Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Do you give excuses?


Seems like everywhere we turn, we’re inundated (and irritated) by the musical notes of justification, rationalization & realization... in the form of excuses. The dictionary defines excuse as An explanation offered to justify or obtain forgiveness, however with the pervasiveness of this character flaw the definition isn’t the focus of today’s post. The focus of today’s post is WHY excuses have become the steak & potatoes of our daily interaction?

A quick, non-evidence based study leads me to a few conclusions about why the excusepidemic is thriving.

  1. ego:  We just cannot bring ourselves to admit we’ve failed. Our massive (but fragile) ego’s quickly begin scrolling through the litany of reasons until we find the one we believe to be true. Once we find the reason that sounds the best to us, we repeat it to ourselves. By repeating it to ourselves, we come to believe it, hence assuring ourselves we will probably not learn or grow from admitting we’ve failed and putting measures in place to minimize future failures. *it’s not about being perfect.
  2. moral fabric: The moral fabric of society has become so porous you could drive a semi through it without a snag. The list of contributors is for another blog but without some effort on tightening this material on an individual, family, community or societal basis, we fall victim to the trend mentality. *Note in any interview of a high achiever is usually a reference of their mom’s, dad’s, mom’s & dads “not raising me that way”. Correlation or coincidence? Point here, is we don’t need to wait for society to sort their #^*( out before we start our own movement.
  3. consequence: Do we have consequences anymore? Seriously, when is the last time you committed to something - didn’t do it – gave an excuse and suffered a consequence of any magnitude? There are NO CONSEQUENCES, in fact, the exact opposite. The excuse-rs HOLD THOSE - HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE IN CONTEMPT.  Seriously, try it. You turn out to be the villain. I assure you the people hearing excuses simply listen & decide – not going back to this person again - while picking up the slack.  
  4. media: Think back to the steady diet of the Ingles [Little House], Wally & the Beave [Leave it to Beaver], Richie & Joanie [Happy Days], Theo [Cosby Show], or even Will [Fresh Prince]. These shows provided a steady diet of humor, paired with underlying messages relating to being kind, appreciative & grateful. On any given segment was a lesson on honor, doing your best and being true to your word. Now we’ve got the Simpsons, Family Guy & American Dad. Feed us a steady diet.... and we will eat.
  5. personal pride. Even if 1-4 do not resonate, there’s simply a personal pride in doing what you say you’re going to do when you say... without excuses. Ya life’s hard, we’re all busy, distracted etc excuse etc justification etc, but there’s a certain personal pride in OUR CONTROL which WE get to showcase with the consistency we want. Our ego doesn’t prevent us from being honest with ourselves, we decide how we’re going to conduct ourselves, we create our own consequences and we feed & surround ourselves with people who take us where we want to go.
So the next time you catch yourself scrolling through excuses – stop – think about it and make adjustments so you don’t find yourself there.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Casual Work Shoes

Bernice Chiu, B.H.Kin
Pedorthist Assistant at Kintec: Footwear + Orthotics

I’m sure most people, if not all, want to look good at work. The workplace is where you have the most interactions with people. However, some jobs require extended hours of standing and walking, especially if we are in the service industry or sales. Those flats and heels may look adorable when you buy them, but after 9 hours of being on your feet, your body will rebel against you.

It is common knowledge that high heels are not good for you. Heels force your feet into a plantar flexed position and places a lot of pressure onto the forefoot. This position also causes the calf muscles to contract, which increases tension on heel. Most heels also have a narrow base, which increases the instability and causes unnecessary stress on your joints and soft tissue.

On the other hand, you may think that wearing flats instead of high heels is better for you. However, that might not be the case. Most flats lack structural support and can cause a lot of stress to the soft tissue and joints in your lower limbs. Some flats have nothing more than a rubber sole covering the bottom of your feet and thus lack cushion.

Another common issue is the toebox being too narrow and shallow. If the shoe is too tight across the widest portion of your feet, painful pressure points, blisters or calluses may form. Tight shoes can also lead to numbness or pain in the forefoot and toes. Sometimes prolonged pressure from footwear may even lead to foot deformities such as bunion formation.



Now considering all these issues, it does not mean that all your work shoes have to bulky runners and that you will never be able to wear something decent-looking ever again. Here are certain qualities you should look for in your footwear, regardless of their style.

  1. Strong shank: When you grab hold of both ends of the shoe and twist, you should not be able to wring it around like a towel. 
  2. Rigid heel cup: Squeeze the back of the shoe; the two sides should not collapse and touch each other.
  3. Flex point: Try bending a shoe in half length wise. It should only bend where your toes would bend and never in the middle or the back of the shoe.
  4. Higher vamp: also known as the instep, many times the top of shoes will cut off just after the toes which puts extra pressure on the ball of the feet as it bends. Shoes with higher vamps will be able to hold your feet more securely and provide more support.
  5. Adjustable upper: Such as laces or Velcro straps, this gives you the ability to tighten the footwear as needed compared to slip-ons which would loosen over time and results in more instability and heel movement inside the shoes.
  6. Suitable width: Some brands and shoes offer different widths. Make sure to look out for a suitable width so that there are no pressure spots across the widest part of your foot.

Some popular brands that pass these tests are Aravon and Clarks. At Kintec, you can find them in different widths and with removable liners so that an orthotic or insole can be placed inside. 

With this information you will no longer need to sacrifice fashion for comfort or vice versa.

It Didn't Happen Overnight


Just the other day I reunited with some old high school friends - some of whom I hadn't seen in over ten years. Besides the small talk, there was catch up conversation around what we are doing & who we have become over the last decade -- in other words, a peak behind the curtains of Facebook!

To me, there weren't many surprises. In fact, the only surprise (which was more of an eye-opener than anything), was several comments about being 'lucky' and the perception that my current success had happened overnight; something far from the truth. 

For me, I think some may have forgot that...
  • I was one of the few people from my high school group that went on to Post-Secondary education. A 5-year commitment that required focused & dedicated efforts to further myself in life.
  • During University I worked full-time (40hrs+) as a manager of a sports complex to provide me with the financial stability to purchase a house when I was 21 – let alone apply my education.
  • After University I studied, surveyed, and applied at several businesses – one of which I was denied the first time and was told to get further experience.
  • My persistent attitude drove me back to re-apply (to the employer that turned down my first application) and low and behold it paid off.
  • This May it will be my 10 year anniversary with the same company – something that is rare in todays’ business world.
  • During those 10 years, I was committed to the organization, the brand, and the overall results that I could deliver on. Whether that meant working long hours, going above & beyond the 9-5pm mentality, or wearing & talking of the brand like I had founded it – it became a key element of who I was.
  • This mentality (and work ethic) provided me the opportunity to buy a franchise. And although a great opportunity – it was also a great risk. It was the company’s first true franchise that cost close to 500k and at 23 yrs of age…it was a lot to chew off!
  • From here it was 5 years of relentlessly doing whatever it took to drive revenue’s and reduce expenses. This included moping the floors at night, cleaning the business on the weekends, and staying up late to cover shifts when your first employees quit.
  • I wasn’t out boating with the boys, flying down to Mexico to enjoy some tequila shots, or scooting off to the latest club downtown…I had made a commitment and I was determined to exceed expectations & meet the amount of responsibility that something like this required.
  • And as I look back 10 yrs later, my ride has been nothing short of amazing. Business ownership. House ownership. Marriage. Travel. Adventure. Learning opportunities. But all of this didn’t come without a level of sacrifice, effort, and patience.
And although there’s a natural tendency for people to look at success stories, whether they’re people or businesses, and think that they happened overnight, it’s rarely true. In reality, we know that business success takes time. It's subtle. It's seldom the result of one smart decision, but usually lots of smart decisions repeated often, over time. Often by the time we’ve heard of the success stories, they are already successful. But what we don’t normally see or hear about is how much time and effort they’ve already spent on their passion or careers. All the sweat and tears before they “made” it.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Angry Birds, it’s one of the most successful mobile games ever. But what you may not know is Angry Birds is the 52nd game that Rovio made. Eight years and a near bankruptcy later, they finally created their massive hit.

And then there is being ‘lucky’ – that too normally doesn’t just happen. In fact, it rarely happens. Oprah says it best, “luck is when opportunity meets preparation" – there simply needs to be a level of preparation to take advantage of any opportunity.

So, if there was an advice that would come from my personal experience, it would be this...
  1. Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes 5 years to get to the start line – and then another 5 years to run the race (not cross the finish line).
  2. If you are looking to advance your career – start with effort & follow it up with longevity and patience – they will pay off exponentially.
  3. You will need to sacrifice something along the way. If you try to be everything to everyone, you will be nothing to no one.
There are no shortcuts. If you want to get from point a to point b -- the easiest and fastest way is a straight line. Now off to the races and keep in mind the tortoise's patience can beat out the rush of the hare. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Running Related Injuries

Running Related Injuries


Most running related injuries are the result of over-training or poor run technique leading to muscle imbalances. A few simple guidelines can be followed to reduce the incidence and the frequency of these repetitive strain injuries.

1   Warm up properly-ABCs, heel walks, back pedaling, foam rolling, etc

2   Choose proper footwear for your foot strike mechanics and for the surface you will be running on. Have a reputable running shoe store fit you properly, and tell them what you are going to use the shoes for.

3   Replace your shoes every 6 months or 300km

4   Work on running form and technique to improve biomechanics

5   Vary your running surfaces and routes on a weekly basis

6   Build running volume and speed slowly-10% per week, and plan for 1 to 2 weeks of unloading or reduced volume following 3 week build cycles. Periodize!!

7   Manage injuries promptly and aggressively. Do not try to train through pain. See the appropriate health care professional and do what they tell you. 

8   Strengthen opposing and stabilizing muscle groups. Work on the lateral rotators of the hip, and focus on balancing hip flexor and hamstring strength with quad strength. At least 2:1 ratio of hams:quads.

9   Cool down-stretch!




Common Running Related Injuries

 1   Runner’s Knee/ ITB  Syndrome

Symptoms

Lateral pain on the knee, may radiate up to the hip, sore to the touch ,inability to straighten the leg, run down hill or walk up/downstairs

Treatment

 RICE, ultrasound, active release, foam roller work, off running

Prehab

Hip hitch, glute med strengthening, orthotics, stretch-piriformis/ITB


2 Plantar Fasciatis

Symptoms

Pain during footstrike across the bottom of the foot, or upon weight bearing after waking, may be worse close to the heel, inflammation and micro tears in the fascia

Treatment

RICE-roll out base of foot
Massage/ultrasound/NSAIDS
PREHAB


Prehab

    This is the best way to prevent it and to get over it.



3   Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome=Shin Splints

Symptoms

Pain/swelling along the anterior border of the tibia. The Tibialis anterior works to control the eccentric phase of dorsi flexion/pronation. Over pronators are at risk.

Treatment

 Current/stim, ice massage, prehab

Prehab

Single/DBL leg shin raises
Heel walks, step ups/downs
Skipping
Ankle proprioceptive work <1 leg work!>


  
4 Achilles Tendonitis

Symptoms  

Pain/swelling along the back of the Achilles. Usually unable to run jump or skip without pain.

 Treatment

RICE
NSAIDS
Prehab
NO running/jumping/hills etc. No eccentric loading

Prehab

Eccentric strengthening-1/2 leg drop knee squats-Multi planar
1 leg proprioceptive work
Multiplanar stretching

 Notes

 Check for weak glute med, hams, and tight piriformis unilaterally if this is chronic



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Importance of Rest and Recovery After Exercise

Congratulations to everyone who participated in this past weekend's Innovative Fitness Adventure Challenge
Here are a few tips on how to recover!

Rest and recovery is an essential part of any workout routine. After exercising, a proper recovery routine is important for sports performance and fitness gains – which will ultimately allow you to train more effectively. Unfortunately, most people don't have an after exercise recovery plan. Here are some tips to get your post-workout plans on track.




Why Recovery After Exercise Is Important
Recovery after exercise is essential to muscle and tissue repair and strength building. This is even more critical after a heavy weight training session. A muscle needs anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild, and working it again too soon simply leads to tissue breakdown instead of building. For weight training routines, never work the same muscles groups two days in a row.

8 Ways To Quickly Recover After Exercise
There are as many methods of recovery as there are athletes. The following are some of the most commonly recommended by the experts.

1. Eat Properly.  Physical activity will burn energy, and you need to refuel if you expect your body to recover, repair tissues, get stronger and be ready for the next challenge. This is even more important if you are performing endurance exercise day after day or trying to build muscle. Ideally, you should try to eat within 60 minutes of the end of your workout and make sure you include some high-quality protein and complex carbohydrate.

2. Replace Fluids. You lose a lot of fluid during exercise and ideally, you should be replacing it during exercise, but filling up after exercise is an easy way to boost your recovery. Water supports every metabolic function and nutrient transfer in the body and having plenty of water will improve every bodily function. Adequate fluid replacement is even more important for endurance athletes who lose large amounts of water during hours of sweating.

3. Stretch. After a tough workout, consider gentle stretching. This is a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover.

4. Rest. Time is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from just about any illness or injury and this also works after a hard workout. Your body has an amazing capacity to take care of itself if you allow it some time. Resting and waiting after a hard workout allows the repair and recovery process to happen at a natural pace. It's not the only thing you can or should do to promote recovery, but sometimes doing nothing is the easiest thing to do.

5. Perform Active Recovery. Easy, gentle movement improves circulation which helps promote nutrient and waste product transport throughout the body. In theory, this helps the muscles repair and refuel faster.

6. Get High Quality Sleep. While you sleep, amazing things are taking place in your body. Optimal sleep is essential for anyone who exercises regularly. During sleep, your body produces Growth Hormone (GH) which is largely responsible for tissue growth and repair.

7. Avoid Overtraining. One simple way to recovery faster is by designing a smart workout routine in the first place. Excessive exercise, heavy training at every session or a lack of rest days will limit your fitness gains from exercise and undermine your recovery efforts. Listen to your body. If you feel soreness, tension or pain – it may be your body telling you to actually get rest, especially if there was prior physical activity done.

8. Use Visualization, Imagery and Meditation. Adding a mental practice to your workout routine can be a huge benefit for any athlete. Spending time practicing mental rehearsal or following a mindfulness meditation program can help process a calm, clear attitude and reduce anxiety and reactivity. Getting familiar with how your mind works, how thoughts can bounce around, and how you don't need to attach to any of them, is a wonderful way for an athlete to recover both mentally and physically. Additionally, practicing positive self-talk can help change the ongoing dialogue in your head. Consider using both types of mental practice during your recovery days.

We need to take depression seriously.



I was listening CBC talk radio during a drive when the topic of depression was being discussed http://bit.ly/15n0JyD.
 

The stats speak for themselves:

  • TWENTY BILLION / yr globally spent on treatment of depression  
  • 265 MILLION prescriptions in the USA alone in 2011.
  • #2 greatest disability worldwide by 2020
  • biggest new market is pets (eg: dogs who suffer from separation anxiety)
The discussion focused on the efficacy of the studies conducted, debated whether depression diagnosis was biologically based or a placebo and questioned the validity of industry hired psychiatrists to write the evidence based literature for the studies. All very interesting, but none answering the question that came to my mind: why are so many people unhappy? 

I have my own theory for why people are generally unhappy (not taking away anything from the realities of chemical imbalances) and it goes something like this: 
  • From an early age people are measured against a fictitious notion of perfect, repeatedly marketed this contrived perfection & spend a great deal of their adolescence, early & late adulthood failing to achieve it. 
  • This, and the combination of being sheltered from adversity leads us to think we’re not good enough / failures and well, lets just [insert intervention here] that's marketed to make us feel better. Instead of focusing on the things we are proficient at, we waste time doing things we're not meant to, chasing things we're not meant to and being things we're not meant to.
  • There's another theory about a particular group - the gen Y's which is also worth a read. It revolves around expectations
More people would likely be happier if/when they are empowered & supported to find THEIR OWN standard of happy.... and maximize that.  What do we like? What are we good at? How are we measuring up to ourselves at this time last year, the year before etc etc. 

Of course, the conversation is more complex than he few suggestions outlined here, but what’s undeniable is the need to take the condition of depression seriously while examining all the contributing factors if we want to become more happy, productive, thriving species. 
 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Picky Eaters?

A busy life already requires good communication, planning and great time management. As a parent it may already be a struggle working in those healthy meals, but you have found the time and prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family. 

What happens when you have multiple eating types? Whether it is vegetarian, vegan or just little ones that are "picky eaters" there are great resources to gain insight and tips on how to keep providing healthy food for your entire family. 

Click here for tips on Picky Eaters from Super Healthy Kids!

Keeping it fun and involving your children in aspects of the food preparation is key. Make it a goal where at least one meal a week each child takes part in deciding and preparing. This will grow in to future healthy habits over time. 

Keep it fun and take the most common dish, the sandwich, and turn it in to entirely different experience for your kids! Stackable Sandwich for Kids!

There is nothing like a good role model. Monkey see monkey do. This means not only are you kids benefiting from eating healthy, having energy and feeling alert but they benefit from happy healthy parents as well. 

Lastly if you are family embarking on what seems like BIG changes it is also key to pick only ONE new food a week to introduce and one old habit to kick to the curb. Having one focus at a time will turn in to several long-term habits that will seem natural. Long-term success will take time and consistency so stick to it and do it as a team. 


Happy Healthy Eating!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

An Obituary for the Middle Class



Probably the most honest article I’ve read..... that few will pay attention to. What we need to do is a) reflect back through multiple points in history on the consequences of polarization of poor & rich & b) be intelligent enough to understand this collapse has Global implications. In short, it's time to start planning. Seriously folks - it’s time to start planning.




It’s the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about…

The middle class in the U.S. economy is on the verge of collapse. Yes, I said collapse. That social class that once helped the U.S. economy grow and prosper is coming apart. Will the U.S. economy ever be the same without it or is this the new norm?

Here’s why it’s important to you.

The middle class helped the U.S. economy (following World War II and up until the credit crisis of 2008) by buying goods and services they needed or wanted. They bought cars, TV sets, furniture, appliances, clothing, computers, and flashy gadgets. In simple terms: they spent money.

The spending by the middle class resulted in American companies selling more, making more, and hiring more people to meet consumer demand. Businesses then took their profits and invested in new projects and built more factories. This is how cities like Detroit flourished.

But where does the middle class of the U.S. economy stand now?

Signs of trouble for the middle class of the U.S. economy actually started to surface at the start of the new century, but it wasn’t until the financial crisis when the middle class in the U.S. economy really started to deteriorate.

Today, the middle class is not buying or spending like it once did—and this is not by choice.

The collapse of the housing market in the U.S. economy has taken a devastating toll on the middle class in this country.

While the media and politicians keep telling us the housing market has turned the corner and is healthy again, the delinquency rate on single-family residential mortgages at all commercial banks in the second quarter of this year stood at 9.41%—that’s 558% higher than the delinquency rate in the first quarter of 2005. (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis web site, last accessed September 4, 2013.)

If there was such a survey, my bet is it would show middle managers in the U.S. economy are making considerably less today than they did before the financial crisis. And retail sales in the U.S. economy show this. The middle class is moving from mid-tier retail stores like Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE/M) to low-end retailers like the Dollar General Corporation (NYSE/DG).

When presenting his company’s second-quarter earnings, the chairman and CEO of Dollar General, Richard Dreiling, said, “Dollar General delivered another solid quarter. Our same-store sales growth for the second quarter of 2013 accelerated to 5.1%. We are very pleased with the increase in customer traffic in our stores. We continue to grow our market share and believe that our second quarter results position us well to deliver our financial outlook for the year.” (Source: “Dollar General Corporation Reports Record Second Quarter 2013 Financial Results,” Dollar General Corporation web site, September 4, 2013.)

Unlike Dollar General, the executives from Macy’s complained about slower sales in the U.S. economy. (Mind you, Macy’s isn’t the only middle-of-the-road retailer complaining about customer demand.)

This is all happening because the middle class in the U.S. economy is actually earning less, which is something the politicians are not talking about.

Since the beginning of 2000, the rate of change in real disposable income per capita in the U.S. economy (that’s disposable income adjusted for inflation) has been declining.

In the first quarter of 2000, the 12-month rate of change in real disposable income per capita was up 3.2%. In the first quarter of this year, the same statistic was in negative territory—and there was no change in the second quarter. (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis web site, last accessed September 4, 2013.) The incomes of Americans are actually declining, contrary to what you’d see in periods of economic growth.

When you look at all this, it’s easier to see why cities like Detroit went bankrupt and others are following in its footsteps after registering budget deficits year after year.

Albert Eisenstein said it perfectly: “Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.” We heard from politicians after the financial crisis that they are working to bring growth to the middle class of the U.S. economy. It hasn’t happened. Specifically, I’m talking about how this money printing by the Federal Reserve has failed to help the middle class in this country.

Back in the day, the middle class was the backbone of the U.S. economy because they felt secure; jobs were plentiful and they saw rising incomes.

As it stands today, the U.S. government and our central bank is working to bring “calm” to the deteriorating middle class by keeping interest rates artificially low and by printing trillions of dollars in new money to save them. But unfortunately, the newly created money is finding its way to the big banks  that, instead of taking the money and lending it the middle class using softer lending practices, are investing in the stock market. And interest rates, despite the Fed’s actions, are rising quickly.

I wrote during the financial crisis that the devastation from the crisis was so severe that America would be forced to become more like Europe, where the middle class disappeared and there are only the rich and the poor now. That’s a forecast I made five years ago, which with each passing day, unfortunately, comes closer to fruition.

What He Said:

“Starting two years ago I was writing how the housing boom would go bust and cause the U.S. economy to suffer sharply. That’s exactly what is happening today. From what I see happening in the U.S. economy, I’m keeping with the prediction I made earlier this year: By late 2007/early 2008, the U.S. will be in a homemade recession. Hence, I expect housing prices to continue declining, soft auto sales, soft consumer spending , and a lower stock market.” Michael Lombardi in Profit Confidential, August 15, 2007. You would have been hard-pressed to find another analyst predicting a U.S. recession in the summer of 2007. At the time, the stock market was roaring, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting what was then its all-time high of 14,164 in October of 2007.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Business Bumps.



This may seem ridiculously simple. And it is.

Business owners are usually the hardest on themselves. It can be the action or inaction or a habit good or bad. And sometimes it’s the mindset.

But transformation all starts with awareness. And ten things that can create bumps in your business & make it harder than it needs to be...

1 – No Clear vision
The thing to remember is to make sure you take some time away from your business to get clear on your vision. You don’t want to get caught up and become the reactor versus the creator. It’s about the dynamic of your business and the organic energy you’re surrounded with. As the saying goes, create or disintegrate. So make sure to take time to shape and create your business with proper planning.

2 – Spending TOO much time on your vision
Some entrepreneurs get too caught up in perfecting their plan and strategy that they do not act as fast as they should. Out of fear of doing something wrong or failure, but failure is only that if you give up. As Steven Covey states: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Get in the habit of acting fast and taking massive action.

3 – Waiting for the Green Light!
Great things happen all the time to people, but waiting for it to just happen to you only guarantees frustration. In order to have a true relationship with your business, you have to give it the attention and action it needs and deserves. Waiting for the perfect sign or the green light, is much like being afraid to claim your own power. You must own it and claim your space to make an impact in a big way!

4 – Perception vs. Inception
Are you living a dream or living in one? Do not be disillusioned by the “Field of Dreams” mentality that by simply hanging a sign that you’re open for business will deliver you loads of traffic and customers. It doesn’t work that way.
It’s great to know you have an offer or provide a service that’s second to none and can set you head and shoulders above your competition, but if not marketed effectively, no one will know you exist. If you build it, they may come.
But if you build it with effective marketing, they will pay you!

5 – Master Being a Problem Solver
Positive thinking is critical to the success of your business, but realistically speaking, expect a monkey wrench or three to be thrown in your plans from time to time. Donald Trump even advises to expect problems but don’t let the problems paralyze you. Instead, master the art of being a problem solver. Sooner than later, any setback will afford you to see doors instead of walls.

6 – Numbers Don’t Lie
Business is all about a numbers game. Sometimes they’re low and sometimes the numbers are high. But stay true to your dream, your passion and your vision so that when the numbers are low, you won’t give in to the what you believe is a sign from the universe that you should give up and get a job.

7 – Waiting for the burst of energy
Much like believing the universe is showing you a sign that you should quit, you believe that when it’s meant it to happen, you will “feel” it. Marketing your business is like a system. It’s important to systematize your system and marketing process to the point it is a habit.

8 – Hitting the panic button!
Much like being the reactor instead of the creator, every now and then you go into panic mode when you notice you are low on clients. The marketing and cold calling like a mad man begins and for months you can hardly breathe. This is the unhealthiest habit to have. It’s critical to set your business to flow seamlessly and congruent with a system that is constant and automated. And this is totally possible!

9 – Waiting for Your time to shine
Believe it or not, most people feel they don’t deserve to be in the spotlight. We want to the status and entitlement, but believe we’re supposed to have extensive training under our belt, or members of an elite tribe before moving toward opportunity to create worthiness. This happens only when we take the chance that we know may only come once, get in the game and play bigger and untie ourselves from worrying about what others will think.

10 – Overlooking the importance of personal development
The common denominator for most entrepreneurs are that they understand the importance of investing in their growth development. Attending workshops and seminars, hiring a coach or consultant is vital to the success of your personal growth. Trying to go at it alone only diminishes the mindset and limiting thinking. It causes isolation and burn out which is a sure way to not staying in business. It’s not so much about how much does it cost, the better question to ask yourself is how much does it cost if I don’t do this?

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The 5 C’s & the New Workforce.


 

I was asked for an opinion on the difference between today’s workforce and the workforce of 10 & 20 years ago. While it would be easy to roll my eyes and pigeon hole groups as gen x-y-z, I don’t think that’s overly helpful or accurate. From experience, I think there are five major differences which are largely the product of social shifts and trends.

  1. confidence. I believe more people in today’s workforce are less confident than workforces past. From the inability to make eye contact to the reaction to receiving constructive feedback to being generally risk aversive. I attribute this characteristic to the over protective / over parenting / no kid left behind mentality. Unfortunately, in the workforce people are & do get left behind & it’s difficult to develop confidence if you’re not exposing yourself to, and overcoming adversity early & often.  
  2. competence. I could / should use a word that’s not as harsh, but it would mean the same thing. It stands to reason the inability to think independently (combined with a lack of confidence) affects competence. I attribute this to a system where everything has been laid out for young people, many of whom haven’t been predisposed to problem solving. This stifles the need to think & do things on ones own and when we see them in the workforce (on their own), there’s a reprogramming that has to happen to put their own pieces in order to achieve success.
  3. communication. I’m not a fan of the new style of communication for the following reasons; it’s depersonalized, largely ineffective & it does not afford the skill building traits needed to be confident or competent in face to face environments (which is the essence of human interaction / business). I attribute this to a social need to continue to make things quick & easy. Some things, are not meant to be quick & easy and successful careers / business are two of those things. New style communication is very effective for follow up and broad spamming, but lacks the intimacy and intricacy required from the foundations of service based business.
  4. consumers. There can be little doubt that today’s workforce are consumers. VERY EASILY INFLUENCED by the latest & greatest gadgets, they will trust brand names more than they will trust accomplished business mentors with common sense advice. I attribute this to wickedly smart marketing companies who have figured out consumers will buy anything that provides a forum to promote self & make self's life better/cooler or easier. Intuitively, this would satisfy the deficits left by 1-2 & 3 above. The challenge comes when the workforce consumes beyond their investment capabilities.... And then turns to their employers to narrow their debt-ficit. This would not be something done 10 or 20 years ago with the frequency with which it is today.
  5. commitment. Today’s buzzword (a product of #4), is work/life balance. This social pendulum that has swung so far to the right, we’re now reforming sick days because people have abused the system accordingly. Where there seemed to be an adequate amount of pride in the notion of working smart & hard now... for later, this workforce seems to want big pay now at entry levels followed by more pay for less productivity later. I attribute this again wickedly smart marketing companies telling people what they want to hear... to buy their products & our insatiable appetite to be instantly gratified at every turn. It’s like our sole purpose in life is to be entertained. And we love it, until we find ourselves broke or under a mountain of debt later on... And then hate it.
Like everything, if we’re unable to re-establish a REAListic balance across the 5 C’s, we’ll continue to show the results of our disconnected engagement and the North American economy will become a reflection of it's new workforce. 

Wait a minute.... it already is?

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

En Route to SUCCESS.


Decide right now that you're going to be successful, and decide right now that you're going to be able to handle that success when the time comes. "Ha!" you might say -- "I should be so lucky! I'll cross that bridge when I get to it." If you want to design your own luck and put yourself on the path to success, start planning for it now. The graveyard of successful people who didn't know how to handle their success is full – and we all know some. There's no need for you to join them.

What really is success? Maybe a good place to start is to articulate what success isn't. It's not a big house, a fancy car, or a bunch of bling. It's not the American Express platinum card or the limousine. Success isn't easy, and once you have it, there is no guarantee that you'll keep it. So prepare for success by accepting that success does not equal significance or security. Success is, quite simply, peace. Peace of mind that you've done the best that you can. Peace of heart that you are part of something -- perhaps a family -- whose members support you, love you, and will always be there for you.

What might success look like? Is it giving your all? Is it doing your best? Is it getting the job done? Again, it's none of the above. Success is much more about the journey than the end of the road. It's about maximizing your potential and achieving what you want to achieve. It's the satisfaction you can get from planning and then doing, and then watching the seeds of your planning and doing take root and create something that wasn't there before. Real success is the ability to embrace the discoveries and enlightenment you encounter along the journey in whatever it is that you do. Crossing the finish line is not necessarily the ‘end-all be-all’.

Who defines success? We all measure success differently. The best measure and the only one that really counts is how you define it. Before beginning a project, decide what you think a successful outcome might look like. Use that as your barometer -- nothing else.

Then, what are you going to do once you're successful? Once you've done well, redouble your efforts to do good. Once you've become successful, you might have the money to give some back. You'll certainly have the expertise, so part of what you can give back is the knowledge that you've gained on the way to being successful.

At any point on the trail to success, and at many points after, there is always the temptation to take the easy way out. If you've achieved some success, chances are you already know that there aren't any shortcuts. But once you've achieved this success, you have to remind yourself of how you got there in the first place; surely it wasn't a single-handed effort. Remember to thank, appreciate, and reward the people who have helped you along the way. Have the self-discipline to do the right thing, rather than the easy thing, and hopefully integrity will intersect the two.

With success comes privilege. While I would love to contest that, it's a reality that is far bigger than I am. It's important to keep in mind that the greater our privilege, the greater our obligation to avoid acting special -- more importantly, to avoid even feeling special. If you're successful, then good for you! But just let it end at that. And move on. Nobody's that special.

Sometimes the road up the corporate ladder can be so consuming that you miss your original goal. You push and push to get that next raise, that next promotion, and one day you turn around and you've lost touch with yourself -- and in many cases, you've lost touch with your family. You don't always need the next toy, that bigger house, or that office with the big window and great view. None of it is worth it if in the process you lose sight of who you are or lose your connection with the people most important to you. All of that is a danger if you subscribe to the theory that success equals money.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Function vs Style, can you have both?

Peter Morcom, B.H.Kin, C.Ped (C)
Kinesiologist and Certified Pedorthist at Kintec: Footwear + Orthotics

When dealing with many foot problems, from Plantar Fasciitis to bunions, custom foot orthotics are a common solution to providing improved biomechanics, comfort, support,and increased performance. However, in doing so, many people may feel that orthotics (at least the traditional kind) will limit your footwear choices.

This causes many issues for professional men and women because a bulky orthotic can make it hard to fit into most dress shoes, often causing slippage at the heel, or just not being able to fit the orthotic in the shoe.  Most dress shoes have either very thin or no removable insole, making it extremely difficult to fit a classic orthotic.

Through new materials and changing the shape, a dress orthotic is able to give you the support needed to keep you pain free through the work day. By using graphite instead of plastic shell, the orthotic can become thinner while still giving you the even weight distribution and support your foot needs. This allows the orthotic to sit lower in the shoe, preventing the common dress shoe problems.


The hardest shoe to fit an orthotic in, as well as the one that can cause the most pain is the high heel. The difficulty in fitting an orthotic for this shoe is both the pitch and depth. The high heel orthotic takes both of these aspects into consideration. Using either a heat mold process or direct milling, the custom orthotic sits on a pitch to match the height of the heel.

If the orthotic does not match the pitch of the shoe it will rock back and forth. The other main aspect of this orthotic is a cut out under the heel so the orthotic does not lift you out of the shoe. With both of these changes to the custom orthotic, fit and comfort in a high heel is vastly improved.


To get over many foot problems, consistency in support of the foot is necessary to get pain free. Although wearing proper structured shoes will always improve the function of the orthotic, many professionals need to wear a fashionable slimmer shoe.

By using a dress orthotic, it allows you to keep the consistency, while allowing many more shoe options. The dress orthotic should give your foot the function it needs, and allowing you to keep the style of shoe you want.