Loud Smith Media and Publishing


Balance So You Don't Burn-Out

Balance so you don't Burn-Out 

 I thought I was going to have to miss this morning’s business prayer group and the larger gathering because of a doctor’s appointment I was reminded of late last week.  But, as it turns out, the doctor ended up having to go on a medical mission trip and thus we rescheduled.  So, I made it to both groups.  The insurance claim adjuster also showed up to our prayer group because he said that he had to stay an extra week to finish up his business.  He was still staying at that short-term furnished housing business and just wanted not to feel so isolated and alone.  He thanked us for including him.  When we did pray it was all about personal concerns that I don’t need to bring up here, but after the time all four of us felt like we had been heard supernaturally and would be blessed because we had taken out the intentional time to seek God for His help.  Business-wise, Josh did add that he needed extra prayer for his Lubbock Landscaping crew, but that was really all of the business updates.

As for the larger business gathering, we had a guy named Thomas (asked us to call him Tom) who was the head of a brokerage firm in the area.  He was asked to speak about how to keep ourselves relaxed in the midst of stressful situations and also how to connect better with our employees.  As for the former topic, Tom said that it was vital for us to pay attention to our health – body, mind and soul.  He told us that if we weren’t always evaluating our lives in a holistic way we could easily break down either through long term emotional erosion or through a negative shift in our industry.  He reminded us that while our jobs are important, our other hours of the day need to be focused on so we can maintain a balance.  He said that we needed to take our personal days and use them for fun and relaxation – not to get caught up on home-work.  He told us that in the past he had failed to take into account how much stress he was taking on and how little time he was giving to breathe and to eat right and to exercise and to have fun.  He said this led to him having a small stroke that the doctors attributed to his tendency to live an imbalanced life.  I appreciated how honest Tom was with this topic.  In the business world, not too many people like to put their weaknesses out there for others to judge – but Tom seemed to sincerely care about our well-beings.  Cool guy.  As far as connecting with our employees, he mainly said that we should take each one of our employees out to eat at lunch so that we could talk about non-work things – just to get to know each other better – to encourage the people working for us.  He said that his employees have always liked being treated to lunch with him (free meals rock) and how this has created a better personal bond with each individual at the company he runs.  Overall it was a good talk – a little general, but still good.

So readers, what is your opinion of finding balance in your life?  How do you spend your non-work hours?  Have you ever felt super stressed out to the point that you made yourself sick?  If so, what adjustments have you made since to help keep that huge measure of stress out of the way?  Also, what do you think of taking each individual in your company to lunch just to create a more personal bond?  If you are an employee, what do think that this would do for you?  Thanks in advance for your comments and questions.  See you next week.

Uniformity and Constant Advertising - Week Fifty-Eight

Uniformity and Constant Advertising - Week Fifty-Eight

I came to this group business meeting armed with pastries from the coffee shop.  I was feeling generous and hungry and I figured why not bless my colleagues.  They have given so much to me and I thought it would be nice to be nice to all of them.  To all of the gluten-free people, I say sorry.  This was all wheat and flour.  Anyway, I prayed with Josh about his lawn care and Liz about her Lubbock catering business.  They both said that things were going good with their businesses and I echoed that.  It’s so nice to have work go so smoothly.  We had a visitor in town who asked if we minded that we joined us.  He was a fire damage adjuster just in town for a week.  He was staying in a nearby short-term furnished housing space and saw that we were in a prayer group and was bold enough to ask his way in.  His name was Bill and he was nice.  It was cool to hear a new voice lifting up prayers alongside us.

So now to the larger business gathering – we had a woman named Julia, who was a leadership trainer, speak to us today.  She talked about how we can build a strong team culture with some simple changes.  She said that even though she and most people appreciated individuality, there was a lot of value in providing uniforms for employees so that their clothing would show to the public and to their fellow workers that they were all about the same business.  Even if it was just the same apron (like at Starbucks) or a full-on uniform, she said that there were statistics that showed increased worker happiness and even greater efficiency.  Julia also said that if we had work vehicles, we should get them wrapped with vinyl that showed our name, slogan and colors prominently so that we were constantly advertising.  This was a great idea to me and I can’t believe I haven’t done this with my workers.  They all drive company trucks but there is no uniform design painted or wrapped around them.  I have been wasting all of this time advertising on radio and TV, when I should have just put my company’s name on trucks that go around everywhere – not that I will dump all of my advertising dollars in this stuff, but I will definitely add these designs to my trucks.  Everyone else seems to be doing it, so what am I waiting for?

So readers, what do you think about having employees wearing the same clothes to work?  How would you do this?  Would you have them wear some sort of badge to show their name and position?  Also, would you or do you already have rolling advertisements?  What is a good price for doing something like this?  Hit me back on your comments and I will take your advice into consideration.  Thanks in advance…

Help is on the way!

Help is on the way!

Don’t you love it when you discover something valuable when you are in a crisis – something that lightens your load and makes you hope again?  There are certainly many troubles in this life that we all experience and if something or someone comes along and helps you to get through them, it brings relief and usually ends up in gratitude.  Sometimes we have to let other people know that we need help – Too often we roll around in our current problems and everyone thinks we are doing fine.  Sometimes we need to reach out for help.

One example of trouble that unfortunately hits a lot of us is when there is destruction of some sort, which damages our home, our possessions and sometimes even our places of employment.  This trouble could come in the form of water damage, fire damage, flood damage, mold and other things.  When these sorts of things happen we can easily be stopped in our tracks and be left in crisis.  And when in that crisis we need someone to come along and help us through it.  Thankfully, there are people who can do that – professionals who make it their life’s work to help people get their lives back on track when such destruction strikes.  These insurance claims consultants are called public adjusters and they will passionately fight for you to get a proper settlement from your insurance company.  They know the process of doing this better than anyone else and you just have to let them know what your damage is. 

It’s not easy to get a fair settlement from an insurance company and a lot of people get less than they need to rebuild.  This is too bad.  I suggest that if any of these troubles affect you at any point, you reach out for help from these people.  I recommend one company in particular.  They are called Abba Claims and they have offices all over Texas.  Look them up on the web at www.abbaclaims.com and get the help you need. 

Fire Damage Claims Dallas

Fire Damage Claims Dallas 

I had a leadership development guru invite me to a business leader group that meets early every Thursday morning.  I figured that if this guy thought this meeting would be good, I might as well join in.  I can use every piece of good advice I can get.  Anyway, one of the speakers for the day was a man who runs a Texas public adjuster firm.  I had never heard of a public adjuster and so I was intrigued about what he was going to say.  He explained what he did by using a fire damage claim in Dallas as an example of what his company does.  Someone had a fire at their home and was trying their best to get their fire insurance claim taken care of so that they could get enough money to take care of the devastation that happened in their house.  This guy said that most people try to navigate this insurance claim on their own and as a result don’t get a fair settlement.  He said that more people should consider hiring a public adjuster – Public adjusters are the people who partner with people who have had to face all sorts of damage – from water and flood damage to fire and mold damage.  Public adjusters go to bat for them and stand as a sort of mediator between the insurance company and the person who has had the damage occur to them.  They fight to make sure the insurance company doesn’t hold back on giving a fair settlement.  They basically get you more money from the insurance companies so that you can get your life back in order.

After explaining what a public adjuster is, this man took the principle of “More” and talked about how as leaders we should always be thankful for what we have, but that we should also be looking for ways to get more profits, more satisfied customers and more strong managers.  It was a very good talk and I was glad I went to the meeting.  I think I’ll go back next week.

Lawn care in Lubbock (Winter and Beyond)

Lawn care in Lubbock (Winter and Beyond)

With all the crazy shifts in temperature in Lubbock and surrounding towns, everyone around needs to keep a close eye on the condition of their lawns.  Lawn care in Lubbock is oftentimes neglected from November through February and this is actually a key range of time to have your lawn get some fresh maintenance.  It’s also an important time to get some gutter clean-up and leaf removal.  If you choose to do these two things on your own, good for you, but these are among the activities that most people loathe.  I say “let some professionals who do this stuff every day come over and handle it for us.”  I know several lawn care and landscaping companies in the area that are not only very good at this stuff, but they are also affordable.  This is a key thing as well – especially after dumping all that cash on Christmas.

As for the lawn care and landscaping side of things, people need to hire pros to come over and prepare their yards for the Spring season.  Lots of weeds are growing and no one likes weeds – might as well get a jump on killing those now instead of later when it is more difficult.  As well, it is a great time to meet with a landscaping crew and landscape designer who can help you design your front and back yard.  Why not have the most beautiful lawn on the block? 

Those are my recommendations for you when it comes to lawn care and landscaping during these seasons of warm and cold weather.  To summarize, “Get ‘er done!”  If any of you readers have specific recommendations for the best companies in the area, please comment.  I think Lubbock Roots Lawn & Landscape do the best job, but maybe you have other good ideas.  Thanks for reading and for weighing in.  Until next time…

Insurance Claim Adjusters

Insurance Claim Adjusters 

Whenever something negative happens to your home or business that requires an insurance claim, it’s tough to get a perfectly fair settlement so that you can reclaim what has been lost.  Besides all of the struggle of dealing with (hopefully) the short-term loss of your possessions and the loss of your time having to deal with it all, there is the insurance claim process, which can be disheartening and fairly difficult to deal with.  That’s why I think that everyone should hire an Insurance Claim Adjuster to help maneuver around the often faulty insurance claim settlements.

Why hire a public adjuster?

Public Adjusters are experts in dealing with insurance companies to make sure you get more on your insurance claims.  Put simply, they make sure you get more money to put your business and your home back together.  That should be incentive enough.  But on top of this, by hiring a public adjuster you are saving yourself a lot of time.  They will be doing the hard work of getting you your best settlement while you go back to figuring out your life and your business growth.  I don’t know about you but I could use both more time and money and public adjusters make sure you have them.

 If you live in Texas I recommend the trusted crew of Texas public adjusters called Abba Claims.  Check them out at their website:  www.abbaclaims.com.  See all of the claims that they work with and then try them out when you run into trouble.  Then let me know how the process went so I can continue to gather positive testimonials about their work.

 Thanks so much.

How to make a fire damage claim

How to make a fire damage claim

There are a lot of fire damage claims in Dallas (really everywhere) during the holiday season – more so than at every time of year.  With fires in the fireplace and holiday lights on real Christmas trees, the dangers are endless.  So, if you have had or have a fire in your home or your business at any time, it’s important to know how to file a fire damage claim – and if you follow one simple step, you will more than likely have a better result.  Here it is:  Hire a Public Adjuster to document and prepare your claim – If you do this step, you will have brought in an advocate to stand between you and your insurance claim in any and all negotiations.  These public adjusters are so much more knowledgeable than you will be and can get you the best settlement possible.  It’s hard enough to deal with business interruption and residential ruin – With a fire, there is the difficulty of handling the emotional reactions.  To add to this, there is the legal wrangling that comes between you and the insurance company.  The emotional struggle is enough for anyone to handle.  And the insurance process is a tough one to navigate.  I recommend dealing with the emotional struggles and handing off the fire insurance claim to the professionals at a public adjuster company.  You can trust them to get you the best without you having to worry if the insurance company is going to give you a fair and just settlement. 

Imagine going through this process alone and ending up with a less than adequate settlement – one that doesn’t allow you to recover and renovate as you need.  No one needs this sort of disappointment especially after experiencing the junk that comes with the fire itself.  So, who should you call?  Which company is dedicated to providing the best public adjustment in Texas?  These are key questions.  You don’t need a fly by night company – one that doesn’t know how to work the entire process.  My suggestion is that you check out one company in particular, because in my dealings with them, you can be assured of a solid and passionate approach to your claim.  The company that I am referring to is called Abba Claims.  They have offices in Lubbock, Austin, Houston, San Antonio as well as offices in other parts of the country.  You can check them out at www.abbaclaims.com or give them a call toll free at (888) 908-2042.

Final thought:  I hope that you never have to deal with any sort of fire, but if you do, I offer my condolences.  From my experience, it is a depressing devastation.  If it has happened to you (or if it does happen), please use the advice above to get yourself back in the game as quickly as possible.

So, have you had to deal with a fire at your home or business?  What steps did you take to handle your fire damage claim?  Any other advice from those of you who have had to deal with a fire?  I look forward to your take on this process.