A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  – Matthew 6:21

If treasure is defined as money, then your heart (attitudes & actions) will be focused on making money.  Have you defined your treasure?  I think I’ve always pretty much assumed that treasure referred to money in this passage of Scripture, but now I realize it is not necessarily so…  what if your treasure was…  fast food???  What if your treasure was…  your child or another member of your family you hold dear?  ❤

No, stay with me here…  treasure is defined as:

noun:

1.  wealth or riches stored or accumulated, especially in the form of precious metals, money, jewels, or plate.
2.  wealth, rich materials, or valuable things.

3.  any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized:

This book was his chief treasure.
verb (used with object):  treasured, treasuring.
4.  to retain carefully or keep in store, as in the mind.
5.  to regard or treat as precious; cherish.
6.  to put away for security or future use, as money.
It is not sinful to treasure precious memories with loved ones – I want to make that clear; however, if that overshadows your relationship with God, it’s sin.  Anything that takes up more of your energy than the things of God…  it’s coming between you and the Lord and the priority needs to change.  Our God is a jealous God and always wants to be in first place.  Our hearts are to trust and delight in Him.  ❤
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Define your treasure.  All sorts of interests and activities can possibly become more of a treasure in our lives than they should be.  Ask God to “check” you about it.  I can’t tell you what you’re putting in first place, but I sure do know Who can.  Wherever your treasure is (and it’s different for every person) – there will your heart (attitudes & actions) be.  ❤
Jesus loved everyone, but His ultimate treasure was His Father, God.  He knew from whence came His power, His glory, His everything – just as we as God’s children do.  ❤
Don’t assume that treasure refers to money.  Treasure is anything that holds a special place in your heart.  You can’t separate your treasure from your heart because there is such passion associated with the treasure in your life.  Maybe your treasure is money – but let me remind you that money, while a necessary evil in this world…  will mean nothing in the afterlife.  We’ve all heard the old saying, “You can’t take it with you.”  Make sure your treasure stays tempered with the stark facts of reality.  Only what is done for Christ will last – those things will follow you into Heaven.  Chew on that for a while.  ❤

 

 

 

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BUILD A BETTER TRADE SHOW IMAGE WEEK

TL FEBRUARY 21-27 BUILD A BETTER TRADE SHOW IMAGE WEEKFor better or for worse, image matters in all things!  The image we see with our eyes translates to developing an opinion in our brain – we like, we dislike – and that translates into the decision to either want to buy a product based on looks, or not.

Today is my dad’s birthday.  Happy Birthday in heaven, dad!2-21 BUILDING BLOCKS OF DESTINY

I was thinking about all the lessons he taught me – and the importance of appearance is one of the most crucial lessons I learned.  After I graduated high school in 1979, my dad set me up with a job “staging” homes to sell.  Daddy was a talented trim carpenter in Wichita and worked for several popular builders in our area in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Anyone with a house built in that time period probably has cabinetry that was handmade by my dad.  Ironically – the house I currently live in has pre-fabricated cabinetry and is in no way special.  😦

I’ve heard so many women make comments as they tour a staged house – they say something like, “Oh I wish my house looked this nice and clean.”  I have to laugh when I hear it because once a family moves into the house – the level of perfection automatically lowers!  If you have to live in a house, you’re not going to keep the plastic on the carpet – you’re not going to leave all the staged silk flowers where they’ve been placed because think about it – the stuff you need to store or have on hand set there instead!  A staged house is not occupied, so it’s lacking life and vitality!  I’d rather see a house that looks like it’s lived in, wouldn’t you?

Working with amazing designers and staging experts, I learned how color and texture and in some cases even the smell of freshly baked bread make impressions on people interested in purchasing a house.  One of the realtors actually brought dough with her to bake in the oven!  Triggers are different for everyone.  Some folks are turned on by sound, so we always tried to have soft music playing.  It was so soft that you barely noticed it – but it was there.  And remember, back in the late 1970’s, the big thing was intercom systems!  We liked the idea that we could push a button in the room we’re in to talk with the rest of the family instead of yelling across the house.  Those intercom systems also played music throughout the house.  I’d be curious to know if they still work today.  New construction does not offer intercom systems.  That was definitely a late 70’s, early 80’s thing.

Appealing to the senses is what marketing is all about.  Trip the trigger – make the sale.  Cha-ching! 

Sometimes I wish I had pursued that line of work because I’ve always been drawn to design, staging, and making a living space “speak” to people.  It’s important to do the same kind of “speaking” at trade shows.  Even a little touch like having a bowl of free candy available can help draw them to your booth.  The rest is up to you.  Sell your product.  Let them know why their life will be lacking without it.

Just as my dad added special extras to every set of cabinets he made, I try to add extra to my design projects or photographs so the eye is drawn to whatever I want to be noticed.  Image improvement can apply to all areas of life – personal and professional.

What can you do to build a better trade show image???  It depends on what type of product you’re selling, of course.  There are creative ways to draw a crowd and then wow them.  Don’t be afraid to try new things because when it comes down to it, it’s all about trial and error.  If you don’t try, you won’t know.  It might work!  🙂

 

NATIONAL BE HEARD DAY

TL 3-7 NATIONAL BE HEARD DAY

Listen up, small business owners, today is NATIONAL BE HEARD DAY!!!  Over 145,000,000 small businesses in the United States are struggling to break through the big-business dominated times.  These businesses need to be squeaky wheels – they need to be heard (and seen)!

Through creative marketing, good publicity tactics or strong visual appearance, you can make your business stand out from the rest.

Every cat looks like every other cat – or do they?  Remember Grumpy Cat?  I rest my case.

Created in 2006, this is an “unofficial” national holiday started by Business Mentor, Shannon Cherry.

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One afternoon I was waiting for my husband to get finished with a meeting.  We were staying at a lovely hotel with several little off-name boutiques made quaint little homes for themselves.  I decided to do a little shopping since I had some time to kill.

Stunning sterling silver jewelry and other assorted accessories tempted me as I walked into the first shop.  A very nice, older lady greeted me and let me know she’d be happy to help me.  I thanked her and continued browsing.  I noticed how neat and tidy everything looked.  I didn’t feel any pressure to buy anything and appreciated the shopping experience.

I walked to the next shop, expecting a similar shopping experience.  I was not greeted because the clerk was too busy texting someone.  That didn’t bother me all that much – I know sometimes life happens.  The shop was funky and gave me a strange vibe.  There were neon scarves hung this way and that, with no real order.  There was some sterling silver jewelry, but it was not neat nor tidy.  The merchandise looked as if people had come in and tried it on then slung it down anywhere.  It was a strange ambience and I left quickly.

There was a third store but I didn’t even go inside.

Am I being picky?  Well, maybe a little.  I’m the same way about antique shops.  Some of them are so spacious and things are neat and clean and tidy.  Others are so cramped, you really don’t know whether you dare touch anything for fear that the pile will fall down on you!

I’ll tell you a secret…  if the clerk is nice to me and wants to chat a bit, that makes up for a lot of other faults I may have concerning the shop.

Why do you read my blog?  It’s certainly not the content because my writing is not that interesting.  Maybe I’m the one who greets you every day.  Well, you’re the one that greets me too.  There are many days when I don’t see another person other than my husband.

I’ve tried to make this blog not only informative, fun and as real as possible, but attractive.  I want it to make some sort of sense to you, the reader.  To maintain a small business and hopefully help it become a big business, you need good people who care as much as you do about the business.  You need something to catch the eye as a person walks into your shop.  It above all needs to be clean and neatly arranged.  Something has to catch the eye, then the content keeps the interest and the price will hook the sale.

You may not have to pay a young person as much to work in your shop, but some of them would rather sit behind the counter texting than say hello to a customer or pick a scarf up off the floor.  It’s not a customer’s job to pick a scarf up.  I don’t know if the older lady had a vested interest in that shop or not, but I do know that she was pleasant and helpful to me, the customer.  True, I didn’t buy anything, but I remember the name of the shop and will go back if we stay at that hotel again.  She, and it, made a lasting impression.  🙂