A Letter to Chris after Leaving First Merchants


Things have been a little rough lately, but life doesn’t stop throwing you curve balls just because you change careers. Rather than focusing on the negatives though, which is easy to do, I’d rather tell you about the good things that have happened and what I hope will happen in the future. I have started reading Proverbs in an effort to read one chapter per day. I can say that I have done that so far and began reading a little ahead each day so that on the 11th I’m actually around 14.5. I didn’t realize there was so much business advice in Proverbs, or at least that is how I am viewing it in my current mindset. “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man” says Proverbs 24:33-34. This view of doing nothing leading to poverty and being diligent leading to success and riches is repeated over and over in Proverbs. Another theme is righteousness and integrity. “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity,” says Proverbs 11:3. Be one man. Be a righteous man. Be a diligent man. And you will be rewarded for it on earth and in heaven – these are the themes I’m picking up from Proverbs. Solomon, who wrote most of them was very rich and successful, and very wise. Proverbs says to seek wisdom, listen to your parents (who I view as both the actual parents, a metaphor for our leaders, and our heavenly Father), and the word (God’s commandments). There have been times since I have been reading that I have been in situations where I will look upon another woman and think about her as a path to sheol or wanting to bait me with her honey and lead me to death. There have been times when I’ve been tempted to be a different man when I’m alone than when I am with others. And other times when I have been quick to anger. Filling my mind with these proverbs is like a hand on my shoulder throughout the day.

I don’t know exactly what to do or focus on in my business. I have somewhat condensed my two target customers to web design/social media management (Telablue) and computer repair/mobile phone support (Geek Hand), but have had no new customers with each yet. Thankfully, some customers have increased their use of me, but I’ll need more in order to continue along this path. The strange thing is if you asked me what I wanted to be doing (to make money) I wouldn’t have an answer. I am simply doing what has worked in the past. And from the client’s perspective, I haven’t really identified exactly what they are most frustrated with and what they are hiring me for (so that I can do more of this for them and others).

Three days ago I watched a documentary called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead about a guy who does a juice fast for 60 days. I did it for 2 days (Thursday and Friday) and it was really gross. I lost some pounds and had a clear head, but it made me sort of sick of food (like get sick at the smell of food) so I stopped it. I’ve taken today to rest and think about things. Tomorrow is kind of a big day for me in small ways. I got out of my lease at my office in Tipton and the landlord lady (who locked me out after being late on rent) is letting me in to get my computer. It’s going to be really embarrassing. Things like that make me feel bad, but I guess I should be glad that I learned from the experience and am saving $600 on future rent. The weird thing is that part of the reason I leased it was to be able to use it during the Pork Festival, but that was the very time when I was locked out.

I’m sure you’ve heard about God opening and closing doors or using green lights and red lights. I’ve had what seems like several doors close or red lights to things in my life in the last month: My app developer didn’t want to work with me any more and sent my money back. There’s the office thing. The guy I was working with to start a seminar/training business stopped talking to me. I told my parents we couldn’t go to Missouri to see my grandma’s funeral after several unexpected expenses came up. Although I had two interviews with ExactTarget, they didn’t call me back. My $200+ a month blog, Nook Share, started paying out less than $10. Those are the door closings. The open doors: I wrote a book and published it on Amazon. I hired (I’m paying him with experience and food) an intern who I’m training to help me out and learn what I do, which is what Michael Hyatt talked about today (building a team). I attended a two-day blogging conference on a client’s dime. I found a BNI group to attend in Carmel this Thursday and a networking Meetup to attend in Carmel tomorrow. I attended a LinkingIndiana event in Indianapolis where I met several people. My intern passed out Geek Hand flyers at the Pork Festival and I got to ride in the parade with my daughter, who won the mini-4H princess contest.

If you put the door closes on a scale against the door openings you’d probably have a lot of lost income on the door closings and a bunch of hope on the door openings, but it is what it is for now. I’m still me – a smart guy with a lot of potential. I’m just trying to figure out how to transfer that into a form that other people can recognize.

Have a good week!