Leading By Example

Today I should have been heading to National Conference for Thirty One’s 15th Anniversary.  Instead, I am at home struggling with so many things.  Health issues were the main reason for not going but right now it is hard to wrap my head around it.  I’m ready to sit on my pity pot and feel sorry for myself.  The truth is 95% of my downline is not attending conference.  So as a leader, I need to take the lead and show them how to make the best of what many would say is a bad situation.

National conference is when the NEW Fall/Winter products are debuted.  The holiday line is showcased.  Upcoming specials and incentives are highlighted.  As a leader, I get to see what is coming in the new year to help us as consultants grow our business.

So, it is time to step up.  To show my team despite the setback of not being a conference, we can run our business successfully and create excitement for our customers.  I need to remember: “Leaders are in front of the pack because of what they do.  They take the lead!”.  Are you a leader with your direct sales company?  Do you want to be?

Here are three ways leaders stay at the front of the pack:

Leaders lead by example!  Your team members will follow your example.  Set the pace for your team by consistently selling and sponsoring.  I tell my team consistency is the key to success.  Consistency for you and your business may not look the same for me and my business. When you remember the “speed of the leader determines the pace of the pack,” you will be inspired to model those actions you are encouraging your team to take.

Leaders employ discipline!   I’m not always disciplined BUT I do have a routine which I adhere to every day which helps.  Leaders understand success requires daily action toward goals despite the demands of other obligations.  Develop the skills of organization and time management so you can make the most of the time you invest in your business.  Jim Rohn said it best, “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.”

  • Non-Party Plan Leaders:  It is easy to lead when your calendar is full of events, appointments, and meetings.  When your personal business is strong, you have places to train new Consultants. When you have a strong personal business, you are confident, excited, and unstoppable. I know I am!  If your personal business is not where you want it to be, take a look at your calendar.  Go back to the basics which made you successful!
  • Party Plan Leaders:  It is easy to book more parties and recruit more Consultants when your personal calendar is full.  When you have a strong line up of parties, and vendor events you have a place to train new Consultants.  When you have lots of parties, you are confident, excited, and unstoppable. If your party schedule is not where you want it to be, take a look at your calendar.  Pick the days you want to hold parties and use the time to get on the phone.  I know it can weigh 500-pounds but it will make a difference.

Be willing to:

  • Use a time management system which works for you – paper, digital, whatever!
  • Schedule time to work on your business. Set aside time for specific tasks and get them done!
  • Release time wasters.  Does binge watching a TV show bring you closer to your dreams?  Can you postpone scanning Facebook until you have a full schedule of business?  No, scanning Facebook will not book parties for you!  Do you spend a lot of time talking to friends about your business?  It is is not the same as doing business.

13697068_10157255058245220_4151882212395503940_n.jpgLeaders hold themselves accountable for their success!  Take responsibility for the results you achieve through your business.  If I am not happy where my business is, it is no one’s fault but my own.  When we place blame on others or make excuses for missed opportunities our power is diminished and it takes away from our ability to lead others.  Embrace life’s lessons, learn from them, and then let go so you can move on toward your remarkable future.  Letting go is hard but it is the only way we can more forward.

Be grateful for the mess of success; it’s more fun than the desert of loneliness.  I’m going to celebrate the awesome year I had over the next few days.  I’m going to stomp on those inner gremlins who want to play the comparison game.  I am going to lead my team to success as we launch the fall selling season.  What about you and your team?  What are you going to do?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What’s Your PR Strategy?

When we talk about PR, what is the first thing you think about?  By definition, “public relations” is the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.  
For most in direct sales, we figure we are our company, right?  If someone knows the product, they know we sell it – done!  The truth is good PR will help you develop and grow relationships, being known as the “tops in your field”, and land on your feet quickly should you ever find yourself out of work (or your direct sales company closing their doors)..
It’s not about being a pushy sales person, it’s about being a person who people trust.  People buy from those they respect, trust and know.  It’s about people knowing YOU, what your stand for and who you are NOT just about the products you sell..

 

1. All PR is not good PR.

I know can you believe it!  I used to think as long as people were taking about me, good or bad, it was okay.  For celebrities, it might work.  I mean they get book deals and new TV shows, but it rarely works in the real world (our world).  Drama does not make for good business.   Not sure about something,  stay quiet until you get your facts straight. Be intentional about the image you present. Protect it. Polish it. Then, present it.

2. Communicate your wins consistently.

Businesses put out press releases. We should too. This is on my “to do” list for this fiscal year.  You can call them whatever you want BUT you have to communicate!   What better way to recruit new team members or gather customers than by sharing your success.  No, it isn’t bragging if you consistently communicate with people.  When I achieve a goal, I thank my customers because they are the reason I achieved it.   When you work for someone else, you keep them in the loop, right?  It is the same thing for your customers in direct sales.  Let them know how things are going then they never have to wonder if you are still in business.

3. Collaborate and celebrate others.

Being in direct sales, celebrating our accomplishments may feel like shameless self-promotion, right?  Focus on the relationships!  When you celebrate your wins and those of your team,  you are strengthening relationships, and building trust.  Did you honestly accomplish your goal on your own?  Chances are NO!  So build those connections which will help you to reach your goals, quickly and easily with the help of those around you.

4. Stay positive and share your business tips.

In direct sales, we want our communication to be intentional – sharing our progress and ideas.  The key is for others to know what you do is duplicatable.  I tell everyone my business is an open book.  Want to know something – ASK!  I don’t share gossip about others and I definitely will not be the one complaining online about the company I represent when I get frustrated. Stay positive on the outside even if you are fuming on the inside.  There is no better way to kill your business then by complaining about a problem to others.

5. Be kind. Be bold.

Nice is bland and often not even authentic.  Instead, focus on being kind and gracious to people. Tell the truth, but in a gentle and loving way when you tell it. Being arrogant, disrespectful, or obnoxious to get your point across could eventually cause you to lose customers and team members.  One of the top strengths of a good leader is love and compassion. To stand out, be bold in your own unique way. Leaders know when to take a stand instead of following the crowd.  The result will be,  soon the crowd—and the opportunities—will be following you.

What will your PR campaign look like during the next few months?  Share your ideas with us.

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!

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!

Are You An Effective Leader?

leaders

Deep down I believe we are all leaders.  Now, for some it may be a little deeper than others.  You know there are people who leading seems to come naturally, right?  Then there are others who struggle with doubt in their abilities to lead.  Which one are you? Or do you fall someplace in the middle.  I will admit, depending on the situation I can fall in either category.

The truth is, the only qualification for being a leader is “you make decisions which influence other people”.  Yup, it is as simple as it comes.  Since we are all leaders, we might as well work on being a great ones, right?

The key to becoming a great leader is not to focus on becoming “a great leader”  but to focus on whether or not you are someone worth following.  This can apply to anywhere you are a leader – our home, your job, your community or in your own business.

Every since Andy Andrews was a speaker at Thirty One’s National Conference, I have been diving into his books and his ideas.  He says there are THREE key qualities of someone who is worth following and they are:

unknown 1. They are truly transparent
This seems to be the new “buzz word” in the business world.  Being transparent means you always take ownership of your mistakes and shortcomings in front of the people you’re leading. You don’t pretend to be perfect and you admit when you’re wrong.  I am definitely transparent!

A truly good leader will also know the difference between a mistake and a bad choice.  Do you know the difference?  A mistake is something accidentally done, but with good intentions. A bad choice is something purposely done.  I tend to make more mistakes than I do bad choices although when it came to my addictions I would have to say it was more bad choices.

Knowing how to handle the consequences of both by being transparent builds your followers’ loyalty.  When people understand your thinking and see you are human, they will want to follow you.

images   2. They know how to get back on track
Leaders along with their followers make mistakes and poor choices.  A great leader will know how to get not only themselves but also their followers back on track when they are negatively affected by a mistake or bad choice.

Leaders can shift perspective back to the big picture when things go wrong.  Leaders remain calm in the face of confusion and crisis.  When we are transparent, followers feel safe coming to us with their own mistakes and bad choices.

6a00e54f8c25c9883401157249b1b2970b3. They take advantage of teachable moments.
To remain a leader and help people grow, great leaders take advantage of opportunities to teach.  Don’t we do this as parents?

How many times have we let our “bad mood” handle a situation inappropriately?  The end result is not good and usually leads to a screaming match, right?  How often have you used a moment like this to be transparent with your kids.

As a single mom who was a recovering addict, I needed to acknowledge my bad choices and ask forgiveness.  If it was just a mistake, a simple apology worked to make things right.  If I made a bad choice, I didn’t wait to be transparent.  I easily shared what was happening with me and the fact it was no excuse for how inappropriately I had acted. I will admit, many thought I shared way too much with my young daughter BUT it always strengthened our relationship. The valuable teaching moments rarely occured at convenient times.  So, it meant stopping what I was doing, checking my emotions, and taking a sharp detour. Great leaders seize teachable moments, whether they’re inconvenient and uncomfortable.

It is easy to focus  on ourselves when we think about effective leadership but it can be overwhelming at time.  So, shy not shift from a “ME” perspective to an outward focus.

Ask yourself:

  • Who stands to gain from my improved leadership?
  • How will my leadership help those following me?
  • How would a steady, calm presence of leadership make those around me become more effective?

Picture those people in your mind—your family members, your co-workers, your employees, or whomever else you might be leading. They will give you all the motivation you need to become someone worth following.

Who do you follow?  Picture one of those leaders from your own life, right now.  What did they do to make you want to follow them?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!