Adventures of Lifemoves' Founder | Alfred Ball's Blog
Entrepreneur | Kinesiologist | Author | Presenter
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 has 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 pay-offs. We will be able implement systems that can be duplicated in other locations, document problems as well as 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.
Labels: BMP, Business Process Management, Entrepreneur, Growth
Excitement Building for Olympic Games Volunteer
In late November I invested a whole day in games time training for my volunteer role in Anti-Doping for 2010. I am very excited that I have been chosen to help make Biathlon, the sport I competed in for BC, a fair competition during the Olympics.
During registration we received a deck of playing cards marked Anti-Doping
. They are still in the wrapping, I don't think that will ever change. We started with an ice-breaker game to meet each other, we ended up with our our own cheering team. It started by each person challenging the individual sitting next to them to a Paper, Rock, Scissors
game, with the winner continuing on and the loser cheering on the winner in the next round. It didn't take long before I found myself as part of the final two. Which, thankfully was a best of three. The eventual winner, a Doctor from Calgary won the first round, I won the second round and she won last one. The championship was a small gold plastic cup with "Golden Cup" scrawled in permanent marker on the side (I will challenge her to a re-match when I see her again).
During the rest of the day we were shuffled from room to room for various different topics and for a well catered lunch. Some of the information was very general to our role in Anti-Doping, including role playing difficult situations, while others material covered was very venue specific.
I have my shift schedule for the Olympics and know when
I will be picking up my uniform, but have still to fully figure out transportation. One thing is for certain, transportation to Whistler is from BCIT, not far from where I live (phew). The organizers have been kind enough to leave us with at least one day between our long shifts to recuperate. VANOC is very good at ensuring that we are well prepared for our roles and that we will be supported at the venue.
As a former Biathlete, I am very excited to be assigned mainly to the Biathlon venue at Whistler Olympic Park. As an Anti-Doping Chaperone we get be on the field of play and interact with the athletes. These will be memories I will cherish for a long time.
Are you volunteering or hosting Volunteers? I want to hear from you, so leave your thoughts and share your experience below.
Labels: anti-doping, biathlon, Gratitude, olympics, volunteer
BCIT Mosthetics and Mosthetics Team Participates in Movember for Prostate Cancer
I decided to join a global movement that is bringing much needed attention to prostate cancer. I’m doing this by growing a Moustache this Movember, the month formerly known as November. My commitment is to grow a moustache all November and I am hoping that you will support my efforts by making a donation. The funds raised go directly to Prostate Cancer Canada.What many people don’t know is that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to afflict Canadian men with 25,500 diagnosed and 4,400 dying from the disease each year.Facts like these have convinced me I should get involved.
To make a donation, on behalf of our team and the men in your life, you can either:
• Write a cheque payable to ‘Prostate Cancer Canada’, referencing my Registration Number 402650 and mailing it to: Prostate Cancer Canada, 145 Front Street East, Ste. 306, Toronto, ON M5A 1E3, Canada.All donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Prostate Cancer Canada will use the money raised by Movember for the development of programs related to awareness, public education, advocacy, support of those affected, and research into the prevention, detection, treatment and cure of prostate cancer.For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having please go to http://ca.movemberfoundation.com/research-and-programs/
Labels: Fundraising, Movember, Prostate Cancer
Unveiling Business Excellence in North Vancouver
After several months of anticipating, October 29th, it was time now time to attend the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards held at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Each year they have a theme, this year was a masquerade.
Not knowing where I could get a mask, my girlfriend who is studying Prosthetics and Orthotics, who also enjoys creating things and who is very good at doing so, volunteered to make my mask for me. This mask was made to fit and a masterpiece I cherish.
All day Thursday I nervously waited for the evening's festivities to begin and the reception of my mask. I kept focused on each client during their session with breathing and mindfulness mantras. The pre-event started at 6:00 PM, but due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to get there until 6:45 PM, not long before dinner started.
Drink in hand I made my way to my table of ten, "Table 27." I made a very good connection with Dave, a father of one of the nominees. Throughout the gala we joked and predicted who would be the winner of each award. This was only to help me calm down. The awards were presented in alphabetical order with Best in Business and Business Person presented last. As a "Young Entrepreneur" finalist, I was one of the last to find out if I had won.
Each award was presented by the different sponsors who had the opportunity to speak about what it meant to them. The finalists were announced again by wonderfully done short-films produced by Capilano University Film Students.
This was a great project for the students and gave each finalist an opportunity to show case their business. Thank you John Morrison and Charlie Caanan for a well edited version of our one day of filming.
I sat on the edge of my seat, with my thank you speech in hand (we were asked to write one, just in case). Unfortunately, I was not the winner, however I would like congratulate Laurie of Carol's Costume's who said "Thank you, it is great to be young," after which the crowd erupted in laughter. It was clear that everyone was enjoying the evening, which ended by celebrating the top three short-films with generous montary awards and applaud.
Even though I did not win, I am grateful. It is an honour to be recognized among such outstanding business owners on the North Shore. Among many other things I am grateful for all the support I received starting Lifemoves I am grateful for our clients, I am grateful for having Sahba as an employee and I am grateful for being able to pursue my dreams.
I have be involved in the North Shore Chamber of Commerce for less than a year, but have been welcomed with open arms. Being a Young Entrepreneur I appreciate the family feeling and I look forward to getting to know everyone at future events. Thanks to the NVCC and Fairmont Vancouver Hotel Staff for hosting a lively event.
Labels: Awards, Events, Gala, Gratitude, Recognition
Getting Noticed in the Blogosphere
I am relatively new to the whole concept of blogging and it has been a long time since I created my own website using basic HTML, (1995). We usually have the superb team at Graphically Speaking
make additions/changes to our website. However, in effort to save my money and learn more about the subject I decided to venture out on my own.
One of the points of the three blogs on the lifemoves
website is for myself and my company to establish credibility. Secondly, it is to engage our readers and provide useful, relevant and information them.
Sure, we could write posts until we were sick of writing, however we need to find readers. So, I deligently went down to my local book store and purchased "Rough Guide to Blogging, The" by Jonathan Yang. Which is segmented into great little chapters about the ins and outs of blogging including a list of some of the top Blogs in various categories.
Two ways to get noticed and have people follow you - one is having an RSS feed and second is to be listed on blog directories. Sometimes I do things backwards. I created an account at Technorati, a huge blog directory and tried to claim my blogs without having the RSS feeds. Technorati gets you to put a post on the blog and in the RSS with a code to identify the post as yours.
After a couple of hours of mucking around with a desktop RSS Builder and Adobe Contribute to create the feeds and icons to the blogs I figured out a simpler solution. Using the feed builder at Ice Rocket
to create the feeds and editing the template HTML to add the icon, I was finally successful. With a little bit of trepidation I submitted our blogs to Technorati again. Eureka, it worked!
Now if you own a blog and aren't on Technorati
, do so today. There are all kinds of tools, widgets and blogs to help you get noticed. There are a few more steps, like adding a description, placing keywords and waiting for them to review our blogs. You can even automate the PING when there is an update. All things I still need to do using the easy instructions.
I look forward to more of our Kinesiologists
writing posts as our blogs and podcasts grow.
Labels: Blog, Directory, PING, Podcast, RSS
Confidence Empowers a PR 00:39:56 Grouse Grind on 33rd Birthday
I chose the University of Guelph for several reasons, including the Human Kinetics program's reputation, the Nordic Ski program and their Student Athletic Therapy program. In 1996, I was still competing as a member of the BC Biathlon Team while training to be on the Canadian Olymic Team.
While my peers trained in Canmore I toiled away in University completing my degree in 1999. While I balanced my commitments to the BC Biathlon Team, Gryphon Women's Ice Hockey Team (student athletic therapist) and the Gryphon Nordic Ski Team (competitor), my fellow competitors were gaining World Cup experience and getting faster.
Even though I didn't make it to the Olympics then, the Olympic torch stayed lit in the back of my mind for the past 13 years. I will be there as a Volunteer and a spectator when they come to Vancouver in February 2010. What a party and experience that will be.
After, nearly 10 years of deep reflection and self-learning I figured out why I didn't make it then. My coaches, my friends and my family certainly thought I had the talent, even I did; they also gave me the resources. What stood between myself and the Olympics? Confidence
In high school I was bullied so much that it destroyed my sense of self and my ego. Up to second year there were times when I was even suicidal. Bullying can destroy a person, but with the right support, time and reconstruction of self-belief systems it can be overcome.
Confidence was lacking while I was in University. Ten years later and after Anthony Robbins seminar - Unleash the Power Within, I have reconstructed my self-confidence and have tools when I end up using self-defeating mantras. I also know that I have very loving friends, family and co-workers.
With a deep rooted belief in myself, my abilities and my physical training knowledge ( as a Kinesiologist and an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) I set, what some of my colleagues thought was an unattainable goal of 35min Grouse Grind about 7 weeks ago.
Starting at 53 min I knew I had a long way to go, but I knew what my body was capable of doing. I want to be among the elite in Vancouver doing the Grouse Grind - to have the sense of accomplishment.
My goal was set - I had the talent, leadership (self), confidence, knowledge and plan. I shared what I wanted to do with my friends, my family and the world via Twitter and Facebook. I had the support of everyone I connected with, including Jean-Michel, who lent me his Speed Training parachutes (what a rush). The goal was public; now I was committed. I was unwavering in reaching for this. The first big hurdle was to see the:"39" by my 33rd Birthday, today - 39:56min!
When you do something different or are different, there some will try cut your tree down "tall poppy syndrome," and those who don't believe in you. Before others will believe in you, you must believe in yourself. Keep those roots strong and deep within yourself. Develop a strong core-belief system like a big round oak tree.
Keep learning and keep celebrating the small steps take you towards your goal. Make sure that your goal is something that you are deeply passionate about, something that connects to your values; something that you will not let go.
After each step, take a moment to re-evaluate, are you on the right path? When there is roadblock re-evaluate the path, not the goal. Maybe there is another way that you can reach it?
On the way home from each Grouse Grind and after each training session I was always reviewing with these two questions: "What did I do that helped me succeed?" and "What did I do today that prevented me from having greater success?"
Today I pulled everything together. My mental focus started yesterday. I knew to achieve a 39 min Grind I had to be prepared, but also I had to focus on the process. My attention was was on how fast to move my legs, what my target Heart Rate was, what line I was taking, how I was going to be, what mantras I was going to use during the way up; not on the time. When your focus is on the process, time takes care of itself (we can not stop it or speed it up).
During the summer I discovered by reading and implement Dr. Saul Miller's book "Why Teams Win," that Preparation + Talent + Leadership = Confidence = Success.
I put everything I had physically and mentally on the line today so that I could say at the top "I pushed has hard and as smartly as I could today!" and smile. Always smile; enjoy life for what it brings and what you bring to it.
If you are lacking confidence - start by doing small things that you are pretty sure you can succeed at, when you do, then try something a little more outside of your comfort zone. With each successive success you will gradually build more confidence.
I am confident that I can hit my target of 35 min Grouse Grind by the end of the season and be in the elite group by next year. This will only happen when I execute the plan.
Plan, execute the plan, review the plan, repeat.
This new confidence helps me show up better in my sessions with clients and during other business activities.
Alfred Ball - Grouse Grind Fanatic, New Yogi
The Difference Between Trying and Success
Over the years I have read many different organizational and motivational books and engaged several different Business Coaches aiming to become more effective and successful. Approximately 99% of the organization books and most of the coaching sessions have directed me to more methods, but never the pyschology of how to become more organized, more focused and more effective.
"Getting Things Done," by David Allen devels into the deeper aspects of how to capture, catagorize and review everything that needs to be done. Even though, I don't follow it 100% , nor all the time I really find that breaking things down into next action, projects and some-day items really helps me keep my mind clear (even during over-cast and foggy days in Vancouver). The method that you usue to do this is all up to you - paper, PDA, etc.
What tools do I use? I found SMEAD products to be the best for filing and caputring things in paper format; I prefer Outlook and my Blackberry for all those task lists and capturing thoughts Catagorize using tags that you comprehend; have as few or as many as you want.
Now, do you have anything that you are dreading to do? If it takes two mins do it, othrwise delegate or delete it. We have all heard physical activity makes the mind sharper, but as an entrepreneur do you stilll keep putting off your excersie time because "other stuff" keeps coming up? I find that there is always work related stuff that needs be done.
What is your emotional connection to your physical activity program? Are you really committed to it? Are you as passionate about it as your business? Is your self-talk around it positive or negative? Do you feel confident when you are engaged in the activity?
Why do some athletes/teams become champions and others just don't seem to make it? Dr. Saul Miller's book -"Why Teams Win" answers many of these questions. It also has several tools to develop your own mental fortitude to winning. Yes, you can win in an ethical way.
I recently found something I am committed at becoming the best in Vancouver at physically in my age group - the Grouse Grind. I will do what is nesscessary to win at this. I have the talent, I was a Nationally ranked by Biathlete for several years - but during that time I had low-self confidence, which I contribute to me not making it to the World Cup level (still going to the Olympics as a volunteer). As a Kinesiologist, I also have the knowledge to develop my own training program (I also know what my body is capable of, eg where my physical edge is). If you don't have the knowledge, seek the help of a well educated Kinesiologist or Personal Trainer.
My schedule changes on a daily basis, but I know that during my training per week I need to complete my intense intervals, plyometrics and the Grouse Grind. I am ready to push and feel the discomfort as I go to my physical limits. As an entreprenuer how do I manage my time around this? My training session is sacred, but the time during the day is flexible.
This weekend I was unable to go on my usual Friday, so I was going to go up the Grouse Grind® Sunday, but my meeting changed to Sunday. Saturday morning I went through my routine that I know makes me successful – stretching, hydration, positive talk, rehearsing the techniques and mantras I need to get sub 45 min. enjoyment and encouraging others on the way up. After an intense push to the top I finished in 44:32min, - 1:12min, top 54 of nearly 800 in my age group.
After two weeks of dedicated intense training, I am already feeling more grounded and I am getting things done. I have been fitter in my life when I was competing in Biathlon. Some may say I am crazy to think that I can hit the 35 min mark by Sept 20th when the BMO Grouse Mountain® run event is. Sven Winter and Maragret Benson, two athletes who Lifemoves sponsors know no boundaries; they have accomplished so much already. I also believe that the human body and spirit are capable of amazing things; we just have to try.
The difference between trying and success is a little more "UMPH!"
This confidence flows into business meetings, relationships and client sessions. Next steps are to use some of the questionnaires from Dr. Saul Miller’s "Why Teams Win: 9 Keys to Success in Business, Sport and Beyond" to gain insight into how I can develop strategies for myself, business and my Lifemoves Team to become winners more often and more capable of getting things done.
How are you going to add more “UMPH” to your day?
Follow me on twitter @AlfredCEBall, @lifemovesca, @getmoving4life