Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

March 30, 2018

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…

Fire Damage Claims in Dallas

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

Fire Damage Claims in Dallas

I know what it is like to have a fire at my family’s house and I can assure you that it is really rough to come back from. Nobody in the family got hurt, but the house was in bad shape from the fire damage and most of the furniture had such bad smoke damage that hardly any of it could not be kept. The family had to move into a hotel for quite a while and it was tight living. It’s so much harder to live in a hotel for an extended stay than you would think. The laundry requires quarters and the single sink can get everyone a bit annoyed – not to mention the single bathroom and shower made everyone rush around like crazy. It really took a toll on everyone’s emotions. On top of that the family had to work through the process of getting the insurance company to come through with a fair settlement so that we could recover everything we had lost. The house was going to need major work done on it and if the insurance company didn’t think so, we would have been in big trouble. Ultimately everything ended up working out and we were able to renovate, repair and buy new furniture.

Now to any of you out there having to file fire damage claims in Dallas, I want to recommend something to you that the family didn’t know about. My suggestion is that you should start the insurance process by hiring a Texas Public Adjuster company. Public adjusters are those people who advocate for you and come alongside you as you deal with the insurance companies. They fight for you to make sure to make sure you get what you need to get your life back in order. In other words, they can get you more money from the insurance claims than you could get on your own. Sounds good, right? Who doesn’t want more money? And they also make the process so much easier. I wish my family had used a business called Abba Claims – a well-known public adjusting firm in the Dallas area. It would have been nice to see what return we would have gotten.

Anyway, if we ever have another fire, which I really hope we don’t, we will call those guys up. And if you are going through this situation, call them up today. They can be found on the web at

February 6, 2018

Diversifying Your Marketing – Week Sixty-Two

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:04 pm

Diversifying Your Marketing – Week Sixty-Two

I had a fight with my wife right before coming to the business group meeting today and so I felt very disconnected and flustered when I went into prayer. I asked Liz Josh, and Ches to pray for the peace that passes understanding so I wouldn’t carry my frustrations from home into work. Liz asked for prayer for some catering in Lubbock that she was working on. It was a big event and she said that it was even a fancy affair. She wasn’t used to prepping food for such a large party and so she asked for us to pray for everything to go well. Josh said that his landscaping in Lubbock was going well but that his expansion into some of the other small towns was not going too well. He asked us to cover that so that he didn’t get too stressed about it all. Ches mentioned that several of his fire claims in Dallas were in need of cover as well seeing as how insurance companies were not responding correctly to the settlements that were needed.

As for the larger group meeting, we had another marketing expert come in – the speaker’s name was Jason and he was another one of those people who you could tell was a natural speaker. His talk was about how to become a “tradigital” company. In other words, he said that we should make sure to use both traditional methods of marketing as well as digital methods. He said to do both would make sure to diversify marketing thus hitting all of the demographics and potential clients. He said that too many business owners either try to abandon the old mediums of marketing or throw all of their eggs into the new digital strategies. He said that this latter way might soon be the best way to go, but he said there were still several years to go before throwing out billboards, flyers, and yellow books. He taught us how to spend our marketing dollars in percentages – like 25% on TV and radio, 25% on newspaper and door to door flyer placements, and 50% on our web presence. I thought this was a good talk and it made me take a better look at how much of my percentages were being distributed. I’d never really thought of how to get the best coverage to the markets I was seeking to hit. I was blown away to see his presentations on how some local businesses had raised their profits by doing this sort of diversification. It made me want to jump on the wagon and to spend properly to get new clients.

So readers, what are your opinions about being tradigital? What have you done to spread your marketing dollars around on traditional methods and on digital methods? Where have you seen the most gains? I’m interested in hearing what you think so feel free to share about your experiences.

January 24, 2018

Successful Change Agents Get Buy-In

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 7:24 pm

Successful Change Agents Get Buy-In

All of the pre-business meeting prayer groups decided to team up with one other group – made it six per group – just to get a feel for how things are going in others’ lives. And also, I think there was some fascination as to how each group was falling into prayer. Liz, Josh and I joined up with Carl, James and Jennifer and we all briefly shared how our businesses were going. Josh made some interesting comments about his Lubbock landscaping growth. We didn’t have time to get into much detail since we wanted to make sure we spent a lot of time in prayer with one another. The other group led us into prayer and it was just a basic set of prayers. It was nice to have other voices join ours but I still prefer the smaller version of us. I’m used to focusing on two other people rather than five. Still, I was a nice boy and did my part in prayer. I have to say that I love the fact that we pioneered this movement of prayer among businesspeople. It was nice to be a catalyst for something valuable.

As for the larger business gathering we had a brief announcement from Ches who shared about fire damage claims in Dallas and how his company can help with anyone who faces this sort of trouble there.  Our main speaker, Joyce, who was involved in running a short-term apartment location. I think it is interesting to have two such business people in the room doing the same sort of work. I don’t have any other heating and cooling owners in the larger group. Anyway, Joyce, who had come to the group late kind of shared what somebody else had touched on. She talked about being a change agent not only within the walls of her business but also in the larger regional market where our clients existed. She didn’t get into much about the community piece but she did focus in on how to gain consensus with the opinion leaders at our business. She said that some owners foolishly launched new initiatives without asking their leadership teams what they thought of it. She said that this could cause a lot of friction and even some pushback that we didn’t need. If we could get the leadership on board first then it would much easier to introduce new ideas that would funnel down smoothly. She said that as leaders we needed to “take the temperature” of our overall staff too. If we gave them chances to do some initial allowance for re-invervention of the seminal idea, we would have a good chance for change to take effect with little to no frustrations coming from employees. I am glad she talked to us about this subject because I know that I don’t ask for much help from my leaders or my group of workers. I pretty much just go with own ideas and place them into affect without getting feedback from my people. I need to do that from now on. I actually have some changes that I am about to introduce into how we work togtether and I will use this talk to spur me on to include others into my decisions.

So readers, how do you bring change into your business organizations? Are you open to the ideas of others who work for you? I am interested in how you allow for re-intervention. Thanks for commenting every week. Your tips and advice are very important to me.


January 22, 2018

Getting it all back!

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:21 pm

Getting it all back!

We all have possessions that we would never want damaged or lost. Most of us have houses that we have worked hard to maintain and even build up and inside of that house we place all sorts of things that we consider beautiful and/or practical. But some times bad things happen to our houses and our things. A fire for instance can happen and destroy some or all of what we have worked so hard to gain. Hopefully this example “fire” wouldn’t cause any human loss or injury, but loss of housing or possessions can make us feel like we have had the rug pulled out from us. One day we have a lovely home filled with lovely things and the next a fire hits and we are standing in the midst of destruction. What should we do at this point? What can we do to make this situation better? How can we regain some normalcy?

Most of us hopefully can make fire damage insurance claims to get the ball rolling on recovering our things. But this process can be a difficult one. Insurance companies can make it difficult to get a settlement that will allow you to get everything back in its right place. It can be frustrating to get fire damage claim help. Thankfully there are professionals known as Public Adjusters that you can hire to stand between you and the insurance company so that a higher settlement can be attained. If you find yourself facing an insurance claim, I would definitely recommend you checking out these professionals before you try to go at it alone. I’m writing this suggestion to you because up until a fire ravaged my in-laws house, I had no idea that there were people who could help them with their insurance claim. I had no idea what a Public Adjuster was – I quickly learned though and was blown away by their effectiveness.

I hope that my recommendation helps you if you ever have really any sort of damage done to your home or business that requires an insurance claim. I hope you never have to use a Public Adjuster and that your life goes without destruction of any sort. But if you do run into trouble with fires, water damage, mold, smoke damage, etc., keep Public Adjusters in mind. They will get you back on your feet.

January 18, 2018

The Nicest Yard on the Block

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 8:14 pm

The Nicest Yard on the Block

Everyone I know is fairly competitive about a lot of things – who has the coolest car (minivans never win, no matter what), who has the best job, who gets to wear the most casual clothes to work, who has been on the best vacation, who has the best Christmas lights, etc. It’s a funny little game that we humans play mostly with our neighbors. We especially tend to get competitive when it comes to who has the best landscaping. Everyone wants to have the nicest yard on the block with the best landscape design. Nobody wants big yellow patches in their lawn or uncreative landscaping. Makes sense to me – your front yard is the external representation of what you probably have inside of your house. Who wants to scream to everyone around “We don’t care about showcasing our home. We are derelict in our duties and even though we dirty gutters, a million leaves in the yard and dandelions popping up everywhere, we are happy.”

I live in Lubbock and so I know that Lubbock landscaping and Lubbock lawn care is a big deal. I also know that some of the richer folks spend upwards of $20,000 on their landscaping to make sure they have the best yard in their area. Now, I am not recommending this crazy amount of money be spent on plants, trees and yard work. But I do recommend that you find a lawn care crew that is not only affordable but that is also known for their killer professionalism and creative abilities to give you an advantage over your competitive neighbors. Some people try to do it all on their own – mowing, edging, designing, gardening, etc. And great for them if they want to risk looking bad. But I don’t think this is the right road to take – I would hire a great crew with amazing testimonials about their work and let them do all of that stuff for me.

One company in Lubbock that matches all of my needs for year-round lawn care is called Lubbock Roots Lawn and Landscape ( I know their boss and he is a stickler for doing the best work for a fair price. And his workers do everything just right. I might be spending less on my yard than my neighbors do, but no one would ever guess it. I recommend this company above all others. Feel free to comment and tell me who you think is the best in town. All I know is that I have the best yard on the block because of this group.

With that, I bid you adieu. Happy weed-pulling!

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