Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Unclutter Your Life

How Blogging Can Change Your Life

Do I have your attention???

8 years ago I took a  challenge.  If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know the story…

I met an amazing group of women, The Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms (now for Woman) founded by Lynette Barberi and Vanessa Coppes.  I wanted to grow my business.  I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.  I wanted a full-time income from my direct sales business.  The question was, was I willing to work for it?  My immediate answer was YES!  But, it meant I had to step out of my comfort zone.  Not something I was very good at and even struggle with today.  Vanessa challenged me to start blogging.  Who would want to read what I had to say?  What would I write about?  FEAR crept in but the people pleaser in me wanted to be accepted by this group of women so I was willing to do whatever it took to have what they had.

My first blog post “Bullying – The Visible vs the Invisible” was first published on March 29th, 2013.  It was probably the hardest thing I had written up until that point BUT the feedback I got was amazing!  So, I jumped in with both feet and starting writing daily for years.  When my MS flared – my memory and the words became more difficult.  I stepped back to only a few times a week then I actually stopped writing altogether.  There was only so much I could write – who wants to hear about the struggles? Was I really making a difference?  Fear and doubt crept in again.

In January of this year, I decided I would start again.  Once a week was all I could handle.  I would share some tips and on occasion write about life.  It is good for me to get things out.  I figure if my ramblings can help just one person, it is worth it. I’m stepping out in faith instead of letting fear rule in this area of my life.

I have been blessed over the last few months and despite heartache which has come from losing loved ones…. I’m feeling pretty good (minor MS stuff), my ThirtyOne business is thriving and I’m rebuilding key relationships in my life.  God has blessed me beyond my dreams.  God willing, I will celebrate 3 years clean in May.  I have stopped beating myself up (most days) for the mistakes of the past.  I actually like myself (most days) which has helped with the stress eating (not necessarily showing on the scale BUT it is okay). I have found joy in cooking (who would have thought? LOL). I’m looking forward to warmer weather and spending time with hubby working on the yard at the new house and maybe even some mini trips.

What does all of it have to do with blogging??? Probably very little except I found my voice by blogging.  The ability to share feelings which I don’t deal with very well with others. The ability to step out of my comfort zone because when I do, the magic happens.

Do you journal?  Have you thought about blogging?  Blogging has helped my business and me grow personally in so many ways.  I’m always amazed when someone in my pick bubble googles a word or something and my blog or my name comes up towards the top of the list.  If they are finding it so are others, right?  I have gained customers and insiders (aka hostesses) through the link to my blog.  Have a business?  Why not give blogging a try?  Share recipes, share tips & tricks about your products, share how to’s….. just give it a shot.  I’m grateful I took the challenge so many years ago and still do some writing.  It will not be a magic wand of instant success but it will make a difference when you are consistent – monthly, weekly, daily whatever you decide to do.  When you do start (or if you already do) share your link with us…

Here is to another year…. have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Unclutter Your Life

Throwback Thursday – I’d Be Happy If…

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UGH!  I cringe every time I see this picture but it is a constant reminder for me. Yes, it is me at a hefty 295 pounds with my awesome daughter.  This is definitely a #throwback.

This was a period of time in my life when Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie were playing along side me.  My mantra then was always “I will be happy when…..” and as a result I sometimes missed out on things.

Have you every said or even thought these words? Have you started a sentence with “when I am…., I will be happy”? I will be honest and say there are still some days when those thoughts knock on my door.

On my weight loss journey to goal weight, my favorite line was “I’ll be happy when I reach goal weight”.   Guess what?  I reached goal weight and there was no magic wand to make me happy.  When fear and doubt creep into my business, I say “I’ll be happy to make my minimum goal”. OH NO!!!mrbill1

The Universe brings us what we put out there.  Fear and doubt brings more fear and doubt.  The statement “I’d be happy if ….” takes our focus off the blessings we already have and those waiting for us.  We miss out on the moment and no matter what you may think – good, bad or otherwise – the moment is a blessing.

What if you were to change this statement to “I’m thankful for…..”?  Sometimes in the dark it is hard to see the blessings.  Maybe you are struggling with finances, a shaky marriage, addiction, homelessness or (fill in the blank).  There is blessings in them.  Maybe it is a stranger who smiles at you or pays you a compliment.  Maybe it is a friend who drops by unannounced with groceries.  Maybe it is a song on the radio which evokes a pleasant memory.  Being thankful for the smallest thing truly will make a difference in your life.

So, today let’s list what we are thankful for this week. This is my list from 2014 (since this is #TBT) I am thankful this week for:

  • A relationship with God that gives me comfort when I struggle
  • A loving husband who supports me no matter what
  • A loving family who accepts me for who I am along with all of my faults
  • Feeling a little bit better and learning how to manage my IBS
  • Not re-injurying my back during the mini storm last Monday
  • A business that allows me the flexibility to make my own schedule
  • A supportive network (ETTM) of fellow solo-preneurs and network marketers
  • A full March calendar that allows me to share Thirty One with friends and family
  • Only nudging the scale up (1 lb) a little this week. Yes, I would love a loss but as I change my eating habits there will be some changes in my weight. Building a bridge and getting over it!
  • Receiving an unexpected refund check when the checkbook was getting a little low

As I look back and reflect on this past week, here is what I am thankful for now:

  • A relationship with God which comforts me when I struggle (never changes)
  • A loving husband who supports me no matter what (my rock)
  • A loving family who accepts me for who I am along with all of my faults
  • Learning to manage my MS
  • A business which allows me the flexibility to make my own schedule
  • Grateful the scale keeps going down every week
  • A support network who continue to help me stay accountable to my goals.

Don’t think you are blessed?  Think this is all silly?  The truth is a change in your mindset will definitely change your outlook and the results.  Start with the little things you are grateful for: waking up in the morning, no traffic on the way to work, a roof over your head, family, food on the table, a job, and the list goes on.

I could go on and on because I am BLESSED.  When doubt and fear creep in or Negative Nellie or Doubtful Debbie try to pay a visit – I take a gratitude walk. I STOP and start listing all of the things I am grateful at the MOMENT – no matter how large or small. For me, this closes the door on the negative thoughts and helps me to focus on the positive things in my life.

What is your “I’d be happy if” statement? Let’s change it from a negative to a positive…

Here is one of my favorite songs by Laura Story…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, So You Want to be a Leader?

How Do You Parent?

hot messWe are almost 3 weeks into a catalog change, about 1 week into an amazing enrollment opportunity and my office (not even just my desk) looks like a “hot mess”.  For those of you who know me, this is not good!  Health challenges, brain fog and “hot messes” don’t mix well.

I know, you are wondering what this has to do with my question, right?

My “time hop” reminded me of a workshop hosted by ETTW (Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Women) where Caryn Chow was the guest speaker.

Caryn shared that we need to “apply the same skills to your business as you did to raising your children”. That got me to thinking that we need to do the same thing in our relationships.

Here is the acronym that she shared with us:

P = Patience
A = A lot of Love
R = Resilience
E = Endurance
N = Nurture
T = Time Out

In direct sales, this makes so much sense. Many of us think of our team as our kids. They need patience, encouragement and nurturing.  Just as my daughter taught me lessons as she was growing up, my team teaches me everyday.  Let’s be honest, these same characteristics are important in our relationships with other people, especially our spouses, right?

The question is,why is it sometimes much harder in our relationships then in our business?  Love is pretty easy.  In our marriage, we love our spouse or we wouldn’t have gotten married right?  Endurance to continue on even despite nah sayers.  Even when there are bumps in the road personally and professionally, we endure.   Nurturing seems to come naturally for most women. I mean, we take care of everyone else and seldom take time for ourselves, right?

Patience, now that can be a little tougher in both aspects of our life.  Why do we tend to lack patience with our spouse or in our business?  We tend to compare where we are in our lives with where others are in their life.  Social media – a love/ hate relationship that keeps us comparing ourselves with others!

The two things that I struggle most with are “time out” and “resilience”. Sounds crazy right considering that I have endured the roller coaster ride of life.  Taking time out for me (or family) is something that I have struggled with my entire  life. Workaholic Wendy steps in sending the message that I am only worth anything at work!  YIKES!! Did I say that?  Yes, I did.  With the help of hubby, I am learning to take time out to enjoy our moments together without work. Not easy but I am trying.

Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly” or “the ability to spring back into shape“. Yup, that is me!  Bad business month, I spring back kicking it into overdrive.  I have to be careful not to become the “pushy salesperson” and just continue sharing the gift of Thirty One. The recovery process is a lot slower when Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie visit mostly in my personal life. The key is that I do snap back.

Here is another fun acronym

T eaching (telling them)
R ight
A ctions and Attitudes.
I nvolvement (showing them)
N urturing (caring for them)

Telling, showing, and caring– this triple helps you have a successful business and a happy marriage!  So, are you ready to be a PARENT and be a TRAIN-er ? I would love to hear others thoughts on this…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Woohoo Wednesday

What Makes You Special?

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Today is WOOHOO Wednesday and we are going to CELEBRATE your uniqueness or those qualities that make you special.   I was inspired today to talk about this after reading a blog post by Lynette Barbieri.

If I asked you to tell me “what makes you special?“, could you do it?

It would be a struggle for me – shocking for some, I am sure.   Growing up, I didn’t want to be unique – I just wanted to fit in.  I didn’t want to be “special” because that meant that I wasn’t popular.  I didn’t know what was special about me.  I didn’t have that feeling in my gut that told me how great I was.  I wanted to hide in a corner and not be seen.  I lived that way for many years.  Then I started to squash those inner gremlins and embrace the positives qualities that are deep in my core.

In direct sales, I  often hear that you want to stand out from the pack.  I mean with thousands of consultants in your company, why would someone pick you above anyone else.  Why would they stay faithful to you?  I honestly didn’t know.  I always knew that I had a special purpose but I never knew how to express it.  Was being a good listener special?  How about helping others? Or giving to others even when you don’t have it?  I am crafty but is that special?  I can play (or used to) the piano, what is so special about that?

I am learning that all of those things are the qualities that draw people to me.  I am resourceful able to connect people with resources.  I get along with people from all different backgrounds.  I am passionate, and caring.  I want to make people smile.  I have lots of “stuff” (information) in my head but I don’t always know how to share it – just ask and I will share all I know.

The truth is that I may not believe that I have greatness inside of me BUT I DO believe that you have greatness in YOU!

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So, what about you?  What are your strengths?  I know I keep going back to that but when we lock into what those are, it will help us know where we are going.  We have to be willing to take risks to discover our purpose and to achieve greatness.  A life without risk is boring, right?

Maybe you know what your greatness is and you are afraid to share it?  You don’t have to hide it.  You don’t have to deny it.  You don’t have to worry about what other people say or think.  You need to OWN IT!

At a Leadership retreat, my mantra became “Own My Journey“.  Because the truth was that I was trying to follow everyone else’s journey.  I need and so do you to “own your journey” so that we can grow into the people sharing our gifts along with the way.  We all have our own journey.  What other people think is none of our business.

keep calm and sparkle on

As Vanessa Coppes, refers to it “your shining  light”!  By working with both of these ladies, I started to see my shining light and I learned that I need to let it shine more!

So, ladies, never let anyone dim that light.  Remember, life is a marathon not a sprint.

What makes you special? I would love to hear it! Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Blogging

Half Anniversary

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Have you hard the Chinese proverb that says that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”?  That can even be a baby step as long as it is a step forward….

I have been blogging for 2 1/2 years every day.What started as a challenge from Vanessa Coppes, co-founder of the Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Woman has turned into a way to share my vision of empowering woman. My very first blog was personal about bullying  my daughter received in school.  Since that very first blog, I have learned so many things about blogging and growing my business.

So, if you are looking to blog, let me share some of the things that I have learned so far:

  1. Write about something you know.  It should be something that you like. Themes are great if they fit into your vision.  Just don’t write about things because you think it will generate traffic. Your readers will quickly figure out if you are writing a lot of fluff or if you are writing from your heart.
  2. Keywords or as the techies call them SEOs.  Basically that is “search engine options”. which is how you will be found when people are doing a search.  You’ve done a Google search right and the list of hundreds of things appear.  In that list will be some blogs with your keywords in them.  I write as thoughts come into my head – scary, right?  Then I go back and add links and figure out the keywords that can be used BUT that is after the post is done.
  3. Make sure that you proof read and do spell check before you schedule your post.  Bad grammar will take away from you message. Make sure the text is consistent and there are no typos.
  4. I have found that planning out my blog is important.  I may not write the actual blog but I do have ideas jotted down for the next month.  I jot down notes and ideas when I think of them.  I leave them as drafts and then I go back to finish them up or sometimes I will toss them.  Planning ahead will help you be organized.
  5. Organize your posts by category so that it is easy for your readers to find blogs with common subjects.  Use labels, and include a search box that will help readers find what they are looking for. A messy or too complicated to navigate blog will scare readers off.
  6. I like to include pictures that relate to my post.  Why?  Pictures and a catchy title will draw people in.  They get and keep people interested.  PLUS if you use other social media avenues to publicize your blog, pictures are great in news feeds.  Remember that a long text is hard for people to read.
  7. Be sure to include an “about me” section in your blog.  People want to interact with other people, not with machines, so they like to know who is on the other end. Include your photo if you have no problems with that.  I use personal as well as stock photos in my blog.

So, who is ready to start blogging?  If you already have one, post your link below so we can all check it out.  I look forward to adding lots of blogs to my reader board.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!