Failure Happens!

July 28, 2015 at 2:07 am

FailureWant to accomplish something great? Of course you do. Get ready to fail.

I am never surprised to read the posts in our Google Communities at CBT Nuggets regarding someone that has just failed an associate level or professional level exam and they are lit up! They would type a bunch of F-words if they could…

Listen…want to achieve the highest levels of your certification and your career? Get ready to learn from many failures. It happens.

One of the things that is tough for cert students is that many of them have NEVER failed an exam in their life. NEVER.

Relax, breath, you are going to survive this setback, learn from it, and continue to soar.

Don’t believe me? Check out these observations from some of the greats…

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

“Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.” – B. Franklin

Power Google Search Usage – Part 2

January 2, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Ready for more power Google tips? Here they are:

6. Local Searching – looking for something nearby? Try – “NY Style Pizza” 01505 – or, if for some reason you do not know where you are – hit Search Tools after your search and use the area options – including the ability to auto-detect your area.

7. Better Images – use the Search Tools options at and do all kinds of cool things like select the type of image you need and even find royalty-free stuff.

8. Better Images – Part 2 – search for something general like cliff, and the images results will give you more specific suggestions at the top of the screen.

9. Web History – want to improve the accuracy of Google auto-recommendations for you, and also get a nice detailed history of your searching – check out – are you freaked out about Internet privacy – don’t go near this feature. 🙂

10. Time Sensitive? – Use the Search Tools option in order to refine the time range of what you are looking for. I love this feature combined with – especially when I am checking for NFL injury information.

11. Site Down? – web site down you desperately need to get to? Try in your search in order to pull up a cached copy.

12. File Types – want a specific type of file about a subject? No problem – for example – filetype:pdf “EIGRP Named Mode”

13. Let Google Help – Google will suggest related searches at the bottom of the page that just might help you narrow things down for what you need.


More great tips on the way in the next post…

Power Google Search Usage – Part 1

January 2, 2015 at 6:24 am

My oh my do I owe Google so much for all of the great research over the years. To start this new year off right – here are some power tips (part 1) for using this free tool.

1. Boolean Operators – use +, -, * – or my favorite – “” when searching for something exact – for example:  “EIGRP Named Mode”

2. Site Specific – for example – “EIGRP Named Mode”

3. Definitions – for example – define:truffle

4. Calculator – just type your desired calculation in the search box – for example, .2*56.49 for a proper tip calculation

5. Quick Answers – Remember Ask Jeeves? The idea was you type out your question…well, Google is all over that – for example, try When did the Cubs last win the World Series?

I hope you enjoyed these tips – lots more on the way for you!


Anthony’s IT Certification Tips – 10 of 10 – Enjoy the Journey!

June 9, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Want to really excel when it comes to earning professional IT certifications? You need to learn to really love the process.

How is this possible? Well, if you follow many of the previous tips in this series, I think you will discover that the cert process really can be an enjoyable process.

Journey Clip Art 1-25-10

For example, I really discover that when I use a tracker, find the study materials that are right for me, and lab things up as I go along, I absolutely LOVE studying for a new certification. I mean, I really LOVE it. It’s one of my favorite things to do in life. Heck, I even enjoy taking exams.

When you finally earn that new certification, do not forget to celebrate the achievement! I have a ritual here. I call Keith Barker and chat about the process, then I go out with my family and celebrate. Since I love chatting with Keith, and celebrating with my family, I try and obtain as many certifications as humanly possible. (Are you looking for ideas in how to celebrate? Check out this recent CBT Nuggets blog post.)

If you aren’t thoroughly enjoying the cert process, then something is wrong. Find out what it is and fix it as soon as possible. For many students, it might be a bit of loneliness. If this is the case for you, seeking out a users group or forum somewhere could help. Or chat with your fellow students in the comments section of courses right here at CBT Nuggets! There usually us a fix for whatever is wrong during your cert journey.

Thank you for reading my “Tips for Cert Success” series. I sincerely hope at least one of my tips made or will make a measurable difference in your IT certification pursuits. Until next time, remember, study with passion!

Anthony’s IT Certification Tips – 9 of 10 – Prepare for Setbacks

June 8, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Are you like me? Did you excel in academics in school as a youngster, never failing a single exam, and always having plenty of study time? Well, get ready, my certification-questing friends, because all of that might change now — and very quickly.


While you do not want to approach your certification pursuit thinking that you are going to fail, you do want to prepare yourself, your timelines, and trackers for potential setbacks. Think about it: You might have some life event occur that keeps you from studying as much as you had planned one week, thus pushing your completion date out further. Or you might have a first attempt at an exam not go well, and to make matters worse, it could be your first time failing a test in your life!

Be ready for these setbacks. Factor them in. It’s OK. It happens to ALL of us. I personally sat and took the CCIE R&S practical lab exam many times before passing it. And that exam cost $1,500 each attempt, and was placed on my wife’s credit card. Talk about pressure!

When you have a setback, let it be a very temporary one. Regroup and immediately start back on your journey. If it is a failed exam, then you will have an excellent idea of what areas you need to improve upon.

I like to remember this Winston Churchill quote:

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Study with passion my friends!

Anthony’s IT Certification Tips – 8 of 10 – Time Can Be Your Best Friend

June 5, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I can’t stress enough the importance of being realistic about how much time you need to study and prepare for an exam.

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Give yourself plenty of time.


How much time will vary by exam. For example, it could take someone 700 hours to study for the CCIE exam. That same person could need just 40 hours for the CCNA. What’s tricky is that everyone learns differently, and at his/her own pace. The key thing is to allow yourself enough (or more than enough) time to really understand the content.

Not having enough time is why most students inevitably complain about boot-camp-style classes. They just cannot possibly retain all the information they are being taught or expected to know in a week. Again, the goal isn’t just to pass the exam, it’s to master the content. This can take a lot longer than you might think.

So use a tracker, as we discussed in a previous blog post, and ensure your mastery! Overall, this is much more important than merely passing an exam by a certain date —it’s about making sure you can apply your knowledge and skills to gain experience, land an interview, or get a job.

Until the next tip, study with passion and take your time!