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

Why the FUTURE is faster than you THINK

By Jernavis Draughn

The future is closer than what you think! We have been living in the future for years now. The moment Steve Jobs introduced us to the iPhone in 2007, technology in all industries has grown rapidly. From the likes of Amazon, Google, and Facebook, the increase of implementing algorithms to help anticipate and respond to our needs, has scaled these companies to new heights. If you’re in business today, you must be thinking about your future customers and how your industry will be changing this decade with artificial intelligence on the way. As Peter Drucker once said, “if you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” Where will your industry be in five to ten years? Will it be taken over by artificial intelligence? Have you started to prepare? Pivot? Innovate for what the future holds for your job industry or business?

Are you adapting to what’s coming? All great change is preceded by chaos. Technology is disrupting all industries. How do you embrace change? These are the questions you must continue asking yourself to stay ahead of competition, not only with companies, but with artificial intelligence. In the book “The future is faster than you think”, by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kother, they discuss the seven forces of innovation.

  1. Saved Time. Google searches daily, 3.5 billion queries a day processed. Google alone saves us 52.4 billion minutes daily.

-Amazon Prime. Innovation demands free time.

-Trains- A normal trip is four days.

-Airplane- a normal trip is two to four hours.

-Hyper Loop- a normal Trip is thirty minutes.

2. Availability of capital. More cash means more people experimenting, failing, and eventually succeeding.

-Easier for innovators to find funding than ever before.

-Crowd funding or Kickstarter.

3. Demonetization. Innovation demands research. Your iPhone is a SUPER-COMPUTER.

4. More Geniuses. Humans are smarter because of the access to information.

5. Communication Abundance. We have the power to network. A tool that allows minds to connect with other minds, exchange ideas and spark innovation.

6. New Business Models. Internet, Franchises, Hyper Markets, and Block Chain.

7. Longer Lives. The extended healthy human life span allows more opportunity for growth in all areas.

Here are some industries on the verge of becoming deceased: Customer Service, Cashiers, Retail, Shopping Malls, and Advertising.

Here’s what’s coming in our near FUTURE:

Uber aerial ride sharing (shared air transportation) watch the video: https://www.uber.com/us/en/elevate/  by 2023

Autonomous car rollouts (cars driving themselves) by 2020

Hyper Loop. High speed travel through low pressure tubes. You will be able to travel from Chicago to DC in 30 minutes, New York to DC in 29 minutes.

Elon Musk rockets coming soon. The rockets will be able to fly you anywhere on earth in under an hour.

Google Lens. A visual search engine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqD9i4_S87s

Virtual reality movies. Where you will be able to feel the movie while watching it.

The future is really coming faster than you think. Research the industry that you’re working in now to see where it’s going, what changes are coming in the market, in order to ensure it is going to exist in the next decade. John wooden believed,” failing to plan is planning to FAIL”. Change before you are ready and you will be prepared for what’s coming in the FUTURE.

Quote of the Day: “You can’t solve a problem on the same level that it was created. You have to rise above it to the next level.” –Albert Einstein

4 Keys to creating QUALITY services and products!

4 Keys to creating QUALITY services and products!

Quality speaks, without saying a word. Your product or service solves a customer problem the moment it’s used or purchased. Quality builds credibility. It either creates or destroys your brand. Jeff Besos once said, your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Quality is a direct reflection of your culture you’ve created for your organization. Your teammates must believe providing quality is the foundation to their personal success. I’ve learned some people innately hold themselves to a higher standard, so teaching them the level of excellence we want to provide our customers comes second nature. It’s part of there character. It’s who they are. They’ve seen it, experienced the success from providing quality products or services, and now it’s a habitual behavior.

The largest organizations don’t always provide the best quality products, but they have created an efficient system that has allowed them to scale exponentially. For example, McDonalds doesn’t have the best burger or the healthiest meals in the fast food industry. Here’s how Mcdonalds provides great quality for their customers. First, McDonalds now has over 36,000 restaurants and the second largest chain in the world. Some of their restaurants are open 24hours. Sauce on the side is FREE. Breakfast is available all day. They serve almost any type of food you have a taste to eat; burgers, fries, chicken, coffee, cookies, ice cream, salads and ribs, to name a few. They offer a play area for kids to enjoy. All of these products and services add value to the customer. The largest organizations today provide array of services or products for their customers to choose from. It’s a buffet business model. It’s one of the reasons Amazon, Starbucks and Walmart are dominating their markets. They have cornered the market by selling a slew of products, while keeping their price point feasible and providing quality customer service.

In the book, People over profit by Dale Partridge, he explains 4 key aspects that create quality products and services for you’re organization.

  1. Physical Quality. Anything a customer or team member can touch should be excellence.
  2. Experiential Quality. Customers don’t only purchase products; they also buy experience.
  3. Visual Quality. Your design must be a core value of your organization.
  4. Personal Quality. It must tell a story that your customers want to be a part of. Stay innovative. Give out surveys. Ask for feedback. Respond quickly to any issues and constantly improve your services and products.

Providing greatness must be your foundation when creating any service or product for your organization. Consistency must be a core value if you want to sustain lasting success. Focus on the few and experiment to see what product or service provides the most value. Quality is birthed by a decision to only create moments that your customers will always remember. Disney World is the most visited theme park in the world, based off the quality of the services they provide and the memorable moments the families create by visiting their park. If you do decide to embark on the journey of becoming an entrepreneur, create quality products and services that make your customers heart sing.

Quote of the Day: “Quality creates credibility!”

5 things I wish I’ve learned before becoming an ENTREPRENEUR!!

By: Jernavis Draughn

I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 12 years now and I feel I’m finally starting to figure this thing all out. The best teacher is EXPERIENCE. Today most people are attracted to the title of being an “ENTREPRENEUR”, because it’s the cool thing to do. This topic is being echoed across the masses on whether anyone can become a business owner? Do you have the mindset or even mentally fit to endure the consistent adversities that come along with being an entrepreneur. I’ve seen many try, stop, take a break, and fail throughout the journey. Some experts say, entrepreneurs are born with the DNA. Some psychologist believe it takes will power, ambition and drive to survive the storms. Some successful entrepreneurs believe it takes maniacal focus on a problem or mission that compels you to solving. There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s simple, if your built to be an ENTREPRENEUR, you will be.

Here’s 5 things I wish I’ve learned before becoming an entrepreneur:

  1. Master LEADERSHIP. Everything in your business rises and falls on leadership. You can’t build or sustain a great company without committing to becoming a great leader.
  2. Communication is key. Learn how to lead with great questions. That’s where growth is birthed. When you take time to hear your clients and employee’s needs. We live in a world our questions create!
  3. Commit to lifelong LEARNING and Personal Growth. The moment I committed to learning everything I could in business, my life changed as an entrepreneur. Make growth your number one goal. Remember we will GROW into our next position, opportunity and destiny. It’s too late to prepare when the opportunity is HERE.
  4. Master SALES. I never knew the value of sales and how the best entrepreneurs make it an art. Meaning, I believe in my product or service so much that I will create a specific picture for you in the sales process that will solve your PROBLEM. I learned this from reading books and late in my entrepreneurship journey. Remember, everyone is sailing something. Hopefully, it’s positive, helping to move the world, yourself and family forward.
  5. Building SELF-CONFIDENCE. Our beliefs drive our direction in life. You don’t become an entrepreneur without self-confidence. Identity drives behavior. “Confidence is the cornerstone of leadership.”-John Maxwell

In conclusion, I hope this provides context to what you need to think about before making the decision to become an entrepreneur. Information is useless if you can’t use it. Whatever endeavor you decide to pursue, commit to it fully, and make sure it moves you on all levels intrinsically. The life of an entrepreneur is lonely and selfishly steals your time to ensure progress is intentional. People tend to think when you become an entrepreneur, you gain more freedom, but it’s totally opposite. You have to become strategic on where your time, energy and effort is going. Make sure whatever road you decide to take, the destination pulls you to reaching it no matter the road blocks you will face on your journey.

Quote of the Day: “It’s not what the vision is, it’s what the VISION does.”


By Jernavis Draughn

We ALL are selling something every single day. From having to convince your kid to take a bath, or the value of going to school, negotiating a lower price on a new car purchase, to asking for a raise at your job. I believe sales is the number one skill set to attain and mastery for the future. With the rise of artificial intelligence and more jobs being automated, there won’t be many jobs a robot can’t render. Learning the art of communication and the ability to sell, will place you ahead of someone who only has a degree, masters, PHD, certification, etc. You will have the skills to sell your particular skill sets in a manner that will separate yourself from competition and provide complete clarity on why you’re the best candidate for the that position.

Zig Ziglar, once said, “Every sale has five obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, and no trust.” Sales is essentially a transference of feelings. I believe no TRUST, no SALE. Creating a rapport is the first step to connecting with your prospect. Next is using active listening, to hearing the needs of your prospect. Active listening, means listening with the intent to understand. Closing any sale starts with knowing exactly what problems your prospect needs solved. In the book, little red book of selling, by Jeff Gitomer, he explains there’s certain principles that lead you to becoming a top sales producer. Here’s a few that resonated with me that have improved my sales skills.

-Believe you can close every sale. Have a winner’s mindset.

-Plan your day and the goals you want to accomplish.

-Recognize and take advantage of all opportunity.

-Take responsibility for your success in sales.

-Take risk and embrace failure as a learning opportunity.

-Hang around the right people that inspire and motivate you.

-Prepare to win or lose to someone who is.

-Position more. Compete less.

-Prospects buy the sales person first.

-Become an expert or influencer in your field.

-Celebrate effort, not victory.

Commit to sales mastery. Measure your closing rate and continue to work on your sales game DAILY!

Quote of the Day: “Make a customer, not a sale”-Katherine Barchetti

Why L.A.S.E.R Goals WORK!

By Jernavis Draughn

Setting goals has always been a mystery to why people don’t set them. Most people are too lazy to create a consistent habit of writing them down daily and some believe the process doesn’t’ work. While learning how the mind works, there’s a part of the brain called the “RAS”, Reticular Activating System that controls what we focus on. Think about the last time you bought a new car or a pair of shoes and how often you notice it while you were out. We can train our mind to focus only on activities and actions that will lead us to success. First, we have to define what success is and a game plan on how we can attain it. The brain is programmed to yearn for direction, continuous learning, a game plan and purposeful growth. They say the average human reads one book a year. How can we grow if were not learning?? As Jim Rohn once said, “Learning is the beginning to wealth”.

Whatever moves you to get out of the bed in the morning is connected to your passion. Setting goals, starts first with self-awareness and clarity on what you truly want in life. What 3 words do you want people to describe you as at your funeral? How much revenue do you need to live an enjoyable life when you retire? What is your dream job? What business have you always wanted to start? These questions can help you start the goal setting process. If your reasons are not big enough, your excuses will be. Below is the L.A.S.E.R goal setting technique that I’ve implemented to help become more focus and specific on attaining consistent results. This method is used by author Sir John Hargrave, who wrote the book Mind Hacking.

  1. Limited. An attainable small goal. Ex: Working on a project for an hour a day.
  2. Achievable. An easy goal that you can accomplish. I’m a firm believer of celebrating the small wins. Completing small successes helps your will power to achieve larger goals.
  3. Specific. A good goal is simple and clear. Setting a specific time daily (30 minutes), you will practice an instrument or learn a foreign language. Creates instant growth and confidence in wanting to pursue the activity.
  4. Evaluated. Write done your goals so you can measure your accomplishments. What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t improve.
  5. Repeatable. Repetition is the mother to learning. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”-Aristotle

Try this goal setting method and see if it produces results in your life. You can’t progress without enduring the process. We all need targets to aim for to help us continually grow. If not, we are aimlessly living without a vision and purpose for our life. Start writing your goals down TODAY. Remember, indecision is the thief to opportunity.

Quote of the Day: “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”-Tony Robbins.

Can we really hack our MINDS to improve our daily performance???

By Jernavis Draughn

How can we upgrade, change and expand our MIND? Can we truly hack our mind to change our behaviors or to reach peak performance? There’s no real change until there’s change in behavior. As Aristotle says, we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act, but a habit. I’ve been doing intense research on personal mastery and peak performance, which lead me to reading the book, Mind Hacking by Sir John Hargrave. One of our leadership board teammates referred me the book also, which inspired me to read it immediately. Sir John Hargrave, explains you are not your mind and it’s vital to work on your mind, not just in your mind. Become aware of where your attention is being pulled away from the task at hand by either two enemies; yourself or digital interruptions.

Mind Hack Game 1: Here’s a simple mind hack game to help you track your attention stealers. Keep track of how many times throughout the day and what is stealing your time. Write it down and review the list at the end of the day. Now you will have clarity on the enemies you’re fighting against daily, so you can eliminate them.

As Brian Tracy says, your future intentions determine your present actions. We have to create consistent success habits. Habits that have been documented throughout time the at most accomplished, successful and blissful people do daily. Remember you create your HABITS, then your habits make YOU. We are creatures of habit. Everything we do is habitual from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed. Become self-aware of your daily rituals. What are you investing your time in? What do you value? They both can be seen in what you do daily, spend money on and time with. We can’t buy more TIME, but we can spend our TIME differently.

Mind Hack Game 2: To help install new habits, use visual cues to start a habit. For example, if you’re starting a new workout routine, place your gym clothes and shoes in your car the night before. So in the morning you don’t have to focus on another task, especially one you’re not innately motivated to do.  Next, reward yourself when you complete the habit. For example, if your goal is to work out 3 times a week and you accomplish that feat, reward yourself with a personal gift. It will activate the dopamine, which is the reward system in your brain to want that feeling after achieving a goal.

Progress equals happiness! We are growth seeking humans. Success in anything starts in the MIND. “Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.”-Albert Einstein. In the book Mind Hacking, Sir Hohn Hargrave, explains you have to consciously reshape your thoughts and you can actively reshape the world around.” We become what we think about most of the time. Our mind creates our internal reality. Sir John Hargrave, goes over the value of focusing on feeling, doing, having and being in every moment.  Mental stimulations, it’s a way of developing these mental functions, so that when we find ourselves confronted with difficult situations, we are better equipped to handle them.

Mind Hack Game 3: Learn and develop your emotional intelligence. In our leadership training academy, we focus on teaching the key foundations: Empathy, Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation and Social Skills.

 Quote of the Day: “What preoccupies the MIND controls your LIFE.”-Timothy Kelly

Are you reaching your Personal POTENTIAL??


By Jernavis Draughn

What is our personal potential? Do you believe you’re reaching it on a weekly or daily basis? I think we underestimate what we can truly achieve mentally, physically and financially. Innately we are programed mentally to desire daily growth. Human beings are created to grow in all aspects of our lives. Imagine if God created us and we weren’t able to grow in relationships, learn more, and push the culture forward. Imagine if Thomas Edison never believed in his potential to create the incandescent light bulb? Imagine if Martin Luther King never believed he could lead the civil rights movement, help end racial discrimination and segregation in the United States. Lastly, imagine if Alexzander Graham Bell, never created the first telephone? Where would humanity be if we weren’t able to communicate with people at any time all over the world?

Most people are doing well as they want to do. In phycology, the Pygmalion effect, reveals that higher expectations lead to better performance. Les Brown says, “Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.” We must raise our personal standards. Define what we want our life story to tell. The goal is to make your best better. In the book, “The Potential Principle, by Mark Sanborn, he explains there two paths to improvement:

Matrix Improvement– Means understanding and practicing these four areas: thinking, performing, learning and reflecting. It’s about increasing your focus, while increasing your skills.

Breakthrough Improvement– Means consistently using a small set of tools, steps that will prevent complacency, create improvement and bust through barriers.

Here’s 4 key steps to help you improve daily:

  1. Disrupt yourself (Before someone else does). Make the decision to intentionally improve in some facet of your life daily.
  2. Re Focus. Create a focus hack that will help you regain focus on what’s most important in your life. That can be leaving your cell phone in another room while you’re working, creating an accountability chart or waking up earlier to get a head start on your day.
  3. Engage others. Find and hangout with people that are committed to improving like yourself. You become who you hang out with!
  4. Expand your capacity. Read more, attend personal development workshops or seminars, practice and prepare more on the areas you want to improve in.

We must focus on combating comfort to overcome complacency. Leaving our comfort zone of pursuing balance and becoming committed to getting better daily. Track your progress to ensure your moving the needle forward. Not all change is growth, but all growth is change. As Dr. Ben Herbster once quoted, “the greatest waste in the world is the difference between what we are and what we could become.” Remember in life, we don’t get what we want, but what we DESERVE!

Leadership Is My Lifestyle

     By Leasa Simmons

I thought this was going to be an easy article to write. Feeling inspired to be a better leader and cultivate a lifestyle of leadership, I however, suffered from much introspection and had trouble putting words on paper.  Reviewing my notes, I began to scrutinize my leadership. I decided I can do better. Hence, I wrote down three goals to accomplish for the remainder of 2017, and throughout 2018. Here they are:

  1. Read more books about leadership.
  2. Increase my network of people who exhibit great leadership.
  3. Regularly evaluate my leadership style to practice what works and discard what does not.

I recently participated in a training entitled “Leadership as a Lifestyle”, conducted by Athletes Global, CEO and founder Jernavis Draughn. Everyone was encouraged to participate and we concluded with a competitive team building exercise in the gymnasium where the training was held. The team building exercise can be found on the Athletes Global Leadership Academy Facebook page.

Having held a leadership role for many years, I have not attended many trainings for leadership development. Much of my business acumen comes from hands-on experience. I learned how to lead from those around me. Being on a team of three, I purposely listened in on telephone calls to become versed with the tone and verbiage used to be honest when delivering difficult news. I have closely watched my colleagues handle difficult, confrontational situations when they feel mistreated or misunderstood.  I have observed their presentation during meetings and their interaction with our staff. I have attempted to absorb   many of the positive qualities and tried to make them my own brand of excellent leadership style.

One of the key topics discussed during the training was Emotional Intelligence. One of the main components of Emotional Intelligence which caught my attention was self-regulation. Emotional Intelligence is being able to manage oneself, while self-regulation is the ability to stay in control and manage emotions. My ugly truth is that I struggle with managing my emotions.  Self-regulation has not always been my strength. I began to realize that telling someone the truth doesn’t have to be confrontational. I also realized that I do not have to raise my voice to make my point. Finally, I realized that my behavior can cause people to trust me or alienate those who I strive to motivate. It is through this ownership that I have grown. I understand, as well as witnessed how a soft answer turns away wrath while harsh words cause anger.

The Leadership as a Lifestyle Training challenged me to rethink my preconceived notions about what Leadership looks like. I am changed for the better and will continue to refer to my notes. Leadership is my Lifestyle, and I am committed to leaving a legacy of excellent leadership. Perhaps one-day Mr. Draughn and I can collaborate and write a kick- butt book about Excellence in Leadership. Stay tuned!

Why GROWTH Is The Number One GOAL!

By Jernavis Draughn

Over the years I’ve learned that setting goals are essential to achieving anything you want in life. It’s truly the Holy Grail to becoming successful in work, business, relationships, personally and health. It is a well thought out concept, where you spend time creating the things you want mentally for your life and writing it down. This triggers your mind to begin discovering ways on how you can reach those goals. There is a part of your brain called the “RAS”, reticular activating system, which directs or tells you what you should be focusing on.

For example, have you ever noticed when you buy a new car you tend to notice or see that new car on the road more often when driving? That’s the RAS part of your brain that controls what you value and focus on. The RAS helps you see what you want to see and in doing so, influences your actions.

Wherever our focus goes, “GROWS”. It is true we become what we focus on most of the time. Which is the reason why goals are so valuable. Most people are just GOING through life, instead of GROWING through life. People say there are two great days in a person’s life: the day you were born and the day you discover WHY!

When we set goals they should be big enough to stretch us to grow as a person. WE can’t achieve anything in life if we are not growing personally. Jim Rohn says, Success is attracted to the person YOU become. And so becoming a person of VALUE is key to attaining success in all facets of life. Your personal VALUE will determine your INCOME. You must see VALUE in yourself to add VAULE to yourself.

From personal trials and tribulation in my own life, I’ve learned you have to become “Growth Conscious vs Goal Conscious”. And as I learned from John Maxwell’s book, “How Successful People Grow”, he suggest that there is a distinctive difference between Growth Conscious and Goal Conscious. Maxwell states it this way:

Goal Consciousness:

-It focuses on a destination

-It motivates you and others

-it is seasonal

-It challenges you

-It stops when a goal is reached

Growth Consciousness:

-It focuses on the journey

-It matures you and others

-It is life long

-It changes you

-It keeps you growing beyond the goal

Growth is the goal. Focus on personally growing and becoming the person who can achieve the goals you want in your life. Whatever you don’t have now, is a direct reflection of who you’re not and need to become. Commit to personal mastery, daily studying, reading, lifelong learning in any field that you would like to become great in. The only way you WILL attain the goals you want for your life is to become a person of VALUE. Always remember, “In life, we don’t get what we WANT, we get what we DESERVE!”