Winners Win, Period.

Winning is a mental framework. It is not about what is on a circumstantial scoreboard.

There is something you need to understand about me: I love underdogs. Back in November, I was cheering loud and proud for a football team that should have clearly lost, but THEY WON. But did the Auburn Tigers beat the Georgia Bulldogs on the scoreboard only or did they win before the game started? I believe a victory is decided way before the contest and the score at the end is truly the icing on the cake. Now you see, I believe in capitalism and surely don’t agree with eighth place trophies. I truly believe that winning on the scoreboard is important, but how you react to a loss has everything to do with your approach to the game.

Winners win… Period (because it is a conscience decision)

Wins and losses happen – we all know this to be true. But what if you could win every single time with a simple change in your perspective? I wonder if the perspective of the Tigers was different for their rematch in December. Was their later loss to the Bulldogs because of a change in their mindset, injury, gameplan or talent? All these factors are surely a part of the final score, but I would give disproportionate credit to your approach.

I believe if you can properly assess, define and activate with a winning mindset you will win a whole lot more than you lose. I know this sounds a little pie in the sky, but try leveraging this checklist in your next season of life.

What does a “winning mindset” look like? It starts with a winning checklist.

Winning Checklist:

1) Define your win: Clarify what you mean when you say “we won that contest, job, work, game, relationship, transaction, etc.”

2) Be grateful: Gratitude wins every single time. (read my other piece about this) When athletes, business leaders, entrepreneurs and humans in general express authentic gratitude, they already hold the victory.

3) Celebrate the correct things: What do you celebrate? What inadvertent ways do you celebrate things that don’t matter? Change your words and this will change your life!

4) Go! Don’t sulk: It is so easy to live in “shoulda, woulda, coulda land”. Process your failure…Punt your weaknesses…Give up trying to be someone you’re not. Process your so-called failures and decide to move forward in your strengths with resolve and vigor.

Losing Checklist:

1) Point fingers: Losers point fingers and don’t take responsibility.

2) Recall and dwell on past failures: Loser spend large segments of time thinking about and dwelling on the losses they have experienced.

3) Make pessimism a way of life: First of all, I get it and we all can share our stories of failure or lack of privilege. I can certainly share my scars and why I shouldn’t be able to do something — but I have found that he future belongs to the realists and the optimist! Gotta be both to win.

4) Keep all the credit for yourself: Losers have a unique way to showing the world that when somethings goes right they did it, but when it goes wrong it was everyone else’s fault. You have precisely zero perspective if you think you did it on your own cause you didn’t.

You will win.

You have already won.

But you don’t believe that yet, do you?

If you needed a kick in the ass today – consider yourself kicked.

Wake up and truly live than just existing! The odds of being a human are very low and you are one – so go win…

Your fan,

Billy

The Greatest Showman

 

When was the last time you showed tears, laughter and every emotion in-between by a movie or experience you attended? I am not a professional movie critic, but can be very critical about ideas and how they are brought forth on the big screen. The Greatest Showman was a complete home run for me and pumped to share my thoughts to the world of its impact on me. Enjoy the read, comment below with your thoughts and most importantly, you need to see the movie and listen to the soundtrack if you haven’t yet!

Description:

This movie was inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, the Founder of Barnum and Bailey Circus. The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business & tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

Controversy:

I know that this movie isn’t totally fact-checked and embellished a bit, but man it is inspiring and contains a clear message of ambition, staying grounded and pursuing the impossible with the improbable. Try to get past the facts of this movie and move to the essence of the story.

Themes:

  • Bet on a properly motivated underdog
  • Shame can be overcome with bravery and specific encouragement along the way
  • Take risks that cause your soul to come alive
  • Hope in an authentic love for the arts
  • Chase your dreams, with integrity, regardless of the cost

Key songs:

The Greatest Show

This is Me

Come Alive

Cast & crew:

Michael Gracey (Director)

Peter Chernin (Producer)

Tonia Davis (Executive Producer)

John Debney & Joseph Trapanese (Musical Score)

Benj Pasek, Justin Paul (Songwriters)

Jenny Picks (Screenplay & Story)

Bill Condon (Screenplay

Keala Settle (Lettie Lutz)

Paul Sparks (James Gordon Bennett)

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (W.D. Wheeler)

Hugh Jackman (P.T. Barnum)

Zac Efron (Philip Carlyle)

Zendaya (Anne Wheeler)

Michelle Williams (Charity Barnum)

Rebecca Ferguson (Jenny Lind)

** There are many others that made this movie happen that are not listed.

An underdog perspective:

This is a brilliant movie with stirring music that properly captures how my heart feels as I pursue ideas and dreams of what the future could be. This movie has had a profound impact on me and the way I see creativity and how it connects to my family. At many levels, I think the underdog nature of the content made it an instant classic for me and a movie I will watch (and listen to) for years to come. I fell love with this story and will leverage the content of this movie in my creative endeavors for many years.

The Greatest Showman is now in my ‘top five movies’ and if you look at my favorite ones they all consist of an underdog that was counted out and ends up winning in a very unconventional way. Being an underdog is my life theme and I have always found myself drawn to the stories that display the ones that were counted out. Here are my top five films of all time. If I expanded to my top ten you would see the similar theme of overcoming adversity, typically done in a way that isn’t what most people would think.

1) Good Will Hunting

2) Braveheart

3) 8 Mile

4) The Greatest Showman

5) Social Network

Closing thoughts:

You see… I am a dreamer. I consider myself crazy and unconventional enough to believe that the next idea is coming, it is right around the corner. From the beginning of this movie to the very end I was either in tears, laughing out loud, fist pumping or just beside myself with joy. I hope you check it out and allow it to inspire you to chase your dreams.

Five things to consider:

1) See movies as a way to spur on your point of view: Don’t let a movie just “entertain” you, but watch each film and discover a way that you can share it with others in conversation.

2) Be Present: When you watch a movie, allow it to sweep you away as you fall in love with the characters, music, perspective and directors vision.

3) Watch the trailer beforehand: If at all possible, watch the trailer and even listen to the music before you go to the movie as you might find you get more meaning out of it.

4) Laugh, cry and feel: The writers, directors, musicians, actors and remaining cast and crew want you to experience their art. Do your best to walk into the next movie you attend and allow yourself to feel every aspect of the movie.

5) Share: If you are moved by an experience – share it. This sounds simple, but the arts are only absorbed by others if they are encouraged to be enjoyed by someone they know or respect. If something moved you, share that impact with others because they will be better for it.

Additional resources:

The Greatest Showman Official Trailer

Keala Settle performing  This is Me

Hugh Jackman performing From Now On

 

Remember, the world needs what only you can do so Come Alive!

Enjoying the journey,

Billy B

Gratitude Always Wins

How do you define gratitude? How do you win with gratitude? Why does having gratitude even matter? I have spent time thinking about how I see gratitude, and here is what I know.

Gratitude is:

-choosing to be thankful in all circumstances.

-staying proactive and certainly not reactive.

-seeing others through a lens of grace.

-maintaining an artistic expression of thank you.

-being thankful for every single circumstance.

-the best way to combat anger, depression and complacency.

-practical.

-the most important trait you can cultivate in your personal and professional life.

-something to evaluate in every season of life.

Gratitude is not:

-based on circumstances only.

-a pithy and empty thank you.

-just a handwritten note.

-for just a certain kind of person.

-for the lowly.

-for the unassertive.

-just for the typical time.

-just for certain scripted times.

-weak.

-simple.

How do you define this overused and underutilized word? I am on a constant journey of discovering what traits make a leader worth following. In my own life, it has become easier to sniff out entitlement and lack of assertiveness but it is much harder to put my finger on the most important elements needed to win. I want you to win… Do you want to win for yourself? If you want to win, there is something I know that will help you get there – cultivate gratitude!

Read about it, practice it, get better at expressing it to people. Feel it in your heart and take massive action around it. Another suggestion is to ask people around you to call you out when you are not walking in it with gusto. You will slip into entitlement and self-preservation because that is part of being human. One way to experience pure joy is to express gratitude at scale in all areas of life at all times.

Hit me up and let me know when you accomplish more and experience more joy because you add this practice to your repertoire. But more than that – be real with it and if it is hard for you – ask yourself why. Attack negativity with gratitude.

Live well and live on purpose my friends…

Check out some additional resources about gratitude:

Professor Paul Mills did a study on gratitude and the health effects for people with heart disease. Check it out here: NPR Article Journal Article

A study at UC Davis with organ transplant patients found those whom wrote down what they were grateful for had an increase of overall wellbeing and mental health. Check it out here: UC Davis

Your fan, 

Billy B

Take Ground

Each year, I pick a word or phrase to set the tone of where I am going as a leader. This phrase becomes my focus, compass and rallying cry for each decision to be made. I don’t “replace” the old one for the new one each year, they just build on each other. At times, I will recall a former theme that will take precedence while the others sit on the shelf, but the majority of my year is focused on that anthem. If this leader theme resonates with you – email takeground@elevateliveevents.com to receive a 2018 Take Ground Goal Setting resource, follow me on social and let me know how I can help you!

 

Three years of my leadership themes:
In 2016, I picked the phrase “Creating Separation” that was inspired by the 2015 stat from the Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones. Julio was second only to Danny Woodhead in the category of Yards after Catch (YAC) with 679 out of 1871 being after the ball was in his hands. Most wide receivers get their yards before the ball arrives, but Jones catches and creates separation. It is said that he has a knack to know where the defense is going and is skilled in being one step ahead with instincts and quick bursts. I heard this explanation and thought about my leadership in 2015 and how I needed to set the tone for being one step ahead in all things in 2016. While learning to be ready to catch the ball, I deemed it more important to get as many yards as I could after the catch.

 

In 2017, I met with our leadership team at Elevate Experiences (@elevateteam) to talk about scaling our offering and each conversation left us empty. Not empty of opportunity but empty of a solid system. So… I decided that calling 2017 the Year of Systems fit perfectly not only in business, but in every area of life.

 

What works for me is to evaluate where I am, decide where I want to go and set benchmarks to get there. Sounds simple right? Well… you and I both know it isn’t. I developed the Take Ground Goal Setting Resource initially for me during the goal setting process. As I saw success, it made sense to me to put it out there for others so I hope it adds some value to you. I hope that resource and this message inspires you to set goals, establish your own phrase or if Take Ground resonates with you, join with me!

 

What is stopping you?
Who told you that you couldn’t do it?
Who’s permission do you need?
Who is holding you back?
What loser friend needs to be filtered out of your life so you can walk into your calling?
What is your intent for 2018?

 

Speak up. Tell me something. Comment below cause I wanna hear from you…

 

I’m gonna Take Ground in 2018, how about you?

 

Your Fan,
Billy B

Relentless Suffocation of Excuses

Excuses are real and completely valid…

The problem is nobody cares — well the people that care are usually your loser friends and the haters that want to inadvertently bask in your failure.

Things will happen that cause us to come face to face with our brokenness and shortcomings.

Can you walk in gratitude in the midst of those moments or in that season?

Can you relent?

Can you suffocate?

Can you go on the offensive against all odds and against all of your excuses?

 

I am in a low season as I write this and it has been tough to remain encouraged. This isn’t the first time I have gone through a rough season, it has clearly happened before and if we were honest, it happens A LOT and to ALL OF US. I have found that it is in the A LOT and the ALL that we can find comfort, strength and tools to break out. We must recognize that we aren’t alone in down times and we can win in the dreaded town called: “Excuseville”. I am so grateful for the low seasons because it allows me to call upon the gift of humility, forces me to stay grounded, rekindles the fire to stay hungry and helps me maintain a teachable spirit. When I am low, I get quiet. When I am low I am keenly aware of my shortcomings. When I am low, I believe the false narrative. BUT…. When I am low there IS as choice, there IS a way out, there IS a belief to muster, there IS a trust to believe and here are some questions to consider and actions to take to help you in those moments.

I believe in relentlessly suffocating excuses with passion and vigor. Approaching life with a singular focus and eliminating one excuse at a time is how you win and potentially win BIG. Every excuse has many ways out so simply choose the best solution in your current situation and go full damn speed.

Questions to consider:

1) What typically brings you to an emotionally low point?

2) When do you have the least energy throughout your day, week, month?

3) What refuels you? No for real – not the typical answers, but what really brings you life?

4) Who do you look at on social media that puts you in a cycle of comparison?

5) What lie are you believing that should be pruned out of our thinking patterns?

6) How are you cowering back when you should be pushing forward?

7) When you lose… and you will… How can you process it quickly and get back in the game?

 

Actions to take:

1) Get outside: It is amazing how planning some time outside will allow you to regain perspective. Schedule a meeting, a long jog, a picnic or really anything that gets you outdoors in the midst of your day.

2) Talk to the right people: Listening to the people that will call you UP and OUT are who you need when you are in “excuseville”

3) Music wins: What songs take you to a place of victory? Pump music into your soul that will allow you to believe again that growth and overcoming obstacles is possible.

4) Break patterns: Do something different in your day – break the flow and do something drastically different. Take the train, ride a skateboard, eat lunch outside, play your guitar, scream truth in an open field if needed.

5) Suffocate your bullshit: Call yourself out on ways of thinking that take you to negative places. Give yourself permission to be wrong so peace and joy can be renewed.

6) Call that relative that has been suppressing you: Some families suck… It might help you to tell them that you don’t believe the narrative that they have been speaking over your life. Get radical in your disrespect for haters.

7) Change your physical state: If you can change your physical state you can change your state of mind – recall successes – recognize failure – call it out and live in truth.

 

Your life is rare, your life is valuable, you have worth, you can dominate, you can life free, but it will cost you everything.

 

This is me rambling.

This is me low.

This is me hopeful.

This is me reminding myself that there is a great big beautiful tomorrow.

This is me hopefully helping you put an end to your excuses.

Go.

Do.

Believe.

Get up.

It’s worth it.

 

#chasethegreatness

 

Your friend,

Billy Boughey

Communication Matters

The when, how, why and what you say matters.
Communication has many facets and it might surprise you, but I believe focusing on your mind is the best place to start. Knowing how to process your past, assess your current reality and most importantly, translate that to how you interact with others is priceless. One of our Core Strategies at Elevate is to put Others First, but that is incredibly hard if you come to the dance already light years behind. Here are a few best practices to communicate better by starting with YOU.
  1. Invest in you: You are your most important asset and the most healthy version of you is unstoppable. Physical health is easy to measure, but mental, spiritual and emotional health are much tougher to “put on the scale”. The words you use, and even more importantly how you use them, have direct correlation to the health of your heart and mind. Investing time in processing your past and assessing your current reality will be a gift to others. There is only one of you so make sure it is the best version you can present to the world.
  2. Check your gauges: Just as a car will tell you when it is low on gas or oil, you should have some gauges that you monitor so you can go in for a check up. Don’t wait for things to start to break down before you do.
  3. Allow others to give you a pop quiz: Are you giving anyone permission to give you a communication pop quiz? Find two people you trust and arm them with questions to ask you that will spur you on to improve your communication. Here are a few good questions to have them ask you: Do I come across as abrasive or aloof when friction enters the conversation? What do I say that clearly comes across differently than you thought I intended? Are their some triggers you see that cause me to not communicate with clarity and care?
  4. Study great grammer-maticians: Who do you know that seems to always have the right things to say, but also delivers that information in a compelling, strong and productive way? Study them. Ask them questions about how they have processed their current reality.
Your current and future employer will thank you. Your family probably won’t say anything immediately, but will notice a change and the climate of your home will change. Your paycheck will increase, your influence will carry more weight and your funeral will have so much more depth.
Live well, but communicate even better…
Your fan,
Billy Boughey

The Month of Hustle

Hustle means movement… A lot of it…
What is hustle and why does it matter?

Hustle:
1) Freedictionary.com – To move or act energetically and rapidly.
2) Dictionary.com – To be aggressive or to push or force one’s way. hurried movement
3) Urban dictionary – Make money by doing something slightly shady; A faster way to make money.
4) My personal favorite – To do things to get closer to the point you want to get.

Some sites say that hustle is a noun and others say it is a verb… The verb requires movement versus just a description of what you see someone else doing. This blog is about the first one!

Here is a graphic that shows the use of the word hustle over time. Notice how it has increased over the past 30 years!

 

Why does hustle matter:
Making decisions to move harder and faster in a positive direction for a certain amount of time, matters. You deserve more. You deserve to be all that you created to be. What is stopping you? I have discovered the thing that stops me is ME – not the excuses I make around me. Gathering the raw materials you have available and making moves should be something you should be about. Here is a way we are hustling at Elevate for the month of July.

The entire Elevate team will participate in “The Month of Hustle” – this is a month long cultural focus that will help our organization go further faster. This challenge will award points for certain activates during the month of July. Some of these activities are team-wide and a large section of points are given based on goals set by each individual team member.

When: July 1st – 31st
Focus: Bring the important but not urgent projects to the forefront of your mind for a compressed amount of time.
Why: We got stuff to do
How: We will give each team member their own Elevate “Month of Hustle” thermometer (see below) and they will accumulate points and we will have a weekly scoreboard update.
Incentives: We have added individual and team incentives based on point totals through-out the month.
Awards: The hustle awards will be given during our August team meeting and celebrate team members that achieved new heights during our culture focus initiative.

Musical inspiration:
“I’m a Hustler” by Jay Z
“Monday to Monday” by Saba

“Glorious” by Macklemore
“I Just Want You to Know” by Jay Z

Go Hustle – It’s up to you!

Your fan,

Billy Boughey

It’s a Jungle Out There

Two weeks ago, I hosted an event that will surely be one to remember. I had the privilege of working alongside Moxie, DBA, Idea Planet and the good folks at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium to host a Facebook Live Event on the Chick-fil-A Facebook page. Throughout the event, I interviewed a living legend – Jack Hanna. Jack’s preparation was flawless, his content was king and he was a joy to learn from.

Here are a few things I learned by hosting a Facebook Live event:

Interaction is everything: We spent time thinking through how we wanted the guests on the other end of the feed to feel. Keeping the audience engaged is crucial, so we used interactive trivia, polls and live questions to communicate how we wanted the audience to interact with us.

Hire the best: Matt Bunk with DBA was a monsta in his keen preparation for the event. Matt spent two phone calls and two live sessions with me ensuring that I felt comfortable and knew the ins and outs of this particular interview. We had an incredible crew all around but I was reminded of a key element in all events. If you have great talent and people that remain positive and nimble, it can cover a multitude of mistakes and changes.

Draw out the fun: Before you go on air, know your guest and make them feel comfortable. Jack and I spent some time before the event getting to know each other, as we laughed about a new show idea we came up with called “Jack Rabbit and the Billy Goat Show” (I think it would be a hit). Because we had great banter beforehand, I was able to have some fun joking around with him and chasing some humorous moments during the segment.

Ask questions: Here are some of the questions I asked before we started.
1) Will the AC remain on or will it be turned off for the noise factor? (This matters when you are in an environment that could be very cold or warm)
2) Can I hold the animals? (Because I asked this, they let me hold 3 of the 5 animals we brought out and that certainly added humor and authenticity to the conversation)
3) If the handler is asked a question, do we have the capability to hear their answer? (This question brought out the role of the animal handler and how we were to interact with them)
4) Who will be in the room and who won’t be? (We were in a Yert, aka. Jack Hanna’s Base Camp, and I wanted to know who would be present in the space or who would be outside feeding me information on the teleprompter)
5) What are some things I should not say or ask about? (The primary audience for this Facebook Live event was families, so our goal was to keep the conversation fun and easy. There are a lot of thing you can say about the beautiful animals that we got to meet, but I was to keep it focused on questions that mattered most to the audience that was joining the event)

In summary, I am a fan of the Columbus Zoo staff and Jack Hanna. Jack is extremely passionate about his trade and truly wants to educate and entertain his audience. He does this so well in his many hats as the Director Emeritus at the Columbus Zoo, guest speaker on many TV shows and the host of his TV show Wild Countdown that airs Saturday mornings on ABC.

Thanks for reading along. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Leave any comments or questions below.

Want to see the full video? Visit Chick-fil-A’s Facebook page to see the fun and terror that took place. 

This week’s music inspiration: “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns and Roses

 

Your fan,
Billy Boughey

In a New York Minute

 

This past week, I traveled from Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, GA to Laguardia in New York City, New York. This one day trip was scheduled for two reasons: to celebrate a team member’s one year anniversary and to sell new business to current partners. I went to Manhattan with our Business Development specialist Sean Specie and he is the one we were celebrating with this fun adventure. The meetings we had and people we met with will lead to multiple projects and innovative opportunities that will take Elevate to the next level.
 
During these meetings, our win was to build relationships and share some things that we are working on that will benefit these organizations. In business, I have learned that some people want to add value to other organizations but wait for a long time before activating anything. If your intention is to add value and you have the talent to pull off that value proposition, don’t wait- just go!
 
Nike coined the three words JUST DO IT and I am simplifying it down to two: Just go…
That is the phrase I use when there are a few half-baked meetings in place and some “maybe” drop-bys to say hello, bring a gift and make someone smile. Just go!
That is the phrase I use when I have an opportunity to attend a conference that will potentially lead to a phrase, action or business practice that will help me grow. Just go!
That is the phrase I use when there is an experience that someone has created and the market is saying it is TOO SOON. Just go!
That is the phrase I remember when debating if what I am doing is good enough to share with the world. Just go!
 
Those two simple words require three intentional elements:
Belief
Ambition
Optimism
 
Belief:
Do you know who you are?
Do you believe in your ability? (if not – why?)
How can you cultivate the mindset of opportunity in front of you if you leverage your talent and take steps towards your passion?
Song highlight: “I believe” – KB – Tomorrow we live
 
Ambition:
Do you wait until the “conditions” are correct?
– The best leaders create the conditions and set the climate in all environments they are in.
What do you see that others don’t see and how are you taking action on it?
Song highlight: Gold digger: “Got that ambition baby” 2:58
 
Optimism:
The glass is half-full —— always
– even in sickness, job loss and death because it is all about perspective.
Your pessimism will lead to great frustration and greater struggle so squash it and choose in the face of negativity to be grateful.
Song highlight: “Complication With Optimistic Outcome” Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – The Social Network
 
Wake up and Just go…
You will be glad you did!

 

Your fan,
Billy Boughey
 

About

Billy Boughey is an nationally recognized host and speaker who has led events for Delta, Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A, FIFA, The John Maxwell Company and many other notable organizations. He is the Founder and President of the Atlanta based company: Elevate Live Events.

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