Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

April 12, 2018

Leadership Development

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 5:20 pm

Leadership Development

I am amazed at how many business books are out there dealing with the need for leadership development. I am also quite impressed with what many of these books have to say on the subject. So, this short, little take on the issue will not be as detailed or as well-thought out as the “experts,” but I thought I would at least throw some questions out there. I hope this helps a few of you.

One thing that I suggest when it comes to leadership development is that we all should make sure that we are being trained by someone who is actually an experienced leader – someone who has been leading groups of people and organizations successfully for a long time. Some people have proclaimed themselves as leaders even though they are new to the scene but they have no real record of successful leadership. Even some of those authors out on the bookshelves are coming from theory and don’t have the real-world experience. They write books and some people think that this legitimizes them as a developer. Sometimes this is just not the case. We need to do our due diligence to find developers who can really help us figure out how to grow in our own leadership. This can take some work on our parts, but I am positive that it is worth it.

Another thing that I suggest when it comes to our own leadership development is that we not only read books, but that we both go to leadership conferences and workshops where we are allowed to interact with one another. We all something to offer in this area and to be able to share those things would be invaluable. As well, we would have access to “experts” who might be able to keep us on point and help us design a way to be better leaders. I know one leadership coach who is great at making this happen. His name is Dr. Andy Neillie and even though he is world-renowned and speaks to Fortune 500 and Fortune 50 companies, he is so accessible and humble that everyone can glean from him.

Finally, I want to recommend that everyone find a personal leadership coach or a leadership mentor – someone who is available to you as you strive to become the best leader that you can be. One on one discussions and guidance are super important to our growth. Take your time finding this person. They will help you immensely.

Okay. That’s all I have to say on the matter. Hope it helped.

April 11, 2018

Daring businesses

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:23 pm

Daring businesses

“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!” 

Psalm 8:1

That’s what you will see at the top and bottom of the website for Sewell Shutters located in Dallas ( They are a company that does Keller plantation shutters and Allen plantation shutters in the DFW area. They’ve been in business for 30 years and are highly regarded as one of the best makers and installers of all sort of blinds and shutters in the nation. But what blows my mind is that they are so unashamed of giving glory to God in print for everyone to see. They don’t just claim it quietly, but they throw this verse up there to show that they are all about God and His work. It’s as if they are saying, “We are doing our work well, because God does it first.” That is humble and daring in my book. I’m sure their faithful proclamation is a turn off to many people who don’t follow the teachings of the Bible. They might even lose customers as a result of this statement, which happens to be a loss to their clients who miss out on their superior craftsmanship and service. But they don’t care about putting people off. It’s not as if they are trying to “save” all of their customers. They just want to remind everyone, including themselves, that they acknowledge the work of God.

There are several companies in the United States that are not ashamed of giving glory to God. From Chick-fil-A, who closes their doors on Sundays to honor God with a Sabbath to In-n-Out hamburgers who always put Bible verses on the bottom of their to-go cups, there is a movement to share a deep integrity alongside their excellent food. And it is not like any of these companies are hurting for businesses. In fact, all of them are thriving and maybe this has something to do with their faith intersecting with their business models. When you share deep convictions, you tend to attract workers with similar convictions. The workers are usually friendly and extremely hardworking. That makes a business grow.

Readers, what do you think about the boldness of these businesses? Does it offend you that your hamburger or your plantation shutters are made by Christians? I’m interested in hearing what you think about what I said above. Thanks for your comments and questions.

April 6, 2018

Knowing about Plantation Shutters

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 7:16 pm

Knowing about Plantation Shutters

I’ve been thinking a lot about adding plantation shutters to my next home, because I think they add a special flair to a house. I don’t know if my wife is too keen on the idea though. She imagines that plantation shutters are just going to be fragile and faded mini blinds that will make our house ugly. She also dreads having to share the dusting duties with me. Anyway, I have been researching wood plantation shutters and I came across a company that actually offers a non-wood option. It’s called Thermowood and it is made of a “green” cellular poly-synthetic material. I like to help the environment and I want cool looking plantation shutters, so I did some research on this company that manufactures them.

This company, which does McKinney plantation shutters and Allen plantation shutters (Dallas based) is called Sewell Shutters ( and has been in business for thirty years. I figure that is a telling sign that they do good work. How else would they make it this long in a tough business climate? Anyway, this company also makes wood blinds for larger windows and according to their testimonials are a killer business. People talk about how quick their work is and also how professional they are. Past customers also talk about how this company has workers who are friendly and ready to answer any questions clients might have. Interesting too is that they have a faith-based value system that they are not afraid to share – that’s pretty brave I think.

So, I think I found the company who is going to do my plantation blinds and I think I am going to go with the Thermowood kind. Now all I need is our new house to be ready so I can have them installed. I hope that happens sooner rather than later. I love decorating houses and so this will be a fun, first addition.

How to make a fire damage claim

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:57 pm

How to make a fire damage claim

There are a lot of fire damage claims in Dallas (really everywhere) during the holiday season – more so than at every time of year. With fires in the fireplace and holiday lights on real Christmas trees, the dangers are endless. So, if you have had or have a fire in your home or your business at any time, it’s important to know how to file a fire damage claim – and if you follow one simple step, you will more than likely have a better result. Here it is: Hire a Public Adjuster to document and prepare your claim – If you do this step, you will have brought in an advocate to stand between you and your insurance claim in any and all negotiations. These public adjusters are so much more knowledgeable than you will be and can get you the best settlement possible. It’s hard enough to deal with business interruption and residential ruin – With a fire, there is the difficulty of handling the emotional reactions. To add to this, there is the legal wrangling that comes between you and the insurance company. The emotional struggle is enough for anyone to handle. And the insurance process is a tough one to navigate. I recommend dealing with the emotional struggles and handing off the fire insurance claim to the professionals at a public adjuster company. You can trust them to get you the best without you having to worry if the insurance company is going to give you a fair and just settlement.

Imagine going through this process alone and ending up with a less than adequate settlement – one that doesn’t allow you to recover and renovate as you need. No one needs this sort of disappointment especially after experiencing the junk that comes with the fire itself. So, who should you call? Which company is dedicated to providing the best public adjustment in Texas? These are key questions. You don’t need a fly by night company – one that doesn’t know how to work the entire process. My suggestion is that you check out one company in particular, because in my dealings with them, you can be assured of a solid and passionate approach to your claim. The company that I am referring to is called Abba Claims. They have offices in Lubbock, Austin, Houston, San Antonio as well as offices in other parts of the country. You can check them out at or give them a call toll free at (888) 908-2042.

Final thought: I hope that you never have to deal with any sort of fire, but if you do, I offer my condolences. From my experience, it is a depressing devastation. If it has happened to you (or if it does happen), please use the advice above to get yourself back in the game as quickly as possible.

So, have you had to deal with a fire at your home or business? What steps did you take to handle your fire damage claim? Any other advice from those of you who have had to deal with a fire? I look forward to your take on this process.



March 30, 2018

Fire Damage Claim

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:05 pm

Fire Damage Claim

There’s nothing quite like having to make fire damage claims after a fire has hit your residence or business. I remember when my family had a fire and had to find somewhere to stay for the several months that were required to rebuild and restore their entire home. It was so inconvenient. And besides the inconvenience there was the struggle of having lost items that could never be replaced. A fire can cause quite an emotional aftermath. And then you have to work with your insurance company to file a claim that will make sure that you get the sort of settlement that you need – the kind of money that will be needed to put everything back together and get back to living.

Most of the time, when you file fire damage claims, the insurance company sends out an “independent” assessor who actually represents the insurance company. They are not really working in your favor and this disadvantage can lead to lower settlements than you deserve. A smart thing I want to suggest here is the hiring of someone who can work on your behalf during this process. I had never heard of such an advocate before, but was made aware of these professionals recently. These pros who come alongside you to do their assessment and negotiate a much higher settlement with your insurance company are known as Public Adjusters. They work hard for you and don’t take any payment unless you get a settlement that is fair.

One such firm that employs Public Adjusters in Texas is called Abba Claims ( I only mention them because I know their owner and I know what quality work they do. There may be other companies around the state that do this sort of thing, but I can’t recommend them as highly as I do Abba.

Anyway, if you find yourself in a fire damage situation, you might look up Texas Public Adjusters and see if any of the companies seem like they can get you the better settlement.

Affordable But Not Cheap

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:02 pm

Affordable But Not Cheap

I have bought things because they were cheaply priced and have run into the cliché, “You get what you pay for!” In my attempts to be frugal, I have been ripped off by items that break too easily, tear at the seams on a first wear, or fade after a couple of months. It’s very frustrating. But again, I guess it is ultimately on me to pay more for things that are important to me. Say if I want a new car, I should pay a bit more to get the higher rated car. It can still be affordable without it being cheap or expensive. That’s where I’m trying to live these days – in the sphere of affordability. But I also want quality. Is that too much to ask? I want affordability and quality to intersect perfectly. I haven’t found this intersection very many times, but recently I have found a company that offers both.

If you live in the Dallas area and are searching for McKinney plantation shutters or Allen plantation shutters that are high quality and affordable, there’s really only one place to call. This company, which has thirty years of history to it, is called Sewell Shutters (, and this business really made my buying dreams come true. I got beauty, hard work, affordability and quality. They don’t just promise these things – they deliver. And I considered this to be a big purchase for me. I had wanted plantation shutters for a long time but I had heard so many horror stories of companies that offered cheap materials and shoddy installation. I didn’t want to get stuck paying for poor work and poor materials. So I started doing my research and found that this recommended business had so many five star ratings that I had to get in touch. And I did and now I have what I wanted this whole time. You have to love it when everything works out this way!

 So readers, have you ever found the balance between quality and affordability? Have you bought anything recently that was so cheaply made that it failed to live up to its use? Comment below and tell me what you have experienced.

March 27, 2018

Plantation Shutters in Allen, Texas

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:07 pm

Plantation Shutters in Allen, Texas

Allen, Texas is but one more of the many suburbs located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. But I lived there for a while and feel like it has its own identity. I loved my year there and would live there again in a heartbeat. There are tons of good restaurants, fun nightlife, amazing shopping and a really cool movie theatre. It’s a perfect city for people aged 25-45.

Now if you ever do live there and you buy a house, there are plenty of options for decorating your house. There are plenty of stores that will help you beautify your home. One thing that I hear about interior design in the area is that people looking for Allen plantation shutters can find several companies to go with. I personally like plantation shutters so I decided to look at a few of these companies. And I found out, while looking online, that there was one company that stood out because of their promises of excellent materials and a God-based work ethic. I’m a Christian so I figured I would work with them and see if they backed up their claims. (By the way this company is called Sewell Shutters –  By the way, they also do McKinney plantation shutters as well.)

All I can do is echo what the other testimonials say about them. They use shutters that don’t fade or crack. They come in with a very respectful attitude and finish their jobs within a short amount of time. And of course, they work hard. They have been around for thirty years and I now know why. Their reputation is stellar and they live up to it. If I ever get exterior plantation shutters, they will be the company I use.

How about you? Do you like plantation shutters? What do you look for in a company who is going to come in and do installation inside of your house? Share your experiences and we can compare notes.

March 23, 2018

Fire damage claims

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:03 pm

It’s never fun to have to deal with a fire at your home or business.  In fact it’s downright terrible.  All of the fire damage and destruction left behind in the aftermath can be so depressing.  People wonder how they will ever get things back in shape and it does take a while.  But, the good news is that after a fire, you can often make things look better than they looked before.  I know a family that had a residential fire and although they had to stay in a cramped hotel for a while, they got such a good settlement from their insurance company that they were able to totally redecorate their house.  It looks fantastic now.  What was an older house filled with some old furniture and technology became a well-decorated home that anyone would be happy to show off.  And this wouldn’t have been possible if they hadn’t received the insurance settlement.

That’s what this blog is about:  Making sure you get a fair settlement from your insurance company when you make your claim.  Sometimes it just works out but very often it doesn’t work out in your favor.  That’s why when you are making fire damage claims, I recommend hiring a professional public adjuster.  Public adjusters specialize in working for you as you negotiate with your insurance company.  They understand the process so well that it’s second nature to them.  They understand how settlements are determined and they make sure that insurance companies hit that mark.  They are advocates for you in this often complicated process.  Living in the Dallas area, I suggest that you use Abba Claims for this.  They are a highly regarded company who have tons of experience getting their clients the right amount of money to help people end up with a better house than before.

Have you ever heard of public adjusters?  Have you ever had to use them before?  If so, comment below and let me know what your experience was.

March 20, 2018

30 years in Business

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:28 pm

30 years in Business

The business world can be a difficult one to navigate. So many businesses start off well but they cannot sustain themselves for very long. And there are a lot of reasons for this “start strong” but “end fast” situations. From poor Human Resources to bad management, the reasons for the shutdowns run the gamut. So, when I hear of businesses that make it past that threshold I am always surprised and impressed. I want to write about those kinds of businesses because they must be doing something right in all facets of their companies’ health. In this article, I want to focus on one Dallas business that has held it together for thirty years and counting.

Sewell Shutters (, which produces high quality McKinney plantation shutters and also plantation shutters for South Lake as well as most of the rest of the Dallas/Forth Worth area, have been run with spiritual values at their core. They say they want to represent godly values in every install they make. They put the customers first and don’t use cheap materials. It’s only the best for their clients. And this quality shows up in the reviews of their business. It seems that everyone who uses them just glows about how well they were treated as well as how amazing the products were that were hung on their windows.

I think a lot of this goodwill comes down to their leadership and to their training of workers. There is a lot of family who take up the managerial positions and so the accountability is built in. I know that it can sometimes hard to work with family, but this crew seems to have figured it out. I know I would have had a hard time working so closely with my family and so I wonder what their secret is. Anyway, I’m planning on getting to know this company more as time goes on. Until then, check out their website and comment on what you think. Thanks for your comments.

March 9, 2018

SEO and Effective Business Practices

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 7:22 pm

SEO and Effective Business Practices – Week Sixty-Three

Back to the four of us at morning prayer – Liz reported that her Lubbock catering event she had to oversee went incredibly well. We thanked God for that covering. Josh said that his lawn care business is rolling along nicely and is headed to a growth point he has never approached before. As for my business, I just said I was blessed and thankful. My wife and I hadn’t gotten into any scrapes for a whole week and that makes such a huge difference for me when I work. I tend to let home things mess me up at work too. Ches reported on his fire damage claims and said that they were going well. Anyway, after prayer we decided to finally have a triple date with our spouses in tow – grab some dinner – play some games. We had grown into such a friend group that we thought we should let each other into our personal lives. I really cannot believe we hadn’t thought to do it before but Josh brought it up as something that might be cool and so we went with it. That will be fun.

As for the larger business gathering, we had a marketer/executive coach (Jennifer) with a lot of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experience come in and talk to us. She summarized some of the other marketing speakers from week’s past and then she got into some rather detailed SEO talk. She started by telling us how she had learned to use SEO for business growth – pretty much her history of how she learned the art of the web. She then asked each of us to visit the website and to put our website URLs into the box and hit enter. What came up was a basic description of how our websites were being scored by the big search engines. On a scale of 1-100, my website was an eight and my separate page authority was a ten – both which are quite low. She also told us to look below the relevancy scores to see what kind of websites were linking to us. I only had one link and that came from a link directory site that I had bought into a while back. This whole thing was like being exposed – I was staring at my online weaknesses and I wondered how the heck I was going to get things moving in the right directions. Jennifer recommended that we write those scores down somewhere and put today’s date above it. Then she said that we should make a realistic goal as to how we wanted those numbers to be after we had done some things to improve them. I put my scores down in my journal and then set my goals to double my scores in six months so that my web presence would be respectable. Jennifer asked people to share their scores and their goals and also to write down whatever questions they wanted to know the answers to. Then Jennifer said that next week she would come in again and teach us some basic ways to raise our scores – and also to answer our questions from this week. This was a great and humbling meeting. I didn’t know there were such tools readily available on the web to find out the health of our sites. I am happy to know…

So readers, have you ever taken a look at your relevancy scores on this website? What have you done to raise your scores since you discovered them? What sort of questions would you ask about SEO and your business? Let me know. Maybe I will be able to answer them for you after next week…

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