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?

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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!

Scruffy hospitality

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I don’t know about you, BUT this fortune came at the right time.  See, I am one of those “need to have everything in place” kind of gals.  I struggle to have everything “perfect” before anyone comes to visit then freak when the littlest thing doesn’t go right.  Admit it, I am not the only one!  Don’t leave a girl hanging, please!!!

Your home doesn’t need to be picture-perfect to invite people over.

 I read a blog post by ROBIN SHREEVES which was an eye opener for me.  Yes, I will be the first one to give advice saying “they aren’t coming to see your house, they are coming to see you” BUT I seldom heed my own words.

The idea that we must make our home look un-lived in before having people over stops so many of us from sharing life together.

I mean don’t we usually try to make our home look un-lived in before friends and family come to visit?  And have you ever NOT had people over because there was no time to make it perfect?  As a result, we stop sharing our life with those who are closest to us.  (Photo: Elzbieta Sekowska/Shutterstock)

I love the idea of “scruffy hospitality.”  So what is it?  On his blog, Father Jack defines scruffy hospitality this way:

Scruffy hospitality means you’re not waiting for everything in your house to be in order before you host and serve friends in your home. Scruffy hospitality means you hunger more for good conversation and serving a simple meal of what you have, not what you don’t have. Scruffy hospitality means you’re more interested in quality conversation than the impression your home or lawn makes. If we only share meals with friends when we’re excellent, we aren’t truly sharing life together.

Honestly, the best gatherings have been the “let’s just hang out”.  My best home parties in my direct sales business have been those gatherings of friends to just talk, play with bags and catch up.  No formal presentation.  No fancy food.  Just friends enjoying each other’s company.

Now I know that it is a little tough to get away from the “perfect” house concept.  I mean many of us scroll Pinterest every day looking for ideas that we want to do before guests come to visit, right?

My journey to scruffy has been very slow!  I mean, miracles don’t happen overnight, right? Remember back to before kids, maybe even before you were married.  Were you a whirlwind, cleaning before dinner guests or were you more casual making sure things were put away but didn’t get crazy?

I realized at some point when I was a single mom that entertaining didn’t mean I had to have a spotless house.  The kids didn’t care and most of the moms were glad to know that they weren’t alone in “not” having a perfect house.  I totally got the idea of  “Are they coming to see me, or are they coming to see my home?”.  The house was always neat but dust bunnies got to stay longer than I wanted and sometimes I had to close a bedroom door to hide the mess.  It never seemed to bother me.

Then, somewhere after Belinda left for college, I moved into the condo and got married – the ideas that I embraced for years seemed to fly out the window.  Time to go back to the “old ways”.

Sometimes authenticity happens when everything is a bit scruffy,writes Father Jack.  In fact, I think the most authentic conversations I’ve experienced have happened during scruffy gatherings. Maybe it’s because when everything is polished and shiny, I feel like I need to be polished and shiny, too. When things are a little messy around me, I feel like I can let people know things are a little messy inside me, too.

Maybe you have friends who are excellent housekeepers, and their homes are always “company ready”. Do you feel like you need to measure up?  What if your house was authentically you?  Maybe a little dust, maybe some dishes not done or maybe even a few papers laying around, how would that make you feel?

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Authenticity invites authenticity. If your home isn’t naturally ready for company why not try the idea of scruffy hospitality.  Value community over tidiness. Invite people over and say, “I don’t know what I’m serving. I may have to order pizza. I would just love your company.”

“Hospitality,” writes Father Jack, “is not a house inspection, it’s friendship.”

Are you ready for scruffy hospitality?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

A Rich Life Without Lots of $

“Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” ~Oscar Wilde

This week’s focus has been on money – we need to CELEBRATE it so that it can grow in abundance.  We all want to be rich (in some way), right?

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STOP racing for riches that make you feel unfulfilled!

STOP chasing for more that leaves you stressed!

STOP feeling like you will never fit in with your richer friends.

I will admit that I spent much of my career trying to make more money BUT when I achieved it – it didn’t buy me happiness! In fact, the more I made the more I spent. The additional money left me poorer in happiness, health, and relationships. I didn’t know how to relax and I found I was missing out on those special moments.

The truth was I often failed to recognize the riches I did have.  I was measuring my inner wealth by my external wealth.  I always said that I would never be materialistic yet the credit card debt kept accumulating.  It was not long ago that I started a journey to find my inner wealth and it has been AMAZING!

Here are the things that I learned on my journey:

  1. Authenticity – Stay true to yourself and be at peace with who you are.  It is the greatest richness in life.
  2. Acceptance –  Our natural desire is to control the uncontrollable. I have been there.  Replace that struggle with acceptance and peace. When you find yourself in a situation say “It’s okay. I accept this just as it is.”
  3. Curiosity  – Childish wonder is within us. Set a goal everyday of learning something new, no matter how tiny, then share it.  It will help to reignite your spark and excitement for life – you’ll be amazed!
  4. Creativity – Create something from nothing – a meal, a picture whatever sparks your interest.  It will give you the feeling of accomplishment amid everyday life.
  5. Forgiveness – The act of forgiveness is a true testament to your inner strength. I wrote this for each person: “I forgive you, [name].” Don’t worry if you don’t feel forgiveness the first time; it will come in due time.”  It was so freeing!
  6. Gentleness – Confucius listed gentleness as one of the greatest virtues. The ability to be strong without being abrupt or harsh is a rare and valuable quality.  Next time you want to snap, smile, AND speak softly.
  7. Patience – This is an ongoing process for me.  With patience, you can achieve things over time that may seem impossible. When you start beating yourself up over a missed goal, write a realistic time line, and remember to be as patient with yourself as you are with others.
  8. Gratitude – It takes dedication to notice what you have and be thankful for it. Acknowledging all the good things in each day will make you rich in happiness.  Be sure to note one thing each day that you might have taken for granted, and begin to build a treasury of blessings.
  9. Generosity – Give when you think you don’t have anything to give – it is the true generosity of heart.  When you do this, you realize that you always have enough to share.  Did you know that in this hectic world, your full attention is one of the most generous things you can give.
  10. Kindness – Being kind brings its own rich rewards—inner peace, happiness, and knowing that you are making a difference in the world, one that people will remember.
  11. Compassion – To understand and feel another’s pain is a truly selfless act. This simple acts of kindness will help you to appreciate the areas of ease and plenty in your own life.
  12. Love – Make an emotional connection with others, no matter who it is will bring an abundance into your life that money can never hope to match.
  13. Vulnerability – Letting down your defenses allows others to see the full you. Being vulnerable builds trust in relationships. This is tough for me, but I work at it every day.
  14. Contentment – Realizing you are already blessed with abundance brings serenity and contentment. Acknowledge all the wealth you already have because, as the proverb says, “enough is a feast.”

What are your best tips for living a life full of abundance?  Share them with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

dreams do come true

 

 

 

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