Respecting Our Elders in the Work Place

Word of caution and encouragement: I was talking to someone recently who said that the generations of people who are older were being put down and dissed by the newer and younger in her particular organization. The older ways being labeled antiquated and irrelevant, literally those that were top-level considered bereft of the “newer and faster and better” ways.

Be excessively cautious on that note to be quick to dismiss their worth and value, as to dishonor the Lord’s elders gone ahead of us is a risky move of complete and utter foolishness. We would not be here without them and building on the foundational blocks they built that were hot for their generation, the ideals they put into place to help progressive action take place for future generations to benefit, not to mention, that their actions actually are the inspiration for something new to be done to improve things – we, instead of disrespect, ought to hand them a hearty and huge thank you. Lift them up and sing their praises. Nothing is new under the sun, but instead things evolve (and no I don’t mean human bodies in evolution).

What I mean … technology advances, but it was for us to discover it as the Lord always had these things in mind and knew before we were even born what and where it all would happen. He chose whom He wanted in place for their time in the equation and none of it could survive or move forward without the other.
The other thing to remember … sometimes those outdated old folks will blow right passed an ignorant and ungrateful generation and do things the younger would never dream of, right here and now. The Lord used Caleb in his 80s to fulfill a vision he had in his 40s and those very things can happen even today and still do … true wisdom comes from years of experience, hurdling over stumbling blocks, soaring past set backs, overcoming deep wounds and betrayals, financial losses, climbing the mountain tops of victory, and working in a spirit of gratitude. One never knows how the Lord may humble those who boast of being bigger and better than ever before, like the example set by those that boasted about the new production of the Titanic that “not even God could sink”.  We all know how that ended.

Respect those that are older and wiser and more experienced and never put them on a shelf as unusable. Ask and glean, and put that independent and self-sufficient attitude to rest. If anything, make someone who has gone before you a pertinent and very real part of your prayer team, a member of your advice counsel, and perhaps put their calloused and willing hands to work with you rather than leaving them in the dust with ingratitude. Our elders deserve to be treated with the respect they have earned, just as we ourselves will wish to be respected when it’s out turn. 

Leviticus Elderly

Pictured above: Shirley and Marvin Johns, grandparents to the author.

A Word Fitly Spoken

Stone Mountain Girl

Recently I was given a moment with a sweet girl who had planted herself on top of a smooth giant rock near the observatory at the top of Stone Mountain. When I first caught glimpse of her, the profile of a young person in deep thought, I couldn’t help but take a couple of snap shots with my cell camera as the pose, the background, and the moment, was apropos for photography. Glancing over the photos I realized that any girl might appreciate the fact she is the object of a great photo opp, so I approached her during her quiet moment, and told her this would make a perfect picture for a blog if she were writing one.

Very excited she asked to see the pic I had snapped as indeed she had just finished a blog that she had written and allowed me to take a glimpse on her phone. As I studied her face at a closer range, no one could miss the tears streaming down her cheeks, and upon reading her blog, it reflected fresh feelings that she was starting a new chapter in her life. At the moment, I didn’t feel led to pry, but God revealed right there on the spot to encourage her heavily with the Word and a few examples of His work from topics on  body-building all the way to building a business to a level far beyond what one could ever imagine or dream. 

Before long, the smile came, the tears stopped, and she was ready to take on that new chapter she had already written about in her unpublished blog.  Texting her the photos I had taken for her to use, I glanced up as she walked away with a lighter heart and a bounce in her step as she headed down the mountain, knowing full well that this was no mistake meeting – it was the Lord sending me on a divine appointment.

I may never know the reason for her heavy heart when I arrived, but she was certainly not deep in sorrow as she left.With a belly full of gratitude, I reflected on how many times someone who was passing by gave me a word of wisdom that I would learn to treasure for eternity. We never forget those people, their kindness, the power of that moment that changed everything.

The take away: My thought is, I wonder how many opportunities we might miss when we don’t look up from our devices and busy schedules and stop and talk a minute to get involved in someone’s life just like this – God will surely use someone, but I don’t want to miss out on the chance when it’s my turn to minister. We could prevent a major decision in the wrong direction by stepping in with a strong shoulder to cry on or simply taking a few minutes to bolster a person’s entire direction in life. They are thirsty to hear, and navigating someone through the ups and downs of the human heart experiences can  make all the difference for eternity.

As for my time with this stranger now turned friend, I’m not sure who was blessed more at that moment, her, or me.   

God is good.

ReAnn Ring

Apples of gold

 

Do You Have the Guts?

Entrepreneur jumps off a cliff

The old and true cliché’ reads like this: If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten just like folding a fitted sheet over and over again and expecting different results. The method turns into absurdity and begs for a new approach.

So how does one truly crack into the art of being a change agent of one’s own life, and, in turn, bless those that are watching and following? Like it or not, if you are a believer, you are being observed every day by those around you looking for hope and a difference – to see if this “God thing” is the real McCoy. To boot, one of the greatest feelings on earth is knowing that you are working smack dab in the middle of the Lord’s calling being all that He has made you to be for such a time as this. But what if you don’t find yourself there? How do you get into that mode to begin with and stay there? What if you have been sitting on an idea or product or service plan that you have yet to put into the market-place. What about that ministry idea that gives you the butterflies but you are too afraid to take hold of ???

The answer is simple, but not simple: He or she prays, dreams, prays again, makes a plan, does a mother load of due diligence accompanied by a load of wise counsel, and then without holding back, against all doubt and fear, GOES FOR IT, without looking back, pushing past every obstacle, and keeping one’s eye on the prize at all times. The key to making all of this happen is to not procrastinate on getting started, otherwise that hope deferred will make the heart sick, just like the Word of God states in Proverbs 13:12. By dedicating that skill set, dream, gifts and talents, to the Lord, those things that He gave you, and by following His wisdom in the fail proof blueprint of His written Word, one cannot go wrong.

Several years ago emerging slowly from a very dark and painful season, I wrote a Bible study, birthed out of the loss of love, finances, and my very well-being. It was a time of betrayal so deep I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to survive it emotionally and often during that time I prayed for the Lord to take me to glory in order to escape the burden of the chains to emotional pain, isolation and sheer broken-ness in my world. However one day I realized that I couldn’t push the Lord away any more in my furry and anger asking Him “why” every five minutes, and decided to forgive my enemies, turning my heart earnestly toward the One Who patiently held me during my loss and bellowing. With a steady climb out of a wickedly debilitating depression, with prayer, I reminded the Lord that He told me He had a plan for my life, and I searched for answers with a new hope through God’s Word. The Lord didn’t need my reminding of His truth, but He certainly did act as a tender Father when He proved He was listening the whole time and loved that I reached out to hold Him to His promise. Very soon I could feel the literal pop of chains of bondage on my wrist to my sadness, break free and GLORY was that ever a moment!

It was not any overnight transformation for sure, but through a consistent earnest search for His healing and will, the Lord not only released me to move on, but continued with a powerful punctuation to the script for my life He already had in mind.  He navigated me out of the abyss of sadness and despair, according to Psalm 18, and set me onto a wide open space to start afresh and anew. That’s the time I providentially fell into the story of the widow and Elisha.

The Bible Study He gave me to write and share, that followed out of this season of challenge, came from II Kings 4:1-7 about the true story of the little pot of oil that Elisha taught the debt-driven-desperate-widow to use and multiply in order to pay off her creditor. She was in a terrible place and no other option to go but up! Obeying the voice of the Lord through Elisha, not only was she able to pay off her debt, but Scripture specifically states that she was then going to “live off the rest”.

WOW, what a miracle! And if it could happen for her, it could happen for me … and for that matter >>>> ANYONE!

From that moment through the next eleven years to the present time, my Provider in glory worked beside me as a new business partner in a venture where He multiplied the oil He had given me, placed me in front of live t.v. and radio to share my story and this treasured passage that has become the mantra of my work ethic, and has grown our (the Lord and me) business to a higher level than I ever imagined – garnering a steady seven-figure retail income, while being able to pay myself a six figure yearly salary. The income this produces also freed me up to work in two incredible ministries that transformed my world and allowed me to give back in return for all that was poured into me.

And guess what? As I said, others were watching. This has created more curiosity and cause for others to seek my counsel on growing their own venture, their new business, their idea they have in mind to create and bring to fruition on the shelves, their on-line endeavors, and more, of which I delight in helping people with applying the same principles I have learned and still use though coaching and speaking and more. You cannot go wrong with God’s Word as the G.P.S. to life’s direction.  The following is a video outline and the written Bible Study lovingly prepared and prayed through so that anyone will have full access of the points of application in order to grow a dream, from zero to infinity in God’s timing.

Before you begin – pray first, drink in deeply the passage provided, and work steadily with the passion for a new beginning, or stronger path to flourish in, right in front of you. Please feel free to comment and ask questions as I so enjoy seeing others break out of the ordinary and go to extraordinary heights! With the Lord as your partner there is absolutely NOTHING you cannot accomplish. My greatest joy is to know that you are doing and being all you can for God’s glory in your businesses and ministries.  As my favorite lady in history, Corrie ten Boom, stated, “He uses the pieces of our broken heart, to feed the multitude.”

Prayerfully yours,

ReAnn

 

 

The Oil

(King James Version – http://www.BlueLetterBible.com)

2Kings 4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen

2Ki 4:2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

2Ki 4:3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, [even] empty vessels; borrow not a few.

2Ki 4:4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.

2Ki 4:5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought [the vessels] to her; and she poured out.

2Ki 4:6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, [There is] not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.

2Ki 4:7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.

1. What state of mind was the woman in when she came to Elisha? Look up the word cried in the Strong’s Concordance and describe more fully the type of “cry” she made to Elisha in verse 1? Have you ever been in this situation of desperation? __________________________________________________________

2. What do you think of Elisha’s reaction? What first step did he tell her to do? What was the second step he instructed her to do? What happened in between? __________________________________________________________

3. What was the issue at hand and what led up to the crises? __________________________________________________________

4. Do you think she had tried anything before this to remedy her debt? Think of what she told Elisha she had when he asked her what she had . . . she answered “nothing, save a pot of oil.” Think of the story of Jonah, a dear teacher of mine pointed out that he didn’t cry out to the Lord until AFTER he had spent three days in the darkness of the whale’s stomach. Why did he, and why do we, wait so long to cry out to the Lord for help? __________________________________________________________

5. The word oil is used five times in this passage – five is the number of grace … What is that little pot of oil in your life that can be used of God – no matter how meaningless it may seem to you? Take time to pray and think on this … __________________________________________________________

6. Vessels is mentioned seven times – seven is the the number of completion. God always does His delivery rescue completely and fully. In this passage vessel can stand for people, or commodities that can be of value- we are vessels of honor as people.  What are the vessels or who are the vessels in your life? __________________________________________________________

7. Who are your neighbors in your circumstances? What is it that God can use in your life to bless you and others? How can you pour for more into others? __________________________________________________________

8. Explain what you think it means when the passage mentions that she closed the door on herself and her sons when she began to pour and the miracle took place – Who was present with her besides her two sons. Closing the door is representative of prayer …  __________________________________________________________

9. How does this apply to your life or to someone you know? __________________________________________________________

10. Are you willing to give everything you have to the Lord to use, or do you feel you having nothing to offer him? How far are you willing to sell out to get answers to your needs, before you go to the Father for answers and for replenishment? What is YOUR oil that God could use to multiply? __________________________________________________________

11. Do you BELIEVE that the Lord can do the same miracle for you as He did in this passage for this woman? __________________________________________________________

12. Once the woman finished pouring the oil, what did she do then? __________________________________________________________

13. Did the widow know before hand when she performed part one of the instructions from Elisha what he was going to tell her to do with all of that oil she collected? Did she even know ahead of time that the Lord was going to perform a miracle? What does this tell you about faith? __________________________________________________________

14. Why would it have been a disaster if she had simply given up and not followed through with Elisha’s wise counsel for the reason of that fact she didn’t see how this would work or remedy her problem? __________________________________________________________

15. When you are in a despair, run out of resources, are destitute, and on your last few drops of oil, do you think it is simply enough that someone hands you replenishment, or is it more valuable to learn how to exercise faith and a strategy that can supply you for a lifetime. “Feed a man a fish and he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”.

Does it make sense that this woman had NO experience as an entrepreneur oil merchant, yet the Lord made her into a success story almost over night? It certainly doesn’t mean she didn’t have to work, exercise faith, and OBEY, but none the less, she was set for future means forever, and she could now help others with the overflow from the oil. Can you imagine what she told her neighbors once she sold the oil and then returned the borrowed vessels back to them? What vessels do you have in your life that may be filled with impurities or foul waters and need to be emptied in order for the Lord to fill them with fresh oil? __________________________________________________________

My prayer for you: Lord Jesus, You can show us what our resources, talents, and skills are regardless if we believe we have anything to offer. Will you lift the veil of our eyes to see You more clearly as we turn our faces to You according to II Corinthians 3:16 and guide us into where we should use our abilities for Your glory? Show the person reading this right now, that NOTHING is too insignificant for use, but more importantly, that we offer what we have without assumptions, and not sit on a miracle waiting to happen right in front of us. Please guide us and show us what to do for Your glory. Amen

Switching Gears

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Don’t try to shove a square peg into a round hole – it simply will not fit. Not only will one be wasting their time, but this fruitless effort bathed in pride will be delaying precious fulfilling life-changing experiences one could know while working in and around that sweet spot known as your life’s calling.

Nothing feels as liberating as working in the field to which you have a calling – be it ministry, a corporate position, a home based business, birthing an invention or idea into fruition, instructing or speaking on topics of expertise, and any other scenario we are drawn to inwardly but simply are at odds with outwardly since we are beating out of sync operating in a foreign place – working out of our calling. Trying to maneuver around a place we don’t belong simply won’t satisfy for the long haul and one will feel deflated and unfulfilled in a multitude of ways. Suddenly we may wake up one day well into the years of dull ventures we have been on along the not so suitable path and realize how much time has been wasted and how many excuses we have used before we own the fact we have been given ONE life and a God-given place of “making a difference” in the lives of others.

We may even sink into further despair as the once strongly held desires of our heart dissipate suddenly due to a set back in the journey, become derailed by a discouraging comment from someone significant to us that made the dream seem impossible, or even that little voice in our own head that says “it will never fly”. That other voice we often listen to generally takes precedence over believing the voice of our Lord God Who has equipped those that He calls for the work at hand and gives us great pleasure in that journey as well (Hebrews 13:20-21). Why would we not believe the One that made us for His purpose and muffle out His brilliant plan and voice?

For me the answer to his question lies in the basic vision flat lining arena of FEAR and procrastinating the inevitable failure we think we will face. Simply put, we don’t have faith that God can and will do His finest work despite or short comings and inabilities and we might, just might not fail at all. Even if we do have set backs, the Lord is the Master Weaver as working all things together for our good and never leaves a faux pas unused. . And when successes take place He is the One Who deserves the credit!

The definition of success also varies widely from person to person. Your calling may not be to create or run a million dollar company or making a headline news piece, but certainly it COULD if we put our passions into action behind the plow of determination to make a dream come to reality. When we operate within the will of God, ANYTHING is possible for the Lord God the Creator of the Universe Who has no limits functioning with unspeakable power in and around that person. Don’t miss it, don’t allow time to waste, visions to fade, and the monster of negativity to create a halt in your progress. How many days are we guaranteed a breath and yet we live as if we have forever to finally grab hold of the brass ring that we were wired to hold on any given scale?

Time to stop and change directions and move along with the areas of life you were meant to be the warrior that you are – here are a few helpful steps to get thinking into the mode of productivity in the right direction:

1. Pray on it. Nothing but nothing beats absolute communication with our Father Who is bursting with kindness and surprises for His children, which leads me to this reassuring statement; make sure you are a child of God in order to receive His blessings. All one has to do is simply believe in Him as Savior and then seek His kingdom first and His righteousness which is learned through the meditation on His Word the Bible and spending time in fellowship with Him. He will begin to shape the desires of your heart according to His Word if you will delight in Him, and then soon, one will want what He wants.  (Psalm 37:4)

2. Get to know yourself.  With a pen and paper, write down what YOU love to do, to dream on, to see, to feel, to experience. Don’t rush this process because a person who has suppressed deep desires and life long goals may need to resurrect those ideals with a bit of soul searching. On the flip side, if you are a visionary as I am, we may have a quiver full of ideas and need to sift through and find the ones that need to hold the top spots.

Don’t overlook your day dreams as a sub-level of enjoyment to what we think is more important. Let me correct you on this erroneous thinking …there IS no line of distinction here. Your desires are vital and one of the sweetest discoveries of His handy work to equip you for the call. RUN into that desire and steep in this area of thinking especially if you have been particularly dead to thought of “what if”. Chew on the possibilities and let it steep for awhile in your mind. Don’t let money or lack of money become the obstacle. Lack of dough cannot become the excuse as that says that “it” is more of a god than the real God Who owns it all. Pray for provision rather than fearing the lack of it.

3. Mentor – get a GOOD mentor who has been there and done that. One of the greatest errors one can make is to communicate with those we  KNOW will deflate one’s sails and over look a variety of well suited and Godly leaders who have been in a position of success gifted in their expertise that would delight to spend time helping a person shape a dream into reality. Don’t rush into mentoring to simply “get someone” but certainly don’t delay in seeking out those that are making things happen in their world. And if the first person says “no” then look for another. They are out there, ready to help and certainly you can find a host of great leadership in writing by such authors as Robert Kiosaki of Rich Dad/Poor Dad (my personal favorite) or Loral Langemeier (Live Out Loud). These two people via their writing and recording and seminars rocked my entrepreneurial world and made ALL the difference in propelling me into action.

4. Choose your timing to get started and then DO IT. If a product will fly later in the year, then don’t press “go” on it now, be patient on this, but don’t delay on the behind the scenes work in preparation for the launch. Sitting idle is pointless when you have embarked on the quest. If that book needs to be written, then do the outline and fill in the info and work on the book cover and back for illustrating – many will want to glean from your wisdom. If you are ready to launch a business, consider the cost before you build and develop your allies around you for the work sake and make friends and be friendly where ever you go. This has been a huge benefit to my work because I genuinely love people and love to bring them joy.

5. Don’t look back. Move ahead and don’t forget to check in with your mentors from time to time as they are far ahead of you in the line of successes. Never let it become  known that you eventually won’t listen to wisdom because we have become prideful, too busy, or a know it all. Never stop learning and understand there will be days you may doubt, feel lazy, have a set back with something that will be an opportunity for you to decide that you have to work through the speed bump rather than let it stop the progress.

6. When you have finally launched, contact me about coaching no matter what stage you find yourself in with your dream. It’s time to get things in motion and there is nothing I find more satisfying than seeing someone successful and being all that they can be. I want to know that this article made a difference. In the end no one will satiate thirst and hunger as you will by working on the road the LORD meant for you and not the plan of someone else in your life!

Attachment Trauma – A Must Read

This was an excellent discovery today as I searched the net for sources on adult healing from childhood neglect and/or abuse. This is one of the best explanations and resources for attachment trauma I have seen yet. How I wish every couple would read this before or even well into their marriages. Click below to read …

Attachment Trauma https://glynissherwood.com/attachment-trauma-relationships-adult-children-abuse-neglect/

 

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DON’T SHRINK THE PRICE TAG!

Too many times we decide to give up our full price tag we want to charge on our product or services simply because we can’t say “no thanks”, to someone who wants to talk us down in payment for something we work very hard to earn. It’s not that we don’t want to make the money, and it’s not that we aren’t in the competitive mode either, but rather, it comes down to the belief system that we don’t think what we have is worth the value we have attached to it. We simply haven’t learned yet, that the sun will rise again tomorrow and many other sales will come, even if we walk away from a sale today. Generally it boils down to how we feel about ourselves personally that is reflected in our world of business dealings and how we garner ourselves right out of a healthy growth cycle. Business isn’t about pleasing everyone with what they think your product is worth, it making your product worth exactly what you ask for in price, and understanding that this sometimes. requires allowing a potential consumer to walk away.

The key is, you will set the standard by putting a fair price on an item or service that offers better than the average and is worth every penny, because it’s uniquely placed in the market by a salesperson, or a company owner like yourself, that is passionate to offer the highest standard. Once that standard is set, the word can travel fast, so make sure that it is a value equal to the asking price and then some.

If one has been in business for any length of time, one will understand that business requires cash flow, so the more we allow the bargain basement price to happen, the more quickly we edge ourselves to going totally out of business. It can and does happen every day.  If a potential buyer chooses to have cable t.v., a car payment, a $2000 a year cell phone, overhead in their own businesses, and other hidden dollars spent, then it also means that a buyer will then have to choose to afford your offer as well. They have to decide to invest wisely with you and if they don’t, please do not buckle at that point, desperate for a sale, and allow someone who holds a tight purse string to be the determining factor to devalue something you know took blood, sweat, and tears to develop.

Furthermore, do you want to be known as the cheapest on the block that works as hard as the other guys, or the one with the higher price tag, with more of a quality deal? At that point even if they balk at the price, point to the bottom line price, and where to sign and let them decide. If they sign they sign, if they don’t they don’t. Be considerate with your response, and decide that if others want to stay small, that this isn’t your problem. Don’t you dare shrink the price tag if they decide not to afford you. Be wise and protect your own investment and worth. The sales will come.

ReAnn Ring headshot fur with quote

Tis the Season!

This year my decorating team, including yours truly, rocked it with the planning and execution of decorating over 80 Christmas trees of every size from a five foot contemporary rotating metal tree north of the city all the way to a 20 foot posh gorgeous display in the heart of Buckhead in Atlanta. Never mind coordinating additional countless wreaths, miles of garland, dazzling centerpieces, floral centerpieces, props and special feature lighting to bring it all to a new level of the wow factor, topped by special orders from clients of carefully packed gift baskets stuffed with goodies delivered to some of the finest company firms we could ask for – all in one swoop of a season!

Needless to say, we are most thankful for, and in awe, exhausted – oh – yes from, how busy this year has been for planning and the final product for the most sought after commercial properties and mega churches in the industry. It’s tremendously humbling and overwhelming to think where the Lord God has brought my once tiny-sized company in 2007, to a now thriving and in-demand small enterprise in 2017. It is a continuum of effort to improve and grow wisely every single year it is in existence as we want every client to be delighted with what we do. The day after Christmas, it all starts to come down and the bling will be temporarily packed away, as my crew and I ready for the next few months, where planning for next season will commence once again.

To my clients, THANK YOU for your business, and know that we love each and every one of you and truly appreciate the fact you have any company to choose from, and choose to do business with us!  Without you we have no business.

To update you on our services, we will now be offering gift baskets delivered year round for all occasions for all budget sizes, as well as a higher level of priority to gorgeous monthly orchid arrangements, commercial event florals and centerpieces, and bridal and wedding florals for that special day. Please let us know what your needs will be and we will be happy to offer a quote for the finest and the best you could ask for each time! Contact me at: reann@reannring.com or 770-374-7940

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year too, and we look forward to doing more business with you in the future! – ReAnn Ring

Exhaustion after the season A Time for Everything, LLC ReAnn Ring

A Time for Everything Team Pinnacle 2017

Buckhead Church Christmas 2017 1

ReAnn Ring Ashley Christmas business picture

Bait ‘n Switch Business Moves. Wise or Not?

Written by ReAnn Ring, Entrepreneur and Business Coach.

Change, a word we either embrace or run from, can often mean a make or break for those of you in the business world.

Recently I encountered a few surprise unannounced changes that pretty much set the tone for a thumbs up or thumbs down, but certainly not a neutral response. Granted, change, if handled well and with plenty of notice depending on the situation, possibly incorporating feedback from the end consumer, employees of the company, and vendors,  prior to a big move, can be good, if not excellent, to ensure a happier work environment internally, a more dedicated and growing customer-client base, and certainly a surge in sales and popular name in the industry and beyond in the market place.

A good name, according to the Word of God, is about the highest form of compliment pinning a mature and seasoned name on a company. Wisdom looks far beyond the immediate to the ripple effect that an alteration in a business model can make on any level of operation inside of a company all the way to service provision standards to the public, to the product line itself out on the market.

On the flip side, change when not handled well, can ensure a big direct hit to a company’s credibility and ability to be trusted, when it goes unannounced and worse yet, when it’s done with the old bait and switch method. Surprised and once loyal customers lose confidence, and any more now, the immediate cancer of words can pour out with bad press on social media to the news media and more, with murmuring, grumbling and outright anger on social media and can most certainly doom a company to a reputation of unprofessionalism which take a long time to redeem. It’s not long before the influx of complaints flood the email box of the seller and even on up the chain to the company owner. Before you know it, the new task of putting out fires and responding to those messages, becomes a full-time job scramble to fix what was once thought a good move.

Sometimes is vastly obvious that a company’s last thought that should have been their first concern, is the response of their end users and even their employees. Let’s use a couple of examples I know of personally:

Example A. The “Think I Am” Company, www.thinkiam.com, had, I say in past tense, a wildly popular Vitamin B Energy Drink I and numerous consumers enjoyed called “I Am Energized”. For well over a year I have been hooked and even heralded the praises of this powerful healthy little drink offering a much more natural and safe alternative to the Monster Drinks that are now pinned with some shaky and scary bad press lately. The berry flavor of the “I Am Energized” was very pleasant and this three ounce liquid natural vitamin supplement filled bottle was an easy grab to throw in a workout bag even offering a great healthy replacement to just a plain cup of morning coffee to the start of your day. It truly enhanced a workout and sustained energy levels throughout a rigorous day at work.

From time to time, I could hardly find it locally at my closest Sprouts and began the trek to other stores for this favored drink, in order to beat the other customers to the punch, to wipe out the shelves where they were in supply. Often I would order the four-for-three deal on-line directly from the company itself and would scour the net if they too were temporarily out of stock looking for a secondary supplier. Back-orders so often on such a popular drink caused me to ration my current supply and certainly should have spelled a great big message to the creator of the drink that they were onto some good and profitable.

But wait a minute … what happened? Recently, unannounced, the I Am Energized Drink suddenly offered a surprise change, from the familiar berry flavor to a new semi tart unfamiliar flavor with an unpleasant aftertaste and a change or two in their formula. Highly noticeable mind you. After my trip to Sprouts yesterday, once again wiping out the last remaining box of drinks after the first Sprouts store was out of stock, I had the first sip of the new change this morning only to be met with a big fat disappointment.\

I had heard the rumor of this flavor change from a friend who loves the drink as much as I, and was holding fast that the new flavor and formula would rock my world as much as the other. Normally a pretty tough advocate for health products regardless of flavor, I can overlook such an offense, but this new flavor, which upon some investigating, turns out to be an indistinct lime taste, was a deal breaker for me. Thankfully I kept my receipt and a trip back to the store to replenish the empty box that sat from my purchase, is definitely in order.

So the emails began to the customer service contact. Reading the response from the company that my friend and I wrote asking what had happened, they tried to convince us that the effect of the drink was the same, that other customers had written the same complaint, and that it was just the flavor and other ingredient change that had taken place. Once this large supply of lime was sold out, the berry would be soon reintroduced again to the store shelves. Not sure how long that will be, but I can guarantee, the shelves won’t be emptying from the word of mouth sales I used to do on the product, nor my own pocket book, and can’t imagine the demand for this particular flavor being nearly as high as the previous.

So how should this have been handled differently for a wildly popular drink? I wonder, why would they not have put a different colored label to indicate that flavor offering rather than the switch of flavors in the same bottle? How about asking their favorite stories like Sprouts to give the new flavor a spin on a test market to see if it would be well received? And for certain, not announcing with one single word on the label as the to change, just proved to be another bait and switch and made me wonder if the company were having financial issues or something close to that effect.  I imagine if funds are tight the addition to the line in a totally new bottle and color of label might be cost prohibitive, but certainly pouring something new into a bottle labeled the same can literally and figuratively leave a bad taste in a customer’s mouth and now a loss of sales from a dedicated consumer such as I am – pun intended.

Thumbs down.

Example B. The other company I wanted to mention was the Invoiceable.co website that did the old surprise bait and switch into the newly developed Invoicely. co, https://invoicely.com/ that offers an on-line invoice service for business. Wow I loved that previous site, full of easy end-user buttons maneuvers, handy widgets, easy to function items for tracking sales, visually easy to read, and simple entering and updating client information for use of ease, and more.

One night while catching up my invoices I had literally logged out of the website that was Invoiceable.co, only to log back on an hour later to finish my work, to an entirely new format, new business name, new colors, and new website. I think I logged back out and in about three times to make sure I had not made a mistake in typing the URL. There was no inbox email as a warning, no formal announcement anywhere on the home page, and a sudden new heart racing panic as I searched for my previous three years of invoice transactions nowhere to be found. My company had done well into a million dollars in sales and believe you-me, there were more clients just like me with higher and lower business income that were facing that same shock and disgust as I was during that change.

Consequently, many went on a rant on social media, shared our infuriating experiences of having to figure out on our own how to merge our old records into the new, with only social media and an email to the new company inbox to get any answers as to what was what and certainly no answers as to why. The company gave a measly weak Twitter response apology and a link to the old website so we could at least “temporarily access” our old records to be sure things were transferred correctly to the new site as there were numerous glitches to the new set-up that even to this day, a full year later, I am finding.

Customer emails and entire accounts disappeared and even reappear, and there is really no way to reach anyone in customer service. They don’t respond well to your inquiries on line, with a natural concner that this could happen again. Since they didn’t handle the first steps with grace and a wide-spread stronger response to their paying clients, I doubt that they will handle our money and trust any better from the lessons they should have learned. I also learned that I needed to do more homework on this type of website as I am unable to transfer my data to Quickbooks or any other system to be sure I have a back up file.

Invoicely.co – BAD MOVE, this is the quintessential “no no” in business and the lingering comments on social media are there forever for anyone to read. Maybe you thought the quick change artist maneuver might have saved you some customers from a mass exodus when you were about to make your stealth changes in the night, when in reality it proved quite opposite – you did nothing but make good paying customers angrier than hell. To reference my notes above, the feature you might want to add for good measure and to make up for you poor customer service, is a way to merge our records off of your website into an Excel Spreadsheet or downloadable file so we can leave you, customer info intact, and go on to another safer and more dependable on-line service or at least allow us a form of back-up in case your company tanks without a word. For now we are stuck with you and I still can’t find some of my customer information that mysteriously disappears.

To conclude, one of the worst business moves a company can do for their own name and longevity, is to mess with customer loyalty, their money, their favor, their tastebuds, and their trust. Reputation spreads fast and thankfully for social media, comments and feedback are kept at the touch of the fingertips for a quick search to see what your track record has been. True they can gain a new following and certainly they can regain the trust of the old client base, but is it really necessary to go through something like this when an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

Here are some tips for change I would recommend to any company getting ready or even considering to do a change;

  1. Get a test group and do a trial run. I’m talking people who already love your product and services, and not just an employee who is looking to say “yes” for the sake of job security. See what they say, work out the glitches as much as possible, to avoid a rash of angry and frustrated feedack.
  2. Announce changes before hand when possible. Recalls on car parts that are dangerous are often announced and major car companies make it known that they are about to do an improvement to their line when they need do. Your company might not be that size to do a media announcement, but if you have an email or phone number, or business mailing address, giving your client the courtesy of a note that change is coming, it will say volumes about business etiquette and the fact you even care about those that spend money on you.
  3. Address the issues on line as well. Go public with social media and let people know what is going on, creating a buzz ahead of time.

Hopefully this will be helpful for those reading it to learn that communication of changes to come or even an option to give feedback with a demo of what changes could take place that are favorable, could save a company in the long run from a disappointed and enthusiastic end-user list. May you continue to be busy and prosperous.

Change

 

 

 

 

The Lies We Believe

(Written by ReAnn Ring)

I learned something a long time ago … a fact that I am still applying to certain undeniable areas of the mind, heart, and soul.
That fact is this – Satan will establish a platform of a lie in our life as early as he can — for his wiles and modus operandi. The earlier in our lives he can plant his bitter root, the better. He works diligently at keeping his agenda in place in our mind that naturally floods down into the heart. Throughout time, he and our own minds, our flesh, remind us of his and other’s damaging messages to keep us defeated and ineffective in God’s realm of work. If he can convince us to exchange truth, or even our lack of wisdom and knowledge of truth, for a lie that is highly self-and-other-destructive, then he spins well and with skill, his web which can be so difficult to escape. Jesus titled him the father of lies so many centuries ago (John 8:44). He is a master demonic manipulator and the king of smoke and mirrors.
Because our DNA is wired to be filled with love and acceptance, we are like sponges with the potential of complete saturation to the point of overflow into influencing others. We crave to be needed, useful, to belong, to be accepted, and in that quest, we can potentially hold fast to multiple tiers of platforms of deception we have banked on that are definitely erroneous and deprecating, all in the name of “self-fulfillment”.
Once we land on, or, are even placed by another, on a foundation of error, we build an entire belief system investing heavily in that platform which leads to our daily decision-making, behavior, lifestyle, our choice of peers and vocation, and choice of coping mechanisms dealing with life’s issues. It can either introduce us to a life of joy and unending satisfaction, or it can lead us to the contrary as is so prominent in the lives we witness every day with drugs, abuse, impurity, chaotic relationship patterns, any form of addiction imaginable, and on the list goes.
Personally I never have believed that addiction is a disease, as the Bible, the infallible absolute beacon of in arguable truth, teaches us. Here is why: addictions, poor choices and more come from the bottom line of believing a lie, and since our bodies are set up to search for the fulfillment of our need to be nurtured, nourished, loved, and for a routine, it can mean a vulnerable empty soul devoid of the proper direction to go, to end up in the danger zone. We can quickly latch on to something that looks promising, but will eventually kill us rather than heal or fill us as our bodies crave more of whatever we use to medicate our wounds and needs. We are starving and thirsty for that place of wholeness. The more we grapple with filling ourselves up with things that never satisfy, the more we search and experiment and become indulgent in whatever new or old behavior seems to promise peace. It never works, until we learn to grow roots in the promises of the loving Lord God. Our omnipotent, powerful, Warrior, and wonder filled Father always has our best interest at heart and there is nothing more adventurous and exciting than a walk with Him. There is no addiction on earth that can do what a loving Father who loves us can do.
So how is the initial lie established in order to trick us in to believing falsehood in the first place?
One prevalent way, is that it can come in the form of a comment or years of exposure to comments and actions made that settles like an arrow into our soul from someone we value and love and trust that can instantly evaporate a healthy belief system about our own worth and our value to others.  Be it a teacher, classmate, family member, spouse, boyfriend, business associate, or anyone else for that matter, words and actions have immeasurable power to break us or heal us.
Secondly, Falsehood can come in the way of messages told by our world around us, a world also in search for truth, that are highly contrary to what the Lord truly intended for us. We are told we have to make this amount of money, be this size, drive this car, go accomplish this or that, in order to have value.
Thirdly, it will further be poured into concrete with negative thinking and destructive living when we choose to re-expose ourselves even more to those that create damage in the way of seeking chaos as the norm. It’s what we have known,  and how we respond with our self-talk when we are hurt or are damaged by someone or something in any form that happens to us, lands us by default back to the original platform of  messages that are set up like a tape in our mind.
This is how a dark stronghold is established.
A stronghold is a fortified haven that we run to, and the Lord meant for us to use Him as the stronghold. However, often the enemy mimics a place of safety that holds within it’s walls the lies he has always told us and the on going messages we tell ourselves. Within that brainwashing we will be compelled to act on our feelings to deal with pain. A stronghold can grow to enormous proportions with deep deception even incorporating half-truths that can lend to even more lack of clarity and this mess of confusion, and invariably will always lead to a dead-end of more pain. Where there is confusion, there is often the work of the enemy of our souls. Piercings were never meant not to hurt us.
This is why it is so vitally important to run into the stronghold of God Himself, and swap our investment of beliefs out from the 401k of deception, and into His golden vault of the Word.  It’s without saying equally vital that we set proper strongholds up for our children. We can know healing and what HE says about our calling, our value, our body, our dreams, our families, our spouses, our income, our friendships measured by His Word, which brings the sweetest peace we can ever know. Not only that, but this investment has a fat return in treasures that are stored up for us in glory. Psalm 94:22 further proves, “But the LORD has been my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.”
Teaching our younger generations those truths and to be quite diligent and patient about that mission is critical.. Those next generations of souls are our future.  Being obstinate in telling honesty in love is critical for that to happen, but first, we must start educating and praying for and surrendering ourselves so that we are healthy and pure in order to spread the word on the Word of God. There is no better substitute. No drug, no relationship, not money, nor power, or anything else, can replace what Christ can do in our lives as the only and best form of healthy addiction.

That old haven of destructive stronghold thinking can be quickly dissolved by steeping deeply in the knowledge of the Word, and is highly effective even if it takes a mother load of work to undo the damage that was set up for us from the start. One glorious thing we know for sure, we can safely leap confidently on to the life-preserving foundation of Jesus Christ our Lord. We can never go wrong investing our mind, heart, and soul in the RIGHT thing and we can never go wrong paying it forward to those around us while we work through our own pain and are healing to become a warrior and overcomer.

When we deflect the arrows of the evil one with truth, no matter what form those arrows present themselves as, we begin the very healthy journey of tearing down destructive old ways, and those that could be established later on and even passed down to our children and children’s children.
As I have had deep life enriching encouragement from the Bible and wise counsel from those that take charge over my soul, to undo the work of the destructor himself, I have learned to combat the lies and even have mercy and pray for those that revel in a carnal approach with their lack of wisdom and unhealthy expectations place on me from the past and the present.  They didn’t know the truth to begin with in order to pass it on, and with a warped outlook on life, they did what they thought was best. Once I was introduced to the real deal of Christ’s picture for me, oh my word, the difference was staggering, and the changes were radical in my thoughts and behavior. The old ways have been tough to undo, but the Lord has consistently been giving me a long rope of loving patience to come around for His purposes.
II Corinthians 10:4-5, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary they have the power to diminish strongholds.We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Be encouraged and never stop surrendering to the truth. I want you to free!
Lies We Believe picture