Category: Success

Inspirational Social Media Gurus You Should Be Following

In today’s world, our lives revolve around social media. We challenge you to find one person that has never been active on any social media site! We promise it will be next to impossible. We believe that these sites consist of two different types of motivators. You have the idyllic influencers that spend their time giving out false realities of everyday life. Then, you have professionals that want to spread their success stories in order to help others reach their goals in life. We don’t know about you, but at Xcellent ATL, we would rather have the harsh truth than a fairytale. We want you to fill your social media platforms with people that are encouraging you to succeed and to work hard in your career…and that means painting hard work as it is – HARD. To help you out, we have compiled a list of some top social media gurus that you should be following today!

Tai Lopez

As one of the most well-known social media gurus, Tai Lopez is an ingenious Instagram motivator. With over 3.1 million followers, he has mastered the idea of “get rich quick”. Sorry, though, this still requires a TON of hard work and making smart decisions. He is a constant source of encouragement and will be the first to tell you to get up, stop being lazy, and start working for your success. Here at Xcellent ATL, we look to Tai when we need the motivation to keep working hard for our goals!

Grant Cardone

If you are working in the sales field, then Grant Cardone is the guru for you! With most motivation experts on social media being the business type, it is important for an influencer to set themselves apart from the pack and Grant Cardone has done just that. He is the KING of quick business tips. If you are looking for a crash course in how to succeed in sales or even real estate, head to his sites and hit the follow button. We promise you won’t be disappointed!

Gary Vaynerchuk

With 5.3 million Instagram followers, Gary Vaynerchuk’s social media presence speaks for itself. However, that won’t stop us from bragging about him. He is your one-stop spot for investment and business tips. Here at Xcellent ATL, we know that these can be confusing industries, but Vaynerchuk finds a way to not only motivate and promote hard work but educate through his daily social media posts. This is where we head any time we want to pick up a few new business tips and tricks!

Tony Robbins

It is impossible to talk about social media gurus without mentioning Tony Robbins! He is one of the largest household names when it comes to motivation, and his legacy speaks for itself. While he does not discuss specific business tactics like our previous gurus, he is the original motivator and pushes his followers to do their absolute best to not only change their lives for the better but the world. At Xcellent ATL, we believe that there is no better place to start than at the beginning and Tony Robbins is one of the original spearheads of the motivational guru movement.

Now, we offer you a challenge. Log in to your social media accounts, follow our gurus, and allow them to make a positive difference in your life. This is an opportunity to broaden your mindsets, strengthen your career, and to stay consistently inspired and motivated. From all of us here at Xcellent ATL, we wish you the best of luck!

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Meet Darrea Dawson: Team Lead

This month our Xcellent ATL team had the pleasure of sitting down with Darrea Dawson, a show-stopping team lead in our office. Dawson calls Wichita, Kansas home, and has been with the company since October of 2018.

Did you grow up in Wichita, or did you move around?
“I was raised in Wichita until the age of eleven, I then moved to Georgia and have been here ever since.”

What were you like as a kid?
“My parents would have described me as hardworking and quiet, but outgoing at times. They’ve called me talented, exceptional, athletic and studious.”

Were you involved in any sports as a kid?
“I played basketball in the position of second and third guard, but I was able to play all positions if needed. I used to skateboard as well. That was the first thing I ever wanted to be professional at.”

You were quite the athlete! How would you say that competitive environment shaped you?
“Being in sports showed me how to be competitive. I’ve always been competitive in nature. I always want to perform at my best and be able to say I can do anything I put my mind to.”

Did you know that you would end up in this career?
“I had no idea that would be in this field, but by the way my life was going, I knew I was going to do anything I needed to do to reach my end goal. This is a part of that journey so I decided to take it head on.”

What did you study in school?
“I went to college at SAE Institute of Technology for Audio Engineering.”
What is one life experience you feel has shaped you?
“I would just narrow it down to one experience because there are so many, and each play a specific role. I would narrow it down to having my two children because it helped me realize that my life isn’t just about me and my needs, but it’s about creating a better future for not only my kids but everyone who comes after.”

What is something we might not know about you just by looking at you?
“I’m going to change the world in some shape, form or fashion.”

When did you start with the company, and what were your initial thoughts?“I joined the team on Wednesday, October 14th. My first thought when starting the company was that no matter how hard it got, I had to stick in there. Something unique that I noticed is that everyone wants to be surrounded by positivity. I believe that if every job had this atmosphere, they would be a little better.”

How would you describe the culture at the company?
“I would describe it as a group of people who just want to be successful and are not satisfied with being average.”

What is something you’ve learned through your work that you didn’t know before?

“I learned that there was an opportunity to go from being entry level to owner in less than 18-24 months.”

What are your goals with the company?
“I want to eventually become an owner and use this as a vehicle to open other doors for more opportunities.”

 

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Best Business Books For The Busy Millennial

We’ve heard it all before. You “don’t have time to read,” you “read too much in college,” you “read enough at work.” Well, we aren’t buying it. Here at Xcellent ATL, people constantly ask us, “how can I succeed in business?”, “how can I kickstart my career?,” “what am I doing wrong?” We have the solution. Success in business is about continuing education and constant refreshment. You simply cannot undermine the value of reading and absorbing educational content. However, we know it can be hard to find a place to start. In an effort to help, we have laid out the best business books for the busy millennial- that’s you. Start reading.

 

“Brotopia”

Boss-Ladies? This one is for you. Emily Chang, the host of Bloomberg Technology, dives into the world of Silicon Valley in her book. Notoriously run solely by men, Chang embarks on interviews and intensive research on the inner workings of this “boys clubs” and the future of women in technology. Without giving away the magic of this read, any women trying to make it in the professional world should give this one a try.

“Off the Clock”

For those of you who say you have no time to read, Xcellent ATL has found the perfect business book for you. Laura Vanderkam’s “Off the Clock” focuses on the struggle of time management between work and play. The cover says it all, “feel less busy while getting more done.” This is the perfect book for self-education, as well as self-bettering. Let’s be honest, we could all use help with time management.

“In Praise of Wasting Time”

This book contradicts everything we are taught to believe as millennials, in the best way possible. Alan Lightman’s book preaches the power of doing nothing. He contends that there is nothing more beneficial to the busy millennial than leaving sometime in the week or the day free. By filling every minute of every day with work, social plans, family time, or workouts, we have deprived ourselves of the power to freely think-to wonder.

“My Morning Routine”

With the rise of YouTube and “Morning Routine” videos, busy millennials have become obsessed with the idea of the perfect morning routine. The one that is the most time efficient, the most productive, while also being the most relaxing and enjoyable. This book, written by Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander, explores various morning routines shared by different people- and which are most effective. Who knows, maybe this could be the book to perfect your morning routine.

 

Whether it is with one of these fun reads or another, we encourage you to take a moment from your day to read. Not only does it provide you with a mental break from the physical activity of your day, but we truly believe you should never stop learning. From all of us here at Xcellent ATL, we wish you the best of luck.

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Meet Xcellent’s Account Manager, Shakira Logan!

“I call it a happy place. Everyone goes through things in life, but once you get here it’s a free world and everyone is happy.”

Shakira Logan has been an account manager with Xcellent ATL since July of 2018 and has made great strides in success since that day. We decided to sit down with her in a one-on-one interview because we are inspired by her work ethic each and every day, and value her as an irreplaceable member of the team.

Logan was born in Toledo, Ohio, and raised in Collins, Mississippi, where she would live until heading off to college. As a kid, Logan was a natural introvert, bookworm, and highly intelligent student. Logan even skipped the eighth grade entirely, moving from seventh grade to high school.  Alongside her dedication to her studies, Logan played basketball throughout high school and into college. “Basketball gave me the competitive mindset I have today, as far as always wanting to win,” says Logan, “I always knew what I wanted to accomplish, and there’s always someone better than you- it pushes you to continuously strive for your best.”

Logan graduated high school in May of 2014 and headed to Alabama A&M, where she would study Sports Management. Logan was a busy college student, as she struggled to balance her workload with her time on the basketball team. Ultimately, Logan closed out her basketball career in her junior year, which she cites as “the hardest, but the best decision I ever made.” “I ended up having three surgeries in less than a year,” says Logan, “I would get out of practice at 7 and sit in my car until 10, because I couldn’t physically move. I was forced to make the decision because I didn’t want to be in a wheelchair at 30, but it was the hardest decision of my life- this was everything I had been working towards all my life. However, when I quit basketball I got the opportunity to become more involved on campus. I joined a professional business fraternity and a sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho.” Logan went on to become the President of Sigma Gamma Rho in her time as a college student. The account manager credits this involvement and professional training with much of her success today. “Basketball made me competitive,” says Logan, “but letting it go allowed me to grow into a young professional.”

Immediately after college, Logan took a 9-5 position in finance, but in an out of the blue moment, was let go. “I think I got comfortable there,” says Logan, “but God didn’t have that plan for me.” Shortly after that, Logan touched up her resume and put it out into the professional world- prompting Xcellent ATL to reach out.  “Within a few days of losing the job, I was contacted by Xcellent ATL,” says Logan, “it was meant to be.”

Logan started with the company on July 4th, 2018. “I didn’t know exactly what I would be doing, so I came in with an open mindset,” says Logan, “when I learned about the opportunity in front of me, I turned on that student mentality and got excited to learn.” What Logan quickly saw was the strength of culture we have created here at Xcellent ATL. “I call it a happy place,” says Logan, “everyone goes through things in life, but once you get here it’s a free world and everyone is happy.”

Through her work, Logan has seen both personal and professional growth, and her gratitude goes out to the company and her team. “I learned that I have a whole lot of patience,” laughs Logan, “I’ve learned that I am really great at talking to people- I make other people feel good about themselves.”

As for her goals, Shakira Logan sees only green lights ahead. “I want to open up my own office,” says Logan, “I want to grow a strong team and help others understand the opportunity we have here, and help them achieve their goals.”

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Xcellent ATL: A Note To All Graduates
It’s hard to believe, but in just 3 short months a wave of eager graduates will flood the stages of Atlanta with fresh faces and dreams larger than their gowns! We’re positive that panic is ensuing for most, as who REALLY knows what they want to do long-term after college, but have no fear upcoming grads! The years of all-nighters, projects with people who don’t pull their weight and the 3 or 5 times you switched your major have all prepared you for life outside of college, haha!
Though your future may be unknown, what is readily available is your level of preparation! 3 months will come fast and every article, blog, and video you watch to get ahead is definitely in your best interest. And to help, we’ve enlisted the wisdom and humor of Xcellent ATL’s CEO, Terry, to answer some questions and drop some knowledge on you!
Q – Alright, Terry! Even though you’re apart of the Crimson Tide, we’ll try not to hold that against you in this interview!
Terry – You’ve got something against Alabama?! This Q&A might be over sooner than I thought, haha!
Q – Ok, seriously! What advice do you have for someone who is graduating from college this year and trying to find their first job?
Terry – Good question. The biggest thing when I interview recent grads is I find that they limit their options to certain industries. They mention to me, “I studied accounting, so I’m only looking for an accountant position.” And while the entire goal of going to school is to utilize your education afterward, it’s important to remember that your first job outside of college might not always be the dream one. Sometimes, it’s important to keep your options open, learn new skill sets and maybe even try something out of your comfort zone that you feel will better you professionally!
Q – Are you utilizing your degree?
Terry – Not really, and that’s ok! This is what I realized after I graduated – I was good at talking to people and desired to be in a leadership or management role in the future. I knew if I found those 2 opportunities in a position than I would give it a try. I never studied marketing or sales or entrepreneurship in school, but I accepted an entry level position with growth, despite my degree, and then moved into a position where our client asked me to oversee a branch office location for them in Atlanta. I would have never been in this position now, overseeing Xcellent ATL, if it wasn’t for my lack of fear to NOT use my degree!
Q – Do you think it’s important to be really involved in school?
Terry – Yeah, I really do. What being incredibly involved shows to an employer is that you’re able to get along well with others, that you know how to manage your time and also that you’re committed. All important qualities a manager looks to have in their workforce.
Q – Favorite business mentor students should know about!
Terry – I don’t have one specific person in mind, but I would say find someone entrepreneurial minded. The reason I say that is this. Think of some of the characteristics associated with being an entrepreneur. You would probably say motivated, versatile, flexible, open-minded, driven and laden with solid communication skills. So if you had someone with a wide repertoire of both soft and hard business skills, they would probably make a balanced role model for you, right?!
Q – Ok Terry, last question! What’s your favorite business book new grads should all read!
Terry – No Excuses by Brian Tracy, all the way. That book is all about the psyche of success and how we are the only limit to our ability. If you want a book to get you pumped and not take no in your job search, this is it!
And there you have it, folks! You’re all ready to go out into the world and LAND a great first job out of school because good things come to those who work their tail ends off! Which is of course what you did in the 4, 5 or 6 years you were in school, right, haha?! As we look to fill positions within our firm’s renowned Management Training Program, Xcellent ATL looks forward to the opportunity of networking and employing some of Atlanta’s brightest new graduates! Good luck!
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