Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nelson Mandela: 4 Lessons His Legacy Can Teach Us All

Mandela was an inspiration and hero to many. In his passing we can learn how to better ourselves and our surroundings. Below is an article of lessons we can learn from this great man. 
"On Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, the world lost a leader, activist, fighter for freedom, and a universal symbol of peace and equality—Nelson Mandela. At age 95, Mandela lived not only a long life, but one of inspiration for us all.
To honor his legacy, I thought we’d take a look at the former president’s life, because although his path was one most of us will never have to endure, every person—no matter his/her profession or aspirations—can learn a lesson from the leader’s journey.
Nelson Mandela began his studies for a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University College of Fort Hare but did not complete the degree there as he was expelled for joining in a student protest. He completed his BA through the University of South Africa and went back to Fort Hare for his graduation in 1943.
Lesson #1: Take action
Most would not count it wise advice to get expelled for joining a student protest, but there’s a lesson in Mandela’s misfortune: take action. He was obviously passionate about a cause (or causes) while in school, and instead of just talking and voicing his opinions about the issue, Mandela joined others to take action and bring awareness to it.
Maybe you want to make a difference in your career or see so many issues in society that you hope to change. These are both great, but actions speak louder than words. Mandela showed us that 1) it’s important to actually put action behind your feelings and desires and 2) you don’t have to wait to do so. Mandela was a college student when he first joined the protest. It doesn’t matter how young or inexperienced you are; if you decide to take action and follow your passions, you can make a difference and become successful.
Meanwhile he began studying for an LLB at the University of the Witwatersrand. By his own admission he was a poor student and left the university in 1948 without graduating. He only started studying again through the University of London and also did not complete that degree.
In 1989, while in the last months of his imprisonment, he obtained an LLB through the University of South Africa. He graduated in absentia at a ceremony in Cape Town.
Lesson #2: Follow your own route
Mandela dropped out of school, began studying again, yet didn’t finish his degree. It wasn’t until he was in prison over the course of 27 years that he obtained a law degree. His life shows that not everyone has to (or is meant to) take the “conventional” route. Although most are taught to go to post-secondary school and receive an education right after high school, many people like Mandela and others didn’t do this and were still successful.
Find the route in life that works best for you. There are plenty of successful (and millionaire)entrepreneurs without a college degree or who completed a degree later down the road.
In October 1963 Nelson Mandela joined nine others on trial for sabotage in what became known as the Rivonia Trial.  Facing the death penalty his words to the court at the end of his famous ‘Speech from the Dock’ on 20 April 1964 became immortalized:
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Lesson #3: Prepare for adversity
The path to pursuing your goals will inevitably be met with adversity. Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting against apartheid; he was even willing to sacrifice his life for the cause. In today’s society, most of us are not called to sacrifice our lives for a cause, but do we desire to reach our goals enough to meet and overcome every obstacle we will face along the way?
In 1993 he and President FW de Klerk jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize and on 27 April 1994 he voted for the first time in his life.
On 10 May 1994 he was inaugurated South Africa’s first democratically elected President.
Lesson #4: Embrace your destiny
So many of us have hopes and dreams, but are we actually prepared to step into those rolls? Are we prepared to start that business, be that CEO or conduct that heart transplant? After many years of fighting against (and helping defeat) apartheid, Mandela was elected as South Africa’s first black president. What an immense role, especially at the age of 76, but his life teaches us to fully embrace our destinies. Be confident in your calling and purpose, and be prepared for when the time arrives to step into the role of your dreams—not matter what age you are.
There are SO many more lessons we could learn from Mandela’s life, but I think a final one is best summed up in the influential leader’s own words:
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela"

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Path to Entrepreneurship

As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Yes, that's my version of the famous "Goodfellas" quote, but also very true. I can think back to being a kid, and how I always wanted to own a business.  I started martial arts when I was five. I don't have a whole lot of memories of the experiences at five years old, but I can remember looking at my karate teacher and thinking "I want to do that". It wasn't only the teaching that interested me, but I loved the leadership of it. I loved the independence. Seeing him do whatever he wanted and knowing it was his own business. With his hard work, integrity, and dedication, he made it a successful one.
I got a taste of it when I earned my black belt at 10 years old. Even though I was so young, I was helping run classes. I had to be able to look up at a grown 30 year old man (and I was also very short for my age!) and tell him what to do. I remember thinking it was weird, but I also remember them listening to me. By the time I turned 12, I became an Assistant Instructor. I changed karate schools after my family moved, and I had to get to know the new environment. It wasn't long, however, before I became the Assistant Instructor at that school as well.
Dreams and goals can always change throughout your life, and they definitely did with me. I started serving in college. No experience, but my friends were doing it so I figured I could make money doing it too. Wasn't long before I knew I wanted to own a restaurant/bar. I was serving and collecting tips, but also striving to be the best server and eventually get to management. I didn't want to own a karate school anymore, but I did have it as a back up plan.  One day, however, I remember talking to the manager and she was saying how she wanted to start serving again. I found out that she was putting in double the hours, hated her job, and got less pay than I did. I felt like that didn't make sense. My goal of owning a restaurant quickly changed.
I also wanted to own a recording studio/record company. I did music on the side. I started writing when I was 12, and I wrote everything! I wrote poetry, short stories, R&B, Rock, Hip Hop, and eventually, even a full length movie script. I found it as a way to get my thoughts out and express myself. I noticed that when I wrote, I felt stress free. The feeling developed and so did my music. I eventually focused on Hip Hop and spent most of my time with my Hip Hop/R&B/Acoustic group. They were my closest friends and we always spoke a big game of making it big. In college, we started to really make a name for ourselves around New Brunswick, NJ. We did every show we could find and eventually opened up for The Cool Kids and performed at Miss Brasil USA in Philadelphia. After college, we all continued work in entertainment, but went our separate career paths. I sometimes still wonder how far we could have taken it, but I know we're all working towards our own goals now.
So then I graduated. One of the only days that can be both the most scary but exciting time for someone. Like many others who earned their degree, I walked up on that Rutgers stage in 2009 clueless on what I'd do next. I went on job searching sites like and looked for anything. Everything from music stuff to business related positions. I found that there were so many sales positions, but that scared me in a way. I've never done sales before. None of my friends or family had either. After interviewing at a sales office in New Jersey, I took the position anyway. I figured "What's the worst that could happen?" If I didn't try it, I would never know if this was something I could do. The pay was all commission. I remember that on my interview, I didn't even know what commission was. When it was explained to me, it made sense. You get paid for what you do. The better you do, the more you get paid. When the average rep was making like 500 bucks, I could work harder and possibly make 1000.
It was a lot of hard work and attitude adjustments. It took me about six weeks to really get consistent at it, but soon I was training and interviewing for positions. After exactly a year, I got to Assistant Management. It was around this time that I knew this was for me. I was going to own a sales office. The office I worked in did sales for Verizon FiOs. It was a huge client, and I sold a lot for them. Not only did I make them a lot of money, but I trained other people to do the same. FiOs was expanding. They wanted more outsourced marketing offices, and they needed the managers to do it. I knew that once I was ready, I could approach them and get an opportunity to do my own thing.
Sure enough, the time came. 2011 arrived and I had an opportunity to open my office in Staten Island, NY. I'd get to chose a company name, get incorporated, bring a team with me, and start my empire. I finally reached my goal- entrepreneurship.
A lot has happened since 2011. There's been ups and downs. I've lost people and gained people. I even moved my office from Staten Island, NY to Syracuse, NY. Throughout my experience though, I can confidently say that I would have never got to where I am now without having big goals. I still have big goals. I will be promoting out my Assistant Manager to a second location. I will be promoting a second Assistant Manager and start training them to do the same. I will create an organization of entrepreneurs who share the same dedication and work ethic that I had. I run my business based on it's name- Long Term Goal.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Smokey Bones is Smokin' Fun!

Smokey Bones has slowly become a regular spot for our office. Besides the fact that their food is delicious, they always have something going on! We first started going to Smokey Bones for their Trivia Nights on Thursdays. Come to find they have Pong Tournaments and soon to be Bingo (for those who are geriatric at heart, which would be a handful of the LTG crew). Each event has either a gift card or cold hard cash for the winner.

Our office attended the Pong Tournament last night (which we swept it by the way) and had such an awesome time. The bartenders were super friendly and the GM even introduced himself to us. We highly recommend having an experience at their Syracuse location!

No, Smokey Bones has not paid us to write this.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Goodbye Summer 2013

The summer is coming to end, which means all of our interns are headed back to school. It was amazing to see the growth of each individual after such a short amount of time. Here are a few testimonials:

"My summer at LTG Marketing and Development was more than I ever could have asked for out of an internship. I received more experience and was able to earn more money than any other internship I’ve ever looked in to. Coming in, thinking it was just a sales job, I quickly found out that was not the case. This job not only teaches you sales skills that will be helpful with any occupation that you do, it also teaches you how to teach, train and develop others. No other internship that I know of allows you the chance to interview potential employees, go on business trips, and also participate in fun games and activities in the office. LTG was also one of the most fun places I ever got the chance to work at. Everyone is young and filled with new ideas, hardworking, and most of all, helpful with everyone who has questions. Even though sales are an individual task, since my days of playing football, I have never felt more apart of a team than I have at LTG. The overall energy, structure, and positive attitude in the office will help allow any self-motivated person to succeed in this business. The skills I've learned here will be carried with me to every occupation I have in the future. Coming in with no sales or marketing experience, and leaving with a bunch of money and a top intern plaque, I think I’m a good example of what LTG can do, not only for a college student, but also for anyone with a student mentality, and is motivated for something better. " - Dave Chini

"My summer interning at LTG was the greatest summer of my life. The professional training I received at LTG not only developed my business skills, but my personal skills as well. Going to "work" everyday was fun! The office atmosphere is young, energetic and everyone is very friendly! I came out of the internship a much better man, more confident, driven, personable, and goal oriented.

This is not just an internship, it is a professional experience that will guide you to new personal heights in as little as 3 months. On top of it all, there is some serious potential to make a lot of money! Just stay determined and always keep the "long term goal" in mind and you can do anything!" - Tom Bennett

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Business tips from Marilyn Monroe

I recently watched the documentary Love, Marilyn on HBO. Recently, boxes of handwritten notes from the goddess herself were found. Viewers are able to see her inner thoughts acted out by famous actors & actresses. The documentary takes the viewer through her entire life, with commentary from Marilyn's notes and letters.

Marilyn Monroe grew up in an orphanage, due to her mother being mentally ill. She knew she wanted to be an actress at a very young age and began working towards that goal. When she got her first role in a film her daily routine involved rehearsing at the studio and a hour practice of each of the following: dance, singing, fencing, acting, and physical fitness. Her producer at the time ask her why she worked so hard and her response was "you never know what opportunity is going to arise, and when it does you have to be ready."

The Marilyn mentality is what we all need! When you have a goal in mind you need to be focused solely on that goal. Having that kind of tunnel vision helps you steer clear of distractions and attain your goal as fast as you are capable.

"You never know what opportunity is going to arise, and when it does you have to be ready." Isn't that powerful? In order to become the best in you field you need to hit all your bases. Our current goal as an organization is to have ten locations within the next ten years. In order to hit that goal we need to make sure we are bringing on the right talent, implementing replicable systems, hitting client goals, and training and developing our staff (among other things). If we are not constantly working on all of these things we will not be ready to grow when opportunities arise.

As Marilyn's career grew bigger and bigger she moved herself from LA to NYC. She was still dedicated to becoming better at her craft and decided to take acting classes at an acting studio. At the time she began her classes she was a major celebrity and had already had her big break. She in no way shape or form needed these classes to get work.

As humans we crave learning and knowledge, and there never comes a point where we know it all. Networking and learning is a large part of our business and guess what, it works! We have learned from start ups as well as veteran businesses. Creativity and innovation is what keeps businesses growing. Learning from the top dog and the new kid on the block ensures your learning it all.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Jack Welch, founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer Univeristy, recently wrote an article on leadership. It speaks heavily on the mindset change when put in a leadership role. As a leader, its really not about you. Your success is now judged by those you are leading. Being a leader requires being the ultimate example to others, being able to transfer knowledge, and develop others. 

By Jack and Suzy Welch
"Too often, people who are promoted to their first leadership position miss the point. And that failure probably trips up careers more than any other reason.

Being a leader changes everything. Before you are a leader, success is all about you. It’s about your performance. Your contributions. It’s about raising your hand, getting called on, and delivering the right answer.

When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. It’s about making the people who work for you smarter, bigger, and bolder. Nothing you do anymore as an individual matters except how you nurture and support your team and help its members increase their self-confidence. Yes, you will get your share of attention from up above—but only inasmuch as your team wins. Put another way: Your success as a leader will come not from what you do but from the reflected glory of your team.

Now, that’s a big transition—and no question, it’s hard. Being a leader basically requires a whole new mindset. You’re no longer constantly thinking “How can I stand out?” but “How can I help my people do their jobs better?” Sometimes that requires undoing a couple of decades of momentum. After all, you probably spent your entire life, starting in grade school and continuing through your last job, as a contributor who excels at “raising your hand.” But the good news is that you’ve been promoted because someone above you believes you have the stuff to make the leap from star player to successful coach.

What does that leap actually involve? First and foremost, you need to actively mentor your people. Exude positive energy about life and the work that you are doing together, show optimism about the future, and care. Care passionately about each person’s progress. Give your people feedback—not just at yearend and midyear performance reviews but after meetings, presentations, or visits to clients. Make every significant event a teaching moment. Discuss what you like about what they are doing and ways that they can improve. Your energy will energize those around you.

And there’s no need for sugarcoating. Use total candor, which happens, incidentally, to be one of the defining characteristics of effective leaders.

Through it all, never forget—you’re a leader now. It’s not about you anymore. It’s about them."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Watch out world, LTG is starting a picture revolution!

LTG officially has an Instagram. Almost all of our current employees use the app on a daily basis, so we figured it was time to get involved. Social media is an awesome way to connect with clients, potential candidates, and our current team. What can you expect from our Instagram? We will be sure to post pictures of our in and out of office events, along with pics/quotes that keep us motivated. Don't hesitate to check us out and follow us on our journey! Oh, we follow back..hashtag.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Office Event = Good Times

This coming Sunday the office has decided to try out WonderWorks at Destiny USA. Our management team stems from NJ and it seems to be a metamorphosis of the Liberty Science Center and Fun Time America plus a rope climb three stories high. I know we lost you there 'Cuse.

WonderWorks has interactive exhibits, a 4D Theatre (come again?), lazer tag, and a rope climb course. It seems pretty awesome and has something for everyone. The whole team is game for lazer tag and I'm sure our competitive blood will come out, so beware. The crew will be there with friends/loved ones and their game faces.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I’m Not Balancing Work and Life And I Feel Great

We always receive emails from LinkedIn with articles of interest. This article struck a cord with us and is not only relate-able to women. There is no such thing as a work/life balance, integrate the two and they become your life!

"Being a female entrepreneur has its upsides, but also its disadvantages. Like having to find an answer to the question I - contrary to my male colleagues ? - get asked a lot. “As a mother of three children, how do you balance your work and your private life?”
This time the question came after I finished giving a guest lecture. I shared my advice on how to be an entrepreneur. I talked about how to learn from failure, how to engage employees, ... Afterwards there was time for some questions and answers. In most cases, my lectures are very interactive, so there are always lots of questions. Some of them I love very much. Like: “How did you manage two companies at the same time?” “Didn't you prefer to manage the new one more than the other?” I like these questions, because these are things I really struggled with and I learned a lot from that.
And then in came the question that everyone wants to ask, but almost no one dares. Maybe because they are afraid it could appear sexist, maybe because they are afraid that asking the question could imply they lack motivation themselves. But this one person stood up and asked: “How do you deal with your work-life balance, while having three children?”
To be honest, I have no idea.
I don’t need a balance; I’m not looking for a way to balance my private life with my professional life. I’m just trying to have a great life. Ever since I started my first company in 2003, my professional life has been taking up a lot of my time. There have been successes, failures, crises, expansions, new developments and the challenges of day-to-day management. Sometimes a crisis forced me to skip a family vacation. Often I came home too late from work to tuck my children in.
Does that mean my children are neglected? Of course not! At some point in our life my husband and I had the feeling we weren’t around enough for our children and we had to make a choice. And we did: we decided I would expand my business, while my husband became a stay-at-home dad helping me as well, but mainly during school hours. We are certain our children receive all the time, attention and care they need, while they also get to see the world, both literally and through stories about economy, failure, struggle, profit, VAT, ...
My husband and I make a great team. We found a way to live the life we love, without feeling guilty. So the answer is: I never have to think about a balance. I work with the people I like, I live with the people I love and I love the job I do.
And for this, I am very grateful !" (Posted by Inge Geerdens)

Sunday, May 12, 2013


I've seen a lot of successful business owners and I've also seen a lot of owners that failed. When I analyze the difference between the two, there are many qualities that stick out. One important one is integrity. My business has won numerous awards for the quality of our sales. I believe it's one of the most important values to have when running a company.  If someone shows me that they don't share these values,  I cannot be business partners with them. Someone who does not have integrity can bring down your business. It's important to make sure you work with people you can trust!

Here's "integrity" according to Wikipedia. One of the most important parts is "consistency of character". 

Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. Inethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy,[1] in that integrity regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.

The word "integrity" stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete).[2] In this context, integrity is the inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others "have integrity" to the extent that they act according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold.