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THE STRONGER THEWIND, THE STRONGER THE TREES
A YEAR IN PERSPECTIVE
The past year was one marked by rebuilding. At the end of August, 2017, Hurricane Harvey blew through our region of Texas. We ended up getting hit pretty hard, and the office where I work was surrounded by water. It was basically on an island. Needless to say, we were fortunate. Many other homes and businesses in the area weren’t nearly as lucky. A lot of people lost everything. Their homes filled with water that damaged just about everything they owned. As it all unfolded, I was not at home. Just before Hurricane Harvey pushed through Texas, my dad passed away, so we went up to his funeral in Kansas City. Due to the disaster, we couldn’t return home to Texas for two more weeks. Between my dad’s funeral and watching the hurricane unfold on TV, I realized just how important it is to cherish the time we have with our loved ones. My dad was 70, and he had been battling cancer. These events put everything into perspective. When I did get back to Texas, the hurricane was over, but the destruction it left behind was still very much present. I got right to work assisting others where I could. I helped people gut their homes and carry their entire lives to the curb to be hauled away by a garbage truck. Family pictures, heirlooms, and furniture — everything had to be hauled away. Given the perspective I brought back with me from Kansas City, I saw how fragile everything was. When you live through something like that, it’s hard to know what to do. You want to keep the stuff you’re comfortable with and everything that was a part of your home. But you can’t. The flood waters had turned toxic and permeated everything. Now, over a year later, I find myself in awe as to how quickly everyone has rebuilt and moved forward with their lives. The natural disaster was a monumental challenge, and it’s a testament to how amazing and resilient people can be. They never expected to lose everything. We live far enough inland that we don’t often think about being in danger. It’s easy to take for granted what we have.
At the end of it all, we’re all stronger for it. It reminds me of a poem by Douglas Malloch, a poet who lived from the late 1800s into the early 1900s. He’s known as the “Lumberman’s poet” because he was the associate editor for a publication called American Lumberman. In one of his most famous poems, “Good Timber,” Malloch writes, “Good timber does not grow with ease: The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees.” People are a lot like good timber. We face challenges every day. Some are small and come and go quickly. Other hurdles are big and stay with us for years. These are the challenges that help shape who we are. Thankfully, this year as we rebuilt, we were spared during hurricane season, and our thoughts go out to everyone who was affected. Following a disaster, the holiday season can be especially tough for many people. But again, people are remarkably resilient. I’m grateful I get to go home to my family and spend Christmas with them. On Christmas Day, the kids will wake up Mom and Dad, and we’ll all gather to read a passage from the Bible, pray, and talk about what it is we’re grateful for. We’ll open presents and have breakfast. Then we’ll just spend the day together. It doesn’t get any less complicated than that, which makes it all the more special.
From all of us at Mometrix, and from my family to yours, I hope you have a merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a wonderful New Year.
–Ja y Willi s
Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.NewsletterPro.com
3 Ways to Get Moving at Work
Who comes first: employees or customers? When posed this classic business question, Southwest Airlines co-founder Herb Kelleher had an easy answer: employees. “If employees are treated right, they treat the outside world right,” Kelleher explained. As Kelleher knows well, employee- customer relations are a cycle — one that fuels recurring business. Engaged employees deliver service that converts to sales, a fact backed up by a Gallup report. Gallup cited a 20 percent increase in sales as a result of this process. Even as you’re courting leads, you can’t ignore your existing customers. Likewise, even (and especially) as you grow, you have to nurture your employees. The cost of losing either is too high. In the holiday rush, it’s important to not lose sight of your priorities. Get them hooked on your service. Have you ever asked a client why they return to your business? Do you think it’s because they can’t find your product or service anywhere else? Probably not. Think about the last time you returned to a restaurant. Was it because it’s the only place in town that makes amazing Thai food? Maybe, but it’s more likely that you enjoyed the welcoming host, attentive waiter, and positive experience you had there. Starbucks is a great example. Even with thick competition, they deliver consistent service and quality products to customers, whether in Oregon or London. And they do this by providing competitive wages and benefits to their employees along with training and learning opportunities. Employees Sitting all day is not good for your health. Over the past several years, many studies have looked at our daily sitting habits and found that sitting for extended periods of time — several hours or more — has an adverse effect on our health in the long term. It doesn’t matter if we’re sitting behind a desk at work, lounging on the couch at home, or stuck in traffic. All this sitting may lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. It even affects our mental health. It’s remarkable that this simple action has such a profound effect — and the reason behind it isn’t fully understood. Some research has found that sitting slows our body’s metabolism of glucose and lowers the amount of good cholesterol in our bloodstream. Ultimately, it’s a lack of activity that’s the problem. Getting that physical exercise isn’t always easy, but why not use some of your daily work time to get in a little movement? Take a Stand Standing for extended periods of time can be effective, and it’s incredibly simple to do at work. The easiest way is to convert your sitting desk into a standing desk. It’s as easy as modifying your current desk with a riser or
getting a convertible desk that can change from a sitting to a standing desk in seconds. We’re big fans of standing desks at Mometrix. Walk It Off Every 20–30 minutes, step away from your desk. Walk around the office or your building. Do a lap or two — whatever you have time for — then get back to work. Do this
several times throughout the day. Not only is it good for your legs, it helps reduce eyestrain by giving your eyes a break from staring at computer monitors all day. Deskercise With more and more people wanting to get active at work, exercise equipment companies have taken notice. You can get all sorts of exercise equipment that works with or replaces your current desk. Look for ellipticals, treadmills, cycles, and more. There are many options that fit right under your current desk!
THECHICKENOR THE EGG? WHY NURTURING EMPLOYEES AND CUSTOMERS IS THE KEY TO RETENTION
who are knowledgeable and excited about what they are offering pass their enthusiasm on to customers.
Own up to mistakes. Even the best businesses make mistakes. When it happens, own up to it. There’s probably been a time when you put in your order at a restaurant, only to receive the wrong thing. How did the business handle it? Did they admit their mistake and offer you a new meal? How a business treats customers when things don’t go smoothly is a good indication of how they’ll handle adversity in general, and that reaction starts with employees. Set the precedent for employees that a mistake is their opportunity to go above and beyond. A transparent environment will make employees feel more comfortable, which will make customers excited, rather than apprehensive, to engage with your business again.
Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.NewsletterPro.com
PUTANENDTONETWORKINGANXIETY STOP MISSING OUT ON PROFESSIONAL CONNECTIONS
You’re at a networking event and have no clue where to begin. You look around the room at all the groups of people chatting away. After a quick assessment, your first instinct is to beeline for the refreshment table. Does this sound like something you’d do? If so, you are not alone. For a lot of people, from students to career- established professionals, working up the nerve to engage others in this kind of setting is a challenge. Whether you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert, it’s not uncommon to face psychological barriers that keep us from getting the most out of networking events. One thing to remember is that people who attend networking events fall on every point along the social spectrum. Regardless of where you land, there are ways to conquer these mental blocks, allowing you to utilize your networking events to the fullest. Ask yourself why you’re attending a networking event. What is your goal? Most people attend these occasions with the intention of learning about career or business opportunities. They’re interested in connecting with thought leaders, finding resources, and discovering ways to improve themselves professionally. When you better understand your intentions, you can carry that mindset with you as you meet and interact with others later on. And one of the most important points to remember is that everyone’s goals are essentially the same. You want to meet people, and people want to meet you.
Pick and choose your networking opportunities. Don’t attend an event just because you feel obligated to or because one presented itself. Networking events are common enough that you can choose which ones you feel you’ll get the most out of. Dedicate your time and energy to those you are most comfortable attending and that make the most sense to you. Focus on making one or two solid connections. You don’t have to speak to every person or be a part of every conversation at a networking event. Hone in on the people you genuinely want to meet. You’re looking for a person with whom you can share a mutually beneficial relationship — someone you can learn from and who may be able to learn from you. And if you don’t make a solid connection this time, that’s okay! There is always a next time.
Whether or not you have an open fire, you can easily roast some chestnuts using this simple, delicious recipe.
2 pounds fresh chestnuts, unpeeled
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
• • •
2–3 sprigs rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. Place a large sheet of foil on a rimmed baking sheet. 3. On a large, flat workspace, place chestnuts flat side down. Using a sharp knife, carve an X on the rounded side of each chestnut. 4. In a large bowl of hot water, soak chestnuts for 1 minute. 5. Pat dry and transfer to a medium bowl. Add rosemary, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Toss to coat and transfer to baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer. Gather the edges of the foil together, leaving an opening at the top.
6. Roast until peels curl up, about 30–45 minutes. 7. Transfer to a platter and serve while hot or warm.
Inspired by Bon Appétit
Published by The Newsletter Pro • www.NewsletterPro.com
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Looking Back on the Past Year
3Ways to Get Moving at Work Don’t Let Retention Slide in the Holiday Rush
Defeat Networking Anxiety Buttery Roasted Chestnuts
Holiday Decoration Tours
CHRISTMAS TOURS GET AWAY AND BE FESTIVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
There’s nothing quite like the magical lights of the holiday season, and some destinations in the U.S. have perfected the craft of holiday decoration. If you’re looking to get away this December and still engage in seasonal festivities, add one of these places to your must-visit list. New York City’s Rockefeller Center New York City is an iconic location for Christmastime. The scene is like a Hallmark card: Ice-skating lovers whiz past miles of twinkling lights underneath an exceptionally tall and amply decorated tree. The tree is specially selected by Rockefeller Center’s landscaping crews, who scout out trees years in advance. It remains lit from November to early January, so you have plenty of time to check it out. Ranch Christmas in Jackson, Wyoming Jackson, Wyoming, takes its frontier culture to the next level during the Christmas season. All year, the city proudly displays four elk antler arches, but around the holidays they are lit up with white string lights and flanked by snow. The Christmas decorations and lights surrounding the archway make for a Western-themed holiday pulled right out of a John Wayne classic. For holiday admirers looking for a unique spin, Jackson has you covered.
can still celebrate Christmas in this tiny Midwestern town in January, June, or even October. Embracing its unique name, the town boasts a museum, holiday shopping center, and a Christmas theme park. In a moving tribute, the town’s residents also write responses to children’s letters to Kris Kringle himself. It’s impossible to avoid holiday cheer in this town. Disney World’s Christmas Magic What better place to celebrate the most magical time of the year than in the most magical place on Earth? Walt Disney World’s halls are decked to the max with a parade, gingerbread homes, strings of lights, and festive parties. Plus, costs to visit Disney World can be cheaper during the Christmas season, so keep an eye out for a vacation steal.
Yearly Yuletide in Santa Claus, Indiana This one’s for the Christmas lover. If you can’t make it out to Santa Claus, Indiana, this holiday season, you
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