Is a Skills Boot Camp Worth Your Time?

Is a Skills Boot Camp Worth Your Time?

Is a Skills Boot Camp Worth Your Time?


Students are struggling under massive debt and daily gaps between awarded financial aid and the actual cost to live, and not gaining basic skills to get entry level jobs in their field after college.


If you want to develop new skills, you can try to teach yourself with the help of Google and the library. However, there’s often a more effective way – signing up for a skills boot camp.


The problem is that these boot camps may be pricy, so it’s important to understand what skills you can get from a boot camp and how to find one that will help you the most.

The Advantages of a Skills Boot Camp

A skills boot camp gives you several advantages over trying to learn skills on your own. These advantages are discipline, structure, and a full scope of knowledge.



How many times have you told yourself that you’re going to commit to something, only to fall off after a couple of weeks? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is “more than you can count”. There’s a reason only 8% of Americans achieve their New Year’s resolutions each year.


A boot camp will give you the discipline you need to actually follow through by providing accountability and evaluation throughout the learning period. Depending on the type of boot camp, this might come from projects, homework, peer evaluation, or coach accountability.



Teachers take classes on how to develop a lesson plan – it’s not something you can just stumble in to. Even if you have perfect discipline on your own, your learning will be very piecemeal unless you have a specific structure.


Simply Googling “leadership skills” will not give you a thorough class on how to lead, and you certainly won’t get the hands on application you would in a boot camp. Boot camps have the advantage that they are structured and include built-in time to practice what you’ve learned.


Full Scope of Knowledge

Learning a topic simply by using search or books will give you a piecemeal, incomplete understanding of the subject. You may miss key points simply because they weren’t available in the materials you chose to use. You may also get confused because basic points are assumed or glossed over.


However, a boot camp can give you a more complete experience. You will start with the foundational information and move on to more advanced material, gaining a complete understanding of the topic. Boot camps are structured to give you a full scope of knowledge on the topic.

Who a Skills Boot Camp is NOT For

Skills boot camps are not for everyone. You have to have a specific mindset and willingness to learn in order to truly benefit from a skills boot camp.


Specifically, you have to have commitment, a willingness to grow, and a willingness to find the right boot camp for you. If you don’t have these things, a skills boot camp is not for you.



Generally, skills boot camps have two kinds of commitment – time and money.


Financially, you have to be able to afford the boot camp, or be committed to finding a way to make the financing happen. If the boot camp is virtual you won’t have additional relocation expenses, but on-site skills boot camp will have housing and food expenses you can’t overlook.


Time-wise you have to be willing to commit to the work for the duration of the program. Before joining a boot camp, make sure you understand how much work will be required, both for the group classes and for homework or practice. If you can’t commit to the work of the program, you will be wasting time and money.


Willingness to Change

Many skills boot camps aren’t just about learning a specific skill; they are also about shifting your mindset. This includes boot camps about business, entrepreneurship, and life skills. If you’re not willing to open your mind to new ways of thinking about things, you are likely a poor fit for a boot camp.


The good news is that new mindsets can help you go much further with your new skills than you could ever go before. Mindsets also transfer to helping you utilize other skillsets, so a change in mindset can literally change your whole life!


Willingness to Find the Right Skills Boot Camp for You

Everyone will say that their boot camp is exactly what you need. It’s up to you to find out if it’s true. You’ll need to research the following aspects of a boot camp to make sure you’ll benefit:

  • Cost and location
  • Skills and mindsets learned
  • Applicability to future jobs you desire
  • Any employer partnerships the boot camp maintains
  • Success rate of previous participants
  • Reviews from previous participants


A boot camp can be an incredible experience that helps you develop mindsets and skills that you will use for the rest of your life. Or, it can be a complete waste of time and money. Which one it is depends entirely on you – your wiliness to commit, change, and find the right fit for you.


We help students take their skills and abilities to make money now, and build a resume with appropriate job skills to get a job after graduation. This promotes and maintains your student’s independence and future success.

If you’re interested in earning more cash in college without leaving campus, the Cash for College virtual Boot Camp could be perfect for you. Do you want to create the life you’ve dreamed of?  Watch the video to find out more at!



If you’re interested in earning more cash in college without leaving campus, the Cash for College virtual Boot Camp could be perfect for you. Do you want to create the life you’ve dreamed of?  Watch the video to find out more at!

Do You Know the Full Cost of College?

Do You Know the Full Cost of College?

When you look at how much college will cost, are you comparing schools based on “sticker price” – that is, tuition and fees – and that’s it?

If so, you’re making a mistake. The “tuition and fees” price of college is actually only 50 – 70% of the true cost of going to school.

Maybe, if you’re aware, you look at the college’s estimates for books and room and board and add those in too.

Now you’re getting closer, but you’re still not there.

The Costs No One Budgets For

College is an expensive endeavor, and even when you buy the biggest room and board package it’s far from an all-inclusive resort.

You may plan on your student having a job that covers incidental food, activities, and life in general. Even still, there are tons of expenses that catch students and their parents by surprise every year. Here are just a few of the costs very few people think of budgeting for.

Dorm and Apartment Furnishing

Furnishing a dorm room is not cheap! There’s all kinds of small things that add up – a dorm fridge, microwave, sheet sets, comforter, decorations, and more. Many students are their families find themselves struggling to pay the expense, which can easily range from $750 – $1500.  

Furnishing a dorm and/or apartment is an expense that catches many families by surprise. Other expenses often overlooked are the cost of laundry, cleaning supplies, and cell service or internet access which can add $100-$300 monthly out of pocket.

Travel – Part 1

Many families look forward to having their students come home on weekends, holidays and school breaks, but they underestimate how much it costs to get them back and forth.

Travel – especially if your student is out-of-state – can be expensive. Will they fly home frequently? Will you drive to pick them up? What is the cost of gas, food, and lodging for the trip?

Even if your child is close to home, the gas, wear on a car, and incidentals from road trips can cost a pretty penny.

The other costs to consider when traveling home are not always having access to resources such as the campus library, the internet, a computer with the right software at home to continue with assignments, and access to professors and/or tutoring.

Travel – Part 2

How is your student going to get around on campus? If you provide a car or scooter, also plan to pay for tickets, towing charges due to parking mistakes, and regular repairs.

If your student can’t have a car, you might consider buying them a moped or scooter to get around. That expense can be $1000 – $1500, not including a helmet or storage lock.

And, of course, there’s car insurance. If your student is going to school in a larger city, expect to find that insuring a young driver in that environment will be quite expensive.

Between travel on camps and travel coming home, many families find themselves paying thousands of dollars they didn’t count on.


Congratulations, your student was selected for a prestigious semester abroad, or an amazing internship over the summer! The only question is, what are you going to do with his or her personal belongings during that time?

Many times, students find it impractical to bring everything they own at school home for school breaks, summers, or semesters abroad. As a result, parents find themselves paying for storage units to keep things safe until they return.

Generally, storing personal items between school terms is an unexpected cost.

Covering the Extra Costs of College

If a student or family finds themselves surprised by enough expenses, the results can be devastating. A college fund can be used up in just 2.5 or 3 years, leaving a student with the choice to leave school or take on significant debt. Often these students are considered the highest risk as they will not be able to take advantage of a higher salary degree offers and will still have to maintain payments for school loans. 

School loans are not a great solution either. Statistics show that in 2015, 68% of college seniors had college debt. Their debt averaged $30,100 per borrower.

At the same time, 41% of the graduating classes of 2013 and 2014 were making $25,000 or less after graduation. Only 25% of those classes make $40,000 or more.

It doesn’t take a college math degree to see that those numbers don’t add up! Starting life in the “real world” with a crushing debt load and a low salary is not a formula for success.

Students and their families need a better solution. Students need to know how to make their own money on their own terms – in college and beyond.

When they do, they can meet the financial challenges they face with less debt, and position themselves for success in college and after graduation.

That’s where Plan to Succeed can help. Our Right Steps Conferences help prepare your student and your family for success in college and afterward. You can attend an upcoming event.

Want to learn more? Visit for upcoming events. Email for more information!

The 3 Essentials of Networking

The Three Essentials of Networking

Does the term “networking” make you think of cocktail parties where everyone is giving their elevator pitch and shoving business cards into your hand? If so, I understand. Many people feel this way, and that makes a lot of business owners not want to network at all!

If this was the only way networking operated, I wouldn’t do it either. But the reality is that networking can be done naturally. It can be done in a way that builds relationships. It can be done in a way that truly cares about the other person.

Here are the three essentials of networking.

Business Networking

This is the type that makes most people shudder. However, it is possible to network without being fake.

Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your business networking.

Set Goals. What are you hoping to get out of the networking meeting or event? Are you hoping to connect with five new people? Make sure your goals aren’t just about your business but are about building real relationships.

Ask Open-Ended Questions. When you ask yes-or- no style questions, you shut down the conversation before you even start. Instead, ask open-ended questions and truly listen to the answers.

Know the Value You Provide. Knowing the value you provide to your customers will help you answer the inevitable question, “So what do you do?” Instead of giving an ad pitch or just saying “I’m an insurance agent,” give an answer that explains what you really help people achieve.

Focus on Being a Resource. The most powerful person in the room isn’t the one that has the most money or fame. The most powerful person in the room is the one with the most helpful connections. Become that person!

Business networking isn’t just about building your business, it can also be about building your career.You can network with influencers in your industry or company, be helpful, and learn from them.

Business networking doesn’t just happen at designated networking events. You can use these tips to build relationships that are helpful to your business or career no matter who you meet and where you meet them!

Peer Networking

While business networking is about growing your business or career upward, peer networking is about meeting and connecting with colleagues horizontally. Some business owners or professionals don’t like to network with peers because they find it threatening. The truth is that networking with colleagues is a key professional skill, not a competition. Consider these tips:

Network Both Online and Offline. Don’t consider a LinkedIn connection request the end of your peer networking. Interact with those you connect with, both online and offline. Consider being part of industry groups online, and finding time to socialize and share with your colleagues in person.

Be a Resource. Just like with business networking, focus as much on what you can give as what you can receive. Do keep in mind, though, that your peers are a great resource for you as well. Post this on Facebook

Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Networking with Peers Boosts Your Career Prospects. Being known and friendly with those you work with can go a long way toward helping you with your career. You never know when one of these colleagues will be in a position to put in a good word for you. Even more, being on good terms with coworkers will make you look great to your boss.

Network, Don’t Gossip. While getting together over drinks to complain about your boss and your workplace may feel good, it’s not networking. If you become known as a complainer or a gossip – or you associate with those who are known that way – you’ll hurt your career instead of helping it.

Mentee Networking

You now know how to network with those who can build your business and with those who are working alongside you. The last essential of networking is to reach back and network with those who are coming up behind you. Tweet this

Being a mentor is a specific type of commitment with specific responsibilities. It’s great if you can be a mentor, but even if you can’t you can engage in what I call “mentee networking”. That is small amounts of time that you spend connecting with and building up those who are coming up the ladder.

Mentee networking isn’t a long-term commitment to a single person, but it is a focused commitment to help those who are not as far along in their career as you are. Here are some guidelines for mentee networking:

Stay Humble. The key to being a great mentee networker is to not consider yourself better than others in your workplace. You have to have a mindset of helping those who are up-and-coming and look for those opportunities.

Help Interns. Interns are often viewed with disdain by regular full-time employees, but you don’t have to fall into that trap. Interns are often eager to learn and very open to advice. Take advantage of their open attitude and show them the ropes and give them some of the lessons you’ve learned in your career. They will definitely appreciate it!

Learn as Well as Teach. Don’t forget that those coming up behind you have something they can teach you as well. They may have a connection due to a professional development program that could be helpful to you. Perhaps they know new ways to use technology. Regardless, be as open to learning as you are to teaching!

Networking isn’t just about fake smiles and sweaty handshakes. Done well, networking can help you grow your business or career, connect with colleagues, and help those who are coming up behind you.

With those three essentials in your mind, you’ll be ready for success no matter where it comes from!

Which of these essentials of networking clicked with you the most? Share in the comments!

No is a sentence.

No is a sentence.

No. No is a sentence. We are not taught that, and maybe it only is a sentence because we don’t have to defend it. Not really. We act like we do, we demand an explanation but there are so many reasons, No is a sentence.

noisasentencepingraphicI was going to write a completely different blog but I am going to challenge you forward. Understanding you have to be discriminating in your life to uplevel. Lets take discrimination where it is supposed to be, recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another. I’m asking you to understand the difference in your ability, time management, mindset, task list, family, relationships, WHO YOU ARE and where you are at right now in life.

Having to justify saying no puts out to the world a distinct possibility that we are ashamed or guilty about the choice we made and the priorities we have set. It inherently casts doubt on our judgement and skill. It highlights the part of us that we have promoted above self which is the care-giving side of us. We all have a care-giving side. Yes to everything is a verbal Que or a not to self that maybe, just maybe you aren’t leaning in anymore. Leaning in to more or better things for you or your next steps. Leaning into the promise of all tomorrow has to offer into your life.  Saying yes to those tasks we shouldn’t, should be a note to self that we are lacking direction. Without a clear plan as to where we are going we will always agree to the distraction of now whether that’s cookies for the bake sale, or wine with friends.

I implore you to examine what gets you to say yes when everything inside you is screaming no! By not being at every event, and being managed by everyone else’s task list  you aren’t seeing everything they are doing and judging yourself for not doing the same. Free yourself! Even if you are a single parent, even if you are a sole-proprietor, even if you are a caregiver for a loved one, find ways to say not to that which can be delegated so you are free to become and do what you are really great at doing! Liberate yourself from mediocre time wasters into your life of excellence.

So I challenge you powerful one, say no, apply liberally and without excuse or justification. Why? because until we embrace the awkwardness of leaving things undone we will never fully embrace the things for which we have great skill. So I am challenging you, Say no to more busyness, say no to tasks you’ve already said yes. Practice no as a sentence. Share this with the ones you don’t want to burn out.

Embrace the awkwardness of leaving things undone

Mind Mapping for Creativity

Mind Mapping for Creativity

Mind Mapping is a tool to boost creativity in a non-linear or abstract thinking pattern. This allows you to make connections, overcome obstacles or even make paths where linear thinking might otherwise trip you up.Mind Mapping for Creativity blog graphic The mechanics of mind mapping are simple. Write an idea in the middle of a paper, preferably ones without lines as this will help separate the linear and non linear ideas visually and promote free association. Sometimes it can help to have instrumental music going so the part of your brain that needs a distraction is calmed a bit. If you need a classical music soundtrack check this out. Or if you need a faster soundtrack this one will work well.

Lets get down to business…You need to start with an idea or direction. The idea I started with was goals as the main or primary idea as seen in the diagram below. Using your non-dominant hand to write causes the logical side of your brain not to override the creativity. The next thing I did was write the ideas that came to mind when thinking about goals using my left hand. These sub-points or secondary ideas are the natural ideas my brain comes up with in a free association manner. You take the secondary ideas and free associate around each of them. and continue out as many times as you need. This reveals the connections and flow between ideas that your brain naturally associates. When you complete several rounds of free association take a step back and look at the ideas that have come out. Look for patterns, significance, or themes that emerge. Goals mindmap example


Ideas that present themselves can be used for writing projects, goal setting, used to plan art projects, or even to help you strategize ideas for your business. I created a  Video here for you to watch the progression. Let me know how you utilize mind mapping.

Buy In

Buy In

Don’t ever give up. Believe in yourself or no one else will. My personal saying is: ‘I’d rather die knowing that I tried to do what I love.’ Adrienne Bailon.

Speaking as a business owner for the last two years working with coaching clients one thing often overlooked is the buy in. Whether that’s to a skill or ability, relationship, task or business the percentage of your buy in will determine what you get back. Maybe you’re not used to hearing buy in, maybe you think of it as commitment, tenacity, or faithfulness. Don't ever give up. Believe in yourself or no one else will. My personal saying is- 'I'd rather die knowing that I tried to do what I love.'At the end of the day what you have bought into as valuable for your life takes time, energy, and resources from you.  There’s a reason you’re here. There’s something you’re looking for that says this is the way. This is the path, you’re going to be alright.  You are in charge of your buy in. No one else will ever buy in more than you do to your project, task, ability. I’m here to invite you into an opportunity to buy in to what you’re doing.

Picture with me for a moment the scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with the leap of faith or view the clip here. He is standing in the cleft of a rock, he knows where he needs to go and sees no way to get there. So he takes a moment, steadies himself and buys into the mission.  or take any Olympian, for example, their life reflects their buy into the dream. They make sacrifices and live how very few will ever choose to live, and have huge payoffs. What you are willing to do when no one is watching determines How well you do when everyone is watching. being 100% committed gives you the fuel to get back up when you’ve fallen for the 12th, 60th, or 1200th time and try again. There are lots of examples of the Edisons, Rowlings, Sanders, Sandburgs, maybe we are waiting on you.

If you want a partner for your success I am offering 45-minute sessions based on vision and mindset to give you the jump start you need at a drastically reduced rate of $50. You can find one here.

So start today, start somewhere, but go all in. Write the book, join a club, gain a skill, become a marine biologist, English teacher in the middle east, open that business. Don’t live life wondering if there’s something you are meant to be. Become who makes you proud. Bet on yourself, grow, change, improve. One day you will wake up a completely different person who has accomplished what today you could only dream.