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Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and Finding Contentment Searching for the Secret to Life
L ast month, I talked about my New Year’s resolution. This month, I’d like to talk about an ongoing aspiration I’ve been working on for some time now: to focus more on the good things in my day-to-day life while striving toward overall contentment — even in the midst of such a complicated, up and down world. As a businessperson with strong ambitions, it can be difficult to look around at what you have and declare it to be enough. Of course, if you want to stay relevant in business, you have to keep growing by pushing forward. I find that as I get older, I’m trying to focus on growing and improving the business while also trying to enjoy and be content with the blessings I already have. It’s a difficult balance that I rarely get right. As I try to navigate this journey called life, I’ve found that I spend more and more time studying the best road map I know: the Bible. Specifically, concerning the idea of contentment, I’m drawn to the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, which summarizes Solomon’s quest for meaning and purpose in his life. Don’t worry, I’m not about to start preaching, but I’ve again been struck by the truth in these pages. I thought that by sharing my
imparted. In Ecclesiastes 5:10, he wrote, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.” In my opinion, you can take his perspective about money and wealth and apply it to all “things” in the world. No matter howmuch we pursue “things” like success, achievement, status, pleasure, or fame, they will never be enough. I believe God created us such that we cannot be truly satisfied or content with the “things” of the world apart fromHim. Instead, as Solomon summarized at the conclusion of his book, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Love God and keep his commands, for this is the whole duty of man.” As I take it, the answer to contentment in life isn’t to constantly pursue satisfaction in the “things” of this world, but instead, to love God and to love people. This gives life meaning and purpose. One practical way we can do this is by using the “things” God blesses us with to bless others. In my own life, this is what brings me the most joy and contentment. My hope is that you and I can take some of the lessons imparted from the wisest man in the world and use them for our own benefit so that we don’t get to the end of our lives and lament, like Solomon, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless!”
perspective, someone else might get something positive out of these truths too. When God appeared to King Solomon and asked himwhat he desired most, Solomon didn’t ask for wealth or power, but for wisdom; so that he could better lead his people. In 2 Chronicles 1:12 we read that — because of the genius of Solomon’s request —God gave him not only wisdom and knowledge, but also “wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” Solomon asked only for the guidance to lead those who depended on him, and in return, received everything the world has to offer . He ended up not just the wisest, but the richest man of all time — surrounded by everything anyone could possibly desire. The interesting thing to me is that “having everything” ultimately left Solomon empty and un-fulfilled because he pursued it all apart fromGod. At the close of his life, he looked on his past and said “Meaningless! Meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (Ecc 12:8). Though he had experienced everything the world had to offer, it all rang hollow. And in turn, throughout the book, he offered many of the most important lessons ever
Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.”
President, Risk Services of AR Specialized Insurance Programs for Specialized Industries. • www.insurica.com • 1
Account Manager by Day, Roller Skater by Night
MARKETING STARTS RIGHT NEXT DOOR Whether you’re the CEO of a major tech-savvy corporation or a freelancer, your eyes should be set on your next marketing move in this digital age. While spinning signs on sidewalks and flying banners from the backs of airplanes may be considered staples of public outreach to some, the tides are shifting to more targeted ways of reaching your future clientele. Virtually any business can benefit from utilizing hyperlocal advertising and its many strategic facets. Hyperlocal advertising refers to the process of hyperspecific or niche marketing campaigns implemented for a certain focus area. This can manifest in many comprehensive forms, depending on the specific needs of the business. A local mom and pop restaurant may choose to take advantage of hyperlocal advertising by sending ads to potential customers within a 5-mile radius during the hours they are most likely to be hungry, on their lunch breaks, or when they are otherwise free to stop in for a bite to eat. Alternatively, a major car dealership in a metropolitan area could target their potential audience by running ads during local professional sports games. So how does this work for YOUR business? It all depends on your desired campaign for your targeted region. Assuming you’re well-informed about your current demographics or the demographics you’re hoping to reach, there are several methods to effectively implement hyperlocal advertising tactics. By using GPS and IP addresses, you’ll be able to target ads to specific cities, streets, and even buildings by inputting their coordinates. After you’ve narrowed it down, you can choose which areas work best for your goals. A mechanic shop expanding to a new city may cast a wider net, while a high-end jeweler may target areas with higher incomes. With hyperlocal strategies, your advertisements can be catered on a variety of digital platforms, like social media, streaming services, and apps. These new-age technologies will give you more exposure and patronage for your ever-expanding business! Hyperlocal Advertising for the Broad Modern Business
At Risk Services/Insurica, our account managers are among the best in the business. We pride ourselves on creating an atmosphere of learning and growth for every member of our team, empowering them to steer clients toward peace of mind through robust risk-services solutions. Jessica Lamb, like last month’s highlight Aubrey Simpkins, started out as a receptionist at Risk Services/Insurica but quickly moved up the ranks through sheer dedication, careful study, and the cultivation of client rapport. Today, she’s part of the vanguard of the next generation of young account managers — capable and competent while bringing a fresh perspective to the table. “I’m here to take care of issues as they arise. One situation is never the same as the other, so, often, I have to get creative,” Jessica says. “Honestly, that’s my favorite part — analyzing the circumstance, moving forward with the ideal solution, and then breathing that sigh of relief with the client when it’s finally resolved.” Jessica values the tightknit environment among our seasoned employees. “We’re much more friendly than any other office I’ve been a part of,” she says. “If you ever hit a roadblock, you can just ask someone, and they’ll happily take five minutes and help you work out the best possible solution for the client. Open communication is essential.” Outside of the office, Jessica is into “a bit of everything,” as she puts it. She’s an avid gamer, whether it’s a tabletop board game or video game, but lately, one of her greatest passions has been roller skating. “I grew up in a rural town, and one of the only things to do was to go to the roller rink,” she says. “I loved it growing up.” After heading off to college, she stopped skating for a while, only to return to it when she moved to Little Rock. Now, she’s training with the local roller derby team, sharpening her old skills. Whether she’s on the roller rink or in the office with the Risk Services team, Jessica is a talented worker with a wide spectrum of skills. We’re thrilled she decided to move up through our company and excited to see what her unique angle brings in the years to come!
2 • www.insurica.com • Specialized Insurance Programs for Specialized Industries.
Watch Out for These Social Engineering Red Flags
the others on the list? Does the mix of people seem unusual? If so, that’s another red flag. However, the biggest sign of danger is hyperlinks. Of course, many ordinary emails contain links to other sites, but emails with only long hyperlinks, absent of any other content, are highly suspicious. Make sure, before navigating to any link on an email, that you first hover over it in order to see the destination address. If it’s something suspicious, like “Microsoft-Support.com,” don’t click it. This is especially true if the sender is asking you click a link or open an attachment to avoid a negative consequence or gain something of value. Many cybercriminals have evolved past the “Nigerian Prince” scams of yore and can craft disturbingly convincing emails with just a little research. With that in mind, it is vital that you’re constantly vigilant, well informed, and thorough with your investigation of every piece of email that hits your inbox.
In today’s world of rampant cybercrime, it pays to stay abreast of the latest digital threats, and none pose a greater danger to your organization than social engineering tactics — scams used to trick your unsuspecting employees into navigating to malicious sites, installing malware directly into your network, or giving up precious customer data. The key to staying safe is to not only educate yourself on the signs of suspicious emails, but to teach your team to keep an eye out for them as well. Whenever you receive an email, you should first confirm that it’s from someone you ordinarily communicate with. If it’s from someone uncommon, or someone outside your organization, that’s a red flag. Anytime you don’t know the sender personally — especially if the sender is asking some action of you — you should approach with caution. Also look out for who the email is addressed to. Were you carbon- copied on an email sent to multiple recipients? Do you personally know
Have a Laugh!
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INSIDE This Issue Brad Johnson on the Power of Contentment page 1 Better Targeted Ads for Your Local Customers Meet Jessica Lamb page 2 Beware These Social Engineering Red Flags Sudoku page 3
Book Review: ‘Do the Work’ page 4
‘Do the Work’ Overcome Resistance and Get Out of Your Own Way
the Work” is a follow up to it, prescribing Pressfield’s antidote to resistance — you guessed it: doing the work .
Few modern authors have a resume as colorful or textured as Steven Pressfield. A graduate of Duke University, the best-selling author served in the Marine Corps, drove tractor trailers, taught school
Compared to its predecessor, “Do the Work” is a quick read. Though it’s less than 100 pages, what this guide lacks in length it makes up for in specificity and approachability. The book is laser-focused on helping anyone who is undertaking creative endeavors to identify their own resistances and overcome them. Combined with Pressfield’s no-nonsense delivery, every page is filled with the distilled, biting wisdom of a man wholly dedicated to his craft. Pressfield manages to strike a tone that is stern, humorous, cynical, and at times even whimsical without missing a beat. You can feel the author smirking at you through the page when he tells you, “Stay stupid. Follow your unconventional, crazy heart.” He dares you to pick your pen back up and return to your drawing board. “Do the Work” crackles with the tempered passion and biting wit of a learned master. If you’re looking to reignite your creative spark, “Do the Work” needs to be a permanent fixture on your nightstand.
children, and worked as an oil field roustabout — all before penning his first published work. Having struggled as a writer for 17 years before seeing his first paycheck, it’s no surprise that Pressfield has plenty of wisdom to share when it comes to making long-term dreams a reality. Pressfield first addressed the challenges aspiring artists, entrepreneurs, and athletes face in “The War of Art.” This guidebook lays out Pressfield’s core philosophy that a creator is their own greatest enemy. It’s in this work that he first coined his idea of “resistance,” Pressfield’s word for the self-defeatist attitude that causes so many great ideas to be left on the drawing board. “Do
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