What Are You Putting Off?

I never thought of myself as a “procrastinator”.  Towards the end of my career as a grant writer, I found I worked better under pressure – does it make me a procrastinator?  Probably.

Working at home in my direct sales business, I find I am procrastinating.  I put off things, mostly the things which are out of my comfort zone.  I know there are times when we need to delay things – life happens, right?  But the truth is, procrastination is one of the biggest causes of stress in our lives.  I don’t know about you BUT stress makes me re-think my goals and my action steps which makes me stay in my comfort zone which keeps me STUCK!  Do you see where I am going here?

Think about the things you hold off doing….

As busy women, there are things in your life you know need to get done. They are usually not even difficult tasks but in our minds we have made them more difficult and as a result we never get started.  Instead, we do everything we can think of – wash dishes, organize files, surf the Internet, or check e-mail—rather than the things we actually need to do IN our business.  I’m always in my office yet I find myself working on my business and not in it.  Being busy but not with things which will make me money or get me more business.  More procrastination which ultimately drains my energy and wastes precious time.

“Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday,” ~ Napoleon Hill

There are actually two solutions to procrastination.  Sounds so simple, right?  I was just listening to the AMAZING Desiree Wolfe who talked about this same thing!

#1.  Drop the goal or project, and don’t do it.

Is this really what you want to do?  Are you willing to admit defeat before you even make a serious attempt at trying.  My newest HUGE goal is to earn a FREE trip to Maui courtesy of Thirty One.  Yup, it is the Leadership Incentive Trip for 2019!  Believe it or not, it is the sales goal which has me stumped more than the number o qualify recruits.  Weird, right?  Yes, I squirreled.  One month down with 11 more to go and the inner gremlins are already having a field day.  I have set my goal and I am not giving up… So this is not an option for me

2. Exercise some discipline, and just go ahead and do it.

Since procrastination is sometimes a sign you don’t want or need to do the thing you’re dreading, then Option #1 is a good choice for you.  Now this doesn’t apply to paying filing taxes (you have until April 17th), paying bills, or picking kids up from school.  Then there are times when procrastination is a sign of perfectionism, stubbornness, or lack of self-discipline.  In these cases, you have the power to change.  Are you in this category? If so,  Option 2 is your best choice.  The bottom line is not to make the task or project a big deal. Break it into smaller pieces and just get started.  Sometimes easier said then done, right?

So what is it you need to do?  Don’t wait for inspiration to hit you — just start! I always want to wait for the “right time”.  Is there ever a perfect time to step out of your comfort zone?  You don’t have to feel like doing something to do it. Once you are int the process of starting, your mood develops and the inspiration comes. And even if it doesn’t, the feeling of relief after completing a project you’ve been dreading is well worth it.

My challenge to you:

Stop procrastinating. Get it done!

Share with us what you been putting off? What step will you take today to move forward?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Success in Direct Selling

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Half the summer is gone and you maybe you are starting to think about “back to school” shopping.  Maybe you are wondering what you will do when ALL of the kids are in school. Maybe you are wondering HOW you will pay for all of those activity fees when school starts. Or maybe you will be dealing with “empty nest” syndrome as the kids head back to college.

I am sure that your Facebook news feed is FULL of offerings for direct sales opportunities.  It is National Conference time and everyone is on their “pink (or whatever color) cloud.  Have you thought “I could never do that”?  Or maybe you have been intrigued and thought “if she can do it, so can I”?  Maybe you wondered if you could really make money.  The truth is that you can!

Maybe you have you have decided to take the  BIG step and join a direct sales company. You think you know WHY you want to join?  The truth is, if you don’t – that is okay because it will probably change many times during the course of your direct selling career.

Have you joined a company that you “love the product” or “just want the discounts” or think “I could have a new career”?  You have hit “submit” and then it hits you – NOW WHAT? Most direct selling companies offer online training that will guide you through the company and its products. Most say the same thing – BOOK, SELL, RECRUIT! I mean that is the key, right? Well it may not always be that simple. 

Here are some of the main keys to having a successful direct selling business:

  1. Keep your calendar full. Whether it is one party a month or one party a week – how busy you want to be is based on your income goal for the month. Whatever your goal is – add ONE.  Just in case there is a last minute cancellation.  Always have a backup plan for cancellations.  Encourage your hostess to have a catalog party so they still reap the rewards if a home party didn’t work out. Have a list of potential last minute hostess/ friends that help out in a pinch. Switching potential cancellations to catalog parties is relatively easy.  But a back up list of last minute hostesses is a BIG help – you know the ones who can throw a party together at the drop of a hat and who LOVE your product. By keeping your calendar full, you are able to meet your goals each month.
  2. Make it look easy. I know you are thinking, how can I do that when I don’t have a clue what I am doing, right?  JulieAnne Jones suggests doing things the exact same way all of the time. Do you think that is boring? Well, she was tops in her direct sales company without really understanding why. The trick is that you are easy to duplicate so it is not so intimidating for new recruits.
  3. Be an expert on your product. I LOVE telling my hostess that our products sell themselves. While that is true, it is great to have lots of ideas on the benefits of your product as well as how it can solve various problems. Solving problems for your customers is key whether you are selling cookware, food, makeup or bags. Gather information from your customers on how they use a particular product and add that to your arsenal of product benefits.
  4. Recruit often. I know you don’t want to be a leader, right? OR You don’t want to be a pushy sales person. WRONG! If you believe in your company (as I do) and the opportunities that it offers (free trips, commission, incentives, bonuses, etc) share that information with others. They will want to join you in your journey because they are just as excited as you are.

Here is to your success…There are a lot of resources out there besides the specific company that you are selling for – check them out. The Direct Selling Education Foundation has some amazing resources.

Feel free to share your direct selling success stories. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What Are Your Obstacles?

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When I graduated college, work was all about moving up in the corporate world.  I never thought about being my own boss.  To me that was a lonely life – I needed people.

My first home-based business was “Special Tots” a line of premature baby clothes.  I designed them, cut them out, sewed them and then marketed them.  I loved it but I was not ready to be my own boss.  Then came “H.O.P.E. Consultants”, a grant management and consulting service for non-profit agencies.  A success but I missed the daily connections with people.  When I closed those doors to go back to non-profit development, I never thought I would be by own boss again.

Then life changed – Belinda was living in North Carolina, the commute to work was 4 hours round trip, I got married and there were some health struggles.  The pros of being my own boss: making my own hours, no commuting and doing something I loved far outweighed the BIGGEST con which was the lack of people.  YUP, I was ALONE.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my business.  But it tends to be solitary work. I write alone. I sit in the office alone talking to people on the phone.  I coach alone, mostly by phone.  I work from home, my team scattered about this and other states. The crazy part is that I question my passion when being “alone” gets lonely.

What’s missing is the connections!  Connection isn’t just “networking.” Connection isn’t just collaboration. Connection isn’t just communicating with people. I love how Valerie Burton describes it: “Connection is love. It is the moment, however brief, when your soul aligns with another and you serve one another’s needs in some way. It could be a smile, a touch, an idea, a word of encouragement, or act of support. But connection makes life and work juice”.  This is just one of the hurdles that you can expect when you work a solo-preneur.

How about blending Your Work Life with Your Home Life?  Most people enjoy the fact that an office job gives them the ability to leave their work at the office. This is tricky if you’re working in your home, and even tougher for those you live with. I have a separate office space in the house – a spare bedroom.  It prevents my business from intruding into every aspect of our personal lives– for the most part.  At least the physical aspects of it.  The advantage is that there is  no commuting!  Blending is a lot easier if you build your business around something you’re personally passionate about.

How about working longer and harder than ever before?  Many entrepreneurs say “I work from the minute I wake up until the minute I go to sleep.”  That may be the case some days, but it will be especially true in the beginning.  You will do whatever it takes to get your business going.  The advantage is that you will work longer and harder, but it’s ultimately for your own gain.  Nothing is more satisfying than that!  While you will make time sacrifices, you’ll also have more flexibility.  I ultimately have the ability to change my schedule when I need to. There are certainly sacrifices toward owning your own business, but for successful entrepreneurs, the advantages far outweigh the difficulties.

No matter what the obstacle in owning your own home-based business, there is a solution.  The passion you have for your business combined with the desire to reach your goal will help you find that solution.  Need help finding those solutions, reach out… I will be more than happy to help you on your journey.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Making Wine from Lemons

 

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GOTCHA!  You really thought I was going to tell you how to make wine from lemons, right?

It is Thursday and we are only in the 2nd week of the New Year, what could possibly be stressing you out, right?

Maybe those holiday bills have started to come in.  Maybe work is not all you want it to be.  Maybe there are health issues.  Maybe there are relationship issues.  Whatever is stressing and upsetting you – you can OVERCOME it.

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Now, I am not advocating drinking your troubles away BUT a nice glass of wine is a great way to relax for some.

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Did you know that you can OVERCOME anything if you put your mind to it and believe you can.

Here’s 3 tips that will help YOU!

#1 Take Time To Yourself!  I get it.  It is hard to take time for yourself when it feels like the world is falling around you.  The truth is that despite the “mess”, you deserve time for yourself.  Okay, so an hour out of each day may sound CRAZY.  So start small with 15 minutes and work your way up to a full hour. During  this time, don’t worry about anything, fill your mind with positive thoughts, and do something you enjoy.

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#2 Be Loyal And Respect Yourself!   I know that I am talking about this A LOT lately but it is so important.  Being loyal to yourself means that you are true to who you are, and never be sorry for it.  That means NEVER apologizing for being you.  You are AWESOME. Some may like you.  Others may not.  Isn’t that why we have 31 flavors of ice cream?  Respecting yourself means that you will not let people walk over you. That means “NO PEOPLE PLEASING”.  If there is something that you don’t want to do, respect yourself enough to say NO!

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#3 Be Solution Driven! Life is a roller coaster full of up’s and down’s!  Everyone’s life has a roller coaster even if you don’t see it.  The best way  to power through life’s roller coaster of down’s is by learning to find solutions.  What can you do to work through the struggles you’re having?  Can’t see a solution? Make a list of pro’s and con’s and see what you come up with.  Maybe that will help you come to conclusion or maybe not. Either way, at least you will be able to say you did your best.  Who knows you may begin to see the rainbow at the end of the storm.

What kind of Wine Are You Making With Your Lemons?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Blogging Is Good for Business

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Blogging is one of the most valuable tools that a business has to engage with customers and ultimately serve them better.

I LOVE this statement.  I have heard it for almost two years.  Thank you Vanessa Coppes for my challenge almost TWO years ago!

I am NOT going to tell you that blogging will get you instant customers or increase your business by X%. What I will tell you is that it has helped me to build relationships with potential customers and hostesses.

I am blessed that on most days, writing comes easy to me.  On occasion,  finding a topic may be tough since I do this every day BUT once I have an idea, the juices start to flow.  I consider it another form of social media that will help you to build your business.

Want to know how to start…. JUST DO IT!  Here are 4 ways to spend your time blogging productively:

  1. Solve one problem per post.  I know you are all probably thinking that I should take my own advice, right?  LOL.  The truth is that you want to be the person your customers turn to when they need something.   You want your customers to think of you, you want them to think of how quick, smart, helpful, knowledgeable and to the point you are.
  2. Speak your clients’ language.  Write in terms that YOUR customers will understand.  If you use acronyms and technical terms, you may loose them.  The key is to figure out how your customers actually speak, so you can relate to them on their terms.
  3. Stop writing about yourself (or stop blogging).  I know that I include a lot of commentary in my blogs and some are personal but they have a purpose. They are a way for me to share what has worked or NOT worked for me.  Hopefully, my personal stories help others to avoid my mistakes or to know that they are not alone.  Sharing details of your personal life can help potential clients know, like and trust you. That can be very powerful.  You need to find a good balance between the two and know your blog audience.
  4. Tell your readers what to do next (and make it easy).  I have to admit that this is not something that I do well (or at least I don’t think I do).  I need to remember to tell my readers to do something when I end my blog.  Fill out a form, email me, like my Facebook business page, etc.  You get the point right?  At the end of every post, tell your reader exactly what to do next. Make it a simple, low-risk task that requires next to no thought. For example:

Click here and enter your e-mail to learn more about how [your great service] can help you with [their problem].  Then follow up with some useful information about your services and an invitation to talk by phone for a few minutes. Keep it simple.

I have been asked how long it takes me to blog.  The truth is, I never thought about it.  I write when the mood strikes which is usually early in the morning so it takes less time.  If I am struggling with a subject or a topic, then the time frame changes totally.  I have been told by a few bloggers when I get stuck that “if you’re spending a lot of time trying to figure out what to write about, you should probably be blogging less and talking with your potential clients more.”

Talking (and listening) to people in your target market is the best way to generate ideas for your blog. Are you blogging?  Share your blog below.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!