Life's a Trip
Musings and rants about this journey we call life

October 2016
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Our Latest Project
Filed under: Web Applications
Posted by: Christy Bailey @ 10:02 am

Over the past several months, Mike and I have been busy collaborating on our new web application.  We decided to create a Facilities Assessment & Maintenance program, simply because this is in line with the needs of several of our existing clients.  We are excited to announce that we will have a working sample of the application up and running very soon!

This application will allow users to track any maintenance needs for one or multiple facilities, including location of the repair issue, department, priority, source (who reported or found the problem), potential cost, and projected repair date.  The application will even calculate anticipated inflation to project future maintenance and repair costs.

We will be posting sample pages in the coming weeks, but in the meantime we are very interested in your feedback.  Is this an application that would be beneficial to you?  What features would be great to include?  We would love to hear your thoughts!

Stay tuned!

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WBEA - Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance
Filed under: OTDS Venture, Business Ramblings
Posted by: Christy Bailey @ 1:05 pm

I have spoken in previous posts about the fact that in July 2012 my main (and only at the time) project came to a complete halt overnight.  I gathered my team and told them that we all just became the marketing department.  We read marketing books, started a blog, created a newsletter, and just tried things out in order to solicit more work.  One of the things that I “tried out” at the time was involvement in the WBEA, which has since become a real blessing in my life, both business-wise and personally.

The WBEA is the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance, a third-party certifying organization for women-owned businesses.  This certification proves to be a very beneficial certification to have, since many businesses, and most government agencies and corporations, require a certain percentage of purchasing to take place with HUBs (historically underutilized businesses).  I became certified five years ago at the request of my main client, specifically because of this requirement.  However, WBEA is a fabulous organization that offers so much more than certification, including training, networking opportunities, mentoring programs, scholarships, and much more. 

A couple of days after my client asked me to stop working on the project last year, I received an invitation to a networking luncheon put on by WBEA. I figured I didn’t have anything else to do, and so I attended the luncheon.  I was totally out of my comfort zone, but I did it!  While there I attended a “New Members Orientation” (even though I wasn’t new to to organization, I figured I was new to involvement).  There I learned that to really benefit from WBEA, it was best to become more involved - attending events, taking part in the opportunities provided, and volunteering.  So I took the opportunity to join a mentoring program that was being offered, and met Jane and Matt Henry with Xcution (who are wonderful!).  They helped me to know what events and functions offered by the WBEA would be right for me, and what offerings would not be worth my while.  At their suggestion, I joined the Membership Committee, and met many other wonderful folks.  I also volunteered to help with the EXPO in May, and even attended the Golf Tournament in October (though only the clinic - I didn’t figure I was quite ready for the golf course yet!).

All along the road, WBEA has been a blessing.  Though I have not (yet!) acquired any actual business through my involvement, I have learned a great deal, met some wonderful people, and gotten lots of great leads.  The new president, April Day, is truly outstanding and is a great fit as she truly embodies the spirit of the organization.  WBEA is on the cusp of some wonderful changes, and I am truly honored and excited to be a part of this great organization!

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I Don’t Believe in Coincidence. . .
Filed under: OTDS Venture, Business Ramblings, Literary Expeditions, The Walk, Web Applications
Posted by: Christy Bailey @ 2:59 pm

So. . . last week I spoke of a potential project (a large data-based web application) that I had the opportunity to bid on, and my process for determining what I should do.  I had emailed the client letting them know that we did not possess all the qualifications that they were looking for, but that we would certainly love the opportunity to do the project for them.  They emailed me back thanking me for my honesty and advising that while they would certainly give my proposal equal consideration, they would likely select a candidate with more hands on experience.  So, I gladly took that as my answer, and spent the last week working on my other deadline.

But. . . God was not finished with the subject yet.  Months ago, when work was slow, He prompted me to begin a new venture with On The Dot Solutions, which was to begin offering subscription-based online database web applications for our clients.  Many of our clients would love to have data solutions available on the web, however it is cost prohibitive for them to hire us (or any other company) to create a custom application.  The idea was to create web-based applications that would be available on a subscription basis so that it would be feasible for even small businesses to utilize it.  We were going to begin with a simple client database that was free - just to give back to our clients and provide them with an opportunity to experience what such a web application would look like.  Well,  I soon discovered that it was a huge project to bite off by myself, and so the idea was pushed to the back burner.

However, this week I was listening to my current audio book, “Think and Grow Rich”, and the author was speaking about how, when you have an idea, you must be persistent and never give up when implementing it.  I was reminded of the idea for the subscription based web applications, and how I had so easily given up on it.  The author also mentioned that part of succeeding is knowing when to call in an expert.  Well, I now have an “expert” in web application development on my team - my new web developer Mike Arnold.  I am completely struck by that connection and very much feel that God is prompting me to pick that idea back up.

On that very same day, my web developer emailed me suggesting that we develop a couple of web applications so we can build our resume - which would totally fits with what I was already thinking!  I consider this no “coincidence” - rather I believe God is reminding me of the idea He gave me months ago, and telling me to proceed - to not give up until we have succeeded.  So, as I mentioned back in March, we will be beginning the process of creating some online data solutions.  We would welcome your ideas and feedback, as we will be brainstorming the best place to start.  Please let us know what you would like and what would be helpful.  We love to hear from  you!

I can’t wait to share where God takes us next!

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Business Decisions – Made with Peace
Filed under: OTDS Venture, Business Ramblings, The Walk
Posted by: Christy Bailey @ 3:02 pm

Making decisions can be a grueling part of owning a business.  How to market, how to take care of administrative items, when to hire, who to hire, when to fire, what projects are worth going after; the list goes on and on.  Especially when you are a “one man show” (as I am) – it can be tough.  I sometimes feel as though I need to be an expert in nearly everything, rather than just in database management.  So when it comes to making decisions, it can be tough to know what to do.

Recently I received an opportunity to bid on a project that would be absolutely great to have on my resume, and I would truly love to do.  However, it is larger in scope than most of our projects, and whereas it does encompass services we offer, it is more complex than anything we have done in the past.  And, we don’t have all of the qualifications that the client is looking for.  However, it would be GREAT experience!  At the same time, we have a big deadline to complete within the same time frame that the proposal needs to be completed.  So, I have a decision – should I go for it, spending hours preparing a proposal while simultaneously completing my current deadline, or should I say “oh, well” and let it go?  Well – I don’t know yet, but I have complete and total peace about the decision.  Why?  Because I’m allowing God to guide me in what to do.  I’ve prayed about it, and asked God to show me what His will is for me in this.  And doing this brings such a great amount of peace to the decision making process.  I have emailed the potential client, told them honestly that some of our experience is less than what they are looking for, and asked them if it would be worth my while to continue with the proposal.  Depending on their answer, I may or may not go for this project.  But the cool thing is that I know that God has my best interests in mind, and I fully believe that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)  So I am in good spirits either way.  I believe that I am seeking His path, and if it includes this project, it will be “good”, and if it does not include this project, it will still be “good”.  Because God is good.

I will let you know how this turns out, but for now, I am peacefully waiting for the answer.  For even though I am a “one man show”, I’m not traveling solo.

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My Recommitment
Filed under: Business Ramblings, The Walk
Posted by: Christy Bailey @ 2:26 pm

There are advantages to being an analytical, mathematical, logical minded person.  For one, it allows me to do what I do - create great data solutions that enable companies to focus on what they do best.  But other times, that nature of my mind works against me.  One year ago (almost exactly) I created this blog, with every intention of sharing my thoughts.  I set it up with several very logical, well thought out categories, created one post in each “category”, and went on my merry little way.  And. . . I haven’t posted since.  I’ve been very “organized” - setting up reminders on my calendar, and creating a schedule for when I would blog.  But alas, I am a database designer at heart, rather than a writer at heart.  And reminders can be ignored!  Some wonderful database work came back, I got going on what I love, and I conveniently disregarded my computer nagging me to blog. . . 

The past year has been good to me.  As I mentioned, God has granted me work again, and I’ve been comfortably busy for most of 2012.  Praise God!  However, I have learned my lesson, and I know that I need to work to let people know that I am here.  That, although God certainly has the ability to drop work into my lap (and actually, that is exactly what has happened over the years), life is so much more rich when you reach out and form relationships with people. This world would be worthless without the people in it, and thus it is so much more beneficial to connect with individual human beings than to hole up in my office and pray for work.

One of the steps I have taken in that direction is to become much more involved in WBEA, the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance, which I have been a member of since 2007.  I have been richly blessed by the women (and men!) that I have met through this organization.  Recently, I met a wonderful couple named Megan and Trent Salch.  Megan, who owns “Tell Your Tale“, is helping me with my marketing.  So now, rather than having to navigate this craziness on my own, I have her wonderful expertise to help me determine what marketing moves will best communicate what I have to offer.  Again, Praise God!

Of course, one of her suggestions was that I blog weekly, with which I sheepishly agree.  So, I am again attempting to commit to sharing - once per week - what is going on with me and On The Dot Solutions.  I am not going to promise (because that could cause me to lie), but I am going to place this as a priority (and I’m not going to add 52 other weekly tasks at the same time - which is one mistake I made before).  So, no excuses for the past year - I can only change the future, but I am going to attempt to do just that!

I did put it on my calendar, though. . . I just can’t help myself!

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Our Newest Offering
Filed under: Web Applications
Posted by: Christy Bailey @ 3:44 pm

Here we have created a “spot” just to share and collaborate on our newest offering - an online database for managing clients.  This will be free to anyone who wishes to use it - with no strings attached.  We hope to give you (our clients) a little something that will be useful, while also showing you an example of what we can do.  Please share your thoughts, ideas, comments, etc.  We want to hear from you!

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The Background Story
Filed under: OTDS Venture
Posted by: Christy Bailey @ 9:58 am

In April of 2006, On The Dot Solutions was born.  In the beginning, I offered services in line with what I had done in the work force - including a variety of programming, web page, and database services.  Over the years we have done lots of things for lots of different companies, but we have determined that our real passion and talent lies in creating data solutions for small to medium sized businesses, usually by virtue of Access databases.  We have been involved in several bond programs and one deferred repair program for local school districts, and have realized a specialty in tracking data and budgets for construction projects.  We utilize custom databases and reports to track budgets, contracts, invoices and payments for construction and renovation projects.

As our latest project has slowed down, we have taken the opportunity to evaluate our company’s vision, as well as learn more about how to run our business well.  Most of this learning has taken place by reading books, as I described in my post “Business Dips and Turns”.  Our latest development has come as a direct result of this learning process. One of my most recent books, Poke the Box by Seth Godin, urged me to “do something” rather than waiting to be picked. So we have hired ourselves to create an online web database to track client contact information. We are going to offer this database for free, anyone will be able to sign up and use it to track their clients. The application will stand alone as a contact list, or will seamlessly integrate with our future online databases. Our vision is to create subscription-based online databases as an alternative to the custom databases that we have always offered (the custom option is not going to go away - our intent is to offer both). We are very excited about this new venture, and would welcome any feedback or ideas you have! And keep an eye out for updates as we get it ready to launch!


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Business Dips and Turns
Filed under: Business Ramblings
Posted by: Christy Bailey @ 8:54 am

Life is funny sometimes - it seems like so often blessings come as a result of “circumstance” (though I don’t really believe in “circumstance”, rather that God orchestrates events in my life that lead me to the place He wants me to be).  Such as it has been with my business.  I started On The Dot Solutions when my second child was born so that I could have a flexible schedule and work for multiple different clients.  Over the years, I’ve very much felt that God has given me exactly the amount of work that I need, for each point in my life (despite the fact that I had done virtually no marketing - I had just done work for previous employers and a few others that had heard of me by word of mouth). 

In 2009, I began listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio and my husband and I went through his Financial Peace University.  As a result we have paid off all our debts, but I also had another unexpected benefit.  I have become much more business savvy through Dave Ramsey’s influence (he has a very successful business and runs it on God’s principles, which I aspire to do).  Through listening to many of Dave’s radio shows, as well as attending his EntreLeadership One Day Event for entrepreneurs, I was exposed to many new ideas for my business, as well as a long list of recommended books that I began the process of reading.  From the time I opened OTDS in 2006 until 2010, I was a “one man show”, did the work that fell into my lap, and had no interest in doing anything different.  But in 2010 I had more work than I could really keep up with, and I realized (as a result of one of these books, Thou Shall Prosper by Rabbi Daniel Lapin) that there was much benefit in hiring others to help you out.  Thus in May of 2010 I hired my first team member.  Since then, I have done much more reading and learning and have hired two other team members. 

Then in July of 2011, all our “busyness” disappeared when my main project came abruptly to a halt.  However, God has been training me over the course of the last two years, both in my attitude towared busines and my faith in Him, and consequently I viewed the situation as an opportunity rather than a failure.  I told my team “OK, we just became the marketing department”.  I went to the library and checked out a stack of books recommended by Dave for business owners (mostly marketing books by Seth Godin, and Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants by Jay Conrad Levinson).  Since then I’ve read several titles, as have my team members, and God is definitely using what I’m learning to guide me in my business decisions.  I am continuing to grow in this area every day, and by no means am I an expert in “business ownership”, but I am excited about what I am learning and will gladly share my journey!

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Blessings in Disguise
Filed under: Work at Home Trek
Posted by: Christy Bailey @ 7:57 am

Years ago, when my husband and I were teenagers and dating, I remember a “discussion” we had about work.  He just assumed that obviously I would work outside the home when we (someday) had kids.  And I strongly disagreed - I assumed, of course, that I would quit all work and be a full-fledged housewife and stay at home mom.  It actually wasn’t a huge deal to him (hey, he was a teenager and not truly thinking much about kids), and so he conceded that he was sure it would be fine for me to be home with the kids.

Once we got married, however, we made some very, very unwise financial choices.  Dumb ones.  Lots of them.  Let’s just suffice it to say that we tried to live our parents’ lifestyle on two part time college jobs.  We ate out, bought expensive toys, and new cars, and went on mulitple trips per year.  All paid for with Student Loans and credit cards.  We knew we were out of control, and we argued about it some, but we never had really learned to make wise choices, and it seemed so hopeless that we just didn’t change.  So we had a very large pile of debt.  A huge one.  Ginormous.  Somewhere in all of that digging ourselved into a hole, I realized that the idea of me quitting work all together when we had kids just wasn’t that feasible (if we wanted to keep the pile of debt from growing, that is).  Somewhere along the line I determined that I would become so valuable to a company that they would be willing to allow me to work from home.  (Actually, I thought for years that it was my idea, however I realize now that it was God’s plan all along).  I was not secretive about my desires - I told my supervisor from the beginning that I would want to be home with my kids one day, but that I was really wanting to continue working.  They always said we could work something out, and several years later when Raidan was born, they allowed me to work for them on a contract basis.  I worked for that company, and then another company, during the first 2-1/2 years after he was born.  Then, when my daughter Rayne was born, the second company had decided things weren’t working out - they were having trouble keeping me busy, and we amiably parted ways.  So I prayed about it and felt that God was prompting me to start my own business.  I reasoned that I could work for either of the first two companies, but I could also solicit work from other companies that needed help with web sites and databases.  So I started On The Dot Solutions in April of 2006, and we have been blowing and going ever since. 

Fast forward to 2011 - my husband and I are now out of debt (thanks to Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University - and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears), however I love what I do and am very passionate about working from home, and don’t intend to quit even though I no longer “need” to work.  God has placed a passion in me for working at home, and I want to share that passion (and opportunity) with others in whatever way He calls me to.  I now have three team members (who also work from home), and I would love to mentor others in starting a business for themselves.  It is a challenge, but such a rich blessing at the same time!

It is ironic, though, that this opportunity and passion has come about due to our extremely irresponsible relationship with money early in our marriage.  If I hadn’t been forced to continue working, I would not have learned the blessing of working from home, and I would not have the opportunity to share this blessing with others.  If we hadn’t gotten into such a large pile of debt, I would probably be scrubbing my toilets or cleaning up toys right now.  (Or possibly sitting in the middle of a mess, avoiding dealing with it.)  Because I realized a few years back that I love being a work at home mom, but I would be miserable as a housewife!  God truly worked in our life to bring a huge blessing out of our terrible mistakes.  But isn’t that just like Him - he redeems us from our sins and screw ups, teaches and refines us, and uses our shortcomings for His glory.  So that is my hope - to glorify Him daily as I work from home, help other businesses manage their data, and am mom and wife to my great family!

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The Walk
Filed under: The Walk
Posted by: Christy Bailey @ 9:13 pm

The Walk.  The most important walk of my life.  It is the basis by which I make decisions, fuel my passions, live my life.  I love the song “The Walk” by Seven Curtis Chapman.  (Check it out at  Here are the lyrics:

I’ve got a Grandpa Rudd
He gave thirty years to the lumber yard
Loving his family and working hard
Got a faith like a solid rock
He’s just doing the walk
I’ve got a friend named Larry
He sends me letters from a foreign land
He moved there with his kids and his pretty wife Mary
To answer a holy call
He’s just doing the walk

You can run with the big dogs
You can fly with the eagles
You can jump through all the hoops
And climb the ladder to the top
But when it all comes down
You know it all comes down to the walk

There’s a man I know
He said He’d come to show us the way
He died on a cross and He rose from the grave
And proved He was more than talk
He taught us the walk
And now I’m singing my songs
Standing up on a big, bright stage
And I do my dance while the music plays
But when the music stops
Am I doing the walk

You can run with the big dogs
You can fly with the eagles
You can jump through all the hoops
And climb the ladder to the top
But when it all comes down
You know it all comes down to this

Do justly, love mercy
Walk humbly with your God

‘Cause you can run with the big dogs
You can fly with the eagles
You can jump through all the hoops
And climb the ladder to the top
But when it all comes down
You know it all comes down, down, down, down, down
To the walk

The song also quotes one of my favorite scriptures:

Micah 6:8

He [God] has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of  you? 
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

That, simply, is my goal.  Through all else, I want to walk humbly with my God, the God of the universe, who loves me and wants a personal relationship with me.

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Life’s a Trip
Filed under: Travelers' Intros
Posted by: Christy Bailey @ 5:48 pm

Life’s a trip.  A journey - an adventure.  But of course, I wasn’t born yesterday, and so I’ve alrady been on this journey for - um - thirty. . . um. . . something years.  So I won’t try to fill in all the details.  But then I should give you some clue as to who I am and why in the world you would want to read this blog.

I am a nerd.  There, got that out of the way.  I was valedictorian of my class, have a degree in mathematics, and am a true, textbook “nerd”.  OK, I thought I was a nerd, until I looked it up on  Nerd - “a stupid, irritating, ineffectual, or unattractive person”.  Hmmm.  Not really what I thought I was describing.  OK, so let’s try again.  I like to solve problems and build databases, and I approach real, everday issues very analytically.   How’s that?

OK, so a little personal history.  I already mentioned my math degree.  I am happily married to my complete polar opposite - an artistic, creative, heavy-metal loving, biker-dude looking hubby, Kristopher.  We have three beautiful kids - Raidan, my oldest son, 8; Rayne, my beautiful (and only) princess, 5; and my “tackle his way to the top” baby boy, Deacon, who will be 3 in less than a month.  I gave my life to Christ and was baptized over 20 years ago, and Christ is truly the center of my life.  I am so imperfect, and I mess up daily, but I live in the grace of my Savior and walk with him daily, and that makes this journey worth taking!

Years ago, when I was in the work force, my then employer asked me what my long term goals were.  And at that time, my long term goals were to have children and be a mom that was home with them.  By the grace of God, I was able to work from home for that employer, and then for another employer, from the time Raidan was born until Rayne came along.  I was working from my home, full time, with a little one underfoot.  It was tough, but God worked out the details, and it was very doable.  Then when Rayne was born, my direct employment opportunities went away, and I felt God was calling me to start my own business.  My analytical mind reasoned that then I could work for anyone that could use my services, including either of my former employers or anyone else, for that matter.  It seemed a logical solution, thus was born “On The Dot Solutions”, a database and budget management company.  We’ve been in business now for over five years, and I have always said that God has given me exactly the right amount of work.

About a year and a half ago I hired my first team member, and now I have three ladies working for me, two of which are also stay at home moms.  Recently we have had the opportunity to reevaluate our company vision (due to the slowdown of our current work).  It has been exciting, and defninitely a fork in the road on this journey, but we are eagerly preparing to launch a new type of product that we will offer as a result.  More on that later!

So, in this blog I will write about my life, my journey.  There will definitely be posts about On The Dot Solutions - what we are up to, and about all facets of “doing business”.  I have determined that I am an entrepreneur at heart, and I am learning as I go, but I am thrilled to share what I’ve learned so far.  I love to read (and listen to audio books), so I’m sure I will throw in my 2 cents on the latest read.  I am very passionate about families being together, and parents being able to work from home so they are there to raise their children.  So I will also spend some time speaking to the logistics and challenges of the “work at home” gig.  And last (but probably most importantly), I will write about my walk with Christ.  I am also going to encourage my team members to chime in with their own blog posts, comments, and thoughts.  So grab your favorite beverage and join us - for this journey called life!

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