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What was in there?

Aug 18, 2020

What was in there?


The smell of the emptied trash can made me back up a step. I wasn’t planning on cleaning it out (or, let’s be honest here, assigning the chore to one of my kids) but the smell required it. I filled up a couple of buckets of hot, soapy water and poured them into the can and let them sit there. Then I emptied it out but it was still offensively strong. I repeated the hot, soapy water treatment. When I checked it later, the stench was finally gone. (I then assigned the rest of the clean up to one of my kids.)

How many times does the result of prior actions stop us in our tracks? 

Whether it’s carelessly said words that wounded a tender heart or a neglected business opportunity, we often have to work harder and longer to fix the original problem. 

In our case, I’m not sure what was flung into the trash can but apparently when it was last cleaned out, the “cleaning” was accomplished in a rather slipshod manner because when I asked “said kid” about finishing the cleaning today, she mentioned that it was pretty stinky the week before. Hmmmm, so maybe last week’s cleaning was more of a lick and a promise (as my dad used to say). Regardless, clearly some kind of liquid had leaked out of the trash can liners and the hot sun had baked it into a disgusting stench. Maybe there wasn’t a proactive option for this particular incident but I’m pretty sure last week’s cleaning could’ve taken less time than doing 2 sets of cleaning and this time requiring MORE time, effort, and supplies than would’ve been required last week. 

Along those same lines, I was listening to a friend talk about a situation with his child and how he handled his own anger and outburst that was directed at his son. He apologized and made sure that he had brought reconciliation with his son but that process took more time, effort and energy than would’ve been required to get his initial burst of frustration under control. 

The writer of Hebrews tells us “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (12:11). I’m thinking that my daughter probably will spend a bit more time with some soapy water next time she cleans out the garbage can! She didn’t enjoy having to re-do her efforts but it sure makes it more pleasant to toss trash into a can that doesn’t knock you over with the smell!

And, of course, when we’re looking for wisdom, Proverbs always provides guidance. Proverbs 10:4, “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth.” While we often don’t see our lack of action as a sign of laziness, the end result is the same. Poverty. 

Business Application:

I see the same cycle in the business world. We’re too busy or too afraid or too whatever to post on social media every day. Or email our list at least every week. Or go live. Or stop the reviewing and editing our copy and let it go even if it’s not 100% perfect. 

But, then it takes MORE time, effort, energy, and/or supplies, to complete the job. 

We have to work harder to connect (or re-connect) with our audience. We look back and think, wow, my audience would be so much larger if I had started earlier. 

When we’re willing to take action right away or build the habits and take the steps to make daily or incremental progress, good things will happen. Engagement will increase. Our audience will say “yes” to our products or services. New people will find us. 

What are some daily habits that contribute to your profitable business? Here are some of mine.

  • Time with God. Okay, this one may not be specifically business-related but since God is the CEO of my business, I check in with him every day. I pray about my business, clients, calls, opportunities, launches, etc. I pray with my clients and for them. I don’t want to run ahead of where God wants me to be so I ask him daily for guidance. 
  • Daily social media posts (remember, you don’t have to be everywhere but you do need to show up and be where your dream clients hang out).
  • Daily review of any Facebook groups you’re engaged with. Does anyone have a question that you can answer? Do you have another perspective or know someone else in the group that could contribute to a thread? Add value to others. And, then, when you have a question, ask it. And, remember to say thank you to those who respond to you. In today’s fast-paced world, politeness stands out. 
  • Move your body. Regular physical activity helps you to think clearly, calms your nervous system, and helps you build a sustainable business. Even if you have physical limitations, move as much as you can to be as healthy as you can.
  • Journal. Writing things out with a physical paper and pen helps you retain knowledge and allows your brain to process information differently than when you type it out. While there’s a place for all kinds of journaling, I’m partial to a physical paper journal to record my thoughts, energy levels, physical health, business dreams, etc. Pro tip: If you’re new to journaling, set a timer and just write for 5 minutes a day. Then when you start getting interrupted by the timer’s end, increase the time until you’ve built the habit.





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