Entrepreneur Fitness

I’ve heard over and over from podcasts, watched countless videos and read numerous articles that emphasised the correlation between physical training and one’s approach to professional work, whether you’re an entrepreneur or you’re employed by someone else. I paid my first gym membership at the age of 16 and I’ve been working out since then. I realised early on in life the importance of not just being active but being disciplined with it. While I would have altered my days at the gym to work with other life priorities like family, university and my job, it’s always something that’s a part of my life. My workout sessions happen even while I’m out of the gym. I usually visualise the weights I would like to push or lift before I go to the gym and before I perform the exercise. This concept of visualising, believing then actualising is important in many others areas of my life especially as an entrepreneur. Training at the gym also helps me to come out of my comfort zone. For the most part of this year, I trained in my comfort zone and this was evident in the way I approached other areas of my life. I know I’m not really pushing myself with weights when I don’t feel the need to train with my belt. I decided that’s going to change for 2015. I’ll be trying a new workout routine that will definitely take me out of my comfort zone, is based around consistently training heavier and one that I’ve never done before. These are qualities that I definitely need to develop in my professional life as an entrepreneur. I need to operate outside of my comfort zone a bit more to build my confidence, I need to push myself to do more or constantly challenge myself by increasing the intensity of the work I do and I definitely need to try new things. There are many correlations between physical fitness and professional readiness and building qualities in one area will definitely have a positive effect on the other area. I’ve also recently started listening to Brandon Epstein’s podcast Entrepreneur Fitness to help me master this aspect of my life.

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YoPro Global

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Yesterday at the Hyatt, I met up with Ty Richardson and Brett Torina from YoPro Global. YoPro Global is a social impact community for graduates and young professionals. The company’s objective is to provide an eco-system for graduating students and young professionals, where they have a forum to explore career interests, interact with experienced professionals, make friends and find resources that advance their careers. Ty, Brett and the rest of the YoPro Global Team have been busy hosting networking events in Trinidad since they’ve been here this year. I was given the contact information for Ty by a past UTT student, Jamila Banister. Ty and Brett are in the early stages of conceptualising the vision for the mobile application for YoPro Global but essentially it will be a mix of networking and gaming features. Ty and Brett are leaving Trinidad for the US next week to return to Trinidad early next year. During that time, I will be working on some screen mock ups for the application based on what was discussed and hopefully we can take things further from there when they return. Based on what was discussed, I wish this was an application that was available right now. The features to be offered would be of great use to me in developing my skills as an up and coming entrepreneur. I love what YoPro Global is doing in Trinidad and around the world right now and I’m excited to see the impact the organisation will have on professional networking in Trinidad and Tobago for young professionals. With such emphasis being placed on developing young professionals and young entrepreneurs, I hope this will help to improve the way of business is conducted in Trinidad and Tobago and eventually have a positive impact on the quality of service given to customers by businesses here in this country.

Gold Medal Mind

Yesterday I listened to Episode 88 on The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes and Sports Psychologist and Author Jim Afremow, entitled “How to think, train and thrive like a champion”. This interview focused on the Champion’s mind and how athletes, entrepreneurs and everyday individuals can tap into the Champion’s mind and achieve that level of greatness. In the interview, I also discovered easy solutions for overcoming inner resistance and performance anxiety. In the interview, Jim spoke in detail about mental imagery/visualisation/actualisation, meditation and breathing. When he works with athletes, he gets them to visualise themselves doing the sport and achieving the desired outcome. It’s important to see yourself performing the act, feel yourself doing the act and do that as often as possible. Jim mentioned Mikaela Shiffrin when she won the olympic gold medal in skiing this year at the Sochi Olympics. She said at the Sochi press conference, “I’ve been here before in my head for sure, to everybody, this is my first Olympics. But to me it’s my thousandth”. This concept can be applied to entrepreneurs and everyday individuals when achieving goals. It’s good to also picture yourself dealing with all kinds of adversity and overcoming it, so that when it really happens, you’re more confident and you’re able to hand the situation.

Jim also conducted a breathing exercise with Lewis where he inhaled for a count of 5, held that breath for a count of 2 and exhaled for a count of 8. Jim mentioned that one thing he noticed with athletes is that they don’t exhale properly and I’ve actually heard this from a friend of mine in the US military who does a lot of deep sea diving. It’s important to exhale as much of that carbon dioxide out of your body. The key when feeling stressed or pressured is to take a deep breath then exhale a little longer. Jim also quoted a Chinese proverb which I quite love,  “If you know the art of breathing, you have the strength, courage and wisdom of ten tigers”. This podcast is definitely worth a listen and Jim’s book “The Champion’s Mind: How great athletes Think, Train and Thrive” will definitely be a read for me one day.

Some of Jim Afremow inspirational quotes from the podcast include “New levels bring new devils”, “The body wins when the mind refuses to give in”, “The key to dealing with injuries is to make rehab your new sport until you get your game back” and “No one is positive all the time. The key is to be vitally engaged in life””. Also remember, Champions do not leave the mental game to chance and circumstance.

Going after what you want

I’ve been at the National Insurance Board of Trinidad and Tobago (NIBTT) since May of this year and the project I’m currently working on, is not one I’m passionate about but I come to work and do what I can. Yesterday I made a phone call to June Marcano, Project Analyst who works directly with the Executive Manager for Information Technology at NIBTT. I enquired about the possibility of NIBTT producing mobile applications as my passion is mobile application development. Sometimes in life we’re placed in situations that may not suit us perfectly and it may be easy to walk away but I know I’m here at this organisation for a purpose and I need to figure that out. I know the current position I hold is not for me, so I need to exhaust all my options and see how best I can add value to the organisation before I make the final decision to leave. I should have a conversation with the Executive Manager before the end of the week to discuss the possibility of such a project and I hope it’s a venture the company is ready and willing to embark upon and one that I can contribute significantly towards.

All roads lead to http://nekellecelestine.com

Before the end of this week, this blog will be directed to http://nekellecelestine.com. The original intent for http://helpmelandthatjob.com has changed and so I think it would be most appropriate to use my personal URL for this blog’s content. There are plans for http://helpmelandthatjob.com which will be done on a phased basis over a period of about a year. Using http://nekellecelestine.com will allow me to be more free with my content and cover broader topic areas. I hope the general response from new content I will incorporate will be as well received as the content I currently post on http://helpmelandthatjob.com. At the moment, there is no content on http://nekellecelestine.com but that will soon change and I look forward to seeing how my plans will unfold.

Goodbye Miss

Yesterday after my last C++ class, I chatted with 3 of my students for a little more than an hour. It was really an enlightening conversation. Since I started lecturing in 2008, I noticed that most students form an opinion about my upbringing, the schools I would have attended and the area I live in, most times being completely wrong but interestingly assuming an improved version of the life I lived and currently live. This is all based on the way I interact with them, the way I dress and speak, my knowledge of the topic area I’m lecturing and in essence, the way I portray myself. Last night I spent some time with these students and we all shared details from our lives and our upbringing. We talked about so many things but it was important for me to share some of the things I learned in life. I sent them an email this morning thanking them for the little chat after class and wishing them all the best in their exams. I also took that opportunity to remind them of some of the things we discussed last night.

  • You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. (John Lee Dumas – Entrepreneur on Fire)
  • Everything in life is energy.
  • Anything you can think about you can bring about.
  • In life, you get every thing you want. Most people just don’t know how to want. They focus on the things they don’t want, which draws that thing closer to them.
  • Where attention goes, energy flows and things grow. Focus your attention on the things you want to see grow.
  • Form a mastermind group with individuals of like minds with a common goal.

Startup Weekend Trinidad and Tobago

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Yesterday was awesome. I attended the last day of Startup Weekend in Trinidad as a guest with my friend Ian Alleyne, who was one of the sponsors for the event and it was such an inspiring experience. The ideas presented by the teams were so innovative. In third place, was a group called Talk Down and their idea centered around providing a social media hotline for persons thinking about committing suicide or who have made attempts to take their lives, to talk to trained professionals about their situation. In second place was Peoples Holdings, a group focused on providing financial services at a higher interest on savings than the banks by focusing on investing in real estate. In first place was Smart Hook, a concept geared towards the oil and gas industry where an automated hooking system is used for lifting equipment. The current system in place uses human power and this has resulted in severe injuries and loss of life in some instances. At the end of the session, I took the opportunity to let the participants know how fortunate they were to have found such an event, as I walked this road alone for over a year and a half but now that I’ve found Startup Weekend, I’ll definitely be coming back. I also shared three valuable resources with all the aspiring entrepreneurs. I told them about John Lee Dumas and his Entrepreneur on Fire podcasts as well as his Quotes on Fire podcasts, these will definitely keep that entrepreneurial fire burning on a daily basis. I also told them about Lewis Howes, The School of Greatness. This guy is awesome and while his podcast format is different from Entrepreneur on Fire, it rocks just the same. Before the end of the night so many of them had already subscribed to all the podcasts. I would definitely be attending more of these events in Trinidad. As John Lee Dumas constantly reminds his listeners, “We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with”, so it’s very important that I spend my time with individuals who share my passions and some of my goals in life.