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8. Studying & Learning

Photo by Zhu Hongzhi; quote found on Pinterest

What do you think is important for a testing environment? An answer sheet? The test questions (of course)? Something to write with? A quiet room?

How about having studied ahead of time?

There really is something to be said for being prepared. Obviously, people absorb information in different ways; visually, auditory, or cramming at the last second, but I like the approach of taking as many notes as possible and going back to them when I have questions. I like to fully understand material, and it takes me a little longer to do that. If I have spent a lot of thought on a subject, then watch out, because I will talk your ear off about all facets of that topic if you let me.

And I love learning something new. I don’t know everything. I won’t pretend to know everything. Heck, I even tell my students I don’t have all the answers, and if I can’t answer their question, I will try to find the answer.

What’s important is that I prepare as best as I can about a subject, and learn more as I go. Learning is a lifelong process—this why we pay people for their experience. No one hires the two year old to build a house—you get the person that has the years under their belt, that know the issues that can crop up, and have a plan in place if something should happen.

I’m not the best inventor. I’m not the best in business. I’m not the best in blogging. But I am learning as much as I can, so hopefully I will build up experience, and someday, help other people in their pursuits.

What do you like learning about? What are you studying for in life?

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7. Social Media Marketing

Photo by Milad Sefidfard; quote found on Pinterest

Did you know, in the process of Photosynthesis, that Photosystem II comes before Photosystem I? What actually happened was Photosystem I was discovered first, and people thought that was the end-all, be-all, and then someone else came along later and discovered something happens before Photosystem I. So, they called it Photosystem II.

You may think you are on the right track and doing fine, but there may be something lacking or some better approach you could be trying.

I am not that big into social media—I dabble on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/teazzed), and I’ve recently gotten into Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/mgspear_, http://www.instagram.com/teazzed). I have fun with the advertising, and I like to make people laugh. I don’t currently post all the time like some people suggest; I try to post at least once a day or every other day—it varies depending on how much time I have to devote to marketing.

I’m still new to the whole social media marketing thing, but I think this is one approach I should be taking to reach people. While my marketing is in the beginning stages, I am learning as I go, from how other social media marketers showcase their stuff, and from what I read online.

How do you use social media? Do you post every day? Do you check your social media religiously, or is it something more of in the background? During the school year, I don’t access social media during work hours, so for me it is more of a background thing.

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6a. Anticipation

Photo by Logan Fisher; quote by me.

As I was originally typing this there is was storm outside. I’ve always like rain storms—they can be peaceful and calming. It doesn’t bother our pets either, except one of our cats. He huddles in the hallway so I move his bed into the hallway to give him something to lay on.

I am doing an experiment later today or tomorrow—all my parts came in over the weekend. I am excited and nervous. What if this is the one? What if I have a major breakthrough?

I guess the more realistic question is, what will I learn from this experiment? What will I glean for future experiments? Will I be moving forward, or moving back to the drawing board?

I really like Schrödinger’s cat. That cat has two realities existing at the same time—success and failure. Failure has not happened yet, and success is still a possibility.

From the outside perspective, there is hope.

Of course, you have to open the box eventually. You have to do the experiment and work with the outcome.

Do you ever linger before doing something, thinking about the task before you, and if you will succeed? How do you prepare?

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6. Doing the MacGyver thing

Photo by Ashim D. Silva

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Thomas Edison

Remember how I said I want to start out on the right foot? Let me amend that a little: I want to start out on the right foot as frugal as I can. For my experiments, if I can’t order my materials cheaply to come up with a prototype, then I try to figure out another approach that would be cheap. I do not have a million dollar lab setup—I have a tool bench with drawers filled with random stuff I use for experiments. I never throw any of it away, in case I can use it for another experiment. So when I say I fund my experiments, what I mean is, that is what I spend my money on instead of shoes, purses, etc. I won’t work on anything that I can’t make affordable, so I don’t break the bank on one experiment. Plus I have worked it out with my husband: if he can spend money on car parts and plant stuff (he’s big into plants), then I can spend money on my experiment stuff.

I love a good deal. Same with business. I try to grow my business as frugally as possible and not spend money out the window. I want to learn for myself what works and doesn’t work, and not spend an enormous amount of money. As the business grows and more cash flow comes in, then I will expand out and try more avenues.

 Do you like doing things yourself? How do you handle expenses with your hobbies or businesses?

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5. Googling for information

Photo by Hans Peter Gauster; quote from Pinterest

I love to Google the heck out of a subject and learn as much as I possibly can. I love the internet for that reason: I can get details on a subject down to the nitty gritty levels, and glean as much as I can to formulate a hypothesis and start experimenting.

Mostly my big, long term experiments stem around science topics (I have spent 4 years so far on transportation and fuel research), but I do have smaller projects that crop up here and there that seem easier to do. That’s how the Quick Draw Straw came about—it was an offshoot project, and there were several prototypes. But in the end, it actually worked, and I was super happy (It’s nice to know that sometimes, an experiment goes right). I have other inventions and projects underway, but I won’t go into more detail because none of it is to the point where it can be patented—once I get the patent pending status on them I will definitely let you know.

Just like Googling for a project, I Google the heck out of business topics and glean information to run my business better. I am just starting out, but I want to start out on the right foot. Do you Google a lot to find information? Does another strategy work better for you?

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4. The shotgun approach

Photo by Andrew Neel; quote by Mark Batterson

When pursuing information for anything, I personally like using the shotgun approach. I email tons of people in the field I am looking for information in, and see what comes back.

Some people will want to pass on helping you, some people won’t even answer back, some might not want to help but give you helpful leads for looking elsewhere, and some people have the answers you are looking for.

You might email one or two companies and be like, “Yes, I have accomplished something!” Umm no. There are more than two companies out there in the field you are looking into, be it manufacturing, information, quotes, etc. Instead of stopping at two, why not do twelve? Or twenty? Or however many companies show up in the Google search?

When you take the shotgun approach, you glean more information, in my opinion.

This is how I found my husband. I was on OKCupid, and I messaged a ton of guys. Nothing outrageous—just the generic “Hi, how are you?”. If they answered back, I looked at their profile more carefully, and tried to start conversation based on something we both had in common. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Then we would set up an actual date, and sometimes it fizzed. With my husband, we clicked online, we clicked in real life, and we have kept on clicking ever since.

What approaches do you use that have worked for gathering information for your business? Do you also use the shotgun approach, or does another strategy work better for you?

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3. Things get better with time and experience.

Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos; quote added by me.

I have been teaching for over 9 years now.

In the beginning, I was a little overwhelmed and spent every waking hour getting lectures ready, writing exams, and coming up with extra material on topics covered in case someone asked a question. Was I a good teacher? I was probably on the weaker side.

But as the years progressed, I blossomed, turned into a pretty good teacher, and now I am an organizational ninja with tons of questions, lectures, and topics to pull from for last minute projects. I would like to think I come across as funny when I lecture, but perhaps my students think I am too nerdy. Too bland; too isotonic.

I have been using my science knowledge and organizational skills to help me with experimenting and working my business. I invented the Quick Draw Straw that Teazzed sells (yes, it is patent pending). What is it based on that makes it work? Diffusion! Surface area! (more sciency stuff). Science is why the Quick Draw Straw works, and that you can make instantly brewed loose leaf tea, even cold brew, in under a minute (go visit http://www.teazzed.com for more details if you’re interested).

I also have been toying around with a side consulting business, along with some other business ideas. My goal is to help small business, entrepreneurs, inventors, etc., get started, with tools and tips, help with marketing, and perhaps showcasing products. Stay tuned dear readers :).

If you are a new teacher in high school or college, feel free to drop me a line on tips as how to stay organized or just teaching in general. Email me if you would like to set up a consultation. I am by no means a perfect, 100% awesome teacher, but perhaps my years of experience can give you some shortcuts on your teaching journey.  

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2. This isn’t my day job.

Photo by Brigitte Ttohm; quote from Pinterest.

Entrepreneurship is actually my second side job. I have a full time job during the day, plus an evening job on some nights. I stay busy, stay organized so I don’t fall behind, and work my butt off to fund my experiments. I tend to have more time in the summers to focus on business, and do some major relaxing in my down time to refuel.

What do I do for a living, you may ask? I’m a teacher! College and high school, to be exact. A science teacher, to be more exact. I cannot do math correctly to save my life (thank goodness for calculators!), but I can tell you something sciency on the spot.

            Homeostasis.

                        Glomerular filtration.

                                        Antimicrobial.

                                                     Photosystem II.

See? Sciency stuff.

And I loooove teaching. I love helping students understand science and show them tons of interesting things. I love answering questions. I love it when a great discussion sparks from a topic.

But I also have this urge to invent things, and run with them to completion, whether someone buys it or I start selling it, or it tanks and the blueprints stay in my notebook.

Do any of you all have passions that you pursue?

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1. Everything doesn’t always work out the first time…

You will never always be motivated, so you must learn to be disciplined.

Photo by Hal Gatewood; quote found on Pinterest.

Everything is new in the beginning—so fresh, so pristine. You think, “This is going to be the one that works, a fresh new start, and everything will work out the first time.”

Tell me, dear readers, how many times has something worked out the first time for you?

I’ve always had ideas, but when I actually started experimenting to invent something, my first experiment failed, and I was super upset. Everything worked in theory, but the experiment still bombed. But I got over it, I kept on experimenting, and now I roll with the punches: it didn’t work; why didn’t it work; let’s tweak the next experiment so hopefully it will work the next time.

 Business can be like that. When I first started Teazzed, I was like, “Yeah! 1 million dollars by the weekend!” That didn’t happen, and I still roll with the punches, learning to do things better, and keep at it, continuously tweaking.

 This blog feels new and shiny. I am excited to write it, but I have my feet firmly planted in the ground and know that I am not going to get 1 million followers overnight. Now I am to the point as to just tell a lot of people about it, get the word out, and see what happens. Are you going to join me on my journey? Will this blog succeed, or will it go down in flames?

Stay tuned, dear readers. 

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Hello!

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the world.

— Albert Einstein

Good things come to those who wait. But how long are you going to wait? Why not do it now?

That is exactly what I am up to. I am a busy person: I have a full time job, a part time job, my writing biz where I recently published a short story collection (http://www.BlackCatScribbles.com ), and a tea business (http://www.Teazzed.com). I also sell guides for organization, business, note-taking, etc. I’m in the process of growing my store–bear with me, more is definitely coming. Check out what I have for sale in my storefront! https://mgspear.com/shop/

I started this blog to keep up with what’s going on, showcase my insatiable passion for problem solving, inventing, writing, tea, and more mundane stuff as well.

And yes there will be cat posts too, because cat people rule.

Roam around all you want–read my posts, check out my businesses, and drop me a line if you feel so inclined. Also subscribe to my blog so you know when I post, plus get any announcements I make.

Welcome to my world.