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!

Are You Searching for Your Purpose?

I may be showing my age but how many of you remember the movie “The Color Purple”???  It was on Broadway not too long ago too.  I was reading a blog recently and I got to thinking about a scene in the movie….

It’s the scene in which Miss Celie finally musters the courage to leave Mister. He’d just finished saying some pretty nasty things to her (paraphrasing): “You’re poor. You’re black. You’re ugly. Nobody wants you.”

 

To which Miss Celie replied, “I’m poor. I’m black. I might even be ugly. But I’m here!”

Maybe someone has these words to you.  Maybe you have thought them of yourself.  Those inner gremlins like to beat us up when we are at our weakest moment.  I may not be black BUT I have thought many times I was ugly and no one would ever want me.  Over the years, I have stomped on those inner gremlins but I must admit, they do rear their ugly head sometimes.

We are all here for a reason.  There are people who were here this time last year who aren’t here now. They’ve moved on. In some instances, they’ve passed on. Whatever their purpose, it is now done. But you’re here. And one of your most important jobs in life is to know why.

I don’t know about you but I struggle with this…. In my “social work life”, it was easy for me to say what  my purpose was.  My job and my life were intertwined.  I could see the difference I was making.  Does your job define who you are?  Does it help you to explain your purpose in life?  As I moved from the non-profit world to my own business, defining my purpose was a little bit more difficult.

Can you state your purpose in a single, simple sentence? If you can’t, then let me ask you this ONE question:

How is someone’s life better when they cross your path?

This answer is something which comes from the heart.  You should be able to “spill it out” in under 15 seconds. What would your answer be?

My purpose is to bring a smile to those who are struggling reminding them they are special.  I love to see the smile on someone’s face when they receive happy mail or an unexpected gift or even a handcrafted angel.  A simple compliment can make a difference in someone’s day.

Your purpose is about how you uniquely serve the world and make it better in some way. It uses your unique gifts, strengths and experiences. It is something you do well. And it comes naturally to you.

At work, it answers the question, how is this company better because I work here? In your family, it answers, how is this family better because I’m in it?  

If you don’t know your purpose, I challenge you to take just a few minutes to get quiet and answer the question.  Once you have the answer, write it down. Don’t forget it. Make it your mantra.

A fulfilling life is a life lived with purpose.

Share your purpose with us so we can CELEBRATE you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

New Year’s Eve 2017

It is New Year’s Eve Day……Since it’s the weekend, I’m sure some will start the celebrations early.  Others are eagerly preparing to celebrate. Somewhere in the midst of all of the craziness, there is always the talk of New Year’s Resolutions, right? Most people pick a resolution because of a plaguing problem (sometimes for years) and vow to change it.

Has resolutions worked for you?

New Year's Resolutions, list of items

Here is usually how it goes:

January – motivated, committed and on track to keep resolution

February – some motivation, mostly on track

March – motivation gone and Resolution forgotten

Does this sound like you? It was me for many years.  Until a challenge in 2013 became a new way of approaching the New Year.  This past year (personal and business) had some great lessons in it and I found a word to sum up my plan for 2017 (I’ll reveal it tomorrow)!

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The “One Word” experiment helped me to move from the long list of changes to ONE WORD.  The addition of an acronym last year helped me stay on track.  My one word has helped me to take all my big plans, and narrow them down to a single focus.  When things got tough, when Doubtful Debbie and Negative Nellie visited; I went back to my ONE WORD and gained focus.  Usually somewhere around March is when I need a refresh. It isn’t always easy but it helps me focus on the goals for the year. Notice I didn’t say resolutions, I said goals.  No more resolutions for me!

Here are the steps I recommended by “the one word experiment”:

Step 1: DETERMINE THE KIND OF PERSON YOU WANT TO BECOME

The first step is to simply take some time and decide what kind of person you want to be at the end of the year. This goes beyond simply being healthier and wealthier, but it must drive deep into your soul. What about the condition of your heart? What about the person God Himself has created you to be?

Step 2: IDENTIFY THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PERSON

Picture the person and then simply identify their major characteristics. Is the person gentle? Is the person generous? What are the qualities of the person you want to become?

Step 3: PICK A WORD

Once you have a list of the characteristics, simply pick a word. There might be fifteen things you want to change, but you must resist the temptation to promise you will do them all. Instead, simply commit to ONE WORD.

Step 4: MAKE IT AN ACRONYNM

Now you have a word, add steps for each letter of the word.  Not only will the word help you to focus BUT when the struggles come, the words or action steps attached to the word will help you persevere.  This doesn’t mean you add “goals” or another word, it is all about reminding ourselves of the positive steps to take to achieve our dreams.

One Word will provide you with a lens to see the changes you need to make as well as a way to determine whether or not change is actually happening. Understand this process is hard, but staying focused on your word will help you to struggle in the right direction so you can actually see God working in your life.

I have my word for 2018 and despite my best efforts to move to a different one, God has continued to bring this word up.  I can see how this ONE word will be my guide as I strive for the goals I have for 2018 in my personal, professional and business life.happy-new-year-wishes-quotes-20161What is your ONE WORD for 2018? Or are you still in the “resolution list” mode? Either way, share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Will You Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

Yes, it is Monday and we are SEVEN days from Christmas.  Your to do list is a mile long.  Maybe you still need to buy gifts (yup, that’s me) or you need to mail stuff out (yup, that’s me too) or maybe you are totally organized, finished with everything and enjoying the moment (so jealous!).

This is my first week without anything on my calendar as far as events or parties, etc.  I set this week aside to catch up on things personally and get ready for the holidays.  While I am doing things, I have lots of time to think.  I will be driving around in lots of holiday traffic so what better time to start thinking about the new year – personal and business goals for 2018, what will be on my vision board and of course, my word for the year.

Today I want to ENCOURAGE you to put something on your list of goals for 2018 which challenges you to step outside your comfort zone.unnamed-2.jpg

I often talk about stepping outside of my comfort zone but when I look back at the past year, I wonder “did I”?

    Was raising the price on my angels out of my comfort zone? YES!  Did it scare me?  YES!  Was I afraid they wouldn’t sell? YES!  The truth was with some encouragement from some amazing ladies, I trusted their business sense and went with it.  It worked.  I may not have sold as many depending on the show BUT customers put more value in the work I did.

When I think of my direct sales business, the biggest step out of my comfort zone was running 95% of my business online.  It really wasn’t scary.  The scary part was locking into a Facebook party style and sticking with it, no matter what.  Did it fail sometimes? YES!  Did it rock sometimes? YES!  Will I continue with the same format? Absolutely!

I say all of this to get you thinking.  When setting your goals for 2018, here are some tips to help you:

  1. Do something which scares you, or maybe even terrifies you.
  2. Do something you have never tried or maybe haven’t done well in the past.
  3. What about the thing you have thought about but put off?
  4. How about trying a new way to party to build your business…like social media and Facebook partying?!

Direct sales businesses are changing every day.  It seems everyone is all about partying online, and growing their social media presence.  Building genuine relationships can be difficult.  I like to TALK to people so building my business online via email, messaging on Facebook and Instragram is really “out of your comfort zone”.  What about you?  What type of activity in your business makes you feel uncomfortable?

Try it!  Go for it, I DARE YOU!!

I encourage you to come up with at least ONE thing you are going to do to step outside your comfort zone and work on. It doesn’t have to be a monetary goal, how much you are going to sell each month, how many parties you are going to have, etc. It can simply be something you are going TO DO or actively be involved in because of your business.  It can be so much more than recognition stats.

So, I ask you:  How are YOU going to allow your business to grow you in 2018, in a way which maybe uncomfortable, uncertain, scary, exciting but could lead to things you could never even dream of?

Share your 2018 goal with us or if you did something like this in 2017 share it with us.  You may inspire or encourage someone else to step outside of their comfort zone.  I’m still working on mine but I will share all of my plans for 2018 with you in between Christmas and New Year’s…

Have a ThirtyOnesh-derful day!