Are you playing to WIN in LIFE, CAREER, or BUSINESS?

By Jernavis Draughn

If you are not taking score you are just PRACTICING. Life is a fight for territory. Playing the game of life to just play is meaningless, playing to win is intentional. It requires thinking, planning, preparing, and taking massive action. It starts with a strategy. Deciding what winning looks like for you in all facets of your life. What is winning? Is it earning a certain amount of income? Is it spending quality time with family and friends? Is it driving a certain type of car or living in a certain size house? Is it being able to travel the world? Is it having financial freedom? Reasons reap results. What is your “why’ behind everything you do? What will push you to take consistent and strategic action daily?

Being a retired athlete, you ultimately learn that winning is the only option. Your conditioned to compete and to leave it all on the table every time you show up. I have learned winning in anything in life starts with EFFORT, by doing the work. When you implement strategy behind effort and work ethic, more opportunity arises. Robin Sharma is coined for saying,“what you do daily is your life in miniature.” When you discover your why, you will find the WAY. Strategy is a choice. The purpose of systems is to ensure consistency. In the book, “Playing to win, how strategy works”, by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin, explains how strategy is one of the major keys to consistently winning in business.

Lafely and Martin go over five questions to help you build a strategic business plan.

  1. What is your winning aspiration? What is the purpose of your company?
  2. Where will you play? Partnerships? Online? Brick and Mortar? Territories? Target audience?
  3. How will you win? How will you win on your chosen playing field?
  4. What capabilities must be in place? Who will you need? Who will you have to become? What will you need to learn?
  5. What management systems are required? What type of system do you need to create consistent results?

Here’s some key takeaways from the book, Playing to win, that can help grow your business:

-Do not try to capture all segments.

-Look for a place to play that will enable you to attack from unexpected directions.

-Winning means providing a better consumer and customer value equation than your competitors do and providing it on a sustainable basis.

-Differentiation. We offer products or services that are perceived to be distinctively more valuable to customers, with the same cost structure that competitors use.

-Measurement provides focus and feedback.

Strategy is a way to win. Having a competitive advantage helps you create consistent success. Playing to win in anything, means being more intentional, goal oriented, focus, strategic, mission and purpose driven. See strategy as a process rather than a result. Remember success has no FINISH LINE.

Quote of the Day: “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.” -Arie de Geus

Why PRACTICE = PROGRESS!

By Jernavis Draughn

Aristotle once said, “we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but a habit”. Practice is the foundation to growing in any facet of your life. If you are struggling with a subject in school, the only way to improve is to practice the subject more. If your business is failing to grow quarterly, then you need to implement new strategies and practices that will help you drive daily sales. If you are in a relationship that lacks communication, the only way to improve that area is to practice carving out time to communicate more on how you feel about each other and the relationship. It can be a sports, hobby or skill set, the only way for it to improve is by practicing. Practice makes permanent.

I’ve done research and found deliberate practice is one of the best methods for consistent growth. Coined by Anders Ericsson, deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance. Practicing with a purpose, while receiving feedback. We mistake movement with achievement. Our daily actions often do not lead to an outcome or result that we genuinely want. They say when you walk in purpose, you will collide with destiny.

In the book, “Practice Perfect”, by Doug Lemov, he explains forty-two rules for getting better at getting better. Here’s ten of the rules that stood out to me from the book that will help you grow in any area of your life.

  1. Encode success. Engineer practice activity so that the success rate is reliably high. Practice getting it right.
  2. Practice the 80/20 principle. Identify the 20 percent of things you could practice that will deliver 80 percent of the value.
  3. Unlock creativity with repetition. Automate skills to free others cognition to be more creative.
  4. Correct instead of critique. Feedback automatically helps people get better.
  5. Isolate the skill your trying to improve on. Focus on that one skill until you see improvement.
  6. Replace your purpose with an objective. Create measurable and manageable objectives and goals for your program daily.
  7. Make a plan. Plan with data driven objectives in mind and plan to adapt.
  8. Make each minute matter.
  9. Model and describe what to focus on.
  10. Let the mind follow the body. Learn skills to automaticity. Master your craft.

Practice equals progress. There’s a quote from the book by Dan Heath that exemplifies the value of practice. “The enemies of practice are pride, fear and self-satisfaction”. To practice requires humility. It forces us to admit that we don’t know everything. To practice isn’t to declare, ‘I’m bad.’ To practice is to declare, ‘I can be better.” When you fall in love with practicing, you have opened the door to discovering your passion, which can lead you to finding your life purpose.

Quote of the Day: “Deliberate practice equals progress.”

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.”

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.”

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

 

 

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