digital dieting kenny soto

The Importance of Digital Dieting

Not all time spent on the net is healthy.

There are thousands of fitness programs, gyms, and personal trainers out there that work solely for one purpose: keeping your body healthy. Unfortunately, there haven’t been any services created (at least to my knowledge) on how to manage the Internet and specifically mobile, bingeing. There have been some startling statistics on the amount time we are all exposed to digital media during our daily activities.

1. Let’s talk and interact.

It has become increasingly common for most social gatherings in life to consist of people talking to each other while simultaneously having their phones in their hands. I never noticed this small little fact until I spent a day without my phone. I could not help but, be slightly irritated when I would speak with my friends and they would constantly check every notification they had. It became increasingly more apparent that this was an issue when I worked retail and saw that one of the employee rules was not to take out your phone while behind the counter. It slowly dawned on me that perhaps a lot of people were not monitoring the amount of time they spent on the internet (it doesn’t show any immediate side effects when you are using it). Speaking from my personal experience, I have learned that  both professionally and socially, it is rude not to engage with who you’re talking with in any situation. Part of digital dieting is learning how to support some level of self-control when interacting with others in the non-virtual world.

2. The Internet is a tool.

I recently had an engaging conversation with a new acquaintance of mine about what are some the most important subjects the urban youth in New York has to learn. I mentioned digital dieting to him, and we spent a considerable amount of time discussing our views on social media and video streaming platforms (what happens to most of us when running through a rabbit hole of videos and posts). There is a vast amount of articles everyone has access to that is just waiting to be absorbed. As opposed to just scrolling through “memes” and photos of your old friends, subscribe to magazines and news articles. I am in no way promoting that you deactivate any of your social media accounts; I am only suggesting an alternative to your regular digital routine. Consider how you will utilize your time before interacting with your phone the next time you begin that initial interaction with it.

3. Give yourself time to enjoy your surroundings.

There are so many moments that we miss daily because our necks are spent bent down looking at screens. I have been a victim of this for some time now. There are so many beautiful things that occur while I am walking through Central Park or Brooklyn and I miss them because I am tweeting about my walks. Mobile phones have certainly helped countless people and industries; all I am suggesting is that we become more aware of our usage of the Internet. Perhaps this may seem a little extreme but as an experiment leave your phone home for a day. It will show you how dependent we have become on our little tiny pocket boxes.

Time is your most precious commodity, and you need to maximize all the time you have, especially when using the internet.

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kenny soto 4 qualities of an effective leader

The 4 Qualities Effective Leader’s Have

Before you lead a team…

I have come across many people in my time as a student leader. Throughout all the different interactions I have had with many of my fellow peers, they all have an abundance of different qualities that make them all exceptional leaders. There are, however, four core characteristics that make them successful leaders.

1. Patience

To be a leader you can not be impulsive in your decision-making. Trusting your instincts is important but, there is a difference between going with your gut and reacting from your emotions. It is always important to analyze the intended and unintended consequences of every choice you make. Being able to stand back and ask yourself important questions such as, “Is this venture worth the risk? Should we worry about this issue now or leave it on the side to address other pressing matters?”, is very important to do as a leader. Every  decision you make affects the ones that will be made in the future; having clarity is the only way you will be able to lead a team to greatness.

2. Curiosity

In anything that you do, whether now or in the future, there will always be ways for you to further develop and improve yourself as an asset to the group. Always seek opportunities to grow and the best way to  do so is to keep an open mind and be willing to learn from anyone, not just people in your immediate network. One of the best ways to constantly learn besides reading every day is to continuously engage with people you do not normally converse with. Learning about new cultures and different social topics makes it easier to build rapport with people in any situation, which is very important for a leader. You can only stay the leader of a group so long as you grow with it.

3. Service

I am a strong believer that a leader is the one person who knows how to serve the group’s purpose the best. A leader is not someone who works to meet his own agenda (surely most leaders get their positions with determination and desire as two key pillars that drive them) but is someone who works to carry out the goals and aspirations of everyone  involved within the team. When given a position of power that can decide the future of an entire group of people, the responsibilities of the leader should not be taken lightly. Being able to understand the importance of your role, not only for yourself but, for everyone else is key to sustaining a team and achieving success for all.

4. Delegation

I struggle with this every day. Being the most significant quality in a leader, honing this skill is a must in order to be successful. Delegating tasks is not only important for the health of a leader but more importantly, it lets other members of the team have the opportunity to further propel their growth and possibly become leaders themselves. You are never truly done leading a team until it is able to survive without you. This can only be achieved if you give others the chance to tackle challenges and obstacles without you. Don’t be afraid to trust your teammates with hard tasks. Staying concerned with issues, present and potential, as well as opportunities that may arise in the future is what should be your main priority.

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Learn Digital Marketing kenny soto

3 Reasons Why You Have to Learn Digital Marketing

Today, everyone is their own media company.

[Editor’s note: Posted originally on February 8th, 2015]

“To me, job titles don’t matter. Everyone is in sales. It’s the only way we stay in business.”Harvey Mackay

I am currently an intern at SCORE NYC, a not-for-profit small business consulting agency right in the heart of New York City. As an intern, I am being exposed to what digital marketing is and how the marketing world has changed dramatically. Here are the top three reasons why I believe no matter what industry or profession you are going into, you have to be savvy in digital marketing.

Everything is sold on the internet.

Whether you like it or not, most professions rely on the art of selling. When someone is looking for a new product or service, a nonprofit to donate to, or just a new blog to read, understanding how to market on the internet is essential to your success. The more you understand how to market yourself or a business you work for on the internet, the more valuable you become. There is a lot of white noise on the web and you want your potential customers/viewers to reach you. Digital marketing is all about optimizing your online presence.

Your information is being indexed every day.

It should come as no surprise that Google catalogs every Facebook post, Tweet, LinkedIn update and Instagram video you share online. Your information is out there and what you need to do is make sure you are in control of what people see. The first thing employers do today is the Google your name before even deciding to skim your resume (if you’re an entrepreneur looking for investors, be aware that they always do their due diligence in researching who you are before your pitch). Make sure what they see is spectacular and show them you are an asset; the right person for the position. At all costs avoid any damaging information to be posted about you online. Digital etiquette is the one thing you cannot afford to overlook.

Your competition is everywhere.

How can anyone be able to get a job in today’s ever changing job market when thousands of people are applying to the same positions daily through the internet? How do you sell a product to customers when there are thousands of competitors in the same industry creating and giving out content on a daily basis? Business professionals need to know how to stand out from the crowd and the best way to do so is to make your digital presence known. This doesn’t mean only setting up a LinkedIn account, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best. You have to join forums or message boards and start communicating with people within your industry (creating an active presence is key). Show your potential employers, customers and business partners that you are the expert and authority in your field. It’s all about developing a personal brand that will have employers wanting to know more about you.

Don’t only spend your time on the internet scrolling through news feeds and watching countless YouTube videos. Invest your time into expanding who you are online. Trust me, if you aren’t doing so your competition is.

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