Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Tutoring From a Business Perspective

Technology has improved significantly over the last 20 years to the point where it is now quite easy and cost-efficient to provide tutoring services online. While many independent tutors and tutoring companies view this as a favorable change in the industry it also poses many threats to existing businesses. Many articles look at the advantages and disadvantages of online tutoring from the perspective of the student – this article will explore this topic from the perspective of the tutoring business.


The availability of technology for online tutoring is most advantageous to new tutors or tutoring companies that are not yet established in the market. Online tutoring requires low start-up costs, it opens the tutor up to a much larger market and offers more flexibility for scheduling. Let’s take a look at each of these advantages one at a time:

Lower barriers to entry

Although many independent tutors also have low start-up costs, if you are a tutoring company and decide to go the online route, you can avoid many of the expenses associated with starting up a traditional tutoring company. Traditional companies often require an office for administration or where tutoring takes place, marketing through local media, driving to meetings to prospective clients, etc. Online tutoring companies do not require an office other than a home office and definitely do not require a building for teaching students. Online marketing is lower cost and can be targeted more directly than traditional marketing, and talking with clients can be done online or by phone. These low start-up costs make it much easier for new businesses to start online.

Larger market

Traditional tutoring companies are limited by geography – they cannot cost-effectively serve students outside of their geographic area due to time-constraints related to transportation and the cost of transportation. For this reason, tutoring companies have much smaller markets and can only enter new markets by adding new locations. Online tutoring businesses do not face this limitation. They can reach anyone with an internet connection and the only real limitation is language. For this reason many individuals prefer to start an online tutoring company so that they can reach a much larger market. This can be a very good strategy if your company teaches a highly specialized subject that would not have enough people locally to support the business.

Tutoring companies can also hire tutors from a much larger area and may be more successful in finding top-quality teachers in the subjects they offer.


Online tutoring companies have more flexibility since they can choose to teach students in different time zones. Tutors that are only available to teach in the late evening can easily teach students from a later timezone where it is afternoon. This makes it easier for independent tutors to fit their tutoring into their personal or work schedule.

Lower operating costs

The ongoing operating costs of running an online tutoring business are also lower than traditional tutoring. Some of the eliminated costs come in the form of building leases, phone, transportation and marketing. Online tutors can do everything from their home, they can use free or low-cost online phones like Skype for communication and they don’t have to spend money driving to the tutoring office or to clients’ homes.


Many of the advantages of online tutoring can also pose challenges for tutoring companies. We’ll look at the disadvantages below one at a time.

Lower barriers to entry

Low barriers to entry make online tutoring attractive to new tutoring companies, but for incumbents this is a negative since it makes it easier for new companies to enter the market and compete with them. This ultimately leads to more price competition and lower profit margins.

Competition from other markets and other countries

Online tutoring overcomes the geography barrier which is also a disadvantage for existing tutoring businesses. This means that instead of facing competition only from tutoring companies in their immediate market they now face competition from tutors in other parts of the country and in other countries all-together. Many online tutors are from countries like India where the cost of living is much lower. Thy can teach American students online and charge a rate that is still much lower than standard rates in the United States, yet still well above the rate they would earn for tutoring in their own country.

Technology limitations of students

While most people have a personal computer at home and internet access, many students who need tutoring do not have the required technology to receive online tutoring. In addition to a computer, a high-speed internet connection is ideal, a headset and microphone are needed for talking with the tutor, and hardware such as a writing board may be required depending on the subject. This means if your business wants to provide only online tutoring there will be many students that you cannot reach.


While online tutoring can be effective, there are certain subjects where face-to-face communication and explaining concepts on a sheet of paper are more effective than communicating online. It can also be more challenging to keep students engaged when tutoring online, which can have a negative effect on the student’s progress.

Online tutoring creates both opportunities and challenges for tutoring businesses. By understanding and evaluating these challenges, tutoring companies will be better prepared to respond to them and adapt their business strategies to the changes it brings the industry.

4 Ways Students Can Explore Change on a School Tour to Paris

Change is part and parcel of any large European city, but the older cities can feel change in their bones quite differently. Students who visit Paris will, if given the chance, begin to sense the way the city is adapting to the many changes it has recently faced, and by doing so they can learn a great deal.

Economic Change

The changes that have been on everyone’s lips around the world are mainly economic. Students on a school tour to Paris, especially those focused on economics or business studies, will no doubt arrive with an idea that the city and its surrounds have been affected by the economic downturn. This is hardly news for a city so ancient, but the particularity and severity of economic stress has, in recent years, forced the citizens to adapt, sometimes unhappily. It is sobering for students to visit the classic avenues, old business hubs and flourishing new suburbs and discover how Parisians have been forced to deal with financial insecurity and a shadowy future.

Cultural Change

Change is not always welcome. However, in fact, even unwelcome changes allow people new opportunities. Paris has long been a cultural icon and a beacon for many different people and their social flavours. Students on a school tour will notice how the influx of new immigrants and the emergence of new pockets of Parisian society have created new opportunities for the cultural life of the city to express itself around its classic, old-world charm.

Identity Change

Paris has an aura all of its own. It is one of those grand cities that seem set apart even from the very nation it represents. Students on a school tour will be intrigued to dig deep into the heritage of the city’s identity, treasured and showcased in its many monuments, museums and charming terrace-lined avenues. But they may also learn how the identity of what it means to be a Parisian has changed. As the city faces changes in the way its residents live, work, and relate across its broad urban area, it is adapting to a new, broader concept of what it means to represent this vibrant and history-laden city.

Atmospheric Change

To stroll down the moneyed avenues of St Michel, to wander over the famous bridges as the lights flicker from the historic buildings, to breathe in the soft chatter from the shops and cafes as the city settles in to the evening – these are the moments that bring out the beauty inherent to the soul of Paris. But as the people of the city change and face change, it is a unique time for students on a school tour to question just how the atmosphere of this great city will adapt in years to come.

6 Ways to Earn Money From Home During COVID 19 Pandemic

Have you been looking for ways to earn money from home during the COVID-19 pandemic? Then, your search ends here. After reading this article, you don’t need to look for the best methods to earn money. With a massive number of employees getting laid off worldwide, making money should be your priority during these tough times. As situations continue to worsen day by day, going outside to work is not a good idea. We will give you the top 5 ways to earn money from your home’s comforts during this pandemic.

1)Tutor Students

If you love teaching and have command over a particular subject or subjects, then that’s all you need to start earning money right now. With online platforms like Chegg, you can easily make money by tutoring students.

From Mathematics, Science, Engineering to computer science, Programming to even History, you can choose from a large number of subjects to teach. Also, if you have fluency in a language like English, you can get paid for teaching it online to students from all over the world.

2)Graphic Designing

Are you a canvas expert? Have you been creating awesome designs with Adobe Creative Cloud? You can get paid for that, join Upwork or other freelancing websites, create your portfolio, and get started. Freelancing websites connect you to clients from all over the world, who are looking for individual talents.

If you can easily handle great graphic design projects, no one can stop you from getting that first client and begin your freelancing journey during the COVID-19 pandemic. Market yourself over professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn.

3)Start A Podcast

Nowadays, podcasting is a brand new way of earning money comfortably from home. You might be wondering how you can make money through podcasting; then, you should note that you get paid through sponsorship or Ads.

Another great way of earning through your podcasts is affiliate marketing.

Well, starting a podcast can be quite easy and straightforward, so choose your topic or field of interest and get started, such as digital marketing service and the Internet of Things.

All you need is a recording app, microphone, dedication, and creativity. The anchor is one of the best platforms to get started with podcasting and monetizing it.


Do you have a passion for writing and also want to make money? Then, blogging is a good idea.

Now, if you think that you can start earning money through your blogs overnight, then that is not possible.

To become a successful blogger, you require effort, dedication, and passion for

learning digital marketing.

You need to have a thorough understanding of SEO(search engine marketing) to create blogs that will be successful.

Some of the ways of earning money via blogging are Ads, affiliate marketing, etc.

So, start creating a blog or a website and start your journey of becoming a successful affiliate. Explore the online marketing trends to pocket a handsome amount of money.

5)Testing Out Websites

Many businesses or agencies need people who can test their websites. In simple words, they want to know if their websites are user-friendly. You need to understand that more than the opinions of the development or marketing experts, what matters the most for businesses is the feedback of their audience. If making even the smallest changes can generate more sales, that will be a win-win situation for both companies and you. You will get paid for testing out their websites.

You just need to give your most honest feedback.

There are various sites that you can start with, such as Try My UI, User Testing, Userfeel, etc.


This is one of the most popular ways of earning money from the comforts of your home. Starting at $20 per audio hour, you can get paid for audio transcription. In today’s digital world, the demand for transcription services is increasing day by day.

With the use of text to speech software, competition has increased, but the effort from your side can still be helpful.There are various sites such as Transcribe Me from where you can start earning money through transcription.

So, we have reached the end of the article. We hope that you enjoyed reading, and it was an insightful article for you. We’ll love to hear your feedback. Stay Tuned.

Art Business Marketing and Branding Ideas – Tips to Marketing Your Art Via YouTube

YouTube is one of the top five visited sites in the world and has been a great resource for providing information, entertainment, and fun. Also it has become one of the most successful marketing tools on the web hemisphere. Yep, marketing. Can you believe? People along with major companies are using videos as part of their marketing campaign to rev-up sales or get the viewer to do some kind of action whether it be join their mailing list, visit their website, or purchase goods or service from the marketer.

Well, what does this have to do with artists, a lot. Just like major companies and independent companies are using YouTube as a way to market their products artist like you can too. Here’s how.

Videos are different from text and still images because videos allow viewers to get a glimpse of who the person really is on the video. Viewers can tell whether you are entertaining, funny, informative, or boring. So if you have a video of you, as an artist people can see you and maybe like you, resulting in them doing business with you in some way. If you do decide to go the YouTube route there are a few things you as an artist should consider.

First, post videos of you creating your artwork in your studio or class.

You want to allow people to see a taste of what it’s like to be in your world. While you are shooting the video you can talk a little about how your work is created from beginning to end. This type of video can serve as an artist statement to whom ever comes in contact with your video. You can post this type of video on your blog or site to serve as just that, an artist statement.

Second, create videos of you having an art show or art exhibition, especially if you have a lot of people at your show.

This gives the viewers a sense that you are professional and that you have some recognition from collectors and buyers. It’s also cool to see people socializing and mingling at one single location that’s devoted to you. So definitely post videos of yourself having an art show.

Third, use your videos to lead people to your site, blog, Facebook page, or what have you.

This is the most important thing you can do. You definitely want to have people to go to the main location where you sell and promote your art on the web. Again, whether it’s Facebook, a website, or blog you want to have the link or url somewhere in the video. It’s been said that it’s best to have it at the beginning of the video and at the end. Also you want to have a direct link to your site or fan page first thing in the description box next to your video. You can put this right after you upload your video.

If uploading video and making video is new to you don’t be too frightened by it, it’s very easy to get started. If you don’t know anything about video and YouTube just ask a family member especially a teenager or college student and I promise they can point you into the right direction. Also, don’t concern yourself about what kind of camera to use.

There are so many inexpensive cameras that you can purchase less than 100 bucks that will allow you to upload your video directly to YouTube. If you remember these few things I mentioned you can’t go wrong with getting a response from using videos to market your artwork.

What Is A Successful Entrepreneur Profile?

What Does A Successful Entrepreneur Profile Look Like?

In a recent post. I talked a little bit about what it takes to become an entrepreneur. But there actually isn’t just one profile of an entrepreneur that spells success. You will discover incredibly intelligent people with lots of drive that fail. Then you’ll find those who have limited education and just happened to hit on the correct thing at the right time.

The truth is, that there are particular qualities that improve your probability of becoming a successful entrepreneur and they’re reasonably straight forward.

You have to be prepared to:

1) Have incredible drive. To not give up no matter what.

2) Be willing and open to learning each and every day.

3) Not sweat the little things.

4) Be solution oriented. Every situation has problems it is the way you look at them.

5) Be people oriented.

6) Risk everything.

Looking At The Facts

OK, so the bullets are great, but where’s the beef. The first point is pretty self explanatory. The second one is a bit tricky, the key word here is “open”. The vast majority of us have a fixed idea of what the best thing is to do. I definitely did, with my background and experience, I assumed I knew the right way to handle everything. The truth is, that I wasn’t open minded which effected my success.

So you should be willing to learn new things and new ways of considering each situation that comes up, if you are going to be a successful entrepreneur. Don’t allow your baggage and history get in the way of your success. Next, as I mentioned you cannot sweat the small things. Being an entrepreneur can be death by a thousand cuts if you let it. There are so many minute problems that will continue to get in the way of your success. If you ever let them get control and effect your attitude you will certainly fail.

So, in effect, issue’s three and four are joined at the hip. The best way to manage the little stuff is being solution oriented. Always look for the ways to resolve problems, don’t wallow in them.

But there is another element to this as well. Some issues cannot be solved. You will find a million small things that come up. When those issues arise, remind yourself that there’s a big picture at stake and refocus on it. Every now and then you just need to let the small stuff go. Be sure to put things in perspective of the big picture and it will positively effect your outcomes.

You Have To Be People Oriented

If I had to select one thing that I believe is critical to a successful entrepreneur profile, I would say it is the ability to be people oriented. I say this for 2 reasons. The first is that the better job you can do of interacting with folks the higher likelihood you will have of generating business.

The second reason is a little more subtle, but perhaps is much more important. If you’re a student of individuals and are really interested in them and what they’ve got to say, you’ll be better in tune with their wants and needs. In sales we call that their pains and pleasures. To have the ability to resolve someones pain and provide them something that gives them pleasure you’ve got to understand specifically what those things are that effect them. If you cannot do this, or you do not have somebody to partner with that can help you with that, then your success will probably be mostly based on luck.

Finally, if you’re really talking about a successful entrepreneur profile, you’re talking about somebody who is all in. They are the ones who believe so completely in what they are dong, that they’re ready to put everything they’ve got on their bet. That is why many entrepreneurs are famous for making a fortune, losing it and making it yet again, they are all in on every bet.

What Potato Chips Can Teach Entrepreneurs?

America, and the developed world, is saturated with cheap, convenient, pre-packaged snack foods. These tasty treats are available in sweet, salty, chilled, or warmed styles and presentations. None is more popular, and ubiquitous, than the potato chip.

The potato chip in America was historically a very local mom and pop business until the 1930’s. The end product, the potato chip crisps; were very difficult to ship, handle and preserve without advanced packaging techniques. Prior to the invention of coated bagging components, chips were made in local kitchens and sold in a few local stores, typically out of barrels. As soon as the barrels were opened, and the shop owner scooped the sold product for the consumer, air entered the barrels and the potato chips became stale. Consumers of these chips were taught to heat the chips at home before serving to mitigate the lack of freshness.

This type of trade was adequate for a local service business model, but it did not allow for economies of scale or national distribution. In addition, each town and region developed a favorite type of chip that enjoyed local popularity only. The opportunity was ripe for an entrepreneur to consolidate and commercialize the snack business in a major way and revolutionize the category.

That entrepreneur was Herman Lay. Mr. Lay was a route salesman for the Barrett Food Company of Atlanta. He sold the Barrett brand of potato chips in an assigned territory in Nashville, TN during the 1930’s. He was a natural sales talent, developed and quickly grew his territory and soon hired route salesmen to work for him. The owners of Barrett noticed his success and offered to sell Herman Lay the whole business. He struggled to cobble together financing. This was at the height of the depression. Somehow, a combination of loans, savings and preferred stock was assembled and the $600,000 selling price was secured.

The new Company immediately changed the name to the H. W. Lay, Company. Mr. Lay recognized that mechanization was necessary to expand his distribution and lower costs. He invested every dollar of profit in self-contained potato processing machinery that took a whole potato and produced a finished chip. The crisps were then packaged in the new non-permeable bags that insured freshness for the product as they were shipped and sat on store shelves until purchased and consumed.

The onset of World War II proved most profitable for the salted snack industry. Chocolate and sugar were heavily rationed during the war and products that utilized these ingredients became rare and expensive until the war was complete. Salt, however, was never rationed and the availability of salty snacks made them the preferred choice of consumers seeking a quick treat during the war. In addition, these salty snacks were consumed in huge quantities by the troops.

Lays Potato Chips and snacks became ubiquitous on store shelves in the American south during and after the war. The Company bought up small, under-capitalized competitors and expanded aggressively. Eventually the H. W. Lay Company purchased the Frito Company of San Antonio, Texas. Frito had perfected the production of a corn chip which we eat in huge quantities to this day. The combined Frito Lay Company became the strongest national salted snack producer.

Frito Lay and a number of regional brands dominated the salted snack category through the post-war years. The simple potato chip was basically unchanged in appearance, flavor and consistency, except for adding new tastes such as garlic, green onion and bar-b-cue. The industry seemed to have settled into a maturing, slow growth category, with limited entrepreneurial opportunities for new offerings. However, the most entrepreneurial consumer product Company in the world, Cincinnati’s Procter & Gamble (P&G), is always seeking to cultivate and grow new product niches. They had their corporate eye on the snack industry and, in particular, the P&G management felt they had identified a chink in the armor of the potato chip producers.

That chink was in packaging. Potato chips had been sold since the late 1930’s in flexible, pliable bags. While this insured freshness, it made breakage an issue. Consumers taking part in focus groups had told P&G that they did not like the small, cracked, broken pieces of chips that settled in the bottom of the bags. Research and Development at P&G began to work on an answer to the problem.

P&G is famous for its creation of Brand Management. Brand Management enables the responsible team assigned to each specific product to treat the brand as a stand- alone business and profit center for the Company. The success of this management style is legendary and has been studied in Business Schools and adopted by many other businesses. The Brand Management system encourages each team to pursue aggressively new product adaptations and inventiveness.

P&G Research and Development for the Company’s food group worked on the potato chip project throughout the 1960’s. Their answer to the problem created a wonderful example of how an entrepreneurial firm, or individual, can profit immensely from a convergent product innovation. The innovation that became a billion dollar brand, and revolutionized snack food marketing, was the introduction of Pringles.

P&G obviously did not invent potato chips or salty snack foods. However, by adapting the classic potato chip in form, taste and presentation they created a novel, blockbuster brand that is sold to millions of consumer around the world every day.

Pringles are 42% potato. They are formed by mixing potato flakes with liquid slurry and then dried to form each chip into an almost perfectly identical curved oval crisp. The genius of Pringle’s lies in the cylindrical cardboard tube invented for P&G by Fredric Baur. The Pringle crisps are stacked inside the tube so there is virtually no breakage of the individual chips. The tube closure is a snap on plastic lid. Pringles was test marketed in 1968 and consumers were enthusiastic. The product has been constantly improved and over 40 flavors have been added to the original style. Many of these flavors are sold in specific countries or regions to suit prevailing taste preferences, such as jalapeno in Mexico and Cajun in Louisiana.

Entrepreneurs are driven to seek and create “divergent products”. The invention of disruptive “divergent products” such as the light bulb, the cotton gin or the internal combustion engine is the “Holy Grail” that these visionaries seek to perfect and leverage to fame and fortune. However, the most often realized and realistic road to success is to create a niche product improvement. Explore existing products and technologies and identify needs that are not being addressed by these products. The creation of novel “convergent products” that simply add incremental benefits and small performance enhancements can result in huge profit.

Procter & Gamble has built the largest consumer product Company in the world and one of the most admired innovation factories by seeking both “divergent” and “convergent” opportunities. Pringles is an example of a huge “convergent product” innovative success. The history of P&G is rife with examples of new “convergent product” successes. The “divergent product” innovations are fewer and harder to discover and bring to market. This is a great Company that looks for opportunity anywhere it can find it.

Entrepreneurs should take note of this process. Frito Lay is today owned by PepsiCo. The evolution of this great brand owes much to the simple drive and vision of H. W. Lay. He took a simple product that suffered a poor distribution model and turned the opportunity into immense wealth. P&G took the breakage problem inherent in bagged potato chips and through innovation in recipe and packaging created a huge worldwide success with the introduction of Pringles. P&G and H. W. Lay are examples of the elegance of simple ideas. Remember the old axiom: KISS = Keep it Simple Stupid! The best ideas are often the most obvious.

Make Your Career by Choosing the Right Business Analytics Course

Choosing the right career option is really a task that has to be performed with carefulness and with knowledge. If you look at the present day, then you will see that pupils are searching for the jobs after achieving degrees and academic qualifications. This is mainly of the fact that they do not have the idea of choosing the right career option. Among the various courses that have been offered in the market, you should opt for the courses that have the value in the market. These are mainly the professional courses. Here you will get to know the things that have been provided by the professional courses.

Learn the basics of being professional and professionalism

Professional and professionalism are two different things that you must get the knowledge about. In the present market scenario, all you have to do is to follow the trend. Being a professional all you have to maintain is the courtesy that you have to keep in the market. Unless that you will not be counted in the numbers whom companies are looking for. On the professionalism is the way by which you have to make the assignments done within the time period or before the time. To get the thorough knowledge of these two things all you have to do is to get admitted in the Business Analytics Course. You can do this course either regularly or through distance education.

Get the knowledge about types and forms of doing business

Business in the present day has been done in the platforms of the internet. But still, many people love to do the business in the local market. There is a huge difference in maintaining these two types of business. According to the syllabus and the pattern of the curriculum of the Business Analytics, Course students will get to learn of how to maintain these two types of business. They will also get to learn about the types of business that has been followed both in the online portals and in the local market.

The future of the course that lies ahead

Professional courses have been designed not only by the teaching faculties of the institution. The whole course model has been developed by the teaching fellows and the people associated with the industry. This new trend has been followed so that the students can get the idea of what they are learning and for which reason. It also helps the students to get the placement in the Multi-National Companies after the completion of the course. A guaranteed placement is what students look into, and this course helps them in getting placed.

The job that they are going to have in future

Every business organization follows a strategy to present their product in the market. This course will help the students to get the knowledge of the policies that have been striding the market. Not only that, but students will also get to know of the strategies that are useful for the business to make their presence more in the market than their antagonists. The renowned companies will hire students after completing this course as a business strategy expert or in the other posts that help in the running of the business smoothly.

Demand for the course in the present market scenario

As have been told earlier that this course has been designed and shaped by the professionals of the industry and the teaching faculty then it can be told without a doubt that this course has the demand in the market. Companies that have been making a mark in the industry have always look for the pupils who have the experience in maintaining and controlling the business and the types. Till date students who have completed the course are not sitting idle. It is now your turn to make it big.

Don’t Wait For The Opportunity, Create It

Most of us wait for the right opportunity to come. We wait for an opportunity to be offered a better position or a better job. We wait for an opportunity to make more money. Does the opportunity ever come? Sometimes it does, but sometimes it doesn’t.

You wait passively for something to happen. Why just daydream and not go beyond the dream? Why become disappointed and unhappy because nothing happens? You can create opportunities!

Opportunities are missed by most people because they don’t realize they’ve encountered such. There will always be opportunities for those who recognize and pursue them. The lucky people are simply those who have taken more chances than average

Often, it is not a matter of creating them, but becoming aware of them. Often, they are there all the time, in front of us, but we do not recognize them. Seeing them and recognizing them requires a change of your mindset.

When you want something very strongly, and focus on it, things start happening. There is no magic here, just plain mental and emotional laws at work. Successful people use these laws, albeit unknowingly. Most people use the same laws, but in a negative manner, creating things they don’t want.

You need to define what you want. If you don’t know what exactly you want, how can you get it? When you know what you want, you will recognize the opportunities. Know your limits. You can’t be perfect. You can’t do everything yourself.

You can’t create a business or live the life of your dreams or make a lot of money if you don’t know your weaknesses, strengths, and passions. If you know your limits and what you are capable of, you will know exactly what you need. Once you begin to know yourself, you will realize your weakness and you can fill these weaknesses with other people’s strengths.

Visualize your goal as already accomplished. Feel it, and enjoy it. This will motivate and energize you to make it real. When you have the motivation, energy, and enthusiasm, you see opportunities, which you haven’t seen before. People you meet would sense your enthusiasm and would open new doors for you.

For example, if you want a new job very much, believe you will find one, and expect to find it, certain opportunities will become available. You might see an advertisement in a newspaper, or a friend might tell you about it. The job was there, and because of your expectant attitude, you became aware of the opportunity. Without this mindset, you would have probably missed it.

Another example is if you want to travel abroad, but believing the trip would cost you a lot of money, you don’t even check the prices. You regard this dream as not an achievable dream. This attitude would block any chance of traveling. This is different if you can awaken a strong ambition, not just a mild wish.

Visualize and see yourself traveling, without having any doubts about it. Sooner or later, you will find a deal, a discount, or some other way to enable you to travel, which you can afford. You might also find an opportunity to make more money, so you can travel.

You should visit different places for at least one time a year. This way you will sure as well meet new people and also might be presented with an opportunity that simply doesn’t exist in your hometown.

If you want to find friends, you create the opportunity by mixing with people, not by staying at home. You create the opportunity, by rehearsing in your mind how to talk and behave, so that they are attracted to you.

If you want to be presented with more opportunities, simply meet new people. The more people you know, the higher chances you will be presented with new experiences. Go to meetings with people having similar interests as you.

You just never know, life is unpredictable, and that’s why you should always keep your eyes wide open. You might miss an opportunity simply because you were too busy listening to your iPod. Always be on the lookout even when doing simple activities as drinking coffee, riding the bus, or walking back home.

Don’t be afraid to ask. – Just DON’T! There is no shame in not knowing something, and there is no shame in questioning things. Most people would gladly help you if you asked them nicely for some help. People are not monsters, most of us are good and kind. You just have to ask the right way.

Don’t be afraid to try a different approach. Build your self-confidence. You can’t make people follow you if you don’t look confident. If you could make people follow you, you will surely be able to create a lot of opportunities for yourself/ your company/ your workplace.

Keep learning. Learning is a process that never ends. You can always learn something new. Always maintain the attitude of a student. If you think you are done learning, bitterness set in, but if you have more to achieve every day, in any arena, that makes each morning’s awakening full of potential and cheery portent.

In the end, it all comes to doing. You will never get presented with opportunities by sitting and watching TV all day. Go out, feel, see, be, and take part in life. If you are active and always on the lookout, you will always end up in the right place at the right moment.

Speaking Well – Four Steps To Improve Your ESL EFL Students Speaking Ability

Mastery of English as a second or foreign language (ESL or EFL) comes down to how well a student speaks. He may write well, for example, get high marks on tests, or even have an accent nearly identical to a native speaker; but if he can’t express ideas, opinions, or instructions clearly in a conversation, few would call him proficient. Language is for communication after all, and that primarily means speaking.

As teachers, we continually assess the strengths and weaknesses of our classes. We then take this information and develop effective lessons, always working towards greater communicative ability which maintains a balance between fluency (getting the words out) and accuracy (using grammar and vocabulary correctly). What follows are four steps which serve as a model in planning lessons that give students ample practice time with the language. These steps also work towards free use of the language. Before the four steps, conversational ability should be defined, though.

Conversation involves the following: using the language, listening to the language, processing the information, and then responding to it. The purpose of the conversation affects the process, as does the place and the people involved. Compare English spoken to open a business meeting with English used to order at a restaurant. This language then differs from what may be needed during the business meeting, or to complain about the quality of the food.

From these examples, we can infer that a good speaker uses grammar and vocabulary effectively and accurately. We should also consider the context of the grammar and vocabulary, and how it can add nuance. For example, when, why, and to whom would a speaker describe business meetings in the following manner?:

Example A: “Even though our weekly meeting with those R&D people can be boring, I know how important it is. Let’s face it: it’s a necessary evil.”

Example B: “Ugh! Our weekly meeting with those R&D people drives me up the wall!”

Someone who speaks well would similarly understand when to use different grammar points. Native speakers “just know” the language, even if we can’t always give the whys and what fors of grammar or vocabulary. Lessons which involve speaking activities should always strive to build and reinforce these skills. In time, decisions in language usage like the above become more regular, or even subconscious.

Preparation: Allow the students to prepare for the tasks ahead with an effective warm-up. This gives everyone in the class ample opportunity to get their English wheels turning. Adequate time translates into fewer mistakes while you’re presenting and drilling the target language, so comprehension and use of the new language increases.

Present: Next present the topic for discussion, target grammar, or any vocabulary selected for the lesson. The warm up can serve as a springboard into the topic. For example, write on the board any synonyms of today’s key words used by the students, and then introduce the target vocab. Or if you focus on grammar, write several sentences from the warm up that will highlight the target structure. In both cases, information from the warm up gets recycled, thus providing a more efficient use of class time. The grammar or vocabulary becomes more memorable, too, because of the link to the initial conversations.

Practice: After the presentation, ESL / EFL students need to practice the new material. It’s unfair to expect them to make use of the new language without adequate practice. Drills work to achieve automatically, even at higher ability levels. Tightly controlled drills with new grammar points or vocabulary lay the foundation and provide examples. Activities should then move into freer and freer use of the language, which will allow each student to integrate the lesson material with pre-existing language.

Free Use: You should always work towards real use of the language. Whereas the first part of the lesson focuses on accurate production of the language, it’s done to then allow better practice of fluency (getting the words out). Activities at the end of the lesson allow students to select vocabulary and grammar structures, and to tie the day’s material with previously studied language. These activities also let upper-level learners apply strategies, use gestures and body language, and adjust their language for the intended audience or listener.

Business Ethics for the Mindful Dance Professional

Once upon a time, a dance teacher opened her own studio down the road from her former employer’s school, taking advantage of her former teaching position to start her own studio. Sound familiar? This is an all too common story in the dance studio business and unfortunately, this is no fairy-tale.

We have all heard a version of this story or perhaps experienced it first-hand. Poaching students–direct or indirect solicitation of another’s students–is a practice that mindlessly fragments and divides the dance community. In addition to poaching students, other subtle, but just as divisive, practices include: making negative remarks about other teachers/schools, misrepresentation of the self by making false, exaggerated, or ambiguous claims, and making disparaging comparisons or references about others.

What drives otherwise enterprising individuals to engage in business practices that burn bridges, sow the seeds of deceit, and model mindless behavior?

Darwin. You heard me–Darwin is to blame. Well, not really Darwin himself, but the misinterpretation of his theories into a business context is at the root of this dilemma. When the business world adopted the neo-Darwinian philosophy of “survival of the fittest”, they unleashed a ready-made excuse for unethical action.

As a culture that witnessed the “cola wars” first hand, we picked up the idea that anything goes when it comes to business and marketing. Ethics and morals need not apply. “That’s business” they say while defending their actions. They fail to see the big picture: to look mindfully at the situation. They unknowingly hurt the larger dance profession and therefore themselves. It is a case of one’s right hand shooting one’s left and thinking this is good.

What makes one feel justified in approaching the business of dance studios in this mindless manner?

At the root of the neo-Darwinian business approach is a sense of isolation and scarcity. These teachers believe that it is “them against the world”–or, more directly, “them against the other local studios/teachers.” Add to this sense of isolation a sense of scarcity–that there are not enough students to go around–and you start to understand how one begins to rationalize why stealing students is necessary for survival. However, these twin concepts–isolation and scarcity–are illusions in the dance world.

Studios fighting over the same group of students create a negative atmosphere in the community. Parents sense this negativity and choose alternative activities for their children because they seem more wholesome: the potential young dancer takes up soccer. However, in a community where more than one dance school thrives without negativity, a greater number of students enjoy dance as an activity. This greater number of students translates down the road into a greater number of future dancers, dance teachers, and, most importantly, audience members. If dance studios stopped seeing each other so much as competitors and more as colleagues, the entire dance profession would benefit.

The solution starts as simply as making replacements: replacing mindless competition with mindful collegiality, mindless isolation with mindful interconnectedness, and mindless scarcity with mindful abundance. We must realize that the dance profession, from the smallest recreational dance class to the largest professional company, is interconnected. The entire web of the dance world is vitally linked.

For example, the dance community is rather small in comparison with the larger world of sports. There are many more children participating in sports than the arts. Rather than interpreting this as a reason to fight for resources, we should embrace a sense of abundance. There are more than enough potential students out there to sustain every school if we focus on bringing more students into dance rather than fighting over those already there. It is to the benefit of the dance profession at every level to include more of the non-dance world inside our walls rather than put up walls within our own.

So, how can we begin to break down the twin illusions of isolation and scarcity in the dance studio world and open our eyes to interconnectedness and abundance?

We need to base our actions and practices on ideals that reflect the dance world as a healthy and vibrant community rather than a dire and hopeless one that lends itself to mindless behavior. Adopting a code of ethics that reinforces a mindful and wholesome outlook will not just serve as guidelines, but also help promote a positive environment for those whom they effect.

Going forward, we all need to embrace a code of ethics that addresses these issues. The following list is nowhere near complete, but it is a place to start.

Business Ethics for the Mindful Dance Professional

In all professional and business relations, the dance professional shall exhibit respect, honesty, and integrity for themselves, clients, and colleagues.

A. Respect

A dance professional shall refrain from making negative remarks that may discredit, malign, or in any way cast reflection on the professional standing of another school/studio or teacher.

A dance professional shall refrain from making any disparaging references to, or disparaging comparisons with, the services of others

A dance professional shall refrain from publishing, or causing to be published, any notice, newspaper advertisement, or any other matter likely to damage or depreciate the reputation of any colleague.

B. Honesty

A dance professional shall accurately portray his or her qualifications or affiliations to the public especially in advertising material and avoid any ambiguity or exaggeration.

A dance professional shall refrain from portraying his or her qualifications or affiliations to the public in a way intended to deceive the uninitiated. For example: having danced a child role in the Nutcracker with a professional company and listing it as to portray having danced professionally with the company.

C. Integrity

A dance professional shall refrain from directly soliciting business from another teacher or studio by approaching, in any manner the pupil, pupils or employees of another teacher and, for any reason at all, to try to induce them to join his/her school.

A dance professional shall refrain from indirectly soliciting business from another teacher or studio by making adverse criticism against other teachers’ methods, by offering free coaching, by citing the advantages to be gained by the pupil from the change (e.g. offering roles/parts), or other similar methods.

With each of us taking responsibility for our own actions by embracing a mindful ethical base, we can co-create a healthier, connected, and abundant environment in the business of dance schools. Moreover, with all we have in common, we might just discover we make better friends than enemies.

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