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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.

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.

A Year in Review: 45 Inc Takes 2017 by Storm

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To say 2017 was a successful year here at 45 Inc Birmingham would be an understatement. We had a MONSTROUS year and our pride in the accomplishments our organization produced is IMMENSE! Wonder what kept us so busy this past year and has us looking forward to 2018 with so much excitement? Here’s what:

PROMOTIONS

It was a year of growth, both for our company and for our people. Staying true to our company’s mission “to give our team the freedom to create their own security through systems, standards and commitment,” we promoted dozens of individuals into leadership roles within our organization, 3 into Assistant Management positions (shout-out Jay, Teresa, and Jeremy), and 2 into Management roles (Cori & Harrison) – helping our company and client expand from Birmingham to Memphis and Fort Smith, Arkansas. As rewarding as it was to see the development of Cori and Harrison while they were working within our Birmingham office, we find it even more rewarding to see them overseeing their own offices and markets. They are THE perfect illustration of what our firm’s Management Training Program is intended to do!

CLIENT GROWTH

To keep up with our team’s outstanding performances, our client brought 2 MAJOR game-changers to the table in 2017 – 1) being the #1 CRM software in the world and 2) the opportunity for us to sell wireless services on behalf of our industry leading client (a feature only available online and in-store). The advancement in technology alone at 45 Inc Birmingham increased our team's performance by over 145%, securing our client more customers and our team higher commissions and bonuses. Paired with the software was a company-issued tablet per team member. This allowed our sales team the tools needed to become more competitive and provide each customer a better buying experience.

TRAVEL / CONFERENCES

Our year was chock full of travel – both for work and for fun! We started out the year in the Lone Star State, traveling with our management team to Austin, TX. We set goals for 2017, networked with the best in the marketing & sales industry, and took tons of notes to improve our leadership ability in the New Year. A few months later we found ourselves heading to Baton Rouge for a national sales conference, where our team picked up some serious hardware and our CEO, Wrinardo McKennedy was recognized on stage for being an outstanding leader and pace-setter for our client! Most notably, October took us internationally to Punta Cana – an experience complete with cruising the Caribbean, a foam party, and 4 days of rest & relaxation!

TEAM-BUILDING

The unity of our team strengthened considerably in 2017 due to our conscious efforts at promoting activities both inside and outside of the office! Whether we were bowling, taking a day off of work to spend at the beach or paintballing, our team had fun and they did it together. With our culture being a big source of pride for us at 45 Inc Birmingham, making sure we on-boarded the right people was crucial! With the team we’ve hand selected in 2017, we’re confident 2018 is going to be an even bigger year for us.

PHILANTHROPY

2017 was especially memorable as our company became more engaged within our community! Focusing our efforts on Alzheimer’s Research and Habitat for Humanity, our team spent many a day at the Habitat Restore or at a home building site giving back graciously of their time. In 2018 we intend to get even more involved within the Birmingham community, showing all businesses that no matter your size, your impact can be felt.

With such a great foundation laid for 2017, our executive team is spending the last week of the year strategizing and goal-setting for an even bigger year to come. Our intentions are to expand into 8 new cities, and accordingly, we foresee more client growth, travel, promotions, team-building, and philanthropy activities to come. Don’t miss a beat with us on either Instagram or Facebook and from our 45 Inc Birmingham family to yours, Happy New Year!