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!

 

 

Blogging

Blogging for Business

Are you scared to blog?  Are you wondering how blogging can help your business?  I will admit, I am not an expert BUT I do know as a result of blogging daily for over 4 years (OMG!) I have made a difference which is my purpose personally and in my business.

A simple challenge from Vanessa Coppes of ETTM, changed my life.  On those days I want to quit, I go back to the emails I received from readers and customers to see how something I shared has helped them.  Do I struggle some days finding a topic? YES!  Do I wonder if anyone actually reads them?  YES!  It is the occasional comment or message from a friend or reader which keeps me going, wanting to write more and share more.  I am always amazed how many people actually read my blog!  It is humbling to think people read AND share it with friends, family and team members.

The Sales MOMS Network actually did a story on Blogging for Direct Sales“.  There are some great suggestions in there on how to get started if you are in direct sales and are considering blogging.  It can be a little scary at first but the benefits far outweigh the scare factor.  They also shared a blog on “The 7 Tips of Basic Blogging”.

I remember the first time Deb Bixler included my name in a tweet – I was shocked, honored and for those who know me – yes, I cried just a little but they were tears of joy.

I know my blog is all over the place.  I go from talking about my business to sharing personal health struggles to organizing tips and product spotlights.  I have heard pros and cons about the best way to blog – focused versus general.  Most days, my blogs are about what I need to hear and I hope some where along the way, it helps someone else.

Are you considering blogging?  What have you got to loose, right?  Will it give you instant business?  Probably not.  Will it help you to develop relationships?  Absolutely.  I know for me, it has changed my life.  It has helped me step just a little further out of my comfort zone by sharing sides of myself very few people know.  I LOVE helping others to grow – personally and professionally to be the best they can be.  Remember “You can’t fail if you don’t stop BEFORE you SUCCEED.” Wise words from Mary Christensen.

I challenge each of you to move the walls of your comfort zone so you can grow.  If it isn’t blogging, maybe it is picking up the phone and making calls. Or is it sharing the gift of your business with someone you don’t know?  Whatever the wall is – step beyond it and experience the greatest gift of all – overcoming your own personal FEAR.  I look forward to hearing about the walls you are moving – please share.  If you are blog or are starting a blog – share your link below so we can all check it out.

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!

Budgeting, Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms

5 Steps To A Fun Date Night On A Budget


This is a blog originally written by Lynette Barbieri

Spending a small fortune on date night isn’t going to make the night any more memorable – except when the bill arrives. There are plenty of ways to have a wonderful night out for any occassion without blowing your budget. Here are some ideas:

1. Go somewhere new – Visit that museum you’ve always been intending to get to but never seem to have the time. Take a boat or scenic train ride. Catch a play or romantic movie you both have been wanting to see. Getting out and doing something new, especially for harried parents, helps your relationship keep going strong.

2. Whip up something romantic – Fix your sweetheart his or her favorite meal. And even if you’re not known as the most enthusiastic of chefs, Chicken parmesan and a no bake chocolate cake are way easier than they look. Make something that allows you to do most of the prep work ahead of time and finish at the last minute. This is where those Internet cooking channels can come in handy.

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3. Make it a day out – If it’s warm where you are, consider a picnic at your favorite park or at the beach or pool. This is a picnic you’ll want to do up right with an old style wicker basket, champagne, fruits, pickles, delicious sandwiches, veggies with dipping sauce, cake, and good chocolates. Bring along some romantic music and a thick blanket on which to put everything – including yourselves. Don’t forget the bottle of wine.

4. Trip the light fantastic – Have a romantic dinner at home, and then head out to dance the night away. If one or both of you aren’t big on dancing, a couple of hours of ballroom dance lessons could be a romantic and new experience. There are Internet specials galore for introductory dance lessons. You can go to the gym, hike together, or a simple walk by the beach could work too.

5. Start the day right – The perfect day starts with the always trusty breakfast in bed. Think how pleased your loved one will be to wake up to the aromas of freshly brewed coffee, warm apple muffins, crispy bacon, and fluffy omelets. Especially if that loved one happens to be you!

Having fun doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Don’t forget to use coupons too. You can get discounts on dinner, movies, activities and more. Remember paying yourself first is the #1 rule of the money game!

Thank you Lynette for these great tips.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!