Week one – Business meetings
I don’t typically blog about life because I don’t think anyone would be interested in most of what I have to say. I’m not trying to be self-deprecating or down on myself – I just know that there are a billion blogs out there and up to this point I haven’t felt the desire or need to add another unnecessary one – especially from someone like me who is just a normal working man. But, after I joined this small group of businessmen who happen to be super friendly and very smart at what they do, I decided to chronicle how a group of men can come together and form a tight bond that goes beyond entrepreneurial capitalism. If you think it is interesting, please feel free to comment.
By the way, my name is Joe and I work in the area of plumbing, heating and air conditioning. I started my business about twelve years ago and it has grown from a two-person team to a thirty-person crack team of skilled workers who drive around in trucks with our company name on it – constant advertisement that I think has made us into a force in our regional industry.
My best friend in the group is the head of a company that does really cool landscaping in Lubbock. His name is Josh and Josh is in the midst of growing his business by carefully hiring hard workers who also have some sense of creativity to add to their work. Josh’s company has just added holiday light installation to their biz and from what I hear they have some experts on the team who can do this skill masterfully. Anyway, Josh is a good guy who has used his entrepreneurialism to tackle an industry that has a lot of local competitors. I asked him the other day how he uses marketing to promote his lawn care company and he told me that beyond mail-outs and flyers, he has moved to web exposure. He has hired a professional web design company that also does Search Engine Optimization to get them to the top of the web rankings. His reasoning is that if he is the first company that appears as people search for a Lubbock landscaping company, there will be an organic trust. People (potential clients) tend to trust what Google ranks highly. I agree with his thinking and might just follow in his footsteps.
Anyway, as a group we usually meet for coffee at this shop inside of a local sports company. We all agree that caffeine is a necessary part of all of our businesses. During our times together we talk about what each individual leader is doing to increase business and become more profitable. Not everyone is able to speak on this every meeting, but the information that comes out is typically invaluable. Most of us ask pointed questions of the speaker about Returns on Investment and when it seems like it will work, most of us give it a shot and report on how it affected our businesses in the next meeting. So, right there it is worth the time.
So, that’s my introduction of the group. Who knows if and when I will blog about our group again but at least I did the hardest part of beginning.
Day 101 – Sunday Depeche Mode
I’ve been digging into my 80’s music lately – mainly listening to bands like Cure, New Order, Erasure and Depeche Mode. There is just something about the sound of those bands that get into me. They stir up memories of good times past and take me back to places where I had great experiences – funny how songs can pull you back in time. Anyway, I put on my waterproof, wireless headphones and swam with extra vigor as Dave Gahan told me about my own Personal Jesus. It was a good morning at the old Lubbock Corporate Housing pool.
Melissa and I had brunch together and we talked, but we didn’t talk the whole time. We actually let silence exist between us and when we talked about it later, we agreed that it was a good sign. Being able to be quiet with someone is a sign that means you are becoming extra comfortable with the other – that you don’t need to fill up silences with useless noise. At least that’s what the marriage experts say.
Since it was Sunday and our bellies were filled with all sorts of pastries, we settled down and did a Bible study together. We typically let each other do individual Bible studies throughout the week and come together on Sundays to not only do one together, but we talk about what each other learned during the week. Today’s Bible study was about how a husband and wife should treat each other. I think we both planned on doing the things that were mentioned, but I was a bit taken aback as to the level of love that was required by me. I am supposed to love her like Christ loves the church – which basically means I need to be ready to lay down my life for her – both literally and daily. I need to keep that in the front of my mind as I enter into this marriage – not get selfish or be afraid. Melissa agreed to be submissive to me (in a Biblical way) so that she remained humble as well. I don’t necessarily understand what this submission means but I think it mainly means having respect for me in all situations. I guess we will both learn over time.
I had dinner with some of the leaders of the realty company that was still insisting on my working with the keyword phrases, Lubbock homes for sale and homes for sale in Lubbock. I agreed with them and told them I would redouble my efforts to make sure they were climbing up the rankings. I asked them if they were seeing more business coming their way as a result of their web exposure and they said they were feeling like a much stronger company as a result. Sales were up and new customers told them that they found them online. Pat on my back, baby. I asked them again about what sort of landscaping they were going to do for their new developments and they shared that they were going to design based on the neighborhoods.
The only other thing I did was take some time in Ecclesiastes to prep for the Bible study that was getting a dry run tomorrow night. Only a couple of people were invited so that I could get a feel for leading a group through the existential morass of this book. Tomorrow would be good for me.
Oh yeah. And I played some video games. I bought an Xbox because I needed some stupid escape time once in a while. A good use of time? Nope. But I would trade in my TV times for some games. Build up my problem solving skills and my hand-eye coordination. Nice justifications, huh?