Open to Change

Be Flexible and Open to Change

By: Melinda Howard Erickson

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the fortune.” – John F. Kennedy

When you get used to something, when it’s always been there and you count on it always being there, it’s often very uncomfortable when it changes. The longer something is a certain way, the more people expect, and want, it to remain the same. They become content and sometimes even complacent.

But things usually change for a reason. Maybe something wasn’t working properly and was out of date, or perhaps a better way of doing it came along. Or maybe something simply could be improved and was changed.

If something has already changed there is probably nothing you can do about it and it’s a waste of time to fight it or feel sorry or wonder why. Be flexible. And try to imagine all the good things that might happen as a result of change. The Feeling if uncertainty with a new situation is normal. Don’t be quick to judge a new position or set of circumstances. You could miss out on a great experience! Snap judgments may prevent you from having opportunities and experiences that are very positive and beneficial to your future.

Work environments are always changing. It’s difficult to imagine doing your job without computers, PDA’s cell phones, voicemail, email, fax machines, copy machines, and other devices. Yet at one time it was hard for many people to adjust to them, the same people who now can’t imagine life as it “use to be”!

Life is always changing. The more easily you can adapt, the more successful, happy, and appreciated you will be.

Have a great day!




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A Sense of Urgency

Having a sense of urgency means: taking action NOW on the task before you.

With the recent growth in our company having a sense of urgency in our store will be key to our success.

Having a plan each day in your store, making sure everyone is on the same page, holding everyone accountable, and executing that plan will set the correct tone in your stores.

Urgency:  Have a daily plan and know your daily and weekly goals.

Urgency:  Loan closings done correctly and customers held accountable.

Urgency:  Courtesy calls to customers to make sure they are in on time.

Urgency:  Past due calls to set our expectations

Urgency:  Growing your stores.  (Local marketing, referrals, mailers.)

Urgency:  Finding ways to do a loan instead of ways not too.

Urgency:  Making sure our customer service is the best in the industry.

Urgency:  Making sure your store is a shining example of the company.


What you do today will affect what happens tomorrow, so make each day count.

Make sure your store isn’t complacent, and the “sense of urgency” is present in your store.





A good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow.”

— George Patton

“Things may come to those who wait, but only things left by those who hustle.”

attributed to Abraham Lincoln


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Warrior of Enthusiasm

Warrior of Enthusiasm

Here is an article I wanted to share-


How to be a Warrior of Enthusiasm in Your Business Culture

October 29, 2012 by kristakotrla

Business Culture Warrior of Enthusiasm. Call me crazy but I get the sense that companies (and people in general) today could benefit from having a few more Warriors of Enthusiasm around.

“Warrior of Enthusiasm” huh?… Sounds awesome.

Hopefully, you already have a few people in mind that serve as great examples in your life of being Warriors of Enthusiasm. Just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a rough definition:

Warrior of Enthusiasm:

One whose brave optimism and relentless pursuit of a worthy goal inspires you.  Put simply, a warrior of enthusiasm inspires us both by their attitude and their actions.

They aren’t made of giggles, spirit sprinkles and ignorant bliss. They wreak of grit, positivity and focused action. They get stuff done because they are joyfully and relentlessly pursuing continual improvement. And we can’t help but want to join forces with them on their journey. We all become a little bit better just by being around them.

What Warriors of Enthusiasm Means to Your Business Culture:

Companies today are faced with numerous challenges and rapidly evolving conditions. Cut costs. Hire more. Create more processes. Streamline processes. Get lean. Increase market share. Innovate. Eliminate mistakes. Be more social. Automate. Evolve. Be consistent. Surprise us.

These conditions can be overwhelming but they don’t have to be. Not to a Warrior of Enthusiasm. To a Warrior of Enthusiasm, these are the best conditions to shine. Living in the tension and digging into the challenges are what make them feel alive. I want to be one of those people. Don’t you?


Here is a link to the rest of this article if you are interested.



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Good Luck to the Dashers

This morning I want to congratulate the winners of our office growth competition that ended last week.  The competition was lots of fun and wildly successful!

Good luck to Lynn, April, Johnna, Keisha, Julie and Mattie in their Mall Dash!  I hope you have a blast spending your $500 within thirty minutes!

Prior to the start of the competition the district managers and I all estimated the growth we would see during the competition and, I am glad to say, we all underestimated our potential.  Our success during the competition just shows that when we put our mind to something and dedicate ourselves to a common cause we can do things beyond our imagination.  Thanks to all of you for making the competition such a huge success.  I look forward to our next exciting competition!  —  Luke

“Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?”  Jeff Rich

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Good Luck!!!


Today is the last day of our Principal Growth Competition. I want to wish all of you good luck today and congratulate you on all the hard work you have done during the competition so far. We will announce the lucky mall dash winners tomorrow. Have a very prosperous day!

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best or ourselves to the task at hand.”
Vince Lombardi


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Are you Convinced or Committed?

I recently saw this question as the subject of an article and thought to myself that it wasn’t possible to be one without the other.  As I begin to read the article, I decided otherwise and wanted to challenge all of you with the same thought process.

Commitment to a common cause develops through a series of stages. Only when the final stage has been reached does a person fully “buy in” to the leader’s vision.

A. Understanding
Many leaders mistakenly believe people have bought into the vision when they understand and agree with it. However, being convinced is not the same as being committed—it’s only the initial stage. I can think of dozens of causes that I know all about, and greatly admire, but to which I am not committed or even remotely connected.

B. Contribution
When people put their time and money into a vision, then they have a greater level of involvement with it. Yet, while they may support the vision, they still are not completely committed to it. For example, we may send a donation to a worthy charity, and even volunteer with it occasionally, and yet not lose sleep over its long-term success or failure.

C. Ownership
At the ownership phase, people feel responsible for the fate of the vision and have become particularly invested in it. They have given enough of their blood, sweat, and tears to develop a stake in its success. They have an emotional tie to the vision and care deeply about seeing it come to pass. Yet even at this stage, a person is not entirely committed to the cause.

D. Evangelism
When someone can’t stop talking about the vision, sharing it with their friends and recruiting others to take part in it, they have finally reached full commitment. You can hear the passion in their voice and see the excitement on their face when they talk about the vision. Moreover, the passion doesn’t fade—it’s lasting enthusiasm rather than momentary hype. By this point, the vision matters to them and has become a significant part of their life. They are not selling it for self-advancement; they are spreading the word about the cause because they genuinely believe in its worth.

Thoughts to Ponder
What level of commitment do you have to our Company Visions and Values? What level of commitment do your customers or clients have to our company’s vision?


Continue Reading Are you Convinced or Committed?

Know where you stand and Finish Strong!

April is almost behind us as we only have three working days left in the month.  Everyone at Approved Auto, Choice Pawn, and Money Matters started April with very specific goals to meet for the month.  Do you know where you stand on your goals?  Do you know what must be accomplished over the next three days to meet your goal if you haven’t already achieved it?  If not, let’s find out where we stand and create plan to finish the month strong.  Good luck to everyone over the next three days.

Productivity- Team members are measured and rewarded by the effectiveness of their productivity.- MEI Vision and Values Statement

Being easy-going when you have a goal to reach seldom makes the going easy.-Frank Tyger

Let’s finish strong….Louis

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What does Integrity mean to you?

In our Vision statement it states: Honesty and integrity are core principles on which we will not compromise.” What an outstanding principle to not only base our business, but also our lives.

This week I asked my team to tell me what integrity means to them. Listed below are the comments from team members in my district.

Integrity to me is Godliness, having respect and love for others. Loyalty and Dedication.  – Brenda, Aliceville

To me integrity means doing what you know in your heart is right, and staying true to your personal morals.  – Lacie, Hamilton

Respect falls into the category with integrity. Respecting the people you work with shows the desire you have for a healthy work environment. Polite communication and respecting your co-workers ideas and feelings show your willingness to work together as a team towards the same goal.  – Stephanie, Demopolis

Staying in the context of our work environment, executing the traits of integrity is very important. Honesty, decency, responsible behaviors are key. Without these behaviors the workplace can become tense & uncomfortable. Follow thru with your word and be honorable with your actions.  – Kelly, Demopolis

Integrity to me is honesty your morality. If you have strong morals and are honest you just can’t go wrong. Plan and simple.   Dawn, Greensboro

REAL INTERGRITY is doing what’s right knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not. SIMPLE!!!   – Jequila, Greensboro

Mine is-When asked to do something that is against your beliefs and you refuse to. Always stand up for what you believe in.  –  Susan, Fayette

Integrity is a display of our actions and foundation. It involves conducting yourself in good faith. Even if it is not the best of decisions, if done with the best intentions, it still counts and shows integrity. Honesty is always the best policy, even if the most favorable outcome is not in sight. Integrity measures our accountability for honesty.  -Lindsey, Camden

What outstanding comments from all of these team members.

So what does integrity mean to me?

During our management camp we watched a clip from Joel Osteen.  He told a story about him driving into a parking lot and as he got out of his car some papers blew by him into the parking lot. He paused for a second, thinking I really don’t have time to chase the paper across the parking lot, someone will pick it up. He thought to himself, is that the right thing to do? So he began chasing the paper all over the parking lot and finally corralling the paper. As he did an older couple got out of their car and stated to him, we were watching to see what you would do. They were watching him as he chased the paper, and saw him doing the right thing. My takeaway is doing the right thing when nobody is watching is a true sign of Integrity. In this case and in many of ours, people are watching to see if we do the right thing.

I would love to hear from the rest of you on what Integrity mean to you.


I” stands for initiative. Take the initiative to do the right thing even when no one else will know.

“N” stands for nurturing. Nurture others through the quality of your actions even when no one else will know.

“T” stands for teamwork. Teamwork is service before self even when no one else will know.

“E” stands for excellence. Excellence in all we do even when no one else will know.

“G” stands for giving. Giving 110 percent even when no one else will know.

“R” stands for respect. Respect each other even when no one else will know.

“I” stands for intelligence. Be intelligent by knowing your job better than anyone, even when no one else will know.

“T” stands for true. Be true to the best that’s in you even when no one else will know.

And “Y” stands for you. You and I can make a difference even when no one else will know


“In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.”

 Warren Buffet
CEO, Berkshire Hathaway


“I am different from [George] Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won’t.”

— Mark Twain


Continue Reading What does Integrity mean to you?


Coaches are considered leaders and leaders are people that can “organize a group of people to achieve a common goal by providing direction, purpose, and motivation”. Some of the most successful coaches and leaders are great motivators.

With the professional basketball playoffs starting this week, I thought I would share some motivational quotes from some of the most successful basketball coaches in history.

 “Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.” -Bill Russell quote

“The American dream, to me, means having the opportunity to achieve, because I don’t think you should be guaranteed anything other than opportunity.”-Lenny Wilkens

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” — Pat Riley

“Great effort springs naturally from great attitude.” — Pat Riley

And finally my favorite:

“There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out. There’s no such thing as life in-between.” — Pat Riley

Have a great day – Will

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The origins of the children’s story about the little engine that pulled a stranded train over difficult terrain aren’t exactly clear, but the story is believed to have first appeared around 1906.  Although there have been many iterations of this tale, the underlying theme is always the same.

In the story, a long train of freight cars needs to be pulled up and over a steep hill.  When the train cars ask the larger engines to make the trip, they all make excuses about why the job is too difficult.  They won’t even try.  But, when the much smaller , little blue engine is asked, he simply replies, “I think I can!” and it is this attitude that pulls the chain of train cars up and over that difficult incline.

A person’s belief about their capabilities to achieve a goal is called Self-Efficacy.  A person with a higher self efficacy will take on greater risks, have higher motivation and recover more quickly after failures or setbacks.  People with low self-efficacy, on the other hand, avoid difficult tasks and can become stressed or depressed after not accomplishing goals.

With this in mind, I challenge everyone not to be like the bigger trains that just made excuses that the job was too difficult; but be like the “Little Engine Who Could.”  Believe in yourself and your abilities to be great and soon you will be saying, “I think I can, I think I can and I KNOW I CAN!”

There would be no limit on how great our company can be if we all have this mindset.

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!   LaTessa