Drew T jackson

Coaching, Speaking & Training

You gotta have a want to

I was 20 years old and knew everything.  Crazy Dave was 50 years old and knew nothing.  We were on a job site in a local elementary school in the summer of 2003.  I had been a plumber’s apprentice for a year and I already knew everything there was to know about plumbing.  On this day, Crazy Dave, who received his nickname for being a little on the passionate side, asked me to look for a certain fitting in our job box.  A fitting in this case was a small piece of copper tubing that we needed to run a water line.  He was unsure if we had the fitting, but he wanted me to look anyway. 

   Dave could probably see that I was not very enthusiastic about looking through a large metal box filled with heavy tools, tool bags, hardware and all kinds of other junk for a 15-cent piece of metal that we could just go and get from the store really quick.  I walked down the long silent hallway of the elementary school to the room where we were keeping all our supplies.  I opened the box and nonchalantly pushed aside a few nuts and bolts.  I then gently moved around a few of the heavy boxes and bags and peaked around them to see if a glimmer of copper in the bottom of the box would catch my eye, and I saw nothing.  I wasn’t planning on seeing anything and I fully intended on reporting to Dave that he should call our boss and tell him to bring us the part we needed from the store.  I shut the box and made my way back to Dave.  I reported to him that we did not have the part and we would need to call it in. 

    Crazy Dave looked at me and with fire in his eyes, he began to march his 5-foot-tall stocky frame down the long hallway.  He motioned to me with one wave of the arm, follow me!  I followed behind him like a toddler that was in trouble with his parents.  We got down to the room and I received a front row seat to why Crazy Dave received his nickname.  Dave threw open the lid of our large metal job box.  He reached in and began to throw 40 and 50 pound bags of tools and heavy duty power tools.  I felt like I was in a cartoon where the character is throwing everything out of the toy chest into the air behind them.  It seemed like he just kept pulling stuff out of the box.  Pushing aside nuts, bolts and screws as they went flying. I just stood back holding my breath, hoping that he wouldn’t find the small copper fitting that I had confidently declared was not in the box. 

   Once all the throwing was done, Dave reached down into the box and pulled out the small piece of copper tubing that I was supposed to find.  He held it up to my face and he said to me six words that I will never forget.  He said, “You gotta have a want to.”

   Dave taught me something about leadership that day.  He taught me that if you want to be a leader in life you have got to want to get the job done.  Many times, what separates leaders from followers, or those that excel and those that just get by, is the desire to get the job done.  In life and in leadership, everything will not go the way you want it to.  Organizational charts and roles and responsibilities will not be perfect or even functional at times.  If you are a follower, you will sit back and say, “if this organizational chart was correct, I could really get my job done,” or, “If my role was more clearly defined, I could start leading.” 

   The fact of the matter is, a true leader leads despite the conditions.  A true leader does not need a prominent position on the organizational chart to get the job done.  A true leader leverages their influence and helps the other team members understand why it is in their best interest to move forward in the leader's desired direction.  You can only do this if you have a “want to.”  So, I will ask you today, do you have a want to?

How do you build a life?

I have always been fascinated with construction.  I love seeing a dirt field or a hole in the ground transform into a beautiful building.  Something about it is inspiring and brings out a childlike awe on me.  I have driven past this building every day for the last eleven months.  When I began driving past it they had just dug a hole and were beginning to pour the concrete for the first story.  I remember all of the supports and the activity.  I remember the massive cranes and pumps to put the concrete where it needed to go.  I have observed this project and sometimes been frustrated by the traffic issues it has caused, but I have not been intentionally monitoring the progress.  As I went outside to walk today I heard the sound of screws being plunged into the exterior of this building.  One of the many construction workers is attaching the siding to this building.  As I continued to watch I noticed two other men rolling on the paint and it hit me.  How do you build a building?  The answer.  One screw at a time.  One brick at a time.  One piece of rebar and one bucket load of concrete at a time.  One pass of the paint roller at a time. 

    This may seem elementary to you but apply it now to your life.  How do you build a life?  One decision at a time.  One action at a time.  One day at a time.  One relationship at a time.  One thought at a time. 

    But you don’t want to build a life, you want to build your life.  The life you have been dreaming of.  The life you hope to have one day or someday, but what if you could begin to have that life today?  The amazing thing about this life is that you can.  You can begin to build the life that you desire today.  One thought at a time, one decision at a time and most importantly, one action at a time. 

     What will you do today to move one step closer to the life of your dreams?  What could you do?  What will you do?

Why is my business not growing?

Why is my business not growing? As you may know, every small business starts out resembling the owner of the business. What do you mean resembling? I mean that the business reflects the personality of the person that runs it. So in essence, the business looks and acts like you!  So, think about what you want to do, which is grow your business. What do you think that means for you as a person?  That’s right, it means that you should steadily grow, mature and learn new things to help you and your business become successful.  If you aren’t, then your business will become stagnant.  So, if your business isn’t growing, look to yourself to see where you aren’t growing.

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As you start the process of evolving yourself and starting that change, you will begin to see that potential inside of you start to realize its self, and in turn that will reflect in your business.

      Another thing that you will need to grow is a dynamic team.  You create this team by equipping them with the tools they need to succeed as individuals.  By doing this, they become extensions of you, and thus positively impacting your overall business..

   But what if you don’t have good quality employees? Well take McDonalds for example.  They find the lowest qualified employee to give a consistent result every time, which is delicious crunchy French fries.  You don’t have to be an expert to make fries, but because McDonalds has a system in place to equip the person making those fries, they come out the same each and every time.

   This is what you need to do.  Have a system in place equipping your team with the tools to make them successful.  You have to take this action on this, but a lot of people don’t and here are seven reasons why they don’t.

 1.  It’s hard- to start the process of equipping your team is hard work, because you’re training them to think a different way, or take on new challenges.  Because you are invested in the business, rather than delegate or train, a lot of business owners just handle it themselves, which takes time from growing themselves and the business, as well as taking a valuable learning opportunity from the employee.  This in concept makes it less of a business and more of a self-employment opportunity, and makes the entire business dependent on you, which is not the overall goal.

2.  We underestimate people.  Some business owners say, I just don’t have the money to hire quality people, and once my business grows, I can afford to pay the hire more quality people.  How do you expect to get there, if you don’t work with what you have.  As a leader, you have to understand the reality of your situation at the current time.  If you feel that you don’t have quality employees then you may be either a) underestimating them, or b) you don’t have a system set up for them to be successful, because they don’t have the information, and nowhere to look up the information.  Sadly, no employees come with the pre-packed information for your business, and to find someone that can fulfill your wish list, will cost you money, but that doesn’t mean that your current employee can’t fit that bill with some set systems in place.

3.  The I’ll do it myself mind set.  As I mentioned earlier in this post, the do it yourself mindset makes the entire business dependent on you, and doesn’t allow the team that you have in place to learn new tasks and responsibility.  So by delegating, and growing your teams  skill set, you free time to grow yourself, and the business.

4. We grow our ego strength from being needed. An example is when people call my office, and say, I need to talk to Drew.  Well, no you don’t because I have set my team up with the tools to be successful, and can answer any and all concerns that you may have.  I have given them that empowerment to be successful, and thus making my business successful.

5. The habit of doing everything ourselves.  We answer emails, and phone calls, and it goes back to that ego we just spoke about.  You must grow out of the infancy stage, and place a team that can handle all the day to day work, so that you can grow, and with that grow the business.  

6. You want to keep control.  You want to do everything yourself, you want to maintain that tight grip over everything.  You feel like you can’t hand this over, it’s too important. You can hand it over, you just must put some systems in place, so you know that its being done properly every time, and this is done by equipping your team. 

7. You don’t notice the leadership potential in your team. You get wrapped up in all the day to day, that you overlook the hidden talent that you already have on your team. So that results in not giving them a chance, or equipping them to show their true potential and how that can impact your business.

So I encourage you to grow yourself, and as you do, equip the people around you, and I guarantee that your business will grow if you start doing that one thing.

Focus

    Today I want to talk about the word focus, and how it’s my word of the year. It’s something I’m working on to improve in my life, and help me become a dream achiever.  People dream about becoming successful in their lives, but there’s a difference between being a dreamer and a dream achiever. That’s where focus comes into play, and how it can help you become that achiever.

   I’ve had family members that had been dreamers, but they died penniless because they didn’t achieve their dreams and goals in life.  They wanted to contribute to society via non-profits, or get that invention off the ground, but to be blunt, they didn’t have the focus to make it happen.  I vowed that I was gonna be a dream achiever, and I wanted to share with you how focus is getting me there.

    In order to achieve my dreams,  I realized that I was going to have to untie from some of the things in my life that weren’t contributing to my overall goals.  One of these things was a subscription to audio and digital books that weren’t adding value to my overall desire. I realized that they were taking my focus away from what I felt was important in my life. Now I love personal growth and leadership, and you would think that research would be the best route to go, and trust me there is no shortage of material, but my problem was my love of learning.  It was always, one more book, what’s next, so while I love to learn, it was taking time away from enacting what I was learning. So, while I was learning a lot, I wasn’t able to put that knowledge into action.

   So, to drive this point home for myself, I created an acronym that I encourage all my students to use that will help you focus so that you can move forward into achieving your dreams.

F:  Find out what’s most important to you.  What is going to help you achieve your goals? Consider areas in your life that aren’t contributing to your goals such as my audio books.  Once you have identified that areas that are causing distraction and lack of focus, it will be easy to cut out and concentrate on what you have identified as important, and worth the time to make you successful.

O: Only do what's most important. As I mentioned previously, cutting out the things that aren’t contributing positively to your dream, will allow you to do what will.

C: Consider what is holding you back from what's most important.

U: Untie yourself!  This can be challenging because there are people connected to the things that we should untie ourselves from.  It may be the PTA at school, a book club, or something else that affects other people. It doesn’t mean stop doing these things all together, but maybe pick one that you feel most attached to and dedicate yourself to that, and use the other time you gain to focus on your goal.  I want to encourage you to do it because it will only lead to success down the road.

S: Seriously commit yourself to the dream.  Until you take your dream seriously, you will never achieve it.  Go through the process, it maybe weekly, it may be daily, but take it seriously. If you ask yourself, what I am doing right now, and is it contributing to my overall goal.  If the answer is no, stop doing that, and move forward what will help you achieve your dream.

   We want to be dream achievers, not just dreamers, so I hope this helps, and I encourage to start finding your focus.

Do you desire to achieve your dream?

I want to start by telling you about a building that’s going up across the street.  Nothing special about it, just a non-descript building but it got me to thinking about my days as a plumber.  Back in those days we would go out into fields and bury pipes, and then hope that our pipes came up through the foundation at the expected spot. I want to focus in on that word, expected, or expectation because that is the focus of my talk today.  When you’re building something, you don’t hope that it comes together, you expect it to come together. You have a reasonable expectation that your planning, and work will come together to finish the project, not a hope that it will.  When starting a project such as a building, a project planning, will ensure that everything is where it needs to be, when it needs to be there, and built to the plans that they’ve made.  This ensures their expectations are met when they proceed to the next step of the build.

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Now how does expectation relate to dream Friday?  Well, this building across the street got me thinking about the difference between want and desire.  There’s a very subtle, but very real difference between these two mind sets, and it’s something that I have been thinking about often in my own journey.

The question I posed in the title of this post, “Do you want your dream or do you desire your dream?”, do you want to achieve your dreams, or do you desire to achieve your dreams? Do you see the subtle differences in those statements?

Think about the use of the word want. How often do we use it? We say we want a new car, or I ate a meal, but I was left wanting.  This indicates a state of lack.  We lack a new car, or we’re lacking food, because the meal wasn’t enough. It’s your inability to have that which it is that you want, and so when you simply use the word want, you’re expressing that you have lack of something.

But, if you look at desire, and the etymology of the word, you see demand and expectation. There’s that word again, expectation.  Question, do you have an expectation that you’re going to achieve your dream, or are you in a lack mindset?  Do you want your dream, or have you crossed into expecting your dream?  There is a difference. 

Let’s look at it in a different way.  Take my kids for example, my daughter wants her brother to throw her the ball.  She wants it, she is yelling, she has her arms out, and you can see and feel the frustration, because she is wanting something.  She is expressing her inability to get what she wants.

Now, let’s say that her brother is going to throw her the ball, and now she is expecting it. Her posture and form changes.  She has her hands out in a receiving position, and she is ready to catch the ball.  She has a desire to catch the ball, and she has an expectation to receive it. 

Now what does that have to do with your dream?  It has everything do with it, because if you are wanting, or expressing lack in your dreams, you won’t be able to tackle challenges when they arise to achieve your dream.  However, if you have an expectation of achievement, it will no longer be, if my dream comes true, it will be when my dream comes true.  It’s a subtle difference, but a difference all the same.  By switching from a lacking mentality to a desire mentality, it’ll make the difference in achieving your goals.  So, I’ll end with this, are you wanting, or are you desiring? Think it over, and see the difference it can make.

Stop dreaming!

Happy Friday, and as you know Fridays are dream days here at Drew T. Jackson Leadership. I had a very interesting and enlightening call with a colleague of mine, Mark Andre. I love talking to Mark, because I always learn something new and inspiring, and this call was no different. He said to stop dreaming. What?! Stop dreaming?! Then it hit me that this is inspired thinking. How do you stop dreaming? Isn’t the whole goal to achieve your dream?

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It’s about realizing and pursuing your dream. We as people can become satisfied with simply dreaming for dreaming sake. We become comfortable in thinking what could be, and get enjoyment and gratification in this. You can plan the details of achieving it, what it would look like almost to the point that you would be just as satisfied with just the plan without taking any action to achieve it. There’s Mark’s point. Stop dreaming. Take action. Move forward with your dream, so it’s no longer a dream but an achievable goal.

So, I want to encourage you to take that first step. Doesn’t have to be huge. It can be a phone call; it can be putting something on paper. It can be anything you want, but take that first step. Whatever you decide to do, consider this. Is this action going to take me closer to my dream, or further away? Is getting more education, partnering with a business going to get me closer to my goal. Stay away from things that are going to be happy distractions, and focus on the things that are only going to get you closer to where you want to be.

Stop dreaming and start taking action.

How to Make a Great Impression at Professional Networking Events

Hey folks! It’s that time again to head to another networking event, and I wanted to talk to you about some basic networking skills you can use to make an impact with the people that you’ll meet and hopefully work with in the future

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First, be the person that you want to connect with. I personally don’t want to talk to someone with bad breath so I make sure to have gum on me at all times. Next, make sure that your showered and shaved! Hygiene is so important, so men make sure that your beard is groomed, or your clean shaven, with a light aftershave. No one want to get knocked out by strong cologne. Ladies, same principal, light scents, natural makeup, and professional hairstyle. Be the kind of person that you want to connect with. Lastly, make sure your clothing is clean, freshly pressed, free of animal hair so you look like a million bucks.

I bring this up again, like I did in the last video, because I go to events all the time, and people show up messy, smelly, and appear just disorganized. While I’m polite and chat with them briefly, it’s not someone I will invite to be a part of my business. So, good hygiene is key!

Now every networking event has a different format. Sometimes you get to share publicly about yourself, and sometimes you just have to go person to person. Now the person to person format is kind of like speed dating where they give you two to five minutes to market yourself to the person before you have to move on. I wouldn’t encourage you to speak for the full five minutes, but take a good 2 minutes to share about yourself, and what makes you and your business unique.

Another format is to share things like, “what is your ideal leader?”, “What does ideal client or lead look like?” This is so the group can get an idea about you, and what you bring to the table.

The group I am visiting today is a leads group, and with this type of networking event, it’s about building trust, and sending leads towards other members of the group. So it takes some time and effort to build this kind of network. Once you have established yourself in this type of group, it will be reciprocated by the other members sending leads your way! Give, give, give, and it will come back around to you.

How to create a winning elevator pitch!

The key to growing your business is talking to people. You need to be out there, meeting people, and talking to your clients so you can understand their challenges so you can serve them better. To get started, you first need to come up with an elevator pitch. A lot of times, you’ll only have 20 to 30 seconds to get your pitch in, so it needs to be informative, impactful, and most importantly memorable. So I want to give you a road map to putting together your pitch.

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Here is an example of my elevator pitch:

“Hi, my name is Drew Jackson of Drew T Jackson Coaching, speaking, and training. I’m a small business coach with an emphasis on leadership development. If you partner with me, you’ll gain valuable insights on how to lead your organization. You’ll be held accountable for what you already know to do, and you’ll join a community of other small business owners that will encourage you along the way. You can contact me through Drewtjackson.com!”

It was between 20 and 30 seconds, and it answers the four questions that need to be answered when you’re giving an elevator pitch, who you are, what you do, how it will benefit them, and how to contact you. You’ll want to use this at networking events where time is limited, or when you just meet someone who asks you about you do, or in a literal elevator. You’ll also wanted to modify it slightly for each situation, but keep it somewhat the same and keep it simple. My mentor Paul Martin Lee says, if you confuse them, you lose them. So keep it clear, simple, concise and to the point. So as a coach that’s supposed to help add clarity to their business, it helps if I am clear about mine.

So be very clear about what you do. In my example, I say that I’m a leadership coach but what am I leaving out? I had to leave out that I do sales, communication, and relationship training. I cut off these details so that I could be succinct, and it’s the most unique, and valuable attribute that I have to offer. So when making your pitch, make sure to include what makes you special, and what makes you stand out from others that offer similar services.

In an elevator speech, there simply isn’t time to pitch everything I do, as much as I want to, because there is only have that small amount of time to make the impact that you need to intrigue them into contacting you for more information.

So let me give you four tips.

#1 Tell them who you are! Start with your name, and build from there. For me, I’m Drew Jackson, coaching, speaking and training, and I bring enthusiasm with that introduction. I bring that with my voice tone, energy level, and I feel that is what makes me unique. I am bringing an intensity and excitement that I feel brands me as a person, and a business, so you need to determine what brands you as a business.

#2 What is unique about you? What's your niche? Like they say, the riches are in the niches. Figured out what it is that you do that’s unique to you so you know where the value is.

For me its Leadership development, as I eat, sleep and breath it, and that’s what I bring to the marketplace.

#3 What do you offer? What can you deliver? IE: if you partner with me, you get X,Y. Z result For me it was, “you'll game fresh insights. You'll be held accountable.” What does being held accountable mean? It means that you’ll be held to doing things that you already know that you need to do, and you’ll join a community of other small businesses that are doing the same. With that community, it takes away some of the solitude that comes with being a small business owner. You’ll make new friends, new connections, and be able to network with the people that will help your business grow. That's what I offer. That's what I'm delivering. All in 20 seconds.

#4 How do they contact you? Be simple clear and direct, and have an easy email to remember. Mine is Drew@Drewtjackson.com. Simple, easy and intuitive. If you get into Facebook pages, Twitter, etc, it gets confusing and people tend to check out, so one avenue, that is clear and easy to remember.

So now you have the tools to make that 20 second pitch, and make sure to practice, practice, practice, because practice makes perfect. Especially on your way to the event, on your friends, your spouse, anyone that can give you feedback. If you mess up, that’s okay, just keep going.

If you need help reflecting, and finding your niche, who you are, and what your good at, download my reflection guide. The link is just below, and it’ll help you reflect over the last 12 months, and then put things into action for the next 12 months. As always you can reach me at Drew@Drewtjackson.com, I would love to help!

Going on a trip to a networking event

So you’re heading to your first networking event, and all the sudden it hits you! You don’t know what to do or expect, but don’t worry, we’ll guide you through it by coming to a networking event with me!

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I’m heading to the Benbrook Chamber of Commerce, and before I even leave I make sure of a few things…

  1. I’m groomed.  I’m shaved and trimmed, ladies, ensure your hair is in a professional style.

  2. I have fresh breath, and ensured I have gum with me for freshen up during the event.

  3. Fresh, and pressed clothes.  My jacket is fresh, and pants free of any pet hair or wrinkles.

  4. Chapstick.  I can’t stress this enough.  You don’t want to walk in with flaky, crusty lips.

  5. I added this one for women, make sure your make up is done in a natural way, that is professional and understated.  Glitter has no place here.

Before I go in, I check to make sure I have my business cards.  You gotta have those, because how else are all your new friends gonna connect with you later.

When I get to the event, I view it as meeting up with my friends.  That’s what you want right, to become friends with the people that can make your business better.  Go in with confidence. Confidence is key, and when you go in with an attitude that you have something happening in your world, that confidence will radiate from you, and attract people to you.

On my way in I meet a doctor that runs a free-standing ER, and I am impressed with the way he’s dressed.  He has a clean cut look, fresh hair cut, and is outgoing and friendly to me on the way in. This is an example that you want to emulate when you go to networking events.  He said hello as we walked in together and introduced himself to me, and had some small talk about what we did. Easy right?

Inside, I meet up with the head of the Chamber, and you can see her shout out on the video, but now we’re here at the event.  From here, I will mingle, makes some new friends, and hopefully some new business contacts. Enjoy the networking!


Do Your Activities Line Up With Your Vision

Today I want to discuss something that I have been pondering, and that’s vision. Where I'm going, What I'm doing, and am I'm accomplishing that. The question I pose to you is this, do your activities line up with your vision? This is a question of alignment; do your actions, involvement, and activity align with your overall goals.

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I was in my car earlier thinking about this subject and the image of movie characters fighting over the steering wheel, and one is yanking it right and the other left, and no one is gaining the advantage. The car just keeps going in no direction, and not towards where it needs to be. Sadly, this is what many of our lives look like, and its east to get off track with good intentions.

This tracks back to your activities and actions, and do they align with what your vision is. Let me give you an example, I have a vision for my life, and health, in that I will be active with my grandkids and great grand kids, all the way up to my 90’s. I can’t control how long I live but I can control how healthy I am right now.

I wanted to refocus, since I am not the leanest or most active guy and I didn’t want to waste my life dwelling on the extra pounds that may affect my joints or overall health going forward. I had the opportunity to contemplate this while visiting with some friends earlier this year, this also afforded me the opportunity to spend time with a good friend and reconnect. Many of my friends are all very active in weight lifting and I thought I would give it a try. Would weightlifting allow me to align my goals for my well-being and health?

So, I began the journey into weightlifting, and what I realized is that I found myself while doing so. I learned that I wanted to build muscle and fully immerse myself in what I was doing with lifting. Next thing I knew I had gained 25 pounds of muscle, but am not quite where I want to be. I had to recognize my accomplishments, but that I needed to refocus on my cardio and caloric intake which were missing in my alignment of my health goals.

I know that a good lifting session is fantastic, but I couldn’t lose my vision. My example is just a simple one to show that we can’t lose focus or allow things to affect our alignment to our vision. So, I encourage everyone to look at your overall vision. Figure out where you’re going next, what needs to be done to get there and do those things align with your ultimate vision. Don’t lose focus on the end goals.