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

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.”

GREATNESS is a CHOICE…?

Jernavis Draughn

Everyone yearns to be known for something great. From an athlete, to your position at work, artist, performers, actors, academics, innovators, musicians, painters, and entrepreneurs. Anything that we invest our passion and time into, we desire to leave our imprint upon it. There is the belief that every job bares the signature of the last person who performed it. Muhammad Ali, claimed he was the greatest of all time even before he was crowned the title. Becoming great in anything starts with a DECISION! It’s a conscious choice to aim for that level of success. I believe YOU have to be affirmed by others before receiving that title, which is determined by your work, your resume and the results you created for yourself.

In the book, “Great By Choice”, Jim Collins, explains how the best companies sustain greatness for long periods of time. “Greatness is not just a business quest; it’s a human quest.” I found that intriguing, because we tend to stray away from using the term greatness. When was the last time you had a great meal, customer service, sports game, movie, or an experience that wowed you? Jim Collins discusses 3 key 10xer behaviors that organizations and individuals attain before becoming great: Fanatic Discipline, Empirical creativity and Productive Paranoia.

  1. Empirical Creativity, keeps your soul alive. You’re a creator. A visionary. Meaning you find happiness in conducting practical experiments.
  2. Productive Paranoia, keeps you alive, on your toes, consistently sharping your sword. You’re committed to lifelong learning and constant improvement.
  3. Fanatic Discipline, keeps you focused on goals, accountable for your actions and intentionally moving forward.

When you’re committed to becoming great in an area of your life, the goals you’re chasing become purposeful and meaningful. Your mission is bigger than you! 10xers remain productively paranoid in good times, recognizing that it is what you do before the storm comes that matters most. Andrew Grove, once said, “Success breeds complacency”, and “Complacency breeds failure”. “Only the paranoid survives”, they are completely aware that the ship could sink anytime. When you have “Productive FAITH”, a slogan I use for anyone that is going through hard times or striving to reach life goals. Productive Faith becomes your compass through the storm. The term means you’re walking with blinded faith, while productively working hard to get out of the rut you’re in. You have committed to “CANI”, Constant and Never Ending Improvement. Lastly, you must embrace consistency and change, both at the same time. The road to GREATNESS takes hard work, strategic decision making, having a great team, constant innovation, and purposeful goals. What road are YOU driving on?

Quote of the Day: “You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.”-Michael Jordan

Why you should ride the ENERGY Bus…..

By Jernavis Draughn

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Energy and persistence conquers all things.” Successful people don’t make excuses, they get it done even when they don’t want to do it. They push through the pain, because they know it’s only temporary. Our lifestyle plays an important part on our daily energy levels. There’s five energy drivers that help us increase our productivity; exercising, eating healthy, sleeping, relaxing and connecting with people. We need to invest time in all five of these energy boosters daily to maximize our output.

I’ve recently implemented a new method for improving productivity called, “brain investment tasks”, for only 30 minute segments. I focus on the task I’m working on for 30 minutes, then I take a 10-15 minute break if needed. If I’m in a flow state, I will go as long as my brain and focus allows me too. The key is to implement brain breaks when working on assignments that need deep thinking, to help you not feel burned out, overwhelmed and engaged.

You know by now, I’m an avid reader and I just completed a great book called, The Energy Bus by John Gordon. He creates a great story of a manager that is struggling in all rems of his life, because he lacks positive energy, accountability, vision and persistence. In the book John Gordon, explains 10 rules that will increase your productivity in life, business and relationships.

Rule 1: You’re the driver. Your life is a sum total of the thoughts you’ve created and actions you’ve taken.

Rule 2: Desire, vision and focus on moving your bus in the right direction. What you focus on will expand.

Rule 3: Fuel your ride with positive energy. Focus more on the positive instead of the negative.

Rule 4: Invite people on your bus and share your vision for the road ahead. Alone we are limited, together we are limitless.

Rule 5: Don’t waste your energy on those who don’t get on your bus. Distant yourself from the energy vampires.

Rule 6: Post a sign that says no energy vampires allowed on your bus. Positive energy is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets.

Rule 7: Enthusiasm attracts more passengers and energizes them during the ride. Momentum breeds momentum. Passion is contagious!

Rule 8: Love your passengers. Practice servant leadership.

Rule 9: Drive with purpose. Only purposeful achievement is ultimately sustainable.

Rule 10: Have fun and enjoy the ride. You always have fun when you love what you do.

Quote of the day: “The future brings only what the present gives it.” Unknown

 

 

Why EVERYONE is in SALES!


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.

10 ways to WIN with PEOPLE!

                                                                                                           By Jernavis Draughn

We are all connected in so many ways as human beings. From the likes of sports, ethnicity, upbringing, culture, work, and hobbies. Since the beginning of time, we were expected to gain a partner to connect and grow with. Therefore our success in life will always start with the ability to “connect” with people on an emotional level. Either from being in business, falling in love, family connections, or at work. It is believed that our relationships build our foundations. Therefore if you want to win with people on all levels, you must open the door to their positive mental thoughts, and their spiritual, emotional and financial growth.

Learning how to help others grow is an essential component in relationship building. It is one of the keys to creating success in your own life. Zig Ziglar once said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you  help other people get what they want.” If this is the truth, then giving is the secret formula to ultimate success. The more people you help determines your progress in everything you do in life. WE reap what we sow. If you’re constantly planting positive seeds in others, your personal harvest will overflow with blessings. It starts with YOU first. Become the best version of you by intentionally growing in all areas of your life. Learn to give the things all of us deserve most: love, kindness, time, vision, positivity, purpose and support.

This blog was inspired by a great book I read by John Maxwell, “25 Ways To Win With People”. The book teaches you impactful ways you can win with people.

Listed below are ten of my favorite methods from his book that I have implemented in my life:

  1. Create a memory and visit them often. “Every MOMENT is a MEMORY!”-Jernavis Draughn
  2. Compliment people in front of people. “Give people public praise!”
  3. Focus on helping others. “The secret to living is giving!”-Tony Robbins
  4. Pass the credit on to others. “Build people up!”
  5. Add value to people. “The value you give will increase your financial growth.”
  6. Be the first to help. “Givers Gain!”
  7. Listen with your heart. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”-Stephen Covey
  8. Give whole heartedly. “Give ONLY from your HEART.”
  9. Help people win! “Help others win CHAMPIONSHIPS first!”
  10. Point out people strengths. “Be a STRENGTH FINDER.”

Quote of The Day: “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”-Dalai Lama