Get Down to Business

ithinkfit050The Executive Ten-Minute Workout

Everyone is so busy today that often times it is easy to skip our daily exercise.

Exercise is important for many reasons. Obviously our long term health depends upon it. Consider also, your presence in business and customer meetings. A fit looking healthy person will have an unmistakable edge over others who have not paid as much attention to this. You look better and you feel better about yourself. This can be a powerful advantage.


Marci Macke, Certified Personal Trainer is committed to and will lend her expertise to us from time to time. If you have a question for Marci, enter it here and we will get it to her. Marci is pictured at the top of this post performing the plank exercise.


Below is a quick exercise routine that you can do in your office. It will take you 10 minutes and will be more challenging than you think. Fit this in on the days you can’t make it to the gym to complete your normal exercise routine. You will see results in no time. Remember, your diet is as important or more so for hitting your target weight!


Here is the Routine:

5 exercises

Each done continually for 45 seconds

15 seconds of rest in-between exercises

2 sets

Download a stopwatch App to your phone to keep track of your time.

If you would like to challenge yourself a bit more, record your reps for each exercise in the first round and try to beat it during the second round!


Beginner Routine

Low plank – just as Marci is doing above

Squat to overhead arm raise – squat down keeping your weight back on your heals then raise up and raise your arms above your head.

Knee push-ups or wall push ups – while on your knees to push ups

Alternating reverse lunge w/ torso twist – lunge backward with alternating legs.

Elbow to opposite knee crunch – while on your back, crunch up and touch your elbows to the opposite knee. alternate elbows


Advanced Routine

Working plank – start in the push up position and lower yourself one arm at a time until you are in the position Marci is above and then raise back up one arm at a time until you are back in the push up position.

Squat jumps – squat down keeping your weight back on your heals and then jump up and repeat.

Push ups – typical push up.

Jumping reverse lunge w/ torso twist – jump up and land with one leg back in a reverse lunge. repeat with opposite leg.

Bicycle crunch – while on your back touch your elbows to the opposite knee repeatedly.


Enjoy your workout! 


Marci Mackie

Certified Personal Trainer


How about a little Rest and Relaxation!

Tell only your best friends!

Tell only your best friends!

Everyone knows that you need a little recharge time if you are going to excel in your business or career. I find that this downtime helps me clear my mind and consider new ideas or ventures.

This time of year also gets pretty cold for most of us. The Holidays are over and it may be a while before we can get outside and play some golf or work in the yard.

It’s time for a little FUN! Let’s go to South Beach, in Miami Beach Florida! February is a great time of year for this trip.

Below is an outline of how to best enjoy a long weekend in South Beach to recharge your batteries and come back to your business or career ready to knock‘em dead. Let’s plan on a Thursday – Monday trip.

I usually like to use Delta and connect through Atlanta. If you are starting somewhere in the middle of the Country or further East you can catch an early flight and get to the Beach by lunch time.

There are several hotel options I would suggest. Here are some of my favorites:

The W Hotel, 2201 Collins. 305-938-3000

The Ritz-Carlton, 1 Lincoln Road. 786-276-4000

Loews Miami Beach, 1601 Collins Ave. 1-888-822-9097

Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins. 305-538-2000

Fontainblue South Beach

Fontainbleau South Beach

Delano South Beach, 1685 Collins, 305-672-2000

I would choose the Loews, W Hotel or Delano because of their proximity to Ocean Drive, but they are all great places to stay. Fontainebleau is an incredible hotel but is quite a ways north. It is located on 44th street. Check them out on the Web.

I like to pick up a quick sandwich and hit the beach for a few hours after arriving in Miami. The sun sets early in winter so you may be able to stay out there until 5:00-5:30pm.

Prime Italian

Prime Italian

South Beach is known for its great restaurants and I could rattle off dozens that you would really enjoy. Let’s start with Prime Italian at 101 Ocean Drive. This is in a very lively location and they specialize in Italian dishes, steaks and seafood. Things happen late in South Beach so book your table for 8:30-9:00pm. After dinner, if you still have some energy on this first travel day; you can walk up Ocean Drive and duck into a variety of bars. Try The Bar at the Victor Hotel on 12th Street or walk out to the beach and watch the waves roll in.

Friday morning I recommend a quick stroll to The Front Porch Café on 15th and Ocean Drive. You can get there by using the paver walkway behind the hotels and they serve a great breakfast.

Daytime activities are plentiful in South Beach. Here is a list of a few fun things to do Friday, Saturday and Sunday:

Hang out on the beach and do lunch on Ocean Drive or try Nikki Beach on 1st and Ocean

Nikki Beach is known for their Sunday brunch.







Jet Ski or Parasail

Shop on Lincoln Road Mall

Rent a boat from Miami Beach Marina

Enjoy a scuba or snorkel trip to the world class reefs

Deep sea fish for Marlin, Sailfish and Mahi Mahi

Rent a Deco Bike. These are located all over Miami Beach. Rent from one Station and return it to any other one. Load the handy APP in your phone for ease of use.

Go to Bayside, have lunch and ride the Thriller Speed Boat

Jog or Walk up to the Fontainebleau on the paver walkway (about 25 blocks) and have lunch.

Enjoy the Spa at a variety of hotel properties. The Eden Roc is great.

Walk down to South Pointe Park (20 Blocks) and people watch and see the boats go by.


After a great day of enjoying South Beach on Friday I would head to the Fontainebleau lobby bar at about 7:30pm or so. This is a fun bar in a gorgeous hotel. Schedule dinner at Hakkasan for 9pm. This is an Asian restaurant designed to share the items ordered. They have locations in Miami Beach, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and London and the food and energy are outstanding.

Stay at this hotel property after dinner and hit the clubs. Liv or Arkadia are a lot of fun. Liv is the place to go dance and Arkadia is the place to go relax. They are both worth a visit.

Saturday night I recommend The Forge for a great wine bar and dinner if you are looking for a calmer more relaxing evening or Prime 112 for a high energy bustling and star crossed evening. Celebrities, Athletes and Politicians frequent Prime 112 regularly. Be ready to be seated 30-60 minutes after your reservation time. The food and craziness are unmatched in South Beach.

Smith and Wollensky's

Smith and Wollensky’s

For your last day in South Beach I would recommend visiting Smith and Wollensky’s outdoor bar on the water around 3pm for cocktails and people watching. The Cruise ships begin sailing around 4:30pm and will sail right past you. Grab dinner when you are ready. This will allow you to get back to your hotel earlier than normal so you can pack and get ready to head home in the morning.

You will love your time in South Beach and can come back time and time again and find more great restaurants and locations for fun nightlife.

Mastering Your People Skills

images (41)I believe that being good with people is the single most rewarding skill you can possess.

When my children were young and we were talking about what they should do for a living, I said there are many options but gravitate towards careers that require great people skills. They will pay the best and be the most rewarding.

Interacting with people is so simple but most of us are not very good at it. By applying the following skills you can increase your people skills and maximize your business and personal relationships.

People love to hear their name. Use your friends, colleagues and customers’ names when you are speaking with them. When in a group and relating a story don’t say “He was out in Vegas last week too” while talking to your friend Jim and Bill and referring to Bill. Say “Bill was out in Vegas last week too” This may sound like a minor item, but it’s powerful. You are being so much more personable using Bill’s name and not the generic He.Try it this week.

Eye Contact is Paramount.Most people are uncomfortable looking others in the eye, especially for an extended period of time. Good eye contact endears others to you and allows them to “connect” with you. There is only one way to get rid of this uncomfortable feeling. You have to do it over and over again. After you practice this long enough the uncomfortable feeling will go away. Start doing this when you are at the Mall or a sporting event. Don’t look away until the other guy or girl does. It helps if you have a friendly look on your face of course. People will remember you and notice you if you can deliver great eye contact.

Get others talking about themselves. There is no better way to make a new friend then to ask them questions about their children, work, hobbies and interests. The trick is you actually have to be interested in them. Fake attention here will rarely work. How many people do you know that don’t even listen to others conversations? They sit there and wait for an opportunity to say something they want to say or turn the conversation toward them? This is a very irritating quality and will alienate the group you are with. Remember, if you want to master your people skills; Make it all about them, not you!

Asking others for their opinion.People who have their people skills mastered will draw others in by asking for their opinions. This shows that you care about them enough to want to know what they think.

Be Positive! People want to do business with and hang out with positive people. Everyone can feel the energy and excitement from a person who is positive and having fun. I have a very difficult time being around a negative person. The negativity saps my energy and I need to get away and do other things. Negative comments are never going to take you where you want to go. But how can you be positive all the time? Let’s say you are at a fine restaurant with two other couples and the steak you ordered is overcooked and tastes bad. You may be inclined to rip the waiter, express your disappointment with the horrible chef and demand to speak with the manager. I would suggest a calm low tone, ask the waiter to recommend something else you would like that does not take long to prepare. In a group outing like this it’s more about the enjoyment of the group and the evening out and not about you.  You will be much more respected for your calm and cool demeanor. This is especially important in a business dinner.

If you can master these aspects of dealing with people you will not only have a more fun and engaging personal life, but your sales skills and customer relations will soar.

Here are the action steps I recommend we all concentrate on and practice. Yes, this stuff takes practice, especially when you are tired or not feeling your best. Let me know how this is working for you.


Take action on this today.

+ Use people’s names as much as possible. That includes getting waiters, bartenders and secretary’s names. If you have a difficult time remembering peoples names associate the new person you meet with someone you already know. It works great!

+ Use eye contact. Be friendly, but stay on those eyes longer than you think you should. Practice this. If you get a negative response say something like “I’m sorry I thought you were someone else”

+ Get others talking about themselves. Ask them questions along with follow up questions.

+ Ask others for their opinion. People love to add value and express their point of view. Many people will not take this step without your first asking. They will appreciate the fact that you did.

+ Be Positive. Good positive energy is addicting to most people. Bring it to every get together and business meeting. You will energize the whole group and they will be glad you did.

Under Promise, Over Deliver

images (2)This is a very commonly used phrase that is rarely taken advantage of.

This is all about setting expectations and then blowing them away.

People are often times in a mindset that they feel they need to brag, fluff or stretch their abilities or accomplishments when talking with others. This leads to just the opposite of the under promise, over deliver srategy. This causes disappointment or angst when the exact same results are achieved.

Mastering this under promise and over deliver strategy takes planning and thought. This, often times does not come naturally. We have to work at it to get it right.

I assure you, if you can master this you can impact your life in a very positive way.

Let’s start with a low level, simple situation.

You are out golfing with the boys and estimate that you will get done around 4pm. You tell your wife you expect to be home around 4:30.

The round runs long and your buddies want to have a beer and settle up bets afterward. You finally make it home at 5:30 to an angry wife that can’t believe you would show up so late and now you are in the dog house the rest of the weekend!

If you would have used the UPOD strategy, still thinking you would get done with golf at about 4pm you would have told your wife that you expect to be home around 6pm. No matter what happens with the round or the time afterward your wife has a whole different outlook if you show up any time before 6pm. This alone is a huge difference for you.

This works equally as well with your children, friends and family. I am not talking about being deceitful I am talking about properly setting expectations because unexpected things happen and you ALWAYS want to blow away expectations. Now you have become the guy who does what he says he will and accomplishes his goals. These are very sought after and admired qualities.

What areas of your business will benefit from this kind of approach? The answer is ALL areas!

Business Example

My company helps pharmacies win business to supply the medications to long term care facilities.

I met with a customer that really wanted to grow his pharmacy business over the next year. I asked him how many beds he would like to add. He said “as many as possible!” If I would have said “great, let’s get to work” I would have set myself up for a disappointed customer in a year. Instead I asked him how much store space he had, how many miles away from his store he was willing to service and how much capital he was willing to pour into his business to fund the growth. We worked through these numbers and I was confident we could add 800 beds to his pharmacy. This would generate an additional 3.6 million dollars in sales for my customer. I detailed out how our company would work to generate this business and discussed with him the things I needed him to do to make this work. We agreed together that the target number of beds would be 100 beds every other month. My team was VERY comfortable with this number. We went to work and managed it close and added almost 900 beds that year. My customer was ecstatic and promoted my service to others every chance he got. The under promise and over deliver principle was a huge plus with my customer.

What are some other areas that you can employ this principle in your business?

Dealing with your Banker

Product delivery time frames to your customers

Scheduling meetings…. “I’ll get back to you no later than two weeks from Friday”

Building in time buffers so you are ALWAYS on time.

Start thinking this way and come up with your own list as to the different ways you can employ this principle to blow away expectations and excel in your business and personal life

Get That Appointment!

downloadCalling potential customers and setting up meetings is an integral part of any business. This is something that you must be good at if you want to reach your goals. I have adopted a plan for this that I coach my sales team on every chance I get. I also use this same strategy myself when trying to get in touch with CEO’s and Executives.

As we all know everyone is so busy today working and juggling their personal lives. Returning phone calls almost always gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.

When we leave messages for people and they don’t call us back we feel like they don’t want to talk with us or they are not interested in what we have to say. Often times this is absolutely not true. Don’t sell against yourself in these situations. I would propose that they are just busy, and they know that you will call again and that they can chat with you then. Remember, Perception is Reality here!

When you call your prospect and get their voice mail simply leave a short and concise message and let them know that you will call them back. Never ask them to call you back. This is how you might make sure they have your contact information even though you say you will call them back.

“Hello Tom, this is Mark Keffeler calling from Rx Care Assurance. I met you at the conference last week and would like to schedule a meeting with you. I’ll give you a call on Thursday. If you would rather call me you can reach me at XYZ.” Talk to you soon. Have a great day.”

By leaving a message like this one, you still have control of the call but your prospect has your information In case he has a moment to contact you. If you don’t leave your number you could cause frustration for your prospect.

Now the fun part…. You call him on Thursday and you get his voice mail again.

Another friendly message is the rule.

” Hello Tom, this is Mark from Rx Care Assurance it’s Thursday at about 10 am. I’ll try to catch you on Monday. Have a great weekend.

Now Monday rolls around…. Again the darn voice mail.

” Hello Tom, this is Mark from Rx Care Assurance. I’m having a horrible time catching you. I’ll try you again Thursday around 10am. Thanks.” Then you call exactly at 10am on Thursday.

As you can see the messages are friendly and not short in any way. If you say things like. “Let me know if I’m bothering you” or “if you are not interested just let me know” , you will put Tom on the defensive and then he may be inclined to dodge you not only on the phone but at the next conference too!

My rule is to keep calling with this open and friendly tone until he takes your call or tells you he is not interested. Never tell yourself that he would take the call if he were interested. Your perception is that he is very busy and looks forward to speaking with you.

More often than not when you finally connect you will get an apology for it taking so long to get together on the call. Your job then is to say ” don’t give it a second thought, I know you are incredibly busy. How does next Thursday look for a 30 minute meeting?”

You’ll get that meeting!

People really enjoy seeing determination and sales skills at work. People want to align themselves with others who have those skills.

Good luck! Let me know if this helps.