Business Tips and Tricks

How to Find Balance with Vacation Veronica

Today is the last day of school for many so enter Vacation Veronica.  You have consistently been working your business and along comes the “Double J” months.  The kids are on vacation.  The pool is calling.  The sun is enticing you.  Those inner gremlins taunt you with “you deserve a break”, “you worked hard” or “no one wants to shop during the summer”.  Yup, we have all heard or thought those things, right?  What will it hurt to take a few weeks off?  I will jump right back in when the kids are back in school.  Been there, done that and the results were not pretty.

Summer living is easy, at least here at the Jersey shore unless you are fighting traffic from all of the “shoobies”.  Pools, picnics, gardening, homemade ice cream, life at the beach, on the lake, and the lazy days of summer are what we want our lives to be full of, right?

Most adults have to work a JOB, so all of the fun summer things are squeezed into weekends or vacation.  For those who have their own business, there are BIG choices to make. Sometimes, it is hard to remember our “business is flexible, not optional”, especially if you want to get paid!

I know it is the end of June and we still have the whole summer to go, right?  What are you going to do with your business?

Have you mentally put your business on hold?  Are you going to do it all summer?  Sure you can BUT how is it going to effect your customers, your team, and maybe even your company.

We often talk about “vacations” during the holiday months, right?  I can’t be the only one who finds it hard to work between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We tend to take a “holimonth instead of a holiday”. Not good for your business then and certainly not good during the summer.

Think about the excuses everyone has about not working their business during the year:

  • July/August – Summer time is vacation time, fun time. Who wants to work when everyone else is enjoying summer fun
  • September/October – Back to School and sports
  • November/December – holiday times.
  • January – No one has any money because they spent it all on gifts
  • April  – Easter or Spring Break
  • June – Graduations, weddings, end of school year parties, etc.

Do you see the pattern?  So, if you don’t have a plan, you can end up working your business maybe two months out of the year.  I don’t know about you but I definitely would have to work 24/7 to make sure I made enough money to pay the bills all year long.  No one says you can’t enjoy lots of vacation time when you have your own business, you just need to have a plan.

Here are the 5W’s of Direct Sales which helped me keep “Vacation Veronica” away:

  1. WHO will I share this with? Who will have my next show?
  2. WHAT do I want my business to provide for me? What is my vision? What difference do I want to make in this world?
  3. WHEN will I make time for my work and for my family?
  4. WHERE will I be in one year? Where is my time best spent right now?
  5. WHY am I really doing this? WHY does this bring me joy?

When I keep the answers to these questions in front of me, Vacation Veronica doesn’t have a chance to get me sidetracked. I am not saying we don’t all need a break but let’s put it in perspective. If you owned your own store-front and took a month off, don’t you think it would be hard to get back into the swing of things. What if you work a full-time job and took a month off? Would you want to go back to work and when you did, wouldn’t you still have vacation brain?

When you imagine your summer, think about what you want, and create an intentional plan.

Here’s to hoping Vacation Veronica doesn’t linger long at my house or yours.  Take a break and enjoy your family and friends but don’t neglect your business.  If you had a store front, you wouldn’t close for 2 weeks would you?  So why should you close your direct sales business for 2 weeks unless you are fully booked for the next 2 months – even then, I am not sure I would stop working my business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Budgeting

How To Spend Less

Thank you Carrie Wilkerson for these AWESOME tips on how to spend less….

  • If you want to make more, spend less. #truestory
  • If you’re complaining about being broke, spend less.
  • If you’re stressed about minimum payments or juggling dollars, spend less.
  • If you’re mad at yourself or your spouse or fighting about money, spend less.
  • If you’re jealous of other folks because of ______ then spend less.
  • If you want more choices about where to live, what to drive, where the kids go to school, quitting your job or having some options… SPEND LESS.

It all starts with SPEND LESS!  I know, I have been there.  We struggle with wants versus needs especially during the holiday season.  YES – we can make more with our business. YES – we can still work to change our circumstance- but first we need to SPEND LESS.60b970c17dbc402287d7382d2eb326f7

Trust me, I know this is NOT the time you want to do this.  BUT this is the exact time you need to do this before we get caught up in the holiday craziness.

Evaluate EVERY expense. Is is NECESSARY or just something you ‘deserve’?  Is it a want or a need?  What if you did ‘without it’ for a few weeks/months? Would it change your quality of life?

How do you do this?  First, print out 3-6 months of credit card and debit card statements.  I know it will be scary.  Take a deep breath and jump in.  You can do it!

  • Highlight EVERY recurring charge.
  • Highlight EVERY disposable thing.
  • Highlight EVERY spontaneous purchase.
  • Highlight EVERY expense for something you don’t wear/play with/use/cook with/read or watch anymore.
  • Highlight EVERY unlicensed therapy expense (meaning you were self medicating with food/shopping/movies/girl time/drinks/etc.

Now for the hardest part – STOP spending on those things!

This part, may be a little easier….Evaluate insurance, credit card rates, cable plans (unplug it), phone plans (downgrade) and new clothes (seriously. stop buying them)

I love how Carrie shares her story of getting ahold of her sloppy financial habits (a process, she has used to pay off boatloads of debt MORE THAN ONCE #slowlearner).  Her story helps me to remember, I am not alone.  I have done it too.  Paid off debt, then got sucked in with the thought “I can manage it”.  WRONG!  My addictive behaviors come back in the form of spending money.  So here I am again paying off some debt.

We need to put the blinders on and here is how Carrie did it:

  • UNSUBSCRIBE from email ‘sales and newsletters’ – you can’t buy what you don’t see!
  • THROW AWAY catalogs that come in the mail.  Don’t bring them INTO THE HOUSE. Do NOT fool yourself ‘I’m just getting ideas, I’m making a wishlist, I’m just planning for when I can afford it.’ – NO NO NO NO – THROW IT AWAY. It will still be available for purchase when you can afford it. THERE WILL BE ANOTHER SALE.
  • Do NOT click on Facebook ads (they follow you around, wearing you down until you can’t help but buy. STOP IT)!
  • Do NOT attend home parties or demonstrations or trade shows or craft fairs or open houses or garage sales or ANYTHING WITH THE CHANCE TO BUY. This is a tough one for me since it is part of my business.  How I manage this is I don’t take any money with me or my cards!
  • TAKE THE APPS off your phone… Amazon, Starbucks, Instacart, ZigZag, Macys – ALL OF IT — OFF THE PHONE. If we can purchase with a click and without a brain, they WANT THAT. STOP THE MESS. TAKE OFF THE APPS.
  • During commercials on TV pick up a project. Tidy the sink or move a load from washer to dryer or go outside with the dogs – AVOID MARKETING MESSAGES. It is extreme but so is debt, financial stress and possibly bankruptcy. 
  • SHOP your CLOSET. Sounds silly, right?  Try it and see what happens. See an outfit you like on someone else or on FB, go into your closet and drawers to put together something similar. Or do without.
  • Grocery shop ONCE a week and plan meals ahead of time to avoid mealtime meltdown and drive through overspends.  
  • Use cash instead of cards.  My hubby swears by this!

What if you were to think of every purchase in terms of the effort it takes to make the money to purchase it?  For example, “how many xx do I have to sell or hours do I have to work to pay for this delivery pizza instead of doing a frozen pizza?”

Many of us are victims of marketing messages, bad habits, lack of will power and deserve levels.  We play the comparison which usually results in spending more.

  • Think of what you what MOST (financial stress-lessness and freedom) instead of what you want NOW (cute shoes or a top).
  • Think of WHY you’re so quick to spend and what you are self-medicating about or delaying…

Carrie suggests a spending freeze at least once a year.  It’s wot be fun, I’m sure BUT it may help to keep you in check.  I know you are thinking NOW, it is the holidays….
but HONESTLY it is the MOST EFFECTIVE time of year to do it!  If you wait until JANUARY… how many more THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS will you have overspent??

Change your habits.

Change your life.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Choose Your Own Direction

WOOOHOO!  Do you know what day it is?

Yes, it is still HUMP day even though it is a short week for most people since Monday was a holiday.

For those who read my blog often, you know I am a HUGE fan of Carrie Wilkerson and Lysa TerKeurst.  Put the two together and talk about motivation….

Lysa TerKeurst shared this quote recently:

‘You steer where you stare.

Okay, we all know this in our head, right?  Think about when you were learning to drive a car.  I was great for looking at things all around me and as a result, the car went in the same direction.  I was also learning to drive a clutch at the same time.  The two definitely did not mix well.  It made for may heated driving lessons with dad.  We all had to learn to focus on where we wanted to go.  I used to do the same thing when I was walking.  Looking at something on the right and the next thing I knew, I was walking towards it, cutting off anyone who was next to me or in my path.

It is the same, If you are focused on envy or fear or scarcity or lack… it will be near impossible not to VEER towards those.  The Universe will bring you want you are focused on.  Positive brings positive.  Negative brings negative.

When I started this new “eating plan” which was very limited to help control my candida, I focused on the things I couldn’t eat.  Everywhere I turned, there was fruit, seafood, dairy and the dreaded gluten.  With the help of my Weight Watchers leader, Michelle, I started looking at food differently.  I focused on the things I could eat.  As a result, I went from feeling deprived and sad about what I couldn’t have to enjoying what I could have.  The result, the other stuff went away (okay, maybe not but I wasn’t looking for them now).

Apply this to just about anything in your life.  I have positive mantras I read every morning.  Some mornings, I don’t want to be bothered and the result is I lose focus.  When we focus on positivity, abundance, tiny successes, encouraging scripture, and affirmations, we do well!  When we focus on negativity, the end result is a “shitty” day, right?

We need to face FRONT!  Thirty-One Gifts founder Cindy Monroe says… ‘I spend more time looking through the windshield than the rearview mirror. Why would I focus there? I’m not going that way!’

Don’t focus on what you’re leaving behind…focus on what you’re running towards!

Dana Wilde, Train Your Brain, shares positive mantras every day so we can adjust our brain and our vision. It takes time but it can happen.  Steer the boat (or your thoughts) in the direction you want to go and it will happen.  Maybe not overnight but it will happen.

I have changed my focus in my weightless journey and the pounds are slowing coming off.  Inching my way back to goal.  In my business, I no longer talk about “no one wants to party”, I am thinking positively and taking steps to make it happen.  The truth is, I can still have a successful business without parties (I proved it in April when I had no parties but hit my personal goal), it is just easier when you have them.

I dare you to adjust your brain, your vision and your focus today!  Share with us the change you are going to make then let us know how it changed your day so we can celebrate with you.  OR share a struggle so we can help you overcome it.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Feel Good Friday, Unclutter Your Life

Unclutter on Friday

Have you started to countdown to the end of the day?  Are you overwhelmed? Are you exhausted?  Do you easily get distracted?  Whether you own your own business or work for someone else, we have all had these feelings.

Some days I have even thought “it would be easier to go back to work”.  Who am I kidding?  These feelings are usually a result of playing the “comparison game” then trying to follow what someone else is doing.  The result, I am headed in a 100 different directions making no progress at all.  So, I usually

No, it isn’t easy but you have to decide if you want to focus or give up.  Yep! Are you going to focus on one direction, one massive goal or give up and give in to all all the competing images and blogs and social media streams?

Listen. I get it. I fight the comparison game too!

I love the opportunity to get my cup filled from the AMAZING Carrie Wilkerson on a regular basis as a leader with Thirty One.

Staying focused is not easy.  It takes practice.  Here are some tips to help:

1. I am on ONE thing at a time.

Yes, ONE! I have a daily checklist of the things I must get done every day.  I work each thing one at a time.  I close the tabs my computer so I’m not scrolling through Facebook or watching for alerts to come through, or watching for incoming emails. One thing at a time. I used this same theory years ago with paper.  It worked then and it works now!

2. Invest (pay ) in ONE course or seminar or conference per year.

I know there is ALOT of FREE classes and offers out there.  I have signed up for many of them and then don’t attend.  I’m trying to focus on ONE skill for the year. No, it isn’t easy.  I have been the “I want the magic wand” type of girl and it just hasn’t worked.  So it is time for a change.  If you are going to pay for a training, find the person who you connect with.  Honestly, I have paid for lots of classes and got nothing out of some of them.  I have followed lots of coaches but have found only two whose tips have really helped me in my business.  Guess what?  I’m sticking with them.  Will I still take some free classes?  YES!  But, I won’t be spending money to “try them out”.

3. I am intentional on social media. 

This is a work in progress for me.  Learn your audience.  I actually did a poll in my VIP Facebook group to ask them what things would be helpful and fun for them.  I used to watch my friends and do what they did but I stopped because I usually end up feeling inadequate which is not helpful in growing my business.  I use Cinchshare to ensure consistency in my posts BUT I also jump in and share things at random.  I always make sure I stop in to see who has liked or commented on posts.

4. I have my work scheduled.

The truth is what we schedule… happens. Think about your hair appointment, dentist appointments or even lunch with your parents or kids.  Does it mean “You Must Have xx Hours Set’?  No, it means you need to schedule what works best for you.  I have found the consistency pays off.  Did you ever take up an instrument?  I played the piano for years.  It took lots of time practicing a little bit daily (30 minutes or so) moved me along faster than cramming 5 hours of practice in once a week. Be consistent and schedule.  Will my week look the same as yours? NOPE! I am up early and in my office usually by 6:30AM.  Hubby is off on Monday and Tuesdays so these are my weekends with limited hours in the office.  You need to set aside time for the things which are important to you.  I plan out my week each Sunday night.  I have a morning routine and an evening routine (hubby works swing shift).  It allows me to be consistent and work towards my goals.

I know this isn’t rocket science or brain surgery and I am sure you have heard these tips a million times.  I’m sure I have even written about them before.  Remember “you can’t get different results if you keep doing the same things”.  So are you ready to try something new?

Hope this was helpful and here’s to a ThirtyOne-derful weekend!

Unclutter Your Life

Know Your Numbers

Thank you Carrie Wilkerson for the inspiration for today’s blog.  I have been battling weight for as long as I can remember… my first diet was about the 8th grade with the hard boiled egg and grapefruit diet.  Most recently I have lost over 100+ pounds with the help of Weight Watchers.  But knowing my numbers on the scale are not the only numbers I need to know…..

See before you can make a change in your life – You MUST know your numbers!  The scale is an easy measure during a weight loss journey but there are other numbers which are important….

What about your debt? Or when your business is stuck? Or even when relationships are stale?  Do you know YOUR numbers for these things as well?

The numbers are facts and data you can’t ignore if you are going to focus on your dreams and make changes in your life.  Things never change or we slip deeper into debt or gain more weight or even loose business because we make the choice to ignore the numbers. Are you like the ostrich who sticks his head in the sand thinking things will “work themselves out” or have you given up altogether thinking “That’s just how things are.”

***If you’re in debt…….Know TO THE PENNY what you owe and the interest rate. (It’s probably more than you think).

***If you’re broke….Know TO THE PENNY what your monthly bills are, where your spend too much, what your income is or ISN’T and write it down.  It will be the SMACK in the head you need to make a change.

***If you’re overweight or over-fatigued or out of time, spiritually distant or in stale relationships….do the discovery, find the data and make it real.

When you stop ignoring the truth and know your numbers – you can make a change!

Now, I’m not talking about a major overhaul in ever aspect of your life.  Start with a few  little tweaks and changes to move from the scary numbers to a better place.  You will be surprised at the changes which will occur when you are in the HABIT of KNOWING your NUMBERS…you can be encouraged and celebrate the successes as they start adding up for you!!

Accepting my highest weight (295 pounds) was a reality check for me.  It was the moment when I knew I wanted something different.  Thus began the LONG journey of heathy eating and portion control.  Did it happen over night? NO!  Is it an ongoing battle to stay focused on the number on the scale? YES!  The difference is now I believe in myself and am able to make the small changes.

I will admit owning my debt is a little tougher… the old inner gremlins (or my personal ostrich in the sand) says “don’t worry, be happy”.  I KNOW my numbers for my debt, my income and the crazy interest rates on my debt.  I am making small changes but just like my weight loss journey, it is a work in progress.

I believe in you even if you don’t believe in yourself…. What numbers do YOU need to figure out to make a change in your life?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!