Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

May 21, 2018

Watching the Origins

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 5:57 pm

Watching the Origins

Now I may be alone in this, but I like to watch behind the scenes manufacturing – the origin of products as they go from raw materials to a finished product. If I am going to buy something significant, I want to know where that product comes from and how it is formed. I also like to see the people who are forming a specific product. Are they artisans? Do they really care about what they are making? That’s why I love when a company offers a factory tour so that I can do all of this. It’s a major selling point for me. If I get to watch the behind the scenes work and am impressed by what I see, I am more than likely to go with that business.

Well, it turns out that I am in the market for either Denton plantation shutters or McKinney plantation shutters (I live in the Dallas area) and have been on the lookout for a shutter company, which not only promises professionalism, but also gives me access to their process. I didn’t know if I would find one, but after some computer research I found a company called Sewell Shutters that has not only been in business for decades and has amazing testimonials, but which offers a factory tour to anyone who wants to see how they do what they do. And not only do they offer a factory tour, but if you take a tour you get 10% off of your future order of plantation shutters. I couldn’t believe what I had found – it was exactly what I wanted plus a financial incentive – doesn’t get any better than that…

So, to be brief, I called Sewell up and told them about my desire to take a factory tour. They were so friendly and gladly set up an appointment for me to come in and watch their craftspeople craft the product from start to finish. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the tour itself, but let’s just say it was exactly what I needed to see. These workers were not just doing a haphazard job – they were proud to be making the “best” shutters in the nation. The guide told me all about the kinds of wood that they used and why they did so. After the tour, I was sold. I put in my order that day and within weeks I had these high-quality shutters perfectly installed in my home.

This was a great experience and it only makes me wonder why more companies don’t offer tours of their factories. I bet if businesses showed customers what they were getting before getting it, they would sell a lot more. That is, unless if they have something to hide. Okay, that is my story. What do you think about companies showing people their backend processes? Would that influence you positively? Just interested to see if I am alone in my thoughts and desires. Feel free to comment.

May 7, 2018

More Learning…

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:44 pm

More Learning…

So in my last article I talked about two speakers who came into my business leaders’ workshop group and how they helped to open my eyes to things I had never considered. I definitely feel humbled each time I come to this group because before I started coming I thought I was the ultimate business leader – not in need of extra training. But I am being shown that there is plenty I haven’t thought about but need to. Ideas from other leaders are positively affecting my leadership and that is great for me and for my company. I’ve already implemented several of the suggestions and I have already noticed how it is improving my relationships with my staff.

Anyway, I didn’t have the time in my last article to tell about the third speaker who came in to share with us – I figured I would do that here. The man who came in to talk to us was the owner of a plantation shutters company in Dallas (specifically McKinney plantation shutters and Keller plantation shutters). He was an older gentleman who had a lot of wisdom about how to make a business grow and how to make a company last. His company has been around for thirty years and is still going strong. He told us that the strength of his business was due to three things: integrity in all dealings, use of the best materials and having a solid mission and vision that is consistently communicated to everyone in the company. He explained these three “success-makers” in detail and made me hope that I could create a company that would last for decades. I realized that while I do have a mission and a vision for my business that I don’t really communicate to my managers and day workers. They have become just words on a sign. I decided right then and there to not only consider if our vision and mission were still applicable, but also to consistently communicate it to my staff in some of the ways that this man had suggested.

I have to say that I love this business group. Every week, I am learning new things and this is making me a better man and a better boss. I highly recommend that if you are an owner of a business, that you find a similar group in your area and start going. Just some friendly advice from a fellow learner…

Learning New Things

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

Learning New Things

I started attending a business leaders’ networking group about three weeks ago and it has been a great learning experience. I guess I shouldn’t call it just a networking group because we have speakers come in and talk to us about best practices in business. I think I know quite a bit about a lot, but in three weeks time I have learned so much more from all three speakers. It’s like having a business conference or leadership development workshop on a weekly basis and this is so good for me. Speaking of leadership development, we had a man come in who is an expert at executive coaching and talk to us about how to make our mid-level managers into real, passionate leaders within our companies. It was all about getting buy-in from them and then incentivizing their efforts beyond the normal salaries being paid out. I took copious notes about the specifics and asked this guy if he would come to my workplace and speak to my managers. He said that he would be happy to. We scheduled it for two months away. I cannot wait to see what he has to say to them – and also how he will be able to motivate them beyond what I have been able to do.

The second speaker who came in was a public adjuster. Just in case you don’t know what a public adjuster is (I know I didn’t), let’s just say they are advocates for fairness. When people have residential or commercial damage (like a fire or water damage), public adjusters help victims get a fair settlement from their insurance company. Anyway, this man took a pretty cool approach to his talk. He said that since he saw so many disasters firsthand, he was able to identify when a business is damaged and needs outside help getting back on track. He spoke about how his pride had kept him from asking from outside help for a long time, but then he realized that having a mentor would benefit him greatly. He hadn’t realized how “damaged” his business was until this “adjuster” came into his life and showed him the cracks in his leadership. From this mentor, he learned how to identify not only his own business’ problems, but that grew eyes that could see the damage in other’s companies. He said he would be happy to audit our businesses for a small fee and to consult us about how we can keep from exploding or imploding. It was really well done.

Well, that’s all I have to say for today. I’ll probably tell you about the third speaker in my next article. Thanks for reading.

April 24, 2018

High Quality Materials

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 7:26 pm

High Quality Materials

For my house, I try to buy furnishings and art that are of the highest quality. I want everything I own to have used the best raw materials because those are the pieces that will last the longest. If you cannot get the basic materials right, then you don’t have much chance of possessions lasting and in the long run this will cost you more because you have to replace the cheaper versions. Getting the right basic materials requires that I do more serious research on the front end, but that is fine with me. I don’t tend to just trust a company when it says it uses the finest raw materials to build anything. I ask plenty of questions and then take what I get from the internet. It has paid off for me in many different cases.

My last big investment for my home were McKinney plantation shutters from a company called Sewell Shutters ( They are located near me in the Dallas area and they serve the entire DFW area. On their website, they claim to use the best raw materials and they go on to tell exactly what kind of wood they use to build their plantation shutters. This wood, which is called Basswood, is from northern areas and tends to be harder wood. I read this and I started doing my research and found out that Basswood is actually a far superior wood for building all sorts of furnishings. I had never heard of it before, but by the end of my research I was convinced to employ Sewell Shutters to build and install plantation shutters in my house. I just had a feeling that their careful attention to the raw materials would probably mean they would do everything else with careful attention.

At the end of the day, this all turned out to be a wise choice. These professionals were friendly and did a fantastic job. They added value to my home by putting in amazing looking plantation shutters and they just proved to me that my research was crucial to the process. If I had hired some other company that used pine or some other wood, I would have been disappointed because of how those woods handle the resin. Anyway, I write all of this to encourage you to do as much as you can to find companies who use the best raw materials. You will be happy you did.

April 18, 2018

How to recover from a disaster

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:31 pm

How to recover from a disaster

No one expects to have a disaster occur in his/her life. We rush around trying to just get the normal things done – work, taking care of the family, keeping the house in order, etc. Who has time for a disaster that throws all of this stuff into disarray and disorder? And who knows what to do when something seriously bad happens? How do people successfully recover from an unexpected disaster so that they can get back to living out their real and “normal” lives?

I will make a short list that was given to me by a Texas Public Adjuster who handles a lot of different disaster insurance claims to see how recovery can happen. (This Public Adjuster works mainly with fire damage claims and has a lot of experience walking people through disasters.) So what do you do to recover from a disaster?

  1. Stay calm – Yes, whatever disaster has befallen you has overturned your world. But it’s not going to help if you freak out about it. Don’t focus on what you have lost, but keep your head about you and consider calmly how to move towards regaining those things.
  2. Set up an orderly plan – With all of your wits about you, take out a few pieces of paper and write out what you need to do. Make it a step-by-step document of the things that you can control in the process of recovery. This way you will know what you need others to do for you.
  3. File an insurance claim – Get this ball rolling as fast as you can so that your insurance company can get their appraisal process going quickly. The quicker they get this done, the faster you can begin restocking your home or business with new things to replace the old.
  4. Consider hiring a public adjuster – Public Adjusters work as advocates for those who are dealing with their insurance company. They tend to get you a much better settlement than you would if you did it alone.
  5. Keep all of your receipts – A lot of people who have to temporarily re-locate don’t think that insurance companies will cover such expenses. But they will in most cases. So keep up with what you have to spend to survive the aftermath of the disaster.

Well, that’s all I have for you today. I’m interested to hear what other ideas that you all might have concerning recovery from a disaster. Please comment. Thanks in advance.

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.

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »

Powered by WordPress