How To Transform From A Solopreneur To A Team Leader

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Most entrepreneurs are one-stop solutions when they start out on their entrepreneurial journeys. They are expert multitaskers and solely responsible for the health as well as the profit-making of their entrepreneurial venture. Now, while this is perhaps acceptable in the beginning, any entrepreneur who wants to take their start-up to the next level needs to expand and welcome in other members into their business effort. So, how can a solopreneur become a team leader? Let’s learn below –

  • Hire according to your strengths and weaknesses – As an individual, you will have your set of strengths and weaknesses. When you hire employees for your business, you will want to usher people on board who can complement your strengths and balance out your weaknesses.
  • Learn how to share responsibilities – A solopreneur is accustomed to having his or her own way around the business’ efforts. It’s absolutely natural for them to find it difficult to relinquish control. As a team leader, you need to be open to inputs and advice from your employees. It is the only way your company will grow – with the help of multiple perspectives.
  • Be accepting of failures – Your team will fail and let you down. It is bound to happen sometime or the other. You shouldn’t see this failure as a shortcoming on your capabilities as a manager. Don’t be overly critical of employees when they don’t match up to your expected standards. Allow them to fail and learn from their mistakes. Such an approach is healthy for any group effort.
  • Build trust as a leader – Try to foster a sense of trust and nurturing among your employees. They should be able to rely on you for guidance and accept your leadership. Additionally, it is your job to bring about an atmosphere for them where they’re able to feel valued and wanted. Your company productivity will shoot up once you’ve been able to succeed in building trust with your hires.

from Ashley Stiven | Business & Entrepreneurship

How to Get Your Metabolism Up

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One of the great truisms is that for as fast and fit as you may be, nobody outruns Father Time forever. We all get older and slower, and when we do, our metabolism can slow down as well.

There are other factors that can affect your metabolic rate as well, of course. If you keep a poor diet, you aren’t doing yourself any favors from a health perspective, and that includes your metabolic rate. What’s more, if you live a mostly sedentary life, you likewise run the risk of seeing your metabolic rate plummet. That last point is especially pertinent given how prevalent computer work is today. 

That’s why, whether you’re older or you work at a computer all day, you’ll want to consider following a few tips and tricks to get your metabolism up.

Work Out Routinely

For one thing, you should be working out regularly. As stated, the more you remain sedentary, the more you’re risking a low metabolic rate and all the problems that can come with it. What’s more, to get the most out of working out, it must be a routine – simply jogging or doing some weight lifting every once in a while won’t do much.

Eat Well 

In addition, you’ll want to watch what you eat. For example, whole foods, fruits, and vegetables can help lower your metabolic rate. Nutritionists can help you examine your eating habits and give you personalized advice to help you in your quest to eat healthier.

Weight Loss Tips

In addition to those tips for lowering your metabolic rate, you might want to consider a few tips for translating that into healthy and effective weight loss, including apps that track your metabolic rate and progress on workouts and meditation sessions. What’s more, no amount of metabolism-raising will be of much use if you don’t eat well. Any effective health and wellness routine needs to include both diet and exercise.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make the sustainable changes you need to raise your metabolism and live a healthier lifestyle.

from Ashley Stiven | Healthcare

A Guide to Starting a Small Business

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Fed up with your day job and want to start yourself a business to become your own boss? While entrepreneurship in itself is not a bad idea, one has to be practical about it. Do you have the skills and know-how to start and run your own company? Is the product/service that you will be offering viable for market profitability? One must verify all of these before starting their own company. If you’re still keen on beginning your own business endeavor, here’s a checklist to guide you through it –

  • Conduct Market Research – Market research is undeniably the heart of corporate work. Before designing a product/service, you need to know if there is a demand for such a product/service in the market. 
  • Seek your acquaintances out for feedback – When you devise a product or come up with a service offering, you’ll want unbiased feedback from people around you before releasing it onto the market. You can’t always rely on your friends and family to be the most honest when it comes to the work you’ve done – they are bound to appreciate you even when it isn’t warranted. If you want precise and transparent feedback, reach out to your extended social circle to try out your service/product offering and tell you if it is something they can see themselves spending on.
  • Take care of the legalities – Once you’ve convinced yourself that there is no stopping you from opening your own company, have the legal aspects of starting a company taken care of. You don’t want to bother with company registration and associated paperwork when you’re running your business and trying to earn profits.
  • Chalk up a business plan – You might want to spend some time on writing down your business plan. You never know when you run out of funds for your company and would like to approach investors. Investors will want to look at such a document to understand your company’s vision and goals before making their investment.

from Ashley Stiven | Business & Entrepreneurship

Tips For Emerging CEOS For Success

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So, you’ve earned yourself the title of CEO and think you’ve reached the topmost rung of the corporate hierarchy? Think again. It’s competitive at the top. One small mistake and you will come crashing down. You must continue to work hard and focus attention on how you can improve yourself as the CEO of a company. Our article shares a list of tips to help emerging CEOs hold on and do better at their position –

  • Invest in Client Interactions – Take the time to walk out of your office and interact with prospective customers. Learn what their needs and demands are and understand if you have the skills to fulfill these.
  • Build relationships with your employees – A company is just as good as your employees. Unhappy and disgruntled employees don’t add to company productivity. You want to make your employees feel appreciated and recognized for their work. They should feel individually fulfilled at their job rather than just being treated as another employee in the system. 
  • Figure out how to better company processes – You can’t use outdated company processes to run a successful company. You need material you can depend on to change up your organization’s functions. Generate reports and carry out a data analysis of performance so you can examine these and then try to bring in profitable transformations into your company’s work culture.
  • Ask for feedback – You may be the CEO, but you are not indispensable. You, too, need to know how you can perform better as the head of a company. Encourage your employees to share feedback on your performance, both positive and negative. The negatives will help you realize which areas you could focus on. 
  • Don’t be afraid to fail – Failures contribute to success. They teach you invaluable things on your journey. Sometimes, you need to listen to your gut despite what the risk assessment for your company says. If you succeed with your idea, you win big, and if you fail, you still win because now you know to avoid this particular idea in the future.

from Ashley Stiven | Business & Entrepreneurship

Are 10,000 Steps per Day Necessary?

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In an age where Fitbits and other activity-tracking devices and apps and social media sharing of exercise and healthy living habits are all the rage, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the “10,000 steps per day” recommendation has gained steam. 10,000 is a nice, round number, and so it feels satisfying in a way, however arbitrary it may otherwise seem. What’s more, we all know that getting in some time for walking every day can be vital for your long-term health. In an age where so many of us spend so much of our day hunched over a screen typing away for work or pleasure, the simplicity of the 10,000 steps edict is alluring.

But is it effective? Just how necessary are those 10,000 steps per day to your health?

A Murky Origin

First, let’s back up and ask how we got to this 10,000 number in the first place. The first recorded instance of the 10,000 steps idea can be found in 1965. However, it’s not part of a scientific journal or exercise routine, but rather a Japanese company offering a meter for tracking steps. Where that number came from is anyone’s guess, though again, that “nice round satisfying number” theory seems a plausible one.

Age Differences

So how many steps should you be getting in on a given day? Even putting things that way is somewhat putting the cart before the horse, because not all steps are created equal. Slow, leisurely steps are going to “count” far differently than high-intensity ones.

What’s more, even if we account for the same number or relatively similar steps intensity-wise, the range varies widely. Among older people, anywhere from 2,500 to 7,500 steps have been proposed. On the other hand, for younger people, more steps may be a good idea.

All of which goes to show that personal fitness is a lot more complicated than a magic number. You need to take a wide range of different variables into consideration, including health, age, and the intensity of the steps in question, and put together a regular routine for walking that works for you.

from Ashley Stiven | Healthcare

How to Make Healthy Habits Stick

Ashley Stiven Healthy Habits

It is one thing to know what’s good for you – it’s quite another to actually make those healthy habits stick. Far too often, we have an abstract idea of following some healthy habits, only to them abandon them a few days or weeks after starting.

What’s worse, it doesn’t necessarily help to know that abandoning these healthy habits is a bad thing. On the contrary, that knowledge can make you feel even guiltier about doing so, and fear of that guilty feeling of failure can keep you from even trying in the first place.

Thankfully, with these tips, you’ll have a better chance to finally make those healthy habits stick.

Make Them Enjoyable

Mary Poppins may not have been a workout guru, but her adage that “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” certainly applies here. If you hate every living second of your workout routine, chances are you won’t stick to it. 

Finding a way to make working out enjoyable is thus a huge key to making the habit last. 

Make Them Accessible

One of the unfortunate truths about those of us that skimp on our exercise regimens and healthy routines is that we often look for excuses to do so. 

It’s too hard. The gym’s too far away. You’re too tired. “Just this once…”

If we were as good at sticking to our healthy habits as making excuses not to follow them, articles like these wouldn’t exist. That said, they do exist, because our excuses exist, many of which are rooted in inaccessibility imagined or otherwise. The harder a task seems, the less likely you are to follow through on it.

Make exercise and healthy eating habits accessible. If you like to nosh throughout the day, instead of junk food, keep healthy snacks nearby. Instead of elaborate workout routines, go for something small and accessible like power walks or 15-minute cardio sessions. Have friends check up on you and hold you accountable.

With these small yet effective tweaks, you stand a much greater chance of finally making those healthy habits stick once and for all.

from Ashley Stiven | Healthcare

How to Know You Have a Good Idea for Business

Ashley Stive Business Ideas

Entrepreneurs are a dime a dozen. However, it takes skill and knowledge to become a successful entrepreneur. There’s no point opening a business that doesn’t generate any returns. Enthusiastic entrepreneurs may jump onto a business idea they’ve had and cling onto it for life. An approach like this is more harmful than beneficial. It pays to be able to tell a good idea for business from one that is just about average. How do you tell the difference? Here’s how –

  • You understand how to make an existing product/service better – Some of the most successful companies in the world have their success to attribute to knowing how to upgrade or improve upon a business idea that already existed. Take, for instance, Instagram. Instagram designed itself around the visual aesthetics of Pinterest and only made it more social. Today, it’s probably the most popular social network in existence.
  • You know there is a niche market that will be interested in your offering – Often, businesses lose out on success and profitability by only catering to large and expansive markets. A business can profit from a small market too. If your business idea is one that will appeal to a small community of people, so be it. You can trust this community to spread the word among their expanded social circle and bring your company more business.
  • You’ve come up with a business idea that will appeal across population demographics – Tech wearables are a good example of such an idea. They are used by business professionals who can easily access their emails and other official communication on the go. Similarly, fitness enthusiasts can monitor the number of calories they burn on the move by wearing tech variables that also track activity.
  • Your product/service idea has limited or no industry competitors – A saturated market is next to impossible to break into. If your business idea happens to be one that many companies have already capitalized on, it’s best to not go forward with it.

from Ashley Stiven | Business & Entrepreneurship

Tips to Market a Business

Ashley Stiven Business Maketing

No matter how excellent the product/services you offer are, you won’t be able to make any money unless you market your business properly. Sure, you can rely on word-of-mouth advertising from your customers, but this isn’t enough to make your target sales. You need to set aside a separate budget for marketing purposes.

Many companies fail to succeed because they don’t know how to come forward and promote their brand. You certainly don’t want to fall into this category. Read on below for some easy and effective tips to market a business –

  • Spend Time on Market Research – Market research is crucial to efficient marketing. You want to survey the market and learn what your target customer group needs, how your industry competitors are faring, and so on. The information you gain will help you develop products and services that have verified market potential.
  • Figure Out Your USP – Your brand’s USP (Unique Selling Point) is what differentiates you from other market players. If your products come tailor-made to individual client needs, this is your USP, and you should market your brand underlining this USP.
  • Identify the Marketing Medium that Works for You – Maybe your customers are more receptive to social media posts than a podcast on your webpage. Realise where your customers spend most of their time and choose this platform as your marketing medium.
  • Organise contests – Contests not only create an interest in your brand/products, but they also help you make conversions. If you organise contests with sample product giveaways, the winners of these contests learn about your product, use them, and may purchase them willingly if they are satisfied with the quality.
  • Encourage customers to share feedback – Encouraging customers to share feedback allows you to enjoy the dual benefits of learning where you could possibly improve and also reassuring prospective customers of the credibility of your product/brand.

Marketing a business need not be a frustrating exercise. Follow the tips shared above, and you should be able to bring in due profits.

from Ashley Stiven | Business & Entrepreneurship

Why Playing a Sport Is the Best Way to Stay Fit

Ashley Stiven Sports

Whether you revel in the artistry of ice skating and gymnastics at the Olympics or get excited about any number of athletic contests, the chances are good that there’s at least one or two sports which excite you. But how often does that excitement turn into actual exercise? For as much as we may love sports, how often do we take the extra step to play them?

When we’re younger, doing so is easier. We get the time set aside to do so in school and through various programs. When we’re adults, however, we lose that structure. Unless you’re the next star athlete, you may find yourself lacking the structure, ease of access, and thus motivation to play sports.

That’s a shame, because playing sports may be your best shot at staying fit.

A Pre-Set Routine

As stated, structure and routine are part of what makes sports accessible for kids in the first place. It’s also a large part of what makes them one of the best chances to stay fit. Working out occasionally won’t do much for you. For real results, you need to maintain the same routine day after day, week after week, and sports make that much easier.

Setting up events like weekly pickup basketball games with friends or picking regular days to hit a few balls on the tennis court can drastically improve your commitment to a pre-set routine, which in turn can help you realise more sustainable progress towards your fitness goals.

The Enjoyability Factor

What’s more, shooting some hoops or playing a few rounds of tennis is often a lot more enjoyable than exercising in a stuffy out-of-the-way gym with neighbours. The more you enjoy something, the more likely you are to stick with it. What’s more, the competitive factor can compel you to try that much harder.

Sports provides all these workout advantages, making them one of your best chances to score a personal fitness win.

from Ashley Stiven | Healthcare

Serious Injuries – Breaking bad news – Have you mastered it??

Breaking bad news

Ever thought you may need specific help to inform injury severity to the athlete? Most physiotherapists in collaboration with their Sports Medicine Physicians discuss the likely scenario’s. Should we be seeking some professional guidance on how best to do this on a case by case basis? The physiotherapist often spend the most one on one time with athletes and may be best placed to notice changes in their mental well-being.

Case Study

The athlete at the center of this case study was a young professional rugby union player who had suffered a complete rupture of his right Achilles’ tendon mid-season. The sport psychology consultant (“Practitioner B”) was initially contacted by the athlete’s rugby club, for the purposes of providing advice to their medical team (Chief Medical Officer, Club General Practitioner, Chief Physiotherapist, Strength and Conditioning Coach and Lead Soft Tissue Therapist) regarding how to best communicate the diagnosis, prognosis and associated plans for rehabilitation to the injured individual. They explained that the player had, in their words, “over-identification” issues (e.g., Miller and Kerr, 2003). They felt that the injury and the associated recovery would present a great challenge to the athlete, hence requesting Practitioner B’s support at this time. The medical team were recommending surgical repair of the tendon, which would, they said, involve around 6 months recovery. They were however, unable to provide certainty over the individual’s future in the sport.

Practitioner B acknowledged that the medical team would be more familiar with the player, and as such would be able to best determine the most effective communication strategy. However, general advice on “breaking bad news” (e.g., Baile et al., 2000) was provided, which involves a six-step strategy for disclosing unfavorable information. With this strategy in mind, the practitioner advised the medical team to ensure that an open and honest dialog was maintained with the athlete at all times, whilst being mindful not to generate any false hope regarding a return to play at professional level. In addition, it was also recommended that the athlete be provided with as many opportunities as possible to exercise control over the situation (decision-making etc.) and the option of remaining as involved with the team as he wanted during his rehabilitation.

Blurred lines: Performance Enhancement, Common Mental Disorders and Referral in the U.K. Athletic Population

Claire-Marie Roberts,1,* Andrea L. Faull,1 and David Tod2

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