Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

March 30, 2017

A Truly Legendary Business

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 7:35 pm

A Truly Legendary Business

A reputation is built by being consistent in your actions so that others can perceive you in a particular light. This goes for personal relationships and for corporate ones as well. I think that businesses that are successful enough to be franchised have earned good reputations that allow them to spread across the country. They are able to multiply because they are founded on consistently good or even great actions that make customers want to be there. That being said, not all franchised businesses reflect the original and foundational characteristics of the initial business, and thus they mar the overall feelings that people have about the “chain” organizations. While this is true and is typically a leadership problem at the single franchise having to do with poor training and poor hiring (even bad communication of the overall vision and mission of the pilot store), I have seen several franchises succeed based on the original reputation.

Anyway, I have experienced a truly legendary franchise in my town that probably has stuck to its original brand better than any other I have dealt with. It’s a famous company that is all over the country (and maybe event the world) and I’m sure you have heard of it. Chick-fil-A has quite an amazing reputation and I think it is because those who are allowed to buy a franchise have to go through rigorous training and are only allowed to run a singular business according to the well-built word of mouth and marketing infrastructure. The particular franchise that I am calling legendary is in Texas and it does both in-store and community work with excellence. Any time I go into this one store (actually there are probably two of these franchises run by the same owner) I am greeted with sincerely friendly employees who work hard and fast to make sure I am left with a good taste in my mouth (see what I did there). Their food is fantastic and their cleanliness should be rewarded year after year. They stand out and they go above and beyond any expectations I have ever had. What really blows me away about these stores is the way they offer their goods to non-profits who need Lubbock catering, but cannot afford to spend money on it for special events. I have been involved with several events that were made “delicious” by this catering in Lubbock that delivers and even serves the people who come to donate money to desperate non-profits. And beyond the community service, their in-store food and their catering for parties is always incredible. I love dealing with these stores because they intentionally attempt to stand out among so many other choices of restaurant. They care and they make me feel great whether I’m coming through the drive-through or sitting in their store.

I don’t usually take time to write reviews of businesses because most of the time I feel like people are doing the minimum to serve customers. But since these two franchises are so amazing, I thought I would include them on my blog. If you are ever in Lubbock, make sure to hit the Chick-fil-A’s on Slide near the loop and/or on 82nd and Milwaukee. I can assure that you will be blown away by how they manage their reputations.

Thanks for reading – I am out.

March 24, 2017

Day 119 – Wednesday Work

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 5:30 pm

Day 119 – Wednesday Work

As per my usual schedule, I still hit the pool as soon as I climbed out of bed. I asked the management how long they were going to keep it open. They turned around and asked me if I wanted it open through the fall if the temperatures remained in the sixties. I told them yes and they said, “Well then, it’s a done deal. We’ll leave it open for you and the kids who dare brave its cold in the afternoons.” I was happy about this – just one more reason to love my corporate housing situation. They are the coolest here. Maybe they will let me come visit my pool once in a while after I move into my new house just for old times sake…I think I’m addicted to their brand of chlorine or something.

Today was a good work day because I got to sit down with new owners of my Lubbock landscaping company and to show them how well they are doing in comparison to their competition. For a long time, they were not willing to invest in a new website, but when I got to Lubbock I talked them into replacing their old school one (non-responsive) with a really cool WordPress site. And they also started Search Engine Optimization, which has boosted them a lot as far as business coming in. The head of the company and his COO joined our meeting and they both told me thanks for handling them so well – that I had pushed them in the right direction without being “pushy.” Anyway, they said they wanted to invest some more money into SEO for the keyword phrases, “Christmas Lights” and “Christmas Light installation.” I told them it made a lot of sense to do that since Christmas is right around the corner. My company will be happy once I tell them all of this – By the way, did I tell you that my company did approve setting up an office for me to run here in Lubbock? I am so glad about this because now I won’t have to quit and find another digital marketing job. I can stay right here in Lubbock with my amazing future-wife. I am a blessed man.  Speaking of marital issues, we decided on who we were going to use for our rehearsal dinner.  There were a lot of options for catering in Lubbock, but I think we found the best one.  All of our friends agreed with our choice so we felt good.

Meditation: More Ezekiel and more God-driven destruction – This time the reading was all about how the world famous city of Tyre was going to be brought down. Tyre was a major port city and it shipped out all sorts of goods to other nations. God said that this city had gotten too proud of itself and thought of itself as a god since the other nations loved and depended on them. This led Him to unleash some pretty major “reforms” which would humble them completely. What stuck out to me about this was how powerful God can be when He deals with a nation. There is a Psalm that says to God, “Let the nations know they are but men.” I think about how America is so proud of itself and I wonder if any of this sort of judgment is on the schedule for us someday. Are we as bad as Tyre? Do we think we are untouchable like they thought? What would judgment look like and how would it affect me? (Of course I wonder about me because I am fairly self-centrered.)

Okay – enough judgment talk – Let’s just say that I am aware of the possibility now.

March 22, 2017

Day 117 – Monday again

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 7:38 pm

Day 117 – Monday again

Nothing against this Monday but it felt empty and anxious from the start – I woke up in my Corporate Housing bed and didn’t feel like getting up. I don’t know where this heavy tiredness came from – maybe it was that I was nervous about the Bible Study I was facilitating in the evening. Or maybe I was just due for a challenging day. The brain and the heart sometimes rebel against me and leave me struggling to find a firm grip. I hate the sense that I am running against a powerful wind from the start but what human has great and easy days every single day? Maybe Warren Buffett but maybe not – maybe he is Richard Cory behind the scenes.

Anyway, I skipped my pool workout and just took a long, cold shower to shake off some of the beat down feelings. Cold showers are horrible to step into but they do something good for me – I typically go from dead to bouncing around with energy. This time was no different. I still felt down but I lost the lingering tiredness. I went by Melissa’s suite and gave her a kiss goodbye. I asked her to be praying for me and she assured me she would. She told me that I shouldn’t worry about the Bible Study because God always handles His word and makes it do its job even when we blow it. I had to agree. She is growing so quickly in her understanding of God’s word and His nature.

I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t stayed in this short-term furnished housing – Would I have still met Melissa somewhere else? Would I still be loved and in love? Were we destined for one another? How much does location and timing affect relationships? Those sorts of questions always seem to fascinate me. I don’t think I will ever have the answers for such things – maybe it’s best not to ask them.

I checked on three of my newer clients and I gave them their newest analytics reports. They were all happy with what I showed them and all three of them told me that they could see a marked increase in business as a result of my work. I was happy that they could attribute it to some hard computer work on my part. But I still knew that it wasn’t all me. And even if it was all due to my computer placements, I would have to give God the credit for favoring my work. It’s really all God if you think about it – He enables us to do everything. Think about that the next time you are about to pat yourself on the back – you might want to throw up a prayer of thanksgiving to God while you stretch your hand back to your shoulder.

Bible Study: The same ten people came plus two more which were brought by one of Melissa’s nursing friends. We talked about Ecclesiastes 2. It made us all a bit jealous that the author could indulge hedonism in the name of wisdom. But once I told them that Solomon wrecked his life by doing this, we all backed off of our desires. It was a good group and Melissa was right – God covered it.

The day ended much better than it began.

March 16, 2017

Day 114 – Friday counsel

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:16 pm

Day 114 – Friday counsel

The day started as per usual at my Lubbock corporate housing spot with breakfast and the pool time. I decided to wear some cool new clothes I just bought the other day – I decided to bring back the hipster look to Lubbock – some torn jeans and a skinny black tie over a shirt that I didn’t tuck in. This outfit takes at least ten years off of me because people would not be able to accept that someone as old as me might take such a fashion risk. Oh yeah, and I also had a nice new fedora on – how could I forget that topper? Sometimes I just have to bounce out of my normal to remind myself that I actually do exist amidst humanity – for now. Plus, Melissa helped me pick these clothes out and dared me to wear them to my meetings with clients. I took that dare and I think my clients were pleasantly surprised that I was risking looking like a punk twenty-something for a day. We will call this my Halloween outfit since we are in the month of October.

Just a fast update: Lubbock homes for sale and homes for sale in Lubbock are doing well for Coldwell Banker (www.coldwellbankerlubbock.com). I’m making use of external blogs and internal blogs to keep Google crawling happy on this site. These realty folks have already had their back end (administrative) side of things fixed up and so I feel free to build up solid links for them. Really, I do that for everyone now because I have ‘mature’ clients that just need great links coming from all over. I basically could say all of the same things for my restaurants (Lubbock catering mainly), my commercial company, etc. Anyway, work is going well. I need to make some cold calls some time next week to get some new companies on the list – take them through my process so that their businesses can have the Google love in web exposure. Okay, enough of my jargon. I’ll take my skinny tie and fedora to another subject.

Even though Melissa had a late night shift scheduled she wanted to go ahead and have our pre-marital session with that counselor. We did that and it was good even though we had gone through some of the subjects on our own. It was nice to have that third person voice to add to our voices. We both gave a rundown of our “relational weeks” and that proved interesting because I thought I knew everything about how Melissa was feeling. Turns out I didn’t – She was feeling sort of insecure about her placement in my life (priorities) and a bit nervous about the house we had bought for ourselves. She said that it seemed like I was being impatient with her in my tone lately. I apologized and said I would try to not be such a rushed jerk. My report was simply that I felt great to have Melissa in my life and I felt that she got me in ways that others never have. The therapist listened well and asked good questions about these things. She was good at drawing out answers that were hidden deeper in our beings. We are certainly not wasting our time – it’s worth the time and the money.

Meditation: “Finally be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” This verse came from Ephesians 6 and stuck out to me because I rarely feel the strength of the Lord – probably because I am leaning on my own version of strength. I am still not sure how to access God’s power. Most likely, I need to ask more and wait more.

March 13, 2017

Day 112 – Wednesday Willies

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 5:01 pm

Day 112 – Wednesday Willies

The pool was still open today at my short-term furnished housing space but I have to admit that swimming in 55-degree temperatures is much harder than mid-eighties temperatures. I have to jump right in now and start powering into my freestyle stroke as fast as possible to get my body accustomed to the cold. And today, after about five minutes of suffering, my body stopped screaming at me to get back in bed or at least to retreat to a hot shower in my Lubbock corporate housing spot. I figure that the discomfort of the cold is worth it since it wakes me up and gets me fully aware of the new day. Today I still wondered when the management was going to shut my workout place down. They haven’t posted anything as of yet and the monthly newsletter to tenants didn’t say anything. I guess I’ll just keep showing up until they drain it – or until ice forms on top.

Are you tired of me talking about my times in the pool? Are you sick of me talking about my corporate housing wonderland? Well, too bad, sucka – this is my journal. You don’t like it, you can start your own…

I took Melissa to breakfast at a local spot (where they usually focus on Lubbock catering) and we enjoyed talking about how much we love each other. We also talked about our next appointment with the pre-marital counselor. What would he suggest to us? What will he challenge us with? Does a stranger have any clue about our possibilities and our probabilities? I guess we will see in a few days. Melissa told me what she was learning from her third time through The Love Dare and she asked me what I was learning. I told her honestly that I hadn’t picked it up since we listened to the CD’s on the way back from Ruidoso. This did not please her and I made the wise decision to pick it back up. I knew I needed to basically read it and re-read it for eternity, but I was being lazy. I told her that I would get back into it so we could be practicing its suggestions daily. It is such a solid book that I could see it helping us from now on if we stay consistent with it. The love it proposes is the sort found in I Corinthians 13 and thus it will be good if we are able to put it into play for each other. I guess God’s word is good for every sort of training.

My work yesterday on “Lubbock homes for sale” is already paying dividends. The realty company’s foundational rankings for Google jumped two spots and the ranking jumped one spot. That might seem like tiny moves, but any move upward is a move to be celebrated. I haven’t spoken much to my church architects lately because they have settled into the top ranking spot and don’t seem to need anything but reliable analytics reports. All of my other clients are getting my daily foci (I love the word ‘foci’ even though I misuse it all of the time in my writing). Anyway, that’s my work report.

My meditation time was good if not a little confusing. I jumped right into the front of Ezekiel and that is not an easy book to apply to my life. Sure, I break God’s commandments like the Israelites, but I don’t see national judgment coming anytime soon.

March 8, 2017

Day 110 – Monday study

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 8:10 pm

Day 110 – Monday study

What do you think of political debates – not historically but those we have every four years that “help” us decide who to nominate and who to elect for President of the United States? I watched the latest debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last night and it was pretty entertaining. It was not at all informative to me and it was certainly not persuasive. But, the two battling with their words based on party platforms made me laugh a lot. It was like a comedy to me. What isn’t a comedy is that one of those two will become president-elect in one month. Is either one of them capable of leading the country when they cannot even lead good personal lives? It’s too bad that it takes corporate-backed millionaires to become president. How cool would it be if there was a cap on how much could be spent on a campaign? Even further, how cool would it be if every person who wanted to be heard could raise money up to that cap and run a fair campaign – give us more choices who are on the same level of candidacy? Sadly, the corporations will always run this country and this world – money talks and they have it all. I sound like the late Howard Zinn preaching about the unfairness of elections – but I am doing it from my safe corporate housing space rather than in book form. I am a wannabe critic who is dedicated to the coming of the Kingdom of God rather than a man looking to find leadership from another human. Sorry for the political rant. You aren’t supposed to talk religion or politics and I’ve done both in one paragraph. So much for journal sensitivities…

Now to the Bible Study held at my Lubbock short term furnished apartment: We had ten people show up plus me and Melissa held our first Bible study population at twelve – a pretty good biblical number. I’m not going to name all of the participants because I don’t want to and because I couldn’t all of them anyway. We made everyone wear nametags and we had a short introduction time: What is your name? What do you do for a living? And what made you want to come to this Bible Study? Everyone said their piece and we read the first part of Ecclesiastes – the parts that I had prepped questions for yesterday. I have to say that there was more discussion about these questions than I had imagined. Some of them took so long to discuss that I suggested we stick to this first chapter for week two. Melissa encouraged everyone to come back for the next week and asked them all to bring a friend – if they had any. Overall it was a hit and I think all of us learned something about how the Bible wanted to interpret our lives. Most of the group had never dug into Ecclesiastes and were happy that we had started on it. I think all of them will be back next week.

After the Bible Study, Melissa hung around and helped me clean up – put away the snacks and stack up the Bibles I had bought for those who didn’t have one. We had a good talk about life and love. We both thought the Bible Study went well. She encouraged me and told me I was a good leader for it all. She’s a good one for me.

March 7, 2017

Day 108 – Sunday Bloody Sunday

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:25 pm

Day 108 – Sunday Bloody Sunday

I got up this morning pretty early for a Sunday and got back to my regular swimming ritual at my corporate housing pool. As fall comes into full and the temperatures drop, I know that they will close the pool and I’ll have to join a gym to keep this routine going – one of those with an indoor version. I’ll hate the extra time it will take me to get there and do it, but that is just a first world problem and I am a good complainer. I’m actually quite surprised that they have kept it open here at my Lubbock Corporate Housing suites – It’s October and that’s typically the time to shut a pool down. But since the temperatures are still in the eighties and since they know I am using it daily, they keep it open – it’s nice of them to do that for me and the several others who still find time to enjoy the sun and the chlorinated water.

Bible Study update – it starts tomorrow and I’ve already fielded about fifteen calls about it – some from the corporate housing and some from people who work at the hospital with Melissa.  I’ve also ordered some Lubbock catering to feed whoever comes.  Who knows how many people will be coming tomorrow, but it’s nice to see that there is a demand for deeper study into the Word of God. I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding the book of Ecclesiastes – commentaries, dictionaries, word studies, etc. I want to know what the experts say so that my leading will be balanced with my own interpretations. I think Ecclesiastes is pretty straight forward but I went ahead and wrote out some questions that I thought might spur on good discussions. Below are a few of my questions – I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section. Feel free to add or subtract or just weigh in with your opinions.

  1. Who wrote the book and why is that significant?
  2. What is the general philosophical feeling that shows up right from the start of the book? Does this surprise you in any way?
  3. What does the author say about new things? Why does he say that? Do you think it rings true in a world of so many technological advances?
  4. What do you think the words meaningless and vanity mean?
  5. Does it bother you to think that what you do and who you are will not be remembered for very long after you die?
  6. With these things in mind, does this affect your view of how you should be living? How and why?
  7. What do you think the author means by the statement: “The more knowledge, the more grief?”

I am hoping that these questions get the group moving in a powerfully moving discussion. I also expect that there will be some argument since these verses are so counter to what most people think about life and the world. It’s not easy to think that everything we do is a ‘chasing after the wind.’ It’s also hard to think that we won’t be remembered for long after our deaths. For me, both of these truths just take the pressure off – I don’t have to live out some amazing life and I don’t need to do anything that gets me remembered. Other than spiritual movements and love experiments, everything else is a waste.

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