Business Tips and Tricks

How To Energize Your Business

It’s HUMP Day and I am trying to get energized! I’m in a slump with my business. I’m not sure if it is MS related or if I am in-between “why” or if I just need a jumpstart!  What is a girl to do?

When all else fails go back to what worked in the past.  So I pulled up an article on the DSW website entitled “Seven Ways to Energize Your Business“.  I need some motivation.  I need to find a purpose.  I need to figure out what it is I really want to do (when I grow up! LOL)

Here are some of their suggestion which I tweaked just a little.  I mean a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, right?  
  • Establish priorities. I used to be a multi-tasker, trying to tackle everything at once. MS has changed that AND I usually forget what I am doing without a list.  I’m looking at things now through my recovery eyes.  Just One Day (or step) at a time.  So, list all your priorities (or to dos).  Then focus on one or two items at a time. I have lots of ideas squirreling away in my head but once I get them on paper, it is easier to put them in perspective.  I keep a list on my planner so I can cross it off when done.  I love seeing the pink lines which mean I have accomplished something for the day.  Prioritizing takes the stress off. I helps you  to focus on one thing at a time with the comfort of knowing you will stay on the right track.
  • Be as efficient as possible.  What are your time suckers????  Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, binge watching on Netflix?  A time sucker is anything which distracts you from your daily goals.  I have been known to put a picture of a “security camera” in front of me as a gentle reminder I have work to do.  Don’t have a lot of time to “work”, grab that list of two of three things and set aside some time to get them done TODAY.  You will be amazed at how accomplished you feel when you cross them off the list as done.
  • Combine your work with different areas of your life.  No matter what kind of work you do, you can combine it into other areas of your life.  If you truly love what you do, this will be easy.  I am struggling with my purpose lately so some days this is a little bit more difficult.  As a Thirty One Director, it is an easy!  I use and carry our bags every where I go. People comment about them and I share how awesome they are. As for “The Angel Connection“, this is a no-brainer too.  I always have an angel on.  I am learning to change up my angel so it POPS when I wear certain shirts.  Seems basic enough, right?
  • Actively manage your time and stop wasting it.  Time management may be easy for some but for me it is a struggle.  I am getting better with the help scheduling things in my planner.  Color blocking used to work but now it confuses me.  I still set aside time for family, work, my Thirty One and Angel Connection business and time for me (ok, so maybe sometimes this gets pushed to the side).  Manage your time when it comes to activity or exercise.  Add it to your calendar so it becomes a part of your every day life and you aren’t wasting the small amounts of time doing nothing when you could be active.  I know, I need to practice this one myself!
  • Commit to learning new things.  Lately, it seems like I am learning something new every day.  The struggles with MS has made this an ongoing process.  I invest in my professional development because it helps my business and my team.  You can learn new things in a variety of ways like reading a blog, watching a video, listening to a conference call, a networking meeting or a formal conference/ training.  And a way that works for you.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.  There are going to be bumps in the road but you can learn from them and then you MUST let them go.  Sometimes it is easier said than done – whether it is in business or in life.  Just because you hit a bump or deal with a little negativity, it doesn’t diminsh all the positive work you have done.
  • Laugh more. I am learning to laugh at myself.  I feel like this was so much easier before MS.  The truth is sometimes I just don’t get the pun or joke.  It kills the punchline when someone has to explain it to you.  In recovery, I am learning to laugh again.  It is a process but one I am enjoying.
The lesson is simple – we tend to look at our lives as separate compartments – business, family, work, spiritual, etc. – which very seldom merge together.  When they do, it is often in a negative way – why not take the positive lessons we have learned in each part of our life and apply them to every part of our life as we take this journey through life.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Unclutter Your Life

Want to Reach Your Goal?

I know you are wondering WHY are we talking about reaching our goals when the year is almost over, right?  We set our New Year’s Resolutions and are closing in on the end of the year……….have you reached any of your goals or did you ditch them about three months into the year?  I actually do two sets of goals – yes, I am a glutton for punishment.  LOL.  The first ones are on New Years and they are usually more about me personally.  Then in June, I set my business goals because this is when the fiscal year for Thirty One starts.  It actually is a good time for me to reflect on my personal goals too and jumpstart them if it is needed – which it usually is.
Sometimes, reaching our goals isn’t just about knowing what steps to take. It is more about how we handle the discouragement, the fear and the stumbles on the way to our goal. I don’t know about you but when those bumps in the road come, I am usually ready to call it quits but there are times when I persevere.  What’s the difference in those times?  It is mostly about my willingness to face the obstacles and overcome them.  There must be something to it because research shows most successful people actually think differently on the path to success – and their mental toughness helps them to be resilient in the face of frustrations and obstacles.
Here are some ways to boost your chances of reaching your goals…

 

1. Know your “why” and be specific.

We talk about this ALL of the time.  The truth is purpose will fuel perseverance. When you have a strong “why” behind your goal;  you are more likely to stick with it when the going gets tough.  The more specific you are, the more obvious your action steps become. Vague goals will produce vague results.

2. Plan it on your calendar.

Have a realistic plan to achieve your goals.  Pull out your calendar.   Block time (whether 15 minutes for a small goal or a whole day for a big goal) to brainstorm how you will achieve the goal and plan your timeline.  You schedule medical appointments, maybe even gym time and other activities – why not schedule time to plan and implement the steps to reach your goal.  Identify potential obstacles and figure out a plan to help you avoid them.  Identify and put in place the things you will need to reach your goal.  Is it a healthier grocery shopping list? An automatic withdrawal from your paycheck so you can boost your savings by 25%? No matter what it is, plan for it so it will happen.

3. Clarify what needs to change AND be honest with yourself.

Do you know why most people fail to reach a goal?  They underestimate what it takes to reach it.  The bigger the goal, the bigger the commitment. “I want to work out three time a week” is a good start, but when? What will need to change to make time for this goal?  Most of all be honest with what has held you back from reaching this goal in the past.  Fill in the blank of this statement, “I hate to admit it, but ….”  Now, make a goal to address the BUT!   For example, instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight,” the goal becomes, “I’m going to find healthy ways to cope with my stress/insecurity/anxiety other than eating.”

4. Make it fun.

Have you ever noticed when you have positive emotions, you feel better?  Research shows positive emotions have lots of health benefits. Positive emotion can help you set better goals, see more options to get to the goal and persevere in the face of adversity.  Why not ask a friend to join you, take a class or join a group focused on the goal, and brainstorm ideas for making it fun or creating a game out of it.  When you work together, you can encourage each other on those tough days.

5. Give yourself permission to be imperfect.

Okay, this is probably the hardest thing for me to do!  What about you?  Perfectionism is actually rooted in fear – fear we’re not good enough,  fear mistakes are the end of the world, and falling down means never getting back up.  Does this sound like you?  Buying into fear means you are less likely to ever get started.  Give yourself a break!  It is okay to make mistakes and stumble on the way to your goal.  Then when it happens, simply ask:  What is the lesson for me to learn? What will I do differently next time? Use your failures and mistakes as learning tools.

6. Pinpoint the milestones and how you’ll celebrate.

Anticipation is a happiness trigger. It produces positive emotion which keeps you moving forward. Rather than having just one big milestone – the finish line – create multiple milestones along your journey to the goal. Plan for them along the way.  Treat yourself when you hit one.  Most of all, be sure to share the milestones with people who will celebrate along with you.

7. Fear is inevitable, but it’s not a stop sign.

The biggest obstacle to creating meaningful goals and taking consistent steps forward is fear. Refuse to stop just because fear rears its ugly head. Instead, question your fear. Ask, “Well, what if that happens? What will I do then?” Push through your fear by being brave enough to face it, imagine it and make a plan to handle it.

Whether you are trying to finish off the year by reaching one of your New Year’s Resolutions or are already planning for the New Year, these steps will help you to reach your goal.  Share you goal with us, let us celebrate your milestones and encourage you when you hit the bump in the road.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Business Tips and Tricks

Get Energized for Business & in Weightloss

This is a repost from April of 2013….

#1 – Establish priorities.

As in business, we try to tackle everything at one time. List your priorities and focus on just one or two items at a time. The same thing in your weight loss journey – one step at a time. Eating more fruits & veggies.  Exercise. Cutting out carbs. Prioritizing a list takes the stress off and allows you to focus on one thing at a time with the comfort of knowing where you will go from here.

#2 – Be as efficient as possible.

In my business, this is a little bit easier to do when I avoid Facebook, Piniterest and anything else that distracts me from my goals for the day. I even put a picture of a “security camera” in front of me. This is my gentle reminder I have to practice what I preach when it comes to office hours. In my weight loss journey, the same can be said – excuses or reasons why we don’t have time to take a 10 minute walk, eat the right foods, go to a meeting or as Weight Watchers would say “get active”. Don’t be a computer zombie or a couch potato, move even if it is up and down the stairs or around the block. Get up during commercials and move.

#3 – Combine your work with different areas of your life.

For me as a Thirty One Director, it is an easy to combine areas of my life. I use and carry our bags every where I go.  The best is when I get to combine work with a trip to North Carolina to see my daughter, Belinda. As far as my weight loss journey – it is not just a “diet”! Yes, my goal is to reach my ideal weight but I am also learning how to care for myself by eating right and moving more. Seems basic enough, right?

#4 – Actively manage your time and stop wasting it.

Time management may be easy for some but for me it is a struggle so calendar blocking has become my friend. My monthly calendar is color coded so I can manage time with family, work, my Thirty One business and time for me (sometimes this gets cancelled). Manage your time when it comes to activity or exercise. Add it to your calendar so it becomes a part of your every day life and you aren’t wasting the small amounts of time doing nothing when you could be active. I know, I need to practice this one myself!

#5 – Commit to learning new things.

My professional development is important to me because it is an investment in my business which helps me personally and my team. You can learn new things in a variety of ways like reading a blog, a video, a conference call, a networking meeting or a formal conference/ training. The same is true about my weight loss journey. I continue to learn new tips and ideas from my Weight Watcher meetings.

#6 – Don’t sweat the small stuff.

There are going to be bumps in the road but you can learn from them and then let them go. Sometimes this is easier to do in business then when we are losing weight. If you lost weight but are suffering from a small set-back like some weight gain or a plateau – look back on what worked and what didn’t. Protect your loss. Just because you gained a little doesn’t negate all the positive work that you have done.

#7 – Laugh more.

I have learned to laugh at myself. I LOVE what I do – who wouldn’t love to party every time they go to work, right? The same has been true in my weight loss journey . I have found  finding humor in everyday life makes me a happier person.

This might be lot for a Saturday but the lesson is simple – we tend to look at our lives as separate compartments – business, family, work, spiritual, etc. – very seldom merging together. When they do, it is often in a negative way – why not take the positive lessons we have learned and apply them to every part of our life as we take this journey through life.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Favorite Products

Erasable Pens and Markers

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Happy Saturday morning!  I know it is a strange topic for my blog BUT I am in LOVE!  I have been using these pens for about a year or more, off and on.  As I get ready for the new year (yup, already planning 2017), I have turned to them more and more.

I am going to show my age here (pushing 60) but erasable pens were around awhile ago.  They claimed you could write in pen and erase your mistakes.  The truth was you made a mess.  They smeared and you usually ripped your paper.  Some of the ink came off but most of it stayed on the paper.

So, you can guess I was skeptical when a fellow consultant shared about the Fusion erasable pens.  I mean could they really work?  As everyone knows, I am a paper person when it comes to my planner and white out tape had become my new best friend.  I mean how else could I make changes in my planner without it looking like a war zone.  Liquid white out clumped and smeared making my planner look messy.  Yes, I squirreled for a moment.

I quickly ordered an assortment pack of pens and highlighters. What I found was, they are AMAZING!  The pens combine the convenience of a retractable pen with the incredible FriXion erasable gel ink.  They erase and rewrite repeatedly without damaging documents.  The best part is they come is 7 colors – Black, blue, red, turquoise, purple, green and pink. Oh wait AND they are refillable.  71ovj3ja9fl-_sl1500_

The Pilot Frixion Light Fluorescent Ink Erasable Highlighter Pen comes in Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet.  These have made my calendar blocking so much easier.  Every Sunday, I sit down and plan out my week.  I color coordinate (or at least try) to block out the time in my planner based on the things I have to get done.  Do things change?  Yup!  The best part is when I need to change a block of time, I can simply erase it, change the color or just get rid of it totally.  No need for white out or white out tape.

I am actually getting excited about planning out 2017 in my new Passion Planner (shh, I think it is a surprise from hubby).  Color blocking will allow me to focus on tasks needing to be completed.  Oh, did I mention, I add smiley faces in the blocks to know I have accomplished the time slot as scheduled.  I know it is a crazy thing but for me, it allows me to see what I have accomplished when I am feeling like nothing is getting done.

Check out these amazing pens and let me now what you think.  I haven’t found them in the stores – only on Amazon.  So, click the links to get yours (no, I don’t get any kickback for these).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Time Management Ideas

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Time is flying as we head to Memorial Day weekend.  Summer won’t be far behind and with it the pull of sun and fun versus working.  I know you are all thinking – take work with you, right?  Isn’t that why most of us got into direct sales?  We wanted flexible hours, we wanted to make our own schedule,and the BONUS is that we can actually work our business from anywhere.  Everyone needs a tote or thermal to go to the beach right?

We will need to be in our office for a little bit, so why not make the most of your time.  I have been collecting LOTS of tips from direct sales consultants all over the country.  Time management has always been a struggle for me.  I can easily “squirrel” and get side tracked on a new project or task.  So see what some of the top suggestions were:

  • Post reminders of what you want to do where you can see them all day.
  • Sunday night exercise: Think: what are the 2-3 key things I will accomplish this week to make it a successful week?  Have focused intention so that you stay focused.
  • Calendar Blocking.  This ensures that you don’t do anything else until the specified task is done.
  • Set a schedule for yourself and stick to it, e.g. calculate time for trivial tasks including housework.
  • Keep a large “post it note” with the priority front and center on my desk.
  • Take one day each week totally off – no phone, no email to recharge your batteries.  In theory this sounds great but I am not sure that I could do it.
  • Before going to bed, write your accomplishment list (while laying in bed) in order to plan your next day.  Ending the day on a positive note sets you up for success in the morning.
  • Stop obsessing over your email. Open it only 3 times each day – when you get into the office, after lunch, and before the close of day. Must close the email program all other times!  GUILTY!
  • “10 before 10:” 10 contacts before 10 am (live or voice mail) or 10 recognitions of team members before 10 am.  LOVE THIS!
  • Dedicating 15 minutes a day to research or read an article to help you grow your business.
  • Power Hour: 15 minute intervals of working my business – may not always be one full hour at a time.  I wish I could get into the habit of doing this.  It would help with consistency.
  • Have a general list that is the same one every day. The “to do’s” on this list are the ones that should grow your business. Do them each day before making a list.  Book, sell, recruit – as easy at that.
  • No matter how busy and urgent your day seems, spend 30 minutes to an hour with God and the work of God. He will bless and redeem the time.

So what is YOUR best tip for time management?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!