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.

Seizing Opportunities: Andreal’s Story

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Life is filled with 2 sorts of people: those that spectate and those that do. When opportunities arise, the watchers observe, scared to move in fear of challenging their norm, while the do-ers do, rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. Andreal Redricks, top Team Lead at 45 Inc Birmingham, is the latter in every way; a go-getter since birth and force of nature in our Management Training Program.

Born in Boston, where her mother attended Boston University and raised in Detroit, where her family moved for work in the automotive industry, Andreal led a full childhood in a big household (she was 1 of 6 children)! When her parents decided to relocate to Alabama her senior year to take care of their ailing parents, Andreal took advantage of that move as an opportunity to make new friends and have new experiences.

As Andreal matured and welcomed her son, DeMarea into her life, she sought even greater opportunities and relocated the two of them to the beautiful Huntington Beach in Orange County, California! Starting first with our client broker out in Cali, Andreal recalls having a great experience with the sales and client relations portion of the position but not being ready professionally for the management opportunity at that time in her life. When she was recruited into the financial sector, Andreal, like always, dived head first in search of new growth and paths.

Starting first as a personal banker with Wells Fargo and then moving into small business development, Andreal spent the next 5-6 years advising people on their finances and gaining experience in a new industry. When Andreal’s father was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, she quickly relocated him to help with his treatment and care. As the cancer metastisized, Andreal’s father encouraged her to get back into the workforce so she would have something to occupy and challenge her. It was then she had her second opportunity in sales and business management with 45 Inc Birmingham.

Starting with the organization in September 2017, Andreal has brought experience, wisdom, organization, and mentorship to her teammates. She states, “their energy keeps me young, and my experience and advice keeps them grounded.” It’s no wonder in 8 months of working with our company, she’s rapidly excelling through our Management Training Program and was recently recognized as a “Top Leader Pin” recipient at a regional sales conference hosted by our client broker.

With a focus on professional development through reading, Andreal aspires to move into Assistant Management by the end of September and management by the end of 2018. Her plans are to grow the reach of 45 Inc Birmingham to San Diego, reuniting with her son DeMarea who is attending college at Orange Coast…and when Andreal says she’s going to make something happen, we believe her.

Our pride in her development with us is immense, and the great thing with Andreal is we know this is just the beginning for her. When she says she’s going to do something, she does, and when she says she’s going to make it happen she will. Honoring her late father and in hopes of making her mother and son proud, we know Andreal is going all the way here at 45 Inc Birmingham.

Our Advice to May Graduates 🎓

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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!

Focused on Excellence: Tamara’s Time at 45 Inc Birmingham

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“Feed your focus and starve your distractions.”

Sounds simple enough, right? For some people, it is, and others not as much. Luckily, for Tamara York, this saying evolved into a mantra she repeated to herself as a competitive athlete and now serves as a driving force propelling her through her Management Training here at 45 Inc in Birmingham, AL.

A military child, Tamara was born in Landstuhl, Germany, where her father and family served another 9 years. Growing up in Europe, Tamara was privileged to travel all over, creating memories in London, Czechoslovakia and all over southwestern Germany! When her dad was stationed back to the States to Fort Benning, Georgia, Tamara welcomed the move with excitement and as an opportunity to make more friends. Sociable and extremely likable, even as a child, Tamara developed valuable skillsets moving to a new country that aide daily in her growth here at 45 Inc Birmingham.

Starting basketball in Georgia after a friend dared her she wouldn’t try out for the team, Tamara quickly took to the game and the team-rooted environment. She loved working with others and developed a niche for teaching and training those who started after her. This selflessness, natural leadership ability, and athleticism (she also ran track and played volleyball) led Tamara to Howard College in Big Spring, TX on a basketball scholarship!

2 years, dozens of new friends, and her Associates under her belt, Tamara relocated back home to be closer to family, as well as transfer to the University of Birmingham and further pursue her interest in modeling. The move proved fruitful, as she started to book more modeling gigs and was able to spend quality time with her older sister who was expecting her second baby.

When a good friend encouraged Tamara to expand her resume outside of the local BBQ pit she was working at to attain some tangible business experience, she agreed and the next day began putting her resume on Indeed. A call from 45 Inc Birmingham’s Human Resources team led to a few interviews and before she knew it, Tamara was accepting a part-time position while also juggling her classes in social work!

Fast-forward 6 months later and now Tamara has made a name for herself within our company and on behalf of our clientele, AT&T & DirecTv. She was recently recognized this past weekend at a leadership conference as our company’s top-performer and awarded a pin in front of hundreds of colleagues. Just like an athlete back on the court, Tamara prepares, trains, focuses, stays disciplined and plays her heart out.

With plans of graduating in December with a Bachelor’s in Social Work, Tamara can’t wait to officially move into full-time employment and continue progressing in her Management Training. Her advice to those starting with the company is to not compare yourself to others and instead focus on yourself and your self-development. After all, it’s what’s helped her earn March’s “Rising Star” status and will help her expand our client outside of Birmingham in 2019. 

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

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!

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.