Tutor profile: Alex K.
Subject: Professional Development
What is something I can do to stand out more at work?
There are two ways to really stand out. 1. Add value. Simply put, companies and bosses love when their employees add value to their organization. What do I mean by this? Ask yourself, when was the last time you improved processes at your company that increased efficiency? Improved culture? Improved sales, or profit, or conversions, or number of customers? You should be constantly looking for ways to improve the business you are working in. Even if it is a bit outside of your department. Treat it as if it were your own business. Too often in the work environment, employees feel that if they put their head down and do really good work they will get ahead. Sometimes that is true. However that doesn't communicate leadership and it doesn't really show that you care about the company as much as you do about your numbers or performance. So ask yourself how can you help the company and not just your paycheque. Which leads me to number 2. 2. Be Proactive Take initiative! Try to anticipate what your boss might need even before he/she realizes they need it. Do things before they ask for them. If you notice a problem, rather than approaching your co-workers or boss with "here's the problem," try approaching them with "here's the problem, and here are three possible solutions to fix it. What do you think?" Another example, if you are the number 1 sales person in your company, well great! They'll likely want you to stay in that position because hey - you're making them a lot of money! But if you want to be promoted, or move up into an executive or leadership role you have to give them a reason. So take initiative and help the number 10 salesmen, or the number 2 salesmen boost their numbers. Be proactive and ask if they are open to a few tips to help them close. Your superiors will notice. You no longer will just be a high performer, but now they will start thinking of you as a leader and someone who wants to see the company succeed. That is management or executive material.
Subject: Physical Education
I don't understand the difference between concentric and eccentric contractions and what they have to do with agonist and antagonist muscle groups. Can you please explain this?
It can definitely get a bit bit confusing. They are referring to different things. Concentric and eccentric are referring to WHAT THE MUSCLE IS DOING when it is under tension. Is it lengthening while under tension? Or is it shortening under tension? If it is lengthening under tension, we call this the eccentric phase. If it is shortening under tension, we call this the concentric phase. For instance, in a biceps curl. The biceps muscle group is curling the bar upwards. As the bar moves up, the biceps are in the concentric phase. They are shortening while under tension. Hence you get that bulge. On the way down from the curl, the biceps are still engaged! However they are lengthening now. The biceps bulge is getting smaller. This is the eccentric phase; it is lengthening while under tension. Agonist and antagonist are referring to the muscles themselves in relation to function. Let's stick with the biceps curl example. In a bicep curl, the primary group of muscles involved are the biceps! (biceps brachii and brachialis) Because the bicep is the primary muscle involved in this exercise, we call it the agonist muscle. Agonist means the primary mover. It is the muscle that causes the movement. Wherever you have an agonist, you must also have an antagonist. The antagonist is the complimentary muscle that opposes the primary mover. So in a biceps curl where the biceps are the agonist, the antagonist muscle group would be the triceps. They are the opposite of the biceps and aren't involved in the curling of the bar as much (apart from some stability and control). It is important to know that agonist and antagonist muscles change depending on the exercise. Always ask yourself what is the primary mover or what muscle is that exercise working on the most? That would be the agonist. Then ask yourself, what is the opposite muscle group? That would be the antagonist. So in a triceps cable pressdown, the agonist would be... the triceps! In a triceps cable pressdown the antagonist would be the biceps.
I'm scared of failing and don't know how to start. What advice would you have for overcoming this fear and deciding on what business I want to build?
There is a central theme to this question - uncertainty. The fear stems from not knowing whether you will be successful or not in your side-hustle or business endeavors. If I told you your business was going to be successful - with 100% certainty - you suddenly wouldn't be as nervous starting it. Unfortunately you can't achieve that level of certainty, but what you can do is PLAN extremely well. A really good plan will mitigate some of that uncertainty because it allows you to anticipate and mitigate some of the risks your business might encounter along the way. So here is a very brief outline of what you can do today to help you crystallize your business a bit more. 1. Start with the WHY. Begin at the end. Why should people use or buy from your business? What type of value are you trying to bring them? What is the reason for your existence? 2. Reverse engineer it: Based on the value you are looking to bring, what objectives will you need to set to achieve that value? What are you providing and how will you provide it? 3. Map out the risks and potential problems that could arise in this business. Play it up and write out worst case scenarios. Ask yourself tough questions. This is extremely helpful not just for you to feel better about the chances of your business succeeding but it is also a very powerful exercise for coping and reducing whatever fears you might have about failing. What's the worst case scenario. 4. Plan contingencies Now that you've asked yourself all the hard questions, map out how you are going to mitigate those risks. What contingencies can you set up to avoid those problems now that you've anticipated them? 5. Go out there and test it (fail fast or validate) I don't mean executing the business and launching it. Not at all! What I mean by this is, go out and validate the concept by asking a few people (friends, family, co-workers, friends of friends, strangers) if they would give you money for the product or service you would provide. Keep in mind, there is a BIG difference between people saying "yes I would buy that product/use that service" and actually PAYING you for that product/service. So try and get the latter. For instance, if you are hoping to go into business for yourself as a personal trainer, or a website designer - see if someone will pay for your service (even if it is for cheap) today before you decide to go all in and create a site and quit your day job. Conversely if it is a product - say you are wanting to design and make your own clothing line - see if you can spend a few hours designing and creating a few articles of clothing. Just one or two. Then try selling them on Craigslist, EBay or to a friend that could benefit from a change in fashion. Do that BEFORE you commit to designing hundreds of shirts, or ordering tons of fabric at wholesale cost. These are very basic steps that can help alleviate some of the uncertainty you may have about your business. Don't be shy to ask for more steps and more details in a future lesson!
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