Throwback Thursday: So You Want to be a Leader?

June starts a new “fiscal year” with Thirty One and I am sure it is the same with many direct sales companies.  It is when I start looking back, not just at the past year but at my journey. It is when I start setting goals for myself for the new year.

Thirty One is offering an incredible opportunity right now….a chance to earn FREE Fall products AND up to $5000 in Disney bucks.

I love this incentive because the focus is on sharing the gift of Thirty One, NOT becoming a leader.  For some the word leader is scary.  I have heard it a million times, “I don’t want to be a leader”, “I don’t have the time”, “I won’t know what to do”, and the list goes on.  The BIGGEST tip I have given my team is: just share the gift of Thirty One and stop focusing on whether or not you will (or won’t) be a leader.  Have fun.  Help others. Share the excitement and the love.  The rest will fall into place.

This is a blog I wrote back in June, 2013.  I had only been a Director with Thirty One for about 8 months.  The thing is, this is still true today:

I never thought of myself as a leader, let alone a great leader.  I have always been a “behind” the scenes girl.  When attention was drawn to the work I did, I backed away and gave credit to bosses or those on my team, anyone else but me since I did not like being in the spotlight.  When I made the official decision to go into leadership with my Direct Sales company – the thought terrified me (and still does sometimes).  What did I know about being a leader?  I didn’t want to let anyone down – my up-line, my team, my family or friends.   I have been a “people pleaser” most of my life, a follower and not a leader.   

An interesting quote by Direct Selling Education Foundation said “the more others respect you as a leader, the more successful your business will be.”  

Here are some basic tips to help you to be a LEADER:

  1. Keep your word.  This is a basic concept for life.  If you give someone your word, it should mean something.
  2. Be inclusive, welcoming and make others feel safe.  If you do not get this kind of support from you company sponsor or director, find someone in the company who makes you feel this way.  I have been blessed with an AMAZING Sponsor (National Executive Director) Hope Shortt.  I want to be like her when I grow up.  Yes, I am much older than her but she is a leader I would follow to the ends of the earth.  I want my team to feel the same way. 
  3. Encourage creative thinking.  This used to be hard for me, in my years in the non-profit world, as a Program Director.  I lacked confidence in myself so it was difficult to encourage creative thinking in my staff.  As I grew, so did they and so did my ability to encourage “outside of the box” thinking.  I encourage my team to build their business with a solid foundation of company standards (home parties, etc) and then get creative.  Make their business – THEIR business.  Stand out from the crowd. 
  4. Allow people to share ideas and concerns.  My early management style was a dictator.  Fear, low self-esteem and lack of confidence had me instilling marshall law. As I got, older and squashed the inner gremlins, I learned to temper my demands and be open to suggestions.  I had a potential recruit come to a team training and share how she felt with my current party style.  It was not pretty.  WOW! In a room full of other consultants, it was a hard pill to swallow.  I listened and thanked her for her suggestions.  Yes, I quickly changed my party style so everyone is having fun (or at least I hope so).
  5. Support others and help them grow.  I tell everyone who joins my team, they not only get their kit but they get me.  I am there to help them in good times and bad.  It isn’t just about MY income or MY goals but it is about helping them reach their dreams – big or small.     
  6. Maintain an exciting and fun atmosphere.  In my past life, this was tough for me.  I was insecure and thought too much fun was a sign of bad management.  Over time, I found it was important to have a place people enjoyed working and coming to every day.  My team tells me all of the time – You are crazy!  I like to make things fun for them, get them excited and then they share the excitement with their customers and their teams.
  7. Hold others accountable for their actions.  I was a tough boss in the workplace but EVERYONE got treated the same – good or bad.  As a leader In direct sales, I struggle with holding my team accountable for their actions/ goals.  I am always afraid they will perceive it as being all about me (and my paycheck) instead of hemming them attain their goals.  I will alway encourage them and help them along the way. 

As I have said before, I originally fell into leadership (as a Senior Consultant) but then I made a conscious decision to be a leader.  I do a little each week to work on my personal development.  I know  if I focus on overcoming my challenges as a leader, I will be able to be a more effective one for my team.  What qualities do you think make a good leader?

Have a ThirtyOne -derful day!

Throwback Thursday: Working for Yourself……..

Sometimes I like to go back to “this day in history”, well not really but I do like to go back to posts I wrote when I first started blogging.  Those days when I draw a blank and wonder if I should continue to write daily.   The original post was called “Working for Yourself” but I have updated it just a little…

I think dreams of being my own boss go back to a time when I made pre-mature baby clothes.  I did it all – design, cutout, sew the clothes, sell and deliver to the local stores.  I don’t remember the year but I was working at the Ocean Club in Atlantic City and had the support of the AMAZING Sid Ascher, a marketing genius.  Was I ready to be my own boss?  No.  Did I even know what it meant? No.  I just liked the freedom of making my own hours but at the time, I was not very good at time or money management.  To say the least, I went back to working for someone else.

My next leap into being my own boss was when I was a single mom…. I took my grant management skills in the non-profit world and opened “H.O.P.E. Consultants”.  For Belinda’s four years in High School, I was my own boss.  As things changed in the grant management world, I joined the 9 to 5 workforce to help a grassroots non-profit.  Then after 6 years of long commutes (4 hours round trip, 4 days a week),  I left the job I LOVED (and hated – LOL) to be my own boss as a Direct Sales Consultant. Why? The freedom to make my own hours with no long commute far outweighed the fear of owning my own business.

Has it been easy? No.  Did (or do) I let fear get in the way? Yes.  I hopped back to part time work when I lost faith in myself.  I hopped back into part time work when fear took control.  In January, I stepped away again to rely on God to help me grow my business.

Are you considering being your own boss?  Whether it is a direct sales business or a storefront or a service business, here are some things you can expect when you work for yourself…

#1 – It’s Just You:

Obstacle: As a sole owner all responsibilities fall on you. Or maybe it’s not just you and you have teamed with someone or have an employee or maybe even an intern to manage, which could all be new territory.  Managing your own schedule can be difficult if you’re used to structure. Are these insurmountable? No but you need to be ready for them.  Time management can be a little tougher as you learn how to maximize your productivity.

Advantage: It’s just you! No more office politics, micromanaging, or working for someone who doesn’t appreciate you– the list goes on and on.

#2 Blending Your Work Life with Your Home Life:

Obstacle:  The upside of an office job is in most cases the ability to, both physically and mentally, leave your work at the office.  This can be tricky when you’re working from home, and could be a struggle for family members.  Renting a separate office space isn’t always practical or necessary.  I have set up a separate area for my “office” which has helped me to stay more organized. It also prevents my business from intruding into every aspect of our personal lives – for the most part.  Of course, we do have bags and organizing products throughout the house.

Advantage: No commuting! Hubby and I joke about my “long” commute now when I head down to my office.  Blending your work life and your home life isn’t bad when you build your business around something you’re passionate about.

#3 You Will Work Longer and Harder Than Ever Before:

Obstacle: You may work from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to sleep BUT you will not regret it because you are building something you love.  This will be true in the beginning because you will do whatever it takes to get your business off the ground.  Things will change as your business grows.

Advantage: You will work longer and harder, but for your own gain. Nothing is more satisfying!  While you will make some time sacrifices, you’ll also have more flexibility.

I am always grateful I am my own boss when there is a crisis, a family emergency, a holiday gathering or an unexpected guest because I can make my own hours.  I have learned over the last 6 years how to overcome the obstacles (most days) and embrace the advantages.

There are sacrifices toward owning your own business, but for successful entrepreneurs, the advantages far outweigh the difficulties.

Want to know more about owning your own Thirty One business?  Click HERE to see all the details. 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Change Your Recruiting Results

15578492_10210373534168992_5438397386721171243_nI see the eyes rolling…… you figure this is just another “pitch” to get you to join my team, right?  The truth is, it doesn’t matter what direct sales company you are with – recruiting is a key to your success (and more money).

So, do you easily share your business with others or does the word “recruit” send you into a tailspin?  I have to be honest, it has taken a long time to finally NOT be afraid of sharing the gift called Thirty One.  So, if you are afraid of the word, I get it – you and about another 95% of direct sellers are in the same boat.

When we talk about the top reasons why direct sellers are afraid of recruiting, we usually hear…..

  • I am afraid people will think I am pushy.
  • I hate hearing “no”.
  • I am afraid people won’t like me.
  • I am afraid I don’t know enough about our business.
  • I am afraid my new people won’t succeed.
  • I am afraid I won’t find the “right” people.
  • I am afraid that we will saturate our market.
  • I am afraid I can’t convince people to join my team.

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This is the biggest mistake in recruiting… it isn’t about you.  Are you shocked?  I know you are trying to promote, or earn a leadership incentive trip or maybe earn more money, right?  So you HAVE to recruit.zig ziglarYou are not selling your business so you don’t have to convince anyone to sign up.  You just need to talk to enough people to find the ones who are looking for what you have to offer.  So, let’s bust some of the myths which come with the word recruiting:

#1 – I am afraid people will think I am pushy. Focus on how your company may help them.  Share don’t sell!  Being pushy is not taking a “no” as NO!  Pushy is trying to get someone to do something they don’t want to do.

#2 – I hate hearing “no”.  We all hate the word NO.  What if everyone said yes, to everything?  Can you imagine what things would be like.  Stop making it all about you. Do you think the waitress who offers you dessert takes it personally when you say “no” to her offer?  Do you think she stops offering dessert to everyone after dinner?  People are not saying “no” to you, they are saying no to the offer.  For those of us who are people pleaser, this is a tough one.

#3 – I am afraid people won’t like me. Again, take the focus off of you. People will still like you if you are sincere in sharing the opportunity.  Remind them you will still like THEM if they say no.  Ask them if it is just “no, not at this time” or just “no, never”?  This way you won’t feel like you are being “pushy” if you make the offer again.

#4 – I am afraid I don’t know enough about our business. I hear this all the time from my newest team members.  The law of ONE MORE says you have been in business one more week, month, or hour than the person you are recruiting. You will never know everything about the business but I am sure you know where to get the information to answer any questions, right?

#5 – I am afraid my new people won’t succeed. I’m guilty of this one!  It has taken me a long time to understand I can’t want more for them then they want for themselves.  This was always a struggle for me as a Social Worker too.  It isn’t your responsibility to make someone succeed.

#6 – I am afraid I won’t find the “right” people. Is there really a “right” person?  With over 15 million people in direct sales in the US alone, do you think one size fits everyone? There is not a “right” person.  Who are you to judge or decide who the “right” person may be?

#7 – I am afraid that we will saturate our market. UGH!  The “S” word – there is an unspoken rule about this word.  If you haven’t asked everyone you have come in contact with to either book, buy or join your team – the “S” word does not exist.  Do you really think you and your recruits will know all the same people and go all of the same places?  It is so difficult to saturate a market regardless of how small a town you live in.

#8 – I am afraid I can’t convince people to join my team. This is the truth – you can’t.  Enjoy sharing the gift and inviting people to take a look at your business to see if it is a good fit for them and if they are a good fit for your business.

Who is ready to recruit some team members?  What are you best tips?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

How to Energize Your Team

75180fcabf8643899e3de2c802445da0The Monday before Christmas has arrived……
Are you running around like a nut doing last minute shopping? Are you cleaning the house, cooking and baking for the guests arriving this week? Are you chilling out because you are totally done?  I much admit I am doing some last minute shopping…

 

In the midst for those of us in direct sales, life can be in flux.  Maybe the cut-off for holiday delivery has passed.  Maybe you have been pushing for weeks and just want to take a break.  Maybe you are already in planning mode for next year so you have written off the next two weeks.  I have experienced each of these over the last 6 years and honestly, the results come January have been a little scary.  I woke up this morning thinking “My January calendar is empty, what am I going to do?”.

Yup, doubt and fear crept in but were quickly pushed aside as I thought about how my team must be feeling.  Many of them are experiencing their first holiday “crash” change of catalog season.  What about your team?  Are they tired of the doldrums?  Do they need an infusion of new energy?

I am going to share with you 5 ways to energize your team which have helped my team over the years:

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  1. Send some happy mail… just because. Include confetti, stick some candy in a tube and bling it up with stickers or rhinestones and let them know how much they mean to you.  ANY chocolate is always a favorite.
  2. Invite them to participate in a special training with you or another successful person from your upline, outside professional trainer, or person within your company.
  3. Have a fun game night to just have fun together and really get to know each other. You can do it potluck style or have everyone bring toppings for banana splits and you provide the bananas and ice cream.   If you are watching the calories… invite them for a spa night of foot soaks, facial masks, and lots of laughter.game-night
  4. Revisit their why and form new personal success plans. You can even offer some extra personal attention and coaching.
  5. Offer a challenge or work toward a common goal. Some fun challenge ideas might be to:
    • Beat Your Best Week or Month
    • Have a Mystery Gift Drawing. Let your team earn tickets for each Income Producing Activity they accomplish.  Have several prizes to keep it fun.  Vary your prizes… even through in a few booby prizes or gag gifts.

Spring is right around the corner… take the time to lighten up, have fun, and do some things together!

Believe it or not, relaxing and having fun together will get the creative juices flowing which will result in growing your business.  What kinds of things do you do to energize your team?

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

Growing Pains. #Throwback

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This is a Throwback Thursday post… this post originally appeared in my blog in 2013 when I first started blogging.  Funny how things sometimes come full circle and God SMACKS you on the head!  I hope you enjoy this:

No, this is not a blog about the 70’s sitcom. It is actually about a God moment that I had during church. The sermon in a sentence was: If you are going to grow, the ministry MUST be shared. WOW! I thought this was a message just for me – a personal smack in the head from God! On the surface, I am good with change but deep down in my core – I don’t like it. I mean who does, right?

Pastor Al shared this “people in our lives are making our parachutes, God puts them there for a reason and sometimes only for a season”. He was talking about all of the changes that took place in our church over the last several months. Change is good, it shakes things up and gives us a new perspective on life. With growth sometimes comes conflict, it is inevitable. So here are some tips on dealing with conflict that I am going to apply to my business and personal life.

Here is what NOT to do when there is a conflict:

  • Don’t play the BLAME game. GUILTY! When there is conflict, I have found myself talking (venting) to other Directors, family and friends about the situation – blaming the other person without taking responsibility for my part in the conflict.
    Don’t be part of the “team split”. As my team grows, there is going to be a natural team split – in a good way. To squash conflict – don’t feed into the team split with the “blame game” or “I am going to take my ball and go home attitude”. Don’t make team members take sides.
  • Don’t try to stop the growth. Growth is good! Don’t try to slow it down by not recruiting or sharing your companies opportunity with others.
    Don’t lose focus. Remember your personal “WHY” and what your personal goals are instead of focusing on the conflict. God has a plan for you, personally and professionally, so do not let others steer you off course.
  • Don’t overlook the needs of others. Leaders lead differently. Some team members may be attracted to the style of others which is different from yours. Does that mean your aren’t a good leader? CELEBRATEENCOURAGE – REWARD everyone despite the conflict. WOW! This was a double smack because I tend to take things personally!

Here is what you should do:

  • Reaffirm your calling. What is God’s plan for you? Are you willing to forgo his plan while you “sit on the pity pot” during a conflict.
  • Affirm the value of everyone even the negative Nellies on your team. They are your team for a reason – it may be help them or it may be the sandpaper that you need to help YOU grow. Everyone matters.
  • Finally, attack the problem rather than each other. Determine what the problem is and work to find a solution to the problem.

Thank you God for using Pastor Al to get my attention. This is an area that I need to work on and these are some great tips. I know that the original message was meant for the members of the congregation but it definitely hit home with me. Are you suffering from GROWING PAINS – professionally or personally? We would love to hear from you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!