March 25, 2015 | Posted in:Brands and Bloggers Connect
By Elisette Carlson
I tend to work in yoga pants and running shorts, and sometimes I even stand over my standing desk in a full-fledged cycling kit. I also build a lot of relationships in workout apparel.
I run a marketing and PR firm focused on innovative and authentic brands in sports, health, and fitness. My model is pretty unique in that I hire athletes (one Olympian, two Olympic hopefuls, one elite runner), and although we spend a lot of time in front of our computers, we also try to do a lot more “active” work with clients and amongst each other. For example, instead of a coffee date, we hike or go on a conversational run. There is no doubt that you connect with someone on a much deeper level, and I feel very strongly about this.
For example, rather than have desk-side meetings with journalists (very unoriginal and not memorable!), I try to schedule workouts and events. It’s right in line with our agency representing companies that are all about promoting health and fitness. For this reason, I specifically trademarked Public Relation(ship)s®.
For a media event a couple of years ago, we hosted a bootcamp morning with a celebrity trainer, and journalists and influencers had to “buddy up.” My buddy was a head fitness editor that I had gotten to know a bit over email and phone. (The same relationship she likely has with many publicists.) She and I sprinted together, held each other’s legs for sit-ups, and challenged each other for push-ups and squats. Today, we are close friends and work on stories together. When we connect on work, it’s also fun because we talk about what we’re training for, our families, our hobbies, etc. I have had this experience with many members of the media and athletes, and the results are long-lasting friendships and very effective working relationships. (Read: Good for business.)
Another reason why “sweat working” helps business and business relationships is because when we work out, we let our guards down and step outside of the office. We feel exhilarated, challenged, and inspired by nature. The endorphin rush is excellent and the experience is almost always positive. (“I so regret that workout!” said no one.) It’s also an efficient use of time. And after a good workout, the experience of the post-run coffee or even post-workout beer is that much sweeter. In the end, some of your greatest friends will become those you work out and sweat with. In business, the best partnerships are the ones where people enjoy each other’s company and respect each other.
“But I have no time. I’m slammed!” People tell me all the time that they are too busy to work out, they don’t have time, and they don’t know how they can incorporate this into their life. Well, you remember that Nike slogan? Just do it. Prioritize. Ask colleagues or clients to meet for a walk, run, or even at a new gym if someone has been dying to try the latest barre class but “hasn’t made it there yet.” (Sure, use judgement on who you ask to do what, but again, just do it.) Lunch time is also a good time to get out, be it a walk, group yoga, or even a little company or local bootcamp event.
Overall, it’s a benefit to health, and everyone wants to be healthier. Exercise is invigorating and that can’t be denied. After the “sweat working” session, the benefits of being more productive and healthier continue. When you return to your desk, you are that much more energized to work harder, with a clear head, and a positive endorphin rush. I can tell you from experience that post-workout brainstorming sessions are the most productive because of the clarity and, therefore, creativity. And naturally, a good workout or even getting outside for some fresh air tends to create a positive ATTITUDE! What’s more productive than a positive attitude in the workplace?
Ultimately, when you work out or follow a fitness regime, you are more disciplined and balanced in life and at work. Especially if you have a specific goal (be it to lose 20 pounds, compete in your first 5K, or make it to the Olympics), there is a competitive drive within that transcends into business, which helps you achieve your goals and be more productive in the office.
Bottom line, if you have a disciplined exercise plan or you are an athlete, you are tenacious and goal oriented, and you will practice and keep working on the task at hand until success is achieved, regardless of bumps in the road or hurdles. Think of a track and field runner. He or she will run circles around a track–hundreds of times–simply to get faster. That’s discipline! Or a less intense exerciser might start with a 30-minute walk and before you know it, they’ve completed the Couch to 5K plan. That’s goal setting and achievement.
When it’s time to buckle down and close a deal or deliver on deadline, those who work out tend to have the strongest work ethic and the ability to deal with temporary discomfort to achieve success, even if the plan is to set mini-goals to get there. If your team cares about their health and their bodies, it’s likely that they’ll have the discipline to care about making their work output as great as it can be.
Elisette Carlson’s passion for sports marketing started at a young age while assisting her father with World Cup soccer events and athletes. It was then that the key principles of integrity, eye contact, and the value of strong relationships were ingrained as pillars for excellent business practices. A graduate of Princeton University, Elisette was named NCAA First Team All-American and All-Ivy League in women’s rowing. As a national champion coxswain for two countries, her competitive drive and determination molded her into a leader and motivator. Further, she has completed numerous marathons and triathlons, including the Boston Marathon, and finished her first Ironman in 12:37. With her experience as the Director of Marketing at Zoot Sports, a Sports Marketing Manager at Reebok, and as Senior Account Manager at The Active Marketing Group, Elisette founded the boutique Public Relation(ship)s® agency SMACK! Media in 2009. Fluent in Spanish and proficient in French and Italian, Elisette is the mother of two young boys, a public relations contributor to Forbes.com, and puts ultimate value on personal relationships.
Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) The 2TVChicks experience preemption on TV and in motherhood
Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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