Category Archives: Personal Development

Stuck? Grab ThinkPal®, the Coach in Your Pocket.

New York, NY – The Knowledge Labs today announced the launch of eight new sets of coaching questions on ThinkPal.

– You & Your Body – How You Lead – Be Your Brand – Team Alignment – 
– Niche Networking – Time Management – Saying No – Romantic Relationships – 

ThinkPal is a smartphone app designed to teach anyone to coach themselves through life’s challenges – wherever they are. Available on iTunes and Google Play, the app was founded on the coaching principle that a question alone can move someone towards breakthroughs, commitments and action. ThinkPal has those questions. Tackling everything from personal body image and romantic relationships to better networking and leadership skills, ThinkPal also teaches accountability, just like a coach would.

“Working as a professional coach, I loved how seemingly simple questions could shake people’s perspectives and move them towards transformative change.” Says Nadia Tarazi, who conceived the idea for ThinkPal, “I wanted to find a simple way to extend coaching beyond sessions and give clients a tool for the  very moments they felt stuck. Plus, I wanted to make coaching more accessible; giving everyone techniques to help them reflect, move forward and stay on track.”  

The base app is free, additional in-app purchases are $0.99. The free app includes:

  • Questions: The user-friendly app comes with ‘Anytime’ questions to get people started. ThinkPal questions help users think about their choices and values, how the world sees them and how best to harness the skills they have.
  • Notes-To-Self: ThinkPal users can make notes in both written and audio form; giving them the opportunity to capture inspirational moments, share them with others and keep themselves accountable for the commitments they set.

Each new question set includes various types of coaching questions that encourage users to explore the topic from different angles; helping them see the big picture, identify their current position and move towards intentional action.

  1. Niche Networking: Supports users in unearthing simple changes in their routine to build new contacts and new opportunities.
  2. How You Lead: Encourages users to identify and harness their unique leadership style to inspire others and get things done.
  3. Be Your Brand: Helps users reflect on how they’re perceived and which strengths and qualities the world should see more of.
  4. You & Your Body: Helps users reconnect with what is most important to them moving towards positive alignment between mind and body. 
  5. Team Alignment: Encourages individuals to step outside themselves and see their role within an interdependent system. 
  6. Saying No: Helps users set clearer boundaries in order to define who they are and what they truly want.
  7. Time Management: Supports individuals in prioritizing everything they must do, and nothing they don’t, in order to make the most of the time they have.
  8. Romantic Relationships: Helps users assess their true feelings, identify unhelpful patterns and move them towards a future based on core values.

Download on iTunes:
Download on Google Play:

The Knowledge Labs, founded by Nadia Tarazi, is a multimedia production company that specializes in creating innovative solutions to help businesses and leaders help themselves. The Knowledge Labs pioneered the production of mobile coaching tools with the launch of ThinkPal platform in 2009. Nadia has an MBA from London and Columbia Business Schools, and a CPCC, professional coaching qualification, through The Coaches Training Institute.

The Knowledge Labs is based in New York. For more information call 917-477-7372, email fiona@theknowledgelabs.comor visit Or find us on Facebook:, and on 

Why you should have an “expert” book

Click to get your own copy

I recently had a chance to read a copy of Alan Stransman’s “Why Every Speaker, Coach, Consultant, Trainer and Entrepreneur Should Have an ‘Expert’ Book” book, which provides 51 pages of expert advice on why you should write or have a book written for you. Alan gave us a few minutes of his time in the interview below.

What’s your background?
I am a former television writer, producer and director, and also taught English at both the high school and university levels. In 1999, I created, wrote, produced and directed a television series called Spectacular Spas, which was broadcast in over 50 countries worldwide. The show ran for three seasons, and subsequent to that project, I founded one of the first day spas for men in the world called The Men’s PowerSpa. I wrote a book about that venture called “Don’t Let Your Dream Business Turn Into a Nightmare: A Cautionary Tale for Would-Be Entrepreneurs” which has been taught in university entrepreneurship programs. I then wrote a second book, and created a business to write, publish and market “expert” books for business professionals and memoirs for people who have a compelling personal narrative.

What is the core message you want readers to grasp?
The core message of my new book is that anyone in any business can benefit from having an “expert” book.

What advice can you give to writers who haven’t started yet?
My first advice for people who would like to have an “expert” book but have not yet written one would be to decide the format for their book. There are many ways in which an expert book can be structured and I suggest quite a few in my book. The next step is deciding who should write it.

Where can readers contact you or get a copy?
Anyone interested in receiving a free copy of the book can contact me directly at or visit and I will happily send the digital version of the book. Because my book is an “expert” book and is intended as a free gift, I am happy to send it to anyone who contacts me directly.

Having read a copy, we hope you take Alan up on his offer!

College: An entrepreneur’s playground

What business did you start in college?

College is an experience unlike any other that one will face in their lives.  It is the transition years between juvenile thinking, and professionalism.  Within this transition, we as college students are striving to find our innate purpose in life.  This conquest drives us to not only challenge ourselves, but also challenge those around us.  Many find their ambitions of success beyond college as their personal motivation for the success they have achieved while at their university.  Needless to say, a college or university campus is pulsing with determined and motivated students, looking to put their education and ideas into practice.

As a marketing or advertising major, you find yourself surrounded by wonderful new products, services, or ideas every day.  You drop your mouth in awe at the products and services you discover that you believe you could have easily come up with yourself and been the one to become rich. Or, you kick yourself because the product or service you did come up with is now being commercialized on TV.  But why do we hold back from these possibly million dollar ideas? Is it because we are scared of failure? Or possibly, we just lack the proper direction on the path to entrepreneurship.

Some of the greatest ideas have come from college students. Take Facebook for example. Mark Zuckerberg ( was only a sophomore when he launched the popular social media site, Facebook. Larry Page and Sergey Brin met at Stanford University before they began working on Google. Okay, you are right, these are extreme cases, I know. Let us take a look at a small business idea formed by students at the University of Pittsburgh called, The Xclusive Life ( The idea behind their start up business is that they would print only 100 artistic t-shirts for purchase, causing the shirts to become more of rare pieces of art, rather than an item sold to the masses.

With the diverse types of students, majors, and ideas that circulate through your college and universities, why not take the next step into formulating your own business? Take your future into your own hands and utilize the talent around you.  Find the best students in marketing, accounting, management, graphic design, computer science, etc. and begin turning those otherwise disregarded ideas into a future. You are given everything you need to be successful post college; the only step missing is taking action. So let this be your direction toward entrepreneurship and take action now, do not let your possible success story go unachieved.


How to Set Better Goals

check listI’m a big believer in planning out my short and long term goals, and have used this goal-setting formula for years. If you’re always spinning your wheels and getting stuck in minutiae, then follow along and discover a better way to set your goals in motion.

Grab a pen and some paper, or open up Word, and detail line by line what it is you want to achieve. Let your mind flow — it’s more important to get everything written down. Let this sit for a day, and then go back to it again, because there are bound to be goals your subconscious mind came up with that just took a little longer to surface. Hopefully, you have a decent sized list.

Second, go through each goal, one by one, indicating if achieving the goal is a “must”, “should” or “nice” accomplishment; and indicate the desired time frame (ex. “I must achieve this goal in 2 years”). File the “should” and “nice” goals away — achieving your “must” goals are too important. Organize your list of “must” goals by date, with the goals due soonest first, followed by those further out in time. You’ll now have a prioritized list of goals.

Take a look at your list. Properly set goals are measurable, specific and achievable. Making “$1MM in 60 days” won’t work. Nor does “being financially independent in 10 years”. As you think about each of your goals, quantify them, avoid generalities and be realistic. For example, “I must book 6 speaking engagements over the next 12 months” seems to pass muster. And it sounds reasonable.

Now break down each into bite sized chunks and tasks you’ll need to do to achieve the goal. Following our speaking engagements example, your tasks may include contacting 10 speaker’s bureaus, writing your bio, and attending 3 industry trade events over the next 90 days. You can further break down each task with due dates and measure your progress along the way. If you follow these steps for each of your goals, you’ll have a logical path to follow, and a much greater sense of accomplishment along the way.

As Robert Heinlein once said, “”In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” Change the way you think about goal setting today.

Photo credit by Fanginhoon.