On My Way…..NOT!

Today’s blog post has been re-written many times.  First filled with the excitement of earning the Leadership Incentive trip and heading on a FREE cruise with my daughter.  Then it was about the delayed cruise and spending some time in NC with Belinda.  This morning, I am re-writing again…
The Leadership Incentive Trip has officially been cancelled. Irma entered our lives and changed everything!  No, I don’t mean the cute clothes from LuLa Roe.  I mean the devastating hurricane which is leaving its mark every where it lands.  Devastating the Carribean as it makes it way to Florida and the US.  
I will admit, I had a pity party last night.  I long for some quality time with my daughter but sadly if Irma continues on the projected track, they will be in its path.  I have weathered many a hurricane but at the ripe old age of 60, I decided staying home was probably a better idea.  
Since the blog posts are already written for the next week while I was supposed to be traveling, I will still be sharing some of my top bog posts from the past.  Some may be tweaked but others will just be “throwbacks” of my most popular ones.  I have been reflecting on the earning period for the Leadership Incentive trip and why I was successful this time when I hadn’t been in the past.
If you are trying to change an aspect of your life, here are some tips which helped me – thank you Patty Lennon

1. Decide to succeed.

There is a goal you are striving for right now which is deeply personal and vital to you. Remove the possibility of NOT succeeding from your mind right now. This means each time you fall down, you get back up because any failure is temporary.  I will say, utilizing this mindset every month has helped me reach my monthly goals even during the dreaded “J” months.

I wanted to earn this trip as a gift for hubby for our 5th wedding anniversary.  I wanted him to experience my “pink bubble” so he would understand why it is so important to me.  So, in my mind success became inevitable. I was no longer willing to NOT succeed. Which leads to …

2. Get Support.

When you are reaching for a goal you have not achieved before whether it’s growing your business to a new level, changing your health or improving your relationships you will do far better if you have help.  Who can support you in achieving your goal?

I have been sharing my monthly goals with everyone – my team, my customers and basically anyone who would listen. They celebrated and encouraged me every step of the way.  When Negative Nellie stopped for a visit, I looked for someone to help me kick her to the curb.

3. Don’t Give Up.

Whatever goal is most important to you right now it is critical you not give up, especially if the goal is related to your business. The truth is most things fail the first time  around especially in business – whether it’s a new message, promotion or marketing campaign. It is NORMAL.  Everyone falls down. Your choice (and the choice which defines those who succeed) is whether you get back up.  Everything is possible when you make the decision to succeed. No matter what happens do not give up!

With my first LIT earned, what is next for me and my business?  I will admit planning for September has been a struggle.  A holiday weekend led into getting ready for a week away.  I was hoping earning the trip would keep me motivated but the truth is, Vacation Veronica is knocked on my door. As I ponder what to do this week, I am setting my goal for September and am working on a plan to earn the Leadership Incentive Trip again next year.

Using these tips has helped me in my business so I am I am going to apply them to my weight loss journey to see what happens.  I am just 7 pounds away from being back at goal weight so it is non-negotiable.  I want to celebrate reaching my goal and not look back.

The truth is “the Divine will light your path with miracles to make it easier as you go.”  Send your positive energy into the Universe.  What is your goal?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Staff Meetings?

monday morningOkay so it is really Wednesday and it is HUMP Day!  For some it may seem like a Monday with kids heading back to school. Back to school usually means a new routine for your business.  No, our kids are grown but I still remember the struggle of back to school week.

I am getting things set up as I leave on Saturday for 7 days of NO WIFI and limited phone connection.  Yes, I am putting down the electronics for a few days (by force since I will be cursing – LOL).

Mentally, I am already gone… it is really hard to focus BUT I am trying to ensure my business does not suffer from Vacation Veronica this month.  August was AWESOME, actually the whole summer was good even those “dreaded J months”.  My numbers weren’t as high as last year but close enough.  So I definitely want to keep up the momentum.  How many of you coasted through the summer meeting your minimums? Maybe you lowered your goals to be sure you met them.  I’ve been there…I did it for my first 5 years as a consultant, then I decided to do things a little different.  Did you set a goal to do better over the summer but then fell into the same Vacation Veronica syndrome?  Admit it – we often let life run our business.  Our 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 for one am ready to grab as much business as possible.  What about you?

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

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?

I have an AWESOME planner (Passion Planner) which hubby got for me (this is year two).  which pushes me to do this every week.  I know, it is crazy BUT it has really helped me to focus on my business.  Yes, I squirreled….

Have you or do you currently work some place where they have weekly staff meetings?  You know the ones 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 the LONG To Do list and narrow it down for the week.

Summer is over, and it is time to put some structure back in your business.  I always thought structure was for everyone else NOT my home based/direct sales business.  Crazy, right?  I used to avoid structure and fly by the seat of my pants.  Where did it get me?  Decreasing sales each year.  Low party numbers. Low recruiting numbers.  Overall, a poor example for my team. WOW!  If this isn’t a reality check, I don’t know what is!  Tell me I am not alone!!!!When we reframe our thinking, we change the perception and the Universe blesses us with abundance.  Structure doesn’t have to be boring.  Structure doesn’t have to suffocate you.  Structure helps us to set systems in place so we can reach our goals.  When I look back at earning LIT (Leadership Incentive Trip), my systems were working (I didn’t even realize I had any)!  I know for some this was a no brainer but for me it was a new thing.

I thought my system was sitting in my office every morning with a daily checklist of things to do.  I marked them off the list and thought I had accomplished something.  The truth was, it was (and sometimes still is) busy work – not income producing activities.  The truth was I didn’t have a system.  The tasks were just tasks.

About 6 months ago, I totally revamped my systems and included a weekly meeting.  Yup, any Sunday night, you can find me talking to myself as I lay out the upcoming week and reflect on the past week.  Has it worked?  I would have to say YES!  My sales have been consistent over the last 6 months.  I am seeing some growth in my business – new customers and new hostesses.  Recruiting is not where I want it to be BUT I keep sharing and keep asking.  I know God is waiting for the right people to join my team.

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!

Beat the Summer Slump

Have you experienced the summer slump?  Did Vacation Veronica drop on your doorstep when the kids got out of school and never leave?  Have you looked at your Fall calendar and realized it is empty?

Many of us experience the summer slump.  When I was working in the non-profit world, it was a time when we took things a little easier.  As Belinda was growing up, it was when I took time off for major events in our personal life.  Why?  Because we are laid back in the summer.  The world (at least at the Jersey shore) moves a little slower.

When I started my Thirty One journey, my summers were pretty much the same way.  I didn’t ask people to party so as a result my summer slump became a fall fiasco!  My sales in the summer slowed to a dribble which made for a quiet Fall despite always having a new catalog.  “Summer slump” – most retailers and business owners experience it so why not you, right?

This season I did things a little different.  Everyone is online – from grocery shopping to clothes shopping to buying large items for the home.  So, I went virtual too. I became the face my customers associated with Thirty One.  I didn’t want them to be asked “who is your consultant” and they say “not sure” or “I don’t have a regular one”.  I wanted them to say “It is Hope and here is her information”.

Are thinking, I’ve been in a summer slump, my calendar is bare for September so it is “hopeless”.  WAIT!  Don’t let negativity overwhelm you! There is still plenty you can do to hit your sales goals for the fall.

FIRST! Kick Vacation Veronica to the curb.  Schedule some time to work on your business – even if it is just 20 minutes a day.  You will be surprised what you can get done in 20 minutes when you are focused.

It is time to work your business.  Despite being pretty happy with my business all summer, I was entering a new phase – 95% online business with Facebook parties, vendor events and an occasional home party.  YIKES!  It is scary but I am determined to make it work.  I mean it has all summer so why not into the busy holiday season, right? “Wine Down” has been the most popular themed Facebook party for September.  I mean who doesn’t like wine, right?

If you haven’t been working your business – it is time to get busy.  Here are some ways to ramp up your business these last 2 weeks of August so you are getting back on track for September….

#1 Upcoming Event and Celebration Packages.

Kids are headed back to school, fall sports are starting, people are looking to raise money… the list goes on.  People are getting together to celebrate  (any excuse for a party, right?).   Why not create some special packages for all the different types of celebrations and reach out now to offer your products. This could be as a present for others or for their own personal use.  Here are some examples of celebrations and events: Back to School, Weddings, Anniversaries, Family BBQs and reunions, etc.

#2 Show-on-the-Go.

Are you always prepared for a mini show presentation?  I have a mobile office in my trunk with some products ready to show off to anyone who asks.  Are you a walking billboard for your products? Be sure you always have your product on hand to demonstrate to potential customers.  Don’t miss an opportunity to share your products!  Have your business card ready – actual or electronic.  It means you will have to follow up with them but who knows what could develop…

#3 Follow-Up.

Just because your customers are away, doesn’t mean they don’t want to benefit from your products or replenish their stock.  I am always amazed when I get a text from a customer looking for a product they saw while on vacation.  Follow-up means getting on the phone, text or Facebook message (their preference) your customers and see how they’re doing. Also let them know if they are away, you can ship their products to wherever they want!

#4 Create More Content.

Did you know this is one of the most important things you can do online to help generate more profit for your business?  Videos, blog posts, demonstrations, tutorials and more.  Get in the frame of mind to teach people more about what you do and offer them value. The more you share, the more interested they become in your products. This is a great time to ramp up VIP Group and create amazing content for your Business Page.

#5 Markets and Vendor Events.

Check out the local fairs, markets and vendor events. Find local markets in your area and inquire about renting a table.  Many of the markets continue through September.  Look for those holiday vendor/craft events to help you gain new customers and get out of the summer slump.

What will you do to KICK your Fall into gear?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Is Vacation Veronica Your Summer Persona?

Summer and the living is easy, at least here at the Jersey shore unless you are fighting traffic from all of the “shoobies”.  Pools, picnics, gardening, homemade ice cream, life at the beach, on the lake, and the lazy days of summer are what we want our lives to be full of, right?

Most adults have to work a JOB, so all of the fun summer things are squeezed into weekends or when you are on vacation.  For those who have their own business, there are BIG choices to make. Sometimes, it is hard to remember our “business is flexible, not optional”, especially if you want to get paid!

I know it is the end of July but for some, there are still 4 more weeks of summer vacation.  What are you going to do with your business?

Have you put your business on hold this month?  Are you going to do it again in August?Sure you can BUT how is it going to effect your customers, your team, and maybe even your company.

Are you in Vacation Veronica  mode, taking the entire sumer off?  We often talk about “vacations” during the holiday months, right?  I can’t be the only one who finds it hard to work between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We tend to take a “holimonth instead of a holiday”. Not good for your business then and certainly not good during the summer.

In a conversation last week with a friend, we were talking about the excuses everyone has about not working their business during the year:

  • July/August – Summer time is vacation time, fun time. Who wants to work when everyone else is enjoying summer fun
  • September/October – Back to School and sports
  • November/December – holiday times.
  • January – No one has any money because they spent it all on gifts
  • April  – Easter or Spring Break
  • June – Graduations, weddings, end of school year parties, etc.

Do you see the pattern?  So, if you don’t have a plan, you can end up working your business maybe two months out of the year.  I don’t know about you but I definitely would have to work 24/7 to make sure I made enough money to pay the bills all year long.  No one says you can’t enjoy lots of down/vacation time when you have your own business, you just need to have a plan.

Here are the 5W’s of Direct Sales which helped me keep “Vacation Veronica” away:

  1. WHO will I share this with? Who will have my next show?
  2. WHAT do I want my business to provide for me? What is my vision? What difference do I want to make in this world?
  3. WHEN will I make time for my work and for my family?
  4. WHERE will I be in one year? Where is my time best spent right now?
  5. WHY am I really doing this? WHY does this bring me joy?

There are a lot more questions in each of the sections but these are MY personal favorites. When I keep these things in front of me, Vacation Veronica doesn’t have a chance to get me sidetracked. I am not saying we don’t all need a break but let’s put it in perspective. If you owned your own store-front and took a month off, don’t you think it would be hard to get back into the swing of things. What if you work a full-time job and took a month off? Would you want to go back to work and when you did, wouldn’t you still have vacation brain?

When you imagine the rest of your summer, think about what you want, and create an intentional plan.

Here’s to hoping Vacation Veronica doesn’t linger long at my house or yours.  Take a break and enjoy your family and friends but don’t neglect your business.  If you had a store front, you wouldn’t close for 2 weeks would you?  So why should you close your direct sales business for 2 weeks unless you are fully booked for the next 2 months – even then, I am not sure I would stop working my business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Quick Tips for Selling

I am super pumped!!!  The new Fall Thirty One catalog is AMAZING!  I leave for National Conference in 6 days!  In the meantime, there is still time left in July – you know, the dreaded “J” month to be a selling ROCKSTAR…

Here are a few tips to help you in ending the month of July strong…..

1. PRETTY SELLS.

If you are in direct sales, you probably have a website from the company.  Maybe they supply you with awesome graphics which is great.  BUT we all want to stand out in the crowd right?  We are on Social Media, pushing products or a service with our own pictures.  Isn’t it how we will stand out.  Well guess what, if it doesn’t look nice, people won’t buy it.  Showing how a product can be used is one thing.  Staging a product to draw attention to it, or to entice some one to buy is totally different.  Pretty is in the eye of the beholder but regardless of your style, it needs to look polished and well put together. I will be honest, I am not the best at this but I don’t give up and neither should you.

2. KEEP IT SUPER SIMPLE.

A long time ago, someone told me if “it takes more than 3 clicks to buy something, people won’t buy it”.  So going on the same premise, if I have to go on a scavenger hunt to find what I want to buy, it ain’t going to happen.  The majority of the world is impulse shoppers, so you need to meet their need to shop.

When you post a picture (remember the pretty picture?), it should include a link to your website or where the person can buy it.  Better yet, when someone clicks on the picture, it should take them to the exact spot they can place an order.

3. LEVERAGE YOUR TRIBE.

Whatever you call your peeps, look at them as ambassadors. People expect us to rave about our products, why not encourage others to rave about them.  Testimonials are great but who will take the time to read them.  Why not ask your customers to… Share their pics on IG or Facebook using your products, have them tag you when they share it and create a specific hashtag so you can track them.  I have my customers using #hopespursecloset

4. FLASH SALES!

People love sales and when there is a time limit, they are more apt to act quickly.  Who doesn’t love a good sale, right?

Examples include:

  • New Moon / Full Moon sales – lasting 24 hours only
  • Business birthday or Anniversary (did you launch your site on a specific day?)
  • Bored at Work sale – runs from 12-2pm ONLY.
  • BOGO sales – who doesn’t love a good bundle?!
  • Free Shipping Fridays

Vacation Veronica tends to pay a visit at the end of June and seems to stay right through August.  Then September hits and we find ourselves with no parties on the calendar and starting our business all over.  Why not do something different?

We may be halfway through summer break but there is still time to revive your business.  While you are sitting at the beach, or lounging by the pool, spend some time looking at your vices (bad business habits) and identify how you can transform them into strengths which result in sales or leads.

What are you going to do to transform your business before the end of the summer?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!