No Performance Needed

Today’s message is from Gwen Smith…..

One day when my kids were little and playing with Play-Doh at the kitchen table, they enthusiastically called me over to view their creative masterpieces. I noticed that my son Hunter had used a small cookie cutter to make a bunch of blue stars. As I looked at the work of his small hands, I was reminded of a Bible verse. So I asked them, “Did you guys know that the Bible talks about stars?” I continued, “It says that God made all of the stars in the sky and has named each one!” Without hesitation my daughter Kennedy, who was five years old at the time, excitedly responded “Like George, Junior, and Kelsey?”

After the laughter waned, we had a simple, yet special conversation about God’s love for us. I really enjoy those moments of simplicity. The times when we pause to think about God’s handiwork and His Word as it applies to us. I can’t help but shake my head when I consider this thought: if God directed His attention to the stars and named each and every last one, how much more does He direct His attention to His children who are made in His image and purposed in His love?

It’s not uncommon for me to watch my children play in the backyard. While I do care what they say to one another, how they behave, and if they’re safe, I love to watch them just because they’re my kids…because I love them.

Do you know that God delights in you and loves you simply because you are His? Not because of what you do or don’t do … not because of what you say or don’t say … not because of what neighborhood you live in or what dress size you wear.

He just – flat out – loves you!

Psalm 145:20a says, “The LORD watches over all who love him….”

I’m so glad that I don’t have to perform for God in order to be loved by Him.

Just like the stars in the heavens, we were handmade by the Master of Life. He watches over us, loves us, and extends mercy to us through Jesus. I need that mercy daily. We all do.

I hope today you will intentionally remember this and look for opportunities to extend that same attention, love, and mercy to the people in your life.  Reach out and tell your child, children, or a special child in your life you love them, unconditionally, regardless of what they do or say.  Have you extended love to a friend recently? Call someone today with a word of unsolicited encouragement.

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!

Overcoming Discouragement

Happy Monday!  If no one has told you lately, let me tell you how amazing you are.

For some of us (yes, I’m included), no matter how much we achieve or how much progress we make, we still have those nasty inner gremlins (and maybe some outer ones) who want to knock us down.

It’s the gremlins in our head saying:

  • “You’re not good enough.”
  • “You’ll look like a fool.”
  • “Who do you think you are?”
  • “You are self-centered. It isn’t always about you”.

When these mantras start, it is sometimes hard to silence the noise.  Verbal abuse whether external or internal can eat away at us.  Did you know there are things you can do to actively combat those nasty inner gremlins?  If it is an outer voice saying these things, the inner voices feed on those comments long after the outer voice has stopped talking.

Here are four simple ways to overcome those nasty gremlins:

1. Start talking to yourself

“You need to stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself again.”

Those nasty inner gremlins are setting you up for failure.  We are what we feed our mind.  When we feed those nasty gremlins positive things, they will shrink in the corner and the good will overcome.  When we feed them something negative, you know what happens.

The bottom line is: the statements and questions you use in conversations with yourself make a huge difference in what you do, how you think, and how you feel.

Instead of questions like, “Why am I having such a hard time?” or, “Why does this always happen to me?” Try, “What just happened, and what can I take away from this?”  Ask yourself questions which are life giving not life killing. OUCH!  What we do, how we think, and how we feel are all dictated by the conversations we have with ourselves. Pay attention to those conversations and watch how your life changes.2. Celebrate Often

When was the last time you celebrated a small victory?  Or do you wait until you reach a huge milestone to celebrate?  Did you know by waiting to celebrate, you are giving those nasty inner gremlins a chance to sneak in the back door crushing your joy?

Why not celebrate everything and everyone—all the time?  It’s hard to stay discouraged when you’re constantly searching for something or someone to celebrate. The seeds of depressions have a tough time taking root in a grateful heart and the same is true with discouragement and celebration.

You have your goals set, right?  Now create smaller ones leading up to the BIG one and plan some kind of celebration when you reach a small milestone. It doesn’t have to be elaborate—just give yourself a reward for making progress.  Then watch for others who are hitting their small milestones, and recognize them when they do. When you acknowledge an achievement others are overlooking or discounting in their own lives, you can do wonders for their confidence.

Celebrating small wins along the way will keep you motivated and encouraged. Don’t neglect it!

3. Prune Your Negative Vines

This one can be tough but it is probably one of the most important pieces to the puzzle.  When you don’t prune unproductive branches off a fruit-bearing tree, you can’t expect much of a harvest.  The same goes for us.

We must distance ourselves from negativity. If we don’t, we stunt our own growth.  Your dreams, visions, and opportunities will always require you to become more than you currently are. In short, you must grow to achieve them.  So, how can you grow when you are surrounded by negativity?

Those outside voices feed the negativity to those nasty inner gremlins and the result is they squash your dreams saying things to discourage you.

The vision you have for your life (and your family’s life) holds more weight than other people’s opinions.  So distance yourself from negativity. Don’t listen to people whose intentions are just to slow you down.  For some, the most negative people in your life can be those who are closest to you. You can actually use these four strategies to distance yourself from them.

4. Establish Boundaries

Imagine how easy it would be for an army to capture an unprotected city. The same thing can happen to your mind if you don’t establish boundaries.  Boundaries are the castle walls surrounding your mind, preventing discouragement from walking right in and taking control.  The problem is most people are scared to set them.  I know I am sometimes.

We don’t want to offend others, so we tolerate the negative people and activities influencing our thinking and behavior. When we do this, we let their meaningless opinions take priority over our own goals and dreams.  Whom you spend time with, what you spend time doing, and what you allow in your mind will either help you overcome discouragement, or fall to its forces.

Boundaries are the only mechanism for keeping the bad stuff out and the good stuff in. If you want to overcome discouragement, boundaries are vital.  We’re all either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or headed for a crisis—is it just part of living life.

But, we can choose how we react to whatever life throws at us, including discouragement.  When you equip yourself with the proper defenses, you can overcome it and live the life you were made to live.

Share a time you overcame discouragement and how did you fight back?

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!

 

Celebrate the 4th of July

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According to Wickapedia “Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain”.

For me, the 4th brings up all kinds of memories which are bittersweet…

Life in Ocean Grove over the 4th of July was a whirlwind of fun and excitement. I can remember many July 4th parades and bar-b-ques with the family. Belinda was always in the parade in an array of costumes. Costumes made by me – Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Pocahontas, Peter Pan… are you getting the Disney theme? Yes, we were obsessed with Disney and we wore out many VHS tapes before DVDs came around. Then as Belinda got older, it was decorating her bicycle. Cards in the spokes to make the flipping sounds – okay, am I really showing my age now? Red, white and blue shirts, shorts, hats…

Sitting on the side of the parade route on Main Street waiting for the parade and the barrage of candy thrown by the floats as they traveled down the street. Grams worried Belinda would get too close to the trucks. Belinda hiding and covering her ears as the fire trucks came by – her sensitive ears were always a concern for Grams.

Life in Ocean Grove was fun and has lot of memories for us. I mean there was a time when ALL of us lived in Ocean Grove on Broadway – Edythe, then Grams, Pop-pop & Elsie then closest to the beach was mom and I. Okay, so it was BEFORE Belinda but it was always a lot of fun. Believe it or not, I miss living in Ocean Grove… Yes, I squirreled!

Best wishes for a ThirtyOne-derful day with friends and family celebrating today…