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Jay Cross helps people work and live smarter. Jay is the Johnny Appleseed of informal learning. He wrote the book on it. He was the first person to use the term eLearning on the web. He has challenged conventional wisdom about how adults learn since designing the first business degree program offered by the University of Phoenix.

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posted on
June 17th, 2003
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Informl

Hello Jay,

It would be impossible for you to remember me, so first a little reminder. Nearly four years ago I wrote to you (and many other people) who I thought would be able to give me some advise. I had come to a crossroads in my life; I had been working for over twenty years as a self employed journeyman trainer staying in a never ending stream of Holiday Inns, setting up the classroom and delivering the message to a new group of 25 participants every week. To be honest it had its moments, but mostly I missed my family and felt as if I was taking a cup of water to the ocean. So…. I decided something had to change, but what?

That’s where you came in. I wrote asking for advise, what direction should I take, where was the future. I told you I was unsure about e-learning (as it appeared to be back then) and that I wanted to be in touch with people. I said I was passionate about learning and loved helping people to discover what they were capable of.

You wrote back almost immediately and told me to investigate blended learning (you were the only one who did write back). I wrote back to you with more questions, what is it exactly? Is there a ‘course’ I can take to be certified? (I was still hung up on courses) who is doing this? You replied once again and told me the only way to get into working with blended learning was to get a job with a company who were doing it, and the only way to get a job was to get some experience, and… the only way to get some experience was to get a job. That’s when I picked up the phone and called you. You gave me some great advise, which I followed to the letter and landed my first six month contract in a dynamic design team in one of the worlds biggest companies.

What has happened since then has been a roller coaster ride of success and fun. I now love every moment of every day. My ‘work’ is just so interesting, I now work in a team of 37 people called the KID team (knowledge innovation and design). My family life has blossomed and grown into something spectacular, and my outside work interests are introducing me to people, places and satisfaction levels I never dreamed possible. I could fill a book with what has happened to me since you gave me your time.

So…I wanted to say thank you. I had a collection of half-baked ideas and half finished initiatives, but with your guidance and coaching I was able to get it all in a line and start living the life I wanted. I have achieved so much the last three and a half years, and I have so much ahead of me that I now have to live to be at least 200!

Jay, you helped me when I was totally lost and confused, so thank you once again (I’ve discovered since I started writing this that I haven’t got the words to express my gratitude). I have one word written on a small card stuck to my shaving mirror and that is ‘grateful’,

So, yours gratefully,

Gerry Nicholson.

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