Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

July 19, 2017

Lubbock catering solutions

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 3:19 pm

When you are going to cater in Lubbock…

http://cfalubbock.com/lubbock-catering/

First of all, I want to simplify your Lubbock catering issue. If you are looking for excellent food, lots of options, amazing customer service, event delivery and a happy crowd, the best catering in Lubbock is hands-down Chick-fil-A. Just drive by Chick-fil-A at lunch and dinner times and you will see the lines forming outside – hundreds of people who are “chikin” addicts and who love all of the food offered at Chick-fil-A. Knowing this, I figured that this popularity would translate over to events I hold from time to time. I’ve tried several other restaurants, which have promised to be the best catering option, but I have been disappointed every time. As you know, sometimes you cannot trust marketing. Anyway, when I decided to give Chick-fil-A a chance, they exceeded every expectation. Not only did they make it easy on me, but there was not a person who attended the event who had any negative things to say. In fact, most of the people who I have had conversations with after an event tell me that they loved the food and also that they will also use Chick-fil-A for their next event.

I don’t work for Chick-fil-A restaurants, but I am a huge proponent. I am writing this simply to help you make an informed and wise decision when it comes to choosing Lubbock catering. Trust me on this one. And you can trust me when it comes to whatever event you are catering for – you might think that Chick-fil-A wouldn’t be good when it comes to weddings or other more fancy events, but you cannot beat them for rehearsal dinners. You are not limited to the Original Chicken Sandwiches – They have so many other foods you can choose from. I can assure you that the bride and groom and the rest of the party will be so happy for their consistent great tastes. Chick-fil-A catering can also be used for parties at your home, golf tournament breakfasts and lunches, work retreats/meetings, and just about any other event you handle.

So, I have written plenty – what do you think about what I am recommending? Have you tried other Lubbock catering groups and been disappointed like me? Besides Chick-fil-A, what would you suggest to my other readers? And if you have used Chick-fil-A successfully, please leave your reviews in my comment section. I know I am fully sold on them, but am open to try other new possibilities if you say that someone can outdistance Chick-fil-A.

With that, I bid you adieu. Till next time…

July 18, 2017

Glass Half Full

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 4:14 pm

Glass Half Full – Week Thirty-Six

I went ahead and moved my company retreat to this next weekend because so many of my employees had voted for this upcoming weekend’s date. It wasn’t best for me, but I shuffled some family things around to make sure I was going to be ready to talk with them about incentives, vision, living wages and attitude shifts. Liz said that her Lubbock catering business was going to be held in about three months time. She mentioned that since she had some strong corporate ties to several other franchises she wanted to keep a later date open so that leaders from those franchises could join them. Josh was still up in the air about his Lubbock lawn care retreat because of his father’s continuing struggles with health. We prayed together today after reading Psalm 23 aloud and asking God to show us what we needed to focus on. Then we just spoke out our prayer requests while in prayer mode. It was a powerful time of bonding between us three.

As for the larger gathering, we had Claire again – the Attitude Coach – who had begun her talk on complaining the last week. She is a good speaker so I enjoyed her once again today. She mixes in funny jokes and stories to hammer home her points which is not easy to do as a speaker. Anyway, today she went into how our business cultures needed to have optimism rule the days rather than negativism. She said that if we were “cups half empty” environments instead of “cups half full” environments, it can lead to work being a necessary grind rather than being a hopeful place to share life. She reminded us that how we coach our employees needs to be true but not harsh. She said we needed to be strong when we admonished our employees but not heavy-handed. She told us that the way we treated our employees was going to trickle down to the lowest levels of our company and either positively affect or negatively infect who we have hired to represent us in the community. She said a bunch of other stuff too – like about being a careful listener and a person who gives out encouragement often. But I have to admit I wasn’t paying attention as well as I should have been after the first fifteen minutes. I got distracted by a few new people who came in late to the meeting and I sat there wondering who they were and why they had joined us. Goofy me!

So readers, do you have any experience leading positive cultures at your workplace? What do you do to make working for you as enjoyable as it can be? Does it make a significant difference among your crews? Let me know what you think when you get the chance.

July 14, 2017

Applying the Living Wage

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 4:34 pm

Applying the Living Wage – Week Thirty-Four

We had an intense prayer time today – all of us felt especially empowered after we were finished. I’m not sure why this happens sometimes. There are prayer times when I feel like we are just going through the motions – just lifting up Josh’s Lubbock landscaping or Liz’s Lubbock catering business – and then there are days like these when we get hit with a wave of the Holy Spirit and we all know that there are some deeper things we need to cover. Today we all felt moved to pray for the speaker for today and as it turned out (we found out later) that this person had had a serious car wreck on the way to the meeting. This person named Stan was not hurt even though his car was totaled – Liz, Josh and me just looked at each other in amazement when we found this out. God covered Stan and we knew it. Pretty cool, huh? Not that his car got totaled, but that he made it out of there with no injury. It made us know that God was paying close attention to the prayers coming out of early meeting. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that God pays attention. But sometimes there are things that happen like this that increase our faith.

As for the larger gathering, we had no set speaker set, but the main leader for this meeting stood up and tried his best to encourage all of us in our business dealings. Jim reported on Stan and asked us all to be praying for him. Beyond that, the floor was opened to anyone who felt like they had something to share with the entire group. A woman named Judy stood up and shared that she was seeing some shifts happening in her short-term furnished apartments. She said that she had been applying some of the talks into her business and that she had actually taken her staff on a one night retreat to give them clear vision and to open things up for there to be a living wage. She said that most of her staff was truly thankful for her willingness to give them more money. She did say that she wondered how this living wage would stress out her personal finances as time went on. She asked us all to tell her if we would raise salaries to the same levels – in other words, would we make everyone get the same amount even though some people had higher levels of responsibility. This started up a good conversation and we all came up this solution: Everyone who worked at a different level of the business would receive the same amount – like all managers would make the same living wage while regular employees would make the same as their fellow regular employees. It was not going to be a total egalitarian measure.

 

I was glad to have this discussion because I had never thought about how to raise incomes just yet. I was dedicated to a living wage but I had not thought through how redistribution would be done. Now I had a better clue as to make this happen.

 

That was all for this meeting.

July 7, 2017

Google Adwords for Marketing ROI

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 5:27 pm

Google Adwords for Marketing ROI – Week Thirty-Two

Hey guys – another week and another set of good teachings that I think all of the owners really needed to hear – me especially. But before I get into that let’s talk about prayer with my cadre of three. Josh is rolling along with his Lubbock lawn care business and said that he has implemented some of the things we have talked about in the larger group. He said that it has been amazing to see his workers respond to his different style of leadership. Liz echoed Josh as far as her Lubbock catering business – she is experiencing what she calls a “renewal of hard work.” I reported that I needed prayer for my follow-through with things. I tend to start well with change and then I let it fall. This is a bad thing to model to my employees and so I need some supernatural help to motivate me. Besides those things, we also committed to read the same spiritual books – first one is The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen. We all said that being on the same spiritual page with our spiritual times at home would be great.

As for the larger gathering, we had a female marketing expert from a Lubbock private school come in and really shake us up with some really excellent advice. She basically said that we need to be putting our marketing dollars into play where there is good return. She told us that if we were still taking out ads in the phone book that we should immediately stop when the contract with them is over. She also said the same about putting ads into the newspaper. She told us what we should have already known – marketing via those mediums is an old and mostly useless exercise. We are wasting our money on these things. She told us to save those monies that we were putting into old mediums and start to become acquainted with new forms of advertising. Why? Because the old ways are hardly looked at anymore, which makes our investments poor – in other words, we wouldn’t get a good Return on Investment (ROI). She focused in on using Google Adwords and gave us some basic starting points for that. She also said that if we fill out a form online then a Google advertising specialist will get in touch with us. She said that they can train us how to set our pay per click budgets and get us rolling. She also recommended that we swallow any pride we have and to buy a Google Adwords for Dummies book so that we can grasp some of the intricacies of this online advertising service. After she finished, there were several questions concerning the costs of this new marketing. The people who were silent pretty much agreed with everything this woman had to say. I was feeling confident about pulling my money from those old investments and giving Google Adwords a chance to have better demographic targeting and increased ROI.

So readers, any of you out there still using the old methods of marketing? If so, why do you do it? Any of you have experience with Adwords? If so, let me know what you think about it as a marketing strategy? Let me know when you can. Thanks in advance.

July 3, 2017

Interpersonal Skills in Business

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 8:43 pm

Interpersonal Skills in Business – Week Twenty-Nine

I’ll skip over most of the prayer time we had this morning. Josh was away from us and away from his Lubbock lawn care business to go see his ailing father and so Liz and I decided to ask another group of two people if we could join them. The corporate housing folks agreed to let us come in with them and so we briefly got acquainted. Then we prayed for the entire gathering and for each other. It was interesting to hear how this group approached prayer, but I think next time, Liz and I will just stay on our own. It was a good time but it felt a little strange without having Josh there. I have been praying for his father all week and he contacted me to let me know that despite his dad’s struggle, things were stable. I was happy to hear it.

As for the gathering, we had a psychologist named Dr. Shena Smith come in and share with us about all sorts of things. She started with saying that all of us business owners needed to really work on improving our interpersonal skills, regardless of how skilled we thought we were. She said that we needed to pay close attention to how we communicate both verbally and non-verbally with our clients and our employees. She said that most people don’t realize how bad their communication is and how this bad communication affects our businesses for the bad. She gave us some tips as to how to communicate better and she also told us what specific words we needed to avoid. After spending some time on this, she went into personality types and learning styles. She recommended that all of us go back to our places of business and give our staff personality tests so that we can best know how they function. She also said that this would be telling to us as to how personality affects our tendency to hire the same types of people that we are comfortable with. She said that this would also be a good lead-in for any sort of corporate retreats we took with our staff. (She said that we should be the first to take the Myers-Briggs personality test and that we should share the results with our staff. She gave us a sample test so that we could make copies of it and hand it out to staff.) That was about it. I found it to be fascinating information and I planned on doing what she recommended as a lead-in for our upcoming retreat. I made sure to tell her afterwards that I appreciated her sharing some of her communication tips and some of her personality tools. She said she was happy to have been invited to speak and said that she planned on coming back next week to be a group participant.

So, readers, what do you think about paying closer attention to communication? Do you have any specific tips I could use? Also, have you ever done a personality test that gave you insight into your tendencies? Ever used one with your staff? Let me know. I’m always looking for ways to improve.

June 30, 2017

Using Social Media Successfully

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:45 pm

Using Social Media Successfully – Week Twenty-Eight

Well it looks like we are up to five groups of three who have started to pray at the same time as us – we have started a trend. One of the new group leaders (the short-term furnished housing owner) sat in with Josh, Liz and me and asked us to tell how we go about our prayer meeting. We gave a general rundown and then we started our reporting for the week. None of us had any bad stuff to say, only praises to mention. We all entered into this week’s prayer with thanksgiving for how our groups have multiplied and we asked God to make us all committed to pray for each group. It’s amazing really. All of these business owners praying and teaching one another – It’s networking with God and with each other. I cannot believe how all of this has transpired. But I guess that is how God works. He starts marketplace ministry right here and then we carry the supernatural back to our offices and employees. When we finished our time of prayer, Josh did say that his Lubbock lawn care teams seemed more motivated than usual. I patted him on the shoulder and congratulated him.

As for this week’s larger gathering, we actually had a female pastor and teacher (Lubbock Pre-K) come and share about how to build an effective army of volunteers who are willing to spread word of mouth. She said that since there are so many social media mediums, we ought to think about how to get our customers engaged for our businesses’ growth. She said that by encouraging her unpaid volunteers to share Facebook posts and to retweet what the church puts out there on Twitter, they get a stronger base of messaging that takes the place of paid marketing. I didn’t really understand how to get this army of mine to do what she suggested, but it was mainly because I have not invested much time into building my business via social media. I’m not sure why I haven’t done much of this since it is free advertising, but I am going to start now. Why not make my networking expand to the web universe? The overall leader of the group said that he would start a Facebook page for our gatherings and asked us to send out notices to who we know in business. Why not grow?

It’s funny that this came from a pastor. I had expected a big supernatural message, but it was instead a very down to earth message. She did a good job and really got me thinking about stuff I was not doing.

So readers, what do you think about this whole thing? Do you make use of social media to engage any sort of volunteer army? If so, has it seemed to help? Let me know in your comments. Thanks in advance…

June 26, 2017

Be slow to subcontract

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 8:28 pm

Be slow to subcontract – Week Twenty-Six

We had our prayer time and gave ourselves fifteen extra minutes before the large gathering so we could report on what was going on in our lives. Liz told us that she had seen other Lubbock catering businesses begin to optimize their websites using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and she thought that this was why the catering business was falling off a bit. She said that her company was ranking at the top of Google up until last week and then she noticed a drop into fourth place. Statistics show that if a website is not in the top three they hardly get any customer clicks. So, Liz asked if we could pray for her as to whether or not she should invest in SEO to get her business back to where it was before. We prayed over that and all felt like she should give it a try – hire a local business that does this work and let them do what is necessary to get her back on top. Josh said that his lawn care crews were starting to shift from winter scalping into spring landscaping and he wanted prayer that he wouldn’t lose any of his best workers as they made this move. As for me, I just asked for prayer for my family and especially my wife who has been suffering from a terrible flu. It was affecting her time with the kids and putting extra burden on me when I got home from work – not trying to be selfish – I do want her to be well just for the sake of her being well, but it would be nice to have her back at full steam so we could do our jobs around the house with unnecessary struggle. So, we all prayed and we believed that God heard us, because we know He has our best interests in mind. He knows how many hairs we have on our heads and so He certainly doesn’t miss anything about our daily lives.

The large business group was led by a short-term furnished housing leader named Jonathan who spoke about handling sub-contractors. At least that is what I think you would call the outside groups you hire to handle various tasks. Anyway, he talked about how he had hired an outside maintenance team that he had not properly vetted and found out very quickly that they were not representing the base company well at all. They were slow to handle resident maintenance requests and were very harsh with any complaints that came in. So, Jonathan immediately fired this group and decided to take his time to find a crew who had a stellar reputation. While he looked around carefully and asked others who they used, he paid his own staff extra money to cover for the needs of the residents. Jonathan warned us not to rush into hiring any team from the outside because they may or may not have the same vision and mission as your inside team. This talk reminded me of an earlier talk and so I wasn’t that enthusiastic about the talk. But, I certainly did appreciate the effort and the reminders.

Ever used an outside team for your maintenance, accounting or janitorial needs? If so, what were your experiences good and bad? Thanks for commenting. Best to you and your businesses…

June 21, 2017

Paying a Living Wage – Week 23

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 5:35 pm

Paying a Living Wage – Week Twenty-Three

Prayer with my lawn care buddy and my Lubbock catering friend (it has been so great to become friends through this prayer thing) was really good. We did quick reports on our last few week’s requests and it seems that God is truly listening to us and making things better. How great it is to bring our needs to God and actually get answered with positive results. It’s nice to pray with expectancy. This week all of us brought the book that the Lubbock Pre-K leader told us about and we talked about how we can use it to be even better at bringing spirituality not only to our group sessions, but to our actual workplaces. I would have never thought of getting my employees together and praying with them but now I think I might just take the plunge and see who wants to pray with me for our lives. It seems like a no-brainer to bring people at my work together for prayer – we would certainly bond with one another and with God. And as the boss, I would be the best one to introduce it. I will be careful though to make it clear that this is not mandatory and that those who attend will not get special attention from me. I’m not going to give raises to those who pray and keep the others at a simple living wage.

Speaking of a paying a living wage, we had a female speaker who worked for an architectural firm share with us what it is like to not be the boss. She said that we all (the bosses) should take a serious look at making sure our workers are paid at a living wage. She explained that she had started out making less than what she needed to pay all of her bills and it made her feel terrible and even angry when she went into work. She actually carried some angst and it came out in passive aggressive ways towards her bosses. But, when she went to her bosses and explained her situation, they were gracious enough to side with her. They raised everyone’s salary from a lowball base up to a living wage so that everyone could pay their bills and live a better life. It was amazing to hear this woman, who is not at the boss level, share about this controversial topic. I could see my fellow bosses in the room fidget around uncomfortably while she spoke and at discussion time there were a lot of questions about how to raise salaries for everyone without having to lower their own salaries. One of the bosses in the room was very flustered and said that he thought since he was the entrepreneur who took the initial risk to build the business, he should not have to raise his employees’ salaries and have to cut his own salary. Other bosses agreed but there were several (the corporate housing owner in particular) who piped in about how they needed to take this idea into serious consideration. The speaker answered all of them by reiterating that if they don’t pay a living wage, they risked having disgruntled employees who might not work as hard as they could if they didn’t have a living wage. She said that if we wanted to keep good employees around who were loyal to us, we should go for it. I decided right then and there that I was going to have a meeting with my hardworking staff about what they needed to get them to a place of having enough pay to keep them going. I was going to tell my workers that I was going to take a pay cut so that they could live better. This would certainly make them happier and better workers. I hated to cut my own salary to make this living wage possible, but then I thought about how hard it must be to work super hard only to be stressed to the maximum because their pay wasn’t high enough.

So readers out there – what do you think about this idea? What will you do with it?

June 19, 2017

Short-term Housing for Professionals

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 12:56 pm

Short-term Housing for Professionals

A lot of professionals are on the road all of the time trying to help their company reach new regional marks. Sometimes these professionals are forced to be away from their hometowns and from their families for longer than thirty days and this is a difficult ask. It’s super hard to be away from your home for thirty or more days. But at least there are good options nowadays for these traveling workers as far as accommodations go. Now professionals are not forced to live out of their suitcases in a cramped hotel room. They can instead take advantage of smaller leases at short-term housing spaces that are furnished and well appointed. (I’ve been to West Texas for nine months before and found Lubbock short-term furnished housing to stay in for an affordable price.)

Here’s what to look for when you are booking this sort of short-term housing:

  1. How attentive is the management staff in regards to your needs? You should be able to tell right away when something is amiss by watching how professional the management teams are. Ask them how their maintenance teams work and how fast that broken things get fixed.
  2. What amenities are on site? Does the short-term housing have a pool? Does it have in house washers and dryers and if not, do they have a laundry spot on site? Is there a workout room open to the guests? Is cable or Direct TV included in the price or do you have to buy it separately? Are mailboxes on site? Etc.
  3. How old is the furniture in the room? Has it all been thoroughly cleaned since the last tenant was there? Were there pets in the apartment they want to put you into? Are there any newly reconditioned apartments available for you to choose?

Those are the main questions I made sure to ask during my last stay and I was glad I did. I looked at several of the short-term housing options and the only ones that fit into my standards were Home Style Suites and At Home Corporate Suites. They provided amazing places to stay for world-weary working travelers like me.

So, what do you think? Have you ever had to make use of these sorts of short-term housing units? What companies did you think were best? What kinds of questions did you ask of these companies so that you wouldn’t be surprised when you got there?

Let me know. I’m sure I’ll be sent out again shortly. I don’t want to miss out on the best places to live in my temporary state.

June 15, 2017

Teenage Birthday Parties

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 4:37 pm

Teenage Birthday Parties

When your kid is still a kid, it’s pretty easy to figure out what to do for their birthday party – go to Chuck E. Cheese, Altitude Jumping, Dave’s Need for Speed, etc. But when your child becomes an adolescent, it can be harder to plan for their party. Very often your child will want to appear more mature than the old days. They probably won’t want to go to the spots mentioned above. In fact, statistics say that most teenagers want to have a sleepover with their best friends. So, the accommodation part is easy, but what else do you need to think of to make their birthday party a success?

  1. Cake and desserts – Not everyone can bake very well and so if this is you, you can go to a Market Street grocery store and find everything you need to satisfy all of the guests.
  2. Lubbock catering – Besides the dessert part, good food is also important to provide. You could order several pizzas and probably be okay, but I want to suggest that you go outside of the box. I want to recommend that you get the best catering in Lubbock from Chick-fil-A. They can deliver to your house and help you set up a spread that the teens won’t soon forget.
  3. Decorations – I would definitely not go overboard on this part because teenagers don’t want to draw that much attention to themselves. I think that it is best to ask your teenage birthday boy or girl what sorts of décor they want.
  4. Games – Again, you want to ask your teen if they want games to be a part of their sleepover. If they say they do, you can find whatever you need on social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram. Those site are amazing at providing games for all ages. (It might just be a video game party – so ask your teen what video games they might be wanting at their party.)
  5. Movies – A lot of times, teenagers just want to chill out with their buddies and watch some movies. You can get these by looking at the On-Demand station on your TV set. But, if they want to get scared together and want some old school classics, you might have to look at EBAY and find the titles they want (Ex. The Shining, Amityville Horror, etc.) When I hit my teen years, I remember renting like 5 scary movies and staying up all night with my friends watching and screaming.

Well, those are my best suggestions. Please send me your comments so I can add them to my next blog. I appreciate you being willing to expand my mind on teenage parties.

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