The Art of Coaching

Do you need a life or business coach? How do you select the best coach for you? What type of mindset is the most beneficial for a successful coaching relationship? Associate Certified Coach Halle Simpson is here to tell us all that and more as she dives deep into the art of coaching.

Halle is a globally recognized Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation, keynote speaker, trainer and author of the forthcoming Know Thyself Journal. Her passion for speaking and coaching stems from both, growing up in a household with a parent battling depression and the grit gained from a 20 year career in sales and leadership development.  In her work with executives, business owners and self-starters, Halle masterfully creates conversations that grow leaders and their businesses that they’re not getting anywhere else.  When she isn’t coaching clients or speaking on stage, Halle enjoys yoga, journaling, cooking shows, attending the Indy 500, visiting Traverse City, Michigan and walks with her Boston Terrier, Marco. 

External Links:

Connect with Halle Simpson

Halle Simpson website

International Coaching Federation

Stay Active, Stay Positive

Around the world, rates of depression and anxiety are at an all-time high. According to the World Health Organization, over 264 million people worldwide are affected by depression.  Between the COVID-19 pandemic, civil unrest, and economic instability, it seems like once we’ve reassured ourselves on one front, another issue comes up. Plus, over 80 percent of low- and middle-income people do not receive treatment for their depression.

While exercise is no substitute for the help of a clinical professional in severe cases, there is also evidence that a regular exercise regimen can benefit mental health. This is because exercise directly affects our brain! Here’s the science you need to know to telegraph your mind some feel-good messages, plus our favorite exercises to perform during social distancing.

How Exercise Affects the Brain

Exercise helps our brain in several ways. Psychology Today reports that even a short walk causes the production of feel-good hormones called endorphins, as well as enkephalins. These help our short-term problems seem more manageable. “The simple act of focusing on exercise can give us a break from current concerns and damaging self-talk,” writes psychologist Sarah Gingell.

In addition, observation of mice has shown researchers that exercise might cause new neurons to form in the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that regulates emotion and supports our memory. Antidepressant medications used over time also stimulate the growth of the hippocampus. That means a habit of exercising might have a similar effect on parts of the brain as taking medicines.

Exercises that Help Depression

Aerobic exercise has been proven in studies to help with depression and mental health. Aerobics increase blood flow to the brain and stimulate the adrenal system, among other effects on the body. The Official Journal of the Association of Medicine and Psychiatry shared a literature review of many studies researching the effect of exercise on depression symptoms. One group of clinically depressed patients walked 20-40 minutes three times per week for six weeks and experienced an improvement in symptoms compared to other groups. Another study focused on cycling which significantly improved symptoms. Overall, studies support that aerobic exercise alleviates depression. Popular forms of aerobics include:

o   Walking

o   Jogging

o   Swimming

o   Cycling

o   Gardening

o   Dancing

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) shares that walking is the most popular form of exercise and it has grown more popular in recent years. Sixty percent of people attain their recommended aerobic exercise by walking for fun, or to reach a necessary destination, like work. Forty to fifty percent of people will walk to a shop, school, or church if the location is within a mile of their home.

Best Exercises During Social Distancing

What effect does social distancing have on the need for exercise? Bloomberg shared graphs of data collected by Apple, monitoring peoples’ physical activity through their devices. This data showed anywhere from a 50-80 percent decrease in the amount people walked worldwide during the first wave of the pandemic.

However, outdoor exercise isn’t only possible but encouraged during social distancing. Sunlight has major positive effects on mood and gives you necessary Vitamin D. You can still walk, jog, or ride a bike outdoors as long as you maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and others. Essentially, try to find an isolated place to exercise.

If you will be near others or don’t know if distancing is possible, the US Department of Health and Human Services recommends a face covering. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen! Broad-spectrum sunscreen is important to protect against skin cancer, which affects five million Americans a year. It’s no good to fix one problem while causing another, right?

If you live in an urban area or don’t otherwise want to exercise outdoors, another popular exercise alternative in these times is online workout classes. Whether using YouTube to watch a free video or downloading a subscription app with daily streaming, you can still feel connected to others and get expert coaching on your fitness journey. Even household chores or a private dance party to your favorite tunes can get your heart rate up and help you feel better.

Get a Mix of Physical Activity for Healthy Mind and Body

Sources like the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Health, and Popular Science all agree that 30 minutes of moderate activity or 15 minutes of vigorous activity are needed five days a week to achieve health results. That means 150 minutes on the moderate side, or 75 on the vigorous side. It’s also important to mix aerobics with strength training to improve muscle mass.

Of course, that is just the recommended minimum. As your attitude and mindset adjust with these new habits, you might want to go even further, and that’s great. Just make sure to align your diet and rest periods with your new workouts, and you will be doing the work to banish the blues every day.

Online Events and Conferences 2020

Right now, there are nearly 22,000 online events being published daily, according to Eventbrite. Business and professional online events specifically have increased by over 1,100 percent. With so many options to connect, learn, and gather through our devices, it can be difficult to decide which are the most valuable. While every person’s schedule and interests are different, we collected a list of online events and conferences for late summer and fall 2020.

Online Conferences for Startups & Entrepreneurs 2020

Trying to start or sustain a business during the current pandemic is certainly a challenge. Luckily, the increase in online events means a significant increase in curated resources for entrepreneurs.

VentureSummit Virtual Connect (August 4-6): This event highlights different VCs and venture funds.

Disrupt 2020 (September 14-18): Five days of non-stop programming coupled with a focus on providing insights to entrepreneurs.

Founder Institute Online Webinars (ongoing): The Founder Institute is scheduling recurring programming for founders and business leaders.

StartupDevKit (ongoing): A 3-month online incubator and accelerator for startups at any stage.

Online Business Conferences 2020

Whether you’re looking to improve existing skills, learn new ones, or expand your network, online conferences and events can be just as useful as in-person ones. These offerings will grow your skills and help you meet new people, or promote your business:

Digital Marketing World Forum (September 16-17): Learn the latest ambitious trends and strategies in digital marketing.

Elevate Main Stage (September 21-24): Hear from experts at the intersections of technology, sustainability, and innovation about what’s next for many industries.

Online Personal Development Resources 2020

Plenty of online events are focused on business, but there are also conferences and webinars for personal development. Here are a few resources to help you choose an event that’s ideal for you:

Eventbrite lists events from all over the world, from art appreciation to live music to interpersonal skills training.

Coursera allows you to audit online courses from over 200 colleges and universities for free, or pay a subscription to work toward earning a certificate.

YouTube has a specific angle on the home fitness market, with many popular channels to help you start yoga, strength training, kickboxing, or more from your own home.  Plus, you can search for just about any other topic, too.

MasterClass lets you watch instruction on everything from skateboarding to cooking to leadership from some of the world’s best minds.

Attend Online Events to Maximize Opportunity

These are just some of the online events and conferences scheduled for summer and fall 2020. We encourage everyone to find something that appeals to them and keep engaging in lifelong learning, even when that can’t happen in person. Take advantage of this new normal to access online events that might otherwise require you to travel across the world. This could be the start of something great!


Youth, Equity, and Leadership

Sam Battan, Colorado ’07, joins the Business Edge podcast to chat about the importance of youth leadership and how teens are changing the Denver landscape through his organization, Colorado Youth Congress. To get involved, visit:

As the founder and CEO of the Colorado Youth Congress, Sam Battan brings together diverse communities of young people to lead the fight to solve our most complex problems. Prior to starting CYC, Sam worked in New Orleans for five years teaching in an alternative high school designed for students who were overage and under-credited. Sam was recognized as the district’s Teacher of the Year and has worked passionately to expand leadership opportunities for youth. In addition to being an educator, Sam is a proud community organizer, recently co-founding Equity Network United for Metro Denver, an advocacy organization, and previously serving as the education chair for the Welcome Table New Orleans, the nation’s first city-sanctioned initiative on racial reconciliation. His advocacy work has been featured on NBC,, the Denver Post, and The Advocate.

External Links:

Connect with Sam Battan

Colorado Youth Congress

Best Podcasts for Positivity

Taking time throughout the day or week for a few moments of levity, enjoyment, and positivity can be so helpful to one’s well-being. In fact, a study in Norway indicated those with a strong sense of humor and laughter outlive those without it.

Podcasts continue to be a source of inspiration, and their widespread availability means that they’re open for anyone with a device, a pair of headphones, and an hour or so of free time. With so many podcasts to choose from, we narrowed it down to five recommendations for podcasts that inspire positivity.



Even before podcasts were of note, NPR has been at the forefront of narrative broadcast storytelling. “Invisibilia” is a great continuation of the blend of storytelling, information, and heart that millions of listeners have already come to know and love. The podcast uses narrative and science to help explain the basics and not-so-basics that make up and inspire human behavior.


Two Dope Queens

Hosted by comedians Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, this live-recorded podcast has quickly gained notoriety and a passionate following, primarily due to the duo’s hilarious, charming, and engaging conversations on a variety of topics.


How I Built This 

For many of us, we have a passion for business that some could find to be a bit dull or boring. But on this podcast, host Guy Raz provides great evidence for why the business world doesn’t have to be all projections and charts. Each episode, Raz dives deep into the story of a specific business or entrepreneur to find out exactly how their company came to be. Along the way, though, we get tons of insight and exciting stories that make the whole experience memorable.


Office Ladies

Is there any more comforting sound on television than the opening strains of The Office’s theme song? Now, your favorite sitcom about the antics of Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, Pennsylvania, gets a fresh do-over as stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey release podcast episodes paired with each episode of the show. The result is a sweet, relaxing, and often very funny look at what it took to make one of the most popular and revered shows in television.


How Did This Get Made?

Have you ever been watching a movie and found yourself wondering, “How did this even get made?” On this podcast, hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas take the films of lesser quality to task. Movies like “The Room,” “Burlesque,” “Showgirls,” “Junior,” and “Howard the Duck” all get their day in the sun, and listening as these three try to break down the most confounding and hilariously confusing elements of these movies is never a bad way to spend your time.

Podcasts are great to listen to while cleaning or driving, or to break up an afternoon.

If you haven’t already started listening to podcasts, you can use apps like Podcatcher that creates a stream of available episodes, or Spotify or iTunes. The hilarious podcasts on our list are a great place to start without taking it too seriously. And once you get started, don’t forget to search and subscribe to “Operations Avenue” and “Business Edge,” AKPsi’s podcasts dedicated to your chapter growth and professional development.