The Financial Debt Trap - A Zealous Hiring - Part 1 of 3

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Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7
 
Debt. It can bring up a range of opinions, feedback and feelings. Throughout my life, my father did everything he could to teach me the dangers of debt and he urged me to steer far away from it. In some ways, I heeded his advice. What I did not realize was there are indirect roads to debt, especially when it comes to business. 
 
When we started Noodlehead Marketing, I committed to refrain from going into debt. Unfortunately, what I did not realize was there were other bad decisions I could make which would lead me to do the very thing I committed not to do. Here is the first of three stories on how Noodlehead Marketing fell into the debt trap.
 
The First Trap - A Zealous Hiring
 
In late 2008, I needed a sales person, or at least I convinced myself I did. I was not going to change my mind. It was just a matter of finding someone to fill the role.
 
There was a gentleman I looked up to who recommended someone he knew. Because of the state I was in and how highly this recommendation was given, I was now fixed on hiring this person. Any flags that came up were of no concern, because hiring this person was going to give me what I wanted, a sales person. 
 
As you can probably guess, after 3 months he was not generating the results I needed. Now to be fair, he was switching industries, products, and we did not have a good sales system in place. Everything was going against him to start with, so unless he knew his stuff coming in, there was really no realistic way for him to be successful.
 
In addition, I had a hard time holding him accountable because I felt like I needed him. My fear was, if I held him accountable, he might leave. After the three months had gone by, we ran out of money to pay him. At this point I should have cut the cord and let him go, but I was too attached and committed.
 
I needed it to work. We just needed more time. 
 
Underlying all this, I was struggling to acknowledge I had made a mistake and instead of facing this harsh reality, I chose to avoid it.
 
From my experience and observation, I have found debt tends to be a symptom of avoidance. Instead of waiting or addressing the issues we really need to discuss, we instead choose to procrastinate them. Borrowing money allows us to avoid the issue and push it off into the future. 
 
So instead of cutting it off with this sales person, we continued for 3 more months hoping things would turn around, and he would be bringing in enough income to pay for himself. It wasn't enough time, and ten thousand dollars of credit card debt later I decided to make a change. Instead of letting him go, I prolonged our agony and changed his compensation to commission only. It was the easy way for me to let him go.
 
Reflecting on the situation, I look back and realize my problem was not the lack of a sales person. I had learned about the idea of hiring a sales person, and this became a shiny object. It was my silver bullet to success and I decided I was going to get what I wanted. When I got it, I was not willing to let go, even when it hurt the company. It was in this place where we maintained a cycle which was destructive to me, the sales person and the company. 
 
When we ran out of money and we had to go into debt to continue, we should have decided to lean in and deal with the reality at hand. By doing whatever I could to escape reality, I caused it to get much worse. 
 
What shiny object has pulled you into debt?

July 30th: Best Links Of The Week

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To have a happy marriage, look for ways to give your spouse most of the credit for your relationship success – and you will live in regular, conscious gratitude as a result.

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If you have ever asked yourself something like this in your work or life, you now know the value of an audit. People, circumstances, resources change and we must change in order to stay effective in what we are doing. If we don't we are likely to maintain a behavior and culture in our organization which will lead to our demise.


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What Have I Been Working On The last 3 months?

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I have had several friends and family ask me what I have been up to, work-wise, since we shut down Noodlehead Marketing 3 months ago. The simple answer is for the past three months, I have done contract work. It has been in a neat season of work where it has organically come my way. I appreciate being in a state where I am able to focus on the work in front of me and not get distracted by looking for new work.
 
Here are a few of the projects I have been working on.
 
 
For the first 2 months, I spent a majority of my time working with a ministry called The 315 Project. I met the founder Todd Miechiels several years ago at a leadership event called Catalyst. Over time we stayed connected and when he found out I was shutting down Noodlehead Marketing he reached out to me to help their ministry get focused and organized. We started with a service I offer called an organizational audit. It is the process of transitioning from chaos to order. 
 
In case you have not heard of it, the 315 Project is a ministry whose mission is to help Christians know and share their story.
 
 
I recently launched a new Joomla website for the Braselton Stover house. Their website had become outdated and they wanted to leverage the site to answer many of the questions their customers were asking. 
 
Located in Braselton, Georgia, the Braselton Stover House is a great place for weddings and private events.
 
 
I spent time working with author & speaker, Bryant Cornett. I consulted with him on his marketing workflow, shared new ideas on how he could expand his reach and I made changes to his website. 
 
Bryant Cornett wrote the book "A Rooster Once Crowed: a commentary on the greatest story ever told".
 
Website Audit for An Undisclosed Cient
 
One of the services I offer is an audit. The audit can be done for an organization, a department, a campaign or a project. In this case, a client sought me ought to audit their website. Our mission was to review what they had, what they wanted and create a plan to implement their vision in the short and long-term. In addition to auditing the project, we discovered many underlying motivations, desires and aspirations for the organization and its leader. This experience became a catalyst for improving their website and gaining clarity.
 
Project Planning & Management, Joomla Web Design, Consulting and More
 
These are some of the specific projects I have worked on. With most of the projects I started during the last 3 months coming to a close, God has continued to provide new project opportunities. I am now in discussions with several organizations about new business and marketing problems I am able to help solve. 
 
As I continue freelancing, please keep me in mind if you come across the following types of work:
  • A struggling business, church or ministry.
  • An organization seeking help to get their message to their target audience.
  • A project requiring planning, management and/or accountability.
  • A website project or changes to an existing website.

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