Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Book Lover's Ball Brings Back Glory Days of Literature

First inaugural Book Lover’s Ball a smashing success in support of the world’s busiest library

by Sharif Khan

The Toronto Public Library Foundation held its first inaugural Book Lover’s Ball fundraiser gala in support of the Toronto Public Library, the world’s busiest library with over 300,000 people visiting its 99 branches every week borrowing more than half a million items. Proceeds from the ball went towards “developing collections and services that promote reading and life long literacy.”

Held at the elegant The Liberty Grand Exhibition Place with over 500 who’s who guest attendees, The Book Lover’s Ball was a glamorous black tie affair that celebrated the written word in style and brought back the glory days of literature. The event kicked off with a VIP cocktail reception and silent auction held in an old-fashioned library on the balcony, followed by a divine dinner by celebrity chef Michael Stadtlander, a live auction and novel inspired fashion show, and dancing.

Event Chair and Publisher of McArthur & Company, Kim McArthur, congratulated publishers Thomas Allen and McClelland & Stewart on celebrating their 90th and 100th year anniversaries respectively. Canadian icon, Margaret Atwood, recipient of the prestigious Booker and Giller prizes and author of more than forty books, was awarded the Toronto Public Library Celebrates Reading Award recognizing her outstanding contribution to the enjoyment of reading.

Other celebrity authors also present included: June Callwood, Austin Clarke, Katherine Govier, Paul Quarrington, Ninno Ricci, Michael Winter, Canadian political writer, Peter C. Newman, Ken McGoogan, who was dressed up as the literary character John Rae in his novel, “Fatal Passage,” and Canadian South Asian author, M.G. Vassanji, recently made a member of the Order of Canada, and who with his wife, Nurjehan Aziz, founded publishing company TSAR (Toronto South Asian Review) for immigrants and new aspiring writers of literary fiction.

Honorary Chair and Toronto Mayor, David Miller recounted how his mother, who was a teacher and librarian, taught him to read at an early age. Books opened up a whole new world of adventures and dreams for him as a child and he stressed that every child should have access to books. Miller then went on to declare February as keep reading month in Toronto. (Not difficult to imagine considering over 60% of Torontonians have library cards). Canadian personality and Toronto Argonauts Coach, Michael “Pinball” Clemens went on to say how the library was an “equal access” opportunity for all and mentioned that “the only way to help others is to help yourself” by reading and educating oneself.

The silent auction included a 1st edition of “Harry Potter,” “The Complete Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis, and a stunning Tiffany 11.8 carat ring worth $15,000. The live auction offered a number of great escapes including accommodation at Bellavista, a Mediterranean-style, three-story villa overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

The novel inspired fashion show featured breathtaking designs based on classics such as Memoirs of a Geisha, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Great Gatsby, Gone With the Wind, and ended with a ravishing model adorned in a Mark Belford Couture gown gliding across the runway to a romantic solo violin rendition of Dr. Zhivago (sans Omar Sharif). It was an all around high class affair concluding with dancing to The Starz Band featuring Liberty Silver. James Frey and Paris Hilton were not invited...

The Toronto Public Library Foundation was established in 1997. Its mandate is to raise resources for the enhancement of collections, technology and programs of the Toronto Public Library. Heather Rumball is the President and Director of Development and can be reached directly at 416-393-7134.

Sharif Khan (http://www.herosoul.com; sharif@herosoul.com) is an avid book lover, motivational speaker, freelance writer, and author of Psychology of the Hero Soul, an inspirational book on awakening the hero within and developing people’s leadership potential. To reach Sharif directly, call (416) 417-1259.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sharif Khan Reveals Common Self-Help Myth

I stumbled upon a rather interesting counterintuitive phenomenon in a Psychology Today article by Annie Murphy Paul titled, "Self-Help: Shattering the Myths":

Common self-help wisdom says, "visualize your goal, and you'll help make it come true."

But in this article, "Shelley Taylor, Ph.D., a psychologist at UCLA, has reservations about visualizing your goals. 'First of all, it separates the goal from what you need to do to get it. And second, it enables you to enjoy the feeling of being successful without actually having achieved anything. That takes away the power of the goal'

"[Instead], you should figure out what the steps to get there are, and then mentally rehearse them," says Taylor.

"In an experiment, Taylor asked some students preparing for an exam to imagine their happiness at having received an "A" on the test, and others to picture themselves sitting in the library, studying their textbooks and going over lecture notes. Those in the second group performed better on the test, and experienced less stress and worry."

This discovery gives us a useful strategy: Namely, to visualize the PROCESS of accomplishing a goal instead of just visualizing the end result.

However, I'm not sure how accurate and conclusive these test results are. I feel a combination of having written goals, visualizing the end result (as Olympic athletes do visualizing themselves recieving the gold medal), visualizing ourselves doing activities that will get us closer to our goals, and having an ACTION plan with daily activities/goals to get us to our target goal to be more effective than using any one strategy.

Sharif Khan
Freelance Writer, Inspirational Speaker, Coach, Author, "The Hero Soul"
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Sharif Khan's New Website Launch: http://www.SharifKhan.com!!!

Ladies & Gentlemen:

Announcing my brand NEW website launch: http://www.SharifKhan.com!!!!

Would love YOUR feedback!!

Sharif Khan
Freelance Writer, Inspirational Speaker, Coach
Author, Psychology of the Hero Soul
An inspirational book on awakening the Hero within and developing
your leadership potential

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Sharif Khan on "Greed"

I was at an internet marketing seminar where internet marketing Guru, Derek Gehl, related a story about an internet marketer who was making over $100,000 a month by sending one of his product promotions every month through his email subscriber base of 2 million people.

Well, he decided if he made $100K every time he sent a promo email to his subscribers he could make even more money sending out a promo email every week instead of every month. So he started emailing his subscribers with promotions every week. And he was still making money. But the sales started to flatten out. Now he started getting 'desperate' and his greed glands took over and he started sending out his email promotions DAILY!

So what happened you may be wondering? Well, he totally destroyed his list and his reputation and his sales plummeted from a hundred thousand dollars a month to a thousand dollars a month. His customers got fed up with his constant promotions that treated them like cattle. In a nutshell: He got GREEDY! He killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

In an other case, there was a very successful hot dog vendor who prided himself on providing his customers with only the finest ingredients and quality hot dog toppings. By providing his customers with superior value, he built his hot dog business into a multi-million dollar empire.

Then he let his son take over the reins of the business. He was not a highly educated man, but his son had a top-notch MBA from a prestigious business school. Well, his soon took to immediately 'improving' the bottom-line of his father's company. In short order, he decided he could significantly increase the profit margins of the company by taking out some of the ingredients and reducing the amount of toppings.

In a very short period of time, customers realized they were being short-changed and immediately noticed a decline in quality in the hot dogs. They stopped buying from them eventually and switched their business to another vendor. Eventually the father and son operation had to be shut-down.

His father may not have had an MBA, but he had the common sense to provide real VALUE to his customers. That's the lesson we can all learn from this example:

Don't be greedy! Always, always, focus on providing VALUE to people. If you can provide great value at a profit, you will always be successful!

Sharif Khan (http://www.herosoul.com/; sharif@herosoul.com) is a freelance writer, motivational speaker, coach, and author of Psychology of the Hero Soul, an inspirational book on awakening the hero within and developing people’s leadership potential. He provides inspirational keynotes and leadership seminars and also helps companies develop empowering content through his copywriting services. To contact Sharif directly, call (416) 417-1259.

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