Time for a Personal Rebrand?

Life has thrown me a curve ball and I don’t mean I am playing a game of baseball…..

Over the last three months, my direct sales business has been struggling.  Maybe it is me who has been struggling.  My bag is FULL – MS stuff, recovery, family and trying to continue my business to pay the bills.  It has been some of the worst months in three plus years.  Have I wallowed in a pity pot for a little bit?  YUP!  Did I beat myself up?  YUP!  I totally get how business fluctuates.  I am always grateful for a supportive network of other women business owners who help me to put things in perspective.

I know you are wondering………”what does this have to do with personal branding”, right?  During all of this, I have been thinking about my personal brand.  A way to incorporate my direct sales business with my angels.  I love both but trying to split my time has wrecked havoc on my health (or should I say my thought process).  I know, splitting my time between two loves is not good for either business, right?

What happens when your passion changes over time? In a recent article Dorie Clark‘s quotes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” Clark emphasizes, “Your path may make perfect sense to you, but how can you persuade others to embrace your new brand — and take you seriously?”  This is where I’m at right NOW!  I have been in direct sales for 8 plus years and I am known for it, as I transition or merge the two, I need to get my current customers on both sides to embrace my new brand.

A personal rebrand isn’t easy! I mean isn’t it easier to continue along the same path where people know you for what you do best — or at least what they think you do best.  Over time, as your passions change, it’s only natural to pivot into new areas. Remember,  multiple rebranding will hold you back and create confusion, so follow these steps, and you’ll be ready to take your brand to the next level.

#1 Reflect: 

The first step in branding is to reflect on who you are, what you’ve accomplished and how you want the world to see you.  Search yourself on google – search your name, your business, or something people identify with you.  Ask friends you trust for their help.  Here are some  questions to help you to define your brand:

  1. What do you want to be known for?
  2. What are you good at?  
  3. What do you write about, talk about and share share about?  

#2 Define Your Personal Brand: 

You want  to simply stand out in the crowd by focusing on your unique gifts and what makes you different.  Is it something people relate to you?  When they see it, they think of you.  Is it a tagline?  Make a list of all of the things which make you stand out from the crowd.  In direct sales, this is extremely important because you want loyal customers, right?

#3 Create Your Brand:

Now you need to become visible, get yourself out there. Create an active social media presence with a personal website.  If you are in direct sales, you can usually change your URL to a catchy phrase or something which makes you stand out.  I used Go Daddy to change my direct sales website URL to “partywithHope”.  It is short and easy for customers to remember.  As for my angels it is simply a Facebook page of called “Hope’s Angel Connection”. PLUS  I always use my angel wings as a watermark on my graphics as a reminder of me!

#4 Connect to Others: 

Now you have a personal brand.  The next step is being visible in the arenas where you want to be successful. Know who you want your audience to be – stay at home moms, professionals, etc.  Get reviews or endorsements from customers, attend events, and network, to bolster and lend credibility to the brand you are marketing.  Don’t be shy about it – wear your brand every day.  I always have a ThirtyOne bag AND an angel charm on – each draw people into conversations.

Yup, it is really this simple. Remember, the success of personal branding depends on how well your audience understands your vision, and what you do best, as well as your authenticity. Share your brand with us!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What Dream Do You Need to Revive?

Are there dreams you have given up on?  I don’t mean the one you had when you were a child to be a ballerina or a super hero?  I mean the ones you had as an adult. Maybe FEAR and doubt got in the way.  Maybe life got in the way – taking care of everyone else so you let the dream fade.

I will admit, I have let dreams fade over the last few years.  Life definitely got in the way – health issues caused me to struggle and doubt whether any of it was possible.  But the dreams are slowly starting to resurface.  I have faced some of my fears and am struggling through a vision casting process.

Vision casting is when you place yourself in the moment of the dream becoming a reality.  You let go of all fear, doubt and negativity while you enjoy and FEEL the moment.  My director did this with me many years ago – the year I promoted to Director.  As she shared the story with a hundred other women on a call last week, the tears came back to me.  I remembered the moment we broke through and I could actually feel what the moment would be like.  It was a miracle on many counts because I actually remembered the conversation AND I was inspired to dream again.

Think about this for a minute:

You are the only person who can decide to pursue your dream. Books don’t write themselves. Businesses don’t launch themselves. You’ve got to take the first step and keep stepping.

So, let’s talk about how YOU can dust off the dream and bring it back to life…..

1. What dream is sleeping in your life you wish were still a possibility?

Have you buried your dream so deep you forget about it?  Think about it for a moment. The dream which needs to be awakened could be connected to your professional life, your finances, a relationship,  your health, or your personal life. What is the dream for you right now? Write it down!

2. What do you need to give yourself permission to do it?

We bury things which are important for a variety of reasons.  Whatever reason made you bury the dream, it’s time to give yourself permission to dream again.  It’s okay.  Were you hurt and decided it was safer not to go down a certain road anymore?  Did naysers convince you it wasn’t possible?   Did responsibilities in life dictate it was better to let your dream die?  Or did the dream seem impossible to achieve, so you gave up?  Whatever your reason, use the past as a learning tool to recast your dream. Have the faith to believe nothing is impossible.

3. What do you need to say about it?

Speak life into your dream NOW!  Remember “The Secret” and positive attraction?  Say your dream out loud.  Hear the words, I mean really hear them!  Attract the positive, not the negative!  Share your dream with someone else!  Then observe how you talk about it.  When you state all the reasons you can’t have what your heart desires, you speak negativity (death) to your dream.  Each negative word is like a shovel, digging the grave and then piling dirt onto it until you can no longer see your dream. Negative words will steal your vision.  Are you going to let “words” steal your dream?

4. What action will you take next?

Did you know we kill our dreams with inaction?  When you don’t make any steps, even baby ones, towards the dream, you have sentenced it to death.  The best way to revive your dream is to take some action.  Never stop believing your dream is possible,.  As long as you are taking steps towards it, it is!  Don’t put a time frame on it.  Just continue to step towards it and things will start to happen. Start with one small step, then another. Even baby steps, when taken consistently, will get you to the finish line.

I challenge you to dust off your old dream and give it new life.  Whether you use the questions above or vision cast – let yourself dream again.  My dream is to promote to Senior Director with Thirty One and be a member of the Gives Council.  TWO BIG dreams which are really scary but I’m not letting go of them this time.

Share your BIG scary dream with us!  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How to Stretch Yourself

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?  Be honest!  I don’t mean putting your toe out, finding it was too hard and giving up.  I mean really stretched yourself?

Honestly, I can’t remember when I last did.  To do it, I would have to BELIEVE in myself.  Hmm, I don’t know about you but I struggle with it.  On the outside many see a CEO of her own business who lives life on her terms.  The truth is most days I struggle to believe in myself!  Okay it is out there and I can’t take it back……

I always find when I stretch myself beyond my comfort zone, I am surprised it really isn’t as uncomfortable as I thought it would be.  As I stay in the “new zone”, I get more and more comfortable.

The last 60 days have been filled with lots of changes for me – personally and in my business.  All good things but things which needed to be done.  Clearing out the clutter to make way for more blessings!  One of the first things I wanted to do was create a list of goals.  I’m great for lists.  When we step out of our comfort zone, too many BIG goals can be so scary we retreat.  So I am working on being inspired.  I know vague, right?  Definitely not a SMART goal but I am working on one.  I am going to set a goal which stretches me and as a result will excite me enough to move into action.  I have been told a “stretch goal” will develop your character by tapping into your strengths.

Since MS seems to have wrecked havoc on my memory and my thought process, I struggle with figuring these kinds of things our.  I know the answers are all in my head, it is just getting them out and on paper.  Thank you Valerie Burton for these questions to help me (and you) find your stretch goal.  Answering these questions will help you (and me) find the inspiration to forge ahead and stick to the goal.  Who is ready to join me?

1. What vision feels just beyond your reach?

Are you great at helping others see their vision but you can’t see it for yourself even if you want it?  Yup, I’ve been there.  Do you want to double or triple your income?  Maybe you want to  explore your romantic streak or event your fun side. Do you dream of eating healthy, exercising and being at goal weight? The purpose of this goal is to not choose something realistic, but to choose something which feels beyond your reach — the one you think is as not really possible.  The truth is “it is possible”.  Do you have the faith to believe it? A stretch goal forces you to reach higher than you think you can. If you don’t have to stretch for it, it’s not big enough for this exercise.

2. What specific, measurable, and time-sensitive goal would bring you closer to that vision?

Now for the fun part where we get specific about the goal. Make it vivid. Describe it in a way you can measure your progress so you know when you have reached the finish line. And most importantly, give yourself a deadline. You know what happens when there’s no deadline, right? It’s always something you’ll start tomorrow. Before you know it, a year has passed and you set the same goal again!   Sort of like those New Year’s Resolutions.  We make them at the beginning of the year with no specific time frame in mind.  A year is a long time when you don’t have a plan.  Here is an example: “I’m going to have more fun and truly enjoy my life rather than treating every activity like a burden” is a great vision (not mine). You could break it down by saying, “I am going to travel for pleasure more. Once every three months I am going to take a fun trip, even if it’s just a weekend road trip somewhere adventurous. And my first trip will be four weeks from now.”

3. Who will you tell?

Make yourself accountable.  Don’t keep your vision and goal to yourself. Tell somebody. Actually,  tell EVERYONE who is a supportive person in your life. Negative people may throw water on your passion and excitement: “Are you sure?” “That sounds hard.” “You’ve never done that before!” You don’t need doubters to fill your head with negativity.  Find someone encouraging, they might even want to join you. Chances are if you keep it to yourself, you will  quietly drop the goal if you don’t achieve it. Commit to it. Declare it out loud. When we  share our plans with others, it is far more likely you’ll actually carry it out.

So, are you going to stop playing it safe?  Are you going to STRETCH????  Share your goal with us, so we can celebrate and encourage you along the way.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

What Is Your Vision?

I am taking this week as a week of reflection, a time to clear my head and get ready for the New Year.  I feel more focused in my business then I have in about 2 years – is it the new medicine, the physical therapy or is the remitting MS finally remitting?  Whatever the reason, I am excited to think about and plan for the upcoming year.

When I started my journey in direct sales, I had a dream…  What about you, what is your vision or dream when it comes to your business?

I wanted to quit my job and work from home.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my job but the commute and the desire to make my own hours again was calling me.  Maybe you want to pay off debt. Maybe you want some ME time. Maybe you want to travel. Maybe you want to be able to give back to the community. Think for just a moment, what was the FIRST reason you joined your direct sales company or you maybe are now considering joining one.

Yes, I wanted to have my own business but I never really thought it would be in direct sales; I actually thought it would be a storefront.  When I starting with Thirty One, it was for the discounts.  With the discounts, I could provide gifts to women and children in need.  I wanted to fundraise to help others. Although sometimes I squirrel off my true course, I do always come back to it.

My “why” is and always has been to make a difference in the lives of others.

Our “why” is what motivates us towards our vision. It is the emotional connection you have every day with why you are doing what you are doing. For some this takes time to find – I am a true testament to it taking a long time.  For others, it is easy.

Sometimes our vision will hit us at the strangest moment and it is like a SMACK on the head from God. As I reflect on the last year, a smile comes to my face when I think about the opportunities I have had with the help of my customers to make a difference.

  • Dialysis Bags
  • Chemo Comfort Bags
  • HERO bags for our troops
  • Pamper Kits for new moms
  • Random Acts of Kindness with my Give Back With Me Program
  • Fundraisers

My BIG dream is to create a non-profit focusing on bringing smiles to the faces of women and children in need.

The truth is “kids are my heart” and anyone who knows me, knows I have been saying it since I first started with the South Jersey AIDS Alliance all those years ago.

I want to be able to use my Thirty One business to CELEBRATE – ENCOURAGE – REWARD kids and their moms who are struggling. Why kids? They didn’t ask to be brought into this world and in most cases have no control over the cards they are dealt. God has a plan for each of them; even those who are struggling. I want to be the light which shines in their life. I want to show them there are people who care. I want to make a difference.

The vision is cast, the goal has been set, now to put a plan together to reach the dream. If it is God’s will, it will happen – in his time, not mine.  I have been casting the vision for two years now, baby steps.

What is your bigger than seems possible (scare the crap out of you) DREAM or VISION? Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How To Create a Spark In Your Team

Whether you are in direct sales or are a manager in a traditional job, sparking excitement in your team or staff can be tough?  As a County Coordinator and then a CFO with non-profits, it was sometimes tough to get staff to see the BIG picture.  It was difficult to get them to buy into my crazy ideas.  In direct sales, as leaders, we (or at least I do) struggle with motivating my team forward toward reaching their dreams and goals,

I love this Vision recipe shared by Lynn Bardowski, the Million Dollar Party Girl, which is:

Mix 1/3 purpose with 1/3 passion
Stir in 1/3 crazy idea
Blend well and let it marinate overnight
Mix in massive action
Once you get clear on your vision ask yourself two questions: What does it look like? and How will I make it happen?

Here are some tips from the Party Girl, herself…

Empower: Empower your team.  Encourage them to come up with ideas, action plans, goals and most importantly…solutions. When people feel like they contributed to something instead of just following orders, they’ll be more likely to take ownership and act on them.

Educate: It took me a long time to get this one right.  As a boss, I was more about telling people how and what to do instead of teaching.  I eventually learned, it didn’t matter how it got done as long as it got done.  In direct sales, it’s the same.  Provide your team with the training to help them achieve their goal. There are lots to trainings out there, you don’t have to have all of the answers.  Use Zoom or Facebook Live so you can influence more people.  “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” Just because you have been saying things for months, someone else may say it and the light bulb may go off and they think it is brilliant.

Delegate: This is when I usually hear crickets.  People lack confidence and as a result, don’t want to share.  I have been trying to delegate things to my team in the hopes of building confidence and increasing engagement which help them feel like they are part of the team. Believe it or not, the time you gain by giving up the reins will make up for the stress you feel as you let go. It will all work out. Trust me.  I have been there, and done that!

Recognize:  I love to send “happy mail”.  A way to recognize individuals for their effort, progress, and results. Did you know each generation reacts to praise/ recognition differently?  Millennials expect immediate recognition. Boomers might feel uncomfortable – and even embarrassed – by the attention. That’s me!  A great rule of thumb is safety in numbers when you’re giving praise.

Communicate:  I am are you have heard it a million times… “The key to being a great communicator is to be a great listener”.   To build stronger relationships with you need to be willing to listen to their struggles, and their triumphs.

I have learned to meet my team where they are, and not where I want them to be.  There are many ways people learn so you may need to use a variety of channels to communicate: Facebook messenger, live video chat, voice message, text, postcards and in-person coffee meet-ups.  Don’t forget about GIFs and stickers, which are fun ways to communicate an emotion.

Appreciate: Feeling appreciated is a human need…which makes it a much higher form of gratitude than recognition. [Source: Huffington Post]

Happy mail to me is a great (inexpensive) way to show my gratitude and let people know how much I value them on the team. I send happy mail to my customers too.  It not only helps you to stand out in the crowd BUT it lets people know you care.

Evaluate: We have all done it.  Waited until the middle or the end of the month, to see where we are on our personal goals as well as those of a team member.  Checking in weekly, helps everyone to make a plan to reach their goal.  I share my numbers with my team to let them know I am a consultant just like they are.  I am hopefully showing them how to take risks with new ideas, embrace bumps in the road and the idea of working together so we all are successful.

Discover: Look for the hidden gems on your team. Get to know Consultants who were sponsored by others – their dreams, their goals and help them make a plan to reach them. Believe it or not, they might just be your next super star.

This holiday season is a perfect time to spark some interest….What are your best tips?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!