Does Your Dream and Faith Go Together?

Many DREAM BIG!  For some it may be their own home, others it is retirement, maybe it is owning your own business or traveling the world. For some, they don’t know how to dream. I know it may sound crazy but I was one of those people (and some days still am).  The struggles of life get in the way and you begin to limit your dreams.  Or, maybe you don’t dream at all because you can’t see the forest for all of the trees.A DREAM is defined as “contemplating the possibility of doing something”.  Being able to envision it is the first step.  I DREAM BIG (most days) in my business and my personal life but I have to admit it is with hesitation.  No hate mail, please.  I second guess things all the time which leads me to FAITH.  FAITH is believing in things you can not see.  I know I have talked about this before but I think this is a new take on an old theme.

Some days, do you feel like you are a hamster on a wheel?  Running and running, doing the same thing day after day, the same way – expecting different results.  We dream of how we would like things to be but we continue to do things the same way – getting the same results and only occasionally reaching our DREAMS!  God (or your Higher Power) has dreams for us – he has a plan and despite our best efforts to do things our way, he will prevail.  Honestly, I am not sure what direction this blog is taking but I am hoping it touches someone’s heart.

For years, my professional (business) DREAM has been to mentor women connecting them with the resources necessary to help them reach their personal, professional and financial goals.  When I look back on my professional career, there are times I feel like I have reached my dream.  When I was at South Jersey AIDS Alliance, I worked with women helping them through the struggles of living life with their HIV status while raising their kids.  When I was at Bethel, working with an underserved populations, it was a little tougher but we were able to help many women grow and prosper in the community.  When I started my Thirty One business, and my blog, I wondered if the dream had changed or was there just another path for it to take?

Health struggles created fear and doubt in me – more than the usual. I am blessed to be a part of leadership with Thirty One.  Another opportunity to work with women and DREAM BIG. My definition of mentoring has changed slightly.  It has become more about inspiring others to dream, helping to build their confidence, setting goals (large or small) and then reaching for them.

The truth is dreaming with a lack of Faith is not a good combination.  I dream but those inner gremlins like to test my faith.  Dreaming combined with Faith will allow you to reach those dreams.  I am not saying there won’t be struggles along the way but those struggles are blessings in disguise helping you to reach your dream.  I tell my team all of the time “I believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself”.  Why is it so easy to believe and encourage others yet we find it so hard to do ourselves (or at least I do)?I am dreaming BIG but my Faith gets a little shaky.  I have heard if you CLAIM IT, it will be yours.  Do you struggle with this concept?  Do you feel like you “don’t deserve the dream”?  As I get ready for the next hurdle in my MS journey, I wonder where my dream will go.  

Do you have dreams?  Is your FAITH strong enough to help you reach those dreams?  TRUST and BELIEVE God’s plan will help you reach your DREAM as long as you have FAITH in what you can not see.

I hope this was blog strikes a nerve with someone and has helped you.  As for me, I am continuing to DREAM BIG, those Super Size DREAMS where my FAITH stands firm in God’s promise.

Any good words of wisdom on how to get off the hamster wheel and lean on FAITH to reach my DREAMS?

faith

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

On My Way…..NOT!

Today’s blog post has been re-written many times.  First filled with the excitement of earning the Leadership Incentive trip and heading on a FREE cruise with my daughter.  Then it was about the delayed cruise and spending some time in NC with Belinda.  This morning, I am re-writing again…
The Leadership Incentive Trip has officially been cancelled. Irma entered our lives and changed everything!  No, I don’t mean the cute clothes from LuLa Roe.  I mean the devastating hurricane which is leaving its mark every where it lands.  Devastating the Carribean as it makes it way to Florida and the US.  
I will admit, I had a pity party last night.  I long for some quality time with my daughter but sadly if Irma continues on the projected track, they will be in its path.  I have weathered many a hurricane but at the ripe old age of 60, I decided staying home was probably a better idea.  
Since the blog posts are already written for the next week while I was supposed to be traveling, I will still be sharing some of my top bog posts from the past.  Some may be tweaked but others will just be “throwbacks” of my most popular ones.  I have been reflecting on the earning period for the Leadership Incentive trip and why I was successful this time when I hadn’t been in the past.
If you are trying to change an aspect of your life, here are some tips which helped me – thank you Patty Lennon

1. Decide to succeed.

There is a goal you are striving for right now which is deeply personal and vital to you. Remove the possibility of NOT succeeding from your mind right now. This means each time you fall down, you get back up because any failure is temporary.  I will say, utilizing this mindset every month has helped me reach my monthly goals even during the dreaded “J” months.

I wanted to earn this trip as a gift for hubby for our 5th wedding anniversary.  I wanted him to experience my “pink bubble” so he would understand why it is so important to me.  So, in my mind success became inevitable. I was no longer willing to NOT succeed. Which leads to …

2. Get Support.

When you are reaching for a goal you have not achieved before whether it’s growing your business to a new level, changing your health or improving your relationships you will do far better if you have help.  Who can support you in achieving your goal?

I have been sharing my monthly goals with everyone – my team, my customers and basically anyone who would listen. They celebrated and encouraged me every step of the way.  When Negative Nellie stopped for a visit, I looked for someone to help me kick her to the curb.

3. Don’t Give Up.

Whatever goal is most important to you right now it is critical you not give up, especially if the goal is related to your business. The truth is most things fail the first time  around especially in business – whether it’s a new message, promotion or marketing campaign. It is NORMAL.  Everyone falls down. Your choice (and the choice which defines those who succeed) is whether you get back up.  Everything is possible when you make the decision to succeed. No matter what happens do not give up!

With my first LIT earned, what is next for me and my business?  I will admit planning for September has been a struggle.  A holiday weekend led into getting ready for a week away.  I was hoping earning the trip would keep me motivated but the truth is, Vacation Veronica is knocked on my door. As I ponder what to do this week, I am setting my goal for September and am working on a plan to earn the Leadership Incentive Trip again next year.

Using these tips has helped me in my business so I am I am going to apply them to my weight loss journey to see what happens.  I am just 7 pounds away from being back at goal weight so it is non-negotiable.  I want to celebrate reaching my goal and not look back.

The truth is “the Divine will light your path with miracles to make it easier as you go.”  Send your positive energy into the Universe.  What is your goal?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Keep Your Team Motivated Over the Summer

There is a sigh of relief among direct sellers with the passing of June.  It is a crazy busy month for most people – end of the school year, graduations, weddings, baptisms, confirmations….. You get the picture.

I have already heard from many on my team, “no one wants to party in the summer” or “everyone is too busy” or “everyone is on vacation”.  I used to be one of those who said the same things.  The end result was – little or no business in the summer.  It translated to little or no business in the busiest time of the year – the Fall.  What happens now has a direct effect on what your business will look like in three months.  Yes, I jumped ahead a little bit…

Think about the people you know who are taking the Summer off from their business.  Are they the same people who take the month of December off? In my early direct sales years, I was one of those people.  I mean, I worked for myself so I could make my own hours, right?  So why not enjoy the break and get back to work in September?  What happen was, I had no business to get back to in September.  I was always starting over.

Summer is a fantastic time to have home parties and help others see the awesomeness of having their own direct sales business. Plus, during the summer, we’re gearing up for the busiest season of the year (the fall selling season), so now is the time to focus on building a strong business.

As a leader, you are an example to your team. Do I admit when I’m struggling?  YES!  But at the same time I offer solutions to help them overcome the struggles.  If you’re a leader, the summer months may take some creativity on your part, but working harder now to keep your team motivated and working will pay off for them (and you) this fall.

Here are three ideas on how to do this from JulieAnn Jones.  If you aren’t a leader, these ideas will help you keep your business on track this summer:

1. Help them set goals for the Fall

I hear the signs and see the eyes rolling.  Who is thinking about Fall, right?  Now, is the time you want to set goals for what you want your business to look like in September.  If you wait till then, it will be too late.  Help them by asking them what they would like to happen in the rest of the year.  The best way is to have them connect with how it will feel to have the money they will make with a full calendar.  What will they use it for?  Encourage them to set specific goals around the income, and the number of parties they want to hold.  With a plan, they will know what they’re working toward now.

2. Give them incentives they really want

What excites your team?  Would a CASH incentive keep them moving forward?  Would fun products? Or how about a trip?  Your direct sales company may offer these along the way but as a leader, you can also offer them.  Keep them within your budget. Don’t know what would get and keep them motivated, ask them.  And what would you like to encourage them to do to earn it?  Is it bookings, sponsoring, sales, or all of the above? Get creative and use the few months to help them work toward a fun incentive (and a stronger business).  I will be using this again this year to help me work towards the Leadership Incentive Trip with Thirty One.

3. Teach them creative ways to work their businesses during the summer months

Yes, you will need to be creative to book home parties in the summer, but fun themes make it a little easier!  How about: Ice cream socials, office parties, block parties, patio parties, BINGO, or Happy Hour parties. How about doing some FB parties to keep things going or to at least fill in the gaps.  Hostess of the Month Clubs.  Trunk parties.  I will admit, there are challenges working from home during the summer.  Encourage your team to share what has worked for them while you share what has worked well for you too.

Don’t be a Vacation Veronica in the summer months so you are a Struggling Sally in the Fall.  An investment of your time in supporting, encouraging, and training your team now will pay off big time this fall.

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!