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Anna Greenwald of On The Goga Believes Health Culture Is Good Business

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Anna Greenwald

Anna Greenwald is the founder and CEO of On the Goga, a company that specializes in helping corporations focus their corporate culture on mindfulness and wellbeing. On the Goga offers a variety of services like corporate yoga, meditation, nutrition workshops, company retreats, and more. Anna Greenwald has built a mobile corporate yoga studio that takes care of all their clients’ corporate wellness needs. Her holistic approach has brought her clients like L’Oréal, Drexel University, and the Philadelphia Eagles. She uses evidence based practices that increase employee well being, creativity, and productivity. 

People sitting together

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur in the corporate wellness sector?

I came into this sector completely by accident. I trained most of my life as a classically trained singer. When I was a sophomore in college, I got a vocal injury that prevented me from talking or singing. To help recover, my voice teacher recommended I do anything possible to relax my muscles including yoga. I had never tried yoga before – in fact, I hated the idea of it – but that first class in a small studio in West Philadelphia changed my entire mindset. Within a year, I was practicing 4-6 times a week and the practice changed my mind and body. It helped me realize so much about myself and what I’m capable of. I wanted share that experience with others, and from that came the original idea for On the Goga: make yoga and mindfulness accessible to people who wouldn’t normally go to a yoga studio.People in Nature

What was your biggest challenge in founding On The Goga and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge in founding On the Goga has been to discover exactly how to present yoga and mindfulness to individuals who haven’t already experienced its benefits. Even I only tried it when I was told it would help my singing. In actuality, yoga is the physical practice of mindfulness, and mindfulness is simply the practice of noticing what is happening right now. This can apply to sweating it out on a yoga mat, or noticing the temperature of the cold beer in your hand when you’re at a happy hour with coworkers. So we teach yoga and mindfulness both ways now. We meet people where they are in terms of physicality level and interests. We teach the tools of mindfulness through traditional yoga, mindful happy hours, hikes, retreats, cooking classes, and more. People doing yoga

What, if any, connection exists between productivity at work and yoga in your opinion?

Yoga improves employees performance through improving their mental and physical health. But since all of our programming is research-based, rather than give you my opinion I’ll share some research on the subject:

  • “In a randomized study of employees from a British government authority… in comparison to the control group, the yoga [group’s] scores were significantly lower for perceived stress, back pain, sadness and hostility, and substantially higher for feeling self-assured, attentive and serene.” – Journal: Occupational Medicine (Lond), 2012
  • “Yoga practices improved neural performance and reduced fatigue and stress level. Yoga reduced rescue medication use in bronchial asthma, and achieved the reduction earlier than conventional treatment alone. Yoga produced a reduction in resting pulse rate, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean arterial blood pressure irrespective of age, gender, and BMI.” – summarized from an article in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences 2012
  • After a 6-week yoga intervention for a randomized group of employees, “The yoga group reported marked improvements in feelings of clear-mindedness, composure, elation, energy, and confidence. In addition, the yoga group reported increased life purpose and satisfaction, and feelings of greater self-confidence during stressful situations.” – Summary and excerpt from the Scandinavian Journal of Environmental Science, 2011 People in Nature

What kinds of benefits can a business expect from participating in On The Goga classes?

 

We look at wellness as a form of professional development. In fact our driving principle is: Happy People Do Great Things. Each one of our programs are designed to make every employee feel cared about and supported, in turn increasing their loyalty to their company and pride in their work. We are also helping employees to learn sustainable habits of wellness that improve their performance at work and physical health over time. It’s a win-win situation for employers and employees. What’s the return on this investment? Again, I’ll point to some research sources:

  • Happy employees are 3x more creative, 31% more productive, and have 37% better sales – Harvard Business Review, Positive Intelligence, 2012
  • “Highly engaged teams… saw significantly lower turnover (25% in high turnover, 65% in low turnover organizations).” – Gallup, 2013

On an individual level, mindfulness has been shown to achieve the following benefits in as little as 10 sessions:

  • DECREASE STRESS LEVELS – Source: “What Are The Benefits of Mindfulness,” a Meta Analysis from American Psychological Association, 2012
  • INCREASE FOCUS – Source: “Meditation, Mindfulness, and Cognitive Flexibility,” The Journal of Consciousness and Cognition, 2009
  • LOWER OVERALL ANXIETY – Source: “Short-Term Meditation Training Improves Attention and Self-Regulation,” PNAS, 2007
  • REDUCE EMOTIONAL REACTIVITY – Source: “Mindfulness Meditation and Reduced Emotional Interference on a Cognitive Task,” Journal of Motivation and Emotion, 2007
  • INCREASE QUALITY OF LIFE – Source: Study from Massachusetts General Hospital, 2011
  • INCREASE HAPPINESS- Source: “A randomized controlled trial of compassion cultivation training: Effects on mindfulness, affect, and emotion regulation,” The Journal of Motivation and Emotion, 2014 On the Goga Classes

What are some memorable On The Goga milestones, and what developments do you project for this year?

We’ve had the opportunity to work with and for some amazing organizations and individuals so far. Some of our past clients and partners include L’Oreal and Pureology, Philadelphia Eagles players, and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 2018 is shaping up to be a big growth year for us. We’ve got an amazing team of top-notch coaches, and have forged some tremendous strategic partnerships that are helping us bring our services to more and more companies.

What is one character trait that defines you and why?

Resilience. This is a character trait I have grown over the years through my yoga practice. I wasn’t always as resilient to failure, rejection, or criticism as I am today (and I still work to strengthen this personality trait). Through my yoga practice, I’ve come to realize the beauty of resilience: you don’t have to do well. You don’t have to handle each failure perfectly, each rejection with grace, or each criticism humbly – you just have to try. Over time, if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you get better at all these things. When you look back down the road, you realize that the only differentiator between you and the people who have dropped off along the way, is that you kept walking.

What are your tips for aspiring entrepreneurs?

My two mottos since the start of this business have remained the same:

  • Value courage, not success. You can’t practice success, but you can practice courage, and if you practice courage over and over and over again, success happens.
  • The difference between people who do cool shit and the people who don’t, is that the people who do cool shit do it.

Aaditi Tamhankar is a student at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. In her free time she can be found cooking healthy food, running, and watching too much Youtube.

Business

You Need To Know What Happened To Snapchat Stock

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snapchat stock

Released in September 2011, Snapchat brought time-sensitive photos to the social media realm. It encouraged users to rely on those images to show their friends interesting, funny or memorable things. March 2018 data reveals Snapchat stock is down more than 15 percent compared to the previous month, leading some people to wonder if it’s too risky to own Snapchat shares. Well-known pop culture stars can capture the attention of people all over the world by posting material on social media. Snapchat got reminded of that twice recently. What’s happened with the brand recently to cause the downward trend in Snapchat stock? And what’s likely ahead for the app?

The App Got a Recent Redesign

In November 2017, Snapchat revamped the application’s interface, but that decision caused an uproar among some users. Despite the pushback, Snapchat is sticking with the new look. Before rolling it out, site representatives acknowledged some users find Snapchat “difficult to understand or hard to use”. The app partially prompted a different layout that allows people to sort the content they see, among other things. Snapchat clearly aims to keep the service fresh and exciting for current and potential users. But, besides the new layout that’ll reportedly be tweaked throughout this year, what else can people expect?

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel spoke favorably about the facelift, saying, “While we are still very early in the rollout, we are optimistic about the potential to unlock additional growth with the redesign of our application. As expected, it will take time for our community to get used to the changes, but overall, we are pleased with the initial results and will be making the redesign available to our entire community in the first quarter.”

Indeed, it does take time for people to adjust to change, and user bases often aren’t happy when their favorite social media sites debut significant changes. That’s why I expect this displeasure about Snapchat’s evolution will blow over soon. However, that’s not the only problem the service has dealt with lately, and you can see it in Snapchat stock.

Unfavorable Mentions From Two High-Profile Celebrities

 

First, in February 2018, Kylie Jenner confessed she doesn’t open Snapchat anymore and asked if anyone else had stopped using it. Afterward, Snapchat stock prices sank 6.1 percent, causing a loss of $1.3 billion in market value.

kylie jenner

Then, less than a month later, Snapchat came under fire again for allowing a phone game advertisement to run that asked viewers if they’d rather “slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown.”

Many angrily took screenshots of the offensive ad and recalled the 2009 incident, which involved Rihanna and then-partner Chris Brown. He was arrested after an assault on her that occurred the night before that year’s Grammy Awards ceremony.

Soon, Rihanna posted a response on her Instagram feed. It’s no longer visible there, but people quickly took screenshots of it while reporters quoted the singer’s irate words.

Rihanna Snapchat

In a quote given to the BBC, Snapchat said, “The advert was reviewed and approved in error, as it violates our advertising guidelines. We immediately removed the ad last weekend, once we became aware. We are sorry that this happened.”

The apology did not stop people from accusing Snapchat of allowing content that made light of domestic violence. The site might be doomed after Kylie Jenner and Rihanna’s comments. After Rihanna’s statement, Snapchap stock plunged again by nearly 5 percent.

Also, people chimed in to say if Rihanna advised people to delete their Snapchat accounts, they would. The hubbub even caught the attention of former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, who called the ad “just awful” in her own tweet.

It’s also likely there will be more sudden action with Snapchat stock prices. Despite the plunges due to Kylie Jenner’s and Rihanna’s comments, the company had the biggest one-day jump in Snapchat stock history this February due to news it added nearly 9 million more daily users.

Snapchat Bans ICO Ads

Snapchat announced a ban of all advertisements for initial coin offerings (ICOs). They’re following the lead of fellow social media site Facebook, which outlawed all cryptocurrency ads of a non-educational nature. The news came in mid-March shortly after the Rihanna incident. T could cause some people to wonder if the site is cracking down on other kinds of advertising.

That recent occurrence is not the only evidence that suggests the two social media sites pay attention to each other’s actions. Last spring, Facebook began letting people post content that disappears after 24 hours, just like Snapchat stories. Users could also personalize the Facebook content with stickers and filters, which Snapchat offers too.

New Features Are Continually Available

At the end of January 2018, Snapchat announced a way for people to depend on visual references from selfies while creating their Bitmojis. They are Snapchat avatars that represent site users. Snapchat calls the feature “Bitmoji Deluxe.” It lets people study selfies to make their bitmojis as realistic as possible.

A couple of years ago, Snapchat dropped hints about the possibility that people could create Bitmojis automatically with help from facial recognition technology. There’s no sign of that ability in this latest update. But since an increasing number of today’s gadgets identify people by their faces, it makes sense Snapchat might offer it relatively soon. They’re already focusing on making the Bitmojis better.

When Snapchat made the Snap Map feature available last summer, it attracted attention while catering to people’s desire to know what’s happening in real time. Although some might say Snap Map triggers FOMO, other people think the location-sharing feature is cool. Those who don’t want to use it have the option to stay in “Ghost Mode.”

Snapchat Merchandise

I think Snapchat will incorporate a much more stringent ad-screening process based on the recent Rihanna fiasco. Plus, 2018 could be the year Snapchat re-enters the physical merchandise realm after its 2016 foray that saw it offering glasses that take pictures from a first-person perspective and let people upload them to Snapchat.

The company is reportedly currently developing new versions of those spectacles that are water-resistant. They come in more than one color and could be available as soon as this fall. That effort for the company to diversify makes sense, especially if Snapchat wants to profit from indirect income streams.

Google recently debuted its Cilps camera, which uses artificial intelligence to decide when to snap photos that seem most interesting. Similarly, there are rumors Spotify wants to start selling products such as speakers.

The months ahead will be action-packed for people who use Snapchat regularly. Those who are curious about the performance of this social media service will be following closely. If the service can achieve the growth it seeks from the redesign and continual rollout of features, it’ll likely be in the headlines even more than usual.

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Why Amazon’s Second HQ Should Choose Nashville

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Amazon's Second HQ

Nashville is amongst 20 cities being considered for Amazon’s second headquarters site. The “Country Music Capital of the World” hopes to boost their state’s job market with the new Amazon Headquarters. Amazon’s second HQ expects to invest more than $5 billion to build the 8-million-square-foot facility and promises to create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs over the next 15 years. Before any decisions are made, the company created specific requirements to be met for each city. Some of the requirements include a metropolitan area with over a million people, a time distance of 45 minutes from an international airport, direct access to public transportation, and to be able to expand 8 million square feet in the next decade.

The Unemployment rate is on the rise in Nashville. City officials have their sights set on the on the jobs that Amazon’s Second HQ will provide for 50,000 residents. “It is going to increase the size of the economy,” University of Tennessee Economist Bill Fox stated, “It is going to bring in a really highly skilled labor force that is not already there, a lot of community leaders. To have somebody with the worldwide vision of Amazon look at Nashville and say, ‘This is the place we want to be’ is really good for the brand.”

The aspect of new jobs may not be enough for some to welcome the online retailer with open arms. Residents of Nashville fear the new site would affect the housing market for low income families  in the process. “If you look at the size of Nashville, a headquarters like this bringing tens of thousands of jobs, it’s going to radically affect what the housing landscape looks like,” said Javier Vivas, Realtor.com’s director of economic research. Amazon’s decision creates an atmosphere for the conservation of gentrification not only for Nashville, but the other 19 cities in the running. “We have a housing crisis now and all this would do is throw gasoline on the fire,” said John Summers, a former Metro Council member who now leads the Coalition for Nashville Neighborhoods. “We cannot build affordable housing to replace what’s being lost by the rapid gentrification in all of our inner-city neighborhoods.”

The community of Nashville are now able to broadcast their opinions on Amazon. While state officials deal with the financial benefits, agencies and businesses within Nashville are now able to give insight on their city as well. This is why Amazon’s second HQ should choose Nashville.

If you are an agency from Nashville, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmagazine.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

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Why Amazon’s Second Headquarters Should Choose Northern Virginia

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Amazon’s second headquarters

Among the top 20 shortlist for Amazon’s second headquarters, Northern, Virginia is not a stranger to the massive tech company. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have frequently conducted business in the region. Bezos is known to own The Washington Post and Amazon’s cloud service AWS is situated in a huge data center in the northern Virginia region. It is no surprise that Northern, VA is listed on the list. This region proved to be a safe home for Bezos’ businesses, it would only make sense that Northern, VA is the next home for HQ2.

While the nation waits for the announcements of Amazon’s second headquarters, speculations rise as Amazon employees crowd ARLnow.com. The local news-source for Arlington Virginia have reported major traffic from an internal Amazon site. The article reporting the county’s green building council had received over 6,000 page views and 3,500 visitors from an Amazon web page that is only visible to Amazon employees. Amazon’s interest in the community’s dedication to sustainability is predicted to help the company’s future development of a sustainable building of their own.

The area is surrounded by copious international airports including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Richmond International Airport for Amazon’s consideration  of transportation. The bid for Amazon had reports of the Hub property as a potential site for Amazon’s second headquarters. This 85-acre undeveloped location is near the Dulles Airport, perfect for Amazon’s demands.

Amazon’s second headquarters

Amazon announced that they are developing a second headquarter of up to 8 million square feet in order to accommodate 50,000 workers. The plan to bring in 50,000 lucrative jobs to the new location will create billions of dollars in investment for the community. This opportunity for economic expansion does not come often, but neither does a perfect business location in Northern Virginia that is close to Bezos’ other businesses.

A possible site for Amazon’s second headquarters is on the border of Fairfax and Loudoun counties along Metro’s Silver Line. “We are very excited that Northern Virginia is included on the short list as a potential location for Amazon’s second headquarters,” spoke the chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Sharon Bulova. “Fairfax and Loudoun counties are able to offer a great quality of life coupled with an innovative and business friendly culture for future Amazon corporate neighbors and employees. With our highly educated and talented workforce and a location close to Dulles International Airport and a new Silver Line train station, we hope we will have the opportunity to welcome Amazon HQ2 to Virginia.”

Small businesses and agencies within Virginia are able share their professional insight to Amazon now as well. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Virginia.

If you are an agency from Virginia, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmagazine.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji

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