Seven Years and No Itch!

The sevenyear itch is a psychological term suggesting happiness in a relationship declines after around year seven.  I know it usually applies to a marriage BUT for some I think it pertains to their business or their jobs.  When I was working in the non-profit world, I would get the “itch”.  I needed a change.  I wanted something new.  I wanted excitement.

Why am I talking about the “seven-year itch”?  No, I am not thinking of changing direct sales companies.  No, my marriage is great – we haven’t hit the 7 year mark yet.  LOL.

Today is my seventh anniversary with Thirty One.

Struggling with trying to remember BUT grateful I have blogged about this before.  Here is how the story goes…..

See, the truth is I joined Thirty One in 2009 and didn’t do much with it.  Yup, I was a kitknapper. I had a few sales but nothing much and it wasn’t long before I went inactive.

I can’t remember exactly how or why it all happened – God had a plan.  I started following Hope Shortt on Facebook and I read her story.  On February 7th, 2011, I talked with her and told her I wanted to join her Thirty One team. She asked me “what my why” was?  Kind of the standard question when someone joins your team…

I was nervous and being a “people pleasing person” I told her I wanted to earn some extra money.  I had a good job – Chief Operating Officer for a non-profit and who had time for much of anything else.  BUT the truth was, deep down I had a big dream but fear and doubt crept in along with Negative Nellie so I stuffed it down deep.  I started sharing the products at vendor/craft shows, not wanting to do home parties and really not interested in having a team.   Recruiting wasn’t an option because I joined the day before the FREEZE. No, not the weather although it was cold; Thirty One froze enrollment because they were growing so fast.  I was relieved. I had been doing craft/ vendor shows for over 20 years, so it was going to be easy. Hope listened and said she would be there to help when I needed her. No pressure just support and kindness.2014-08-09-18-17-48-4

So started my journey with Thirty One.  I did LOTS of vendor events. Still NO home parties.  Fear and doubt kept me company.   I didn’t have much confidence – I know amazing, right?  This was so far out of my comfort zone.

I got my first TWO potential recruits during the freeze.  I was honest with both of them from the start,  I was going to be learning along with them. Believe it or not, they still joined as soon as the freeze lifted and quickly qualified with $1,000 in sales.  I was now a Senior Consultant. YIKES!  I wasn’t sure what it meant but it was okay.  I was having fun and slowly building confidence.  Then my first home office lead wanted a HOME PARTY! Panic set in… it was someone I didn’t know and I was clueless.  I stumbled my way through it – no additional booked parties or recruits but I had sales and it was kind of fun.

My FIRST Thirty One National Conference was August of 2012.  It was there I set a goal and decided tout my dream on paper and go for Leadership. The goal was to be Director BEFORE National Conference 2013. The stats say those who go to national conference earn more – TRUE! Those who go to national conference – PROMOTE – TRUE! In October, 2012 I DIQed and in January 2013, I earned my $1,000 Director Bonus.  I had gained confidence as a consultant but being a Director brought new fears and challenges.

At National Conference 2013 along with my daughter and members of the Rays of Hope Team. I walked across stage and was CELEBRATED as a NEW Thirty One Director. Tears of joy flowed freely all weekend and continue each time I think back to the moment. Hope Shortt, my National Executive Director, hugged me on stage.  I struggle with memories but the emotion of walking across the stage stays with me bringing me to tears each time I think of it.

Since then my why has changed so much. I no longer work full-time and we rely on my Thirty One business as the second income in the house.  It pays bills and allows us to travel a little bit.  It allows me to work from home as I struggle some days with my MS.

I sometimes struggle with my “why” and learning to DREAM BIG. I still get nervous before a Home party.  I continue to work on personal development because inner gremlins still on occasionally haunt me.  I am blessed with a sisterhood across the country who helps me when I am struggling, who celebrates with me and who encourages me when the struggle is real.  My team continues to grow and inspires me everyday.  They accept me for who I am and have helped me to learn to love me for me.

I would say the biggest blessing from my Thirty One business is the confidence I gained which was lost when I was in HIGH SCHOOL. Yes, I earn FREE products! Yes, I am paying off debt & travel as a result of my commission checks!  Yes, I found a sisterhood I didn’t know existed in my Thirty One sisters! Yes, I have grown in my walk with God, learning to trust and believe his will will be done in my business!

The seven year itch and some vision casting with the Beacon of Hope Team (my upline’s team) had helped me to focus on my why again.  To Make a Difference in as many lives as possible while becoming debt free.  I am being intentional in all I do this year.  I know it is only February but January was a good start…. now to keep moving forward.

A $99 pink box almost seven years ago, CHANGED MY LIFE. Could it be the thing which changes yours?  Till February 28th, you can also join for $1 and I will help you get started…. which would you pick?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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!

What Matter’s Most

You hear all of the hype and negativity about direct sales.  You hear about the “scams”.  You hear about businesses closing.  What you seldom hear about is the AMAZING hearts of direct sellers especially those in leadership.

I’m not talking about the BIG fundraisers but about the way many leaders love on their team.  It is the heart of a leader which leads people to a team or a business.  Heart is actually a big reason people are attracted to direct selling and why they stay.  Heart builds relationships and brings joy.  Who doesn’t want more joy in their life?

What matter’s most?

The topic of last year’s Thirty One National Conference and it is a question I ask myself a lot.  When we know what’s in the heart of our teams – we are able to create a strong bond and build a relationship with them.  As a leader, it is up to us to help them identify what matters, it is where their why resides.  I will be the first to admit, I struggle to get to my why some days mainly because of health (memory issues).

As we start a new Thirty One year, I am reaching out to my team (and those potential recruits) to see if I can help them uncover their why.  When everyone has a clear picture of what matters most to them personally, connects it to their business – they will be on fire!

I know, we have all been asked – what is your why?  For most of us, it is about financial freedom, or staying home with the kids.  But is the basic why enough to get you out of bed on a bad day?  Is it is enough to keep you moving forward when there are no parties, or no sales?

It is about digging deeper – uncovering what matters most to them (and you).  How can you tell you have reached their true why?  The emotions will shift and you will hear it.  When I hit my true why, It usually brings tears

I have told the story often of a coaching call many years ago which helped me to work towards and achieve my goal (at the time) of being Director.  Hope Shortt spent an hour on the phone with me asking me questions and helping me to uncover my why.  It was the most emotional coaching call I can ever remember – it brings tears to my eyes even now remembering it like it was yesterday.  What mattered most to me?  My family being proud of me. I wanted to hear their words of affirmation (one of my love languages).  For some, this may seem shallow BUT for someone who struggles with confidence – it was HUGE.

Not sure how to reach your WHY or help your team reach theirs?  Listen and then listen some more.  It is important to have an action plan BUT it is also important to engage the power of their motivation.  A plan won’t work on the tough days if they can’t connect to their motivation for working the action plan.

Here are some questions to help them (or you) connect to WHAT’S important with WHY it’s important.

  • What makes this important to you?
  • Who do you impact when you achieve this?
  • What difference will this make to you and your family?
  • What will it look like when you accomplish this?
  • How will you feel when you accomplish this?

The key to each of these questions it acknowledging what you hear and then repeating it back to make sure you understood their answers.  When you see their emotions shift, you will know they have found their “true” why.  It is then, you can spend time exploring the ripple effect of what it will be like when their why is their reality.

When you connect to the hearts of your team, not only will your business grown but you will also build lifelong relationships. Once they have connected with their why, keep it in front of them.  The motivation of their why will create action, and actions produce results.

Share your why with us… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

How to Conquer Your Greatest Fear?

de022ce18d310c6c4f4b094dceae4b44

Today’s blog started as just a “throwback” post. One of those days when I wasn’t sure what to write so I start reflecting on things I have written.  Then God lets me see part of the plan.

On this day in 2014, I had a conversation with Hope Shortt who is not only my Thirty One sponsor but also a woman of great faith who inspires me daily.  During a coaching call, she asked me: “Do you ever remember a time in your life that you were truly scared of something?”  This question always stops me dead in my tracks.  Because just when I think  I have a handle on “fear” and think it is gone from my life – those ugly gremlins poke through a little crack of doubt.  For those who have heard the story a million times, forgive me but this is not only to squash my inner gremlins but to help someone else who may be struggling along the way.266e5328ccd89317cd0a9da2787eb30b

Today’s blog comes from deep in my heart.  I hope by sharing this again (though some may cringe at its honesty) I can bid farewell to a FEAR which is plaguing me as I stepped out in faith to work my Thirty One business full-time.  b4154ec6f1fb4e828f441585a11524ec

We are going to go back in time…say 1990 when I thought I was in control of my life. It was Belinda’s 2nd birthday or pretty close to it. I was at work when a Police Detective walked through the door and asked my boss to speak to me. FEAR! The moment when I just knew my world was going to fall apart. FEAR! The moment when I realized my “recreational” drug use might be a problem. FEAR! The moment when EVERYONE was going to know I was a fake! This may seem a bit dramatic for some but the truth is, this was when I let FEAR invade my life. From this moment on, FEAR became a major part of my life. Satan has had a field day with me ever since.unnamed-3

The truth was, I was a drug addict. My addiction had caused me to do things I knew were wrong, were “not the way I was raised”, and were “not the way I wanted to raise my daughter”. I thought I was having fun. Recreational use for over 8 years had gradually turned into more as I moved from weekend use to all the time (or as often as I could afford). My life was a mess and the only one who seemed to know it was God! I was arrested, faced possible jail time, put in a Pre-Trial Intervention Program for community service and sent to rehab. God had a plan for my life.  I had definitely drifted off course – further than I ever had before.

As I remember the dreadful day, my heart races, knots form in my stomach and tears well up in my eyes. Through it all, I am grateful. It was the turning point in my life which helped me to slowly move closer to God’s will for me. Did I have a lot of FAITH? No! Did I think God loved me enough to want to save me? No! But as I look back, I know the rocky road of recovery and growth are all part of who I am today.

So you are wondering why I bothered to share about FEAR, right? Been there, done that, got the tee shirt, right? The truth is – deep in the crevice of my soul, FEAR still has a hold on my heart. This week has been a week where I needed to fully rely on God.  Have faith in what I could not see and trust he has a plan for me.  Yup, I am again bidding farewell to FEAR! Hope talked about this in her blog:

I encourage you to be brave. Realize that when fear creeps in, push it out. My God is bigger than anything else and My God has proven that time and time again. Be strong. Be courageous and remember that He already knows what tomorrow holds-therefore fear is not how He equips you.

Will it be easy?  NO!  But let’s do it together….Let’s bid a farewell to fear this year, once and for all.  Whether it’s about your job, your car, an accident, your finances, your relationships, your business, your addiction…whatever it is, don’t let fear in. Don’t let it win….. Allowing fear to take over is actually very easy and it can cost us when it becomes to being the person God wants us and needs us to be for others. I believe it’s one of the greatest attacks on us as believers. I refuse to be taken advantage of by the enemy. He’s stolen too much from me before.

Today, I will EMBRACE the joy in my heart and my God-sized Dream. I will close the door on FEAR which hovers outside my heart ready to steal my joy.

What is YOUR greatest FEAR? Is that FEAR keeping you from reaching YOUR dreams? I challenge you to bid farewell to the fear.. will you take the challenge

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!