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Feb 22
2017

Skipping Prayer Time

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

The other day I woke up late and started my day significantly behind schedule. I had a phone message that needed attention and a number of e-mails in my inbox that required responses as well as a full schedule for the day. In an effort to save time, I read my scripture study quickly, with little attention, and skipped my regular prayer time.

Predictably my day didn’t go well. I started behind and seemed to get further behind at every turn. I went from one ineffective action to another, accomplishing little.  Halfway through my day I realized what my biggest issue was. I failed to honor the Lord by giving Him my attention first.  I didn’t commit my entire day to Him through prayer.  I confessed my shortcomings, reread my scripture, and prayed through my prayer list for the day. While my day was still off-balance, the Lord provided peace for the rest of my day.

This reinforced a key Bible verse that most of us know: “pray continually.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV) It is a good reminder for me and the rest of us.   When we slip, we need to stop what we’re doing, confess our shortcomings to the Lord, and alter our path. On this particular day I never fully recovered but when I stopped and took time I didn’t believe I had, my day improved. A wise pastor once preached, “The more responsibility you have and the busier your schedule with more demands on your time requires more prayer to accomplish those activities than when you have little to do.”  This was good counsel.

I encourage you to place personal devotional time on your schedule and maintain that commitment as a high priority. My experience is that my days go better when I do.  I believe yours will also.

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Feb 20
2017

Selling Social Media to Lower End Clients

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

I received a question from “Mike,” who runs a small business that creates websites for other businesses. The presenting question was “Would it be wise to use the weekly throw away newspaper to follow-up with advertisers and potential customers?” The idea was that he quickly could see whether an advertiser listed a website and contact them if they did not have one.

My perspective is that most of these publications are read by people with a lot of time on their hands and without much money. I also believe that most of the advertisers in these publications operate on a shoestring budget and sell to people without a lot of money. Generally, this does not provide a good context for increasing revenue.

Feb 17
2017

Use Black Background to Highlight Product

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

A long time ago, I worked part-time for a coin dealer. One of the first tricks I learned was to place a nice coin on a piece of black velvet. The black background blocked out distractions and highlighted the coin in the best possible way. The black allowed the customer to focus entirely on the coin.  Jewelers typically use the same trick.

You can use the same technique with photos for a catalog, eBay, or your website. Put the product on a black background. This will avoid excess clutter which is distracting.  The obvious exception would be situations where clothing is on a model or you are demonstrating something like a lawnmower where you want to show how it cuts grass.

Good lighting is important. If you don’t have the proper lights, consider purchasing some. You can purchase some for less than one hundred dollars from Amazon.com using this link:  http://amzn.to/2iknl1n

“The Lord spoke to Isaiah and said, ‘Present your case,’ says the LORD. ‘Set forth your arguments,’ says Jacob's King.” (Isaiah 41:21, NIV) In the marketplace we need to present the strongest arguments possible for a product or service.  Part of that argument is to use a background to highlight our products.

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Feb 15
2017

Fixing the Unacceptable

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

Unacceptable is a very clear word to me.  An unacceptable circumstance is intolerable for business or customers. I’ve used an auto repair shop that’s convenient, reasonable in cost, and has an owner I believe is ethical.  However for six weeks, their phone system hasn’t worked properly. When I call and no one picks up the call, it goes to voicemail except you cannot leave a message on any of the extensions. I brought this situation to the owner and manager on several occasions.  Clearly this is extremely frustrating because I can’t get through to make an appointment to bring my car in.  Or if my car is in the shop, I can’t find out if it’s ready.

Feb 13
2017

Separating Problems from Disaster

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

The other day I drove to an appointment to visit a client and the traffic backed up for several miles on my route. When the slowdown first occurred, I blamed it on Christmas shopping traffic and I allowed extra time. However, it turned out that a traffic light was out on a major intersection, and there was not a policeman to direct traffic. This created a three mile traffic snarl that made me 15 minutes late for an appointment. I have a rule that I’m never late for client appointments. I started to view my tardiness as a disaster, especially since I was meeting a client for the first time. However, after I thought about it; I started putting the situation in true focus. This was not a disaster; it was simply a minor problem or annoyance.