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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Our Journey to our New Dream Home

Our Dream Home

It all started about five years ago... We started dreaming about a new house in 2013 when I got pregnant with our son, who was due in February of 2014. I had a very hard time emotionally after he was born, which turned into a trying time for Kyle and our extended family as well. It wasn’t the right time and we put buying a house on hold for the first time.

In April of 2015, my mom passed away and we all went into a season of mourning.

Later in August of 2015, we had a huge decision to make and which dream to pursue: 1. Buy a House or 2. Start a new business. We knew we could only choose one or the other at that time. If we went with starting a new business there would be risks as we were getting it off the ground. We decided to follow our dream of starting our trucking company, United Federal Logisitics Inc. We put buying a house on hold for the second time.

As with any new business and being self employed, lenders will only lend to you once you have two years of business history and could show financial stability. We were on hold for buying a house until at least September of 2017. We worked so hard with our business! We went through some difficult phases, as most new businesses do during their first couple years. God was always with us through everything!

Towards the end of 2017, we could start looking and dreaming of buying a house again. We looked at homes, narrowed down areas, styles, and made a wish list of things we wanted in a new house.

Some things on our wish list were:
The house price being in our budget
Very close to where we were currently living and where my in-laws just bought a home
Easy access to Interstate 575
Enough rooms and space so we could have a bigger office or two offices, since we work from home
A bigger room for James
A single family home with a nice, flat yard
A basement- finished or unfinished
A bigger kitchen
Stone or brick exterior
A dining room
Woods behind our home

It was quite the wish list!!! We believe in a Big God who can do amazing things, if He wills it to be. We looked and looked. We found different places that met some of our items on our wish list but not most of them.

Meanwhile, we had some things we needed to do to our house before we put it on the market:

Take a lot of furniture out of our house and take half of everything out of our closet. This is to make the house seem bigger because there is more empty space.

We needed to depersonalize our house by taking out pictures, art work, and other items that we like but other people may not. When someone walks in to a potential home, they need to be able to envision their items and furniture so it could be THEIR home.

We needed to paint the whole house one neutral color. I love color... and almost every room and bathroom were all different colors. We wanted to paint everything grey and for trim we needed to repaint the white. We had to replace our deck and make a few minor repairs around the house. Most people want a house they think is “move in ready”, not “a lot of work” to get it ready.

So in January 2018, we started this process. I got quotes for painting and rebuilding the deck. I found someone who could do all the painting, repairs, and the deck for a very reasonable price. We got a storage unit to put things in while we were getting ready to list our house. It was a gradual process so we weren’t rushed.

Then we needed to find a mortgage broker and finish up our 2017 business tax returns. We needed a mortgage broker who understands self employed business owners. Our friend recommended Sissy Butler with American Home Mortgage. She was wonderful from the beginning of the approval process until after closing!! I highly recommend her!! Her email is sbutler@loansite.com

We had a referral for a realtor who was awesome as well! David Lewis with the Lewis Group of Atlanta. He and his team did a great job helping us list, advertise, hold open houses, and coordinate showings for selling our house. His email is david@thelewisgroupatl.com and his website is www.thelewisgroupatl.com



So we finally had all of our ducks in a row!!!

We found our dream home in a new Ashton Woods Development that checked everything off our wish list! Thank you to John Rice with Ashton Woods john.rice@ashtonwoods.com.  Then in God’s perfect timing everything fell into place and it all happened very quickly!!

We signed a contract on our dream home with a 60 day contingency that we sell our home first. We had to list our house within 5 days of signing the contract. We finished getting our house ready to list and put it on the market. We listed it for the right price and, with the help of David and his team, had a full price offer within a week!

When God is involved and you are prepared, big things can happen! Fast forward a month and everything went smoothly, including our closing to buy our home with the closing attorneys at the Weissman Law Firm. www.weissman.law Thank you!

Now, we are proud owners of our new forever home!

Thank you, especially to the Lord for all of His blessings along the way and now. Thank you to Kyle for all that he has done over the years and continues to do. Thank you to my in-laws, Jim and Susan, and my dad, Jed. Thank you to the rest of our family and friends for praying with us and supporting us on this wonderful journey. Thank you to all of the professionals who assisted us, too.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Introducing United Federal Logistics Inc.


I have been debating about writing this blog post for at least the last 2 years... 

Photo Courtesy of Jerry King, J King Images
I have never written a blog post about our trucking company, United Federal Logistics Inc., that we started in August of 2015. My husband, Kyle, and I have grown our company from 3 tractors and 6 employees to 10 tractors and 20 employees. The reason I have been hesitant to share our story about our business is because this is my professional life and my blog has been mainly personal. This has been my dilemma. 


Photo Courtesy of Jerry King, J King Images

I was recently encouraged by our photographer, Jerry King, to share our story. He thought we could inspire potential new business owners.


By starting our company, Kyle and I took a huge leap of faith in God’s promise to trust in Him. After a lot of prayer, we felt the Holy Spirit direct us to “give God a chance to work in our life” in a tangible way. We just had to take "one step in faith" at a time.


In my other posts, you have seen my story about losing my mom in April of 2015. After this major tragic event that intersected with my life, I started to view my time in a different and in an urgent way. I realized when I was older, looking back, I wouldn’t want to have any regrets. This included helping, supporting, and partnering with Kyle to live out his dream of owning his own business. He received his Master’s in Business Administration from Emory University to prepare for this dream as well!!



Photo Courtesy of Jerry King, J King Images

Kyle discovered the FedEx Ground linehaul contractor model in 2012. FedEx Ground outsources it’s linehaul and pick-up and delivery services to independent business owners and logistics companies. He realized it was a great opportunity and thought it might be something that he would like to pursue. He spent over a year researching and modeling out the business.

We made a few attempts to start a linehaul business with FedEx. Then we had divine timing as we finally got the first 3 routes. FedEx wanted our business up and running and available to work within a month. So we needed to act quickly! We worked hard to secure tractors and hire drivers to get fully staffed.

Since then, we have had many ups and downs, as any business does during the start up phase. We have continued to organically grow our business and our partnership with FedEx Ground. Kyle was handling all the logistics of day to day coordinating of runs, tractor maintenance, and reporting all by himself for about a year and a half. Then a year ago, we made a great decision to promote a seasoned top driver to management. Promoting Dale Moore has made all the difference for Kyle and the rest of the company. Dale has been crucial in helping us scale and manage the business as we have continued to grow. I still handle most of the back office operations, HR, finances, and driver benefits. 

Photo Courtesy of Jerry King, J King Images
Working with my spouse, as a business partner, has certainly had its challenges! We have grown and stretched our marriage, sometimes even to it’s limits. It is kind of like the process taking a piece of coal and under stress refining it into a diamond. Many people tell me they can’t imagine working with their spouse because of how difficult it would be. They are right, it can be very difficult! But, it has always been worth it!!! 

Our journey has revealed a whole new side of Kyle to me and what makes him tick. It has shown me his incredible strength and given me a greater appreciation for how brilliant he truly is. I respected him before and it has only expanded my respect for him as a business partner and leader of our company.
Photo Courtesy of Jerry King, J King Images
God and the Holy Spirit get so much of the credit and glory!!! God has been there the whole time giving us guidance and showing us that if we are faithful with the small things he will bless us with more. He also comforts us when we are going through difficult times. Keeping the Lord at the center, as our Rock, has made all the difference!

We always wanted to be the type of bosses for which people like to work. We strive to provide a great work/life balance for our drivers. We know truck drivers will work somewhere, and we want them to be happy working for us! We know linehaul drivers have a life and we work with them, so they can still be home for important events at home. We really care about our drivers as people not just employees. We also show them that by offering full health care benefits and paid time off. We know rest and self-care is so important for drivers and their safety on the road. Safety has always been our number one priority. Everything we do comes from that mentality.

Here are tips and advice to share to any potential new business owners:
Pray about everything and for God’s direction!!
Don’t be too proud to get on your hands and knees surrendering everything to God’s ultimate control.
Trust your instincts and the Holy Spirit.
Take a leap of faith and one step at a time.
Be willing to put in the work to see things through to completion.
Be quick, nimble, and try to make good decisions under pressure.
If the decision doesn’t happen to be the right one, learn from your mistake, and move on to the next decision.
Make sure to have a lot of perseverance and faith that no matter what happens it will be okay.
You will have to work harder than you would for someone else.
You have to be willing to do whatever it takes if no one else will.
You have the flexibility to make your own schedule but have to be a great self-starter.
Have wise counsel you can talk to about decisions by getting outside input and perspectives.
You have to be willing to take responsibility for how things turn out because the burden falls on you.
Running your own business is a life style change and not for the faint of heart!!
Being your own boss and working for yourself is so rewarding!!!

To learn more about our company and apply to join our team, please visit our website:
http://www.United-Federal.com

*Website designed by Black Airplane. https://blackairplane.com/

**Images by Jerry King with J King Images. He has a great story about starting his own business in a similar way we did, by taking a huge leap of faith. https://www.jkingimages.com/