Author: Joya Martin

A former award-winning telecommunications executive from the gorgeous Caribbean, I now live in France with my husband. I have found my new passion as a visual artist, creating vibrant paintings in a contemporary expressionist style.

10 Great Reasons to Start Walking Regularly

Inactivity is a silent killer. Using your leisure time to just sit around watching TV, surfing the Internet and playing video games can get you on the fast track to weight gain, obesity, and chronic disease. I recommend walking as a way to make moving your body a lifelong habit; it is easy, cheap and fun! Here are ten great reasons to take a walk:

1. Improve Your Mood

Physical activity stimulates brain activity and causes your body to produce happy brain chemicals called endorphins. Just walking 20 minutes per day can help relieve stress, anxiety, and even mild depression. You will feel more peaceful and happy, and have improved self-esteem.

2. Boost Your Energy

Walking can also improve your …

5 Ways to Make Eating Healthier a Habit

Half way through the first month of each new year, many of the well-meaning resolutions we make to eat healthier and lose weight have all but faded away. We all want better lives, but changing ourselves requires changing our bad habits, and developing new good ones.

Can You Pinch an Inch?

Stand in front of the mirror. Can you pinch an inch around your waist? Then you, like 1.5 billion people on the planet today, are probably overweight. Carrying around extra pounds can interfere with our self-esteem, drain our energy and cut our personal effectiveness. Getting lean will decrease your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Here are five specific things you can do to discipline yourself …

A Brand New Year

2012: A Brand New Year

A brand new year stretches before us, an uncertain road not yet traveled.  Traditionally a period of festivity and reflection, the close of each year takes us tumbling through a mishmash of memories – twelve months worth of joys and sorrows,  lucky breaks and challenges, resolutions and regrets.

We giddily relive the delicious moments of dancing until dawn, the kiss that took our breath away.  Reminiscing on the joy weddings and the arrival of new family members brings the comforting warmth of nostalgia. The exhilaration of new projects and challenges – plans for a new home, a promotion, college acceptance  – inspires us with a sense of purposeful anticipation, yearning and optimism for the days …

The Ten Commandments for Business Failure

Why is it that some brands fail, while others stand the test of time?

“In the 1980’s alone 230 companies disappeared from the Fortune 500. In fact, only sixteen of the 100 largest companies that were around in the early 1900’s are still with us.”These words are from Donald R. Keough’s 2008 book ‘The Ten Commandments for Business Failure‘.

Coke is one of those brands. Introduced in 1886, Whether you like Coke or not, it’s difficult to deny the brand’s, ubiquity, staying power and success through the years. Coke is recognized at one of today’s most valuable brands.

You may never have heard of Donald Keough, but he is at least partially responsible for the The Coca-Cola Company’s …

Get Busy Living

Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) and “Red” (Morgan Freeman) in ‘The Shawshank Redemption’

Millions of people across the globe have been inspired by the 1994 motion picture ‘The Shawshank Redemption’. The film stars Tim Robbins, as Andy Dufresne, and Morgan Freeman, who also brilliantly narrates the movie. Andy Dufresne is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in Shawshank Prison, for murders he did not commit. The story spans the two decades of his imprisonment and friendship with Morgan Freeman’s character, Ellis “Red” Redding. It is one of my all time favorite films.

The Company I lead is only a few years old. Each line manager has been employed on average for about a year. I have been at the helm for …

10 Little Things I’ve Learned as a Female Executive

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned over the years, and continue to learn every day.

1. Work Hard

There really is no substitute for hard work. The law of sowing and reaping and Newton’s third law hold true in nature, and are equally applicable to everyday life. Don’t expect to ever get more than you put in. Don’t expect to ever be paid more than you deserve. And if it happens, don’t expect it to last long. Compete only with yourself; strive every day to be better than you were the day before.

2. If You Don’t Ask, the Answer is Always “No”

One of the main reasons some women succeed at landing the tough assignments and earning …

The Optimist’s Creed: I Promise Myself Today


I am not naturally a morning person. In fact, I am the opposite. I am something of a forcibly reformed night owl. My alarm goes off at 5:30am seven days per week. Seven days per week, I hit the five-minute snooze button at least once, and often several times before reluctantly accepting that another day must now begin. That said, I have to admit that mornings are wonderful. They give us a chance to start each new day afresh.

Every morning, I reserve a few moments—before bounding (or crawling) out of bed—to be quiet. During these quiet moments, I meditate on, read and listen to words which will uplift my spirit and bring perspective as I start another day’s adventure. …

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

Ants do it. Why can’t we?

In theory, we all know the value of teamwork. In childhood, grandma admonished that “many hands make light work”. Henry Ford provided sage advice, saying “if everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself”. We have all seen the glossy motivational posters. So why is it so difficult to build strong and effective teams?

Two years ago, when I became a General Manager for the first time, one of the lessons I knew I had to learn fast was how to get the most out of my new team of managers and supervisors. Having spent almost my entire career in audit, accounting and finance positions, leading a multi-disciplinary team was new …

50 Books

Even with a hectic work schedule as a busy executive, in late August 2010, I set out on a mission to read about one book per week. The idea was that one year later, I would have read at least fifty books. In an earlier blog post “Thank You, Steve”, I talked about how technology has enabled me to surpass my reading goal six weeks ahead of schedule.

Here are the 77 titles I’ve crossed off my list in the past year, by category:

Leadership & Business

Business Stripped Bare – Richard Branson
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – Patrick Lencioni
Crush It! – Gary Vaynerchuk
Start with Why – Simon Sinek
The Thank You Economy – Gary

Thank You, Steve!

David Suchet as M. Hercule Poirot

As a child, between the ages of eight and ten years old, I devoured books. I have a natural love of learning, and the reading program introduced at my elementary school really stirred this. We were treated to weekly visits to the public library, and our parents were given the opportunity to purchase in bulk from Scholastic books. The rich and imaginative world of literature opened up to me as I read classic children’s novels such as ‘Veronica the Showoff’ and ‘The House on the Hill’ and every Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery novel I could get my little fingers on. I read Agatha Christie, and fell in love with Monsieur Hercule Poirot …

If You’re Not Doing Something That Scares You…

July is here. The year 2011 is half over. To an optimist, this marks a unique threshold of opportunity: six more months to do more, see more, learn more, be more.

What have you done with your first six months? Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Do you feel a sense of accomplishment? These were some of the questions running through my mind in the last couple of days. More importantly, I asked myself: what will you do with the next six months?

I was inspired to start a blog after recently finishing Gary Vaynerchuk’s book ‘Crush It!’. One of the central learning points his book left with me is the concept of developing a personal brand.

This really scared …