Category Archives: Life

Who Started This?

I didn’t start Tinderbox Consulting.

I believe in God. I am a Christ Follower. Three years ago, when I found myself unemployed (again), I was determined to get another “real job.” God had different plans.

Because I listened and obeyed God, because I had faith in his plan for me, Tinderbox began. And because God is so good – despite my faults – Tinderbox remains, three years later.

We didn't start the fire.

It’s also how I can be at peace, even when the business waters are rough. And why I can’t rest when a client isn’t satisfied. I feel compelled by a greater mission: to serve God by serving others. Being mission driven means I can be confident God will bring in more clients, and that I’ll find new opportunities to serve existing clients. It also means I’m responsible to apologize when I mess up with a client.

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Be There In Five

Be There In Five (1)

No you won’t. And we both know it. It’s not because I don’t trust you. It’s because I do the same thing. I’m running late and am embarrassed that I’m running late so I text you to let you know. I tell you I’m only five minutes away, when really, I’m easily eight minutes out. Why? Because I want to believe I’m not that late.

I hate being late. But I hate being a liar more. So now, I try to be honest or even exaggerate. If I know I’m going to be five minutes late, I say 15 minutes. If I’m going to be 10 minutes late, I say 20. More importantly, I apologize and ask for forgiveness. Their time is just as valuable.

Overstating how late I am  accomplishes two things. 1) I’m honest about running late and I give myself breathing room to get to the appointment. 2) If I’m earlier than I stated, it feels like a win.

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Why I need #SpoBU

Social media has a tendency to drive a wedge between people and, well, other people. It’s why tweetups are a thing. I can be social on social media all day long, but that’s not an adequate replacement for real human interaction. It’s just not.

After attending several #SpoCT’s, and enjoying them, I thought it would be fun to start a tweetup centered around craft beer. So I did. And I called it #Spokane #BeersUp, which was a clunky if not effective name. After a while, it was condensed to simply #SpoBU.

The point is, I need to be social beyond business meetings. #SpoBU gives me an excuse to hang out with a few friends and enjoy a cold one. I need #SpoBu.

Wednesdays 4-6 pm (1)

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The Worst Thing Ever Said to My Face

“You’re too busy.”

Sounds harmless, right? It could even be construed as positive reinforcement that I’m doing good work. Except, this was said by someone I thought was going to want me to mentor him.

“I’d love for you to be my mentor, but you’re too busy.” When I heard that, my heart sank. I thought, what am I too busy doing? What’s more important than pouring faith, knowledge, life, and love into someone else?

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I’ve been called nearly every name in the book, and in most cases it was deserved. But this…this was worse than any name I’ve ever been called. Because it’s true, and it’s my own doing.

A friend of mine once said that life is about creating margins. Margin for the things that are important, margin for the things that are necessary, and the things that are required, and margin for the things that fill our cups.

It looks like my margins need to be redrawn.

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Don’t say sorry, apologize… then ask for forgiveness

There’s a difference between saying you’re sorry and asking someone to forgive you.

Years ago, my wife and I did the Growing Kids God’s Way curriculum. In it, the Ezzos talk about having your kids apologize when they get in trouble. Not only that, but the Ezzos recommend having your kids ask for forgiveness. According to the Ezzos, and later confirmed by me in practice, this repairs any damage done by the mistake.

Back when I selling advertising, I had an issue with a client. An agency. In fact, one of the largest agencies in town. I could’ve easily blamed the client, or found some other way to blameshift, but the responsibility was clearly mine. Instead of take the easy way out, I took the Ezzos’ advice and apologized to the client. I then asked for forgiveness. The client began trusting me more, despite my mistake.

Today’s world – with cell phones, social media, instant messaging, etc. – it’s easier than ever to be a flake. Don’t flake. You’re better than that.

Don't just say sorry

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The Next Epic Failure

I’m learning to look forward to the next epic failure.

As Jamie Hollister likes to say when mentoring someone, “look, I’m gonna let you down. Eventually. It’s bound to happen. I’m human.”

The fact is, I’m going to make another mistake. I’m going to fail. Again. And again. And again.

Instead of being afraid, I’m learning to embrace the next failure. You know why? Because I can learn from it. I grow from it. I can become better. I can endure more. The next epic failure will be an experience, and I welcome it.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:2

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Find your next Everest

In business (or life, for that matter) it’s not enough to just climb Everest. Climbing Everest is a great goal that takes years of training and dedication (and money) to accomplish. But what do you do once you’ve climbed Everest? If you’re a serious climber, you find another peak. You find another Everest.

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Having a goal is great. Having a set of goals is great. However, you should always be ready with the next goal. What’s the next mountain you plan to climb?

Oh, and just a heads up, I’m pretty sure I borrowed this idea from John Maxwell. However, the Everest metaphor is all mine.

 

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They say before you start a war…

…you better know what you’re fighting for.

When you correct someone’s grammar on twitter, what are you fighting for?

What are you fighting for when you slam a business on Facebook?

When you gossip or spread rumors (and I’m great at both), what’s your war?

Twitter

Actual tweet. Possibly starting a war.

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The Path Towards Progress

Progress is typically defined by forward momentum. Is a company moving forward? Is a person moving on? Is an organization taking progressive steps? The question should really be, is growth taking place?

Progress should not be defined by the number of steps taken forward, but by the number of steps retraced for the sake of learning. Growth and progress always come with bumps and bruises. Mistakes will happen. External forces will work against us. Which means that sometimes, in order to achieve progress, reflection on those mistakes must take place. Although the goal should be to avoid as many mistakes as possible, they will happen. Progress will only take place when learning from those mistakes has occured.

Thomas Edison said it best, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” With each failed attempt, Edison couldn’t just start over. He looked at what was done, why it didn’t work, and then tried again. Progress.

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Say what you are saying

I overheard an interesting conversation the other day. A woman was obviously upset about something and was letting the other party know it. From what I could tell, she was justified in being upset and the other party was agreeing. However, at one point, the frustrated woman said, “I’m not trying to chew you out.” The funny thing is, that’s exactly what she was doing.

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