Garbage In – Garbage Out

August 29, 2010

What comes to mind when you hear that phrase? I was in the computer field for 12 years while I was in the Marine Corps, so I think of computers. I’ve come to realize this past month or so that this phrase applies to so much more. This same adage can be applied to our bodies, businesses, families and so much more, but for today I’m just going to talk about our bodies.

In April my husband went out-of-town on business for the whole month. I tend to eat junk when I’m bored, lonely, or for any reason, so I challenged him to a weight loss contest. I took it seriously and started counting calories and eating healthier foods. I knew I felt better but I didn’t realize the outward effect it was having on me until my daughter asked me what I was doing,  she said “You have so much more energy”.  All I was doing was eating small healthy meals and heathy snacks. 

When I started school recently I started snacking on unhealthy foods again. I sure could tell a difference! Remember Julia Roberts in “Pretty Women” when she walks in to the boutique on Rodeo Drive that wouldn’t help her pick out cloths on her first shopping trip. She goes back the next day, dressed to the 9’s, hand full of bags, and tells the lady who wouldn’t wait on her “Big, Big mistake! Huge!” I actually see that scene flash through my mind when I reach for a bag of Pretzel M&Ms at the store.  Are the few minutes of gratification really worth the sugar crash after words! Garbage In- Garbage Out!

Do yourself a favor and find some healthier snacks to keep on hand.  I like Fiber One bars, Oats and Chocolate are my favorite.  I have also recently gotten turned on to Amway’s meal bars.   I can keep them in my purse and book bag.  Start your day with a low sugar breakfast, oatmeal with fruit works for me.  What about lunch, try to have a light lunch.  To much, high fat, high carbs food will make you sleepy, and if you’re anything like me that will cause you to reach for the sugary snacks.  For most of us our day doesn’t end at dinner, so when you’re preparing your meal or looking at the menu, realize that whatever you eat is either going to give you the energy you need to keep going and focus or its going to make you wish it was nap time.  Lets face it, we are what we eat, not literally of course but, if we put garbage in our bodies we are going to get garbage for energy out!  What healthy snacks do you keep on hand to avoid the sugar trap?


When Was The Last Time You Said Thank You to a Business?

August 23, 2010

Last week we talked about how important it was to keep your name on top of your customer’s mind by sending notes or cards on a regular basis. It’s a great way to let your customers know that you appreciate them. Well, let’s put a twist on that! What do you do when you get great service from a business?

Unfortunately, about 6 weeks ago our air conditioning unit went out. I live in Southwest Georgia and it gets and stays hot here in the summer. Well with outside temps near 100 degrees, with heat indexes around 110 I was, not a happy camper! The air conditioning repair man came and checked out our unit he was very nice a professional, and politely answered all of our questions and pumped enough coolant in our system to hold us over until our new unit could be installed.

The next week, of course this happened on a Friday, the team that replaces units came to the house; they were so polite and promised to clean up any mess they made. The heat index was way up there again but you would never know it by their attitudes. They were so pleasant that I stood outside and talked with them for a bit, while they worked. I made sure I got their names and told them I was going to tell their boss what a great job they did. So I did!

I took a picture of the South Georgia Heating and Cooling sign in our front yard, logged into my SOC account and created a card using that picture. In the card I mentioned each person that came to our house, by name and told their boss what a great job they did. I was very specific as to why they stood out.
Last week, one of the guys came by the house because we’re having a little condensations problem. The card was mentioned and he told me they framed it and hung it in the office. How neat is that!

When was the last time you thanked someone for the great service you received, by sending a note, card, letter or even just calling their supervisor to let them know? Seriously! Think about it! Next time you receive great service, take the time to let it be known!

Keeping Your Name Top of Your Customers Mind

August 16, 2010

I met a realtor a week or so ago at our local Chamber of Commerce when she approached me once the event was over to ask me more about Send Out Cards.   During the minute I had to tell the group about my business I mentioned how Joe Girard attributed his success as the World’s Greatest Salesmen by keeping his name at the top of  his customers minds by sending handwritten notes and cards several times a year so when they or someone they knew where looking for a new car.  Joe’s name would come to mind because he had made the effort to keep his name top of his customer’s mind. 

 I followed up with this realtor and she said she loves the idea of Send Out Cards and how easy it will be to send out cards.  She mentioned that she would send an anniversary card to each family on the anniversary of when they closed on their house.  Great idea!  Right?  Well sure it is, but is it enough?  Will her clients remember her name in August if their house anniversary is in February?  Think about it?  Most people, unless they buy a house every couple of years, or have a friend or family member as their realtor probably do not know that person’s name. 

 When my daughter got married 2 years ago, her photographer sent me a card, which took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes.  The card had a picture of my daughter in her wedding dress on the front looking down at her flowers, we hadn’t seen any proofs yet, so this was the first wedding picture I’d seen.  I called the photographer and thanked her for the thank you card and told her that she made me cry.  I say all this to say, I heard from her one time, about a month after the wedding and when it came time to get pictures of my grandson for his first birthday two months ago, she never even crossed my mind.

 The realtor has good intentions and the thank you card from the photographer was a great idea and an awesome gift but is it enough?   Is saying Thank you once, then not talking to someone enough for them to remember you?  Is hearing from someone once a year going to make you remember them when someone you know is looking for the product or service you provide?  What do you think, is putting your name in front of your customers / clients once a year enough?    Do you send hand written mail to your customers, clients and people you network with?  How are you keeping your name top of their minds?

Get them talking about you!

August 7, 2010

Treat them Right! Sounds simple doesn’t it? Most businesses probably think they are treating their customers right, “They’re satisfied, isn’t that enough!” Well, sure it is if you just want satisfied customers, but if you want loyal, referring customers, simply satisfying your customers is just not enough. What are you doing to stand out? When was the last time a customer, client, or patient walked out of your place of business and told someone else about how great they were treated or how great they felt when they left? Shouldn’t that be your goal? Wouldn’t it be great to have your customers walk out so thrilled about how they were made to feel that they told their friends, family, co-workers, heck anyone who would listen; about their experience in your business.
Take sometime this week; think about what you can do to make your customer’s day. What can you do to keep them talking about you after they walk out the door?

A Little Encouragement Goes a Long Way!

July 29, 2010

Isn’t it amazing how a little bit of help and guidance at the right time can be so exciting and such an encouragement?  Earlier in the week I had a coaching call with Rachel Jackson .  When I got off the phone I was so excited.  Why?  Because I was given some help and direction, something I really needed to use the internet as a tool to grow my business.

This weekend I was at my daughter’s house playing with my grandson; (I know big surprise).  Anyway, he was sort of fussy and wanted to be picked up so I reached down and instead of picking him up I held is little hands, so his hands could grab my fingers and encouraged him to walk.  He stopped for a few seconds and looked around at everyone who was in the kitchen with us.  It looked like he was just standing there enjoying the view, seeing things from a different perspective.  He got so excited; he did the same thing he does when he hears music, a sort of little dance.  Then with a little help and direction, he walked holding my hands around their living room, laughing the whole time.

The thing is he’s great at what he knows, crawling; just like I’m great at my business the way I do it now.   But, just like when my grandson stood up and looked around the kitchen, like he was seeing it for the first time, I have been given a new perspective of how to work my business.  And just like my grandson I needed a little encouragement and help to take that first step but now that I’ve been shown a different and better way, I don’t want to go back.

Just like my grandson, I may fall and stumble along the way but I know that there are people along the way who are ready and willing to help me back to my feet.

Change and Changing Diapers!

July 18, 2010

My mind makes some very strange analogies now that I’m a grandmother.  For instance, I was thinking about change.   Don’t ask me why but changing my grandson’s diaper flashed through my mind.  Ever notice how babies fuss when they need a diaper change, fight the process of being changed but when it’s all over, they get back up and back to the business of exploring their surrounds, playing with their toys and generally bringing  joy to those around them.

Think about it, how many of us act the same way when we face change!  We know something has to give, we’ve fussed, contemplated, stressed, talked, blogged, posted on Facebook, and Tweeter about the need or want for something different, in our lives or careers.   Then the decision is made, we’re going to do it, we’re going to do what it takes to make this change happen in our lives.   We talk our decision over with our friends and family and get their thoughts, concerns and support.  That’s when the calm hits, the peace, the joy and hope of change coming lifts our spirits.  Just like that baby being picked up, before the diaper change, the fussing stops because they know something is happening and they know its going to be good.  How can it be bad, they’re in the arms of someone who loves and cares for them?

But, then it happens, the pulling away, the baby has to be separated from the caregiver to be changed.  This is where the struggle begins, when we leave the safety of the known for the change ahead, we have a tendency to fight it every step of the way.  I can see my grandson now, squirming and struggling, fighting to get out of the situation he’s in, holding his arms up, wanting me to pick him up from the changing table back into the comfort of what he knows. Goodness, don’t we get that way too!   We fight the change and start wondering if this is the right thing to do!  What if it’s not?  What if I fail?  What if I don’t?  We thrash around like the toddler on the changing table, fighting the process just about every step of the way.   When it would so much easier is trust the process and the planning, and go with the change.  The thing is, when it’s all said and done, just like that little one with a nice clean diaper, we realize that we survived the challenge and are better off for having gone through it.

Reap what you sow!

July 7, 2010

What’s that old saying, “No good deed goes unpunished”!  I think I like the Bible’s version, that we reap what we sow a lot better.  Sure I think we’ve all tried to do something nice for someone and it backfired on us, but what about the time you did something nice and out of nowhere you were repaid in kind.  How often have you let someone with fewer items than you go in front of you in line at the discount store?  Has anyone ever let you go, in front of them?  How did it make you feel?  Better yet, how did it make you feel when you let that person go in front of you? 

 Have you ever stopped to give someone money who had one of those signs “Homeless – Will work for food?”  I have, but sadly, I have also passed those folk bye and didn’t give them a second thought.  I didn’t have to stop the other day, the man knocked on our door.  He drove up our neighbors drive when I was out playing with the dog.  I few minutes after I came inside there was a knock on our door, my husband answered and stepped outside.  When he didn’t come back in right away, I got curious, okay, I got nosey and wanted to know who was at the door.  Yep, it was the guy I had seen on my neighbors drive a few minutes earlier.  When I walked in on the conversation he was telling my husband that he and his wife had moved back to town to find work and he would trim our trees for $50 but he just wanted to sleep in a hotel, instead of in his tiny pick-up and do some laundry.   He kept on about where they spent the night before, why they were moving back etc.  We told him to wait a minute and we stepped inside.  I asked my husband what he thought of this guy removing the peach tree that was laying in our back yard from the last storm, that we didn’t have a chainsaw to remove, and having him haul it to the curb for yard waste pick-up.  My husband checked his cash and all we had was $50, which is what the man wanted.  I struggled, the tree needed to be removed but I didn’t want to give the guy all our cash.  Well, we did and the guy did a great job, even hauled the branches my husband had cut from some bushes to the curb.   

 Here’s the thing, there is a point to me telling you this and why I believe what the Bible says about you reap what you sow.  The guy came to our house on Saturday, Sunday evening I was getting my work cloths ready for the next day, and decided I’d wear earrings to work, which I’ve done once in 18 months, well, when I opened my little box with my earrings, there was $100 bill folded up inside!  I showed my husband and asked him if he had put it there before his last business trip and he said that he hadn’t.   He smiled at me and said, “I guess God is happy with us helping the guy yesterday!”  How did the money get there?  Frankly, I don’t care!  Could it have been money I hid a few weeks ago?  Maybe!  All I know is that when we gave that man all the cash we had in our house, the next day we reaped twice as much as we sowed the day before!

 I would love to hear about the times when you’ve done something nice for someone who you knew could never pay you back and then you got paid back some other way!

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