Be tough skinned

  • My First Job!

    From the Desk of Marold Studesville, Avid Entrepreneur & Owner/CEO of Transport Financial Services, LLC

    Do you remember your very first job other than just chores around the house? I do!

    I was five years old when I got my first real job, and I remember it like it was yesterday. We lived In Arkansas where my dad stayed busy working in his pawn shop, and as a shoe cobbler, making, and repairing shoes for the town. We were the only family in town with a yard full of pomegranate trees, seventeen to be exact.

    When I entered the first (1st) grade my Dad, Albert Studesville gave me my own pomegranate tree. After working with him I learned a lot during his first five years of my life. He taught me about working him with the public, and great customer service. As my mentor he helped me with a spill, and let me take two pomegranates to school each day to sell. I sold them for two to three cents a piece which was a lot of money for a five-year-old, 65 years ago. Since, I made money each day at school my Dad let me use some of my change for snacks, and invest the rest in U.S. Series E Saving Bonds.

    “The Boss does not sleep, he rests. The Boss is never late, he is delayed. The Boss never leaves work, his presence is required elsewhere.” Malcolm Forbes

    I talked to some of the kids that would steal the pomegranate if they got a chance, and shared the delicious Persian fruit filled with bright red seeds to market my product. My dad helped me to know, and understand the product to promote its sale. When he saw that I had learned, he helped me to prepare a presentation packet of ten bright red pomegranates to go up-town to Mr. Simpson’s market to sell on a larger scale. With his guidance, I made my first order at five cent a piece. I was rolling in money, because there was no competition.

    To this day, my business practice is based on honesty, and candor. This is reflective in the forty-five year tenure of my transportation firm, Transport Financial Services, LLC (TFS), and my consistently maintaining an A+ Rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Pensacola, Florida.

    This “Thought of the Day”, and long remembrance of my Mentor, and Dad is a constant reminder of what I’ve learned about business, support, and services.

    Thanks, Dad!

    You can contact Marold at Marold@TFSMall.com or on his cell (662) 542-2908

    www.TFSMall.com www.eTruckBook.com  www.empowermentlogistics.com


  • Necessity is the Mother of Invention – A Positive note!

    The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has both challenged and changed the world’s perception of individualism, materialism, greed, organization, and the many uses of technology.  This pandemic has driven people to avariciously hoard items that are needed by EVERYONE in the world, and to vainly attempt to make money from others dire privations.
    I am, however beginning to see a dim pulsating light at the end of the tunnel.  People are beginning to realize that there is a “Smarter” way of living and that humanity is at a point where it desperately needs a course modification geared toward togetherness and teamwork.  We are at a place on our road of existence where we should seriously consider which direction we plan to take.  Do we continue straight on, driving our planet into oblivion, or do we take the road less traveled, and save our world and society from recklessness?
    “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed,” Gandhi.
    The last few years have demonstrated how anger, hostility, greed, and prejudice can drive a wedge between friends, families, communities, and even countries!  The last few weeks have shown us that these “wedges” and “differences” are useless when fighting this new invisible enemy (COVID-19).
    Materialism and greed have created a society driven by a need for the latest and greatest with the insatiable urge to have everything and anything.  Materialism, desire, and hoarding are now a big part of our society.  Human beings are social beasts, and this need to “socialize” and possess more has driven us to engage with our peers via new and exciting communication channels based on the developing technology available.  Businesses and educational institutions now utilize on-line options for courses in-lieu of in-house meetings and classroom activities.
    Ironically, there are always several silver linings to every cloud.  This cloud is a giant, evil black monstrosity called COVID-19, an invisible enemy, that not even a murderer or criminal can evade. In many ways, we’ve already adopted the concept of “social distancing” during the era of social media and technology. Yet this ability to distance ourselves socially may be our saving grace.  With no vaccines available, you are safest at home in front of your computer or smartphone in your hand.
    Unification of families is now a reality brought on by COVID-19!  Crime is down because of the mass hysteria that the streets are not safe.  Restaurants and grocery outlets have more efficient delivery and pick up services, which minimizes travel, and therefore accidents.  Doctors are once again making house calls to elderly patients who are too frail to take on this new invisible enemy.   Society is on a path to healing from an enemy that we cannot yet embrace.
    Yes, we can survive as individuals, even in quarantine, and still, be part of a caring community.  In this globalized world, our lives are so intertwined that we need to view ourselves, as individuals, as communities, as nations, and as a uniquely privileged species. It has taken a virus to show us that only through togetherness we at our most reliable, most alive, most human and that we understand what is most important.  We are all bound together as part of a miraculous web of life on planet Earth!
    A final thought though…Will society remember this most-important-lesson learnt after the virus is no longer the enemy, or will people, communities, and countries go back to business as usual?
    By Marold Studesville & Alyson Stasek
  • Be tough skinned, appreciate your clients, solve challenges


    Imagine this:  If you had $86,400 and someone stole $10 from you, would you be upset and throw away all of the remaining $86,390 away in hopes of getting back at the person who took your $10.  Or move on and live?  Right, move on and live!  See, we all have 86,400 seconds each day.  Don’t let someone‘s negative 10 seconds ruin the remaining 86,390.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, life is bigger than yet!

    ……The Minds Consciousness (FaceBook)

    This quote that I spotted on FaceBook a few days ago, made a huge impact on me as a small business owner, an independent contractor and as a person.  It truly made me think and prompted me to write this blog entry to perhaps help other small business owners and contractors,  I am pretty confident that I am not the only one that has lacked the resilience and strength to move past those 10 seconds.

    I also knew that those 10 second moments have been affecting me badly and that to ensure that my day ended productively I needed to get over those 10 seconds, solve the issue if there was one and to not harbor any negative feelings towards myself or the challenge that I had faced.

    So, have you ever felt that sinking feeling in your stomach that no matter what you do, there is no chance of resolving an issue with a customer?  Typically it lasts more than 10 seconds for me.  Guilt is part of my makeup.  I must not show my feelings as guilt though because when it comes to family and friends in my life they look at me as the forever optimist.  The glass is always half full!

    “Don’t sweat the small stuff”…I have fully accepted that I do sweat the small stuff and to some degree this has conflicted with my constant need to have everything right and to ensure that what I deliver at the end of day is a good product and service.  On a daily basis, you are pressured to make quick decisions, turn around a project in way less time that you really want to spend on it, to create based on partial information and to juggle more things each and every day.

    If you are starting to sweat the small things, and are getting more and more frustrated, it is a good time to go and have a cigarette break…I use this phrase as if I am always taking a smoking break.  Fact is I have never smoked in my entire life but my work life started in the late 80’s, smoking breaks were the hip thing to do.  For me personally, I grab a cup of tea, and go sit on my porch, or I go visit with my horses for a few minutes.  This time away from my desk solves a lot of the problems that were mounting up a few ways.  I have found that I have put my trust in people that are able to resolve things and are as proactive as I am.   If I am getting frustrated I am only inhibiting their abilities.  Taking a 10 minute break allows you come back with positive thoughts and a fresh mind to come up with the ideas needed to creatively solve the problem.

    It is late afternoon and a client emails/skypes you with a problem that you may have caused.  Those 10 seconds used to kick in straight away for me.  I would physically start to sweat, get upset and to question my memory.  I admit that I do have a bad memory and for as long as I “remember” I have used mnemonics to help me to categorize tasks.  Because of my memory issues I like to organize everything, follow the rule of one touch on all emails and if possible, not have to do a series of things that are not standard each time I send out a file or update.  So when I read the message, I stop, think, and then I consider what actions I need to take.  Usually, if it is a problem I have caused, I should be able solve it pretty quickly.  Client created problems are usually a little tougher but they are typically more receptive to your solution and ultimately grateful for your help.  The difficulty is making sure your client is happy with the solution irrelevant of how the issue was created.

    The old adage, that software companies used to sell their software with problems, so that they can “fix” it for you quickly and then make you feel beholden to them is not a good option.  If your client has contacted you then they are typically already frustrated.  First rule; accept ownership to solve the challenge.  Second rule; offer a solution that is quick and effective.  Third rule; give them a good idea of how much time that solution is going to take.  If they need it quicker, indicate that you want to make sure that the solution is the best possible answer and will generate the best possible outcome in the timeline available.  Rushing something usually generates other errors and that is most definitely not the answer and it is another opening to losing more than 10 seconds of your life and probably your client!

    By being calm, not sweating the small stuff and solving the challenges as they hit your desk methodically your day will end on a much higher and positive position and even if you still have things to tackle the next day you will know that you have done everything that you possibly can.  Never think that not sweating the small stuff means you can forget it or not solve it!  It just means that you need to solve it and be able to put it on your “DONE” list.

    It has been painful but I have learnt over the years that the customer is not “always right”, but it is just as important that you deal with that situation in the same calm, methodical way.  Alienating customers is not the best idea, but being honest with them is.  Letting them off by not telling them what they may have done wrong, just means that they may do it again.  So pick your words wisely and suggest that there may be a way for this not to happen in the future and offer a variety of different steps that will allow you both to take everything into consideration.

    Overall, live for the moment; do not live to work, but rather work to live!  Never get that sinking feeling again, but rather take the opportunity to learn something new, and to create a good memory for you, your team and your client!