We are coming to the end of a “J month”…. one of those months when people don’t typically spend. It includes June and July too. I’m grateful Thirty One set us up for success with an AMAZING outlet sale at the beginning of the month. Did I have incredible sales? NO! Did I beat last year’s numbers? NO! Did I panic and think about quitting? NO! I didn’t but some on my team did – they saw incredible success during the holiday selling season and in just 2 short weeks, they were ready to throw in the towel.
Whether you are in direct sales or have your own business there are times you may have felt like everything is going against you? You tried everything and nothing worked, right? Maybe instead of your business growing, your business (and your confidence) was shrinking? Been there, done that and got the t-shirt! Have you ever wondered why you’re doing this at all? Have you ever felt like throwing in the towel and calling it quits?
Believe it or not, you aren’t alone. I have felt the same way over the past 8 years and especially when health issues flared up. I’ve been self-employed (only income) for 2 plus years. It has its highs and lows but even when I feel like quitting, I know things will even out, settle down and start working again if I simply hang on.
How do I know? Because I’ve seen it work the same way time and time again, for myself and for others. I have faith in the foundation I laid in my business. I know there is no success without failure, no confidence without fear and no rewards without sacrifice. It’s part of the process. Do I still have fear and doubt? Absolutely! Honestly, it is one of the reasons for my word this year is “COURAGE”! As difficult as it is, we need to learn to trust the process, growing through our difficulties instead of giving up.
Here are 4 things I have learned about working through difficult times in your business (and life):
1. Take a step back and rest. When I am feeling overwhelmed and like nothing is going right, I simply take a step back. Crazy, right? It is usually a key sign I need to give myself some space and time to rest, renew and refresh. Despite our best efforts, we can’t pour from an empty cup. We have to take care of ourself first before we can take care of our business and others. The “people pleasing” me wants to help everyone so I definitely struggle with this concept. When things are the toughest or we are smack in the middle of a difficult situation, all we can see is what is in front of us. We don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. So, when it happens – take a short break. I have found when I take a step back and get out of the mix, I can actually see the bigger picture. The creative side kicks in with new ideas and a glimpse at the light at the end of the tunnel. .
2. Go back to your vision & your why. One of the worst parts of my MS is not remembering – not only do I not have memories of important times in my life BUT I tend to forget my “why” or have a link to the emotional aspect of it. The truth is, when you take your eyes off your why, your vision or your goals, you’ll start to get off track and before you know it, end up in a ditch of despair. Revisit your vision, if it doesn’t resonate anymore, create a new vision board, new goals and a new plan for success. Take some time to write out your 30 day or 90 day or 12 month vision for your life and business. Reconnect with what makes you feel excited and passionate and purposeful. Keep focusing on your goals, don’t look in any direction but straight ahead.
3. Get out of your head and get into momentum. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear while action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie After you take a break and refocus on your vision, take action. Don’t overthink the action you take. Yup, that’s me. I want to overthink EVERYTHING. Or I should say, I want to fix, manage and control everything. It is a real internal battle for me some days to do something positive to move my business forward. When I’m struggling, I focus on an area which comes easy to me, one I enjoy and can get some quick results and wins (sales) with. Why start there? With a sense of accomplishment, you get the momentum going so you feel more positive about your business.
4. Reach out for help and support. I need to practice what I say instead of what I do….I’m learning AGAIN to reach out and ask for help. Another lesson as a result of my relapse. Everything feels worse when we try to handle it by ourselves. Always being expected to be the “rock” clouded my thinking and often causes me not to reach out for help. The truth is we don’t have to go through the tough times alone. Reach out to a team member, your up-line, a fellow direct sales sister, a friend, or a family member. Despite those nasty inner gremlins, we are not the only person to have struggles and it doesn’t make us any more brave to try to get through it by ourself. Be willing to accept support, encouragement and help. In doing so you can make some great connections, friends and accountability partners. You will also realize others go through the same struggles, so you will be able to learn and gain confidence from their experiences.
You aren’t alone. We are all on the same journey, just at different places with different stumbling blocks and paths we are going down. Keep going because there are brighter days ahead.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!