Friday, September 30, 2011

I Hate Working Out

My daily habit, like many of you, is to visit the gym at least once a day.  We all have our favorite routines, songs to motivate us, shoes and other equipment that help keep our bodies fit.

Featured image courtesy of Caleb Phillips licensed via Creative Commons.

But, I'm not going to lie to you that some days, it's really hard for me to tie those laces up and hit the elliptical.  And today was no different.  I've had a stiff neck the past few days and I was dying to use that as an excuse to not go...  But, then I remembered the awesome meal I had on Wednesday with S. and S. (hi!) and also on Thursday with Amir so off I went to face the music.

As I was plodding away and watching the Today show it occurred to me that this very effort, as unwanted as it was, was the key to making all other efforts possible.  Though it is, at its best, a repetitive and iterative (not redundant) experience, it is a must do to be in it for the long haul.  And a repetitive and iterative process is required for business, too.

Yeah, it hurts sometimes.
Anytime you try a next exercise, you'll likely "feel it" the next day because you've worked something that normally doesn't get worked.  It does get easier, though.  So too with our business lives, we've got to stretch our boundaries with ourselves, our brands, our customers or our products to see how we can improve our business conditions.

You're not alone.
I work out with my sister on Saturdays and it's great bonding time for us.  That sense of camaraderie should be infused within our work teams, as well.  As I mentioned in my last post as well as many others, the level of employee engagement can be correlated to level of customer experience.  Why wouldn't we want to work together for the greater good?

We need a north star, sometimes.
So, I should mention that my sister and I work out with a trainer on these Saturday mornings.  Sometimes we have to look to others to see what we can't see for ourselves.  This is why reading other blogs, commenting, participating in tweetchats, going to conferences or whatever your favorite way is of learning new things is so critical.  We can't afford to sit in our own echo chambers 24-7.

It's not rocket science.
You don't always need complex expensive equipment at the gym.  A ball, a band and some basic weights can do the trick.  It's the same in business.  There's nothing complex in checking in with your customers, asking if we are making them happy and finding out if there are new or different things in their business dynamics which impacts how we help them.  Ask good questions and put your thinking cap on.  Effective tools and - bonus - free!

Someone changes the channel.
Nothing irks me more than when someone changes the channel on the TV I'm watching without asking.  One man used to change it to Price is Right all the time.  This happens in business (late delivery of product, etc.) and you've got to protect your customers from any negative effects.  Take it in stride, learn from it and adapt.  It's about being quick on your feet.  It's not the situation but how you react to it that matters.

Make your heart go pitter pat.
Cardio is for boosting up your heart rate.  You want that to happen.  Similarly, you should demonstrate your passion for what you do and how you help others.  Let people see you sweat and let them see the time, effort and energy you put into your exquisite brand, product, service, etc.  Careful, though, showing passion is different from showing emotion.  You should never be emotional about business - guaranteed to result in some sort of error.

What would you add to this business exercise list?  Please share below and, if you've enjoyed this post, please share with others.

Parissa Behnia
Idea Chef

p.s.  This post was inspired by this originally published on

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