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]

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]

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]

 

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)