Becoming a Better Communicator in Your Business

1. Develop an elevator pitch

A concise description of what your company does and the value it adds. You should be able to explain that in one sentence.

You should use this description across all mediums—not just in the elevator, but also in marketing and online.

2. Know your audience

Research ahead of time the background and needs of your audience. Then, tailor the message and style of your communications. Talking with one or two people is different from addressing 30 or 300. A customer isn’t the same as a supplier.

When addressing a large group, for example, you should focus on common concerns, not the issues of a select group of audience members. Body language should also change. Before a group, you need to be more expressive to hold attention, moving around, using bigger hand gestures and varying your tone. But the same theatrics would be silly and off-putting before just one or two people.

3. Be attentive

Pay attention to your audience’s verbal and nonverbal cues. Have you lost them, or are they still listening and engaged? It’s important to be aware of such signs. If you sense attention is waning, you can ask your audience questions as a way to bring them back into the conversation.

It also helps to be a good listener. Most conversations become easier if you switch to listening. Anybody who spends time talking to you wants to know you are listening.

4. Prepare beforehand

A little preparation can improve communication a lot. Make notes ahead of time about your speaking points. Ask employees or associates to suggest tips for addressing a specific audience.

If you put some effort into preparation, it will always go smoother and you’ll relay information more clearly. If you don’t pre-plan, you may forget things.

“All skills improve with practice, including communication.”


What to Ask a Personal Trainer?

Should I be resting more?

Rest days are a critical part of any fitness schedule. Always listen to your body and be sure to find a trainer who values time to rest and recover. “We are capable of a lot, but many [beginners] are so excited and driven for the results [that] they don’t focus on the journey, and try to rush picking up too heavy of weights, running too often, and not allowing our body to rest and recover.  At least once per week, [you should] give your body a rest day.

What’s the best diet for weight loss?

The short answer? Any diet you can stick with for as long as it’s going to take. Studies have shown that regardless of the diet followed, adherence is the only thing that predicts success.

Beware of any diet that promises rapid weight loss (and expects you to consume fewer than 1000 calories per day); although you may lose a few pounds in the beginning, chances are you’ll be unable to stick to it long term. When it comes to weight loss, slow, steady and sustainable are key

How frequently should I see a trainer?

The ideal frequency of personal training sessions varies from person to person. Just getting started with exercise and healthy eating? Need regular motivation and support to get to the gym? Have an injury that you’re working through? You’ll probably need to see a trainer once or twice each week. Many of my weekly clients reduce their frequency of personal training sessions to bi-weekly or even monthly once they’ve demonstrated the ability to consistently get to the gym and progress their exercises as recommended.

What should I eat before a workout?

Ideally, you should have some form of fuel in your system before you work out. Eating an easily digested carbohydrate an hour or so before you hit the gym ensures that you’ll have enough energy in the tank to get through your program. Try fruit and yogurt or toast and peanut butter; not too much or you’ll feel sluggish and heavy

How many days per week do I need to work out?

Depending on your health and fitness goals, you’ll need to commit to a minimum of 3 days of exercise each week to see results. Any fewer than that and each workout will feel like you’re starting all over again each and every time.

Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon

*2 pounds salmon I used Atlantic salmon *2 Tablespoons olive oil *2 Tablespoons liquid smoke* 1/4 cup brown sugar *¼ cup soy sauce *3 garlic cloves, minced *juice of one lemon *1 teaspoon salt *½ teaspoon pepper *garnish with sliced lemons and chopped parsley if desired

Instructions 1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay the salmon on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold up the sides of the aluminum foil around the salmon. 2.In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper. Pour the glaze over the salmon. Top the salmon with aluminum foil and seal. 3.Bake for 20-25 minutes or until salmon is cooked throughout. Take the foil off of the top and baste the salmon with the sauce in the foil. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until brown and caramelized. Garnish with lemon slices and chopped parsley if desired.

Misunderstood Vegans

  • Being lectured about how much protein you’re getting by someone who exclusively eats Stouffer’s lasagna. Thank you for your opinion, Jake, but please shut your mouth. Your proteinless dinner is falling out of it and I’d hate to see that go to waste.
  •  Having to hear someone’s self-righteous “Yeah, I tried being vegan for a while, but it didn’t work for me” story. I get that some people try being vegan for various reasons and then it doesn’t work out for various reasons, but I really don’t need to hear your passive-aggressive story about why my life is a lie.
  • When people get super self-conscious about eating around you because they worry you’ll judge them, when really you just want to quietly eat kale alongside them. I couldn’t care less about whether or not you’re eating eggs and honestly, I did not even notice you were eating eggs until you made it weird. 
  • When someone brings you something edible as a way of saying “thank you” but they didn’t know you were vegan and now you have this box of crap you can’t eat. The worst is when they want to eat the food item with you and you have to weigh the pros and cons of a chew-and-spit, or telling them you’re vegan and making them sad because you can’t eat their present. I usually say I just ate because any other reality is too awkward and heartbreaking for me. 
  • Having your relatives ask you if you’re “still doing that vegan thing.” Being vegan is not Carmen Electra’s Aerobic Striptease workout from 2004. Plus, I’ve been doing that “thing” since I was a teenager so it’s probably a done deal at this point.
  • Having to hear someone’s self-righteous “Yeah, I tried being vegan for a while, but it didn’t work for me” story. I get that some people try being vegan for various reasons and then it doesn’t work out for various reasons, but I really don’t need to hear your passive-aggressive story about why my life is a lie.
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Dangers of Entrepreneurship

1. Knowing better than the market. The entrepreneur fails to contend with the fact that their new product or service is succeeding elsewhere than their target market. In essence, the entrepreneur rejects unexpected, unplanned success because it rattles their belief that they’re in control.

2. Focusing on profits. Cash flow is the real name of the game, because growth-spurt companies need continual stoking with fresh money. Drucker says an entrepreneur should start planning the next round of financing six months before crunch time. Of course, few do-a failing Drucker attributes to financial illiteracy among most business people, not just fledgling entrepreneurs.

3. The management crisis. After about four years of normal, healthy expansion, a company usually outgrows its management base. The entrepreneur has gotten stretched to the max, and when things start to go haywire-as they invariably will-no one is available to take up the slack. Again, acting before a crisis is key. Twelve to 18 months before this bottleneck, the entrepreneur should gather those workers who show managerial promise and assign suitable roles. Then there’s enough time for them to learn their specialties, for the team to coalesce, and for the owner to identify and replace any wrong choices.

4. Loss of perspective. Once the company is up and running, a different type of danger loom. Focusing on his or her desires or needs, the entrepreneur neglects to make the needs of the business the highest priority. An entrepreneur needs to be honest in determining whether they have the skills or strengths the company needs at that time. If not, then it’s best to step aside or adjust one’s role.