Happy No Brainer Day

its-a-no-brainer

No, I’m not kidding!  Today is actually “No Brainer Day”

Have you ever wanted a day dedicated to doing something simple, easy, obvious, and/or totally logical?  For me, I usually need make every morning start like this as a result of the MS.  But I also get to have days like this because I love what I do.  Working for myself, loving the work I do all make it so much easier to have this kind of day.  Don’t get me wrong, I  have days where I think, plan, and analyze but they are scheduled to keep life simple.  So, if you have a project which requires thinking, studying, or analysis of any kind, today would NOT be the day to do it.  LOL!

Having my own business, I love finding simple solutions for my customers using our amazing Thirty One products.  My office systems are simple and make things easy for me to stay on top of things.

Yes, it is one of those random holidays but here is the origin as posted on holiday insights

This day was created by Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith, ‘America’s Premier Eventologist’ – per Insight Magazine – Washington, DC – August, 1995, and ‘The Premier Eventologist in the History of the World – per The Chicago Tribune – Chicago, Il – January 2001.

So today I will be a billboard for my business as I shop, run errands and drive around town. I will be creative as I work on some new angel designs.  Are there really a “no-brainer”? As long as I don’t stress about numbers, sales and the end of the month crunch – it will be simple and easy.  The systems I have in  place to make this purse gig totally logical.  Plain and simple – maybe every day should be a no-brainer day.  What do you think?

What you will be doing on “No Brainer Day”?  Share how you will be spending your day.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Penny Wise, Dollar Foolish

Penny wise and dollar foolish is a saying I have heard since I was little.  I will admit, it has been me on occasion – okay, maybe more occasions then I care to admit!  🙂

Halfway through the year and starting a new fiscal year at Thirty One this month is when review my goals and my finances.  Doing it mid-year check helps me keep things in balance or get back on track if I have wavered.

Life with MS (#MSwillnotdefineme) has been interesting to say the least.  No excuses, just the realization processing things doesn’t work unless I have a system.  A system to stay on track with bills.  A system to work my business.  Admittedly, the the money system faltered some in the first few months but I have grabbed the bull by the horns and am back on track with a new plan.

I hate to admit I am still learning money matters in my 60’s, but there are a few things I wish I had learned in my 20’s.  Learning is an ongoing process and I am determined not to give up on my goal.

#1 A bigger and better job doesn’t mean you get to spend more.  By keeping your costs the same when you increase your salary you’ll be able to save some.  I always thought more money meant I could spend more.  Silly me!

#2 Never spend more than what comes in.  And limit your cards to the lowest amount possible. This has been the toughest for this recovering addict to conquer. 

#3 Pay off any debt first.  Pay your credit card debt as soon as possible, those high interests won’t be doing you any good. Then once they are paid off DON”T use them anymore.

 

#4 Student loans on autopilot.  Students loans usually have a really small interest rate so make regular, steady payments to pay off your loan and it’ll soon be a thing of the past.  Check out too if you are eligible for a “forgiveness program”.  Make 120 payments on time & the balance of your loan is forgiven.  Works for the kids but not the parents.

#5 Build a back-up.  YES, saving is still important even if you have debt.  Make sure you always have a few hundred set aside for unexpected costs and bills.

#6 Insuring yourself is essential.  A crashed laptop, unforeseen doctors bill or stolen bike can wreak financial havoc if you’re not insured. The cost per month will pay off in the long run for any unexpected mishaps.

#7 Set long term goals to help you focus on what you really want. Figure out how much you’re gonna need and start saving now.

#8 Monetize your talent if you can.  Write blogposts, take photographs or try to monetize your special skills as (additional) income.  I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember.  I just wish I had of saved some of that money.

 

#9 Think about retirement.  This is especially important if you are your own boss.  Sadly, I learned too late it’s essential to put away money for the future.

#10 Lastly, here is a marvelous piece of advice given by StickleyMan on Thought Catalog. It’s reaaaaaally good.

Take some more chances. You know that idea that’s been ruminating in the back of your mind for years? That one that doesn’t have anything to do with your job or your mortgage. That one that falls outside your schema of living and routine and that you shrug off as some immature or impractical idea; as just some silly fantasy. Maybe it’s a crazy business idea or a trip to go live in a hut in India for three months or to breed Pygmy hippos or to become a juggling street performer. Whatever it is, explore it. Maybe even try it. I don’t mean take a stupid, life-threatening risk. I’m not suggesting a trying a lifestyle of meth addiction and bare-knuckle Fight Clubs. But something outside your comfort zone. Try it. Maybe you’ll fail miserably at it. But just try it. Because in about a decade when you’re responsible for more things and more people, you won’t be able to. And you’ll find yourself in a self-imposed mental prison of ‘what-ifs’. And take it for someone who didn’t because I was too scared, too embroiled in my own insecurities and addictions, and so heavily conditioned to fear failure – you’ll wish you did.

Any cash lessons you learned in the past year? Tell us in the comments, we’d love to hear how you spend and save.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Work Smarter

I have always struggled with the concept,”working smarter”.  I think it is finally starting to sink in…. since I have my own business.  Over the last week or so, I have been talking to friends in direct sales who have been feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  Some because of life while others are learning to find a balance between home, work, business and family.

Working my Thirty One business full time can sometimes feel like I am spinning my wheels.  Now if I could lose weight while doing it, it would be perfect but sadly, it just seems I spin my wheels and get stuck in non-productive activities.

Building a direct sales business (or any business really), doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful.  The best part of direct sales, is the ability to make your own hours so whether you have a few hours a week or several hours every day to work your business, you want to be able to get results and reach your goals, right?

So, since you aren’t loosing any weight by spinning those wheels, why not try these five ways to work smarter in your direct sales business (or with any goal).

#1. Know your goals & break them down into action steps.

The best way to work smarter is to actually know what your goals are and the activities you need to be doing to reach them. I am great for saying I want to make “$1000 or more per month income from my business” or “I want to promote to Senior Director” but knowing what the steps are to get there are not always as easy.  Saying it is great.  The truth is you need to break it down into smaller milestones and activity goals so you know what to focus on each day, week & month to reach them. Sometimes it is easier said then done.

How many parties/shows/demos will it take per month?  How many customer orders?  Of course recruiting plays a big part, so how many do you need to add to your team?  Honestly when breaking down my goals, I focus on things I have control over.  Yes, team sales play a factor because I can’t control what someone else does in their business.  Break down your goals, how many parties or customer orders do you need each month? How many active team members do you need to promote?  Once you have the monthly activities,  you can break them down even further to weekly goals and daily activities.

#2. Work your Business Like a Business.

I know you have heard it 1,000 times.  If you want to earn the income of a business, you have to treat your business like a business.  If you have a “day job”, think about the things you do going into work on a regular basis to earn a paycheck.  Yes, it is the same with a direct sales business. Your business is “flexible BUT NOT optional”.  You still have to put in the hours and work to have a paycheck and grow your business.  Create a schedule to work your business which fits into your current lifestyle and family.

#3. Focus on Income Producing Activities.

This is an area I struggle in.  Now you have a schedule, you are ready to treat your business like a business by learning where to focus your limited time. I sometimes find myself wasting time on things which don’t generate income or move me closer to reaching my goals. Social Media can be a time sucker.  Re-creating tools and training can be a waste of time.  What are income producing activities?  Things which lead to a cash transaction like customer orders, parties, recruiting and team building. You should focus 80% of your time on direct marketing, follow up, building relationships, holding parties, recruiting, and helping your team build their business.

#4. Set up Streamlined Systems

Systems equal success & less stress. I can attest to this since I have set up a system which seems to work, at least with follow-up.  I am still a work in progress for hostess coaching.  Don’t have a system?  Start by writing all the things you do in each area of your business.  Now, write down the ones you should be doing but aren’t.  Where can you batch similar tasks together to save time?  Can you delegate activities?  How about automated emails or training videos or documents with frequently asked questions you can refer people to?  With these things, you can streamline the processes in your business so you don’t jump around or or miss out on important steps in your business.

#5. Develop a mindset of success & stop procrastinating.

Don’t let your fears rule your thoughts. Don’t let procrastination hold you back.  Don’t make excuses.  Procrastination is the #1 killer of productivity.  It is a form of fear. It means stepping out of your comfort zone.  YIKES!  Scary stuff, right? The only way to overcome procrastination is to make a real commitment to reaching your goals.  Have a plan, have set goals with activities and have an accountability partner to connect with to help you stop procrastinating.

Basically, ask yourself these three question before you do any activity:

  1. Is this going to get me closer to my goals?
  2. Will this make the best use of my time?
  3. Does this honor my mission in life & business?

If the answer is yes, go for it!  What is keeping you from reaching your goals?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Systems Verses Sitting

Thank you Kathi Lipp for today’s message:

I am a systems girl.

Give me a new system, whether it’s in my house, on my computer, or for my calendar and I’m in my happy place. I feel deeply that if I have a good system, along with enough Post It Notes, I could rule the world.

So, when I signed up for the course on developing a devotional system, I thought to myself, “This is it! This is the secret sauce I’ve been missing all these years. If I just had a devotional system that really worked, my quiet time will be so much deeper.”

I got my system all organized (my inner Office Supply Geek was leaping for joy). There was a place for my Bible notes, my sermon notes, my prayer requests, Bible memorization and more. I loved all the tabs, lists and fill-ins. Loved each and every page of that devotional.

And then I sat down to use it.

Oh, it was fun to flip through all the pages and tabs, but after a little bit, I realized that this new system was not making me go deeper with God. It was a great tool, but the system wasn’t what I was missing.
Systems are great to help us establish routines to get us into the practice of quiet times, but when it comes down to it, what I need are exactly two things:

1. My Bible

2. A chunk of time

For some reason, I thought that the system would get me where I wanted to go, spiritually, more quickly. But God is not interested in our speed.

I realized I was trying for an instant connection, instead of giving myself, and God, time to truly linger with each other.

What I’ve come to understand is that my way of practicing the presence of God needs to be less about systems and more about sitting.

Sitting and anticipating the slow, faithful hand of God.

Sitting and waiting on his voice, even if I can’t hear it right away.

Sitting quietly and expectantly.

While systems are great, and can give me a false sense of presence. I need to take steps to go beyond the system, so that I can truly meet with God. Here are a few things to consider if you are struggling:

1. Pray for desire and grace.

If you know you should be having a quiet time, but it feels like a struggle each and every time, ask God for the desire to meet with him, and then ask him for the grace when it comes out less than perfectly.

2. Put your phone in another room.

When things feel dry in my quiet time, I want an instant hit of connection – and that’s what social media offers. Instant connection. Put the phone out of reach so that you wait on your connection with God.

3. Anticipate.

God is not hiding from you. Persistently linger in His presence. He will meet you there.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

A Weekly Staff Meeting?

monday morning

Okay so it is really Tuesday!  BUT for most, yesterday was a holiday SO today will feel like a Monday.  I am ready to kick off the week with some new structure in my business that I wanted to share with you.

I spent last week trying to regroup after being away for 5 days.  Mentally, I was away for like 2 weeks with all of the wedding festivities.  I struggled to get back on track.  My sales in August were down but I expected that – why?  I wasn’t working my business.  I coasted through the summer meeting my minimums.  I did the same as I did in 2014 but definitely not where I want my business to be next year during the summer.  How many of you did the same thing?  Did you set a goal to do better over the summer but then fell into the same Vacation Veronica syndrome?  Admit it – we let life run our business.  A lack of structure or systems has kicked us in the butt!

Well, the kids are back to school.  The busy holiday season is rapidly approaching and I am ready to capture the business.  Are you?

Deb Bixler, a home party plan coach, posted a comment in the Women in Business Facebook group that said:

At the end of every week, have a meeting with yourself.How did I do this week? What do I need to accomplish next week? Am I stuck on anything, and if so, who can help me?

This was such an AHA for me!  Have you or do you currently work some place where they have weekly staff meetings?  You know the ones that you hate – come together to talk about what needs to be done or the status of current projects.  I had them all of the time when I was managing a non-profit.  I never thought of having one in my own business.  Why would I – I have a team not a staff.  The truth is this is a great way to take that LONG To Do list and narrow it down for the week.

So, starting TODAY, I am going to take action to put some structure in my business.  I always thought structure was for other businesses NOT my home based business.  Crazy, right?  I avoided structure and just flew by the seat of my pants.  Where did that get me?  Low sales.  Low party numbers. Low recruiting numbers.  Overall, a poor example for my team.

It is time to reframe our thinking.  Structure doesn’t have to be boring.  Structure doesn’t have to suffocate you.  Structure helps us to set systems in place so that we can reach our goals.  I know for some this is a no brainer.  Yes, I thought I had a system.  I am in my office every morning with a daily checklist of things to do.  I mark them off and feel like I have accomplished something BUT a lot of it is busy work.  The truth is my systems didn’t work.  The tasks were not income producing – they were just tasks.  So, I am revamping and it will include a weekly meeting.  Maybe even 2 meetings with myself – one at the end of the week to see how things went during the week and one at the beginning of the week to regroup after the weekend to see if anything needs to be adjusted on my weekly planner.

What is on YOUR agenda for your weekly meeting? Share your best tip for staying on track in your business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!