Thursday, October 30, 2014

An update from our Nashville office

Well, it has been a little over two months since our launch in Nashville, TN. As I am writing this, it is hard to believe that two months has already gone by. We were very fortunate to have 9 extremely excited and motivated people volunteer to move down to Nashville to help the company expand. That alone goes to show you the dedication and commitment these people had to the success of our company and we can not thank them enough. In our short time here, we have already built the office up to 20 amazing employees and we are anticipating not one, but two promotions by the end of the year. In my experience, that is absolutely AMAZING!

When we expanded, it was important to continue to focus on our St Louis office. Remember,  9 very talented people left that office all at once. In the meantime, the St Louis office is back to full strength and we should be promoting a new Sr Managing Partner there very soon!

Overall, there is a lot to be excited about at Oryx and we cannot  wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for us. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 31, 2014

Oryx Team Member Spotlight: Justin Dickey

Every now and then we like to recognize one of the top members of our team here at Oryx. Today, we are spotlighting Justin Dickey. Last week Justin finished #2 in sales out of over 400 representatives. Below are some fun facts about Justin.

Where are you from? St Louis, MO

What college did you attend? Wabash College

What s your favorite food? Cherries

What is your greatest accomplishment? Being a state placer in wrestling

Celebrity look alike? Matt LeBlanc

What is your professional goal? Owning my own office and being at the top of the weekly rankings.

What is your favorite quote? "If you want to be successful as bad as you want to breathe, then that is when you know you will be successful."

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekly Focus: What it means to be a leader

There has been a lot to be excited about around Oryx, Inc. lately. We have been growing, people have earned promotions, we continue breaking records, and everyone seems to be very excited about the direction of our company.

With the amount of promotions and growth we have seen, we have decided to focus this week on what it means to be a leader.  Leadership means different things to everyone and for me it has to do with being positive, having standards, decisions and integrity.

When I think of a positive person, it does not necessarily mean they are overly excited and happy. Positive to me means accountable and no excuses. In terms of standards, a leader will have clear and high standards with consequences and rewards. Finally, and most importantly, integrity to me means making the decision to do the right things even when no one is watching.

So with that being said, we are looking forward to showing our team how to be leaders and to seeing the momentum we have created the mast few weeks continue. Until next time....

-Michael Cosper

Thursday, March 13, 2014

This Week's Focus: Stretching Our Goals

This week the focus in our office is stretching our goals. Right now we have a a large portion of our team who is right on the edge of taking their performance to the next level and we want to help them do that. One effective way to do this is by teaching our team how to increase theirs goals and personal standards just a little bit. Today we talked about increasing our numbers by just a small percentage and how that will add up to big gains over the course of the rest of the year.

Along with increasing our goals, we will also be helping everyone create an 8 week plan of attack. This is a detailed "road map" on where everyone wants to be and what steps they will take to get there. The key is to have the end result in mind and work backwards. I honestly feel that if you do not know where you are going, you will end up somewhere else. Until next week...

-Michael Cosper

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Understanding the BIG PICTURE

Every week our company has a particular subject that we are going to focus on. I decided that blogging on our weekly focus would give me an opportunity to share a few quick thoughts on the subject as well as give a little insight as to why we chose it. 

This week our focus is "Understanding the Bigger Picture". While discussing areas we felt could increase productivity with some of the decision makers here, we noticed a lack of ownership among a good portion of our team. I believe that when someone understands the big picture and goals the company is striving for as well as knowing what their goals are and how they can achieve them, they tend to get very serious very fast. That is why, this week our goal and focus is going to be to help the good become great, and to help some others understand what their long term vision is and how it can be accomplished. Until next week...

-Michael Cosper

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Blog From The Newest Member of Our Management Team - Vianca Reyes

I was born in Atlanta, GA but moved to Venezuela when I was 2 years old, so Spanish and warm weather was all I knew. I went to school in Venezuela and got a degree in International Business and Customs Administration. After college I worked for the Venezuelan government for 3 years. I was doing very well but I wanted something different, something more like the "American dream" so one morning I decided, without much thought, to move back to US.

So there I was, with no clue of what I was getting into, enough money to live for 6 months, not knowing the language and two bags full of clothes and dreams. I started an intensive English program at Kennesaw State University my very first day in the country because I did not know the language very well and started working with Oryx Inc. after three months "trying" to learn English.

I was looking to get some experience with an "American" company before I could apply for something in my field and nothing better for someone trying to learn a second language than to get paid for talking to people. After a few weeks I was completely engaged and happily surprised at how much the people were committed to helping me.

I moved to St. Louis with the company in November 2012 after 11 months of living in Atlanta, now with more than just two bags but again, scared to death. I knew I could gain a lot of experience by moving. In St. Louis, I have worked with DirecTV and a top company in the office supply industry. I never thought I would be able to do business to business sales in my native tong, much less in a second language but I have learned to expand my comfort zone. I wasn't really ready for St. Louis weather either coming from Venezuela but after a year living here I have learned to love this city and all the sports.

I have learned more about myself in these two years than ever before. Making excuses has never been an option and my goals are the same since my first day in this country. Being an only child, this journey has always been about bringing my mom to live with me and make her proud of the person I am, not a spoiled only child anymore.

I'm beyond excited about seeing all the hard work I have put in pay off now and also ready for what the next step for me is. I'm thankful for everyone that has helped me along the way. This was just a way to gain some experience at first but has turned out to be the best career / life experience I could possibly ask for.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The 4 Characteristics All Entrepreneurs Possess

As a young entreprenuer, I visit often. There are plenty of great articles and here is one I came across today. Stella Fayman is discussing four qualities all entreprenuers have and they seem on point with how I try to conduct myself in business.  Enjoy!
-Michael Cosper
Entrepreneurs are interesting creatures: we believe in the impossible, inspire others to follow our vision, and often have to overcome overwhelming odds to succeed. I spend a lot of time with other entrepreneurs and have noticed four key traits:

1) Persistence

On the outside, it seems like success stories happen overnight. However, those on the inside know that these successes usually follow years of struggle, outright failure, and/or changing business models. In fact, VC backed startups with 10x exits take on average,  eight to ten years to get those returns. That seems like an impossibly long time for an entrepreneur starting out- but true entrepreneurs are persistent and find ways to make their business grow. Whether it’s finding a new market for an existing product, raising funds from outside investors, or downsizing now for future growth, entrepreneurs find ways to keep their companies (and dreams alive). This persistence in the face of adversity is often what separate entrepreneurs from wantrepreneurs.

2) Resilience

When bad things happen in a business, founders often take them very personally. Since a business feels like your baby, it’s hard to not feel personally attacked when potential customers, investors, or friends say your baby is ugly. However, entrepreneurs have a way of taking criticism and applying it to make their businesses better. They learn to take rejection as it is an inevitable and often extremely common occurrence in their daily lives. Take Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora- it was only on his 348th pitch that an investor finally believed in his vision enough to write a check. Now that’s resilience.

3) Optimism

Despite all the rejection and hard work that inherent in the day to day of building companies, entrepreneurs somehow retain an air of optimism around their work. They have to- they’re the visionaries employees are following, and they deliver regular reports to investors detailing how money is being put to work. A sign of a true entrepreneur is the ability to see beyond even the lowest Trough of Sorrow to see the Wiggles of Hope coming ahead. Entrepreneurs know that it takes a long time to be successful and most people don’t have the stomach for it- their task is keeping people motivated by a larger vision even when it feels like it’s time to quit.

4) Flexibility

While being persistence, resilient and optimistic, entrepreneurs still have to be extremely flexible when it comes to seeing opportunities. Successful startups rarely start out with the product that becomes their bread and butter, it’s usually a careful process of learning, building, and measuring- Lean Startup Style.  Along the way, other opportunities, called “pivots” may offer the ability to change certain things within a business to achieve a larger goal or be much bigger than originally envisioned. Here are some of the most successful pivots of all time. Entrepreneurs can’t be so focused that they can’t see an opportunity when it presents itself and is validated through testing.
Moral of the story: Entrepreneurship is a slog. Forget all the glamour stories of billion dollar valuations seemingly appearing overnight. For every successful outcome there are thousands of failures. If you’re thinking about starting a company, make sure you’re persistence in solving a problem. Be resilient in the face of  adversity, maintaining a level of optimism about what you’re doing even in the darkest of moments. However, be flexible in recognizing opportunities that may be tangential from your original plan- this may offer a bigger, better outcome in the end.
Stella Fayman is a serial entrepreneur and CEO/cofounder of matchist, the best place to hire top freelance developers. She is also cofounder of Entrepreneurs Unpluggd and is a Forbes contributor. A Herman fellow, Stella is pursuing her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She was recently named to Crain’s “20 In Their 20s” list.