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?


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”


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



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!


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.