Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Growing Again

Happy Monday!  “Crying means that you are growing”….  Have you ever heard that?  Well, I used to think Adele was crazy when she said that but the truth was that every time I found myself sitting in a corner, crying, struggling with what to do, I quickly found out that God had a plan for me… CHANGE! GROW! I know, you are wondering where this is all leading, right?

As we ended another dreaded “J” month, you know, the months they say are not good in the direct sales market, I was stressing, crying, and looking for answers.  What started as a great day, having a relaxing, yummy lunch with hubby turned into a GROWING moment or should I say afternoon.  Let me explain, I wanted to have a discussion with hubby about my business.  He is the logical, business thinker and planner while I am the one who goes by my gut, some would say the creative one.  Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie had camped out on my doorstep.  This was the first time since I had promoted to Director in 2012 that I was sitting by the computer watching the numbers.  WAITING and WAITING and WAITING for them to change.  The truth was, I needed to change!  Vacation Veronica had stopped by to join the party.  You know her right, the party girl who thinks that it is okay to take off 2 weeks from work and it won’t affect your sales.

I was hunting for answers as to what I could do different.  I have “heard” a lot of things in training but was I really listening to what they said.  SMACK!  That was the 2×4 that hubby hit  me with as he said “we had this conversation before and you don’t listen!”  Imagine my surprise!  Of course, I LISTEN!  Then I started with a list of reasons why things didn’t work – the Negative NOT the positive side of things.  Why I couldn’t do something or why it didn’t work or.. you get the picture, that long litany of things that I have tried but that haven’t worked.  The truth is, in my head – I tried them.  I haven’t always put my foot to the pavement to make them work or to try them out.  So, as I barely scrape by a “j” month with only a basic plan for the month of August, I am looking for answers.  I have catalog parties on the books but I am already admitting defeat BEFORE they are in because “catalog parties” are not usually very successful for me.  I can’t believe that it is August 4th and I am already ready to write off the month of August. Really??? So after a lot of tears over the week-end, some soul searching along AND picking up a training book that I bought but had never read…I am ready to KICK BUTT this week.  I have 11 more days to earn the Ready Set Sell incentive.  I have 27 more days in the month to rock sales.  I will NOT be sitting by the computer on the last day of August wondering if my team or I will make our goals…

Maybe Adele is right about the crying thing because I feel like I have grown “just a little” and built up a little bit more confidence.  Was it a struggle?  YES!  Wast it worth it?  YES!  Will I get hit by a 2×4 again? Probably!

So, who is ready to KICK BUTT and end the summer on a HIGH note in their business?  Share your struggles with us.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Hope Wissel

Life in the Fast Lane

Happy Saturday, Everyone!  For many, I am sure that this is part of a LONG weekend.  For me, I am taking it easy fighting a summer cold and not wanting to deal with the shoobies even though I know that their business is vital to the shore communities.

Looking back on my past, where I have been and all that I have done – I would not be who I am TODAY if it were not for the trials I experienced on this journey.  My life in Atlantic City was based on the approval that I sought from those on the outside – my boss, my co-workers, my friends and sometimes even my family.   I was never really happy with me – I lacked the self-confidence and wanted everyone to like me.  Well, that didn’t work in the casino industry so when I joined AC Hotel Reservations to help Adele build a new business – I took the opposite approach.  Hard-nose, no nonsense, and sometimes insensitive boss – ask my staff.  My staff didn’t like me but together Adele and I built an amazing business.  There was lots travel (all over the country), drinking (Adele loved to party) and drugs (my escape since I didn’t care for the weight gain or the feeling that alcohol gave me in the morning).  This is the life that I lead for more than 6 years.  A life in denial of my drug addiction and the damage that the “fast lane” was doing to me physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Not the best way to run a business as Adele later found out when she had to close the reservation center.  This was my first real exposure to running your own business – make it, spend it, no business plans – can you say “bad business practices”.

028  The blessing through all of this was that I met Belinda’s biological father.  We were in love (so I thought) and were even planning on getting married until I told him I was pregnant.  To say, the least, he wasn’t happy about it and after months of turmoil when Belinda was born he decided NOT to be a part of her like.  His loss because if I must say so myself, she is an AMAZING kid (okay, she will always be my kid even at 24).  Once Belinda was born, I went back to the fast life of Atlantic City and work.  My drug addiction would end many things over the next 2 years – my life in AC, my credibility as a business person, shatter what little self-esteem I had and lead me on a rough road that would eventually bring me to recovery in 1990.

I am sure there are many who are wondering why I share personal stories or how this helps YOU “plan effectively”, right?  I am hoping that by sharing my struggles someone might find a way to overcome theirs.  If even one person reads about my crazy life and realizes that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, it was worth it.  You see I remember the trials and I have taken something positive from each one of them which has made me the person that I am today.  I don’t always have all of the answers and I still struggle with self-confidence but it is something that I work on every day.  I challenge you to look for the positive even when there doesn’t appear to be any.

Enjoy your week-end.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Life in Atlantic City

Excitement.  Glitz and Glamour. Celebrities. Gambling. Partying.  

These were the words that came to mind in the early years of Atlantic City.  When I started working for the Claridge Casino Hotel, we were a Del Webb property with no walls and offices in a motel that at best is now a little shady   It was exciting to be on the ground floor working with Vegas Executives opening a casino hotel.  Commuting from Ocean Grove definitely had me living in two worlds – reality and illusions.  I helped to write the submission for the Division of Gaming Enforcement so that the casino could open – lots of paperwork and lots of rules.

As opening came near, we began hiring employees which is when my aunt, Elsie Weston, joined the security team. We were ships passing in the night from Ocean Grove because she worked 2nd shift and I was days.  The opening came and went with the day to day operations being some what mundane. As the youngest female security supervisor Del Webb ever had, it was a constant struggle to prove myself.  The November after we opened, there was a shift in management and the 3 youngest Security Supervisors were terminated due to a restructuring of our positions.  I was devastated and finding work in the casinos was tough for me.  See opening a casino is much different than actually working the floor in one. So without a new casino opening, I would resort to finding work in an office at half the salary and with a totally different way of life.  I wasn’t sure what to do at a 9 – 5pm, Monday to Friday job after being in a 24/7 business for so long.  I longed to get back into AC but not in a casino.

I began volunteering with the local Crime Stoppers and as a result helped to put together their National Conference in Atlantic City.  It was exciting for me to be back in the 24/7 life.  Adele Black, Sales Manager of the then Deauville Hotel was the hotel contact that later offered me a job.  I was back in AC working in the Sales Department.  Booking casino bus trips, greeting buses, booking conferences and now looking for a new way to get back into the casino but in the sales departments.  Another phase in my “previous life” began in hotel/ casino sales.  I ended up back at the Claridge for a short period of time working in Hotel Sales but left to help Adele open her own business – Atlantic City Hotel Reservations Center.  It was this transition that changed my life – it was during this time that my addictions would surface and I began to live the 24/7 fantasy life of Atlantic City.

I am sure that some are wondering why I am sharing all of this – who cares, right?  Well, I hope that some of the trials that I share during my Saturday personal stories will touch someone’s heart and help them.  See, the path I am on today is a blessing from God that I truly believe was laid out long ago.  The problem was that I got in the way and lost sight of his will while I was putting other things before him.  So as doors closed, windows of opportunities opened – some I grabbed, others I didn’t and those I did grab were for the wrong reasons.  Learn from your past for it will help you to shape your future.  Change is possible if you are willing to forgive yourself for those mistakes and move on.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!