Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is the Chinese New Year. Here are some fun facts on the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar.

– The Chinese year 4712 (2014) is the Year of the Horse

– People born in horse years are cheerful, skillful with money, perceptive, witty, talented and good with their hands

– At Chinese New Year celebrations people wear red clothes, decorate with poems on red paper, and give children “lucky money” in red envelopes

– Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck

– Fireworks are a huge part of the celebrations. They believe the crackling sound drives away evil spirits

– The Lantern Festival is a huge part of the new year celebration.

Chinese Proverbs

– A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.

– A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor a man perfected without trials.

– Dig the well before you are thirsty.

– If you don’t want anyone to know, don’t do it.

– He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.


Have a great day.


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Yes We Can

This past Monday I sat in and participated on the morning conference call with the managers in district 3 and thought I would share my message from that call with the rest of the team via the blog today.

On the call I explained to everyone that it is understandable if our company’s move to working off of budgets was an unsettling transition for them.  It has actually been fairly stressful for all those involved and I described three phases that many of us who developed the budgets went through over the past few months.

The first phase, which is when we made the commitment to develop budgets, could be described as stressful and uncomfortable.  For a somewhat small company this seemed like a daunting task that, if not done properly, could be painful.  These feelings lasted only until we actually quit worrying and got to work on preparing the budgets.

The second phase saw us grow more comfortable with the budgeting process yet we were still somewhat uneasy.  However, as we dug deeper into the process we felt a small sense of relief and the more we worked on them the more our anxiety began to fade.  We knew that with the amount of effort the accounting department and management team had dedicated to getting the budgets right that we were going to be successful.

The final phase occurred after the budgets were completed and ready to roll out.  As we were reviewing every office’s budget multiple times while finalizing the budgets we started to become excited about how effective the budgets would be for the company.  I have no doubt that as many of you grow more familiar with the budgeting process you too will become excited about working off budgets.  I am sure many of you are not quite to that “excited” phase yet but I feel sure you will be in time.

As I mentioned, once we got to work in developing the budgets we found ourselves less stressed.  That’s really the way it goes. . . the harder you work the less you worry! —Luke

“All things are difficult before they are easy.”  Thomas Fuller




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Seven Seconds to Make a First Impression

At Montgomery Enterprises, we continually stress that our goal is to provide better customer service than any of our competitors…championship customer service.  I recently read an article that stresses the importance of first impressions that I wanted to share with all of you.  The moment a potential customer sees you, his or her brain makes a thousand computations: Are you someone to approach or to avoid? Are you friend or foe? Do you have status and authority? Are you trustworthy, competent, likeable, confident?

And these computations are made at lightning speed. Researchers from NYU found that we make eleven major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting.

In business interactions, first impressions are crucial. While you can’t stop people from making snap decisions – the human brain is hardwired in this way as a prehistoric survival mechanism – you can understand how to make those decisions work in your favor.

First impressions are more heavily influenced by nonverbal cues than verbal cues. In fact, studies have found that nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say.  The way you listen, look, move, and react tells the other person whether or not you care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re listening. When your nonverbal signals match up with the words you’re saying, they increase trust, clarity, and rapport. When they don’t, they generate tension, mistrust, and confusion.

So, the next time a new customer walks in the door, remember that a good first impression will allow you to exceed that customer’s expectations and allow you to provide championship customer service to that individual for years to come.


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Daily Boards

By now everyone should have their new daily boards posted in their stores with their numbers reported on them.  These daily boards are designed to mirror your monthly budget.  The boards will not only communicate where  you need to be by months end on important line items, but also keep you updated on the progress you are making on reaching your monthly budget.  I encourage you to spend some time reviewing your boards and comparing them to your budgets.  Your district manager will be happy to answer any questions you have!

If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.- Yogi Berra


Have a Great Day-Louis

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Attitude is a CHOICE!

I wanted to share with you one of my favorite motivational articles on Attitude.

The author gives six ways on how to have a positive attitude and explains how to take control of your attitude. This article helps me to remember to always have a grateful attitude and not let others play a role in what kind of attitude I will have. It is truly a choice every morning to have a good attitude and we all should strive for that everyday.

1. Take responsibility for your attitude.

2. Evaluate your present attitude.

3. Develop the desire to change.

4. Change your attitude by changing your thoughts.

5. Develop good habits.

6. Manage your attitude daily.

I have attached the link for this article.  http://bmw4us.org/Journal/motivation/#.Ut6FENLnaUk

Have a great Friday!


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Good Job Justin

One of the most important metrics we use at Simple Pawn & Jewelry to gage success is our employee productivity numbers.  Each employee is tracked on our five income sources: Sales, Pawns, Interest Collected, Buys, and Layaways.  These numbers are tracked daily on a board in the back room and reviewed at our weekly meeting. Congrats to Justin who has had the highest productivity numbers for two of the first three weeks of January.  Great job Justin!

You can’t expect to win unless you know why you lose- Benjamin Lipson

Have a great day-Louis

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Championship Customer Service

I read an article last week in the paper that was spotlighting the manager of a local drugstore. In the article, he talked about how his goal was for every customer to ask for him when they came into the store.  I immediately thought of several times that I happened to wait on a customer while in one of our stores and the customer asked me where the store manager or assistant manager was, if anything was wrong, how they were doing, etc.  This is, of course, just one of the many ways our company exhibits championship customer service. If you are a new employee, challenge yourself to make every customer ask for you when he or she comes in the door.  Build those relationships because it will most likely pay great dividends in the future.

Happy Monday Everyone!

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One newsletter I read on a weekly basis is “Work Is Not For Sissies” by Glenn Shepard, whom many of you have heard speak on collections and management.  Glenn’s newsletter this week addressed self-esteem and more importantly the significance of surrounding yourself with High Quality People (HQP).  Glenn explains we all go through periods in our lives when we get “knocked down” and our self confidence gets rattled.  These are the moments we rely on the HQP we have surrounded ourselves with to help pick us up.

One way to attract more HQP into your life is to lead by example and become the kind of HQP that constantly encourages and lifts other up.  Glenn’s newsletter lead me to some self assessing this week- When was the last time I let someone who was “knocked down” know that I believe in them?  Are my daily actions helping lift people up or helping knock people down?

I believe by focusing on becoming a HQP and surrounding ourselves with HQP we will see great improvement in our personal and professional lives.

No one can be great at everything, but everyone can be great at something- Glenn Shepard

Have a great day….Louis


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Be a Shining Example Everyday

As you know, one of the components of our Montgomery Enterprises Vision and Values Statement is Cleanliness.

“Out of respect for our customers and ourselves, our locations will be a shining example of cleanliness and attention to detail.”

I want to strongly encourage everyone in the company to take a fresh look around their office or place of business to make sure we are carrying out this key component of our value system.  Is the parking lot clean and weed free?  Are the front doors cleaned at least daily?  Are the counters clean and in order?  Is your office’s signage up to date and fresh looking?  How does your back room look?  What about the bathroom?

As we have said before, we treat our customers like guests in our homes.  Don’t you always try to clean up “extra good” when important company is visiting?  Well, our customers are the most important part of our success so let’s clean up “extra good” everyday!  — Luke

“High expectations are the key to everything.”  Sam Walton

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