Friday, January 20, 2017

why I decided to leave Medical Billing

I have been in the Medical Billing Industry for 20 Years and had my business for 12.5 Years.  In August 2016, I made a decision to close this line of service to my customers out by 12.31.2016.  When you have spent you complete career learning the industry inside and out, this was a very tough decision to make, but at the same time, I felt deep within my heart that it was the next move in my transformation journey.

I would like to share with you why.

In 20 Years, the Medical Billing Industry has become way more complicated then when I first started in it in California.  The industry is no longer just billing out the service at the appropriate level for the procedure codes performed along with the diagnosis of the patients condition.  It is more dynamic than that.  It has become political and games along with a deeper fight to make money at.  They target larger practices and disregard the smaller ones.  

The success in Medical Billing comes from how well you know the rules, both on a State and Federal level.  The ultimate success comes on how willing you are to fight when they are wrong, when they don't pay per contract, when they bundle things together that should be paid separately, when they deny the claims stating that the medical records do not support medical necessity for the services performed, leaving you with no option but to then have to appeal these denials or incorrectly paid claims - up to three times through three tiers.  Insurance companies can and will recoup money (this means take money back) for whatever reason stating they paid these claims in error.  You then have to fight to prove them wrong, sometimes even having to get the Texas Department of Insurance or Texas Medical Association or Health and Human Services Commission involved.  

You go through annual chart audits to ensure your documentation is meeting all the requirements.  You are rated on protocols, policies and your compliance.  You are rated on how many children you give vaccines to and if you have given them at the time they are due or if you give them late.  You go through intense documentation reviews, coding reviews, and board reviews.  The results is that the industry simply is a never ending battle to just to get paid for services your client/the physician has already rendered to the patient.  

It is ironic to me that no other industry works like this.  If you want groceries, you have to pay for them at the time of service.  If you want fuel, you have to pay to fill up your tank. If you want clothes, you have to pay right then for them.  You do not get to get all the groceries, fuel or clothes you want and then file a claim to insurance to see if they will pay for it.  Even deeper than that, since the Pharmaceutical Industry doesn't work this way, you know at the time you pick up your prescription what you will owe, why can't medical claims be adjudicated in the same manner?  There is no reason it can't, it simple is a tactic to stall making payments and to give insurance companies an out to make money by denying services.

A successful Medical Billing Agency will have a high percentage of overturned claims. Nearly all Medical Billing Agencies make a percentage of collections.  Therefore this means if a client/physician isn't being paid, neither are they.  If an Insurance Company decides to recoup on previously paid claims, money is taken back from them too.  If a physician is going through an audit, this burden will be born by the Medical Billing Agency on top of the daily routine.  This makes the work simply an every day fight.  Literally.  Every day is a full blown fight.  And you never know when an insurance company will decide to take back $26k or $57k just like that, in one fell swoop.  You will spend your days arguing with Customer Service Representatives that have not been trained on the State and Federal Laws and honestly do not care to learn them, they are simply punching the clock and their goal is to simply answer the phone and get you off as quickly as possible, even if that means hanging up on you if they do not want to help you.  Some Insurance Companies like Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield have a limit on how many claims they will help you with per a call and they make you call back and go through the long hold times, like anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours, to get to talk to a representative.  Once you get someone one the phone, in order to get anywhere you have to be willing to argue and fight over every little detail or you won't make any money.  

As you an imagine, it is emotionally draining and mentally exhausting.  And I have done this for 20 Years.  And I became extremely good at it, not just because of some personality traits or experience of fighting for my life through my whole childhood, but because I put in the effort to learn all the State and Federal Laws to help me be good at it, and I gave every single claim the same attention every single day.  Producing results that many of my employers and clients had never seen.

But it got to a point that I wanted something more for my life.  I felt there had to be a better way to work in the industry.  Thus began my work with Mentors and Coaches the last 3 years to reframe my mental thinking and attachment to my work.  I have worked to change my perspective in the fight.  I have made efforts to shift my process in the fight.  I have created set work hours to not be a workaholic, to drive my business from a vision and not from an emotional work load perspective, creating work life balance that I should have had a long time ago.  I have created more vacations and time off to unplug from the stress to be able to allow me to be more upon my return to work.  I have fired clients that didn't want to abide by the State and Federal Rules and Regulations.  I have stuck to the terms in my contract and if a client doesn't pay me on time, they are assessed the late fee.  If they still do not bring their account current, there is no work done until they do.  If I was an employee in their office they would have to pay me on the date they have set with the Texas Workforce Commission, why should this be any different just because I am a Vendor?  It shouldn't.  I have grown to honor and respect me and set boundaries to respect myself and my work.  I have hired better team members, ones that have a vision and personal purpose to live in alignment with the goals and vision I have for how we work with our clients.

Yet...at my core I am exhausted of the fight to make a living like this and believe that God has more for me.  In my quest to create a more simplistic lifestyle on all levels, this isn't in alignment with that.  So, even though this decision impacts revenue and production, and is a loss of 70% (or more some months), I had peace in choosing this because I will settle for more!  Exactly where this will take my business now, I obviously do not have the full answer for, but I can promise you this, I know that God will provide the answers and take care of just like he has through every other difficult decision or challenge or traumatic event like audits, lawsuits, and long periods of not being paid.  

I will stay focused on my core beliefs, the vision I have for my life and business and the impact I want to make in one persons life each day.  Here is to another New Chapter in my life!
#MedicalAccountSolutions #EntrepreneurshipRocks #NewBeginnings #Simplicity #CreateTheLifeYouWant #LiveIntentionally

Thursday, January 19, 2017

the challenge of showing love and grace, to yourself

Learning to have grace for yourself and others can be an ongoing challenge, especially when you were raised in an environment where perfection was the goal, where no efforts ever were good enough and where judgement was the lens that things were always looked through.
It can make you critical. Not able to see the beauty in the progress from where you started. It can make you feel less than everyone else around you. It can make you feel condemned, like a failure and destroy hope of ever being better then you are today, or were yesterday.
Sometimes you aren't sure how to create new patterns to break this cycle. Choosing to remember that progress is the goal, not perfection. Replacing those lies with the truth that Jesus doesn't expect you to be perfect, He wants you to be willing to grow in grace and knowledge. Learning to be open to making mistakes, not afraid of falling down, and choosing to look at them with a lens of acceptance of where you are today, right here, right now, will allow you to then step back and do the next thing to practice again. Releasing the tension of what you did, who you were in this moment, and how you want to be, instead focusing on the vision that He has for your life. Believing with all your heart that He has covered every mistake and that you have grace to begin again.
Don't get me wrong, I believe in working at a skill, your work, and in your efforts should be done with a focus to create improvement when you see it, but when we can't accept that we are a work in progress or that our results are not where we feel they should be, without putting condemnation and judgement on ourselves, we have changed the focus from accepting ourselves to criticizing ourselves, which will shut us down and not create love. Jesus accepts us and loves us right where we are, in our flaws that He is still perfecting, but He isn't holding it over us. He knows that He has created you in His image, so all He is asking is for you to come and seek Him and He will guide you through these changes.
When Jesus says that He will complete the work in you that He started, that tells me that the work is ongoing and that I am continually being shaped into the person He wants me to be. It is not a one stop shop, it is a lifelong venture into growing and changing and becoming who it is He wants me to be. It isn't something He expects me to jump into a mold and never need adjustment or to be perfect the first time.
In a world that struggles to show love, give permission, be non-judgmental, accept different perspectives or opinions, always criticized for our actions instead of appreciated, we can loose heart easily and become discouraged. Today, where ever you are, show yourself some love and grace. Jesus is. He wants you to be at peace, not strung out in anxiety and concern about what you said or did, but endeavoring to pursue the Fruits of the Spirit more deeply, here and now. That is all He is asking of you.
How will you show more love and grace to yourself today?
#TheSassyVoice #PursueGod #HeWillCompleteTheWorkInYou#ShowLoveAndGrace

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

will you let MLK influence your life?

Every year on MLK Day aka Martin Luther King Jr Holiday, all of us share some really great content. We honor a man who made an impact on our nation. We reflect on what he has done to help change our lives.
But I wonder what would happen if we took to heart a lot of his quotes and lived them, really truly authentically lived them?
Like practiced these quotes in action every single day. Reflected on them (like we do Scripture that tells us the same thing in different, maybe more complicated terms). Maybe even put them up in our house to remind us of the truth. Prayed over them. Journaled about them. Blogged about them. Had conversations about them. Asked each other questions on how we live this out in every day life.
Here are 7 of his most popular quotes:
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?
What if we reflected on these statements in the moments of conflict, challenge, hurt, pain, difficulties, tough decisions, and when we feel attacked, unloved, unsupported, and rejected?
What if we didn't just make memes out of them and share them?
What if we didn't just look at them the 2nd Monday in January each and every year, but made them a part of our lives?
What if we didn't just pass it on as a good point in history, but really thought about making our life represent these attributes, qualities, characteristics and practice living this way with each other?
I want to. I want to be even more deeply committed to Love. Grace. Forgiveness. Kindness. Acceptance. Less judgement. More truth.
What is your favorite MLK Quote? How will you let it impact your life? What difference will you let it make in your world?
#TheSassyVoice #MLK #ADifferentPerspective #ThePowerOfChoice #LoveOnPurpose

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

instructors power of words

I am very fond of Yoga and I love all my Yoga instructors, but some are able to help me see more and do more simply because of the power of their words.
One of my Yoga Instructors says: We will do this until it sucks, and then we will do it sucks some more. One of my other Yoga Instructors would say: We will do this until we shake because shaking is good. Shaking shows a sign of weakness and the ability to become strong.
Which one helps you focus on being better and wanting to to stay the course on a difficult pose?
One of my Yoga Instructors says halfway through a workout: Now get ready to work. One of my other Yoga Instructors says: You are stronger than you think, stay with your body.
Which one helps you believe in your body and it's ability? Which one helps you to not resent what you will be put through next?
Not every teacher, instructor, mentor, or coach provides the same instruction. Not every teacher, instructor, mentor, or coach has the same experience. Not every teacher, instructor, mentor, or coach has the same methods. Not every teacher, instructor, mentor, or coach has the same ability. Not every teacher, instructor, mentor, or coach can get you beyond yourself.
You can settle for less or you can settle for more.
You can accept good or you can have great.
You can be like everyone else or you can stand out.
You can just do your routine or you can let someone have a piece of you.
You can take from someones day or you can add to it.
It really is up to you!
These kinds of choices are around us every day. And we all get to chose how we show up. How we live these moments of our lives. We all get to decide what is important to us and how the power of our words affects our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual life...and the lives of those around us.
When you look for someone to grow you beyond yourself, you need to look for the things that will help you become a better person. The small details sometimes are really important to the character and core of how you will be influenced. You get to choose what shines a light into your soul.
I absolutely love my Yoga practice and one of my #2017Goals to get one in 5 days a week. I want to spend more time with people and getting instruction in the classes that help me build a better mind body connection. The ones that help me believe in myself when I do not believe in me. The ones that help me to go into my body and find it's core strength and become stronger through the discipline of the workout. The ones that leave an imprint on my heart and mind with an analogy to apply to my day. The ones that thank me for coming and being a part of their class.
How will you let the power of words and your circle of influence affect you?
#ThePowerOfChoice #ADifferentPerspective #YourWordsMatter #CreateTheLifeYouWant #BeDifferent

Monday, January 16, 2017

Life is kinda like Football

Life is kinda like Football.
Sometimes you score a touchdown. Sometimes you have to work and work and work for a touchdown. Sometimes you try so many times that you now have to go for a Field Goal. Sometimes you make the Field Goal, but a timeout had been called before you kicked, but you didn't hear it, and so now the Field Goal attempt has to be redone. Sometimes you completely miss the Field Goal. Sometimes your team is there to help you make a play right on the money. Sometimes the people around you are putting so much pressure on you that you loose your focus on where you are supposed to be throwing the ball. Sometimes you get taken out in a sack. Sometimes you butt heads with someone you didn't see coming right at you. Sometimes you get injured in playing all in the game. Sometimes you get the ball knocked out of your hands. Sometimes you catch the ball that wasn't intended for you. Sometimes you get to run the football all the way down the field. Sometimes the referee calls the penalty that you saw right on the money. Sometimes the referee doesn't call the penalty at all and you get grace that you shouldn't have had. Sometimes the referee calls a penalty that doesn't match the play at all and makes no sense to you and everyone else watching, but you can't argue, you just have to deal with it. Sometimes no matter how much you practice, you still loose the game.
Just like in life.
Sometimes the project you are working on comes together smoothly, you get the contract and you meet your deadline with extra time to spare. Sometimes you have to work and work and work for a results in your life, like loosing weight, or figuring out hives that continue for over a Year, or determining your career path, or paying down debt. Sometimes you try so many times to get someone to fix an issue, like with your Honda Prepaid Maintenance Warranty, that it seems like every time you make one step forward you get taken back two. Sometimes you make it to the elevator on time, but someone on the inside has already hit close the door and you have to wait for the next ride. Sometimes you completely miss your flight at the airport because of a wreck and traffic en-route and the airport shuttle drops you off at the wrong gate entrance. Sometimes you have a team of friends that are there for you, to pray for you, to encourage you, and who love to spend time with you. Sometimes the people around you are are not supporting you, do not have your best interest at heart, and are actually enemies that are saying awful things about you behind your back but say they love you to your face. Sometimes you loose all your contacts on your phone because backing up to Google and your SIM Card and your Phone didn't work. Sometimes you get in a car wreck because you didn't see the vehicle ahead of you completely stopped. Sometimes you get sick, very sick. Sometimes you buy something that doesn't work out like it should and it is wasted money because you can't return it. Sometimes you get a flowers as a gift from one of your Guy Friends because they simply appreciate you and let you know how much you are loved. Sometimes you get fired from your job and have to file for unemployment and go without pay for 3 months while you appeal the original decision. Sometimes the policeman gives you a speeding ticket that you deserved. Sometimes the policemen gives you grace on that speeding ticket that you actually really did deserve. Sometimes the policeman gives you a speeding ticket and it doesn't make any sense to you or anyone else in the car, but you can't argue, you just have to deal with it. Sometimes no matter how much you practice having positive thoughts, you still have to deal with negative ones.
I love Football. And I love studying it and learning about it. But beyond that...I love looking at life analogies and applying them in ways that help me become a better person.
How would you apply Football to your life?
[Yes, these are examples from my own life.]
#TheSassyVoice #Reflections #LifeLessons #ILoveFootball

Sunday, January 15, 2017

trust God in the process

There is so much power in our words. There is power in the things we tell ourselves, internally, the dialogue inside our mind, the war within our hearts, the chatter about whether we believe we can achieve our dreams, whether we are worthy of our hearts desires or deserve these things we want, whether we are good enough for those around us, whether are strong enough to make it happen, whether we accept God is walking right beside us through every step of our journey, and the truth we decide to claim about ourselves, others, God and life.
Understanding this concept was something I developed the last 3 Years as I went through Counseling, then began working with Mentors and Coaches. Learning it and applying it to every aspect of my life has literally changed the results that I have in my life!!! It has become a tool I access daily to shift the energy of those things that happen around me and those things going on internally as I continue to change and become who God has called me to be.
You see, I was raised in an environment [both from my childhood and church group] where I was constantly told negative things. Put down. Belittled. Rejected.
Told things like: No man will ever want you. You are too sick to ever have children. You are not strong enough to lift that. You are too independent. You can't cook like your sister. You always sing off tune. You are too much of a perfectionist. You are too sensitive and wear your feelings on your sleeves. You spend too much time thinking. You are too driven. You ask too many questions. You aren't trying hard enough. You will never get A+ in every class. If you move from the desert, you will die within 2 Years. You will never make enough money to support yourself. You will never be successful as an Entrepreneur. You have too many opinions. You are a Woman and should not study God's Word. You are a Woman out of control. You are too intense, too bold, too aggressive.
Can I be anyone of these things? There are times I absolutely can. But are these the things I am at my core? No.
When you tell someone these kinds of things, do they fuel life? Fuel peace? Fuel joy? Fuel compassion? Fuel love? Fuel heart connection? Fuel a relationship? No. They feed hurt, emotional pain, resentment, fear, condemnation, regret, shame, guilt, build walls, create anxiety, disconnect, and ultimately a lack of feeling loved and accepted.
Learning to remove the lies and focus on the truth is something we all have to choose to do if we want to transform. If we want growth, we can't hold onto negativity. If we want to move past the chapter we are in, we have to be willing to release the things that are not truth and press into, hold onto, securely attach to the truths of who we are.
This is something God has shared with us in II Corinthians 10:5:
We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One. - The Voice translation
We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ, - AMP translation
Sometimes it takes great work at removing these seeds of doubt, uncertainty, questions that threaten to destroy your vision and focus.
Sometimes the pain in this process is of such magnitude that it causes physical, emotional, spiritual and mental challenges because it is so deep.
Sometimes the domino affect is horrific as it impacts the lives of others around you, who aren't willing to release you to this new transformed person, who resent your transformation, and who feel you are wrong to be different.
When you go through a program like I did in 2014 [it was called LiveBIG in Salt Lake City, Utah] and see the impact it makes on your life then, and then the ongoing ripple effect it has forever forward as you continue to uncover layer after layer of lies and replace them with truth, as you face all your fears, as you open up to change, as you accept who you really are, as you become more loving, you simply become a believer in the principals. And you want to see every other person in your life remove their bondage to fear, shame, guilt, and regret. You want to see them set free, in the abundant freedom that God gives them! You want to see them living life, really living and not just existing! You want to see them having hope!
Friends, trust God is doing a deep work in your heart in this process. Trust God to make the transformation so radical that the truth cannot be hid. Trust God to bring about the results He wants in your life. Trust God to bring people into your life and take people out of your life to assist you with this transformation. Trust God to help you see what is truth and what is a lie. Trust God to bring clarity out of the chaos and discernment to the conflict. Trust God to be with you in every step of the journey which means you need not have any fear.
#TheSassyVoice #ThePowerOfChoice #Transformation#CreateTheLifeYouWant #LiveIntentionally

Friday, January 13, 2017

understanding the conflict of laws

The other day I was having a conversation with a girlfriend I spent the day with, and she said to me, I do not understand why people in Texas are so rude and just cross the street where ever they want to and do not utilize a cross walk.

I shared with her that when I lived in California, their laws state that all Pedestrians must cross in the cross walk, otherwise they can get a ticket for jay walking and the cost is $250 and up.  I told her that when I moved to Texas in September 1997, the Drivers Education Booklet I had to read to obtain a Texas Drivers License, I learned that Pedestrians have the right away in Texas at all times.  This was a new concept to me.  I told her that I didn't know if the laws were the same, but I presumed they were and that this would explain why it was okay to do this in Texas, even if it logically makes sense to cross the street at an intersection or cross walk.

Sometimes it is hard to understand why laws are not all universal.  Why some people do things that we think are wrong, and yet for that area it isn't.

When I moved into my house here in 2007 after purchasing it, we had a long trailer that we had pulled as far into the driveway and garage as we could, but it still hung out into the road about a foot.  A police officer stopped when we were unloading and told us we had to move it to the street or move it further into the garage, which we couldn't do because of the boxes we were unloading into that space, as it is a violation to have your vehicle hanging out in the middle of the street.  It seem's strange that this would be the law when when you park your car on the street, it sticks out further then your driveway.  But I didn't want a parking ticket and so we moved the trailer to the street.

Sometimes what we think is okay, isn't.  Sometimes what seems to be reasonable, isn't.  Sometimes we have to change the way we do things to abide by the laws that are in that city or state, that maybe were not an issue somewhere else.

It has been a learning experience for me not to get defensive over what I think the laws are or when I assume laws I knew of in other states are the same laws in this state.  Learning to just simply ask for clarification so that I can do what I am supposed to do, is the simplest thing to do.  It is also a learning experience to understand that lack of knowledge about the laws doesn't keep you from responsibility.  This seems to be an oxymoron in many ways, but it is true.  You are not able to escape penalty or accountability or responsibility just because of a lack of education or knowledge.

Do you have a story on how you have had to learn new laws or the difference of one law from maybe the state you grew up in to where you live now?
#ADifferentPerspective #AskQuestions #LifeLessons

Thursday, January 12, 2017

the impact of driving lessons on my life

In the 40 Days til I turned 40 I wrote letters every day to someone who made an impact in my life.  One of the letters I wrote was to my Driving Instructor having taking their course in Apple Valley, California when I was 15.  I believe that sometimes we do not stop and think about the people who have helped us become who we are and this is one person that has made an impact on my life!  The reality is that I utilize this training nearly every single day and I shouldn't have waited this long to write a letter to say thanks.  I don't have his address nor do I remember his name and I don't think I have any paperwork to even try to locate him, but I still did the exercise of saying Thank YOU and listening to my heart and mind as to why I am appreciative of his efforts in my life and why he will always be listed in my Circle of Influence, and I wrote the letter anyways.

You see, my Driving Instructor was a man, whom my Mother didn't like that I would be alone in the car with, for no reason then simply as she told him, she never lets her daughters go anywhere alone with men.  He told her basically that lady, no family members are allowed in the car with the student.  She can be with me or she can not do the course, those are the options as at this time, we do not have any female instructors. He explained that this was so that they could do concentrated training and not have input from other drivers who would potentially create conflict in verbal instruction or make the driver more nervous.  My Mother had no choice but to either abide by their policies or not let me get my Drivers Education to obtain my Drivers Permit.

My Driving Instructor was a guy who had a very matter of fact method in pointing out the reasons behind his instructions, clear in explaining the why behind how things needed to be done the way he had me do them, and the goal in learning to drive.  We got along very well.  He didn't praise me much, but he was thorough in critiquing my work.  Many of his examples and illustrations I remember to this day, because he made such an impact in my life.

One of them was that when you are entering the freeway through the on-ramp, the goal is that by the time you are ready to merge with traffic, you are going the speed of the highway, whatever that is. He made it clear that you needed to be looking over your left shoulder to the half of mile before the on-ramp to judge the speed of cars coming and be assessing the half of mile ahead of the on-ramp to see if there were brake lights.  He said the laws are clear that the person in the slow lane is supposed to let you in, even if they do not want to, they are supposed to.  He went on to say, but you will make them mad if they have to brake because you aren't at the speed you need to be at the point you merge.  This is your responsibility to keep the flow of traffic moving.  He stated most on-ramps have enough space for you to get close enough to the speed you need to be if you do it right.  It made sense to me and he made me practice it over and over and over.  However, if you evaluate most peoples driving patterns, they act scared to get on the freeway.  They are timid in merging.  They do not maximize the on-ramp and are slow at increasing their speed from the service road onto the on-ramp and then onto the freeway.  They do not approach this with this framework I was taught.  The truth is, they may never have had a Driving Instructor who gave them this instruction and may not be aware of what they are doing that could make their driving experience better.

Another lesson this Driving Instructor gave me was that if you people are passing you on the right when you are in the fast lane because you are not going fast enough for them, move over to a slower right hand lane.  He made it very clear that the law is "slower traffic keep right" and that it doesn't read, "slower traffic keep right unless you are going the speed limit".  He stressed being aware of the cars behind you at all times, not just the ones in front of you.

The rub came one day when I had a substitute Driving Instructor. I was going the speed limit in the fast lane and people were passing me, so I put my blinker on to move to a slower right hand lane. He tore into me and told me that I had every right to stay right where I was because I was going the speed limit and that if they wanted to exceed the speed limit, then they could go around me.  The fact of the matter is nobody drove the speed limit in that area of town and I was creating a hazard on the road as car after car passed me on the right.  It made me nervous and uncomfortable. I felt condemned for my choices to follow my regular Driving Instructors instructions. I was frustrated that I was making people angry at me and they were giving me dirty looks as they drove by.  But I had to sit in the fast lane and deal with it to not make my substitute Driving Instructor more upset.

But I learned a valuable lesson that day.

What if the substitute Driving Instructor had been my instructor the whole time I had taken this Drivers Education Course?  What if I hadn't had the training from this incredible man who not only explained the laws but gave me practical advice to keep peace on the roadways and to be a more kind and courteous driver?

As I drive today, many times I can get frustrated when the person in front of me isn't approaching the freeway on-ramp at a speed that is reasonable.  I have to remind myself: One, they may not have had the training I had.  Two, their are zoning out when they are driving and not intentionally engaged.  Three, they don't care.  Whatever reason it is, one of these or another, I have to consciously choose to give grace.  Being frustrated won't help one of us.

I made a lasting impression on my Driving Instructor.  One of the things my parents had requested that he give me in training was how to pull out of a tail spin if you were on a dirt road and about to loose control of the car.  They stated this is something they wanted me to know how to do.  He agreed to provide that training after all the rest of the training had been completed.  So the last day we had a lesson, with about 15 minutes left to our time, we hit a back road to get this training in. He told me to drive as fast as I could so we could get this in as he couldn't be late to his next appointment.  I tore off down the road, obviously exceeding the speed limit.  He looked over at me and said wow, you took me literally when I said drive fast and get me to a dirt road ASAP.  He said, don't look but how fast are you going?  I said, as fast as my Mom drives this road.  He said how do you know that? I said because I can tell by how fast the tumbleweeds are passing the car as we drive by!  He laughed and laughed and laughed.

We all have a chance to make an impact in sharing life lessons and to better someone else's life. It is a choice to provide instruction beyond the laws so that someone can be equipped to make decisions that help them live a better life.  Who will you impact today?
#TheSassyVoice #LifeLessons #CircleOfInfluence #BeDifferent #40DaysTil40 #40Letters40Days

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

some days, extra grace is required

Last Thursday, I posted on Facebook an "EGR Post".  Today, I want to explain my request for prayers so you can get a little bit of information about what has happening behind the scenes when I asked for prayer, and to help share a part of my life and the things I face daily in my business and things I have dealt with in my career for the last 20 Years. It will be a little long, I ask you to read it and reflect on your own life situations.
Last Thursday, I had a meeting with client that I have worked with for 5 Years, to discuss some issues with all appropriate parties with the goal to make our working situation better and for us to have a year without some of the stresses I continue to have to deal with. My clients response to these requests were twofold: One, could I please be a little more like Jesus and give grace? Two, that I am very difficult to work with because I am so stressed and don't make jokes. Three, they are paying me so it doesn't matter what I have to do when I am there, I am paid regardless.
This client is right, I am frequently stressed, and honestly, nearly always stressed when I work with them. Should I let my Clients actions keep me in a state of frustration, stress or anxiety on any level? No. Do I? Sometimes, more often then I wish, yes I do. Am I trying to change and be different? Yes. I am. I work with my Coaches and Mentors and read books on how to live through challenges and not let them take me down and out or affect my day. Do I never make jokes? No, I do, but being a High D on a DISC Profile Test, this isn't my strength or my focus. When I am in a work mode, I am very focused and driven. My employees will tell you: There is no fluff about Misty, she is black and white, all work. Would I be more fun if I wasn't stressed? Yes, we all are. There isn't one of us who is fun when we are stressed. I am not sure you can be stressed and fun at the same time, its two energies that would not co-exist well.
The truth is, I take my Clients situations to heart. I go all in and give my all in effort, time, energy, input, ideas, prayers and aim to give, above and beyond what my contract says I will do because I want to serve and help. I want them to have a thriving, successful, and business platforms that are abounding on all levels. I want them to have accurate data and to pass an IRS Audit without fail. I don't want them to have to face things my other clients have had to face. I want them to have a clear conscience when they go to sleep at night, knowing that they are doing the things they need to be doing to create the business and life that they want. I want them to live the principals they verbally tell me they agree to and with.
This year my word is simplicity and it is affecting everything I am putting my time and energy into. But no matter how much I work on me, there are some dynamics to my industry that are always stressful. Why?
Because the fact of the situation is this: This client, like others, maybe even you, are always trying to do things that do not follow IRS rules and regulations. Their goal is to spend money out of their business for personal reasons and yet claim it as a business expense. This is done to lower their tax liability and show less on a Profit & Loss Report. They blame Cash Flow as a reason they can't take a Salary, yet draw money out of their business whenever they want to on top of the personal expenses. [FYI: They are allowed to do Draws whenever they want to, this isn't illegal, however it is fraud to not take a paycheck and pay yourself what you would pay someone else to do your role]. They do not take a reasonable salary as the IRS says they need to do for someone in their role, which makes them owe significant taxes at Year End, and they have never set aside 25% of this for taxes and they are always frustrated every year when we file the previous years taxes. They get angry at me for this and yet they do not follow my recommendations year after year after year to avoid these consequences.
Is this my problem? No, it isn't. I've done my job to educate, instruct, teach and share the information. Do I make it my problem? I do. Do I cause myself stress, frustration, and difficulties for not letting my client simply reap what they sow and leaving it at that? Yes, I do. Does seeing this client live like this create peace? No, it creates stress. Do I need to just give it to Jesus? I do. I really do.
At this meeting, I asked to work with each others strengths. I asked to work with each others personality styles. I asked to plan ahead and have quarterly meetings like we have talked about for 5 Years. I asked to actually live within a budget that we discuss and try to create each January. I asked to have the list of items I leave each month provided for me when I come the next month. I asked to make changes to how we do things. I asked to be committed to following IRS rules and regulations. I asked to truly be Dave Ramsey fans like this client says they are. I asked to have mutual conversations more often to discuss issues and things that aren't working.
The result of this meeting is that my client walked out of the restaurant and left me and the assistant sitting there. And they never came back in. I was supposed to leave this meeting and go work in their office on last months accounting data.
Many of you think I have lots of courage. Many of you think I make communication look so easy. Many of you feel that my life is always so positive and that I never have to deal with negativity or drama. Many of you think I do not have fears. Many of you think lots of things...I am sharing with you today so you understand that I have my own situations to deal with and yet, my goal is to live what I encourage you to do.
I was shaking all over. I had to take 3 deep breaths to just try to gain composure. I had to say silent prayers and just think Jesus, Jesus, Jesus I need you. After the assistant and I wrapped up the meeting because it was clear we were not resuming, I left the table and went to the ladies room and cried. I went to my car and called a Prayer Warrior Friend and asked for them to pray with me right now, as my voice shook, my heart race and my mind dealt with fears, what if I lose this clients business and additional revenue? I asked Jesus to give me strength because I did not want to go to this clients office and work. I didn't want the stress nor did I want the drama. I felt my feelings and gave them space. I allowed myself to dread going to the office.
But I went anyways and kept my contract and commitment. I did my job even though my heart was not in it. I did what I knew Jesus wanted me to do. I went. I dropped my phone going into his office and shattered the camera screen. I posted to Facebook: 
EGR Day = extra grace required to make it through the day...I need you Jesus! Please bring a miracle. I have faith. I believe in your power.

I decided to release the tension from this meeting. I decided to focus on what was the next best thing I could do. I decided to not let the uncertainty of the moment stop me from being true to me, true to truth, true to the laws of the land. I decided to let my God work this problem out. I know he will!!! And for now, I still wait while He works behind the scenes to make this problem a spec in my journey.
Thank YOU for being my Friend. Thank YOU for praying for me on this day and for this situation. Thank YOU for letting me share my life with you. Thank YOU for believing in me when I am frustrated, stressed, and upset. Thank YOU for helping me grow through another layer of my own personal stuff. Thank YOU for loving me for who I am and not forcing me to be someone I am not. Thank YOU Jesus for being my strength.
#TheLifeOfMisty #EntrepreneurshipRocks #LifeChallenges #DontQuit#DoTheRightThing

Monday, January 9, 2017

I would have lost heart...again...

I would have lost heart...when my parents told me I was never welcome back in their home...unless I believed that I could have a better life for myself, one full of love, peace, harmony, joy, and happiness - the abundant life that God has given me, and to walk away after 20 years of abuse wasn't wrong.

I would have lost heart...when I shared how to have gratitude in the moment through painful experiences on a VLOG in November 2016 [something I truly believe in and live every single day], yet it offended one of my examples, though they never listened to the video and simply took the words of someone else that I was "talking about them", got offended and cut me out of their life completely and haven't made any effort to resolve this in the last 2 months [and yes, I have reached out multiple times]...unless I believed that real authentic loving relationships will talk through all conflict, will desire to be kind even when hurt, will work through the pain and restore healing, will be willing to love in the method and manner they wish to be loved, and when they can't or don't respond right - they will still be willing to forgive and try again because this is what God asks of us.

I would have lost heart...when I spent money I shouldn't have spent, bought things I didn't need, put my hope in things instead of relationships because of the emotional pain they caused me, made things a status of success because I was taught this was important, and ended up with $26k in Credit Card debt...unless I believed that I could do the hard work to change and become debt free with discipline and a budget.

I would have lost heart...when a girlfriend didn't agree with my method of dating, felt I was in the wrong relationship, believed I was making bad choices...unless I believed that God would guide me and direct me on how to walk my own path with the input of many individuals, not just the opinion of one person trying to make me live life her way.

I would have lost heart...when I was told by a Girlfriend [who had never met my Mother and only knew her through the things I had shared] that I was just like my Mother...unless I new the truth about myself, believed that I had the power to be different through learning from others, studying relationships, choosing to keep the good things and letting go of the bad, praying for direction, practicing different ways of living, remembering the things I didn't like and choosing to be different.

I would have lost heart...when clients went weeks and months not making payments for services I rendered...unless I learned the lesson that as along as I accepted that behavior and didn't talk through and create new boundaries and stick to the terms in my contract that there was a late fee if they didn't pay in 10 days, I would continue to have to accept being treated this way.

I would have lost heart...when life got messy, ugly things happened, hurtful things were said, chaos unraveled, people walked out of my life, finances got tight, health issues continued, many nights I couldn't sleep, and life consumed my heart and mind.

...unless.

Unless, I looked to Jesus!

Unless I asked Jesus:
- to help me through the dark moments
- to take my anxiety
- to bare my troubles on His shoulders
- to give me grace
- to help me sort through my pain, my hurt, my confusion
- to renew my lack of hope
- to help me see the good in these situations and to grow from it
- to lift my depression
- to resolve my frustration
- to give me clarity and wisdom to know how to fix my mistakes
- to show me how to love deeper, more fully, and openly when that was the last thing that seemed possible in these things...

Yesssssss...because of Jesus...

...I would have despaired and lost heart, unless I had not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord! ~ Psalm 27:13 AMP
#TheSassyVoice #DontQuit #KeepTheFaith #GodsPlan #HaveFaith#Believe

Saturday, January 7, 2017

patience pays off

Sometimes we have to have extended patience. Like mega doses!!! Even when we think we have given something enough time to be resolved, we have to give it more, lots more. Sometimes we have to simply not give up and just keep being kind and fighting for something we know we deserve. Long after we want to quit. Long after we are extremely done with the whole deal. Sometimes we have to try a different route when the previous one isn't working.
You may or may not remember a post I did in August 2016 sharing with you the hassles I had been having with the Honda Dealership here in Burleson on my 2013 Honda Civic purchased March 2013, [yes, rapidly approaching 4 Years], over Prepaid Maintenance issues. The deal is simple: I paid for Prepaid Maintenance when I bought the car that was to last for 6 Years / 80k. Yet, every single time I went in, without fail, I was charged for Oil Changes, Filters, balance and rotation of tires, and stuff that I should not have been paying for! I would explain that I didn't owe this. I was told they didn't see this in the system. I would show them the "alert note" they put in their database that they had given me a copy of from a previous visit when they told me this would fix it. I was told that this department didn't have access to it or the service adviser forgot to check that or some other lame excuse. I would bring my 2013 Honda Civic File with me each and every appointment because I knew I was going to have to argue and prove my point. This is the only thing I could do to ensure that I would walk out with not owing a thing, after arguing about it, as long as I had my paperwork with me. If I forgot the paperwork, then I had to pay, then I had to submit paperwork to get a refund, which took weeks. There were times they said this or that wasn't covered and I would have to pay when I shouldn't, simply because I had argued all I could with the fine print and it was time to just walk away.
Believe me. This was exhausting. I was frustrated. I knew I could go to another Honda Dealership, because the Prepaid Maintenance goes to any Honda Dealership, but until my Prepaid Maintenance plan was loaded in the Honda Dealership system correctly, going somewhere else would not solve the problem.
I tried asking who I could talk to and attempt to go up the chain of command, not just talk to each and every service adviser each visit. I would attempt to ask who could help resolve this issue once and for all so that the next time I came I didn't have to fight and argue and bring my folder with all the details on my car with me, to prove I didn't owe anything. I talked to the gal that always texts me after each and every session, wanting to know if I had received excellent service and if there was anything else she could do for me, always asking and reminding me that if I got a survey in the mail that they would like it if I would please give them 5 stars. I let her know I wanted a survey and I hoped I got one because it would not be 5 stars and I would be glad to share. She then would ask details and I sent them along with screen shots and information. She always promised to get my concern and issue to the right department and that she would have someone call me. I never got emails or calls to follow up on this.
I finally reached my limit last August and I mailed 6 letters out to various individuals at the dealership, including my the guy who sold me the car who has become a great friend of mine, and to Honda Corporate Offices. I left negative reviews on every site online I could along with posting comments on social media and tagging their dealership and Honda in the posts. This got me call backs and some action, even from corporate, but not resolution.
I emailed the General Manager directly in August and he said he never got my letter. I scanned it in and sent it over to him along with copies of all the text messages between me and their Text Media Gal. I offered to do Customer Service Training for free to help them and their team, sighting other reasons things are amiss. I asked for compensation beyond just fixing the issue because it had gone on so long! I asked if we could have a meeting.
I am here to tell you that I got ALL that today. After 2.5 hours of waiting, and 1 hour of talking, we have come to an agreement and they have agreed my request for Prepaid Maintenance for life on my car is fair, on top of refunds for what I paid for that I should not have paid at the time of service. They admitted that they dropped the ball and they did not follow through, even after their last phone conversation with me in August when they told me that they would get back with me with a resolution and have this fixed.
Would you have fought 3 Years and 10 Months on something like this? Would you have kept trying to work it out despite the hassles and fighting and frustration?
Yes, sometimes my determination annoys people, but sometimes you have to just stay at it!
In the end, they thanked me for being kind, honest, patient, being reasonable, fighting fair and giving them a chance. The general manager gave me a big bear hug in the end. Some people might feel to fight like this is wrong, some people might have gotten ugly and made a scene, some people might have just taken their business elsewhere and cut their losses. I get it. The cost to me was too great.
#Patience #LifeIsAFight #StayFocused #HondaCivic #CustomerServiceFail#BeDifferent

will you give 2017 a clean slate?

I am choosing to walk into 2017 in simplicity, with peace, a clear heart and mind:
If you owe me for something, don't worry about repaying it, it is a Gift to You. I want to let you have it and keep it. No strings attached. And yes, you are welcome! Walk in Freedom.
If you wronged me, I have accepted it and am letting it do it's perfect work in me. God has used it as a lesson for me. I may not have learned it all, but it's part of my journey and He will make it all good. I trust that I will understand each lesson as I am supposed to.
If you're angry with me, you've won. But I'm truly sorry you are keeping this anger from creating a deeper connection between us.
If your harboring any type of ill feelings against me, you've succeeded at keeping them close in your heart and mind by not sharing it with me to make amends. I'd love for you to get this off your chest so we can begin anew.
If we aren't speaking and you don't want to hear from me, know this is your choice. But I will still love you.
If you feel I wronged you, please accept my "I am so very sorry." ... "I apologize." ... "I Love You." I want to restore and fix it, if you will let me listen and hear your side, I want to. It's never my heart to leave things in a bad shape or to hurt you. I most definitely can't fix something you do not give me a chance to resolve. Nor can I force you to see my side or share my perspective. But I would pray that you'd at least be willing to at minimum.
No mater what, life is way too freaking short for all the pent up feelings of holding of grudges, guilt, shame, anger, hurt, and staying in bondage!
I want more for you!!! I truly do love you and I want you to settle for MORE in your journey...I hope that we can do it together by starting 2017 with more peace, love and freedom!!!
Will you join me in spreading more love, creating a positive view, and freeing each other with a clean slate???

Friday, January 6, 2017

do you believe your comments don't matter?

I was at a function this past week and having a conversation with some individuals regarding my Social Media Break between Christmas and New Years and the reasons behind this.  As the group of us were discussing what people share on Facebook, how some use it to create relationships, why some people love Facebook, we particularly spent time talking about the objective of commenting or not commenting, one of the individuals said:  "I refuse to comment any more because in the end, my opinion doesn't matter and they do not want to hear what I have to say."

To be honest, I found this mental framework about relationships and communication disheartening.  I personally believe that comments online and offline do matter.  Even if you do not "feel" that the person wants to hear what you have to say.  Not just because Words of Affirmation is one of The Five Love Languages, but also because we are instructed to Encourage One Another and Build Each Other Up. [quote from Ephesians 5:11]  

Dialogue is how we create connection.  Asking questions is how we get to know someone.  Sharing our thoughts is how we get other perspectives.  Sharing ideas is how we can brainstorm. Sharing encouragement in word format allows someone to hear things that their heart needs.  Sharing a comment lets the other person know we heard them.

If I do not comment, I am not giving to the relationship.  If I do not comment, I am not allowing other perspectives to be shared.  If I do not comment, I am not adding ideas to someones world to be brainstormed about.  If I do not comment, I can't encourage someone.  If I do not comment, I can't let the other person know I heard them.

Yes, sometimes we will comment and the things we say will come out the wrong way, intentionally or unintentionally.  Our perspective won't be understood or appreciated.  Our ideas won't be received or accepted.  Our encouragement won't be seen as such.  And yes, we indeed may offend someone, deeply offend. 

Should I let the possibility of not feeding the relationship the way I want to in my heart stop me from communication?  Should I let the chance that everything goes the wrong direction from my communication stop me from commenting?

Not if I am focused on trying to create a connection, I won't let it.

This isn't heaven and even God isn't expecting me to be perfect.  I will say something that creates a ripple effect of both good and bad feelings. This is life.  This is part of the process of learning, growing and understanding each other.

Today I want to ask:  What if we did more to comment instead of just scroll through and like here and there on Facebook?  What if we did more to create a connection and relationship?  What if we just didn't create news or noise but actually had dialogue?  What if we dropped the fear on what people will think of our comments?  What if we truly engaged and created the relationships we all desire?

I want to be intentional in connecting.  I want to comment as often as I can.  I want my relationships to matter.  And because of that, I believe my comments matter.
#RelationshipsMatter #ThePowerOfChoice #BeDifferent #ADifferentPerspective