Step Out & Step Up Your Business: 2014 American Diabetes Association Walk

Volunteering is an important part of my life.  I started volunteering at a young age.  My first gig was with the San Antonio Whitte Museum as junior chaperone for the Night with Egyptian Mummies sleepover.  Since then I’ve broaden my scope of volunteer activities to include animal shelters, camp for mentally challenged children and hospitals.

QM Healthy SelfieAs an entrepreneur, my volunteer spirit remains alive although my free time has significantly decreased. Being a health coach and personal training trainer for Q Movements, I’ve started using my business as a vehicle to promote my services while donating my time for significant causes.

Q Movements is a strong advocate for the American Diabetes Association.  I currently serve on the Por Tu Familia committee that provides culturally specific designed programs that are created for families in the Latino community with diabetes, those at risk for developing diabetes and those wanting to learn more about diabetes.

QM Susie & ADA Walk As a Latina health & fitness profession, it’s meaningful and logical to align my business with reputable and worthy non-profit organizations. Last Saturday I volunteered my services at the 2014 Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.  I provided the warm up & stretch session for the over two thousand enthusiastic walkers.  I had a great time, met inspiring individuals and promoted my business.

I would encourage other entrepreneurs to seek opportunities to donate your business services to organizations with special meaning for you.

Check out my video highlights from the event at http://youtu.be/XMDxqW_RQhc

Go further today!

Destination Meditation: Quick Tips for Starting Meditation Today!

SQMeditationSplit

Could you use some relaxation in your life? How about increasing your creativity? What about decreasing your stress and increasing your focus? Then you’ll really want to explore and experience meditation for yourself.

I’m a meditator and a strong believer in the benefits of meditation.  I started meditating over two years ago.   It was during a time of major change in my personal and professional life.  Since then I’ve started a new relationship and a new business.  There’s no doubt my meditation practice enhanced my overall focus, clarity and awareness.  I do my best to meditate twice a day for at least twenty minutes each time. However as an entrepreneur, establishing and expanding my business is demanding and can make it a challenge on some days to find the time. 

 

As a health coach & personal trainer for my business Q Movements,  I was excited about integrating meditation in to my coaching philosophy.  It’s a service I was confident would not only generate interest but would also benefit my clients in both mind and body.  Because there are many forms of meditation, I  encourage individuals to explore and learn about meditation  and discover the method they feel works best for their needs and lifestyle.  I found Success Through Stillness by Russell Simmons is a perfect resource for learning about the basics and benefits of meditation.  I personally like to mix up my meditations.  Some days mindfulness meditation works for me and other days I enjoy Transcendental meditation.  However for my clients, I typically focus on mindfulness and guided visualization meditations.

Ready to get your meditation on and don’t know where to begin?  Here are a few quick and easy tips that worked for me when I started meditating.

  1. Start small.  I recommend starting with small time increments.  Five minutes once a day for a couple weeks is a good start. Then you can increase in five minute increments when you feel ready.  When I first started meditating, I couldn’t sit still for five seconds much less five minutes.  It might feel awkward at first because it’s new to you but don’t give up. It will get easier the more you do it.  Consistency is key.
  2. Create your space.  Create a special space for your meditation experience.   A scented                    candle or soothing music works great.  Make it your own and inviting so it’s something you will look forward to daily.  If space is  limited, then try using a closet, bathroom or your car.  I know it sounds crazy but it works! I’m always cold so I personalize my space with a special blanket.  I wrap my legs with a small blanket that’s covered with personal pictures that invoke feelings of happiness, success and love.  It’s what my eyes see first before and after a relaxing meditation.
  3. Relax.  Sounds redundant but a helpful reminder to be easy and give yourself time to get comfortable with the experience.  Simple passive stretches and slow deep breathing helps me to prepare both my body and mind for relaxation.

Meditation is an amazing source of creativity, energy and power.  It continues to be a strong foundation for my life and business.   Make a commitment to explore and practice meditation.

Use my quick & easy tips and feel free to reach out to me with questions about meditation at www.qmovements.com.  Remember be patient, open minded and prepared for the transformation you’re about to experience.

Namaste

Join ME for a FREE Fitness Class at Six02!

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So excited to be collaborating with Six02 to provide a FREE Class for Women Only!  SIX:02 provides Women’s Fitness Clothing, Shoes and style.

I’m hosting a FREE Resistance Band Class & Meditation Session at Six02 in North Star Mall, San Antonio, Texas.  All fitness levels are welcomed! I’m providing everything you’ll need: resistance bands & mats.

Six02 is providing refreshments, giveaways and special VIP shopping after my class.

Reserve your spot at Six02 NOW!

Forced to make a Change – Fitbit Force Update!

1387661-Fitbit-Logo-Animation-Loading-IconI LOVED my Fitbit force! Notice I’m speaking in past tense : (  I purchased the Fitbit force back in February after doing extensive research on the latest and hottest fitness trackers on the market.  My Fitbit force was actually delivered on the day Fitbit issued a “voluntary recall” due to potential skin irritations some consumers were experiencing.  At that time, I decided to hold on to my Fitbit force and threw caution to the wind!

Fast forward to now almost 4 months later.  Let me say and BELIEVE me when I say this… I didn’t want to give up my Fitbit force!!! BUT I started noticing small red skin irritations on my arm around the area where the Fitbit sits.  OH NO! NOT ME!! I LOVE my Fitbit!!! I didn’t want to believe it was happening so I decided to out smart the Fitbit and change from wearing it on my right arm to my left arm! This will do it – problem solved right?!? Not so much.  Same outcome as you can see below.

QM Fitbit force

So now I had red skin irritations on BOTH arms – GREAT! It was very itchy, unsightly and seemed like it was spreading – NO BUENO! I  treated my arms by washing the area with mild soap and warm water.  I also applied cortisone which did help relieve some of the itchiness.  I was so dissapointed simply because I really ENJOY using the device and how it tracks my sleep, steps, calories consumed, calories burned, distance, weight, water intake & activity minutes.  WHAT NOW????

 

It was time to wave the white flag and give up the Fitbit force.  I was thankful the Fitbit company was very supportive and provided a simple and hassle free process for returning the product.  They mail you a return kit, you return the device and they send you a refund check.  The entire process would take about 2-4 weeks to receive the $140 refund.  I know it all sounds good but I was still left with deciding on my replacement.  What would compare? My standards and expectations were high to say the least.  It’s like when your FAVORITE shampoo is discontinued.  What happens then? Well you have to find an alternative product that can live up to or surpass the original.  As consumers we connect to our products.  Whether it’s deodorant, shampoo, make-up .. we chose and use specific brands for a reason.  You may like the way it smells, tastes, or the way it make you look & feel.  This is how I felt about the Fitbit.  It was a great product for my active lifestyle EXCEPT for the skin irritations! LOL

FitBit Return

I searched HIGH and LOW for the next best fitness tracker for my needs.  I looked at Nike Fuel Band, New Balance, Garmin and Polar.  I found that no ONE device had ALL the features I was wanting.  One device had the step tracker but no sleep tracker.  Another device had the calorie counter but no distance tracker and so on and so on.

 

Then I thought WHY NOT try another Fitbit product? I looked at the Fitbit flex.  It is basically the same as the force except that all the data from the device can only be seen using your iPhone/ smartphone app and/or desktop computer and not on the tracker itself like the force.  Once I made my decision, I returned the Fitbit Force using the recall kit and purchased the Fitbit flex the same day! Fitbit does a really FAB job with a QUICK and SIMPLE set up for their products.  I didn’t want to lose my data and discovered the Fitbit transferred my data from the force to the flex as easy as 1-2-3.  Whew! ; )

QM FitBit flex

The flex costs about $100.  It’s performance is ON POINT! There are times when I do miss the convenience of simply looking at the band for my instant daily stats instead of having to check the app. The flex does not have a time display.  Whereas the force did have a time display.  I know, I know… I need to move on! LOL Overall, I am very happy with the Fitbit flex!  It’s a great, reliable, intuitive product for anyone who is looking to increase activity or needs a little motivation to stay active.  I am relieved to report the red itchy skin irritations are healing and slowly disappearing.   By the way, I heard from the grapevine Fitbit is coming out with an updated, irritation free version of the force! I can’t wait!!!

QM Brand Revenue

Are You Boosting Revenue or Risking Your Brand?

Is direct sales and network marketing really boosting your revenue or potentially compromising your brand?

Revenue can be a risky situation. Right off the bat I know this might be a touchy subject matter for some entrepreneurs simply because direct sales and network marketing (DSNM) is a fundamental form of entrepreneurship.

However after extensive research on the topic, I’m left to determine whether DSNM is the best decision for my business and me. As an entrepreneur in the health and fitness industry, I keep an open mind for opportunities to expand my business as well as boost revenue.  Therefore, I was eager to explore the world of this $30 billion dollar industry.

DSNM simply means offering products directly to a customer away from a fixed retail location.

Direct sales, independent distributors, sales representatives or consultants market their products in a variety of ways, including one-on-ones, home parties and the Internet. Most direct sales firms are multi-level marketingcompanies (MLMs).

Some examples include:

My introduction to DSNM started six months ago when a Juice Plus distributor contacted me through a LinkedIn College Alumni group.

We connected and after speaking with her, I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. So I began to investigate the DSNM industry as a whole. My ears and eyes were open.

Could it be too good to be true?

Since then various DSNM distributers approached me through Facebook, LinkedIn, Alumni Associations, Professional organizations, church community as well as the local grocery store.

I started feeling like a MLM magnet! Herbalife, Beachbody, Mary Kay, LifeVantage and Genesis Pure all extended generous invitations to become distributors for their company. Although I was somewhat flattered by the attention, I was much more cautious on proceeding with anyone’s offer.

Through my research, I discovered the nutritional supplement group or more commonly known as Vitamins, Minerals and Supplement (VMS) was one of the fastest growing industries in the world.

This industry produced about $32 billion in revenue for just nutritional supplements alone in 2012 and is projected to double that by topping $60 billion in 2021 according to the Nutritional Business Journal. With these types of robust statistics why would I not consider expanding my health coaching business to include similar products through DSNM?

It seemed a logical fit.

Was DSNM really a logical fit for my business that I just overlooked?

Would endorsing and distributing a product help increase my health coaching & personal training service sales?

It was time to revisit the Q Movements business plan. I was confident a quick refresher would certainly clear up and confirm the right path for me. As I read through the Executive Summary I was reminded Q Movements was established to increase health and wellness through my services and not someone else’s product.

There was my answer.

Although its feasible DSNM products are viable for helping support the mission of Q Movements, I strongly believe Q Movements needs and deserves my total attention to reach its full potential.

My brand as a health coach and personal trainer :

  • I have a responsibility to my clients to ensure any and all my services are safe, effective and sound.
  • I’m able to achieve this service level of competence and confidence through education, certifications, trainings, experience and continuing education.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the same type of control with DSNM products and companies. I feel I’m risking my brand, business and livelihood on a product or company I don’t fully control or own. I have too much invested in Q Movements to potentially jeopardize it by some mishap or misconduct from another company.

Before shutting the book on DSNM, the Libra in me is seeking the need for balance in this examination.  My investigation did reveal some notable learning moments for this budding entrepreneur. The most valuable lesson was the exposure to new marketing skills and techniques.

Part of my DSNM exploration included attending meetings and training sessions for a couple of the products.

I was surprised on the enormous amount of training DSNM provide on sales and marketing. I know it sounds redundant but the level and extent of training is remarkable. DSNM definitely provide their sales distributers with abundant live and virtual online trainings opportunities.  There is no doubt in my mind DSNM prepare their sales team for success. The challenge is ensuring you have the right players in the game.

I’m satisfied with my decision to solely continue my focus on Q Movements during this first year of business. Although I acknowledge there is potential for DSNM to boost my revenue, I trust focusing on Q Movements will do more for me in the long run.

I encourage other entrepreneurs to do your research and review your business plan when considering new business ventures and make the decision that is best for you.

Even though I’m not expanding my business through DSNM products, I was inspired to start developing my own products for Q Movements. Looks like it’s time for me to update my business plan.

Remember you never know how and when your entrepreneurial spirit will be sparked.

Article published on Latin Business Today website:

http://latinbusinesstoday.com/2014/05/revenue-compromising-brand

Do Must Have Apps Equal A Smarter Business?

“Top 5 Must Have Daily” Apps – Utilizing Smartphone Technology to Enhance Your Business Experience

Are Smartphones getting smarter or are we just learning how to utilize them more effectively?  The smartphoneapplication marketplace is rapidly growing and highly intuitive to the needs of consumers.  As a result, consumers are now using Apps for much more than a game of Candy Crush with a friend or sharing selfies on Instagram.   Entrepreneurs and professionals of all sorts are integrating a variety of smartphone Apps to increase knowledge, enhance services and create low cost/no cost marketing opportunities to improve and boost business.

Prior to starting my own health coaching business, Q Movements, my Apps usage mainly consisted of music, maps, sports, and social media. I enjoyed and appreciated the instant touch of the index finger access to updates from my inner circle.

Now as a small business owner, my App needs, selection and usage has expanded immensely.  In fact, I make sure to visit the Apple App store frequently so as to stay on top of trends and in tune with technology.

I’ve created my own “Top 5 Must Have Apps” list of the Apps I use daily which have positively impacted both my business and personal life.  I’m sharing my list in hopes you may seriously consider exploring and expanding your App usage for enhancing your business and lifestyle.

1.  FaceTime:  FaceTime is a feature specific to Mac products. It’s basically a video call.  I have an iPhone and honestly never used FaceTime until I started my business.  I use FaceTime regularly now to screen new clients, conduct health coaching sessions and develop strong connections with my clients.

The App is easy to use and the audio & video stream is quite clean and consistent.  FaceTime is a useful and effective tool that saves me time & money daily instead of having to travel to make all my connections.

Spotify 2.  Spotify:  Spotify is one of many great digital music Apps on the market. For me, this App serves dual purpose.  I personally enjoy music and appreciate Motown’s best groves to 90’s grunge to Latin jazz and just about everything in between.  Music is my cheap therapy.  It uplifts, calms, soothes, excites and inspires me. Spotify is also a great asset for my business.

The Spotify App provides the perfect background vibe for my group & personal training and meditation sessions.  It’s fun for me to create special playlists for my clients.  It’s amazing how the right tunes can motivate movement.  Spotify is a free App however it’s well worth the $10.81 a month fee for access from all my devices and commercial free listening.

Spotify3.  Audible:  Anyone who knows me knows I love to learn.  Audible is one of the leading providers of digital audiobooks.  Because I spend a lot of time in my car, I decided to use my time more wisely by listing to a variety of books using Audible. Three Simple Steps, written by Trevor Blake was my first audiobook and the rest is history.  I strive to listen to at least two books a month.  I’ve increased my knowledge in areas of financial management, communication, marketing and sales.  Remember knowledge is power.

4.  Chase Mobile Banking/ Payment App: Banking Apps are an outstanding resource and tool for entrepreneurs and business professionals.  Financial management is critical in all levels of business.  I particularly appreciate the ability to deposit checks anytime and anywhere with my smartphone.

Banking is made super convenient with total access to business and personal accounts 24/7.   I’m now able to accept credit and debit cards payments.  This added convenience factor for my clients has helped to increase revenue.

6. Social Media: No Top 5 App list is complete without including one of several social media Apps. Facebook, Pintrest, LinkedIn, Vine, Google+, YouTube and Twitter are all excellent Apps for creating free marketing opportunities for your business.

I frequently use these Apps to promote my business and connect with clients.  It’s also a great way for your current and potential clients to learn more about your brand. Images, text, and videos can be composed and uploaded to some or all your social media Apps to alert your connections with promotions, information and updates for your business instantly.

The App marketplace is full of interesting, fun and amazing Apps on business, education, finance, news, food, travel, lifestyle and my personal favorites health and fitness.  I encourage you to take time and visit your App store and explore new Apps weekly that could benefit your business, services and revenue.

Now back to my opening question, “Are smartphones getting smarter or are we just learning how to use them more effectively?”

I believe investing time in to utilizing your resources more effectively is definitely evidence of elevated intelligence.  Smartphones don’t equal smarter business.  Smarter entrepreneurs equal smarter business.

Article published on Latin Business Today website:

http://latinbusinesstoday.com/2014/04/do-must-apps-equal-smarter-business/

QM ADA Expo 2014

Keeping it Simple: The 2014 American Diabetes Association EXPO

Last Saturday I didn’t hit the SNOOZE and sleep in nor did I hit the gym for an early workout, instead I volunteered my time at the 2014 American Diabetes Association (ADA) EXPO in San Antonio, Texas.  I was asked to volunteer my health coaching & fitness services in the “Por Tu Familia” section of the EXPO.  The “Por Tu Familia” is the bilingual section of the EXPO which offered the following:

  • Loteria de la Diabetes (Diabetes Bingo)
  • Educación en nutrición (Nutrition Education Station)
  • Estación ejercicio (Exercise Station)
  • Prevenciendo Complicaciones de diabetes (Complication Station)
  • Exámenes médicos (Screenings)

I was excited about the  opportunity to interact with the community and share information on fitness plans, healthy habits and meditation!

As the EXPO approached I started getting a little nervous.  What was I going to do specifically? Should I create a short fitness routine? or Should I just play it by ear?  I decided to stick with the KISS approach – Keep It Simple Susie!  One of the goals of this section of the EXPO was to demonstrate low cost/no cost options for effective workouts.  So I chose to make some homemade weights so participants could use on the spot and easily replicate at home.  I used 16.9 oz empty water bottles and filled with uncooked white rice to the top and DONE.  It’s quick, simple and cheap!

The morning of the EXPO I woke up with some serious ENERGY! Went down my checklist….Water bottle/rice weights…CHECK! Music speaker box…CHECK!  Cash for parking…CHECK!… BIG SMILE….CHECK CHECK! Let’s DO THIS : )

Walking up to the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, I noticed a line of people waiting to get in to the EXPO – WOWZA! I walked into the HUGE Exhibit Hall and it was full of hustle and bustle everywhere.  I found my area, introduced myself to the other volunteers and started setting up.

9:00am and the EXPO was OFFICIALLY ON! People started flowing through immediately.  I conducted several 5 minute fitness demonstration classes throughout the day.  I focused on  mainly chair exercises.  It was fun to see how people reacted after my chair workouts! They were super surprised on how it really got their heart rate UP and how many different exercises could be done with just one chair.  Remember – low cost/no cost!

QM Workout ADA

ADA Expo QM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What surprised ME the most was how much my water bottle/rice weights caught peoples attention.  People curiously picked up the bottle and asked, “What’s this?” It was the perfect opportunity for me to explain to them was it was, show them ways to use them and also engage them in conversation about health and fitness.  Of course everyone wanted to know how much each bottle weighed! Each 16.9 oz. water/rice bottle weighed exactly 1lb.  I weighed them to be accurate .. LOL

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My HIGHLIGHT of the EXPO was hands down interacting with participants.  I heard from one elder gentlemen about the day he was diagnosed.  Another young women shared with me her struggles to promote healthy eating habits for her 8 year old daughter.  A married couple shared with me their commitment to healthy living after retirement.  Since retirement, they go to the gym together 3x a week and eat well balanced meals.  That day I heard of the challenges, fears, hopes and triumphs of many individuals living with diabetes.  I have respect and admiration for people who chose not to be a victim of their circumstances or health status.  Instead they take charge of their life and actively make efforts to improve their situation.

QM ADA EXPO

The ADA is a great organization and provided a TOP NOTCH event for the community!  If you missed the event, no worries! There are various events scheduled throughout the city monthly.  Check out the website for information on upcoming events, nutrition, fitness, hot topics and much more!  http://www.diabetes.org

I am honored and THANKFUL to be a part of this organization : ) 

 

 

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Fitbit or FitBUST?

I’ve been rocking the Fitbit Force for about a month.  I feel it’s enough time to give one of the top fitness trackers on the market a fair review.  The Fitbit Force (FBF) tracks daily activity, calories burned, sleep & weight. Your information is uploaded wirelessly & you can see your progress  on your mobile phone app and/or on your computer online dashboard. 

Before I get going I should mentioned the same day my Fitbit Force was delivered, my mom texted me and told me she had just seen on the news there was a RECALL on the item! WHAT? REALLY? Apparently some people had issues with the band creating skin irritations.   The recall was voluntary.   So I decided to throw caution to the wind and strap the band on my wrist and hope for the BEST – YOLO ; )

Fitbit Recall

It took a few days for me to get used to wearing the band on my right arm/wrist.  It initially felt heavy and little awkward since I’m not used to wearing a watch or bracelet/jewelry on my right arm.  Fitbit Force recommends to wear the band on your non-dominant wrist. Once I got past the newness, it became a non-issue.  My FBF is all black which blends in nicely with most my gear.  The LED display remains dark until you activate it.   I think it looks pretty cool when it’s activated – I feel like I’m beaming up Scotty! LOL One of the best & strongest features for me is   the durability and security  of the band! I wear the FBF morning, noon and night.  It stays on through my pretty active workouts and even in the shower.  I wear it 24/7 and it stays securely and comfortably on my wrist the whole time.

FIT BIT

Let’s get down to the meat and sweet potatoes now – the fitness trackers functionality.    Like I mentioned previously, it tracks steps taken, distance traveled, stairs, activity time, calories burned and hours & quality of sleep! As a health and fitness professional, I was more than curious and interested in the information and accuracy of the device.   The FBF uses a MEMS 3-axis accelerometer that measures your motion patterns to determine your calories burned, distance traveled, steps taken, and sleep quality. It also contains a vibration motor, which allows it to vibrate when alarms are set to go off.

 

Fitbit appI was pretty impressed to say the least after the first week.  I really like being able to monitor my  daily activity .  I recently started to challenge myself to 10,000 steps a day goal! There have been a few days I walked around the house before bed just so I could get those last steps in for the day ; )  I feel the FBF is great tool to help motivate and encourage activity through text messages, reminders, emails and badges.  You can use the online tool to set up your own fitness and nutrition goals as well as monitor your progress through various detailed charts and graphs.  The phone application also wirelessly syncs up the FBF and allows you to see  and update your progress on the spot!

 

I was most curious about the sleep tracker feature.  I basically log in my sleep time the next day and the FBF shows me a graph of my sleep pattern for the night.  It’s tracks how many times I move or get up during the night.  It’s FUN for me to see how many times I move during the night!

FBF sleep

 

 

 

 

 

In a nutshell, I’ll be the first to say to my clients and anyone who asks that most fitness trackers, pedometers, calorie counters and heart rate monitors can be great resources and tools to assist and encourage a healthy lifestyle.  However these devices are not the holy grail of complete and total accuracy! I feel the FBF gives me a good estimate of my daily activities and helps to keep me ON POINT! LOL I would recommend the FBF to anyone who is thinking about getting started on a fitness program or who is already an established fitness guru! EVERYBODY can use a little motivation and direction to reach SUCCESS. I say Fitbit Force is a PLUS not a bust!  BTW – NO skin irritation to report! ; )

 

QM 5K Race bibs

Reflections from the Finish Line

The 5K Challenge is behind me now! It was all that and BIG bag of Baked chips ; ) In preparation for my blog this morning I took some time to reminded myself of my objective for setting this challenge up for myself in the first place.  Did I reach my goal? Did I learn anything from the experience? Would I do it again??

5K StartFirst things first – I initiated this 5K challenge to gain more knowledge and actual experience in motivating & training my clients for 5K, 10K, half marathons and marathons.  Running is an AMAZING sport/exercise.  It’s low cost, you don’t need special equipment or a gym to do it and you can do it alone anytime of the day.  Running is also great for boosting your immune system and one of the best forms of exercise for losing or maintaining weight. It’s one of the leading ways to burn off extra calories.  It ‘s also  known to relieve stress and eliminate depression.

I also wanted to build up my cardio endurance and perhaps “learn” to appreciate and incorporate running in to my personal workouts.  I started the training for the 5K six weeks ago and religiously followed the training schedule.  I really never considered myself a runner simply because I didn’t ENJOY doing it as much as I did other forms of cardio activity.   It honestly took me a couple of weeks to get over the mental block of the whole “I’m not a runner” mentality.  Once I broke through the block, the remainder of the training was a much more enjoyable experience.  I started to look forward to my runs and challenge myself by increasing my speed or decreasing my times on training days.  NOTE – I didn’t say it was EASY! The training was still quite challenging at times however changing my mindset allowed me to gain more from the experience overall.

5K Pups

 

I did reach my goals! I gained additional knowledge and experience in nutrition, training regimens, proper running attire, stretching and the importance of mental strength necessary for runners.  My cardio endurance did increase.  Well I had nowhere else to go but UP! LOL I finished the race 17th out of 135 in my age/gender group!  I consider those stats as Mission Accomplished : ) Going forward I will continue to keep running in my workouts.  I don’t want to lose the momentum and need to start thinking about a 10K next?!?!

 

 

5K ThumbsUp Would I do it again??? YUP YUP! This 5K was EXTREMELY special for me.  I shared this journey with my BESTIE Robb.  Robb is a constant source of support and encouragement for me.  He is NOT A RUNNER! I repeat HE IS NOT A RUNNER! LOL He accepted the opportunity to share this experience with me and increase his cardio endurance in prep for springtime basketball.  Although we did most of our training separately due to busy schedules, we still talked daily about the ups/downs of  training.  In the end we crossed the finish line TOGETHER, ENTHUSIASTIC & SMILING just like we started!

 

 

Businesspeople competing with bicycles and running in the city

3 Steps to Profitability- Healthy Competition

Achieving profitability is understanding and appreciating your healthy competition partnerships which can make you more successful

Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t necessarily easy. But even small victories can make it possible. This is especially true if you understand and effectively compete against—and respect—your competition.

Competitive blood flows strong through the veins of most entrepreneurs.  Even at a young age, I recall the drive and desire I had to win my weekly classroom coloring contests—not only for the satisfaction of being considered artistically talented by my first-grade teacher but for the colorful first-place ribbon that was displayed on my creation.

A feeling of accomplishment filled my little body every time I saw my winning piece in the main hallway for others to admire and appreciate. Looking back I clearly see how my competitive nature shaped my personality, goals and, ultimately, my decision to pursue entrepreneurship.

I entered entrepreneurship much like a competition, with the ultimate victory of establishing my own successful and respected business in the health-and-fitness industry. After launching the business, my time and focus shifted towards marketing. Smart and strategic marketing efforts are vital components to all business plans. I was determined to compose creative, effective and low-cost marketing opportunities to promote my services.

High Gear

With little to no experience in marketing or sales, I concentrated on the resources I had available. I had an iPhone, an iPad and a home computer.  I started by setting up social-media accounts for my business and establishing a presence on the web. I love listening to audiobooks during my workouts, so I began listening to audiobooks on sales and marketing for information and direction during workouts and in the car.

The process of building my brand was well underway. As most seasoned entrepreneurs know, this is not a speedy endeavor. It takes long hours, days, weeks and even months to develop and execute successfully. My entrepreneurial competition was off to a slow and steady start but was soon to be kicked in to high gear.

One of my strengths is recognizing and utilizing resources. I really thrive on working smart and not hard. One day I decided to take advantage of free online business marketing websites to promote my services. In the process, I noticed a few small businesses were seeking temporary assistance with their own health-coaching companies.

For a second, I thought to myself, “I can’t do this! I have my own business that needs me full time. These are my competitors, it would never work out.” Then I thought, “Why not? It’s only temporary and I can earn some money and put it back in to my own business at the same time.” So I proceeded forward with caution. I felt my competition had just intensified.

As an emerging entrepreneur, I had zero experience with developing business partnerships with other professionals in my field. The concept of doing business and working with my competitors was very new and quite intimidating at first. However, those feelings soon faded in the face of great opportunities to learn from the experienced and successful professionals in the business.  Along the way, I discovered a few key elements that helped me and can help you establish strong and profitable partnerships with your competitors.

Three Steps to Profitability

Profitability Step 1:

Be honest. Honesty is truly the best policy in building solid and lasting relationships. Just like in most personal relationships, it’s important that each side of the partnership feels safe and trusted. No one wants to be taken advantage of or feel threatened. This is an essential component to the vitality of the partnership and does take time to establish.

Initially, I felt awkward sharing some of my own business details until I realized my partners were doing the same thing. A business partnership built on trust will expand the potential to grow your business skills and as well as your revenue.

Profitability Step 2:

Get it in writing. Yes, it’s better to be safe than broke and sorry later. Take the time to communicate all the details of every aspect of the partnership. Most importantly, determine and discuss the expectations from each other.  Always formulate a legal contract to ensure that both sides are clear and agreeable to the terms of contract to avoid problems in the future.

I would recommend reviewing the terms of your contracts on a quarterly bases. This will help keep each side of the partnership free from feeling trapped and will also allow for flexibility and growth for both businesses.

Profitability Step 3:

Do your research. Before you decide to engage in partnerships with other business professionals make sure to research the individuals and businesses you’re considering. Check with the Better Business Bureau, social-media outlets and website reviews for information on your prospects. Remember, your brand and reputation can be quickly compromised through problematic business partnerships.

I made it a priority to only reach out to my strongest competitors. It made more sense to me to solely connect myself with well-established successful entrepreneurs in health coaching. This was my golden opportunity to learn from those who gone before me.  As a result, I‘ve saved time, headaches and money by simply aligning myself with other successful entrepreneurs in my field.

Striving and Growing

Developing partnerships in business is not for everyone.  Just as with entrepreneurship, there’s always risk.  While you may strive to establish strong ethical business relationships, the other side may have different intentions. Proceed with caution and always keep the big picture in mind.

I had the opportunity to take away clients from my competitors but respectfully declined their offers. A compromised reputation isn’t worth a few clients and dollars in the long run.  My entrepreneurial competition is on going. I believe I will always strive to grow and improve for by my clients, my business and myself. I’d like to think Ms. Thomas would award me the first-place ribbon for learning to work well with others.

Article published on Latin Business Today website:

http://latinbusinesstoday.com/2014/02/3-steps-profitability-competition/