Libertyinspectiongroup.com 610.717.3082 MARCH 2018
A SHIFT IN PERSPECTIVE TRAVELING TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WITH MY DAUGHTER
A lot of American kids, including my three daughters, live in a comfortable bubble of privilege. Sure, they may not receive every single thing they want, and they’ll struggle every now and then just like any child, but on the whole, it’s an abundant, easy life. Growing up in this life where every need is almost instantly met, I think it’s common to lose perspective. You could make it all the way to adulthood without developing any real understanding of how other people, cultures, and communities might live.
My daughter mostly helped out by taking care of a few of the local kids who ran amok while the adults provided the manual labor. While their mothers were working right alongside us, my daughter was holding babies, keeping the toddlers entertained, and engaging in this amazing cultural exchange.
Both of us were struck by how the locals went about their day-to-day activities in ways much different than what we’re used to. There were families who got their water from a well and lived out of a block house — not much more than a concrete slab and a metal tin roof with only two working outlets. One family of eight shared a single bedroom, the two parents sleeping in a small bed while the kids slept wherever they could find a comfortable spot to lie down. The whole community acted almost as if it were one big family. If a neighbor’s kid was getting into trouble, the elder neighbors had free reign to discipline them. It was an incredibly trusting, cohesive place. Despite their humble settings, everyone seemed just as happy as could be. They were all so kind and welcoming, eager to bridge the language differences and spend some time with us. It’s funny: When we picture traveling abroad to share some time and resources, Americans often imagine we’re going to help the locals to lead a better life and teach them important things you assume they don’t understand. We think we’re going to offer some aid toward “saving” them from poverty and steering them to a happy life. But in the middle of that town, with the whole community pitching in and the kids scampering around laughing, it was clear to me that the people there already had a great and happy life. It’s just a shift in context and perspective. In the end — and this is probably a cliche — I think the locals helped us more than we helped them. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to immerse myself in that completely different world with such wonderful people. My daughter and I can’t wait to go back as soon as we can. –Chris Earley
It’s always been important to me that my young daughters avoid this pitfall. Every opportunity I get, I encourage them to see things from other perspectives, trying as best I can to foster the natural empathy and curiosity that comes with being a kid. To that end, I brought my 13-year-old along with me on a church mission trip last January to an impoverished town in the Dominican Republic. Though our church has had a humanitarian partnership with this small town for about eight years, it was the first time we had been there. Needless to say, it was an incredible, eye-opening experience. Three years ago, our church traveled there and built a playground for the community. This time, our mission teamwas quite a bit smaller, so we couldn’t do anything quite so big. But we contributed in any way we could. Mostly, that entailed repainting the beaten-up playground and sprucing up some of the local wooden marketplace stands to help them get more use in the coming years. We also worked together to build an enclosure around a big outdoor stove in the middle of the town just behind their community center. The man who runs it makes pizza, donuts, and bread for the entire town. Now he won’t have to worry about wind, rain, or teenagers messing around with his equipment
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AVOID THE BLIND INSPECTOR!
3 WAYS TO PICK A TOP-PERFORMING INSPECTOR
As the weather kicks up a few degrees and signs of spring emerge, buyers and sellers come out of the woodwork, tax refunds in hand. But when you’re thinking of putting an offer on your dream home or posting a property on the market, it’s vital you get a skilled inspector to ensure you won’t find any nasty surprises. Here are three ways to skirt inexperienced, inattentive home inspectors and find the very best option for you or your business. 1. Pick an Inspection FirmWith a Great Reputation Let’s face it, you can’t get consistent quality, punctuality, and professionalism each and every time from a one-person shop. No matter how skilled they may be, they simply don’t have the resources to deliver foolproof results. Be sure to ask your prospective inspector howmany inspections they conduct annually and howmany years they’ve been in the business. It takes a minimum of 250 inspections to develop the eyes, ears, and nose to hunt down serious problems. 2. Pick an Inspector With Education, Training, and Certifications Being a contractor is very different from being a professional home inspector. To be able to provide a competent evaluation of all the systems
and components of the home takes comprehensive and continuing education from one of the top home inspection schools. Keep in mind that while certifications are important, they let the world know that the inspector can pass a test, not that they can inspect a home properly. There’s no substitute for experience. 3. Pick an Inspector That Provides a Thorough Inspection Report Top home inspectors don’t produce two-page, handwritten
reports. Instead, they give their clients comprehensive, full-color reports that cover every possible issue, with digital photographs of specific concerns. In addition, the report should contain “summary pages” with specific categories of marginal and defective problems. What the report should not include are repair costs or action plans for repairs. Professional home inspectors inspect; they don’t repair! An inspector that makes repairs should always be avoided due to the conflict of interest inherent in that situation. At Liberty Inspection, we only employ experienced, top-performing home inspectors you can trust. If you’re looking for true peace of mind with your inspection, give us a call at 610-756-1002 or visit our website and download a free sample inspection report!
GET A GRIP ON YOUR BUSINESS WITH ‘TRACTION’ C H R I S E A R L E Y ’ S B O O K O F T H E M O N T H
If you’re a business owner like me, you know how difficult it can be to keep your company going in the right direction. I can’t tell you how many peers I know who struggle to properly manage their effort and time, basically letting their companies run their lives instead of the other way around. With the marketplace constantly changing, employees leaving or dropping the ball, profits stalling, and an endless to- do list, it can seem impossible to keep everything afloat, much less grow and evolve over time. After running Liberty Inspection for over 11 years, I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good grip on the entrepreneurial process. But I also know that any good leader is constantly striving to learn more in order to better guide their team and serve their customers, so I’m always on the lookout for books that will help me sharpen my business and personal practices. Recently, I finished the popular “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business” by entrepreneur Gino Wickman. It focuses on wrangling the problems described above and pushing your business to the next level.
one that actually backed up its claims with a comprehensive, powerful method to implement right away. Wickman’s Entrepreneurial Operating System provides crystal-clear instructions so you can establish what he identifies as the six key foundations for any healthy company: a compelling vision, a stellar team, tons of data, the means to overcome obstacles, carefully outlined processes, and what he calls “traction” — basically, the ability to get things done.
These principles might sound abstract and theoretical, but Wickman does a great job of bringing them into the real world and breaking them down into manageable components. I’ve already started to use some of his methods to examine key aspects of Liberty Inspection and to see how we can continue to drive the company forward. It’s exciting to come across a book so packed with new tools to strengthen the fundamentals of my business. I’d recommend it to any entrepreneur looking to expand their horizons and gain a little more control over their day-to-day.
There are tons of books that promise to transform the way you run your business, but I’ve never encountered
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WHAT TO DO AROUND PHILLY IN MARCH
As the weather warms and we step into spring, Philadelphia comes to life. With St. Paddy’s Day right around the corner and the sun beginning to show its face, there’s a lot to do around town. Here are three of the most promising events going on around the city this month. PHILADELPHIA'S ANNUAL ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE Where: From Broad St. to City Hall, down Market St., and onto Penn’s Landing When: Sunday, March 11, from 12–3 p.m. Admission: Free Website: PhiladelphiaStPatsParade.com Deck yourself out in green, grab a lawn chair, and come to the center of town to join in on one of the longest-running St. Patrick’s Day parades in the country. Viewers can expect marching bands, lavishly decorated floats, traditional Irish music and dance, and a whole lot of fun for the whole family. BROADWAY PHILADELPHIA PERFORMS ‘SCHOOL OF ROCK’ Where: Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts When: March 27 to April 1 Admission: Prices vary This uproarious musical based on the hit comedy “School of Rock” follows Dewey Finn, a would-be rock star who poses as a substitute teacher and enlists
a team of private school students to form a massive, incredibly talented rock band. Not only is the musical sure to be hilarious, but it boasts some of the most talented young musicians from all over the country shredding onstage with their mind-blowing chops.
DINOS AFTER DARK Where: The Academy of Natural
Sciences of Drexel University When: Friday, March 23, 5–8 p.m. Admission: Pay what you want! Bring the kids to Philadelphia’s premier dinosaur museum as stays open after-hours on the fourth Friday of each month. Complete with a pop-up beer garden for the adults, delicious food in Dinosaur Hall, live animal presentations, and a ton of fun hands-on activities, kids and adults alike are sure to have a blast this evening.
HAVE A LAUGH ON US!
ZESTY ZUCCHINI ENCHILADAS
Adapted from delish.com.
• • • • • •
4 large zucchini
• • • •
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups shredded cheese 1 can enchilada sauce
2 teaspoons cumin
Repeat until all zucchini and chicken is used. 3. Cover the enchiladas with
1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Add chicken and 1 cup enchilada sauce. 2. Use vegetable peeler to thinly slice zucchini. Lay out three
remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20 minutes, and enjoy!
slices, slightly overlapping, and spoon chicken mixture on top. Roll the zucchini “tortilla” and place on baking sheet.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE: PAGE 1 Chris and His Daughter Go to the Dominican Republic PAGE 2 3 Keys Ways to Vet Your Inspector
PAGE 2 Chris Earley’s Book of the Month: ‘Traction’
PAGE 3 What to Do in Philly This Month
PAGE 4 St. Patrick’s Day vs. the Color Green
GREEN DOMINATES ST. PATRICK'S DAY FOR A REASON
There’s only one day of the year you’ll be scorned for not wearing green: St. Patrick's Day. If you’ve ever gone the whole holiday wearing any other color, you’ve probably been pinched by your peers, family, spouse, and anyone else decked out head to toe in green. Green has become so deeply associated with the St. Patrick holiday that many people are unaware that green wasn’t always its official color. Blue was the first color to symbolize St. Patrick’s Day, and the saint himself is almost always depicted dressed in what’s known as “St. Patrick’s blue.” What caused the shift from blue to green is more speculation than hard fact. Some have theorized that the change happened sometime in the 17th century, when the symbol for the United Irishmen Rebellion became the clover. St. Patrick used the clover to teach the Irish people about the Holy Trinity, and it eventually became a symbol that represented both the saint and the holiday.
coined because of the plentiful green foliage that adorns the country’s landscape. It also relates to the green in the flag. Each of the three colors in the flag have their own symbolic meaning: green for the Catholics who live in the country, orange for the Protestants, and white for the peace between the two. Of course, you can’t forget leprechauns, the little creatures that have always been affiliated with the holiday. But just like St. Patrick’s original blue garb, these impish tricksters used to wear red instead of green. While green overtook blue as the shade of choice for St. Patrick, leprechauns began putting on their signature green suits. You might wonder where the tradition of pinching comes from. We can thank the leprechauns for this one. It’s said that if the gold-loving redheads caught you not wearing their favorite color, they would pinch you. To avoid pinches from leprechauns and people alike, be sure to put on some green this St. Patrick’s Day to blend in with the festive crowd.
Another theory comes from Ireland’s nickname, “The Emerald Isle,” which was
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