Meet Kevin Jones: The Driving Source of Motivation for 45 Inc

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Meet Kevin Jones. Jones is an account manager here at 45 Inc. Birmingham, an innovative and motivated sales and marketing firm. Jones started with the company in January of 2018 and has already found tremendous success. Want to learn more? Our team conducted a one-on-one interview with Jones, where he shares his experiences before and after walking through the doors of 45 Inc.

Jones was born and raised in Troy, Alabama, where he graduated from Hartselle High School. As a kid, Jones remembers being pretty shy but credits the opportunity at 45 Inc. with bringing out the extrovert within. In high school, Jones was a star athlete on multiple teams but shined the brightest on the football field. “I was quarterback my senior year and captain of the team,” says Jones, “that experience put me in a position for the first time to lead by example and lead a team. I was someone they looked up to when we were down.” For Jones, the athletic success did not end after high school. “I graduated when I was 17 and started as a volunteer high school football coach alongside my high school coach,” says Jones, “I was a 17-year-old kid coaching guys that were older than me.” All of that said, it’s no surprise that Kevin Jones has been given the nickname of “Coach Kev” by his team at 45 Inc. Birmingham.

Jones began taking classes at a community college in Tuscaloosa, while working as a volunteer coach at Northridge High School for four years, alongside his job at the local UPS. After those four years, Jones moved back to Troy and continued working with UPS for six years. “I’ve known since I was 15 that I wanted to own my own business,” says Jones, “I finished my education at Troy University, paying out of pocket, and became a student assistant coach for the Troy University football team.”

Given his record of success as a coach and a motivator, Jones began looking at a full-time career in college athletics. It was that search that led him to the opportunity at 45 Inc. “I came across 45 Inc. at a time when I was considering going back to school for an MBA,” says Jones, “they were looking for sports minded individuals looking to build teams. It was check and checkmate for me, I was all in.” After that, he never looked back.

Shortly after starting with the company in January 2018, Jones knew it was a great opportunity. “I am big on understanding the big picture,” says Jones, “I saw that this is a vehicle that can get me where I want to be a lot quicker than going to get an MBA for 2 years. It feels like there is no advancement when working for another company. This job takes me out of my comfort zone every day.” For someone with a background like his, Jones appreciates the team mentality at 45 Inc. “The culture is very team-oriented,” says Jones, “Folks are always willing to help each other, and it’s a really fun atmosphere. It is not a typical work environment, and that is what attracted me in the first place. No one wants to go to a job where they hate what they do. It’s a different mindset, I love what I do.”

As for how the account manager maintains such positivity, Jones continues to emanate a coach mentality, pushing his team to success each day. “I never call it a job,” says Jones, “I call it an opportunity. I can’t stress it enough, anyone can go to a regular 9-5 job, but this is an opportunity that we are blessed with. I treat every day like a new day.”

Jones reflects on his career fondly, while continuing to look to the future. “I constantly maintain a student mentality,” says Jones, “I look up to those in management, and hope to open up my own office. Wrinardo McKennedy has been a great mentor to me, and I hope to continue to build from what he has started.” Jones feels passionate about continuing to grow himself while pushing others to succeed. His secret weapon? Work ethic. “I truly feel that there are not too many that can work harder than me, if you keep up, we will go far,” says Jones, “Everyone needs a sense of purpose, and to understand their ‘why’.”

When he is not busy motivating his team at 45 Inc., Jones can be found watching college football, hanging out with friends, or playing golf.

Kevin Jones’ motivation, work ethic, and positivity are contagious, and his success speaks for itself. We are confident that the future is bright for Coach Kev.

A Commentary on the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

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In his beloved novel, John C. Maxwell brilliantly outlines the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. While all of the laws are insightful, innovative, and important, here at 45 Inc. we definitely have our favorites.

  1. The Law of Influence

The True Measure of Leadership Is Influence- Nothing More, Nothing Less

Becoming a successful leader is not about percentages, team sizes, or income. The most powerful leaders have the ability to influence a single team member, an entire team, and the masses beyond. A leader who can push his brand and his team into the sphere of influence will be far more effective than one who works in a vacuum.

  1. The Law of Process

Leadership Develops Daily, Not in a Day

As with anything else in life, strong leadership is not fostered overnight. Effective leadership is a craft and should be practiced in such a way. A strong leader is not born within the first months of a company’s inception, but in the years that follow. Spend each day working and harnessing your sense of leadership, and let it form you- not the other way around.

  1. The Law of Magnetism

Who You Are Is Who You Attract

You are who you surround yourself with and you are who you attract. No more blaming the universe for bringing ineffective and toxic people into your world. If you promote strong leadership, unending positivity, and an intrinsic motivation to improve and expand, those are the team members you will find in your corner.

  1. The Law of the Inner Circle

A Leader’s Potential Is Determined By Those Closest to Him

This law holds hands with law 9, following the same basic principles. As a leader, you might expect yourself to have a stronger sense of motivation than your team, but that does not mean you are willing to work harder. All members of the team should be striving for greatness and working at the top of their ability, those who don’t will only lessen your potential as a company and as a leader.

  1. The Law of Reproduction

It Takes a Leader to Raise Up a Leader

If you have reached the point of exemplary leadership, then why keep it to yourself? Mentor and mentor often. Don’t assume that you can’t be replaced, instead, create your replacement. Build team members who can achieve greatness beyond you, and foster the same strength of leadership.

For a complete look at what it takes to be an effective leader, seek out Maxwell’s novel. His words influence our team here at 45 Inc. every single day.

The Value of Philanthropy

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Here at 45 Inc. Birmingham we see the value of philanthropy on a personal and corporate level, and that is why we have weaved volunteerism into the fabric of our company. In the past, our team has worked to improve our community and spread awareness through many organizations including Habitat4Humanity, Habitat Restore, and those promoting the research of Alzheimer’s disease. We value social corporate responsibility and work to achieve this each and every day.

Recently, our team began their humanitarian involvement within the Birmingham community. With the help of Hands On Birmingham, our team was given the opportunity to do some valuable volunteer work at Wenonah High School. Through their work on the beautification project, our team assisted with landscaping at the local high school. However, the invaluable gift came after the project was over- upon seeing the hard work of our team at 45 Inc., a local Birmingham company generously decided to sponsor the school moving forward.

Philanthropy provides personal, intrinsic benefits, as well as a great change for the community. The power of a business promoting philanthropy is something that cannot be ignored. When the sole goal of a business is to make money, it can be hard to find motivation and passion in the work. Here at 45 Inc., we have built our company on the foundation of philanthropy and community involvement, providing our team with the invaluable pride that accompanies such philanthropy. On a personal level, philanthropy provides a feeling of pride and accomplishment that is unmatched by simple office work. Immersing yourself in volunteer work is truly a “win-win” arrangement. Philanthropy and social responsibility serve obvious benefits including a heightened sense of community and unity, as well as a widened world view on a personal level.

The presence of philanthropy in the business sector forces companies to ask the question of “why?” We know what we do, who we do it for, but what is the motivation? What social purpose does your work service? Here at 45 Inc., we are passionate about community improvement and list that as a main mission for our team.

At 45 Inc. Birmingham, we simply cannot overstate the importance and value of philanthropy and volunteering. We are beyond proud of our team and our Birmingham community for fostering such a strong sense of social responsibility. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue bettering our global community and urge anyone curious about the value of philanthropy to give it a try. Create a new world, by improving the one we already have.

Back 2 Business Basics

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Times are changing, and industries are matching speed. For those of us who hit the ground running in the business world what feels like many moons ago, it can be hard to remember the basics of the business, the foundations of what we do, and how best to blend those practices with modern ideas. This phenomenon can be seen in any industry. With the constant innovation of the medical field, practicing doctors who have been graduated for 30+ years, are hitting the books and brushing up on their basic biochem just to keep the content fresh. Who says business is any different? Here at 45 Inc., we believe in the power of a strong foundation, and for that reason, we’re bringing you back to the basics of the best business practices.

  • Have integrity, at the end of the day, your name is all you have.

  • Stay true to your word and honor your commitments.

  • Be a team player, no one ever achieved anything great alone.

  • Cast a deep network, not a wide one. It means nothing to know everyone’s name, the value lies in truly knowing someone- knowing their work, their skill, their experiences.

  • Never be afraid to work with other people, but keep your eyes open. Collaboration is a powerful and beneficial business tool, but to blindly trust is bad business.

  • Ignorance is never bliss. Ask every question twice.

  • If you want something done right, do it yourself- classic. It’s hard to complain about mistakes that someone else made on your behalf if it’s important, you will do it yourself.

  • That being said, learn to delegate. Burnout in business is very real. Find your trusted colleagues and employees and give them real work, it will lighten your load and your team will value the experience- nobody enjoys being benched.

  • Pick up your passport and get ready to travel! You have not picked the physically stable career, my friend. Skim the rest of this, you’re probably late for a flight anyways.

  • Say “yes” to every opportunity. In the beginning, what do you have to lose? Here at 45 Inc., we like to think this applies to life as well.

  • Spend some to bank some, don’t fear the cash game.

  • Never fool yourself into thinking you know it all. Think of industry talk with peers and colleagues as the oil keeping your engine revving.

And just like that, we’re all renewed, reviewed, and refreshed. No matter your industry or area of expertise, every field of study has a “101” book. From all of us here at 45 Inc., it is our sincere hope that you remember your basics, and take them with you on all of the exciting innovations we know you will embark on.

Interning at 45 Inc Birmingham: Avinash’s Experience

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As if managing graduate-level work isn’t challenging enough for a young adult, Avinash Ananth, a student at Millsaps College, decided to pursue a part-time internship this summer in Human Resources here at 45 Inc Birmingham! Not only did he excel in his responsibilities, he had such a positive impact on our entire team and made his absence felt throughout the whole office when he returned back to school this week! This is his internship experience recapped.

“My time at 45 Inc Alabama was an astounding experience, as I grew not only when it came to marketing but as a person. I had to the opportunity to work with some of the greatest mentors I have ever come across and benefitted greatly from their leadership. From the start, I was given strong direction and coaching, which set the tonality for the quality of work I was expected to deliver! From learning about the company’s practices in job advertisement, recruitment, employee onboarding, social media management, and human resources management, I was better able to grasp the target market demographic 45 Inc seeks for customers and prospective team members. 

The tasks I was given allowed me to hone my communication skills, to where now I feel more confident speaking with individuals of varying personality types. Whether I was on the phone with a potential candidate or speaking with the company’s brand manager, I knew that my work was impactful and valuable to the company’s overall presentation. One of my favorite tasks was managing the company’s Instagram highlights. By displaying daily updates of the office life and culture, I was able to connect with a much larger audience seeking information about 45 Inc, business, and leadership.

My internship with the organization hinged on my understanding of the company as a whole, whether through scheduling daily 1 on 1s with representatives or even attending various meetings. Each day I had the privilege of experiencing the company’s overall culture and goals by attending their morning meetings. Through the team pow wows, I understood for a successful business to scale, there needs to be a high level of accountability and motivation. The most valuable lesson that I learned from interning at 45 Inc was that maintaining trust in one’s team is the greatest asset any organization can have. In the course of 3 months, I gained a strong insight into what cohesive teamwork in a business environment looks like, understanding that every person within the office has a role to fulfill that is crucial to the overall company performance.”

Avinash, your contributions to our team will not be forgotten. You have become one of the family and we wish you the absolute best as you continue forth with your graduate studies. Thank you for your eagerness to learn and willingness to go above and beyond! We adore and appreciate you!

What can Happen in a Year?

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The answer is anything. In less than a year you can be married, bring a child in the world, start a business, find your dream job, or in the case of Je’Niah Jackson, move from an entry level sales position into a management position in the course of a year. Performing at an unprecedented rate in our company, Je’Niah has surpassed every expectation and shown everyone at 45 Inc Birmingham exactly what’s available when you put your mind towards what matters. We sat down with him to learn more about how he did it, why he did it, and what’s next to come for our man of the hour.

Je’Niah – wow! You have accomplished so much in your time at 45 Inc Birmingham. How did you do it?

Easy; I gave myself time to be good. I didn’t start with the company with the idea that I would be successful overnight or get everything the first time or have the answers immediately at my fingertips. I knew everything would take time and I respected that. I also, 1) realized that every relationship didn’t have to be permanent to be meaningful, 2) sought to understand before being understood, and 3) put my faith in God first.

Who influences you inside and outside of the office?

My parents are my biggest influencers professionally, along with my brother. For business, my mentors are 45 Inc’s CEO, Wrinardo, and my fraternity brother and work colleague, Bryant. Between those 5 people, I feel every day that I’m a better person because of their influence. I trust Wrinardo to coach me into the best manager, and I trust Bryant to always infect me with his positive energy; that man is the happiest person I’ve ever met.

What are you going to accomplish in 2018 and 2019?

In the rest of 2018, I plan on helping our client expand into Florida and growing their customer base. I see our team expanding to include even more ambitious, competitive grads and business professionals, and us helping our client expand YET AGAIN in 2019.

What 3 tips do you have for someone looking to be in a management role?!

1. Be likable. People will enjoy working with you more if you’re a joy to be around.

2. Be educated in what you’re doing. You can’t run a business if you don’t know every role through and through.

3. Have a great track record of doing the right things. People will follow those who have results.

What motivates you and how do you recommend others find their motivation?

My faith motivates me, as well as not failing. I HATE losing and quitting, so I’m inspired to give my best every day. I’m intentional with my actions because I know the work I do today will provide the life I want for my current and future family. If you don’t have a “why” that pushes you, find it and make sure your actions align with the “big picture” you have for your life. Lastly, I’m motivated by people. I’m so focused on helping the team at 45 Inc Birmingham, that I wake up every day ready to see them one step closer to their goals.

Je’Niah, you are an inspiration to many. Even after you help our client expand outside of Birmingham, you will be a legacy in our office. Thank you for a year of service and dedication.

The Four Agreements

Literature brings us wisdom, and here at 45 Inc., we believe you should never stop learning. “The Four Agreements” is a book written by Don Miguel Ruiz and a personal favorite of the 45 Inc. team. In case you’re not a big reader, we didn’t want you to suffer without the important messages in this novel. To help you out, we present you with the four agreements, and what they mean to use.

1. Be impeccable with your word.

Your thoughts are your own, and your words are for the world- so choose them wisely. You should never use your precious words to harm others or harm yourself. Speak with intention and say what you mean. Apologies are easy, but words can never truly be taken back.

2. Don’t take anything personally.

You are the only thing in your control, so why should you dictate your life on the whims of others. Why be bruised by the words of others when they speak nothing about you, and volumes about them. It is easier said than done but accepting that the way people treat you reflects themselves, will provide a release like no other. When people throw stones at others, it is because they feel weighed down themselves. Never has a truly happy and confident person worked to put another person down. Never take anything personally, because it is almost never about you.

3. Don’t make assumptions.

“When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” Cheesy, yet true. As humans, we are experts at creating mental monsters much larger and much scarier than the reality. Never assume, always ask. Moreover, never assume that you know a person or what they are thinking. People are dynamic, and they change. Without communication, you cannot assume to understand a person’s beliefs, dreams, fears, desires, or interests, because they are always changing. It is normal to change; the issue arises when people are surprised by change. Don’t be surprised by the change, don’t assume anything about anyone. Don’t assume things about yourself, you are open to change as well, no matter where you are in life.

4. Always do your best.

Comparison is a tricky a game, a game you can never win. As long as you are playing the game of comparisons, you will never truly feel success. The only way to find success within yourself is to do your best every time. Hey, your best may be someone else’s’ mediocre, but who cares. Don’t be fooled into thinking your best is stagnant. Let yourself grow, and constantly strive for your next best.

This truly is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Ruiz’s book. We have provided you with the four agreements, but we strongly urge you to give the book a read for yourself. You will thank us. From all of us here at 45 Inc., we wish you happy reading and a happier life.

Meet Morgan: 45 Inc’s Rising Star of the Month

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The office doors open earlier than usual. In walks Morgan, newest Team Lead here at 45 Inc Birmingham, full of energy and spunk. She settles in for the day hungry for knowledge and ready to grow her career. As a recent grad, she’s eager to prove herself professionally in the workforce and has done just that in her time here at 45 Inc. She speaks with excitement and moves with purpose and everyone that comes into contact with Morgan leaves a little lighter.

Meet the woman of the hour, Morgan Robinson. A patron native of Birmingham, Morgan’s favorite thing about the city is the diversity she sees in it on a daily basis. Described by family as independent and joyful, even as a child, Morgan looks back fondly on her childhood and her upbringing by the strongest woman she’s ever met: her mom.

Morgan’s mom led by example, a minister working full time for the church. She taught her daughter what integrity, selflessness, grace, and great people/communication skills looked like, and even in her death, serves as a constant source of inspiration for Morgan.

As Morgan grew into a young adult, she ran track and managed both the Mens & Women’s basketball team for Vestavia Hills High School. She enjoyed serving as a resource to the team and coaching staff — a trait she has brought with her to her employment at 45 Inc!

High school evolved into a FULL academic scholarship to Auburn, following in her Dad’s alma mater who also played football there! Morgan studied for the next 4 years and bled blue & orange. A proud member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, she credits her sisters to lifting her up throughout all of life’s highs and lows. Morgan graduated last month with a degree a Human Resource Management as the first person in her school to receive her HR Certification while also an undergraduate student.

With a few internships and job offers under her belt, Morgan never planned to return to Birmingham until stumbling upon 45 Inc’s Management Training Program online. A natural-born entrepreneur though, she immediately understood the opportunity for growth, the ability to control her advancement in the company, and the non-existent ceiling that stood between her and a management role. She accepted a full-time position with the company in March and started the week after she walked the stage. Knowing Je’Niah Jackson, current Assistant Manager, from their school’s Greek life didn’t hurt either! After all, if he could do it, so could she!

6 weeks into the company and Morgan is quickly fine-tuning her leadership skills and working to be the best version of professional self. She understands the meaning of delayed gratification, thanks to her Mom & Dad, and is willing to put in years of hard work to achieve what she wants out of life.

When she’s not at work, you can find Morgan celebrating life with her sisters, spending time with her family, or catching up on all of her favorite shows on Netflix. When she is at work, you can find her leaving every person with a smile. Morgan, you are one of a kind. Thank you for choosing 45 Inc Birmingham as your first post-grad destination. We can’t wait to see where else life takes you on this train.