Feeling Overwhelmed?

So this is where I am today!  Feeling overwhelmed and not sure what direction to go in.

I woke up remembering today was Gram’s birthday.  My grandmother would have celebrated her 106 birthday today…. I know she is celebrating in heaven with all of my other angels; BUT this got me to thinking – scary, right?  My grandmother had Alzheimer’s and on any given day, her memory was shot.  With my MS, on any given day my memory is shot.  I think of what a struggle it is for me and I can’t imagine the pain and frustration she felt for so many years….. Yes, I squirreled but this is all part of me being overwhelmed.

This is the month things get crazy – I have craft shows every weekend from now (okay last weekend) till the second weekend in December.  Some week-ends it is both Saturday and Sunday, some it is just Saturday and then there are a few mid-week events I squeezed in.  WHY?  Yes, tis the season of selling angels and helping people make memories BUT I can’t seem to admit things get to be a struggle.  MS has caused me to walk a little slower, my brain is a little foggier and some days I just can’t seem to move because I am so tired.

In the past, my blogs and my focus have been on my business BUT things are changing yet again.  I’m not sure what direction I want to go in and some days, I’m not even sure if I want to keep blogging.  SHOCKING, right?  I have been blogging since 2013 first on a daily basis and then I cut it back to 4 days a week.  Now, even that seems overwhelming.  I wonder if anyone is still interested.  I know my recipes get a lot of sharing so that is definitely at hit.  The problem is, I struggle with finding new and different recipes to appeal to everyone… even ones I would like. So, today I am thinking of trying some of the things I used to do when I was feeling overwhelmed in my business…..

In the midst of all of this craziness, how do you manage to NOT feel overwhelmed in your business or in your life?  How do you manage to not loose your focus at the busiest time of year?  I found an article in The Self Employed which may have some tips to help you….

1.  Reset:  Before you panic (unless you already have) press the RESET button.  Make a list of things which need to be done and rank them by priority.  At the end of each day, give yourself 5 or 10 minutes to relax, reflect on what you did and get ready for a new day.  You can’t change what happened yesterday but you can take control of today.

2.  Eliminate Outside Influence:  Do you have your own business?  Juggling kids and a job?  Juggling a chronic health issue?  Set aside time for it – maybe just a 1/2 hour, or an hour or even several hours.  Finish the most important tasks WITHOUT interruption.  Then focus on your family and enjoy.   Did you know it takes you 20 minutes to get back on track after a distraction.  YIKES!  Definitely time to weed out the distractions!!!

3.  Focus Down One Task – EAT the FROG  – you know the most daunting thing or the thing you hate to do the most.  The quicker you get this done, the easier the rest of the list will be to get done.  Get your productivity snowball rolling down the hill.  That works not only in your business but also in preparation for the holidays. Yup, it is going to be here before you know it!

4.  Ask for Help – alright, I know no one can do it the way you do it BUT they can help.  It doesn’t have to PERFECT but if someone is willing to pitch in, let them.  From helping get ready for the holiday meal to doing the small things in your office.  This is the hardest thing for me to do!

5.  Learn to Say NO!  Novel concept, right but it will not be the end of the world.  Remember you can’t do EVERYTHING.  As John Maxwell says – manage YOU because you can’t manage time, we all get the same 24 hours in a day.

Block time for work THEN enjoy the holiday.  Block off time for family and friends so you can enjoy without the guilt feelings.  What is your best tip for getting through this holiday season or just the every stress of juggling lots of balls without loosing your mind???

Have a blessed day!

 

 

Strategies of Being Self-Employed

Sitting at my desk this morning struggling on what to write about….. I don’t have many days like this but I am grateful for A LOT of past posts to go back and rewrite or tweak.  Today is one of those days….  I wrote the original post in 2014.  It seems like a lifetime ago.

 

2014 was a busy year for me…. my Thirty One business was thriving and I was working a J.O.B. part time.  I think back to why I wanted to work for myself – in the beginning, oh so many years ago, I thought it would be fun to turn a hobby into making money.  Work when I want, do something I love which at the time was making premature baby clothes and the success would happen.  I never really thought about the business side of things.  It was my first learning lesson in owning my own business.  BUT the dream to be my own boss never died…

There were may other self-employment attempts which worked for a season…. let’s fast forward to today… today, my reason for being my own boss is so different.  I need to be able to make my own hours, I want to make money at something I love, and I need to have the flexibility to work when I can since my MS seems to decide to flare up at the worst times..  Being my own boss allows me to be available for family too.  It has allowed me to pay off old credit card debt.  It is a blessing I am truly grateful for.

Over the last year or so, I have split my time between my Thirty One business and my craft business ” Angels by Hope”.  I will always be a Thirty One girl but I struggle with providing the same quality customer service I did in past years.  Lists no longer seem to help and I get confused easily.  So hard to keep up with all of the amazing prints, products and specials.  My angels, on the other hand, have allowed me a creative outlet to move at my own pass.  I make angels, people buy them.  On occasion I get an order or two and can quickly get them out.  On days I struggle – I do nothing knowing I have stock to carry me through my next show.

I have heard many say “I want to be my own boss” or “I want my own business”.  They quickly join the direct sales bandwagon only to find out it takes work.  YUP!  Yes, your product may be amazing and sell itself.  Yes, the first few months are awesome because everyone wants to help you BUT what happens when friends and family stop buying to “help out”?  Many give up but there are some great strategies to help you build a successful business.

A blog on self-employed.com about “flexible strategies for the self-employed” had some great tips.  I’m not sure if they work for everyone but check them out and let us know what you think.

#1 – Strategize Your Time

Are you attached to your mobile device?  Are you a multi-tasker?  Believe it is or not, it could definitely be a problem.  I am forever sneaking in time to check my phone while waiting in line at the store.  Some would say this is great time management….. BUT since my business relies on connecting with other people, I can’t really connect when my head buried in my phone in the checkout line, right?  It is possible to “kill two birds with one stone” but be aware of your surroundings.

#2 Work Anywhere, Anytime

Inspiration can strike at any time. Are you able to leverage the motivation into something tangible? Keep this in perspective.  Being inspired is AWESOME but working all of the time, is not.  Make a note of things, take a picture but you don’t want to be remembered as the one who missed out on XYZ because you were working.

#3 Access to Everything, Everywhere

Do you use the cloud?   I am a MAC girl but I definitely am still learning how to use the cloud.  The idea of the cloud or Google Drive is you have the freedom to access your computer, no matter where you are, near or far.  Some days, I am grateful I don’t have access as I am sure my family is so I stop working and treasure the moments with them.

Your business is flexible, not optional#4 Flexible Living

Don’t use work as an excuse to not partake in the joys of life. Say “yes” and then figure out a strategy to make it happen. Isn’t this the main reason we all wanted to have our own business…

So, what are your thoughts on being self-employed – the good, the bad and the ugly?  Share them with us..

Have a blessed day!

How To Create a Cute Pumpkin

Fall means Halloween is just around the corner, with witches, ghosts and monsters galore. I used to love this holiday because I got to make some fun costumes for Belinda and her friends.  You can start getting in the spooky spirit with Halloween totes, pillows and embroidery designs in Thirty One’s Fall Catalog – and this easy DIY pumpkin painting craft that’s perfect for big and little ghouls alike.

What you’ll need:

  • Small pumpkins or gourds
  • Acrylic paint
  • Alphabet craft stickers
  • Assorted paintbrushes
  • Paper plates
  • Newspaper
  • Paper towels
  • Cups of water

Optional:

  • Glitter
  • Rhinestones
  • Glue

Directions:

Lay down newspaper to keep your table or counter mess-free. Use paper plates as paint palettes and squeeze out the colors of paint you want to use. Then, get painting! When you need to switch to a new paint color, just rinse out your brush in a cup of water and dry it on a paper towel.

These pumpkins can be as simple or as funky as you want! Go for one neutral color palette, or let the kids go to town by choosing the colors for their own personal pumpkins.

Spell out spooky words like “Boo!” or “Trick or treat” by placing letter stickers on your pumpkin before painting it, then peeling them off after the paint dries. Or go for a bedazzled look with glitter and rhinestones attached with glue. Check out Hallmark’s Think. Make. Share. blog for more pumpkin-painting inspiration.

Bonus tip: Opt to paint your pumpkins this year to save on the mess and cleanup of carving! Decorate your windowsill or mantelpiece with mini pumpkins, or use them as a festive Halloween centerpiece on the dining room table. Plus, they stay fresh much longer than carved pumpkins.

Looking for some place to store all of your craft supplies.  Check out Thirty One’s Get Creative line.  The Get Creative Caddy is great for crafts, work, or church. Craft time is any time when you pack up our specially designed shoulder bag with paper crafts, knitting, crochet, scrapbooking, painting and more. The stylish Get Creative Caddy has three compartments and seven pockets to organize and transport crafting and sewing items as well as toiletries, toys and travel essentials. These craft caddies partner beautifully with our Get Creative pouches and cylinders.

The Get Creative Carry-All is my favorite.  I carry craft supplies to show and have plenty of room for lots of “stuff”.  I have home health aides who use this to carry their supplies.  Teachers love it because it is roomy. Don’t leave home without your favorite project in this craft bag or sewing bag! Pack up your yarn, paper crafting and scrapbooking items, art supplies and more in this stylish and sturdy travel craft bag. The structured satchel top stays open for easy access to projects while you work, while eight pockets organize crochet hooks, knitting needles, markers, brushes and more. This craft bag can be personalized to make a distinctive and special gift.

Share your pumpkin creations with us…. Have a blessed day!

Fall Bag Trends

Mandatory monograms: Long a staple of classic Southern style, embroidered monogramming has quickly taken hold in every region of the country as a sophisticated way to make stationery, totes, shirts and even front-door wreaths truly one-of-a-kind. Big or small, our embroidered initial and monogram designs are the perfect way to add a special touch to your look – or to create a treasured gift.

Get the look: Go big or go home with a Large Monogram on our Around Town® Tote, then embroider a sweet Rubie Mini to match! Choose a tone-on-tone shade for the ultimate in subtle sophistication, or coordinate perfectly with a single color that ties the two pieces together. Want a fool-proof tip? Play up a shade from one of our exclusive prints!

Mad for plaid I was never a fan of plaid, more the solid black kind of girl BUT I’m loving the new plaid patterns this year.  Playful patterns and creative color mixing are just some of the reasons we’re loving plaid this season. From designer couture and 2019 Fashion Week to top style influencers, you’ll be seeing chic checkered designs cropping up all season long. Admittedly, Thirty-One’s take on this hot trend is more “realway” than runway – which is great news for everyone looking to add a dash of gorgeous plaid to elevate their everyday look.

When it comes to plaid, black and white are anything but basic: Try a trend-right travel solution in Perfectly Plaid (shown above on our top-selling Away for the Weekender) or a handbag or crossbody style in Buffalo Check Pebble. And for a burst of seasonal color, accessorize with our new Charming Check Pebble in shades of navy, berry (shown below) and gold.

Berry in-demand:  Another trend right off the runway and poised to add polish to your look is Crushed Berry – a crave-worthy color super-saturated and super-versatile. Amp up your style quotient with the Diamond District handbag in this sophisticated shade, and make it mean even more with a petite and polished Embellished initial embroidered on the front pocket flap.

 

Want to go casual and conveniently hands-free for fall? This juicy hue looks fabulous on our best-selling Boutique Backpack and new Festival Mini Backpack. (Seriously, check out that Mini – it’s fun-sized!) You can also add a pop of Crushed Berry to jazz up your neutral handbag with a Rubie Mini, All About the Benjamins® wallet and new Fab Fob – all three of which you can personalize!

Exclusively yours: Let me help you get the girls together for an amazing time shopping Thirty-One, and you could earn our Hostess Exclusive All Weekend Tote for more than 60% off! It’s the perfect structured travel bag or carry-on with easy-care nylon and pebbled faux-leather details in this beautiful berry shade that’s just “ripe” for fall.

Clutch performance:  Trust us – this kind of glamour isn’t just for holiday parties anymore! (Although you will want to pick up this Forever Foldover Clutch in time for all those seasonal soirees.) Sparkle and shine with sequins or patent faux leather to dress up one of 2019’s hottest bag silhouettes: the party clutch.

Roomy but refined, Thirty One’s take on this style folds over and snaps down to make it easy to carry. And it wouldn’t be Thirty-One if we didn’t crank up the function factor: Side D-rings make this clutch easy to convert to a hands-free crossbody bag when you pick up a matching strap, while a zipper pocket and four credit card slots mean you can leave your wallet at home.

See all your Thirty-One must-haves for the season, plus amazing holiday gifts, in our fall Catalog.

Bonus tip: Love what you see, but would rather get it for half-price – or even earn it all for FREE? (And really, who wouldn’t?!) I can make it simple to Earn Rewards just for shopping and sharing the Thirty-One products you love with your friends and family!  We can do it online or in your home….

Have a blessed day!

Thankful Thursday: Judgement

 

Judgement is defined as the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, from circumstances presented to the mind”.  I know, why would I be thankful for “judgements”, right?   First because I am learning when I am judging someone else, I better look at myself in that particular area.  Second, I am learning to turn Judgement into Curiosity…..

Think about how many times you have judged or been judged by someone – no matter what the reason?  I know we try our best NOT to judge but isn’t it human nature to judge others.  I will admit since being in recovery, I realize how often I judge people and I don’t like it.   I usually find the reason I am judging them is because something is missing in me – a relationship with my Higher Power or a case of envy or jealousy. 

Isn’t it natural to form an opinion about information we receive?  The problem arises when we proclaim our opinion as the truth, even when we don’t have enough information to come to a definite conclusion.  How often have you done this?  I know I am not alone, right?

We judge people for the way they look, for the way they dress, where they live, what we “think” their life is like, what they eat, how they act……….you get the picture, right?  Social media doesn’t help either because we only see the image people want to project which is usually positive with all of the struggles.  As a result, we determine what their life is like based on just a few pictures.  I have found I do the same thing in my direct sales business as well as my small business.  I judge who may be potential customers or be interested in certain products.  I have already decided they may or may not buy based on what we think or what we perceive.  BUT have we talked to them?  Have we asked them any questions?

The first step in wanting to change this habit is to be aware AND admit you are doing it.  When you stop judging others, you will notice yourself connecting with people more authentically and learning valuable information about them. When others feel like they are being heard, they are more open to hearing you.

I challenge you to try this: The next time you are tempted to be judgmental, instead, be curious. Instead of deciding you know their motives, intentions or backstory, withhold those judgments and listen. The only way to build bridges is to refuse to jump to conclusions, and instead be curious.

1. Be curious by asking questions of yourself.

  • Why do you suppose they did/said/feel that?
  • How does it affect me, if at all?
  • Why does it bother me?
  • What could I learn from this person or situation?

2. Be curious by asking questions of others.

What if we asked them to tell us more about (fill in the blank)?  Or maybe you have been in their shoes, so you can share with them, or ask how they are feeling.  Better yet, say nothing at all. Let them talk and just listen.  Listening can be tough when we have already “judged” someone but force yourself to LISTEN!

We can learn so much about people by turning away from judgment and towards curiosity. When you ask those two questions – of yourself and others – you will gain a new unexpected perspective or a new piece of information providing insight you might not have had before.  It will help you build trust which will  open the door to greater connection.

Who have you been (tempted to be) judgmental towards recently? At work? On social media? With a friend or family member?

Maybe in your business…. Have you hesitated because you had already decided they wouldn’t be interested or couldn’t afford the products?  Have you missed an opportunity to connect with someone new?  Maybe you have missed out on giving or receiving a blessing because you pre-judged them and their situation.

What would happen if you were curious instead of judgemental? Share your AHA moment with us.

Have a blessed day!