Category Archives: Entrepreneurial Skills

A Foster Kid’s Dilemma: Who Gets the Life Raft? (Shenandoah Chefalo)

What happens when youngsters have to make “grown-up” decisions regarding their own welfare? Former foster youth and author, Shenandoah Chefalo, shares this eye-opening, candid account of such an experience and what she learned from it.

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Shenandoah Chefalo, A Foster Kid's Dilemma: Who Gets the Life Raft?Writing for my blog is sometimes problematic for me. I try to be as transparent as possible and talk about the things that are truly affecting my life in the moment. I want it to be honest, of course, but sometimes that means discussing emotions and feelings that are difficult or painful to put into words.

An Unexpected Answer

Recently, I was at an event and a woman asked a question that I hear often: “How did you overcome the abandonment of your mother?” My answer is burdensome and often shocking for audiences. The truth is, I never felt abandoned by my mother. Instead, I felt that I had abandoned her.

I had spent much of my childhood taking care of my mother, worrying about her, and making sure she was okay. When I was 13, she disappeared for a few days, then a few weeks. It wasn’t shocking to me; it was my “normal.”

When she still hadn’t reappeared, and my grandmother was going to be evicted from her housing, I knew I had to call social services. It was a difficult call for me to make; one that I would wish, time and time again, that I hadn’t made. Making that call always felt like I was watching a life raft for one float by, and I selfishly took it for myself.

When people hear this story, I can see a bit of shock come across their faces. It is difficult to put into words the loyalty I felt for my mother, and the betrayal I carry in my heart. As an adult, I cognitively understand my decision, and most do, also, but the betrayal I feel I caused hasn’t lessened.

Garbage Bag Suitcase, Shenandoah ChefaloA Matter of Loyalty

After the most recent presidential election results started coming in, I was struck with the notion of loyalty and how the weight of that emotion can be viewed, oftentimes confused for betrayal. As defined, loyalty is a strong feeling of support or allegiance to someone or something. It is a feeling or attitude of devoted attachment and affection. As a society, it is a trait we hold in high regard. In fact, any sign of disloyalty is often met with cries of one not being patriotic, a traitor, a crybaby, or various four-letter expletives.

And, that is why, after not seeing my birth mother for over 27 years, I still have feelings of disloyalty toward her and feel as I am the one who betrayed her. Abandonment was never my trigger or emotion. It is also why I have difficulty discussing those feelings; any sign of estrangement or retreat creates feelings (and brings accusations) that I was wrong in my decision to save myself.

Complicated

These emotions are complicated when children enter foster care; old families, new families, changing families … the feelings and questions come to the surface:

How can you be loyal to everyone? Can you ever?

Whom do you betray?

How do you protect yourself?

Is it ever OK to be disloyal? If so, who decides who gets the life raft?

Sometimes you just need to pick up the phone.

Shenandoah Chefalo is an advocate and a former foster youth. She is the author of the memoir, Garbage Bag Suitcase, and co-founder of Good Harbor Institute, an organization focused on ensuring sustainable, implemented trauma care within organizations and individuals. You can learn more about her and her work at www.garbagebagsuitcase.com or www.goodharborinst.com

 

Getting Out of the Dumpster (Dr. Reggie R. Padin)

The Changing Behavior Network, Radio-style InterviewHave you ever known someone who was so miserable they felt completely powerless to change their circumstances? To them, their job and their life amounted to a dead-end street going nowhere. Change can be difficult, but it is possible. Welcome to “Getting Out of the Dumpster.”

Dr. Reggie Padin, Getting Out of the Dumpster, Reggie PadinLife  Can Be Difficult

Although no one has a corner on the difficulties life can bring, it’s a fact that some never work their way through it, yet others do. What accounts for the difference?

The answer to that question matters because our failures and our successes are not singular events that affect only us. They also affect those that love us and see us as an example of how they should handle the same events and circumstances.

In the real world, the stakes are pretty high, aren’t they? The ability to overcome limitations is a valuable skill.

Getting Out of the Dumpster

Dr. Reggie Padin, our guest on this program, got his wake-up call inside a dumpster, a very real, stinky, smelly garbage dumpster. He not only worked his way out of the dumpster, he continues to guide and help others deal effectively with their own Dumpster Moments.

Getting Out of the Dumpster a True Story of Overcoming LimitationsListen in as Reggie discusses the importance of taking complete responsibility, regardless of circumstances, and how it it so critically important to get into a mindset that will augment, not hinder, progress. And, of course, he will share about the importance of developing and executing a plan with clear goals and the importance of always attending to cherished relationships.

Dr. Reggie Padin

Dr. Reggie Padin is an optimist, visionary, educator, entrepreneur, writer, training and development expert, executive coach, and an ordained minister. His academic credentials include a master’s in divinity, a master’s in business administration and a doctorate in education. His mission is the ongoing inspiration and training of others to come out of their dumpsters. We are featuring his book, Get Out of the Dumpster, A True Story of Overcoming Limitations. (27:40)

www.reggiepadin.com

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NOTE: The complimentary pdf mentioned in this program, “Nine Steps to Changing a Mindset,” was not available when this interview was posted.

Clearing Out the Clutter: Family Organization Pays Off (Guest: Alison Kero)

The Changing Behavior Network, The Speakers GroupWelcome to this informative program, “Clearing Out the Clutter: Family Organization Pays Off.”

Alison Kero, Clearning Out the Clutter, ACK OrganizingWhat pops into your thoughts when you consider the word “clutter?” Could it be a garage that contains anything you could possibly want except your car? Or how about a dozen near-empty paint cans holding colors you don’t like that have dried up years ago? Or what about the closet of good clothes that are being crushed by an overflow of things you will never wear again?

Clutter is Common

Truth is, the vast majority of us are living with clutter in our lives right now, and we probably don’t fully realize what it’s costing us. Perhaps it’s time we DO take a look at it. Perhaps it’s even time to get organized and not only feel better about it, but set the right example for our children.

Clutter Has Many Faces

Alison Kero, ACK Organizing. Conquering Emotional ClutterAccording to our guest on this program, declutter expert Alison Kero, clutter in our lives is more than an overflowing garage, old paint cans or the stuffed-beyond-belief closet. Clutter can affect us in other ways. It can  have an existential, spiritual quality or it can have emotional characteristics that are overwhelming. Indeed, clutter has many faces. Alison will help us take a look at it, and she will offer suggestions for decluttering our lives as well as our life space. We and our families will be the better for it.

Alison Kero

Alison’s business, ACK! Organizing, had its beginnings in 2004, as it grew from her own search for ways to more easily get and stay organized. She soon learned that self-love was a huge decision-making tool that helped her, and ultimate her clients, to create the best possible living space filled only with what they liked, used and needed. Alison’s expertise as an organization and productivity expert has been shared on broadcast and internet media and publications, including the Dr. Oz Show, CBS Morning News, The Mike Huckabee Show, The New York Times, US News and World Report, Manilla.com and numerous blogs. (27:05)

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BONUS: Alison prepared this article especially for The Changing Behavior Network. It’s entitled, “How to Gain Happiness, Health & Productivity Through Organizing.” [link]

 

Instilling Positivity in Children and Teens (Peggy Caruso)

Peggy Caruso, instilling positivity in children and teensUnderstanding the subconscious mind will help us to focus on the importance of instilling positivity in children and teens. Your conscious mind is your reasoning mind; therefore, once you accept something to be true at the conscious level, it then goes into the subconscious mind and that is what produces your results. Your subconscious mind produces your actions. So, if you want to change the results you are getting then you must begin to alter your thought process.

Understanding Developmental Periods

You can alter behavioral patterns in children as well as adults. In doing so you must understand the developmental periods of a child’s life.

From birth to seven is the imprint period; in which everything is absorbed from the environment. Parents and relatives have the most impact on the child during this particular time.

From seven to fourteen is the modeling period and this is a very crucial stage. They break away from the parent and model the behavior of other children, movie stars, singers, etc. Many parents will ask me how it is possible to raise two children the same way and have them turn out so differently. That’s because they go in different directions and are influenced by others.

From fourteen to twenty-one is the socialization period. This is where they become individualized. So it doesn’t matter what influences they have encountered because you can always alter behavior. Understanding these periods helps us identify where the obstacles surfaced.

Altering Behavioral Patterns

One way to alter behavioral patterns is to implement techniques of Neurolinguistic Programming. It involves the systematic study of human performance. It is a multi-dimensional process that involves strategic thinking and an understanding of the mental and cognitive processes behind behavior. NLP is:

Neuro: Derived through and from our senses and central nervous system
Linguistic: Our mental processes are given meaning, coded, organized, and then transformed through language
Programming: How people interact as a system in which experience and communication are composed of sequences of patterns

Peggy Caruso, Revolutionize Your Child's Life, Neurolinguistic Programming, positive affirmations, implement success principles, Attitude of GratitudePositivity and Gratitude

Your subconscious mind doesn’t reason; therefore, you must be very careful as to what you plant. We are made up of energy, so it’s important to get our children in a positive energy flow so they are able to attract positivity.

There are many ways to get that energy flowing in the morning. I talk frequently about the importance of gratitude. Most people tend to focus on the negatives of life. Positive and negative can’t occupy the mind at the same time, and, since negative is the dominant emotion, one must work very hard to replace it with positive.

Another key tool is to teach them the importance of positive affirmations. Get them in the habit of saying positive statements such as…”I can…” or “I will…” Repetition is key, so, as they get in the habit of saying them, the greater positive influence they will have.

Get your children excited about their goals and have them create a vision board. It’s another powerful exercise of the mind that will keep them in a focused and positive environment.

Implementing Success Principles

Finally, implement success principles within your child. I’ve written many articles about the importance of this. It is a redirection of negativity and instilling entrepreneurial skills in children aids in them becoming successful adults. Teaching them the 4 C’s will make a difference when they become adults. They are:

Communication: Sharing thoughts, ideas and solutions
Collaboration: Working together to reach a goal
Critical Thinking: Looking at problems in a new way
Creativity: Trying a new approach

So develop an Attitude of Gratitude and get that positivity flowing! ###

 

Peggy Caruso can be reached at pcaruso@lifecoaching.comcastbiz.net for more information. www.lifecoachingandbeyond.com

 

Motivating Students for Better School Performance (Guest: Ruth Herman Wells)

BTRadioInt-300x75-300x75There’s just no way around the fact that school is performance-driven. Students are expected to do their best at school, and they are expected to be motivated and remain motivated to achieve academically.

Ruth Herman WellsUnfortunately, expecting students to be motivated doesn’t make it so. According to our guest on this program, Ruth Herman Wells, expecting motivation is precisely the problem. Capable students, as well as those who struggle, don’t come with a convenient switch that turns on their desire to achieve and put effort into their studies. It’s up to teachers (and parents) to teach motivation as if it were any other teachable skill.

But how do effective, caring and competent teachers actually access and teach skills of student motivation? According to Ruth, this sort of training in the motivation of students by teachers is in short supply. Result: Students simply are expected to be motivated, and the problems continue.

Youth Change Workshops, motivating students, student motivationFrom her years of experience in training educators across the country, Ruth shares how youngsters can be motivated at school and how they can realize, sometimes permanently realize, how motivation is important for them and their future.

Ruth Herman Wells, Motivation Makers, motivation of students by teachers, school is performance-drivenListen in as Ruth shares some great ideas for struggling students and, yes, for struggling teachers as well. Just remember, a little success can become very contagious!

Ruth Herman Wells is the Director of Youth Change Workshops out of Oregon. In addition to being an outstanding seminar leader and trainer of educators and other child-service professionals, Ruth has managed programs for delinquent, troubled and problem youth.  Shes the author of dozens of books, including the one we are featuring today, All the Best Answers for the Worst Kid Problems: Maximum-Strength Motivation-Makers. (32:59)

www.youthchg.com

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Winter: A Time for Introspection and Renewal (Dr. Daniel Trussell)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs the dark nights seem to stretch forever and days are cold, still and short, Winter is a time for reflection. It’s the perfect opportunity to fine tune desires, goals and accomplishments planned for in the coming year. Winter offers a time for refreshment and renewal as outdoor activities, social functions and overburdened schedules slow down to create a less frenzied routine.

With less hectic schedules, fewer time constraints and reduced daily routine, we find more time to reflect on the past: lessons learned, accomplishments gained and new strategies for “getting it right this time.”

 

snow, snow days, winter is a time for reflection, winter renewal

Families spend more time indoors together, providing the gift of time to spend with one another. Opportunities abound for increased intimacy, improved communication and the intentional making of positive memories with one another.

Yet many of us fail to embrace this auspicious time of year that encourages us to look inward, feast on the harvest of experience the preceding seasons provided and foment plans to increase engagement, meaning and positive relationships.

Snow Days as Grow Days
My wish for families I interact with during the Winter is that they will have several snow days – those days when everything shuts down, kids can’t get to school, parents can’t get to work and there is general quiet and beauty. Of course, in my vision, there are no disasters to contend with, the heat and lights stay on and a deep blanket of pristine snow covers the driveways and highways, inviting play and merriment.

Dr. Daniel TrussellBut what happens during snow days? Kids may go off on their own, parents worry about not getting work done and there may be a general sense of restlessness, boredom or dread.

However, snow days can provide a unique set of circumstances that gathers the family in one place at the same time. It’s the perfect time to hold a family meeting, learn a new skill, begin a family project or foster family bonds through creating positive memories, engaging in positive family activities and improving relationships.

A little planning now for those snow days can help structure activities that promote better family well-being and put every family member on notice that a snow day is a grow day.

While the promise of renewal lies shortly ahead when trees leaf out, daffodils bloom and the first Spring crops emerge, Winter is truly a time to celebrate. Take advantage of this Winter to not only plan for the future but to review the past and change the present. You are in charge of creating the future you want to have. Winter is the springboard. ###

 

Daniel Trussell, Ph.D., MBA, LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of The How Families Flourish Workbook and How Families Flourish. He is a certified Professional Counselor supervisor and conducts training for both professionals and families in incorporating the findings from positive psychology into daily life. He can be reached at drdanieltrussell@gmail.com. [website]

 

Visioneering: A Great Tool for Launching Great Kids (Peggy Caruso)

Visualization is also known as visual guided imagery. This technique uses the imagination to slow down chatter of the mind and reduce negative thoughts and worries. This exercise plants the seed for a life full of goals and aspirations. Once you look at things you desire and affix them in your mind, it helps the manifestation process. And children are so creative that it is great fun.

Daydreaming is a Good Thing

peggyVisualization is one of the greatest keys to success. We were taught as children not to daydream, but in reality dreaming is what transforms our goals into reality and makes us better people. Daydreaming or visualization helps children process information and explore ideas. There have been substantial studies that connect daydreaming in children with creativity, healthy social adjustment and good academic performance. A social component is associated with the visualization process, which enhances social skills and creates empathy within the child.

Seeing words on the screen of your mind is what makes the words come to life. Think about that. The visioneering process is so much easier for children in the developmental stages of their lives. It not only teaches them to be tactical thinkers, but also assists them in relaxing, exercising, showing gratitude and laughing. Visualization can help children with ADD/ADHD, which places them in a state of stress. Hyperactive and impulsive children don’t know how to relax. I make hypnotherapy tapes for my ADD/ADHD clients, and the results are amazing. It helps them be calm, which then allows them to become emotionally involved in the visioneering process.

Relaxation Techniques

Dreaming and visualizing assist children and adults with relaxation techniques.

Breathe! Breathing slows down your heart rate, increases blood flow, improves concentration, reduces pain, boosts confidence and reduces anger. Whether children or adults encounter negative emotions, such as fear, worry or doubt, relating to anxiety, stress, testing, confidence boosters, and so on, learning breathing techniques will help eliminate that negative outcome.

The following are two different techniques. The first one is the hypnotic relaxation technique: Take a deep breath—breathe in really deep and hold it as long as you can, then release it slowly through your mouth. Repeat it three times. This will begin the calming process.

The second one is the Jacobsen technique, which is a muscle relaxation technique: Tense your arms/hands, hold five to seven seconds, then relax; next, tense your face/head, hold five to seven seconds, then relax; next, tense your chest/shoulders/stomach, hold five to seven seconds, then relax; and, last, tense your legs/feet, hold five to seven seconds, then relax.

• Muscle relaxation for smaller children: There are multiple relaxation techniques: hypnosis, massage therapy, tai chi and yoga. Some techniques require you to use both visual imagery and body awareness. For instance, when you are striving to reduce stress, you would use an autogenic relaxation technique in which you repeat words or suggestions to relax and reduce muscle tension.

Exercise: This one is easy because all children love to jump, run, walk, dance, swim and, most important, play! Encourage teens to join a gym or exercise program.

Laugh!  Tell jokes, funny stories, make silly faces or watch cartoons. Watch a comedy together with teens. Bring laughter into the family life. Just spend quality time listening and laughing with your children.

Play with your pet. Pets are wonderful and are known to lower their owners’ blood pressure and reduce stress. They bring much laughter to families. Also, laugh at each other. Do something silly to make your children laugh. You can do this from infancy through the teenage years. You could purchase a funny poster to hang in their room or choose a funny screensaver for the computer. Remember: Laughter releases happy endorphins in your brain.

Listen to music: Choose those with encouraging lyrics and good dancing. This is powerful at all ages. As I previously mentioned, just ensure proper lyrics.

Meditate: At bedtime, teach your children to close their eyes, picture something wonderful about the day, and breathe slowly. Have them snuggle their favorite stuffed animal in the process. Teens and adults can also meditate by thinking of something happy and positive such as a goal or vision. Have them picture it as if it has already happened. Calmness of mind is very important and learning how to meditate will benefit them throughout the day.

PCarusocoverEducate your child on the focus of positivity. Keep them focused with concentration of happy thoughts and make them aware of the detriments to negative thoughts. Negative thoughts are unhealthy.

With your teenager or yourself, try to make quality time in the evening because the last forty-five minutes before bed are essential in the thought process. We need to incorporate these relaxation techniques as adults. Relaxation and meditation are essential to the daily routine for you or your child. Doing them together with your child, at any age, promotes good health and quality family bonding and supports creativity.

Creative imagination, auto suggestion and all self-administered stimuli which reach one’s mind through the five senses is the agency of communication between that part of the mind where conscious thought takes place and that which serves as the seat of action for the subconscious mind. No thought can enter the subconscious mind without the aid of the principle of autosuggestion.

Creative imagination is the receiving set of the brain. Utilizing your senses with creative imagination helps it to become a reality. You are like a radio receiving station, whereas you can tune in to whatever you like, happiness or sadness, success or failure, optimism or fear.

Remember the power of visualization. It is truly part of the creative process. ###

Peggy Caruso can be reached at pcaruso@lifecoaching.comcastbiz.net for more information. www.lifecoachingandbeyond.com

 

Resilience: A path Through Difficult Times (Guest: Kristen Brown)

BTRadioInt-300x75This is a repost of a great interview with Kristen done April 29, 2012.

Life can be difficult, sometimes VERY difficult. How we manage those trying times and circumstances matters.

Resilience, the coming back from deep sadness, tremendous stress and heartbreak, is never a level path connecting loss to recovery. It has many twists, turns, hills and valleys, with struggle, frustration and doubt as part of the journey.

Kristen Brown gives us a good look at what resilience is all about. She and her husband, Todd, were 30. They had it all, a nice home, a secure job and Brooke, their beautiful baby girl. Then, with no warning at all, Todd, an athlete in high school, dies suddenly of a heart attack. For her sake and Brooke’s, Kristen resolved to not only survive and recover, but to thrive in the face of adversity.

This is Kristen’s story, including how she started and operates several successful ventures, wrote a best-selling book, The Best Worst Thing; a Memoir, and continues to reach out with support and encouragement to others who also must travel a path they didn’t choose. (27:04)

Kristen operates a number of business and support websites. All can be accessed through:

www.KristenKBrown.com

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GRIT: The Breakfast of Champions (Dr. Daniel Trussell)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is considerable conversation about the need to address non-cognitive skills in our educational system and one of the most frequently mentioned non-cognitive skills is the acquisition of Grit. Duckworth, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist and a preeminent researcher on Grit, describes this trait as high motivation or passion focused on a long term goal pursued with diligence and perseverance, despite the obstacles and even during times of boredom.

In their book Grit to Great, Thaler and Koval ascribe attributes of Grit with a clever acronym:

Guts
Resilience
Initiative
Tenacity

While the value of developing Grit has only recently been scientifically investigated, it is not a new concept. Indeed, Grit has been considered a desired trait and reinforced to children for centuries. Its resurgence in the educational system is part of an attempt to level the socioeconomic field by teaching success strategies to children as they move through the educational system.

Educational standardization, a product of the No Child Left Behind era which many now view as a drill and kill mentality for academic performance, is increasingly sharing space with developing empowerment and success through personal responsibility and free will. Grit, like success in life, is not tied to IQ, talents or socioeconomic status, but to a skill set that levels the playing field.

You Have to Fail to Succeed

The “you have to fail to succeed” attitude from parents and educational systems is gaining momentum as an integral part of creating an environment that fosters success as adults. Success requires diligence, perseverance and tenacity.

Duckworth asserts that talents, intellect and a strong supportive social and home environment are insufficient for long term success. A “Yes, I Can” approach goes a long way even when a child wants to throw in the towel.

Perseverance builds resilience, which helps us continue to pursue a difficult challenge. Suffering through a difficult challenge is not only inevitable but necessary for achieving success. Confusion, frustration and even feeling overwhelmed often come with the territory.

Tenacity keeps us on track toward a goal even through the tedious or boring aspects of reaching mastery. Langer has found that one component of high life satisfaction is openness to new experience. Creatively approaching a seemingly insurmountable barrier to a highly prized goal enhances the development of grit. Finding interesting or novel ways to approach a problem balances the suffering and builds resilience, persistence and self-discipline.

Wait Just a Minute!

While many parents and school systems have jumped on the bandwagon to support academic persistence over academic achievement, others are raising concern. Opponents argue that emphasizing non-cognitive skills like Grit in an educational system denounces creativity , reduces diversity of interests, teaches conformity without question and focuses on narrow behavioral expectations rather than motive or desire. Some assert that reinforcing Grit can lower well-being if a child is expected to persist toward an unattainable goal or a goal of which they have no interest.

While there is merit to each of these concerns, let’s look back to the Duckworth definition of grit. Grit is accessed when one is highly motivated or passionate about gaining mastery over a skill or reaching a long term goal.

Duckworth describes a household rule in a recent article called the “Hard Thing Rule.” Family members choose one hard thing and work deliberately and consistently toward mastery over the chosen skill or activity for a specified period of time. They don’t give up or stop midstream, even if they have become bored or experience feelings of being overwhelmed. After a specified time, like a semester or a year, the family member can reassess their level of interest and negotiate to stop pursuit if they no longer have interest in the activity.

As parents, we all want our children to grow into successful, productive contributing adults. The question remains whether reinforcing Grit belongs in the home, in the educational system or in a combination of both environments. ###

DTrussellbookDaniel Trussell, Ph.D., MBA, LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of The How Families Flourish Workbook and How Families Flourish. He is a certified Professional Counselor supervisor and conducts training for both professionals and families in incorporating the findings from positive psychology into daily life. He can be reached at drdanieltrussell@gmail.com. [website]

 

 

Your Child’s First Job … with a Boss! (Guest: Joe Sabah)

BTRadioIntDo you remember asking for your first job? Were you nervous? Probably; and perhaps scared of being rejected even before you got your words out.

JSabahphotoThat first job for you, and the first job for your son, daughter or grandchild, is a rite of passage, much like getting that driver’s license or making it through that first date. There can be anxious moments, but it’s all part of growing up.

This program features Joe Sabah, professional speaker, trainer and author. He will help you equip your child with a rock-solid advantage when they go for that first job, and it will give them the tools and confidence to get a great job later–one they really want and for top pay and benefits.

JSabahbookIn this program, Joe shares how he helped his son get his dream job right out of high school. From this experience, Joe came up with something that leaves resumes in the dust: the Gold Form. It’s just one of the many tips that have helped thousands of folks get the job the always wanted.

Joe has shared his message and his book, How to Get the Job You Really Want and Get Employers to Call You, on over 700 talk radio shows. The testimonials and Thank-You notes he has received easily would fill another book. Listen in as Joe and Dr. Sutton discuss how these great ideas can work for our kids, also! (27:48)

www.joesabah.com

Joe’s book is now available in downloadable ebook format HERE.

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