Your Career Marathon by Mark Owen

Navigating your way through 26.2 miles is not unlike navigating your way through your career. It takes strategy, hard work, and determination to reach your ultimate goal. For most people in the business world, that would generally be retirement. For marathoners, it’s finding a comfortable place to sit at the end of the race. Running for that long not only burns a LOT of calories, it also gives you time to think. Along the way I have discovered a couple things I believe will help and you reach your goals on the pavement or in the boardroom.  

 

Get In The Zone

The L.A. Marathon started at Dodger Stadium on the East side of the city and winded its way through many different neighborhoods en route to the finish at the Santa Monica Pier.

LA Marathon   The Course

(For those of you closer to Irvine and the Tag Energy office, we have included a diagram to know JUST how far the marathon was. )

Spectators did not have to buy tickets. They lined the course wherever they pleased to witness the race. Some people were content watching everyone pass by; they sat quietly on their porch sipping coffee. Others cheered loudly, displaying encouraging signs, and even offering snacks to give runners a little extra boost. Unfortunately was also a small minority of people that thought it was necessary to preach through a megaphone at 7:00am about how doomed the country was. Bonus running tip: do NOT stop and listen to these people!

My music was turned up loud in my headphones for most of the race and I didn’t pay much attention to all the fanfare. Occasionally I would grab a cup of water or Gatorade from someone but other than that, I tuned it all out. I was in the zone. The only thing I was focused on was pushing forward and reaching that finish line. None of the people around me could run the race for me- I had to do it myself. If I found myself in a moment of pain or doubt, I knew I could look to the crowd for words of encouragement but ultimately; this was my race to run.

As you progress through your career, develop a filter. Let in the people or things that can help you get what you want and keep out what delays or distracts you from your goals. An easy question I always ask myself- “is what I am about to do get me closer to my goals?” If the answer is no, I usually won’t do it

(Interested in more fitness articles and motivation? Check out Tag Energy’s fitness page on Pinterest)

Follow A Pace Setter

During all my training runs leading up to the race, I always ran alone. I told myself it was easier that way because I didn’t want to go at anyone else’s pace. When the race started I had the same mentality. I was trying to ignore the thousands of other people around me. Everyone was going at different speeds. Some were going faster than me, some slower.  

Around mile 5 an official pace setter caught up to me. There was a small group of runners that were all on his heels running at the same speed. He was holding a stick with several balloons and a sign attached. His sign had the finishing time I was aiming for. From that point on I knew as long as I stayed with him I would achieve my goal.

As soon as I started following him the race became so much easier for me. No longer did I have to track my total time, calculate splits, or second-guess if I could afford a quick water break. All I had to do was copy this guy and do exactly what he did. It was almost cheating. I thought to myself “why doesn’t everyone do this?”

 

Business is the same way. We aren’t in school anymore- we are allowed to cheat off our peers. If you know someone who is where you want to be or getting ahead at the pace you want, do exactly what they are doing and it is likely you will start to see similar results.

(See some things that Tag Energy is doing to get to where we want to be on our Instagram page!)

Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

25,000 people started the race with the same goal in mind: finish. Most of them did. But it was the obstacles in between and the bumps in the road that revealed character along the way. I don’t think it is possible for anyone to run a perfect marathon. There is just too much that can happen mentally and physically over that distance. It wasn’t uncommon to see other runners stop to throw up, go to the bathroom, or rub Vaseline in weird places to prevent rashes. Knowing there is the possibility of something like this happening is important so that you can be prepared if and when it happens to you.

After I had completed the race, I joined some of the spectators who had been there all morning. One of them said to me “it is so much more inspiring to watch “regular” people finish. Everyone knows the elite runners will finish- it is easy for them. But to see people with blisters, injuries, or even physical handicaps complete their goal is just awesome!”

The beautiful thing about marathons is that most runners do not care what others think of them or what they look like. They will do whatever it takes to cross that finish line.

The most dangerous place to work is in your comfort zone. Although it may sound pleasant, allow me to warn you that growth will be slow and new opportunities will be limited. Find what it is you are good at and always push yourself to the next level- even if it feels uncomfortable to start with. Once comfort zones grow, they don’t typically shrink again.

Do It For Someone Else

My first training run was about 3 months before the marathon. I still hadn’t committed to the race at that point. On that first run I was evaluating what kind of shape I was in and tried to determine how much time and effort would be needed in order to finish if I were to take on this challenge. The hardest part of this decision was the decision itself. Once I made up my mind to run the race, it was easy to train. A big part of why this was easy was because more and more people slowly started to find out that I planned on running. What would I tell my friends and family if I decided to quit after they had already found out? It would be humiliating.

You might say “couldn’t you have just not told anyone- that way if you decided to pull out the only person that would know would be you?” Yes, I could have. However, by letting others in on my plans I became accountable to them too, not just myself. As the miles got tough towards the end of the race I imagined the entire office at Tag Energy asking me one by one how the race went and me telling them “I quit because it was hard and I was tired”. That was not something I could live with so I continued on, one foot in front of the other until that finisher’s medal was around my neck.

Solplicity Marathon

Mark Owen, With the finisher’s medal around his neck. Los Angeles Marathon and representing his Tag Energy t-shirt. 

When you think about your career goals, think about what you will be able to do in your life if you accomplish all of them. Whether it is buying a dream house or providing a better life for your family, it helps to make those goals known- especially to those closest to you. Now ask yourself, “If I don’t achieve my goals, what won’t I be able to do in my life?”

 

Liked this article and TAG’s inspiration? Check out Our 21 ways to Go Green  and 5 Tips learned from Tag Energy !

Can Money Buy Happiness?

The first inspiration for this article comes from the mere 33.0 mile distance from the Tag Energy office in Irvine, CA to the Chino Hills 711 where the winning Powerball ticket was won last night. Now, while placing our faith in computer-generated luck isn’t exactly the businessman (or woman’s) style – it does make the wheels turn on the proximity of a life-altering event. Hell, you may share the same bowling shoes on a night out as the fella who became 1.5 billion dollars richer in a single, drastic, dreamt of minute. But, what does winning the lottery really mean?

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Mark Cuban was quoted by “Business Insider” this week advising the lucky lottery ticket holder on how to handle their winnings; one quote from the article really stood out to me:

If you weren’t happy yesterday, you won’t be happy tomorrow. It’s money. It’s not happiness. If you were happy yesterday, you are going to be a lot happier tomorrow. It’s money. Life gets easier when you don’t have to worry about the bills.”

And I think he really hit the jackpot (pun definitely intended) on that point. Inevitably, our stresses of paying those bills on time, sending children to college, having that honeymoon in Fiji and a house in a great neighborhood –would dissolve if one had Powerball deep pockets. But there is a fine line between these stresses being a weight that holds us down and being motivating factors to bring out the best of our creative and ambitious selves.

Don’t get us wrong, we would take on Irvine and turn Tag Energy into a two story business and philanthropic machINE upon that kind of financial influx, BUT, The green Gatsby light we all reach for continuously that gets us out of bed, catalyzes our ideas into executed moves, turns scratch paper into number 1 hits and midnight calculations into Wall Street investments, is, most commonly, a light fueled by a vision of success. A desire to accomplish more, a motive to release our passions, leave lasting imprints on the world we live in, and of course, having enough currency that we are “*free”. (*Definition TBD)

Psychologists and Economists have been determining for decades now the correlation between financial status and happiness. They have found it is less about how much money you have and more about how you spend it. The real measures of happiness skyrocket when money is spent on experience rather than material things. As we say at Tag Energy when we learn of factors of impulse, the “keeping up with the Jones’s” satisfaction has an expiration date. Alongside this study, Professor Gilovich of Cornell University, found that the anticipation for acquiring an experience is much more satisfactory than the anticipation of acquiring a material object.

“The Summit is for the Ego, while the journey is for the Soul”

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Is there a degree of happiness to which we enjoy working for something we desire? Finding ourselves understanding value of time and money and working to raise our personal bar?

Overall, I believe money can raise the standard of living, life satisfaction, and in some cases tranquility; though, the larger the bank account the less happiness a given sum can “buy”. At the end of the day, no matter which 711 we buy our green machine and muffins from, we must be happy with ourselves. We must wake up to fight our fight, to water our grass, and build our empire. To the lucky California winners of the Powerball, Tag Energy wishes all the happiness in the world! And for everyone else- build a savings, make experiences, find your inspiration, and you may one day wake up feeling just as lucky.

A Book Review: Mindset by Carol Dweck

The New Psychology of Success

 

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It isn’t uncommon ground for us to cover the power of ones’ mindset. Tag Energy Group has found an endless source of positive results by teaching a concept of reinvesting in the mind. Magnifying knowledge, refining self-adaption, and expanding the conceivable are among top focus in our office. After reading this book we had to share; Psychologist Carol Dweck dives into the core of how to adapt to reaching one’s full potential in her new book “Mindset”. The construct of mentality is groundbreaking and, whether you’re a parent, a teacher, a manager, or a leader, the theory can apply.

The captivating idea stems from the duel mindset of fixed vs. growth. The difference between the two mindsets derive from the tendency to see potential in one’s success. For example; Dweck claims that her research shows a child who maintains a fixed mindset is offset by obstacles in their life, focuses on negative feedback, and feels discouraged and jealous of the success of others. In opposition, the child who has secured a growth mindset can allow the larger picture to act as motivation. The Growth mindset embraces challenges, observes and learned from feedback, and feeds off of the success of others. Dweck emphasizes the growth mindset as increasing in motivation and ultimately production. Naturally, we hope that one would have those tendencies when it comes to a constant hurdled business!

Growth-v-Fixed

And we see this idea being reinforced daily at the Tag Energy office; negative feedback, poor results, competition, can either cause a team member to jump stay in a cycle of discouraged thinking or, (what we hope to see) light a fire under them and skyrocket results.

Dweck refers to these mindsets as being determining factors in the potential for intelligence but furthers this “fate” to how we treat students from an early education period. If we tell a child they are not good readers, they may hold onto this idea and consistently see themselves as poor readers, unable to ever master the skill. SO, in our Irvine office some lessons we have taken from this idea is to give “every dog a good name”. By allowing each student and representative to excel in their own way it enables their growth mindset to overpower. We want people to want to learn, to be positively reinforced by learning, and to grow and influence others in the same way.

When it comes to monitoring our own mindsets, Dweck explains a series of triggers that we mentally each face. From self-criticism to anxiety we each have our own threats – the important thing is that we continue to work through them.

Understand that each step moving forward is a step, no matter the size! If you have a reader on your list for the holidays, or if you’re looking for a book to read bundled by the fire – Give Mindset a try! It will surely leave a positive impact.

Inspiration: Featuring Solongo

Solongo on a desk typing on her laptop with a coffee next to her
Solongo hard at work with our clients.

Solongo is a great team member here at TAG Energy! She is diligent in her work and always has a smile on her face. 

Here at TAG Energy inspiration plays an important role in our company culture. We believe that to succeed you need something that inspires and motivates you to do the best you can do. We interviewed our team member, Solongo, about what inspires and motivates her.

Continue reading

TAG Energy Awarded “Campaign Cup” for Outstanding Quarter


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Our amazing team here at TAG energy has earned the “top national sales honor” on behalf of their solar client. Along with this honor, TAG energy won the “10th best places to work in Los Angles” in 2014, and was nominated again in 2015.

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CEO Jaime Hepp says, “Our team has incredible focus and determination, and this award is a humbling reminder of our collective effort on behalf of the client,” said Julie Au Yeung, a top sales rep at TAG Energy. “We appreciate the recognition.”

To read more about this topic follow this link.IMG_1890

Also, to keep up with our team, check out our Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!

12 Ways to Go Green Today!


1. Ditch regular water bottles and invest in a reusable water bottle.

90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled! Reusable water bottles on the other hand are stylish, durable and will decrease your carbon footprint. Plus they are extremely convenient since most cities offer water fountains or free water filters refill stations.IMG_1896

2. Turn the lights off

Turning off the lights when you are not in the room can not only save you money but it saves on electricity and in turn saves the environment. Saving every drop of electricity can add up and save you hundreds of dollars a year.

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3. Reusable grocery bags

Plastic bags take anywhere from 15 to 1000 years to decompose, and only 1% of bags are actually being recycled. That leaves the other 90 billion plastic bags left in landfills, the ocean and it disrupts the environment. A little known fact is that there is actually a giant garbage heap of plastic bags twice the size of the US floating around in the pacific ocean!IMG_1894

4. Check your Bulbs

Energy Star rated compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb will decrease your electricity bill. Other benefits of Energy Star rated bulbs are that they are durable, mercury free, cost effective and do not produce heat. Also, today’s technology has improved the quality of the light being emitted from these bulbs.

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5. Go paperless

Instead of throwing away the dozens of papers you receive each month from your bank, energy companies, etc, opt out and ask them to send you emails instead. This will help reduce the waste of millions of pounds of paper and will in turn make it easier for you to pay your bills online.IMG_1886

6. Invest in a home water filter.

Home water filters help reduce the waste of plastic water containers. It’s also very convenient because you never have to worry about running out of water at home! Tap water also contains lots of minerals which the home filters leave in while providing great tasting water.IMG_1891

7. Unbleached products is the way to go

Unbleached papertowels, napkins, and bags are a great alternative since they are usually made of recycled paper.These products that are made from recycled paper so they are guaranteed to be as good as bleached paper products, but free of all the chemicals used in those. 5560753633_5a03c9cdec_z

8. Recylce

Recycling glass, paper, newspapers, alumni and all other natural resources can help minimize pollution, create jobs, and save on the earth precious natural resources. It also minimizes the amount of oil and energy needed to produce those products if they were not recycled. Many cities also offer free recycling centers that provide a reimbursement for every can you recycle. Here is a list of some of these recycling locations in California.IMG_1895

9. Go vegetarian for 1 day a week!

Have you heard of meatless Mondays? 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. By going vegetarian once a week you will save the lives of animals, as well as see health benefits and decrease your risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cholesterol and cardiac complications. Also check out a couple of documentaries if you are thinking of going vegetarian or vegan!IMG_1892

10. Try E-Tickets

Once again, wasting paper by printing out your tickets for a sporting event or concert can be solved by using e-tickets. Now days, many major companies offer the “electronic ticket” option as opposed to traditional paper methods. This is great for concert goers who always seem to misplace their ticket!IMG_1898

11. Carpool

Carpooling is another great way of shedding down the carbon footprint engines leave on the environment and can also help cut your gasoline bill in half or more! This is a great way of going green while maintaining your lifestyle. You might even make a friend or two in the process!6394691311_061bda13d9_z

12. Try Solar Energy

Solar energy is the future, and the future is here! By switching to Solar Energy you can cut your electricity bill by hundreds of dollars a year. Also, living in Southern California where it is sunny year round makes Solar Energy worth it. To get a quote visit our website!8141261469_171025181d_o

To keep up with TAG Energy and go green check out our Twitter and Instagram. We post on WordPress every week so stay tuned for our next article!

Traveling Tips: Cancun Edition

5722490026_11ec49f8e5_z Our TAG Energy team made their way back home from Cancun this Labor Day weekend, and they decided to share with us some tips they picked up on their trip.

Pack the Night Before

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  • Nothing is worse then forgetting your passport, favorite book or camera at home when you are on an airplane half way to your destination. We recommend you make a list of everything you think you will need and pack the night before so that if the morning of you are running late or making a last minute errand, you’ll have most of your things pre-packed and ready to go!

Wake up Early

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  • It’s 9 am, and your flights in 30 minutes, and thanks to LA traffic, there’s no way you’ll make it to LAX on time. We recommend you wake up an hour or two than you think you need too, that way you don’t miss your flight or feel pressed for time. Plus that’ll give you time to go to Starbucks! It’s a win win.

Call your Bank

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  • Often times credit card companies place a hold on your account if they see suspicious account from outside your general vicinity. Make sure to call them to let them know you will be traveling to another country so that you can still access your money.

Take Lots of Pictures

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  • Living in the moment is the way to go, but don’t forget to snap a couple of pictures here and there so that you can look back on them and remember how much fun you had. Don’t wait until the last day of your trip to take out your camera and start snapping pictures. The only thing you’ll end up capturing are pictures of tired grumpy friends who are ready to go home. Speaking of which, follow us on instagram to see great pictures our team took in Cancun.

It’s Okay to be Lost

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  • A big part of traveling is exploring! It’s okay to lose the map and just walk around with a friend or two. Take in the culture and talk to locals! It’s one thing to read about your destination online, but it’s another thing to actually hear it from the locals. They might be able to recommend to you some cool restaurants or hidden gems that the country has to offer.

We hope through this article you are able to be better prepared for any upcoming trip you may have. To get some Cancun photo inspiration visit our Pinterest! Also follow us on Twitter to keep up with our amazing team here at TAG Energy.

Leave us a comment down below if you have any other tips for traveling!

Interview Tips: From the Interns

As an intern, we are the first person you see in the lobby, and we are the last person you say bye to as you walk out. We have seen dozens of interviewees, and have come up with a list on how to land the job before you even interview.

Do not be late

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  • Nothing is worse than being late to an interview. When you are a couple minutes late it not only sets you behind, but the rest of the people who are in line to interview. As a result everyone’s schedule gets all out of whack. It is best to be on time or give us a courtesy call in case you will be a couple minutes late so we can plan ahead.

Come prepared

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  • It is important to come prepared for an interview. If you forget to bring your resume, or any other paperwork we can probably print it out for you, but it gives us a bad impression on you which as a result when asked how we felt about you, we will not be too impressed.

Talk to us

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  • Somedays are chaotic and we will try to keep things short and sweet, but other days, talking to you to get to know you  is our favorite part of the work day. So many people come in who each have interesting hobbies and personalities and we love talking to them. It helps make you a memorable interviewee, and who knows if they ask us for our 50 cents on you, we will say you were awesome!

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  • If you have any non work or silly questions, ask us! We can tell you where the bathroom is, how long your interview will be, if your car is going to get towed and we can even recommend some of our favorite local restaurants.

Dress to impress

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  • Dressing professionally makes all the difference. Come on, even we are wearing professional attire. It is better to be overdressed than under-dressed. We recommend you wear a blazer and nice pants, or a nice dress with closed toed shoes. This makes you look professional and ready for the job!

Be yourself!

  • We are very diverse here at TAG energy and we value people who are different and unique from one another. It makes the work place more fun!tag actual pic
  • Did you like our article? Get to know more about TAG Energy and our Team Team here.
  • Keep up with us by following us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest

National Sales Award Recipient: Mike Ye

Mike and TAG Energy win National Sales Award
Click the photo for the full length video featured on our channel

TAG Energy and our very own, Mike Ye, won a national sales award, top performing office and top performing rep for 2015. The team was very excited as Mike was called up on stage to receive the award during our summer national conference.
Mike is seen in this video describing why he believes he and the team were able to win such a prestigious award. Every year an office and rep are recognized for being top performing on our business supply campaign.

Crediting work ethic and a great attitude for his success, Mike, remained humble and nonchalant about his huge accomplishment.

Congratulations Mike! We’re proud of you and the team!

Get to know Mike!
What was your biggest struggle in the field?

“My biggest challenge was overcoming my nervousness in public speaking. I am a introvert at heart and a “CS” type personality. When I first started I probably had negative 20 “I”. It is draining for me to talk with so many people and creating so many business relationships for our client. However, the only way to grow and become successful is to be comfortable being uncomfortable. So that is what I do everyday, put myself in uncomfortable situations, take risks, and be awesome.”

What do you think makes you so successful?

“Preparation and executing with a positive mental attitude. “The battle is won in the general’s tent, not on the battlefield.” Preparing each day whether it is practicing my skills, preparing for office duties (campaign or retention manager), or planning out my territory, each day there is some form of preparation involve to make my day more efficient. After planning, the fun begins and I am just executing when I’m in the game like Kobe Bryant playing basketball. Also having a positive mental attitude helps when things don’t go according to plan. Keeping a positive mental attitude allows you to improvise and be creative. As soon as your lose your attitude, you lose your focus and let outside forces dictate how you want to play the game.”

What are some of your big picture goals?

“I want to become assistant manager before the end of the year.
Be promoted to manager sometime next year.
Eventually having an opportunity to run a retail or energy campaign.
Build strong leaders and give them the same opportunities that was given to me.
Internationally expand. Australia would be cool.”