Clothes Shopping on a Budget

Today, I am excited to be helping out at St. Paul’s UMC Rummage Sale.  This annual event is HUGE.  People stand in line just to get in the door and grab some deals.  WHY?  Seasons are changing – finally.  Warmer weather is coming and we can always use something new (at least to us)

You know the saying “one woman’s junk is another woman’s treasure”, right? I will admit, clothes shopping is not something I really enjoy. Yes, I have lost most of the weight so I can shop off the racks BUT I still see the “fat” person of yester year.

Growing up, we didn’t shop in thrift stores. In fact, I am not even sure they were around in the 60’s and 70’s. I do remember donating items to those who were less fortunate but I don’t think I ever saw where they ended up.

As a single mom, thrift stores were a fun place to go – not just for me but also for my daughter. We checked out rummage sales at the local churches and scoured the thrift stores for goodies. From toys to books to kitchen stuff to clothes. We always found some treasure which would make the day a success.

There are two sides to most thrift stores – you get to help out a charity by donating and then again when buying from them. You get to make a difference in the lives of others. When donating items you no longer need or want the charity is then able to sell it to someone who needs or wants the item. The money raised helps others in need with food or other essentials. A win-win for everyone.

Let me say, I do know there are some “not so good” charities or thrift stores.  The ones who sell items to feed the pockets of their administration staff or some corporate big wig.  I am not talking about those because honestly, the best deals are not usually found at those “stores”.  I am talking about the local church rummage sales or the thrift store whose money goes directly to help those in need.

Here are some myths about thrift store shopping we are going to BUST!

Myth #1: It is shameful to go into a thrift shop.

Remember you are giving to a great cause and getting yourself a bargain at the same time. The items you are getting aren’t dirty but have been carefully sorted. Give your items a quick wash once you’ve bought them and they will be just like new. I even think for a period of time, this was the preferred way to shop.

Myth #2: Sometimes thrift shops can be considered ‘expensive’

I know, kind of crazy, right? The truth is everything is not “cheap” – a dollar or two. Things will be cheaper then buying brand new but there are those occasions when they could be a little bit more expensive than what you expected. Thrift store employees know value too. Their goal is to offer items at a reasonable price while helping raise funds for their cause. So, the designer dress may be cheaper than a brand new one but it is not going to be given away for just a few dollars.

Myth #3: You should just stick to one thrift store

The truth is frequenting the same thrift store on a regular basis is good. Don’t limit yourself to just one – find your favorites and stick with them. How else are you going to bag yourself some amazing bargains? Check in once a week to see what they have new. Every once in awhile, mom and I will spend the day exploring some new thrift stores. We meet some great people, and get some bargains.

Myth #4: You can’t try the stuff on!

Yes, you can actually try the clothes on in most. Don’t see a dressing room, ask if they have one. If they don’t, ask what their return policy is so you can try it on at home and return it if it doesn’t fit. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Just like shopping at the mall. the most important part of all this is to have fun. Thrift store shopping isn’t grimy or dirty. It’s a fun thing to do while grabbing bargains at the same time.

Remember to keep to your budget. It can be just as easy over-shopping in a thrift store as it is at the mall. The idea is to keep within a budget, when the purse strings are a little tight. Don’t go overboard otherwise you’ll defeat the objective of thrift shopping!

Heading out for a day of shopping.  Grab your Thirty One Large Utility Tote to keep all of your treasures in.  You’ll be amazed at how much this classic tote can hold. The structured metal frame keeps it open for bulky items and provides strength for durability. Use it to keep your closet in order, carry toys or groceries while you’re on the go, haul camping gear and so much more. It even collapses for easy storage!  The best part is they are on sale this month!

Let me know what you think about second hand shopping. Share some of your favorite places with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Gaining Confidence Is An Ongoing Process

I have been having one of those weeks…. yup, fear and doubt has crept in.  My confidence has been shaken and I am wondering what my purpose is in life.  What happened?  I’m not sure except I have had some weird health days.  Days of feeling unsure.  Most days I can shake it then there are some when I need a confidence booster.  Surrounding myself with supportive  friends and family is part of it BUT sometimes I need to work on me.

Here are some things I do to help shake those nasty inner gremlins:

1.  Share Your Gifts & Passion with Others

Everyone has gifts and talents even when our confidence is lacking.  When I have days like this, I start writing.  Because I know sharing my struggles with others is one of my gifts.  You have accomplished great things – don’t downplay what you have achieved.  I know I am guilty of this all of the time.  The truth is, we are all good at something and there is always someone who wants to learn.

2. Forgive Yourself for Your Mistakes

When I have days like this, I tend to focus on all of the mistakes I made in life. Remember negative thoughts brings more negative thoughts.  When we hold ourselves or others to high standards expecting perfection, we are usually left feeling less than, a failure, and unworthy. Give yourself a break!  Self-forgiveness is an important step towards building your self esteem and confidence.  Everyone make mistakes, you are no exception and you deserve to be forgiven.

3. Pay it Forward or Pay Yourself

Are you looking to right your wrongs or make a change due to mistakes from your past which may be holding you back?  We can’t wave a magic wand and make them go away BUT we can change the outcome.  Didn’t make school a priority in your life?  Go back and take some classes.  Maybe you weren’t there for friends and family – make amends.  As a recovering addict, my mission is to help those who are struggling because others helped m.  What mistake can you forgive yourself for so you can move on?

4. Be Solution Focused

I always say negative thoughts brings more negative – positive brings more positive, it is the way of the Universe.  So, when you are always complaining about not having enough (of anything), nothing gets accomplished. Look for solutions when things aren’t going as planned. This will take some practice before it becomes natural.  In the end, you will be able to approach a problem from a mindset of how to solve it instead of WHY ME victim mindset.

5. Smile

I know it is hard to smile when you are feeling less than BUT a little smile goes a long way. You would be surprised how it can actually change your mindset. It makes me feel good to smile, and it can also brighten someone else’s day.  In some cases this is where I advocate, fake it till you make it.   I don’t mean being fake to others, it is about learning to pick your head up and feel good along the way. The more you do it, before long, you will forget you were “faking it” and actually feed better, maybe even GOOD or GREAT!

6. Fear is Your Friend

FEAR is huge when we are not feeling confident (at least for me).  I am trying hard to use fear to my advantage! Think about it – fear shows up when you are about to step out of your comfort zone, stretch yourself and build your confidence. This is your secret weapon to growing.  When you recognize it is about to get scary, you are about to expand yourself which is HUGE confidence builder.

Despite popular belief (and my constant writing about it) I do struggle with confidence.  I am always amazed how I am more confident around people I don’t know then I am around friends or business colleagues.  Those nasty inner gremlins love to play the comparison game.

Share your struggles and your successes with us.  Let’s BUILD each other up so we are all successful in our business (and our lives).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

What is YOUR Brand?

A few weeks ago I walked into a vendor event to hear “are you the angel lady that sells Thirty One?”.  It took me a minute but then I said “yes”.  I was totally surprised by the question but grateful the two things were linked together.

Obviously you know I am a Thirty One consultant BUT I also love to make and share my angels.

I have found the perfect way to combine my two loves to make a difference in the lives of others.  My traveling angel pins allow individuals to buy an angel and send one to a person who needs some encouragement.  Know someone who is struggling?  Let me know and I will send them a pin.

Where is all of this leading?  I have (accidentally) branded myself as “the Thirty One angel lady”.  Is it a bad thing? No! But I am grateful to have created my own niche of making a difference.

1. Realize branding does apply to you.

No matter what you do, branding can take your career or business to the next level.  Your brand reflects your reputation — what you’re known for (or would like to be known for). What was once called a reputation is now called a brand.  Don’t we all want to be know for something?

2. State who and what you are (not what you’re not).

Remember positive brings positive into your Universe.  Your branding should be consistent from beginning to the end.  Showcase your accomplishments and expertise but don’t overinflate to the point you can’t follow through.  Authenticity is the key.  I am all about giving back.  Hubby says my tagline should be “I will never be Rockefeller (rich with money)” because I am all about giving to others.

3. Honestly, ask yourself what is your value.

When was the last time you wrote down your core strengths. Prepare a list. Ask yourself what your top 5 accomplishments have been in the past 5, 10, 15 years. Which ones stand out as the most value to your business or your company?

Branding is all about impressing others not ourselves, right?  So, why not ask others what they see as your most positive attributes (family, friends, or colleagues). I know this can be scary BUT you may be surprised to find out how others perceive you. You may actually be surprised to see what things come to the forefront as your areas of expertise.

4. Understand developing a brand takes time.

This is HUGE!  I have been with Thirty One for 6 years.  I have done many things to try and “brand myself” but with the help of Desiree Wolfe, I found my niche.  

What does it mean? Every day, I share things which bring my brand (Thirty One and angels) into the spotlight.  I want to make a difference and I try to do it every day in some small way with everyone I meet.  Remember developing a brand is about adding value which results in you being seen and heard. It’s about distinguishing you from your competitors.

5. Create a blog and write what you know.

I hear the groans of those who say “I can’t write”.  How often are you asked the same question by almost all of your customers?  Maybe it is about a situation or a product or a service.  Guess what?  You answer the question a million times, why not write about it and share the answer.  It’s simple – choose a hot question in your field and just start writing by answering it in an article or blog post.  You have now proven you know what you’re talking about.

6. Interact more than less.

I’m still getting the hang of this.  I don’t want to be spammy or pushy or salesy. I do want to gain attention to me (as the brand) then my products and services which leads to more sales.  I may blog daily but I don’t consistently post comments on Facebook groups or on other blog posts.  You need to decide what works with your schedule and time ability.

Your online identity is a priority in today’s busy digital world. I heard “your online branding as a #digitaltattoo which is so true.  Once it is out there – it stays out there. Wonder where you stand right now?  Google yourself, your brand, or your product/service.  See what comes up.  The biggest compliment I have received is when someone I know as an acquanitence tells me they Googled a subject and I came up.

My angels help me stand out with my Thirty One customers.  The angels help them to remember me!  What is your brand?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Your Life Purpose

Have you ever wondered why you are here?  Could be in this house? Or this job? Or with this person/ spouse/ partner?

In the movie The Color Purple, there is a scene in which Miss Celie finally musters the courage to leave Mister. He’d just finished saying some pretty nasty things to her (paraphrasing): “You’re poor. You’re black. You’re ugly. Nobody wants you.”

To which Miss Celie replied, “I’m poor. I’m black. I might even be ugly. But I’m here!”

There is a reason each of us is here.  We have lost family and friends who were here last year and who aren’t now.  Some have passed on fulfilling their purpose on this earth.  But you are still here. And your most important job in life is to know why.  I know pretty heavy for early morning, right?

I have been pondering this question for the last week or so since my birthday.  What is my purpose in life?  There are days when I think I know but more times then not, I’m clueless. I could blame it on the MS or the lack of memory or 100 different things but the truth is some days I feel lost.  What about you?

Can you state your purpose in a single, simple sentence?  If not, ask yourself this question:

How is someone’s life better when they cross your path?

Whatever your answer, is, can you say it quickly – in under 15 seconds.  Why so fast?  Because in most cases we only have a few seconds to share with people we meet.

I believe my purpose is to “bringing hope and a smile to those who are struggling, reminding them they are special and worthy”.

For some, it may sound kind of cheesy.  The simple gesture of bringing a smile to the face of others makes a difference in their life.  It can make a dark day sunny.  It can dry a tear in their eye.  It can change their negative mindset to positive.  YES!  A simple smile can do it.

Your purpose is about how you uniquely serve the world and make it better in some way. It uses your unique gifts, strengths and experiences. It is something you do well. And it comes naturally to you.

I think about my success as a Social Work…. it was the answer to the question, how is this person’s life better because I met them?  In my family, it answers, how is this family better because I’m here?  Some may think this means I am self-absorbed or conceited.  I am actually humbled by the blessing I am able to give to others.

Today, I challenge you to take a few minutes and answer the question. Once you get the answer, write it down. Don’t forget it. Make it your mantra. A fulfilling life is a life lived with purpose.

How is someone’s life better because they cross your path?  Share your life’s purpose with us.

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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