Wealth CREATION!

By Jernavis Draughn

We all are yearning for financial FREEDOM. They say wealth is just a code for “freedom”, which is the ultimate gift of life. Why do we go to work every day? Why do we go to school for certain degrees? Why do we go after certifications that add value to our resume? Why do we set goals for our life? These actions lead to our “Why”, for everything we do or fail to do in our lives. Some people create financial goals that will help them reach the land of financial freedom. Some people have a certain amount of money to be saved before they retire comfortably.  Wealth is built by one good decision at a time. Therefore your destiny is determined by your decisions.

In the book, “Wealth Can’t Wait”, by David Orsborn and Paul Morris, they suggest that everyone should create a wealth vision. They explain you have to plan for wealth, take action steps to move yourself forward, work with people that have knowledge about wealth creation and hold yourself accountable. Martin Luther King once said, “The line of progress is never straight.” You have to be intentional on learning everything you can about wealth creation and implementing the strategies into action. Thinking of yourself as a corporation, you will naturally build wealth. Corporations have multiple streams of revenue. Studies say the average millionaire has seven streams of income.

Everyone earns two forms of income. Earned income is where you put the time in and work for it. Passive income is where it comes without any time or work rendered by you. Shift your thinking from working for money to working for WEALTH! This mindset will inspire you to start thinking about new ways you can increase your income streams. Osborn and Morris, also explained, “The seven habits that build wealth.”

  1. Live life by design. Start with the end in mind.
  2. Make business decisions based on solid fundamentals. Do your homework, read and research first.
  3. Stick with what you know and drill deep. Build where you can make a difference.
  4. Earn more by learning more.
  5. Chunk down big goals and hold yourself accountable daily.
  6. Spend less than you earn and invest the rest.
  7. Let go of the small stuff.

Write down your vision and make it plain. Helen Keller is coined for saying; the worst thing is to have sight with no vision.” Wealth creation starts with a decision to implement the daily habits that lead to financial freedom. Spend less than you earn. Save money to invest in vehicles that create more money. Wealth is what you don’t see and can’t spend.

Quote of the Day: “Energy and imagination are the springboards to wealth creation.”-Brian Tracy

Why you should ASK first…?

By Jernavis Draughn

David Cooperrider is coined for saying, “We live in a world our questions create.” Questions are the ANSWERS to any problem you have in life. We tend to believe we know everything, which leads us to responding with assumptions as answers. There is a difference between facts verse truth. Your “truth”, about most things typically derives from your perspective or feelings about that person, situation, or experience. A fact is something that is indisputable, based on empirical research and quantifiable measures. We often confuse those two words, because we are driven by our emotions, which create how we feel about something. Focus equals feelings. What we focus on, we FEEL. Removing our emotions from the situation helps us see things clearly and allows us to be empathetic to what that person has to say and feeling in that particular moment.

What drives us? Daniel Pink, believes people are driven by, “autonomy, mastery and purpose.” We learn what we VALUE. In any relationship, we must take the time to listen to hear how that person feels, to discover their vision, wants or needs and see how you can contribute to helping them reaching their goals. Listening is the only vehicle to learning. In the book, “The Advice Trap,” Michael Bungay Stainer, explains seven questions that help you gain clarity, learn, and understand someone more deeply.

  1. The Kickstart Question. What is on your mind?
  2. AWE Question. And what else?
  3. The Focus Question. What is the real challenge here for you?
  4. The Foundation Question. What do you want?
  5. The Strategy Question. If you are saying yes to this, what must you say no to?
  6. The Lazy Question. How can I help?
  7. The Learning Question. What was most useful or valuable here for you?

Questions are the answers. Everyone wants to be heard and valued. We all are leaders in some capacity of our life. Every word we utter and action we take will affect someone’s life for the good or bad. All learning is dependent on feedback. Reflection is a form of practice. Let people know you care about what they are saying by listening to them when they talk. Praise people for the behaviors you want them to reciprocate. What is rewarded is repeated and what is punished is avoided. Lastly, people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you CARE.

Quote of the Day: “Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone.”-Anonymous

Why Practice Creates PROGRESS! (Part 2)

By Jernavis Draughn

One of Athletes Global Corporation mantras is, PROGRESS not perfection. Incremental growth is consistently praised and valued. Success in anything is a marathon that never truly ends. John Maxwell, is coined for saying, “anything worthwhile is uphill.” Growth in anything demands daily PRACTICE. We look at successful people or organizations and sometimes forget the time, learning, research, failures, passion, and commitment that was invested into becoming successful. Success is not accidental, it leaves clues. There is no growth without failure and without failure there is no SUCCESS.

Progress starts with practice. Growing up as an athlete, in high school my daily goal was to make a hundred jump shots. I believed if I committed myself to doing it daily, my jump shot would improve. Anders Ericsson created the term “deliberate practice”, which means purposeful practice with a goal in mind. What new ritual or routine are you practicing this year to help improve a facet of your life? The stories we tell ourselves leads to the actions we take. We become what we DO. If we want to change our story, we must change our actions first. In the book, “The Practice”, by Seth Godin, he explains “doing what you love is for amateurs, loving what you do is the mantra of professionals.” Persistent and consistent effort over time can yield results.

Godin goes on to explain; intentional action is design with PURPOSE. It all starts with you being honest with yourself and asking, what are you trying to change? What change are you trying to make? Lastly, how will you know if it worked? What gets measured gets accomplished. You cannot find a good reason until you know what you are trying to accomplish. Clarity is power. We have to divorce our story and marry the TRUTH. We do our best work with intention. Living with purpose and focusing on intrinsic goals leads to lasting success. When you commit yourself to improving through deliberate practice, is when growth and opportunity opens its doors. As Malcom Gladwell once said, “practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good, it is the thing you do that makes you GOOD.”

Quote of the Day: “We become what we DO.”-Seth Godin

What’s your next FIVE moves?

By Jernavis Draughn

Clarity is power. Jim Rohn is coined for saying, “You have to make measurable progress in reasonable time.” Clarity comes from making decisions that are aligned with your core beliefs and values. Who are you becoming? Who do you want to be? What type of life do you want? The bible says, “without vision, people perish.” The worst thing in life is to have sight but no vision for where you want to go. We often create our vision from our parents, friends, mentors, celebrities, books, movies, or shows. However, your vision is connected to passion, which helps you discover your PURPOSE for being on this earth. The two best days in life are; when you were born and when you discover what you were born to do.

Your next five moves, by Patrick Bet-David, is by far one of the best business books I have ever read. Bet-David explains four keys to discovering your vision.

  1. Your vision must align with who you want to be.
  2. Your choices must align with your visions.
  3. Your effort must align with the size of your vision.
  4. Your behavior must align with your values and principles.

What drives you to reach your goals? To improve or grow? Are you driven by extrinsic values or intrinsic things? There is nothing wrong with wanting the finer things in life, the nice car or big house, when your values and principles are intact. What you have or own should not define who YOU are. Identity drives behavior, but a flawed identity can drive you to the wrong destination. Bet-David goes over four key drivers that lead our life: advancement, madness, individuality, and purpose. Bet-David explains his result based driven decision-making process, “ITR” (Investment, Time, Return).

  1. Investment. How much will it cost or save us?
  2. Time. How much time will it take us or save us?
  3. Return. Calculate the return on the money and time involved in the decision.

This methodology helps you make better decisions, by focusing on the speed and value of the result or outcome you are looking to receive. Your next five moves walks you through the steps of growing your business to teaching you how to become a better leader. The book describes four responsibilities of a CEO.

  1. Operating Systems. This is about tightening up your systems, technology, and processes and making them more effective and efficient.
  2. Business Development/Sales. Creating new relationships with new vendors, clients, and new partnerships. Making the sales process better.
  3. Next Innovative Campaign. You may launch a program or promotion that is potentially game changing. Create a campaign to drive rapid revenue growth.
  4. Leadership Development. Exponential growth depends on your ability to develop other people into effective leaders.

Growth is intentional. It is a new year and hopefully you have taken some time to reflect and write down who you want to become and all personal, financial, health, and spiritual goals you want to achieve.  We have one life to live, no second chances, only REGRETS. My focus this year is “Intentional Living”. Where any action I take or thought I create, will lead to positive OUTCOMES only. It is a hard task to commit too, but it is worth the return on investment. What will you focus on improving this year? What small habits will you implement to lead you to reaching your goals? Who do you want to become this year? Remember your goals shape your identity.

Quote of the Day: “Move in silence and execute relentlessly.”-Marc Ecko

Why you should THINK like a MONK….

By Jernavis Draughn

Charles Horton is quoted for saying, “I’m not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.” Our self-perception of who we think we are is sometimes based on how other people define us. We become what we believe and do. Writing a new story of who we want to become, is the first step to breaking negative beliefs we have about ourselves. You have to divorce your story and marry the TRUTH. They say the truth will set you free, I believe the truth creates clarity for you to live a narrower life. Therefore, I believe real freedom is having a true sense of “self-awareness”. It is acknowledging who you truly are, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and beginning the process of working on them daily.

Fear. False. Evidence. Appearing. Real. Seneca believed we suffer more in imagination than reality. In the book, “Think like a monk”, by Jay Shetty, he defines our four key motivations for life:

  1. Fear. We are driven by sickness, poverty, and fear of hell or death.  
  2. Desire. We seek personal gratification through success, wealth, and pleasure.
  3. Duty. We are motivated by gratitude, responsibility, and a desire to do the right thing.
  4. Love. We are compelled by caring for others and the urge to help them.

There is a quote that says, “you can’t be anything you want, but you can be everything you are.” Shetty discusses a plethora of successful habits that can help you win the morning, overcome negative thoughts and beliefs, discover your purpose, build healthier relationships, gain more personal confidence, improve our character and much more.

Here’s a few key takeaways from the book:

-Your passion is for you, your purpose is for others.

-Location has energy; time has memory.

-Change happens with small steps and big priorities.

-We have seventy thousand separate thoughts daily.

-Our mind is consistently predicting what is going to happen next.

-You are who you are when no one is watching.

-People come into your life for a reason, season, or lifetime.

-Trust is a daily practice.

Five primary motivations for connection: physical connection, material, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual.

– “Love is the absence of judgement.’-Dalai Lama

-Until you heal your wounds from the past, you will continue to bleed.

-True service does not expect or even want anything in return.

“Think like a monk,” was a great read. We are all on the journey of discovering our purpose. We tend to chase meaningless possessions that do not help us become the best version of ourselves. Who we become is a direct reflection of who we believe we are. We become what we do. Life allows us to choose what path we want to take. Self-awareness is a superpower that most people will never cultivate. It is the GPS that helps you make better decisions and create a vision for your life. Self- awareness helps you find your purpose. Mark Cuban is coined for saying, “don’t follow your passion, follow your efforts”. If you fall in love with the process, your journey of personal growth will never end.

Quote of the Day: “Change begins with the words inside of our head.”

The Power of CHARACTER!

By Jernavis Draughn

Heraclitus is quoted for saying, “A man’s character is his FATE.” Our character is connected to who we believe we are or trying to become. Character is built through adolescence, family, teachers, environment, coaches, mentors, friends, and our ethnic culture. Good character, or moral force, is like a personal security system for your LIFE. Charles Horton once said, “I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think YOU think I AM.” Self-reflection is the only vehicle to self-growth. Typically, the person we believe we are internally, reflects how we respond externally. We have to be continually repainting our life canvas. Ensuring that we are constantly improving and growing in all areas of life.

We lead our lives by our beliefs. If a person wants to change his belief system, he has to change his ideas about himself or his ideas about the world. A value is a belief. Values are behaviors or standards that govern our daily actions. In the book, “The power of character in leadership”, by Dr. Myles Monroe, discusses how our values lead our lives. Here are four areas Monroe shows the influence our personal values have on us.

  1. Values grow out of personal or corporate philosophy.
  2. Values are more important than rules.
  3. Values outlive GOALS.
  4. A person values will be revealed by the way we conduct ourselves.

Character is who we are when no one else is watching. Character is your BRAND. It is what everyone says about you when you are not present. Monroe says, “a person with character “policies” himself. Exercising self-control in accordance with their belief.” In his book, Monroe gives a few examples of what “Character Means”:

-Character means having a commitment to a set of values without compromise.

-Character means being dedicated to a set of standards without warning.

Character means making sacrifices in support of your principles.

Character means making a continual effort to integrate your thoughts, words, and actions.

We live in a world where our entire life is public. Any personal downfall can be exploited on every social media platform out there. Our character is the only thing we have to protect us from being influenced or persuaded into committing an action that can or will be regretted in the future. It is a daily job to continually renew and feed our mind with positive, uplifting, and progressive information. Growth is intentional. Character is manifested when our values, principles, morals, and standards are tested. Discover who you want to become first and define the values, standards, and principles you have to live by in order to become that person. We all will be tested in some way in life, remember your character is what people will say about you at your funeral.

Quote of the Day: “The currency of leadership is TRUST!”- Dr. Myles Monroe

Are you playing to WIN in LIFE, CAREER, or BUSINESS?

By Jernavis Draughn

If you are not taking score you are just PRACTICING. Life is a fight for territory. Playing the game of life to just play is meaningless, playing to win is intentional. It requires thinking, planning, preparing, and taking massive action. It starts with a strategy. Deciding what winning looks like for you in all facets of your life. What is winning? Is it earning a certain amount of income? Is it spending quality time with family and friends? Is it driving a certain type of car or living in a certain size house? Is it being able to travel the world? Is it having financial freedom? Reasons reap results. What is your “why’ behind everything you do? What will push you to take consistent and strategic action daily?

Being a retired athlete, you ultimately learn that winning is the only option. Your conditioned to compete and to leave it all on the table every time you show up. I have learned winning in anything in life starts with EFFORT, by doing the work. When you implement strategy behind effort and work ethic, more opportunity arises. Robin Sharma is coined for saying,“what you do daily is your life in miniature.” When you discover your why, you will find the WAY. Strategy is a choice. The purpose of systems is to ensure consistency. In the book, “Playing to win, how strategy works”, by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin, explains how strategy is one of the major keys to consistently winning in business.

Lafely and Martin go over five questions to help you build a strategic business plan.

  1. What is your winning aspiration? What is the purpose of your company?
  2. Where will you play? Partnerships? Online? Brick and Mortar? Territories? Target audience?
  3. How will you win? How will you win on your chosen playing field?
  4. What capabilities must be in place? Who will you need? Who will you have to become? What will you need to learn?
  5. What management systems are required? What type of system do you need to create consistent results?

Here’s some key takeaways from the book, Playing to win, that can help grow your business:

-Do not try to capture all segments.

-Look for a place to play that will enable you to attack from unexpected directions.

-Winning means providing a better consumer and customer value equation than your competitors do and providing it on a sustainable basis.

-Differentiation. We offer products or services that are perceived to be distinctively more valuable to customers, with the same cost structure that competitors use.

-Measurement provides focus and feedback.

Strategy is a way to win. Having a competitive advantage helps you create consistent success. Playing to win in anything, means being more intentional, goal oriented, focus, strategic, mission and purpose driven. See strategy as a process rather than a result. Remember success has no FINISH LINE.

Quote of the Day: “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” -Arie de Geus

What is your company BRAND type?

By Jernavis Draughn

Jeff Bezos once said your brand is what everyone says about you when you’re NOT in the room. Over the last year and a half, our company “Athletes Global” has become more focused on what we want our brand to stand for. We want to align our “what”, with our “why” and our “how”. So our teammates echo and behave consistently with our mission and culture. Your brand is your BUSINESS. The operations of a company will impact the culture, by shaping how people work. The culture also impacts operations by making it work effectively and efficiently. Your culture defines your leadership. It actually affects how you provide your services, even down to the packaging of your products. It also affects customer service, how you win, and how you respond to failure and conflict. All of this defines your BRAND.

In the book “Fusion”, by Denise Lee Yohn, it introduces how integrating brand and culture powers the world’s greatest companies. Here’s nine different brand types that companies are defined by.

  1. Disruptive Brands. Completely changes the entire industry. Examples: Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Walmart
  2. Conscious Brands. Mission to make a positive impact on society. Examples:  American Red Cross, Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation, and LinkedIn
  3. Service Brands. Deliver high quality customer care and service. Examples: Chic-fil-A, Trader Joe’s and BMW
  4. Value Brands. Offer low prices for basic quality products or services. Examples: Walmart, Subway, Amazon
  5. Innovative Brands. Consistently introducing advanced and breakthrough products and services. Examples: Tesla, Disney, Apple
  6. Performance Brands. Produce and deliver superior performance and dependability. Examples: Proctor & Gamble, Toyota, Cisco
  7. Luxury Brands. Higher quality at higher prices. Examples: Mercedes, Hermes, Louis Vutton
  8. Style Brands. Differentiated by the products or services look and feel. Examples: Nike, Airbnb, Starbucks
  9. Experience Brands. Differentiated by the experience they provide. Examples: Disney, AMC, Hilton, Apple, Amazon, Starbucks

What is your company brand type? What is your employee and customer experiences? How would they rate them? Your organizational culture is largely shaped by its purpose and values. Becoming clear on how you want you’re Brand to be defined, will help build a clear vision, mission and a company culture that is committed to success.

Quote of the Day: “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.”-Walter Landor

Questions are the ANSWER????

By Jernavis Draughn

David Cooperrider once said, we live in the world our QUESTIONS create. This is one of our sales and leadership practices we use at Athletes Global Corporation. Everything that has been created today, started as a question. Just think about it, the cell phone, television, cars, trucks, restaurants, shoes, radio, a table, toothbrush, coats, pants, chairs, floss, vacuum and the list can go on for days. Our thoughts create our reality. Have you ever thought about, what you think about? What type of thoughts run across your mind daily? What type of questions are you asking yourself daily? What type of problems are you trying to solve? How big is your thought for what you would like to accomplish in life?

Now let’s go deeper into understanding how questions create and build our relationships. The most efficient way to learn, connect or understand someone is by asking them questions to discover the who, what, when, where, or how. If you’re in a disagreement with someone and you lack clarity in why they are upset, the easiest way for you to learn why they are upset, is to ask, “what did I do wrong? If you’re in a sales meeting with a new prospect, the fastest way for you to discover their needs and wants, is through asking the right questions. Questions create clarity.

In the book, “The Coaching Habit”, by Michael Bungay Stanier, he discusses the seven essential questions that help managers lead better.

  1. The Kickstart Question. What’s on your mind?

-We are what we give our attention too. You first have to know what’s on their mind to help them solve the problem.

2. The AWE Question. And What Else?

-More options can lead to better decisions, better decisions lead to greater success.

3. The Focus Question. What’s the real challenge here for you?

-As a leader you have to help people narrow their focus.

4. The Foundation Question. What do you want?

-Discover what makes their heart sing. What goals and aspirations do they have for their life?

5. The Lazy Question. How can I help you?

-People play three roles: Victim, Persecutor or Rescuer. As leader, you have to discover what exactly does the person needs or wants from you.

6. The Strategic Question. If you are saying YES to this, what are you saying NO to?

– “The essence of strategy is choosing what NOT to do.”-Micheal Porter

-Saying yes more slowly means being willing to stay curious before committing.

7. The Learning Question. What was most useful for you?

-Reflection is a form of practice. We can’t grow unless we reflect on our success and FAILURES.

-Experience is not the best teacher, EVALUATED experience is.

The Coaching Habit was a great read. It opened my mind even more to why questions are answer. The key takeaways from this blog are, learn how to ask the right questions, listen before speaking. Lastly, become more interested, then interesting. Clarity is power and the only way you can understand someone’s point of view is by asking QUESTIONS.

Quote of the Day: “Listening is the only vehicle to learning.”

Why PRACTICE = PROGRESS!

By Jernavis Draughn

Aristotle once said, “we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but a habit”. Practice is the foundation to growing in any facet of your life. If you are struggling with a subject in school, the only way to improve is to practice the subject more. If your business is failing to grow quarterly, then you need to implement new strategies and practices that will help you drive daily sales. If you are in a relationship that lacks communication, the only way to improve that area is to practice carving out time to communicate more on how you feel about each other and the relationship. It can be a sports, hobby or skill set, the only way for it to improve is by practicing. Practice makes permanent.

I’ve done research and found deliberate practice is one of the best methods for consistent growth. Coined by Anders Ericsson, deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance. Practicing with a purpose, while receiving feedback. We mistake movement with achievement. Our daily actions often do not lead to an outcome or result that we genuinely want. They say when you walk in purpose, you will collide with destiny.

In the book, “Practice Perfect”, by Doug Lemov, he explains forty-two rules for getting better at getting better. Here’s ten of the rules that stood out to me from the book that will help you grow in any area of your life.

  1. Encode success. Engineer practice activity so that the success rate is reliably high. Practice getting it right.
  2. Practice the 80/20 principle. Identify the 20 percent of things you could practice that will deliver 80 percent of the value.
  3. Unlock creativity with repetition. Automate skills to free others cognition to be more creative.
  4. Correct instead of critique. Feedback automatically helps people get better.
  5. Isolate the skill your trying to improve on. Focus on that one skill until you see improvement.
  6. Replace your purpose with an objective. Create measurable and manageable objectives and goals for your program daily.
  7. Make a plan. Plan with data driven objectives in mind and plan to adapt.
  8. Make each minute matter.
  9. Model and describe what to focus on.
  10. Let the mind follow the body. Learn skills to automaticity. Master your craft.

Practice equals progress. There’s a quote from the book by Dan Heath that exemplifies the value of practice. “The enemies of practice are pride, fear and self-satisfaction”. To practice requires humility. It forces us to admit that we don’t know everything. To practice isn’t to declare, ‘I’m bad.’ To practice is to declare, ‘I can be better.” When you fall in love with practicing, you have opened the door to discovering your passion, which can lead you to finding your life purpose.

Quote of the Day: “Deliberate practice equals progress.”