The Most Important Consideration in a Home Office

 

What should you consider when building a home office? I posted a whole list of them when I started my home office project a couple weeks ago, but I think I missed the most important. I guess I didn’t realize it till now:

The most important consideration in a home office is MOOD.

Yep, the mood. It has to deal with atmosphere. I need to get things done, and the old office solutions just weren’t cutting it. The walls weren’t soundproof, the kids would run through the office to get to the garage, my feet would get cold in the winter and I’d sweat in the summer…

Enough complaining, because my new office is close to being finished. I spent good money on three things that contributed significantly to the mood I was trying to create. These were:

  1. Pine tongue-n-groove walls. Drywalling would have taken 1/5 the time at 1/10 the cost, but I love working in a cabin-like atmosphere.
  2. Picturesque window. I had a window already. It was old, but it would have done fine. I bought a new one and the view lights up my room.
  3. Carpet. This is being installed next week. For all practical purposes I’d put in wood flooring. But I want carpet for the mood.

I’m still about a week or two out from completion, but I have my desk moved in. Work (the kind that makes me and my family money) has been neglected lately. Still on the to-finish list: (1) as mentioned, the carpet, (2) lighting, (3) bookshelf, (4) some more trim, and (5) closet shelving. For now, enjoy these pics – and let me know what you think by posting below.

The Idea of Upward Mobility to Combat Poverty

Here’s the idea: Everyone should be able to rise out of poverty. “Upward mobility” is an American ideal, ensuring that everyone has the equal opportunity to “pursue happiness.”

Paul Ryan’s speech above was on the campaign trail, but it is still worth watching. He didn’t just take on the last four years. He took on the last five decades. The political vision Paul laid out in this speech won’t be embraced by the winning administration, but it is a vision that should be embraced by everyone who desires to exit poverty and find the “happiness” of the American dream.

This takes some bold thinking. Or, rather, re-thinking. Specifically on how government “helps” the poor. If you are poor – perhaps on government assistance for the time being – I have a logical argument to make for you. Follow this progression and embrace the new way of thinking, and chances are you won’t be poor for long.

Beyond Competition

The nonprofit I run (Training Minds) is mostly about training young people for academic speech and debate competition. We’re doing it right, year-in and year-out the results speak for themselves. Our students end up national champions and the top of their game. My coaches and I are very proud of our status.

I love it when my students win, but what they do beyond competition is what really interests me.

But the purpose of the organization is not in the success of competition. It lies after competition, the action taken that utilizes the skills of speech and debate. While we relish our success and 1st place trophies, we are much more pleased with young adults who tackle their passions and change the world for the better.

The organization’s motto is “train the mind for action,” a reference to the first book of Peter in the Bible. To the apostle Peter, training the mind was a non-negotiable. Simple belief in God wasn’t enough; Christ followers needed to be thinkers and speakers in a culture that needed persuading. Action needed to be taken, just as action needs to be taken today.

There are five intentional “action” steps that lead to the action Peter was talking about. Take time to think about these steps in your life.

  1. Discover your passion. Are you doing what you love to do? Or are you just filling a job? Life goes by quickly. Choose to do what you love.
  2. Articulate your goal. Have you taken the time to map out your passion? Getting that down on paper – word for word – can be extremely helpful.
  3. Take your first steps. Just do it is a great motto. There is a time to “go to press” and get that action statement done. Even if they are baby steps, the first steps are crucially important.
  4. Hone your skills. Once you’re out the door, returning back to your hub and refining what you’re already doing is a constant sharping process.
  5. Expand. Business doesn’t stop growing. If it does, there is something wrong. There should always be ways to take your passion into other developments and markets.

Question: Which of these steps are you strongest or weakest?

We Are Going to Be Fine

My family and I are going to be fine. The election last night will not change my family’s beating heart. I have a brilliant wife and a house full of beautiful children that will plow through the toughest of situations. Four more years of the same is going to be tough to wade through, but the Jeubs will pull through, maybe even prosper.

On finances. Don’t worry about me and my 14 children. I will continue to earn my own way. I may be dangerously close to the poverty line, but I earn every single penny of my income. I love that, and I wish others – especially the poor in spirit – would know the joy of self-reliance and financial independence. Instead, the food lines will grow with the government dole. The great gifts that individuals have to offer society will be traded for welfare checks.

On business. Come to think of it, the demand for trained minds went up last night. My business and nonprofit will grow, maybe even prosper. My accountant let me know that I’ll be paying an additional $4,000 in 2013, but I’ll make up for it by charging more or cutting expenses elsewhere. Some of my more financially risky ideas will have to go. That’s business. My customers will suffer, and that is disappointing – for the both of us.

On generosity. I refuse to let go of generosity. I can’t help it. I love giving personally to those in need – both monetarily and otherwise. Government will continue to grow along with the so-called compassion of dependency. So in dollars-and-cents, my giving will pale in comparison to the massive federal government, but I will still find joy in generosity. That’s just what Wendy and I do.

On life. My family will continue to value life. We will welcome children and will grow our household with Love in the House. Supreme Court Justices will embolden pro-abortion law and keep the murder of innocents unrestricted and legal for at least another generation. My country will continue to value childlessness and lifelessness. Not in my family. The lives of our children – unborn included – will be protected.

Chris Jeub and his family will be fine. I am sad for others.

No Matter Who Wins Today

No matter who wins today, I’m moving on. I encourage you to come with me. I’ve got three no-lose ideas. If your candidate succeeds, I believe you can find hope in the future:

One way or another, our future has opportunity in it.

1. This is still the United States of America

Of course, if Mitt and Paul pull it off today, I’ll be very happy. The nation will move toward free market principles and support of self-reliance and entrepreneurialism. This will be good for everyone because it will build a strong economy that can support the needs of everyone. Both Republican and Democrat will prosper under their leadership.

3 Reasons I’m With Mitt

It happened. I had another powwow with Paul Ryan last night at a Romney/Ryan rally in Colorado. I can’t help it; please forgive me for appearing smitten. But I must tell you: it is the coolest thing to have a childhood friend as the potential #2 leader of the free world.

Here’s my dilemma: I’m a debater and and thinker. I’m not swayed easily and I certainly don’t “go with the flow” with popular thought or trends. For crying out loud, my entire life is evidence of that. If someone can be accused of being against popular sentiment, it’s me. So understand the significance of my heartfelt conviction:

Mitt Romney is the BEST man for the tremendous job of President of the United States.

Sure, my old friend PD Ryan has stood up for him, but I can earnestly say that he has persuaded me. I’m excited about a Mitt Romney election. I wasn’t all that excited before, but now I’m thrilled. I have been persuaded that Mitt Romney is the best person for the job.

Do you agree? Perhaps you’re bitter that the primaries didn’t go your direction. Or perhaps you are one of the millions of 2008 Obama voters who are a bit disillusioned with your vote, but still uncertain about the alternative.

Whatever your reasons, I have three that are weighing with me that I’d like to share with you. The three reasons I’m convinced Romney is the right choice for presidency are…

  1. Character. The opening words from Ann Romney are hanging with me: “If you really want to know how a person will operate [as President], look at how they live their life.” All attack ads and smear media aside, Mitt Romney comes through as a man who understands love of family and country.
  2. Business Sense. Mitt’s handling of the Olympics, his passion for turning companies around with Bain Capital, and his frugal accomplishments with the Massachusetts governorship are all examples of his exemplary executive sense. I believe him when he says he’s going to lead us into prosperity.
  3. Track Record. I believe Mitt when he says he’s going to lead us back to prosperity. Why? Because he’s done it many times before. There is not a puffed up image with Mitt Romney, or a catchy “hope & change” motto that props up his record (or lack thereof). No, Mitt has a long record of accomplishment and leadership, and that’s what we need in America right now.

So, I’m stumping for Mitt. Sure, my buddy Paul on the ticket is a huge plus for me, but I can honestly say that I’ve been persuaded. His running mate is the best man for the job of taking our country into the future.

Coming Opportunities to Judge Debate

I was Superintendent for the National Invitational Tournament of Champions in June, the largest since the community’s start in 1996. Six-hundred students, their families, 1100 judges, and nearly a hundred coordinators – all from across the country – came to Colorado Springs at Focus on the Family for the week of festivities. The picture above was taken right before the students went off to their first debate round for the day. Don’t they look sharp? These young people are awesome.

We need and want “community” judges who, like you, believe in young people.

The national tournament marks the end of the school year for competitors, but the next competitive calendar is starting up again soon. I find myself leading the first debate tournament for our state in Colorado, again held in Colorado Springs. I sent a letter out to the community judges in the area who may be interested in returning to judge at the tournament.

I’d like to share that letter with you. It’s a reminder of how awesome this community is:

How Serranos Uses Facebook to Build Community

I go to coffee at Serranos Coffee Company quite often, stick my earphones in, select some music on Pandora, and pound out some work while I sip down my 16 oz coffee. I’m not quite a regular like some of the retirees in town, but I am there at least once a week. Enough to keep an old punch card in my laptop case to rack up to a free coffee.

Something interesting happened this time when I was in line for my order. The man in front of me – perhaps in his 70s – told the lady behind the counter, “I noticed Joe Bohler’s art is back up!” The lady smiled and pulled a box of ping pong balls from behind the counter. He chose one, read the bottom, and got a free Biscotti to enjoy with his coffee. He and the lady laughed at the little “secret code” game they just played.

I thought, “Must be a Facebook thing.” Guess what I did on the spot while waiting? I was tapping in the Serranos Facebook page on my phone to get the code right. I ordered my 16 oz light roast and read from my phone, “I noticed Joe Bohler’s art is back up!” The ping pong balls were given to me to choose from. I got an oatmeal cookie.

My, how enjoyable the exchange. Such a fun and easy transaction. I notice five very wise uses of social media in this little game at Serranos:

It’s the Lying That Bothers Me Most

The Presidential Debates were totally my thing. You know debate is the center of my Training Minds organization, and having my coaches and a bunch of debate families follow our conversation was incredibly cool. However, the debates exposed a very troubling thing about this year’s election:

There were several lies exposed in the debates, and they should weigh in your decision next week.

We are being lied to, and we should not appreciate it.

This is different than other elections. I mean, there is “spin” or “stretching the truth,” and I’m apt to allow certain perspectives on questionable situations. But some of the whoppers the debates exposed (some still being exposed just four days before the vote) are worth repeating here. If this helps in making your decision on who you will vote for, consider it good!

Teenagers Are Awesome

I stayed up late last night for a midweek party at our house. It has become a tradition in our home among the teenagers to throw a dance party on October 31, and last night about 30 teenagers were dancing the night away in our living room. The “Jeub Pumpkin Dance” included:

  • Music and dancing
  • Pies, caramel popcorn
  • Candy exchange
  • Trick-or-treating in the house (I’ll explain that below)
  • Pumpkin carving contest

Many of the teenagers were students of the speech and debate organization I run (Training Minds). They have such energy and excitement for life, I often wonder why teenagers have an awkward reputation among adults. You know this is true: how often do you hear adults sigh about their teenagers? Or older parents warn younger parents, “Oh boy, just wait till they’re teenagers,” and they roll their eyes. The impression is that adolescents are not good people.

Hogwash. Teenagers are awesome. They’re our future, and I’m confident that the future will be bright. I work with youth in my profession, and I’ve come up with this hypothesis: