What ZONE do you live in….?

By Jernavis Draughn

Being a retired athlete, I have always had methods to get into my personal zone in the game of basketball. I had pre game rituals that I believed helped me mentally reach peak levels of focus to perform at a high level. Now being in the game of business, I’ve learned there’s not much of a difference regarding the mindset approach to high performance.

I believe our competence creates our confidence. The success in anything you do is predicated on your experience of being in the situation before, personal belief system, and ability to face fear and still take action. When I was playing the game of basketball, I would strive to get in my “2-3” zone on a consistent basis. It’s a place where you’ve seen Michael Jordan win a championship when having the flu, Tom Brady bring the Patriots back in the fourth quarter to win a super bowl or Steve Jobs reinvent the entire mobile industry by creating the “iPhone”.

Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who has coined the term “Flow”, also known colloquially as being in the zone. The mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. That is, by learning how to enter the state of flow you can increase your productivity, be more creative, and be happier, all at the same time. Personally, speaking when I have reached a flow state, I’ve played my best games and produced my best work. Now moving into the public speaking and leadership training space, I often feel myself completely immersed in that moment with the ability to give more. I think reaching a flow state, starts with preparation. Repetition is the mother of MASTERY. Tony Robins says, people are rewarded in PUBIC for the years of practice they did in PRIVATE! Great performances are connected to your personal belief that you can accomplish something monumental, because of the practice, work, and effort you invested into your passion.

I read a great book by John Maxwell called, Leadership Shift, and he discusses the four different zones we live in.

  1. The Coasting Zone. I do as little as possible.
  2. The Comfort Zone. I do what I have always done.
  3. The Challenge Zone. I attempt to do what I haven’t done before.
  4. The Creative Zone. I attempt to think what I have never thought before.

You must see value in yourself to add value to yourself. We all have greatness within us. It’s our choice to tap into that place internally to discover it. The zone state can be connected to all facets of our life. Relationships, spiritually, career, business, sports, health, fitness, or financially. Take time to honestly answer these questions. Do you do as little as possible to reach your potential in these areas? Are you still doing what you always done or are you intentionally growing in these areas of life? Lastly, are you focus on reaching your full potential in all areas of your life? Remember the only walls that confine us are the walls we have BUILT.

Quote of the Day: “Chase your Potential”-Jernavis Draughn

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

 

 

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.”

Five Factors shown to IMPROVE your well-being

By Jernavis Draughn

What does well being mean? The dictionary defines it this way, “it’s the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous”. When do you feel the happiest or healthiest or prosperous in your life? What actions are you doing daily that creates a positive feeling in any of these areas? What we do daily determines our worth. When we live our core values we attract more things that gives our lives meaning. In the book “Think Small”, by Owain Service and Rory Gallager, they discuss 5 actions that will help improve your life’s well-being.

  1. Strengthening your social relationships. We become the people and things that we associate with most. We are the sum total of the 5 closet people we spend our time with. When we choose wisely the company we keep, our personal growth is expedited. Listen to only voices of value!

2. Getting healthier and active. Our body is our temple. We must feed our mind and body healthy fuel in order for it to perform at a high level.To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”-Buddha

3. Learning something new. Commit to lifelong learning. Becoming a person of value requires you to never stop growing. “Try Not To Become a Man of Success But Rather Try To Become a Man of Value.”-Albert Einstein

4. Being more curious. What types of things sparks your interest? What inspires and motivates you? What is another stream of revenue that you could focus on building? What can you do today that will help you reach that goal faster? The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your life.

5. Giving to others. The secret to living is giving. We reap what we sow. In order to move forward we have to give back. The law of reciprocity means, when someone does something nice for you, you will have a deep-rooted psychological urge to do something nice in return. “We rise by lifting others.”-Robert Ingersoll

What we do today will either empower or restrict us tomorrow. We are creatures of habit and our well-being is connected to what we do daily. What we eat, the amount of work we accomplish, how often we exercise, and the people we connect with socially, emotional and spiritually. All of us have the same amount of time daily to produce the results we want in our lives. Take time out today to look at these five areas of your life to ensure they are meeting your standards on all levels. Remember, our time is our most precious gift, and all of us MUST be selfish with it.

Quote of the day: “Act as a master of your life by putting your health, well-being, and happiness FIRST.”-Marianna Olszewski

Why your Brand is your CULTURE…?

Today we are consumed with numerous social media platforms that sell us there brand and we buy in on their culture of services they provide. Facebook is a brand that creates a culture of CONNECTING us with our friends and family. Snap chat is a brand that allows us to post and send personal visual messages to our friends connected to our culture. Instagram is a brand that allows us to create a visual story using pictures to display our current moments and memories for people that connect with our culture. Linked-in is a brand that provides a platform to advertise and market our skill-sets to people we want to connect within our culture. Everyone today has a personal brand that defines who they believe they are or wants to become. Look at peoples Facebook, Snap chat, and Instagram pages. You will see their personal dreams, aspirations, values, perception, beliefs and purpose. We yearn for instant gratification, from likes, shares and comments from people we know and don’t.

Everyone today is a business. Employers will review your social media platform to gain clarity on how you represent yourself. Our personal brand is bigger and helps our business thrive in many ways. CEO’s that have a strong following and presence in the social media world have some of the most successful companies. The reason why your social media brand is so powerful with building your business is directly connected to the culture you’re creating. People buy stories. People want to know how you started the company, but more importantly “WHY”. It’s easier for a consumer or a fan to connect with you, when selling your story instead of a product or service. People want to experience your BRAND.

Why is Chick-Fil-A, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, Amazon and Lexus all in the top ten companies list for best customer service ranked by (ACSI) American Customer Satisfaction Index. The reason is directly connected to the culture they’ve created within their company. The consistent employee training, hiring processes, benefits and leadership. People don’t leave companies, they leave PEOPLE. Leadership starts from the top. These companies have employees that buy in on the culture, mission, connect emotionally to the purpose and find enjoyment in their position. “PEC”, they have personal emotional connection, which has transformed them into passionate disciples that live the company’s core values.

Loyalty with your employees creates loyalty with your consumers. Tony Hsieh, one of the founders of Zappos once said, “Where culture thrives, passion follows.” Your company culture should drive your brand. No brand stands still, your either moving up or down. This goes for personal or company brands. Think before you post that next selfie, blog post, meme or message on any social media platform. That post will either empower you today or restrict you TOMORROW.

Quote of the Day: “What you build today will either empower or restrict you tomorrow.”

Confidence vs. Competence..?

Competence opens the door to confidence. The feeling of confidence comes after you’ve reached a certain level of clarity, mastery and competence in a particular area. That takes intentional purposeful practice. Let’s look at the dictionary definition of both words to gain more understanding. “Confidence is the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.” Competence is the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.” We tend to skip steps on the road to mastery or simply improving. Some research say it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. Some say you can master or improve any area of your life if you commit to doing it daily.

Confidence is birth from the belief of your competence. Think about when you discover a new passion or hobby and the frustration you feel from the beginning learning phases. That thought is stemming from not feeling competent and confidence in doing it. Most people can’t overcome failure, which leads them to giving up to soon. The reason why practice makes better and repetition is the mother of LEARNING. We must invest time into building trust and belief within ourselves that we have the ability to produce better results. I’ve learned confidence and competence are both needed to reach your full potential in playing a sport, moving up in your career, public speaking, growing a business, learning an instrument or new language.

Here’s 5 ways to increase your confidence and competence:

1. Commit to learning, doing and improving that particular area of your life daily. What you do daily determines your WORTH.

2. Ask for feedback. Whatever you’re working on gaining more confidence or competence in, you will need to receive feedback on your progress and growth in that area. That’s the only way you can discern if you’re improving.

3. Mirror someone who’s better than you. To become great in anything, you have to see and know what it takes to become great. You might not have Steve Jobs, Kobe Bryant, Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Al Pacino personally mentoring you. We do have their biographies, interviews and books which they have given the blueprint to their successes.

4. Speak LIFE to yourself and others. We become what we think and say to ourselves. The game of life is: You vs You. Make sure you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to WIN.

5. Study, Do, Study and DO. It’s very simple, the best people in sports, entertainment, politics or business are studying and doing their craft on a consistent basis. They immerse themselves into that field where their unconsciously growing from the amount of time they are investing in it.

WE can never improve anything in life if we don’t make the decision to doing it daily. Growth comes from consistency. Consistency builds confidence and failure teaches competence. Failure is only feedback. We only grow from failure, which is the reason why “doing” is the only way to create confidence and gain competence in anything we want to improve in.

Quote of the Day: “Self-confidence is the memory of success.” – David Storey

 

4 Keys to CONSISTENT Success in ANYTHING!!

Is there a proven formula to achieving lasting success in any area of your life? I’ve read a great book by, Jim Collins called “Good to Great”. He states, “only a few people attain great lives”, because it’s so easy to settle for a good life. Some people believe that being successful is a choice. The decision to be successful is made when we raise our personal standards. What we do daily determines our worth. We need to have targets and goals that we are striving to reach, which intrinsically inspire us to grow. Money won’t make you or keep you fulfilled, and happiness leads to success. The feeling of purpose will be your fuel to keep your fire consistently burning. How can we ensure that we are intentionally reaching our daily, weekly, monthly and yearly potential? Listed below are four ways that I’ve learned from reading and researching what the most successful people do to achieve consistent success.

1. Out-Work. Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work HARD. Simply put, just out work everyone else. If people are not complimenting your work ethic, then you’re not fully committed to reaching your full potential.

2. Out-Last. The titan warriors live by this mantra, “Sweat more in training so you bleed less in WAR.” People only quit jobs, sports, positions, people, and things that they are not committed too. Pain is temporary, but if you quit, it will last forever. You have to endure the process in order to progress in any area of your life.

3. Out-Improve. Growth has to be your number one GOAL. Constant and never ending improvement is the only way your marriage, relationships, career, your company, your spirituality, financially, physically, and emotionally you will be able to reach your full potential. 

4. Out-Strategize. What you tolerate, your never change. We live in the world that our questions create. So the key is to continually think about how you can make your service, product, career, marriage, and relationships better. Make your better its best by taking time to strategize how you can intentionally create more value in those areas. “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”-Michael Porter

If you intentionally focus on growing in these four areas, 2018-2019 will be an amazing year!

Quote of the Day: “GOALS are not promises, they are COMMITMENTS!”

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

The 80/20 LIFESTYLE…

By Jernavis Draughn

What is the 80/20 principle? Let me give some history of where this concept originated. The concept was introduced in 1897 by an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto. He observed that most income and wealth came from the minority of the people in his samples. He found that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the land. From that day forward he continued his quest to see if his discovery stood true to other areas of our lives.

I decided to do my own research on books discussing the 80/20 principle, in order to get a clearer understanding of this concept. I just completed a great read by Richard Koch called the 80/20 principle. He goes in depth on how we can implement the rule into all facets of our life to produce success. Richard explains how using the principle can increase success in your company, career, relationships and overall health.

Here are a few statistics of the 80/20 principle:

-Eighty percent of what you achieve in your job comes from 20 percent of your time spent.

-Twenty percent of the products usually account for about eighty percent of dollar sales value.

-Twenty percent of criminals account for eighty percent of the value of crime.

-Twenty percent of motorists cause eighty percent of accidents.

-Twenty percent of your carpets are likely to get eighty percent of the wear.

-Twenty percent of your clothes will be worn eighty percent of the time.

The key is to concentrate on the most important twenty percent that will create the most success in your life. This will take you sitting down and writing down what actions, behaviors and rituals create the results you ultimately want. Here are four rules for understanding how decision making connects with the 80/20 rule.

  1. Not many decisions are very important.
  2. Most decisions are often those made only by default.
  3. If what you have decided isn’t working, change your mind early rather than late.
  4. When something is working well, double and redouble your bets.

The premise of the book is to find where twenty percent of your efforts gives eighty percent of your return. This premise is the true essence of the 80/20 principle, to do a few things well and specialize in that particular area.

Confucius once said, “the man that chases two rabbits catches none”. We are so consumed with trying to do everything, instead of mastering a few things. Discipline yourself to improving twenty percent of the most important areas in your relationships, company services, Job performance and health. That is the only way you will see exponential growth and lasting success in all areas of life.

Quote of the Day: “Success demands singleness of purpose.”-Gary Keller

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