Mass Exodus or Something Like It…

imageOkay, maybe not a mass exodus, but you could be losing some of your most valuable assets- vested, talented and productive workers. Do your employees emanate talent? Do they exude creativity and productivity? Do your employees bring a well-rounded and robust skill set to your organization? Have you recognized it or, are you limiting them? Do you promote your best workers? Do you reward them? Do you take their ideas into consideration and implement them? If you answered “no” to these questions, you might see a mass exodus of highly-skilled, vested employees. Why, you ask? Because you don’t know your talent pool and unfortunately,  you may not care about the talent because they are all replaceable, expendable, right?

So often the reason that good employees leave great companies is because they do not feel valued or appreciated. Yes, we’ve heard that before. We hear it all the time, right? Have you ever asked how so many people at the same point can say the same thing? Is it that they are in cahoots and they are retaliating in some plot to tarnish your reputation and reviews? Probably not likely, but on the other hand, who knows. What I know is this, companies are always looking for great talent, but rarely look inside for the talent that is already in place and vested in your company and culture.

Employers often fail to recognize and harness the vested talent pool. The reality of this is that employees likely feel limited, but they may not be able to voice, constructively, their concerns. Too many talented employees are being overlooked for growth, promotion, raises and all around opportunities. It’s like when a service provider offers all the bells and whistles to new customers but not to existing customers. Existing customers feel slighted and, well, angry-undervalued and unappreciated. This is why they switch providers.

So, chances are, if you’re not willing to take a chance on your employees, someone else is willing to take a chance with your employees. Cut out the cliques and good-old-boy systems. The perspective will never change if the mindset doesn’t. Take time to find out what your employees offer and bring to the table. Find out their background and education. An ode to The Notorious BIG, ask “what your interests are, who you be with, things that make you smile, what numbers to dial.” That was just for fun, but still impactful. Find out about their interests and develop them. It’ll probably help you cut some costs and resources, while saving you time and effort of hiring new, external employees to fill roles.

Ask yourself the next time you post a requisition externally, can someone within my organization fill this role? Chances are, even you will be surprised at the talent pool at your disposal any given day. Moreover, you’ll give an employee hope, which naturally gives others hope. This just might slow up the mass exodus, or something like it…


From the Trainer Girl: Drive-thru Experience

Just like customers who visit the drive-thru, e-commerce customers call, chat or email when they need something. They expect the same thoughtfulness that we expect at the drive-thru. Reflect for a moment. We often take for granted as consumers, the training, development and conditioning infused into the end-result, the customer experience.

Here are some of the many elements that I know will make the customer experience a great one! Feel free to use some of my suggestions, but please give credit. 

Just as we have expectations in the drive-thru, so do customers, when they contact customer service. They want us (customer service) to assume their needs. Customers often want much more information than what they are asking, so we must interpret the queries and respond accordingly. One compelling aspect of customer service is, knowing the customer!  Customers want us to anticipate their questions and likewise, provide accurate and thorough answers while setting clear expectations.

Putting the service back in Customer Service!

Consider the customer who calls to “Check the status of an order”. Here is what he or she is really asking is…

o Has my order shipped?
o Who is going to deliver my order?
o When can I expect to receive my order?
o Is there a tracking number that I can use to check the progress of my package?

Consider the customer who calls to “Check the status of a refund”. Here is what he or she is really asking…

o Have you received my merchandise return?
o When did you receive it?
o Were there any issues with the contents?
o How long will it take for you to process my refund?
o How much is my refund?
o How will you issue my refund?

Consider the customer, who has questions about products. This customer wants to buy, and buy now! What he or she really wants is for you to…

o Answer all questions.

o Make appropriate suggestions.

o Offer to place the order!

o You can upsell by offering the customer to purchase additional items.

o You can cross-sell, by offering the customer to purchase items that are relative to product, or that will enhance the use of the product.
o For email, you can use the same technique as you would for calls, but invite the customer to call in or visit the website to place the order.

As always, customize your responses!

o For chat, you can use the same technique as you would for calls. Acknowledge that the customer wants to purchase, and invite him or her to call in or visit the site.

As always, customize responses!

Consider some ways that you can incorporate these tips in your customer service department interactions, whether call, email or chat.


About Me!

Lori Vallot-Baskin is a Speaker, Mentor and Trainer. She is dedicated to impacting and inspiring others to identify and use their unique and God-given gifts and talents in the workplace and community, through her three-point strategy: Motivate. Educate. Empower.


Contact me:

Lori Vallot-Baskin
On Fire to Inspire
Motivate. Educate. Empower
Facebook: On Fire to Inspire
Twitter: @onfiretoinspire

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Fight?

Ronda Rousey is arguably the number one contender in the women’s category of mixed martial arts. She holds an Olympic medal in Judo, which was earned in 2008 at the Summer Olympics in Beijing. In her latest victory, it took only 34 seconds to defeat her opponent. That is pretty fast, would you not agree? With agility, strength and ferocity she pounds her competition using strategy and precision. She is hailed as a champion, highly regarded and highly respected. Her stamina in fighting reminds me of Jacob.

In service one Sunday, pastor preached on Genesis 32:24-31 “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.” Genesis‬ ‭32:24-31‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Remember, in all thy getting, get wisdom. In an earlier post, I wrote about inspiration for my work. Well, Sunday service, needless to say, inspired me to encourage you once again! Jacob is described as wrestling with the man. Now, I don’t know about you, but I know I have fought tirelessly and wrestled endlessly with many a situation. In fact, I am still wrestling to this day with some issues and I know I can’t be the only one. Some of us fight and wrestle with many aspects of this earthly struggle. Believe or not, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities. What we fight is not of this world, though it may appear to be.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”‭‭ Ephesians‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭KJV‬

What are you fighting for? Who are you fighting? Who is going to win? The good news is that even when you feel defeated or overwhelmed, there is One who steps in and fights your battles. There is a blessing in the battle! Jacob’s name was changed to Israel during his battle. What blessing is hidden in the midst of your battle?

Decree and declare defeat over the enemy, over that thing with which you wrestle. Walk boldly and in authority. You are the daughter of the King, fix your crown and come out the gates, praise blazing and blaring from your mouth! Tell trouble to take a backseat! Tell the struggle to sit down. The best battles to fight are the ones you know are already won. Thank You, Lord!

What’s your excuse again? Go! Fight! Win!

She Makes a Difference…

imageLet another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. Proverbs 27:2

She has fire in her soul and service in her heart. She is dauntless, courageous and bold. She is fearfully and wonderfully made. She makes a difference in the lives of others. #ShemakesaDifference

I introduce to some and present to others…Miss Kee Jones

A Family Woman, making a difference

I am a mother to three wonderful children. An 18 year old daughter, (Shay), who just recently graduated from High School in May and will be starting her second semester of College. I have two sons in Middle School, 13 year old (Chai/8th Grade) and an 11 year old, (Markell/6th Grade). I also have two very special Godchildren, 17 year old (Don’Trielle) and 3 year old (Trelon). I’m also Moma Pea to many other children.

Her children rise up and call her blessed Proverbs 31:28. I attend Harvest Time Tabernacle and love visiting other Churches.

Making a difference in the lives of others…

At one time my plate was full, tirelessly caring for two grandfathers, my mother, my children, and my own household all in the midst of helping others…NEVER complaining. That load has recently been lightened but I wouldn’t trade it for the world, for it’s ALWAYS better to give than receive!
I love volunteer coaching and doing ANYTHING involving the youth.

Making a difference, living for Christ-

For the past three Summers I have volunteered as a Huddle Leader with a Christian-based Camp founded by Bethel’s Place Church from Houston, Texas under the leadership of Pastor Walter August Sr. Being a Christ-like example year after year modeling Christ to the youth at this Camp helped strengthen my walk in Christ. I love it and will continue looking forward to attending and volunteering.

How you can help her make a difference!

I would love to see locally in our parish a Big Brother/Big Sister Program. Our youth are struggling tremendously with peer pressure, bullying and other issues, etc…They would benefit from an extra, outside ear from older peers who have gone down a rocky road and made a 360° in their lives. Others can support me by hearing me out and backing me up to the best of their abilities. We all know and can agree that our youth have a hard time opening up to immediate family…

The hardest battles are the unknown battles that people CAN NOT see!!!! United we Stand but Divided We Fall!


Women You Should Know, but Might Not

She has fire in her soul and service in her heart. She is dauntless, courageous and bold. She is fearfully and wonderfully made. She makes a difference in the lives of others. She makes a Difference. image

I introduce to some and present to others, Brandy Bill.

Hello, My name is Brandy Bill, I am a 36 year old wife of 14 years to the love of my life Frederick Bill. My husband is the backbone of our lives. He has taught me don’t sweat the small stuff and show me on a daily basis what unconditional love is. My husband and I are parents to 5 handsome boys (ages 13-21) and 1 beautiful daughter age 19. Motherhood is tough, but I am proud to have such amazing children.

God is the head of our lives, and without him, I do not know where my family and I would be. I have been through the storm and back, from having multiple hip surgeries and suffering with severe hip dysplasia, to becoming a mother two months after graduating high school. Through these trials and tribulations it was faith and God’s grace that brought me thus far. He brought me through obtaining two Associate degrees, graduating Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude; representing Lamar State College – Port Arthur as President and Vice-president of Student Government Association, and a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Beta Gamma honor societies.

I was called to Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church, Reverend Lloyd W. Scott Sr. of Port Arthur, Texas. I enjoy giving back to others by donating to Lifeshare Blood Center, and participating in Relay for Life fundraising walks. I also support non-profit organizations such as the Salvation Army and United Board of Missions.

The Lord has brought me from a mighty long way and I know that giving God complete control and absolute faith He will continue to see me through my life on Earth. If it were not for my mother, Shirley, I would not be the wife and mother I am today. She is my inspiration! For her, I am grateful that I can teach my children the true meaning of life, love and inspiring others. I am blessed and honored to share my testimony and be an inspiration to other women as my mother has been to me.

We will continue to highlight our women in a positive light. If you or someone you know has a positive and uplifting story to share that will encourage, inspire or motivate others, let us help with sharing your good news!

In my Heels, Eyes on the Hills


I love a beautiful pair of shoes and I’m sure you do too! We each wear a different shoe size but can all agree that we’ve experienced pain in our beautiful shoes, right? Some shoes just like life situations aren’t intended to be comfortable, though they may look good.

Many of us look good on the outside, but we are broken, hurting and in pain on the inside. I know you can relate! It reminds me of a beautiful pair of shoes I wanted dearly. They were unlike anything I had ever seen. The dilemma, you ask? The store did not have my size and you just know that they were on sale! So, I did what any woman in her right mind would do, I purchased the pair anyway. That’s right, I purchased these stunning shoes a half-size too small. These shoes were the perfect accessory for my wardrobe. I received many compliments, but I ached as I walked around campus. I could not wait to get home after class and take off my beautiful, yet painful shoes. Much like my shoes, most often to find relief, we take off those shoes or we slip into something a little more comfortable or worse, we just tough it out, right?

In life, we tough it out because we can’t just change our circumstances like we do our shoes. Or, can we? Is it possible that something or someone could change our circumstances? Is it possible that the same something or someone is big enough to take on each of our issues, no matter the complexity? You know where I’m headed with this one, right?

We bear our own burdens striding and smiling pretending we aren’t in pain, spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. We go about each day pretending that these shoes don’t hurt when we know and others know well, that they do. If I can detect a foot that hurts in a pair of shoes, how much more do you think He can detect an unbearable, internal pain?

Take a moment my sisters and reflect, re-size, re-adjust and repair. I know that there isn’t a one-size solution for all of our pain, but while you stand there in your heels, look toward the hills from whence comes your help and begin to heal. The next time you see a sister striding and smiling in a fine pair of pumps, she just might be healing in her heels. In her mind, she just may be reciting…

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭121:1-2‬ ‭KJV‬‬

As she heals, she walks in authority, headed to her destiny!

Because inquiring minds want to know, I’m a size 8 now, but back then, I wore 7.5, and yes, I purchased and wore that size 7 out!

She is an Extension of Me

Sometimes as a mother, you may wonder if you’re getting through to her. You wonder if she’s learning anything from your teachings. Whether you want to be or not, you are her first role model. What are you teaching her? Does she value a lesson or, are you met with disrespect and disdain. Is she learning in school and at home? Does she value lessons on being domesticated?

It’s a little known fact that moms and daughters may not always see eye to eye. Most who are blessed to have their fathers around, are true daddy’s girls. My daughter and I share a special bond. She is my first born and her birthday is the day before mine!  Although I do not put much stock into zodiac signs, every description I have ever read about Leo’s has been so accurate. With that said, my daughter is a mini me on steroids. She is as sweet and loving as she is strong-willed and sassy. I now see in her what so many have used to describe me over the years.

The point is, as mothers, we have the ability whether directly or indirectly, to shape the course of our daughters lives. They watch what we do and listen to what we say. They imitate and emulate us. We are their first sign of womanhood. I think it’s important to, while being a mother, develop a relationship, not friendship with our daughters. They need to what we know. Mothers should exercise caution in when at what age to reveal various lessons.

Because you have once been in your daughter’s shoes, this will be easy for you to understand, adopt and apply. She will more than likely show some rebellion perhaps some retaliation, but secretly and slowly, she will begin to appreciate you and your teachings. Here are some things mothers should teach their daughters.

Teach them to seek and to love the Lord. When she seeks the Lord, all things will be added unto her. He loves her so much.

Love the Lord: Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Teach her to seek God in all that she does that He will guide her and give her the desires of her heart.

Seek the Lord: Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Teach them to value themselves. Each young girl should know her worth. She, like wisdom is far more precious than jewels.

Proverbs 3:15
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Young girls should also be taught to value education and to have a the robust appreciation of the arts and cultural diversity. In my profession, I encounter many young women who lack a sense of etiquette, culture and diversity. Many have an engrained sense of self-hate and stereotypical behavior. This is an unfortunate perpetuation of our culture.
So we must arm our young women with an arsenal of resources to allow them to compete successfully, domestically and globally, individually and collectively.

Proverbs 3:13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,

Teach her to be confident and to be a leader but also teach her life skills. Instead of showing her to curse, twerk or worse, teach her etiquette. If you don’t know yourself, read on it, take class, so that your daughter will have silks to leverage on any playing field.

But You Don’t Have to Struggle

image When I assign my son a task, a few seconds into it, he says: “you do it mommy, it’s too hard!” As a mother, I turn away for a quick laugh and then I return to parenting to get him to complete the task. I reward him for a good job, for enduring the cumbersome task. Although it is a bit of a struggle, that’s not the type of struggle I’ll be discussing in this piece. We will not be discussing what most of us consider “the struggle” as related to finances or “the struggle” we face as a collective, ethnic group. We will, however, explore the struggle we encounter with letting go and letting God. As I was preparing this piece, I thought about my son and his little tirade of disdain for completing his chores.  I thought if we just had that mentality with God regarding our struggles, plights and battles we would actually be living in obedience. Believe it or not, God is big enough to handle our biggest challenges. He just wants us to let go of the reins, let go of the situation and let Him handle it. I found myself jokingly saying, “You do it God, it’s too hard!” but that’s all He really wants… Although I said it jokingly, something in me let go. He then had full autonomy, control and dominion over my life. I stepped out on faith and I did not look back. I did not let the double-minded (“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”‭‭James‬ ‭1:8)‬ ‭unstable nature of man to pull me back. I never said it would be easy, even “Mary Mary” knows that the road isn’t easy, but they also know that He has not brought us this far to leave us. Think about that thing that is vexing you, your giant, or mountain and just let go and ask God to do it! Let go of it, relinquish your stronghold and, let God. If you find yourself in a struggle with letting go, ask yourself, why is it so hard to let go? Why are we so reluctant to just let God? Let go and let God in every aspect of your lives! Let’s take a look at what the Word says about letting God.

In Battle: He said He would fight my battles and though the weapons would form, they wouldn’t prosper. “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭54:17‬. He clearly states, “for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:15‬ ‭

Dealing with Enemies: The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. Deuteronomy 28:7

In supplying our Needs: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭

In giving us the Desires of our Hearts: “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalms‬ ‭37:4‬. He even tells us, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬

In Guidance: “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” ‭Proverbs‬ ‭16:3‬ ‭KJV‬‬

If you love God, let Him, today. It is not easy, but try with something small. Let go of the worry and stress and find peace in letting God handle it. Just let go and say, “You do it God, it’s too hard!” He’s waiting…


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Something is Bound to Blossom


I’m sure my readers wonder how I come up with these topics. It’s simple, God gives me an idea and instructions on what and how I am to write. He might give me the title first or, He might give me the content. It’s really up to Him. At times I get frustrated especially when I have a really great title and then, He gives me no words, for a while, at least. I like to think of this as the seed. I’m sure you all can relate.

Think of a gardener. She carefully chooses and procures seeds to plant. She tills the ground. She adds fertilizer and water. She then, plants the seeds and nurtures the land until, the land yields reward and something blossoms. Now, I am by far no expert in gardening, but from my understanding, this just about sums it up. What a tedious process or even cumbersome process to have to wait and wait for the bud, the blossom. The joy, however is insurmountable.

This title stayed dormant for a couple of weeks at best. When He initially laid it on my heart, I was ready. I thought I had words and then, blah. Who am I kidding, I tried to write on my own again and not in His will. So, I had nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Then one day, just like that, I started writing this piece with zeal.

My writing process is much like the planting process of the gardener. “I’ve got a seed in the ground,” not literally but figuratively. Nonetheless, a seed. You see, when God gives me a subject, a title or content and not the other components, He is simply preparing me for something that is bound to blossom. He allows me to see and hear or even read things that will inspire me to create a hearty and healthy read. He uses me to create and deliver what He wants readers to read.

As I grow spiritually, I am learning to seek God’s word. I have learned one commonality and that is with what He inspires me to write, it contains His word. He leads me to lead you to read His word and to root it deep within your hearts.

What seeds are you attending to? Do you have a seed in the ground? Is His word rooted deep within your heart?

“But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:20-23‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Is His word rooted deep within your heart? If so, chances are, something is bound to blossom…

Woman. Warrior. Witness.

imageWe ladies prepare for the day by applying our makeup, fragrance and clothing. We contour our faces to perfection, enhancing our God-given beauty. We spray a fine mist of fragrance over our bodies and we adorn our frames with the right attire to complement our bold, beautiful and bountiful curves. We take care to choose a shoe that speaks so that we do not have to. Our accessories are exquisite, leaving admirers and onlookers stunned. We spend hours on end achieving a flawless look, right? Imagine if we put this much effort into preparation for every aspect of lives.

Now that I have your attention, hello beautiful! Yes, you! Woman, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Woman, you are more than a conqueror. Being fearfully and wonderfully made and being more than a conqueror, comes with some responsibility as you might imagine. For instance, you must overcome forgetfulness. Unlike your lip gloss or your mobile phone, your clutch, sweater or planner, there are some things that you just simply must not leave home without. We all do it, in a hurry, rush or dash for the door, we realize we’ve left something important at home.

If you knew you were going into battle, wouldn’t you want the necessary tools and resources for the event? Well, there is a war going on and we, as warriors, must be equipped for battle at all times. You see, the media outlets will not show coverage of this war. You must simply be prepared for your time to battle should you be called. After all, we are revered for our strength, courage and endurance. If you are up to the task

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, Ephesians 6:14-17

My prayer for you, my sisters, is that you face each day boldly, that you are equipped and clothed for battle. May God bless the women warriors who stand as living witnesses attesting to the might, power and strength of our God. I pray that God clothes you with beauty, strength and dignity and that you are always ready to conquer the day no matter the war or how formidable the opponent in your way.

I am a woman. I am a warrior. I am a witness.