Monday, August 19, 2013

Being faithful with the little things

"[The Kingdom of God] is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.” Mark 4:31-32

A few weeks ago, my wife Vicki and I had the opportunity to visit Andy Stanley’s church, North Point. What a great experience. Andy is such a good communicator and we were lucky because it was his first week back from a summer break he took with his family. He showed pictures of Jerusalem and Rome during his message and talked about the humble beginnings of the “church”. When Jesus predicted the “church”, he explained, it had nothing to do with the buildings but the original word used in that passage was ecclesia, referring to an assembly of people. What started as a dozen followers, now, is millions of people spanning the globe. I like how Mark Roberts with The High Calling explains these humble beginnings in his Daily Reflections blog:

“Yes, Jesus stirred up the crowds and distressed many Jewish leaders. Yes, he was popular among common people, especially those who needed healing or deliverance. But, for the most part, Jesus didn’t even show up as a blip on the radar screen. As ancient Roman historians recounted the key events and people of the first-century A.D., Jesus received only the tiniest mention. Though God’s reign was truly present in the ministry of Jesus, it was small and apparently inconsequential. In time, however, it would make its full impact known.” 

In his blog, Mark goes on to explain how God uses us to expand His kingdom no matter how insignificant we THINK our work is:

“Sometimes we Christians forget the image of the mustard seed and the encouragement it brings. We look at huge, successful ministries and discount the importance of our local churches. Or we see a few Christians who impact millions of people and figure that our contribution doesn’t count. In fact, however, God has chosen to use that which appears to be inconsequential in the work of his kingdom. Our calling is not to make a big splash for God, but rather to be faithful in our part of the world. The mustard seed of God’s reign will grow through us in our workplace, family, school, community, church, and society. We may not see it. We may not think we’re making a major impact. But God will be at work in and through us, extending his rule in our world.”

I am so excited about the mission of The Ripple Effects and the tools that will soon be available to each one of us to help us be more intentional about LIVING OUT OUR FAITH in our workplaces. I feel like God had me plant a mustard seed about three years ago and I feel like I have made numerous trips to Home Depot for fertilizer and even miracle grow but it wasn’t until recently that I gave it over to the master gardener that I am now seeing the first signs of plant life breaking through the soil!

Jeff Baugus
The Ripple Effects

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Patience is a virtue, so I have heard.

Psalm 130:5 (NIV) I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Patience is a virtue, so I have heard. It is so hard to wait on the Lord sometimes, isn’t it? My thoughts, my mission, my passion is busting at the seams for what I see TRE can and will be. A couple of great meetings with some trusted friends this week helped me to take a step back and revisit our main mission at TRE and that is to reach out to those folks within our workplace mission field that are far from God. While we continue to add to our TRE community, I know it is vitally important to remain rooted in this main purpose and for us to provide resources and tools to our members to not only help them in business but to also help them to remain focused on our main mission.

To help us keep focused on this mission, we are starting a study in September around the book “God in The Marketplace” by Henry & Richard Blackaby. Stay tuned for more details on this soon. If you want to go ahead and order the book so that you are ready, Amazon has good conditioned used copies. I found my copy on Amazon for 1 cent plus $3.99 shipping. After reading through several chapters I am seeing how this can literally be a handbook for living out our faith in our workplaces and to help others fulfill the mission that God has given them within their workplace.

Jeff Baugus
The Ripple Effects

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Supporting one another in business

This morning I read a verse from Galatians 6:10 the Message version that says “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.”

Think about the last time you needed AC service, or auto repair, or carpet cleaning, or had a question on a refinance or got new insurance quotes to save money. Did you go to to search for these services? Why not? Just as Paul wrote in Galatians we need to work together “starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith”. Each day through marketing and in the people I come in contact with I am constantly promoting your businesses. Just think what it would be like to have all of you also promoting each other’s businesses as well!

Another part of this passage that I really like is the part about not giving up. I know we are all fatigued and grinding it out day after day but so often I hear of those success stories about companies that everyone thinks are over night successes to only find out that those same companies struggled for ten plus years and many times the owner had contemplated throwing in the towel but hung on a little longer and was finally rewarded and was able to “harvest a good crop”.

Starting next month we are rolling out some exciting marketing materials to everyone in our community and we are boosting our online marketing campaigns to build awareness of our community.  Our slogan still remains the same of “Support The Business People That Support Your Church” and we are going to leverage that slogan to compel our church communities to look to our businesses for goods and services that they are looking for. We are here to support you! Let us know if there is anything we can help you with in your business.

Jeff Baugus
The Ripple Effects

Monday, May 6, 2013

As business owners we get it-Funny Fedx Video

Check out this funny video from Fed-X I have personally experienced this several times with my wife. It is that constant balancing act of trying to personally support the business and having the business support you personally. I can remember a time early on in my insurance agency that I used a personal credit card to make payroll. Well the credit card company called my wife because she was the primary card holder and she thought the card was stolen and cancelled the card. I was actually on a business trip at the time and my card got declined at the gas station. That was 20 years ago and believe it or not she is still with me, I just make sure she doesn’t know about these situations any longer, by her choice I might add.

Do you have any stories about the things we go through as business owners? Reply to this post and let us know.

Jeff Baugus
Insurance Beacon

Monday, April 8, 2013

TRE; A Higher Standard than BBB

I was reading in Colossians recently and ran across Colossians 3:23 “Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.” -MSG.

Most of us have ethical and service standards that we adhere to within our industries like with my insurance agency we belong to the Independent Insurance Agents and have the Trusted Choice seal as well we are an “accredited” members of the Better Business Bureau, whatever that means, however, it is my contention that we as Christ followers and as members of TRE work to a higher standard. Just like what Paul was writing about in Colossians we serve Christ in all that we do including our work and our work should reflect this. Whether we are digging a ditch or managing 100 employees we should work with Joy and to the best of our abilities every time.

As TRE continues to grow I become more and more focused on our strategy for reaching new clients for our members. I have identified to three market areas and we will take slightly different approaches to reach these three markets but each of these consumer markets certainly can and will understand the power of what it means for us to work to a “higher standard”. It is up to all of us to ALWAYS strive to that higher standard and when we do “they” will know that we are followers of Christ and the impact will go far beyond the success of our companies.

I am not going to get into specifics of my strategies in this post, however, here are the three consumer market areas that we are honing in on to reach: The TRE Members, each of our local church attendees, the general public. I will begin laying out the strategy to reach each market over the next couple of weeks.

If you are not yet signed up for the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast, do it today. It is fast approaching and it is going to be AWESOME!

Serving Christian Businesses, Glorifying Christ!

Jeff Baugus
The Ripple Effects

Monday, March 4, 2013

Is outrageous customer service a norm at your work?

Recently I heard a client come into my office and another agent was trying to help him out but he insisted that he needed to talk with me. When I went out to greet him he was standing there all smiles and handed me a bottle of wine and proceeded to tell me how grateful him and his wife were for what I did for them. He said I didn’t have to do all of that and they were extremely impressed and thankful. After exchanging additional pleasantries he left, I then turned to the other agent and said, he looks familiar but I have no idea what I did for them.

Is outrageous customer service so second nature for you that it is just normal in your work place but leaves a lasting impact on your clients? This is the ultimate compliment to me that someone would be so moved about my service that they would come out of their way to let me know it when I can’t even remember what I did!

Do you have any stories about the things we go through as business owners? Reply to this post and let us know.

Jeff Baugus
Insurance Beacon

Monday, February 4, 2013

Great leadership article on Emotional Intelligence

This article is right on. I think so many times, as with many things we do, we see and understand what we are supposed to do but it is the follow through, taking the time and effort that really counts.

We have some exciting news coming for The Ripple Effects. 2012 was a great learning year for our organization and we are excited about the direction we are taking for 2013. Keep en eye out for this announcement that will be especially beneficial to all those currently helping us to pioneer this organization into something great!

Jeff Baugus
The Ripple Effects

Monday, January 7, 2013

Great customer service starts with expectations

Repost by Seth Godin.

This might be the simplest possible explanation of customer satisfaction.

Dissatisfaction occurs when salespeople and marketers tend to try to amplify the first part (what you’re promised) while neglecting the second.

The ability to delight and surprise is at the core of every beloved brand (product, politician, teenager…). Overhype and shady promises will undercut that before it even has a chance to get started. Yes, of course you have to make promises to earn attention and trial. The mistake is when you put more
effort into the promises and less into what you deliver. Promise a lot but deliver even more.

[One really important amplification: Research shows us that what people remember is far more important than what they experience. What’s remembered:

—the peak of the experience (bad or good) and,

—the last part of the experience.

The easiest way to amplify customer satisfaction, then, is to underpromise, then increase the positive peak and make sure it happens near the end of the experience you provide. Easy to say, but rarely done.]

Jeff Baugus
Insurance Beacon