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?

1) – To move or act energetically and rapidly.
2) – 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:
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
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
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

Billy Boughey Blog


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.