Looking For the Good


Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message…

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).

As an elementary school teacher, I am fairly certain I learned a whole lot more than my students did. My first fulltime teaching position was in a school of 900 students, K3 through second grade.

As I read over the files of my students, I was appalled at the labels that had been attached to these kids by their previous teachers. At the ripe old age of six, these children were described as corrupt, bad, failures, impossible to control … and one child was actually pronounced “stupid.” I was furious! I was also determined to change the way the children saw themselves. I pulled out all the stops to help them understand how special they were, but “Star of the Day” was by far the most successful.

First, I bought a piece of yellow foam board, cut out a huge star, decorated it with glitter, used adhesive letters to write “Star of the Day,” and attached it to my classroom door. I then took a picture of each student in my classroom. Each day, I chose a student to be the Star of the Day and attached his or her photo to the star. I also made a badge that read “Star of the Day” which the student wore all day long. My husband built a special desk, painted it gold, attached dime store jewels and streamers, and mounted the desk to a small platform. The Star of the Day sat on their “throne” all day.

The Star of the Day was my personal assistant, handing out papers, running errands, sharpening pencils … whatever I needed done. The other students watched the Star to see all of the good things he or she did. It could be something as simple as picking up a dropped pencil … or opening the door … or being especially nice to someone who was struggling.

At the end of the day, I gathered all of the children in a circle around the Star of the Day. Each student shared one good thing they had seen the Star do that day. No negative comments were allowed. And every student had to participate. It was amazing to watch the transformation in the students as they learned to look for the good in each other and share it with others.

We need to do the same with the people in our world. We need to look for the good things in each other … not the bad. We need to be quick to draw attention to the worthy things we see each other do and applaud those things.

Our words should be filled with acceptance and approval. We need to be cautious with criticism and liberal with praise.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “So encourage each other to build each other up.”

People become what we encourage them to be. We need to train our hearts and minds to pass over faults in search of strong points. We should choose to draw the strong qualities of others into the spotlight.

We really can learn to look for reasons in each other to praise God. Everyone needs a cheerleader. When we choose to look for the good in each other, an amazing transformation happens. Our perspective of people changes, but that is not all. The people in our world begin to see themselves differently – the way Jesus sees them, precious and chosen – like a star of the day.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Is it time for a break?

The summer is half over and what have you done?  Have you been a Vacation Veronica?  Have you enjoyed family and friends but dread what will happen when you open your calendar for the fall?  OR have you been crazy busy and are in desperate need of a break?

Maybe the question should be, whether or not you’ll take time for a break.  Today, we are living life at a faster pace.  Everyone is offering us ways to save time with more tech gadgets.   Instead of freeing up our time, they  have us trying to figure our how much more we can accomplish with the time saved. I sometimes feel like I’m on a treadmill which keeps increasing speed.   Moving faster but not always sure how much I am actually getting done.  Are you wondering if you need a break?  Here are a few signs it’s time to take a break.

1. You are busy but not productive.

You know what I mean, right?.  You’re doing stuff, just not the most important stuff. You’re shifting papers but definitely not moving forward.  If this is you, take a break. Refocus. Restart.

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

Do you have a sour attitude?  What I mean is, do you feel frustrated, or unsatisfied in you job? Chances are there’s something hiding beneath the surface. Usually anger— even the quiet, passive-aggressive type – is a sign boundaries have been crossed. Are you stuffing your feelings?  Resentment emerges when we don’t speak up, ask for help, or make a necessary change.  This is probably one of my biggest character defects.

3. You just accomplished a big goal.

Did you know our energy is depleted after we accomplish a big goal?  I always thought it was the opposite.  Studies show, we are more effective and able to work towards future goals when we give our minds and bodies a chance to recover.  This allows our energy to be replenished for the next big goal. When you finish a major project – Celebrate. Relax. Rejuvenate. Then move on.

4. Your body hurts.

Your body will give you warning signs. I don’t mean the aches from old age (yup, my big complaint). I mean things like chronic back or neck pain, headaches, and fatigue.  Don’t ignore them.  These are usually the ways your body is trying to tell you something. Listen. If you don’t, there could be long-term consequences ahead.

5. You’re dreaming about work.

This was me when I was working…. I was forever dreaming of projects, and deadlines.  Now working for myself I am able to walk away from things (sometimes).  No matter what, it’s a definite sign some downtime is LONG overdue.

6. You haven’t had a break in a while.

Are you thinking, none of those apply to me?  Guess what?  Even if they don’t and you haven’t had time off in awhile, it is time to take a break!  It could simply be ten minutes every couple of hours, a day of downtime every week (unplug), and a vacation or personal days for fun time every few months will make you far more productive—and far happier—than working nonstop.

Give yourself a break!  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What’s Your PR Strategy?

When we talk about PR, what is the first thing you think about?  By definition, “public relations” is the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.  
For most in direct sales, we figure we are our company, right?  If someone knows the product, they know we sell it – done!  The truth is good PR will help you develop and grow relationships, being known as the “tops in your field”, and land on your feet quickly should you ever find yourself out of work (or your direct sales company closing their doors)..
It’s not about being a pushy sales person, it’s about being a person who people trust.  People buy from those they respect, trust and know.  It’s about people knowing YOU, what your stand for and who you are NOT just about the products you sell..

 

1. All PR is not good PR.

I know can you believe it!  I used to think as long as people were taking about me, good or bad, it was okay.  For celebrities, it might work.  I mean they get book deals and new TV shows, but it rarely works in the real world (our world).  Drama does not make for good business.   Not sure about something,  stay quiet until you get your facts straight. Be intentional about the image you present. Protect it. Polish it. Then, present it.

2. Communicate your wins consistently.

Businesses put out press releases. We should too. This is on my “to do” list for this fiscal year.  You can call them whatever you want BUT you have to communicate!   What better way to recruit new team members or gather customers than by sharing your success.  No, it isn’t bragging if you consistently communicate with people.  When I achieve a goal, I thank my customers because they are the reason I achieved it.   When you work for someone else, you keep them in the loop, right?  It is the same thing for your customers in direct sales.  Let them know how things are going then they never have to wonder if you are still in business.

3. Collaborate and celebrate others.

Being in direct sales, celebrating our accomplishments may feel like shameless self-promotion, right?  Focus on the relationships!  When you celebrate your wins and those of your team,  you are strengthening relationships, and building trust.  Did you honestly accomplish your goal on your own?  Chances are NO!  So build those connections which will help you to reach your goals, quickly and easily with the help of those around you.

4. Stay positive and share your business tips.

In direct sales, we want our communication to be intentional – sharing our progress and ideas.  The key is for others to know what you do is duplicatable.  I tell everyone my business is an open book.  Want to know something – ASK!  I don’t share gossip about others and I definitely will not be the one complaining online about the company I represent when I get frustrated. Stay positive on the outside even if you are fuming on the inside.  There is no better way to kill your business then by complaining about a problem to others.

5. Be kind. Be bold.

Nice is bland and often not even authentic.  Instead, focus on being kind and gracious to people. Tell the truth, but in a gentle and loving way when you tell it. Being arrogant, disrespectful, or obnoxious to get your point across could eventually cause you to lose customers and team members.  One of the top strengths of a good leader is love and compassion. To stand out, be bold in your own unique way. Leaders know when to take a stand instead of following the crowd.  The result will be,  soon the crowd—and the opportunities—will be following you.

What will your PR campaign look like during the next few months?  Share your ideas with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Celebrate the Little Wins

How do you feel when you hit a goal?  Maybe your goal weight?  Maybe you ran a marathon?  Maybe you hit your sales goals?  Whatever it was, do you remember how you felt?  The excitement of achieving something you have been working for – were you giddy with happiness, or are you like me and cry tears of joy?

Now, how did you feel working towards the goal?  Frustrated?  Overwhelmed?

There’s a reason why so many of us work hard in the pursuit of big bold goals – because it feels so good when we make them happen, right?  The truth is BIG wins don’t happen every day.  Sometimes not even every month, quarter, or year. Sometimes big dreamy goals take time, patience, and a whole lot of devotion to make happen. And it’s okay, it’s how it’s supposed to be.

But are we supposed to defer our happiness, our joy, and our contentment until those BIG dreams happen?  How many of you actually celebrate or give yourself credit for the baby steps you made on the way to your BIG goal?

Most of us (me included) forget to feel proud of ourselves in the here and now – in the moment BEFORE we reach the big goal. It is important for us to allow ourselves to enjoy the moment. We can make ourselves crazy if we continue to defer our happiness until some day in the future when we make those big dreams happen.

So what if we started to obsess over our little wins instead of the big ones?  What if we reconnected with the things which truly matter most in my life – the present, the here and now.  When we show up each day for our work and our life while taking care of ourself, our family, and our business – these are the things which truly matter most. The big wins are then the icing on the cake.  The little wins are the ones which truly shape and define a well lived successful life.

What do some of your little wins look like? Do any of these look like yours?

I paid my bills this month on time and am reducing my debt.  That’s awesome.

One of my favorite customer/hostess wants to host another party. That’s amazing.

I got 8 hours of sleep every night this week! Go me.

I gave myself time and space to read an incredible book this month.  Woo hoo!

I created and shared original posts on social media this month I’m proud of.  I sure did.

I embraced guilt-free rest this week whenever I needed it.  Yes!

So, what happens when you think about the little steps you took this week?  Were you energized, excited, and aligned?

Believe it or not, when you are focused on the little wins, you are less attached to the outcome.  You can feel proud of the hard work and devotion it took to make the BIG dreams happen without diminishing what it took to make the little, everyday wins happen too.

I’m challenging you to obsess about your little wins instead of the big ones.

What are five things you’re really proud of this week?  No matter what they are, embrace the positive feelings about the little wins.  Enjoy the feelings as you celebrate showing up each day and giving your life everything you’ve got.  Because it’s what really matters in the end.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

A Letter to Hope 2.0

As we close the month of February, I want to share one last thing in honor of International Boost Your Self-Esteem Month!

Remember you deserve to be happy, truly happy with a joy which comes from within.  Believe in yourself just as others believe in you.  See yourself through their eyes.  You are AWESOME. Feel it.  Believe it.  And know you deserve it.

I don’t know about you BUT I struggle with self-esteem – from the comparison game in my business to still seeing the 295 pound me instead of the new 175 pound me.  I practice visualizing, where you want to be every day, then take the steps to make it a reality.  It isn’t easy but I am determined to reach my goals even though they scare the HELL out of me!

Someone suggested I write a letter to the future me so I could see how far I have come.  It also helped me to visualize the future and how it feels to reach my goals.   Have you ever written a letter to future you?  Why not try it?  Make sure it contains positive affirmation of the goals you want to achieve.  Remember, the Law of Attraction?

Here is my letter to Hope 2.0 telling her how proud I was of all she has accomplished in her life:

Dear Hope 2.0:

I am so proud of all you have accomplished in the last 5 years:

  • Your office  is organized.  I am glad you finally have a part-time assistant to help with the busy work.  The family room looks AMAZING.  I know your team loves hanging out with you and learning all of your great business tips.
  • Where did you say your last cruise went to?  WOW!  I know hubby loves the fact you can take a vacation every year and you treat.  What a great way to say thank you to him for taking care of you every day.  Of course, those mini getaways are nice too.  You can never have enough of them.
  • Your team has grown by over 100 girls.  Having hubby there when they celebrated your accomplishments on stage was the best part.  I know you cried because he never wanted to enter the pink bubble but he was so proud of you.  He finally sees your business as a business and the impact you are having on others.
  • Your calendar is always full.  Your hostesses are scheduling their next party so they never miss out on getting on your calendar
  • Your Annual Hostess Appreciation party has become the talk of the town.  In 5 years, it is the must attend end of the year event
  • The many charities you have helped with your seasonal events for kids and families are a blessing.  Don’t forget the multiple fundraisers you hold every month.  Not only are you helping organizations find discretionary money but you are also helping people who are struggling. You never forget where you came from – a homeless, addict who just wanted to please everyone.  By remembering, you are able to encourage others
  • You have inspired so many on your team to reach for their dreams, to overcome their inner gremlins and as a result their lives are changed forever
  • Your willingness to share your office systems, your party ideas, presentations and even allow consultants to tag along with you whether they are on your team or not is a great example of a leader.

I want you to remember success is always within your reach.  There will be struggles but it simply means there are lessons to be learned.  Your  journey is yours alone but others can learn from it.  Comparison is not in the plan.

I am not there yet BUT I am on the road to being Hope 2.0.  I am not waiting for “when” or “if”, I am claiming the blessings NOW.  I have seen things change in my business since I did this exercise – thank you Eryka. Give it a chance, what have you got to loose.  You deserve to have all of the blessings waiting for you.  I can’t wait to celebrate your successes.

What about you?  What would your letter look like?  Share your thoughts with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!