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! :)

-M


 
Look at all these smiles :) 


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



Friday, August 1, 2014

From your new Leadership Pin Recipient to You!

One thing I love about the company I work for, is the people. I am constantly meeting new people and gaining new friends. This business has taught me that the more resources you have the more knowledge there is to gain! I had the opportunity to join some of my friends this passed weekend in Los Angeles for the Western Conference.

Austin Communication Group hopped on a plane to LAX... (See what I did there?) No? Ok, https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M11SvDtPBhA come back when you get it. Any who, we did, and it was so much fun! I had already been to a conference before in Dallas, TX but nothing like this.

I had already been to a conference in Dallas, TX before, but nothing like this. There were approximately 1,000 attendees which included owners, org consultants, reps and admins. Let me just say, there was a lot of networking being done. I also got to see awards being handed out and an owner being promoted to organizational consultant. I'll start with the admins:

Dena Shleifer and Doni Kolachi are the best admins an office can have! We may not tell them everyday but THEY ARE. They are the best recruiters, ever! So when we heard they landed in LA and got the star treatment they weren't kidding! These girls were taken out and got their hair done and treated to fancy lunch. Typical girls day, I'd say. They definitely deserved it too! Girls, we appreciate you every single day! And we wouldn't be here without you, literally!

Our very own Austin Smith was nominated for Promoting Owner of the Year, and won the Campaign Pacesetters award. Congratulations to Austin Smith for the award!!

After the morning breakout session we went off to our lunch session, where Leadership Pins would be handed out. But before that we got to hear from Chris Auwater and Adam Dorfman who gave us tips about being in leadership. We also got to hear from new Owners like Neha Graham's own Edgar Maradiaga and Somak Chakraborty. Back to that leadership pin, Neha spoke a little about it and what it stands for. Receiving this pin is like an honor. She awards her to people who step up in the office as well as in the field, people with great attitudes and student mentalities and who she sees going places in this business. So when she awarded me with it, I'm not going to lie, little tears prickled at my eyes. It's nice to see the recognition this business does to those who work hard. Anyway I won't talk about me... :)

After the lunch session we were broken up into different categories, admins, reps that have been here for various time frames, Ect. There we got to learn more about some of the owners and they were able to give us insight into some of the questions that lingered in our minds. Very informative and definitely a boost in basically kicking it into high gear!

After all that fun stuff all the attendees got to doll up for a three course dinner and see more of an awards assembly. We also got to see Nina Winstead, who is part of the expansion team won the coveted award for Rookie Owner of the Year. Congrats to Nina on this huge achievement!

Now that we are back in Texas, it's time to rock n' roll and kick it into high gear and continue to be NUMBER 1 in the nation!!!

That's all for now,

-Martha


#leadership #family #team #winners #number1 #awards #conference #explodetheorg #losangeles









Thursday, July 24, 2014

Austin Communication Group brings back winners from Eastern Conference

When you work with people who know how to have fun, build friendships and know how to make money it's no wonder people are attracted to them. It’s always an added bonus when you know that your hard work is going to get recognized as well.
About 2 weeks ago our crew joined hundreds of different offices from the eastern conference in Orlando to learn tips and tricks from each other as well as exchange knowledge from top reps there. Our own office had winners who were there to learn and exchange what drives them.
Jesse Breidor, who is currently assistant manager for Neha Graham's office and number 1 power ranked rep said, "Winning the award in Orlando wasn't for me. It's for the team that continued to push me and never let me settle for 2nd best. It's for them."
It's drive like that that continues to push our teams every single day.
Along with Breidor, Jacob Mooney joined him in taking 5th top power ranked rep. "You have to consistently tell yourself you are number one. Up your standards, don't be average. The bare minimum is failure. Tell yourself you will succeed and you will succeed. Know what you want, tell yourself it is going to happen if you put in the work, and it will work." Said Mooney.
It's always thinking you can do it and it will be done, right?
But all these reps wouldn't be here if it weren't for our #6 ranked Admin who is the backbone to the company and always has a smile and some sort of encouraging words to give us. Congratulations to Dena Shleifer who says, "My motivation... I love working with my friends and want to help them hit their goals. I know that in order for anyone to get anywhere, I have to give it my all. I keep my friends and their goals in mind while I work."
Coming to work doesn't feel like a duty but something you look forward to everyday. Growing within this business I learn that you are actually working with your friends who have quickly become family.
Who doesn't want to hang out with their friends all day and make money while doing so? Thought so. #work #teambuilding #success #numberone #team #leadership #friends #winners #Orlando #conference




Monday, June 23, 2014

A Winning Attitude

A Winning Attitude




Time and time again, we see that our attitude can determine your results. Do you think Tiger Woods walks up to the tee thinking, "You're going to miss this. You're not going to win this tournament." No way! He focused on his shot, his form, and most of all, his mindset. We see the effect of belief in modern medicine too. Heard of the Placebo Effect? When conducting a medical study, someone taking a sugar pill typically reports close to the same results as someone taking an actual medication, all because they EXPECT it to work. It's all in our minds. At Austin Communication Group, a lot of our business has to do with sales. We find that when it comes to two people with the same training and set of skills, the person with a more positive belief in his outcome will make more sales. If this is the case, when sharpening or skills, or brushing up on the fundamental of our craft doesn't it make sense to also spend time working on your attitude? You're probably nodding, but don't know exactly how to do this.  Here are some thoughts: 


  • We all naturally call ourselves out on our mistakes, or remind ourselves of our shortcomings. Clearly this is not a winning formula, but its something you can't necessarily stop doing, since it is subconscious. However, you can counteract those bad thoughts with good thoughts. Science has found that it takes positive statements to have the same impact that on negative statement would have about one's self. Negative thoughts about ourselves hurt more than positive thoughts help, so this makes sense. So by this logic, you should take every chance you get to tell yourself how great you are. Maybe don't go as far as Kanye West does, but state by consciously saying, "That was a smart idea," "You've really improved your public speaking since the last meeting," "You look amazing today," and so on to yourself. Yes, its cheesy, but it works. Remember, there are things toy say in your own head, not out loud, so be as cheesy as you want. We can't prevent the negative thoughts from creeping entirely, but we can make sure to give ourselves plant of positive reinforcement. It takes reinforcement. It takes practice, but it's worth it. 

  • Write down your goals, and keep them in place you'll see them. If you are constantly bombarding yourself with what you plan to succeed at, you have less time to tell yourself that you'll fail. I suggest writing your goals on your mirror at home with a dry-erase marker on in lipstick. If you wake up late one morning, you have bags under your eyes, you'll catch a glimpse of your goals on your mirror as you get ready, and you'll spend less time beating yourself up for hitting snooze. Your day will probably turn out a little better if you've begun it thinking about what you intent to accomplish rather than with self- loathing. Also, keep notes about your goals at your desk, on post-its around your computer screen, and in your car. 

  • In the same vein, bombard yourself with things that inspire you. Keeping an eye on your goals is great, but also a good idea to plant little motivators around. Maybe that's a picture of your dream vacation on your desktop, or you dream house on your fridge. For some people, motivational quotes do the trick. Instead of having a picture of my dog or my family on my iPhone lock screen, I have a motivational quote. Every time I unlock my phone, I read it. Eventually, you look past things you see over and over, so be sure to change things up from time to time to increase your awareness. Looking forward to results can help us to stick our goals. Similar to the photos of your dream house or dream vacation, photos or our ideal physique can help us stick to an eating or exercise plan. Looking at a photo of a new car we intend on purchasing can help us stick to a tight budget. 

Although it can be an abstract thought, sharpening you attitude just as important as sharpening your skills, if not more so. Take the time everyday to build yourself up, and focus on what you want, rather than how you've failed, or how poorly you're doing. You'll be surprised how quickly you see results. 

Copyright 2014 Austin Communication Group, Inc. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

What Separates Good Leaders From Great Ones

What Separates Good Leaders From Great Ones 




At Austin Communication Group, we are privileged to work with some really great leaders. People who believe in leading from the front, not just telling others what to do. Our main goal this year is to continue developing our best people and guiding them to become amazing leaders. A team of leaders beats a team of great salesmen any day.

1. Great leaders aren't afraid to get personal. We've all heard the saying, "it's not personal, it's business." Great leaders understand that business is personal. Business is about the people around you that make up the team, so doesn't it make sense to understand those people? If you want to get the best out of someone, you have to understand how he thinks, perceives information, and what experiences he's had that make him the way he is.  

2. Great leaders say "we" instead of "you." We need to make this happen for the client. We need to hit our first quarter goals. 

3. Great leaders don't wait for a leadership title. John Maxwell, the guru on leadership, wrote a book called The 360 Degree Leader. If you haven't read it, pick up a copy ASAP! Maxwell discusses the idea of learning to influence those around you, below you, or even above you. You don't need to wait for a promotion or a fancy title in order to set the right example and positively influence others. 

4. Great leaders can cast vision. We've all had managers who have barked orders and told us WHAT to do, but really great leaders help us understand WHY we're doing it. A good manager keeps everyone in line and helps the organization run like a well-oiled machine, but a great leader can set out a vision for the organization that inspires everyone to work with a purpose towards that end goal. 

5. Great leaders are the rock. Everyone needs a certain amount of consistency in the workplace. A boss who comes in everyday in a different mood can be hard to look up to. Part of being a great leader is being reliable: they arrive at the office at the same time everyday, they answer your emails in a consistent timeframe, they have a cool disposition for the most part, and although they can get heated, they are usually even-keel.

Austin Communication Group is a sales and marketing firm in Austin, TX. We have three locations, and have big goals for expansion in 2014. Check out our website at austincommunicationgroup.com, and "like" our company Facebook page. 

Copyright 2014 Austin Communication Group

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Interviewing With Us?



Austin Communication Group is currently interviewing applicants for our sales and marketing team. We know many of you are new or upcoming college grads, and it is your first time interviewing, so we wanted to give you some friendly advice for interviewing with Austin Communication Group, or any other company! This infographic from CollegeAtlas.org is also a great tool. 

1. Dress for the job you want: When you schedule your interview, ask detailed questions about what to wear. If you are not sure what a phrase like "Business Professional" means, ask! It is never a good thing to come to an interview underdressed.

2. Be mindful of your first impression: 

   Be on time!
   Be polite and friendly to anyone you meet, whether it is the CEO, the administrator, an employee passing through, other interviewers, or even a maintenance man! Although the interview may not have begun, you are likely going to be judged based on how you are in the lobby as well.
   Do not talk on your cell phone or even text while you are waiting for your interview to begin.
   Smile, give a firm handshake, and keep eye contact during your interview.

3. Follow the company's lead: During the first interview, you should find out about the interview process and what to expect. If you know there will be multiple interviews, be patient. Don't ask about compensation or benefits until the interviewer brings it up (usually by the end of the 2nd interview in most companies).

4. Have questions prepared: At the end of the first interview, an employer will typically ask if you have any questions for him. Don't be a deer in the headlights! Here are some great questions to ask:
   What are the opportunities for advancement with this position?
   How long have you been with the company?/What do you enjoy about your position?
   What are the company goals for this year?
   How have employees in this position really stepped up, or even fallen short in their role in the past?

5. Follow up with a Thank You email! About 15-20 minutes after your interview, email a thank you note directly to the interviewer if you have their email. If not, just email the recruiter or generic HR email address for the business. This will set you apart from other candidates and show that you are truly interested in moving forward in the interview process.

We hope this has helped give you some good action items for your upcoming interview with Austin Communication Group or other companies that you will come in contact with!

Copyright Austin Communication Group, 2014