About

tim-and-bettina-in-italy

Hi I’m Tim. I’m a 37 year old guy from a tiny paper mill town in Northern Ontario. 

I’m married (that’s my wife Bettina over there), I have 2 wonderful boys and a job that I love doing.

I love to help people. I like to say (to myself mostly) that I’m all about making hard things easy, for good people. That about sums up the point of this blog and what motivates me. Anything’s possible if you can figure out the best way to do it –or better yet, if someone else can tell you the best way. 

I’d like to share my insights about the best ways to be successful, to get better grades and be happier. I read everything and I speak to some of the smartest, most successful people in the world. I only share the best of what I learn.  

My story

I come from a family of teachers and social workers, so I grew up hearing a lot about people struggling. My family struggled too, mostly financially. My parents were (and are) amazing, supportive people, but we never had much money. However, we did have an amazing group of friends who helped us when times were bad. More than once, people left $300 in our mailbox, anonymously –so we could cover the mortgage. Fort Frances, Ontario is a great little town and it made a big impression on me. I’m lucky to have been raised in the clean heart of Canada, canoeing every summer and spending my time with people who care about the environment. So, I want to pay forward all of the gifts I’ve been given.

Money

Personally, I don’t really worry about money. I’d rather never think about my own money. But I know first-hand that it can cause a lot of problems if you don’t understand how it works. I realised that early-on. And I figured out that I could help a lot of people if I could come to understand and then explain everything about money, so that’s where I ended up specialising. I spend most of my days teaching people about money and how to manage things and I get to help a lot of people that way. I teach Business, Economics and a course called Theory of Knowledge (critical thinking) in an international school in Singapore.)

Why the blog?

I found High School really hard. I wasn’t a great student, but I was pretty disciplined in my own way. I knew I needed to work hard, so I would spend hours and hours at my dad’s old wooden desk. It took quite a long time before I started to earn decent marks. I came very close to failing courses. I just scraped by because I really wasn’t studying right. 

The night before a big test, I would get a familiar feeling: a mix of determination to succeed, along with dread –because I was pretty sure that the test wouldn’t go very well. Experience had taught me that hard work was not enough. But the only way I knew was to make myself stay sitting in that enormous desk, rereading the textbook, reading my sloppily-written class notes and trying to learn all the material I hadn’t been learning in class. I never felt like I had enough time. Why hadn’t I learned this stuff already, in class? So I would keep myself up late, wake-up still tired and have my fears confirmed on the test.

This went on for years. My friends would study less and do much better than me. It was disheartening. I needed someone to tell me the secret.

Later, as a new teacher it was a similar story. All around me, people were doing a good job and I needed all the help I could get, but my colleagues were normally too busy with their own work. And honestly (once again) I didn’t even really know what questions to ask them. Again, it took me years to figure out how to succeed in the job.

In both of these cases, I learned the value of telling people what your secrets are. There’s no point in making people spend years trying figure it out for themselves. That’s just a waste of peoples’ time.

So these days I don’t keep secrets. I know for sure that there are a lot of people out there (students and teachers) just like I was, working hard to succeed and still finding it almost impossible. Because there are secrets that no one has explained to them yet.

My secret-weapon

In my 20s I thought I might get out of teaching and into management consulting or investment banking, so I got myself an MBA. In the end, I realised money didn’t really motivate me and that I loved teaching too much to stop doing it. But I’m really glad I still have that training. It helps me every single day. I learned how to develop systematic approaches to things, to hunt down ways to make it easier for people to do a better job. That’s why I call my blog The Method, because it’s all about these simple step-by-step approaches.

Do you want to help?

I do accept donations to support my work, because the more money I can put into this effort, the more I can do. But please don’t feel like you owe me anything, even if I’ve helped you a lot. This work is my way of paying forward the amazing things that have happened to me. I’ve had a lot of great teachers and friends who have helped me along the way (or who have just been patient while I figured it out), so I’m very happy to pay it forward to people like you.

One of my favourite books of all time is called The Gift. It basically explains that by being generous you create community around you and I like to think about this blog like that. I’m happy enough if you just consider me someone who’s helped you out. None of us can do great things alone. 

But yes, money is very helpful too. To support the cost of running this site and my other site IBMastery.com I run a membership program, offering additional support (to those who would like more help), in exchange for a monthly for annual fee. You can try it for free if you’d like and then (if you stay on as a member) you’ll be doing a lot to cover some of my costs to make this stuff. 

Either way, I really appreciate your interest.

If you have a question, please join one of my Facebook groups, where I also support students, teachers and parents.

All the best,

Tim

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