Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking – Join Toastmasters!

 

10-Ways-to-Overcome-Your-Fear-of-Public-Speaking

Photo from mgarcade.com

I’ve been an active member of Toastmasters for several years now and up to this day I still get amazed at how so few people know about Toastmasters. It really is true, Toastmasters is the best-kept secret.

Toastmasters has been a huge part of my growth as an individual and that’s why I feel the need to share it with others. I mean, it makes no sense to keep this amazing secret all to myself! That, and I’m also an Ambassador of Toastmasters. ^_^

tm-poster-0311Photo from Central Park Toastmasters

What Is Toastmasters?

Toastmasters International or TI is an international organization that helps develop your communication and leadership skills. It was founded by Dr. Ralph Smedley, in the 1920’s in a basement in California, to help young men develop their speaking skills. Now it has 313,000 members, 14,650 clubs, in 126 countries. The aim of TI is to create leaders by providing a healthy atmosphere for growth and improvement.

          Toastmasters International Mission

“We empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.”

My mom invited me to join Toastmasters right after I graduated college. After I attended the first meeting, I was hooked! (Thank you mom!) I thought; this is what I need! I’ve been an active member every since.

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Photo from Essential TMC

What do we do during a Toastmasters meeting?

Whenever I invite guests to our meetings, they always ask me, “What do you do during club meetings?”

In Toastmasters, the learning process is two-fold:

  • We learn by doing
  • We learn by getting evaluated

TM is one of the most organized groups there is. We follow a program for every meeting. It looks something like this:

  •  Call to Order – usually done by the club president or highest-ranking officer
  • Invocation
  • Pledge of Allegiance
  • Welcoming of members and guests
  • Introduction of the Toastmaster of the Day aka emcee
  • Word Mastering portion
    • Purpose: Enhance your vocabulary.
    • The Word Master gives 3 new words, defines them and then gives a sample sentence. He/she then encourages the audience to use these new words in a sentence as well. Number of words given can vary in other clubs. Some clubs just have a word of the day.
  • Table topics
    • Purpose: Helps you think and speak on your feet.
    • This is also known as the impromptu speaking portion. The Table Topics Master gives a quote or question and the speaker has 1-2 minutes to elaborate on it. There are many ways to do table topics. For instance, some TT masters use photos instead of quotes/questions.
  • Prepared Speeches – this is where club members deliver prepared speeches based on their current manual.
  • Evaluation Portion – this is where everyone gets evaluated – from the Toastmaster of the day to the all the speakers.
    • Timers report – all speeches are timed. The timers job is to report who went under time or over time
    • Ah-counters report – yes,we count our ah’s and um’s and other “filler words”
    • Grammarian

iligan toastmasters club Iligan Toastmasters Club

Every Toastmasters journey begins with speech number 1. Your growth will depend on your level of participation. But you wont be growing alone. The rest of your Toastmasters family will be there to guide and support you every step of the way. If you attend meetings regularly, deliver speeches, and take your evaluations to heart, then I guarantee that you will really grow as a speaker and leader. Toastmasters is one of the best avenues for growth. Many professional speakers started their careers with Toastmasters. It’s like a fun version of school ^__^

Not all good communicators are leaders. But all leaders should be good communicators.

Investing in your education is the best investment you can make. Invest in yourself, join Toastmasters!

Live a Truly Wealthy life!

-Alex

PS.

If you want to join a Toastmasters club in Cagayan de Oro, or anywhere in the Philippines, contact me here :)

How to Invest in the Stock Market

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photo from Beginners Investing

A lot of people have asked me to teach them how to invest in the stock market. I am not an expert in stock investing – far from it. But I do know how to do it. Investing in the stock market is not rocket science (I’ve always wondered how hard rocket science really is). It’s very simple. And if I can do it, so can you!

I started investing in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) 3 years ago. And while I have not become an instant multi-millionaire because of it, I have gotten good returns on most of the investments I have made. The reason why I started investing in the stock market was because I read Bo Sanchez’ book “My Maids Invest In The Stock Market”. Fast forward 3 years and now, one maid as P308,388 in her stock market account. The other has P176,465. Can you believe it? If you don’t believe me, you can read Bo Sanchez’ full article: My Maids are now Richer than many Managers.

The stock market is a long-term investment. Once you put your money in, you shouldn’t take it out for about 20 years. Yup. I’m totally serious. I think of it as my retirement fund. When I share that to people, they often give me surprised stare and say something like, “Aren’t you too young to start thinking about retiring?”

I beg to differ. It’s never too early to invest for your retirement. The earlier you start doing it, the better for you! My partners and I in Truly Wealthy Realty all started investing at around the same time. And we still invest up to now. Investing in the stock market is not a one-time-thing. In order to maximize the market, you have to do it regularly. Like clockwork. This is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s actually a get-rich-slow scheme. It’s slow, but sure. If you want to get rich quick, buy a lottery ticket :)

For those who want to start investing in the stock market, here is a simple step-by-step process to start doing so.

Step 1: Know the basics. A stock is a piece of ownership in a corporation. When you buy a share of common stock you are buying a part of the business. For example when you buy shares of Ayala Land Inc (ALI) you will be called a stockholder or shareholder of that company. The percentage of ownership depends on how much stock you own. When the company earns, you earn. Every time.

Step 2: Find a mentor. The stock market is a dangerous place for those who don’t know what they are doing. Yes, you can make money. But you can also lose money there. There are thousands of stocks available in the PSE, how will you know which ones to buy? Answer – through your mentor. If you want to succeed in any field you will get there twice as fast if you have someone who’s already been there guiding you. You’ll make less mistakes and make guided and informed decisions. My mentor is Bo Sanchez. He guides me on what stocks to buy, when to buy and when to sell. No, I don’t have coffee with him while we chat about the stock market (I’d love to, but he’s based in Manila!). I simply subscribe to his Truly Rich Club site. It’s only P499 a month and we get stock advice every month. For those who don’t want to subscribe, that’s no problem. But it is important that you find a mentor to guide you.

Step 3: Get moving. You can study and research about the stock market all you want but the only way to really learn is by doing it. No excuses. You don’t have to be a millionaire to invest in stocks. In fact, all you need is P5,000! To invest in the Philippine stock market you need a broker. I use an online stock brokerage firm in the Philippines – COL Financial 

It’s convenient and it has lower fees.

You can also invest in the PSE thru other avenues such as First Metrosec or BPI Trade. You can also invest through a stock broker.

5 Steps to Opening an Account at COL Financial:

  1. Log on to COLFinancial.com. Go to COL Financial.com and download an application form.
  2. Fill it up. Fill up the application form
  3. Mail it. Mail it to their main office in Manila along with the other requirements
  4. Fund your account. Once COL Financial receives and approves your account (3-5 days), a personnel of COL Financial will contact you and tell you that your account is now ready for funding. That’s where the P5000 comes in. You can then go to the nearest bank and deposit the money to COL Financial with your reference number. After that, fax the receipt and wait for your account to be activated.
  5. Start buying. Once your account has been activated, you can now start buying!

There are two types of investors: traders and long-term investors. Traders buy and sell everyday and watch the market like hawk. Being a trader requires extensive experience and knowledge of the market and the company you’re investing. I am more of a long-term investor. I buy stocks of blue chip companies-companies that are solid and have a good chance of being here 50 years from now. Examples of such companies are Lafarge, Jollibee Food Corp, Cebu Pacific and Aboitiz Power.

Long-term investors buy regularly regardless of whether the market is down or up. Time frame is around 20-30 years. COL Financial has an easy investment program that uses the cost averaging method of investment. The idea is to invest regularly to take advantage of the power of compounding. For example you invested 1000 in Ayala. By the end of the year, Ayala grew by 10%. So your money now becomes 1100. If Ayala continued to grow at 10%, your money will become 1210. So the interest gets added on the principal and that starts earning interest. That is the power of compounding. It makes your money grow faster.

When it comes to investing in the stock market, time is your ally. Through the power of compounding, the earlier you start the bigger your gains will be. I don’t claim to be an expert in stocks, I have much to learn. But I am sharing this with you in order to inspire you to take your financial future into your hands and start NOW.

What are you doing for your future?

Go live a Truly Wealthy live!

-Alex

Single & Fabulous!

alex zeta + freedom + being single

Photo from Buzzle.com

In the 19th Century, it was customary for women to get married either in their late teens or early 20’s. If a woman reached the age of 24 and she was still unmarried, she would be considered a spinster (gasp!).

Now, 30 seems to be the new 24. Today, if you are 30 years old (or more than 30) and remain single, then you are considered to be “on the shelf”. The world often has its own timeline as to when women should be getting married. And that timeline changes from time to time.

I often get asked by my clients about my love life: Do you have a boyfriend? Why don’t you have a boyfriend? What are you looking for in a guy? When do you plan to get married? Even my relatives keep on pestering me as to when I’d “settle down”.

I have one aunt who keeps on telling me, “Alex, you shouldn’t have too high standards. Lower them a little.”

Yes, dear aunt. Unfortunately my standards are so high only Jesus can reach them.”

Yes. Being a single, successful woman can often be a little daunting because society expects us to get married at a certain age and conceive as soon as possible. It’s almost as if getting married were a race or something.

According to Shirley Maya in her blog The Art of Fearless Living, There are far worse things than being alone – it is being with the wrong person.

Do you feel pressured by the world to be in a relationship or to get married? Don’t be. Just because all your friends are getting hitched doesn’t mean you should too. We all have our own love story. If you haven’t met Mr. Right yet, perhaps God is still writing your love story. In the meantime, instead of bemoaning your singlehood, enjoy it! Use the time mold yourself into being Ms. Right.

Even Carry Bradshaw was single for a long time before she found her Mr. Big.

You may be tempted to be in a relationship just for the sake of being with someone. Don’t be. The worst thing that can happen is that you end up going ahead of God and miss out on His amazing plan for you. Our pastors at CCF keep on reminding us to “wait for God’s Best.” And that is what I have decided to do. You don’t have to kiss a lot of frogs to get to your prince. I, for one, prefer to go straight for my prince, thank you very much. Think about it, would you really like to kiss a frog? I mean, really? Ergo, fellow single ladies, you don’t need to go through dozens of boyfriends to find The One. When it comes to love, it’s better to tread very carefully.

A friend of mine asked me before, “You seem content being single. Don’t you want a boyfriend?”

To which I answered, “A boyfriend isn’t something that you look for. I’m sure the man for me will come at the right time.”

To which he answered, “Wow, that’s confidence!”

I just smiled and replied, “No, that’s faith.”

Embrace your awesomeness. Be single and fabulous!

“Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.” – Carry Bradshaw

Go live a Truly Wealthy life! :)

-Alex

How Do You Celebrate Christmas?

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Photo from kidspot.com

Last night our bible study group at CCF (we call it DGroup), celebrated our Christmas party. There was food, games, gifts and of course, a message from our DGroup Leader, Kuya Mel Santos. What I like about Kuya Mel is that he makes things so simple I can easily get his point.

He started with the question, “How do you celebrate Christmas?”

We all celebrate Christmas in different ways. Some travel. Some celebrate it with a simple dinner. Some go on out-reach programs to share their blessings with the less fortunate.

For our family, we celebrate it by going to church together and then gathering for Noche Buena at our ancestral house. Christmas with us is often noisy and chaotic as most of my cousins are boys. Yep. I’ve been surrounded by testosterone all my life.

Christmas has always been my favorite season. It seems people are more giving and happier during this time of the year. Plus, I can’t deny that I love going to all the Christmas parties that crop up during December. Since I have many groups of friends, I get to go to a lot of parties ^_^

We often get caught in a whirl of Christmas activity that we forget what Christmas really is about. This Season is not just about going to parties, gift shopping and socializing. It’s about giving back to Jesus who has given us so much us. When I think about what Christ has done for us on the cross, I become overwhelmed, because I know that nothing I do can ever compare to what He has done for me.

What can you give back to Jesus this 2014?

Is it your body? You can start taking better care of your health because, after all, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Is it your decisions? You can involve God in all your decisions so you can proceed with wisdom.

Is it your time? You can spend more time at church serving God and others.

As for me, it’s my attitude. Sometimes I give in to my quick temper. Now, I try to be more patient and to have a good attitude no matter what the circumstance. Contrary to what most of you may think, I’m not perfect (lol). I have many faults, and I still sin a lot >.<. That’s why I need God in my life (Where would I be without him?). And this Christmas 2014, that’s what I want to give Him.

What about you? What can you give to Jesus this Christmas?

 

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!

-Alex

 

Make Your Passion Your Profession

alex zeta true wealth unlimitedWe have been brain washed by society to “Never give up”, to “keep at it” and to “try and try until we succeed”. And that is totally fine – if you love what you are doing. But what if you don’t? What if what you are doing is making you miserable and you would rather be doing something else?

Then quit!

Yes. You heard me right. Quit! There is no shame in quitting. We sometimes have to lose a battle to win the war. We need to learn to choose which battles to fight.

Four years ago, I quit being a nurse. It wasn’t an instantaneous decision. I prayed long and hard about it. I’ve always known even when I was still in college that the medical profession just wasn’t for me. It just didn’t feel right.

Then I started going to a Christian church in Dumaguete called Bread of Life. It was there where I learned about the 3 M’s:

  • Master – that’s God. We have to seek Him first above all else.
  • Mate – that’s your soul mate, the person you are meant to be with.
  • Mission – that’s your calling, your reason for being.

I understood Master and Mate, but, mission? What was my mission? Bread of Life taught me that everyone is born with a mission. Your mission is that one thing that you love to do so much that you can’t help but do it with excellence.

After graduation I tried a lot of things. I wasn’t always this focused. I didn’t even know what my mission was yet. Sometimes, the only way to find out what you love to do is by trying a lot of things. Life is a series of never ending experiments. The more experiments you do, the closer you will be to the solution. So, I tried being a reviewer for the NLE, an IELTS reviewer, I tried network marketing, I tried my hand at managing our hardware and I also tried being a nurse. During these experimental years, I had fun. I learned a lot. For instance, by being a reviewer I discovered I love to teach – just not nursing subjects. By managing our hardware I learned the importance of having a system. Without a proper system, no business can thrive. By trying network marketing – I discovered I enjoy being in sales. By being a nurse – I verified that nursing really was not for me.

But God works in surprising ways. Shortly after that I met Sha Nacino – also a Toastmaster – and she invited me to this real estate seminar in Manila. The first time I stepped into the conference hall filled with brokers, lawyers, investors…I felt like I was home. I didn’t know it at that time, but my future partners in Truly Wealthy,Mitch and Guia, were also there. And that is where it all began. That is how Truly Wealthy Realty Corp. was born.

They say that winners never quit, and quitters never win. This isn’t always true. Sometimes, you have to know when it’s time to quit.

I quit being a nurse and I never once regretted it. I gave up my initial plan of working abroad to earn dollars and instead, chose to stay in the Philippines to work on my own business. And you know what? It has been one great ride! There is nothing as fulfilling as doing something you love everyday.

According to Steve Jobs, The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

What do you love to do?

Do you love speaking? Then be a professional speaker!

Do you love to cook? Open your own catering service!

Do you love to sing? Assess yourself first – before you choose to pursue a career in singing. (Singing may not love you back.lol)

We all have a calling. Heed the call. Learn to monetize what you love to do.

Make your passion your profession.

 

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!

 

-Alex

 

 

What is True Wealth?

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alex-zeta-true-wealth-unlimitedWhat is true wealth?

I have pondered upon this question for years. There are so many definitions of wealth, which is the “real” definition? Is wealth measured in terms of physical beauty, the amount of money a person has or maybe, happiness?

Then I came upon this quote by Henry David Thoreau, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life“. And then it hit me – wealth is not about having, it’s about being. It’s about being able to enjoy each moment life has to offer – good or bad. It’s about maximizing every aspect of your life and being your absolute best in each aspect.

There are 5 main aspects of life – spiritual, relational, financial, physical and intellectual. In order to be “truly wealthy” you have to achieve the perfect balance in all five. Easier said than done, right? But I believe it can be done! As long as we are willing to work on each aspect every day, there is no reason why we can’t achieve success in all 5 aspects of life.

So are you ready?

There is no time to waste – life is waiting for you!

Go live a Truly Wealthy life!

Alex

 

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