No. 12 – How Did My First Three Years At Airdrie Academy Go?

As always, when my situation changed, the first thing I subconsciously did, starting from my first day at secondary school, was to go into my “get everybody to Know, Like, and Trust Me” mode. I participated in everything that I could. I played social soccer and cricket at the breaks, although I was never good enough to get into any of the school teams. I also participated in the debating team, and the chess team, although the school “chess wizard” once beat me with his back to the board. I told him what moves I made, and he told me what moves I should make on his behalf. Although I was an above-average player, that defeat sort of put me in my place. Lol.

In the first year, the one subject I was really bad at, because I couldn’t see what relevance it had to anything that I wanted to do in life, was Latin. When everybody else got 95% and then 75% in the 2 exams, one halfway through the year, and the other near the end of the year, I got 60% and 32%. I can remember the Latin teacher, who always dressed in black academic robes, telling me on the last day of the school year just how disappointed he was in me. All the other teachers in the staff room had told him how good and how diligent I was. “Why wasn’t it the same with Latin?” “Because it’s a dead language,” I replied. “D..E..A..D.. dead.” The other kids laughed, as I had, probably, my first-ever argument with an adult.

Not surprisingly I dropped Latin after one year and tried my hand at woodwork and metalwork instead. But they only lasted a year also, as my hands weren’t steady or flexible enough to be accurate enough with the tools.

The I.M. lesson with my brush with Latin is, don’t expect to be a master of everything. If, after you have given something your best effort for a sufficient amount of time, but you can see no progress being made, you are quite in the right to go looking for an alternative way of achieving your goals. I really tried with Latin until the first exam results were known. That was 4 months after the first year started. I would have happily given up then, but I was forced to carry on for the full academic year. I probably didn’t give it as much effort as I could have after the first exam, as the writing was already on the wall.

We, with I.M. on the other hand, can change course when we choose, but please give everything you try adequate time and effort before you dump it for something that seems to offer more hope.

In my second year I enjoyed messing about with woodwork and metalwork, while simultaneously taking my other subjects more seriously. It was good fun trying to make things out of wood, which I preferred to working with metal, although my finished products were never as good as those of most of my other classmates. I used the time in woodwork and metalwork as a sort of break from the tedium and pressure of having to work on the other subjects. It was lucky that the school timetable was strictly adhered to, or I would have spent more time in the woodwork and metalwork rooms, especially in the woodwork room, basically wasting it.

There’s a similar scenario with I.M., but this time, there’s the added danger that, because there is no timetable to police us, it is solely up to us to police ourselves. When working on a computer there are so many distractions that can easily distract us from the important work that must be done to meet our personal goal of operating an ethical, but profitable business. Internet Marketing is not a game, but a business, and to be successful we must work hard at it. Our Facebook news feed is but the click of a mouse away, and how easy is it for us to waste valuable time scrolling down it? Our email inbox is full of distracting emails that can catch our attention, and waste valuable time, also often wasting our precious money as well. Both Facebook and emails are essential tools that most, if not all marketers must use, but they can also be a huge distraction. Use them both wisely. The same can be said about YouTube, it’s essential if it is a central part of your strategy, but it can be an awful distraction if you let it be.

My own worst enemy is the card game of “Freecell”, a more complicated version of the classic game of “Solitaire”. I am addicted to “Freecell”, and an hour can easily slip by, while I play game after game, during time that I had planned to be working on my business. You must be strict with yourself, set daily targets, and make sure that you stick to them.

During my third year at secondary school, Dad got promoted again, to a larger school, and the whole family moved to a large, old, stone- built ex-schoolhouse in Airdrie. I then didn’t need to catch buses anywhere, as I cycled to school, which took about five minutes, or I could walk there in twenty. So, I had more spare time for golf. I also got a job delivering newspapers, again using my bike.

At the beginning of the third year I had to choose between studying History or Geography, I couldn’t do both. It only took me a second to plump for Geography, although, to my surprise, more students chose History than chose Geography. So, after dropping Latin, Woodwork, Metalwork, and History, I was left studying Maths (I refuse to use the American adaptation to “Math”. It’s a plural subject comprising geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and all the other branches. You would never say “Mathematic” would you? It’s “Mathematics”, so it’s shortened form must be “Maths”).

Anyway, I was left studying Maths, English, Geography, Science, comprising Physics, which I was good at, and Chemistry, which I wasn’t, and last and probably least, French. The other change to the way things were organized, (there’s an Americanization, I don’t mind using, along with center, color, and a few others, but “Math”, never), is all pupils in the year were in different classes for different subjects, depending on their abilities in each.

From memory, I was in the “A” class for Maths, Physics, and Geography, the “B” class for English and Chemistry, and the “C” class, the bottom class, for French. There were only two years to go to the first level of external exams, called “O” levels, which we sat at the end of the fourth year. But it was in the third year that I started to have them in my sight.

It’s quite difficult to relate anything in my third-year story to Internet Marketing. However, I had the choice of either Geography or History. Once chosen, I couldn’t change it. As, I’ve said before you can make changes to most decisions you make in your I.M. career, as long as you give your original choice a chance to succeed. But some things are more difficult and/or expensive to change than others. Things like your domain name, hosting company, or autoresponder can be more difficult or expensive to change than say your choice of advertising platform. So, take great care and seek advice, preferably from your mentor, before making such long-lasting and profound decisions.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you a bit about my last two years at school including my external exam results.

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