Confidence is Within Your Reach

Confident by definition is “feeling or showing self-assured; and feeling or showing certainty about something.”  Have you ever felt your confidence slipping?  Fear and doubt creeps in?  Those nasty inner gremlins play with your emotions?

I have a choice – it is time to make a decision and take action.  Time to stop wallowing in self-pity.  Time to find the independent confident woman I was.  Time to STOMP on those inner gremlins.  Yes, there may be tears.  Yes, there may be angry moments.  But in the end, all will be well.  God has a plan for me and I need to have faith.

I looked back at an article I read on the Direct Sales Education Foundation‘s website about “Finding Confidence“.  Yes, I need to hit “RESET” periodically because those nasty gremlins find their way past the closed (or what I thought was sealed) doors.

Has “self confidence” been a struggle for you?  I know I am always talking about it but I but I am often surprised by the people who share they lack confidence.  On the outside they appear strong, capable of overcoming anything while on the inside they are fighting the same inner gremlins many of us do.   Here are some of the tips which might help:

  • Practice makes perfect.   We have all heard this a million times growing up – from sports to school to musical instruments.  As I got older, practicing seemed silly.  I was a fan of winging it but have found when I do, my confidence is sometimes shaken.  “My mission is to bring a smiles and paychecks to those who are struggling and love #ThirtyOneGifts as much as I do!” Something simple but definitely worth practicing.  My party scripts are becoming a little bit more natural too since I have been practicing.  Practice may not make me perfect but it will help to build confidence.
  • Find a mentor.  I have an amazing upline, Hope Shortt has been supportive and knows just when to challenge me.  Find someone who you want to be like, ask them if you can shadow them.  Find someone who you can trust and respect and build a relationship.  I also am blessed to have Desiree Wolfe in my corner.  Her kick in the butt is what I need sometimes.
  • Find a partner.  Find a close friend, family member or even your spouse who can share in your accomplishments and help to bolster your confidence.
  • Dress for success.  This is something else I have heard since my college days.  Wear something which makes you feel good when you go to a presentation or a meeting.  It should fit well and be put together with accessories and hair style.  Someone asked me the other day if I had a makeover.  I was THRILLED.  No, not a formal one but I did in my head.  How?  Hair style instead of just hair hanging straight.  Out of my jeans for meetings and into a pair of khakis (capris right now) with a nice shirt and jewelry.  Makeup.  I never leave the house without some.  You never know who you will run into on the trip to the grocery store to grab a gallon of milk.
Simple tips but for those of us who have a small comfort zone, this is a BIG deal.  Things I have heard for years but thought I was “too old”.  You can teach an old dog new tricks – really!  Are you ready to challenge yourself?  Try one of these tips, if not all of them.  DREAM BIG!  The sky is the limit.
Time to accept your strengths and weaknesses. Challenges will come but it is how we deal with them which makes the difference in the end.  Time to be confident in myself and how I want my life to be.
How do you find your confidence?  Please share, I would love to hear and at the same time, you may help someone else.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Throwback Thursday: So You Want to be a Leader?

June starts a new “fiscal year” with Thirty One and I am sure it is the same with many direct sales companies.  It is when I start looking back, not just at the past year but at my journey. It is when I start setting goals for myself for the new year.

Thirty One is offering an incredible opportunity right now….a chance to earn FREE Fall products AND up to $5000 in Disney bucks.

I love this incentive because the focus is on sharing the gift of Thirty One, NOT becoming a leader.  For some the word leader is scary.  I have heard it a million times, “I don’t want to be a leader”, “I don’t have the time”, “I won’t know what to do”, and the list goes on.  The BIGGEST tip I have given my team is: just share the gift of Thirty One and stop focusing on whether or not you will (or won’t) be a leader.  Have fun.  Help others. Share the excitement and the love.  The rest will fall into place.

This is a blog I wrote back in June, 2013.  I had only been a Director with Thirty One for about 8 months.  The thing is, this is still true today:

I never thought of myself as a leader, let alone a great leader.  I have always been a “behind” the scenes girl.  When attention was drawn to the work I did, I backed away and gave credit to bosses or those on my team, anyone else but me since I did not like being in the spotlight.  When I made the official decision to go into leadership with my Direct Sales company – the thought terrified me (and still does sometimes).  What did I know about being a leader?  I didn’t want to let anyone down – my up-line, my team, my family or friends.   I have been a “people pleaser” most of my life, a follower and not a leader.   

An interesting quote by Direct Selling Education Foundation said “the more others respect you as a leader, the more successful your business will be.”  

Here are some basic tips to help you to be a LEADER:

  1. Keep your word.  This is a basic concept for life.  If you give someone your word, it should mean something.
  2. Be inclusive, welcoming and make others feel safe.  If you do not get this kind of support from you company sponsor or director, find someone in the company who makes you feel this way.  I have been blessed with an AMAZING Sponsor (National Executive Director) Hope Shortt.  I want to be like her when I grow up.  Yes, I am much older than her but she is a leader I would follow to the ends of the earth.  I want my team to feel the same way. 
  3. Encourage creative thinking.  This used to be hard for me, in my years in the non-profit world, as a Program Director.  I lacked confidence in myself so it was difficult to encourage creative thinking in my staff.  As I grew, so did they and so did my ability to encourage “outside of the box” thinking.  I encourage my team to build their business with a solid foundation of company standards (home parties, etc) and then get creative.  Make their business – THEIR business.  Stand out from the crowd. 
  4. Allow people to share ideas and concerns.  My early management style was a dictator.  Fear, low self-esteem and lack of confidence had me instilling marshall law. As I got, older and squashed the inner gremlins, I learned to temper my demands and be open to suggestions.  I had a potential recruit come to a team training and share how she felt with my current party style.  It was not pretty.  WOW! In a room full of other consultants, it was a hard pill to swallow.  I listened and thanked her for her suggestions.  Yes, I quickly changed my party style so everyone is having fun (or at least I hope so).
  5. Support others and help them grow.  I tell everyone who joins my team, they not only get their kit but they get me.  I am there to help them in good times and bad.  It isn’t just about MY income or MY goals but it is about helping them reach their dreams – big or small.     
  6. Maintain an exciting and fun atmosphere.  In my past life, this was tough for me.  I was insecure and thought too much fun was a sign of bad management.  Over time, I found it was important to have a place people enjoyed working and coming to every day.  My team tells me all of the time – You are crazy!  I like to make things fun for them, get them excited and then they share the excitement with their customers and their teams.
  7. Hold others accountable for their actions.  I was a tough boss in the workplace but EVERYONE got treated the same – good or bad.  As a leader In direct sales, I struggle with holding my team accountable for their actions/ goals.  I am always afraid they will perceive it as being all about me (and my paycheck) instead of hemming them attain their goals.  I will alway encourage them and help them along the way. 

As I have said before, I originally fell into leadership (as a Senior Consultant) but then I made a conscious decision to be a leader.  I do a little each week to work on my personal development.  I know  if I focus on overcoming my challenges as a leader, I will be able to be a more effective one for my team.  What qualities do you think make a good leader?

Have a ThirtyOne -derful day!

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

I’m sure you have heard it a million times “a picture says a thousand words” or something like it… No need for a caption sometimes, it is just enough to post a picture and let it speak for itself.

Picture taking is easy with smartphones, no need to carry a camera. You can take a picture anywhere you go as long as you have your cell phone.  I mean, how many of us leave the house without our cell phone?  I know, I don’t and if I do, I head back to the house to get it. Once you take a picture, it is easy to post on Facebook, Pinterest, SnapChat and Instagram.  I’m sure there are more places but they are the ones I know.  I will admit, I use Facebook most of the time and occasionally Instagram.

An article on the Direct Selling Education Foundation website called “4 Ways Photos Can Help You Grow Your Business” gives some great suggestions:

1. Take pictures of yourself and other people using your product.

I’m not a big fan of posting pictures with me in them BUT I will post pictures of product (or with my customers in them).

Sharing pictures when I am at a vendor shows allows me to share not only my display but encourage potential customers to visit the event.

Photo contests are a great way to get customers to share their pictures. I have done this as well on my closed Facebook group for my VIP customers.

2. Take pictures of your parties (with permission).

I don’t do this one as often as I would like.  I always forget until it is too late.  I am usually so involved partying with guests and the hostess I forget about taking pictures.

3. Take pictures of things you get to enjoy as a result of your business.

This could be of a vacation you have earned, a program or sport your children gets to participate in because of your business.  It can be somethng you have earned from your company as well.  So excited to be cursing this year for our 6th wedding anniversary courtesy of Thirty One. 4. Share pictures of things unrelated to your business. This lets people know you are not all about business.  Share pictures of your family, motivational quotes, pets, kids – anything and everything you are interested in.

I started sharing pictures long before I knew it was a marketing strategy.  It was a way for me to reach out to family, friends, and potential customers to let them know about me, my products and where I was for vendor events. Another way to network and build relationships with customers.

Share DON”T sell.  How often do you see the posts for “buy now” or “need to sell” begging you to buy their products?  How often have you seen ads for great deals on products fill your news feed?  I know I do every day.  I love seeing people use their products or their results from using things.  It creates an interest in the product.

What will your next photo op be to share your product or your business?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Are You Taking Risks?

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Risk is defined “as exposing (someone or something valued) to danger, harm, or loss.”  Honestly, how many of us actually take risks?  The truth is we take some risk every day – we drive a car with only a yellow line separating us from the other car, we fly in planes, and I am sure the list could go on.  Most of us don’t think of these things as risks, right?

Often, my fear of failing stops me from stepping out into uncharted territory. Although I believe that you learn from your mistakes, I am often hesitant to walk on a path that is less traveled. Taking a risk can sometimes mean just stepping out of your comfort zone.

I talk a lot about stepping out of your comfort zone . I believe that many of us don’t and as a result, we are kept from reaching our full potential and our goals in life and in business.  So whether you are jumping into a new job, a new relationship, a new business or anything else that takes you out of your comfort zone, here are some tips to determine if you should take a risk or not:

  • Trust yourself. When you take a risk, you need to trust that you have the skills to reach your ultimate goal. If you lack self-confidence, the first step is identifying your weakness.  Then seek out others who can help you through the struggles.
  • Think creatively.  Being unique is wonderful.  Standing out or above the crowd allows us to shine.  Remember that when you step outside of the box, you don’t want to loose sight of your vision/goal.  You can be creative while still  using some of the tried and true ideas that have helped others be successful.
  • Know your field and product/service.  Love what you do and the rest is easy.  I have taken risks many times when it came to new jobs.  The secret to all of them was that I loved what I did.  I learned everything I could so that I could be an expert in that particular area.  If you are joining a direct sales company,  LOVE their products. Learn from those who have gone before you.  Take classes. Read books.  Network with others in your field and out of your field.

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  • Implement a support system and seek expert advice. When I stepped out of my comfort zone to join a direct sales company, I found an AMAZING support system in my upline and other Thirty One sisters. Find a network of professionals who you trust that can guide you in those areas where you are weak. Here are a few that have helped me:  Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women, The Desiree Wolfe, Eryka Peskin, JulieAnn Jones, Britt Bolnick and the list goes on personally and professionally.

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  • Show courage. Sometimes it just comes down to – Do I have the courage to step out of my comfort zone and take a RISK. “By showing courage, you are also showing good leadership skills” – I never really thought about that.
    Never give up. Stepped out and it didn’t work out?  Maybe you didn’t get the response you were looking for?  Maybe you it didn’t turn out like you planned? Okay – build a bridge and get over it.  Learn from this and move on.
  • Don’t listen to negatives.  Ignore Negative Nellie.  Stop talking to her since those negative thoughts will undermine your self-confidence. If she has taken up residence in your head – close the door on her and find some positive affirmations to keep the door locked. This is sometimes our biggest hurdle.

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Risk means there is a potential for loss. It means that we are stepping out of our comfort zone and walking in FAITH. If the risk is God-centered, then he will lead us through it. Even if it is not a success or is a flat out FAIL, there is a lesson that can be learned. Step out of your comfort zone, take a risk and see where it leads.  What will you do today to step out of YOUR comfort zone?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Mobile Office to the Rescue

What do you think of when we talk about “mobile offices”? Social media, cell phones and email? Or are you a paper person?  Is your truck  full of catalogs, order forms, samples and anything else that you might need if a customer should approach you?   Maybe you just carry a large purse so that you have stuff at your finger tips?  I am guilty of this one!

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, you want to be ready, right?  Ready to capture a new customer or hostess or maybe even a new team member.

An article on Direct Sales Education Foundation shared some tips on how to be mobile friendly in a cost effective way. Most of us in direct sales have been bombarded with this kind of training while some of us are a little slower to catch on (count me in this group).

For those of us who are old school, we have a mobile office in our car.  I have been using Thirty One’s  HangUp Activity Organizer.  No need to take up space in the trunk.  It hangs behind the passenger seat for easy access.

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For those that carry samples, Thirty One’s Zip Top Organizing Tote is a perfect solution with 7 outside pockets for carrying all those extras.

ZOT & fold n file

The Fold n File fits right inside the tote and is great for hanging files. You never want to be unprepared, right?  This is also a great set-up for teachers, social workers or anyone whose business is on the go.

Maggie from BeautiControl is a great testimony to how her mobile office saved her.  She arrived at a party only to realize that she forgot ALL of her paperwork.  How could she do a home spa without catalogs, orders forms, etc? Too far from home to go back or to have anyone bring them to her, she remembered that she had a complete mobile office in her trunk.  What a great feeling to get a text that tells me that I “saved” her party.

There are many other uses for these products so what if you don’t need a mobile office.? How about: diaper bag, overnight bag, gym bag, quick trip to the grocery store, travel bag, car organizer, snack bag, dvd holder…..what would YOU use these bags for? We would love to hear from you…

Be sure to also gather information from people you talk to.  The purpose of gathering information is with the intention of connecting with them SOON. When you meet someone and give them YOUR company information, get their name and their email address.  Most people will share their email.  Then be sure to FOLLOW-UP.  The fortune is in the follow-up, right?

Don’t be caught out and about without YOUR tools to conduct business this holiday season (or anytime of the year)!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!