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Welcome to my Blog!!

Thank you for visiting jamesdodge.com. I plan on using this blog to share things going on in both my personal and my business life (and now my school life too!).  You can also find me on various different platforms by clicking any of the buttons to the right. Thanks again for stopping by – we’ll talk to you soon!!

A Hero’s Journey

This week, we watched a video, titled “A Hero’s Journey”.  In it , we learned about the importance of choosing people to surround us that will help us to become better.  We learned that during the journey we are all on, as we strive to be entrepreneurs, it is important to remember that we should not be focused on an endpoint, but rather we should be focused on the journey, and becoming better each day.

I think that is important to remember that we need to surround ourselves with people that will help to mentor us, and to help us stay on the correct path.  If we go these people that we trust, we can start to realize what gifts we have that will then help us to share with others.

At one point during the video, it is suggested that we identify the things we won’t ever do during our lives.  To help us make sure that we don’t cross these lines that we set for ourselves, it is suggested that we fill out a paper, and put in into an envelope.  On the paper, we should write whatever necessary to help us remember why it is that we don’t want to cross a particular line.

During the tough times, when we are tempted to cross a line we know we should not cross, we should pull out the envelope and read the message to ourselves, to help us stay on the right path.

I think the lessons taught in this video are great and definitely something that we should all implement in our lives.

Deconstructing My Fear

This week, we had the opportunity to read about deconstructing our fear experiences.  We went through an exercise that had us list our different fear, list our strategy to help mitigate the risk, and then list how we would rebound if that fear were to manifest itself.

It was a great exercise, and the point was to help us realize that most of our fears probably won’t come true, and if they do, we can have a plan to get through it.  This should offer up some relief for us, and make it so that we don’t have to worry about things that may, or may not, happen.

As we finished this assignment, we were asked to respond to some questions as our journal posting for this week.  The first question asks what the chances are that our worst case scenario will really happen.

I think that, as long as I work diligently, and I seek out the guidance of my Father in Heaven, my worst case scenario will probably not happen.  I’m confident in my abilities, and I have great faith that my Father will help to guide me along the way.

The next question asks what themes might emerge as we list our various fears.  I think the theme that comes up as I populate my list of fears, is one of failure.  Almost all of my fears are based around not succeeding, and not fulfilling what I need to do.  This is where I need to act on faith, and know that I will be successful.

The last question asked, prompts us to think about what the risk is, in taking no action.  What would happen if we let fear take us over and stop us from moving forward.  I think the risk here, is not living up to my full potential.  I know that I can always go from one job to another, and more than likely continue to keep steady work.  But, the risk to me, is not building what my Father has made me capable of building.  I know that if I use my talents, and my resources, I can be very successful.  And I know that this success will lead to greater opportunities to share with those around me.

The lessons learned this week were very valuable to me, and I look forward to implementing them in my every day life.

Honesty and Integrity

This week, we learned about the importance of honesty and integrity in business.  I am grateful for this lesson, because I know the importance of honesty and integrity in our lives each day, and specifically in our business dealings.  I think it is so easy to think “it’s just business” in response to a variety of situations that help to justify something dishonest.  It’s important for us to remember who we are each day, so that we may be a good representative of the church, and of our Savior.

I really enjoyed a talk we read this week, by Elder Lynn G. Robbins.  In this talk, he discussed the importance of making sure that our motives are good in the work place.  He spoke of how it’s not only important to make a living, but that we need to focus on making a good and honest living.

As he continued with his talk, Elder Robbins spoke about the motives that drive people each day.  He showed us several examples of primary motivation and secondary motivation.  He then graded these different scenarios with an “A” being the best, and an “F” being the worst.

I think the grade of “A” is what we all strive for, which would indicate that our primary motivation is love of God and our fellowmen while our secondary motivation would be income.  From there, the primary motivations of people become worse with each drop in grade value.

This really helped me to realize where I am at personally, and where I want to be in the future.  It also helped to look at the company I currently work for, and the grade that I would give to it, using these parameters.  I realized that, not only do I want to be a better person, but I want to work for a much better company.

I’m grateful for the opportunities that are coming into my life, as I know that I will be able to build a company that will have an “A” reputation.  I’m grateful for the teachings this week, as it helps me to focus my attention back to myself, as I try to become a better disciple of Christ.

Making a Bucket List

This week, I have really been learning just how important it is to have a vision in our lives.  Without a vision, and without knowing where it is that we want to go, we can’t expect to get there.  As we went through the lesson this week, we made a bucket list, and we also made a life plan, identifying different things that we want to make sure and accomplish during our lives.

I have never put together a bucket list before, but I really enjoyed doing it this week.  As I searched around for ideas of things to do, I really found a lot of things that I think would be a lot of fun to do.  I am going to keep this list close, and start working on accomplishing each of them.

During our reading this week, we also learned about Randy Pausch.  We read from his last lectures and watched him in a video clip as well.  I think that Randy was able to achieve so many of his childhood dreams, because he received a lot of encouragement from his parents.  They made sure not to stifle him, and to encourage his creativity from a young age.  I think he was also able to achieve so much, because of his making the things he wanted to do a priority in his life.

One of the questions that we are asked to answer this week, is whether or not we believe that dreaming is important.  I think that it is very important in our lives.  To dream, gives us hope for things to come.  Without that hope, I think that life would be pretty boring and unbearable.  It’s these dreams that keep us going, always striving for something more.

As we discuss dreams, we are supposed to share one of our childhood dreams.  One of my childhood dreams was to learn to become a pilot and fly a plane.  Although I’ve never pursued this dream, I think that I could still do it, and I know that it is still possible to achieve.

As we learned this week, anything is possible, if we plan for it, and if we keep fighting to make it happen.

Starting my Entrepreneurial Journal

This week has really been busy, as we have started a new semester at BYU-Idaho.  I have to admit, this semester I am feeling a little overwhelmed this first week.  But at the same time, I am really excited at what we are going to be learning.  For the next few months (and hopefully continuing on for a long time after this class ends), I will be posting each week to share what I am learning, and my thoughts, in regards to my Introduction to Entrepreneurship course.  This will serve as my Entrepreneurial Journal, and I hope to create a habit that I will continue far into the future.

As we start this course, I am already loving what we are starting to learn.  We had to watch quite a few videos this week, as well as read several different readings.  I want to share the video that affected me the most this week.

In 2002, President Gordon B. Hinckley spoke at BYU Idaho.  You can watch the video here, and I would recommend doing so.  The thing that really stood out to me the most during this video, was President Hinckley talking to us about how much potential we all have.  And how we need to not sell ourselves short.

As I start this semester, and as I struggle with feelings of being overwhelmed, this talk keeps coming to mind.  Things have been tough at work for me recently also, and this talk helped to remind me that I really can do anything.  I can be successful in business, in my family, in my calling, and I can succeed in the courses that I am taking.  I am really looking forward to the next several months, as we learn about how to become successful in our lives.

Optimizing the Website

We’re getting really close to the end of the semester here, and we’re really starting to analyze what is good about our websites, and what can be improved upon.

This week, we looked into the different keywords that are driving traffic to our sites.  We looked at those that are doing good, as well as those that need to be improved.

We also looked at woorank.com to see how our sites are being ranked.  Now that we have done these things, the last part of the class will be made up of making some changes, and trying to improve the ranking.

This class has been great, and I’m looking forward to finishing the semester next week, and continuing on with the business.  Although I haven’t had any conversions yet, I have made some sales, due to the fact that several people that I know have gone on to make purchases.

Now that I have the basic understanding of what to look for in regards to Google Analytics, and Google Adwords, I am really excited to start concentrating on growing this business.

I think that most of my attempts have not been successful, due to the fact that I’ve only been pushing to sell one product.  And that one product is used sparingly by a select number of people.  I have several different products where I have reached deals with the manufacturer’s, and I will start promoting soon.  I think these additional products will help me appeal to more dental laboratories, and help me to make more sales.

Social Media

This past week, we’ve been learning about social media, and how we need to use it to drive traffic to our sites.  I think we all know how much impact social media has had on our lives over the past several years, so of course we need to try and utilize it to help us with our goals.

Many people will check their phones multiple times throughout the day, and we need to have a strategy in place, in order to capitalize on that.  As we come up with this strategy, we need to track the traffic that is coming to our sites, and identify that which is coming through social media.  This will help us to refine our presence online, and hopefully drive more traffic, and ultimately, more conversions.

I am going to start a Facebook page for my company this week, and try using their Facebook Ads, to see if I can drive more traffic to my site.  I’m hoping that I will be able to target even more people, and start to see some conversions on my site, in this next week.

This week has been very interesting, and it is nice to see how all the strategies we have been working on are starting to come together.  I’m looking forward to the last couple of weeks of class, and I’m excited to keep this going past that point.