How To Create a Spark In Your Team

Whether you are in direct sales or are a manager in a traditional job, sparking excitement in your team or staff can be tough?  As a County Coordinator and then a CFO with non-profits, it was sometimes tough to get staff to see the BIG picture.  It was difficult to get them to buy into my crazy ideas.  In direct sales, as leaders, we (or at least I do) struggle with motivating my team forward toward reaching their dreams and goals,

I love this Vision recipe shared by Lynn Bardowski, the Million Dollar Party Girl, which is:

Mix 1/3 purpose with 1/3 passion
Stir in 1/3 crazy idea
Blend well and let it marinate overnight
Mix in massive action
Once you get clear on your vision ask yourself two questions: What does it look like? and How will I make it happen?

Here are some tips from the Party Girl, herself…

Empower: Empower your team.  Encourage them to come up with ideas, action plans, goals and most importantly…solutions. When people feel like they contributed to something instead of just following orders, they’ll be more likely to take ownership and act on them.

Educate: It took me a long time to get this one right.  As a boss, I was more about telling people how and what to do instead of teaching.  I eventually learned, it didn’t matter how it got done as long as it got done.  In direct sales, it’s the same.  Provide your team with the training to help them achieve their goal. There are lots to trainings out there, you don’t have to have all of the answers.  Use Zoom or Facebook Live so you can influence more people.  “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” Just because you have been saying things for months, someone else may say it and the light bulb may go off and they think it is brilliant.

Delegate: This is when I usually hear crickets.  People lack confidence and as a result, don’t want to share.  I have been trying to delegate things to my team in the hopes of building confidence and increasing engagement which help them feel like they are part of the team. Believe it or not, the time you gain by giving up the reins will make up for the stress you feel as you let go. It will all work out. Trust me.  I have been there, and done that!

Recognize:  I love to send “happy mail”.  A way to recognize individuals for their effort, progress, and results. Did you know each generation reacts to praise/ recognition differently?  Millennials expect immediate recognition. Boomers might feel uncomfortable – and even embarrassed – by the attention. That’s me!  A great rule of thumb is safety in numbers when you’re giving praise.

Communicate:  I am are you have heard it a million times… “The key to being a great communicator is to be a great listener”.   To build stronger relationships with you need to be willing to listen to their struggles, and their triumphs.

I have learned to meet my team where they are, and not where I want them to be.  There are many ways people learn so you may need to use a variety of channels to communicate: Facebook messenger, live video chat, voice message, text, postcards and in-person coffee meet-ups.  Don’t forget about GIFs and stickers, which are fun ways to communicate an emotion.

Appreciate: Feeling appreciated is a human need…which makes it a much higher form of gratitude than recognition. [Source: Huffington Post]

Happy mail to me is a great (inexpensive) way to show my gratitude and let people know how much I value them on the team. I send happy mail to my customers too.  It not only helps you to stand out in the crowd BUT it lets people know you care.

Evaluate: We have all done it.  Waited until the middle or the end of the month, to see where we are on our personal goals as well as those of a team member.  Checking in weekly, helps everyone to make a plan to reach their goal.  I share my numbers with my team to let them know I am a consultant just like they are.  I am hopefully showing them how to take risks with new ideas, embrace bumps in the road and the idea of working together so we all are successful.

Discover: Look for the hidden gems on your team. Get to know Consultants who were sponsored by others – their dreams, their goals and help them make a plan to reach them. Believe it or not, they might just be your next super star.

This holiday season is a perfect time to spark some interest….What are your best tips?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Difficult or Burdensome?

Letting Go…. not something most of us do easily.  This time of year is filled with so many things – work, holiday shopping, visiting family/ friends, cooking, baking, wrapping presents, decorating, cleaning… What if you could LET GO of just one or two of those things?

I start MS injections tomorrow (at least give them a try), I am finding there are things I need to let go of.  Some things may fe letting go for a season, while others are for good.  I have to embrace my journey and NOT get wrapped up in the picture of the “perfect XXX” (fill in the blank).

I was struggling this morning trying to decide about an upcoming leadership training – should/could I travel, what would people think if I don’t go or does it mean I don’t care about my business if I don’t go – the comparison game inner gremlins were hard at work – actually working overtime.  This scripture popped up.  I’ve seen it many times but for some reason, today the words took on new meaning:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Maybe you are working on a project (business, job, etc), and to be blunt, you dread it.  It isn’t hard and someone else might love it BUT you don’t.  Maybe it isn’t purposeful.  Maybe is won’t lead to a better opportunity.  Maybe it is sucking up a lot of time you could better spend elsewhere.  The worst is, it  doesn’t use your strengths well. Bottom line – it has become a burden.  I have heard this lately from consultants in direct sales.  Their passion has turned to only an occasional spark and it has become more work than anything else. They are sticking with the business because of fear, need for an income, a big following… the list goes on AND none of the reasons include a passion for the work they are doing.

I know direct sales (or any job) can be “difficult”.  There are peaks and valleys in everything but when something becomes “burdensome” it may be time to let it go.  Here are the key distinctions between activities which are difficult versus ones which are burdensome:

1. You’re working hard and you’re tired, but deep down, you’re energized by the work.

When something is difficult, but you are energized by it, it can be a sign you are right in the midst of your sweet spot. There is a certain gratification which comes with your purpose. You can give everything you have and yet still have the energy to keep going.

2. You feel stretched, but not broken.

Difficult tasks and situations stretch you. They empower you to learn and grow and become more of the person you are meant to be. Growth, by its very definition, expands you into a bigger version of yourself.

3. You are at peace even in the midst of the chaos.

There are seasons of life which are very difficult and even chaotic. You look forward to getting through them, even when you feel uniquely equipped to handle them. Chaos can swirl around you and yet you are calm. You are at peace.

4. There is purpose in the pain.

Difficult tasks and situations lead to purpose. Burdensome ones distract you from your purpose. Difficult, but purposeful situations can transform you, give clarity, strengthen relationships, and mature you so you are better prepared for the future. They lead you towards your purpose.

5. It is worth the effort.

Difficult tasks and situations are purposeful. Burdensome ones are not. If you can see by persevering, the reward will be worth it, stick with it. Difficulties are about making sacrifices for a greater purpose.

So, which situations in your life are burdensome and which ones are difficult?  Will you make a change, removing the burden or persevere through a difficult time?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

How To Spend Less

Thank you Carrie Wilkerson for these AWESOME tips on how to spend less….

  • If you want to make more, spend less. #truestory
  • If you’re complaining about being broke, spend less.
  • If you’re stressed about minimum payments or juggling dollars, spend less.
  • If you’re mad at yourself or your spouse or fighting about money, spend less.
  • If you’re jealous of other folks because of ______ then spend less.
  • If you want more choices about where to live, what to drive, where the kids go to school, quitting your job or having some options… SPEND LESS.

It all starts with SPEND LESS!  I know, I have been there.  We struggle with wants versus needs especially during the holiday season.  YES – we can make more with our business. YES – we can still work to change our circumstance- but first we need to SPEND LESS.60b970c17dbc402287d7382d2eb326f7

Trust me, I know this is NOT the time you want to do this.  BUT this is the exact time you need to do this before we get caught up in the holiday craziness.

Evaluate EVERY expense. Is is NECESSARY or just something you ‘deserve’?  Is it a want or a need?  What if you did ‘without it’ for a few weeks/months? Would it change your quality of life?

How do you do this?  First, print out 3-6 months of credit card and debit card statements.  I know it will be scary.  Take a deep breath and jump in.  You can do it!

  • Highlight EVERY recurring charge.
  • Highlight EVERY disposable thing.
  • Highlight EVERY spontaneous purchase.
  • Highlight EVERY expense for something you don’t wear/play with/use/cook with/read or watch anymore.
  • Highlight EVERY unlicensed therapy expense (meaning you were self medicating with food/shopping/movies/girl time/drinks/etc.

Now for the hardest part – STOP spending on those things!

This part, may be a little easier….Evaluate insurance, credit card rates, cable plans (unplug it), phone plans (downgrade) and new clothes (seriously. stop buying them)

I love how Carrie shares her story of getting ahold of her sloppy financial habits (a process, she has used to pay off boatloads of debt MORE THAN ONCE #slowlearner).  Her story helps me to remember, I am not alone.  I have done it too.  Paid off debt, then got sucked in with the thought “I can manage it”.  WRONG!  My addictive behaviors come back in the form of spending money.  So here I am again paying off some debt.

We need to put the blinders on and here is how Carrie did it:

  • UNSUBSCRIBE from email ‘sales and newsletters’ – you can’t buy what you don’t see!
  • THROW AWAY catalogs that come in the mail.  Don’t bring them INTO THE HOUSE. Do NOT fool yourself ‘I’m just getting ideas, I’m making a wishlist, I’m just planning for when I can afford it.’ – NO NO NO NO – THROW IT AWAY. It will still be available for purchase when you can afford it. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER SALE.
  • Do NOT click on Facebook ads (they follow you around, wearing you down until you can’t help but buy. STOP IT)!
  • Do NOT attend home parties or demonstrations or trade shows or craft fairs or open houses or garage sales or ANYTHING WITH THE CHANCE TO BUY. This is a tough one for me since it is part of my business.  How I manage this is I don’t take any money with me or my cards!
  • TAKE THE APPS off your phone… Amazon, Starbucks, Instacart, ZigZag, Macys – ALL OF IT — OFF THE PHONE. If we can purchase with a click and without a brain, they WANT THAT. STOP THE MESS. TAKE OFF THE APPS.
  • During commercials on TV pick up a project. Tidy the sink or move a load from washer to dryer or go outside with the dogs – AVOID MARKETING MESSAGES. It is extreme but so is debt, financial stress and possibly bankruptcy. 
  • SHOP your CLOSET. Sounds silly, right?  Try it and see what happens. See an outfit you like on someone else or on FB, go into your closet and drawers to put together something similar. Or do without.
  • Grocery shop ONCE a week and plan meals ahead of time to avoid mealtime meltdown and drive through overspends.  
  • Use cash instead of cards.  My hubby swears by this!

What if you were to think of every purchase in terms of the effort it takes to make the money to purchase it?  For example, “how many xx do I have to sell or hours do I have to work to pay for this delivery pizza instead of doing a frozen pizza?”

Many of us are victims of marketing messages, bad habits, lack of will power and deserve levels.  We play the comparison which usually results in spending more.

  • Think of what you what MOST (financial stress-lessness and freedom) instead of what you want NOW (cute shoes or a top).
  • Think of WHY you’re so quick to spend and what you are self-medicating about or delaying…

Carrie suggests a spending freeze at least once a year.  It’s wot be fun, I’m sure BUT it may help to keep you in check.  I know you are thinking NOW, it is the holidays….
but HONESTLY it is the MOST EFFECTIVE time of year to do it!  If you wait until JANUARY… how many more THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS will you have overspent??

Change your habits.

Change your life.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Apple Pie Bites

I don’t like cold weather since I am always cold BUT I do love the Fall.  WHY? Because I can snuggle inside baking and cooking.  I used to do it a lot when Belinda was little BUT I do enjoy it especially for the holidays.   I was going through the recipes trying to decide what to make for Thanksgiving – I get to bring dessert.

I came across this recipe from Blond Cook.  A quick and easy dessert.  I mean who wouldn’t want an awesome dessert in less than 30 minutes.  The best part is it can be made Weight Watcher friendly with just a minor change or two. I am also trying to figure out how to make it gluten free so if you have any suggestions, I would love them!

PREP TIME: 15 minutes.     COOK TIME: 12 minutes.     Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) can Pillsbury Original crescent rolls or low fat
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into 8 (1/2-inch) slices or fried canned apples
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 3 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pecans (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and apple pie spice. Set aside.
  • Melt butter and toss apple slices in butter.  Set aside.
  • Arrange crescent roll triangles on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Evenly distribute brown sugar mixture onto each triangle.
  • Sprinkle each triangle evenly with the chopped pecans.
  • Place an apple slice on the wide end of each triangle.
  • Wrap crescent roll dough around each apple.
  • Brush each crescent roll with remaining butter.
  • Sprinkle lightly with additional apple pie spice.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes,
  • Cool for 5 minutes before serving

Easy, right???  Having company or heading to a family gathering?  Make a double batch so everyone has some to take home.  Worried how you will carry them to the gathering?  Why not do it in style with Thirty One’s Perfect Party Set

Perfect party

Not only can you carry these awesome Apple Pie Bites but you can also bring a second dish in a fun, fashionable thermal. YES, this thermal will hold up to TWO 9×13 pans in one water resistant tote.  It has two handles with a handle grip.  Did I mention it can be personalized so no one walks off with it and if they do, everyone will know it is yours!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

“Giving of myself so others smile”

How To Design a Holiday Gallery Wall

Happy Monday!  I am grateful to Thirty One for sharing these holiday ideas with us.  I may be crafty but I definitely “flop” when it comes to organizing photos or wall art.  Mine never seem to blend which is why I usually wait for my daughter to visit to help.

Whether it is for your own home or as the perfect personalized gift, switching out seasonal wall art makes for a festive holiday home – in a snap!  I would never think of doing this but it makes so much sense!  We decorate the house for the holidays, why not change out the pictures too?  The Statement Canvas Wall Art is available in two sizes and can put a little holiday in your halls.
Cheerful holiday colors showcase this wall art as something special – and seasonal. Mark a little one’s first Christmas with a gorgeous custom gift or share a sweet holiday sentiment filled with joy.  More ideas: Think of Christmas-themed songs, hymns and poems for inspiration, or pick a fun phrase.

  • Get your jingle on
  • Have yourself a merry little Christmas
  • Joy to the world
  • Comfort & Joy
  • Holly Jolly
  • Dear Santa: Define “good”

Thinking of leaving things up for the winter instead of just for the holiday season?  Pick cool blues and frosty hues to personalize your home décor for winter. Messages which celebrate the season make great gifts for families of any background and have the greatest longevity for displaying each year!  What is your favorite (or theirs) holiday song?You can find inspiration in a section of lyrics from a classic winter song:

  • In the meadow we can build a snowman
  • Fa la la la la (la la la la)!
  • Merry & Bright
  • Jingle all the way
  • All is calm, all is bright

No matter where you call home, you can welcome your guests (and Santa!) with customized wall art which speaks to you and your family. Are you a military family?  We have some awesome suggestions on how to keep “your home” close to your heart and showcase to your friends.  More phrase ideas:

  • Home for the holidays
  • Santa’s Workshop
  • [Name]’s Christmas Tree Farm
  • Santa, stop here!
  • All hearts come home for Christmas

We know the reason for the season so why not display or gift a beautifully printed Bible verse as a keepsake for Christmas.  Use their favorite verse, or inspire someone who is struggling.  Here are some more ideas:

  • Matthew 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced
  • Luke 2:10 Behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people
  • Luke 2:12 Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger
  • Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given

Whether you need a seasonal display or are going to leave it up year round, Thirty One has somethings to fit all of your needs.

Thirty-One is NOT just totes and purses.  We have a variety of home décor you can customize for even the most difficult person on your holiday list.   You can also customize throw pillows, decorative tins and rustic wood pieces (Close to Home tray).

Need help with the perfect gift?  I am happy to help.  Have a budget?  Let me help you find the best deal.  Who is the hardest person to buy for on your gift list?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!