Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

April 28, 2017

How does business grow? – Week Five

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 8:07 pm

Week Five

 So, prayer experiment number two with Josh, my Lubbock lawn care friend and it went well. We both spoke to one another about how the previous week had gone and if either of had seen any difference in the way we went about our business from a supernatural angle. Josh said he felt that he noticed him and his crew seemed to be more calm and relaxed. He said that there is often tension between he and one of his foremen, but it disappeared this week. He was thankful for that. I told him that I was affected a lot by the Lubbock catering speaker from the last week and that, together with prayer had carried me into taking on a pro bono job for a local homeless shelter. I told Josh that while working on that job I felt close to God and was happy that I was motivated by doing this so unselfishly (not common for me). Anyway, today Josh and I used Scripture to push into prayer. We used Philippians two as our guide to help us realize that we needed to make ourselves into servants of the people we were doing work for. We both admitted to complaining a lot and so we prayed that this part of our work would change.

As far as the speaker for this week, we had this guy come in from another local restaurant to talk about making sure to hire friendly people who could be trained to make every customer feel like a valuable person who has a positively memorable experience every time they came in – This didn’t mean that much to me since I do a lot of solo work and don’t hire very often. But, everyone else seemed struck by this talk. Most of the people in the group shared how they often hired friends of friends who didn’t take customer service as seriously as they want – Some of them said that their workers were downright rude to customers. Some other said that their workers acted entitled to complain about their jobs and to argue with customers. But almost all of the people there admitted that it was their own fault for not interviewing everyone who was on their staff. They also said that the training rituals had not been established very well. In fact, some said that they had trained workers to do the work, but had failed to teach their workers how to be kind and super friendly to the people that had hired their companies. Such a simple idea but it was not being implemented very well. Every one of us committed to do some retraining and to hire more strategically.

That was about it for the meeting – it was another good one. I’m so pleased that I have found this group to share with and to learn from. I’ll keep you updated as time goes on. Again, feel free to comment about your experiences with the abovementioned struggle.

Thanks and see you next week.

April 18, 2017

Day 137 – Sunday Ups

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:22 pm

Day 137 – Sunday Ups

Another week ends in my corporate housing suite and my treadmill speed is up to a five. I’ll leave it there for a long time. No need to get cocky as I did before. Today was a strange day and night. I felt a lot of internal pressure as I prepared for the Monday through Friday movements. It was as if my work responsibilities, which are usually no problem, were raising their fists to my face – trying to knock me out before I even got started, especially with my Lubbock catering clients. This happens once in a while to me – maybe twice a year but usually at the end of the year as things get ramped up after the holidays. When this happens, I typically write down some truths that will deflect the lies that make me feel like I am going to fail. Does this ever happen to you? What do you do about it when pressures that have no foundation mount and take over your mind? Do you ever give in to these pressures and decide to stay in bed until the bad feelings go away? I was close to doing just that – despite the amazing day yesterday I felt as if I needed to escape everyone and everything. When this stuff happens I fear that it might last forever. What would happen if this became a normal thing? How would I earn a living? It reminds me of the guy I wrote about a few journals ago – Maybe having him in my mind and in my recent journals has brought this down on my head and shoulders.

I drove by my new house this evening and checked out the holiday lights that my Lubbock landscapers had put up pro bono. They were perfectly positioned – I was impressed by the way they put them up and how brightly they shined. I’m not bragging or anything (because I had nothing to do with it) but my house lights looked better than the ones on the rest of the block. I took that drive by visit as an actual opportunity to go knock on the door of my future house. I said hello to the tenants and asked them if I could do anything for them (I know that the management company handles this but I wanted to be a good owner). They appreciated me coming by and invited me in. I looked at how they decorated and was not surprised by the sparseness of it all. These people were not settling in for the long haul – both of them were just going super minimalist because they had to focus more on their studies than on what couch would look best in a certain room. I didn’t stay long at all but was glad that I did go – it sort of had the effect of releasing my pressures. Knowing that I would be living there with my Melissa in a short time made me burst with a happy energy.

That being said, I don’t have the energy to write much more about this day – I might revisit it tomorrow and then again maybe I won’t. I just hope that these strange pressures stay away in days to come.

Have a great day good people!

April 13, 2017

Day 133 – Wednesday Shrinks

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 5:45 pm

Day 133 – Wednesday Shrinks

Morning at my short-term furnished housing workout room: I listened to my audio Bible which took my mind off of the evil treadmill. I was able to bump up two speed levels today – I am at the 4.2 fast walking stage. I am happy to have at least that movement upwards – I have a new baseline from which to begin from. All progress is appreciated. Once again, Melissa joined me and I watched her crank out fast miles on the elliptical. She is a superstar with pretty much every thing she does. I’m glad I will be connected to her and I sort of feel bad for her having to be connected to me. But, she has freewill and she has used it decide on the one and only me. I guess I am a decent guy.

Meditation: Faith has to have actions tied to it or it is a dead faith – the book of James makes that very clear. Sure everything after Jesus is built on grace, but the New Testament doesn’t play around when it comes to doing the Word – not just studying it. And I’ve got to say that there is so much in that Word that I haven’t even considered putting into practice. Turn the other cheek – maybe after smacking the offender across their cheek with a harder blow. Be content no matter if you are in plenty or in want – I have more capital than 95% of the world and I am discontent all of the time. Don’t argue? – During this political season? Yeah right.

Speaking of that, it looks like we have a new President-elect and lots of people have decided to argue about that as much as possible on social media. It kind of makes me laugh to see people get so passionate about something that won’t be that big of a deal in a few months. I don’t judge any of them for whatever side they are on – that’s at least one thing from the Bible that I am putting into practice. Check mark for me, baby.

Work: I went to visit with a potential client at a pretty large medical clinic today and I think it went well. They want me to come up with a full proposal before they commit to a six-month or one-year full marketing deal. I showed them several examples of our successful campaigns as far as optimization (internal) of websites and how we use search engine optimization (external) on various keywords to make sure our clients rank well and gain the exposure they want. The leaders who I spoke with were not very familiar with any of that lingo so I promised them I would shoot them a full laymen’s guide to how we do work. I actually already have a template set up (I first used it when I was landing the Christian school (Pre-K Lubbock – 12th Grade). Now all I have to do is plug in the potential client’s name and make sure I don’t leave in old references. When I got back to my new office, I sent them this easy to follow proposal. They said they would bring it up at their next staff meeting and have a decision for me within the next ten days. Very cool to land this clinic in the land of pop-up urgent care clinics and small Emergency Rooms. They know that they need to be on the first page to grab sick peoples attention. Makes sense – if I was ill I would grab the first one or two clinics that Google recommended. I’m fairly sure they will jump on board once they see how affordable it all is – not that it is cheap but I know just how much return on investment they will get from being “referred” by our company. As well, after seeing the shiny new clinic they represent, I have no doubt they can afford it – no problem.

Okay – that’s it for now. My bed awaits my entry.

April 10, 2017

Day 131 – Monday bites the dust

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:42 pm

Day 131 – Monday bites the dust

Following up a fantastic weekend and re-entering the work force “wheel of death” (sarcasm) was not that much of a challenge for me. In fact, it’s rarely a challenge because I have a lot of room to move – what I mean by that is my company gives me space to do things without holding my hand. They know I get my work done successfully and so they don’t mess with me unless there is a big policy change that I need to be aware of. As of this Monday, the company went ahead and set up a Lubbock office for me to work from – or at least an address to put on my business card since I am rarely at a certain desk for long. Still, it’s good to have this done since it is a formal move that gives me even more of a sense of security – they are trusting me to run an actual office in a new locale. Pretty cool as far as I am concerned especially since I have a corporate housing space that feels like mine too. I wonder if Lubbock business will ever grow enough for them to send another human to exist with me. I think we are far away from that but it might be fun to share the load someday with someone who is also experiencing what I am. He or she could gather up different levels of Lubbock lawn care companies and we could corner that market in town – though there may be a slight conflict of interest in marketing for all of them. (I don’t know why I chose landscaping as my focus there – maybe it came from my talk with Melissa about it – and I guess it doesn’t matter why – it’s my blog).

This morning was a lunge back into reality as I took my extra weekend energy into the workout gym. I got cocky and I bit the dust. I decided to turn my fast walking at speed level 4.0 to a light jog at speed level 5.5. I thought, why not? It’s only a 1.5 level difference and I’ve walked fast for long enough. Time to jog. Then after five minutes at this level, my chest was burning and my legs felt like thick Sequoia logs. There was another person in the room when I was there and they were doing the treadmill next to me at speed level 7.0 with no problem. All of my pride screamed at me to keep “jogging” until this other person got off of their machine. But I couldn’t do it. And as I backed up the speed level to my regular 4.0, I felt judged by this superhuman runner next to me. I saw him glance over at me and I bet he was wondering why I slow jogged for such a short time and then went back to walking. I wanted to go and get some barbells and do some curls while walking fast to make the other guy think that I was practicing some new workout. But then I thought I might not be able to walk fast and curl ten-pound weights. If I tried that and failed after two curls, the assumed judgment would be doubled – possibly tripled. So, I just gave the guy a foolish thumbs up and mouthed, “Nice!” He didn’t see it. Maybe he was blind, deaf and mute – that was my only possible escape from personal embarrassment. I couldn’t even outlast this guy. He was pushing 7.0 for an hour according to his timer and I was aiming for twenty minutes. I just sucked back my humiliation, completed my short-term walk and threw a towel over my head as I left shame behind. I hope this guy is not going to be there every morning from here on out or I will have to get there at 5 a.m. to avoid him. Oh the ever-silly man I am…

Meditation: It was all about holding onto hope – no matter what the circumstances. It lined up with what the pastor said on Saturday afternoon (Joseph). I love the feeling of hope and according to the book of Hebrews you have to have this sort of hope and you have got to be certain about it paying off or your faith is minimized. I still have to work on this area of life.

That’s it for Monday.

Day 130 – Sunday somewhere

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:38 pm

Day 130 – Sunday somewhere

I am sure you have noticed that I have passed my three-month corporate housing stint – I forgot to memorialize it with a song or a poem. But I renewed for a huge nine months a few weeks ago at this fine Lubbock establishment – Why change locations now? I love where I am and they seem to have grown accustomed to having me here. It’s actually nice to be remembered by almost all of the staff here – No one likes to be an unnamed shadow for long. I have learned their names as well and sometimes some of them share their backstories with me. One of them, Elise, was pregnant for a while (the dad disappeared as a lot of “dads” do) but then she miscarried. She cried a lot about it to me and I just hugged her as she wept. It was weird to have such emotional sharing but I thought about it and recalled that she doesn’t have a close family to be there for her. So, I became the surrogate. Anyway, she is just one of the most memorable of the staff because she has put her tears on one of my favorite shirts.

I hate the feeling of being alone and I also hate that there are people like Elise who feel it so deeply on a daily basis. I think of my support system that even goes as far as several of my clients and I thank God that I am not left to cry on a relative stranger’s arm. I wish everyone had at least a few people they could count on. I wish everyone had people who loved them unconditionally. Unfortunately, there are millions of desperately lonely people who don’t have anyone who cares about them. It’s too bad really.

This leads me to Melissa who also signed the same length of lease as I did so we could move out together and move in together to our cool house post-marriage. She told me that she had some ideas for our Lubbock landscapers to implement – some decorative rocks and some specific flowers that she would love to see added. I told her that I had ideas about nothing in particular. I just said that whatever she wanted she was going to get – I know this might be giving her carte blanche to run all over me as we progress into marriage – that I might be setting her up in a system of being spoiled. But, I don’t think she is the sort who is going to take advantage of me. After all, she has said basically the same stuff to me. We both want each other to be happiest with what is most important to the particular person. The decorations on the front lawn don’t concern me as much as they do her – therefore she gets to make the call. The same goes for me – she doesn’t care where we go on yearly vacations but I do – thus I get to pretty much decide where we will travel. And if she messes with me about it in the future, I’ll just file for an annulment (a joke).

I did my treadmill workout as Melissa watched from her elliptical machine and laughed afterwards because she said I looked angry the entire time I walked fast. I told her that I was angry and that this anger fueled me to beat my treadmill in this daily fight. I shall triumph…

That was Sunday in Lubbock – another fine day.

April 5, 2017

Day 127 – Thursday workouts

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 5:38 pm

Day 127 – Thursday workouts

So after whining yesterday about having to leave my precious corporate housing swimming pool behind in favor of workout machines located indoors, I got up like normal, threw on some appropriate clothes and headed to the small but adequate gym that is provided for residents. I then climbed onto a treadmill machine and set it for level one, which had me chasing over the occasional hill. I thought it would be pretty easy for my legs to handle running straight away, so after a two-minute warm-up I threw the machine to 7.0 speed and almost fell off of the machine. I had my headphones on and I was listening to Fleet Foxes, but they weren’t helping me survive the speed. Within one minute my legs were burning and my chest was heaving. Against my screaming ego, I had to slow it down to a fast walk. I guess swimming doesn’t prepare someone for a totally different exercise motion. I felt like a weakling who had been defeated by a great foe. I hated this stupid machine, but after it had issued its challenge to me, I was determined to overcome. I will beat you treadmill and all of your machine cousins. I’m a man on a mission.

I left the gym sore from walking fast and got myself ready for a full day of work. I put my clothes on in shame but I decided not to let my early workout failures determine my attitude for the day. So, I went to visit the Christian school (Lubbock Pre-K – 12th grade) and delivered great news to them. Their joy over my marketing acumen restored some of my manhood. I also went to visit my Lubbock landscapers and showed them how SEO was improving their overall exposure on the web. They appreciated the full explanation and gave me more assurances of my good work. The treadmill was almost out of my head as I delivered some other good news to my other clients via email. I sent them reports that detailed their overall movements and how those have been the reason for the large increases in raising up potential customers. I think I worked at a 7.0 speed and was not winded by it.

Meditation: Coming from Philippians where it says to do everything without complaining or arguing, I had to sweep through my life to see whether I was on target with these commands or off target. No complaining? Yeah right. I just got finished complaining about a dumb treadmill. And I am certain that I pretty much complain about some of the dumbest things on the planet on a regular basis. I would blame my culture for training me to do it, but I can’t go around always blaming my culture. At some point I just have to buck it up and obey these things. I’m not much of an argumentative guy and so I am doing okay on that one, but I really need to get that attitude of complaining replaced by constant thanksgiving. It’s the right way to go.

Melissa is great and we have pushed through something called the Pain Cycle – it was assigned to us by our counselor and will take us a few weeks to figure it out. I like relationship homework because it feels as if doing it is increasing our chances for marriage success.

Good day today. I won’t complain about treadmills tomorrow. I promise.

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