Are You Staring at A Closed Door

“When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, we do not see the ones which open for us.” Alexander Graham Bell

I remember being at National Conference and hearing Cindy Monroe, our CEO and founder, talk about running through the doors of opportunity.  I have to admit, it was a little scary for me (and sometimes still is).  For me, it meant stepping out of my comfort zone, having faith things would work out and most of all being willing to make a change.

Over the last few years, I have seen many doors in my life close.  They may have been open for a minute but I hesitated or FEAR stopped me.  Those doors have closed and despite my best efforts, nothing is going to open them again.  Yes, I have lingered way too long staring at the closed door, wishing for what could have been all the while missing new opportunities.  

Has a door recently closed in your life? Have you lost a job? Maybe a relationship or marriage ended?  Maybe you were hoping for a chance at a new opportunity and it fell through?  The door you wanted to remain open is now closed.  Are you still staring at the closed door?  Chances are, if are are, like me, you’re going to miss the new opportunities waiting for you.

I totally get those closed doors are sometimes are own fault – we let fear take over, we didn’t want to step out of our comfort zone, the list goes on right?  But there are those times when change is brought on by things beyond your control.  It is those times I find are the hardest to get back on track.

So, here are some tips I found which might help:

1. Mourn the loss.

Grief is part of the process when an unwelcome change intrudes on your life.  It can be devastating.  Give yourself permission to grieve the loss – whatever it is.  Then, acknowledge the lessons you’ve learned. Yes, there are always lessons to be learned.  Once you’re done, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move forward (start all over again).  Are you humming a Disney song?  Feeling sorry for yourself will do nothing but send you on a downward spiral to self-sabotage.

2. Make a decision to face forward.

Are you hoping the door will reopen if you hang around?  Guess what? At some point, you have to stop lingering at the closed door.  Chances are it is NOT going to re-open. So,  walk away and take steps on the path unfolding before you. Face forward rather than backwards. Would you drive your car backwards if you missed a turn? Believe it or not, change can offer new hope and opportunity.  A decision takes courage.  For many, it a step out of their comfort zone or having faith in things unseen.  Courage is a choice.  Will you make the choice?

3. Be open to change.

Be careful of the comparison game.  Don’t compare new opportunities to old opportunities. Recognize new opportunities sometimes have very different benefits from old ones. They sometimes address different needs and wants, bring you joy in ways you were missing before. Sometimes they stretch you in ways you haven’t been stretched. Embrace the challenge with gratitude and perseverance.

4. Walk through the open doors.

New life, new work, and new opportunities will open up on your path. Walk through them!  Know you are not alone when you walk through those open doors.  There are others on the same journey if you are willing to embrace the opportunity.

I know you have heard it before but it bears repeating….. Sometimes doors close because we are not supposed to walk through them.  Other times, they close because they were meant only for a season. Just like people enter our lives for a season.  We need to learn the lessons, live with courage, and enjoy our journey.  I know it isn’t always easy.

Face forward. Stop staring at the closed door and take a step towards the future that is waiting to unfold.

What is the “closed door” in your life? Are you ready to leave the closed door alone and trust a new and better one will open?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday – S’mores Pies

I have always loves s’mores.  I remember when Belinda was younger, we used to hang out at my best friend’s house and the kids would make them in the fire pit.  BUT, if you are watching those calories, you want to limit yourself to just one.  Honestly, can you?  I know I can’t.  So I am grateful for the recipe from Hungry Girl.

The best part is, you don’t need an outdoor fire to make them, you can do them right in your own kitchen anytime.  WOOHOO!!! So be sure to stock up on the ingredients when you hit the grocery store.

1/6th of recipe (1 mini pie): 149 calories, 6g total fat (2g sat fat), 128mg sodium, 20.5g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 8g sugars, 3.5g protein  SmartPoints® value 6*

Prep: 20 minutes   Cook: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
Crust
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup light whipped butter or light buttery spread
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp. powdered peanut butter
2 packets no-calorie sweetener (like Truvia)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt

Filling
2 tbsp. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
2 graham crackers (1/2 sheet), finely crushed

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 6 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  • To make the crust, pulse oats to the consistency of coarse flour in a small blender/food processor.
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter for 20 seconds, or until melted.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground oats, melted butter, and remaining crust ingredients. Mix until uniform with the consistency of wet sand.
  • Evenly distribute mixture among the 6 cups of the muffin pan, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crusts. Press it into the edges and up along the sides.
  • Bake until firm, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, and set oven to broil.
  • Evenly distribute 1 tbsp. chocolate chips among the crusts. Top with marshmallows and remaining 1 tbsp. chocolate chips.
  • Cook until marshmallows have melted and lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle with crushed graham crackers.

Here is a great way to carry all of the s’mores must haves when you head out this summer.  Thirty One’s Perfect Party Set is great for this.

This thermal bag will prevent your chocolate from melting in the heat.  An entertaining wonder! This thermal keeps your food warm or cool on your way to the party, with two compartments sized to fit 9” x 13” pans.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How to Command an Audience

audience-300x200Happy Monday and it is time to conquer the world!

Believe it or not, I’m an introvert, content to be on my own working behind the scenes.  I work every day to overcome this in my business.  I mean, let’s be honest, being in direct sales you need to be out sharing and talking to people, right?

I never thought I would or could command an audience.  When I think of an audience, I think of standing in front of a large group of people speaking – YIKES!  The knees start to shake, I get nervous and totally forget what I am trying to say.  Without even knowing it, we command an audience…

  • Are you a mom or dad? Your family is an audience.
  • Have a job? Your co-workers are an audience.
  • Own a business? Your employees and customers are audiences.

When I put things in this perspective, it is a little bit easier to swallow.  The list goes on because an audience can be just one person you are talking to.  I love Andy Andrews! When I first saw him a Thirty One’s National Conference, I wanted to soak up everything he said.  The memory may not be great BUT I do read everything he puts out.  Some things stick with me while others I need to re-read lots of time.

He has an actual formula for commanding an audience no matter the size of the audience.

1. You want the audience to view you as a friend.

Do you feel like you need to have an answer for everything?  Are you a “know it all”?  Did you know the way your audience see you can determine how successful you are?   When your audience identifies with you or see you as a friend, they are more likely to be nice and engage in conversation.  Think about the people you enjoy being around. Then consider each situation from your audience’s point of view and make an effort to be friends with them, you will win their hearts.

2. You always want to actively engage your audience.

Do you get distracted talking to people (a group or event one person)?  You must ACTIVELY keep your audience engaged the whole time you are talking with them.  It can be stressful, right?  I tend to lose focus now with the MS and as a result, I tend to lose my audience.  So, I am working on way to acknowledge the distraction or “squirrel moment” so I can get back on track (for me and for them).

When I am talking to a small group (like at a home party), I used to stand in the front of the room – almost frozen in place, afraid to move.  Now, I walk around and talk to people while sharing the products.  If someone responds to something I said, I may walk over and share the product with them or try to engage them further in conversation.

The truth is despite my best efforts, I will become distracted or my audience will so I have to be ready to deal with it before it happens.

3. Communicate “what’s in it for them.”

When it comes to reading, watching, or listening, we only pay attention to things of interest, or those which affect us, or benefit us.  I mean, you aren’t interested in something, how long are you going to continue to listen or are you going to zone out?

Let your audience know what they will get from you (or the conversation).  If you simply tell them—they will show interest. Sounds easy, right? The key is to take the focus off of you and share what THEY want.  I have been doing this at my Thirty One parties but talking with the hostess before hand to get her favorites or the things she thinks might be of interest to her guests.  It has made a BIG difference in the interactions during a party.

The key is to Always keep “what’s in it for them” in the top of your mind. Tell the the value of your information upfront and it will not only keep their attention but it will also help you to focus your message on the key points.

If you want to make an impact, you must learn to engage and interest your audience.

What are your best tips for keeping your audience engaged or interested? Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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!

Are You Spinning Your Wheels?

Throwback Thursday is when I look back on past posts, a time for reflection.  A time to see how far I have come (or where I am stuck).

After working with the AMAZING Britt Bolnick owner of In Arms Coaching, I have learned how important reflection is.  When I first met Britt, I connected with her.  I could relate to her struggles as a single mom since I was one.  I was in awe of how she used those struggles to build an amazing coaching career helping other women.

As a “bag” lady, I see everyone as a customer/ client. I mean who doesn’t need a bag, right? From purses to totes to thermals, we have them all at Thirty One.  As Thirty One returns to their “gifts” roots, the customers change a little bit. I know my customers have been buying gifts all along but now we have a broader base of products and with it comes a broader base of customers. I don’t want to leave any customers behind.

So, are you wondering who your customers/clients are?  Are you struggling to figure out how to get the “right” ones?  Here are some questions from one of Britt’s virtual retreats which might help you figure out your next steps:

1. What isn’t working for you in your business right now?

Think about it.  Put it on paper.  I don’t mean just “no one wants to party”, I mean be specific.  What isn’t working for you?  Not enough time to work your business?  Not enough new customers?  No time to schedule parties?  For me, what isn’t working is the lack of a full calendar for the summer months along with a steady flow of new customers.

2. What do you want SO badly for your business or work you’re NO LONGER willing to settle for NOT having it?

We all talk about our “why”, and for some it is stronger than others so it keeps them motivated.  For others, a vision board helps to keep them focused.  Make a list of the things you want in your business – just keep writing, let the feelings pour out.  When all is said and done, you can sum it up in a sentence or two.  For me, it is an action plan for consistent sales, parties which will bring me new recruits and expand my business.

3. What would the ripple effect be OF you having it? How would it affect your life, relationships, even your health?

It is like Andy Andrews says in “The Butterfly Effect”, one action creates a ripple effect changing not only your life but the life of others.  So, for me the ripple effect would be: If I grow my business with an increase in sales and recruits, it would mean a higher consistent paycheck every month. This would allow me to pay off my credit card debt.  Paying off my credit card debt would allow me the freedom from stress. Less stress would allow me to smile more which would make hubby happy which would help our relationship/ marriage.  In addition, less stress would allow me to focus more on maintaining my goal weight which would make me feel better.  Less stress would also help to keep health issues in check.  Expanding my business would allow me to give back to the community (it is about what the money can do).  Therefore, an expanded business = happy, healthy & wealthy Hope.

What is your ripple effect?

I love my Thirty One business. I love it pays my bills every month. I love I get to meet new people and share the gift of Thirty One with them. I am transparent with you when I am struggle because having your own business whether a storefront or direct sales isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. There is some rain along the way. You need to be willing to work past them to move forward.

What about you? How would you answer these questions? Be truthful with yourself. You know what isn’t working in your business. Own it so you can figure out the best way to move past it. I would love to hear from you.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!