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!

What’s the Buzz in Your Business?

Happy Friday!  I am getting ready for my last party/fundraiser before I start packing for Thirty One’s National Conference in Columbus next week.  We have already seen the Fall catalog BUT I know there will be some more surprises when we get to conference.  I have been thinking about the many uses of our products and how best to showcase them as we get ready for the Fall.  If you are in direct sales, you know the many features and benefits of your products but do you really just want to run down a list for your potential customers.  UGH!  Boring!  I know with a new catalog season, people will be talking anyway but we don’t want them to get bored or only thing a product has one use, right?

Here are some ideas on how to make your product seem more desirable:

Get people talking.  My customers are actually the ones who give me incredible ideas on different ways to use our products.  Then I just start posting them through social media.  I share videos from our Home Office to create a buzz.  Fun pictures or memes in my VIP Facebook group create interest and get my customers talking.  

Skip the long features list.  BORING!  Listen to what your potential customer is telling you about her life and then highlight the products and features of interest to her. Sharing information that is relevant to your potential customer is the key.

       

The same product with 2 different features – organizing your car or your bathroom.

Highlight ease of use.  The easier and more practical a product is to use, the more valuable it will be in the eyes of the customer.  For example, they like our large utility tote, let’s see the options that show its versatility:

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Here are just 3 ways to use our large utility tote.

Offer a test drive.  Potential customers love to try it before they buy it.  I find this especially true if a customer is looking for a product to do a specific task.  I offer a PRODUCT EXPERIENCE.  This is NOT a party but a one-on-one with the customer to try out their vision.  How many times have you bought something because you envisioned it doing XYZ in a closet, on a wall,etc. only to find out that it doesn’t fit or it isn’t what you envisioned?  Why go through all of that trouble?  Do a test drive… if it doesn’t work, there is nothing lost but about an hour of your time.  It is does, GREAT!

What are your best tips for making your products desirable to your customers?  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!

Tis the Season of Catalog Changes

I can’t believe we had Thirty One’s Fall Reveal already.  It was AMAZING!  No this is not about all of the newness coming our way which will tickle you PINK.  It is to shed some light on how to make a catalog change an AWESOME experience for the consultant and her customers.

For those in direct sales, you know the introduction of NEWNESS creates a lot of excitement.  You are eager to share the catalog with friends, family and customers. You want everyone to be excited so YOU can fill your calendar for the next few months.  But unfortunately, there are still a few weeks left in July.  I don’t know about you but I would like to get a paycheck in August, so sharing needs to be done in a way to NOT lose business in July.  Yes, it can be tricky BUT it can be done!

As a hobbyist, I was one of those people who wrote off the current season and eagerly shared the new catalog.  I didn’t have a plan nor was I thinking about what it could do to my current month end.  I was just pushing for the Fall – the busiest selling season of the year.  I figured my customers had the same catalog for the last six months so they were ready for something fresh.  I know I was.  As soon as I shared the new, sales for the current month dropped or sometimes stopped.  Could I have expected anything more?

Here are some tips and tricks to keep the excitement building for the new catalog while grabbing those last sales in the current catalog.  So, whether you are a new consultant or a seasoned one, let’s all make the most of the next few weeks as we get ready to launch a NEW catalog season.

Here are some of the tips to finish off the season strong:

  • Use Customer Care Card or Door Prize Slips to secure bookings and leads at events. Those who book with a date, get a sneak peak at the new catalog.  Let them be the first to receive it in the mail.  Follow-up is important.
  • Use Hostess Stacking and booking games at parties.
  • Keep the party fun to keep your calendar full. To keep your business growing, your goal should be at least 2 bookings from every party or event.  Ask yourself, would you have fun at your parties?  If not, time for a change!
  • Build strong relationships with customers and hostesses. Communication before, during and after the party is the key to building trust and begins building a solid relationship.  They will trust you and people buy from who they trust!
  • Think outside the box for a home party.  Everyone is on the go, so, why not take your party on the go? From a backyard barbeque, an afternoon at the park with your girlfriends and the kiddos, a pool party, the beach, a night out with girls, an ice cream social and traveling with friends and family.
  • This is tricky time – products and prints will be selling out. Know what is available, and be ready to offer options.  Have an idea about what is coming to encourage conversations with potential hostesses. It allows you to have a one on one conversations,  making them feel special because you are providing them with a sneak peek of the upcoming hostess and customer specials.
  • Offer a fun enticing way to get their hands on a book!  A Last Chance, First Glance party. Give your July hostesses the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the new fall catalog at their party.
  • Reach out customers who liked a certain print to help them finish their collection if it is leaving.  Encourage your hostesses or customers to plan parties or purchase early in the month (or as soon as the list comes out), as items begin to sell out closer to the end of the month.

So, what is YOUR best tip for keeping momentum during a catalog change? Share your tips with us.

Have ThirtyOne-derful day!

Let It Go!

This post is NOT all about the movie “Frozen“.  Although, I did see the movie and loved it.  This phrase has been coming up a lot lately for me.  It was the topic at a recent Weight Watcher meeting which of course sent me into emotional tailspin.  WHY? Because “letting go” is not something I do easily.  Then it came up in conversations with friends about business and personal lives.  Do you think God is trying to send me a message?

Do your emotions lead to food?  Whether we are happy, sad, stressed or angry – food seems to be solace for many of us.  We probably aren’t physically hungry but we find ourselves eating mindlessly and then wondering why the scale is not moving.  GUILTY!

Did you know between 35-60 percent of people who struggle with their weight claim to be emotional eaters.  It becomes a habit.  The two become so closely linked, we have a hard time separating them.  Yes, eating can provide temporary relief but then we never learn how to handle the emotion without eating.  Lately, it has become just the opposite for me – I don’t eat at all when I am upset.  Not good either since my body then goes into starvation mode and the end result is the scale doesn’t move.  Learning how to “let it go” is key to having balance in life (or at least in mine).  

Here are some steps to use when emotions trigger an urge to eat or when you need to let go of things in your life:

  1. Sit comfortably with feet on the floor and back straight but not rigid.  Let your gaze fall onto a spot which won’t distract you or gently close your eyes
  2. Settle yourself and focus on your breath moving in and out of your body.
  3. Imagine a blue sky with fluffy clouds lightly drifting across it (or actually watch them enjoying God’s beauty). Imagine each cloud passing by is a thought, image or feeling.
  4. Mentally step back to observe and label each cloud.  Maybe it’s a thought about work, a feeling of frustration, an urge to eat, or feeling alone.  You are not trying to change or stop the clouds, just watching, describing and letting feelings and thoughts pass by.
  5. Continue for two minutes.  Gently bring your attention back to your breath, slowly inhaling and exhaling three times and back to the present.

You can apply this same technique to other parts of your life as well.  Anger at a friend or family member.  Frustration with your business.  Feeling alone.  Hurt by someone’s unkind words.  Letting go of emotions is not easy but when we hold on to them, we feed those nasty inner gremlins.  As a result, the negative feelings build up and the inner gremlins grow causing a downward spiral which effects all aspects of your life, including the scale.

What unhelpful (or negative) thought have you had when emotions trigger the urge to eat?  Do a reality check?  You do not have to own those feelings, you can let them go and STOMP out those inner gremlins.  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!