Certified Fitness Coach Christopher Lee of Buffalo, New York Discusses Why Cheat Days Are a Terrible Idea

Certified Fitness Coach Christopher Lee of Buffalo, New York Discusses Why Cheat Days Are a Terrible Idea

We’ve all heard of the “cheat day.” Some people believe that a cheat day is a way to help keep them on track to meet their fitness goals. However, more often than not, a cheat day can counteract the impacts of a diet and cause damage to the body. They are even worse for individuals who historically have had a disordered relationship with food.

Christopher Lee, Buffalo, New York, local fitness guru, often works with his clients to understand successful diet plans. Here, Lee goes into detail as to why cheat days are a counterproductive idea.

For dieters that follow a plan involving eliminating certain foods aims, these people are often enticed by a “cheat day” that allows them to indulge in those foods. The goal of a cheat day or meal is to help individuals feel as though they aren’t deprived by temporarily allowing them to enjoy whatever foods they want. However, the mindset of a cheat day can set dieters up for failure as many times an individual can consume a whole day’s worth of calories in one meal or more.

Rather than potentially setting oneself up for failure, Christopher Lee recommends a better approach, which is to incorporate treats into a diet so one can indulge in moderation. When individuals follow a healthy lifestyle that allows for occasional treats, they are more likely to stick to their goals.

The word cheat on its own can negatively imply that what you are doing is bad. People can believe that they are ‘good’ if they eat clean and ‘bad’ if they slip up and indulge. As a result, individuals can develop a psychological barrier that is difficult to overcome. Thinking about foods as good or bad can create a sense of morality that is dangerous as one can begin to feel guilty when consuming certain foods.

In addition to creating a sense of guilt, cheat days can also lead to the likelihood of one bingeing or overeating on those days. A cheat day insinuates an “all or nothing” scenario in which someone may feel obliged to consume as much of certain foods as they possibly can. The extra calories can counteract any progress you have made towards your goals. Cheat days don’t allow for individuals to understand how to eat normally.

Additionally, the behavior can also eventually become a factor or common trait that leads to certain eating disorders. Cheat days often set individuals up for bingeing cycles followed by undereating, purging, overexercising, use of laxatives, or other negative behaviors. Those behaviors over time become a new normal, which is an extremely unhealthy way to live.

As some fitness experts believe in a diet mentality, others focus on a healthy lifestyle and regimen that doesn’t involve fad diets. Cheat days feed the diet mentality and can ultimately be a detriment to one’s regular eating habits. As the cheating mindset sets in, overall health may deteriorate, and fitness goals can suffer. Instead, individuals should focus on an overall healthy lifestyle and listen to their bodies. If you have a craving for something sweet, it’s okay to say yes in moderation.

About Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee is a certified fitness trainer from Buffalo, New York. Christopher specializes in designing workouts plans for clients that make them look and feel more athletic, helping them avoid injury. Mr. Lee emphasizes a healthy diet and lifestyle so clients can fuel properly to get the most out of their workouts and reach their fitness goals. When he is not working with his clients, Christopher Lee can be found at a hot yoga class, practicing martial arts, or spending time with his friends and family in Buffalo.

How Has Streaming Changed TV Viewing Habits?

How Has Streaming Changed TV Viewing Habits?

Streaming has completely changed the way people watch TV. In the past, people would have to mark their calendars and make sure they got in front of the television sets at a predetermined time if they wanted to catch their favorite shows. Now, television shows are coming to the consumer instead. As more people continue to cut cable packages and get involved in the Streaming Wars, TV viewing habits are continuing to change. It is a good idea to take a closer look at how TV viewing habits are changing thanks to the internet and streaming. Visit this website to learn more about internet TV. 

Binge-Watching Is Becoming More Popular

Those who remember what it was like to watch television programs on cable remember having to mark their calendars to catch that one new episode every week. Now, this is no longer how television programming works. Thanks to streaming services, many people will watch an entire season of a show in a single sitting. This is referred to as binge-watching. The reality is that the expectations of consumers are higher than they have ever been in the past. Now, television viewers expect to be able to watch an entire season it of a show as soon as that is released, if this is desired. Therefore, TV producers are trying to find ways to make their programs be more “binge-worthy,” as this leads to a dramatic increase in their popularity. 

The Increased Diversity of Programming

Because there are so many streaming services available today, many people sign up for multiple streaming services and watch programs that have been specifically curated to meet their needs. As more people continue to get Mesh WiFi, their internet connections are able to handle multiple streaming services at once. Because each of these streaming services has thousands of TV programs available, it is possible for everyone to be pickier when it comes to what they would like to watch. The increased diversity of programming is another way in which Streaming Wars are shifting TV viewing habits. 

Lower Costs for the Consumer

Finally, the development of streaming services is also lowering the cost for consumers. In the past, it was not unusual for people to pay several hundred dollars per month for cable services. Because users can sign up for multiple streaming services for a fraction of the price, this is reducing the cost of entertainment programming for consumers everywhere. When this is combined with the increased power of internet connections, it is easy to see why streaming has become so popular. 

These are just a few of the ways that streaming is changing the way people enjoy TV programming. It will be interesting to see what happens as more streaming services continue to enter the fold. In the future, people may not have to worry about cable at all when it comes to TV programming.

21st Birthday Ideas for the Perfect Party

21st Birthday Ideas for the Perfect Party

This is the party you’ve been waiting for! Gone are the days of having to skip the fun nights out because you’re not old enough, or contemplating borrowing your older siblings ID. At 21, the world will be your oyster and you should have a party to celebrate this exciting milestone. Gather all your friends together and celebrate. Here are some awesome 21st birthday ideas for the perfect party.

Head to the Neighborhood Dive Bar
Dive bars can be a really fun place to party, especially cause there is always a mix of people there. They often have awesome drink specials, meaning that your money will go further there too. It can be a great place to either end or start the night. Be sure to drink responsibility, especially if you’ve not had much experience with alcohol. I always suggest trying to have a glass of water for every alcoholic drink I’m having and to make sure I have a good dinner first.

Do a Themed Party
Having a themed party can be a ton of fun. Why not get everyone to dress up? There are so many themes you can choose from, but a fun one is a Tiki party. You can get some Tiki related decorations, and even go as far to get beautiful personalized party invites that match your theme. You want your 21st bday invitation to stand out from the crowd, to get people excited about your party and to serve as a reminder of a special night together. Themed parties can be really fun, especially if you take the theme further and do themed food and drinks too!

Consider a Day Time Event
If drinking isn’t your thing, don’t worry, there is plenty you can do without focusing on the booze. Why not consider doing something during the day so that it gets rid of the pressure to drink. You could house a house party at home, perhaps a BBQ if the weather is nice. Get some fun games for people to play such as cornhole and giant Jenga. If you’re fine with people drinking, you can make it BYO booze and provide lunch and/or snacks. Definitely incorporate games so that your guests will be mixing and having a lot of fun together.

Plan a Weekend Away
Some of my favorite birthdays have been those I’ve spent away with friends. A longer trip allows you to create more memories together. Why not rent a house with a pool somewhere and take some floaties, for the perfect weekend away. You could also consider doing a trip around an activity, such as skiing, surfing, or even paddleboarding. Choosing something ‘active’ to do means that you’ll be focused on that during the day and then chilling and relaxing at night.

Your 21st birthday should be a special one that you remember for a long time to come. Hopefully these ideas will help you plan the perfect 21st birthday party!

5 reasons why you shouldn’t be a sole proprietorship

5 reasons why you shouldn’t be a sole proprietorship

If you’re a sole proprietor, or someone thinking of becoming one, here’s five reasons for why we think forming a sole proprietorship may not be the best structure for you.

If you’re a sole proprietor, or someone thinking of becoming one, here’s five reasons for why we think forming a sole proprietorship may not be the best structure for you.

Unlimited liability

Sole proprietorships are a type of business structure that is not considered to be legally separate from their owners. This implies that you conduct business under your own name, if you do not have a “doing business as” name (DBA), and that you are entitled to your business’ entire profits. However, as the owner, you will also be held personally liable for the debts and losses of your business. In essence, because you and your sole proprietorship are considered one and the same legal entity, you risk the seizure of your personal financial and physical assets, in the event your business is sued and found legally liable or you default on your business debts. A sole proprietorship does not provide protection for your personal assets.

Sole proprietorships offer no tax benefits

As a sole proprietor, the profits of your business is only taxed once you report your sole proprietorship’s total profit (and your income) on your personal tax return. Yet, as a sole proprietor you are also technically self-employed, which means you also are required to pay self-employment tax alongside your income tax each year. Self-employment tax is a tax imposed on small business owners by the federal government, self-employment tax consists of two parts, the first is Social Security tax and the other is Medicare taxes. To find out more about employment taxes and why you are required to pay them, you have visit the site of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website for more information. 

Less credibility and branding potential 

Because you will be conducting business under you own name, you would have to invoice and receive payments, open bank accounts and market your business in your own name; this decreases your credibility as a formal business and creditors may only be satisfied to make a business deal with your personal assets as collateral if they deem your business assets are insufficient. Banks and other financial institutions may also be less than eager to grant you a financial loan due to the high turnover rates of sole proprietorship generally speaking. As a sole proprietor, you will have less credibility, than an incorporated business, and you will also have less opportunities to market your business as a “brand” if you are conducting business under your own name instead of a DBA name. 

Limited business continuity and potential growth 

How much your sole proprietorship will grow once you have formed it is really dependent on you as an owner. If you happen to pass away, or decide you are no longer interested in running your business, your business will cease to exist. In other words, the continuity of your sole proprietorship is dependent on you being invested in conducting business, the continuity of your business will stop if you depart from your business. The same can be said of the other side of the coin. If your business becomes increasingly profitable and therefore has more risks (financial and personal) associated with it, the need to incorporate your business will also increase. By incorporating, or rather by converting your business into a formal business structure, from a sole proprietorship, you will be able to avoid most of the risks that come with unlimited liability. This is something to think of if your business is getting more and more profitable. 

Difficulty of raising financial capital 

As a sole proprietor, you may also find it very difficult to raise capital or gain access to resources outside your business deals and transactions. One option you can use is to use your own finances to fund your sole proprietorship until it is operational and profitable. But if you, like many others, have limited financial resources to invest into your sole proprietorship, then your next best option is a bank loan, and we have already mentioned the difficulties of getting a bank loan as a sole proprietor, or your other option is debt financing. Debt financing is when you, as an owner, offer a percentage of your business to an outside party in exchange for capital. In all these cases, gaining access to capital and other resources is not easily done and should be thought out before any transactions are made. 

We have just listed the reasons why you should not consider opening a sole proprietorship, however these reasons should not stop you from acting on your business idea. If you want to know more about how you can form your business, visit TRUiC’s site and get the assistance you need to start conducting business today.

What U.S. states charge the most and least sales tax?

What U.S. states charge the most and least sales tax?

Sales tax is tax that is paid to a governing body, for the sales of certain goods and services. It is collected by a retailer when the final sale in the supply chain happens, with only the end consumers paying the tax most of the time (businesses get resale certificates for any in-between stages).

Sales tax makes everything anyone buys a little more expensive, and it’s not just state sales taxes you need to keep in mind when looking at which states have the most or least. Some counties and cities also charge sales tax, which needs to be added on to find the overall amount. Some states have cut out sales tax entirely.

Lowest sales tax states

There are 5 states that do not have any statewide sales taxes, being:

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon

While these states don’t charge any state sales tax, Alaska does allow localities to charge local sales taxes, but the average state rate is still relatively low – at 1.76%. 

Rounding up the top 11 states with the lowest tax rates, all under 5%, are:

  • Colorado
  • Wyoming 
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • New York

Colorado has a 2.9% state tax, while all the rest are joint at 4% state sales tax.

States with the highest sales tax

In some cases, these rates get so high that shoppers will go out of their way and drive across state lines in order to shop somewhere with lower sales tax rates:

  • California: 7.25%
  • Indiana: 7%
  • Mississippi: 7%
  • Rhode Island: 7%
  • Tennessee: 7%
  • Minnesota: 6.875%
  • Nevada: 6.85%

What items get taxed?

Most states exempt essential household items, such as food, clothing and prescription items, from being taxed, to be fair to all citizens. But, many states have taxes for certain purchases such as tobacco, alcohol, beverages and gasoline. Taxes on tobacco and alcohol, as well as gambling, are often referred to as sin taxes. New Hampshire charges a hefty amount on tobacco products – a pack of 20 cigarettes equates to an extra $1.78, and a pack of 25 cigarettes is an extra $2.23. Wyoming is great for sin taxes, though – with the lowest beer tax in the whole of the U.S., at half a cent per litre.

Local state sales taxes

Thirty eight states allow local counties and cities to impose their own additional sales taxes. While California does have the overall highest states sales tax rate, the combined state and local sales tax rates for Tennessee reaches 9.53% in some areas: the highest combined rate in the country, which is why it’s so important to look at sales tax rates overall, and not just state sales tax, although those do give you a good idea of which states have lower and higher sales taxes. Not far behind are the following, as of 2020:

  • Arkansas: 9.47%
  • Louisiana: 9.52%
  • Alabama: 9.22%
  • Washington: 9.21%
  • New York 8.875%

Don’t base decisions solely on sales taxes

Many people only look at certain taxes when considering where they would like to relocate to, or live in retirement. If you’re looking at state and local sales taxes, while it is true that they can take a bit out of your income, often the states with lower sales tax rates have other ways of taking money from individuals. States with lower sales tax can have very high income tax rates, and this is the case with Oregon. On the other hand, Tennessee has the highest state sales tax but no wage income tax, so it depends on you personally.

TRUiC has a useful sales tax calculator to help you work out taxes. Visit this site for more.

What can happen if you don’t have an EIN?

What can happen if you don’t have an EIN?

What is an EIN?

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number assigned to businesses by the IRS. It is used to identify taxpayers who need to file tax returns. Though the primary reason for getting an EIN for many people is for tax purposes, it can help you to do so much else. For your business, an EIN is just as important as having an SSN for yourself. 

To learn more on ‘what is an EIN’ and how to get one, visit TRUiC’s site; they have a range of useful information.

Do I need an EIN?

For some businesses, an EIN is a tax requirement. If you don’t get it, you are endangering your business and could face hefty fines, which could even end up impacting your personal life. If you fall into any of these categories, you’ll need to get an EIN:

  • You have employees
  • You’re a corporation/LLC taxed as a corporation
  • You’re a multi-member LLC
  • You bought or inherited your business
  • You have a Keogh plan
  • You need to file for bankruptcy

Even if you don’t meet any of the above descriptions, there are good reasons to get one anyway. In fact, you could face many disadvantages from not getting an EIN. And the good thing about getting an EIN is that it’s completely free anyway.

Tax penalties

If you don’t get an EIN and you’re required to, as mentioned above, you could face tax penalties. It’s a good idea to do your research beforehand, and not wait until the last few days – the IRS can take up to five weeks to give you an EIN. 

Furthermore, if you don’t have an  EIN, for certain types of tax deductions, such as home office deductions for businesses, your chances of an IRS audit decrease if you have an EIN. 

Identity theft

If you don’t have an EIN, you will be more susceptible to identity theft. An EIN separates your personal finances from your business finances. If you have an EIN, you won’t need to provide your own SSN to clients or vendors – instead you can give them your EIN. This means your SSN stays more private, lowering chances of a thief stealing it and getting access to your possessions. The problem of stolen SSNs affects millions of people every year in the U.S.

Loss of potential customers and business

For many small businesses the loss of even one potential customer can make a huge difference to a business. Having that customer could even be the difference between whether or not the business goes under. 

You might be thinking, how does having an EIN affect this? Well, having an EIN gives your business a sense of credibility, and signifies that you have a serious business going on – not just some side gig. Sometimes having just an SSN can even make business owners seem as though they are not really official, and can quit at any time. Having an EIN tells customers, as well as yourself, that you are doing serious business – more than just a hobby, especially if you’re a sole proprietor doing something like freelance writing. 

Piercing the corporate veil

A corporate veil is a legal concept that metaphorically symbolises the distinction between the company you have, as a separate legal entity, and the shareholders who own shares in the company. If you have a business in which the business is a separate legal entity – for instance an LLC or a corporation, not having an EIN could mean you end up piercing the corporate veil. This means that the shareholders, rather than the company, are liable for anything the company does. So, your limited liability instantly vanishes. Having an EIN is a great way to prevent this. This means you can open a business bank account and also build up business credit and take out business loans. The key word here is business – even filing business taxes is easier when all spending is in one place. If both finances are in one place, you can easily confuse the two and lose limited liability.

What Are the Best Vinyl Records of All Time?

What Are the Best Vinyl Records of All Time?

Who was the greatest band of all time, what is the best song ever, and what are the best vinyl records of all time? These are all interesting questions that often spark some fun and sometimes contentious debates. While the best vinyl record of all time is, to some degree, subjective, there are a few, at least, that remains at the top of just about everyone’s list who knows and loves music. Here are some of the best vinyl records of all time.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

It should come as no surprise that an album by The Beatles sits at the top of a “greatest” list. And not just this one, Rolling Stone Magazine also named St. Pepper’s the greatest album of all time. 

There are many, many reasons why The Beatles were not only the most popular band of their time but why they also continue to be popular today. The first, and most obvious reason, is that they created great music that was more than just a pop band. How many pop or boy bands have faded into nothingness or, worse, into becoming punchlines. Think even as recently as the 90s when countless pop bands used to top the charts. If you go back today and listen to some of that music, it’s enough to make you retch. Even if it gives you a small, pleasurable sensation of nostalgia, few will argue that, for example, The Backstreet Boys are talented musicians. The Beatles, however, are different. While yes, they started with simple teeny-bopper songs like I want to hold your hand the group was constantly growing and went on to write and perform elegant songs like Eleonore Rigby, Come Together, Helter Skelter, and, on the Sgt. Pepper’s album, A Day in the Life, and almost countless others. In terms of longevity, creativity, originality, and simply being prolific, The Beatles not only probably created the greatest album of all time, but they are also arguably the greatest band of all time.

What’s Going On

Hot off the popularity of hits like Sexual Healing, Marvin Gaye made some big changes for his “What’s Going On” vinyl album. This was during the time when the Vietnam War was escalating, and Gaye was under the influence of letters from his brother, who was actually overseas fighting the war. Gaye is quoted as saying all of these factors combined to make him think about his music in a totally new way. Gaye wanted to use his music to say something. Not just to sound good, but to actually say something meaningful. The result is one of the greatest vinyl albums of all time, featuring songs like: 

  • Mercy, Mercy Me
  • Inner City Blues
  • And, of course, What’s Going On

Nevermind

Regardless of what you think of the band Nirvana, the fact of the matter is that this band was groundbreaking. Sparking what became known as the “grunge” movement, the album Nevermind has some staples of American malcontent that was as relevant for the youth of Kurt Cobain’s era as it is today, including the smash his Smells Like Teen Spirit

There you have it, three of the best vinyl records of all time. From The Beatles to Marvin Gaye and Nirvana, there have been so many great vinyl records created throughout the years that one thing has become clear: We should all strive for an eclectic taste in music. Sure, you can have a favorite type of music. But can there be any doubt that even if you like Rap, you can still like some Country? Or that Pop people can like Folk? There are no reasons why everyone can’t enjoy at least musicians from every genre. 

What is Chimchurri Chicken

What is Chimchurri Chicken

Chimichurri is an uncooked, Argentine herb sauce. It comes in two types: Chimichurri green and Chimichurri red. Fresh chimichurri consists of olive oil, red wine vinegar, finely chopped parsley, oregano, garlic, and seasonings. Additionally, Red Chimichurri, the spicier of both, includes smoked paprika and dried red chili, cayenne pepper, or pepper flakes. Add red bell pepper in some recipes too.

Parsley and garlic are the two main ingredients of the traditional Argentinian chimichurri but there are other variants, including green chimichurri with cilantro.

What is the use of Chimichurri Sauce?

Chimichurri is served either with steaks and other grilled meats, or chicken or roast beef. To make a scented herb pilaf, mix it in rice. You can also use Chimichurri as a marinade, for example for beef skewers which are threaded and grilled on skewers.

The concept of utilizing chimichurri as a flavoring often functions well when applying to mayo, aioli, salad dressing, or compound butter the essential ingredients of the sauce, including a few tablespoons of the finished sauce. This delicious green sauce is served at room temperature and is made of fresh parsley, garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and red chili flakes.

What’s the taste of Chimichurri Sauce like?

If we could use only a single word to describe chimichurri sauce, it would be “bright.” The combination of parsley and cilantro pack a herbaceous flavor, whilst the red pepper flakes bring a hint of spice. Add the sweet, pungent taste of the garlic and the acidic touch of the vinegar and this is chimichurri. It tastes fresh, but the fat in the olive oil brings everything together into a cohesive, pleasurable experience.

Variations of Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri sauce is highly versatile, but feel free to substitute for the cilantro and parsley in certain natural ingredients. To create a sauce with a spicy taste, try a combination of fresh oregano and arugula! The new dill, basil, kale, chard, mustard greens, and more can also be included.

What can be served with Chimichurri Sauce?

Chimichurri complements meats and vegetables of all sorts. Here are some of our preferred ways of using Chimichurri sauce:

  • Serve it with grilled chops of steak or pork, roasted chicken, poached salmon, or sauteed shrimp.
  • Drizzle over grilled beef kebabs or vegetables roasted to the oven.

How to cook chicken with chimichurri

There are two choices to choose from for your chicken to get the best flavor:

  • Cast iron skillet (or plancha as we call it)
  • Boiler (bbq)

Marinate your chicken thighs for 20-30 minutes after you’ve made your chimichurri to bring all the flavors down. Your chimichurri chicken is going to be scrumptious for sure!

Time to marinate is always changeable. A good thumb rule is for a solid 30 minutes though. This chicken can of course be marinated a ton longer-overnight or even for two days.

What’s Seasoning for Chimichurri?

When you don’t have fresh herbs on deck, it is an easy way to create a chimichurri-like sauce. Seasoning with chimichurri, also labeled as a dry rub or dry marinade, contains dried parsley, oregano, garlic and onion powder, and other herbs and spices.

Add olive oil, water, vinegar, and lemon or lime juice as directed on the package, to make the chimichurri sauce.

If you’ve never had this sauce before, you’ll be wowed by it. It is similar to pesto, but with no cheese or nuts and a heavier focus on acidic vinegar. It’s new and easy and it goes perfectly with just about everything: fish, ham, pork chops, meat, vegetables and more. A sauce can go a long way to elevating it to something incredible and taking a simple dish.

The Role of Vision In Motivating Employees & Being A Great Leader

The Role of Vision In Motivating Employees & Being A Great Leader

If you have ever seen the hit TV show Shark Tank, then you know that it is a great resource for entrepreneurs to learn how to effectively run a business. People such as Mark Cuban and Daymond John provide great insights on how to fund your start up and how to be a great leader. Yet with all of these experts showing entrepreneurs what it takes to lead, why do so many still struggle with this skill?

We are often told that vision is an essential feature of great leadership. But what is leadership vision, how do you develop one ,and what role does it play in business success?

The best place to start this discussion is by exploring how businesses become successful. Business success does not always depend on vision. Suppose you are a creative entrepreneur or inventor and you develop a desirable set of products that are in great demand. 

According to the Coaching Institute, your business success may be mainly a function of your ability to keep up with demand and to produce your products as efficiently and profitably as possible. In this case, no vision is necessary. Your business hit the ground running and your employees couldn’t be more motivated.

This suggests two factors that determine when a leadership vision may be useful: (1) when your business is struggling or needs to change its ways to be successful or (2) when employees are not very motivated.

The Essence of Leadership Vision

To be effective, a vision must motivate employees. Putting the first man on the moon by the end of the 1960’s was John F. Kennedy’s vision and it is one of the most famous examples of an effective leadership vision. “To motivate employees, a vision might be expressed in a great speech by its leader, but it doesn’t have to be” suggests John Rogan of Motivational Speaker. 

The vision to put the first man on the moon would have been motivational to the engineers and scientists who made it happen no matter how the vision was expressed. It was motivational for two reasons: it gave them a very concrete, time-related target and it was an exciting challenge.

If you own a car rental company, creating a motivational vision would be harder. How much more can such a business improve customer service and lower costs? If you are already in the top 3 in this industry, how much higher can you go? The most motivational vision for such a business might be to make it to number one over the next 3 years. If your vision isn’t time-related, it’s hard to get excited about it, mainly because there’s no sense of urgency to do anything new.

A leadership vision is essentially a goal or target, but not just any old target. Improving your business’s profits by 10% by the end of next year is a worthy goal but it couldn’t be called visionary because it’s not very exciting. A vision is much easier to formulate in a business that is struggling or nowhere near the top in its market. Suppose you run a business that develops similar products to Apple Computers but are not really visible at all in this market. A vision to beat Apple in 5 years would be a huge challenge and either motivational or just too scary to even contemplate.

A vision to make a laptop for under $100 so that more people in developing countries could afford one is inspirational. So is the vision to make high speed internet access available for everyone in a certain region by a certain date.

Does your Business Need a Vision?

Before you develop a leadership vision for your business, take a hard look at whether you need one. The most important consideration is whether you need to move your business to a different place as, for example, Intel did when its chip business, its main source of revenue in the company’s early days, started to fail and they decided they needed to switch their focus and major on microprocessors. The other major question to look at is employee motivation. Are your employees already highly motivated? If so, how much more would a vision motivate them? In this case, a vision would only be necessary if you wanted to move in a new direction.

Developing a Vision

If you dream up a compelling vision on your own, fine. But if you really want to motivate employees with your vision, you should engage them fully in developing the new vision. This is precisely what the level 5 leaders described by Jim Collins in Good to Great did. The meaning of his slogan – first who then what – means that the CEOs he studied got their best people into a room and grilled them relentlessly until a new strategy or vision emerged. For Collins, level 4 leaders develop and promote their own visions which could fail to really engage those who have to make it happen.

How To Design Your Event For A Successful Meeting

How To Design Your Event For A Successful Meeting

If you want to create a successful event or conference, you are going to need to invest a great deal of time in your planning. From booking the appropriate guest speakers to sending out invitations, there is a great deal of work that goes into these events which is why some organizations outsource this to an event planner. But if you are going to do this in-house, then there is one important factor you must execute well and that is the design of your event.

 Meeting design layout is a fundamental logistic that requires meticulous details pointing to a simple objective. According to the website Keynote Speaker, it’s important that when you are planning your event that you have a clear understanding as to how your speakers will interact with your audience. 

Depending on whether you want them to move about or just stand at the podium will play a pivotal role in how you design your event. “If you hire a motivational speaker, then you need to make sure they have plenty of space to move around in because their presentations are quite interactive” suggests Sean Adams of Motivation Ping. There are several standard set-ups for meetings that are used according to purpose and capacity.

Classroom style is the basic set – up for most functions such as seminars, conventions, town hall gatherings, and large performing events. This is also standard for panel discussions large and small which involves a table at the front of the room or a row of chairs for panelists as the focus of the room.

Convention or Conference set up is the larger version of a classroom set up of at least 250 or more people with a plenary or keynote speaker. But classroom deals with 30 – 150 people give or take. The idea is that there is primary focus towards a stage, speaker, or presentation.

U-Shape style is designed in the form of the letter U for an interactive type meeting that provides a horse shoe like roundtable for participants. It typically involves the presenter, audio visual equipment and presentation at the open space end fostering a closer knit atmosphere for 10 to 30 people. Here this layout is best for seminars and training sessions with PowerPoint presentations or videos.

Hollow Square set up is a regular square or rectangular shape with an enclosed space. The speaker or presenter is outside the square and can be seated or standing while conducting a small meeting or training that fosters an interactive atmosphere.

Theater is much like the classroom in that the layout is designed to have the audience facing the area of presentation. But just like a theater, the rows of seating are descending for a proscenium view. This layout would most likely be in a room with descending or ascending rows of flooring as well. Theater design is ideal for lectures, speeches, master classes, and seminars seating up to 100 to 175 people comfortably.

Executive or Committee meetings usually employs a small private room with an elongated round table sometimes with plush seating. Video or conference calling are standard in meetings like these that take on a VIP level of engagement for important decision making.

Receptions are more open spaced with high tables scattered throughout the room to create the ambiance of a soiree’ while maintaining a business event feel. Receptions usually involve hors d ‘ oeuvres and the high tables encourages movement because there are no chairs but resting places for disposed food and dine ware as well as surfaces to exchange information.

This set up is Ideal for networking functions, book signings, product launches, or corporate mixers. Receptions can also serve as pre-cursors to larger events like banquets and formal galas.

Banquets are usually laid out with round tables that seat 6 to 8 people. In some situations, tables can accommodate 10 to 12 attendees. They are spaced apart by 12 inches with a rectangular head table at the front of the room slated for speeches and presentations. There are occasions where half round tables are used according to the purpose, design, and capacity.

Any banquet style set up is usually purposed for a several course meal. Sometimes banquet stations are established for buffet or brunch style mode with meat carving stations for people to move about and mingle as they eat. This layout is great for award dinners, celebrity roasts, annual functions and of course weddings. But banquets can be large or small depending the organizers.

Gala’s are the familiar formal soiree’s that require everyone to dress up in gowns and tuxedo’s to mingle, mix, and even dance. There’s usually no table or chair set up but the layout is in set design and lighting to create the ambiance of a desired theme. Galas are more glamorous often used for fundraisers, costume balls, inaugural balls, or high profile functions. Capacity can go as high as 1000 guests!

When all is said and done, there are several common denominators that make design layouts for meetings effective: great planning, logistics and specifications, audio visual, and clarity on purpose with established capacity and space. Using these standards will lay a quick foundation of design stability for any successful event when used for the right function.