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

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

4 methods to better DECISION MAKING!!!

By Jernavis Draughn

Our decisions dictate our destiny. The value of making the RIGHT decisions will determine the direction our life will take. We are influenced by our environment and our friends. Mathew Kelly states, “the people we surround ourselves with either raise or lower our standards”. They either help us to become the best version of ourselves or encourage us to become lesser versions of ourselves.” What was the last decision you made that turned out to be either a bad decision or a good decision? Take time to ponder or write down the decision you made and why that outcome came to life. Most of our decisions are made on autopilot. Our brain produces habitual behaviors that have been created over the course of our lives that drive our behavior. These programmed decisions create a sense of safety and comfortability that keep us from growing in most areas of life.

Looking at the “why” factor behind the DECISIONS we make, helps us discern the meaning behind them. I often ask, how will this decision I’m making affect my life in a positive or negative way. Then I weigh the pros and cons of me not making the decision to see if I’ll regret not doing it in the future. It is believed that good questions inform, and great questions transform. Consistent success is birthed in being able to make the right decisions. As you grow in your area of gifting, relationships, career, business and life, decision making should become easier to make. We should be students of life, where we are learning from the wrong decisions we made in our past.

In the book Crucial Conversations by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Patterson, Grenny, they discuss four of the best methods to making a decision in business, life and relationships.  

  1. Command Decisions. It’s not our job to decide what to do. It’s our job to decide how to make it work.
  2. Consulting Decision. A process whereby decision makers invite others to influence before they make a choice.
  3. Vote Decision. An agreed upon percentage swings to making the decision. 
  4. Consensus. Means you talk until everyone honestly agrees to one decision.

Our beliefs direct our direction in life, which plays an important role on why we make the decisions we do. If we can’t see a better future for ourselves, then we will be doomed to repeating the past. Self-confidence is directly connected to what we believe is possible in our life. Learn how to implement these styles of decision making into all aspects of your life. Remember, success is the result of decisions!

Quote of Day: “You can only have two things in life, reasons or results.”

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.”

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

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

 

 

The Power of “WHY”!

By Jernavis Draughn

All behaviors are belief driven. What we do daily is connected to our daily habits and belief system. If you do not value your job, relationship, health, spiritual beliefs, you won’t make them a priority for improvement. Motivation gets us going, but consistency keeps us growing. There’s a “WHY”, behind everything we do. From the time we wake up, we have given each action in our day a MEANING! Therefore the things we focus on expands. So the meaning we give anything is connected to our “WHY”. Our success is always predicated in the VALUE we place on things.

I’ve learned that reasons come before results. Your reasons inspire you go to work, to exercise, to eat healthy, to  learn daily, to increase your personal value, to reach your full potential, and to ensure you are creating meaningful relationships. WE are the captain of our ship. Where we want our boat to sail and how fast we want to arrive at our destination, will be up to us. We need to have a compelling vision, clarity for our life purpose and what we want to leave as our legacy. That’s where our “Why factor” will direct the path we need to travel on. Gary Keller, who owns the largest real estate company in the world by agent count says, “Success demands singleness in purpose”.

If your why is powerful, your how is easy. Why do you do what you DO? Are you intrinsically motivated to become financially stable to provide for yourself and help people in need? To take care of your family? Help support worldwide issues? Donate to charitable foundations? Improve the education system? Are you extrinsically motivated to buy nice cars, clothes, purses or homes? Gain fame and notoriety? Have the biggest song on the charts? Number one movie in the world? There’s no wrong answer to what motivates you to pursue your dreams or inspire your actions. I’ve learned only purposeful achievement is ultimately sustainable.

Here are a few  questions that will help you discover your purpose and your  “Why”, behind what truly provides meaning to your life.

  1. What makes you smile? (Activities, people, events, hobbies, projects, etc.)
  2. What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?
  3. What do people typically ask you for help in?
  4. What makes you feel great about yourself?
  5. Who inspires you most? Which qualities inspire you, in each person?
  6. What are you naturally good at?
  7. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

Quote of the Day: “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” John F. Kennedy

Why success in ANYTHING starts with COMMITMENT!!

Commitment opens the door to achievement. Most people are interested and not committed to anything in life. Success in anything will first start by you making the decision to fully commit to the process. In order for you to progress in your career, business, marriage or relationships, you will have to endure the process. However, expect the process to create a certain level of pain, uncertainty and fear. We tend to look for the shortcut to solving problems that arise in our life. The overnight and quick fix approach, instead of having unmovable FAITH and believing it shall pass. I believe before you become committed to anything you have to discover your “WHY”. They say if your why is powerful, the how is easy. In the book, Your Best Year Ever, by Michael Hyatt, he states, “you need autonomous motives. This idea relates to “the things that we find deeply and personally compelling to us”. You have to ask and answer this question, why does it matter to you? Without commitment you won’t start, without consistency you won’t finish.

People lose their way when they lose their WHY. Commitment starts with a thought, which leads to a decision where you finally taking action. Until you take action on that thought or idea, you’re not fully committed. The truth of the matter is, you’re either all in or NOT. There’s no option “B”, when you’re committed to making option “A” work. People often tell me I’m crazy and I respond to them by saying, no, I’m crazy committed. I only have one option for Athletes Global Corporation, which is reaching the highest level of success in our industry. As individuals, we have free will to decide on committing to reaching our goals or not.  You have to be willing to do, learn, study, or whatever is required to ensure your success.

Here are a few questions that will help you discover what you’re committed to:

What excites me now?

What so exciting to me that I would do anything to accomplish it?

What do I want to be remembered for?

What makes me feel good?

What gives me energy?

If I know I couldn’t fail, what would I do?

If I could be known for one great thing, what would it be?

These questions are from the book “Be obsessed or average”, by Grant Cardone. I recommend   reading this great book. It has helped me gain clarity on what I am to be committed too.

Finally, our passion is a preview to our purpose. Your purpose is waiting on you to discovery it. The moment you do, you will know what you’re truly committed too!

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”-Vince Lombardi

The $VALUE$ in LEARNING!

By Jernavis Draughn

What is the real currency in LEARNING? They say the more you learn the more you earn. There is no price tag on the amount you can learn in your personal space of gifting. We all have been blessed by God to use and help people in the world with our gifts. The most important DAY in our lives are, when were born and when we discover WHY. The most successful  financially, mentally, emotionally and spiritual people are committed to lifelong LEARNING. They invest time, and place VALUE in the process of learning. Oprah Winfrey contributes her personal success to what she learned from mentors, friends, family members, books she’s read and life experiences. Learning have to become an intricate part of your daily rituals and daily schedule. Creating a personal growth plan and making it a daily goal to learn something new, will improve your overall life.

Listening is the only VEHICLE to learning. It is the major reason why schools are one of the biggest businesses in the world. As a student you go to school to LISTEN first, then respond and ask questions to engage in the lesson. For you to learn anything, you have to listen first. One common reason relationships DO NOT endure and our divorce rate continues to increase, is because we fail to hear and listen to our partner. We are so quick to respond or rebut, because of our “selfish gene”. We NEED to focus on learning our partner in order to understand what they value, what their needs are, and what are their beliefs and love languages. “Any fool can know, the point is to understand.”-Albert Einstein

Lastly, Learning is the only true path to WEALTH. Warren Buffett once said, you have to define your circle of competence.” That takes mastery. Learning yourself and learning what you believe you can become really good or great in. You must sit down and study your craft in order to understand what area you want to master. Learning increases the opportunities of you becoming more successful in anything you do.

I am concerned about the school system because I think it is flawed on the methodology of HOW they are teaching students. I believe you have to value, then be influenced and lastly inspired by something/someone in order to truly enjoy the learning process.

If you ask a person why they decided to learn a particular topic, they usually will tell you how it made them feel, how it changed their state, how it improved their life, their relationships, how it caused them to grow, how it help their understanding of things, or how it influenced their belief. Before learning occurs, you first place value on the topic and the person you’re learning from. Then you choose to listen to them, take notes, and focus more on the point they are making. It’s called “Active Listening”, where you listen with the intent to understand. You value what that person is saying. This is why mentors and parents are so essential to personal growth.

I suggest that we commit to lifelong learning today or be left behind. Information is coming at a very fast pace these days and so you have to be a continuous learner in order to keep up with the times. Those who value learning the most will remain successful and will become pioneers through understanding the constant innovations of an ever changing world.

Quote of the Day: “Don’t Just”

Don’t just learn, experience.
Don’t just read, absorb.
Don’t just change, transform.
Don’t just relate, advocate.
Don’t just promise, prove.
Don’t just criticize, encourage.
Don’t just think, ponder.
Don’t just take, give.
Don’t just see, feel.
Don’t just dream, do.
Don’t just hear, listen.
Don’t just talk, act.
Don’t just tell, show.
Don’t just exist, live.
― Roy T. BennettThe Light in the Heart