DJ Iceberg shares some great music industry and general advice on how to achieve your goals. Originally from New York, the DJ/Producer picked up the turntables in Atlanta while attending college. The Hot 107.9 DJ gives us some priceless tips on how to get ahead. Connect with him on Twitter @TheDJIceberg

There are various types of fitness. Some of us like to focus on long distance running, others are all about quick cardio boosts or cross fit. One form of exercise training that I find to be very effective and rewarding is endurance training.

What is endurance training? According to Wikipedia, endurance training can be defined as “the act of exercising to increase endurance. The term endurance training generally refers to training the aerobic system as opposed to anaerobic.” Aerobic exercise refers to exercises that get your heart really pumping — swimming, skiing, running. Exercises that really work out your heart and your lungs.

Now let’s ask another question: what exactly are the benefits of endurance training?

● Obviously, endurance training is a health benefit. Training your body for endurance means you’ll have to make lifestyle changes in order to take up the cause. No more drinking, smoking ,excessive eating and fatty foods. You need healthy lungs and healthy blood to get the full benefit of endurance training.

● By training your muscles and growing them, you also develop your bone density. This is also helped by changing up your diet and eating better.

● When you train your body, you train your immune system. You may not know it, but being unhealthy in a variety of ways can also make you more susceptible to diseases and bacteria.

● Have you ever complained about your metabolism? Your metabolism isn’t something you have to just live with. Endurance training actually enhances your metabolism, making it easier to burn fat and build muscle.

● If you have diabetes, endurance training helps you improve your insulin sensitivity. If you don’t have diabetes, endurance training can help to prevent its onset.

● Finally, endurance training gives you…endurance! The more you train, the easier exercising becomes. This also applies to all forms of exercise because your muscles build and your lung capacity grows.

How to Get Started on an Endurance Training Journey

Now you know the incredible benefits of endurance training…now how do you go about making it work for you?

● First, get used to drinking lots of water. You’re doing to need it if you want to begin endurance training.

● Start small, then work big. You won’t be running a marathon after only a month of endurance training.
● Warm up before you exercise. Stretches, squats, jumping jacks, lunges…they all help prepare your body for harsh training.

● Get the right wardrobe. You don’t have to spend lots of money — just make sure you have the right footwear and clothes that help you stretch and stay cool.

● Also focus on strength training. See those weights up above? You’re going to need those to regularly train your muscles to be strong and flexible.

● Endurance training isn’t a game of working out three times a day. It’s about the quality of your training and the longevity of your training program.

● You’ll also need to add more protein and carbs in your diet. These promote energy, and you’re going to need a lot of it.

Endurance training sounds sort of intimidating, doesn’t it? Don’t worry — while it’s a commitment, and certainly not easy in the beginning, the results are certainly worthwhile.

You can’t call yourself an entrepreneur if you haven’t gone to at least one business meeting. Business meetings are a useful tool and standard part of business. They allow you to share ideas, knowledge and projections with a team of people or your staff so that everyone is on the same page.

As an entrepreneur, you’re likely to be the one heading these meetings, which means you’ve got some responsibilities here to set the tone and lead the team. If you can’t successfully accomplish this? Your meeting is in trouble.

The best way to fix this problem is by knowing what mistakes NOT to make before ever setting foot into your meeting location. Here are a few that are common, but that should be avoided at all costs.

Not Being Prepared

This is one of the biggest meeting sins: not being prepared before starting the meeting. As the meeting leader, it’s your job to make sure that you know exactly what you’re talking about. You need to be able to answer questions correctly and inform the team as accurately as possible.

Whether you can achieve this by writing an outline or using notecards, know that you HAVE to make sure you’re prepared to the best of your ability. There’s no faking it until you make it in meetings — if you aren’t prepared, it WILL be obvious.

Being Robotic

On a similar note, there is such a thing as being TOO prepared. Let’s say you write down all these important facts and figures on notecards and read them off to your team. Someone asks you a question about the information…but you totally draw a blank and have no idea what to say.

You can’t just go into a meeting with hard facts — you also have to have comprehension and confidence. Be able to talk about what you want to discuss fluidly and accurately at the same time. Be prepared to answer questions that you may not be totally confident in.

No Purpose In Mind

It’s great to have weekly staff meetings…but why? Do you have an objective every time you call your staff together?

You should. Whether it’s something as simple as refining an existing business practice or talking about a new partnership, every meeting should have a clear purpose and talk about a problem to solve. Without an agenda, you’re really just rambling co-workers.

You Don’t Listen

Finally, one of the worst things you can do in a business meeting is make it all about yourself. When you bring people together, the idea is that you can all communicate and share ideas with one another. Many bosses decide to use business meetings to push their own thoughts and agenda, but that’s not respecting their employees.

Even if you have explicit directives you want to give employees, make sure that they also have time to share their thoughts. Listen to what they have to say. Even in cases where you disagree, employees appreciate knowing that you listened and thought about what they had to stay instead of not caring to listen at all.

Tenzin Seldon is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kinstep – a company focused on matching immigrant talent to great job opportunities and improving the employment rights for immigrants to the United States. Be sure to check out this episode to find out what spurred Tenzin into action. For more information on Kinstep, visit the company website at Connect on Twitter at TenzinSeldon_ and Kinstep.

Summer is here, and so is the heat! The hotter it is and the more you exercise, the more likely you are to get dehydrated. That means staying hydrated in the summer is more important than ever.

You already know that you need to drink lots of water when exercising, but the necessity is two-fold during the summer, when you’re likely to sweat more when exercising outside and in general. However, drinking enough water every day is difficult enough as it is. How do you stay hydrated during the summer when you’re also someone who exercises a lot?

First, understand WHY hydration is so important. When you exercise and don’t stay hydrated, your ability to exercise is compromised and your body gets tired more quickly. As you lose fluid in your body through sweat, your heart rate increases exponentially. Sweat is also how your body cools itself, so without ample water you’re very likely to overheat.

Pre- and Post- Workout Water

There are certain rules that are suggested to be followed, like drinking three cups of water before and after your workout. But who actually measures out their water into cup-sized rations?

A good way to make sure you get the water you need is to either buy bottled water or a self-filled water bottle in comparable size. Drink one water bottle or a full self-filled water bottle serving before you allow yourself to workout. Afterwards, drink another bottled water or the same amount of water that you initially filled your own water bottle up with before you get out of your workout clothes.

Eat Your Fruit

Most fruits have a very high water content value. They aren’t called juicy for no reason! When you bite into a pear or apple, the moisture you feel inside is the water naturally contained within the fruit itself.

It can be tiring to have to drink glass after glass of water every day, but you have other options. Fruits like kiwis, berries and watermelon all have high water concentrations that can’t replace your entire day’s water needs, but they can supplement them. Other fruits with a high water concentration include grapefruits (and other citrus options), plums and cantaloupe.

Start Eating More Soup

It’s a pain to have to eat hot soup when it’s already so hot outside, but trust me — soup is a great way to stay hydrated. Cold soups are also a great option if you want to go with a dinner option that’s cooler than steaming broth.

Unlike water, broths and soups come pre-packed with nutrient value, include sodium that can help stabilize your levels in moderation. Depending on the soup ingredients, you’re also getting those added nutrients as well.

Dress Up Your Water

Finally, you don’t have to drink straight water all day long. Using lemonade or tea mixers in moderation can add some variety to your daily drinking while still giving you a lot of water that you need for exercising and hydration. For added health benefits, look for drink mixers that don’t contain calories or artificial sweeteners.

Every Fortune 500 company existing today started as an idea — a dream, even. But with hard work, diligence and the right plan, these business owners turned their tiny startup idea into a multimillion dollar company.

The point is that everyone starts somewhere, and who’s to say your tiny idea won’t one day grow into the next big thing? It’s possible…you just need to know where to start!

It takes a lot to become a successful entrepreneur. These are the first four baby steps you need to take in order to get your idea off the ground, but remember: hard work is required throughout your journey!

  1. Settle on Your Startup Idea

It’s one thing to have a tiny idea or a concept, but before you can truly be an entrepreneur you have to have a fully realized business idea on your hands. It’s not enough to think “what if something existed that solved this problem?” It has to be more concrete: “I have a solution to this real world problem.”

This isn’t to say you have to have the entire business ready to go from the jump. Worry about branding and packaging design later; these are extemporaneous details at this point. The very first thing you have to do is fully realize your startup idea and get it onto paper.

  1. Set Some Realistic Goals

Now that you know what your business is going to be, ask yourself this question: what do you want to do with it? Is it a restaurant franchise you want to take global? Is it a QVC-type product you can sell in rotations? Or is it a social media management company that you wouldn’t mind selling off in five years?

No one’s saying you have to plan out your entire business’ longevity and stick to some rigid plan, but a business made without goals in mind is a business that won’t succeed.

  1. Gather Data

Before you can shop your idea around to people who can help make your dreams reality, you have to have some sort of hard data on hand that proves your idea is a good one. For instance, you’ve made a prototype of a small machine that professionally cleans toilets, sinks and other bathroom fixtures. How does it work? Who all have you gotten to try this product?

Now think about harder data: what is the market for this product? Who will buy this product? How much does it cost to make vs. how much you’re willing to sell the product for? From concepts to facts and figures, you need to gather data that will convince people your product is worthwhile.

  1. Pitch Your Idea

Finally, you can’t truly know how the market will react to your product or business until you actually pitch the idea. Depending on the type of startup you have in mind, this could be distributors or partners interesting in pushing a product. It might be your initial group of startup employees or a company that you want to B2B partner with.

When you pitch your business idea to interested parties, some may not be enthusiastic — and that’s okay. Listen to feedback. Sometimes you need to start all the way back at square one, but this information is vital to creating a startup that truly succeeds.

Welcome back! Check out my two cents take on the powerful use of creativity. Everyone has the ability to create – use this power to your advantage.

The life of an entrepreneur, businesswoman, wife, mother…no matter how many job titles you have, you’re likely extremely busy. The more jobs you have, like balancing work while also taking care of a family, the more likely you are to have very little time to yourself.

With so much of your time devoted to stress, focus and work, it leaves little room for any spirituality in your life. No matter what your belief system may be, staying spiritual can help to keep us all grounded and thriving in life. When you lose touch with this spirituality, stress can quickly consume you and a piece of your life you once cherished will begin to fade away.

The good news is that spirituality doesn’t have to take up a large chunk of your time. You can stay spiritual no matter how much you have going on, as long as you keep your spirituality within your heart at all times. Still, acts of spirituality can help make us feel loved and complete, so consider these three methods for keeping spirituality in your life, even if you’ve got a full schedule on your hands.

  1. Spread Love and Kindness

Sometimes exploring your spirituality isn’t something you do directly — it’s the reflection of your spirituality in how you react to and treat others. These themes of love, peace and acceptance shouldn’t stay within you, but instead should be shared with everyone you know.

Take time out of your day to share kindness, no matter how small. Compassion is something that the world is lacking, and injecting this kind of understanding and support into the lives of others will make you feel more connected to your values.

In a perfect world you would have time to volunteer, but don’t feel bad if you can’t make grand gestures of charity happen. Small acts of kindness can still have a big impact on someone’s life AND your own.

  1. Shower Spirituality

Hopefully you still have time every day to take a bath. Even if you can only spare 10 minutes for a quick rinse off shower, that’s all you need to reconnect with yourself spiritually.

Being alone in your bathtub also creates an atmosphere of relaxation and serenity. Let the steam gather around you and think about your spiritual path while you shower. Utilize this time for inner reflection, as it may be the only time you get to yourself during the day. Keeping in tune with your inner self can sometimes be what you need to stay spiritual.

  1. Assess Negativity

Spirituality shouldn’t be something negative — it should be kind, accepting and positive. Still, it’s easy to get frustrated when you’re stressed. You’ll say things you don’t mean and be unnecessarily critical of yourself and others.

Stay in touch with your spirituality by examining these instances before you go to sleep. Make a pledge for positivity, and ask that someone help you stay on this positive path. Figure out ways to stay grounded so that you continue to inspire beauty and kindness in others instead of letting negativity cloud your spirituality.

Speaking with the incomparable David Azeez – CEO of Airge International Limited, a parent company that caters to the various lines of products and services he runs – Cheers with David Azeez, Bonds and Beauty Management Company, The Red Letters, Salt Square and Kayfets Foods. A powerful message of persistence and perseverance in this episode. Don’t miss it! Connect with David on Twitter at @DavidAzeez_

How to Make Processes Which Maximize Your Productivity

by Benjamin Brandall on June 19, 2017

Maintaining high productivity is a struggle we all face.

As I sit writing this now, I can’t help but see the city skyline bathed in sun through the windows which line the room. The warmth eeks through the open doors and windows and the urge to nip out for lunch swells inside me.

At the same time, the political scene recently has been a flurry of big moments and captivating narratives – the headlines call out to me.

But I have to write.

I have to focus.

How do I keep my focus when surrounded by distractions? The answer I’ve found which keeps me pinned to my chair and my fingers glued to my keyboard is the art of following a process.

I’ll explain to you why I’m such an advocate for processes, what processes I use, and how you can build the processes you need to drive you forward each day.

Why processes are vital to your productivity

Let’s start with a simple stat.

According to Kermit Pattison, writing for Fast Company, interruptions are costing you a lot of time. In fact, the average time wasted as a result of switching tasks is 23 minutes and 15 seconds.

If you’re trying to complete multiple tasks per day, you put yourself at risk of losing a considerable amount of working time. In short, your productivity could be taking a nosedive.

By following a process, you can keep your mind focused not just on the task at hand but clearly on what task you’re going to do next. Instead of finishing one item on your to do list and wondering about what to get cracking with next, you flow straight into the following item.

This fluidity and clarity in your workflow seems almost too simple to make any meaningful change. I mean, it’s only careful planning, right?

Well, yes. But planning is crucial to your success.

Most of the time we don’t recognize the weaknesses in our own workflows because we’re so engrossed in them. So, here’s a tip. Check out a tool like RescueTime which you can install on your computer so that it tracks everything you do. It will see what websites or programs you’ve been using and then generate a report for you to show you how you allocate your time.

Don’t build your work practices on what you think you’re doing, build them on what you’re actually doing. You’ll see your inefficiencies more clearly and be better equipped to tackle them.

The processes I use to write these articles

At Process Street, we have a rule that you must make a process for any task you expect to do more than twice.

Let’s look at two of these processes. One general and one task specific.

The general one is how I approach my working day. I use Trello for my task management and each day I start off by sorting through my tasks to see what I wish to accomplish that day. I then take each task which I want to complete and move them into my To Do column.

Anything in my To Do column gets done that day. Anything not in my To Do column does not.

This act of defining what I need to focus on helps me gain focus. I can then go into each task and think about what needs to be done to accomplish my goals. If it’s a research task then I will put a short checklist in my card outlining the steps I expect to take. If it is a common task like writing then I know I will use one of my premade processes to follow.

In each card I note the amount of time I expect the task to take and I order my cards to clearly show which I’ll do first through to which I’ll do last.

This initial planning starts my day off with a moment of considered thought and saves me probably an hour or more each day.

If I’m going to be writing an article that day for our blog, I’ll specify which of my custom built processes I intend to use. Our pre-publish checklist is one which we share across the team and have all contributed to building.

This checklist is engineered to make sure every article we publish adheres to the high standards we set ourselves. There are a lot of small steps involved in this quality control:

  • Check every link points to the right place
  • Make sure all capitalization adheres to our style guidelines
  • Run spell check in American English
  • Make sure all images are coded correctly with keyword optimized alt tags

There are 30+ steps in our pre-publish checklist. That’s a lot of steps to remember without a process. Time after time our process guides us in the right direction and makes sure we don’t miss simple mistakes.

This process gives us quality assurance.

How can you build processes which work for you?

Building processes is a long term strategy.

Not just because these processes help create consistent quality or garner small productivity gains every day which add up over time, but because processes exist to be improved.

Start off by noting down all the steps you can think of which contribute to the completion of a task. This is your base process.

If you work within a team, it’s a very good idea to collaborate on this process creation. You can compare approaches and priorities which can improve the overall performance of the team, while moving toward a standardized approach to establish consistency and improve the scalability of your team, in case you look to hire further members.

Begin following the documented process you have drafted and take note of a couple of key variables:

  • How long does this take me?
  • Are there any tasks which I’ve left out?
  • Have I included unnecessary tasks?
  • What does my team think of the process?

Each of those questions will tell you something different, and each will point you in a different direction for optimizing the process.

Once you’ve systemized your business through these processes, it is much easier to create performance metrics to target – ones which are realistic and don’t negatively impact on quality.

With better performance metrics you can more accurately predict output and, in turn, overall company performance.

Understanding your own productivity and knowing how to measure it is the first step to really understanding your own company and recognizing effective ways to improve performance.

Build processes, productivity, and your company

Don’t take my word for it.

I’ve given you the necessary tools to test your own performance for yourself. I’ve laid out the steps required to begin to implement processes and to track their performance.

Try it out for yourself and see what the results are.

The most successful companies in the world are ones with strong operating practices. That’s no coincidence.

Use your own productivity as a base from which to systemize your business, and start today!

Have you used process optimization in your business before? Let me know your success stories in the comments below!

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