Art and Board of Director Engagement…

episode8-250ffc68

Happy Friday!

On Tuesday, December 6th, I had the honor and pleasure to discuss some of the things I am most passionate about in life and in Charlotte, NC. As part of the #discussclt podcast which is produced by Charlotte Magazine (www.charlottemagazine.com) I was interviewed by Andy Smith and Andy Goh [The 2 Andy’s as I called them!) about my art and board of director involvement along with how others can get involved.

Take time to listen to the podcast and let me know what you think!

http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Charlotte-Magazine/September-2016/LISTEN-DiscussCLT-Podcast-Episode-8/

Have an awesome day!

Cheers.

Keith Cradle (@mrcradle on IG/Twitter)

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]

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 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]

 

Travel Plans…

Happy New Year and welcome to the first post of the NPP for January 2016! As I look back on 2015, I want to thank you all for reading, sharing and commenting on the blog during the past 12 months. While it has not always been easy to post in a timely fashion, it has been an honor to pour information and advice into your nonprofit/small businesses. So as we move into the first quarter of the year, my hope is that the JSW Media Group can continue to be a valuable resource for all of your business needs.

I want to start the blog off this year by sharing a short story. I am recently back from Panama City, Panama, where I spent my birthday and New Years Eve/Day. The trip itself was awesome and the food/culture was just terrific.  However, there were some small hiccups during the first days there. Sharing this trip with me were two friends from Atlanta that decided to fly in and celebrate as well. Well, while my flights were unimpeded and worry free, their flights and travel plans were not. Let me explain…

The flights from ATL were late, delayed and cancelled. To top if off, they also had their luggage delayed in from MIA. So when you talk about “travel plans”, this was the definition of having alternate plans! However, they made the adjustments, became flexible to the obstacles and came to Panama with great spirits. The issues that preceded them were not enough to completely hinder the week that was laid out before them.

Well, such in life it is with business. We will have “TRAVEL PLANS” for our nonprofit/business. These plans can include a smooth ride to success, great employees, unlimited donations and grand expansion blueprints. But we all know it is not that easy. There will be delays, lost income, bad employees and at times, reasons to scale back. Given this, we need to make sure in 2016, we have our nonprofit/business “TRAVEL PLANS” ready but also knowing that we need to be flexible. Things are going to happen that we may not like but that should not be the determinant in how we feel or the success that is coming!

Stay committed to your plan in 2016. If you made it through 2015, that’s an awesome sign that you can do it again. Remember, if you need help developing a strategic plan, please contact us @ JSW Media. Do not let the year go by without addressing the issues that plagued you last year.

Have a great start to your day and your year!

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)