Top 4 Motivating Fitness Apps for Runners

by Keetria on October 16, 2017


Are you running to lose weight? Running to get outside of your own head? Do you run because it’s your favorite form of cardio? Or do you just love being outdoors and running is your escape?

Whatever your reasons and motivations, we’ve put together 4 great fitness apps created especially for runners. We’ve got apps that will help you find new routes, track your progress, and even one for beginners who are now retired couch potatoes.

      1. Nike + Run Club and Nike+ Training Club

Nike+ Run Club is an innovative running partner. Besides its features like indoor or outdoor tracking and distance coverage, it has a coaching program based on your goals.

Apart from tracking your progress, it has a shoe tracker so you can tag the shoes you used for each workout. You’ll know how much mileage your shoes can take before you wear them out!

Download the Nike+ Training Club app and get more than 100 workouts that come with instructional audio and video clips.

      1. Fitbit

Even if you do not have the actual wearable tracker, you can download the Fitbit app and turn on MobileTrack. This feature lets you count all the steps that you have made, the distance you have covered as well as calories burned.

And the New Adventures feature is just one more thing to really get you motivated. It uses my steps progress to show you how far you could have traveled on famous trails, giving you an idea on how you would fair running along iconic landmarks!

      1. C25K

This is a great app for beginners.

And speaking of couch potatoes, the C25K app used to be called just that – Couch Potato. The name was fitting because it was designed for people who don’t run. Alternating between running and walking, the app will help you build strength. Through its 8-week plan which calls for 30-minute workouts per week, you’ll be a runner before you know it. The goal is to take you from your couch to finishing 5k. C25K = Couch to 5k. Get it?

      1. MapMyRun

Like Fitbit and Nike+Run app, MapMyRun also has track features like speed and distance. Best of all, this app is not exclusive to runners; you can use MapMyRun to search for biking paths or even places to walk your dog.

What we love about this app is that it has a unique feature called “Find a route” where the app suggests a new running course for you based on your location. A change of scenery is always inspiring.

All these apps are available on Android and IOS. With so many competing brands making health and fitness fun and interactive through technology, it’s intriguing to find out what they’ll come up with next.

Are you a runner who has a favorite running app? We’d love to hear about it.

Check out the latest episode of the SOB Podcast! I had a great chat with Rob Aurelius who launched his career in the entertainment/sports industry by taking a chance on himself and stepping into opportunity.

Style of Business

-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode 25

Summary:

In this episode, Keetria interviews Rob Aurelius of A&R Collective group, a New York based organization providing promotional services. Starting in 2013, this organization co-founded by Rob has managed to add the iconic WWE to its client roster. Learn how Rob managed to leverage Twitter to effectively network with WWE wrestlers like Prince Nana and The Brooklyn Brawler. Rob also shares the impressive initiatives made by the WWE community in the fields of pediatric and breast cancer. Tune-in to learn more about this passionate and socially responsible entrepreneur whose militant FOCUS helps him to provide his clients the BEST service possible.

Show Notes:

  •     Rob is the co-founder of A&R Collective Group

          o      Started in 2013, they provide varied services such as entertainment, marketing, consulting, advertising, promotions, event planning, event management and social media management

          o      Caters to the music industry and competes with the likes of Sony and Viacom; being a boutique firm, they have the ability to connect with their clients

  •     Rob shares how they got involved with WWE

          o      While helping out a friend with her social media campaign, Rob got acquainted with former wrestler, Gene Snisky who introduced him to many other former wrestlers

          o      Got in touch with Prince Nana of Ring of Honor fame via Twitter; Prince Nana agreed to help out Rob if Rob helped him to get verified on Twitter

          o      Networked with former WWE wrestlers who are now associated with NBC, the local wrestling outfit

          o      Not happy with WWE managing their careers, a lot of wrestlers were looking for an outside backstage agent

          o      Got in touch with Steve Lombardi aka “The Brooklyn Brawler” via Twitter; Steve introduced him to many WWE wrestlers who needed help with promotion

  •     Admires that fact that WWE community leverages the power of its brand to address social issues

          o      Organizes school visits and even conducts free shows for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

          o      Connor’s Cure, a WWE community initiative focuses on pediatric cancer

          o      Susan G. Komen is another prominent program that works for the eradication of breast cancer; having lost a close friend to breast cancer, Rob is really passionate about this cause

  •     Rob shares how he got HOOKED onto kickboxing

          o      Growing up, Rob idolized Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali; he admired Ali for raising his voice against racism

          o      Encouraged by Steve Lombardi to work on his fitness, Rob took on kickboxing; keeping his 2017 New Year’s resolution, Steve joined iLoveKickboxing

          o      It is NEVER too late to take up something new!

  •     What FUELS Rob to keep on working

          o      Being a third-generation immigrant, Rob realized the value of hard work; feels blessed to be born in America, the land of opportunities

          o      A spiritual person, Rob believes that his giving personality is ideally suited for his kind of business where he can genuinely help out people

          o      Wants to be a source of INSPIRATION for the youth

          o      Loves working for WWE since it has given him visibility and a chance to build a SOLID reputation

  •     Not a big fan of Apps, Rob uses tools like Buffer to schedule his Tweets; being a small outfit with just 3 people, Rob uses such tools to downsize his work
  •     Rob shares his experience with various social mediums

          o      Has a strong presence on Twitter with 190K followers; uses it to get feedback and voice his opinion

          o      A big proponent of using Twitter Ads

          o      Is active on Facebook and Instagram as well; uses Facebook for networking and posts pictures of beautiful Brooklyn on Instagram

  •     Rob wants to ensure that his parents have a stress-free and comfortable life in their later years

          o      Rob’s mother had a difficult time raising four children; his father is still working and refuses to retire at 67!

          o      Hopes that his parents get their benefits and can retire with the right insurance plan

  •     If you are passionate about something and want to bring it to life, go out there and make sure you do it!
  •     WCW or WWE?

          o      WWE bought WCW years ago; years ago WWE and WCW had an epic battle going on

          o      Back in the day, icons like Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and Ric Flair joined WCW

          o      Always loyal to WWE, Rob respect Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE

          o      WWE has evolved from a wrestling organization to a global promotions company

3 Key Points:

  1.       Use the POWER of social media to network with prospects and attain greater visibility.
  2.       Aim to genuinely HELP your clients and the greater community at large by concentrating not just on the work, but also on social initiatives.

3.       PASSION will help you find your internal voice—this voice will push you to go out there and just do it!

5 Movies That Inspire the Entrepreneurial Hustle

by Keetria on October 10, 2017

Running your own business is extremely challenging. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need much more than the love of selling. You need to be passionate about your business, stand by your products or services, and stay motivated.

We’ve listed the top 5 movies that will inspire you as you make it through your entrepreneurial path. We hope these movies will motivate you to persevere, ignore the naysayers, and get you in the right mindset for business success.

  1. The Pursuit of Happyness

“You got a dream. You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.”

Based on the true story of Chris Gardner, this movie is filled with heartbreaking scenes, and it doesn’t seem like things will ever go right for the main character. Will Smith plays Gardner who has to support himself and his son during an unpaid internship.

With barely any money, they end up sleeping in shelters and at one point, on the floor of a subway station bathroom. We don’t want to spoil things for you by giving away the ending but the takeaway is never to give up, and that passion and sacrifice is essential to success.

 

  1. Forrest Gump

“I just felt like runnin’.”

While many would think that Forrest Gump’s phenomenal business success was purely accidental, it’s really his good-natured spirit behind it all.

People will tell you how cutthroat the world of business is. While that’s true, there are people who succeed by doing what they feel is right, giving credit where credit is due, and that your most brilliant ideas can come to you when you least expect it. This movie epitomizes how good things happen to good people.

 

  1. Jerry MaGuire

“Help me help you.”

Yes, Jerry MaGuire is a romantic movie, for the most part. I think the beautiful lesson that this movie teaches any entrepreneur is that you define what success means to you. Success doesn’t mean having the high-profile clients, multi-million deals, or the biggest billboards. Stick to your values, have a vision for yourself, and don’t lose them in the hustle.

 

  1. Steve Jobs

“The musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra.”

It’s important for every entrepreneur to see the reality of failure in business. This movie shows its viewers just that by being both an inspirational yet cautionary tale for entrepreneurs as Steve Jobs struggles to keep Apple a leader in the tech industry.

 

  1. The Social Network

“If you were the inventors of Facebook. you would’ve invented Facebook”

Let’s excuse the fact that The Social Network was an overdramatized version of how Mark Zuckerberg went from a Harvard student to launching the biggest social network in the world. Watching this movie will give budding entrepreneurs a look at what it takes to get a startup rolling and how personal relationships can often get in the way.

Are you an entrepreneur? Is there a line from a movie that’s been particularly inspiring for you? Is there a movie that made you want to go into business for yourself? Tell us about it.

5 Upcoming Art Festivals this Fall 2017

by Keetria on October 3, 2017

Visual arts, music, literature, crafts, tattoos, photography, and performances. The list of what goes on in art festivals is endless and don’t we just love it all?

Whether you’re looking for crafters like you or want to listen to book readings or see art in action, we’ve listed 5 upcoming art festivals that you may fancy. Pick one that interests you or make it a plan to check them all out!

  1. Art for Art’s Sake 2017

When: Oct. 7, 2017

Where: New Orleans, LA at the New Orleans Art District on 798 South Liberty Street

Don’t miss Art for Art’s’ Sake 2017, the annual street party that attracts tens of thousands every year. There’s something for everybody! At New Orleans’ Warehouse Arts District, you’ll find galleries showcasing work ranging from classic to contemporary across all medias. Magazine Street is lined with art galleries, antique shops, and jewelry stores. And the Contemporary Arts Center offers new exhibits and musical performances.

 

  1. 17DAYS Arts & Culture Festival 2017

When: Oct. 13-29, 2017

Where: Greensboro, NC at multiple locations

It would be amazing if you could be there for all 17 days of this art festival as more than 70 artists spanning various art forms will throw together over a hundred events showcasing their creativity and craft. There will be live music concerts, craft beer, dance and theatre performances, body painting, visual arts and loads more!

 

  1. Hyde Park Village Art Fair 2017

When: Oct. 14-15, 2017

Where: Tampa, FL at the Hyde Park Village at 1602 W Snow Ave

Held in the upscale Hyde Park neighborhood in Tampa, Florida, the Hyde Park Village Art Fair is a celebration of art and the finer things in life. This two-day event will feature over 150 artists and crafters who will showcase their unique works. We’re talking about jewelry, life-sized sculptures and one-of-a-kind decorative pieces which include paintings and other crafts.

 

  1. ARToberFEST 2017

When: Oct. 21-22, 2017

Where: Galveston, TX at Downtown Galveston on Post Office St & 22nd St

ARToberFEST is an annual fine art festival in Historic Downtown Galveston where local and regional artists working across a variety of media are featured. Come on down and purchase an original piece from one of these artists for your collection. This outdoor art party features live music. And because it takes place right on Post Office St, you’ll be surrounded by restaurants and cafes.

 

  1. Full Moon Tattoo & Horror Festival 2017

When: Oct. 27-29, 2017

Where: Nashville, TN at Hotel Preston on 733 Briley Pkwy

Don’t want to miss one of Nashville’s more unique events and the largest festival of its kind in the South. The finest tattoo artists from across the country are attracted to this festival each year. But wait, you don’t need to be inked to appreciate the artistry behind tattoos.

This is also the best place to be right before Halloween as the Full Moon Tattoo & Horror Festival delights in the scary and relishes in all things twisted. You’ll see horror film stars and esteemed tattoo artists as they gather for 3 days of horror film screenings, tattoo competitions, and costume contests.

Art is such a broad term. What’s your favorite art and which of these upcoming art festivals will you likely be at?

 

Here’s the latest episode of SOB – I’m speaking with Stephanie Caudle about her new micro job site venture and her continuous journey in the tech industry!

Style of Business

-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode 24

Summary:

In this episode, Keetria interviews Stephanie Caudle of Black Girl Group, a micro-job site and organization helping connect African-American freelancers to companies who are struggling to hire diverse, freelance talent. Listen as Stephanie shares the various struggles she has faced on her entrepreneurial journey. She shares about her noble vision of creating a platform aimed at helping African American women earn extra income as well helping the US marketplace become more culturally diverse and inclusive. Tune-in as she discusses the key factors that contribute to her success and the value of stepping out and taking that LEAP of FAITH.

Show Notes:

  •     Keetria introduces Stephanie to the show
  •     Stephanie is the founder and CEO of Black Girl Group, a micro-job site

o      Similar to Fiverr and Upwork, but caters solely to African American women

  •     The Origins of Black Girl Group

o      Was launched in November 2016

o      As a PR agent at Tom Ford, Stephanie was handling 45 clients and was totally burnout

o      Was laid off from her job immediately after registering her site; been working full-time on Black Girl Group ever since

  •     Stephanie has a two-fold mission:

o      1. Help women increase their load

o      2. Increase diversity

  •     Coming from a publishing background, was terrified of entering the tech industry; only 1% of women receive funding in the tech industry

o      Admits that her misgivings for the tech industry were unfounded; was recently accepted into an incubator program promoted by Google

o      Has received resources that have allowed her to grow as a freelancer and a startup founder

  •     Wants to leverage on the fact that African American women are the fastest growing entrepreneurs in the United States
  •     Realized the immense NEED for African American talent when she saw a Twitter ad for an African American writer placed by an influential CEO

o      The CEO was specifically targeting African American buyers, the race that spends the most money in America

o      The only way to get in front of African American audiences is through hiring African American talent

o      For hiring African American talent, you need to go to a platform such as Black Girl Group where you can find all this talent in one place

  •     Offers a variety of services such as virtual assistance, writers, web designer, developers and much more
  •     Learn how Stephanie’s marketing background has helped her

o      Graduated from North Carolina AT&T with a concentration in public relations

o      Is able to handle her own media outreach and pitching to gain visibility

o      Is able to create targeted content that resonates with viewers; recently created a blog post titled, “How do you make money as a freelancer without going broke”

o      Digital marketing experience helps her in keyword searches through which she zeros in on the right topics

  •     CHALLENGES encountered

o      Getting funding for her venture has been Stephanie’s biggest challenge; has received pushbacks because of the name of her company

o      People think that her business model is divisive

o      Many emotional challenges as well

  •     Stephanie’s shares how she kickstarted Black Girl

o      Writing for Huffington Post was her side hustle while she had a full-time job

o      In the midst of losing her job, took up freelance writing as a fulltime profession

o      Her experiences as a freelancer has equipped her to deal with the ups and downs of business

  •     The things she ENJOYS the most about being an entrepreneur

o      Being a mom, she values the flexibility that her profession offers

o      Wishes to help African-Americans succeed by giving them access to valuable information

  •     Shares that the Google Incubator she is associated with is especially designed to help startup founders of color; has received help in the form of legal fees, website development and staffing
  •     RESOURCES to help you manage your startup

o      Attended the 2-day internet summit focusing on digital marketing and broader technology

o      Has checked out the Blavity conference online

o      Recommends Medium to anyone looking for information about startups; this is where she got she found Google Incubator

3 Key Points:

  1.       It is always good to have a side-hustle which will fetch you some extra money. In the event that you lose your job, this can develop into your main source of income.
  2.       Finding a good incubator is a great way to kickstart your startup; there are incubators who focus solely on helping startup founders of color.
  3.       Be bold, go ahead and just take the LEAP of FAITH; the only reason we have 9 to 5 jobs is because someone decided to do just that!

Are you looking to work in the tech industry or simply a hobbyist with a lot of questions that you feel can be answered by experts at a conference?

Whatever reason for your interest in attending a tech conference, you’ve probably ended up here because you’re new to it and a bit apprehensive about showing up to an event having little knowledge of what goes on at these conferences. You worry about fitting in, networking, or simply maneuvering your way through the crowd.

The best advice would be to jump right in and attend as many as you can. Before you know it, you’ll be a seasoned conference attendee.

Here are some upcoming tech conferences that may interest you:

Web Unleashed 2017
When: September 25-26, 2017
Where: Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel, Toronto

Are you a front-end developer or aspire to be one? If so, By attending Web Unleashed, you’ll get up-to-date on the skills to take you to the next level of your career. With two full days with four tracks and over 50 presentations, this will also be your opportunity to be around like-minded professionals to network and share ideas with.

 

BoxWorks
When: Oct. 10–12, 2017
Where: Moscone Center West, San Francisco, CA

BoxWorks 2017 will be full of amazing speakers, sessions, and tracks to help you drive the future of your business. This is your chance to join thousands of developers, administrators, and business leads as they share ideas and inspire each other.

 

Cyber Security Chicago
When: October 18 – 19, 2017
Where: Chicago, IL

Learn from the cyber security industry’s top experts as they deliver insightful seminars on all aspects of cybersecurity and risk mitigation. Cyber Security Chicago 2017 offers IT and Security managers invaluable security insight from industry experts who will cover topics that will help you build a stronger defense against cyber-attacks. Learn how to educate your employees, recover your systems if they are breached, and protect your organization from cyber terrorism.

 

Dreamforce
When: Nov. 6–9, 2017
Where: San Francisco, CA

Dreamforce is largest software conference in the world, making it the must-attend tech event of the year. It is four days that will transform your career through innovation and will connect you with your community of fellow Trailblazers. There will be over 2,700 sessions to help every role in every industry find success. It will also be your opportunity to get your hands on with the latest product innovations.

 

The Brand Safety Summit
When: November 16, 2017
Where: New York, NY

Brand safety is emerging as one of the most important issue media buyers are facing in today. The Brand Safety Summit is the premier event that brings together the industry’s decision-makers from top publishers, investors, technology developers, agencies and brand marketers address the challenges that media and marketing executives face when creating brand safe experiences. Attend and learn how to work toward solutions to digital media’s most challenging obstacles.

The tech world is fast-paced and broad. What do you specialize in? What conferences would most interest you?

image: gustavo frazao

As an entrepreneur who is always interested in learning from experts and leaders in other industries, I am familiar with the vast amount of material available from well-known coaches and mentors. There is an overwhelming load of information and advice on a daily basis. So much, in fact, anyone seeking to hone their skills and need tips or advice on a particular subject, can easily obtain this information online.

Here are 5 ways you can take advantage of your Internet connection to learn from leading professionals across multiple industries. Whether you’re just starting out or been working in your line of business for several years, there lies a significant advantage in listening to other people’s perspectives on an assortment of topics, especially when it comes from someone who has the background and knowledge on the subject at hand.

Check out the tips below on how you can glean advice that will contribute to your overall worldview, increase your knowledge, or just learn something that you might not have known before.

Blogs & YouTube 

Many of the prominent and well-known speakers, personal development coaches and influencers have personal websites or Youtube channels where they regularly upload content. This material may consist of helpful blog posts or articles which will give you an idea about their perspective. If it’s a Youtube video, most of the time it’s a clip of them speaking at a conference, talk or seminar where they often provide their audiences with valuable information.

Either way, take the time to scour over your favorite speaker’s online content. If you’re unable to attend their events, checking out what they have available online for free is an excellent way to learn something new or to get their take on certain topics.

Newsletters

While some speakers and mentors post new content on their websites on a regular basis, others use newsletters which are mostly exclusive to those individuals who have signed up to receive their content. From experience, I’ve found the information provided in newsletters very helpful, and within my weekly newsletter, even though most of the content is not exclusive to my subscribers, I always include a recap of the recent articles on my blog.

One suggestion is to subscribe to a handful of newsletters of insiders or influencers within the industry you would like to learn more. Subscribing to a variety of newsletters will not only give you a different perspective but also allow you to sift and sort through helpful tips and the information you need to get you further along. 

Teleseminars

Teleseminar is another great way to learn something. If you’ve subscribed to a newsletter, you might have already received an invite to join or participate. Similar to the newsletters, sometimes you have to be a subscriber to the speaker’s or mentor’s newsletter to receive the invite. Professionals on Facebook and Instagram also promote their teleseminars for free and use these as a vehicle to offer their paid services.

While some teleseminars cost a fee to join, there are plenty available each month with minimal to no sign-up fee. Whatever your industry, check to see if your speaker of choice is hosting a teleseminar anytime soon.

Blinkist

It’s been some time since I’ve read a book on Blinkist but as I write this, it instantly reminds me of how useful their service truly is. Services similar link Blinkist thrives because they allow us to consume the main gist and most valuable information in a minimal amount of time. Maybe you’re interested in a 300-page book but don’t have a chance to read it. Blinkist pulls the book’s main content and cuts it down to the minutes for reading or audio consumption.

With my present schedule, I’m unable to read as much as I’d like but I find having the option to scan for relevant info or to learn more about a topic without having to dedicate hours to thoroughly reading a book handy. When the time doesn’t permit you to soak up as much knowledge as you’d like to check out Blinkist’s library to see if they have books written by your favorite speaker or coach – you’d be surprised as to what you’ll find.

Films are designed to entertain us, but also to inform us. When it comes to documentaries, these qualifiers are usually reversed — information comes first with entertainment being inserted via cinematography, editing and storytelling techniques.

To be informed is to be at the top of your game…at least, that’s the case for entrepreneurs. These four documentaries are guaranteed to teach entrepreneurs some valuable lessons about business and success, as well as providing some much needed entertainment along the way.

  1. Something Ventured

If you want to get a company going, you likely won’t only be funneling money you make into the endeavor. Investors are an important part of the process, though they’re often overlooked when we talk about businesses. Giants like Apple and Intel may be self-sufficient today, but they wouldn’t be here without investors believing in the business from an early age.

This is the basis of Something Ventured. The documentary covers Apple, Intel and Atari and the investors who believed in them enough to funnel money into the business. Obviously, their initial faith paid off.

  1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

While this documentary isn’t directly related to business topics, it does contain a lesson that all entrepreneurs need to learn. This film covers the life of Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old man who is considered to be the greatest sushi chef in the world. His restaurant in Tokyo is acclaimed, mostly due to Jiro’s dedication to his craft. Jiro goes out of his way to make sure his sushi will be the best, going as far to massage an octopus for an hour to enhance the quality of its texture.

So what’s the takeaway? Anything worth doing is worth doing right. If you’re passionate about your dream, you’ll do anything for it AND be as dedicated as necessary to make it come true.

  1. She++

This is definitely one to look into if you’re a female entrepreneur. If you thought being a professional woman was hard as it is, imagine being a woman interested in a field like tech or gaming. These industries are notorious for being boy’s clubs, and women are just now beginning to find their footing within them.

This Vimeo documentary focuses on women in tech who are taking the industry by storm. When any industry stagnates based on discrimination, creativity is lost and innovation is abandoned.

  1. Freakonomics – The Movie

Freakonomics is a book that’s on many an entrepreneur’s shelf, but just as many haven’t seen the documentary based on this best seller. Knowing what motivates people is essential when you’re an entrepreneur. This is how you sell a product or service, market it to the public and develop the bones for your initial idea. Freakonomics takes this idea and makes it fascinating and entertaining with intelligent and amusing studies that go into the mind of the consumer.

Why limit yourself to only four documentaries about entrepreneurship? Pop open your Netflix or open up your Amazon bookmark and see what other suggestions you can find. Never stop learning and never stop watching.

This week’s episode is a brief short on CONSISTENCY. We all struggle with staying consistent at some point in our life. While breaks and timeouts are called for and very much needed, consistency in anything you do will always prevail.

Style of Business

-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode 23

Summary:

In this episode, Keetria discusses the importance of consistency while handling a project. Often, we start off with ample enthusiasm as we get involved with a new project. However, our enthusiasm wanes if a project is prolonged. It is imperative that in such situations, instead of giving into frustration, we maintain a level of consistency throughout the entire project. Setting aside some time every day to work at your project will help maintain the momentum you need to keep moving forward. Putting in a couple hours over the weekend is also another trick recommended by Keetria that can help you cross the finish line.

Show Notes:

  •     Today, we discuss the importance of consistency

o      Often, as we continue working on a particular project for a prolonged period, our enthusiasm wanes, and we become too tired to even look at it

o      Tendency is to do nothing and put a project on the backburner for months

o      One needs to be consistent; SQUEEZE in time everyday so that you can meet your goals and deadlines

  •     Keetria’s “Saturday workshop”

o      Sets aside a couple of hours every Saturday in order to work towards her goals

o      Helps you achieve the momentum that you need in order to reach the finish line

  •     Aim to achieve consistency in every project; implementing a common-sense approach will stop you from getting burnt-out and help you achieve your GOAL
  •     Connect with Keetria through her website or Twitter

3 Key Points:

  1.       Working on a project for a prolonged time will decrease your enthusiasm and ultimately lead to burnout.
  2.       SQUEEZE in some time every day so that you work towards meeting your goals. 
  3.        Setting aside a couple of hours every Saturday is a great way to ensure that you achieve the desired momentum to cross the finish line

Some of us are born gregarious and capable of working well in teams. Others have issues when it comes to interacting with others one one one — don’t sweat it if you’re this type of person. It takes all sorts!

However, this advice isn’t exactly a load off when it comes to actually interacting in a team setting. Your personality and social misgivings are valid, but these are things that have to be set aside when it comes to getting work done.

This issue also goes both ways — if you’re a person who IS good with working in teams or pairs, it’s important that you recognize the working styles and insecurities of those you’re teamed up with.

Communication is essential when working in a group, no matter who you are. In order to make sure that everyone is on the same page and working comfortably, consider asking these four questions when working with another person (or with team members).

1. How do you want to communicate outside of face-to-face meetings?

Some people like to text. Others like methods like group phone calls or Google Hangouts. Establishing the best line of communication for everyone can lead to a better overall vibe while dealing with the project at hand.

Some people will have to compromise when it comes to group work, and this also applies to one-on-one communication. For instance, if you like to talk on the phone while your partner prefers texting, someone will have to bend so the other’s needs are met.

2. What’s the most important thing we want to accomplish?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when working in a group, usually because group tasks are assigned to teams due to the large amount of work to do. Even when splintering off into smaller groups, like partner work, it can be hard to split up assignments or decide on what to do first.

This should be one of your first questions. Establishing the most important aspect of the task can clear up a lot of unnecessary chatter and communication about other, less important goals. Set your priorities first, then worry about how to accomplish them.

3. Do you have any communication challenges?

Being blunt is sometimes the best way to get to the heart of an issue. We all have communication weaknesses, and addressing them can allow others to adjust for these weaknesses. For example, if someone is bad about reading texts but not responding to them, this issue should be acknowledged and the person in question will then be held accountable.

This also clears up miscommunication out of the gate. Like in this example, team members or the person’s partner won’t be left wondering why the text messages aren’t being answered.

4. Will you speak up if difficulties arise?

Communication breakdowns happen to the best of us, but we’re defined by how we handle them — not that they exist at all. Everyone within a team must understand that if they can’t do something or have an emergency, they need to tell everyone so the entire group can adjust accordingly. In partner work, this information is even more critical.

These questions are vague — meaning they apply to most general group scenarios. Assess your own team situation and ask yourself if any specific questions should be asked that have to do with your own unique team and assignment.