Holiday Road Trip Survival Guide

 

This week starts one of the busiest travel period of the year…

Why this week?  In NJ, it is teacher’s convention add to that Election Day  and it makes for a week (or almost a week) off from school for the kids.  Next up is Thanksgiving then Christmas.

What about the weekend trips to see the leaves change?  This is what I think about hitting the road…. So, whether you’re going away for a long weekend or just a day, road trips can definitely add to the holiday joy – and stress. But from packing to snacking, Thirty-One has some helpful tips that will have you looking forward to the journey as much as the destination!

 

Savvy packing

My husband always jokes about the packing skills.  I can fit LOTS of stuff into a small space and still see out the back window.  It comes from all of the trips to cheering competitions and craft shows.  Organized packing can mean fewer bags, and fewer bags means more room to stretch your legs on the long car ride! For your clothes and other essentials, load up a couple of All Packed Duffles or Fold-Over Weekenders. These travel bags are just the right size for holidays away, and their soft edges mean you can squeeze several into your trunk more easily than boxy suitcases.

Blankets and pillows are road trip essentials, whether they’re for napping on the way to your destination or extra bedding once you get there. Instead of letting your backseat become a sea of blankets, fold and store bedding in a Large Utility Tote (LUT) in your trunk so it’ll be easy to access during pit stops. You’ll be all set to snuggle up by the fire with family and friends, and LUTs are also great for keeping all of those carefully wrapped gifts safe and sound!

Packing toiletries for travel is always tricky, but the Fold Up Family Organizer is a great option to store all your bottles and brushes. The clear zipper pockets make it easy to see what’s where without products falling out during the drive.

Smart snacking

Packing snacks can help you save money and time on the road. Juice boxes, string cheese sticks and fruit like grapes or apple slices are all easy, no-mess snacks for kids and adults alike, and they fit perfectly in the Fresh Market Thermal. This cooler keeps all your food and drinks secure during long road trips and then folds up nicely once its empty, giving you even more leg room. Or, load it up with holiday leftovers for the trip home!

Holiday gatherings usually mean food and lots of it. Whether you’ve whipped up a tasty casserole or some decadent desserts, bring something special to the table with our Perfect Party Set. Just the right size to tuck securely under a seat, this cooler helps you transport all your hard holiday work safely to the table.

Activity tracking

Nothing makes time fly like keeping yourself occupied during a road trip. If you’re looking for some inspiration to help pass the time while travelling, try out these ideas:

  • Audio books or podcasts are a great option if passengers have differing music tastes, and they still let the driver be involved! Download a couple of funny podcast episodes or holiday-themed books before your trip to switch things up from the radio.
  • Plan fun pit stops. If you’re going to be spending hours in the car, map out some fun stopping points that will give you an excuse to get out and stretch your legs. Check online before you depart to see if there are any monuments, bakeries or nature sites along your route.
  • Journal challenges: Get the kids’ creative juices flowing! Give each passenger a Journal Trio journal and some pencils. Throughout the trip, call out challenges like “draw a picture of Grandma’s house” or “make up a story about what Santa does the day after Christmas.” It’s fun for kids to share what they’ve come up with, but it’s also fun for you to think up the challenges!
Fashion hacking

A long car ride in your most stylish holiday outfit? After a few miles, those scratchy sequins might make you wish you had opted for sweats. Instead, travel fashionably (and comfortably) by taking your basics and dressing them up with JK by Thirty-One jewelry! Add a little sparkle to a plain sweater with the bold Fringed & Fabulous Necklace or a dainty pair of Gallery Earrings. You’ll feel comfortable and ready to celebrate as soon as you roll up to that holiday party.

Keeping your jewelry secure and organized while travelling can save lots of time, headaches and untangling in the long run. Jewelry organizers like the Baubles & Bracelets Case are perfect for separating delicate chains from dangling earrings so that you can have yourself a stylish little holiday.

When you’re taking a holiday road trip, every item needs to pull double duty, and that includes your handbag! Travel in style with classics like the Organizing Shoulder Bag or the new Colorblock Tote. These fashionable additions complete any outfit, and no one needs to know that you’ve tucked extra socks or toiletries inside!

What hacks help you travel during the holidays? Let us know with the #thirtyone hashtag!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How to Find Balance with Vacation Veronica

Today is the last day of school for many so enter Vacation Veronica.  You have consistently been working your business and along comes the “Double J” months.  The kids are on vacation.  The pool is calling.  The sun is enticing you.  Those inner gremlins taunt you with “you deserve a break”, “you worked hard” or “no one wants to shop during the summer”.  Yup, we have all heard or thought those things, right?  What will it hurt to take a few weeks off?  I will jump right back in when the kids are back in school.  Been there, done that and the results were not pretty.

Summer living is easy, at least here at the Jersey shore unless you are fighting traffic from all of the “shoobies”.  Pools, picnics, gardening, homemade ice cream, life at the beach, on the lake, and the lazy days of summer are what we want our lives to be full of, right?

Most adults have to work a JOB, so all of the fun summer things are squeezed into weekends or vacation.  For those who have their own business, there are BIG choices to make. Sometimes, it is hard to remember our “business is flexible, not optional”, especially if you want to get paid!

I know it is the end of June and we still have the whole summer to go, right?  What are you going to do with your business?

Have you mentally put your business on hold?  Are you going to do it all summer?  Sure you can BUT how is it going to effect your customers, your team, and maybe even your company.

We often talk about “vacations” during the holiday months, right?  I can’t be the only one who finds it hard to work between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We tend to take a “holimonth instead of a holiday”. Not good for your business then and certainly not good during the summer.

Think about the excuses everyone has about not working their business during the year:

  • July/August – Summer time is vacation time, fun time. Who wants to work when everyone else is enjoying summer fun
  • September/October – Back to School and sports
  • November/December – holiday times.
  • January – No one has any money because they spent it all on gifts
  • April  – Easter or Spring Break
  • June – Graduations, weddings, end of school year parties, etc.

Do you see the pattern?  So, if you don’t have a plan, you can end up working your business maybe two months out of the year.  I don’t know about you but I definitely would have to work 24/7 to make sure I made enough money to pay the bills all year long.  No one says you can’t enjoy lots of vacation time when you have your own business, you just need to have a plan.

Here are the 5W’s of Direct Sales which helped me keep “Vacation Veronica” away:

  1. WHO will I share this with? Who will have my next show?
  2. WHAT do I want my business to provide for me? What is my vision? What difference do I want to make in this world?
  3. WHEN will I make time for my work and for my family?
  4. WHERE will I be in one year? Where is my time best spent right now?
  5. WHY am I really doing this? WHY does this bring me joy?

When I keep the answers to these questions in front of me, Vacation Veronica doesn’t have a chance to get me sidetracked. I am not saying we don’t all need a break but let’s put it in perspective. If you owned your own store-front and took a month off, don’t you think it would be hard to get back into the swing of things. What if you work a full-time job and took a month off? Would you want to go back to work and when you did, wouldn’t you still have vacation brain?

When you imagine your summer, think about what you want, and create an intentional plan.

Here’s to hoping Vacation Veronica doesn’t linger long at my house or yours.  Take a break and enjoy your family and friends but don’t neglect your business.  If you had a store front, you wouldn’t close for 2 weeks would you?  So why should you close your direct sales business for 2 weeks unless you are fully booked for the next 2 months – even then, I am not sure I would stop working my business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

The Night Before Christmas

It is Christmas Eve day….. the hustle and bustle is reaching immeasurable heights as last minute shoppers make the final dash to the malls for the perfect gift.  Some are nursing hangovers from the holiday office parties.  Others are home preparing for family and friends to arrive – dinner cooking (is it fish? or turkey? or ham?).  Kids are eagerly counting down until Santa will arrive bringing gifts for one and all.  While still others are grabbing a quick dinner as they head to church to celebrate the real reason for the season…

Tonight will be dinner with my step-mom and half sister.  A chance to share special memories of holidays with dad. Christmas Day will be spent with mom and Sal, dinner out embracing the special moments.  Just another indication the times are changing.

As I sit looking at our Christmas tree, memories of Christmas Eve’s past flash before me.

The years of trying to get Belinda to go to bed so Edythe, Elsie and I could put presents under the tree. It was really hard carrying things past HER room to get the living room. It always made for a lot of laughs. Waiting patiently for mom to get off work so we could open presents. The early morning calls to wake everyone up. The funny thing was – Belinda wasn’t a morning person so we always had to WAKE her up. Really, on Christmas morning???? Opening presents was a process which took forever because Belinda wanted to play with each thing before moving on to the next gift. We learned games were opened last or at least towards the end or else nothing else would get opened. Great memories of days gone by…

Cherish the moments with family.  Let the struggles of the year go for you never know what tomorrow will bring or if we will even be here tomorrow. There are tears of joy, tears of sorrow for those who are no longer with us and tears of anticipation for what God has in store for our family over the next year.

Merry Christmas to my friends, family, Thirty One customers and hostess and all of my blog fans. You have blessed this year for me in so many ways…

Can You Beat Vacation Veronica?

How long is this sign on your business during the holidays?  For Vacation Veronica stepped into the picture right around Thanksgiving weekend.  She may have come and gone a few times since them but she is sneaking back to see if she can stay till the spring thaw.

Some will take a holimonth instead of a holiday.  I used to take a holimonth from the Christmas cutoff till after the first of the year.  The end result was the need to kick start my business every spring.

As we creep into the final days before Christmas then head into the week till New Years, the holiday season takes on a life of its own.  The time spent in the office is all about paper pushing.  Now, I am not saying this isn’t productive in some ways but can put a damper on the most productive, money making time of year.  Pushing papers and getting things in order are good things I do in between Christmas and New Years as I prep for the upcoming year.  The truth is, we need to keep working on building our business so in January, we are not sitting around trying to figure out WHY we don’t have any business on the books.

Here are some tips from JulieAnne Jones:

  • If you are a Leader, plan all your meetings for 2018. As Leaders with Thirty One, they help us stay on track with giving us all of the materials we need.
  • Schedule time to connect with your downline to see how you can help them with their goals in 2018.
  • Share with your team some fun ideas for theme parties as well as other tips on how to boost their business in the new year.
  • Call your September, October, November and December guests – you know the “pink bag calls” we talk about. Check in and make sure they are happy with their product.
  • Call your past hostess and check in. Don’t be afraid to ask them about hosting a party.
  • Commit to listen to/ or read at least one training program. Don’t just listen or read – IMPLEMENT it!

As for me, I am excited to be kicking of the new year utilizing the Tag Team Party format.  Since 95% of my business has been online, I have been on the hunt for a way to hold fast, fun and easy parties online.  The format will plant booking and recruiting seeds while guests enjoy a 31-minute party online.

I am tweaking my follow-up system.  With our new ship before the party closes, there have been some challenges.  So, I am trying to get a system together.  The money is in the follow-up and I need to remember it on a regular basis. It isn’t just about the emails or social media, it is also about snail mail AND the phone.

Here’s to hoping Vacation Veronica doesn’t linger long at my house or yours. Take a break and enjoy your family and friends during the holiday season but don’t neglect your business. If you had a store front, you wouldn’t close for 2 weeks would you? So why should you close your direct sales business for 2 weeks unless you are fully booked for the next 2 months – even then, I am not sure I would stop working my business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tis the Week Before Christmas…

Santa-LR

Yes, I know we are just 5 days away from Christmas but I wanted to send this out to all my friends in direct sales.  I know it is geared towards ThirtyOne (courtesy of a Thirty One sister) BUT I am sure you can substitute in some of your own words…

Twas the week before Christmas ,

When all through the land,

My Goal was not met…. and I needed a hand.

My goals were drawn up, on paper with care,

I was sitting, fingers crossed, hoping sales would be there.

My Children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While the thought of “no paycheck in January”, filled me with dread.

My husband told me I could do it.

Oh no – the pressure was high

But my doubts consumed me, I’m not going to lie.

When out on Facebook an idea was there,

It gave us permission with wisdom and care.

To pick up the heavy phone and raise some clatter.

Because if you do, your paycheck just might be fatter.

So away to my back office, I flew in a flash

I printed my contact list like I ran a 100 yard dash.

But picking up the phone, as those of us in Direct Sales probably know

Was the most dreaded task when you NEED your business to grow.

I know it was time to swallow my pride.

This was crunch time and “go” time .

From my goals, I would not hide.

I needed a plan and I needed one quick.

Before I backed out…..you see my stomach felt sick.

I knew it would take more than Facebook gimmicks this late in the game.

But what if I speak with them and they think I’m lame?

What if I call Shelly, Donna, Karen and Susan?

What if I talk to Becky and Lisa but no one finds me amusing?

I was frozen and frightened and felt backed into a wall.

But I am smart and I know I NEEDED TO CALL.

So I sat at my desk, knowing I just had to try.

No more excuses or I would kiss my paycheck goodbye.

So I picked up the phone and I dialed it with fright

But what I found out was a shocking delight.

Most calls went to voice mail, it was easy as pie.

And talking to my customers did NOT cause me to die!

I found connecting with my customers to feel like a reward.

With my doubts and my fears, I had struck an accord.

After all, those customers, helped my business to grow.

Without them, my dreams and plans I could not sow.

It was good service and connection was owed – oh and rapport.

I owed it to them for their unwavering support.

I called the whole list. I felt it was a must.

I’m back in the game folks! No more cobwebs or dust!

So if you are like me and you have doubts in your head,

Please know you too have nothing to dread.

So pick up that phone and call YOUR customers one and all.

And I wish you success as you finish out Winter.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!