Sunday, November 23, 2014

8 Great Work Habits and How I Use Them

     This week, my main focus was on getting back to the basics. It turns out less really is more and when you're feeling robotic, it's best to go back to the foundations of what you learned on Day 1 of training.  We all spoke about the 8 Great Work Habits this week, including Top Account Manager, Mike Archa, and HR Department, Dena Shleifer and Doni Kalachi. We want to share with you what these habits are and how we implemented them into our daily routines.  
     Starting with the 1st work habit: 1. Have and maintain a positive attitude. A positive can-do attitude is critical for success. Think like a winner to be one. Enthusiasm and excitement attracts and engages other people- whether it’s a customer or a coach. Also, having and maintaining a positive attitude will help you take rejection in stride.  Positive people are more resilient, and able to problem solve when they’re faced with any obstacles. Needless to say, this is a controllable habit that seems very critical for success.
     Habit number 2 is Be on time.  Punctuality suggests reliability, dependability and trustworthiness. Easy ways to get in the habit of being on time is to start setting a routine.  Whether that routine includes picking out clothes the night before, or waking up without hitting snooze and begin a morning routine to start your day.  Successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs admitted to both wearing the same things every day in order to save time.  Think about that one!
     The 3rd habit is to be prepared.  Easy for someone like Dena, who often thinks of a zombie apocalypse situation, because she is always prepared! Planning ahead for obstacles or unusual situations can help you with confidence.  Keep in mind that hindsight is 20/20.  Use past mistakes as a way to learn and prepare yourself for another obstacle.  You can't control life, but you can adjust to it!
    Number 4 is working a full day.  To be an entrepreneur, you'll have to do things others won't in order to get what others can't.  You need to follow through with your goals no matter what obstacles you may face.  This goes hand-in-hand with habit number 5, work your territory correctly.  This habit ensures that you are not only working hard, but you are also working smart. You are keeping track of trends that work for you and ensuring that you hit your goal.
     The sixth habit is respecting the customer.  Now, on a daily basis we interact with different "customers."  This can be co-workers, managers, job seekers, businesses, customers, friends, and family.  Basically, anyone you meet- listen to them, be positive, and most importantly, be eager to help.  Focus on what they actually need by listening, and be enthusiastic. 
     The 7th habit is very important.  This habit is called Understanding your opportunity, and it involves figuring out WHY you are working so hard and aggressively towards a goal.  Once you understand your 'why,' it'll drive what you do, and how and why you do it. We are lucky enough to work in an opportunity business where opportunity is met by helping others.  The opportunities are limitless luckily, so it's up to you to work hard and understand what and why you're doing it.
     The 8th and final habit is taking control.  Now this can have many meanings: take control of your opportunity/future, take control of a challenging situation, or take control of a conversation.  This habit, combined with the other seven habits, will  lead you to having a successful day every day.  It's good to remember that it usually takes about 21 days to form a habit, so this is something you will need to commit to for the next three weeks and in turn, will have a lifetime of success.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What is "Movember?"

   Call it what you want: No-Shave November or Movember, people in our office are starting to look different.  The question I'm hearing from a lot of people is, WHY? Let's not forget that while Austin, TX boasts some of the best facial hair this country has ever seen, this month is all about raising awareness for men's health.

     To be more specific, Movember began in Australia in 2003 to raise awareness for testicular and prostate cancers.  Movember's U.S. Director says that, "We are all about the mustache and only the mustache.  What we're asking men to do is participate by changing their appearance. What that fosters is a conversation.  From there, men can explain why they're growing a mustache and start talking about men's health."

     Needless to say, this is a really important cause because it has the potential to bring a sensitive topic to the forefront of conversations.  Raising awareness for this cause has raised over $21 million as of 2013 and has helped change hundreds of thousands of lives.  This is a subject that hits home as my own grandfather has beaten prostate cancer.

     So what can you do to help? Visit to see how you can participate.  If you're feeling like you can't grow a mustache, you can still help out! After visiting the website,, I found out SO much information about Movember and the movement it has caused.  There are even ways that "Mo Sistas" can help out- that's for the ladies.  The site also has tips to groom the beard, and ways you can compete to raise the most money for the cause.  However you can help the cause, please do. It can save lives like my grandfather's and help keep your face warm!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Work. Play. Passion.

     This past weekend I was lucky enough to have been selected and treated to a trip in Nassau, Bahamas with some of the top Recruiters, Assistant Managers, Managers, and Consultants in our business.  More importantly, I was surrounded by some of the most motivated, resilient, intelligent, and hilarious people that I get to call some of my best friends. These last few days have been so fun, refreshing, and motivating.

     The Management Team including Neha, Austin, Jesse, Mike, Doni, and I got to head down to the Bahamas on Wednesday and Thursday and hang out with our friends by the pool and in the casino.  It was a fun night to be reunited with some of our friends from all over the country.  We got to see some Managing Partners from Washington D.C., Charlotte, Detroit, Denver, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Houston, San Antonio, and even our European expansion team got to be there!

     Friday morning was spent in a General Session where we learned more about the European expansion that is going on and I think it's safe to say I want to visit those offices someday. We also saw a promotion, learned more about how to help our Operation Smile mission trips, and got super motivated to help others reach their potential.  After the General Session, we broke out into lunches with our mentors and spoke about our current status, as well as visualizing our goals.  Our main theme was talking about what "winning big" meant to us.

     Personally, I felt like a trip to the Bahamas with my friends was "winning big," but I always want to win bigger.  I think it's important to never limit yourself and how much potential you can unleash. To me, this means I will continue to learn and transfer my knowledge to aid in the exponential growth of our organization.  Neha added, "If you think big, and figure out what you have to do to accomplish big success and break it down into small pieces and attack it one step at a time, then you will win big."

     This trip was not just all work and talking about our goals and planning how to attain them.  No, we had an extreme amount of fun.  While staying at The Atlantis, we experienced their huge aquarium, not-so-lazy river, pools, and of course the beach.  One of the most exciting things for me was going down a water slide that lands you into a tube going through a shark tank.  It was so cool! Doni adds, "What I absolutely loved about R&R was getting to be next to the beach, driving on the left side of the road, swimming with dolphins, and conquering the shark slide. It was definitely a huge check mark in the books to be so close to sharks."

     All in all, I'd say it was a very memorable vacation.  All of us feel very grateful that we got to experience such an awesome event with some amazing friends and co-workers.  Now it's time to get back to business and help people unleash their potential!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Why You Should Start With WHY

Start with WHY

    How many of us go to work and feel like we are just going through the motions or wake up every day like Bill Murray in 'Groundhog Day?'  Great movie, but none of us want to waste our time doing a little thing called 'work' if it isn't fun or fulfilling. What do you do to make your job fun or fulfilling?  Better yet, let me ask you a deeper question; Do you know WHY you are doing what you do? 

     Simon Sinek, an author and motivational speaker, has published a couple of books and spoken on a few TED Talks about the "Golden Circle."  This sounds great, what is it?! Below is a picture of the "golden circle" and it's clear that the center circle is labeled, "Why" because this is were you need to start. Establish why you are working so hard and investing in a goal or future that you are years from living in.  He noticeably mentions that people don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. Have you ever realized that most people communicate by starting with what they are doing and then work towards the how, then the why. 

     Why does this order even matter? It turns out that different parts of our brain are engaged by certain parts of communication and information.  When we're talking about what we do, we're speaking to the rational and analytic part of the brain that is tied to language. However, when we are talking about our why or our how, we're communicating with feelings and dealing with human behaviors.  These are 'gut feelings' that have no capacity for language. 
     Think about companies like Disney or Apple, and people like Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Wright brothers. What do they all have in common? They start(ed) with why! Companies like Apple, communicate with their customers very clearly about their why. "Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. We challenge the status quo by making beautifully designed products that are simple to use."  It is that simple. Start with why and then move on to how and what.  
     I know my why and I have written out my personal mission statement. Once I had written that down, it became a lot easier to work everyday.  All of a sudden, there is a clear reason why I am working so hard, expending so much energy, and investing so much time into learning and communicating, and building relationships.  My why will never change, but I know that my role in how and what I do are up to me.  No matter where I go or what I do, my core values stay the same.   

To learn more about the "golden circle" from Simon Sinek, please watch this short video! 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Suits and Ties: Dallas Leaders Conference

This passed weekend was our Leadership Conference in Dallas! Offices from all around the Southern region came together and listened in on advice given to them by other owners and consultants. Neha Graham was one of the guests speakers for different break out sessions we had, as well as our amazing HR Director, Dena Shleifer.

I love going to these conferences because it's a great place to see people you've met in the business and especially to meet new people who are willing to share their knowledge with you and acts as mentors.

My favorite thing about this one in particular was being able to share it with my own team member, Abby, as she's being developed into leadership by yours truly. This was such a learning experience for her and she learned so much and it just made her that much more excited for the opportunity at hand.

That's Abby! 

There's also the award for the "Leadership Pin."  The leadership pin stands for different things that owners look for such as: hard work, dedication, appreciation, humility, and those who want to grow and become better leaders. Remember when I got it in LA? Neha awarded her Leadership pin to Jordan Harville! He's definitely stepped up to the plate and has been a tremendous help around our office. Austin Smith, our partnering manager, awarded his pin to Byron Abram! Byron, as well as Jordan, has demonstrated his potential around our office and has proven that hard work pays off! Good job Jordan and Byron!!

Byron with his new pin!!

Our HR Director, Dena was invited to hold a breakout session for about 30 administrators and talk about big-picture opportunity.  I can't thank Dena and Doni enough for everything they do for us!! I 

know we don't say it quite enough, but thank you for all the hard work you guys put into our office 
and all the support you give us!!

I'll end my post this week with Neha's breakout session. She talked to leaders who have been here 0-3 months and as well as 6+ months (me) and it really hit close to home with what she and Eric Norregaard had to say about where we are right now.  We are on the cusp of being half way there; we just have to keep a full heart of passion and a clear head to think about every step we take to make sure it's the step that's going to help us reach our goal!

Let me just say, I'M READY! Bring it on!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Is your ego in check?

I usually read pretty cool articles online about business and how to be more of a leader and so on and so forth. So yesterday that I was looking for an article to read I stumbled upon an article that, in my personal opinion should be read by all leaders. You know you're a great leader when people want to be like you, follow you, and reach the status you have. But what about those leaders that have too much confidence it's almost cockiness.

There's a huge difference between confidence and cocky.

"You need confidence to run a company--that's obvious. But without consciously evaluating your actions, conviction can quickly morph into arrogance. And this inflated ego will only shrink your company's success."

Read more: knows what it's doing!

The article gives us 7 questions that we should answer in order to figure out if we are being the right amount of both.

1. Do you ask for transparent feed back?
-We all like to "help" people with our constructive criticism but it's usually one sided. We tend to talk more than we listen, so sometimes it's better to stop talking and listen to what people have to say. It can actually help.

2. Do you know people on a personal level?
-I like to pride myself on this one, I actually like to take the time and get to know everyone around me. It's very important that you know your people on more than just work terms. Since I started at ACG I've taken time to get to know all the people that surround me. Even if it's for a few minutes, I like to know if my people are having a good day. ARE YOU HAVING A GOOD DAY?? :)

3. Do you know yourself?
-I know, is this a trick question? It's not. Really, do you know yourself? Is your integrity in check? Are your values the same day in and day out? Do you pride yourself on your character? These are all questions you should be asking yourself when your ego is getting the best of you.

4. Do you drink your own Kool-Aid?
-This should be self explanatory, right? Are you practicing what you preach on the reg? If you tell people around you to do something one way and you do it a different was that practicing what you preach? I'm just saying.

5. Do you have a system of checks and balances in place?
-As the above, are you practicing what you preach? Like the article, I started reading more and trying
 to incorporate what I read into my daily routine. If my article is giving me advice on clean eating I'll start clean eating... As for how long that lasts it's a different story. BUT motivational articles are always inspiring and get me in such an inspiring mood.

6. Are you honest with where your competitors are compared to you?
-This goes without saying. In our office competition is EVERYTHING. I know if we are not at #1 we are working our tails off to get back up there. So make sure that you're always giving it all you have!!

7. Do you let your accomplishments speak for themselves?
- HUMBLE- most competitive people with high egos don't know what that means. A simple "thank you" goes a long way, because realistically speaking who wants to work with someone who is always bragging about themselves? Not me, for sure. So remember to stay humble and appreciative of those people around you!

That's all for now! I'll be talking about our Conference next week!!


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