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

The Shoe Dog BILLIONAIRE

By Jernavis Draughn

The Shoe Dog Billionaire, by Phil Knight is a remarkable story that explains the honest path to business success. From running track at the University of Oregon to meeting his first business partner Bill Bowerman who coached him in college. Bowerman, the mastermind behind the first designs and implementation of improving the experience for every athlete performing in Nikes. The book takes you through a roller coaster ride of how Knight started Blue Ribbon Sports and changed the name to Nike in 1971. Winning law a suit from one of the biggest Japanese shoe companies that he partnered up with to create shoes for his company Blue Ribbon Sports, to owing $25 million to the United States Custom Service.

Knight had a unique leadership style of giving autonomy without affirming you of your success. Knight would push you to never rest on your laurels, but to build a hunger for more. Knight was an athlete at heart with a competitive spirit to always find a way to WIN. His leadership style pushed you to discover your unique gifts and to maximize them to your best ability. What Warren Buffet calls, defining your circle of competence. By the 90s Nike had finally overcame there achilles hill, “Adidas” as the number one shoe company in the world.

The Nike swoosh logo that Knight paid Carolyn Davidson only $35 to own, changed the brand to what people now know worldwide. The growth of Nike skyrocketed after the change of their logo and helped expand nationally. Despite the growth, Knight was constantly looking for ways to be mentally present and balance family life with his wife Penny and two sons. Success demands sacrifice. Knight believed, “Hard work is critical, a good team is essential, brains and determination are invaluable, but luck may decide the outcome.”

From signing the likes of Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, and Andre Agassi, Nike has recreated the shoe and sports apparel industry. With over 1.152 retail stores today and a networth of 34.8 billion. Nike employs over 73,100 people worldwide. They consistently pivot and innovate on all levels within there company. I will leave you with the last passage from the book She Dog Billionaire that defines who Phil Knight is and what compelled him to keep going through the storms he endured. “Have faith in yourself but have faith in FAITH. Not faith as others define it. Faith as you define it. Faith as faith defines itself in your heart.

Quote of your Day: “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”-Benjamin Franklin

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 Steps to Successfully Master Marketing

By Jernavis Draughn

What is marketing? One of my favorite thought leaders on the topic of marketing, Seth Godin believes marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem. The goal is to create ideas that spread, spark questions, clarify, and inspires. It is the belief that my problem can be solved through this product or service. People don’t want what you make, they want what it will do for them. Everyone is marketing something. From the likes of their work resume, their children, hobbies, business, ideas, religious beliefs and many more. People buy feelings, not products or services. Disney World is a great example of a company that has mastered the art of marketing their services and products through reinventing themselves yearly. One insightful reason Disney World is the number one amusement park worldwide, stems from them creating consistent memorable experiences for their customers. From the amazing rides, intricate details of the decor throughout the park to your favorite Disney movie characters greeting you with love. Disney has created a fantasy world for you to experience, to fall in love with and to forever remember it after leaving the park.

Here is a question to ask yourself if you are committed to growing or starting a successful business. What emotion or feeling do you want potential or reoccurring customers to have when using your service or product? With our company Athletes Global, we want our customers to leave with the feeling of happiness and that we have changed their lives for the best. We want our customers to say we helped them to grow emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually and financially from using our services. The book “This is marketing” by Seth Godin, he explains the definition of effective marketing through his lens.

  1. Invent a thing worth making, with a story worth telling, and a contribution worth talking about.
  2. Design and build it in a way that a maybe a few people will particularly benefit from and care about.
  3. Tell a story that matches the built-in narrative and dreams of a tiny group of people in the smallest market.
  4. Spread the word.
  5. Show up, regularly, consistently and generously for years and years. Consistency creates credibility.

If people care, you now have a brand! Nevertheless, marketing in its core, represents what your organization believes in which are your core values and mission. You should always be testing, wondering, be willing to treat different people differently. Albert Einstein once said experiments never fail. They are just life lessons. Remembering how you market your brand will essentially be the way the world perceives you. You can’t beat the internet. It has a lifetime of storage that can’t be erased. Be mindful, strategic and purposeful when marketing and creating your brand awareness. Marketing should be a mirror into your soul and your business core values, where customers can instantly decide if they believe in what you believe. Tom Fishburne eloquently expressed how you should think about marketing. He said, “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” When you discover your vision, everything you post, or tweet will be organic and thoughtful.

Quote of the Day: “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”-Tom Fishburne

The 6 PURPOSES that all companies fall underneath!

Your purpose will produce your profit. When you find your why, you will find your way. Michael Hyatt, says people loose there way, when they loose there why. The reason why you do anything will always determine the outcome. Your reasons will reap the results your trying to achieve. Tony Robbins discusses we all have six core human needs that drive us to do what we do in life; Love/connection, certainty, uncertainty/variety, growth, significance and contribution. When we learn what intrinsically motivates us, only then we can continue to ignite that fire to keep going. Learning what makes you feel fulfilled and happy eternally will help discover your purpose.

Here’s a few questions to help you discover your purpose. What service would you do for free? What does your dream job look like? What would you be doing? If you could design and create your life today for what you would be doing in the next 24 months, what would it be?

In the book The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni he examines the six purposes that every company will fall underneath.

  1. Customer. This purpose is directly related to serving the needs of an organization’s customer or primary constituent.
  2. Industry. This purpose is all about being immersed in a given industry.
  3. Greater Cause. This kind of purpose is not necessarily about what the organization does, but about something connected to it.
  4. Community. This purpose is about doing something that makes a specific geographical place better.
  5. Employees. This purpose is not about serving the customer in the industry, or the region, but rather about the employees.
  6. Wealth. This purpose is about wealth for owners.

As the leader of Athletes Global, I’ve learned that your purpose will drive the team forward. Over the last year, we’ve became maniacal focus on what our mission and intent is for delivering our services and products. Our purpose is to develop future leaders through educational, sports and fitness services. We fall underneath the greater cause and providing a great customer experience. Clarity is power, and purpose trumps strategy. When everyone is clear on the organizations mission, everyone grows in the right direction.

Quote of the Day: “Your purpose defines your priorities.”

BRANDING is your BUSINESS!

By Jernavis Draughn

Nothing clarifies like clarity. What does your brand echo to your clients or new prospects? What are your core values? Do your clients or teammates know what your brand stands for? In business today, your brand can build your business faster than your service or product will. The power of social media has created millions of what we call overnight successes directly from the impact of branding. I’m not saying all of these social media influencers are merely talented or skilled in a particular craft. I’m saying they have mastered consistency and the art of branding themselves in an area where people have bought in on their talents. Consistency creates credibility in building your brand or business.

Here’s the top five most valuable brands in the world, according to Brand Finance consultancy firm.

1. Amazon

2. Apple

3. Google

4. Samsung

5. Facebook

These companies have a history of value creation with a powerful brand awareness. These brands can be identified anywhere and defined by their services they provide. What separates these brands from others? First, these companies’ product and services provide consistent value where they have created raving fans as clients. Second, they all have created their own lane and have been labeled as the best at what they do or provide. I believe the character of the company will outweigh the credentials it receives. Only purposeful achievement is ultimately sustainable.

In the book Simply Brilliant by William C. Taylor, he explains there’s four pillars to creating a strategic and strong brand presence in your industry.

1. Point of view. They have a particular take on how they see the world. You believe your services or products will change the world in some capacity for the better.

2. Intensity. They offer an intense projection of who they are in everything they do. The company as a whole leads with their life, by living what they believe in.

3. Salience. They are highly intrusive. You cannot notice their activity even if not actively looking in their direction. The brand is intentionally impactful on all platforms.

4. Built on a Rock. They assert a compelling conviction that the stance they are taking is one that is uniquely theirs.

Here’s the question you should ask yourself if you’re in business now. “If you weren’t you would you do business with YOU?” What discerns if a business will go from average too good to great is the vision the company has and the purpose behind what drives the vision forward. If I can pass anything along to anyone currently in business or wants to start a business would be, start with your “WHY”. I’ve learned if your why is powerful the how is easy. That will be your driving force when you’re faced with adversity. Lastly, you must believe that your product or service will make the world a better place. Our behaviors are belief driven, so if you don’t believe in something strong enough, you will quit before you even start. Your brand breathes life into your business. Focus on the purpose of your brand and business will thrive in the essence of clarity.

Quote of the Day: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

Is social media hijacking our BRAIN?

By Jernavis Draughn

The average user touches their cell phone 2,617 times per day. The extreme users touch their phone 5,400 times per day. According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day online (paywall), compared to about six hours for those aged eight to 12 and 50 minutes for kids between 0 and eight. American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen. That’s up from nine hours, 32 minutes just four years ago. These statistics state we are not only addicted to our phones, but all platforms of social media. Dr. Nicholas Kardares once said, “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

The average user touches their cell phone 2,617 times per day. The extreme users touch their phone 5,400 times per day. According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day online (paywall), compared to about six hours for those aged eight to 12 and 50 minutes for kids between 0 and eight. American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen. That’s up from nine hours, 32 minutes just four years ago. These statistics state we are not only addicted to our phones, but all platforms of social media. Dr. Nicholas Kardares once said, “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

The growth of technology has helped us reconnect, build, network, sale, influence and inspire people worldwide. The benefits of how social media platforms push our lives forward have been remarkable. We now are able to directly email or call job opportunities. We can connect with lost family members and friends that we haven’t communicated in years with. We have access to a plethora of information from, how to fix, learn, lose weight, and so much more. Is social media hurting us more than helping us? These statics show that our phones, ipad, and technology in general has become a digital drug.

We live in an insecure selfie taking by the second world. Why do we need to post thousands of pictures of ourselves online? Are we yearning for approval? Are we hurting inside? Are we scared to face the truth of who we truly are? Are we not happy with ourselves and we need others to affirm us? Eric Ries, says people are addicted to vanity metrics. “It’s an endless pursuit of vanity metrics that stroke the ego.” I totally agree with him, by how we strive to receive likes, repost, shares, messages, etc. These notifications provide dopamine shots that give us instant gratification and self-confidence. The interesting notion is, self-confidence cannot be loaned to you, it has to be discovered and worked on. Self-love equals self-confidence. Our society’s personal identity and attention is being created and consumed by this digital drug, called social media.

In the book Attention Pays, by Neen James, she discusses how social media and technology is affecting our society in some negative ways. Our time and attention has been stolen by social media platforms. We only have 24 hours in a day and if most people are on social media sites for 11 hours or more, how can we reach our full potential in life? How can we create strong relationships with people, if our attention is elsewhere? How can we thrive in our career field, if were not focus and making time to grow? Social media and most online platforms are created to steal your time. That’s how they create revenue by clicks, adds, gossip news, interviews, and games. How can you steal your time back? Value yourself more? Here’s five ways that I’ve implemented in my daily schedule to intentionally secure my time and reaching my full potential.

1. Turn off ALL notifications on ALL social media apps you have on your PHONE. You can’t buy more time, but you can spend it differently.

2. Create a morning routine, that doesn’t include using or looking at your PHONE for the first 60 minutes. Use your attention in a more productive way to start your day. This productivity habit will govern how your entire day will go. Ex: Read, listen to something educational, pray, workout, etc.)

3. Learn to check your email only 3-5 times a day. As an entrepreneur, I’m learning how to delegate any task that I feel someone else can do on the same level or better than myself.  Don’t live in reaction mode, where people are dictating where your attention is going.

4. Give yourself a daily time limit on how long you can use social media. What are you using social media for? That’s the question you need to answer? Is social media using you or are you using social media? Is social media helping rebuild, connect to a friend or family member? Is social media helping you grow at your job? Is social media helping you build your business or brand? Are you receiving new clients from your social media platforms? If you answered no to any of these questions, you should really think about why you’re using social media platforms.

5. Learn to LOVE yourself. Identity drives behavior. If you don’t know who you are or who you want to be, then your fall victim to looking and doing what every other social media model or star is doing to receive ATTENTION.

Quote of Day: “We don’t have choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.”-Erik Qualman

The 4 Keys to Self Confidence

By Jernavis Draughn

Confidence is the foundation to success in all facets of our life. How you do anything is how you do everything. We tend to believe that confidence comes and goes by choice. We live who we BELIEVE we are. So your self-confidence is connected to your personal identity. Therefore, our identity drives our behavior. Every action we take or doesn’t take is connected to the confidence that we innately have about ourselves. Our CONFIDENCE is shaped by the impact that we have on the world through the size of our goals, and the success of our personal vision for our life.

Where does our self-confidence originate? The answer is from our upbringing, family members, coaches, friends, teachers, music, movies and television. We are seriously affected by what we see. If were raised in a household that labels us as shy or an introvert, we tend to carry that identity with us as we grow older. If we are labeled by coaches as the best athlete on the team, we tend to display and hold that belief. This belief is increased as the coach gives more positive praises, and allows us to take more risk in the game than other players. In school if were labeled as the smart kid in class, we accept that label as a reflection of who we are, based off the belief of our teacher. The human race has been labeled since the beginning of mankind. As I always say, hopefully, it is the label that truly defines you.

Confidence is the corner stone to leadership. In order to keep bad influences from affecting us, we need to create a positive identity about ourselves that doesn’t connect to those negative vices that people or environments invite upon us. I finished a good read by Dean Graziosi, called “Millionaire Success Habits”. Dean discusses how success is connected to our self-confidence. Below are four keys to how I grew my self-confidence over the years. Check them out below:

  1. Courage. It’s not the absence of fear, but the ability to take action in the face of fear. Fear stunts our growth. The courage to take action is true freedom, which builds our self-confidence.

2. Commitment. There’s no lasting success without commitment. Foundations of success starts with our daily habits and rituals. You have to be committed to make success a routine. Commitment makes others believers which increases your confidence to keep going.

3. Belief/Faith (JD). Without belief or faith you won’t START. Faith starts with believing in the impossible. Success in anything is always belief driven. When you truly believe, no one can deter you from your journey.

4. Purpose (JD). I believe our purpose produces our profits. Purpose pushes you through the pain of failure and helps you become a better version of yourself. True confidence is built through enduring adversity.

 Self-Confidence inspires you to start when no one else believes. It keeps you focus, grounded, faithful, hopeful, visualizing, praying, understanding, learning and growing when times get rough. I believe these four keys to growing your self-confidence will help you reach your full potential in every aspect of life; relationships, career, business, spiritually, mentally, financially, physically and emotionally. Without confidence the journey of life will never start.

Quote of the Day: “The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you DO.”-Bill Phillips

 

 

Mission vs Vision…?

By Jernavis Draughn

What’s the difference between a vision and a mission? The bible says, “Where there is no vision people perish.” Our life’s vision provides clarity for the mission AND direction we undertake. But destination leads our direction. It governs our behavior, which creates our daily habits. This is the reason our DECISIONS dictate our DESTINY. Let’s break down the difference between both in effort to gain more understanding on WHY both are necessary in reaching our GOALS. Remember, reasons come before results. If our WHY is powerful, the how is easy. In the book, Leadership by Alison and David Price, they explained the difference between the two:

A vision, is where you aspire to be in the future. Your vision summarizes what you’re aspiring to achieve.

A mission, is what you aspire to do, your purpose for being on this earth. Your mission summarizes your purpose.

What is your life mission? What compelling vision do you have for your life? Hence, this is the reason we need daily, quarterly and yearly goals. Intrinsic motivation is the one thing that inspires us to become better human beings in the journey to reach our goals. It is the hunger to solve a problem that the world hasn’t found the answer too.

Examples: food and water security, free health care, lack of economic opportunity and unemployment, poverty and inequality are just a few of these things.

The list can run as long as the Amazon River. The point I’m making is, some of the best business ideas come from unsolved problems. My vision and mission for my life is connected to helping others grow emotionally, spiritually, mentally and financially. They are intertwined with each other, because my WHY is connected to giving.

I’ve learned success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure. We were created by GOD to be givers and to help other people! The major key is to discover what your gift is, then finding how you can use it to help the world become a better place. That takes time, self-discovery and pondering about what your strengths are and what you want your legacy to be when your story ends.

 Quote of the Day: “The secret to living is GIVING.”-Tony Robbins