Lucinda Curran Upcoming Interview on Change Your Life Radio!

I everyone,

I’m excited to announce that my very talented friend, Lucinda Curran, will be interviewing me on her blog talk radio show, Change Your Life, during this April’s focus topic: Get Your Life Back on Track.

Check out this video about the event and mark your calendar. Lucinda will be interviewing me Friday, April 11th at 9 p.m. PST. The title of my episode is “Get Your Life Back on Track: Navigating Academia with Gina Akao.”

Be sure to tune in. You won’t want to miss it!



Life As A Student: 5 Steps to Maintaining a Healthy Balance

Hi everyone,

I am proud to announce today’s guest blog post by author, Lucinda Curran.



Lucinda CurranBeing a student is such an exciting time – the buzz of learning new information, making new friends and discovering more about yourself all make it memorable.

Yet, there is the pressure, the timetables and the deadlines… Making it tough to maintain a healthy life balance.

So, as the semester gets going, it is important to do some planning so that you not only meet your deadlines, but that you do so with ease, and ensure that you are taking care of your well-being.

I love studying, and at any given moment, I am always studying something. What I am going to share with you is the method that got me through one of the heaviest study period of my life. At one stage, I had 23 contact hours per week (classes and lectures) and well over 30 assessments per semester – and that went on for 5 years!

Here are my 5 steps to maintaining a healthy balance.

5. Creating Goals

I always recommend having a clear picture of what it is all about.

  • Why are you studying?
  • What will your life be like once you have completed this qualification?
  • What will your work life be like?

Take some time to sit with these questions and really “get to know” your answers. Then, on a piece of paper, either draw or write down your answers.

These images and ideas are something that you will want to draw on when the pressure mounts (like during exam time). Having your goal clearly in your mind will give you the incentive, passion and motivation to get through.

4.  Self Care

Taking care of yourself is vital. Student life is a lot about what I call the input-output cycle.

You go to lectures and tutorials and soak up information, you read your texts and other work, and you think, converse and play with new concepts. Then you write assignments, essays and exams. There are a lot of demands on a student.

From a Chinese medicine perspective, studying can weaken the digestive organs as well as create stagnation. So, from this point of view, I recommend maintaining a good diet of foods that are seasonal and easy to digest (soups, stews and casseroles are great meals for students as they are easy to prepare and can be eaten over several days). I also recommend exercise to help maintain your body – anything from walking to cycling, kick boxing to tai chi. Exercise will also help you to reduce your stress levels.

Other than that, make a list of the things that YOU enjoy – that you find nourishing and nurturing.

3.  Assessing Your Semester

Once you start each of your subjects, you will have an insight into how much time you will need to spend on each subject, what your assessments are and when they occur.

You will also know your timetable – when your classes are, when study groups are meeting and so on.

On a calendar, mark which assessments are due, examinations are taking place, any field trips and so on.

2.  Sorting Out Your Week

Here comes the fun bit… But, it does make me think of Rimmer from Red Dwarf. If you aren’t familiar, Rimmer is a fictional character who procrastinates by creating a timetable for his studies. He spends so much time creating it, color-coding it and making it look nice that there is no time left to study!

You’re going to do a simple and quick version of Rimmer’s masterpiece.

Simply draw up your week so it fits onto a page – I prefer days along the top, and times down the side (in hourly lots). For the rest of it, I suggest using one color for each area of your life.

Now, write in your classes, study groups, work and any other fixed commitments. Don’t forget to include travel time.

Next, fill in a daily activity for you – so, bring out your list from step 4 above and write in what you feel is humanly manageable.

Then, fill in study time – research, reading, and writing… I recommend blocking time in for each subject. Break this up so that every 90 minutes, you take 15 minutes to shift your focus. This could be enjoying a cup of tea, walking around the block or meditating. These mini-breaks will refresh, reenergize and refocus you. It is amazing how much more productive you can be when you schedule and take these breaks.

Fill in chores – they still need to get done. Things like cleaning, cooking, doing the groceries… Make sure you plan time to prepare your good food. I used to use Sunday afternoons for this – I would cook for the week and make good use of the freezer, freezing meals in portion sizes.

Reflect back on your plan. Is it overfilled? Have you got space to catch up if you need to? To rest? To have fun? If not, revise it so that you do. If so, well done!

1.  Rewards

This is the most important step. This is the one that will help you get through with a smile.

Like in Step 5, where we talked about the ultimate goal, this step provides you with mini-goals.

At the start of every week, schedule in something that is just for fun. This is your reward for the week. It can be used to push you through those times where you just don’t want to do any study… For example, “I can go to the comedy club on Thursday if I get my work done.”

You can have daily rewards to, such as, having dinner with friends if the whole day’s work is completed in time.

Remember that you can do anything in life, as long as you dearly want to. Shine and Succeed.

Lucinda Curran © 2014

Lucinda Curran has always been a student of life and has enjoyed exploring, being challenged and inspired by all that life offers. She embraces learning on every level, having completed her MA, Bachelor of Health Science and more.

Her greatest passion is health: health of people, animals and the planet. Thus she is a Chinese medicine practitioner and Building Biologist with a special interest in environmental sensitivities. She combines these modalities to provide truly holistic healthcare and is passionate about making the world a safer place for all who dwell here.

both booksShe the author of Change Your Life: 50 Daily Meditation-Affirmations That Anyone Can Do and Conversations About The Self: Exploring Ideas From Change Your Life Radio. Lucinda is also the producer and host of the weekly Change Your Life Radio show.

Click here to view Lucinda’s Book Trailers. Check out the following links to buy Lucinda’s books!
Conversations About The Self: Exploring Ideas From Change Your Life Radio
Change Your Life: 50 Daily Meditation-Affirmations That Anyone Can Do

Optimize Your Professional Networking Connections with LinkedIn

Hi everyone,

LinkedIn is a social network that allows professionals to connect to each other, display recommendations by co-workers, and participate in discussions through interest groups. How can you create a professional profile that will attract the attention of recruiters and potential employers?

I attended a presentation by Gigi Simmons, a Human Resources Business Partner at EMPLOYERS®, a provider of workers compensation insurance to small businesses nationwide. Simmons, who has attended several LinkedIn conferences, was kind enough to share her insights with students and staff on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, on October 24, 2013 as part of a “30 Minutes to Success” series presented by the Northern Nevada Human Resources Association (NNHRA). Here are some of her tips:

  1. Create your profile on Your profile serves as a first impression and establishes your personal brand, which is your online workplace persona. Be sure to include a professional picture of you. It will increase the likelihood of contacts responding to your invitations to connect. Often times, you may meet potential employers at Career Fairs, but those employers speak to hundreds of people a day, so a photo of you on LinkedIn will help them recognize you (you may be required to enter their email address to send them an invite). To stand out, include a headline that describes what you are currently employed at or are trying to achieve. For example, Gigi’s headline is: “Partnering with You to Help Achieve Your Career Passion.”
  2. Stay active. Once you create your profile, post articles of interest and comment on others’ activities. For example, if you attend a lecture, post how much you enjoyed the presentation as an update on your own profile or comment on the presenter’s post. Recruiters use LinkedIn to search for potential job candidates and will notice if your profile has been dormant. Find an interest group and contribute to discussion threads. Remember, keep your comments professional. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a recruiter or potential employer to see. Pressed for time? Schedule 10 minutes a week to keep your activity fresh.
  3. Highlight your story. When you list your experiences, remember that your LinkedIn profile acts like an elevator pitch. Recruiters will only spend a few minutes looking at your profile, so make your achievements stand out. Your LinkedIn profile is like your digital resume. If you are also uploading a hard-copy of your resume, take out your address, because potential employers will contact you by email or by phone.
  4. Follow companies you might be interested in working for. Recruiters can see which companies you are following, and if they already know you through an interest group, they may spend more time reviewing your profile.
  5. Know the difference between endorsements and recommendations. Anyone who is connected to you can endorse that you know a certain skill, but written recommendations by former employers or co-workers can be even more helpful.

Do you have a LinkedIn success story to share? Feel free to contribute to the discussion by commenting below. To request a full copy of my notes from Gigi’s lecture, please go to

Have fun connecting on LinkedIn!


Gina Akao is the owner of Writing and Editing Today, and provides social media management and builds WordPress websites and blogs for authors and small business owners. To learn more about her products and services, please visit

Five Career Search Tips to Help You Find Your Target Job Opportunities

Would you like to know how to find a job in your targeted industry? What would a career consultant advise about job hunting in today’s challenging economic climate? I had the privilege of attending a presentation given by Career Consultant, Stephanie LaPlace on September 17, 2013. Stephanie works for Lee Hecht Harrison, the global leader in career transition consulting and was gracious enough to volunteer 30 minutes of her time to talk to college students and staff members on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno as part of a 30 Minute Success series offered by the Northern Nevada Human Resources Association (NNHRA). Prior to joining Lee Hecht Harrison, LaPlace had worked for ten years as a recruiter and had served as a Vice President at Adecco, one of the world’s largest staffing companies.

Here are five key tips from Stephanie’s presentation:

  1. Conduct a personal assessment to identify your strengths and gifts. What kinds of tasks do you receive compliments on after accomplishing? Once you have identified those talents, match them with market demands. Then, research the potential industries you would like to work in, and start targeting your ideal geographic locations. Do you want to work in the same town in which you graduated college or high school? Are you open to relocating? How about international work? Use this information to create a written job search plan that targets your desired industry as well as market leaders within those growing industries.
  2. Set up an internship in your targeted industry. First make a list of companies or organizations where you seek to volunteer or intern. Research those companies to find out if they take interns. Some companies may even offer paid internships. If you are unsure whether you want to commit several months of time to an internship, you can set “shadow” dates to schedule time with someone who does a job you would like to pursue. By the end of the day, you can better identify if you are interested, or even passionate about, that type of work.
  3. Spruce up your resume. Most resumes just list past job duties, but if you want your resume to stand out, highlight accomplishments and measureable results. Be sure to tailor your resume with keywords from the posted job description, especially if you will be posting the resume online. Also, many companies use LinkedIn as a recruitment tool, so if you don’t have a LinkedIn account, create one, and form your digital resume. LinkedIn is a social network that is similar to Facebook but is geared towards highlighting workers’ professional achievements.
  4. Expand your network. Only 25% of jobs are advertised online. That means that 75% of jobs are placed through connections. When a hiring manager has a job opening, he or she may ask current employees for referrals, but in many cases these jobs are secret and will be filled through networking outside of the organization. If you are in the market for a job, ask your friends for contacts within your targeted companies and set up informational meetings with hiring managers so that you can talk to them about their industry and company needs without coming out and asking for a job. Those hiring managers may talk about hidden jobs and actually hire you. It also helps to join professional associations in which your target companies participate.
  5. Polish your interviewing skills. Before an interview, be sure to research the company’s website and familiarize yourself with the industry. Prepare answers to common interview questions with real accomplishments that relate to what hiring managers seek in terms of skill sets and expertise. Highlight your skills and accomplishments and how your talents fit with the employer’s needs. If you feel bold enough, ask for the job and what the hire date is. Finally, send ‘thank you’ emails that reiterate your abilities and how you can address their needs.

Most of all, you are in business for yourself. Think of your career path as “ME, Inc.” In other words, you create job security for yourself; no company will do that for you. Eighty percent of employees just maintain the status quo. Twenty percent comprise an elite class of employees who not only develop their personal brands, but also actively seek out connections to people who can help them reach their career goals. Keep in mind, not all variables are perfect, so it is important for you to love your work in utilizing your talents and create criteria for ideal work settings, bosses, and teammates. Prepare good questions for the interviewers to answer so you can determine if the opportunity fits most of your criteria.

Now that you’re armed with a new arsenal of career hunting skills, go get ‘em!


Gina Akao is the owner of Writing and Editing Today and offers consulting services to authors and small business owners who need websites, blogs, and social media management. Would you like a copy of my notes from Stephanie LaPlace’s presentation? Please go to and fill out the contact form to request a free copy of my executive minutes.

Five Tips for Prospective College Students

Attending college is a big decision. Here are five good tips for starting your college research early:

  1. Get a practical sense for what it’s like to be on campus. I always advise prospective students to visit a college before applying. Find the most convenient parking lots and investigate how much it costs to park in certain parking garages. Will you be walking to classes? Find a good campus map and walk around to estimate how long it would take to travel from class to class. Also, know where the shuttle stops are, in case you’ll be carrying a lot of heavy textbooks. Many colleges offer campus tours that reveal great information and details.
  2. If you already know the subject you’ll be majoring in, call that department and find out if you can schedule an informational interview with a prospective professor in your major. Studies show that students decide what major to declare based on positive experiences with their favorite professors on campus. If a professor is willing to meet with you even before you put in your application, that’s a sign that he/she will be responsive when you actually become a student.
  3. Contact the Admissions and Records and Financial Aid offices to ask questions early. Many colleges offer in-state and out-of-state residency tuition rates. In most cases, to establish in-state residency, you must start the process a year in advance before attending school. Be sure to check your college’s website for residency rules because some states have more stringent requirements than others. Establishing residency might mean registering your driver’s license, registering to vote, and signing a lease for an apartment in that particular state. Make sure you have paperwork documenting when you began the process of declaring residency—your wallet will thank you later!
  4. Mark important deadlines on your calendar or track them with a to-do list. Often the deadlines for scholarship applications fall months before the semester actually starts. Do some digging and find out which scholarships are available and note their requirements. Many scholarships require a written essay and letters of recommendation. Start selecting your recommenders early and give them plenty of notice.
  5. Find out if your college has a career services office. Most, but not all, colleges offer assistance with resumes, networking, and your career decision process. Be sure to visit your career services office to glean important information on how best to market your hard-earned skills before you have your diploma in hand. Also, even if you are busy studying during college, it is important to network and gain valuable contacts for your job hunt later. Start up a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is like a professional version of Facebook and allows you to collect recommendations from colleagues, employers, and fellow employees. You’ll be glad for them later!

Do you have a college visit story to share? Please feel free to comment below.

Happy college hunting,

Gina Akao

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s

2012 Stamp Out Alzheimer's Team

Join me in supporting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s this Saturday at 8 a.m. at the Sparks Marina. If you can’t walk with our team, Stamp out Alzheimer’s, please support the cause by donating today!

I never really understood the magnitude of having a relative who has Alzheimer’s until my dad was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Join us in our efforts to end this disease!

Writing and Editing Today’s Newsletter

UNRQuad2013Welcome to my quarterly newsletter! Four times a year, you will receive educational tips, advice, and inspiration—all for free if you are a subscriber!

The Fall 2013 semester is upon us. The phones at Admissions and Records where I work are abuzz with the questions of students and parents asking about logging in, adding classes, and meeting payment deadlines. For those of you navigating the crazy world of college, here are a few tips:

Continue reading “Writing and Editing Today’s Newsletter”

Spotlight on Success: D’vorah Lansky Interviewed Me!

Hi everyone,

I’m proud to announce that marketing entrepreneur, D’vorah Lansky, interviewed me for her Spotlight on Success this week! To listen to the audio recording of the interview, please go to the following link: Virtual Book Tour Success Story.

In this recording and in my guest blog post on D’vorah’s site,, you’ll learn:

  • How I turned my Virtual Book Tour into a business
  • How I doubled my freelance income by promoting my book through a Virtual Book Tour
  • How D’vorah Lansky, the instructor of the VBT course, makes a difference in authors’ lives

Don’t forget to visit my business website, to check out Amara’s endorsement (she is integral to my VBT success story). Also, claim your Top Ten Career Tips!

Have a wonderful day,


Four Ways to Leverage Social Media to Promote Your Book

Hi everyone,

I’m proud to announce that I’m hosting a guest article, “Four Ways to Leverage Social Media to Promote Your Book,” on my business website, Don’t forget to enter your email to claim your Top Ten Career Tips!

Debra’s professional credits include:

  • Producer of the Secrets of The Millionaire Woman audio series, in which extraordinary female entrepreneurs share the secrets of what makes them so unique
  • Featured expert author on 
  • Co-host of the Align Your Passion, Power & Purpose for 2010 conference, featuring Canadian singer-songwriter Justin Hines and New York Times bestselling author of The Passion Test, Janet Attwood
  • Co-author of Bestselling book GPS Your Best Life™:Charting Your Destination and Getting There in Style (2012) with Charmaine Hammond
  • Author of The Entrepreneurial Mom’s Guide to Growing a Business, Raising a Family, and Creating a Life YOU Love (2013)
  • Graduate of Jack Canfield`s The Success Principles coaching program
  • Real estate investor
  • Member of eWomenNetwork

Have a great day,


Exclusive Interview with Deborah Schneider, “Should You Really Be a Lawyer?”

Hi everyone,

I’m proud to announce that my Virtual Book Tour will conclude with an exclusive interview of Deborah Schneider, author  of Should You Really Be a Lawyer: The Guide to Smart Career Choices Before, During and After Law School. To find out more about the book, please go to

The conference call will take place on Sunday, Sept. 8th at 3 p.m. PST.
Conference dial-in number: (805) 399-1000.
Participant access code: 471729

The interview will be recorded, so be sure to Follow my blog at to receive a link to the recording.

Share the link with all of your legal beagle friends!

Also, check out the most recent book endorsement I received from attorney, Rick Hsu:

“Gina Akao accurately portrays with gripping detail the neuroticism that every law student experiences in Tales of a Law School Dropout, from the frenetic process of studying for the LSAT through the trials and tribulations of the first semester of law school.”
–Rick R. Hsu, Esq.

Maupin, Cox & LeGoy

If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of my eBook, Tales of a Law School Dropout for only $9.99!

Have a great day,

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