Is there a world outside the Monday morning blues and hump day celebrations – Friday night happy hours’ to cheers to the end of a business week? What makes a corporation, business, or simply an office set the pace for personal growth and professional success? I did some digging of myself to really dissect the happiness factor of offices around the area; finding a void in the employee mentality that it seems so many professionals have become immune towards. Working for a paycheck, content with the daily lull, and many times pumping the breaks at individual and specialized growth. My search led me to a glass corner office off Bake Parkway in Irvine, California. Los Angeles Business Journal’s ranking for number 7 “Best Places to Work” in 2015, Tag Energy seems to have the right idea – more specifically – the right management.
“In the business world its hard to find true mentorship; someone that cares about your growth personally and professionally” says Tag Energy’s Assistant Manager Ryan from the Irvine, CA office.
And he’s right. We can all agree that in a general office setting you can be a bit hard-pressed to find someone who is both inspiring and enabling towards your own unlimited growth. It seems that the sweet spot where the two overlap comes with an innate characteristic of leadership, a personal self-motivation that exceeds any glass ceilings, and a keen sense of business and determination.
Yet still I wondered, is it the person or the business that allows for such particular development within an office? In some regard, it must be a company recipe including interaction exceeding the walls of a cubicle.
So, I asked Jaime Hepps’ office operations manager, Manilynn, for her opinion.
“I have to say we have hired hundreds of people since I stepped into the HR role. I’ve seen people build their business with us, grow an entire campaign from an idea, and others that have taken the skills they’ve learned here to grow into other careers. I think what helps set us apart is that we genuinely care about the development of our team.”
As it appears, this kind of upward momentum comes from a strong recruiting team, the infusion of transferable skills, and as its been told, leadership.
Finally, I was able to sit down with Jaime Hepp – Owner of Tag Energy and senior national consultant to nearly 45 outside offices. At home, a husband and father of two, and in the office – from what I can tell – an owner, a manager, but a mentor first. Across many nations generations are struggling daily climbing the stairway of making dreams a reality; finding vision in anything from a graffiti quote on the subway stop to an entrepreneurial novel. So we figured why not find insight, inspiration, or even relate ability, from the leading source. We gathered a few questions to discover the ins of the office and Jaime Hepp himself. Enjoy –
Can you give a bit of a backstory about your path leading to where you are now?
Im from Saskatchewan, Canada, Moved to the United States at 25. From restaurants, sports teams, golf courses, AT&T, I had an itch to get into green energy space really because this is the industry that I felt millennials would be passionate about. Today’s people coming out of college want to do something meaningful and full of passion and I thought the solar industry would be great for that.
What were some struggles early on, before Tag Energy?
Some of my struggles…well, I lacked confidence; being an introvert. I was not the best with dealing with people. Certainly the quiet and not very outgoing type – so I found that to be challenging in the world of sales.
- How do you define success, as a business owner?
For me, significance comes with success. Success is easier to measure- you know, more money, promotions, growth, hiring more people, its just size. Addition and multiplication. To me the significance part is attached to success. If you’re really not making a difference in the quality of life in the rep, the quality of life of the customer, or the quality of life of anyone associated with the business- then you’re really not that successful. If you have all the numbers of success on paper and everyone’s growing but it’s meaningless, well I don’t find that successful.
- What piece of advice would you give to a younger version of yourself, if you could?
Be patient. In your twenties you want everything to happen now. You want everything to be quick. Nobody likes to wait for anything, but enjoy the journey and the process because you’re going to be different in your 30s and 40s. In your twenties just be relentless and be patient, you will see the result happening down the road.
I wanted to see the fruits of my labor happen faster and that can cause a lot of stress. And for a lot of people I think that makes them job hop and go allover the place because they don’t see success quickly and then they miss the whole point.”
- Tag energy is on the foreground curve of a millennial movement towards using renewable energy. How do you think this change in behavior will affect the way we live our lives today and the lives of the next generation?
This whole green energy play has a lot to do with energy independence – where we don’t rely on foreign oil. That’s probably the biggest piece, even more than the environment. If we can sustain our own energy and we don’t need anyone’s help, how different would the world be? Most of the wars revolve around energy and oil.
The entire environment and planet is obviously just as urgent. I think we should all be a little worried about future generations if we don’t clean up the planet. I think todays’ millenials care about that because they will see it play out their lives and their children lives. I think the reason why millennials are so passionate about it is because they’re inheriting a broken planet and there is no logical explanation to continue on the ignorant path of burning fossil fuels. Energy independence and planetary responsibility are at the forefront of the millenials.
Christine O’Donnell – reporting live from Dodgers Stadium (September 14, 2014)
LOS ANGELES – Police arrest child for throwing a paper airplane that caused the Dodgers historically pitiful 19-3 loss to the Giants Saturday night.
Witnesses say three-year-old Dane Hepp mischievously threw a massive paper plane toward the field in the 8th inning of the game confusing and distracting players.
“Did you see the size of that paper plane? Who wouldn’t be distracted,” Yasiel Puig said.
“There were a lot of people throwing paper planes during the game, but the extra large one, that’s why we lost so horribly,” catcher Tim Federowicz said.
Baby Hepp was charged with disorderly conduct and booked at Van Nuys Jail shortly after 11:00 p.m.. We reached out to his father, the man who some say made that massive plane, but he declined to comment. Still, reporters say he chortled when asked about his son’s amazing strength.
I found this article from my friend – Michael Josephson. I have always believed that a person’s professional growth is directly tied to personal growth. In other words, if you work on becoming a better person and continuously “upgrade yourself”, you can expect to see upward mobility in the workplace.
Enjoy the article.
The Seven Cs of Character
As you consider your goals for the New Year, I hope you’ll think about working on your character. No, you’re not too old and I don’t mean to imply you’re a bad person. As I’ve said often, “you don’t have to be sick to get better.” In fact, it’s a lot easier to make a good person better than a bad person good.
The struggle to be better takes place during our daily choices.
People of exceptional character stand out from the crowd because they develop the wisdom and strength to know and do the right thing in the face of pressures and temptations to do otherwise.
There are seven core qualities called the Seven Cs of character: conscience, compassion, consideration, confidence, control, courage, and competence.
CONSCIENCE. Your conscience is your moral compass. Take care of it. Use it. Trust it.
COMPASSION. Nurture, express and demonstrate compassion by caring about, giving to and helping whomever you can, whenever you can in all ways that you can.
CONSIDERATION. Be considerate. Always be aware of how your words and actions affect others so you can do more good and less harm.
CONFIDENCE. Approach every opportunity and challenge with confidence that you are worthy enough and able enough to succeed. Never doubt your inner strength to overcome temptations, difficulties and misfortunes with honor and dignity.
COURAGE. Protect who you are and what you believe with courage. Master your fears and preserve your integrity by doing what you know is right even if costs more than you want to pay.
CONTROL. Control the emotions, urges and appetites that demean you, damage your name or diminish your future.
COMPETENCE. Continually build your competence, the knowledge, skill and ability to ethically and effectively solve problems
There are some things that happen in life that are difficult to understand. Why do bad things happen to good people?
I was given some really bad news last week (September 14, 2012). An old friend of mine (James) that I grew up with in Humboldt, Canada, let me know that his son (Tyler) was diagnosed with brain cancer. Unfortunately the tumor cannot be removed by a surgeon; it can only be treated with radiation. Tyler is 5 years old.
James, his wife (Kelly), and Tyler are about to engage in a very difficult war with cancer. They are about to uproot their lives and temporarily live in another city to give Tyler the best treatment available. It’s hard to imagine how difficult this will be for these young parents.
During this crazy time, the old gang from Humboldt started calling, texting, emailing, praying, and asking how we could all help. It was certainly a proud moment for me to be part of a special group of compassionate friends. We all live in different cities, and sometimes we don’t see each other as often as we’d like. But make no mistake, everyone is stepping up for James in one way or another.
We all want James to put every ounce of his attention and energy on Tyler. We don’t want James to be concerned about bills piling up at home, a temporary loss of income, and some increased expenses. In the near future, we hope to put together some fundraising efforts. I hope many of you will join our cause to help this family pour their love and focus on to their little warrior.
For now, please keep Tyler in your prayers.
People today buy things they don’t need, with money they don’t have, to impress people they don’t care about.
Think about that. To a certain degree, we all buy in to that statement. Some a little; some a lot.
Below is a post that I found online that articulates a mindset that would be a healthy adoption for all of us living in countries of abundance.
Here are my wife’s comments when I showed her the article: “That’s a great article. We should post it somewhere, and reread it whenever we think we need to get a bigger and better tv…”
I just purchased a 60 inch Smart TV about a month ago…. 😦
Enough is Enough
What does it take to make you happy? How much do you have to have to be grateful?
To the barefoot man, happiness is a pair of old shoes. To the man with old shoes, it’s a pair of new shoes. To the man with new shoes, it’s more stylish shoes. And, of course, the fellow with no feet would be happy to be barefoot.
This leads to the ancient insight: If you want to be happy, count your blessings, not your burdens. Measure your life by what you have, not by what you don’t.
Yet in our modern world where we’re continually exposed to endless increments of more and better – others with more money, better TVs, and bigger houses – this is very difficult.
For some people, the pleasure of having something good is drained as soon as they see someone else with something better. Our sense of contentment is created or destroyed by comparisons.
A life consumed with unfulfilled wants is an affliction. The antidote is the concept of “enough.”
This starts by thinking more clearly about the difference between our needs and our wants, between sufficiency and abundance.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more and striving to fill our lives with things and experiences that give us pleasure, so long as we don’t believe we need whatever we want.
When we think we need what we really only want, we make our desires preconditions to happiness, thereby diminishing our ability to appreciate and enjoy what we do have.
It’s easy to think that happiness is achieved by getting what we want when it’s really a matter of wanting what we get.
In the end, enough is enough.
I came across a great article that studied the behaviors of pigeons in a controlled environment. I think there are a couple of great lessons that parallel with human behavior.
2 Lessons on Adapting and Entitlement
During an experiment, pigeons were put in cages with one green and one red button. In one cage, if the birds pecked the green button they would get food every time. In the other, the green button yielded food erratically and the pigeons had to persist to get enough food. In both cases, pecking the red button did nothing. Both sets of birds thrived, learning what they had to do to survive and to ignore the red button that yielded no food. But when the birds that were used to getting a reward every time were put in the cage that fed them only occasionally, they failed to adapt; they hit their heads against the cage and pecked wildly at everything in sight.
There are two worthwhile lessons from this study. First, the pigeons quickly learned from experience to avoid the red button because it was unproductive. There are lots of people who would lead smoother and happier lives if they just stopped pushing red buttons that never give them what they want.
Second, even birds who have it too easy get spoiled and develop an entitlement mentality that prevents them from adapting to situations where they can solve their problems if they just work harder. Some people are like that too. They don’t deal well with new circumstances especially those that require persistence.
Part of being responsible is learning from experience to appreciate the benefits of tenacity and the wisdom of avoiding useless, harmful and self-defeating patterns of behavior.
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2″ in diameter.
He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous – “Yes.”
The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar — effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed. “Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your spouse, your health, your children — things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else – the small stuff.”
“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your husband or wife out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal. “Take care of the rocks first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.
The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”