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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

I promised in our last clayville clan update to write a post about my new business passion. This is something I have eluded to a couple of times over the past few months but have not written about in  any detail yet.

I don’t have the mental capacity to get way into this tonight since the brain is focused on goodbyes, packing and planning the move. I will however give a brief explanation and then provide a couple links to much more detailed information that has already been written.

Back in August I took a look at a website my parents told me about.  They had spoken to Tom and done some research on the program he teaches (Infinite Banking Concept).  Since I spent about 3 years in the financial services business after my mortgage career I was very intrigued by solid financial strategies. It took very little time for my interest to be piqued. I did some reading on his site and then called him to ask a few questions and decided to go to a breakfast he hosted in Salem.  After attending the breakfast I told Jenni that this was something we would be pursuing and it may be my primary business at some point.

The very next week my job with Carhelp came to an abrupt end. Starting a new business was not something I had any intention of doing right then so I continued to do research and read up on this concept. The first book I read (which Tom requires all clients to read before proceeding) is called “Becoming Your Own Banker” by R. Nelson Nash. I quickly read it then scheduled an appointment to meet with Tom and develop a strategy for Jenni and I. The beauty of the way Tom does business is that he will not work with someone unless they do their homework. He won’t hire an agent unless they are practicing the “infinite banking concept” themselves.  When it comes to actually getting a client started he never pushes but waits for the client to say, lets move forward.

This way of doing business blew me away because everything I had experienced in the financial business required strong sales tactics and closing skills.  Even if you were a good honest person you had to close people to get them to move forward.  I love teaching and helping people but I hate being a pushy sales person. As I have begun to work with a few clients and teach this program I have found that about 7 out of 10 people want to move forward and they start telling other people about me right away. This never happened to me with my previous experiences.

The concept in a nutshell is this: spend less than you make and save what you can in a financial instrument that has been around for hundreds of years. The products and companies we work with have been paying guaranteed interest and varying dividends for over a 100 years.  As you save this money and it begins to grow, you can have access to it for anything you need to spend money on. Your money grows tax protected, you access it tax-free and you pay yourself back with interest so that your bank begins to grow exponentially. As you begin to look into this you will see how much banks have taken advantage of you over the years. I know that we all look at low-interest home loans and think that they are great. In reality when you break down your mortgage payment you will see that almost every dollar you pay in is pure interest for several years.  Low rate or not, you are paying the bank a LOT of $$$$ in interest! What you will discover is that the volume of interest you pay is much more crucial than the interest rate.

If this concept interest you at all I would ask that you contact me and I will get a book in your hands and then set up a webinar with you to help you better understand exactly how this works and how much it can benefit you and your family. This works even if you don’t have any extra money in your budget or don’t have any need to finance your purchases. You can email me at brianclayville at gmail dot com for more information or to request a book.

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Faith Journey Part 3

Continued from yesterday

When I got on the phone with Jenni, I confirmed that our concerns about “The Company” were for real.  We had known for some time that “The Company” might not make it.  There is always inherent risk when working for a start up.  Loosing my job was not a huge surprise.  How suddenly and without warning it hit us was a shock.

Jenni was pretty calm with the news, but she did ask the obvious question.  “What do we do now”?  Of course I had a great answer that was full of faith and very re-assuring.  Something like, “I don’t know”!

Honestly, I was not too worried at first.  I did fully believe that God would take care of us financially.  My most immediate fear was not knowing if our final payroll would be covered by the upcoming payday.

A couple days later we traveled up to La Grande to spend Labor Day Weekend with my parents.  My parents have been incredibly supportive through all we have experienced recently.  They are completely loving, forgiving and supportive.  Staying with them has become our safe-haven where we can recharge and relax.  As the weekend progressed, I began to feel the pressure of our financial responsibilities mounting.  My lack of faith began to reveal itself.  Ever been there?

The best part of the weekend besides hanging out with the family was helping my Dad with his building project.  He is putting the finishing touches on commercial building remodel.  Jenni and I both spent a lot of time painting and cleaning and whatever else was needed.  It was nice to do something productive and give back a little of what my parents have given to us.

Before we knew it the time to head home had arrived.  I was torn about going home.  As much as we love spending time in La Grande with my folks, we love just being home with our kids but that also meant facing our situation head on.   At least I had received confirmation that my final paycheck would be available for me to pick up the next day.  I am sure it was a small miracle for our operations team to get that handled for us.

During our time in La Grande, we did agree to a five day trip to Texas to meet a pastor and have Jenni lead worship at their weekend services.  This was a conversation that had been going on for a couple of months that we never thought would materialize.  Once my schedule cleared up, we decided we should give it more serious consideration.

For us to leave our families, our friends and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest is hard to imagine.  It feels like when Abram was called to leave his home land and all his family and travel to a place God would show Him.  Maybe not quite so dramatic but still a big leap of faith.  Stay tuned for more on this after the first week of October.

Our drive home was long and difficult, Chance who is five now was complaining of a stomach ache the entire trip.  It’s about four and half hours normally but on busy weekends there can be delays and we hit one.  Almost completely stopped traffic for about 40 minutes leading up to a lane closure.   Alas, we made it in 6 hours crying child and all.

More tomorrow…

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Faith Journey Part 2

Continued from yesterday

Tuesday August 31st, 2010 was my last day of my job with “The Company”.  My job there was a great one and it really helped us financially.  It was literally handed to me by God when I was coming out of a season of unemployment and having a very difficult time focusing on anything.

As great as my time was with “The Company”.  There were a few “not-as-pleasant” days. If you ever lived here in the Pacific Northwest you know the kind of day I’m about to describe.   I’m out doing sales calls to automotive shops around Portland.  It’s pouring cats and dogs, cold, dark and depressing.  Sales aren’t happening and I’m frustrated by the lack of sales support from the company.  On those days, I wanted to quit!

God said “No! This is where you are supposed to be so suck it up”.  He may have said something else but that is what I remember hearing.  Mid July rolled around and I was feeling pretty comfortable, the company had gone through 5 or 6 hundred changes and revisions  and we were in a time of re-evaluating the entire service.  There was no pressure to make sales and in fact the management was really impressed when we did make sales.  I certainly wanted to make more money but our family could survive at this pace.

One day I walked out of the office and was waiting to get on the elevator to leave our building.  God spoke to me very clearly in my mind.  He said I was free from my commitment to “The Company”.  He didn’t give me anything else at the time so I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  Looking back now, I think He was telling me to begin  pursuing other ventures.  I knew in my heart the company was not healthy and would need some major surgery to be successful.  What I didn’t know was my Job would be ripped away with no warning at all.

The Tuesday before Labor Day, everyone in the company got laid off at 4:00p.m. effective end of business that day.  The main source of “The Company’s” funding had decided to stop writing checks so all payroll had to be eliminated immediately.

Just like that I was unemployed with no money in the bank .  First thing I needed to do was something I dreaded.  I needed to place a phone call to Jenni and tell her the outcome of our meeting.  I knew it would be tough for her to handle…

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Quick Update

I am lame…There you go, I admitted it.

Last week I started a new job with a company called CarHelp.  I will be doing business to business sales introducing our network to automotive service providers around Oregon and SW Washington.  It’s a unique challenge being pretty much a start up company.  I am excited about it but it also means that I will not be seeing the family nearly as much as I have gotten used to.  Blogging will also be more of a rarity for now.  Soon I should get into a routine and get back on track with regular posts.

Stay Tuned!

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I am working on improving our business operations here with my new company….

A couple things that have become apparent to me are as follows:

  1. We need a good and affordable CRM to make sure that we are taking full advantage of existing and developing customer relationships.  I would love to know what systems you are using.  I am currently doing a free trial with Salesforce.com
  2. Marketing Campaigns.  Free resources for press releases, website linking opportunities with “green” businesses or organizations.  As I improve our web presence I will need to generate traffic with out blowing the budget.
  3. Community Involvement.  It is vital that we get involved with local business and community service organizations so we can serve our community in a meaningful way.  What organizations are you involved with?
  4. Social Media.  I am a huge believer in using social media to get our message out but also to get a pulse on what people are thinking and talking about.  Suggested tools or sites that you have success with would also be valuable to us.

I would love to hear from other business owners or managers on what you are doing to improve and grow your business.  If there is anything I can do to help you with your business please let me know.

Check out my Linkedin Poll.

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I had to share this because it relates directly to my last post about community.  Here is an excerpt from the blog I was reading and if you want to see the whole thing you check it out here.

“Most interesting is how the Twitter system acts to fill a deep psychological need in our society. The unfortunate reality is that we are a culture starved for real community. For hundreds of thousands of years, human beings have resided in tribes of about 30-70 people. Our brains are wired to operate within the social context of community – programming both crucial and ancient for human survival.”  By Moses Ma, Psychology Today Blogs

Have you signed up to use Twitter and if not do you intend to?

I have to be honest, when I first heard about it I had no interest and thought it to be a complete waste of time.  My wife, Jenni started using Twitter and was totally excited about it.  She really wanted me to be on so I could enjoy some of the same conversations she was having with witty people all over the country and now the World.  Eventually she signed me up for an account but it was months later before I began to engage.  Now I am addicted and truly strive to use it to connect with people, increase business and provide valuable information to my followers.

Would all the tweeters reading this post please tell me briefly how you use Twitter  and what benefit you have seen in your life.

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You might ask yourself, what kind of conundrum might you he be referring to?  That would be an appropriate question.

My conundrum is this, how should I begin marketing on the internet?  I have dabbled with:

My current goal is to learn to use these tools to grow a business effectively with out coming off like a freaking spammer.  Let me just say, I cannot stand spammers! Ultimately, my goal is to have people come to me that want what I offer.  My personal experience and all the reading I have done has lead me to believe our current era of consumers really wants to buy from someone who provides honest, open information with out a lot of hype and definitely no pressure.  With that in mind, I am leaning toward a sales approach of offering valuable education specific to my business and show people how to purchase what they want when they are ready.

Looking at many websites, doing all kinds of Google searches and just talking to people who know this stuff has given me a big headache.  So, I am going to continue to read, ask a lot of dumb questions and hope that some super smart people will kindly offer to help.

I would love to hear from you about what you are doing on-line for your business or organization.  Please include what has worked as well as the  mess ups you have made.  Humor me, maybe I will write a book with you and we can make a boat load of money together.

Never too late to learn something new, at least until you are dead.

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