Business Tips and Tricks

Work Smarter

I have always struggled with the concept,”working smarter”.  I think it is finally starting to sink in…. since I have my own business.  Over the last week or so, I have been talking to friends in direct sales who have been feeling overwhelmed and stressed.  Some because of life while others are learning to find a balance between home, work, business and family.

Working my Thirty One business full time can sometimes feel like I am spinning my wheels.  Now if I could lose weight while doing it, it would be perfect but sadly, it just seems I spin my wheels and get stuck in non-productive activities.

Building a direct sales business (or any business really), doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful.  The best part of direct sales, is the ability to make your own hours so whether you have a few hours a week or several hours every day to work your business, you want to be able to get results and reach your goals, right?

So, since you aren’t loosing any weight by spinning those wheels, why not try these five ways to work smarter in your direct sales business (or with any goal).

#1. Know your goals & break them down into action steps.

The best way to work smarter is to actually know what your goals are and the activities you need to be doing to reach them. I am great for saying I want to make “$1000 or more per month income from my business” or “I want to promote to Senior Director” but knowing what the steps are to get there are not always as easy.  Saying it is great.  The truth is you need to break it down into smaller milestones and activity goals so you know what to focus on each day, week & month to reach them. Sometimes it is easier said then done.

How many parties/shows/demos will it take per month?  How many customer orders?  Of course recruiting plays a big part, so how many do you need to add to your team?  Honestly when breaking down my goals, I focus on things I have control over.  Yes, team sales play a factor because I can’t control what someone else does in their business.  Break down your goals, how many parties or customer orders do you need each month? How many active team members do you need to promote?  Once you have the monthly activities,  you can break them down even further to weekly goals and daily activities.

#2. Work your Business Like a Business.

I know you have heard it 1,000 times.  If you want to earn the income of a business, you have to treat your business like a business.  If you have a “day job”, think about the things you do going into work on a regular basis to earn a paycheck.  Yes, it is the same with a direct sales business. Your business is “flexible BUT NOT optional”.  You still have to put in the hours and work to have a paycheck and grow your business.  Create a schedule to work your business which fits into your current lifestyle and family.

#3. Focus on Income Producing Activities.

This is an area I struggle in.  Now you have a schedule, you are ready to treat your business like a business by learning where to focus your limited time. I sometimes find myself wasting time on things which don’t generate income or move me closer to reaching my goals. Social Media can be a time sucker.  Re-creating tools and training can be a waste of time.  What are income producing activities?  Things which lead to a cash transaction like customer orders, parties, recruiting and team building. You should focus 80% of your time on direct marketing, follow up, building relationships, holding parties, recruiting, and helping your team build their business.

#4. Set up Streamlined Systems

Systems equal success & less stress. I can attest to this since I have set up a system which seems to work, at least with follow-up.  I am still a work in progress for hostess coaching.  Don’t have a system?  Start by writing all the things you do in each area of your business.  Now, write down the ones you should be doing but aren’t.  Where can you batch similar tasks together to save time?  Can you delegate activities?  How about automated emails or training videos or documents with frequently asked questions you can refer people to?  With these things, you can streamline the processes in your business so you don’t jump around or or miss out on important steps in your business.

#5. Develop a mindset of success & stop procrastinating.

Don’t let your fears rule your thoughts. Don’t let procrastination hold you back.  Don’t make excuses.  Procrastination is the #1 killer of productivity.  It is a form of fear. It means stepping out of your comfort zone.  YIKES!  Scary stuff, right? The only way to overcome procrastination is to make a real commitment to reaching your goals.  Have a plan, have set goals with activities and have an accountability partner to connect with to help you stop procrastinating.

Basically, ask yourself these three question before you do any activity:

  1. Is this going to get me closer to my goals?
  2. Will this make the best use of my time?
  3. Does this honor my mission in life & business?

If the answer is yes, go for it!  What is keeping you from reaching your goals?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Working for Yourself

Today, I am off sharing Thirty One at the Family Wellness & Beauty Day at Shido Martial Arts in Freehold, NJ.  All monies raised from the $10 tickets will be donated to We’re Kickin It AntiBullying Program.  I can do things like this because I am my own boss!

When I first went to work, I never wanted to be my own boss but as I got older, had my daughter and saw what I was missing as a single mom – that changed.  I took the skills I learned in grants management for a non-profit and opened my first business “H.O.P.E. Consultants”. I worked for 4 years while my daughter was in High School as my own boss.  Then I found a grassroots non-profit that I wanted to help so I joined the Monday-Friday workforce again.  After 6 years, I left that job that I LOVED (and hated – LOL) to go back into business for myself as a Direct Sales Consultant.  Why?  The freedom to make my own hours and no commute to work far outweighed the cons to owning your own business.  

Here is an portion on an article that was in Forbes about What to Expect When You Work For Yourself…

So do you have what it takes to be your own boss? Here are some hurdles you will certainly face if you decide to go off on your own:
Obstacle: It’s Just You:   If you become a sole proprietor or member of a small business, all responsibilities fall on you. Or maybe it’s not just you; perhaps you’ll have new employees or interns to manage, and this might be new territory. You’ll also be managing your own schedule, which can be difficult if you’re used to structure. You might be able to adapt to these changes, but personality can play a large role in what you’re comfortable with. Personally, I’m a bit of a control freak so I love having a hand in every aspect of our business. Time management took a bit longer to master, but I now know how to maximize my productivity.  Advantage: It’s just you! No more office politics, micromanagement, or working for someone who doesn’t appreciate you– the list goes on and on.
Obstacle: Blending Your Work Life with Your Home Life:  Most people enjoy that an office job gives them the ability to, both physically and mentally, leave their work at the office. This can be tricky to maneuver if you’re now working in your home, and could also be an obstacle for those you live with. You may benefit from renting a separate office space, but this isn’t always practical. After years of working from home, setting up a separate area for our books and “office” has helped us to stay more organized. It also prevents our business from intruding into every aspect of our personal lives– for the most part.  Advantage: No commuting! And blending might not be bad at all if you build your business around something you’re personally passionate about.
Obstacle: You Will Work Longer and Harder Than Ever Before:  You’’ve probably heard entrepreneurs say “I work from the minute I wake up until the minute I go to sleep.” It may not be like this all the time, but for the most part, it is absolutely true. It will be especially true in the beginning, as you’ll need to do whatever it takes to get your startup going.  Advantage: You will work longer and harder, but it’s ultimately for your own gain. Nothing is more satisfying than that! While you will make time sacrifices, you’ll also have more flexibility. I’’ve gotten over the fact that I will work during every Super Bowl for the foreseeable future (and I am a huge football fan!) because I have a trade show that weekend every year. But even though I work most weekends and many holidays, I ultimately have the ability to change my schedule when I really need to.
There are certainly sacrifices toward owning your own business, but for successful entrepreneurs, the advantages far outweigh the difficulties.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!