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Business 9, Lesson 25 – What I Am Willing to Settle For in the Next 10 Years

This week I have been learning about goal-setting and planning for the future, which has brought up three very important questions for me: what am I willing to settle for in one year?  What am I willing to settle for by my 18th birthday?  And what am I willing to settle for by my 25th birthday?

What Am I Willing to Settle For By Next Year

By this time next year I would like to be halfway done, if not already finished and proofreading, the novel I am currently writing and planning to self-publish on Amazon Kindle.  I want to be in an acting or singing class in my local acting school and I want to be preparing, or have already been in, a showcase of some kind.  Whether it is a Christmas Show or a small class performance, I would like to have been in one.

What Am I Willing to Settle For By My 18th Birthday

By the time I turn 18 I will settle for a minimum of two books self-published on Amazon Kindle.  I want to have gotten into an acting college by then and have done an internship at a production company.  I also want to be in a minimum of three showcases.

What Am I Willing to Settle For By My 25th Birthday

By my 25th birthday I will settle for no less than five books self-published on Amazon Kindle and at least one book professionally published.  I want to have gotten at least one professional acting gig and if not, I want to have a job that I like and is supporting me and allowing me to go to auditions.

How Will Going the Extra Mile Help Me Obtain These Goals?

I personally think, that if I go the extra mile in writing my books I can publish more of them in a shorter amount of time.  I will, hopefully, become known to other people and they will boost my book/s, making me known to publishing companies. 

By going the extra mile in my acting/singing classes, my teachers will think of me when they see auditions in which I fit the criteria.

If I go the extra mile in school now I will have a better chance of getting into a good acting college who will help me get professional gigs when I get older.  If I go the extra mile in college they will see potential in me and hopefully recommend me to people in the industry.

If I am being honest, I do not see how I can go the extra mile in my writing.  I know that I could improve on my writing habits and consistency, but I do not see what ‘going the extra mile’ would look like when it comes to my writing.  When it comes to my acting I see ‘going the extra mile’ as showing enthusiasm, doing the work with gusto and energy, and showing my love for the class and acting/singing.  I see going the extra mile in school by putting my heart into my work and not falling behind in lessons.  I also see it as having motivation to do school.

I might need to put a lot of work into this whole ‘going the extra mile’ when it comes to school.


As you can see, I already have an idea of what I want to accomplish in the next 10-12 years when it comes to my callings.  Going the extra mile may not be easy, especially when it comes to my schoolwork, but I know it will pay off in the end.

Thanks for reading!


English 9, Lesson 20 – The Most Memorable Stories From A Bus of My Own by Jim Lehrer

For the past four weeks I have been reading Jim Lehrer’s autobiography A Bus of My Own.  In this essay I am going to talk about the two stories from the book that I consider memorable.

The Pinball Machine

If you have read this book, I am sure you read the caption and immediately know what the story is. 

I do not remember the exact of Lehrer at the time of this story, but for arguments sake, let’s say he was under ten years old.  Lehrer’s father had a meeting with a friend and gave Lehrer some money to play with the pinball machine.  Lehrer had never beaten this certain machine before and expected to lose like he always did.  He had felt the urge to go to the bathroom and figured he would play a round, lose, and then go to the bathroom.

Turns out, he won the first round, and the second, and the third, and fourth and every other turn after that.  The more games he won the more he needed to use the bathroom, but he did not want to leave the game, especially since he finally beat it.  Finally, Lehrer could not hold it in anymore and, in crude terms, peed his pants.  Only then did he leave the game to run to the bathroom to hide from the embarrassment.

The Loss of Betsy’s Brakes

When Lehrer was a child his parents owned a bus company known as the Kansas Central Lines.  Business was not very good, which eventually forced Lehrer’s parents to go bankrupt, but this story is from before then. 

Business was not good meaning the bus line did not have much money, meaning the Lehrer’s were not able to get new buses and experienced frequent maintenance problems.  One of the buses, known as Betsy, had a problem with its brakes. 

One day, when Lehrer was only 12 years old, he was helping the driver, Cameron, by being his “assistant driver.”  Halfway through the ride Betsy’s brakes gave out and became completely unusable.  Somehow, Cameron managed to control a brakeless bus through traffic and delivered all of the passengers to their final destination unharmed.

Lehrer and Cameron had not told the passengers about the ‘small’ problem with the brakes so they would not be scared.  It was a good plan, until Lehrer yelled that the brakes were out as soon as he saw his parents.  The passengers heard, and it is safe to say they went ballistic.  Some were angry while others were grateful that Cameron managed to not crash the bus. 

Fred, Lehrer’s brother, gave him the nickname “Mr. Big Mouth”, which stuck for a very long time.


In all honesty, I am not sure why these two stories are the ones that I find memorable.  Maybe because they were the first two stories in the book or maybe it is because I am around the age Lehrer was when these things happened.  Or maybe I just find the stories comical and it stuck in my brain.  Either way, these are the two, very entertaining stories, I find memorable from A Bus of My Own.

Thanks for reading!

Business 9, Lesson 15 – Why is Running My Own Business a Way to Guarantee My Employment in a Decade?

In this modern day and age, robots and AI are everywhere.  These said robots and AI are getting smarter and more advanced.  They are no longer a small voice on your phone called Siri who has hearing problems.  They are getting so advanced that many companies are starting to replace human workers with robots.  Which raises the question, are robots replacing our jobs?

I do not doubt that eventually robots will take quite of a few of jobs that are traditionally done by humans, but I do not think that they will replace all of us.  At the same time, it never hurts to have backup plans in case they do.  Starting your own business may be the best solution if the robots ever do take our jobs.  It is the bosses of companies that choose whether to use robots or not and if you are the boss of your own company/business you can choose to not use robots.  Being the boss of your own company also makes you safe from being replaced.

As an aspiring actress and author, I feel that my job is safe from robots.  But who knows, maybe robots that look like humans will be made to star in TV shows instead of actual humans.

Thanks for reading!

English 9, Lesson 15 – The Four Good Things That Came as A Result of Jim Lehrer’s Heart Attack

For the past few weeks I have been reading Jim Lehrer’s autobiography “A Bus of My Own”.  This week I have read the chapters entailing details about Lehrer’s heart attack and recovery.  In this essay I am going to talk about the good things that came as a result of the heart attack.

After the heart attack Lehrer made big changes in his lifestyle.  In earlier chapters he stated he was a big smoker, so much so that he had stashes of cigarettes in his office and under his car seat.  He also said his eating habits was that of a “pimply faced teenager.”  After the heart attack he quit smoking and started eating healthier things like turkey sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables. 

Having the heart attack also helped Lehrer get over his not so irrational fear of hospitals.  The fear came about after his Father died because of a heart attack in a hospital and only solidified when his Mother died from a failed surgery.  As he said in one of the chapters “Lehrers always die in hospitals.”  Because of this fear Lehrer put off going to the hospital when he was feeling the symptoms of a heart attack.  After having the heart attack and going into a hospital, not once, but twice and coming out alive both times, he overcame his fear of hospitals.

After his recovery, Lehrer went back to work.  At first it was just sitting in on meetings and pitching ideas, but eventually he made it back on screen.  One of the things he did onscreen was make a small special about his experience with the heart attack called “My Heart, Your Heart.”  At first he was hesitant to air the special.  He did not want to be known as “The Guy on TV Who Had a Heart Attack.”  Despite his reservations, he went through with it, and thank goodness.  After the special aired Lehrer were getting calls from viewers who had saved their own lives and others around them because of what he said.

One woman called saying her co-worker asked her to drive after feeling chest tightness.  The woman said her co-worker said “that Lehrer guy on TV said not to fool around.”  The woman continues the story and says as soon as they got to the emergency room her co-worker had a heart attack.  Lehrer got many other calls like this, but none of them were as extraordinary as this particular one.

As you can see, many good things came out of a life threatening experience.  Not only did Lehrer improve his own life, but took his experience and shared it to the world, saving many peoples’ lives.

Thanks for reading!

English 9, Lesson 10 – Two Stories in My Life That I Would Have to Include in My Autobiography

This week I have been reading “A Bus of My Own”, Jim Lehrer’s autobiography.  In this essay I am going to talk about three stories in my life that I would have to include in my own autobiography.

At the time that I am writing this I am only 12 years old (one month away from my 13th birthday), and I do not have many stories that are very significant to my life.  But after a lot of thinking, I have come up with two stories that I would have to add to my autobiography.

The Moment of Realization

The first story happened when I was very young, if I am being honest I do not remember it happening, but I have heard this story multiple times.  I was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut, USA and one summer when I was three or fourmy parents took me and friend to a street fair in Norwalk (a town in Connecticut).  There was a lady on a small stage performing a show for young children, The Three Billy Goats Gruff.  The lady was asking for participates from the audience to act in her show, and being the energetic, extroverted child I was, I raised my hand.  The woman chose me to be Billy Goat #3.  My parents said it was at the moment that they realized I had a talent for acting.  My Dad said it was my stage presence.  I was not shy like the other kids.

I was put in acting, singing, and dancing classes, and a few years after that I landed my first role in a local production of the musical Annie as Molly.  If I never went to that street fair who knows when I would find my passion for acting?

The Life Changing Decision

This second story would have to be included in my autobiography.  When I was 10 years old my parents made the hard decision to move from our home in Stamford, Connecticut, to Singapore, where my Mom was born and raised.  When I lived in the Connecticut I moved neighborhoods a lot, but I had never moved to a different country.

I celebrated my 10th birthday with close friends, and two weeks later my parents and I were on a plane ready to start a new life in a new country.

Looking back I wish I had done some research about Singapore.  If I had known that gum is a illegal I would have bought more before my time was up.  I also wish that I had thought about what moving meant.  To my 10 year old mind, moving countries just meant a setting change.  I never thought about how things besides setting would change, like culture and food (I’m a very picky eater, so the adjustment to Asian food was quite difficult). 


As you can see, these two stories are very important in my life.  If I never went to that street fair in Norwalk I probably would not have had the opportunity to find my passion and start training at a young age.  And moving countries enabled me to find my four amazing best friends.

Thanks for reading!

Business 9, Lesson 10 – How Does Harry Browne’s Approach to Selling Rely on the Principle of Service?

This week I read Harry Browne’s book “The Secret of Selling Anything.”   Browne proves that many of the qualities people think makes a good salesman are false.  In this essay I am going to talk about Browne’s five step approach to being a good salesman.

Browne approaches the customer with the customer’s interest in mind.  He starts by saying that you do not need to be pushy or manipulative or aggressive, contrary to common belief.  If anything, those ‘qualities’ scare the customer away.  Browne gave the reader of his book a five step plan to effectively help the customer get his goal/want.

Step One: Listen to the customer’s needs.  Listen to your customer, them talk.  The customer is always right.  They know what they want, let them tell you.  Ask questions if the customer gets distracted.  Remember certain complaints they have, you will need it for Step Three.

Step Two: Summarize the problem.  Once the customer has finished talking, summarize their problem and say it back to them.  If it is incorrect, let the customer correct you.  If it is correct, move on to Step Three.

 Step Three: Relay the customer’s comments back to them, but centre it around your product.  Remember those complaints the customer had back in Step One?  Relay those complaints back to the customer, but solve the problems with your product.  Tell your customer about all of the benefits of the product that applies to them.

Step Four: Listen, agree, suggest.  In this step, let the customer ask the questions.  Listen to their concerns and inquiries.  Agree with the customer, they are always right and they know what they want.  Do not argue with them.  Suggest, recommend your product, or others if your product will not help them.  If you do the latter the customer will definitely remember you for being genuine and may recommend you to others.

Step Five: Close the sale.  At this point your customer should have made up their mind.  Browne says that if you customer is still hesitant by this step it means you did not do your best to convince the customer.  If your customer is hesitant you can always go back to Step One or Step Two.

As you can see, Browne’s approach is very customer oriented.  I personally like Browne’s approach.  It is not pushy or aggressive and does not require you to lie or manipulate the customer into buying something.

Thanks for reading!