Progress Not Perfection?

Did you know….Perfectionism is mostly a women’s issue?  I can’t say I am surprised.  Think about it.  How often have you hesitated to move forward worried about everything being just right?

We want our ducks all lined up in a row…

Let’s be honest, they seldom line up in just the right way or the way we think they should be.  As a result we obsess over how we are doing at work, at home, in our relationships, with our weight, our hair, our kids. The end result is all of our JOY is gone.  There is no time to relax because we are busy putting those ducks in a row. Which means there’s always more work to do to make things just right.

Do you wear perfectionism like a badge of honor?  If you aren’t the one saying it, then I’m sure you know someone who has said it.  When you (or someone you know) want to embrace the “I’m a perfectionist.” badge, consider this:

Perfectionism is self-sabotage. It’s fear.

For many of us, perfectionism means we are motivated by hard-working, high quality and conscientiousness BUT the truth is our real motivator is FEAR!

Do you also consider yourself a procrastinator?  Do you claim to work better under pressure or you hesitate when trying to move forward? BINGO! Perfectionism is the reason why we procrastinate.  WHY?  We are trying to get all of those ducks in a row.  We keep moving forward fearing whatever we’ve done, will never be good enough.

So what is the worse thing that could happen?  Rejection. Disapproval. The disappointment of ‘failure.’  None of us like the thought of those words right?

What if you were to change the word “perfection” to “excellence”?  There is really a HUGE difference between the two words.  Excellence sets a high standard, but not so high it keeps you from moving forward. Perfectionism sets an improbable and often unobtainable standard which usually slows progress or brings it to a stop.  Excellence is a value, a way of life. Perfectionism is a judgement from a critical spirit which rarely, if ever, is satisfied.

How do you know whether you are in a  perfectionism or excellence mode?  It is an energy which you feel.  The energy of perfectionism is criticism, doubt, and discontentment. The energy of excellence is hope, possibility and growth. Excellence is about the journey to your destination – what you discover, how you grow, and who takes the journey with you.

Have you played the comparison game?  I have been there, done it and gotten (multiple) t-shirts.  So, if you’re comparing yourself to others, you’re operating in perfectionism. If you’re focused on being the best version of YOU, you’re operating in excellence.

You need to flip the switch when you feel the anxiety of perfectionism creeping in.  Flip from perfectionism to excellence with these questions:

  • What have I done well I can acknowledge and celebrate even if I feel like I’m “not ready yet” or “not done yet”?
  • What good thing could happen if I decided what I’ve done already is enough and move on to the next step?
  • What is my definition of “good enough”?
  • What would happen if instead of fearing my efforts are not good enough, I had the courage to believe I am good enough right now, today?
  • How could I have more fun while doing this?
  • How do I want to grow as a result of this task?

I challenge you this weekend to pick excellence over perfection so you can make progress.

I have found the weekends are tougher for me then during the week to flip the switch.  Crazy, right?  During the week, we have a routine (work, kids, etc) but on the weekend there is less structure.  Less structure usually means I am playing the woulda, shoulda, coulda game.  What about you?

Take a few minutes today so you can identify at least one way perfectionism has you stuck.  Flip the switch!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

Did you start humming the song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”?  I do every time I see or hear this line.  Have you ever wanted some of the “pink kool-aid” people who are alway happy take?  You must know someone who always seems to be happy, I have one or two people I know like that.

When I am not having a MS flare up (of the depression kind), I am pretty much a happy go lucky kind of gal.  Yes, I have times of sadness, anger, frustrate – don’t we all? I mean if we didn’t have a variety of emotions we would be “like a wet noodle” or a “block of stone”.

I will be the first to admit, on days when depression hits I enter a black hole where there sees to be no way out.  It can last for an hour, a day, a week and sadly there are times when it can last for longer.  You know those times when even the simplest word will make you cry.  Key the song “Cry Me a River”. LOL.  Thank you to “Modern Day Girl” for inspiring this post.

1. They don’t dwell on the past.

I know I do especially on a bad day.  The shoulda, coulda, woulda kick in and the path into the black hole gets deeper.  What happens when you start with the stinkin’ thinkin’? Things get worse instead of better, right?

So how do you stop yourself from dwelling on the past? Remember “It takes 21 days to make or break a habit”.  So you need to change your mindset.  Your mind is a powerful thing and you can control how you think, and it’s not hard either.  When you focus on the here and now, it becomes easier to get rid of the old bad habits.

FIRST, recognize you’re dwelling on past situations. I know, easier said then done.  When you spend time being more aware of your thoughts, it is easier to change your mindset. Like a new habit, once you start it becomes easier over time.  When you’re aware you are dwelling on thoughts of the past, you can work on ignoring them, or replacing them with focus on the here and now.

2. They focus on the here and now

When you get rid of the thoughts from your past, you can dwell more on the here and now.  I have been told meditation helps and will teach you how to focus on your breathing and what is around you.  I haven’t mastered this yet but I haven’t given up.    Here are some ways meditation and yoga (still need to try this) can help:

  • When you’re focusing on the past, you’re distracted.
  • We miss moments in our lives which may have been the happiest.
  • When we let our thoughts control us , we feel unbalanced
  • When we’re aware of our surroundings, we feel more empathetic towards others, have high self-esteem, and can reduce impulsivity (reducing mental health issues – Psychologytoday.com)

So, if meditation and yoga aren’t for you, find a way to focus on the here and now.  Journal your thoughts.  Take a few minutes to “zone” out.  I like to sit outside and watch the clouds float by, imagining it is all of my past floating away.  I guess my own form of meditation.

3. They recharge

Recharging is something we all need to do.  For happy people, it is part of the every day life.  Not sure what this means? Well, it means different things to different people. Think about what you like to do in your spare time? I know, what spare time, right?  I’ve been there.  The truth is having a chronic disease has helped to me identify when I need to recharge.  It is usually a SMACK but I am learning to stop and rest.  Maybe one of these will work for you:

  • A good book and a cup of coffee
  • A nap
  • Exercise of some kind
  • Drawing
  • Writing/scribbling
  • Painting
  • Spending time in a spa
  • Eating chocolate in front of the TV
  • Pretty much anything that makes you happy

The truth is, we live our lives in overdrive, always rushing to the next thing.  Our bodies need time to relax and recharge. How happy are you when your schedule is jammed full with no time for fun?  Probably not very, right?

If you feel like you don’t have time for yourself, make time. I know it’s hard, believe me I get it.  I was a single mom working full-time but you need to schedule time.  Maybe when the kids are napping, grab the book you’ve been meaning to read. Or on your lunch break at work – read your favourite magazine (whether online or paper).

Happy people value their time and know cultivating happiness is important.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What is YOUR Brand?

A few weeks ago I walked into a vendor event to hear “are you the angel lady that sells Thirty One?”.  It took me a minute but then I said “yes”.  I was totally surprised by the question but grateful the two things were linked together.

Obviously you know I am a Thirty One consultant BUT I also love to make and share my angels.

I have found the perfect way to combine my two loves to make a difference in the lives of others.  My traveling angel pins allow individuals to buy an angel and send one to a person who needs some encouragement.  Know someone who is struggling?  Let me know and I will send them a pin.

Where is all of this leading?  I have (accidentally) branded myself as “the Thirty One angel lady”.  Is it a bad thing? No! But I am grateful to have created my own niche of making a difference.

1. Realize branding does apply to you.

No matter what you do, branding can take your career or business to the next level.  Your brand reflects your reputation — what you’re known for (or would like to be known for). What was once called a reputation is now called a brand.  Don’t we all want to be know for something?

2. State who and what you are (not what you’re not).

Remember positive brings positive into your Universe.  Your branding should be consistent from beginning to the end.  Showcase your accomplishments and expertise but don’t overinflate to the point you can’t follow through.  Authenticity is the key.  I am all about giving back.  Hubby says my tagline should be “I will never be Rockefeller (rich with money)” because I am all about giving to others.

3. Honestly, ask yourself what is your value.

When was the last time you wrote down your core strengths. Prepare a list. Ask yourself what your top 5 accomplishments have been in the past 5, 10, 15 years. Which ones stand out as the most value to your business or your company?

Branding is all about impressing others not ourselves, right?  So, why not ask others what they see as your most positive attributes (family, friends, or colleagues). I know this can be scary BUT you may be surprised to find out how others perceive you. You may actually be surprised to see what things come to the forefront as your areas of expertise.

4. Understand developing a brand takes time.

This is HUGE!  I have been with Thirty One for 6 years.  I have done many things to try and “brand myself” but with the help of Desiree Wolfe, I found my niche.  

What does it mean? Every day, I share things which bring my brand (Thirty One and angels) into the spotlight.  I want to make a difference and I try to do it every day in some small way with everyone I meet.  Remember developing a brand is about adding value which results in you being seen and heard. It’s about distinguishing you from your competitors.

5. Create a blog and write what you know.

I hear the groans of those who say “I can’t write”.  How often are you asked the same question by almost all of your customers?  Maybe it is about a situation or a product or a service.  Guess what?  You answer the question a million times, why not write about it and share the answer.  It’s simple – choose a hot question in your field and just start writing by answering it in an article or blog post.  You have now proven you know what you’re talking about.

6. Interact more than less.

I’m still getting the hang of this.  I don’t want to be spammy or pushy or salesy. I do want to gain attention to me (as the brand) then my products and services which leads to more sales.  I may blog daily but I don’t consistently post comments on Facebook groups or on other blog posts.  You need to decide what works with your schedule and time ability.

Your online identity is a priority in today’s busy digital world. I heard “your online branding as a #digitaltattoo which is so true.  Once it is out there – it stays out there. Wonder where you stand right now?  Google yourself, your brand, or your product/service.  See what comes up.  The biggest compliment I have received is when someone I know as an acquanitence tells me they Googled a subject and I came up.

My angels help me stand out with my Thirty One customers.  The angels help them to remember me!  What is your brand?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Pick My Brain

pick-my-brain1When I saw a blog entitled “No, Don’t Pick My Brain”, I had to laugh. Thank you Adrienne Graham.  See I have always said to people, pick my brain because I am not good at sharing all the stuff in my head. I love writing my blog. I love talking with people and sharing tidbits of information I have learned. I love to share information on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. Some would think I share too much, right?

The author talked about the cost to maintain my brain. She says “My brain costs money to maintain. There’s training, classes to attend, reading (I have to buy books), gaining certifications, costs of memberships so I can network, attending conferences and mastering my skills all cost me money. I have to protect my investment. How fair is it to me to give away all the knowledge I have acquired which I use to make my living, pay my bills and eat?”

Please don’t misunderstand –  I’m am by no means going to stop sharing.  See I love to share information and I know at some point,  I will reap the benefits of helping others.  I have never learned how to put a value on my time and my knowledge.  When I was doing consulting work for non-profits, you know grant writing, program development, etc. I got paid for it – it was my business.  But part of me always “over-shared” or so some believed.  I share with everyone who wants to know how to do things – from writing a blog to fundraising and even some of those old skills like grant writing and program monitoring.

As I move back into being self-employed, someone said “you need to stop giving people information for free”, really?  Being in direct sales and having a small but growing team, I think sharing is invaluable.  I love this quote by Zig Ziglar:images-1

I have lived this way all of my life, so why change now, right?  Yes, I am self-employed. Yes, I need to pay my bills.  But I do believe if I continue to help others, God will provide for me and my family.

Despite the goals or business ideas some think I should follow, they aren’t in my heart.  I am thrilled for those individuals who move into coaching and are getting paid for their time and talents.  As for me, I will be the one who let’s everyone pick my brain – within limits.

So what do I get when someone asks for just an hour of one-on-one time? Or someone asks me to come to lunch so they can run some ideas by me?  Where do I draw the line?  The truth is, I am not sure at the almost ripe old age of 60, if I will ever know where to draw the line.  But based on some suggestions from the author, I may do some things a little different:

  • Believe what you know is valuable. If it wasn’t then why are they coming to you? You’re their chance to solve a problem or find a solution has value.  Believe in myself is a definite YES!
  • Create a fee schedule.  I will never say never BUT as for now, I don’t see this happening.
  • Decline lunch/coffee invitations unless they are strictly non-business. So, this isn’t going to happen for me.  I love to share what I have learned and even more excited I remember things given the MS memory issues.  
  • Keep it light. Give the why and what but never the how. This is definitely not for me.
  • Exchange for equal value.  This is one I can do…If someone asks for help, I need to feel comfortable asking for a referral or a party or a lead to an event.  Assess what they have which can be of equal benefit for you.  Okay so this means stepping out of my comfort zone and ASKING which is one of the steps in being Accountable this year.
  • Ask them for a paying referral.  This is not for me unless of course they know someone who would LOVE to have a party…
  • Don’t back down. It’s hard to say “no” and I am only going to do it when it compromises my core values.  I will not let people push me to do things. “The minute you compromise you devalue yourself and your expertise.”
  • Know your worth, understand your value. 

For those who are coaches (or want to be), these are amazing tips and a good book.  I actually wrote this blog in January 2014 with a much different tone.  I was ready to embrace all of these ideas but life has brought changes.  My focus had changed and I am embracing the “giving back” side of me… the side of me I love…..

Share your thoughts… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Finding YOUR Customers

Customers_and_Bring__Friends_

Happy Monday… It was a crazy busy and exciting weekend but it is time to get back to work.  I am on a mission to fill my calendar for August AND find some new customers at the same time.  I saw an article on Bloglovin’ that had some tips that might help all of us find our “ideal” customer and hostess.

1. PACKAGE YOURSELF

What kind of service do you offer your customers? For most of us in direct sales, it is all about our products, right?  But what is the service that you offer linked to that product?  It’s essential that we package what we offer in a way that catches the attention of our ideal customers.  I mean there are 31 uses for a certain bag, one of them MUST fit your needs.

2. DIFFERENTIATE YOURSELF

There are lots of “consultants” with your direct sales company BUT what makes you POP out.  What makes you stand out online (or in person) so that you attract the right people for you.  I have heard – just cast a wide net and the goods ones will be caught.  For me, that isn’t working so well.  Help your future customers to figure out whether you’re the right fit by being brave enough to stand out. Share rather than sell. Encourage instead of plead.  Provide amazing service without expecting things in return.

3. CREATE CONTENT FOR THEM

Your content is how you can share your expertise, build trust, brand awareness, and build a deeper connection with your audience.  The best part about content? It’s sharable, so when done right it can open you up to bigger audiences along the way – and therefore more potential customers.  Who are you appealing to (your target market) with your products?  Who can you connect with to share the value of your products using terms they are familiar with and that appeals to their lifestyle?  Keep showing up and being of service to your audience. Create content that connects with them, that they can file in the back of their mind, and that they would be willing to share with friends and family.

4. HANG OUT WHERE THEY ARE

Not only online but change your seat.  A different restaurant, a different bleacher seat, or a different Facebook group. We can’t expect potential customers to find us if we’re not actually hanging out where they are.  We need to be seen, not necessarily heard. That doesn’t mean just showing up for the sake of it but being available and aware of what’s going on around us.  Sharing appropriate content, engaging in conversations, collaborating and networking with others are just a few ways to show up.  Putting yourself out there can be scary, but having an empty calendar with no customers and no money in the bank is even scarier, right?

5. BUILDING TRUST

This is the BIGGEST thing for me when I am seeking new customers and hostesses.  Think about it – in many cases, we are asking people to let us into their homes while they give us access to their friends and family.  Seriously, would you do that if you didn’t have at least a basic trust of the person?  Being authentic every single step of the way is important. We need to commit to showing up and being transparent, to being open, and honest with everything that we do as it relates to our business.  When we are consistent in our message – online and in person – we develop a presence that builds authentic connections, relationships, and trust with future customers

So, what makes you good at your job?  What makes your services so valuable and worth your customers investment? Wouldn’t it be great if you could attract ideal customers so that the work that you do every day not only feeds your soul but your bank balance.

Share your thought with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!