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: http://www.inc.com/john-hall/7-questions-that-will-give-your-ego-a-reality-check.html#ixzz3D1EnTfwS  Inc.com 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 way....how 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!!


#ego #confidence #realitycheck #blog #austincommunicationgroup #acg #work #workhardplayhard #blogger

Wednesday, September 17, 2014



Yes, it happened. This weekend was probably one of the most exciting weekends I've had with the company, not that every weekend isn't fun! It was the DorfmanOrg/AuwaterOrg weekend in our beautiful city of Austin, TX. I'm pretty sure almost everyone was wearing cowboy boots (the greatest thing ever.)

Besides having some of my friends that have moved away come back to good ole Texas, y'all! I got the opportunity to mingle and get to know so many people in our business. Let me just say, that I networked with TOP mentors in our business.

I took this weekend as a growing experience and basically went in with a clear and open mind and ready to mingle. Now, most people know me to be the social butterfly, I could have a wall talk back to me if I wanted to.

#OrgWeekend2014 kicked off on Saturday night with a mixer at the Wyndham Hotel. Leaders, Asst. Managers, Owners, and Promoting Owners were there. Lots of important people that Little Ol Martha needed to chit chat with. There were about 150 people there ready to share their knowledge with us.

I talked to so many new people that I will absolutely be keeping in contact with because now they have become some of my mentors. There were two people in particular that stood out most to me.

One of the them is such a powerful woman. She stands strong and knows exactly what she wants from life. She came to speak to our office during our morning break out and just empowered our office moral so much more. This woman is definitely someone to look up to and I strive to work hard and be in her shoes one day.

The second person that stood out to me most was the mentor of all owners. This man pulls me aside to have a full blown conversation in Spanish, i.e. the greatest thing to ever happen! He picked my brain more than I did his. Which let me just say, thank you sir. That is definitely A-OK with me.

The weekend included break out sessions, lots of food, live music. We also got to go on a boat cruise on the Colorado River and it was the perfect way to mingle and get to know each other for 2 hours! After our boat cruise we were treated to good ole Texas BBQ! Green Mesquite is now one of our favorite places. Besides amazing food we listened to blue grass music and danced a little.

Our own Neha Graham had her first org weekend where all of her outside deals came into Austin to hang out. Neha took them out on a boat party and dinner to take advantage of having all of them together. Our admins, Dena and Doni, also had the opportunity to hang out with other admins that flew into town!


To me, who's been in the business going on more than half a year, it's so rewarding seeing the unity that these people share. They've been friends for years and all they do is help each other out. Like, best friends for ever. That's the whole thing. I love it!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Our Week of Smiles is keeping us smiling!!

So we had our Week of Smiles last week and it had an outstanding reaction! The entire office got involved in all of our activities! The entire week we had different people from the office talk about something that was special to them and how to keep the resilience up in the office.

Aaron Becerra said, "I learned that there is so much to smile about in my life. I learned that smiling is more beneficial than being upset."

You know, it's so rewarding to know that our office is always so positive and always there to back each other up in the good times and bad. The encouragement we all have with each other is amazing.

Neha Graham said her favorite part about last week was "seeing everyone smile! Smiling is contagious and last week definitely proved that for our team...we gained momentum which let into a strong start for this week already!"

Sarah Stone said, "my favorite part about the week of smiles was when we all smiled together as a whole. The entire room was filled with positive energy and it felt great!"

During the week we learned different things to keep us smiling as well as learning from our Admin Doni that the only competition you should have in life is yourself. You don't get anywhere comparing yourself to others so why do it? If that helped any we would all be the same person, although being Oprah doesn't sound so bad to me...

Doni talking about the only person you should ever compare yourself to is: YOU!

Jamie learned that, "comparing yourself to others does nothing but bring you down, you should only compare yourself to what you were before and set new goals for yourself." Great thinking Jamie!

I can't thank Dena Shleifer, our Admin, for coming up with this wonderful idea to have a whole week dedicated to smiling and being positive! Our moral in the office has lifted to new heights and will continue to do so with all of us staying smiling!

Thanks Dena for all your hard work!! We appreciate you!!

Neha Graham showing off her Week of Smiles bracelets we gave out!

Alicia Olvera thought this was such a great idea! 

We had a poster board made to sign with the things that make us smile every day!

We enjoyed some games with our guys!

Ninja got a little intense lol

Austin Smith motivating us and keeping us positive! 

From our family to yours, LETS KEEP SMILING! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Just the open road and Austin Communication Group

I've always said that if a job doesn't require you to travel it won't be fun. You get to explore new places on their dime...(oops I said it...) and all while still learning and growing! Now, if you think about it the way I do, it's really an investment for them, the employer, to have their employees make these trips.

For instance, you're, the employee, expanding your horizons all the while putting money in your pocket and the employers.

On my second week of starting at Austin Communication Group they sprung the idea of a business trip. Being it was my second week here I was obviously excited and thrilled they'd invite a new hire to travel. I actually was promoted on our trip to McAllen, TX. Which, was so much fun and a great learning experience for me!

Since I've been here, I've seen our team go to Dallas, Oklahoma, McAllen, San Antonio, and San Francisco, yes California and I've also seen offices from different parts of the country come visit our office to see what tricks we pull to be number one. NUMBER ONE. In the nation. Yeah... We're kind of a big deal...

Since moving to Austin on July 27th to now, I can say I've been to Los Angeles, CA for 3 days, San Antonio, TX for a week and just spent a week in McAllen, TX. That's 2 1/2 weeks of travel which I LOVE.

Having the opportunity to go on these trips is so rewarding! It's a great way to step up as a leader and have others promoted into leadership! That's why when a trip is sprung up I'm the first one to raise my hand and say "ME! I want to go! Pick me!" (Not really, I usually flash a look towards Neha's way and she knows)

Not to mention you're stuck in a room with 3 girls and you're bound to make forever friendships!

Which leads to happiness and happy employees= happy office. Right? The following week will be a business trip to Houston, H-Town! It'll be a great way for our leaders to step up and show us how to run a successful trip down there! (Wish I was going, love that city!)

I'll be staying back and enjoying our Week of Smiles!! I don't know about the rest of the office but I'm ready for my cheeks to hurt from so much smiling I'll be doing!

***excuse the cheesy selfies :)

Eating with my road trip family!

With Tiny Mike, awesome leader!!!

Jon and I jamming out to oldies! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Operation: Help Kids Smile

Have I mentioned how much I love working with Austin Communication Group? Because if I haven't, I DO. A lot. One of my favorite things to do growing up was always volunteering in whatever charity group my parents could find me. You name it I volunteered. To me, helping others in their time of need is one of the most important values ever instilled in me. So when I found out that our company was an avid supporter of Operation Smile I was thrilled.

Operation Smile is an organization that helps children with cleft palettes that are not able to eat, talk or smile properly. The organization takes care of the surgery that is roughly about $240 US. Now, to us, that may not seem like a lot but to families in third world countries that's saving the life of their child.

A few months back our company as a whole did a fund raiser and sent a group of consultants to Mexico to be part of the surgeries to help kids smile. This just triggered us more back home to be a part of the helping hands that can brings smiles to kids around the world. Now we each organize events to help raise money in our office. I love the group effort and the camaraderie that it has with us to help these kiddos out!  Check this out: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IGLKh-59UFs

On Saturday, our team set out to once again help raise money on the "Day of Smiles". Basically they walked the streets asking for peoples kind donations. Now, when I say they, I'm talking about our entire office set off their Saturday with one mission. Help kids smile. Two of our top leaders, Paul Hunt and Trevor Hudnall were the ones who raised the most money on Saturday. "Saving the lives of the less fortunate kids who don't have the resources and opportunities that we have here in America. Operation Smile as an organization really sold itself to the people I talked to." Said Paul Hunt. The entire office did an amazing job because they raised a grand total of $1,918, enough to cover almost 10 surgeries, that's 10 new smiles we get to enjoy!

It makes me feel accomplished that I work with such selfless individuals who will take the time out of their day to do an act of kindness. I know because of their hard work there will be ten fewer kids that can smile for the first time in their life. AMAZING if you ask me!!!

Enjoy your smile! :)


Look at all these smiles :) 

I have such a beautiful group of individuals as coworkers and family!