Locking in Wellness for 2023

Locking in Wellness for 2023

Happy New Year!

Although you can set clear goals at any time of the year, new year’s resolutions have a unique significance since you start with a tangible marker: a new calendar year! You can motivate yourself to succeed by telling yourself that you will accomplish your objectives before the end of the year.

Suddenly, the public gyms are crowded as fitness and establishing new healthy habits top the list of resolutions. Considering this, have you ever wondered why the gyms are less crowded in February? For starters, people may be wary of getting hurt or feeling fatigued, or they push themselves too hard at the beginning.

Even though most gyms offer sessions to introduce and help members become familiar with the various equipment and machines, people may injure themselves if they are inexperienced and not well-supervised. Additionally, it’s challenging enough to get started, but it can be discouraging when results don’t appear soon enough to meet expectations.

Even though you might be tempted to “throw in the towel” (pun intended!), we have some tips for you from a certified personal trainer!

Helpful advice from a qualified source.

Mandy Rust, personal trainer and the owner of Forge Fitness Studio, recently spoke with us about how to establish and keep your fitness resolutions.

Mandy suggests that one of the greatest mistakes many people make is trying to tackle too many bad habits at the same time. It becomes more challenging to keep up with them all. People are creatures of habit, and it usually takes at least 90 days to break a habit. We often feel like we’re “failing” if we don’t succeed in all our objectives right away, which may then sabotage the rest of our efforts.

The best approach to success is to work with someone who can help you achieve your goals. It can be a waste of time and energy to reach for objectives without establishing effective strategies first.

Accountability is key. Your chances of success are considerably increased when someone is holding you accountable. Next, think about planning your workouts into your day to increase the likelihood that they will happen. You might also consider forming a buddy system to hold each other accountable while exercising. And finally, remember to rejoice in minor victories because even the smallest actions can have a tremendous impact!

Meet Mandy.

Mandy began personal training 12 years ago and launched her mobile business, Build a Better U, ten years ago. Mandy would go to her client’s house and design workout sessions using the equipment her client had on hand.

Classes transferred to zoom during COVID-19. During the long weeks and months of the pandemic, Mandy decided to build Forge Fitness Studio, a small training facility. This brand-new gym is a hidden gem in south London’s Westminster neighbourhood. The studio is a semi-private facility with a maximum capacity of five people at one time.

A smaller studio offers several advantages. For example, the setup is ideal since it makes going to the gym more comfortable for those who may feel self-conscious (aka, “gymtimidation” or “gym anxiety.”) It is also convenient for people who wish to concentrate on their workouts without long waits for machines to become available. Finally, because there are fewer distractions overall, it’s beneficial for the trainers since they can be attentive to their clients as they work out.

Forge Fitness Studio offers the following features:

  • A multi-use cable system
  • Dip attachment
  • Leg press attachment
  • Pull up bars
  • Rogue squat rack
  • Powertec multi-gym (chest press, incline, decline and flat, shoulder press, abs crunch, lat. pull-down, hack squat, trap pull, decline sit up)
  • Battle ropes
  • Dumbbells 5-100lbs
  • 12 ft Climbing rope
  • Treadmill and rowing machine
  • Landmine
  • Other accessories

Mandy provides a blend of online, mobile, and studio sessions. The studio is currently accepting new members, and she has a few spots open for personal training clients. She also hopes to expand and is looking for trainers to use the facility for their training clients.

Over to you!

You’ve probably heard the phrase “New Year, New You” more than a few times now. But maybe this is the year you’re ready to take that step, and Mandy Rust would love to help!

Learn more about Forge Fitness Studio by checking it out on Facebook and Instagram.  You can also contact Mandy directly via private message through social media or by phone/text at 226-377-9268.

Here’s to a fantastic start to 2023 that will lead to you being a healthier, fitter, and more well-rounded individual!

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

When is it Time to Fire Your Client?

When is it Time to Fire Your Client?

“Breaking Up is Hard to Do.” – Neil Sedaka

As small business owners that provide services, it’s safe to say that clients are critical to our livelihood. We invest money in marketing, assess pricing to incorporate overhead, contingencies, labour, professional services, and taxes, and join networking groups to meet possible clients.

It’s always exciting to start a relationship with a new client. Relationships, like everything else in life, have expectations. No matter how clearly defined the policies, procedures, and contracts may be, those of us who provide services to others are frequently met with unrealistic expectations, demands, a lack of boundaries from clients who expect service 24/7, and an attitude that because they are paying for a service, they should be “the boss” of the business relationship.

As business service providers, we strive for collaborative relationships in which we partner with our clients and their team members to ensure that we are all heading in the same direction. Of course, we want each of our clients to be successful! But because we are all human, there are instances when a relationship fails to succeed in the way we had hoped for, and a breakup is unavoidable. But breaking up is hard to do, Mr. Sedaka. We agree.

It’s inevitable – as a business owner – for you to encounter clients who are more trouble than they are worth.

We all have had experience with a difficult client or two. They are the ones who constantly question the work you perform for them, instigate conflicts with you or your team, put pressure on you to complete unrealistic tasks, and refuse or forget to give you the information you require. When the relationship becomes tumultuous, they may discredit your work, blame you, and even refuse to pay in some situations.

When a customer becomes more of a headache than a financial benefit, it’s time to make the difficult decision to end the business relationship. The following are five indicators that it might be time to fire a client. If you notice three of them, it’s time to take Ray Charles’ advice to “Hit the Road Jack” to heart.

#1. The client’s behaviour is unprofessional.

Actions such as using foul language, spreading rumours or gossip about colleagues (yours or theirs), sharing private and confidential emails, and disregarding your boundaries (which may lead to an insulting invasion of your personal time!) is a huge red flag. Perhaps they routinely reach out to you through your personal social media profiles with inappropriate messages. This could lead to additional stress that seeps into family relationships or negatively influences people within your circle. In this situation, there is reason to be concerned about slander and defamation of character; however, lean in to your own reputation that you have already built with integrity and put an end to unacceptable conditions.

#2. When a client’s poor behaviour and unreasonable demands divert your attention away from your company’s goals and timetable, you may find yourself neglecting your good clients and staff.

The difficult client who constantly contacts you about their newest drama or overreacts to trivial concerns can easily steal too much of your time. This is especially true when they anticipate a quick response or your opinion, thus dragging you into their chaos. Remember that your company will be more successful in the long run if you nurture your relationships with your fantastic clientele and show thanks to your excellent staff and team members more frequently.

#3. Money, money, money. 

When a client refuses to pay an invoice for work completed and time spent, or when they decide to use it as a tool or form of leverage against something that has already occurred, it’s probably time to consider terminating them. You may choose to work harder to win their favour, beg them for payment, or suspend your services before taking the last resort of a collection agency. Neither action ensures that you will get paid, though. In the meantime, your cash flow is affected and trust within your business relationship has been broken. Perhaps the client consistently requires multiple reminders before they pay. This is also a time-wasting activity that contributes to the same negative results.

#4. The blame is getting out of control.

It is time to move on when the blame is always pointed at the service provider, and the client refuses to accept responsibility for misunderstandings, mishaps, or dropped balls within their team.

You may worry about the impending reality of lost revenue. It can be scary to say goodbye and part ways since there is a financial impact and the other person might turn hostile and spout vitriol in retaliation. A character assassination effort might be made. If you think about it, though, what is the actual price? Your tension, effort, and attention may be more expensive than you realize. When the time comes, sending a well-written letter or email of termination is the best way to go about it.

#5. Simply put, you catch yourself complaining about the client.

When is the right time?

  • When you feel unhappy.
  • When you don’t want to talk to them.
  • When you procrastinate doing their work because you don’t want to spark interaction.
  • When you see their email come into your inbox and you don’t want to read it.

When you reach this stage, it’s time to let them go.

Release the albatross! Think about the time you’ll get back and have available for clients who will interact professionally with you and value and respect your work.

Over to you

When you fire a problematic client, you have done the right thing for yourself and your business… no regrets! After the dust has settled, it’s a good idea to reflect on what went wrong while you were working with this client and consider what you can change to prevent it from happening again.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

Why Nonverbal Communication Matters in Today’s Digital World

Why Nonverbal Communication Matters in Today’s Digital World

Nonverbal communication is “the act of conveying information without the use of words.” It’s safe to say that nonverbal communication accounts for a large amount of our total communication. According to some researchers, the amount of nonverbal communication is four times that of verbal communication, with 80% of what we communicate through using our actions and gestures versus just 20% being conveyed with the use of words. (Source: Verywell Mind). In other words (no pun intended!), we can say a lot without saying anything out loud.

Our body language and other nonverbal clues convey a wealth of information to people in our daily lives. These signals reveal important information about our moods, thoughts, and emotions. And now that many of our professional interactions take place in “virtual” conference rooms, our nonverbal cues frequently speak louder than our words more than ever. You may not have even realized that your messages were largely transmitted through nonverbal clues before most communication migrated online. As video chats become the norm, you must make a concerted effort to consider the message you are delivering with your on-screen body language and presence.

Unfortunately, many people approach their virtual conferences far too informally, behaving in ways they would never do in person. Eating during a virtual call may be perceived as unprofessional and unpleasant, especially if you are not muted. And what are you saying if you keep turning off your camera? It could make people wonder what you’re doing that you suddenly don’t want us to see. Either way, it’s quite distracting! And if you don’t turn the camera on in the first place, it might seem like you just rolled out of bed and look terrible. That seems disrespectful, and we would never get away with being disheveled in a face-to-face meeting.

Here are some ways to help you develop trust and enhance engagement in the digital world.

#1. Maintain steady eye contact.

Align your gaze to the same horizontal level as your camera. If necessary, place a book underneath your laptop. Looking into the camera is the same as making direct eye contact. Since eye motions can be easily noticed, avoid looking down, away, or reading other items on the screen.

#2. Sit back from the camera so that all your gestures are visible.

Few people want to engage with a “talking head.” Check to see if your top torso is in the center and if your hands frequently extend beyond the screen. If they do, move the camera back even more.

#3. Remember to smile and nod when appropriate.

On-screen, it’s much more difficult to convey focused attention, so reinforce a positive presence and that you’re listening by smiling and nodding, just like you would in person.

#4. Sit up straight while leaning your head slightly toward the camera.

Avoid slouching in your chair since it makes you appear lazy or bored. When people meet in person, they may lean in to show interest in the speaker. The position you take at a virtual meeting is an excellent method to demonstrate a similar level of enthusiasm.

#5. Keep your hands away from your face and hair.

It’s downright distracting to watch as someone constantly touches their face or flips their hair, whether in person or a virtual meeting. There is also a widespread belief that people who touch their faces when responding to questions are dishonest. While this may not always be the case, it is better to refrain from playing with your hair or touching your lips or nose while on camera.

#6. Mirror the other speakers’ nonverbal cues.

To connect and comprehend one another, we instinctively use the powerful skill of mirroring. Mirroring the other speaker’s posture, gestures, and even the tone of their voice allows us to connect with them, even on virtual calls.

#7. Keep your background simple and quiet.

A sloppy background can give the impression that you are disorganized or uncaring. Some people use virtual backgrounds, but they can make a meeting feel even more “cyber.” Instead, the on-screen experience will feel more authentic if you participate in a tidy space at home and preferably one that does not display your bed. And finally, choosing a distraction-free space without outside noise, children, or pets will also help make the meeting run more smoothly.

#8. Prepare for potential interruptions.

When you’re working from home, occasional disruptions are inevitable. Other interruptions might include someone knocking, ringing the doorbell, or receiving a phone call. When you’re not speaking, one solution is to put yourself on mute. If an interruption is due to a child or pet, it’s also acceptable to politely excuse yourself when necessary because most people appreciate the needs of young children or pets. Be as professional as possible if you must leave the meeting unexpectedly.

Over to you

Remember that the adage “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” applies just as much in the digital world as in the real world. Now that you understand you need more than just your words to effectively convey a message, remember these simple ways to improve your nonverbal communication skills and enhance your next virtual meeting.

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger

MYOB’s Local Gift Guide – 2022 Edition

MYOB’s Local Gift Guide – 2022 Edition

Last year we outlined our shop local gift guide. This year, we’re at it again! Christmas is fast approaching with less than a month to go, and we want to help you find the perfect gift locally! London is full of unique shops and businesses so let’s take a look at our 2022 edition!

For the One Who is Hard to Buy For:

Meet us at The Market at Western Fair District in the heart of Old East Village! They are open Saturday & Sunday mornings until early afternoon. You can find something for just about anyone here. There are locally made clothes, delicious food and treats, artisanal cheese for your holiday gathering, stunning art, and beautiful baby items – just to name a few. https://themarketwfd.com/

A Market (WFD) alumnus, and now located in Wortley Village, Locally Made Marketplace is the ultimate local-lover destination! This unique shop is bursting with quality merchandise, handmade from local vendors. A regular favourite gift shop stop for Emily and Karen, Locally Made Marketplace hosts over 65 local makers in their space! https://www.locallymademarketplace.ca/

Our friends at Mohr Living have an extensive selection of home décor and vintage accessories! Check out their website for a beautiful, unique gift. https://www.mohr-living.com/

For the Athletic One:

Forge Fitness Studio – owned and operated by Personal Trainer, Mandy Rust – offers a semi-private studio in south London for your athletic loved one to train. They offer flexible monthly session packages and high-end equipment! Check them out on Instagram – @forge.fitnessstudio – to find out how you can share the gift of fitness with your loved one!

Kaizen Personal Training embodies continuous small changes resulting in major improvements. Whether your friends and family want to try a drop-in class, or a 10-session package at this gym in Byron, Kaizen has options for you. https://kaizenpersonaltraining.com/

For the Food Lover:

There are so many fabulous restaurants in London and surrounding area. So, what do you get for your favourite foodie? Gift cards!

Mamasim offers both meal support and catering for holiday gatherings or any other occasion. Check out their Instagram for the most mouth-watering meal options! A Mamasim gift certificate is on some of our loved ones’ lists this year! https://mamasim.ca/

Artisan Bakery has the most delectable fresh-baked bread and pastries! Visit their café in Old East Village and stop in for a cup of tea or coffee. They also have a booth located in the Western Fair Market! Convenient shopping at two locations.

Willie’s Café is another Old East Village gem! They have recently renovated in their Somerville 630 home. Whether you’re stopping by for a sandwich, soup, or a treat – they’ve got you covered.

For the Little Ones:

Happy Wear located in Covent Garden Market offers handmade, colourful clothing for little ones as well as a variety of toys, books, and activities to suit a range of ages. Check them out at the market, or online. The child in your life will thank you! https://happywear.ca/

Evelynn by Nicole Snobelen has an exclusive selection of children’s clothing for the little one in your life! (And the not so little ones, too!) Check out her selection of original pieces, and thrifty flips! https://www.evelynnbns.ca/

For the Creative One:

Westmount Fiber Co. offers handcrafted wooden décor and gifts. Whether you have a great idea for a custom piece or are interested in shopping from their website – they’ve got something for everyone (including your kids!) https://www.westmountfiber.co

Good Apparel Co. is one of Emily’s personal favourite local businesses! They offer empowering and positive clothing and have a broad range of stickers and colouring pages for the creative in your life! https://www.goodapparel.ca/

For the One Who Could Use a Little Pampering:

One of Karen’s favourite jewelry designers is Lori Schmidke of Klas squared. Her designs are unique, high quality and expertly made. This gift will be sure to make the woman on your list feel joyful, feminine, and powerful. They even offer gift certificates! https://shop.klassquared.com/

Sandy Weatherhead is an RMT in nearby Komoka. She takes a human-centred approach to massage and is ready to relieve your loved one’s achy muscles. Check out her Facebook page for details on how to book.

Let your loved one relax with the gift of freshly cut and styled hair. Our friends at Christina’s Hair and Esthetics (soon to be Revel Studio!) are ready with gift cards! Check out their Facebook page for all the details!

For Your Furry Family Members:

Nook and Cranny Pet Supplies is a new shop in south London is a must-visit! They offer high quality food and toys as well as expert advice! You can find them on Facebook and Instagram or browse their products before you stop by – www.ncpet.ca

Shopping local is something that is near and dear to our hearts at MYOB. We strive to support the local businesses around us whenever possible. Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!

Do You Feel Appreciated?

Do You Feel Appreciated?

Despite the fact that they’re paid in another way, everybody has to really feel appreciated.” – Roger Staubach

In today’s workplace, many employees have one main requirement that’s higher on their lists than compensation; they want to be appreciated. They would like appreciation from their managers, supervisors, business owners, and perhaps even their customers.

What does it mean to feel appreciated at work?

It can be lonely at the top, and owners and management can occasionally feel worn out, fatigued, and overwhelmed. They also crave appreciation! It may be tough to show appreciation to others on your team if you do not feel respected as an owner, CEO, or manager. You want your employees to recognize the sacrifices you make to manage the business as you provide them with job security and flexible lifestyle options. At the same time, you hope your customers recognize and appreciate the excellent customer service they receive. It’s a vicious cycle.

In not-for-profit organizations for example, the front-line staff, especially the Executive Director, desire recognition. But the volunteer board members, who regularly put in excruciating hours, want the staff to recognize THEM. Sometimes, both sides end up feeling disregarded and misunderstood. What is supposed to be a win-win situation may end up being everything but.

Why is it important to make your people feel valued?

There may not be a one-size-fits-all strategy for ensuring that everyone (including the “boss”) feels valued; however, there are many benefits to feeling appreciated. Here are a few of them:

  • Feeling appreciated at work can help enhance productivity.
  • If you receive praise for your efforts, you will likely feel more productive in your position and be able to do more.
  • You will cultivate a sense of belonging, which boosts your mood as well as the morale of your company.
  • Feeling appreciated will help motivate you to achieve your own goals while boosting your confidence and that of your employees and customers.

How can managers help their staff feel appreciated?

Several years ago, Karen, the CEO of Mind Your Own Business, was on a “recognition team” at a previous job. As a gesture of gratitude to the workers, this team decided to bring donuts to work every Friday. She was surprised by the overwhelming number of folks who were offended because they were on a diet or couldn’t eat a donut for some other reason and felt excluded from the “appreciation.” Next, they tried including more people by ordering pizza for lunch. Once again, there was pushback; not everyone ate pizza, or they didn’t like the toppings, hated cheese, were lactose intolerant, or had scheduled that Friday off as a vacation day and missed “being appreciated.” It’s impossible to please everyone all the time. They eventually gave up, and the whole recognition team approach fizzled.

So, how can you make sure that your staff members feel valued and heard? Leaders and managers are both accountable for this. Giving employees meaningful experiences is a terrific place to start. Here are some ideas to consider:

#1. Create and manage a recognition program that is open to all staff.
Recognize your staff’s accomplishments and hard work to ensure they feel appreciated for their efforts. Begin by asking your people what kind of recognition they most want.

#2. Celebrate work achievements.
Celebrating professional development and career accomplishments is key. A new opportunity or achievement, such as a promotion or new skill development, or recognizing weekly wins, such as finishing a challenging project or getting a new client, are just a few of the many reasons to celebrate! These events will energize and motivate your people.

#3. Provide opportunities for learning, development, and growth.
Encourage your staff to stay and thrive inside your company. Allow them to learn new things and build new talents that will help them advance.

#4. Set aside time for your team.
Spending time with your people will help you build trust and connections with them. Seek to understand their ambitions and what they want to achieve in their jobs by getting to know them on a personal level. This will help them feel heard and respected as individuals.

#5. Show your appreciation by hosting company events.
Events are a great opportunity to show your people how much you appreciate them. Company events also allow staff to network, strengthen relationships, be recognized, and recognize others. Consider giving your team company swag as an additional way to show your appreciation.

#6. Keep a finger on the pulse of your organization.
Asking for feedback from your staff is a fantastic way to demonstrate that you value their thoughts and contributions, and it gives them a feeling of purpose, which builds a positive business culture. It is critical to provide a safe atmosphere for feedback, then acknowledge and act on it. Your approaches and tools should be consistent with your culture.

Over to you

As you can see, there are numerous advantages to having happy employees who feel appreciated and have a sense of belonging. Create significant moments that your people will never forget. Both your staff and the company will gain immensely in the long term!

Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger