Back 2 Business Basics

back2basics.png

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.

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.

Achieving Your Big Picture Goals

We’ve all heard the notions about our achieving goals, goals like losing those final few pounds, paying off the credit card, or upgrading the car. However, what is more commonly ignored are those big-picture goals, those goals with less specific guidelines, or less crunched timelines. The concept of a “five-year plan” or a “ten-year plan” is something that is harder for us to conceptualize. Here at 45 Inc., we encourage our team, and you to think big.

Think Big, Let the Small Details Fall into Place

The biggest deterrence from long-term and big picture goals are the minute details. Dream of moving across the country? Don’t be immediately deterred by the cost, the time, the hassles of a job change. Make the big decision and handle the small details later. Minor inconveniences have a way of working themselves out when the big picture is meant to be. Not to mention, it is much easier to say yes to the big idea, then to struggle with the minor annoyances. The fight over a metro card, manageable rent or a plane ticket can sometimes feel like enough to throw in the towel completely. Keeping your big goal in mind can be enough to keep you on track and help push through that fight with the airline.

Start Now

We are not ignorant. Here at 45 Inc., we know that money is a huge factor in any big-picture decision. Start now. Is your goal a year away, five years, ten even? Don’t let the cost be a reason to stop you from reaching your goals. Give yourself that safety net and the financial freedom to reach for the stars. Not to mention, it is much easier to achieve the big picture goal when you have been planning and thinking for a long time. A year of plans, savings, and dreams is enough to fuel the fire.

Put it into the Universe

Don’t keep your goals a secret. Here at 45 Inc., we fully believe in the power of putting things out into the universe. Say your goals out loud, and don’t be afraid to tell the people in your life that you are going to do this. We are all afraid of being that person, who talks about moving to LA for ten years and never does, so we’ve learned to bottle up our dreams and keep them to ourselves. Not anymore. Hold yourself accountable by making your goals known. Let the people in your life hold you accountable.

From our 45 Inc. family to yours, it is our sincere hope that these tips inspired you to go for those big-picture goals and reach for the dreams that feel a bit scarier than shedding five pounds. We believe in you.

Walking the Tightrope: How to Perfect Your Work/Life Balance

natural-body-scrub150ml-_-5-07oz-1-2.png

The fast track to professional burnout is built on the foundation of weak time management. We know how to play the long game, and unless your career has a shelf life-you might want to consider making some healthy changes. Here at 45 Inc., we have the keys to help you foster a work/life balance that can go the distance.

Leave Work in The Office

As tempting as it is to unwind from your day with a glass of wine and an hour-long venting session, we at 45 Inc. recommend that you leave your work at your desk-physically and mentally. Trust us, those problems and frustrations will still be there come Monday morning, so why waste your weekend dwelling on them? See the closing of your office door as a physical manifestation of mentally compartmentalizing that segment of your life for the day. You are closing that box, to be reopened tomorrow, and not later tonight over your chicken parm.

Shut Down

Availability to clients and responsiveness is critical, but if it is at the cost of your mental health-then it is not worth it. You might consider turning off the notifications for your work email from your phone. The email from your coworker about a spill in the microwave is something you do not need to see in your personal time, but instead at your desk bright and early the next morning.

Further, here at 45 Inc., we strongly encourage shutting down. We have become so dependent on our phones that the idea of turning it off for the night seems almost reckless and irresponsible, but it truly does wonders for your work/life balance. By shutting down that technology, you are using those hours at home to actually be at home mentally and physically. We all know that statistically, we spend more hours in the day in the office than with our families, but it is up to us how we spend that time. Whether it be a 30 minute dinner period or a 15-minute car ride to soccer practice- unplug and be in the moment with the people in your life outside of the office.

Take Advantage of Your Office Family

Often times when people consider the work/life balance, they equate the work portion of their day to a prison sentence or an obligation set to ruin their relationships. Understandably, nobody would ever choose to be in the office over spending a day with their family and friends, but that is not to say that a positive community doesn’t exist in the office. Here at 45 Inc., we believe and practice the idea that having a “work family” is key to maintaining a positive work/life balance. You should not have to dread walking through the office doors or making conversation with Katie from HR. When you start to consider the relationships fostered in the office as valid, you may start to find more value in the time spent at work.

From all of us here at 45 Inc., we wish you good luck on the never-ending journey to find the perfect work/life balance. If a Katie from HR is reading this, sorry.

Our Advice to May Graduates 🎓

100774599-graduation-gettyp.jpg

It’s almost time to store away the books on the shelf and start the next journey of your life! This is a huge milestone personally and professionally. This next chapter most likely seems to start off with a lot of new stress and worries, but we can assure you adventure awaits with unlimited opportunities!  Whether you find your career directly out of college or jobs that are stepping stones to build your strengths and improve your weaknesses, trust in the path that awaits.

We, at 45 Inc Birmingham, have advice for you directly from our management team! Champions don’t start out with the title. Every post-grad has been exactly where you stand and thought the same thoughts that might be going through your mind at this very moment. Fortunately, there will be advice along the way to aid you in your growth and development, like these 3 tips below!

Always hold on to your student mentality!

There is a large difference between having a career and having a job. Individuals who become successful and have quicker career growth consistently learn from their superiors and apply the knowledge they acquire. The keyword here is “apply!” People who go into their day-to-day work routine with a hunger to learn are more open to new opportunities and thus, more prone to success. The biggest names in success take full advantage of self-improvement through asking questions, books, audiotapes, and finding mentors!

Don’t be afraid to step outside of your major!

We interview the finest graduates among the state who come with a vision in mind but sometimes close themselves into a box of what they think they should be doing or what they’ve been influenced to do. You’ve dedicated 4 years to the study of your choice but all that is is a guideline to your interests, not a commitment to forever. At 45 Inc Birmingham, we have the pleasure of working with individuals with engineering, biology, programming, and even mathematics degrees, all who excel in our Management Training Program because of their personalities and open-mindedness, not because of what they chose to study. If there’s anything we can advise, it’s to look for a company’s culture that fits you best, not a title!

Be patient in the process!

Growth is a slow, gradual process. When you start, you may be looking for a management role or a certain pay grade, but remember, those things will come with time. It’s OK to start in an entry level role and it’s OK to not be satisfied with your starting salary – those are all motivators that will push you professionally down the road. Everyone starts somewhere, and it’s important to recognize that your starting point is just a dot on a roadmap to bigger and better!

Whether you’re about to walk the stage in May or December, we couldn’t be more excited for you and this next chapter your life. Not everyone accomplishes what you’re about to, so we encourage you to take great pride in this victory before you move on to the working world. No matter where you land or what you find yourself doing, be proud of yourself yet humble and eager to learn. Never underestimate the power of putting your head down and getting to work. Best of luck and welcome to life after college!

How to Avoid Job Interview Stress: Tips from 45 Inc's CEO

160914-interview-stock.jpg

Are you looking for a job and getting nervous about the interview process? Here at 45 Inc., we understand you’re definitely not alone. A job search can be really tough, no matter how many times you’ve been on one before. From what to say, to what to wear, there can be a lot of unanswered questions without preparation.

I believe there are two types of people when it comes to the interview process. Ones that perform better under pressure, and ones who crack under stressful situations.Many of us fall into the second category. If that’s you, that just means you have to do a little extra preparation when it comes to nailing your upcoming interview. To help better equip you, I have combined my best advice when it comes to interviewing prep.

Try to Avoid Negative Thinking

To only way to conquer an interview is to be confident. The employer already reviewed your resume, you received a call – now it’s time to shine! Don’t let the negativity in your mind slip in and alter your personality. There will always be doubts such as: “What if they ask me a question that absolutely stumps me and I look unintelligent?” If you are well prepared, you will naturally be able to share some answers which reflect positively on your strengths. If you are completely stumped, say something like “that’s a great question, can I give that some additional thought and get back to you?”. You can even use this as a chance to have a follow-up conversation with the hiring team.

Practice

Practice truly makes perfect. The more comfortable you are when it comes to interviews, the less anxiety you will feel about the entire process. Meet with your previous coaches, mentors, and friends for a couple mock trial runs. This too will help give you better insight into your strengths. These people will be able to critique you and share honest feedback to make sure you are conducting the interview in a way that highlights your strengths and what you can bring to the table.

Focus On Your Goal

Your goal is to obtain a position at the place of employment you desire. Keep the forefront of your mind focused on the success of this vs. the struggle. I learn best by visualizing images of success in my head. Try to imagine what your interactions will be like with your interviewer in a positive manner. If you are too busy focusing on negatives, you may pass up a chance of landing the perfect gig.

At 45 Inc. we believe in giving our candidates the benefit of the doubt as we understand nerves are high during the interview process. Our office focuses directly on making sure our interviewees are comfortable and have the best experience possible during their time with us. We play fun music in our lobby and offer friendly conversation in hopes we will calm your nerves. Our hope is that everyone walks out of our office feeling like they performed their best interview possible. So remember you got this, take a deep breath, and show them what you got!

For more information on jobs at 45 Inc. or more tips, visit our LinkedIn Page!

Sincerely,
Wrinardo McKennedy

How can you better your listening skills?

Listening is a gift given to those who seek it. Anyone can be a great listener, that is the beauty of listening.  Being a good listener is refreshing to colleagues and admired by most great leaders. It is a trait that should be harnessed and developed throughout life.  Read more on our Wordpress Blog by clicking here.