Do You Have an Elephant in the Room?

Hello, world.  Have you ever had the feeling something was following you?  You knoooow something’s there but you were just too afraid to look.  So you ignore it, hoping it would eventually go away… but it doesn’t.  Suddenly, “something” grabs you at your feet!  You jump back in shock, only to slam right into it.  So then, you do what most people would do… RUN!  Or you attempt to run, when only after a few steps, you slip on to the floor, and fall directly into the “thing”.  Finally, you make it to the door.  By now, you’re thinking you at least owe it to yourself to see what it was; this persistent, consuming “thing” determined to drag you down.  So you slooowly turn around… and stare it head on.  Did someone break in?.. Is it an animal?… a ghost or a MONSTER?!  When all of a sudden you realize… it’s just those overstuffed binders on the floor you’ve been “meaning” to organize, the books and customer invoices stacked on the desk, and the world of products from your inventory toppling over the shelves.  Yep, the so-called “Thing” pursuing you is called Clutter… and the truly scary conclusion is, it ain’t goin’ anywhere until you make it.

I saw this in a blog post some time ago and I giggle every time I read it.  As a home-based business owner, the “Thing” called clutter is a common issue.  Being a home-based business owner for many years, I have had the elephant in the room.  Yes, I do help others get organized but not always the best at taking my own advice!

Do we invite clutter in?  Nope!  Do we like to deal with it? Nope!  It just sort of happens.

I was always one for piles – organized piles.  Then when I started working from home full time, I found it wasn’t so easy to get organized.  I struggled with systems. We know we should take time to get organized, but the truth is we either (1) don’t know where to start, (2) adopt the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality (try to work with it as it is), or (3) RUN from it (avoid it all together).

No matter what, clutter has to eventually be cleared up or it will only get worse and you will be buried under a mass of paper being totally unproductive.  It’s not going anywhere and the biggest hit where it REALLY hurts is…..yep, your profits.  It is so much easier when you tackle it right away because it is easier, less overwhelming and can be a stress-free process.  Otherwise, you not only work harder, you start the day off cranky and frustrated because, “seriously, I can’t find the file!” or you have orders for a product you didn’t realize was out of stock… ouch$$$!  Need more motivation?

The major benefits of putting in the time and effort to get any home-based business space in order:

  1. It promotes efficiency… you can locate your items much quicker because you know exactly where everything is when you need it, which saves you time.  Once organized, it may take a moment to think about where you put it but once you keep putting something back in the same place, it will become a habit!
  2. It increases productivity… an organized workspace helps you accomplish more throughout your workday.  When a system of order is in place, you are more driven and focused on the success of your business; NOT on the added stress of a cluttered space.
  3. It saves you profits… Organization = Great inventory management!  You avoid product loss due to expiration, misplacement, or damage.
  4. It creates an atmosphere which leads to business success!.. when you’ve create an environment which stimulates our brain, you think and feel better which translates into your work.  The passion for your business is reignited!  It also inspires you to want to become organized in other areas of your life.  Imagine that!!!

Helping people get organized is part of the butterfly effect of my vision – to bring a smile to the face of those who are struggling.  When people think of someone struggling, they think of major things like chronic illness, the loss of someone, addiction, etc.  BUT the struggle could be the desire to grow your business.  I’m in the business of helping people.

I LOVE working with home based business owners. Let me help you transform spaces which are a “hot mess” to what seems like a completely different room.   Every time you enter your office space, you’ll instantly become charged about your business day.   I can share with you how I got organized and STAY organized (90% of the time).  But it is your BUSINESS (or your home)!  We need to make it work for YOU.

I want you to feel excited and inspired every day when you enter your work space.  It shouldn’t bring feelings of stress or a “business-as-usual” mentality.  As a home-based business owner, you have the power to change your work environment into something to fuel your success.   It starts by getting organized – office supplies, product inventory, packaging/shipping supplies, photo/video equipment… EVERYTHING needed to run our businesses from home, in a neat and orderly system which fits your unique, individual needs…wheeew!  As a home-based business owner, you can create a positive, inspiring environment to keep you pumped about fulfilling your goals – no matter how big or small the space may be.

It’s time to address the elephant in the room!  Face it head on and be determined to overcome the problem which isn’t going anywhere

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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…

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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!

Will You Step Out of Your Comfort Zone?

Yes, it is Monday and we are SEVEN days from Christmas.  Your to do list is a mile long.  Maybe you still need to buy gifts (yup, that’s me) or you need to mail stuff out (yup, that’s me too) or maybe you are totally organized, finished with everything and enjoying the moment (so jealous!).

This is my first week without anything on my calendar as far as events or parties, etc.  I set this week aside to catch up on things personally and get ready for the holidays.  While I am doing things, I have lots of time to think.  I will be driving around in lots of holiday traffic so what better time to start thinking about the new year – personal and business goals for 2018, what will be on my vision board and of course, my word for the year.

Today I want to ENCOURAGE you to put something on your list of goals for 2018 which challenges you to step outside your comfort zone.unnamed-2.jpg

I often talk about stepping outside of my comfort zone but when I look back at the past year, I wonder “did I”?

    Was raising the price on my angels out of my comfort zone? YES!  Did it scare me?  YES!  Was I afraid they wouldn’t sell? YES!  The truth was with some encouragement from some amazing ladies, I trusted their business sense and went with it.  It worked.  I may not have sold as many depending on the show BUT customers put more value in the work I did.

When I think of my direct sales business, the biggest step out of my comfort zone was running 95% of my business online.  It really wasn’t scary.  The scary part was locking into a Facebook party style and sticking with it, no matter what.  Did it fail sometimes? YES!  Did it rock sometimes? YES!  Will I continue with the same format? Absolutely!

I say all of this to get you thinking.  When setting your goals for 2018, here are some tips to help you:

  1. Do something which scares you, or maybe even terrifies you.
  2. Do something you have never tried or maybe haven’t done well in the past.
  3. What about the thing you have thought about but put off?
  4. How about trying a new way to party to build your business…like social media and Facebook partying?!

Direct sales businesses are changing every day.  It seems everyone is all about partying online, and growing their social media presence.  Building genuine relationships can be difficult.  I like to TALK to people so building my business online via email, messaging on Facebook and Instragram is really “out of your comfort zone”.  What about you?  What type of activity in your business makes you feel uncomfortable?

Try it!  Go for it, I DARE YOU!!

I encourage you to come up with at least ONE thing you are going to do to step outside your comfort zone and work on. It doesn’t have to be a monetary goal, how much you are going to sell each month, how many parties you are going to have, etc. It can simply be something you are going TO DO or actively be involved in because of your business.  It can be so much more than recognition stats.

So, I ask you:  How are YOU going to allow your business to grow you in 2018, in a way which maybe uncomfortable, uncertain, scary, exciting but could lead to things you could never even dream of?

Share your 2018 goal with us or if you did something like this in 2017 share it with us.  You may inspire or encourage someone else to step outside of their comfort zone.  I’m still working on mine but I will share all of my plans for 2018 with you in between Christmas and New Year’s…

Have a ThirtyOnesh-derful day!

Now is the Time to Grow Your Business

We are kicking off the busiest selling season of the year which is the perfect time to think about growing your business.  I mean people are shopping, ready to spend money on those they love and you have amazing products to offer them.  So, building your business now should be easy right?  Many of us will do 60% of our sales during the next 6 to 8 weeks, BUT we want the business to keep moving forward, right?  I don’t know about you BUT I like getting a regular paycheck.

This is the time of year when we get to connect with new and repeat customers.  We get to share all of the newness of the holiday gift guides and help them to find the perfect gift for those they love.  What happens when the holiday excitement fades?  Will your business fall flat or will it continue to grow or at least maintain an even pace?

This time of year gets me excited.  There are lots of vendor events connecting with other direct sellers and business owners.  I get energized thinking about new ways to build my business.  For those of us in direct sales, we know to build your business, you need to:

Sell, Book, & Recruit

Sales are easy during the busiest selling season of the year.  Vendor events open the door to new customers.  We get to introduce our product to people who have never heard of our companies.  Lots of customers result in an increase in sales, right?  Potential customers are all around us.  Sharing our passion about our products along with tips and tricks is something which comes easily for most of us.

Booking and recruiting can get a little harder.  Despite the fact I love the company I am with, the hostess benefits are awesome and I am blessed to have it pay all of my bills as I work from home; I still stumble over words when talking to someone about having a party or becoming a consultant.  Crazy, right?

So what is the trick to turning customers into hosts and recruits which will help to grow your business?  The truth is not everyone is going to be interested in having a party or becoming a consultant and it is OK.

Here are 3 simple ways to increase the number of customers who turn into hosts and new team members.

Strategy 1: Keep it all about them.

When we share our hostess program or business opportunity, how often is the focus on us as the consultant?  I can hear all of the denials but sometimes it is tough to turn “our needs for sales/bookings” into being all about them, right?   We need to practice talking about how it could benefit THEM.  As a business, people need to see how it can fit into their life and add value to it.  The key is building a relationship with our customers and then sharing the VALUE of what you have to offer with confidence!

Asking questions and offering solutions to fill their needs, helps our success rate go up. Whether tit is for the discount on the products,  time with friends/family, or a chance to earn extra money, YOU offer solutions.

Strategy 2: Uncover their concerns.

The key to finding new hosts and customers is knowing how to listen. If you ask someone if they would like to have a party and they say, “no”, don’t be too quick to move on from the conversation. Asking more questions doesn’t have to be pushy or salesy.  You can simply ask “is there anything holding you back?”  Then LISTEN to their response, it allows you to overcome their objections

Validate their concern and offer a solution along with some encouragement.  Who knows you could turn a no into a yes. Take time to find out more about their hesitation.

Strategy 3: Consistently Follow-Up

When someone says “no”, do you ask them if it is okay to check back with them at another time?  Then do you actually follow-up?

Think about when you were invited to attend something. Maybe you initially said, “Thanks for the invitation, but I’ve got so much going on I won’t be able to attend.”  A few days go by and the same person asks you if you are attending.  Now you respond with, “I don’t know. Maybe. I’ll have to see how my schedule pans out.”  Another week or so goes by and you get a messaging from the person saying they are hoping to see you at the event. This time you say, “You know what. It sounds like fun. Yeah, I’ll see you there!”

It happens all of the time. Initially, someone may decline to join your team or host a party, simply because they are busy and don’t want to think about it.  Then some time passes, if you reach out again they may be more open to the idea. A “no” doesn’t mean never contact me again, just not at this time.  You will miss opportunities if you don’t follow-up.  Remember, follow-up is important because needs and situations change.

When we focus on the needs of our customers, uncovering their concerns, and following up consistently, you will turn more customers into hosts and recruits.

A little long but hopefully it will help you to extend this busy selling season into the new year.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!