The way to be nothing is to do nothing.

-Hugo Grotius

To read without reflecting is like  eating without digesting.

-Edmund Burke

Not failure, but low aim is crime.

-James Russell Lowell

Beaten paths are for beaten men.

Eric A. Johnston

Have a great day–Louis

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Are two heads better than one?

An old English proverb simply states “Some tasks may be accomplished more easily by two (or more) people working together than by one working alone.”  I found this to be very true over the past couple of weeks and wanted to thank two very special people for this:  Stephanie Strable and Laken Graham.

Stephanie accompanied me on a recent audit.  Her knowledge of the daily work that is done at our Money Matters stores was a tremendous asset.  She would continue going through files while I researched an issue or vice versa.  We worked as a team and the day was very productive. I want to thank her for her hard work and dedication!

Laken and I spent an extensive amount of time working on reconciling and updating reports generated from their new software at Approved.  We printed countless numbers of reports and calculated and re-calculated during the week.  I enjoyed working with her so much as we solved each issue together.  Her knowledge of the business is vast and a great resource for me!

So, yes the old English proverb is true- two heads are better than one!!


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I spent last Friday and Saturday on set of a new commercial we are filming for US Gold and Silver Brokers.  Mabus Agency, who also filmed our Approved Auto commercials, was in charge of the filming.  The 30 second commercial will have several paid actors and actresses starring in it.  Janna Tolar was kind enough to also offer her talents for the store employee.  I look forward to being able to share the final product with you!


Have a great Tuesday….Louis

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Conference Calls

One of the first quarter goals for the management team is to improve company wide communication.  As many of you know, one avenue we have used to accomplish this goal is our monthly conference calls.  Although the calls have been an effective way to share information, they have not flowed as smoothly as I would like.

I  attended a  presentations skills class yesterday in Franklin, TN and was given several tips on ways to make conference calls more effective.  We are also setting up a “trial run” this morning to make sure we have all of the log in issues and technical glitches solved before our call next week.  I look for next week’s call to be the most successful to date.  I would welcome any suggestions or topics you would like to see covered on future conference calls.

The road to success is always under construction.

-Lily Tomlin    

Hope you have a great Wednesday….Louis

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A Good Example of Customer Service

I have been in Orlando for the past couple of days and will be here for just a few more.  Last Sunday night while heading back to my hotel after dinner I ran across what I found to be an extremely customer service oriented taxi driver who I want to brag about today, Angie.

After finishing off my meal at Vito’s Chop House in Orlando Sunday evening the valet attendant hailed me a taxi that happened to be a black van built for ten.  Since I was by myself I jumped in the front seat next to the driver who appeared to be in her middle fifties.  Just when I slammed the door the driver introduced herself as Angie and asked my destination.  As I was telling Angie where I was staying I couldn’t help but notice that she had decorated her entire van in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.  She had greenery and beads along with four leaf clovers hanging in all the windows all while playing Celtic music on the radio.  I commented to Angie that I was impressed that she had gone all out for St. Patrick’s Day . . . a busy and profitable day for taxi drivers I am sure.  She smiled and said she just likes to make her taxi a little special.

As I complimented her decorations I could tell Angie appreciated the fact someone had noticed her extra effort and, as a result, she took an increased level of pride in her decorations.  I scanned the van again from front to back and did some quick math in my head.  I figured Angie was probably out around ten dollars total for her decorations. . . if that much.  To her credit she made those ten dollars go a long way and I am sure she did it on her own dime since it is doubtful her corporate owners would approve such “expenses”.

After making our way through the Orlando spring break traffic we finally pulled in to the Buena Vista Suites.  I jumped out and started going through my pockets in search of the amount that I owed Angie.  As I was paying her I gave her the standard tip and then I added ten dollars.  She thought I had made a mistake and tried to hand me back a few dollars.  Pushing the money back I told her that our company works hard at providing some of the best customer service in our business and that I appreciated her effort so much I wanted to reward her in a small way.  Judging by her reaction I think that small token of appreciation shown her made Angie’s day.  I know her attitude and personality helped to make my day better.

The lesson here is that whether you know it or not your customers are aware of both the level of service you are providing them and the effort you put into your job on a daily basis.  Oh yeah, on top of that. . . good customer service is often rewarded. . . in a variety of ways.—- Luke

“When the customer comes first, the customer will last.”  Robert Half

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Good Job!

One of the topics at the managers meeting a few weeks ago was the importance of submitting accurate weekly reports and check ups in a timely manner.  I am pleased to report we have seen a great improvement in this area.  We appreciate each of you paying attention to this important aspect of your work.

The more obligations that we accept that are self-imposed, the freer we are.

– John C Schroeder

Every one has a fair turn to be as great as he pleases.

Jeremy Collier

Without labor nothing prospers.


I hope everyone has a great weekend….Louis

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The Desire to Change

It was while watching a few of the “Impossible” and “Rescue” reality shows over the last week that I decided on the topic for today’s blog post. . . Change.

As I have noted previously, my favorite TV shows these last couple of years have been reality shows where industry experts swoop in with limited time to save dying businesses.  “Restaurant Impossible, Hotel Impossible, Bar Rescue and most recently Car Lot Rescue are on the top of my Tivo list.  Whether it be a local honky tonk bar, a bed and breakfast or a buy here pay here car lot, it seems that 100% of the failing businesses featured on these shows share one common trait — the fear of change.

Most of the owners of the featured businesses contact the show related to their given industry asking for help.  However, I would say that over 90% of the time, once the expert arrives on location with his advice and help, the business owner is less than receptive to say the least.  “That is the way we have always done it” or “Our customers don’t like change” are phrases commonly heard from the failing business owners.

While watching one of these shows just last night I thought that a few quotes about the importance and benefits of change would help serve as a reminder to everyone at MEI to always be on the lookout for areas we can improve on.  Or in other words, areas that need change. — Luke


“If we don’t change, we don’t grow.  If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”  Gail Sheehy

“To improve is to change.  To be perfect is to change often.”  Winston Churchill

“Change before you have to.”  Jack Welch

“Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.”  Confucius

“Change is inevitable.  Change is constant.”  Benjamin Disraeli

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Office Appearance at its Best

We spend a lot of time as we should discussing the importance of office appearance.  When I walked in Camden Money Matters last Tuesday morning, it looked as if the whole place had been polished and shined multiple times and I thought to myself……. now this is office appearance at its best!  I commented to LaKenya about how great the place looked and she said that a customer had recently iquired of her wanting to know who they had to clean their office!

After working for awhile, I noticed that Lakisha had disappeared.  I looked around to see where she went but then heard the sound of a spray bottle and paper towel from outside and knew I had found her.   Later on, while Lakenya was gone to lunch,   Lakisha was trying to find some paperwork and noted to the customer that Lakenya had probably  moved it when she was cleaning the office.  The customer said “she’s cleaning every time I come in here!”

Of course, every minute of every day can’t be spent cleaning an office but I couldn’t help but notice as I would suspect that there is certainly a connection.  Their audit was almost perfect so they are just as concerned about doing their job as they are keeping their office looking its best.  I thought that was definitely something to blog about – keep up the good work Lakisha and Lakenya!!

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Great Job!

Melissa and Daniel at Simple Pawn have had two great months.  Their numbers, in almost all categories, have surpassed previous all time highs.  Their success can be contributed to great customer service, training, and hard work.  We appreciate their hard work and dedication to grow their business.

I hope everyone has a great weekend…Louis

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Managing for Excellence

I am attending the graduation of our first Managing for Excellence class today.  Many of you have completed our leadership training with Rubye Del Hardin.  Mrs. Rubye Del has developed a new program for this class that consist of only managers.  I have visited with  the class a couple of times throughout their six week progam and I am looking forward today to seeing everything come together at the graduation today.


I hope everyone has a great day….Louis

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