Are You Missing One of These in Your Business?

Thank you Christie Browning for today’s tips….

I love my business. If you know me, you know it!!!!  Whether it is my Thirty One business or my handcrafted angels, I love having my own business.  I love the flexibility. I love the freedom to take visions to fruition.  I love sharing my love with everyone.  Now, I will be the first to admit on any given day I miss out on opportunities.  On those days, I tend to be more focused on “making money” to pay bills, so I blow past some of the things I need to have a successful business.  Don’t get me wrong, making money (and paying bills) is what we work for.  The truth is, I can’t sustain my sales (neither can you) if your business isn’t built on a strong foundation.

#1 – Know where you’re going and why you want to get there

I know we have all answered (or at least tried to) the question of our why…. We need to know what it is to be successful, right?  I have talked about the emotional why many times – it is the real root of why you want to be in business.  It is the inner motivation which pushes you when your tired, you want to give up, you are out of your comfort zone, and to push past your fears. Why is being a success important to you?  What will you gain if you are successful?

I struggle with tapping into my emotional why. as a result of my MS.  The key to the emotional why is your ability to paint a vivid picture of what “success” looks like to you.  It isn’t the same for everyone!  By identifying what the finish line looks like, you will know when you cross it, so you can celebrate and know you’ve arrived!  Your finish line might be clearer as you get closer to it but you need a visual picture NOW. The visual should touch your heartstrings and drum up some emotions when you think of it.

Key #2 – It’s your business – make it so!

You are designing YOUR business so make it yours!  I know it sounds crazy BUT how many times have you tried to copy someone else’s business (especially in direct sales) because they have risen to the top of the company?  I have been there, done that and got the tee shirt.  It doesn’t work!  I am learning (yup, took me 7 years!) my business will be different and might probably come together in a different way because it is MINE!  Be sure to design your business around your strengths and passions. Structure it around your time and calendar whether it is a part time or a full time gig.  You get to call the shots.  The key is to be sure to be true to yourself .  Remember your customers buy because they trust you – stand out in a crowd for what you want your business to look like.

Key #3 – Put the right process in place to win

I don’t know about you BUT I LOVE vendor events and home parties.  I LOVE connecting with people face to face.  Some would say it is the glamorous side of our direct sales business.  The truth is, success is made behind the scenes, in the nitty-gritty facets of your business (the parts we may not like).  Just showing up at events or parties is not going to keep your business consistent nor is it going to guarantee you success.  So, what system do you use to keep track of all of the “other things” you HAVE to do?  Do you have set days for follow-up with customers?  Do you know your target market?  I use a tickler file and LOTS of notes on my planner to make sure I keep up with order follow-up, mailings, booking leads and so much more.

Key #4 – Making the noise to bring in the biz

For some, marketing is the fun stuff!  For others, it is a hodgepodge mess.  You need to know who you are as a business and who you are trying to serve.  Do you know what your brand is? Branding is simply something which when people see it they think of YOU (and the ripple effect is thinking of your business).  It is the tone and feel of your business – such as the colors, images, and graphics you use.  I ALWAYS say “Have a ThirtyOne-derful day” – my customers expect it.  LOL.  Angels have become a part of my marketing…. they are part of my team logo as well as the watermark I use in all of my graphics.   What do you want their experience to be like after they interacted with you and your company? I want my customers to know I am all about making a difference in their lives and the lives of others.  I want them to know I am a down to earth “take me as I am” kind of gal.  The key to great branding is to be true to you. Don’t try to be something your NOT because it won’t connect with or feel authentic to your customers. Your brand is an extension of YOU and should be reflected in all you do, say and show.

I know this sounds like A LOT so take it slow and easy.  Start with one and work your way through…. Which one will you start with?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Who Are You Really?

 Over the last two months I have been learning some hard lessons.  Through it all, the theme of “be yourself” keeps coming up.  I know I’m not alone when it comes to struggling with saying what you mean, doing what you love, or relaxing around certain people, right?  I usually blame it on the MS and brain fog but the truth is some days I am not feeling confident and comfortable with being me.  I have been digging  a little deeper lately.  I have even gone back to working my steps from NA.  A chance to uncover another layer of authenticity, and free myself to be unapologetically me..

Not being you is exhausting!   Did you ever consider the amount of energy it takes to keep up appearances, attempting to be perfect (like it will happen), pleasing other people (is it possible?), and trying to make yourself fit into situations which simply aren’t you? When we say “be yourself”, some of us even wonder what it means.

Here are three practical strategies to help you maximize your best you:

1. Say what you need to say.

Do you beat around the bush figuring people will know what you mean when you say something?  Are you too afraid to speak up afraid of what others with think? Have you found yourself telling a little lie to avoid the embarrassment of telling the truth?  These are clear signs you are not being true to yourself.  This hit me like a brick – SMACK!  Try this simple exercise:  Identify one situation when you have not said what you need to say.   You know, you beat around the bush in the hopes someone understood.  Got the situation?  I want to you go to the person and just say it flat out.  If you can’t do it right now, mark it on your calendar to do it.  There was a time when I had no filters.  I said what I needed to say and didn’t worry about what people thought.  Early in my recovery, I was eager to say what I was thinking and I didn’t worry about what people thought.  Over the years, things started changing.  Those old habits came back and I started the “people pleasing game again”.  We are as sick as our lies, no matter how small those lies are.  Authenticity means being forthright. Don’t waste your precious energy pretending all is well when it isn’t.  Take the word “FINE” out of your vocabulary.  Don’t let FEAR keep you in hiding!

2. Do what you know is right.

There is nothing more authentic than living your values. When your actions don’t line up with your beliefs, inner turmoil is sure to follow.  Do you actually know what your core values are? 

3. Give yourself permission to be imperfect.

Okay, this is a tough one for me!  The truth is when we are uncomfortable in our own skin, it is usually because we haven’t given ourselves permission to be human.  In other words, we haven’t given ourselves permission to be imperfect.  We always want things to be perfect.  The perfect weight, the perfect size, the perfect family, the perfect house… it is all part of the “I will be happy when” syndrome.  When you relax, you enjoy yourself more. It is time we value the journey as much, if not more than, the destination.  There will be bumps along the road – embrace them.  Climb over them and keep moving forward, they don’t have to keep you from reaching your purpose (or your goals).

What situations cause you to not be yourself?  What are you afraid will happen if you show people the real you?

I am stomping out the inner gremlins and being true to me…. what about you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What If?

This two word question may not seem like a lot to you but the impact it could have on your life and your business is HUGE!

At the beginning of this year, I identified a one-word theme for the year: Accountable. For some being accountable is easy.  For others, it depends on the subject matter whether or not we can be accountable.  It is easy to be accountable in my Weight Watchers program but it is WAY more difficult to be accountable in my life – business and personal.  

It may not sound like an exciting word, but I sensed in my spirit it was a word which could transform my life.  Talking about stepping out of my comfort zone!!!

It is not necessarily the word “accountable” in itself as it is what each line stands for…

Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far is “it is okay to ask for help and not assume others will know you need help”.  Miss Independent thought everyone was on my page so they knew what I needed when I needed it.  SMACK!  So not the truth.  Another big AHA was “consistency will lead to success”.  As a result, I will be cruising to the Bahamas in September courtesy of Thirty One Gifts.

So where does “what if” come in, right?  I know you all think I squirreled.  Well maybe but the truth is those two words can help you to dream what the future can hold for you.

I want you to consider a persistent challenge you face – one you’d be willing to make a major life change in order to resolve it once and for all.

Here’s the process proposed by Valerie Burton to help you reach for those dreams:

1. Identify the challenge.  What is your challenge?  Is your calendar to hectic? Are you miserable in your career or hate your job? Have you stretched yourself too thin financially as a result of too many credit cards?

2. Ask yourself a “What if?” question to force yourself to imagine a solution which will radically change your circumstance and eliminate the problem, not just pacify it? “What if you didn’t schedule anything on your weekends and gave yourself room to relax and be spontaneous?” “What if you phased out your current career and finally pursued the career you really want?” “What if you dramatically cut your expenses so you have the freedom to work less or do something different?” Write down as many “What if?” scenarios as you can. Make them bold. Make them authentic. Write scenarios which excite you.

This may be a little different for you.  We usually let fear control our “what ifs” like…”What if I fail?:,  “What if I’m not good enough?”.  It is those what if questions which leave your paralyzed in fear and keep you from  moving forward.  If they are that powerful, what if you used those same questions to see radically new positive possibilities.

3. What choices or shifts would move you in the direction of your most compelling “What if?” possibility?

Now you have a list of questions, which one is most compelling? Start there. Then begin to ponder the types of choices and decisions which would move you towards the possibility. When your dreams come from “What if?” scenarios are the real desires of your heart. Maybe they are the possibilities you simply need to give yourself permission to pursue. They may be short or long term goals but chances are they are more long-term goals. Don’t let it discourage you.  Brainstorm and get a game plan in place. Talk to others and if it feels like the right goal, set it then make a timeline to start moving towards it.

I challenge you to explore your possibilities by creating and answering at least three “What if?” questions to help you see your possibilities for resolving your most persistent problem. Scary, right?  You can do this, I believe in you!

Can’t come up with your own questions?  Try one or all of these:

  1. What if you were entirely debt free – no credit card debt, no loans, no mortgage? What choices could you put in place to lead you to this reality?
  2. What if you stopped trying to prove a point in your most difficult relationship(s)? How would things shift for you if you simply refused to spend your energy debating?
  3. What if your schedule was entirely up to you to determine? What would change for you? What opportunity could bring this reality to life? What choices would position you for such an opportunity?

Let us hear from you… what is your “what if” question or questions?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What is YOUR Brand?

A few weeks ago I walked into a vendor event to hear “are you the angel lady that sells Thirty One?”.  It took me a minute but then I said “yes”.  I was totally surprised by the question but grateful the two things were linked together.

Obviously you know I am a Thirty One consultant BUT I also love to make and share my angels.

I have found the perfect way to combine my two loves to make a difference in the lives of others.  My traveling angel pins allow individuals to buy an angel and send one to a person who needs some encouragement.  Know someone who is struggling?  Let me know and I will send them a pin.

Where is all of this leading?  I have (accidentally) branded myself as “the Thirty One angel lady”.  Is it a bad thing? No! But I am grateful to have created my own niche of making a difference.

1. Realize branding does apply to you.

No matter what you do, branding can take your career or business to the next level.  Your brand reflects your reputation — what you’re known for (or would like to be known for). What was once called a reputation is now called a brand.  Don’t we all want to be know for something?

2. State who and what you are (not what you’re not).

Remember positive brings positive into your Universe.  Your branding should be consistent from beginning to the end.  Showcase your accomplishments and expertise but don’t overinflate to the point you can’t follow through.  Authenticity is the key.  I am all about giving back.  Hubby says my tagline should be “I will never be Rockefeller (rich with money)” because I am all about giving to others.

3. Honestly, ask yourself what is your value.

When was the last time you wrote down your core strengths. Prepare a list. Ask yourself what your top 5 accomplishments have been in the past 5, 10, 15 years. Which ones stand out as the most value to your business or your company?

Branding is all about impressing others not ourselves, right?  So, why not ask others what they see as your most positive attributes (family, friends, or colleagues). I know this can be scary BUT you may be surprised to find out how others perceive you. You may actually be surprised to see what things come to the forefront as your areas of expertise.

4. Understand developing a brand takes time.

This is HUGE!  I have been with Thirty One for 6 years.  I have done many things to try and “brand myself” but with the help of Desiree Wolfe, I found my niche.  

What does it mean? Every day, I share things which bring my brand (Thirty One and angels) into the spotlight.  I want to make a difference and I try to do it every day in some small way with everyone I meet.  Remember developing a brand is about adding value which results in you being seen and heard. It’s about distinguishing you from your competitors.

5. Create a blog and write what you know.

I hear the groans of those who say “I can’t write”.  How often are you asked the same question by almost all of your customers?  Maybe it is about a situation or a product or a service.  Guess what?  You answer the question a million times, why not write about it and share the answer.  It’s simple – choose a hot question in your field and just start writing by answering it in an article or blog post.  You have now proven you know what you’re talking about.

6. Interact more than less.

I’m still getting the hang of this.  I don’t want to be spammy or pushy or salesy. I do want to gain attention to me (as the brand) then my products and services which leads to more sales.  I may blog daily but I don’t consistently post comments on Facebook groups or on other blog posts.  You need to decide what works with your schedule and time ability.

Your online identity is a priority in today’s busy digital world. I heard “your online branding as a #digitaltattoo which is so true.  Once it is out there – it stays out there. Wonder where you stand right now?  Google yourself, your brand, or your product/service.  See what comes up.  The biggest compliment I have received is when someone I know as an acquanitence tells me they Googled a subject and I came up.

My angels help me stand out with my Thirty One customers.  The angels help them to remember me!  What is your brand?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Let Go of the Need to Please

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.” ~Brene Brown

It is Wednesday which means it is HUMP Day and Woohoo Wednesday.  It is the day we focus on US!  The things we like, the things we don’t like and the things we want to do better.

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How many times have you longed to hear the words “you’re so nice”? Or maybe you wait patiently (okay, impatiently) to see how many likes you will get on a post on Facebook or Instagram.  Admit it, we have all been there some time in our life.

I remember moving to a new neighborhood when I was younger.  The same town but a totally different part where I had to make new friends.  I always felt like I wasn’t pretty enough or good enough or smart enough for the popular crowd.  Sadly, those people pleasing characteristics carried over into adulthood.  Crazy, right?270910819fbd9cf830e3b735a08b7b8eI still have a habit of unconsciously putting a great deal of my energy into people pleasing. I keep the boat steady, navigating carefully so as to not make too many waves.  I dislike conflicts of any kind – mainly because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s in my bones to be a peacekeeper. My comfort zone is melting into the background of things, being an observer.  I don’t want to make waves, cause trouble, or upset anyone.

All of these traits have left most people seeing me as a “nice” person. Have you ever wondered if this is really a compliment.  Is “nice” the legacy I want to leave on this world? Is it what I want to be remembered for someday? That I was “nice”? Actually – No.  Nice is sweet, accommodating and agreeable. Nice is polite. But nice does not describe what I or you believe in. It doesnn’t indicate where our boundaries are.

So what about YOU?  Is “nice” the legacy you want to leave behind?

Or do you want to be remembered as a strong and confident woman. A woman with a sense of grace and integrity.  A woman who is straightforward, authentic and very clear about her boundaries. A women who stands firmly in her own truth. A woman who has little concern about receiving approval or validation from others.  A woman who knows who she is and is completely at ease in her own skin. WOW!  I want to be her, what about you?

authentic

We need to be “authentic” and for some it is “the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are.”  We need to release our  need to please, and replace it with the courage to reveal our real and vulnerable selves.  YIKES!

#1 Reclaim your own authenticity.   To do this, we have to figure out when we are losing sight of it.  Resentment creeps in when I am playing the “people pleaser” role. It’s the first sign I am using too much energy worrying about disappointing others.

#2 What is causing the resentment?  Were you unclear about a boundary? Are you uncomfortable with a situation and you haven’t expressed your feelings to someone? Are you holding back you own feelings to avoid hurting another’s?

I have always loved to write – it is my release when it comes to stomping on the people pleasing characteristics, I tend to write a dialogue with myself. Try finishing these sentences and be specific.

1. I feel resentful because….

2. This means I haven’t been clear about something bothering me. Here is the blurred boundary…….

3. Here’s what’s okay with me….

4. Here’s what is not okay with me….

Believe it or no, when all is said and done my feelings of resentment and anger are not actually directed at another person. They are toward me. I am disappointed in myself for not staying loyal to my own values, for not giving myself the respect I so freely give out to others.

Being authentic takes courage. Learning to wade through the discomfort of setting boundaries takes risk. We risk disapproval. We risk being disliked. But I think the risk is worth it if we ultimately find respect for ourselves.

Are you ready to reclaim your authenticity. Let’s be brave, real and imperfect. Let’s be compassionate, kind and honest. Because really, aren’t these so much better than being “nice”?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!