how to Increase your worth at a time like this

The way you increase your worth in good and bad economies is simple, but very hard for most people achieve.

First, note that the amount of money you recieve is directly tied to:

  • the demand for what you do
  • the difficulty of what you do
  • how hard it would be to replace you

Your business value is not how much you’re worth as a human, because ALL humans are precious in God’s sight.

Your value is directly tied to whom you serve. Huh?

A man working as a fast food cashier probably can be replaced almost at anytime, so he is paid less. ESPECIALLY if he does not provide much value to the company by serving the customer in a satisfactory manner. Nope, won’t be in that position long at all. Let’s give him $10 an hour.

But this same man, to his family and church family serves with all his heart and does all he can to help meet their needs, this same man would be paid millions of dollars by these people if they could pay it. He is worth that and so much more to them.

The same principle goes for our worth in this economy.

If you would like to increase your value:

  • Increase who you serve
  • Increase in the quality of your service
  • Increase your service to meet more needs
  • Make your services irreplaceable

In short: Increase your personal growth -> increase your effectiveness -> increase who and how much you serve.

Formula is pretty straight forward, but many are not willing to do it.

You get back out of life the effort you invest into it.

A few of books I love to help increase personal growth are:

Navigate your problems

“Problems are just unborn solutions”

-John Maxwell

Problems are never easy, and many people deal with their problems in their own way. The ones who seem to get through their problems a lot quicker usually have a slightly different view of what the obstacle is.

If we all took a step back and looked at the problems we’re facing… for me, many times (for me more often than not) I find that this mountain is not that big from the other side. I think getting through quickly and efficiently comes from the approach the problem is usually stands at a fork in the road.

This way:

This approach to problems will have many come up on it with full intention to destroy it, seeing it as the next step to get to where they want to be. With that attitude they somewhat know what their answer may look like. The problem itself is not really a problem it is life teaching a lesson to go to the next level. Just about everything you have is the result of a solved problem, the product was the solution. Name anything, and it solves some sort of problem, no matter how minor it was.

That way:

Another approach is to give up. What it was, was just too tough to deal with. Usually with this approach the problem never moves, and if it does, it moves to get bigger until you deal with it. Most of the time the problem is there to teach you. Not learning the lesson will result in you repeating the mistakes, and you dealing with the same old crap over and over again. We don’t want that.

The last is that other way:

The other way is that unknown “other way” where you don’t know where to go, or really bother to care, the thought is, “well, it might just take care of itself”, or, “I’ll just see what will happens”. Because I’m a procrastinator I try not to do this, but I do a lot. I have to encourage myself to make a decision to go this way or that, because that other way will have control of me and everyone involved in the circumstance.

I remind myself to the conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat:

  • “Would tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?”
  • “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the cat.
  • “I don’t much care where-” said Alice
  • “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the cat
  • “-so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
  • “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

How long are you willing to walk in some unknown direction?

At some point we have to face it, if too big ask for help, or turn tail and run.

I just want you to know that when we look close enough a the problem, really close by will be the solution to it. Help or no help we will find it when we get close enough to study and think of how to get around the obsstacle!

I believe in You!

Stabilizers are for stabilizing

I forgot to mention on our last trip, just before take off to go home, our main door was stuck. I couldn’t open it at all, and the girls were inside. I think the trailer shifted earlier from all the wind (a tornado came later that day). I tried to push the trailer and the chocks I had under the stabilizers slipped from under them, causing the biggest boom ever! No one was hurt and the trailer was fine, except the stabilizers.

This is kind of funny, ironically before the trip I saw a video on mistakes people make while setting up. This was one of them. I thought I understood, but this still happened. The saying was stabilizers are for stabilizing, not jacking up the trailer. I didn’t try to jack up the trailer, I was just leveling it. (But it did the same thing to get it level)

Anyway, this post will go in both categories, my thoughts, and glamping (for the tip on what NOT to do).

How often do we know what to do, but use things to do functions it was not purposed for? Like using a waffle maker to make grill cheese sandwiches, or use a knife instead of a screwdriver… etc. Sometimes its a good idea, but you do have to understand that what we are doing is going against the purpose of it, which lessens the integrity of the product.

Our bodies and our minds were created to do great things, but when we abuse them or lessen the integrity of the purpose, we don’t function to full capacity. Have you ever felt the calling to do something and you ignored it to do something else? Most of the time, like with products (like stabilizers) we can get by with what we have, but it is only for a season. Things last longer when they are doing what they were intended to do.

Something to keep in mind when tempted to go the easy route.

Post post:

This was preinstalled on our trailer:

Our next ones will be a little more sturdy, I was looking at:

Open to any suggestions!

Your Morale Filters Down

As I was thinking and reflecting on how I and most everyone feels around me, how morale at this time is little low, and then I thought about how this phrase from one of my favorite mentors of all time says, “Leadership is Influence, Nothing More, Nothing Less” -John Maxwell.

Earl Nightingale stated, “Morale cannot be raised, it is filtered from the top”. At first I was shocked, because I spend a lot of time trying to boost morale in my teams, family, even in myself.

Morale is the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time… and he says that this in a sense “cannot be raised”. So what am I doing? I had to listen to it again. “Morale cannot be raised, it is filtered from the top”. Now I understand a lot more. Here is my thought on this.

Who is trying to do the raising of morale? Usually The Leadership. Who is morale filtered down FROM? That’s right, The Leadership. As John Maxwell stated, “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less”. This influence does not care if it is positive nor negative, it is whatever within you. When we think of leadership we think about the people above us, but I want you to think about this. We are all the heads of our own company. The job you hold is just a sponsor for your company, in which you happen to barter your services to fund your company. You may be the only employee, or you may have a team, (a real team or just your family) but the way you feel sets the tone for the people under you. It’s filtered from the top.

Motivation will be the key for your morale.

  • What motivates you?
  • How do you motivate yourself to accomplish big things?
  • Knowing what you now know, what can you do to lift morale in your company?

Spending time during this time

Having time to spend time doing things my kids and I both enjoy!

I often would tell the kids how much I liked to draw on clothes, and sketch all the time when I was younger, but I never really showed them. With all this down time, I decided to show my sons and daughter that I really did do these things. My daughter loves to paint, and I wanted to sit down with her and do some things that we have in common. She got to pick colors and even suggest what to draw. We spent time preparing for this time at Hobby Lobby, researching ideas, painting together, and even creating an Etsy store that she may even get paid to do some of the things she loves by others who would value her work! The same goes for all of my kids, biological, spiritual, and students under my care!

As you might can tell, we both love animal crossing and star wars!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BanksAcrossAmerica

Nashville Trip

Nashville Shores

Trip to Nashville

This trip was extreme on both ends of the spectrum. It was the worst and the best trip so far all wrapped into one awesome learning experience. Here’s how this trip went:

Day One:

The trip started off great due to some of the last trip learned experiences from Stone Mountain Park.

We were to go to Rome, GA, –> Then onto Nashville by nightfall, and find a place to park the camper for the night. (Preferably at someone’s house and plug up for a couple of days) And then back to the ranch.

But here’s what really happened.

We get to Rome at nightfall. Visit family we haven’t seen in 20+ years, and since we were so unprepared for going here and there and everywhere in Rome, I’m driving around side streets in a big truck and a 32foot trailer. (No parking for the gentle giant.) I’m agitated because we are about 6 hours behind schedule. So I’m not one for many words when you might say, “Do you think we have time to go to one more stop?” Not happy.

Time, Darkness, Gas, and Not knowing exactly where you are going is not your friend when you are traveling. Determined to get to Nashville, I press on getting there around midnight.

Lesson 1: You cannot park just anywhere. Last trip I learned that not all gas stations had diesel. This go round, I learned that not all fast food is RV / Trailer friendly. Hungry and behind schedule we had to find a place to eat and gas up. Another lesson learned: Make it easy for yourself, just go to one of the big truck stops with food choices built in.

Back on the road, we finally get to Nashville. Side note: since it was dark, I have no idea how steep the mountains were. I may not even kept going if I could see the obstacles ahead. Thanks Darkness! Anyway, We hit Nashville around midnight, and hearing about parking overnight at Walmart, I decide we are going to try “Boon-docking”.

This may have been a good idea in a different time period, but tonight, we feast on experiences that we will never forget.

Lesson 2: Not all RV friendly places allow overnight parking. Nope. Not even Walmart. I know right? We went to 3 different Walmarts looking for a safe place to park. Ok. 3rd time’s the charm. Found a spot with truckers lined up. Now its 1am and I’m ready to put this day behind me. But…

Lesson 3: Do not boon-dock without a generator / external power source. It’s again just like Stone Mountain, 28 degrees. We’re like yay! finally we can get some rest. Nope. Trailer battery doesn’t last and the fireplace inside isn’t cutting the cold. So. Back in the truck we go. at least the heated seats and the heat in the little confined space will keep us from freezing to death. Not a good night’s sleep. Every 30-45 mins had to crank up to knock off some of the cold. I was not Mr. Popular.

Day Two:

We survive the night, gas up, and find that Cracker Barrels are usually RV friendly! I have a place to park! Starting off on a new adventure, in a new place, clean slate. Let’s have a good time. No. Not yet. We have to visit family, maneuver little streets, find a place to park, and I need a shower. (Even though I have been towing 2 of them for the last 24 hours) Finding that there will be no where for me to park this thing, we quickly decide that a campsite with full hook ups will have to be our next move. Best. Idea. Ever.

Lesson 4: Reserve a campsite before your trip. Go there first. Unhook. Drive around and see the sites. We ended up going to Nashville Shores, One of the only few places that would take us without a reservation, and was open this time of year. It was the off season for them, so there were only 2 other families there. Awesome. Full Campsite Amenities, all to ourselves. Shout out to Misty for helping us get checked in and giving us the run down on the place!

Trailer Free at Nashville Shores

When we dropped the trailer, we dropped a lot of restrictions on driving, parking, where we could fit in, all sorts of things. I could swear also that it gave a sigh of relief too. Full hook ups mean heat, hot water, a place to cook, RELAXATION. at last. The best sleep ever. Too bad, we go home tomorrow.

Day 3. Homebound. The only lesson learned was this, well I’ll put it like the others.

Lesson 5: Plan your route. Consider your timing. The only hiccup we had coming home was hitting Atlanta traffic at 6:30 pm. Atlanta is my hometown so I knew what it would be like, but I didn’t know it would take 1 hour and a half to just pass through, but I wasn’t surprised. It was also raining. Other than that. Best day yet!

cock of the walk

Have any pointers for us? Leave a comment below!

Be Rooted and Driven

This picture tells a story of two people traveling along in the sea of life. People float along going where ever life takes them, this way and that way. But the big iceberg will float in a certain direction and stay its course due to the underlying current deep below the shallow waters.

Today, with so much going on people will panic and follow the crowd. Please take time to check your beliefs, character, and integrity, so they will not allow you to compromise yourself. It’s easy to do things you wouldn’t normally do when everyone is doing it. But it takes courage and belief in one’s self to do the things they feel their entire existence hinges on and the very fiber of their being is calling them to what they feel is right.

We develop strength to do this by focusing on the inside: the learned experiences, those things life taught you growing up, and the vision you are working toward. The outside voices will try to persuade you to bend a little here, and compromise a little there, to fit their needs for you at the moment. How you hand your situations and persuasions will cause you to wither be the ice, or the iceberg.

I believe you are the iceberg!

Success Is In The Scheduling…

The thought I had for this comes from me sitting home, playing animal crossing with two of my kids, passing time. I noticed that so much time passed that I had no idea what time it was, nor what day it was. You see, our business had to temporarily close due to all the restrictions placed on us to slow the spread of COVID-19. This is a first. I have time. Time to breathe. But in all this breathing I find myself falling away, no focus, no direction. Then I remembered.

There is success in scheduling. Scheduling is the routine that causes success. Success is the accomplishments of tasks and goals being crushed because you are not wasting your time. These past few days seemed like a test to me, and hearing my character within me begging me to wake up. “Go get things done!” Now it is up to me to act:

Live life. See the world. Serve my purpose. Feed my 5,000.

This is just the first thought of many.

First Trip: Stone Mountain

First Road Trip!

So, you have a new trailer, what do you do? Plan a trip! So we all decide that our first trip will be Stone Mountain Campground. Great!

*** Disclaimer: We had an absolute great time. Great Memories were made. I LEARNED A LOT. ***

Day One: First time driving.

3 hour trip took about 7 hours. Here are a few things I learned:

  • People do not care too much for a person driving with 10,000 plus pounds behind them. Nope.
  • NOT ALL GAS STATIONS HAVE DIESEL. What???
  • It is not simple to find a spot to turn around with a 32 foot trailer, and an inexperienced driver. (it took me about 45 minutes to get turned around, and find a gas station that carries diesel. hint: follow the big trucks)
  • Know where you’re going if possible. Shifting lanes in stop and go traffic will be bad on your nerves for sure.
  • Bring Snacks!
  • If you have a spotter, have them understand that the truck and trailer is NOT a car, you have little turn ratio and you definitely need a lot of room if you’re not use to backing a trailer.
  • Check the weather before your trip
  • Last thing, four pieces of free firewood does not build a good campfire.

First day consisted of us getting there, and as soon as I dropped the trailer, we’re off to Walmart! This is a 3 day trip, first day was spent driving, and now we buy a lot of food that we don’t need. Thanks hungry stomach, Walmart wins big this time.

Day 2

We spend in training, so the day is gone and the kids stay behind and play games all day. After we get back from our training, we comeback to guests, and the kids are hungry. When I say kids, notice in the picture that these are giant 20 something babies. They waited for me get back before they would eat. (Mainly because I need to cook first)

We try to our hand at creating a bon fire with four or five pieces of wood. Dad’s, take my word for it, I don’t recommended when you build a fire in 30 degree weather, and expect your family to sit with you as you do it. Especially when they set the trailer to 72 inside. What you can expect while you freeze is “is it ready yet? I don’t see fire yet!”

But you are making memories.

Day 3

Family fun in the park, and we pack it up to leave.

It took me a while, but we made it home in only 4.5 hours this time.

TIPS for next trip:

  • Use RV Apps on Phone
  • Find nice truck stops
  • Make sure you have enough hoses and that they are long enough
  • Try to map out your trip BEFORE you leave!

Here is a link to Stone Mountain’s Campground. It was a great experience!

Back Story: How did we get into #campinglife?

Jacksonville Beach

Here is my (Jeff’s) version on why we decided to buy a truck and trailer, and start traveling.

I caught the flu. I was sick and couldn’t move. God had my full attention. With me down for a week, I noticed some things. The business functioned without me. The family still ate without me cooking every meal. Facebook and Instagram did not miss me at all. (not many people knew I was sick.)

Things I thought were “must do’s” were not so important anymore. What was important was… my family, my prayer life, my attitude, and how I treat others.

What came out of this was the need to be with family, and the need to see outside my little town. So, I looked into the RV World, and what a big world it is! Coaches, trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers… what the heck? I got a little truck… what can I do with this?

Nothing. I found a great deal on a travel trailer, but I have to buy a truck to pull it. What do I do? Yep, I have to go buy a truck too. Last thing, who is going to drive this monster with a 32 foot tail? Yep. I guess it will be me…

Let’s Go!

*Big shout out to @TravelCamp in Savannah GA, helping us get started!

Best Health Insurance

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Anticipating Procrastination

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