To Speak or Not To Speak…that is the Question


Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message:

When Steven was about seven-years-old, we went snow skiing. For hours I instructed him in how to stand up, ski down, and get up once he fell. Steven fell down, and fell down, and fell down. He was not getting the hang of it at all. What’s the problem, I wondered. Then I found out. It was me.

“Mom,” Steven cried, “If you just quit telling me what to do, I think I could get it.”

“Fine!” I said as I skied away in frustration. “Go ahead and do it your way!”

And you know what? He did. Thirty minutes later Steven was cruising down the slopes with ease. See I was the problem. My continual instruction was hindering Steven from working the maneuvers out on his own. The day started out being a skiing lesson for Steven, but ended up being a parenting lesson for me.

Sometimes the most powerful words are the ones we withhold. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…a time to be silent and a time to speak,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,7). A wise woman learns the difference.

In the Bible, Esther is a wonderful example of a very wise woman who knew that timing was crucial. After much prayer, fasting and deliberation, she went before the King to make a petition for her people. It was an important request as the entire Hebrew nation was at stake. Rather than grovel at the King’s feet in dismay, she very calmly invited him to dinner. When the King attended the soirée the following evening, once again he invited Esther to make her request. Once again, she invited him to dinner the following evening.

At the second dinner party, the King offered yet a third opportunity for Esther to make her request. Finally, Esther revealed the evil Haman’s plot to annihilate the entire Hebrew nation, which included her life as well. It is an amazing story and I encourage you to read the book of Esther for yourself. But here’s a lesson among the drama. Esther had a very important request for the King. And yet, it was all about timing. Sure, she could have made the request the first time she approached the King and he extended the golden scepter in approval. Yes, she could have made her request at the first dinner party when he offered her anything she desired, “up to half his kingdom.” But there was something in Esther’s spirit that caused her to wait. The time wasn’t quite right.

Even though the Bible doesn’t tell us directly, I believe that Esther was listening to God. I believe the Holy Spirit was telling her to wait. Because she asked herself the question, to speak or not to speak, and then spoke when the time was right, the entire Hebrew nation was saved. That is the power of a woman’s words offered at the right time.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven…a time to be silent and a time to speak,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,7).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Saturday Spotlight: Wildtree

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Wildtree is today’s product spotlight.   What is Wildtree?

Wildtree offers the highest quality herbs, spices and culinary blends that are free of preservatives, additives, fillers and promote a healthier lifestyle. We believe in the value of making cooking a quicker, easier, more healthful project for those who are short on time. 

Leslie Montie never dreamed she would become the founder of a company that helps families enjoy great tasting, nutritious meals in minutes.  Leslie’s two young children had medical conditions that require special dietary restrictions so she began her search for healthy alternatives. Her sincere desire to help others was the inspiration that led her to found Wildtree in 1996.

  I was looking for a different kinds of salad dressing.  Low in Weight Watcher point value and where a little went a long way.  I found it in the Beet Citrus Dressing.  Just 1 SP for 4 TBSP.  It is more than enough to cover a BIG salad and tastes great with my kale. It is deep, earthy beets pair with sweet orange and acidic white vinegar to make a nuanced dressing that will enhance everything from salad to pizza to a marinated steak! Makes a salad for 6, six times.

AboutCoconut_glam2 I had heard AMAZING things about organic coconut oil but I was afraid that it would test like coconut.  The only way that I like coconut is in my pina coladas.  Most places had LARGE jars and were a bit pricey.  This size jar was perfect and was only $9.00!  Coconut Oil can be used for oven roasting, pan frying, and in place of butter in many baking recipes. I didn’t find it to have any taste or change the flavoring when I cooked but I know they say it can give food an “exotic taste”.  Maybe our taste buds are just a little OLD!  Here are some health facts about Coconut Oil:

  • Coconut oil is 86.5% saturated fatty acid. 
  • 58.1% of the saturated fatty acids are medium chain fatty acids 1 which compose medium-chain-triglycerides (MCTs). 
  • As part of a balanced diet, plus exercise, using coconut oil in the place of a selection of other fats or oils has been shown to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.

  I wasn’t sure how I was going to use this.  The suggestion was combine it with oil for dipping but I’m not a big fan of the bread/oil combo.  So I decided to use it on my roasted veggies.  OMG!  This with some olive oil was amazing!

I was not paid for this review, these are all products that I have used or use.  Click HERE to check out more AWESOME products.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Design a Holiday Gallery Wall

Happy Monday!  I am grateful to Thirty One for sharing these holiday ideas with us.  I may be crafty but I definitely “flop” when it comes to organizing photos or wall art.  Mine never seem to blend which is why I usually wait for my daughter to visit to help.

Whether it is for your own home or as the perfect personalized gift, switching out seasonal wall art makes for a festive holiday home – in a snap!  I would never think of doing this but it makes so much sense!  We decorate the house for the holidays, why not change out the pictures too?  The Statement Canvas Wall Art is available in two sizes and can put a little holiday in your halls.
Cheerful holiday colors showcase this wall art as something special – and seasonal. Mark a little one’s first Christmas with a gorgeous custom gift or share a sweet holiday sentiment filled with joy.  More ideas: Think of Christmas-themed songs, hymns and poems for inspiration, or pick a fun phrase.

  • Get your jingle on
  • Have yourself a merry little Christmas
  • Joy to the world
  • Comfort & Joy
  • Holly Jolly
  • Dear Santa: Define “good”

Thinking of leaving things up for the winter instead of just for the holiday season?  Pick cool blues and frosty hues to personalize your home décor for winter. Messages which celebrate the season make great gifts for families of any background and have the greatest longevity for displaying each year!  What is your favorite (or theirs) holiday song?You can find inspiration in a section of lyrics from a classic winter song:

  • In the meadow we can build a snowman
  • Fa la la la la (la la la la)!
  • Merry & Bright
  • Jingle all the way
  • All is calm, all is bright

No matter where you call home, you can welcome your guests (and Santa!) with customized wall art which speaks to you and your family. Are you a military family?  We have some awesome suggestions on how to keep “your home” close to your heart and showcase to your friends.  More phrase ideas:

  • Home for the holidays
  • Santa’s Workshop
  • [Name]’s Christmas Tree Farm
  • Santa, stop here!
  • All hearts come home for Christmas

We know the reason for the season so why not display or gift a beautifully printed Bible verse as a keepsake for Christmas.  Use their favorite verse, or inspire someone who is struggling.  Here are some more ideas:

  • Matthew 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced
  • Luke 2:10 Behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people
  • Luke 2:12 Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger
  • Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given

Whether you need a seasonal display or are going to leave it up year round, Thirty One has somethings to fit all of your needs.

Thirty-One is NOT just totes and purses.  We have a variety of home décor you can customize for even the most difficult person on your holiday list.   You can also customize throw pillows, decorative tins and rustic wood pieces (Close to Home tray).

Need help with the perfect gift?  I am happy to help.  Have a budget?  Let me help you find the best deal.  Who is the hardest person to buy for on your gift list?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

No Cost Travel Fun

bored cats

If you are a NJ parent, your kids are probably off from school for Teacher’s Convention, right? For some, you are headed out on a mini vacation before the holiday season while others are struggling to keep boredom at a minimum.

I remember the days of being a single mom and feeing like there was just enough money to pay the bills so I can’t possibly think about traveling ANYWHERE, right? I always wanted “to do” things with my daughter besides those cheer travel trips BUT (I know I hate the word, too) everything seemed to cost money which I didn’t have.

Then I took some cues from a very wise friend who taught me so much.  She and her kids were always doing something.  We often tagged along.  The BONUS was some girl time for me and our kids got to enjoy some fun.

First, you must realize you already live in abundance.  Have you ever thought about the blessings you do have.  Healthy kids.  A job to pay the bills. Now think about the beauty of the sun rises every morning and the birds singing.  We have roads to walk on, parks to spend time in and people around us to have interesting conversations with.  Stop focusing on what you don’t have and focus on what you do have.Next, get creative.  Start looking outside the box for alternative solutions.  When was the last time you packed a snack and headed to the park with the kids.  Live close to the beach, how about a walk on the beach to collect seashells or look for sea glass.  There are ways to make even routine trips fun without spending money.  How about a ride with no destination?  Maybe you know but the kids don’t – pack a lunch and head to a new spot with a park or no cost activities.

If you were new to the neighborhood, where would you go to explore?  The library? The park? A craft show? A flea market? Check your local paper for activities.  The Fall is full of outdoor happenings – how about stopping by a local football game to cheer on the Pop Warner kids.  How many people (other than parents) attend those games?  Make it an adventure – tailgate.  Dress in the local team’s colors, bring some food & drinks and have some fun.

Pack a lunch and head to the park – embrace the child in you while you have fun with the kids.

No kids around?  How about window shopping?  Remember when you were younger and had no money.  Stop in your favorite store and try on some clothes you always wanted but would never buy.  Have fun.  Call a girlfriend and go for a walk.

Keep Looking on the Bright Side.  Let’s be honest. Staying upbeat when you have little money isn’t easy.  Seeing the bright side is a choice you make and a skill you can develop. You deserve to feel good no matter what the status of your bank account is. You deserve to have fun.  You deserve to go places without spending money.

So, where will you head this weekend?  Share with us your best NO COST travel tip.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Lost Customers and How to Find Them?

Over the last six plus years of selling Thirty One, I have customers who are MIA.  They have stopped buying from me or have moved or just unsubscribed to my emails. I am sure I am not alone, right?  As I was going through my list of “holiday shoppers” for the last few years, there were several names or customers I haven’t seen in awhile. It gets my curiosity up…. why?

My follow-up process has changed some what over the last few years.  Now I try to stay engaged with customers. Yes, there are random phone calls unanswered.  Emails ignored.  And even Facebook posts or private messages which have been deleted, ignored and in a rare occurrence even blocked!  Has this happened to you – customers just quit buying from you without any particular reason?

The real reason for this, are you ready?  You may not want to hear it….. is indifference!  Okay, I know you are saying – I call, I text, blah, blah, blah.  Our company sends the monthly newsletters to alert our customers about the specials.  If we are honest with ourselves, have we really kept in touch with our customers?  I don’t mean those calls to BOOK, SELL, RECRUIT.  I mean just a call to check in – do you like the product, thank you, happy birthday, whatever the reason to call, text or email.

I can’t tell you the number of times a customer answers the phone, hear it is me calling and there is dead silence on the other end of the phone.  They have already decided I am calling to sell them something or to book a party.  Knowing this is their mindset, I usually start with “I’m not calling to sell you something or book a party, I just wanted to check in”.  I can almost hear the sigh of relief on the other end of the phone.  Do I ultimately want a sale or a booking? YES!  But I want to build a relationship with them.  Did you know it can take up to 5 non-sales contacts before someone feels comfortable buying from you?

How often are we focused on getting new customers?  Think about the leads you call from a vendor event or a potential recruit or a potential party hostess.  We are persistent in building a relationship with them to get to the “prize”.  Yet, those people who are already in our customer base may only hear from us when we are selling or booking.  

Statistics show 55% of our customers take their business elsewhere because WE, as direct sellers, show no interest in keeping them around. YIKES!  That is a lot of lost business.  I have talked about the importance of follow-up in the past but if this statistic doesn’t convince you, nothing will.  Picking up the phone for some is the hardest thing to do but it is one of the MOST important things we can do as direct sellers.  For me, it is about making sure my customers are happy with their product and for them to feel comfortable coming back to me – even if it is only once a every year or two.

Let’s be honest, how often have you been at an event, offered to put someone on your mailing list, then never followed through?  I don’t mean the occasional slips through the cracks kind of mistake, I mean the norm.  I have a graphic I send via email to everyone who stops at my table and leaves their information at a vendor event.  Just a little reminder from me.  Then I add them to my email list so they get the company emails and any other special emails I send out.  That is about it, unless there has been a specific request for something.

What about the person who wants you to contact them about a special or a product they were interested in?  Thirty One has specials which are repeated every year (large utility tote, medium utility tote, lunch totes and inserts) and I have a list of people who are interested.  It is a running list so when the special is approaching, I can reach out to them and secure their business.

I know some direct sellers who are AMAZING at follow-up.  They have awesome systems to ensure they are engaging customers on a regular basis.  These consultants I am sure are not loosing customers or at least not at the rate others may be.

I struggled for awhile to find a system which works for me.  This one has been working for me so far and only takes a few minutes to complete.

  1. Email thank you when an order in placed (online or at a party)
  2. Email with shipping information when I receive shipping notice
  3. Mail a handwritten thank you card with a business card
  4. 10 days after shipping notice, call to be sure order received & they are happy with their purchase
  5. Tag for 75 days, send a postcard reminding them of the 90 day warranty on their order.  This is another chance for them to return a product they may not happy with.

Then I am stuck!  I leave those people in my data base never to be reached out to again UNLESS they mentioned something in the conversations I can tag them for – vacation check-in, looking for a specific product/print/special or health struggle.  A tickler file helps me to keep things in order on a monthly and daily basis.

I am sure I am loosing a few customers along the way but I don’t think it is as many as before since I have a system.  Finding a system which works for you can be an issue or it can be an excuse to avoid doing those things we don’t like to do?

So, what about you – are you loosing customers?  Or, are you one of those AWESOME direct sellers with a system to keep you connected to your customers?  Share your struggles and your successes!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#hope