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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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]

 

Growth Requires Mentorship…

Tonight is the night for the big NCAA football championship game between Clemson and Alabama. The night should be packed with intense football, skillful plays and tons of commercials! However, I do not want to focus on the game as much as I want to focus on the coaches.  Before writing this post, I watched a short video featuring both coaches [Nick Saban & Dabo Swinney] and their thoughts on tonight’s matchup. While both had great insight on the sport and the game, it was their relationship with each other that stood out the most for me. Let me explain…

Dabo Swinney, coach for Clemson, is much younger than Nick Saban, the coach for Alabama. Both of them talked about the relationship they have with each other on and off the football field. In the offseason, they fish, vacation and play golf together. It is in these candid moments that Swinney admitted to being mentored by Saban. Saban has 4 championship trophies under his belt. Swinney is seeking his first. So Swinney knows where to find success and who to ask! Swinney understands that his success and growth as a coach is predicated on being mentored by those who have achieved the very same goals he is seeking after.

So the question is, as a nonprofit or small business owner, are you being mentored by those that have ascertained success in the same arena you are in? And the other very real question is, do you even have a mentor? With mentorship comes advice, wisdom, resources and growth. We cannot expect to be great overnight and not without sacrifice and hard-work. We also must learn and seek continual opportunities to educate ourselves on and about the business we say we are in.

If you do not have a mentor, I highly suggest you find one. If you do have one, do not waste valuable time by not using him/her and not scheduling monthly meetings to pick their brain. Swinney has been picking Saban’s brain for the last 7 years. And now in 2016, he’s coaching in a championship game. You do the math…

Have an awesome day and remember, JSW Media Group (www.jswmediagroup.com) is here to help you with your business needs. Please feel free to reach out to us so we can develop a plan to help you.

Cheers.

Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]

 

Rushing to Red Lights…

Good Morning and I hope you are having a wonderful start to your Tuesday. It’s raining here in Charlotte but the sun is supposed to come out a bit later. We are 16 days away from the start of a new year!

Today’s blog title comes from a small phenomena that I witness [and I am quite sure you see it as well] from time to time as I am driving. It starts off with a person behind you in traffic. You may be doing the speed limit or slightly above but in no particular rush. The person behind you gets impatient and looks for ways to speed you up. Either they get close to your bumper or begin to switch lanes in hopes the person in the other lane will be a speed demon or get the hint and go faster. However it happens, they finally get past you only to get caught at the impending red light! All of that lane switching and impatience led them to the exact same place you were headed as well. LOL The red light. They just got there faster. And then you look at them just to see what all the fuss was about!

It’s very interesting to me to see people “rush to the red light.” As if getting to a designated area of stagnation is a true achievement. Myself, I have learned to enjoy the journey. The time spent getting to my arrival point. The red lights will be there. No need to rush to them! And I will not have others in traffic push me to them faster. I will decide how fast or slow I want to drive. But what’s even more interesting is when I drive slower and take my time, the lights seem to change as I get there, helping me avoid the long waiting time at the red light.

Take from that what you will. But in life as in business, we will have plenty of anxious moments, times we speed and many times where we get caught at red lights. The message is to not rush and be pushed to points of stagnation. You need to dictate the tempo and flow of your business. If it needs to be sped up, you control that. If you need to slow it down, do that instead. Only you know what’s best for your business. So let the others go around you and rush to the red lights. The funny thing is, by taking your time, you will be right beside them in no time and arrive as the light changes so you can keep on moving.

As always, if you need help with your business development, you can reach out to us @ JSW Media (www.jswmediagroup.com).

Have an awesome day!

Cheers.

Keith Cradle (@mrcradle on IG/Twitter)

Life Happens…

Good Morning All,

Happy Wednesday to you and I pray your week has been off to a remarkable start. Starting is just as important as finishing. So having a strong start can help prepare you for the things that will come. As the title of this post and the old saying goes…LIFE HAPPENS.

LIFE HAPPENS in the midst of everything we set out to do. From the plans we make to the strategic decisions we design, nothing skews or throws us a curve like life. When crafting your external plans or branding schemes for your nonprofit or small business, you can never be fully prepared for the “LIFE HAPPENS” moment. It just happens and you need to be flexible and willing to adjust.

I converse with plenty of people who want to begin or are in the first few stages of development for their nonprofit and the full display of optimism is front and center. They discuss all the things they wish to do along with how the business will look in 5 years. Hell, they even have a mock-up of the office space once they reach a certain amount of money and decide to purchase an office. All well and good because the dream and confidence in the future is important.  However, no one ever discusses the contingency plans for when “LIFE HAPPENS.”

Trust and believe, LIFE WILL HAPPEN, and you as the owner need to be prepared. Potential donors rescind funds, employees quit or have children, there is a fire in the office, data records get washed away, computers crash, business credit/debit cards get lost or stolen. I could go on for months with the never-ending LIFE HAPPENS scenarios. So while that sounds awful, just know there is a silver lining to those dark and gloomy clouds. And here are 3 things you can do:

  1. Have back up plans for the back up plans: Nothing like having a Plan A, B, C, D; so that when LIFE HAPPENS, you will have a guideline on how to proceed.
  2. Be very flexible: Bending never made anyone break. So don’t be so rigid to the current business plan and be ok with change.
  3. Seek guidance: LIFE HAS HAPPENED to a lot of business owners. So talk with those that have experience and learn how they got through it.

Again, things are going to go wrong. Do not fret or sweat the small stuff. Just know that you can push through and your nonprofit/small business will be fine. If you need help getting through crisis moments and needing organizational plans, please contact us @ JSW Media Group so we can be there when LIFE HAPPENS.

Have an awesome day!

Cheers.

Keith Cradle [@mrcradle on IG/Twitter]

A Change Gonna Come…

Hola! Happy Friday and with Hurricane Joaquin bearing down on the East Coast, I pray you are safe, warm and dry. The month of October is upon us, which means fall weather, sweaters/jackets and the sun going down a lot quicker. In other words, a change is coming!

“These the rainy days they say you should be saving for, but when sun shines no one carries umbrellas…” Fabolous

Change is the only thing that is constant. Seasons change. People change. And your business changes. But are you ready for the inevitable change that is going to come? As an owner, director, manager/supervisor or frontline employee, you must be prepared for change and adaptation.  Business models and strategic plans should include provisions for the predictable and the unpredictable.

The great thing about nature is the way it prepares and showcases change. Leaves on trees change colors and then shed. Animals begin to store up food for the long winter.  Seeds become dormant but prepare for spring and a new blossoming. But do you prepare your small business or nonprofit for the change that is coming?

If not, here are three things you can do to prepare:

  1. Take a look at the budget and see where you can trim: Find ways to store up resources and scale back during lulls in business
  2.  Decide if seasonal staff/volunteers are right for you: Nothing like having help at low costs during the winter months, especially students needing internship or volunteer hours
  3. Take a look at your online presence and does it need a refresh: Just like the leaves changing colors, maybe your logo needs a touch of color

While there are plenty of other things you can do, these are just a few to get your mind working and thinking about how to approach the impending changes. Because the changes are going to come. But will you be ready? If you are not ready and need help, please make sure to contact us at JSW Media Group and we can service all of your small/nonprofit business needs.

http://www.jswmediagroup.com/

Have an awesome weekend!

Cheers.

Keith Cradle (@mrcradle on IG/Twitter)