Conquering Your Challenges

Happy HUMP DAY!  It is a challenge in itself when it comes to getting through the work/school week, right?  Every day we have challenges – large or small – and all day long we ask ourself questions to determine what action we will take to overcome the challenge.

We all want to overcome our challenges.  For some it may be business related for others it may be in their personal life.  There are many with health challenges including loosing weight.  Challenges look different to everyone.

When we are faced with a challenge, the most important thing we can do is to open our mind to wisdom, strength and our powerful mind.  The first step is to be positive, not letting the ANTs creep in.  I don’t mean the little annoying bugs which raid our picnics, I mean “automatic negative thoughts”.  Many times when we are faced with disappointment or frustration, whether we mean to or not, the questions we ask ourselves will lead up down the black hole of negativity.

Think about the last challenge you were faced with or maybe you are facing right now. Did one of these questions enter your mind (or worse yet, come out of your mouth)?

  • Why does this kind of stuff always happen to me?
  • Why can’t I get a break?
  • What the heck is wrong with me?

What if you were to change those “negative questions” to something more productive? I know it isn’t easy, I have been there (more times than I want to count). For some, we have said those negative questions for so long, we can’t imagine any others.

What if you considered asking these productive questions:

  • What opportunity does this challenge give me to grow?
  • Looking back, what can I do differently the next time to prevent this outcome?
  • What part of this is beyond my control so I need to let go of trying to change/fix it?
  • How do I want to show up in this situation?

The difference in the questions you ask yourself, will produce different thoughts which will produce different reactions to the challenge.  Your thoughts produce your reactions (how you feel, what you say, and what you do). Remember “The Secret“.. we want to bring more positive into our lives instead of bringing in the negative.

When you approach a challenge with these questions, you are able to build an action plan to move forward.  You drawing in the positive energy of the universe in an effort to move forward.  Believe me, I know how easy it is to let the ANTs creep in.  I know how easy it is to be blinded by the negative unable to see the opportunity.  It takes practice.  It takes time.  Each time you catch yourself with a negative thought, STOP!  Change the mindset and get ready to move forward with “good” thoughts.

When faced with an adversity I challenge you to ask productive (action producing) questions.  What challenge have you faced and learned from?  What challenge are you currently facing and now see a way to change the outcome?

Share your struggles with us.  You are not alone – we have either been through or are currently going through it.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Growing Your Business Online

Over the last three months, I have seen a change in my business.  After talking to other direct sellers, a lot are seeing the same thing.  Many in direct sales are seeing their business move to more online sales/ parties and less “home parties”.  I LOVE home parties.  I love connecting with women and getting to know them.  I love seeing them smile as they spend time with friends, reconnect and relax.  That is what makes me smile. So I need to learn how to do the same thing online.  Is it possible???

You can imagine how I struggled when I found my calendar empty with the exception of some Facebook/ online parties and a few vendors events.  Those inner gremlins began to jump for joy as they saw the perfect opportunity to play the “negative” mantras and the comparison game.  It was tough squashing them but I had to give it a try.

I went on the hunt to find new ways to connect with people on Facebook or to engage my customer base from the last 6 1/2 years.  I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.  I knew I would try things which would flop while other things would be a success.  I was willing to commit to it because I wanted to continue working my business full-time and make a difference in the lives of others.  Even tougher because I am a little tech challenged.

I tried Facebook parties before.  Some were successful while others flopped.  I looked at the differences.  Hostess coaching played a huge factor in those which were successful. Hostesses who wanted to earn FREE product and were willing to at least do a little bit to help make the party a success.  Flops were usually associated with no participation from the hostess or I was using other people’s scripts and not making them mine.  Admit it, you have done the same thing!

I looked for people who were successful in running their direct sales business solely online.  I looked for tips and tricks from other direct sellers.  I was bound and determined to make it work.  Here is actually a blog post I wrote almost 4 years ago which talks about this exact subject:

As Jason Dorsey says – you need to communicate with different people differently.  In Inc. Magazine there was an article on “4 Tips for Using Social Media to Sell“.  I love that Matt Heinz talks about “social selling” instead of “social media”.  Here is a link to his book “Successful Social Selling”  Here are the 4 key principles shared in the article:

  1. Getting more “followers’ in not a goal.  “There is no connection between the number of followers or likes and your amount of sales.”  So true!  I have been doing this through my blog but now I have ventured into the social media realm to do the same thing.  Sharing products and information by offering people an opportunity to experience Thirty One products without the HARD sell.
  2. Connection is not engagement.  Selling comes from interaction and not just pushing my message or expertise.  I am learning to respond to each person who comments on a post, especially the engagement ones.  You need to INTERACT with people to build a relationship with them whether online or in person.   
  3. Buyers signal by declaring problems.  I am still working on this one. LISTENING for signals when you are face to face is one thing but I find it so much more difficult online.  I worry about giving a “sales pitch” or “being pushy” when I “think” I hear those signals.  
  4. You are not in control.  This is so tough for those like to be in control!  “If you tweet, blog, or post about a solution, idea, or product a person doesn’t need, they won’t necessarily connect with you. If you are listening to the social Web and hear someone declare a problem you can solve or a question you can answer, giving you an opportunity to send a relevant response, then you are truly engaging.”

It has only been three months of consistently trying things online and it is working.  I will admit, I stress at the first of the month when the calendar looks light BUT then I get busy.  Over the last 3 months, I have met my personal sales goals and my team has met theirs and almost ALL of us do just do things online.  Consistency is the key.

So, what are your thoughts on social selling ON social media?  If you use Social Meda, what platforms do you use and are they creating business opportunities for you?  Please share your thoughts…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.

Drawing Lines in the Sand

Every once in awhile I get stuck, okay maybe more often then I care to admit.  Stuck on what to write about, stuck in my weightless journey, stuck in the comparison game – you get the picture, right?  What about you, are you stuck?

I was on a roll, the scale was steadily going down then something happened it STOPPED. When it stops (or creeps up), I get obsessed with getting on the scale every morning.  When the scale doesn’t move at home, the inner gremlins have a field day.

My business was on a roll (still is just not as crazy busy) and the inner gremlins started to creep in then the comparison game started.

So, for all of you who are with me, today is the day we draw a line in the sand… This is the day we SERIOUSLY hit the reset button and move forward.  

I often talk about setting the RESET button but truth be told, it tends to be just words. Am I committing to it or am I just going through the motions?  OUCH!  I have been going to weekly Weight Watcher meetings (I love my Thursday morning family) because it has been a BIG part of my weight loss journey and hitting goal.  Lately, I have been there in body but not in mind.  Focused on the number on the scale and missing the message.  Letting the inner gremlins talk about “wasting the money” since I am not at goal (just 8 pounds to go). You know what I mean, right?  You are there, half listening but the message doesn’t really sink in.  Or, you are listening and at the same time checking emails or scrolling through Facebook?  I have been a meeting person in some form since NA and found  it has always been my mental health therapy for the week when I am present!

So, let’s turn this around – whether you are stuck in your business, in your weightless journey, your job or_______________(you fill in the blank).  Join me in drawing a line in the sand and moving forward.  Step over the line and out of your comfort zone

Here are some inspirational thoughts which might help you:

  • “I’m not perfect, I am HUMAN”.  A cliche saying for some but it is a reminder I need – a dim light bulb moment.  It may not rock your world but it may remind you how often you compare yourself to others.  Time to get rid of the ANTs!  No, I don’t mean the little annoying critters, I mean the “automatic negative thinking”.  Did your light bulb go from DIM to BRIGHT.  I have ANTS!  I am not perfect but no one is.
  • This is a journey without a finish line!  Thank you Lynn for reminding me of this fact every week.  I am always looking for the finish line and it keeps moving.  My weight loss has been a LONG journey.  Losing 120 pounds took an eternity but it is okay because I did it.  The journey will continue even after I reach my goal weight.  A light at the end of the tunnel – NO!  It will just mean no more monthly payments to Weight Watchers but this time, I will not stop going to meetings.  Once I reach my goal weight, my goal will change to MAINTAINing it.
  • OWN your journey!  This means squashing all of those inner gremlins who like to play games.  This is your journey, not anyone else’s.  You need to focus on what matter’s most to you.  When we play the comparison game, we lose perspective on what is important to us and try to live in someone else’s shoes.  The woulda, shoulda, and coulda becomes a way of life instead of being present in YOUR moment.  Be present in your journey.
  • Lastly, Enjoy the journey – thank you AnneMarie.   You always inspire me.  Your positive attitude helps me to put things in perspective.  I need to slow down and enjoy this journey.   It is a roller coaster ride and I am NOT a fan of roller coasters but I need to enjoy it.  We are always rushing to something or somewhere when we need to “stop and smell the roses”.

I am again drawing a line in the sand.  I have again found the strength I sometimes think is not there.  Thank you to my Weight Watcher family for these weekly reminders and lessons.  I have been applying them to my business as well as working my weightless journey.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Assert Yourself…

What do you think of when you think of someone who is “assertive”? Assertion is simply expressing yourself in a honest, straightforward way which helps you get what you need.  It shows respect for yourself and others.  So, why do we have such a hard time with it?  Why does it have such a negative connotation?

This was a recent topic at my Weight Watcher‘s meeting.  This people pleaser tends to have a hard time with being assertive when it comes to anything but food.  I can easily tell you what food I can and can’t have but when it comes to anything else – I am as timid as a church mouse not wanting to hurt other’s feelings.  I rocked being assertive when I was early in my recovery then somewhere along the lines, those nasty inner gremlins creeped in again.

Being assertive is not being aggressive although we tend to lump the two of them together.  We worry when we assert ourselves people won’t like us.  We allow others needs to outweigh our own (those people pleasing gremlins).  Honestly, I think this is a skill (yes, it is a skill) I never really learned.  The reality is, once you master being assertive in an effective way, you will be able to let go of the fear of coming on too strong.

Think about situations where you wish you would have been assertive.  Maybe it was saying “no” to a piece of cake or to adding another thing on your to do list.  Maybe it was simply making time for YOU in the course of a crazy busy day or week.  For me, it is usually about putting everyone and everything before what I would like.  Yup, the proverbial people pleaser.

Being able to respectfully but firmly express feelings and ask for support helps us in so many ways – staying on plan to reach our weight loss goal, overcoming an eating disorder, finding time to exercise, building our business or beating an addiction.  When we learn how to advocate for ourselves and NOT put others’ needs and feelings first, we are more in control of our lives.  We are in a better position to reach our goals, whatever they may be.

I love the DESC model (now I just need to practice it) when it comes to asking for support, or getting someone to stop (or start) something or simply asking what you need.

DESCRIBE: 

First, you need to describe the behavior you want changed.  For example “You watch TV and I have to do the dishes after dinner so I don’t have time to get in a walk”.  What is the behavior you would like someone in your life to change?

EXPLAIN:

Now you need to explain the effect this behavior is having on you.  Okay, here is where I either get emotional or worry about saying the wrong thing.  For example, “I end up not getting in my walk most days of the week”.  Short and sweet.  No need for a lang drawn out explanation.  “Just the facts Dano”…. am I showing my age?  LOL.

SPECIFY:

Now is the big step….specify what you want or need to get the behavior to change.  This is where you ask for what you want.  Not demand but present a possible solution.  For example, “Would you please do the dishes Monday, Wednesday and Friday after dinner so I can walk for 20 minutes?”.  Seems harmless right?  If you don’t ask, you will never know what the other person is thinking.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) mind reading is not in our genes.

CONSEQUENCES:

Clearly state the consequences for you or how it is going to help you.  This is when I have to overcome the inner gremlin which says “you are selfish” or “it’s all about you”.  For example, “I’ll be able to walk three more times than usual and it’ll help me reach my FitPoints goal”.

My challenge to you this week is to identify a situation where being more assertive could help you get what you need then use the DESC model to practice being assertive.  

Thank you Weight Watchers for this lesson which can be applied to all areas of our lives.  Would love to hear how it went, share your success or your challenge with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

What Animal Would You Be?

Happy Monday….. suitcase is now in the bedroom and the hunt for what to pack has started.  We leave EARLY Thursday morning for Columbus for Thirty One’s National Conference and I can’t wait to be back in my pink bubble.  I will try NOT to flood my Facebook and blog posts with everything PINK – who am I kidding, of course I will.  Yes, I squirreled…

I started a class at church last week on finding my passion and my spiritual gifts.  Lots of new people and Pastor asks this same question every time as an ice breaker.  I usually cringe because I can never think of an animal to describe me.  I was grateful he started on the opposite side of the table which gave me time to think (and ask for God’s help) about which one I would pick.

First choice was a teddy bear – okay, maybe not technically an animal but it really would fit me.  Teddy bears are soft, cuddly and provide comfort for those who are struggling. This is what I love to do – give hugs and provide support for those around me.  But as I sat there and thought about it, God placed another animal on my mind….

A butterfly.  This one took a little bit more thought, I mean how was I like a butterfly.  I asked for the words and here is what I heard:

You help to transform women who are struggling by inspiring them to fly.  Spreading their wings to find themselves and reach for their goals.

WOW!  It is true!  It is my passion and desire!  Whether it is starting their own business, coaching them in their current business, helping them battle nasty inner gremlins or help them to see themselves as others see them – transforming lives is how I want to make a difference.  When I shared it, those who knew me in the room all shook their head “yes”.

What about you? What animal would you be?

When I came home, I started thinking about the transformations in my life.  I need to remember I deserve to be happy, truly happy with a joy from within.  I need to believe in myself just as others believe in me.  I need to see myself through their eyes.  I need to embrace the transformation –  Feel it. Believe it.  And know I deserve it.

What about you?  Are you living your life as the “animal” you would be?  If you aren’t happy as the animal you are now, how would you change it?

I want you to remember success is always within your reach.  There will be struggles but it simply means there are lessons to be learned.  Your  journey is yours alone but others can learn from it.  Comparison is not in the plan.

I am on my way of emerging from the cocoon and becoming the beautiful butterfly ready to fly inspiring others.  Give it a chance, what have you got to loose.  You deserve to have all of the blessings waiting for you.  I can’t wait to celebrate your successes.

Share you animal with us and why..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!