What Are You Putting Off?

I never thought of myself as a “procrastinator”.  Towards the end of my career as a grant writer, I found I worked better under pressure – does it make me a procrastinator?  Probably.

Working at home in my direct sales business, I find I am procrastinating.  I put off things, mostly the things which are out of my comfort zone.  I know there are times when we need to delay things – life happens, right?  But the truth is, procrastination is one of the biggest causes of stress in our lives.  I don’t know about you BUT stress makes me re-think my goals and my action steps which makes me stay in my comfort zone which keeps me STUCK!  Do you see where I am going here?

Think about the things you hold off doing….

As busy women, there are things in your life you know need to get done. They are usually not even difficult tasks but in our minds we have made them more difficult and as a result we never get started.  Instead, we do everything we can think of – wash dishes, organize files, surf the Internet, or check e-mail—rather than the things we actually need to do IN our business.  I’m always in my office yet I find myself working on my business and not in it.  Being busy but not with things which will make me money or get me more business.  More procrastination which ultimately drains my energy and wastes precious time.

“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday,” ~ Napoleon Hill

There are actually two solutions to procrastination.  Sounds so simple, right?  I was just listening to the AMAZING Desiree Wolfe who talked about this same thing!

#1.  Drop the goal or project, and don’t do it.

Is this really what you want to do?  Are you willing to admit defeat before you even make a serious attempt at trying.  My newest HUGE goal is to earn a FREE trip to Maui courtesy of Thirty One.  Yup, it is the Leadership Incentive Trip for 2019!  Believe it or not, it is the sales goal which has me stumped more than the number o qualify recruits.  Weird, right?  Yes, I squirreled.  One month down with 11 more to go and the inner gremlins are already having a field day.  I have set my goal and I am not giving up… So this is not an option for me

2. Exercise some discipline, and just go ahead and do it.

Since procrastination is sometimes a sign you don’t want or need to do the thing you’re dreading, then Option #1 is a good choice for you.  Now this doesn’t apply to paying filing taxes (you have until April 17th), paying bills, or picking kids up from school.  Then there are times when procrastination is a sign of perfectionism, stubbornness, or lack of self-discipline.  In these cases, you have the power to change.  Are you in this category? If so,  Option 2 is your best choice.  The bottom line is not to make the task or project a big deal. Break it into smaller pieces and just get started.  Sometimes easier said then done, right?

So what is it you need to do?  Don’t wait for inspiration to hit you — just start! I always want to wait for the “right time”.  Is there ever a perfect time to step out of your comfort zone?  You don’t have to feel like doing something to do it. Once you are int the process of starting, your mood develops and the inspiration comes. And even if it doesn’t, the feeling of relief after completing a project you’ve been dreading is well worth it.

My challenge to you:

Stop procrastinating. Get it done!

Share with us what you been putting off? What step will you take today to move forward?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Consistency is the Key to Success

The most often question I hear from members of my team revolves around maintaining and growing their business.  What do you do when you have exhausted your family and friends?  Where do you turn, how do keep your business?

Your business is fun and flexible but the work is NOT optional.  A reminder I keep on my wall from Carrie Wilkerson.  The key for me has been consistency.  Did it happen over night? NO!  But after consistently working my business intentionally a little bit every day, I see the results.  Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t still be doing direct sales for the last 7 years with the same company if I wasn’t making money, right?  Gotta pay the bills!

Here are 5 things you can do to be more consistent in your business and help you to  reach your goals.

1. Break your goals down into activities.

I can’t always see the BIG picture but I can focus on the baby steps.  I know, crazy, right?  Your daily activities are like gasoline for your car which gets you to your destination.  If you have a goal to reach $1000 in income every month, you need to figure out how many new contacts it will take each month, how many parties you need to hold, how many team members you need to recruit and what your team sales need to be. Then you can break it down to the activities you need to do on a regular basis to find those new customers, book those parties, recruit those team members and then help them build their business.  I know it sounds overwhelming BUT it is possible!  WRITE down your goal.  Now make a list of all of the things you could do (if FEAR was not a factor) to make it happen.  Those activities could include marketing, lead generation, events, follow ups, opportunity Facebook Live, or 1 on 1 team coaching.  You will be surprised what happens if you step out of your comfort zone just a little bit to complete some of these activities.

2. Focus on creating new habits.

I am all about lists.  I like to see things highlighted in my planner which means they are done or crossed off my list.  I even have a daily habits schedule because on those “rough days”, I could forget even the things I have done every day for months.  So let’s get busy.  It’s actually much easier to create new habits than to break old ones.  When we re-train our brain, it will become easier to complete the new tasks, routines and goals we have. What would an ideal day look like in your life and in your business?  What are you waiting for?   Begin working NOW to follow the new routine each day. Choose 1 area to focus on changing to allow your brain to adjust to the new way of thinking and being.  Remember the tortoise and the hare?  Slow and steady wins the race.

3. Evaluate your activities each day, week and month.

Do you review your activities?  Do you actually write down your successes, challenges and big ideas for the month?  The only real way to make sure you are making progress and staying on course is by evaluating what you do on a regular basis.  Create a daily or weekly task list.  Create theme days you use to keep yourself on track – Motivation Monday, Team Tuesday, etc. Then look at it at least once a week to see what is going well, what isn’t going so well and where you need to improve or adjust.  I review my week on either Saturday morning or Sunday evenings as I prep for the upcoming week.  A weekly check allows me to tweak my focus so I can reach my goals faster.

4. Seek Accountability.

I don’t know about you but I need to be accountable to someone.  Change can be tough but when I add in an accountability measure, it gives me an incentive, and encouragement to do the work.   Some share their goals with their family to get them on board. Some find a buddy in or out of their direct sales company to connect with on a regular basis. What works best for you?  Create a vision board to help you keep focused.  This can be done with magazine cut-outs or hand drawn.  I am part of an incredible Facebook Group called League of Audacious Women run by the AMAZING Desiree Wolfe which helps me stay accountable on a daily basis. Join a monthly group coaching or training program which provides support and accountability. Be willing to hold yourself responsible and learn from others who are further along the path than you are.

5. Celebrate your progress.

Do you wait to celebrate until you reach the final goal OR do you celebrate your accomplishments along the way?  The success is in the journey and not always the destination.  Your goal is a target for you to focus on to keep you moving forward BUT life happens. We get derailed or make mistakes.  Sometimes it takes us longer to reach our goal than we hoped for or maybe we never reach it BUT we need to continue to celebrate our progress.  Practice self-love and be our own biggest cheerleaders. Focus on progress not perfection.

Who is ready to get consistent?  What small step will you make to change the direction of your business and your life?

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

Do You Make a BAD First Impression?

Over the years, I have learned to let my sparkle shine but sometimes the shine is tarnished. I used to worry about what people thought – what their first impression was of me.  When working in the corporate world, I dressed and acted to fit the part.  When I worked in the non-profit world as a social worker, first impressions were the key to success when working with new clients. Despite how uncomfortable I was, I played a role in the hopes of making a good first impression.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes they saw right through the facade.

Now I have my own business and I am so grateful the business world is more relaxed because it really fits my style.  Even though I find most people will accept you for your inner beauty and not the outward appearance, there are still people who make judgments based on first impressions. I love the advice of one of my favorite business coaches – Vanessa Coppes:

Being the kind of person YOU want to do business with is a karmic synergy. You’ll be more likely to attract more like-minded people to you and your business.

People who may be looking to partner, hire, or buy from you will carefully dissect you, specially if they are looking to engage and do business with you.

It’s what I am sure you’ve heard of: The KLT Factor (Know, Like, and Trust Factor).

So what do you do? Being in direct sales, I feel like I am always making a first impression – a walking billboard for my business.  So, here are some things I try to keep in mind whenever I leave the house.  These are my top pet peeves, what about you?

Inappropriate Attire.

Running to the store, or out with the kids – sweatpants, yoga pants, something comfy is all okay.  I mean we have lives besides our business, right?  Be careful not to wear something too revealing because you will get attention, but not the kind you want.  Business casual works great for meetings, home parties, networking and so much more. Not sure what “business casual” looks like for you?  Find a style which suits your personality.

I tend to say I am “shabby chic” but I’m never quite sure what it means except I’m not a fashionista.  I’m a jeans girl and yes, they do work 95% of the time with a nice shirt and shoes.  You should pick a style that fits you and your industry.  Your clothes should be clean and neat. There is a difference between intentional business casual versus someone who doesn’t wash or iron their clothes.

Excessive texting.

Are you one of those people who is addicted to your phone?  I’m learning to put the phone down and walk away.  Honestly, what did we do before cell phones?  Yes, I do remember those days!  I have always said there isn’t a purse emergency so why I am so obsessed.  It is definitely one of those addictive personality traits.  “Do Not Disturb” has become my friend on my phone.

Did you know if you can’t stop looking at your phone, or responding, you will send a signal you find no one more important than yourself? YIKES!  Is that the impression you want to give to others?  Being present in the moment has more value than you believe.

Body Language (Proverbial Eye Rolling).

This is one I have to work on CONSTANTLY!  My face is an open book to what I am thinking which is not a good thing in any relationship but extremely difficult in business.  Crossed arms show you are not open to what they are saying.  Multi-tasking when talking to someone is just plain rude!  Everyone wants to feel important and appreciated. Saying “what” or “I didn’t hear you” shows your disinterest.  “Be the type of person you want to meet and take a reciprocal approach. Be the first to offer your focused attention.”

Half Full or Half Empty

I am generally a positive person.  Yes, I have those days, we all do BUT when I am having one of them, I try to limit my people contact.  Did you know if you always see the glass as half empty, you are projecting you are a difficult and dissatisfied human being? Who want to do business with some who is always unhappy?  Change your mindset and see the glass as half full.  Happiness IS a choice.

The bottom line is you want to be the type of person you want to meet.  Remember the Law of Attraction….. we draw the people and business to us when we speak into the Universe.  What or who are you attracting?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Do You Want to Fall in Love with Your Business?

I know you are thinking…. “why be in business, especially direct sales, if you don’t love your products and your company, right?”  Most of us get into direct sales because we fell in love with the product, not because it was “easy money”.

Several years ago, I wrote a blog post about “Parent Your Business” where I shared what I learned in a seminar with Caryn Chow.  She talked about the need to parent our business with the acronym meaning:

P = Patience

A = A lot of Love

R = Resilience

E = Endurance

N = Nurture

T = Time Out

During the month of February our theme is LOVE, in all areas of our life.

 

Today we are going to talk about how your business is much like a marriage or a relationship (if you aren’t married, there are still some good tips so keep reading). Not only do we need to PARENT our business but we sometimes we need to fall in love all over again.

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On a leadership call this past week, I was taken back to a time when I had a vision of my goals.  An emotional link to them.  As the story of my journey to leadership was shared, I remember the passion and the emotions tied with reaching the desired goal.

So, here is how your relationship with your direct selling business mirrors a marriage. You have a passion for the products and the company. You are committed for the long haul. You are emotionally attached to the vision and the people. BUT just like a marriage, it’s easy to take your eyes off what you fell in love – maybe the company changes their compensation plan, discontinues your best selling product or your team stops producing which effects YOUR paycheck.  Life happens and the road gets bumpy….

Some will jump ship to another company thinking the “grass is greener” on the other side. Others will continue a downward spiral until their sales are gone, their team is lost and they just quit.  Then there are those who desire to find the spark.  Those who want to ignite the passion in their business.  Those who want to cast their vision into the world and see what happens. Those who want to fight for their business, no holds barred.

Staying in love with your business requires the awareness and determination. How often take stock of how you ‘feel’ about your business?  Negative Nellie is a sneaky devil and she usually shows up when you least expect it.  When the shine begins to dim in your love affair with your business, it’s time to take intentional action.

Here are five things you can do to fall in love again:

  • Create a list of 100 reasons to be grateful for your company. I know it sounds like ALOT.  It is BUT if you push all the way to 100 – you will see something happen.  Believe it or not, the final 25 will be the ones which truly touch your heart.
  • Make a list of all the people who have come into your life through your business. No matter what your reason for joining a direct sales in the beginning, the “sisterhood” is what is a big part of why people remain with their company.  It is a blessing many of us never expected or thought of.  Take time to ponder what “the sisterhood” has added to your life.
  • Review the income you have earned.  Remember, you are in this to make money.  So make a list of all the things it has provided for your family or you were able to pay as a result of the income you earned.  Kids activities, credit card debt, school loans, household bills… get the picture?

  • Look around your home and notice all the places you find your products. Consider how they make your life and your family’s life better.  Remember you are a walking billboard of your business.

  • Make one more list, “How I have grown and changed through my business.”  This one is HUGE for me.

Take time, preferably an entire day, to appreciate your business. When you do, you will remember WHY you fell in love.  Then you will be able to count the many reasons to renew the love affair. You will be refreshed with a renewed passion and ready to get back to work!

My love affair with my business may waiver when Negative Nelly stops to visit.  BUT I am cashing my eyes on my vision and ready to put a plan in place.  What about you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Grow Your Business

January 31st and the end of the first “J month” of the year.  For those of us in direct sales, we have repeatedly been told J months are traditionally NOT good months.  I won’t lie – this January was not one of my better ones but it wasn’t bad.  I hit my personal minimum and my team hit theirs (barely) so I am okay with it.  

Thirty One offered a great opportunity to end December STRONG and to kickstart January with a 4-week Outlet Sale.  Every week they added new products to help us make money while helping our customers get GREAT deals.  Then things started to fizzle.  I struggled with how to transition online parties between the two catalogs.  I lost focus.  As a result, I think my team lost focus.  I know, what does this have to do with building your business, right?

The reality is sometimes we need to go back to basics.  Remember the things which helped us during the busy holiday season when business seemed to fall into our laps.  We picked up the phone or sent text messages to people when we saw something they were looking for.  We shared on social media the things we were loving.  We shared family and friends using our products.  January hit and things stopped.  Yes, we were tired.  Yes, we have a life (and maybe a day job and kids) in addition to our DS business.  BUT when we find just 20 minutes a day to work our business (or our hobby), we see results.

Another leader posted this quote and I LOVE IT:

Everyday should be an lesson in Empowerment with our teams. Teach a WoMan to fish and so she can feed herself for a lifetime! Don’t hold her captive so you can feel needed.

Don’t have a team – that’s okay.  The more you practice this recipe the easier it will be for your team (when you get one) to follow along.

EVERYONE has “stuff” going on in their lives… Full Time jobs, School, Kid(s), illness, social lives, part-time job(s)… EVERYONE has some “excuse”- as to why their business is not moving forward or moving at all….

It’s up to YOU to take the time, 20-31 minutes a day, to work your business or you will not see results. Operating a business or expecting results in ANYTHING takes positive behaviors consistently repeated.  Even if you are just doing it for fun (or a hobby), by being consistent you will see results from your hobby.  Who knows, it could turn into more???

What are these behaviors in our business you ask?

  1. Making 3-5 contacts a day for sponsoring (recruiting), booking and selling
  2. Check your back office for announcements & information Daily to stay up to date
  3. Make the effort to communicate with your upline (the person who brought you into the business or someone above them)
  4. Get organized (Search power hour on google and implement it)
  5. Following Up! With customers, Hostess, potential recruits, people you met last week…
  6. Be a Walking Billboard- Use the products! Share how they make a difference in your life!  Share DON’T sell!
  7. Get a catalog. Open the catalog. Study and know your catalog! I will admit I don’t know all of the names of the products or the names of our prints BUT I do know where to find them in the catalog.  People will understand.  They don’t expect you to be a walking catalog of information but they do expect you to know the benefits of the products so you can help meet their needs.

Now Repeat!****

I know this seems so basic but it works. Ask the leaders in your company how they got to be at the top.  It wasn’t about “joining at the right time”.  It wasn’t about a shortage of consultants in their area.  It was about consistently sharing their product with friends and family – not being afraid to step out of their comfort zone.

What is holding you back from moving forward or earning a little bit more money?  Are you ready to kick things into gear in February?  Smash those inner gremlins who have convinced you January is a sign of things to come.

What is your best tip for being consistent in your business?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!