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 !

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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!

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!

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.”

Leadership Spotlight: Fil

Leadership is challenging for some.  For Fil it comes naturally.  From when he called in for the intern position, he was very personable and professional on the phone.  Leaders are self motivated and want to improve in all aspects of their life.  When you think of a leader, Fil comes to mind.  He is consistent and hit his goals hard his first week in the business!  Rather than having a kick back summer, his goal is to improve his communication skills and gain overall business experience.  He is always helping people in the office, having a strong student mentality by asking lots of questions.  He has built a close relationship with each team member by attending every social & team event.  As a leader, he understands that if he is approachable to others, leads by example, and keeps a positive attitude, that others will be motivated to learn from him and vice versa.  He is a joy to work with and we are proud of his quick leadership mentality.  Keep it up Fil!

Fil in front of the office leading a morning meeting
Fil running a TAG Energy’s Morning Meeting about goal setting.

Where are you from?
Monterey County

What school do you go to and your major?
Chapman University, Senior – Business Administration Major

What is your favorite part about working at TAG?
My favorite part of working at TAG is the environment/work culture. Everyone is very motivated, this creates a contagious energy throughout the office.

What is one of your strengths?
My desire to learn and my ability to listen. My coworkers are very knowledgable, it would be foolish not to learn as much as I possibly can from them.

What is something you want to keep on improving before leaving TAG after your internship?
I’d like to continue to improve my leadership skills.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
My results will be determined by my attitude and my preparation.

What is a reason you would give someone as to why to work with TAG?
This experience is applicable in all facets of life. The support you get from the office/coworkers will make personal growth inevitable.

What is a fun fact about yourself?
I was born on a very small island in the Mediterranean.

What is your favorite book?
Flash Boys – Michael Lewis

What is your favorite quote?
“The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in war.” – Sun Tzu

TAG Energy nominated 2015 Best Places to Work

TAG Energy was recently named as one of the Best Places to Work in Los Angeles for the 4th year in a row. This ninth annual program was created by the Los Angeles Business Journal and Best Companies Group.

TAG Energy is one of LABJ's Best Places to Work 2015
TAG Energy gets nominated as LABJ’s Best Places to Work 2015 4 years in a row!

This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best employers in Los Angeles, benefiting the county’s economy, workforce and businesses. The list is made up of 100 companies.

TAG Energy has been named one of this year’s Best Places to Work in Los Angeles.  In 2012 TAG Energy placed in 11th place in the small business category then climbed to 10th in 2013 and 2014.  We’re hoping to be at a higher rank this year!

Companies from across the county entered the two-part survey process to determine the Best Places to Work in Los Angeles. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience.

This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final rankings. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Los Angeles, analyzed the data and determined the final rankings.

TAG Energy feels that is our commitment to our core values, holistic approach to team development and fun, energetic atmosphere that has placed us on this prestigious list for another year!

The actual rankings will be revealed at a special event on August 19, 2015, then published in the August 24,2015, issue of the Los Angeles Business Journal.  Check out further blogs to see more from the event!