Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Are You Making Money?

Happy Hump Day!  I am sure that if I were to ask many of my friends in direct sales if they were “making money”, their response would be “of course” at which point they would tell me about all of the incentives they have earned, the free products and the nice commission checks.  I guess the real question is, “At the end of the year, does your business have a profit or a loss?”  Honestly, I am a hot mess when it comes to doing bookkeeping – the pile grows with receipts, notes, paid invoices, etc that need to be entered into my excel spreadsheet so I know if I have at a profit or a loss.  Budgeting has never been one of my strong points.  In preparation for the busy holiday season and the upcoming end of the fiscal year – yes, I am planning for tax time – I thought I would talk a little bit about money and budgets.  Some may walk away because “they got this” and I would ask that they share their tips with us so that we can ALL GET THIS!

I was never good with a budget so credit card debt and living paycheck to paycheck was a way of life for MOST of my adult life.  Of course, add in an addiction being a single parent and working for grassroots non-profits to the mix and I could easily justify the financial mess.  It seems so strange that I could easily manage agency money, do budgets, ensure that we did not overspend on those budgets and stretch dollars when I couldn’t do it in my personal life.  Now, I am married to a PLANNER – plans for the future, plans for a time when there may be a lapse in income, has savings – UGH!  Alright God, I get the message!

I took a course offered at our church called Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey.  The course helped ALOT when I had a regular paycheck.  Bills were getting paid and I actually saw a light at the end of the tunnel. Then life happened – I got complacent in my budgeting, started with Thirty One and went on a shopping frenzy to have EVERYTHING, left my full-time job of 5 years due to a 20 hour a week commute – BUSTED!  Budget went down the tubes.

So, part of my preparation for this busy season of selling was to get BACK on track with my budget.  I found several great articles and blogs that might help you too.  A fellow blogger who is also a H.O.T. (Husband of a Thirty One) shares about their families experiences with Budgeting for Direct Sales.  Dave Ramsey has some great budgeting forms on his website that are simple and easy to do.  I love his quote “When you spend your money on paper and on purpose each month with a written budget, you’ll actually experience more freedom than before!”

I ask you again – are you making money?  Do you actually know how much your business is costing you or are you going to have sticker shock at the end of the year when you do your taxes?  I would love to hear your suggestions and comments.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

A Doubtful H.O.T.

Today’s post is a combination of personal struggle and business information.  Honesty is the best policy and this blog is full of it.  I am hoping that it will help others who may be struggling with the same things in their business.  Rob and I married a little over two years ago after a LONG engagement and after finding each other again after almost 30 years.  Rob had been married before so he is used to the “marriage” thing and being the head of a household.  I on the other hand was an independent, single mom who tended to be a workaholic and a shopaholic.  To say the least, some days our two worlds collide especially when it comes to my Thirty One business.  Don’t get me wrong, Rob supports my efforts but doesn’t hesitate to remind me that I sometimes work it like a hobby instead of a business.  OUCH!

Having come into our marriage with some debt (and he has none), my biggest goal is to be able to have financial freedom and TREAT hubby to a trip where I get to pay for EVERYTHING as a result of my Thirty One business!  I have found that sharing ALL aspects of my business (the good, the bad and the ugly) does not always make for a supportive hubby.  His gentle reminder that this is a business, usually comes when I am sharing some idea that will cost more than he can see the return on as far as profit.

My FIRST lesson (still struggle with) is that I must be selective in sharing all of the details.  If he only hears me complain about the lack of parties, struggles on my team, etc – he will begin to doubt the feasibility of this being a full-time business.  Sharing about the FREE products is not necessarily a plus either.  I am sure there are many husbands who can compartmentalize the areas of their wives business but mine is clearly the facts only!  Sales vs profit margin.  If this is your hubby too, find an accountability partner who shares some of the same struggles and goals as you so you can work as a team to reach your individual goals.  I have a few women in my Thirty One upline who share this same struggle so I am learning to share with them while leaving the facts for hubby.

Lesson TWO was about EXPECTATIONS.  Sometimes Expectant Eddie jumps on the band wagon when I am struggling with things.  He gets me all confused expecting things from my hubby that is not going to happen.  Rob is a private person and expecting him to become H.O.T. (Husband of Thirty One) is not going to happen.   Expecting Rob to understand all of my crazy “thinking out of the box” ideas – is usually not going to happen.  Once I let go of that expectation, life is so much easier.

Believe it or not, I didn’t find a lot of articles on this kind of struggle.  There is information on How Family Can Help You Start Your Business from Direct Selling Education Foundation.  I even read an article from another blogger – Husband of a Proverbs Thirty-One Wife that actually gave me some great facts to share.  Still none of them addressed the skepticism that can come in the early years of building your business, especially in direct sales.   If anyone has some good articles, please share them with all of us.  Please don’t misunderstand, I do LOVE that Rob reminds me that this is a business even if the reminder does sting sometimes.

Time to get back to filling my September calendar.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.