Posts tagged entrepreur
Ian Manning: How to Stay Healthy & Productive at Work

With the cold weather upon us, we find ourselves spending much more time indoors… sitting. Because of that we’ve brought back one of our favorite blogs which has never been more important than now.

Many of us spend most of our day sitting at our desks. While that may be great for our businesses, it's not necessarily good for the body. While it may not be a marketing tip, today we've brought in Physical Therapist and pain reducing junkie, Ian Manning of Orthocore PT, to give all of us some advice on how to stay healthy, happy, and productive, throughout our work day. And sometimes, this kind of information is just as important!

We all want to be successful in life, and in our jobs. No matter what your measurement of success may be; money, title, Instagram followers, etc…there is one thing that can certainly get in the way of your work goals…PAIN! Pain can distract you when you are working, it can keep you from sleeping, and it can lead to hours of lost time. So how do you make sure you stay pain free, focused at work, and how can you make sure you are moving well and keeping your body healthy? 

Let's start with what you are using to fuel your body. How is your water consumption? Most people who I talk to say,  “yeah, I drink tons of water.” Most people (even those that drink a “ton”) don’t drink enough. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water in a day. Proper hydration keeps you focused throughout the day. Our brain is suspended in fluid. If you are dehydrated you can easily lose focus and make mental mistakes that will affect your job. 

What qualifies as “good movement?” If you can touch your toes (while keeping your knees straight), squat down, go up/down a couple flights of stairs, run a mile, or walk 3, you move fairly well. If any, or all, of those sound like something that would put you in the hospital…it's time to get serious about improving your fitness. Not only will focusing on your strength and flexibility prevent injuries, it will improve your productivity at work. 

So what do you do if you can’t do any, or all, of those things listed above? Let's start with flexibility. Can’t touch your toes? Here is my favorite way to improve your hamstring flexibility. Try doing 10 repetitions of this hamstring exercise, on each leg, once a day. I can guarantee that in a month you will be on your way to touching those little piggies once again!

How about squatting down? Think of how many times you sit and stand in a day. If you can’t do it properly you are just asking for a problem down the road. Let's start with proper form. When you sit down your shoulders should be over the middle of your feet with your trunk upright and your hands out in front of you. Start with performing 10 squats, twice a day, going as low as you can while keeping the proper form. As that gets easier, either add more repetitions or more sets. 

Lastly, let's talk about cardiovascular health. This is one of the easiest things to improve. You just need to commit to making it a part of your day. Simple solutions include going for a walk at lunch. Or, if you have a set of stairs in your house, every time you use them go up/down one more time than you need to. The best thing to do is get a buddy to help keep you accountable. Pick someone who will keep you honest and motivate you when you don’t want to do anything. Once you make it a part of your routine it will be easy. Your brain and your heart will thank you. 

Improving your health and fitness is guaranteed to increase your energy levels, make you more alert, and increase your focus. So put down that 4th cup of coffee, work on your body, and enjoy the new found success that follows!

Ian Manning graduated with his Masters degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in 2004. Ian has always worked with orthopedic based injuries, starting in school with his co-op/clinical rotations then leading into his professional career as a PT. He is constantly working to continue his education through course work and staying current with research. Ian is certified through the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) to treat golf related injuries and to improve golf performance. Please visit our Golf Performance and Rehabilitation section for more information.

ORTHOCORE PROVIDES RESEARCH BASED PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR ORTHOPEDIC AND SPORTS RELATED INJURIES

At OrthoCore Physical Therapy we will provide you with quality rehabilitation that focuses on your personal goals. We use a mixture of research supported techniques to decrease your pain, increase your strength/flexibility, and restore your functional movement. Our staff strives to educate our patients about their rehabilitation process and help them get back to their target goals and objectives.

Though we are based out of North Kingstown, although we treat patients from the greater Providence area including East Greenwich, South Kingstown, Warwick, Narragansett, Newport, Jamestown, Cranston, Westerly, and other surrounding towns.

Taking Advantage of the Audio Craze

Audio is EVERYTHING now-a-days. Yes, video is still massive (and will continue to grow in 2019), but with our increasingly busy lives, we’re constantly searching for a way to do more things all at the same time.

Audio content allows us to consume information or entertainment while on the go, while working, or while wrangling a family who is ready to eat dinner.

So, how can we, as business owners, take advantage of this new interest in the auditory arena? There’s of course podcasts, which are a super fun format, but also really time consuming and require a lot of effort on the part of the host. What I’ve got for you today is a tip all about how you can easily, and cost effectively, translate the written content you’re already creating, in a way for customers to consume audibly.

How to Survive the Holiday Season as a Business Owner

If you can believe it, the holiday season is pretty much upon us. Before you know it, you'll be trying to balance your normal workload with holiday parties, present shopping, wrapping, and family in town.

And while it's so tempting to just take a break from all the social posting, and blogging and marketing work (I mean... let's be honest.. you're audience is busy too), where does that leave you in the New Year?

After working so hard all year, taking a break for the next few months leave you scrambling to bring you audience back up in 2019. So, how can we stay productive and focused, yet still manage to make time for all those fun holiday activities?

Check out the October inside The Hub for these answers and more. It's chock full of:

✔️content ideas centered around the season,
✔️inspiration to keep you focused,
✔️and a rock solid plan so you can stay connected and engaged with your audience throughout "the most wonderful time of the year".

All of this is inside The Digital Marketing Hub just waiting for you! If you're not a member of The Hub now's your chance to get 40% off your membership. Just click this link to get instant access to this, and all our previous trainings at an insane sale price! But hurry - this price expires on Tuesday!

How to Make More Passive(ish) Income in Your Business

What!? 2 Guest Experts in June!

That's right, starting this month we're bringing you 2 Guest Expert Trainings each month!

So, who did we bring in as our super special 2nd guest expert in June? 

We brought in Affiliate Marketing genius April Lewis, and we're talking all about using your audience to make passive(ish) income each and every month. 

Now, I can see you giving me the side eye. I get that is sounds a little bit sketchy. We've all seen those ads on Facebook promising things that end up not panning out. They end up costing you money (instead of making you money) and leaving you feeling kinda of... yucky...

But, I promise you, this is NOT that! (would I ever do that to you?). April is getting real and sharing every detail of her own journey in Affiliate Marketing (including LEGIT income numbers), and shedding some light on things she's learned along the way. 

To April, affiliate marketing isn't about just selling people things (although the money is a great bi product!), but rather sharing your passion for different products or services. It's about teaching people tools to help make their business, or life, better.

She's telling her own growth story, giving us the 411 on how to find programs that make sense for you, and sharing some of her best tips on how to build upon your success to make more money each month. (And who doesn't want that!?)

If' you've ever considered Affiliate Marketing, or have looked into ways to make more (or even some at all) passive revenue each and every month then this training is for you!


Get her training (PLUS even more amazing content from other guest experts, and your's truly) this month inside The Digital Marketing Hub!

Quit Hiding & Get Visible

It's time to get real - one of the things I've always struggled with when it comes to running my own business, is confidence. I am constantly second guessing myself, rarely post videos or pictures of myself (because my hair or makeup wasn't quite right that day), and sometimes even wonder if I'm "good enough" at my job.

Cue Tanya Conner-Green of Whole Hearted Business Coach. When picking guest experts for my new membership program, The Digital Marketing Hub, I KNEW that I wanted Tanya to be the very first one. Not only because I feel her message is so important to all the business owners in the group, but because I (selfishly) wanted to hear what she had to say myself.

So, today on the blog, I'm spilling a few pearls of wisdom from her March Guest Expert Training, "Quit Hiding & Get Visible". While you can view the entire training inside The Hub (and trust me, you're going to want to, it's AMAZING), I wanted to give everybody a little taste to help you gain more confidence and get yourself and your business seen online (especially with video).

1. Insight #1 - What makes you want to work with one person over another? For many of us it's because we get a chance to see that real person. We can see their vulnerabilities and authenticity, see the value they've provided us, and can see they actually care about you (and not just selling you a product). If you choose to buy that way, chances are your audience does too. Stop hiding all of that from them!

2. Insight #2 - Stop running from your doubts and fears. Most of us feel like in order to overcome our fears, we have to push aside those pesky little doubts that pop up in our brains and pretend they don't exists. But let's get real for a minute, we ALL have them! We all question ourselves sometimes, and pretending that we don't won't help us move past them. Acknowledging what your fears & doubts are, and then choosing to flip those into positive beliefs is a much more effective use of time, and will actually help you start to believe in how amazing you really are.

3. Insight #3 - What would your 80 year old self tell you? Fear or doubt stopping you from taking the next step in your business? Think ahead to what you would tell yourself if you had the chance to go back in time. Hindsight is always 20/20, so instead of looking back and wishing you had made moves sooner, force yourself to take that big step today. Chances are you won't regret it and you'll make your 80 year old self proud!

Pretty legit right? I know, she's kind of amazing. But this is literally just the tip of the iceberg (seriously, all these insights come from the first 5 minutes of her almost 40 minute training). There is so much more inside and watching it has me just busting at the seams, ready to start doing more video and creating even more free content for you guys (so make sure to keep an eye on your inbox!)

So, if you're not a member of The Digital Marketing Hub, click here to join so you can hear all that Tanya (and our other amazing guest experts coming up in the next few months), have to say!

Oh, and don't forget to check out Tanya's website to learn more about her, and how she's inspiring entrepreneurs and business owners everyday.

UPDATE - The 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing

Since it is #ThrowbackThursday, we're bringing back one of our VERY first blogs we every wrote here at Hub Digital. Back in April of 2014, we wrote about the "7 Deadly Sins of Marketing" and gave some very pointed advice on what you shouldn't be doing when it comes to marketing. Since that way basically a lifetime ago in the digital marketing world, we decided to bring it back today and see if these "7 Deadly Sins" still hold true in today's environment.

2014 advice - 1. Setting your expectations too high - Many businesses and products fail before they even get started. You can't win a marathon by taking one step; it takes leaps and bounds to cross the finish line. Don't expect one ad or post to complete the job. Digital marketing takes creativity, dedication, and patience to build a following.

2018 edit - This one still absolutely holds true today! One of the things we work with our clients on is a reasonable timeline and expectations on how their business can grow online. We've all heard those stories about businesses that went from 0 to 6 figures in 1 month. And while that's great for them, it's important to recognize that these are the exception, not the rule. Marketing yourself online DOES work, but it does take time to see significant results.

2014 advice - 2. Being uninformed about your audience - Know your target audience, tone and message. The best message can be wasted on the wrong audience.  Determine what they will and will not respond to. Throwing darts at a wall may make them stick, but you'll never get the bullseye you're looking for that way!

2018 edit - Were we genius or what!? But in all seriousness, I don't think anyone can argue that it makes sense to just market to everybody all at once. Not only is it cost prohibitive, but it can make it seem like your business doesn't have a good handle on things, and can be a turn off to potential customers.

2014  advice - 3. Trying to use every available outlet for recognition - Though you may have a million ideas running around, sometimes focusing on a few is the key. Out of the large number of possibilities, choose a few that coordinate the best with your product or business. Posts that need more context could be shared on Facebook, for example, rather than Twitter, which has a character limit of 140.

2018 edit - This one is still absolutely true, but I think for different reasons. While restrictions in each outlet have loosened, it's still important to let yourself off the hook when it comes to posting on every outlet, all the time. Think about which ones your customers use the most (hence how point #2 is so important!) and what you enjoy doing. Combine the 2 to create a social strategy that works for you.

2014 advice - 4. Inconsistent timeline of posting - In an age of instant gratification, the audience no longer wants to wait. Posting consistently with updates reminds the audience so they don't forget about you. DO NOT give them a chance to become impatient. This is where choosing a few valuable outlets (#3) comes in handy. Pick ones that you know you can easily update on a consistent basis. 

2018 edit - This is still partially true. You must stay consistent with your social postings, blogging and email blasts, but there really isn't a a set time or day that's better for posting. With mobile becoming the medium of choice to access online, we are able to view content throughout the day, whenever we wish. This means that you can loosen the reins and vary posting times, and still see good reach from them.

2014 advice - 5. Overwhelming your audience - On the flip side, don't suffocate the audience with updates. Posting too much or sending too many emails can feel like spam which leads most to block or ignore future information. Everybody has that one friend that talks your ear off over lunch, and no one likes them. Finding the happy median between lack of posts and constant information is paramount for successful digital marketing. People will also enjoy two thorough and entertaining posts rather than five poor attempts. Rely on quality over quantity.

2018 edit - Hmmmmm.... Maybe? For a while social media sites, like Facebook, were all about quantity. The more you posted, the more you were seen. But now, with the recent algorithm changes, we're headed back into the world of quality over quantity. Facebook is pushing for well thought out, engaging content from businesses, not just random musings. We'll see this continue to evolve as these changes play out over the next few months.

2014 advice - 6. Neglecting mobile users - Many users access social media and sites on their phones, iPad, or tablet. Everyone is on-the-go and wants their entertainment/information to follow suit. Don't starve certain sections of your audience. Make navigating your business convenient with a mobile site that caters to mobile users' needs. 

Quick Tip: Also eliminate unnecessary images and videos to minimize loading times.

2018 edit - This has never been more wrong or more right! First of all, mobile is EVERYTHING now. Almost all your websites, content and efforts online should be focused towards mobile. Mobile searches, social media views and website traffic has officially surpassed desktop. Not optimizing your stuff for mobile is probably the #1 mistake a business can make. So, what's so wrong about this piece of advice? The elimination of images/video! Video has never been more important than it is right now. By not utilizing images and video on your website or in your marketing strategy, you're not only going to take a HUGE hit on SEO, but you're going to alienate a giant portion of your audience that will only watch video content over ready blog content.

2014 advice - 7. Biting off more than you can chew - After all of the other advice, sometimes you just need help. Recognizing that you cannot handle everything is important and there are people ready to assist at a moment's notice. Don't be hesitant to ask for help.

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2018 edit - DUH! That's what we're here for! ;)

Elizabeth Stone: Finding work life balance as an entrepreneur or small business owner
Hub Digital and Elizabeth Stone talk life as an entrepreneur or small business owner.
Elizabeth Stone talks about how to find work/live balance as an entrepreneur.

Elizabeth Stone is an entrepreneur and business woman passionate about making a positive impact by pointing her businesses towards social enterprising. She is a Rhode Island native with about ten years of experience working with small businesses and people to help them grow and flourish. She is deeply involved in the Rhode Island community and regularly volunteers her time to nonprofits around the region. This year she won the overall award for the Rhode Island Business Plan competition with BI Medical. She has also started BioSci Labs, an incubator, and coworking space. BioSci Labs helps to develop innovative technologies into commercially recognizable products ready to be brought to market. She has started Pepper's Closet, a social enterprise committed to spreading ocean literacy and cleanup effort through custom crafted apparel. Pepper's Closet donates 10 percent of all profits to conservation and cleanup efforts. 

As an entrepreneur and small business owner I understand just how hard it can be to find a reasonable work-life balance. Between meetings, actually doing work, networking, teaching classes and all the administrative tasks associated with running a business, how can there be time for our family and ourselves. 

First off, to be an entrepreneur, you need to love what you do because it certainly won't be easy. I really put my heart and soul into the projects that I start and if I weren’t passionate about them, I would get burned out really fast. Right now my main projects are BioSci Labs  and Pepper’s Closet. Bringing innovative products to market to improve healthcare and helping to improve the ocean - what’s not to love? As much as I do love my job, finding a work-life balance is paramount. I am a better and more creative worker and a more patient and supportive wife/momma when I can find the right balance. I am far from perfect but here are a few tips and tricks that have helped me balance business and pleasure.

Here are five things that help me:

  1. Time Management - Set attainable goals. In a world were productivity is so often defined as multitasking, sometimes you have to focus on a single task and complete one action item. I like to start out my day with a fast item that I can complete to get myself on a role. As much as I like to answer emails while on conference calls, sometimes its better to shut my phone off, minimize the emails, and get just one thing all the way done.
  2. Scheduling – This goes hand I hand with time management. My Google calendar is my BEST FRIEND! I schedule everything - work outs, play dates, dates with my husband, work meetings, swim lesson, music class, etc. Planning my week ahead allows me to find help on the days I need it whether it’s from my brother, husband, mom or friends. Owning my own business gives me the freedom and flexibility to take my daughter to swim and music class during the day, but in return I am usually working nights after she goes to bed. Like the old saying goes, 'owning your own business means you get to pick which 80 hours a week you work.' 
  3. Communication - Being honest with yourself and others about what you can and can’t do. Do not be afraid to say no or ask for help. It is far better to be honest and say no instead of making commitments you end up shirking… or handing in projects way past the deadline. This one is especially difficult for me because I am always trying to please everyone.
  4. Outsourcing & Delegating - I outsource and delegate as many tasks as I reasonably can, both at home and work. As a small business owner this is sometimes very hard to do. It is important to let go of complete control of doing it yourself and trust others with tasks. I use Sunbasket and Amazon in lieu of grocery store and Target runs (though somehow I still find myself wandering around target). I share household tasks with my husband and daughter. Lately, I’ve been thinking about strapping Swiffer pads to Pepper’s feet while she runs around the house! Go, Pepper, Go!
  5. Self care- There will always be more work to do. It is important to take time for yourself every day, even if its only 30 min a day. My outlet is exercise.  A walk during lunch (leave your phone off), yoga in the morning, a run after work. We all have 30 min a day we can dedicate to ourselves. 

No matter how hard I try and schedule and plan sometimes things don’t go the way I want (especially with a toddler), so my advice to myself and everyone else is LET IT GO and go with the flow.

If you’d like to learn more about our friend and mompreneur, check out some of her other guest blogs: 

The Mompreneur Guide to Globetrotting With a Toddler

The Mompreneur Guide to Eating Healthy on the Go

The Mompreneur Guide to End of Summer Fun and Getting Back to School Ready

What the heck is influencer marketing anyway?
How to find influencers and brand advocates from Hub Digital Marketing in Rhod eISland.

We’re guessing you’ve heard this term?  How about the term ‘Advocate Marketing’?  They’re similar but totally different!  Brand advocates, customer advocates or, as we like to call them ‘brand champions’, are existing customers or clients who like (or love!) a business and aren’t afraid to use their own time, energy or brand to endorse it.  An Influencer is a bit different as they are people that usually get paid in some way to use their brand (influence) to endorse a business thus increasing the reach (getting in front of eyeballs that they’re not currently in front of) of that business.

Brand advocates are usually easier to find than you might think and utilizing them is a great inexpensive component that should be a part of your marketing strategy.  

A couple of tips on how to identify brand advocates:

  1. Are you following who is tagging your business on social media?  Start paying attention to those notifications and see if any of your customers are saying nice things about you, liking and sharing your posts, etc...  
  2. Ask your sales team to start making a list of customers that seem especially happy with your business…those that are ‘touching’ the customers/clients the most will probably be able to create that list pretty quickly!

A couple of ways you can leverage that love:

  1. Ask why they like you and/or what they like about you.  This is a great way to get a testimonial that you can share in your email campaigns, on social media or in ads and it’s also a great way to find out what you’re doing well (maybe you don’t even know something you’re doing well or maybe this will validate something you want to invest more time, money and energy in).  
  2. Reward them for sharing with coupons, discounts or some kind of VIP treatment and build even stronger relationships with those amazing clients or customers!

Influencers, on the other hand, are usually people or brands with large social followings whether local, national or global, that have built a very loyal audience.  Influencers are usually paid to promote or endorse a brand whether that be with fees, products or some other kind of agreed upon compensation or trade.  Influencer marketing is a great way to reach audiences you’re not currently in front of and when done right it works really well.   It’s not just about finding popular people though as it has to make sense in some way for these ‘influencers’ to be endorsing a brand and keep in mind that finding the right influencers should convert to more followers, shares and hopefully sales.  

An easy tip for finding relevant influencers:

  • What do you do?  Are you a local business selling direct to customers like a Laundromat?  Have you noticed there are some local women out there that seem to have huge social media followings?  One of them might even live in your neighborhood that you see at the bus stop everyday!  She would be an excellent influencer for your Laundromat and chances are that if you reached out to her and offered some kind of service in return (maybe she would love to drop off and pick up blankets or other laundry?)…she’d probably be happy to help you with your marketing!  You can just pause for a minute and think of this scenario on a larger scale if you’re a business with a national or global audience.  B2B business strategies are different, of course, but similar in the way that you should focus on a business (or person) that compliments your business and authenticity is still super important.

What do you do once you find an influencer?  

  • So, you’ve found an influencer and you’ve agreed upon a payment for their shout out but what are they going to say?  This depends on the type of business you have and the influencer’s brand style.  Authentic is ALWAYS best.  Most influencers already have a specific language and style - think about some Instagram feeds and how all the posts flow in a way that really kind of looks similar, maybe it’s the kind of images they use, like beach pictures, or maybe it’s the same color scheme or filter throughout?  These influencers might have no problem pushing out some great endorsements that seem very organic.  For some influencers though, they may be very agreeable to sit down with you to either brainstorm ideas with you and/or take what you craft for them to ensure the messaging they’re pushing out is both consistent with their brand (so their loyal audience won’t think twice about trusting them and hopefully will jump on board to support your brand) and consistent with your integrated messaging and marketing strategy.

Whether you decide to start leveraging the love with your existing brand advocates or you decide to seek out new influencers to help spread the word about your amazing company (or better yet…both)  they are both proven effective tactics and we wish you tons of new growth!

 

Hub Digital's Favorite Marketing Tips
Hub Digital is an online and digital marketing consultant agency in Rhode Island.

We often get asked what is the one tip, or the most impactful thing, we like to tell clients. Today, the Hub Digital team has gone through our entire toolbox and picked out our favorite ones of the bunch. 

Tuni’s favorite marketing tip…

Self Awareness.  Who are you, what do you do and, most importantly, WHY do you do it?  What makes you or your business different and stand out from your competition?  What do you enjoy most about your business or work?  What seems to get the best response from your clients or customers?  Where do sales come from?  Follow the money…where do you generate the greatest margin and/or what part of your business generates the most revenue?  

So, just like me, this tip is simple and complex at the same time but I promise that the clearer you are on the answers to these questions the easier it will be to grow your business!  

Then, one of my other favorite tips (after you have the answers to these questions) is to share.  Share your expertise with your followers through blogging, email campaigns (permission based of course), social media posts, contributing to relevant groups, writing articles and so on.   Remember two things: people do business with people and businesses that they know, like and trust and building that brand trust is key.  I always say ‘help them help you’ and by physically networking, blogging, emailing your list and staying active on social media you will build a loyal engaged following that will convert to sales and grow your business.  Doing what you love (or at the very least enjoy) and really honing in on your unique value proposition(s) then sharing will help them help you…promise!  

Amy’s favorite marketing tip…

Want to do something? Chances are there's a tool for that! There are so many cool platforms and software companies out there that are helping to make marketing a little easier. Often times you may be trying to bootstrap your processes or are wasting time on outdated techniques. Do some research around what you need in your business to reach or connect with new clients or conduct your day-to-day business.  

Some of my favorites:

Satori - Do your clients/customers need to make appointments for meetings or calls with you? Link Satori with your Google Calendar and the times of the day you're available for them, for streamlined scheduling. Now, right through your website or a link you send them, they can see when you're available and pick the time that works for both of you! Their information is then saved right in Satori where you can automate reminder emails, send out surveys or paperwork prior to your meetings, or follow up with contracts they need to sign. 

Buffer - While we don't normally recommend scheduling your social posts through a 3rd party scheduler (stats have shown your organic reach actually decreases when you use them), sometimes it's a necessary evil. If your choice is between scheduling in advance or not posting at all - we definitely recommend choosing the former. Of all the scheduling tools we've found Buffer to be the easiest to use and it provides some of the better stats and feedback so you can evaluate what is working and what isn't. 

Zoom - We've discovered this recently at the recommendation of other industry leaders. Zoom is a super streamlined, easy to use video conferencing platform that you can use to not only schedule calls or have meetings with clients that aren't in your area, but you can use it to host webinars to large audiences. A really cool bonus? You can go live in Facebook right in Zoom so you can broadcast your webinars or talks to your audience on there with just one click. 

Mailchimp - Have you struggled with finding an email platform that works for you? Depending on your emailing needs, Mailchimp is FREE up to 2000 subscribers and offers clean templates and great stats so you can easily track open rates, click thrus and manage your lists. There are also amazing automated tools you can set up to save yourself time and a low monthly rate that won't break the bank. 

Ian Manning: How to Stay Healthy & Productive at Work

Many of us spend most of our day sitting at our desks. While that may be great for our businesses, it's not necessarily good for the body. Today we've brought in Physical Therapist and pain reducing junkie, Ian Manning of Orthocore PT, to give all of us some advice on how to stay healthy, happy, and productive, throughout our work day.

We all want to be successful in life, and in our jobs. No matter what your measurement of success may be; money, title, Instagram followers, etc…there is one thing that can certainly get in the way of your work goals…PAIN! Pain can distract you when you are working, it can keep you from sleeping, and it can lead to hours of lost time. So how do you make sure you stay pain free, focused at work, and how can you make sure you are moving well and keeping your body healthy? 

Let's start with what you are using to fuel your body. How is your water consumption? Most people who I talk to say,  “yeah, I drink tons of water.” Most people (even those that drink a “ton”) don’t drink enough. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water in a day. Proper hydration keeps you focused throughout the day. Our brain is suspended in fluid. If you are dehydrated you can easily lose focus and make mental mistakes that will affect your job. 

What qualifies as “good movement?” If you can touch your toes (while keeping your knees straight), squat down, go up/down a couple flights of stairs, run a mile, or walk 3, you move fairly well. If any, or all, of those sound like something that would put you in the hospital…it's time to get serious about improving your fitness. Not only will focusing on your strength and flexibility prevent injuries, it will improve your productivity at work. 

So what do you do if you can’t do any, or all, of those things listed above? Let's start with flexibility. Can’t touch your toes? Here is my favorite way to improve your hamstring flexibility. Try doing 10 repetitions of this hamstring exercise, on each leg, once a day. I can guarantee that in a month you will be on your way to touching those little piggies once again!

How about squatting down? Think of how many times you sit and stand in a day. If you can’t do it properly you are just asking for a problem down the road. Let's start with proper form. When you sit down your shoulders should be over the middle of your feet with your trunk upright and your hands out in front of you. Start with performing 10 squats, twice a day, going as low as you can whilekeeping the proper form. As that gets easier, either add more repetitions or more sets. 

Lastly, let's talk about cardiovascular health. This is one of the easiest things to improve. You just need to commit to making it a part of your day. Simple solutions include going for a walk at lunch. Or, if you have a set of stairs in your house, every time you use them go up/down one more time than you need to. The best thing to do is get a buddy to help keep you accountable. Pick someone who will keep you honest and motivate you when you don’t want to do anything. Once you make it a part of your routine it will be easy. Your brain and your heart will thank you. 

Improving your health and fitness is guaranteed to increase your energy levels, make you more alert, and increase your focus. So put down that 4th cup of coffee, work on your body, and enjoy the new found success that follows!

Ian Manning graduated with his Masters degree in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University in 2004. Ian has always worked with orthopedic based injuries, starting in school with his co-op/clinical rotations then leading into his professional career as a PT. He is constantly working to continue his education through course work and staying current with research. Ian is certified through the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) to treat golf related injuries and to improve golf performance. Please visit our Golf Performance and Rehabilitation section for more information.

ORTHOCORE PROVIDES RESEARCH BASED PHYSICAL THERAPY FOR ORTHOPEDIC AND SPORTS RELATED INJURIES

At OrthoCore Physical Therapy we will provide you with quality rehabilitation that focuses on your personal goals. We use a mixture of research supported techniques to decrease your pain, increase your strength/flexibility, and restore your functional movement. Our staff strives to educate our patients about their rehabilitation process and help them get back to their target goals and objectives.

Though we are based out of North Kingstown, although we treat patients from the greater Providence area including East Greenwich, South Kingstown, Warwick, Narragansett, Newport, Jamestown, Cranston, Westerly, and other surrounding towns.

Our Favorite Business Beach Reads (That Aren't Lame)

A couple times per year we get an inkling for a good book. Especially when the warm weather rolls around, we start looking for something to give us a break from the day to day drudge. Something to inspire us. And something that makes us want to push a little bit harder, or work just a little bit more. But, also, not too lame and "self helpy", as nothing is sure to turn us off faster than "Chicken Soup for the Business Owner's Soul"...

As the summer weather is around the corner, today we’re bringing you some of our favorite business beach reads. Because while we all love to zone out with a trashy magazine, sometimes even down time has to be productive. And as a small business owner or entrepreneur, you know that just because the weather warms up, that doesn't mean your free time magically expands (does this mean we don't get summer Fridays?!). But while they may still be business focused, we may have forgotten to mention, that everything on this list will not only inspire you, but entertain you as well. No guilty "down time" here!

So whether you’ve grabbed a day by the beach, or have a couple of minutes before hopping into bed, check out our list of our current favorite reads, sure to get you excited to work the summer away. Ok, maybe “excited” was a little too much…

1. "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living the Good Life" by Mark Manson. Inspired by a blog post that went viral, this read is not for those easily offended by the f-word. If you’re like us, and this word is a part of your daily vocabulary, then we urge you to dive head first into it. Hysterically funny, while offering up some sage advice, this book isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Despite the dismissive title, the focus of the book centers around the idea of learning what is really worth focusing on (and what isn’t worth giving a f*ck about). By letting go of things that aren’t worth your time and energy (like adversity, people who suck your energy, or what other people think about you) you open up the space to actually be productive and happy. Oh, and keep an eye out for everybody’s least favorite superhero, Disappointment Panda, who tells you the cold hard truths about yourself, whether or not you want to hear it.

Oh, and bonus with this one? Subscribe to Mark's blog for monthly inspiration told in his own, unique style.

2. "Get Over Your Damn Self: The No-BS Blueprint to Building a Life-Changing Business" by Romi Neustadt. Are you catching a theme here? Romi, like our previous author, uses humor and a no-BS style to bring you a full start to finish blueprint to rocking your business. While you don't have to be a network marketer to enjoy the tips, it does focus mainly to how to build a team and push your way to the top (without feeling sorry about it). If you're ready to stop making excuses and start moving forward in your business, Romi gives you a literal step-by-step guide on what changes you need make, and how you can make them. If you have any fears or anxiety keeping you from moving forward in your business, this book is sure to kick them in and give you the pep talk you need to "get over your damn self".

3. "#GIRLBOSS" by Sophia Amoruso.  #GIRLBOSS is written by one of our most favorite "girl bosses", Sophia Amoruso, who is the former Founder and CEO for "Nasty Gal", a $100+ Million dollar fashion retailer. By telling her own journey from dumpster diver to corporate butt kicker, this book is less "self help" and more subtle inspiration. Sometimes hearing about someone else's windy and long journey to the top is just what we need to refocus our own perspective on what amazing things we've accomplished already. While Sophis isn't your traditional "superhero", she offers a fresh perspective on succeeding, failing, and continuing to pick yourself up again until you've reached where you want to be.

Making The Most of Your "Downtime"

We've all had those days. In fact, we're having one of those days today. There's about 12 inches of snow making it's way down all day, client meetings are cancelled, and we're pretty much caught up on work. It's a wonderful feeling to have things crossed off your To-Do List. Wonderful that is, until the guilt starts creeping in. If you're anything like us, you don't do "downtime" well. While you may be dreaming of cuddling under a blanket and mindlessly binging on Netflix, when it comes to actually doing it, you find it hard to shut your working brain off. And now it's a snowy Tuesday, and while you probably deserve a day off, you're finding it hard to get past that "I should be doing something" feeling.

Well, we're here to tell you it's ok. It's ok to take a little downtime every once and while, and it's also ok to want to make the most of it. We've got a list here for you of some of our favorite ways to take it easy, all while keeping your brain churning and your business growing.

1. Review relevant publications. Take some time to review the newest trends that are happening in your business, or better yet how to market your business. You may learn a new way to advertise, how to better optimize your current outlets, how markets are shifting, or how other businesses, like yours, are succeeding. Some of our favorites (for our industry of course)? SmartBrief - An awesome collection of business, marketing and advertising news focusing on newest and upcoming trends. Advertising Age - Check out what some of the largest companies and agencies are doing and brainstorm about how you can use similar strategies in your own business. Business Insider - After checking out a few of the entertaining op ed's, we head on over to the Advertising and Media sections to get some of the insider information on what's happening in the industry.

2. Get your learn on. Have you jumped onto the online class trend yet? If not, you're missing out on one of the best ways to learn some best practices, new marketing techniques, insider secrets and ways to inspire growth. Learn from some of the best in their business and learn the same tips and tricks they've used to grow their businesses to become major players in the market. Amy Porterfield - A former business consultant, she's completely transitioned her business into online training ranging from webinars to social media marketing. Melanie Duncan - The Pinterest queen, Melanie Duncan teaches you how to kick butt in one of the fastest revenue driving platforms on the market. Marie Forleo - The founder of B-School, Marie Forleo can help you get past any negativity or doubt that can come creeping in when you're not looking. Courtney Foster-Donahue - A little quirky, Courtney breaks down the always illusive Facebook, and how to actually create Facebook ads that work. Hub Digital - Who can forget your favorite crew from Hub Digital? With classes ranging from prepping your digital content, to blogging, to getting your website to the first page in search (that's right! Exciting stuff coming soon!) we're sharing all our best secrets that we use to propel our small business clients.

3. Plug into a Podcast. Grab your headphones and listen to some of your fav's without having to read through lengthy blogs. Better yet? Jump on a treadmill, pick up your duster, or apply a your favorite face mask, and you can now multitask growing your business while getting a little quality "you" time. Amy Porterfield - She's back, and bringing in some of her favorite friends sharing their top insider secrets. Gary Vaynerchuk - If you're not offended by swearing, Gary Vee gets real about all things social media, entrepreneurship and business best practices. The Fizzle Show - who says growing your business has to be so serious? The Fizzle Show hilariously takes on entrepreneurship and focuses on how to stay creative.

Kristin MacRae: 8 Tips to Organize Your Business
8 tips to organizing your small business in Rhode Island.

Whether you’re starting a home based business, a start-up, or you’re already established, you need to read this article.  If you’re disorganized, you’re going to create more work for yourself and you aren’t going to work at your fullest potential.  In order to maintain organization in your office, you’ll need to have systems in place for processing day to day functions.  

Here are 8 systems you’ll need:  

Process your mail. Many people have difficulty with paper management. Most have difficulty setting up and following through with a system.  I can’t stress this enough: Process your mail every day.  As soon as you touch it, either file it, attach to your to- do list to take care of during the week, shred it or handle it right away. It will be easier to take 5 minutes and tackle it when it arrives than to spend hours on it at the end of the month.

Process your email.  Create categorized folders. Have a process to handle an email as soon as you open it. Treat it just as you would treat your physical mail. Decide whether to send it to a folder, trash it, act on it, or print it and attach it to your to-do list. 

Work with a to-do list. Keep a daily to-do list. Make a to-do list every night before you leave work. You’ll know exactly what you need to do when you arrive to work the next day. This process will keep you on track with your day. Clear the mental clutter by getting things out of your head and onto paper. The less clutter you’re carrying around in your mind, the better. 

Filing systems.  Without filings systems, piles will form and chaos will ensue. If you need to locate an important paper, you should be able to locate it in less than 10 seconds. Keep files that you utilize on a daily basis close to you. Files that you use less frequently, you can keep in another area of the office. I’ve seen many important business deals that fell through, found significant sums of money and very important documents in piles of papers on desks because business owners didn’t have filing systems in place. 

Keep track of your bills. If you’re receiving bills through the mail, create a system where the bills aren’t lying around on your desk buried under papers. Incorporate due dates into your calendar to remind you to pay and file immediately after you pay them. 

Business cards. Every business owner I work with has issues with business cards.  You must develop a system to file your business cards. Whether it is through electronics or good old rolodex, or a binder with clear card inserts, you must have a system. Be realistic, how often do you refer to them? 

Workspace.  Have a place for everything at your desk. Only keep items you use on a daily basis on your desk top.  Have an organized pile that you need to work on the next day with your to-do list on top of the pile. Try to avoid having a corkboard at your desk with too much information pinned to it. Less is more. Utilize drawer organizers and organizing supplies to keep you organized. 

Time management.  Be as efficient and productive as you can be. If you’re a disorganized person, you have to get organized in order to have great time management skills. Take a look at your physical space, get organized and then you’ll realize that your time management skills may fall into place. Look at the way you function. I’m always trying to find an easier way to do something. How long does it take you to complete a task? Can you take it from 8 steps to 4?

Just because your fellow business owners have a smooth system that works for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Evaluate how you function and create a system that works for you. The more complicated the system, the more likely it is to failure. Keep the system simple and streamlined. Many offices I work with have made attempts at getting organized, but the systems have failed and a new attempt at another system was never made. Once you create a system, re-visit the system in a couple of months and tweak what isn’t working to make it work better for you.

Kristin M. MacRae, Organizing & Efficiency Expert, Owner, Organizing In RI, LLC

Stop Waiting For The New Year!
Why Hub Digital thinks you don't have to wait until a new year to reinvent your small business.

We can be so guilty of this. When it comes to starting any big project, committing to change, or beginning something new, we push it off for a date that "feels" right. It's never "right now" but rather "the first of the month," "the first of the year," or "on Monday." Call it OCD or just simple procrastination, but whether it's launching a new aspect of our own business business or starting a new diet, there's always a better day to do it than today.

This time of year, it's something we run into constantly with small business owners. With the mad dash to finalize current projects, boost Q4 sales or simply "make it" through the holiday season, often times new marketing campaigns get pushed to the back burner. We often have clients ask us to get back to them in the New Year when some more time opens up.

Here's the rub with that decision. Launching a new marketing plan takes time to ramp up (you're looking at a minimum of 1-3 months depending on how involved it is). It takes time to create social profiles (if you don't have them already), edit current profiles (if you already do), begin creating and populating content, beginning SEO growth strategies, split testing different messaging, and curating images and videos. By waiting until January to start the discussion, you've already put yourself at a disadvantage. Now most of your marketing initiatives won't even be going live to market until well into 2nd Quarter. 

On top of that, you may be like us. You might push EVERYTHING off until that all important starting date! Not only are you now supposed to tackle your marketing strategy on Jan 1, but you may also be putting off an overhaul of your Quickbooks, employee policies, store/office redesign or a new product launch. I don't know about you but that seems like an awful lot to handle all at one time. And often times, when you've stacked too much on your plate, what's the first thing to be pushed aside until later? Your marketing! Something so essential to selling your products or services and selling your business continually gets pushed to the backburner and before you know it, another year has gone by without a solid plan.

So here's our advice. Put aside at least 1 hour a week in Q4 to focus on your 2017 marketing strategy. Plan out your blog calendar for the year, gather some social media content ideas, and set up those new social, email or software accounts you've always wanted to jump into. Your 2017 self with thank you when you go through that list of To Do's at the beginning of the year and this has already been checked off.