10 you might spend on a couple days worth of Starbucks and go online and buy a book today. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself. 
Happy Wednesday! Make it a good one! : )
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Book Buzz: Past and Present

Since I did such a shite job with the Blogger Book Club I started (5 months ago), I’m just going to tell you what I’m reading when I’m reading it, and you guys can comment if you want. I just finished Pride and Prejudice last week:

It’s one of those books that you HAVE to read at some point in your life and everybody talks about how fabulous it is so I gave it a whirl… espesh since it was free when I bought my Kindle a couple months ago. And since I’ve always wanted to know what Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail was going on and on about… and Jane Austen does use words like thither and felicity. It was all very exciting for me.
Bridget was also just talking about classic books the other day and asking why we don’t read them just for fun anymore… (Like without being in middle school and reading only the parts that had the answers to the worksheet questions your english teacher gave you. That’s not what I did or anything, but I’ve heard of people doing it.) This book was really enjoyable. Glad I got myself started!
~Moving on~
And I know I’m a year or more behind on every series of books there possibly is, (Twilight, Hunger Games, etc.) but because I want to see the movie so badly, I’ve gotta get my ass in gear when it comes to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo:
I actually downloaded this on my iPhone about a year ago and tried reading it then, but just COULD NOT GET INTO IT… and at the time, I was on a really long flight and it was killing my phone battery only 30 minutes in. Sooooo it got the boot. But the movies look amazing and I’ve been reading work books for a bit now and just want to read something entertaining that I can get sucked into easily.
Everybody keeps telling me that the beginning is slow,
but to just keep going.
So I guess I will.
Stieg Larsson, you get one more shot to lure me in, buddy.
Let’s hope it works.
What else is good out there, peeps? Send me your recommendations and maybe I’ll get around to reading them in 2013…
; )
Happy Monday
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I got a new toy!

So I bought a Kindle last night…
I’m so not a gadget person, but in preparation for my flight to Thailand (happening this weekend) I’m trying to find as many things to keep me occupied as possible… other than alcohol.
Flight #1: NYC to Tokyo – 14.5 hours
Flight #2: Tokyo to Bangkok – 7 hours
I’ve never sat for 14.5 hours straight. I’m not sure what the hell I’m going to do. (Other than pop some Tylenol PM and hope I pass the eff out for most of it.) Since I don’t really need an iPad, I settled for the Kindle. I like to read. It has 2 entire months of battery. I can buy books wirelessly. All good things, right? I should be good to go. I’ve already bought a few… this is going to be just like when I first got iTunes: BAD for my bank account.
Here’s what I have so far:
Pride and Prejudice ~ Jane Austen
Seriously… I’m Kidding ~ Ellen DeGeneres
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ~ Steig Larsson
Presentation Zen ~ Garr Reynolds
What? Shut up, I’m a presenter. I have to work on these things

Any votes for November’s book club book?
Since I’ve pretty much screwed October’s book.
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Blogger Book Club

Anyone up for joining my Blogger Book Club? I’ve been wanting to join one for ages, but I never can make the schedule. And we can all make the schedule here, right? I mean, I’m sure we’re all reading the same things anyway; The Help, Twilight, The Hunger Games, etc…
Besides, I need something new to read while I lay on my dock,
on that pond in my backyard,
in my black dress and red shoes,
lookin’ all fancy and hot and whimsical and stuff. ; )

I’m talking a FUN Book Club. Where we read light/funny/romantic/sarastic/inspirational chick books. No deep/depressing/dark/I was abandoned by my family/ I was kidnapped/I was kept in a dungeon and raped repeatedly-type books. (I swear, I’m so pissed that people raved about the Kite Runner. I hated that book. Different day, different post for that one… )

So what do you guys think? We pick a book, once a month (maybe on the 1st?) and then we discuss it on the last day? And when I say “discuss” I mean, I’ll post a photo of the book cover and we can all write our comments of love/adoration/disgust? (And if y’all are as into Google+ Hangouts like I am, we can have a group video chat about it?! You can have up to 10 peeps in one “Hangout”)
I’ll start. First Book of the Blogger Book Club:
The Hunger Games (Book 1)

(because I’m already reading it and I think everybody else has too)
It’ll be a good first book in this trial run.
And we’ll have it read by the time the movie comes out!
Thanks, Bridget for reminding us about the movie!
Who’s In?!
photo 1 via
photo 2 via
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Book Buzz: I Love You, Ronnie

So we all know how great of a romance Ronald and Nancy Reagan had. It spanned decades! And throughout their entire relationship he wrote her letters. This book was written by Nancy and includes a lot of the many letters/cards/drawings he wrote for her. From the time they first started dating, all the way up until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He would write to her from movie sets, send telegrams (telegrams!) from train stations, even write notes from across the same room. It’s completely and utterly adorable.

I’d heard about this book when it came out a few years back but never remembered to buy it. Then a couple weeks ago, I saw it on the coffee table at my client’s house and immediately grabbed it. “Can I borrow this?!” We’re book buddies, so it wasn’t as creepy and weird as it may sound. I read half of it on the plane to LA that weekend and the other half this week. SOOO good.

In other book news: many Borders stores are closing (sad) and there’s one near my house that’s displaying all their “Store Closing: Sale” banners (not sad). It’s sooo hard not to drive over and buy 30 books right now! But I’m trying to have some control. Because I’ve started all of these, pictured below, and have yet to finish any. So not like me. I’m a “I started it, I have to finish before I start another one” kind of reader. It’s that sense of completion thing, I imagine.
When I do finish all these above, what should I look for when I go on my store-closing-shopping-spree? Any suggestions? I hear Water for Elephants and The Hunger Games are both good but I’m wanting to borrow those instead of buy them. It’s times like these I kinda wish I had a Kindle… I don’t really want to lug all these to NYC this weekend but I don’t know which one I want to take!
top image via
middle image via
bottom image via me.
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Book Buzz – Philippa Gregory

I’ve been getting a TON of reading done on my millions of plane rides lately and I LOVE it (the reading, not the flying)! Do you ever go through periods where you’ll read everything under the sun, never leave the house without a book, and then go a month of two without reading ANYTHING? December was my month of not reading anything… I don’t even know why I was so busy… it’s not like I was Christmas shopping or anything (waited until the day before Christmas Eve to start).

Anywho… Do you know of Philppa Gregory?! If not, you should. She writes the best books. She’s had a couple small series but my favorite books of hers are her historical novels of the Tudor era. Ever see the movie “The Other Boleyn Girl”? With Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanson? That was her book. She’s written tons. From The Virgin’s Lover (the story of Queen Elizabeth and her lover/advisor Robert Dudley) to the one I just read, The Other Queen (the story of Mary Queen of Scots) Philippa Gregory just ropes you in and holds on to you until the very last page… or the last beheading, either way. Not only are they very intriguing but they’re historically (factually) correct as well. This is important for somebody who actually almost double majored in history because she was so obsessed with it. . I didn’t finish the major though because… well … it’s not like you can do a whole lot that degree other than teach history… which was not my plan. I always end up googling these people after I read the book to make sure she wasn’t just makin’ ish up. She doesn’t (except the dialogue, of course), it’s all true!

A list of some of her books (at least the ones I loved):
The Red Queen
The White Queen
The Constant Princess
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Boleyn Inheritance
The Queen’s Fool
The Virgin’s Lover
The Other Queen
The Wise Woman
The complete list can be found here at her website, arranged in order of century. My faves are the ones from the 15th-17th centuries. I wasn’t super excited about the ones from the 18th and haven’t read the ones from the 20th yet. But let me know if you have… I might give ’em a whirl.
So if you’re looking for some good reads, these should hold you over for a while.
image via
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Book Buzz – Committed

So I finished Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert on the plane this past weekend and LOVED it. Everybody that’s been married, getting married, or thinking that maybe, one day, they’ll be married should read this book.

Side note – If you’re about to get married, like in the next couple days or so, don’t start reading it unless you’re sure you can finish it before the Big Day. Some parts can make you freak for a second, but you’ve gotta finish the whole thing to get it.

Anywho, this book is kind of like the sequel to Eat ,Pray, Love. If you haven’t read that, you can still pick this up, no problem. But you kind of appreciate her story more if you know what she went through prior to getting to this place in her life.

As somebody who never saw myself actually getting married, I identified A LOT with the author of this book. There are a ton of things you have come to peace with in order to get married, or at least I did… Especially when you’re super independent. And partially just very stubborn and used to running your life without interruption. Oh, I always love fairy-tale romances and could watch chick-flicks every day of my life, but the real thought of getting married just never seemed to be one of those things I actually thought would happen. But I’m VERY happy with my hubs and VERY glad I’m married now.

So now that it’s getting colder out, grab a blanket and get cozy with this guy (the book, I mean). This is a quick read and sure to make you laugh. And maybe cry a little bit at the end… if you’re a sap like me.
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Book Buzz – I’ma read.

Sooo, I got a little Amazon-happy last week and ordered 5 books… Why would I order so many at once? Because I’ve been flying out of town every weekend. And I’m a flying scaredy cat, so I need distractions. And my wish-list has been growing. And ALL of them were under $10!

What did I get? Weeeeell, let me tell ya:

Cutting for Stone
by Abraham Verghese
The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd
Committed ‘A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage’
The sort-of-sequel to Eat,Pray,Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Instructions for Living Someone Else’s Life
by hilarious author, Mil Millington
and One Fifth Avenue
by Candace Bushnell
SCORE. I’m happy. And reading. Like, right now so I’m gonna put the computer away. I’ll let you all know how they turn out!!!
Photograph: Janis Christie. Photograph: Getty Images
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