Kobe Bryant’s Work Ethic

I have a special place in my heart for Kobe.  We were both new comers to LA in the late 90’s.  He was an up-and-coming superstar in a great city… and I was a wanna-be entrepreneur in this same great city.  Kobe, Shaq, and team struggled in the beginning – as did I.  Learning about myself; trying to figure myself out; strengths; weaknesses; teammates.
I observed Kobe.  Kobe studied MJ (my childhood idol) and became the closest thing to Jordan since Jordan.  (Read MJ – The Life – and there’s a really good chapter in there about how Jordan knew Kobe was “The One”).  Kobe was relentless.  His work ethic was not to be matched.  Kobe was a terrific player, but his leadership was suspect – and he needed to improve in this area.  While crafting his game as one of the best the world had ever seen, he learned how to increase his leadership lid.  Kobe stumbled in his personal life and created many haters – myself included.  He showed us how to bounce back.  His family showed us how to forgive and move on.  Kobe made me a fan again; he made a lot of us fans again.  Kobe gave us hope in ourselves bouncing back – no matter what we were dealing with.
Los Angeles experienced something really cool, and fans partied.  I have so many fond memories of walking out of Staples Center, local restaurants, my office – and celebrating with my fellow Angelinos.  There’s something really cool about high-fiving everyone (fans at the game, fans in the restaurants, the homeless people on the street).  The city really unified and became one – and it seemed that one’s social status meant nothing.  We were all Lakers fans.  Nothing else mattered.  I fell in love with LA; and LA became home.


I find athletics and business to be two of the same.  Long hours, commitment, overcoming adversity, winning, losing, reinventing yourself, etc.
It has been fun and educational studying Kobe Bryant over the years.  His relentlessness is admirable (in my opinion) – and I think his will to win (like MJ) is something we can all insert in to our careers.


I hope you find value in the article below.  I hope there is some inspiration here to help us all “step up our games”.  Enjoy the read.  ~ Jaime
Check out the original article by Business Insider on: http://www.businessinsider.com/kobe-bryant-insane-work-ethic-2013-8

22 examples of Kobe Bryant’s insane work ethic

– He works out harder and earlier than even the NBA’s best players.

– He had Nike shave a few millimeters off the bottom of his shoes in 2008 to get ‘a hundredth of a second better reaction time’

– He says he taught himself to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on piano by ear.

See the entire list on Business Insider. 

Greatness Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Kobe Bryant playing against a high school all-star or Jaime Hepp aka the Vanilla Mamba delivering a morning meeting versus a new leader. What’s the difference between an amateur and a professional? Better yet, how do you go from being mediocre, prospering to good, then excelling to great? We all know most people are satisfied with just being good, but the select few, the special ones, always strive to be great. Excelling at long term goals can be fickle. There are many factors that have to commence for greatness to happen, even so one thing is for sure, you can’t become great without a consistent regimen to keep you on the right path.

How many have seen the meme where the two guys are digging for the treasure and the one guy stops right before he gets to it and the other guy is still frantically digging, destined to reach the treasure. This paints the perfect analogy of getting discouraged before you become consistent. There are many trials; many versions of yourself that need to be flushed out before your final form is reached.

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Da Vinci and Michelangelo each spent 4 years painting the Mona Lisa and Sistine Chapel. Most of us are not art connoisseurs but if you ever get a chance to take a closer look at those works, you can see how meticulous each man was with their art; how much thought and focus they must have put into each brush stroke to get it right. Also, knowing they would go through several versions before finishing the priceless work we see today.

Greatness doesn’t happen overnight. With the way the media is today you may see more of the process, but you can guarantee it did not manifest in the segment that it is being shown. As well, a mantra of patience should be a constant reminder particularly because we are so impatient. We need to remember that if Da Vinci could not paint the Mona Lisa in one try, then our discouragement should pale in comparison; and rather, we find ourselves making small ‘strokes’ to reach a larger masterpiece.

Why Millennials Keep Dumping You: An Open Letter to Management

We have always wanted to create a hip, fun work culture filled with cutting edge ideas and terrific talent.  This article paints a great picture of things to avoid when trying to attract today’s top Millennial talent.  Enjoy the read.

Original Article from  via LinkedIn

This post was cowritten with Elizabeth McLeod, a millennial and cum laude graduate of Boston University, and daughter of Lisa Earle McLeod.

Attracting and keeping top millennial talent is a burning issue for leaders. Millennials are 35% of the workforce. By 2020 they’ll be 46% of the working population.

Some of our most successful clients — organizations like G Adventures, Google, and Hootsuite — are filled with millennials who are on fire for their jobs. Yet many organizations struggle to attract, and retain, top millennial talent.

One of us, Elizabeth, wrote this letter, to share insights about what top-performing millennials want and how leaders can ignite the “energy of a thousand suns.”

An Open Letter to Management:

You hired us thinking this one might be different; this one might be in it for the long haul. We’re six months in, giving everything we have, then suddenly, we drop a bomb on you. We’re quitting.

We know the stereotypes. Millennials never settle down. We’re drowning in debt for useless degrees. We refuse to put our phone away. We are addicted to lattes even at the expense of our water bill. Our bosses are not wrong about these perceptions. But,pointing to our sometimes irresponsible spending and fear of interpersonal commitment isn’t going to solve your problem. You still need us. We’re the ones who’ve mastered social media, who have the energy of a thousand suns, and who will knock back 5-dollar macchiatos until the job is done perfectly.

I’ve worked in corporate America, administrative offices, advertising agencies, and restaurants. I’ve had bosses ranging from 24 to 64. I’ve had bosses I loved, and bosses I didn’t. I’ve seen my peers quit, and I’ve quit a few times myself. Here’s what’s really behind your millennials’ resignation letter:

1. You tolerate low-performance

It’s downright debilitating to a high achiever. I’m working my heart out and every time I look up Donna-Do-Nothing is contemplating how long is too long to take for lunch. I start wondering why leadership tolerates this.

Is that the standard here? No thanks.

Fact: Poor performers have a chilling effect on everyone.

2. ROI is not enough for me.

I spent Sunday thinking about how I can make a difference to our customers. Now it’s Monday morning, what do I hear? Stock price. Billing. ROI. Suddenly, my Monday power playlist seems useless. I’m sitting in a conference room listening to you drag on about cash flow.

I was making more money bartending in college than I am at this entry-level job. You say I’ll get a raise in a year if the company hits a certain number? So what? I need something to care about today. Talk to me about how we make a difference, not your ROI report.

Fact: Organizations with a purpose bigger than money have a growth rate triple that of their competitors.

3. Culture is more than free Panera.

Don’t confuse culture with collateral. Yes, I am a cash-strapped millennial who really appreciates free lunch. But I don’t wake up at 6AM every day to play foosball in the break room. I’m not inspired to be more innovative over a Bacon Turkey Bravo.

I need to be surrounded by people who are on fire for what we’re doing. I need a manager who is motivated to push boundaries and think differently. Working in a cool office is really awesome. So is free lunch. But a purposeful culture is more important.

Fact: A culture of purpose drives exponential sales growth 

4. It’s ok to get personal

Treat me like a number? I’ll return the favor. This job will quickly become nothing more than my rent payment. I’ll start living for Friday and counting down the minutes until 5. After a few months of that, I’ll probably have a drunken epiphany and realize I want more out of my life than this.

Then I’ll prove your assumptions right. 8 months in, I’ll quit and leave. Or worse, I’ll quit and stay, just like Donna-Do-Nothing.

That’s not good for either of us. Here’s what you need to know:

I was raised to believe I could change the world. I’m desperate for you to show me that the work we do here matters, even just a little bit. I’ll make copies, I’ll fetch coffee, I’ll do the grunt work. But I’m not doing it to help you get a new Mercedes.

I’ll give you everything I’ve got, but I need to know it makes a difference to something bigger than your bottom line.


A Millennial

The millennials are telling us what we already know in our hearts to be true. People want to make money, they also want to make a difference.   Successful leaders putpurpose before profit, and they wind up with teams who drive revenue through the roof.

Lisa Earle McLeod is the creator of the popular business concept Noble Purpose and author of the bestseller Selling with Noble Purpose: How to Drive Revenue and Do work That Makes You Proud

Love what you do

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!  I’ve always looked at Labor Day like it’s “Our Day”.  As business owners, sales people, entrepreneurs, we work our asses off, we create opportunity, we are part of the solution.  It’s kind of a celebration for all of us that labor, that grind, the have a blue collar mentality.  Labor Day is one of my favorite holidays just because of the celebration of those that are responsible, hard working laborers.

I love Labor Day.

Labor Day is also a day of rejuvenating and relaxing so I hope everyone got a chance to recharge and reflect.  I had some time to think about how the role of work plays in our lives….


Henry Thoreau said, “The mass of men spend their lives in quiet desperation.” For some, work is part of that desperation. For others, it’s part of what makes life worth living. Finding the right job is as difficult as finding the right mate, but it’s just as important.  I’ve discovered through the years here at TAG Energy, you have to love what you do.

People who love their work get more out of their lives. Teddy Roosevelt said, “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” George Sand put it another way: “Work is not a punishment; it’s a reward.”  For me, the reward is to see my team here at TAG Energy, grow, develop, become successful business owners and change their family tree.

According to W.H. Auden, three things are needed if people are to be happy in their work: “They must be fit for it, they must not do too much of it, and they must have a sense of success in it.” Elbert Hubbard told his readers to “Get happiness out of your work or you may never know what happiness is.”  With that said, being in sales and being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone.  It is the growth of our team and being an influencer of that growth that brings me the most happiness.  I love seeing my team work hard and win.

In summing up his life, comedian Johnny Carson said, “Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace, and you’ll have more success than you could possibly have imagined.”  It’s not easy being a business owner and have to weather the ups and downs of a business.  There are tough times, sacrifices to be made and a lot of hours you have to put in.  The people I have been able to surround myself with here at TAG Energy help bring that inner peace Carson is talking about.

One of the profound questions is, “where does work fit into a balanced life?” Some people live for their work. If their work is truly meaningful and gratifying, that may make sense, but Harold Kushner points out, “I’ve never met anyone on their deathbed who said, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office.’”

Work is, of course, a common subject of cynical observations such as “Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties” (Doug Larson) or “Many people quit looking for work when they find a job.”

I hope you’re coming into fall and what’s left of the year with a renewed sense of what your work means to you.  If you love what you do, keep at it, it is your reward.  And if you don’t….

Tag Energy Spotlight

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Jaime Hepp

  1. 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.”

  1. 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.