The field and practice of worksite wellness today basically revolves around three terms – health, wellness and wellbeing. Other terms also seen used include: thriving, flourishing, health promotion, optimal living and quality of life. But the big three are health, wellness and wellbeing.Since these terms are used interchangeably or as synonyms, I have wondered just how different or the same are these terms? When I framed out this question in my mind, I thought it would be simple enough to just look-up their definitions and I would have my answer.But, boy was I wrong. Definitions only got me so far and not very far at that. As I was reviewing definitions, it occurred to me that worksite wellness programs today are not even necessarily about health, but more about employee health status. These two terms differ. So how do they differ? Based on the definitions and reading I have done health status is a state at a fixed point in time, as opposed to the more global, encompassing concept of health.What Is Health Status?The Stedman’s 7th Edition Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing (2012) definition is: “The level of health of an individual person, group or population as assessed by that individual or by objective measures.”The Oxford Illustrated Companion to Medicine (2001) defines the state of health as being the “degree to which physical and mental functioning are in equilibrium with the physical, biological and social environment.”In his 1997 article titled Health Status Assessment, Stephen Wright uses the definition: “A focus on function and somatic sensation at a particular point in time.”In the Segen’s Medical Dictionary (2012), the definition is: “A generic term referring to the health (good or poor) of a person, group or population in a particular area, especially when compared to other areas or with national data.”The Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing (2012) definition is: “The level of health of an individual person, a group, or a population as assessed by that individual or by objective measures.”According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, their definition is: “The level of health of the individual, group, or population as subjectively assessed by the individual or by more objective measures.”The American Thoracic Society definitions are: “Health status is an individual’s relative level of wellness and illness by taking into account the presence of biological or physiological dysfunction, symptoms, and functional impairment. Health perceptions (or perceived health status) are subjective ratings by the affected individual of his or her health status. Some people perceive themselves as healthy despite suffering from one or more chronic diseases, while others perceive themselves as ill when no objective evidence of disease can be found.”Rice University points out that “there is no single standard measurement of health status for individuals or population groups. Individual health status may be measured by an observer who performs an examination and rates the individual along any of several dimensions, including presence or absence of life-threatening illness, risk factors for premature death, severity of disease, and overall health. Individual health status may also be assessed by asking the person to report his/her health perceptions in the domains of interest, such as physical functioning, emotional well-being, pain or discomfort, and overall perception of health.”On the Biology Online Website, “the level of health of the individual, group, or population as subjectively assessed by the individual or by more objective measures.” is their listed definition.When examining and considering definitions, it is important from a conceptual perspective to remember that definitions are only part of the perspective. For conceptual clarity, one also needs to consider context and relevancy as being equally important as areas to focus on as well.How health status is determined is an important perspective when applied in a worksite wellness setting.
I like to think I’m a pretty good marketer of my professional services.After all, I’ve been at it for 34 years, read hundreds of marketing books, thousands of articles and studied with the very best marketing gurus.But marketing is still challenging for me and the majority of independent professionals. If it weren’t, we’d all have more clients than we could serve, they’d be paying us high fees, and we’d never having to worry where our next clients would come from.And we wouldn’t need the thousands of marketing coaches and consultants like me offering services of all kinds to help you attract more clients.So, why is marketing so challenging?There are many marketing challenges, however, if you look at marketing closely, there are actually only three big challenges that give us the most trouble.Learn how to meet those challenges and your marketing will become more successful, easier, and fun.Here are those three marketing challenges:Challenge #1. Clearly communicating the value of what you are offering. Someone will not buy your services if they don’t see the real value to them. Your message can’t be vague or confusing; it must be clear and beneficial.One way to zero in on the value of your service is to define the top three attributes your service possesses. One or two is not enough; five or six tends to dilute your message.So, for instance, a sales training company might want to emphasize that their training is guaranteed to increase sales, improve sales confidence quickly, and can be delivered virtually in 45-minute online modules.That’s easy to understand and obviously beneficial. That kind of clear and valuable message is likely to generate attention, interest, and response.Seems simple, but not so easy to do. In my experience with thousands of independent professionals, their messages tend to be vague, not specific, and weak in terms of value.And if that value is not clear, prospects won’t respond.Taking the time to work on your message, fine-tune it, and test it until it gets a favorable response is one of the most important things you can possibly do in your business.To succeed at this task you must get inside the heads of your ideal clients and ask what they want the most, what problems they struggle with frequently, what isn’t working for them, and what could make their jobs easier and more productive.Jaynie L. Smith of Smart Advantage consulting says that 90% of companies don’t really know what their clients value the most. No wonder marketing messages are so bad.You can improve your marketing messages by reading and research (ask Google), sending questionnaires to your clients (Survey Monkey), or conducting a virtual focus group (via Zoom Video). Ultimately, you want to find out their biggest challenges and what they value the most.When you have that marketing intelligence, it will be a lot easier to come up with powerful marketing messages.This is challenging because it takes time and deep thinking. But if you realize its importance, you’ll invest your energies to come up with a powerful message that makes your service attractive, interesting, and compelling to your ideal clients.Challenge # 2. Making your business visible with repeated impressions of your message over time. It can take several impressions before someone responds to your marketing message.Just today, I noticed a message that one of my first level connections had sent to me on LinkedIn. When I checked the message, I noticed that he had sent me a total of 13 messages over a one-year period.The messages were actually very good. They had the right tone and great calls-to-action. It’s just that I don’t pay a lot of attention to my LinkedIn messages and had completely missed the first 12!He understood the value of repeat impressions over time and had developed a system within LinkedIn that had enabled him to send a unique, personalized message every month for a year. Pretty impressive.If he had only sent one or two messages, the chances are good that I wouldn’t have seen them.Again, my experience with the majority of self-employed professionals is that their marketing visibility is, at best, random and inconsistent, and at worst, non-existent.As you may know, I’ve sent out an email newsletter to my list pretty much every week for 21 years. That’s visibility. It’s really quite simple, but not so easy.If you want to be effective at your marketing, you must identify marketing strategies that enable you to get your message in front of your prospective clients consistently.And again, this is challenging. What is the best marketing activity for you, your personality and talents? How can you fit something into your schedule and do it consistently, not for a few weeks but for years?The question is not just what marketing strategies to use. Networking, speaking, blogging, email newsletters, webinars, social media, and direct outreach can all work.The more important question is what strategies will work the best for you and how exactly you can implement those strategies without spinning your wheels.You’re looking for proven, step-by-step instructions so you can evaluate if a strategy is right for you and something you can fit into your schedule on a regular basis. Remember, sporadic implementation is a waste of time.Implementing visibility strategies takes commitment and persistence. Is growing and succeeding in your business important enough for you to make that kind of effort? If it is, you’ll succeed at finding the best strategy for you.The final challenge may be the most important of all to overcome.Challenge #3. Maintaining the right marketing attitude and mindset over time, despite setbacks. If you can’t maintain The 3 R’s of success – responsibility, resourcefulness, and resilience, your marketing will never achieve the results you want.These 3Rs are absolutely essential. Responsibility is the stance that the buck stops with you. You are the only one who will find a way to attract clients and you won’t give up until you find that way. You won’t make excuses or blame circumstances, but instead will be accountable for making results happen.Resourcefulness is the skill to utilize your talents, and abilities to quickly find smart ways to overcome difficulties and find solutions. And to be resourceful, you can’t be full of doubts and fears of failure or rejection. A responsible person commits to finding a way; a resourceful person tries every way possible until they discover the best way.Resilience may be the most powerful trait of all. It’s what enables you to bounce back from adversity, setbacks, and even failures. And if you’re working to attract great clients, you’ll inevitably experience all of those many times. People who are not resilient don’t even try, let alone succeed.All of these essential qualities are in short supply. But if you work to grow those qualities persistently, over time, they will help you succeed with the first two challenging things in marketing – messaging and visibility.Despite these three marketing challenges – messaging, visibility, and mindset – there is good news.Improving your skills or abilities – even a little – in any of these three challenge areas will increase your marketing effectiveness.There is no perfect way of tackling all three challenges and you can’t do it in big leaps that get you there overnight. But you can work on all three slowly, with persistence, making small gains every week.When you improve your messages, you’ll start to see a better response in communicating to your prospects. Marketing then becomes like a game that starts with the question, “How can I communicate my value more clearly and powerfully?”When you increase your visibility, you’ll also notice a better response because to some degree, marketing is a numbers game. Your question might be, “How can I get my message in front of more of the right people this month?”And when you enhance your responsibility, resourcefulness, and resilience, you’ll find that playing the game becomes easier and more fun. The 3Rs are the fuel that enables you to persist with the first two challenges.Where do you start?You start by admitting where you are now and then committing to a purpose (your WHY for being in business in the first place), a goal (a specific thing you want to achieve), and to taking action (the actual steps you’ll implement to get there).Yes, marketing is challenging. But meeting those challenges is absolutely worth it.Cheers, Robert
BETTER HEALTH TODAYWhat Actually Is Health?What Does Good Health Mean?The Old English word for ‘health’ was simply hale, meaning ‘wholeness’ or being whole, sound, or well.A more modern definition created by the World Health Organization says that… “health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”More recently the definition presented by the WHO states that health is not a: “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being: Nor is it “merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”To fully understand Health and the definitions of Health in our present age one must introduce an era embracing new understanding of disease at the molecular, individual, and societal level. Today, most people recognize Health can be divided into two broad aspects: Physical Health and Mental Health.PHYSICAL HEALTHPhysical Health or physical well-being simply means good body health which is healthy because of regular physical activity (exercise), good nutrition, and adequate rest.Physical Health or physical well-being is something a person can achieve by developing components of a health-related lifestyle. This type of fitness wouldInclude: cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and body composition.Other components of physical well-being may include proper nutrition, body weight management, abstaining from drug use, avoiding alcohol abuse, responsible sexual behavior, and getting the proper amount of sleep.MENTAL HEALTHMental health includes a person’s cognitive and emotional well-being. A person who does not enjoy good mental health usually has some sort of mental disorder.Again according to the WHO, mental health is “a state of well-being in which the:individual realizes his or her own abilities;
can cope with the normal stresses of life;
can work productively and fruitfully; and
Is able to make a contribution to their community.”Unfortunately, measuring mental health has been a very subjective assessment. Often times it has been easier to tell what mental illness is, rather than mental health.Most of us agree that mental health again refers to the “absence of mental illness.” Unfortunately that measurement varies greatly from individual to individual.In reality mental health includes:the ability to enjoy life;
the ability to bounce back from adversity;
the ability to achieve balance or moderation;
the ability to be flexible and adapt;
the ability to feel safe and secure; and
the ability to make the best of whatever you have.Quite naturally each individual must personally learn the attributes of good health. You can go through life learning them the hard way or you can seek out advice or information that helps you develop a course of action. Developing a course of action seems like the BEST WAY.