wrinardo mckennedy

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.

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.

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