It’s August and a majority of the population are enjoying a well-earned break from the office. Many of us will be spending quality time with our friends and families away from the daily grind. It is naturally a good time to chill out.
However, lets spare a thought for the thousands of teenagers who have slogged their hearts out over the first half of this year trying to get the best grades that they can for either their GCSE’s or A Levels. All with an aim to gain entry into their favoured university or to secure a place at their local college to continue their education.
They have forfeited the late nights, the parties and going out and enjoying themselves. Now they are panicking about something that is totally out of their control, while a team of professionals mark their papers and seal their future.
As parents, guardians and mentors of these students we then read in the weekend press about the inconsistent marking systems and processes that are now common across the exam boards. How on earth do you ensure that they get a fair mark for a fair piece of work?
I am not sure that you can.
Then towards the end of August some unlucky ones receive the devastating news as they didn’t get their grades that they either wanted or desperately needed. Their world falls apart as they now scramble their thoughts together on what to do next.
This is where we come in. Yes, queue the professional Mother, Father, Guardian or Friend who will step up and take the brunt of the anger in the beginning and then the re-organisation of the priorities as we get to work putting a plan together and hopefully bringing some structure and calm to the situation.
I left school in the late 80’s, when I was 16, with one GCSE and earlier this year left a 6 figure Senior Role in a large corporate. I am now pursuing my dream of running my own company and quite simply helping others. Life is good!
When I left school, there wasn’t such a thing as a blog or a vlog and also the word “Mentor” wasn’t so widely known. I went straight into an apprenticeship working for local architects and I knew that if I wanted to be successful and have everything my dad had that I needed to work hard. It was as simple as that.
At the age of 16, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do and I don’t think many teenagers do these days either.
The reason that I am writing this blog is because in my coaching business I ask people all the time, “What would you tell your teenage self if you were talking to them today?”
It’s easy to give advice as I sit here in my mid-forties with a wonderful family around me, a business that affords me the lifestyle that I want and the fact that I get to change people’s lives on a daily basis.
So, how can I help? As I look back, the main element that has helped me get what I want in life is that I have always had a visual focused plan that I work on every day. Yes, priorities change and things happen that distract you and knock you off track, however that’s why we need to firstly decide what we want to do, plan it out and go and get it!
We have very few choices in life, however we can control what we choose to do.
While we have this reflection time in the summer months, let’s make sure that whatever we focus on, we enjoy. No one wants to have a job that they don’t like, a job where they have to drag themselves out of bed in the morning.
My advice is to simply get organised, here are three Innovate to Success Golden Nuggets that are going to help you and your worried teenagers out.
Have a Clear Visual Plan.
If you want to be successful no matter what you do, you need a plan. This helps us reduce stress, avoids overwhelm and distractions and creates order. As soon as we capture thoughts and actions out of our heads and onto paper, all of a sudden, the world looks a better place.
You can then, in a systematic and calm manner, go through the categories and themes, make priorities and apply timescales to your actions to ensure success.
This might sound too straight forward but if you get your teenagers to do this at a young age, then imagine what they would be capable of when this practice becomes second nature.
Think if money was no object
As your plan develops and potentially your route to earning money varies, due to opportunities and priorities changing in front of you, ask yourself my favourite question.
“What would you do if money was no object”. I don’t mean if you didn’t have any money, I mean if it wasn’t a concern for you. You didn’t need to go to work. You got up in the morning and you didn’t need to worry about money. What would you do?
I will help you with this. The answer to this for me is that I would help others achieve more.
This is my ultimate purpose and when you identify it for yourself and your children it makes life an awful lot easier. Your life just gets easier because your “Work” aligns with your highest values and you can focus much clearer simply because you enjoy what you are doing.
Deliberately keep learning
Always make sure you make time for learning. Choose additional subjects that will help you develop and grow as an individual. This may not be an academic subject, it may be practical. These days you can learn on so many different platforms with different types of media, it is endless and it is easy.
For example, if you’re interested in sales and marketing then get yourself an online course or programme in the elements that interests you.
Try and find someone who is doing what you want to do. Get yourself a mentor, you don’t necessarily need to pay for one, however you will get much more out of the relationship as there is a bigger commitment from yourself. If you look around, there are plenty of people who want to help.
More importantly you need to make a decision take some action to be a better version of you and invest in yourself. Be deliberate about it and be focused!
At the end of the day lets help the youngsters take control and reverse engineering their outcome while providing much needed support to get back on their feet again. We need to encourage them to be positive and let them know that if they did get a bad result then is not the end of their world.
If we don’t help them get a plan of their own then they will soon fit into someone else’s plan.
I now totally understand the power and value of having my own Personal Business Development Plan. This means that I can handle a higher level of workload, focus on enhancing both my personal and business life all while staying out of stress. I haven’t always been able to do this, however if I had known these few tips when I was in my teens, it would have really helped me out.
One last tip – There are no rules in life, just let them be their own boss and learn while they develop!
I hope you have a great day .