Kinesiologist Gains International Spotlight on Physioguru.com

Marking my tenth year as a Kinesiologist came with being interviewed for the Spotlight section of Physioguru.com. It is an unexpected honour to be recognized for my innovative approach to active rehabilitation, my efforts as an entrepreneur to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and chronic medical conditions through exercise and lifestyle interventions, and my leadership in the field of rehabilitation.

Physioguru.com is a comprehensive resource for Physiotherapists around the globe aimed at enhancing their clinical practices. Each month it highlights one practitioner. It is nice as a Kinesiologist to be recognised and appreciated as part of the worldwide rehabilitation team.
Read the entire interview. Thank you Devdeep.

Seeking the Peak: Learning to Lead the Climb

Learning to lead the climb to the peak is forcing me to grow as my business grows. We just hired two Junior Kinesiologists (1st and 4th-year students) and one who recently graduated. Brielle and Nicola started their first week at Lifemoves by standing at our Move for Health Day table.

This was a quick, reactive opportunity on my part to introduce them to the gym, members and our clients while celebrating a World Health Organization initiative. The timing was actually very good. Even though putting the event together was a bit hurried, it forced me to learn to delegate and trust that the tasks I give others would get done (not easy for an only child). We now have a base for Move for Health Day in the future.
I am not sure if I was looking for, or received, as much direction when I first started working for Fitness World in 2000. I believe I was told to do a job and I figured it out mostly by myself. I succeeded despite a lack of leadership from my immediate managers. Perhaps after the first couple of weeks, and with the proper direction, our new employees will figure out how things run and become more independent while taking more initiative.
These proteges are young, willing to learn and open to me leading them. At the moment they ask for direction. What I need to do is unlock the talent that lies within them and show them the way in a supportive manner that does not involve too much hand holding.
I don’t know the exact path we will take to reach where I want to grow my business, but I do know our ultimate destination. I am learning that when I am asked a question, I need to be more confident about the next step and answer, even if it means deferring and doing more research. I will do whatever I know how to do to help my team be successful. For me this means that they have a sustainable client load and are engaged on a day-to-day basis in areas they are passionate about.
I am confident that Nicola and Brielle will be successful and I am looking forward to Leah joining us in mid-June. There is a difference between management and leadership. With a vision, I know I am capable of leading my team of Kinesologists on the climb towards fantastic opportunities.

Seeking the Peak: Growing Your Business While Maintaining Fitness

I am finding that growing my business while maintaining my fitness and training for Seek the Peak is the toughest thing I have done in a long time. May brings spring flowers and university students looking for work after final exams.

In April, I had several applicants seek employment as Kinesiologists at Lifemoves. This is exactly what I want – to be an employer who is sought, not one who is constantly having to advertise. While trying to interview our applicants and determine whether or not we wanted to add them to our team, I was still managing a client load of 140 sessions in April.
This meant that some of my time that had been dedicated to fitness training was taken up by business development and team building, as were my weekends and evenings. At first, I was worried about not getting enough training in. However, I have become comfortable with the fact that I have to figure out the 20% that will get me 80% of the results in my training.
As a strength and conditioning coach, I know that if I am training three times per week, I can still achieve my goal of finishing Seek the Peek (though, maybe not as fast as I want). Besides, my “A” goal this year is the Grouse Mountain Run in September. As an entrepreneur, I know that the past three weeks, and perhaps the next two or three, will be very busy as I get three new Kinesiologists and one part-time administrator integrated and orientated. I am comfortable knowing that the guidance they need will be temporary, and I will be able to get back to 5-6 days per week of more intense training soon.
This short term investment in our new team members will pay big dividends in the next 3-6 months. Even though there is a lot to be done in this next phase of Lifemoves, I am very calm and very focused. Sixteen kilometers uphill is going to be a challenge; my first step back to my program was to run 10 kms in 59 minutes. There are six weeks left of training and two weeks to taper before Seek the Peak 2010. Tomorrow, even with our Move for Health Day event, I will complete my strength training program.
When your life moves and suddenly your schedule or the demands on you change, remember to be a little flexible with how you manage your fitness and health. To reduce stress, find creative ways to fit it in. Here is a great article written by my friend and fellow Kinesiologist, Nicole Yamanaka, for entrepreneurial moms (and dads too): Fitting Fitness in With Kids.
How do you keep on track with your fitness despite the constant demands of being an entrepreneur?

Being OK with Sold Out

Today I had to tell someone there would be a two-week wait for an assessment because her limited time choices were not available. In the past, instead of holding my ground and sticking to my booking schedule, which does have other openings, I would have extended my day into the evening just to accommodate her. She decided to think about the assessment further before committing to a time that was on her day off. As a service professional and entrepreneur, I am learning to be okay with, “Sold Out”. As entrepreneurs we are in control of our own schedules and energy levels; this control is one reason I started my own business.
Health professionals have this deep desire to help everyone. Each time I speak with a potential new client, I feel empathy for their pain and feel their sense of urgency to reduce the amount of pain they are in and improve their functional capacity. However, what good am I to anyone if I myself am physically or mentally ill, or miserable and worn out?
I am still learning how to monitor my energy and the demands for my time. I have gone through cycles of being highly accommodating by booking clients during my own exercise times, as well as booking sessions into the late evening, just because I felt these clients “needed me,” to regaining a sense of balance and happiness that best suits me, so I give my peak performance during each session.

Part of managing my schedule and energy has been being clear with what time of day I am best at activities that require creativity versus those requiring detail, mathematics or logic. I have also learned how many sessions I can handle in a row, day or week. This means being okay with being “Sold Out”, telling people that I am booking for next week and keeping true to my own needs to maintain my physical, mental and emotional well being.
Being “Sold Out” or having a waiting list is something to be proud of, not something to mope about. It is a sign that you are doing something right, that you found a niche that needs to be filled and that you are in high demand. If you want to connect with and affect more people, try leveraging your time and expertise a little differently, such as hiring an assistant to pass on your knowledge to or write an e-book. Maybe you could teach a course/webinar or do group sessions. After all, there are only 24 hours in the day.
By looking at your schedule, booking time for yourself into each day and then placing everything else around you, you will be able to maintain your own standards, passion for your business and prevent burn-out. Be okay with Sold Out.

Shift Your Thinking: Grow Your Business By Getting to Know Who Sits in Front of You

“Who sits in front of you?” asked Dr. Edward Crispin, a colleague of my grandfather’s and a family friend. I recently met Dr. Crispin, a family physician who shared some basic health care philosophies with me.
Dr Crispin’s words made me think: Who are our clients, patients and customers? Are they really ours? When did they stop being people and how did they become “ours”? They are people with lives lived, with families, with stories to tell and with experiences to share. If we listen, we will learn from each other.
We are not here to close the deal, or make the sale. Payment is a way in which others express their gratitude for their education and for being taken care of in the health and fitness industry. Money is also used in exchange for goods and services of equal perceived value.

During my 10 years of being a health and fitness professional, I have always focused on taking care of others, whether they are clients, members or the staff I lead. I strongly believe that keeping focused on taking care of others and developing relationships with people have enabled me to become successful, both financially and professionally.
Recently two former clients who are sisters brought their aging mother in to see if I could help her sustain her independence and quality of life. Their love and caring for their mother is what touched me and I am honoured. In another instance, a client who I helped educate on health and fitness for nearly eight years and who is still maintaining this lifestyle, referred his friend to me.

Shift your thinking and get to know who sits in front of you. When you get to know them, your business will flourish. You will also learn as much from them as they will learn from you. This conversation re-energized me and will shift some of Lifemoves’ metrics of success, as well as how I measure my own. I am looking forward to keeping in touch with Dr. Crispin.
Please share with us how will you make a positive difference in someone’s life each day. How will you connect with them on a deep, personal level today? Who sits in front of you?

Grow Your Business by Becoming Its Architect

I have now been a Kinesiologist for 10 years. Most of that time has been working for others and solely focused on my own success. As a business owner and entrepreneur it is now time to figure out what I do on a regular basis that keeps in me in high demand, why I am respected by my peers and well regarded by my loyal clients.

Understanding what processes I have, how I deliver and where I am positioned will enable me to duplicate this and find others with similar skill sets who can succeed within my business. As a leader I strongly believe coaching our employees enhances our business.
It seems as though not many small businesses have their business processes documented. Lifemoves certainly did not. In 2009, I figured out that I needed to document all our processes so that we can effectively deliver the “Lifemoves Experience” which is our brand. We want every interaction anyone has with us to deliver a consistent feeling.
How we grow from two Kinesiologists to multiple locations without duplicating myself and keeping me as the creative entrepreneur is through business process management. I have started to document how I deliver my Kinesiology services using Lombardi Blueprint.
Blueprint is an effective and easy way to literally create a blueprint for your business, which you can communicate to stakeholders. At the moment I am not concerned with how I want my business to be, but rather how it is. We are focused on documenting the “As-Is” flow diagrams.
In the fitness industry it is widely known that members stay longer if they are involved in other services such as group exercise classes or personal training. We are including our clients, team members and others who are touched by our processes to fully understand how they perceive us and what their interactions are like.
This is a long-term endeavour, but intuitively I know it will have long-term payoffs. We will be able to implement systems that can be duplicated in other locations, document problems as well as make suggestions for improvement. This will remove a big well that stands between us and massive growth.
I encourage all business owners to take a look at Lombardi Blueprint and become an architect of your own business.