As an author and entrepreneur, I have spent countless hours creating content to help others either via this blog or the books I have self-published and which formulate the basics of this business. Here, at The Next Step, I focus on helping people with:
How or why do I think I can share on these topics and help others? I have spent decades as an educator, an executive and an entrepreneur. I utilize social media EVERY day through content creation, image sharing and more to help promote ME - what I can do to help clients and more.
In addition to this small business, I also run a nonprofit which amalgamates all of the things I feel I have expertise in around education and content sharing and teaching and includes with it the life experiences of being a breast cancer survivor and a young one, at that.
Despite how "young" I was at diagnosis, I am nowhere near as young at diagnosis as many people I have had the privilege and the honor to meet and get to know. Cancer is a cruel disease - it takes all you have to survive it and if and when you do you are left forever changed in both good ways - and very bad ways.
A huge impact on young cancer survivors is the fact that they are always playing catch up and that their incomes and career possibilities are not as open as for people who you know did not have regular chemotherapy in their youth.
To help with this, my nonprofit is working on launching an online course about college readiness for cancer survivors in the very near future. Before the class, though, comes the workbook. I self published my 10th book today and I wanted to share it here - I had no clue when I published my first book in the Spring of 2016 that I would go on to write and publish 9 more books.
I continue to find new things to write about and a new way of looking at the world as a cancer survivor (in training). I know that my expertise and experiences can help others and that is why I share. I also know that having the background in higher education that I have coupled with the empathy of understanding what cancer treatments are like on the mind, body, soul, psyche that having this resource available to fellow survivors / thrivers can help them move forward in their futures.
I hope you can consider helping me reach my goal of being able to continue offering FREE help and training and sending FREE copies of my books to survivors and thrivers who need them by considering making a tax-deductible donation to my nonprofit The Balance After Cancer Foundation.
Thank you and God bless you this holiday season!
Me and my scars - photo credit: Sophie Mayanne Behind the Scars Project
Going Back to cali...Soul Success summit speaking engagement - come with me and get $100 off your ticket with code lisanielsen
I have huge news to share. I met some soulmates - they are Megan and Alisa and they run an annual event called the "Soul Success Summit" out in Santa Barbara California.
As an entrepreneur (since 1999, y'all), I have done a lot, seen a lot and most importantly FAILED a lot. I took all of my lessons and wrote books on it - see them here (and those are just the books I wrote on Entreprenuerial stuff).
It can be so hard to be an entrepreneur - it is isolating (not as isolating as cancer but isolating in its own way). You have all of these ideas in your head and plans and it can be hard to find like-minded people who are interested in hearing about them and giving their opinions.
When I heard about the Soul Success Summit, I knew I had to apply to speak at it - I also knew it would be a long shot for me to be picked. I am, in some ways, a great candidate but I have BIG drawbacks. My talk is more specifically related to my new niche - the one no one wants - that of being a cancer survivor as well as an entrepreneur, educator, author and speaker. I have so much to share but it is all back to "balance" and understanding how we find joy and how we MUST take care of ourselves.
I am not the speaker who will focus only on the bottom line - I talk about the full life, all of the things that bring us joy and HEALTH - health above all. There is a component I bring, a vibrancy and passion to what I share that the founders of this event saw and knew would be a great fit for the AMAZING women who will be speaking and learning at this event.
I cannot wait to find my new girl tribe - I am so honored to have been picked to be a speaker at this event for the weekend of March 30-31; the event is so huge it has been broken up into two weekends! Can you believe it?
If you have read my words and not yet met me, come to California to hang out with the best girl minds in the business of making businesses successful. If you know me anyway in real life, come TOO. Use the code "lisanielsen" to get $100 off your ticket here and come on to Cali with me...
Just a TEASER of my other speaking engagements
Find out more about the Soul Success Summit by clicking on the image below:
And don't forget about the Breast Cancer Rehabilitation and Wellness Summit - by clicking on the image below for more information:
I launched my first seminar (YouTube above) to help other cancer survivors and thrivers get back to work after cancer. You can learn more about my initiative here.
Also, you can see more of the traction I am getting in the press.
Thanks for reading and please consider sharing! Thanks! Happy Hunting!
So once upon a time, I wrote a blog post about managing "blank spaces" on your resume due to childcare or illness and I want to say now that I did not have a clue about the illness blank space. I got the parenthood one as I had taken time off to care for my children when they were super young but I had never dealt with an illness. Almost a year after I wrote this post https://www.thenextstep1234.com/blog/transitioning-back-to-the-workforce I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Watch the video below to learn what I want to do to help others who have been through hell and back with cancer get "work ready" again. Thanks so much!
When Worlds collide - the unvarnished truth about being an entrepreneur, social media and my resume...
My Resume - #HIREME
Everyone needs to learn from failure but most people shy away from failure or taking risks. In fact, many people would prefer to stay miserable somewhere than try to do something new. It is the old “frying pan vs flame” analogy. Most careers involve trial and error and with that there is always the opportunity to learn from said failure and/or mistakes.
It is important to challenge yourself and to keep learning to be ahead of the curve. I tell stories to my students and clients about the failures I have experienced because the only way I learned was through trial and error. Learning is how you grow and sometimes you need to have been exposed to mistakes and failures to get ready for the next step.
It is important to know how to handle failure though if and when it happens. As much as you want to say, “ I will not ever fail” that is just absurd - failure is inevitable. Anyone who says they never failed is lying. However, some people do not learn from their failure which makes them doomed to fail again and also makes them believe they truly never failed.
You do not want to be that type of person – not recognizing failure and what you can learn from it is one of the worst things you can do to yourself.
How do you learn from failure?
Remember the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. You must realize where you are struggling to ever be able to get better at your job, business or studies. Always work on your goals and create your own learning plan - consider learning with me how to be ready for your next step via my blog, YouTube Channel, books and on Twitter & Instagram @thenext_step123.
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Do you have goals in mind for your next step? I have some very specific goals for my small business but I also know that these goals have changed and grown over time. This post is a quick reminder about how important goal setting is and a quick how to for you to start today to evaluate and set up your goals.
Goals are necessary but they must also be measurable and achievable. I have written before about the performance reviews before; this post though is not about the goals you set for your employer but the goals you set for yourself. I want these goals to be about your FUTURE about where you want to be and what makes you happy.
I start my college, career readiness workshops and my one on one work with clients with the adage about identifying your plan – what you want to do and for those who do not have as much experience as others it is about what you like to do or what you would like to learn.
In my books I give actual lessons on how to set your plan and what goes into your plan. These are my quick how-to's to start (or review) your goal setting today:
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My interns have been doing an amazing job sharing, from their perspective, my career readiness training held at Staten Island Technical High School’s Summer College Head Start Program. You can read about what they learned here (7/12 event by Jalynn), here (7/12 event by Jennifer), and here (7/14 event by Jennifer).
From my perspective, I can tell you exactly what I told my students who got to take part in this training – no matter how well I know the lessons I want to share (and hello, I have been creating, sharing and documenting these lessons to students since 2003 oh and wrote 2 books about it - The Book on College Readiness and The Book on Career Readiness) I still get nervous before any presentation/class.
This is a powerful thing to share – imho. I do not know if enough people are comfortable sharing that sometimes executing on your dream, your passion can be scary. By sharing this, it helps me really bring home the lesson that everyone is nervous about public speaking, about following their dreams, about putting themselves out there but the key is in using that nervous energy to help yourself be more present in the moment and not to pull you out of the moment.
When I have the opportunity to share my lessons, advice, books and passion for college and career readiness for students, that is what is the most exciting thing for this small business owner. In teaching others, I learn as well.
the next step teaching career readiness on 7/12
On Tuesday 7/12, it was a long day of “lessons” – I had a lot of information to share about
There was also some give and take (more in the afternoon session than the early morning start) and I was beyond impressed with what the students had to share.
After giving them the tools to be ready for careers and even college – it was time to break and I gave some “homework” assignments for the next session on 7/14. I decided to go with a "low-tech" session for that Thursday.
The next step "low-tech" learning session on 7/14
On Thursday, 7/14, it was time for the students to demonstrate what I taught them. We began with the 3 skills -> everyone was able to tell their skills in stories and then move forward and execute on their elevator value pitch. This is not an easy thing to do for anyone – these students made it look easy. Everyone wrote down their pitch and shared it and I had only to make minor edits for their execution strategies.
Getting the chance to go back on 7/21 was amazing too – focusing on the interview skills boot camp and having a co-presenter was so powerful. As an educator, I am used to sharing the spotlight at times and having a co-teacher but as an solopreneur, I am more used to doing my work on my own. That being said, having a co-presenter for this was amazingly powerful for the students. I am going to wait until my interns share about what they thought about this training before I add more.
I hope to be presenting at more and more schools in the New York City area with my College Readiness and Career Readiness. I hope to be at your school soon! If you are interested in learning more about my training programs, click here.
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LinkedIn is a powerful tool for building your career. I was asked by my clients to create a product in between the Complete Branding Package and the LinkedIn Profile Overhaul and Improvement product. To meet this need, I created the One on One LinkedIn Review and Personalized Guide/Coaching to help more people be "entrepreneur-ING" and be the boss of their own careers. This product even includes a free copy of The Prof's Guide to Entreprenuer-ING book. More about how this new product came about - More on my LinkedIn coaching product offering.
As a way to celebrate my upcoming one-year since launch anniversary, I decided to release an exclusive offer coupon to my followers, readers and subscribers. I am releasing this more broadly but all future offers will only be sent to those who sign up to learn with me - sign up now below:
The coupon code for this special offer for the One on One LinkedIn Review and Personalized Guide/Coaching can be found here Special Savings on LinkedIn One on One Product.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool and when I help clients and students be ready for career or just train them to be entrepreneur-ING in their career, I help them develop and utilize their Elevator Value Pitch with the people in their lives, networks and beyond - most importantly through letting it permeate through social media particularly with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is the key to the strategy of finding the next step for most career people - both new professionals and seasoned executives. You will see more conversions or interviews and find that people will seek you out for potential opportunities more so than other social media platforms - for instance, no one is looking to hire you from your Facebook posts, sorry.
I do say in my books and lessons on brand building that Twitter and Instagram are potentials for opportunities but the only sure thing is LinkedIn. So what are some quick tips to using LinkedIn effectively?
1) Make sure your Elevator Value Pitch is weaved in to your profile - include it in your summary (in bullet point form or short paragraph) and make sure your skills are demonstrated through the job description points you include.
2) Keep in mind, although there are no true "space" constraints on LinkedIn, you still should avoid writing a "book" - having too much dense text is a turn off for most readers.
3) Make sure you share what makes you YOU - if you volunteer and/or are passionate about something professional in nature weave it in to your profile. This can be what makes the difference to getting the call for an opportunity.
4) Ensure your contact information is available and easy to find - this is a simple thing that many people forget to make sure is obvious.
5) Learn more lessons with me here -> The Next Step Blog Posts about LinkedIn
If you are truly ready to have a LinkedIn profile that makes waves and gets you noticed, now is a great time to hire me using my special coupon for you for the One on One LinkedIn Review and Personalized Guide/Coaching.
Start to run your career like it is your own business - stay hungry and learn with me how to compete to get to the next step.
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I am proud to showcase my intern Jennifer Riddo’s take on my training that I presented on July 12th at Staten Island Technical High School. Not only did she take photos and some video for social media but she also drafted up this blog post for me.
I particularly like how she wrote about the experiences of learning with me as my intern – I have shared already the prep work I did as a career readiness expert for the interns (read about it here). Thanks for learning with me, too!
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Guest post on career readiness training by Jennifer riddo
Hello my name is Jennifer Riddo. If you don't know anything about me one thing is I love to write. I am honored to be an intern with the Next Step this summer. I am learning so much so far and can't wait to learn more through this program to help me take my next step in applying for college and starting my career.
I am elated to be a guest blogger and have this opportunity. Lisa's projects are very engaging. I even read the The Prof's Guide to Enterpreneur-ING. (Order your copy of the book here.)
It was a great read and one of my favorite quotes from Lisa in this book was, " You do not need to be your own company to be a boss. You just need to identify how to rock out on your career as if you are CEO of yourself."
I found this quote to be very inspiring since I tend to look at people who are my bosses as being in charge of me. It helped me learn how to run my future because I got the power to take charge of myself.
This past Tuesday I went along with Lisa and the other intern, Jalynn, to attend The Next Step's Career Readiness training event at Staten Island Technical High School. Lisa discussed college and career readiness tips to help students take their next step to success. You can learn more about her work on this here --> College and Career Readiness Training and Workshops.
During her interactive presentation, Lisa provided great advice that resonated to me even as her intern taking pictures. Lisa described the importance of building your brand. I am sure when you hear brand, you think Michael Kors or Coca Cola. At least, that is what I always thought of when I heard the word "brand".
We are all our own person and our brand is who we are as a person. The brand of me is made up of my skills and talents and what I can bring to any job anywhere. No two people are alike that's why it is important for you to build and sell yourself as your own brand.
Lisa even said," LinkedIn is more powerful than a paper resume." I found this to be eye opening. As a 17 year old who never heard of the site it opened up my eyes to join in to help create and promote my brand. Since technology is advancing in the world, it is easier for a future employer to find you on the web.
I learned from Lisa's talk that sometimes people write too much on their resume and that hiring managers do not want to read paragraphs; however, LinkedIn can allow for more "space" since it is not a paper based tool.
Lisa also spoke about the importance of knowing your passion and having a back up plan for your career. Since the job field is very competitive having a back up plan after college is a must. It's best to find your passion and figure out how to connect it to a career field of interest. If you love waking up every morning to go to work it's not a job. If you think about it for a second, you are getting paid to do what you love. I thought this was really powerful and I am glad I got to hear it while I am still in high school!
Of course, she spent some time talking about the importance of interviews. I look at an interview as the most important part of the job. If you blow the interview your chance of receiving the job is very slim. Lisa considers your resume the script on the interview. This means that your resume is basically a piece of paper that holds all of your stories.
She spent a lot of time talking about the importance of "stories" and how it is your stories that make you who you are and present your brand and your "professional self" to the interviewers. Don't be afraid to tell your stories.
Lisa also spoke about the importance of being proactive. When applying for an internship it is a good idea to have a list of skills you would like to learn. From that list of skills, show your future employer. It is important to work with them to learn those skills through your internship.
Lisa is the type of person that makes you feel comfortable from the start. When you meet her, you can tell she is really willing to help you. She is the safest person to network with and she is a great resource for help as she told the students we met with at Tech.
As someone reading Lisa's blog, I advise you to use her resources to the best of your ability. As well, feel free to follow me on Twitter @nextstepintern, where I promote and share more about the Next Step. You can also follow Lisa on Twitter and Instagram to learn more from her. This internship is a great experience and writing about it as an aspiring journalist has been an amazing way for me to execute on learning and practicing great skills for my next step. I hope to have the chance to share my experience with you again soon.
photos credit my interns Jennifer & jalynn -stay tuned for jalynn's post about the training
I put a lot of emphasis in all of my training, workshops, courses, books on being able to speak effectively. I have even made some videos about it --> (my most watched one is the Video on how good communication skills can be a competitive advantage).
You do not need to be a Ted-level speaker – you just need to be able to present and speak about things in your realm of expertise. For instance, I could never speak about medical care or neuroscience but ask me about business, careers, college readiness and more and I can go on and on for hours – or whatever timeline is needed for the event. But I can speak about what I know and am passionate about – college, career readiness and entrepreneurship (among other topics such as marketing, finance, economics, global business, advertising, etc etc) --> Learn more on about it via my online course expertise, College and Career Readiness Training, Entrepreneurship Course pages.
I am lucky to do what I love and what I love to do is share my lessons. I was at a local area high school yesterday and as I read through the feedback last night, I was humbled and thankful that I have this opportunity to help students be college and career ready! I will be sharing about that soon and in fact my interns who attended the training will be providing a guest blog post for me sometime soon – so look for that.
Anyway, when I asked the students at the end of our 6 or so hours together, “Do you think I was nervous?” They all said, “No” and I explained to them well yes, I was nervous and I barely slept the night before the event just thinking about all of the ways I wanted to share my information and worrying about all of the mistakes I could make. I expressed to them that no matter who you are or how long you have been speaking or whether you are speaking in front of 10 people, 1000 people or just an interviewer, you will always be nervous but the key is to turn your nervousness into excitement, into inflection and into your speech.
What are my lessons for you?
What do you think about my speaking skills quick tips?
Learn more about skills and applying them to your career with my book on Entrepreneur-ING and run your career like it is your own business.
Continue to learn with me via my books, workshops, my YouTube channel, my podcasts and of course my blog with tons of free advice daily. Happy Hunting!
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Something that is near impossible to teach (but can be inspired) is motivation and proactive-ness. As someone who has spent many years in the classrooms of HigherEd and has run businesses and been a manager/executive in Corporate America, I can tell you that being motivated and proactive is something that will make you successful where you are OR give you the skills to position yourself for something bigger and better.
This can be inspired by your teachers or your managers but ideally you yourself are intrinsically proactive and self-motivated. These are some of my most important lessons I share with my students and clients regarding these traits which you can learn too with The Book on Career Readiness.
I am someone who is both an educator and someone who has run multi-million dollar projects so when I found out I was going to have two interns this summer, I set about designing work options and mapping them to skills to help my interns both help me AND gain marketable skills for their future. Read more about that process here Career Readiness Expert Preparing for Interns.
If you are not lucky enough to be my intern, here are some ways for you to focus and learn each day at your internship or your first job:
For all of your career readiness needs, follow me on Twitter, SnapChat, and instagram too – thenext_step123 and my snapchat is below. Or just read my books – click here to order now.
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I am happy to announce that I am working on my 5th book – you can learn more about my books here at The Next Step Publishing.
My Career Readiness expertise is talked about here and of course my College and Career Readiness Workshops speak for itself.
The introduction to this book, The Prof's Guide to Being Successful at Work (or What Workplace Readiness Means) is below for your first sneak peek and I will provide more updates as I get closer to publication:
This installment of the College and Career Readiness series is focused on succeeding in your career. As someone who has been training students for the past 13+ years on how to be ready for life after college, this book is a long time coming.
I also conduct in person and online course around these topics to help people, just like you, be career ready.
My previously published books also cover important lessons on being college and career ready. This is the third book in the College and Career Readiness series I have created and published. The first book is The Prof’s Guide to Surviving High School and Kicking Butt in College (or The Book on College Readiness). The second book is The Prof’s Guide to Graduating College with a Job Offer (or The Book on Career Readiness).
When I completed that second book, I realized there was still lots to say and teach on how to be ready for that first job.
When I started my career officially meaning I was no longer a student worker or intern but a real bona fide employee of a large multinational firm, I was lost. I had no idea what I was doing or how to do what I was doing. It was a huge transition for me and it has not gotten any easier for students today to make this transition – if anything, it has gotten harder.
There is even less time for a company to “onboard” you appropriately and make sure you have the skills and talents to succeed or at least not to stick out by making too many mistakes!
You need to be able to hit the ground running as soon as you walk through the door on your first job. Also, you need to keep in mind that the job might not be a career – it might be a stopgap for you to getting to the next step of your career or it could be a temporary gig that you are hoping to turn into a full time job.
The economy is not the way it used to be and the potential to find a career path is harder and harder. What makes sense is for you to read this book and learn from me and consider expanding your knowledge with the other series I have written – The Prof’s Guide to Entrepreneur-ING Using Entrepreneurial Skills to Launch Your Own Business or be the Boss of Your Career (or How to Succeed in Business). This book will walk you through the skill sets you need to constantly manage your own career.
But before you can do that, you need to know how to be a career person.
In Chapter 1, I will teach you how to be professional and handling stereotypes with being the “youngest” employee and what that means for your interpersonal relationships at work and how yo you can be ahead of the curve with this in your career.
Office politics and culture is what I spend Chapter 2 detailing but this could be its own book – so much of this chapter is hard to define but all of it is helpful and important for you to know as you build out your career as a young professional.
Chapter 3 teaches you all you need to know about communication. Being a great communicator is key to everything you will ever want to do in your life. Even being a “good” communicator is enough to make a difference in your career and life.
Dressing for success in Chapter 4 is so important and hard to do on a budget for a new career person – there are easy ways to accomplish this and to maintain the perception of professionalism even as a younger person.
Chapter 5 is the magic around motivation – not so much to motivate yourselves because if you are reading this book, I know you are motivated enough already to try to better yourself and to set yourself apart professionally. Instead, the magic of motivation for this chapter is around motivating others – your team members, your managers and more.
Chapter 6 is about conflict resolution and how to diffuse situations and recognizing positive conflict vs negative conflict. Taking those lessons and then building out the team building skills you need to take things to the next level for your career in Chapter 7.
Chapter 8 is about how to build your career through volunteering. Doing stretch assignments and doing them well is a huge way to help your career and we go over that in Chapter 9.
Chapter 10 gives you lessons and insights into managing failure and most importantly makes you understand that failure is not the worst thing that can ever happen to you. In fact, failing is the best way to learn and be ready for new adventures. Of course, with my lessons from this book and my other books (on being entrepreneurial in your career, on career readiness and more) you will not fail for something that is not worth it.
I have spent many years as a project manager and I am a PMP (Project Management Professional) via the Project Management Institute (PMI) and I rely on all of these lessons to build out Chapter 11 on implementing project management skills in your career. Chapter 12 is all about mentorship – being a mentor and building mentoring relationships with others.
Be ready to rock your career with the lessons I will share with you based off of my long time career as an executive, entrepreneur and educator.
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As the career readiness expert of Staten Island (I mean, I wrote The Book on Career Readiness, after all) when I found out I would be getting two interns who could begin work on July 5th, I kind of went a little out of control.
I began with this video showcasing my PPT file and what I hope to teach the interns:
Then I made a more detailed video about the full skill set mapping and project management level planning:
I also wanted to make a companion post to the one about Positioning my Company to be the College Readiness Expert post about Career Readiness – so here it is. Showcasing the content I use to build my lessons and workshops and how I am branding myself as an expert. Just a sample of content on these topics can be found here Blog Posts on University Advice.
To build off of that content I am also creating longer YouTube Videos – such as this one- my first in a series for Career Readiness:
And of course, I began podcasting on Career Readiness, too:
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And putting all of this in action is my recently created training document and orientation video for my interns, who I am going to meet this morning. I am really putting my all behind this college and career readiness - and having two interns for the summer means a) this solopreneur gets to have help building out some projects and b) I get to help two students be more career ready. I am even sharing the video I made for them that shares my 7 top projects I need help with and so much more..
Oh and do not forget about my College and Career Readiness Workshops. What do you think about my career readiness push? Tomorrow's blog post will be about my upcoming 5th book - the next in the College and Career Readiness Series all about Workplace Readiness. Please consider following me via any of my social media or letting me know your thoughts in the comments. Happy hunting!
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The 7 projects i need help with AND the skills the interns will gain from them - career readiness
Positioning My company as the staten island College Readiness Expert through content, books and more
I continue to build my business and focus on college readiness for the upcoming College Access for All initiative, as I have written about a lot on my website, my blog and other blogs, too - my posts about my college readiness expertise.
Of course, I have my book series on College and Career Readiness with first being The Book on College Readiness: The Prof's Guide to Surviving High School and Kicking Butt in College and the second The Book on Career Readiness: The Prof's Guide on How to Graduate with a Job Offer. I recently posted about why career readiness is personal for me in my Statistics, Statistics and Damn Lies Post.
There is also my College and Career Readiness Workshops and Training and just a sampling of the testimonials.
In building my reputation as an expert, I have begun creating YouTube video series on College Readiness expanded beyond my regular KnowMe 3-minute limitation spots with the use of my “studio” (man, I wish I had one of those real YouTube professional looking sets – it’s on my wish list regarding office space…)
These videos are more focused on speaking to the students who need my help – the middle school and high school students who can benefit most from my book of lessons and my workshops and seminars. These videos are also, though, for the parents and the schools to see what I can do and “teach” on these subjects. I am including them below along with the Podcasts I am doing on College Readiness.
College readiness part 1 video on doing what you love
College readiness video part 2 on skills and doing what you love
College Readiness Part 3 on Being a Late Bloomer Student
Podcasts on college readiness
I wanted to begin to have a place where I showcase all of the different strategies in action for College Readiness. What do you think of the content and promotional activities I am using right now? I am considering creating a teleseminar, too.
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Lisa Vento Nielsen