careers

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.

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.

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.

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

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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.

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

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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

No Lids, No Limits: Bryant's Story 💪

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It goes without saying that the talent at 45 Inc Birmingham is extraordinary – educated, talented, hard-working, and ambitious. A marketing & sales firm that develops entrepreneurial spirits from entry level to management positions, skill is nothing our organization is short of. Coming across someone who has overcome more hurdles than most, though, and has yet to place limitations or restraints on his success is extremely rare. Confidence like Bryant Williams has is almost unheard of at 22.

From Miami to Maryland and finally Birmingham at the age of 7, Bryant spent his formative years as the only child of two adoring parents! An upstanding kid who never met a stranger, Bryant grew up a social butterfly who excelled at whatever he committed to. Whether it was Boy Scouts, swimming, basketball, or football, Bryant easily made friends and contributed greatly to every team he joined. When he was shockingly struck by cancer at the age of 10 and again at 13, Bryant persevered with the strength of someone 3 times his age. Experiencing an illness no child should ever have to endure, Bryant emerged victoriously - a survivor who never believed there was any other option than a full recovery.

Holding still to his faith, Bryant returned to school sure that he was alive to fulfill a higher purpose – he knew that his voice and influence could one day impact thousands of people. Getting back out on the football field, Bryant kept pursuing his passion for the game – one day hoping to join the National Football League. When his father told him that even athletes needed to have good grades, Bryant buckled down and found a strong interest in a “Mock Trial” course his school offered. This was a gateway to him studying political science and criminal justice the next 4 years in college.

When debating where to attend and doing tours all over the state, Bryant settled on his parent’s alma mater – The University of Alabama Birmingham! Joining Kappa Alpha Psi his freshman year, Bryant enjoyed the benefits of a social, philanthropic, and leadership focused brotherhood. It was there he met Je’Niah Jackson, fellow Team Lead here at 45 Inc Birmingham and the individual who encouraged him to come and interview with the company!

Despite knowing that he would be pursuing his law degree after graduation, Bryant interviewed for a full-time position never once thinking that he couldn’t handle both. He came in for an interview with CEO, Wrinardo, immediately connected with the company and its mission, and happily accepted a position with 45 Inc Birmingham in early August!

Since his time with us, Bryant has flawlessly managed the course load of a first-year student at the Birmingham School of Law and a demanding career within our firm’s Management Training Program. When asked how he manages it all, Bryant gives us the advice to “surround yourself with people who motivate and inspire you. Without negative influence, you don't think you're incapable of something. If you silence your doubters and your mind, there’s nothing you can’t do.”

In his spare time (which we have no idea is when – haha) Bryant LOVES catching up with his favorite shows on Netflix (Scandal and One Tree Hill to name a few), staying active, and spending time with his extended family and parents! A mature, balanced, wholesome, and honorable young man, Bryant helps our entire team at 45 Inc Birmingham lift their “lid” and strive for the best version of their professional selves. In featuring him as “October’s Rising Star,” we wanted him to know just how impressed we are by his convictions and to thank him for the positive energy he exudes.

As Bryant reminds us, without limitations we’re all capable of greatness.