Do You Live to Work?

Do you work to live or live to work? Maybe you are wondering what’s the difference.  Believe me, there is a huge difference.  No, this isn’t a plug for joining my direct sales company unless of course you are looking for some extra money or a career change…… Sorry I squirreled.  LOL.
This about this:   Happier people are more productive, thereby getting more work done in less time than others.
We all dream of working less, right?  A chance to maybe retire, focus more on your family and the other things which matter most.  I’m sure there are some who love their job – that’s awesome.  I mean work is wonderful when you are passionate about what you do.  But there is more to life than work.  Sadly, it took a diagnosis of MS and a relapse for me to realize it.  So what would it be like if you didn’t have as much?  What would you do with the extra time?  Who would you spend it with?  This could mean reducing your hours at your current job, stop taking work home nights, weekends and vacation or maybe eventually stop working all together to focus on your family.  Now, I know this is a luxury for many but here are 4 strategies from Valorie Burton which might help:

1. Restructure your day and break bad work habits.

Are you working too many empty hours? Could/should a 50-hour workweek really be a 40-hour week? Many workers work hard, but not smart. I definitely fell into this category when I was working.  If I only knew working less was a matter of breaking some bad work habits. Actually, for me, it was substituting one addiction for another.  If you are the first one in and the last one out every day (yup that was me most days), something might be wrong.  Try to create a personal deadline to force yourself out of the office.   Maybe schedule a 5:30 dinner date or class at the gym so you have to leave the office on time. This one was always tough for me, I was usually late for the appointment after work.  Maybe you need to find ways to eliminate distractions to use your time in the office more efficiently.  My biggest distraction was my need to fix, manage and control situations.

 

2. If you want to work fewer than 40 hours, know your company.

Does your company allow for it?  How will it effect your future goals in the company or in life?  There are still places where working less means no or slow promotions. Are okay with that?  Then there are those businesses who love to spend less money on employees who can give them more bang for their buck. In those companies, scaling back is not necessarily a career killer—as long as you make an impact. If you work fewer hours but give your all and make a contribution to the bottom line, you will always be seen as a valuable player. So part of the strategy for working less is being strategic and performing at your best, whether you’re working 40 hours a week or 20.

 

3. Can you afford to work fewer than 40 hours? If so, make a plan.

Are you prepared for this financially?   Usually the main reasons to work is to earn a living and pay bills.  The doors open wide when you live below your means. If you quit your job or scale back your hours, would you be able to make it? If not, make a plan to get to the point where you don’t have to work so much. Trim your expenses and save, save, save!  I was a paycheck to paycheck person.  I was definitely not ready to work less than 40 hours per week or leave a salaried job.  No plan, just dove in leaving a great job due to health issues “assuming” someone would want to hire me closer to home at less hours.  A story for another time.  LOL.

 

4. If you want to work fewer than 40 hours, ask yourself if it is time to switch careers.

This option would be a long-term solution—a higher-paying job down the road for fewer hours than you work now. Ask yourself, “What opportunity would allow me to earn more for my time?”  Lots of people transition into new lines of work – direct sales.  One good thing of a forced transition is the opportunity to reevaluate your options. A different career path could dramatically increase your income while demanding less of your time. You may need time to prepare or train, but it can be a smart, long-term solution.   This may be awesome for someone thinking of starting a family who doesn’t want to work long hours as a parent.  Think ahead and plan for a transition to working less.

 

I challenge you to dream big. It’s possible to work less in your future and maintain a happy life.  Ask yourself these basic questions:

  • What would it look like for you to work less?
  • Does this idea appeal to you? Why or why not?
  • If you’d like to make it happen, what is your vision for it?

Have a blessed day!

Thankful Thursday: Weaknesses

A weakness is defined as “a quality or feature regarded as a disadvantage or fault”.
Are you wondering why I am thankful for my weaknesses? Believe me, this was not always the case. For many years, I hid in fear of anyone finding out what my weaknesses were.  I  struggled to do everything asked – the people pleaser in me was afraid they wouldn’t like me if I shared my weaknesses.  How many of you can relate to this?
So, I focused on my strengths – to move ahead in my career, to grow my direct sales business, to build relationships and to hide my weaknesses.  Not letting many close enough to see my true weaknesses.  The first time I wrote this post, it was all about being in direct sales, this time it is more of a personal revelation to help those who may be struggling….
In business and in life, we can’t be strong in every aspect. For those of us who feel insecure, this is a hard pill to swallow.  We compare ourselves to others, afraid to admit what we don’t know.  Just because we may have a weakness, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.  Trying and failing is part of learning and growing.
Think about your life (and your business).  Things are probably dictated by what you’re good at.  In your life, your hobbies, your job,  your relationships are all based on the things you are good at and enjoy, right?  What about your business?  If you are in direct sales, don’t you focus on the things you are good at whether it is booking, selling or recruiting?  I mean we can’t all be good at everything, right?  We are usually good at one aspect and struggle on another.  As a result, we place a majority of our focus on our strengths. Makes sense though right? If you’re strong in one aspect then it’s probably the part you most enjoy as well! But is thinking like this letting you grow?
I challenge you to be thankful for your weaknesses. We all have them, but sometimes it can be hard to look in the mirror and tell ourselves we need to be better at the part we struggle with.  I don’t mean in a “beat yourself up” kind of way.  I mean to look at the things you want to change or aren’t good at; find resources to help you learn, and strive to be a better version of yourself tomorrow.

 

I will admit I have always been a “beat yourself up” kind of gal.  MS and recovery have taught me a lot.  I am able to admit my weaknesses, ask for help and then even try some of the suggestions I’m given.  Notice I didn’t say DO them but I said try.  My goal is to be a better version of myself every day.

 

Let’s start by writing down what you are strongest at right now.  What do you feel you do really really well. That’s the pillar you build upon. Next, write out what you feel you do decent. Not great but you can get by with the skills you have. These are items you’ll build up over time. But lastly, write out what you feel like you just aren’t good at, or not comfortable doing at all!

 

The last list is the one you have to go and face head on. These are the topics you should be searching for online, and watching videos to help give you the tools to succeed in your business or in life.   It can be hard to admit these to ourselves but it can be the most freeing exercises, as it’s you giving yourself the direction you need.

 

Some of my weaknesses I am thankful for today are being an introvert (shocker, right?), controlling my graze eating, taking everything personally when someone says something, and the dreaded comparison game.  The two things I am working on right now is controlling my graze eating and playing the comparison game.  Eating on the Wahl’s Diet which is designed for those with MS has helped but I still have the urge to “pick” once in a while.  The comparison game or being self-critical is a tough one to overcome.  Some days are better than others but I am learning to let go and let God on the days when I want to beat myself up for something I have no control over.  I am also learning asking for help allows us to meet some really great people and get to know others better.

 

What weaknesses are your thankful for?  Have a blessed day!

 

Is Your Business “Mobile-Friendly”?

My instant response is always “OF COURSE!”.  I mean I have a website for my DS business, right?  I am a walking billboard for my angels and my Thirty One business.  But is that enough to qualify for being “mobile-friendly”?

Whether you are in DS or have your own business website, do you know if it is mobile-friendly?  I don’t mean able to take it on the road but is your website “mobile (phone) friendly”?  Did you know 57% of all US web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets, and it is only growing every day. People are using the internet on desktops and laptops less and less – which means your business needs to keep up.

So, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, here are some reasons to change it quickly!

#1 – Easy to View on a Small Screen

Take a moment to visit your website on your smartphone. I’ll wait. LOL.

Now, answer these questions:

  • Was it easy to navigate?
  • Was it difficult to scroll sideways to view the entire page?
  • Did it feel cramped with all the information squeezed into a small screen?

I honestly never thought about the difference between how things are viewed on a desktop vs. a smartphone.  Thankfully, my DS company takes care of all of those things.  BUT, as I consider setting up something for “The Angel Connection” this is something I need to consider.  Visitors to your website on a desktop is very different than mobile visitors, so you need to consider it with a responsive website. What does that mean?  The site needs to adapt to the size screen it’s being viewed on. Or maybe you can have a mobile-first site, which is a version of your website with fewer menu options but easy to navigate to key information.

#2 – Simple to Find in Search

I never knew this….. there are different search engine options (SEO) for desktops and mobile-friendly devices.  I had a hard enough time figuring out desktop SEOs.

The key for mobile is 75% of people searching for local businesses will visit the store within one day. So, if your business isn’t set up with local SEO, you’re missing out on business.  Now, if you don’t have a store-front, be sure to let people know where locally they can find you – vendor events, business partners, online only, etc.

People using a mobile search might say “where can I get my comforter dry cleaned?”.  So it’s important to include keyword phrases people would say when using voice search on a mobile device to capture new business.  Google maps tends to prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their search results. This means sites which are easy to navigate on smartphones are at the top of the search results, while those lagging behind would slip farther out of view. Where will your business fall?

#3 – More Sales

This is KEY for those who sell primarily online!  Estimates who by 2021, nearly 72.9% of all e-commerce sales will occur on mobile devices. WOW!!  So, it should be mega simple for mobile visitors to your site to make a purchase without having to go to their computers.

Is your checkout form simple?  It can be rough on the eyes and fingers to see and fill out many tiny fields.  Does you credit card payment system syncs with your traditional website, mobile website, and even payments collected on the go.

#4 – Make Google (and Customers) Happy

Did you know, Google will give preference to websites which have a responsive or mobile-friendly web design?  This is HUGE because you will now have an which is an opportunity to rank higher in the search results.  Don’t you usually grab the first few businesses when you do a search?  Many customers expect businesses to have an easy-to-navigate mobile web experience, so if you deliver, chances are you’ll see more business and referrals.

So, are you panicking?  Ne need to….. It’s not difficult to get a mobile-friendly web design.  If you use a legitimate website designer, they should be well-versed in creating versions of your site for mobile, including SEO.  Are you a more DIY website builder?  They also have tools so you don’t even have to worry about creating a second site which is mobile-friendly.  It will be created automatically as part of your chosen theme.

This is not the future, but is happening right now. If you want to grow your business, you’ve have to make sure it’s easy for people to both find you in mobile search and navigate your site on their mobile devices.

Share your website with us so we can check to see if it is mobile-friendly.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Energize Your Business

It’s HUMP Day and I am trying to get energized! I’m in a slump with my business. I’m not sure if it is MS related or if I am in-between “why” or if I just need a jumpstart!  What is a girl to do?

When all else fails go back to what worked in the past.  So I pulled up an article on the DSW website entitled “Seven Ways to Energize Your Business“.  I need some motivation.  I need to find a purpose.  I need to figure out what it is I really want to do (when I grow up! LOL)

Here are some of their suggestion which I tweaked just a little.  I mean a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, right?  
  • Establish priorities. I used to be a multi-tasker, trying to tackle everything at once. MS has changed that AND I usually forget what I am doing without a list.  I’m looking at things now through my recovery eyes.  Just One Day (or step) at a time.  So, list all your priorities (or to dos).  Then focus on one or two items at a time. I have lots of ideas squirreling away in my head but once I get them on paper, it is easier to put them in perspective.  I keep a list on my planner so I can cross it off when done.  I love seeing the pink lines which mean I have accomplished something for the day.  Prioritizing takes the stress off. I helps you  to focus on one thing at a time with the comfort of knowing you will stay on the right track.
  • Be as efficient as possible.  What are your time suckers????  Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, binge watching on Netflix?  A time sucker is anything which distracts you from your daily goals.  I have been known to put a picture of a “security camera” in front of me as a gentle reminder I have work to do.  Don’t have a lot of time to “work”, grab that list of two of three things and set aside some time to get them done TODAY.  You will be amazed at how accomplished you feel when you cross them off the list as done.
  • Combine your work with different areas of your life.  No matter what kind of work you do, you can combine it into other areas of your life.  If you truly love what you do, this will be easy.  I am struggling with my purpose lately so some days this is a little bit more difficult.  As a Thirty One Director, it is an easy!  I use and carry our bags every where I go. People comment about them and I share how awesome they are. As for “The Angel Connection“, this is a no-brainer too.  I always have an angel on.  I am learning to change up my angel so it POPS when I wear certain shirts.  Seems basic enough, right?
  • Actively manage your time and stop wasting it.  Time management may be easy for some but for me it is a struggle.  I am getting better with the help scheduling things in my planner.  Color blocking used to work but now it confuses me.  I still set aside time for family, work, my Thirty One and Angel Connection business and time for me (ok, so maybe sometimes this gets pushed to the side).  Manage your time when it comes to activity or exercise.  Add it to your calendar so it becomes a part of your every day life and you aren’t wasting the small amounts of time doing nothing when you could be active.  I know, I need to practice this one myself!
  • Commit to learning new things.  Lately, it seems like I am learning something new every day.  The struggles with MS has made this an ongoing process.  I invest in my professional development because it helps my business and my team.  You can learn new things in a variety of ways like reading a blog, watching a video, listening to a conference call, a networking meeting or a formal conference/ training.  And a way that works for you.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.  There are going to be bumps in the road but you can learn from them and then you MUST let them go.  Sometimes it is easier said than done – whether it is in business or in life.  Just because you hit a bump or deal with a little negativity, it doesn’t diminsh all the positive work you have done.
  • Laugh more. I am learning to laugh at myself.  I feel like this was so much easier before MS.  The truth is sometimes I just don’t get the pun or joke.  It kills the punchline when someone has to explain it to you.  In recovery, I am learning to laugh again.  It is a process but one I am enjoying.
The lesson is simple – we tend to look at our lives as separate compartments – business, family, work, spiritual, etc. – which very seldom merge together.  When they do, it is often in a negative way – why not take the positive lessons we have learned in each part of our life and apply them to every part of our life as we take this journey through life.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Do You LOVE What You Do?

Do you know what day it is?  YUP, it is HUMP DAY!  For many, you are DREADING the rest of the work week.  Are you already longing for the weekend?  I LOVE Wednesdays (even Mondays).  The truth is…. I don’t mind going to work.  I am a recovering work-a-holic BUT when you LOVE what you do, it is really work?  I have talked about the struggles I have over the last few months to find what I truly LOVE again.  Living life on life’s terms has  been a struggle and has me rethinking what it is I really LOVE to do.

I saw on a blog a checklist for figuring out if you truly LOVE what you do… so I decided to give it a shot and see what happens.  Why don’t you try it with me?

First upNever a dull day!  Okay, my days have gotten a little dull. MS has caused me to struggle in doing things but on those days when I am focused…. WATCH OUT!  I tend to have so many ideas going through my head, I tire myself out!  LOL!  The ideas are great but I just can’t seem to put them into gear.  Last minute parties – of course.  Last minute fundraiser – wouldn’t miss doing it.  BUT now I have added the love of creating angels.  The joy an angel can bring to someone as they share a story of someone who has passed is something I treasure.  The creativity gets my blood flowing!

Meetings? Love them!   I love leading discussions to help others grow their business.  I do struggle when there are multiple conversations going on at the same time – my brain goes into overload.  I feel like the teacher telling students “only person can talk at a time”. LOL!  So, do I LOVE them? No, but they do get my juices flowing.

Inspiration is around the corner.  Hubby said something the other night “You see the possibility of angels in everything” and it’s true.  I had a friend give me some jewelry pieces to combine and make an angel for her and I’m over the moon excited.  Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE Thirty One.  I LOVE being around other Thirty One consultants who are smart, confident, funny, giving and dedicated.  They each inspire me in their own way to be better and to reach for the stars.

Work = part of life.  You enjoy life and work. You feel alive and joyful not just at home but also at your desk. When you love your work, it’s a part of your life.  

I think this says it all.

S0 much to explore!  When you love your work, it’s like peeling an onion. There are always more layers to discover and explore. When you hate your work it’s also like peeling an onion – but all you find are more tears.  

Are you discovering or are you shedding tears?

You hardly ever look at the clock.  This is definitely me.  I can get lost in my office working on my blog, crafting angels, creating ideas and planning the future.  You know the saying “time flies when you are having fun” well it does for me!

So what is the result of this check list for YOU?  Do you LOVE what you do or are you just working to pay the bills?  Don’t get me wrong, I do the same thing – I mean, the bill collectors want their money but I enjoy all of it.  I LOVE the combination of my Thirty One business and my angels.  Want to know more about my Thirty One business and how it might be able to change YOUR life, just ask.  Not only do you get paid BUT there are some AWESOME perks.

If you don’t LOVE what you do, maybe it is time for a change.  Life is too short to wait for “it” to come so you can retire and enjoy life.  Why not enjoy it NOW!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!