Throwback Thursday

#TBT: Bullying – The Visible vs the Invisible

I can hardly believe it has been 6 years since I started this blog.  For those of you who don’t know, it was started as a result of a challenge by Vanessa Coppes as a way to grow my business.

For those of you who have ever thought about blogging – do it!  It hasn’t just been good for my business but it has been good for my soul.  Sharing my strength, hope and experience with others has been amazing.  I’m not sure what the future holds for my when it comes to blogging since my MS plays havoc on processing thoughts BUT I will continue in some way!

So, as I celebrate heading into year number 7, here is a throwback to my very first post:

I wanted to share how “bullying” can be hidden by our children. It doesn’t mean you are a bad parent, it just means you may have taught your child coping skills to help deal with the bullying from school mates. Bear with me as I share some background information..

I was a single mom for 14 years who worked full-time trying to provide all of the things I had when I was growing up and give my daughter, Belinda, more. Isn’t it every parent’s wish – to give their child more?  We lived in a double wide trailer in a trailer park in an area with a good school district, lots of children my daughter’s age and affordable.  My daughter was involved in a lot of activities outside of school – first competitive gymnastics, then field hockey then all-star cheering. This was my way of making sure Belinda stayed away from the “wrong crowd”. She went to public school until she was a Sophomore in HS when she asked to change to a private Christian school where our Pastor’s family taught and went to school. Her reasons made sense so we juggled the budget and Belinda graduated from Pilgrim Academy – smiling, happy, ready for college & still living in the trailer park. Belinda traveled 13 hours to go college – Western Carolina University. I was heart-broken she was so far away but after the first semester, she excelled – graduated with honors in the Honors College program.

It was then, the “clueless mom” found out what had really been happening…My daughter is a social worker who loves working with troubled kids (she now works for the State helping disabled individuals). As she was preparing her applications for grad school for her Masters in Macro-Social Work, she had to write some essays as to why she felt she would belonged in this field. Since I am a grant-writer, she asked me to review her essays (like she usually did) to check grammar, etc. This is when I found out the “horror” of my daughter’s school years….

Belinda recounts many tales of verbal abuse from school mates because we lived in a trailer park which as the years passed became like the “projects” of the Township. She only invited her closest friends back to our house for sleep overs, parties, etc. I never really thought about it since I was working, juggling her activities and making sure her homework was done. The truth was very few parents wanted their children to come over because of where we lived – not necessarily our home but the neighborhood. Belinda talked about how people used to call her “trailer trash”. The outside sports activities along with my example of what a strong woman could do is what she attributes to her success. Some called her a “snob” because she was involved in outside sports.  Then when she became active in church, more verbal abuse came.  Some of her friends from the trailer park fell into the lives people expected – sexually active, lots of unsupervised parties, drugs, alcohol and more. I was blessed, Belinda didn’t head in that direction. 

Many believe if I was clueless about the verbal abuse, I would be clueless about everything else…My daughter and I had and still have an amazing relationship. When I asked her why she never told me, her response “I didn’t want to hurt you because I knew you were doing the best you could. The material things didn’t matter because you were always there for me”. My daughter has amazing attributes – self confidence, speaks her mind (sometimes without tack) and is forever looking to help the underserved youth in her community.  She tells me on a regular basis how she hopes to accomplish all I have both professionally and personally. 

I wanted to share this to let people know bullying isn’t always visible, it can happen to any child. As I travel back to our old hometown, I look around and ask my husband – was I “clueless” about what life was like. His response is always the same – “You did what you had to do to make sure Belinda had everything she needed even if it wasn’t always what she wanted. As a result, she is a bright, intelligent and confident woman who wants to take on the world to make it a better place”.

Since signing up to be a part of the Family Wellness & Beauty Day for Kickin’ It Kids AntiBullying, God has pressed on my heart to share this story. 

I know this was a a LONG post but it will always be a part of my story.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Throwback Thursday

#TBT: YOUR Bag-Holding Technique

I decided to pull out one of my OLD blog posts and update…Today is the LAST day of Thirty One’s Fall/Winter Catalog and any of our favorite products are going away… WHY?  Because the NEW Spring/Summer Catalog starts tomorrow.

Since joining Thirty One I have been carrying a variety of purses.  Some I fell in love with while others were not my cup of tea.  But everyone has a purse style and a way to carry it which tells a lot about them….

Let’s have some fun…Did you ever think that someone can tell what type of person you are by the way you carry your bag?  Which one of these are  YOU?

 

THE SCHLEPPER: You’ve got 2, 3,4 or maybe even 5 bags to worry about so you’ve got a “whatever fits” strategy going on.  You’re fatigued, exhausted and in a rush.  The bags suggest you’re a little spaced out and have a hard time being present.

THE ARM CROOK HOOK: Favorites of paparazzi-chased celebs, this limp-handed style just screams power. You are wearing the bag as if it’s a badge of honor or an award.  You feel as if you’ve got a sense of superiority.

THE HANDS-FREE: The girl who wears a hands-free bag willingly covers up her silhouette and outfit.  It’s useful, but it also shows you’re slightly dorky.  Tends to be a favorite with young women.

THE TWOFER: usually done with a coy smile and a leg cross, the two-handed twofer clutch denotes a shy, defensive person.  This creates a fig leaf position as if you were protecting your goods.  If you find yourself dong this on a date, it’s because you feel weird about where it’s going.

THE BAGUETTE: a recent favorite of street style stars, the baguette style is a scoop-up, on-the-go method.  It’s a utilitarian look and you don’t really care about the bag but rather what’s in it. You are goal oriented.

THE THIRD ARM DRAPE: The move usually involves a bag with a long strap – but instead of crossing it over, you choose to wear it over your shoulder. Since the bag is prone to slipping around, it shows a lack of awareness and says “I don’t have power over my world”

THE ARMPIT VICE: Clutches are hard to hold, but this move keeps your bag in place while leaving your hands free.  There’s an awkwardness about it, and I see if happen a lot with women who are carrying a purse that doesn’t fit her body.

THE BRIEFCASE: There is a certain type of woman who chooses to forgo the shoulder strap for the top handle.  She’s in business mode.  She’s going fas and her bag has a lot of weight – she cars less about her appearance and more about where she’s off to.

THE THUMB-TO-PIT: There is a resin this move’s associated with Carrie from Sex and the City – women in cosmopolitan cities are doing this.  They remember their mamas telling them to protect their bags.  They don’t want to get them pulled off while they are walking.  They are street smart.

So ladies, which one are you?  I  am usually a cross between the “thumb-to-pit”, the “third-arm drape” and the “briefcase” depending on where I am going for the day.  I am not sure I agree with all of these description so please don’t shoot the messenger. The next time you pick up YOUR bag, think about the message you are sending….

Share with us your thoughts… Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Throwback Thursday

Throwback: Are You Building Relationships?

unnamed-1  This blog first appeared on November 20, 2015.

If you read my blog regularly, you know building relationships is BIG with me.  I think it is the key to having a life full of harmony – personally and in your business.  Today, we are going to talk about building relationships in your business.

Tis the season you will run in to a LOT of people – old friends, new friends, family. Tis the season to build  relationships, which can fuel your entire year with loyalty, referrals and more!

Let’s start with building Relationships with Potential Anything (customers, hostess, team, etc):

Do you think before you speak, act or even post on Facebook?  How often have you vented on Facebook?  Admit it, we all have.  The truth is if you are Debbie Downer or Negative Nellie all the time –  nobody wants to buy from you, you probably wouldn’t even buy from yourself PLUS nobody wants to be around you.  Are you constantly posting about “needing to fill your calendar” or needing xxx amount is sales? Guess what – you sound DESPERATE! People don’t buy from people who are desperate.

People buy from people they like.  People buy from people who make them feel good about themselves.  Show the honest, real, caring, kind, compassionate, positive, confident, and upbeat side of YOU and guess what? People will want to be around you and as a result will want to buy from you.

How about building relationships with your customers?  I know you are thinking, “they’re already buying from me, what do I have to do?”.  The truth is you want to KEEP their business.  I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone carrying a Thirty One product and started a conversation.  I always ask if they have a consultant because I would never want to steal someone’s customer.  It breaks my heart when they say “I don’t remember” or “I never hear from them, so do you have a card”.

UGH!  I pray it is never one of my customers who answers this way.  What do you do to stand out from the crowd?  What do you do to let them know you appreciate them?  Not just when they place an order or maybe all year long.  I will admit I am good at this for about 4 months from the time of the order but then it becomes more difficult.  I continue to work on this (see, you aren’t alone).

Remember YOUR CUSTOMERS are what fuel your business. They keep you in business. THANK THEM OFTEN! It doesn’t matter how you do it – a thinking of you card, a post on a picture they posted on Facebook, or a phone call just for no reason.  Let them know you think of them as more than just a paycheck!  Make them feel special!  Make them feel appreciated!  It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but believe me when you let them know how much you appreciate them – they will stick with you!

Okay, will they occasional buy from someone else, maybe.  Ask them about those purchases, how they are liking them and make sure they were happy with their customer service experience! More times than not, when you have a super loyal customer buy from another consultant, its because she was helping out a friend with a party or an order. She isn’t trying to hurt you, its not always about you, get over it. She was doing a selfless thing for her friend, make her feel special for doing that. She will remember it. I promise you!

The bottom line is relationships are the meat of our business – our products are just what get us in the door or through the computer screen.  Be someone who stands out and makes a positive impression on those you come across. Make sure you are remembered as THE person who made her feel special!

What is your best tip for building relationships and growing your business?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Gives Program, Throwback Thursday

Throwback: An Act of Kindness

No-Act-of-Kindness-Is-Wasted  This post first appeared in 2015..

Today’s blog was inspired by Lori Deschene….

As we approach the last few shopping days till Christmas, I have noticed a few things: tempers are shorter, people are in a hurry, while store employees are tired and feeling unappreciated.  The happiest time of the year has become the “let’s just get through this season”.  No, I am not being Negative Nelly just stating some observations while I was out shopping the other night.

The holiday season has taken on a new meaning for me.  I can’t explain it – hubby would say it is old age.  LOL.  I have found myself NOT just getting a gift because I need to get something.  I am NOT spending tons of money to show how I feel about someone.  I have found myself showing compassion and understanding more than ever before. I am surprised at their response.

Over the years, I have been shown kindness in many ways from friends and family but the kindness of strangers has taught me lasting lessons.  Think about it as you check out at the register.  Smile and greet the cashier.  Ask them how they are doing.  Maybe give someone a tip that they weren’t expecting.

They all have struggles, and dreams, and goals, and responsibilities, and they too could benefit from someone showing them patience, kindness, and understanding if they’re a little slow or less than friendly.

The other day I was with hubby as he stopped for gas.  He ALWAYS pays cash.  The total was $16 and he told the attendant to keep the change.  Okay, so $4 isn’t a big deal but the smile that spread across the attendant’s face was priceless.  He couldn’t thank us enough.  A random act of kindness made a difference in someone’s day.

The world is a better place when we see people beyond their nametags, and visualize everyone as someone who truly is doing their best.

We’re all a little scared and a little rough around the edges.

We’re all looking for love, support, acceptance, and appreciation.

And we can all get and give these things every day, one tiny act at a time.

Has the power of tiny acts of kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance made a difference in your own life?  Here are some suggestions from Tiny Buddha’s 365 Love Challenges of small acts that we can all do:

Be patient and understanding with people who serve you, especially if they have a lot of customers to tend to.

Compliment someone who serves you in some way (for example, a waiter, barista, or bus driver) on how well they do their job.

Empathizing instead of criticizing is a big thing. Getting up to help instead of sitting back and judging is a big thing.

Keep an eye out for someone who looks sad—a friend, coworker, or even stranger—and say something that might make them laugh or smile.

It may seem like a tiny thing, but sometimes the tiny things are the big things.  And it’s big things like these that help us all feel seen, appreciated, and loved—and far happier for it.

What Random Act of Kindness will you do today?  Share it with us and let us all celebrate the spirit of Christmas this holiday season.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Throwback Thursday, Weigh to Goal

Throwback: Loving Yourself When Your Too….

This post first appeared on June 30th, 2016…Woman-at-beach

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Last week, I had an AHA moment.  A moment when the brain fog lifted and I realized I had to stop making excuses for why a few (okay, 20) pounds were back.  Yes, I could blame health issues.  The truth was I was slowly slipping back into old habits I had BEFORE I lost 100 pounds.

B4 picture with Belinda

Yup, me and my cutie of a daughter (she hates this picture). It is REALLY old but the truth is there aren’t many pictures of me when I was heavy.

Back to the AHA moment….I needed to take control of what I could control – my eating. I was repeatedly complaining about “gaining” or not losing weight as hubby’s weight kept going down.  The truth was, he was eating healthier and I was secretly eating junk! Okay, so the truth is out, now I have to be accountable.

I wanted the capris which fit so good over the last 2 summers to again fit.  I wanted the jiggle in my thighs to be gone.  I wanted the puffiness in my face to be gone.  There was no magic wand but there was the proverbial SMACK on the head which made me realize what I needed to do.  It was at the moment I opened my email to find an online special from Weight Watchers.  I didn’t delete it, I just let it sit in my inbox.  After a lot of prayer and thought, I did it!  I signed up again.

It was time for me to stop beating myself up and take some of my own advice…

1. Stop comparing.

Hubby loves me not matter what – I mean when we got together, I was on the weightless journey.  Over the last two years as I struggled with health issues, I was constantly comparing myself to others. I felt inferior because I hadn’t stuck to the program.

Once you stop comparing, you realize you will always be too fat, too skinny, too tall, too this when you compare yourself to others.  The comparison game will kill your dreams before you even start. Know you are exactly what you’re supposed to be—one of a kind and beautiful.

2. Change the way you see.

Have you had experiences where people you told you how pretty (or nice you look) BUT you thought you were unattractive? I have.  Where you say “thank you” and add “but I have….” negating their compliment.

Dr. Wayne Dyer often said, “When you change the way you look at things, things you look at change.” I know this is true because I often experience it in my life.

Focus on what is wonderful about you, whether it’s your kindness, generosity, or thoughtfulness.  When you focus on the internal features, the external features seem to start to sparkle with radiance.  It’s not that you changed—your perception did.

3. Change your thoughts.

change-your-thoughts-and-you-change-your-world7

How many times have you looked at a picture or a video of yourself and a barrage of negative self-talk dominated your thoughts? Those inner gremlins start to take over and before long they are in control.

How sad it would be if we allowed those negative voices to stop us from offering what we have to give: our knowledge, ideas, voice, gifts, our love, and more? We would be withholding these things from people who might need and benefit from them.

My Fierce Cheerleader and Abundance Coach, Eryka Peskin, has taught me how to celebrate those negative things so they no longer have control over my life.  Try it.  Step back and reframe those negatives into a positive.

You have so much to give (even if you feel like you don’t): your unique gifts, your experience, courage, ingenuity, creativity, and so much more. Don’t let the negative voices stop you from sharing what you have. The world (your neighbors, your friends, your grandma, or whatever your world may be) needs it.

The truth is, there will always be someone or some people who will find you undesirable or unlovable, but the world is also full of people who will feel the opposite.

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Ultimately, the deeper truth you have to find within yourself is this: If no one loves me, will I love myself?  YES, I will love myself.

In the moments when I don’t like what I see in the mirror, I make a choice. I make a choice to give myself total acceptance and love for all that I am: the good, the ugly, and the bad.

Will you make the choice to love yourself when you’re too short, too tall, too fat, and too skinny?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!