The Fall 2008 Toronto Small Press Affair

Toronto Small Press

First Published: November 2, 2008

The Fall 2008 Toronto Small Press Affair took place at the Tranzac Club, 292 Brunswick (south of Bloor), Toronto from 6pm-11pm on Sat, November 1st, 2008. I participated in this event, and I am posting a video clip and pictures for your viewing pleasure. The weather was nice (8 °C no wind) and lots of visitors attended the fair. The Small Press Affair featured lively entertainment such as eclectic readings, musical performances, raffle draw etc.

I like attending this kind of event and I encourage entrepreneurs to join any events like we had today. This gives you an opportunity to meet many other like-minded people and it will increase your networking capability which is very important. I was able to hand out lots of cards with A Dawn Journal site information on it. A good chunk of blog success depends on effective marketing, and you need to market your blog continuously to become successful.

The video is not crisp clear as the lighting inside the Transac Club was not that bright; however, the video quality is still good. Enjoy.  Visit The Toronto Small Press Group Website for more info. For more pictures and video clips, visit A Dawn Journal on  YouTube.

How a Hobby Can Improve Your Life

Learning Language Can Be A Good Thing

For many of us, the reason that we want to change our life is because so much of it is stale. The everyday fact of doing the same thing again and again, and having a set routine, means that if there is anything that gets us down about life, it will be a recurring pain for us. To make our lives more enjoyable, what we require is a bit of a shake-up. Changing things around will give us something to get excited about and look forward to. Even a simple break from the norm can make a big difference.

Taking up a hobby is something that people often do to bring a bit more interest to their lives. What that hobby is, is truly limited only by our own imagination. What do you enjoy? If it is something that lends itself to a daily routine – or a weekly one – then it can be introduced into a pattern. Hobbies are alive with variety. All that matters about a hobby is that you find it enjoyable. Aside from that, the world is your oyster. But if it is something that you are taking up in order to introduce an aspect of fun to your life, you should make sure it has some sort of shelf-life.

One hobby that people like to take up is learning another language. When we are in school, it is often obligatory to choose a language as one of your elective subjects. Depending on where we are in the world, there may be a specific language that is compulsory. In Canada it will be French (or for French Canadians, English). In the US, it will often be Spanish. If we are not of a mind to enjoy school, we can come to associate a language with the boredom and restriction of a classroom. But often, once we have left school, we regret not having paid attention.

It may be directed towards future holidays in the country whose language you are learning, it may be directed towards being better able to understand a friend who speaks it as a first language. Or it may just be for the fun of it. Learning another language – off your own initiative – is a beneficial process. It allows you to exercise your brain, and makes you more receptive to the process of learning. When we have sought out an opportunity to learn, it is much easier to follow the learning process than if it is forced upon us.

In learning another language you learn so much more than just the words and the rules of the language. A language is formed by the culture in which it has arisen. So by learning the language you learn a lot about the people who speak it and the country or countries where they live. There can be a lot of secondary learning opportunities. Early on in a subject’s vocabulary you will learn about food, for example. This can play directly into learning about how to make the dishes whose names you have learned. So by learning French, you will learn French culture, French cuisine… the options open up the longer you go on.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on May 1, 2009.

The 16-Year-Old Internet Entrepreneur Who Dropped Out Of High School to Make $40 Million By

The 16-Year-Old Kid Who Dropped Out Of High School to Make $40 Million By 18

First Published: Nov 4, 2008

What kind of courage do you need to tell your dad at the age of 16 that you are planning to quit high school? Moreover, wouldn‘t it be a lot harder if your dad is an immigrant from India who came to the U.S. with only $25 in order to pursue a better life through education and a traditional nine-to-five lifestyle?

Gurbaksh Chahal gathered that courage and asked his parents’ permission to quit school when he was 16. His dad was nice enough to patiently listen what he had to say, but still was not convinced. He asked this kid to show him some proof. He had no idea what this kid was doing in his room on the computer day and night. Once Gurbaksh showed his parents his bank account, their eyes were about to pop out in disbelief, and they thought their boy was going to jail. They started to panic. Who wouldn’t? Especially an Indian parent, to whom saving $100,000 cash would be unimaginable over a lifetime. And here this 16-year-old kid is sitting on that kind of cash.

Gurbaksh assured them that this was not stolen money and he made it from his Internet entrepreneurship. His dad eventually calmed down after listening to his explanation and gave him a one year break from going to school. Gurbaksh was 16 at that time. Guess what happened after one year? His Internet venture went so well that he was able to make $40 million in two years. So here is this 18-year-old kid who made $40 by selling his first online company ClickAgents for $40 million. Gurbaksh, or G, is now 26 years of age and last year he sold his second company BlueLithium to Yahoo for $300 million. G’s current project is gWallet – a site that allows users to find great deals.

G will be featured on the new TV show The Secret Millionaire, due out in December 2008. He has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, FOX Business Network, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Entrepreneur magazine, and many more. G is currently venturing into a few other TV shows.

G’s recently published book The Dream advises entrepreneurs to dream big, embrace risks, and go after new niches. According to Chahal, failure is not an option. I had a glance at The Dream and I liked it after reading the first few pages. I hope to review it for ADJ readers in the future. The success story of G shows us how you can overcome any barriers and succeed. All you need is a dream, perseverance, and a belief in yourself.

Read Gurbaksh Chahal’s blog:

Gurbaksh Chahal

Red Fort in Agra, India | India Travel Blog

Agra Red Fort Tour

Agra Fort or Red Fort is located on the bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, India, which used to be part of the Mughal Empire in the 17th century. It is a massive red sandstone fort that stretches 2.5 km in circumference and had more than 500 buildings inside and lots of underground chambers. It’s like a city within the boundaries of a fort. Today, only 30 building survive inside the fort.

Agra Red Fort was built by Mughal emperor Akbar and then his grandson Shah Jahan added extensions using marble. The fort has 4 gates and one of them leads to the river. 40,000 workers worked 8 years to build this fort.

Some of the famous places inside the fort:

- A glass palace that has a dressing room with lots of tiny mirrors on the wall.

- The pearl mosque. Entry is prohibited.

- A white marble palace.

- An open arena where emperors used to give visitations to the kings and guests.

- An octagonal tower where empire Shah Jahan was held as a prisoner by his son. The Taj Mahal is visible in the distance from this tower and Shah Jahan wanted to spend the rest of his life looking at the Taj Mahal.

- A black stone bowl that was used as a bathtub by the emperors.

Agra Red Fort is one of the many sites I visited during my India trip and you can watch my travel vlog on Agra Red Fort here.

Dancing: An Alternative To The Gym

Take The Floor and Take Control

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you; it’s basically impossible not to be aware of the fact. We’re all constantly told how exercise helps keep us not just healthy in body, but also in mind. There is seemingly nothing that exercise cannot do for us. Yet there is one drawback; for the vast majority of the population, exercise is boring. Endorphins created by exercise may make us happy, but few are happy at the prospect of exercise and are positively bored throughout almost any exercise routine or gym class.

 Yet the benefits of staying fit and active are clear for all to see, so the problem presents itself in that we should all be exercising – but we don’t really want to. Gyms and the like have tried incredibly hard to keep their exercise areas entertaining and stimulating, but unfortunately it still always feels like uncomfortable work.

 Thankfully, there are ways that one can get that ever essential exercise without being bored or frustrated. The answer is surprisingly simple: dancing. With television programs such as Dancing With The Stars, and the UK version Strictly Come Dancing, populating television screens – dancing has been receiving something of a boost to its public image. Rather than being seen as passe and full of overly made up women, it is now genuinely being treated as a real sport which requires time and dedication to perfect.

 What’s more, dancing is absolutely fabulous for burning calories. Obviously, to get the maximum effect from dancing, learning to dance fast and energetic dances is the best way to go about it. Dances such as the salsa, with fancy footwork and complicate arm movements, are ideal, as are old classic favourites such as the jitterbug and lindyhop. Salsa lessons in particular are a real favourite, and ironically classes are frequently held at gyms – the very industry they are taking customers from.

 Slow dances, such as romantic waltzes and sultry foxtrots, are also wonderful exercise – particularly for the older generation. Performing and rehearsing these more sedate dances is wonderful exercise, though without the intensity – and immediate calorie burn – of dances like the salsa. However, they have plenty of benefits themselves and if done for longer than one would traditionally have a salsa class, are just as beneficial.

 The wonderful thing about learning either slow or fast dances is that boredom is unlikely. Firstly, you are engaging your mind and instructing it to learn – usually following the steps of an instructor, and then constructing routines of your own. Also, unlike the gym, when dancing you are unlikely to be focusing on the idea of keeping fit and in shape; your mind is distracted by the steps and the fun of the dance itself.

 Dancing is the perfect alternative for those who find the gym dull. You can learn to dance at numerous registered classes, or even if your own living room – try copying the routines from Dancing With The Stars, or from your favourite pop videos. The important bit is the activity and raising your heartbeat for maximum physical benefit; how you do that is up to you, so dance away.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on April 19, 2009.