What Does God Want From You?

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message…

Sometimes I think we’ve made our relationship with God far too difficult and confusing. We strive so hard to draw closer to the heart of God. And all the while, God’s outstretched hand is reaching to draw us in.

For more than half a century, I have been striving, pursuing, and seeking God. And like a cat chasing her tail, I’ve been going in circles.

Circling in the wilderness with the Israelites, if you will. Saved from slavery, for sure. Headed to my own personal Promised Land, hopefully. But somehow stuck in the wilderness wandering ever circling but not quite reaching Jordan’s shore.

And I am not alone. Statistics show that one of the top desires of Christians is to grow closer to God. During a recent poll, 65 percent said they were declining or on a plateau in their spiritual growth. On the other hand, Peter wrote: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

We have everything we need to experience the ever growing, continually maturing, abundant life, so why aren’t we? Why are most of us languishing on the desert plateaus of mediocrity and complacency? Why are most of us satisfied munching on the predigested truths of teachers rather than pulling up to the banquet table and feasting with God at a table set for two?

“God, what do you really want from me?”

I’ve pondered that question since the genesis of my relationship with Christ. Perhaps you have too. When you boil down all the water from the diluted soup of questions men and women have simmered in their heart through the centuries, this is the one question left in the pot.

And somehow, we feel that if we could answer that one question, we would discover why that glory ache persists and how to satisfy our yearning.

I had asked the question a thousand times, but one morning, I got quiet enough to listen. And then, in the stillness, He showed me that my busy sisters and I have been asking the wrong question.

Rather than ask God what He wants from us, we need to ask Him what He wants for us.

I meditated on Acts 17:28 throughout the following year after the day God whetted my appetite with the possibilities wrapped up in those eight little words: In Him we live and move and have our being. I came to realize that what He wants for us is to sense His presence, experience His love, and delight in intimate relationship as we live and move and have our being in sacred union with Him. And when we do, He opens our eyes to His glory all around and the ache for something more is soothed.

So today, I encourage you to be still. Just get quiet. Breathe deeply. Jesus in. Worries out.

Don’t make your faith about what God wants from you, but what God wants for you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Why Empathy is Good for Business

Today we are going to talk about “empathy”.  By definition, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.  

I know you are thinking you work hard, isn’t it enough for a successful business?  The truth is there are a lot of great traits which go into being successful but in my own life, I have found empathy to be the most important quality.

As a social worker in recovery, I was able to relate to the struggles of my clients.  I was able to share my strength, hopes and experience.  I was able to let them see I had been where they were and had come out of it.  I was able to help some kick drugs, leave abusive relationships, overcome homelessness and get employment.  Was everyone successful? NO!  Some didn’t really want to move forward and weren’t ready to work hard.  I find the same thing when working with other direct sellers.

So why is empathy good for business, especially in direct sales?  

1. Empathy increases the know/like/trust factor

Regardless of the products you sell, people are more likely to connect with, relate to, and ultimately hire/buy from you.  Which of these people would you connect with?

* the person who shares the good, the bad and the ugly of where they were, of their product and offers to help you.
* the person who’s somehow a “natural”.
* the person who doesn’t tell you anything about themselves or their background.  The pushy sales type.

I bet you connected with the person who knows your struggle, didn’t you? It’s human nature! We’re more likely to know, like, and trust people who are similar to us. And – as I’m sure you know – we’re more likely to buy from people we know, like, and trust.

2. Empathy shows you have walked the walk

When you can show your clients you’ve been where they are, found a solution, and emerged triumphant, you’re modeling success.  You are demonstrating you’re empathetic to their struggles.  You are living proof they don’t have to stay stuck where they are! Living proof makes for pretty convincing marketing.

3. Empathy helps your clients/customers/team be more vulnerable with you

When you show them you understand them, you’re helping them feel safe. You’re showing them they can be honest and vulnerable with you. When you say “I get it. I used to be (fill in the blank),” you’re making it easier for them to open up to you.  And the more they open up to you, the more you can help them, and the better their results will be.

4. Data without empathy is meaningless

I look at data to see which blog posts people read, which tweets they liked, and what they purchased. But I want to know more.  I want to understand why they read the blog post or what problem I helped them solve.  It is with this information, we can move forward in our business.

So how can you show more empathy in your business?

  • What have you struggled with?
  • What hurdles have you overcome in your business?
  • And how does this make you uniquely well-qualified to help us overcome something similar?

Whatever your backstory is: share it. Help people to know, like, and trust you. Show them how you can help them overcome what they’re struggling with.

If you don’t know what they are struggling with or how you can help, ASK!  They will tell you.  It’s hard to empathize when you don’t know what they are struggling with, right?

I would love to hear from you.  Share your story with us.  Let us know how we can help you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Is Your Facebook Group a Flop?

Do you have a direct sales business?  Are you trying to reach new customers or maybe just get your name out there?  Or do you have a customer group and all you hear is crickets?

Truth be told, I hear crickets ALOT.  There are days when everyone is joining in the fun (like for a contest or to give an opinion) then there are days when I can’t even get a “like” on a picture.

I have been looking for the right mix to keep things going in my group.  It is a lot of trial and error. So, I have been on the hunt for tips to get things moving again…

I started my VIP group because everyone does in direct sales, right?  Facebook is crazy! Who can figure out who is going to see what post?

#1 – Get to Know Your Tribe

I thought I knew my tribe – women who enjoyed hearing about the products I sell along with tips on how to use them. Some days I wonder.  You need to get to know them better. This way you can have conversations and get to know how you can better serve them.

#2 – Market Research

Okay, I am not talking about a full research study.  Listen to the questions being asked and the conversations happening. Then create your posts around those questions. It’s what your audience wants and you are just answering the need.

#3 – Accessibility

Being active doesn’t mean you are obsessed with posting and responding to your group, you are just accessible to your followers.   Check in periodically during the day so when they ask you a question, you can send a comment, and as a result they feel more connected to you.

#4 – Be the Authority

Having your own group will make you an authority in your own niche. Don’t let it scare you – if you don’t know, find out.  You want to be the go-to person and viewed as an expert in your field.

#5 – KLT 

You want to build your know-like-trust factor.  Being in business,  we know you are genuine and likable, so it will be easy to build your know-like-trust factor just by being you and providing AMAZING value to your tribe.

#6 – Promo

Believe it or not, your main goal is NOT to promote your offers, but it is a nice perk.  Your captive audience, know, like, and trust you so they will take you up on your offers. Just don’t slam them every day!

#7 – Help Others

This is the most important thing as far as I am concerned – you get to help your tribe. You have the chance to help out wherever and whenever there is a need. Someone asks a question, you can help by giving advice.  Maybe they need to vent about something (anything).  You get to be the listening ear.  I love being able to help so many on a daily basis.  Above all else, provide value for your audience.

Of course, once you get to know them, you will need to know how to get them to engage in the group.

The best advice I go was to have a customized URL for your Facebook group. I love saying, “Come join us on Facebook at Hope’s Purse Closet”.  Potential members can search for the link and it pops right up.

How many Facebook groups do you belong to?  Have you noticed, they all have a daily thread or theme days?  Some will take a topic to talk about, or ask a question, or allow others to promo their business. Daily threads work are great for participation.

Here are some ideas:

Motivation Monday
Tasty Tuesday
Ask Me Anything
Promo Day
Friday Free for All
Small Business Saturday
Sunday Self-Care

The key is to have a mix of general conversation starters, industry related threads, and promotional opportunities for the members.  To help things along, you will want to be the first to post a comment in the thread to get it rolling.

As the group grows, schedule a monthly rotation of the threads instead of weekly to keep things fresh.  I’m working towards this in my VIP group, just trying to find the right mix.

I believe in consistency in your posts so I use Cinchshare to help me keep consistent.  I have 2 posts a day in my group which are scheduled and then I add to it as I find random things.  I know, it kind of goes against the recommendations BUT I did say my group was a work in progress.  If you use a scheduler, be present in your group.  It doesn’t mean you should not stop in, comment or respond in a timely manner to comments.  I have alerts set up so when people comment, I respond in a timely manner.

I would love to have you share your best suggestions for getting and keeping your Facebook Group engaged.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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