JSW Coffee Talk Recap…

Good Day All!

I hope you are all having a Terrific Tuesday in the second week of August. Over the past weekend, JSW Media Group held a session of its Coffee Talk. JSW Owner Jameka and myself discussed effective team building and efficient meeting strategies. For those that were there in person and  tuned in online, we had an awesome time. For those that were not there here is a quick recap of what we shared:

EFFECTIVE TEAM BUILDING STRATEGIES:

  1. A plan is power: make sure you have clear goals and objectives for the team you wish build.
  2. Continuing education is key: teams are fluid, as they grow, they must consistently stay cutting edge and developed.
  3. Communicate, above else: teams are relationship based, and the best relationships have honest/transparent communication
  4. Growing involves grading: reflection for the team and self-help the team thrive.

EFFECTIVE MEETING STRATEGIES:

  1. Have an agenda!
  2. Invite the necessary people
  3. Document the meeting
  4. Have a start and ending time
  5. Unless the meeting is virtual and requires technology, ban distractions such as phones, tablets, etc…

Starting or maintaining a nonprofit/small business is a lot of work. By following tried and true strategies that focus on success makes it a bit easier. Determine what size team you need based on your resources, scope and capacity. Make meetings fun and productive. And remember, JSW Media is here to help. Head to our webpage (www.jswmediagroup.com) or find us on IG/FB/Twitter @jswmedia, so you can find out when the next installment of Coffee Talk will be.

Have an awesome day!

Cheers.

Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]

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Gala Time!

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and was able to continue working on your nonprofit or small business. I was fortunate enough to attend one of the best parties/fundraisers in Charlotte, NC on Friday, which happens to the Bechtler Museum’s Annual Gala. It’s an awesome time of music, silent auctions, ever-changing themes and a Who’s Who of Charlotte. If you have not made it out the previous 5 years, I suggest you add it to your 2017 list of gala’s to attend!

So, as the season of gala’s and fundraisers approaches us, please make note that development and efforts to cultivate donors and new audiences is key. One particular demographic to extend your efforts to are African-Americans. Here is a great article that sheds light on the subject and gives some valuable tips to help your engagement efforts.

http://npengage.com/nonprofit-fundraising/three-reasons-why-its-necessary-for-philanthropy-to-engage-black-americans/#

Have an awesome Monday.

Cheers.

Keith Cradle (@mrcradle Twitter/IG)

The Best Investment…

Afternoon All! Happy Monday and I hope that your week is starting off on the right note. As always, I thank you for taking the time out to read these posts and I hope that they are helping in some capacity with your day-to-day or business start up.

Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of attending a conference that focused on at-risk youth and drop out prevention strategies.  One of the great things I do each day is work with youth in detention and advocate for developmental and therapeutic programming for those youth.  Youth and teens in crisis need all the help they can receive and it is up to the community to do so.

While I was on the road to Myrtle Beach, SC for the training, I had a lot of time in the car to think about a few things. One of those things was “investments.” The time and energy or resources we put into people, places and things. Investments are crucial to any process because it is the seed potential that we nurture in order to reap a future harvest. We invest in a great many things with the premise that one day the investment [whether small or large] will yield positive results.

However, often times we invest in the wrong things or spend a lot of time investing in the wrong people. It happens. So no need to get down on yourself. But during that drive down to South Carolina, it reinforced that the best investment I could ever make was in me. My job was sending me down to a training/conference as an investment for future productivity. Their expectation was that I would learn and network so that in the coming days, weeks and months, I would be able to bring fresh ideas and perspectives back to my department and staff. But h0w many of us do the same for ourselves or our businesses?

The best investment you can make is in yourself! We need to find trainings, workshops and conferences that will benefit us for the short and long haul.  The investment we make in ourselves will cost but it will be worth it. How can we expect to grow a business if we do not possess the skills or information to do so? Do you attend self development or business development workshops at least once a year? Can you wholeheartedly say you have invested fully in yourself? If you cannot answer those questions clearly, then there is work to be done.

Once we realize that the best investment is ourselves, we can make better decisions about our business and potential progress.  If you need help with investing in yourself, please contact us at JSW Media. Have an awesome day!

Cheers.

Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]

The Agony of Defeat…

Good Monday Afternoon and I hope your week is starting off well! So, the Superbowl is over. The final game of the 2015-16 football season. There are clear winners, congrats to the Champion Denver Broncos and runner-ups, the Carolina Panthers. In sports, there cannot always be two winners nor a declared tie. In this case, the trophy will end up in the Mile High City and the soon to be announced parade will be just as packed as all of the recently released Beyoncé Formation World Tour Dates [get your tickets people!]. LOL

With that said, opposite the wining side, there is a team and players that did not win the Lombardi Trophy and will have to think about defeat for the next few months. While the Carolina Panthers had an outstanding season, they did not come up big in the final moments and will not wear the crown this year. However, they should still be commended for all they accomplished.  But commendations and kudos aside, there still is the agony of defeat. The feeling you could have done more. Could have pushed a little harder. Made a certain play but did not. The second guessing can play tricks with your mind.

I have no doubt that members of the Panthers are beating themselves up today as they probably were last night. This part is human. So it is expected. Defeat is not easy to digest for competitors. It definitely is not easy to swallow for those used to winning. So the moments after are key. The response. The attitude. The ability to cope.

In the coming days, we will see smiles return to the faces of those that lost the game. It is a reminder that while the agony of defeat hurts, it is not permanent. For such things are a moment in time. A soon to be historical footnote in the journey we call life. And for business owners the same lessons apply…

In life, such as in business, we will take some losses. We may not perform up to our expectations. Hell, we may not even make it into the room to present our grand ideas. The agony of defeat. So what do we do? We embrace the feeling for a minute and then prepare to move on. We get our swagger back and understand that losing is a part of the game. You cannot win or lose, if you do not play the game. Having a solid business plan and strategic plan help guard against consistent losses and show you what not to do when it looks like you may lose again.

If you do not have a business plan, I suggest you start preparing one. If you are tired of losing, find a new way to win. Finally, if the agony of defeat is too much to bear, make a promise to never feel that way again. If you need help developing a business plan or internal strategic plan, please contact us at JSW Media Group. We are here to help!

Have an awesome day.

Cheers,

Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]

 

Becoming the Greatest…

Happy February 1st! Happy Black History Month! And Happy Monday! Wow, January is over already and we are shifting into the second month of 2016. Black History Month is always a great time to reflect on past accomplishments African American’s made to the history of our country. African American’s have been very instrumental in the development and advancement of commerce, business and growth in the United States since its inception.

So while we must remember, we must always never forget the shoulders of those we stand on as we continue to progress.  One set of broad shoulders we stand on are Muhammad Ali’s or the fighter formerly known as Cassius Clay. I had the pleasure of traveling to Louisville, KY this past weekend which happens to be the birthplace and hometown of The Champ. In fact, Louisville is home to two other great institutions that claim to be the greatest in regards to their specific sports: Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby [the Run for the Roses] and Louisville Slugger [some of the best bats made for Major League Baseball].

I had the chance to tour all three with of course the Muhammad Ali Center standing out because of who it was for. We call him the Champ or simply, “The Greatest.” But to become “The Greatest”, he had to endure a lot and overcome so many obstacles. Loved for his witty banter, charming personality and work ethic, during the Vietnam War he was vilified for not wanting to participate in the draft. He went from Champ to stripped of his titles. However, once he was restored back into professional boxing, he went on to reclaim his title in the ring and in our hearts as “The Greatest.” Ups. Downs. Up again. “The Greatest.”

Just like Ali, we have dreams of being great too. One of the reasons you’ve started your small business or nonprofit is so you can be great. You did not start this endeavor to be average. So how do you get from good to great? You have to work. And work hard. You have to endure through the bad times and expect to take a few hits. To be great, you must motivate yourself through the down times. But also motivating yourself through the good times.

Ali lost 5 times during his career. We do not remember the losses when we tout and call him “The Greatest.” No one will remember your losses either. What they will remember is how many times you got up off the mat and kept fighting. Think about where your business model is and are you fighting hard enough for it. Are you doing everything you can, each day to move from good to great? If not, you’ve got some work to do. If you need help with your journey, please contact us @ JSW Media (www.jswmediagroup.com).

Have an awesome day!

Cheers.

Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]

A Winning Attitude…

Welp! The Carolina Panthers are heading to Superbowl 50. And living here in Charlotte, while I am not the most ardent fan of football, the excitement of the fans and winning ways of the team have provided many weeks of positive vibes. To the Panthers and Panther fans, I say…Flourish. Or, Dab on em. Or #keeppounding.

In the midst of all that winning, giving footballs away and dabbing on folk, there were plenty of life and business lessons embedded in there. One of those is a “Winning Attitude.” Each week, the team and it’s unquestionable leader Cam Newton took the field with positivity and a mind-state that said they will not lose. They constructed a wall of purpose and kept the negativity on the other side. When others said they couldn’t, they proved they could.

“Your attitude determines your altitude…” 

In business, as leaders or the owner have to project the same confidence and come with an attitude that says, I am here to win. Our staff, employees and clients feed off of our energy. So if we are negative and feel defeated, expect the same from them! We have to have an attitude that allows for us to soar and want to accomplish great things. The truth is, everything won’t be easy and you will have setbacks. However, your attitude can determine how fast and how well you bounce back from those setbacks. Creating a “can-do” mindset can ultimately be the deciding factor in making it past year one of your business or giving it all up.

The Carolina Panthers struggled for a few years prior to 2015-16. They went through a few quarterbacks as well. Fans even thought about selling their PSLs. Not a great feeling. But the young QB with the great attitude and winning smile has changed all that. He knew. His coach believed. His team hopped on. All because of attitude. A ‘Winning Attitude.” And now they are off to the Big Game.

Do you have the right attitude? Does it project confidence or calamity? Are people willing to follow you because of your attitude? Success has a few variables, and having a “Winning Attitude” is one of them. Need help with developing a winning mindset or business plan? Reach out to us at JSW Media and get started.

Have an awesome day.

Cheers.

Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]

The Process…

Afternoon All and I hope you had a great #MLKDay Weekend celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as some great NFL playoff football. Here in Charlotte, NC, everyone enjoyed both given the Annual MLK Day Parade and  Carolina Panthers won [and dabbed on em’…]!

Last week, I wrote briefly about the NCAA Football Championship and the two coaches that were on the sidelines for each team. Alabama ultimately won that grudge match 45-40 giving their coach Nick Saban his 5th National Championship. Winning 1 championship is cool but five? Now that’s just awesome. But how did he get there? And how does he keep winning?

Well, let me [and the latest issue of Sports Illustrated] clue you in on a little secret. Nick Saban is a believer in getting his players to buy into a collective unity called “The Process.” When you have a roster full of players/coaches/staff that are essentially individuals, the key is getting everyone on the same page that will lead them to success.  “The Process” relegates each person to focus on everyday goals or simple tasks. It eliminates the macro-big picture goals.

“When I first started this, I probably had the same approach with everybody and thought everybody should buy into that approach. Now it’s more the individual and what makes it happen for him, because success is always tied to action, but action is always tied to your thoughts.” Nick Saban

As nonprofit or small business owners, many of us fall into these or different thought patterns. How do we get our employees to partners to join us in the success frame of mind? Well, we need to find a “process.” We have to start with ourselves and determine if we are focused on the right things. The things that we can build success on and then transfer that to other people. For example, if we do not show up on time for meetings, how we can expect others to follow with different results? The “process” we determine for our business should be one that is personal and transferable. This evolution will involve some trial and error but that is how success is born.

Think about your current “process.” Does it scream success? Are you seeing the positive outcomes? Can those that follow replicate your steps? If the answer to all of those or any of those is no, you may need to reevaluate your “process” and the steps you are taking towards success. And as always, if you need help in establishing a process, please feel free to reach out to us here @ JSW Media.

Have an awesome day!

Cheers.

Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]