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What To Do First to Make a Profit

The PF Women Team at our Annual Team Retreat  ~ 2018 Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said: It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way. Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory! I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started inve

Can people trust you?

 Trusting others isn't my strong suit. 

There are many reasons for this going waaaaaay back.  Actually it goes back to 1966.  You think I'm kidding?  It's a combination of challenging things that have happened in my life, my personality type (the rarest of all types - only 1% share it), fallen nature and I'm sure other factors I'm not even aware of.

My trust issues have gotten worse as time goes on.  Back and forth I go wondering if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  We refer to them as "trust issues" as if it's a problem, but then encourage people to rely on God and trust in Him alone. There are scriptures-- hundreds of them, to back that up.  And songs.  Look no further than, "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name."

There is definitely a mixed message we send that you are to trust in God alone, and in the next breath we tell people they need to trust the people surrounding them. It's confusing.  Organizations bring coaches in to assist in developing trust between co-workers.  Professionals do everything from ropes courses to "trust falls" to create an environment of trust.  I never was a fan of trust falls.  Or ropes courses.  Let me be perfectly clear, I despise both.  I would rather drink iced tea out of a soda foundation machine and if you've had it before you know it's disgusting.

I've been let down by people a lot.  But who isn't?  I'm nobody special in that regard.  Everybody gets shafted.  The difference is that some people respond better than others.  Or at least they respond differently.  I'm don't know whether I'm classified as better or different, but my response to getting disappointed is to work harder, always have a "Plan B" and never give up.   This works but not without it's share of crushing fatigue. I also eat when I get let down.  Just being honest.  It's a mountain I am perpetually conquering and will never give up.

Vocational ministry for 25 years has put my ability to trust on life support, and coaching for three years in the re-employment industry has almost flat-lined it at times.My goal with a client is to ask powerful questions, designed to get them to think about the possibilities. What might be on the horizon if they were to reinvent themselves?  What might take place if their work ethic changed? At times they don't even keep their appointment with me, which reveals a lot.

I know too much about the average person's work ethic.  So much that it's my own peace of mind.  I've become very skeptical about things where safety is concerned.

I know a guy who works on airplanes that I wouldn't trust to take out my trash.  And this dude is maintaining and fixing planes.  Every time I get on a plane I think about that now.  I try not to, but it's hard. 

When I was younger I used to love rollercoasters.  In the last few years I stopped riding most of them.   I figure if the person who is supposed to maintain the rollercoaster decides they want to take more time on their break or lunch and not really do a thorough check this time, it could be the time right before I ride it.  Maybe their hot sandwich was waiting and they rushed through because they were hungry and wanted to eat. Maybe their significant other texted them and they were distracted.

I could write a whole post on nothing but workplace distractions.  Okay, so it's not tragic that the Taco Bell in our town has gotten our drive thru order wrong every single time for the seven years we've lived in this neighborhood.  It's irritating, but not tragic.  But a plane?  A roller coaster?  Much different than a bag of tacos although if I were making tacos I'd take it seriously and most anyone who knows me can vouch for that.

As my observation of the typical American worker continues, I become overly-sensitive to too much that could happen and many things that probably never will.

Before we went on our cruise last week I went to get my hair done.  I spoke to my hairdresser and good friend, Ada, and she asked me if I was going zip lining. (I was thinking about it on our last cruise to Cozumel but due to the aforementioned  trust issues, did not.)  She said, "Deanna, you need to go.  You need to break through your fear and trust issues.  Really, you need to do this.  And don't you dare come back in here to get your hair done next time and tell me you didn't go zip lining!"

Ugh.  I knew I  had to face my fears because who the heck else am I going to get to do such an amazing job on my hair?   She's the only person I tru......... ugh, there we go with that word again.

I also wanted to have fun with my kids.  I don't want them to think I'm a boring Mom.  I don't care if they accuse me of being strict, eccentric or even mean at times when I have had to enforce standards in our home.  But boring?  No.  It's a sin to be boring.  At least in my personal interpretation of the bible.  My fears are starting to make me boring...

When we got to Fly High Adventures, I was hoping to God that the zip lines wouldn't be as high as I imagined in my head, but they were.  Especially the first one.  Feeling a little weak in the knees I got strapped into the harness and began the climb up the tower with my family.  The wooden tower made noise as we climbed it.  "What is that creaking?" I wondered.  It felt way too rickety for me but I kept saying, "cancel, cancel, cancel" as I climbed.  Cancel those fearful thoughts!    We were all attached onto a rope as we climbed each tower, in case one of us fell we were always on the wire.  Dustin went across first, then Savanna, then Jordan and then it was my turn.

My heart was beating so fast I thought it would beat out of my chest. The guide reminded me to keep my left hand on the rope and my right hand behind me on the wire, leaning back.  After attaching both of the straps of my harness to the wires, he said, "Okay, sit back...and then gave me a hard push across the first wire...

Oh my stars!!!


I wish I could say I was immediately over my fears but truth be told I was in shock the first time.  I mean I literally went into a state of mind that I can only describe as numb.  When I got to the other side the guide gently caught me on the platform, and helped me steady myself and stand up, but I was holding on with a death grip on the wire, just blankly staring ahead and shaking.

"M' have to let go of the wire."

It was if I didn't hear a word he said.  I stood there, silent and blinking.  And blinking some more.

I had the disoriented kind of feeling you have right before or after you faint. 

"M' have to let go..."

Jordan knew I needed help.  Coming to my side he soothed with, "Mom, you're alright.  You made it! Let go of the wire and step over here with me."

"What am I supposed to do?" I mumbled.  I kept blinking, just starting straight ahead motionless.  It was as if whatever he said made no sense.  My feet remained frozen right where I landed, as if there were 100 lb bricks attached.

He started prying my gloved hands from the wires saying, "Let go of the wire, Mom, you're alright." He steadied me by the shoulders while the guide took my harness and reattached it to the rope with the rest of the family, to get ready to zip across the next tower.

I took my gloves off as Larry was zipping across.  My hands were dripping with sweat.  (My hands get sweaty when I get nervous.)  I wiped my hands down, put the gloves back on.  I took them off and wiped them down all twelve times.  The sweat never stopped.

I wanted to come down from the tower.

I wanted to come down so bad.

They had stairs on each one in case you wanted to quit.  You could just walk down and be done.

I wanted to quit.  I wanted to complain. But I wouldn't allow myself to do either.  For so many reasons.  One of them was that I remembered the quote by Tommy Barnett, "There's nothing wrong with wanting to quit. Just don't."

So I didn't.

I needed to do this.

I did it eleven more times.  With each line, my family was hollering and wishing they had dozens more times.  As for me, I would do one and then silently think, "Okay, we're a third of the way through...I can make it, I can make it...I can make it" 

At one point when I was particularly nervous, getting ready to go across the longest zip line with nothing at the bottom (I felt safer over the trees than bare ground) Larry pointed out the owner's dog, "Chico".
We met Chico when we came in to the zip line park.  He was chasing a soccer ball and playing in the area where we got our harnesses on.  He immediately warmed up to me and I petted him while we waited to go up to the towers.  I learned that Chico had his own harness and loved to zip line!  I was amazed.  A zip lining dog!!!  At one point Chico climbed the tower with us and got ready to cross.  He actually gave me courage!  Knowing how I feel about dogs Larry said to me, "Deanna, just look at Chico and you'll calm down." I did and it worked!  Just like Max and Maddie often bring a calm to me and literally serve as my blood pressure medication, so Chico did too!

The rest of my family were flying high and lovin' it!

Jordan has no fear of most things.  The group we were zip lining with had never experienced anyone quite like him.  When he would do this stuff, other tourists who were zip lining would scream and ask us, "Are YOU that crazy boy's parents?"  Ha ha!  The Mexican guys who ran the place said, "Hey, Jordan, you're a pro.  You need to come work for us."  Of course he loved that...
Larry went with no hands a lot too.  When it came to him the Mexican guys would say, "Ah sir...please keep your hands on the rope..."  Ha ha!  They had to tell me to take my hands OFF the rope when done, and ask him to keep his hands ON.  Too funny.
Dustin just rode along, relaxed and enjoyed.
Savanna loved it!  She's a real adventurous girl. She can't wait to go again!
What's my point of this post other than to say that I managed to zip across a high wire 12 times?  A few things as it relates to your success...

Even after you accomplish something, it doesn't always mean the next time is easier just because you've done it before.  If there is something significant you feel the need to achieve for you, for others, or for whatever reason, keep persevering, even when it hard.

It's okay to want to quit.  Just don't.

Can't resist one last thing about the job market since so many are looking right now...

There's a huge market for trust.  Many people including myself will sacrifice a bit in the areas of  education, certifications or other hard skills in the process of hiring someone in exchange for greater dependability.  I tell my job seekers there is no greater value than their soft skills.   

People who really want to work are hot, hot, hot!  Extremely conscientious workers are still like finding a needle in a haystack. Okay, calm down.  I'm not guaranteeing you a job in your field.  You may have to do something entirely different than you've ever done. But there IS something for you to do.  For the worker who will deliver 100% quality on time, every single time (and be loyal while they're doing it), there will be an open door.

If.  If is a huge word.  You always thought it was comprised of two letters but it's much larger than that!

The truth is, most people today are not hired because of a resume.  I'm a person who professionally writes resumes and darn good ones! and I'm telling you the truth. (You should still hire me if you think you need a resume.  I'll write you one that will have Donald Trump eating out of your hand and still be 100% factual.) The hidden job market is where it's at, with 80% of all hires coming from there.  The hidden job market is all about your network. This means who you are is just as important as what you produce. References, recommendations and referrals are golden.

The bottom line of this post?
There's a huge market for trust.

We did it!


Kim j. said…
Great post. You all ( mostly) looked like you had a blast. This post is so timely. I began to have a panic attack but by the time I just finished reading this I calmed down a little. So much has happened to me and my future is still uncertain. I hope people see me as trustworthy. I don't lie or fudge. I tell the truth in every circumstance even if it reveals my flaws. I hope my sincerity comes across to others. Thanks.
Thank you, Kim! I'm so glad this post calmed you down and brought some sense of peace to you. Your future is in God's hands and like Joseph of the OT, victory is in store although it's taking a while to get there. Stay true to God just as he did -- remaining true under pressure. In time you will experience that victory. I believe as you keep that sincere, sweet spirit, the Lord will open doors. I believe He moved you for a reason even though it has not been revealed yet it will be in time. Love you
Rhonda said…
Probably the funniest and best blog you've ever written - your face is just hysterical!

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