Thursday, October 21, 2010



If you have a teenager who is yet to decide what they want to try before they grow up, here is an inspirational story they may want to read.

Chris Warren came to Mantra Training & Development in September 2009 for work experience, which is something that Mantra Training & Development have been part of with various schools and industry bodies for about 3 years now. Taking young adults from a school environment and putting them in a real work environment, that is not only supportive it is also empowering and teaches self motivation. This has also been a wonderful opportunity for the team at Mantra Training & Development.

We have a number of businesses that provide support and mentoring for our team including those involved our work experience program.

One of the Mentors that Chris has had an opportunity to work with and learn from has been john Phillips. He has played a very supportive role with both of Chris’s qualifications.

As the CEO and also a Trainer/Assessor, Chris instantly caught my eye with his “go get it” type attitude to technology and websites. At the time I thought I had a good website and was pretty proud of the fact that I could update it. Now……. don’t get me wrong we had to rein him in on a number of occasions as he wants to do things today without looking at the security or other access and usability implications. In fact I remember him launching our new website way to early and he didn’t take a back up. But we had a plan B and more importantly Chris was able to learn the importance of planning and being patient.

Once we launched the new website early in 2010 I realised how primitive my old site was. Not even 12 months later Chris has created yet a better website allowing for growth and advances in technology and has learned a greater degree of skills in many areas allowing for a much better product. He has also learned how to work better with people not just technology and has grown into a wonderful young man with some great skills that have now seen him accepted into a Bachelor of Software Engineering.

Chris has completed a Certificate III in Information Technology and will have completed his Certificate IV in Information Technology (Web design) by December 2010 and this will then take him into the University by February 2011.

In August this year Chris was also invited to the Google office in Sydney where he was able to contribute some of his skills and learn what it would be like to work with such an elite group of IT experts. He was blown away by the experience and I also think it ignited his motivation and drive to really go for what he wanted in a career path as well as was he is truly passionate about.

Here is what Chris had to say:

From College to University

At the end of college I always knew what I wanted to do, but I didn't know how I would go about doing it this involved having a Gap Year and then going to University to complete my Bachelors of Software Engineering then I discovered Mantra Training & Development, after initially completing work experience I was offered a

job by the CEO Donna, to Continue working on the Mantra Training & Development website and be part of the team.

An entire year later, the experiences I have had, the people I've met, the skills I've gained, and the qualifications I have achieved are amazing to say the least. To put this into perspective I never anticipated what I have achieved in such a short time. It truly has been a incredible year and a great start to both my personal and professional life. I now look forward to an exciting future as I know anything is possible.

And now through gaining my Qualifications under an Australian Apprenticeship with Mantra Training & Development as my RTO and Employer I had the pathway and the

support to enter University with my new Journey will begin in February 2011.

I will continue working with Mantra Training & Development and assist them in growing their organisation into one of the best RTO’s in the ACT, and help Mantra generate more pathways and opportunities for it's students, staff, and trainees.

I would like to give special thanks to two people, Donna & John. You have parted with some tremendous skills that I will use for through out University and the rest of my life. Thank you....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Industry Standards and Keeping Up!

Industry Standards and keeping up with change!!
In the training market, training packages are continuously being changed, updated and endorsed. This is related to many factors including continues improvement and also what the industry is saying about the needs of the marketplace and delivery of quality programs. One of the recent changes is the Training & Assessment field is the new cert IV.
New …….Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110)
The new Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110) replaces the superseded Certificate IV qualification (TAA40104) and will become the new ‘entry level qualification required for trainers and assessors of training package qualification as determined by the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF2010).
Program participants will develop skills and knowledge in exceptional training practices, assessment and developing and delivering effective and engaging training programs every time.
Participants achieving this qualification will develop skills and knowledge in:
§ The role of training in organisations and the Skills Framework that supports and governs
§ The principles of competency based training and assessment
§ The training cycle including identifying training needs and promoting training
§ Identifying a range of training delivery methods & resources
§ Creative and innovative learning strategies and resources
§ Planning, designing and delivering effective training sessions incorporating
§ Communication skills
§ Empower, engage and motivate learners
§ Adult learning principles
§ The learning environment and how to enhance opportunities for learner’s engagement
§ Evaluating the effectiveness of training and making recommendations and implementing continuous improvement practices
§ Planning, conducting and reviewing workplace assessments in accordance with the principles of assessment
As times goes on we will experience subtle changes that this qualification will bring and also see evidence of the training industry level of trainers and programs increase to a better standard. In our organisation we have experienced three of our training packages change and also the AQTF2010 being endorsed. This has a impact on our organisation in respect to costs time and professional development.
Here is how to manage some of the changes.
# Regular team communication
# Prioritising changes
# Managing the requirements and allocating teams and timelines
# Continuous improvement strategies and documenting progress
Till next time keep productive

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Staying Motivated In Uncertain Times [Part 2]

Wow doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun. I thought I would stay on the same track as my last blog. Not because I don’t have other things to talk about, as I get paid to talk. I wanted to stay on the same subject because I know the important growth. They say if we are not growing we are dying……….Well I’m for living.
My focus on this blog is the people you surround yourself with. When we go into business we have the people in our life that support us every step of the way and those who don’t. I call the ones who don’t DREAM STEALERS. They are the ones who say you can’t do it or you’re not good enough. The problem is that sometimes these people are family and you are stuck with them. So you have to then make a choice of how much time you choose to spend with them. Sometimes we need to spring clean friend as they are uncomfortable with our dreams and we feel we can not pursue our dreams with them around. Our circle of influence is exactly that an influence and it need to be a positive one.
The people you do want to be around and even have as mentors are the people who are more successful than you, the people that will challenge you to do better and be better at what ever it is you want to achieve. If we are not surrounding ourselves with like minded people how do we expect to grow? I know it is not easy to get to all those seminars and workshops, sometimes due to lack of time and sometimes its cost. This is why University in the car is so beneficial. Even if you don’t have to travel far you can still benefit from listening to the successful people on your trip to work, or your next appointment. Here is where I listen to some of my mentors:
o In the car
o In the bathroom
o Waiting for my appointment at some-one else’s office
o At the airport
o In the bedroom when getting ready
o Cooking dinner when the kids aren’t around

Think about all the opportunities you have during the day when your hands may be busy but your head is free. When you feel flat or even a bit defeated that’s when you need to listen to good stuff or meet up with a mentor. If you don’t have any Audio to listen to, find someone who does and ask if you can borrow it.
I have many mentors for various reasons. Some are Business mentors and some are spiritual mentors and others and personal mentors. If you have someone in your circle of influence that you continuously learn from, ask them to be your mentor. You could catch up for a coffee or even lunch once a month. This is your opportunity to put your cards on the table and be accountable for your vision and action plan.
I also want to take this opportunity to tell you about a book I recently read called The Four Agreements (Author RUIZ). It is brilliant and I recommend this to everyone.
Next blog we can chat about goal setting.

Business Owners – Why Are We Here?

The Autonomy of making decisions in my own business is one of the reasons for being here. What does it mean to be Autonomous? Well the Oxford Dictionary says……….
“Self government, Personal freedom”
I fit well with personal freedom. As a mother of 4, I love to have the flexibility to be able to take the day off to look after a sick child or go to the school assembly where my daughter may be performing or even take off to the coast early afternoon on a Friday. (This one needs to happen more often)
I make decisions with certain questions in the forefront of my thinking.
Is this the best decision for the organisation?
Does this fit in with my values?
Am I passionate about this?
If I make this decision how will this affect the team?
As a business owner we are also in business not just for the passion, also to make money and keep our business flourishing, then to grow the business.
Recently I have made a number of decisions that at times conflict with a number of the question I ask myself. However when the decision was made and final the feeling of exhilaration certainly overshadowed the minor disadvantages.
So ask yourself why am I in Business? This may bring you back to the core reasons for being in business and relight the spark that you may have started with a year ago or even 10 years ago.

Staying Motivated In Uncertain Times [Part 1]

Being in business is filled with many uncertainties so why is this any different?
The life of the Business owner is a very exciting one, it has it moments of hardships but above all it has more moments of achievement, prosperity and triumph.
We get to make the rules, we get to create the opportunities and we also have to take on the task of keeping motivated. One of the greatest opportunities I have been blessed with is meeting other like minded people. I have a mission to stay away from Dream Stealers, you know those they tell you it’s not possible or it won’t work or you’re not smart enough. I am here to tell you if you have a big enough WHY the how will come.
So here are some tips I use to stay motivated.
o I find all the free seminars and go to them first.…there are many of them happening all the time.
o I set clear goals with time frames attached to keep you accountable
o I share my vision and desire for the ultimate success of my Business and my personal life (what ever success means to you) Its amazing what happens when you say them out loud. Some one might hear you.
o Develop new and exciting ideas and challenges to take my Business to the next level.
o Network…someone once said go to the opening of an envelope
o Making customer service a priority
o Support staff and establish their goals
o University in the car. I take every opportunity to learn so I do it on the road as well

As a Woman/Mother and Business owner I am very proud to say that I look forward to what the year and the economic climate has to offer and I will be looking for ways to ensure my company continues it’s growth and staff development.
I am always inspired to become better and learn from my mistakes and let me tell you I made my fair share of them. However I also like making mistakes because it gives me an opportunity to learn and grow.
A dear friend once asked me. “Why put energy into something g that may never happen” to keep this in perspective I will explain. How often do we worry about something that may never happen? Putting energy into the unknown rather than the known is not a worthwhile thing to do. If I am going to worry about something because I fear it may happen well I may as well give up now because it is going to happen.
Focus on what works and deal with the unknown when its know.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blog Post from the CEO!

Training and Government funding
Before you enrol in a course ask yourself the following questions
  1. Why do I want to enrol in this course
  2. How committed am I to complete this course
  3. Can I apply for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)
  4. Is their any funding available to assist me with paying for the course
    1. Am I eligible to access this funding
    2. Are their any additional fees for me to pay
  5. Do the class times fit in with my schedule
    1. If not can I change to fit this in to my schedule
    2. Is their an opportunity for flexibility in the course schedule
Here is a reminder of the importance of continued growth in our lives. Anthony Robbins once said “If you are not growing you are dying”. I personally think this is true; however we can grow in many different forms, in life, in love and professionally among many other ways.
Training and Government funding can go hand in hand. There are some great incentives to be able to attend a training course you may have been putting off for a long time.
  • Don’t have the time
  • Don’t have the money
  • It’s not flexible enough
These would be some of the most used excuses as to why we don’t continue to learn through formal education. Well these days I am not sure we can use this as an excuse. Here in the ACT and all other states in Australia we have great support for training such as Productivity Places Program and also User Choice funding. These opportunities allow us to find a learning establishment and enrol in courses that suit our lifestyle as well as our work commitments. With online learning and distance based learning for example, this opens itself to opportunities for self paced development. Now this may not suit everyone and you need to identify your own motivations and support mechanisms that you will require if you choose these learning opportunities.
More importantly ensure you speak to the trainer about what works for you. How you learn best and what support you may need.
Keep learning and remember knowledge and skills serve you forever.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Reflection and Re-Evaluation!

Reflection and Re-Evaluation
Here we are at the end of another year, moving rapidly toward 2010……..4 sleeps till we turn over to 2010
Now is a great time to reflect on the year that has been and move toward setting some goals for the New Year. You may have had a year that has been fantastic or it could have been a year of challenge, either way now you can plan for better bigger or just more of what you had.
What are your plans for the next year, where will you go? What will you do? How many goals will you set for yourself ?
On the 5th December 2009 my greatest Mentor sadly passed away (click here for the video tribute to Jim Rohn). He was and still is one of the most inspiring teachers, philosophers I have ever known. Some of the lessons he has taught me over the years are so simple yet we forget to use them.
* Don’t start the day till you have finished it. Don’t start the month till you have finished it and Don’t start the year before you have finished it. Now as Jim says the year is a little harder…. none the less still necessary.
* Don’t wish life was easier wish you were smarter
* Work harder on yourself than anything else
* If you change everything around you will change
Jim’s inspiring words will live with me forever as will the impact he has had on my life both personally and professionally. Thank you Mr Rohn
I personally like to use this time between Christmas and New Year to reflect on the past year and see where I have come. What I have learned and what needs to change for the future. I can set a plan in place and involve my children in the plan and also inspire them to make plans for their future. Take the time to plan with your family and loved one’s to make 2010 a year of inspiration, growth, and a time of fulfilling dreams.
Reflecting on my values and goals for the future I realised I had been out of alignment for some time and now I am more focussed on becoming re aligned with my true values. The balance and peace alignment gives you allows other things to flow into your experience.
7 Steps to planning your year and have smart goals or smarter:
  1. Specific /Decide – what do you want to achieve
  2. Measurable/Commit - Write them down, how will I know when you have reached it
  3. Action - Set practical steps in place to achieve it
  4. Realistic – by observing all the steps and having a plan knowing I can do it
  5. Timely – Set a date for each goal that is realistic and achievable
  1. Evaluate– progress and see where things may not be on track and establish how to get them on track.
  2. Reward then RE do – When you have reached the goal make sure you celebrate and then re do your goals so that you continue the challenge
Have a Safe and prosperous New Year and I look forward to writing to you all in 2010