This Isn’t How You Planned It

Is your life going the way you planned it?  Are you living out your dreams?  Or are you on the verge of giving up? Are you working at a job which seems fruitless?  Is your relationship hitting a brick wall?   Do you get a little extra money, and then an unexpected expense saps the money as quickly as you got it?

I’ve been there and some days I’m still there.  Sometimes life is all about moving ahead when the road is long and hard. When you’re exhausted and weary, it’s essential you take charge before you burn out or give up.

Like you, I’ve been there, done that!  I never planned to reconnect with the love of my life 16 years ago. I never planned on leaving my dream job.  I never planned on being diagnosed with MS.  Life happens and the plan changes.

The best skill you can gain in life is the ability to navigate unexpected turns and setbacks life throws your way. NEWS FLASH!!!! Life doesn’t always go the way we plan it. The truth is, it rarely does.  So, let your challenges build character and perseverance to empower you to stay the course and win your race.

Here are some tips from the amazing Valerie Burton on just how to do this:

1. Stop expecting things to be easy.

The quickest way to become discouraged is to expect life to unfold just the way you planned it, with few or no obstacles or opposition. Raise your hand if this is you?  I know I’m not alone here.  Life is so much easier when the expected challenges appear –  you know, the ones you planned for.   Don’t get caught up in feeling sorry for yourself when hard times come.  This is the perfect opportunity to tap into your strengths, character, and faith to courageously face whatever life throws your way.

2. Get some fresh air.

When your inner gremlins get the best of you, and you start traveling down that dark tunnel, it might mean you need a break.  Have you been focusing on your problems, rehashing them over and over in your mind? Remember, focusing on the negative brings us more negative.  Take a walk. Do something different. Get out of your normal environment. It can energize you and redirect your thoughts.

3. Get some perspective.

Fresh air will give you perspective and clear out some of the cobwebs or maybe even blow away the inner gremlins.  The greatest difference comes when we focus on someone else’s life. When you start focusing too much on what’s wrong in your life, force yourself to notice what’s right. STOP and think of three things you’re grateful for. Believe me, you probably can’t stop at three! Now, open your eyes to others’ stories about determination and strength.  Despite what we may think, we are not the first person to face our challenges.  Look for someone who has gone through them with strength and grace? When you realize you are not alone, you will feel the rush of power. In face, you may discover someone who has triumphed through far greater challenges and can be a source of inspiration.

4. Commit to running your race to the best of your ability.

Who knows why you are going through what you are going through? It may not even be worth the energy of attempting to figure it out. What is worth your energy is expanding your character and capacity in the process.  Think about the ways will you become a better person by persevering through this? What growth do you intend to glean through it all?

5. Be an inspiration.

Yes, you can be an inspiration for someone else.  Your story may be just the thing someone else needs to hear to overcome their obstacle.  Every person who has faced a challenge has overcome them with their attitude, determination, and faith. Tackle your challenges in a way your children, friends, family, and coworkers will be inspired by your example. You can give others hope by simply acting with the courage to live and love fully in the face of fear and disappointment.

The first time I was told I was an inspiration, I laughed because the truth is, I never believed I could inspire anyone.  My life was my life full of challenges and obstacles.  Some I have overcome and some inner gremlins I still do battle with.  About 2 years ago, when the diagnosis of MS was “unofficially” given, I made a decision to allow my setbacks to build character and perseverance. Truth was my life’s journey had brought me to where I was today.  The challenges were actually a blessing in disguise.  Do I always understand it? NO!  Do I always like it? NO!

If you are struggling, I challenge you to stop feeling sorry for yourself.  It is time to gain  some perspective which will inspire and empower you.   When you get discouraged, what thought will lift you up?  Share it with us, maybe you can inspire someone else…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Overcoming the Troubles of This World

Thank you Erin Odom for today’s message….

God doesn’t promise us a life of health, wealth, and prosperity. To the contrary, Jesus told His disciples that in this world we would have trouble. But He didn’t stop there: He reminded them that He overcame the world.

Several years ago, my family walked through a period of extreme financial frustration. Month after month, we saw our savings dwindle and our bank account diminishing. We felt like we were barely surviving financially, emotionally, and even spiritually at some points.

But it was during that troublesome and turbulent time that God pointed us to Himself and the promise that He has overcome the world—despite the troubles we encounter in it. He also showed us very clearly that He is the Great Provider of all our needs. No, we will not have perfect, trouble-free lives on this earth, but God has promised to provide exactly what we need, when we need it. His provision might not always look like we would imagine or what we would pick out for ourselves, but it’s exactly what He knows is best.

I clearly remember when there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. I thought life would never get better. We would never be able to breathe. And we would always barely be making it.

The humility of our season of trouble brought me face-to-face with real need, and real provision. More than anything, our time in the tunnel tuned our hearts to God’s. We failed to acknowledge or appreciate the Lord’s provision when it seemed we were meeting all of our own needs, when we had enough money for excess. But when every penny counted, when our budget never made sense on paper, when we had cents instead of dollars in our bank account at the end of the month, that was when we learned that only God is the provider of all of our needs.

Are you there now, friend? You don’t see a way out. Hope is dim. There is no light. Are you stumbling around in the fog? Is the tunnel still dark?

Romans 8:37 says “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Yes, we will have trouble in this world, but, through Him, we can overcome them.

With the right attitude and perspective, we can look back on a season of troubling times as some of the most faith-building days of our lives.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

How to Get More A.F.T.E.R.

e7ad6c1ee504439c9e910037effa570eWOOHOO WEDNESDAY!  I am playing catch up after working my part-time job on a full-time basis last week.  I must really be getting OLD because I am exhausted.  Not only was I working, I had a busy week in my direct sales business – closing parties, coaching hostesses and working with new team members.

I had an BIG event on Saturday so I am working on follow-up.  We all know it is the key to success, right?  Truth be told, in the past, I was not very good at it. So I am working this week on changing my mindset so I can change my business.  I mean it worked for changing my mindset about recruiting and gained 5 new recruits in 3 months.  So, why not put it to the test for booking and sales?

This is an article I found on DSWA and the thinking process started.  I know scary but sometimes it triggers some really exciting stuff.  At a home party 100% of the people buy something – a sale is a sale no matter how small which is good. I seem to struggle on Facebook/online parties and after vendor events.

The article highlighted the word AFTER as an acronym on how to get more sales..So let me know what you think:

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A stands for Attitude.  Your attitude (positive or negative) will determine the results after the event.  Are you positive?  Do you think it is normal for people to place orders AFTER an event or a direct sales party? Or, do you think it is pushy to contact people AFTER the event/party about more sales?  Your attitude will determine the outcome.  Change your mindset, change your attitude.  I have been blessed with repeat business after home parties.  I tend to struggle during vendor events because my attitude is all about leads and NOT sales.  Does your phone weigh 500 pounds, so you can’t lift it?  The Fortune is in the Follow-up.

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 F stands for Fun.  The most important part of any home party, right?  Are your parties fun? Would you want to attend or book a party from YOU?  You need to have fun so your guests can have fun.  Even at vendor events, I have fun!   I am learning it is not about perfection, it is about progress.  Thank you Deb Bixler. Who wants to party or be part of a team not having fun, right?

T stands for Tell.  Talk to your hostess and make sure that she knows how to collect orders – if she doesn’t she won’t do it.  I offer an incentive to my hostess for gathering $200 in pre-orders BEFORE the party, this has helped to increase my party averages.  At a vendor event, I tell EVERYONE who will listen how easy it is to host a party with me.  Simply 6 orders of $35 equals a party.  I mean you must know 6 people who are looking for a gift or like to shop.  Telling doesn’t mean DEMAND, it means talk, explain, have a conversation and LISTEN to what they are saying to you.93adb15703ad4b979a47c09ee9c7d30a

E stands for Energy or Excitement.  Without this, you don’t have a business – it is the make or break it of direct sales. Translate your excitement to your hostess, your customers and get things rolling.  I get told I am “too perky” – I used to tone things down but not any more.  People want to be a part of my energy.

R stands for Remind, Remind, Remind.  In today’s crazy, fast-paced world, we need reminders – you use post it notes to stop to the store, the grocery list, the to do checklist, and a hundred other things, right?  I’m not alone in this, although, I usually blame my need for reminders on the MS or health struggles. Why would you think your hostess, her guests or those who stop by your table at vendor events wouldn’t need a reminder?  Every time you talk with someone after the initial encounter, talk to them about specifics – an upcoming sale, a product they were interested in or even wanting to book a party.

Things happen AFTER an event or party because YOU have a plan.  What are some of your tips for success AFTER a party or vendor event?  Share your best ideas.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day! #hope

How Do You Parent?

hot messWe are almost 3 weeks into a catalog change, about 1 week into an amazing enrollment opportunity and my office (not even just my desk) looks like a “hot mess”.  For those of you who know me, this is not good!  Health challenges, brain fog and “hot messes” don’t mix well.

I know, you are wondering what this has to do with my question, right?

My “time hop” reminded me of a workshop hosted by ETTW (Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women) where Caryn Chow was the guest speaker.

Caryn shared that we need to “apply the same skills to your business as you did to raising your children”. That got me to thinking that we need to do the same thing in our relationships.

Here is the acronym that she shared with us:

P = Patience
A = A lot of Love
R = Resilience
E = Endurance
N = Nurture
T = Time Out

In direct sales, this makes so much sense. Many of us think of our team as our kids. They need patience, encouragement and nurturing.  Just as my daughter taught me lessons as she was growing up, my team teaches me everyday.  Let’s be honest, these same characteristics are important in our relationships with other people, especially our spouses, right?

The question is,why is it sometimes much harder in our relationships then in our business?  Love is pretty easy.  In our marriage, we love our spouse or we wouldn’t have gotten married right?  Endurance to continue on even despite nah sayers.  Even when there are bumps in the road personally and professionally, we endure.   Nurturing seems to come naturally for most women. I mean, we take care of everyone else and seldom take time for ourselves, right?

Patience, now that can be a little tougher in both aspects of our life.  Why do we tend to lack patience with our spouse or in our business?  We tend to compare where we are in our lives with where others are in their life.  Social media – a love/ hate relationship that keeps us comparing ourselves with others!

The two things that I struggle most with are “time out” and “resilience”. Sounds crazy right considering that I have endured the roller coaster ride of life.  Taking time out for me (or family) is something that I have struggled with my entire  life. Workaholic Wendy steps in sending the message that I am only worth anything at work!  YIKES!! Did I say that?  Yes, I did.  With the help of hubby, I am learning to take time out to enjoy our moments together without work. Not easy but I am trying.

Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly” or “the ability to spring back into shape“. Yup, that is me!  Bad business month, I spring back kicking it into overdrive.  I have to be careful not to become the “pushy salesperson” and just continue sharing the gift of Thirty One. The recovery process is a lot slower when Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie visit mostly in my personal life. The key is that I do snap back.

Here is another fun acronym

T eaching (telling them)
R ight
A ctions and Attitudes.
I nvolvement (showing them)
N urturing (caring for them)

Telling, showing, and caring– this triple helps you have a successful business and a happy marriage!  So, are you ready to be a PARENT and be a TRAIN-er ? I would love to hear others thoughts on this…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Need a Break?

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Do you need a break? Are you dreaming of vacation?  Every week do you long for the weekend and then it goes by so fast?

The truth is that most of us need a break to recharge BUT the real question is, “Will you take time for one?”.  I mean we have a millions reasons why we can’t stop, right?  Kids, family obligations, work and the list goes on.  We are bombarded every day with advertising that tells us how we can save time.  The newest tech gadget will save us time and keep us connected which is great or is it?  Once we find more time, do we appreciate it OR do we raise our expectations about how much we can accomplish?

Let’s be honest, when was the last time that you “saved time” and just sat down to enjoy a cup of coffee or the beauty of your surroundings?

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It’s like being on a treadmill.  You start out slowly but consistently increase your speed, running faster and getting things done. But at some point, you want to get off the treadmill.

Here are a few signs it’s time to take a break.

1.You are busy, but not productive.

I feel like this more days than I care to count.  You’re doing stuff, just not the most important stuff. When someone asks you say “I’m so busy” but then you can’t seem to figure out what you got done.  If that’s you, take a break. Refocus. Restart.

2.You are irritable, even when nothing particularly stressful is happening.

Has your attitude become sour no matter what?  Is everyone always asking you “What’s wrong?”.  Guess what?  There’s something simmering beneath the surface. Maybe it is anger because a boundary has been crossed. Maybe it is resentment because you haven’t spoken up, asked for help or made a change.

3.You just accomplished a big goal.

Research shows that our energy is depleted after the accomplishment of a big goal. We are more effective at future goals when we give our minds and bodies a chance to recover so that our energy is replenished for the next big task at hand. Just finished a major project? Celebrate. Relax. Rejuvenate. Then move on to the next big thing.

4.Your body hurts.

Aches and pains are sometimes your body’s way of giving you warning signs. Don’t ignore them. Chronic back or neck pain, headaches and fatigue are just a few of the ways your body is trying to talk to you. Listen. If you don’t, there could be consequences soon.

5.You’re dreaming about work.

Are you dreaming about projects, deadlines and that pesky co-worker while you sleep?   This is a definite sign that some down time is overdue.

6.You haven’t had a break in a while.

Okay, so maybe the first 5 things don’t apply to you BUT you still need regular breaks. When was the last time you took one?  Unplugged? Took a walk?  Maybe even played hookie for a day?  If you haven’t taken a break recently! JUST DO IT!  Is taking long breaks scary?  How about just taking ten minutes every couple of hours a day of down time every week?  Maybe even a vacation or personal day just for fun time every few months?  You will be far more productive than working nonstop. And you’ll be happier, too.

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My challenge to you today is
Give yourself a break. Schedule it right now!

Love to hear how you are going to take a break today or this week.  Share your thoughts with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!