Work Smarter

I have always struggled with the concept,”working smarter”.  I think it is finally starting to sink in…. since I have my own business.  Over the last week or so, I have been talking to friends in direct sales who have been feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  Some because of life while others are learning to find a balance between home, work, business and family.

Working my Thirty One business full time can sometimes feel like I am spinning my wheels.  Now if I could lose weight while doing it, it would be perfect but sadly, it just seems I spin my wheels and get stuck in non-productive activities.

Building a direct sales business (or any business really), doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful.  The best part of direct sales, is the ability to make your own hours so whether you have a few hours a week or several hours every day to work your business, you want to be able to get results and reach your goals, right?

So, since you aren’t loosing any weight by spinning those wheels, why not try these five ways to work smarter in your direct sales business (or with any goal).

#1. Know your goals & break them down into action steps.

The best way to work smarter is to actually know what your goals are and the activities you need to be doing to reach them. I am great for saying I want to make “$1000 or more per month income from my business” or “I want to promote to Senior Director” but knowing what the steps are to get there are not always as easy.  Saying it is great.  The truth is you need to break it down into smaller milestones and activity goals so you know what to focus on each day, week & month to reach them. Sometimes it is easier said then done.

How many parties/shows/demos will it take per month?  How many customer orders?  Of course recruiting plays a big part, so how many do you need to add to your team?  Honestly when breaking down my goals, I focus on things I have control over.  Yes, team sales play a factor because I can’t control what someone else does in their business.  Break down your goals, how many parties or customer orders do you need each month? How many active team members do you need to promote?  Once you have the monthly activities,  you can break them down even further to weekly goals and daily activities.

#2. Work your Business Like a Business.

I know you have heard it 1,000 times.  If you want to earn the income of a business, you have to treat your business like a business.  If you have a “day job”, think about the things you do going into work on a regular basis to earn a paycheck.  Yes, it is the same with a direct sales business. Your business is “flexible BUT NOT optional”.  You still have to put in the hours and work to have a paycheck and grow your business.  Create a schedule to work your business which fits into your current lifestyle and family.

#3. Focus on Income Producing Activities.

This is an area I struggle in.  Now you have a schedule, you are ready to treat your business like a business by learning where to focus your limited time. I sometimes find myself wasting time on things which don’t generate income or move me closer to reaching my goals. Social Media can be a time sucker.  Re-creating tools and training can be a waste of time.  What are income producing activities?  Things which lead to a cash transaction like customer orders, parties, recruiting and team building. You should focus 80% of your time on direct marketing, follow up, building relationships, holding parties, recruiting, and helping your team build their business.

#4. Set up Streamlined Systems

Systems equal success & less stress. I can attest to this since I have set up a system which seems to work, at least with follow-up.  I am still a work in progress for hostess coaching.  Don’t have a system?  Start by writing all the things you do in each area of your business.  Now, write down the ones you should be doing but aren’t.  Where can you batch similar tasks together to save time?  Can you delegate activities?  How about automated emails or training videos or documents with frequently asked questions you can refer people to?  With these things, you can streamline the processes in your business so you don’t jump around or or miss out on important steps in your business.

#5. Develop a mindset of success & stop procrastinating.

Don’t let your fears rule your thoughts. Don’t let procrastination hold you back.  Don’t make excuses.  Procrastination is the #1 killer of productivity.  It is a form of fear. It means stepping out of your comfort zone.  YIKES!  Scary stuff, right? The only way to overcome procrastination is to make a real commitment to reaching your goals.  Have a plan, have set goals with activities and have an accountability partner to connect with to help you stop procrastinating.

Basically, ask yourself these three question before you do any activity:

  1. Is this going to get me closer to my goals?
  2. Will this make the best use of my time?
  3. Does this honor my mission in life & business?

If the answer is yes, go for it!  What is keeping you from reaching your goals?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Sizzle not Fizzle

Here we are at the last day of June and rolling into another “J” month.  For some in direct sales, they dread these two months.  WHY?  The summer is here, people are headed to the beach, lake or pool to have fun with little thought of hosting a party.  For those of us who rely on our business to pay our bills, it means getting creative.

I honestly used to hate “J” months but it is definitely a mindset.  Yes, what you speak into the Universe will happen.  I used to say “no one wants to party” or “sales are awful in the J months”.  The result, horrible sales with few parties in January, June and July.  Truth be told, I headed into June this year with NOTHING on my calendar.  I am ending the month with over $2,000 in sales. Why?  Because I changed my mindset and got creative.

Your direct sales party plan business doesn’t have to stop when the summer heats up.  You actually can make money and have fun during the summer months.

Here are some tools from Misty Kearns, CEOofMe.com you should pack in your business beach bag so you can have a sizzling hot successful summer.

Swim Suit = Parties! Parties are the core of our business so be sure you always have parties booked. Cancellati­ons and reschedule­s are higher in the summertime so be sure to over book. Offering fun, summer time themed parties will help you book more parties and have higher attendance at your parties too. A few of my host & customer’s favorite party themes include Luau, Garden Party, Party at the Park, Pool Party & Ice Cream Party. You can do these as home and online parties and even have fun with themed catalog parties too.

Sunscreen = Don’t let yourself get burned out in your business! You should apply training often. Attend your team and company’s regular training events. Stay connected with your fellow team members for accountabi­lity, motivation and support.

Sunglasse­s = Have your Business Glasses on & look for new business everywhere­! Always be on the lookout for new people, places and opportunit­ies to share your business this summer. Take your business with you as you are out and about, doing summer activities and traveling.

Water Bottle = Stay hydrated & motivated. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated physically and mentally. Make personal developmen­t a daily habit. Surround yourself with positive influences and other motivated business owners. Read some new books this summer, catch up on training series you signed up for but didn’t finish or complete some business projects you have been putting off. Take care of your health too so you are able to work to the best of your ability.

Shovel = Determinat­ion! Be prepared to dig deep & work hard this summer to reach your goals. Don’t let yourself get lazy. Stick to a (flexible) schedule and be sure to do all the weekly activities you should be doing in your business.

Beach Ball = Build a Team & Bounce Up to Leadership­! It’s not really much fun to play on the beach by yourself. You need a team to play with. Focus on recruiting­, finding new team members and helping them get off to a strong start this summer. You’ll enjoy an increased income, leadership promotions and most of all be able to help others reach their goals.

Bucket = Something to carry all the money you will be making! That’s right, if you work your business consistent­ly and apply these ideas you will be carrying home a big bucket full of money instead of just sand at the end of the summer. Buy yourself a beach bucket from the dollar store and write your goals for the summer on it. Put your beach bucket on your desk for daily motivation­.

Flip Flops = To remind you to keep on moving. Remember NO means “next opportunit­y” and gets you one step closer to the next YES! Keep on sharing your business & moving forward no matter what!

I am teaming up with three other friends in direct sales for a BINGO night.  A chance to book some parties, get some sales and expand our customer base.  

What are you doing to make your summer sizzle?  Share your best tips with us..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Judgment Becomes Curiosity

Judgement is defined as the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, from circumstances presented to the mind”.  How many times have you judged or been judged by someone – no matter what the reason?  I know we try our best NOT to judge but isn’t it human nature to judge others.  

Think about it, isn’t it natural to form an opinion about information we receive.  The problem arises when we proclaim our opinion as the truth, even when we don’t have enough information to come to a definite conclusion.

We judge people for the way they look.  We judge people for the way they dress, where they live, what we “think” their life is like, what they eat, how they act……….you get the picture, right?  In direct sales, we judge those who may be potential customers and/or recruits.  We have already decided they may or may not buy or join based on what we think or what we perceive.  BUT have we talked to them?  Have we asked them any questions?

The first step in changing this habit is to be aware of your tendency to do it AND admitting it.  When you stop judging others, you will notice yourself connecting with people more authentically and learning valuable information about them. When others feel like they are being heard, they are more open to hearing you.

I challenge you to try this: The next time you are tempted to be judgmental, instead, be curious. Instead of deciding you know their motives, intentions or backstory, withhold those judgments and listen. The only way to build bridges is to refuse to jump to conclusions, and instead be curious.

1. Be curious by asking questions of yourself.

  • Why do you suppose they did/said/feel that?
  • How does it affect me, if at all?
  • Why does it bother me?
  • What could I learn from this person or situation?

2. Be curious by asking questions of others.

What if we asked them to tell us more about (fill in the blank)?  Or maybe you have been in their shoes, so you can share with them, or ask how they are feeling.  Better yet, say nothing at all. Let them talk and just listen.

We can learn so much about people by turning away from judgment and towards curiosity. When you ask those two questions – of yourself and others – you will gain a new unexpected perspective or a new piece of information providing insight you might not have had before.  It will help you build trust which will  open the door to greater connection.

Who have you been (tempted to be) judgmental towards recently? At work? On social media? With a friend or family member?

Think about your business…. have you heard those cues about needing more time, or money?  Have you hesitated because you had already decided they wouldn’t be interested or couldn’t afford the enrollment kit?  Have you missed an opportunity to connect with someone new?  Maybe you have missed out on giving or receiving a blessing because you pre-judged them and their situation.

I recently heard another leader with Thirty One talk about how she offers the opportunity to everyone.  Not who she thinks would be interested but everyone.  What is the worse thing that could happen?  They say NO!  Imagine if they said yes!  She believes EVERYONE will be on her team at some point in time, it is all a matter of time.  Do you know what has happened to her business?  It has grown by leaps and bounds.  She has gone from judgemental to curious.

What would happen if you were curious instead of judgement? Share your AHA moment with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

The Great LuLa Road Trip

I want to introduce you to an amazing LuLaRoe consultant.  I met her through my Traveling Angels and she helped me coin the title “the Angel Thirty One” lady.  When I met Dawn at a recent vendor event, she shared with me her summer goal of “The Great LuLa Road Trip” and she helped me to brainstorm some ideas I am going to try as well.

Hi lula loving ladies! My name is Dawn Valentine and I’ve been a consultant since October alongside my boyfriend Greg. I first heard about LuLaRoe when my sister in law invited me to an online party. I bought some clothes out of obligation, which ended up not even fitting, and after putting on my leggings which were falling off of me I was smitten! Yes! With leggings that were too big, I was in love. I had to figure out what all this LuLa craze was! I had seen an advertisement for this beautiful Perfect T- black background with dandelion flowers. This quickly became my obsession and my ultimate unicorn. 🦄 It boggled my mind that the consultant didn’t have THAT actual shirt. What do you mean I can’t order it? Do you only have this shirt in this size? I was learning the allure of LuLaRoe. The limited prints and patterns and the HUNT was real. So I joined a bazillion groups and found so much more than clothes. I found a culture. Fun loving girls working hard to support their family. I thought to myself, “I can do this.” I loved it all- the games, the giveaways, mystery hostess. Every page always had something unique. Something exciting I wanted to be a part of. And that’s when I said to Greg, I want to do this! I can do this! And so we did it! And now here we are a part of the fun and the culture of LuLaRoe about to embark on a series of Pop Up parties from NJ to Florida, we are taking our love for LuLa on the road! You can follow our trip by subscribing to our YouTube channel LuLaRoe DMV. We will be vlogging our whole experience! Everything! From the moment we wake up, to each and every party to driving down the entire cost and back! It’s going to be amazing and we’d love to have you with us. And just for subscribing to our YouTube Channel, you will be entered to win a LuLaRoe wardrobe giveaway! Want to increase your chances?! Anyone who books a party with us this summer will get 5 entries! If you can’t have an in home, we also do online parties! Or maybe you know a friend who wants to have a party? We’ll give you two entries for that too! Help us share our love for LuLa! We have some huge dreams of being able to provide for ourselves with LuLaRoe and you all help us reach those dreams so thank you! Looking forward to seeing you on the LuLa Roe’d!!!!

Dawn’s goal was 10 parties on this road trip and she has booked 8.  She set a goal and went for it. Join her on Facebook and YouTube to be part of the fun.

Think about how you can take your business on the road.  Going on vacation? I know we all need them BUT why not have some fun meeting some new people along the way.  Staying at a hotel, have a trunk party or ask the hotel if you can use some space to share your products with guests.  Nothing salesy or pushy, just some fun.

Have friends or family along the route?  I mean we all have Facebook friends far and wide, right?  Why not offer them a home party or a theme party or a trunk party?  When was the last time a Facebook friend said they wished they lived closer to have a party?  I hear it ALOT!  Now is the time to take advantage of the situation.  How about a party on the go at a local restaurant in their area?  Think about the friends you will make the potential new customers.

Dawn and Greg are driving to Florida for vacation.  They are partying all the way down and back.  Not only with Dawn grow her customer base BUT she can also write off her trip as a business expense.  Yes, almost all of her vacation will be tax deductible.

I’m so excited to see how this turns out for them.  I’m thinking about my next road trip and how I can party along the way.  Headed to Atlanta in route to Florida for the Leadership Incentive Trip, maybe I can schedule a party or two along the way.

Got a unique idea on how to market your business?  Share it with us… Together We Achieve More so let’s help each other out.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Time to Get Your Finances In Order

I’ll admit, I am not the one to give financial advice because I still struggle with staying on budget as well as paying down debt.  As hubby says “You will never be a Rockefeller” which is why I was a perfect fit for social work and non-profits.I am always looking for tips on how to get better at this because:

Managing your money is the key to success!

So, if you’re looking to try and get your finances in order, stop spending, and start saving, here are some top tips are for you to try….

 

1. Create a Spreadsheet 

Do you know how much you owe?  If you have debt, do you now how much your interest rate is on each one? To easily organize your finances, a spreadsheet is a great way to see your income and your expenses.  You can create one in Google Drive so you can stay on top of it.   I have a list including interest charges so when there is extra money, I can pay down on the highest interest rate first.

2. Set Up Savings 

I know this sounds crazy if you have debt BUT you need to start saving for an emergency.  It can be as little as $10 a paycheck or $25 a month.  Check with your bank too for some of those instant kind of saving programs.  Bank of America takes the change from your ATM transactions, rounds up and the money is put in your savings account.  Those pennies add up quickly.  It all helps!

3. Organize Direct Debits 

I used to advocate direct debits but when my income varies, it is better for me to have repeated reminders set up. I have reminders set up on each of my credit cards when payments are due – 14 days out and 1 week out.  This ensures I avoid any late payment fees and any (further) damage to your credit score.

4. Refrain From Impulse Purchases 

Yup, we are all guilty of it.  Sometimes it is easier said than done.  Be sure to have some room in your budget for treats – large or small so you can occasionally splurge!

5. Make A List – Stick To It How many times have you gone to the store and your list is home?  The end result, you buy more than what you need and usually forget what you originally went to the store for.  I have started putting my grocer list on my phone.  When was the last time you left home without your phone?  Whether shopping for Christmas, clothing or groceries – always stick to the list!

6. Set Budgets for Events 

Everyone’s salary is different so why not set a budget for Birthdays so you don’t feel pressured to match what everyone else is spending.

7. Emergency Fund 

This goes back to #2 when we set up a savings account.  What happens why you have a surprise expense – car repair, etc?  Tempted to pull out the credit card. DON’T!!!  Use your savings account or emergency account.  By saving a little each money, you are ready for those unexpected events.

8. Don’t Be Drawn In By Offers 

Sales.  How often are you drawn in by the offers non things you may not really need.  If you need it, great.  If you don’t, why buy it.  I mean do you really need the  half price Ben & Jerry’s ice cream?

9. Make a Packed Lunch 

Taking lunch to work is so much cheaper than a daily visit to the local sandwich shop.  Think of the money and time you will save.  Have an hour for lunch?  Imagine being able to enjoy a full hour of leisurely eating your lunch and catching up with friends instead of waiting to order food and then gulping it down.  Bringing your lunch to work is better all around as well as far healthier for you.

10. Cut the Coffee 

Yes, I went there.  When I was commuting to work, I would do a WAWA stop on the way to and from work.  That came to at least $5 or more a day or $25 per week or over $1,300 per year.  I’m now hooked on Starbucks unsweet green tea and thankfully, I don’t commute or it would be about $1,000 a year on ice tea.  What could you use a $1000 on?

 11. Use Your Legs 

If you live in the city or your commute is to an area where there is good public transportation, this is a great way to save money.  Growing up in NJ, there really is not a very good public transportation system unless you are headed to NY to work. In addition to saving money, you can also burn some extra calories by walking to and from the stops.

12. Seek Out Deals 

Yes, I have gotten lazy when it comes to looking for the best deals.  Whether it is car insurance, phone service or our cable bill – I haven’t shopped around for the best deal in ages.  When I did call Comcast to re-negotiate our bill, I was able to save about $50 per month which is $600 to apply to paying down credit card debt.

13. Sell And Buy Online

I used to do this all of the time – selling on eBay was a regular thing.  It has gone by the wayside but it may be time to revive this old habit.  When it comes to shopping online, I am always looking for the best deal using apps like Ebates and others.

What is YOUR best tips for getting your finances under control?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

%d bloggers like this: