Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday: PAIN

I can see you now, rolling your eyes and wondering, how can she be thankful for pain……  Is it possible anything good can come from a life with pain?

Whether you live with pain as a result of a chronic illness, addiction, or a physical/mental reason, are you still able to smile?  Is it possible to find happiness after a disease has stolen a career, ended friendships, stolen memories and some days even confined me to the house?   Is it really possible to not fall apart?

I lived through the pain of addiction, relapse and recovery,  I have lived with the pain of MS.  Some would say I do it by living in denial or in some sort of fantasy world I’ve made up in my own head where everything is unicorns and rainbows.  The pain I feel most days is not physical (although I wish it was) it is emotional.  Is it possible for someone to fight addiction, secondary progressive MS and still find purpose in life? Can someone whose life has been striped away; have moments, if not days, of tears; live in confusion not remembering things, continual fatigue and weakness yet find themselves not cursing the world, their disease and everyone or anything?

Is it truly possible to be thankful for a life with pain?

The truth is, pain has helped me to grow as a person.  It has helped me to see “joy” is possible.  I will admit entering into recovery the first and then again after a relapse, the pain seemed immense.  There seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Then hit with the diagnosis of MS after 4+ years of testing, the emotional roller coaster started again.

I wouldn’t know the treasure a smile could bring if I didn’t know the misery of pain. I wouldn’t know the simple pleasures of sitting outside enjoying the weather.  I wouldn’t understand the value of time spent with those I love.  I wouldn’t hold dear those moments of peace I experience if I had never lived through days of chaos and disorder. I wouldn’t appreciate the little things in life, often passed by as nonsense or unimportant by most people if I hadn’t been in a place where those things were all that kept me going.

When the pain is great enough, I am ready to practice gratitude and do some work on me.  In recovery, I know the pain is great as a result of those inner gremlins who keep rearing their ugly heads.  I may have lost LOTS of memories but those inner gremlins sure know when to jump up and make me feel even worse.  I don’t know what the next moment in my life or tomorrow will bring. I don’t know if today will end in tears or laughter. I don’t know if I will have enough strength to fight my way through. I don’t know if my hands or legs will fail me when I need them the most. There are a lot of things I simply don’t know.

There are two things I do know………#1 Using is not an option whether it is a drink or a drug or endless shopping or binge eating.  Going back to doing the things which lead me to more pain and heartache is not an option.  #2 MS will not define me. I used to be brave. I used to be a tower of strength for those around me.  I used to be a mighty warrior. But now…now I’m a warrior with weak ankles, fading memories, and tears in my eyes.

Some days I don’t know if the emotional pain is a result of the relapse or because of the MS.  The two get so jumbled together.  I said for many years, the loose of memories was a result of my addiction when the truth is, it was probably the start of my MS.  The pain of not being able to remain is greater than any physical pain I could ever feel.  Not remembering my childhood is one thing – I mean I’m getting old, right? But when you can’t remember the day your daughter was born, when pictures don’t tigger memories, when you dan’t remember your wedding day which was only 8 years ago…..the emotional pain is great.  Relying on others for their memories of particular events is tough – it is their perspective and not my own.

MS has stripped me of the person I once was.  Addiction, relapse and recovery has shown me glimmers of the me I could become or used to be. I know it sounds weird since I don’t have many memories BUT if I can feel good about me then it is a good day.  Today,  I put my foot down and refuse to sink amidst the swirling tumultuous seas pushing against me. I refuse to quit. I refuse to give up.

Today, the battle I am facing begins in my mind. I am reminding myself and you, I am more than MS (or whatever you are dealing with).  We are more than the pain. We are more than the loneliness, the struggles and the fears. We are true warriors! People may never understand the battles we face (although in recovery there are others who thankfully get us) or see the internal struggles taking place in our lives, we stay in the fight…weak, but grateful for one more day.

Wear your badge of honor, bravery and courage proudly today. Hold your head high. You are a hero…a gutsy, courageous, mighty warrior! You are strong enough. You are brave enough. You are tough enough.

Have a blessed day!

Hope Wissel

In The Eyes of a Child

Today’s is a re-blog of Vanessa Coppes

YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN FROM A MISTAKE IS IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO YOUR ABILITY TO GET OVER IT

Mistakes…We don’t like them, avoid them, blame them on others, run away from them…(sigh) but they happen. I am the first one to admit to imperfection and if I’ve learned anything in my 35 years is this: when a mistake has been made on your behalf, your opportunity to learn from it is in direct proportion to your ability to get over it. 

Quick example: My 5 year old son missed the school bus the other day. He was playing inside his new fort instead of standing by the window like he’s supposed to every morning 5 minutes before pickup time. His excitement to play in his new fort trumped his responsibility to be ready for school on time.

Now,  you may be wondering where was I while all of this was happening…Well, I was standing right there beside him.

See… I set a timer for him in the mornings because it helps us both stay on track. He knows how much time he has to play before school and I know when to crank up the heat. But he and I have had this “morning drama” more often than not. and since I’ve decided to steer clear from drama in my life, I realized he needed a consequence for his choice. I am trying to teach my son awareness and that there are good and bad consequences for the choices you make.

He heard the timer go off indicating him it was time to go, he ignored my request to go stand by the door… and a few minutes later, he heard the bus drive away from our house…all I could hear was a hysterical “NoOoOoOo!!!!!!”

Later that day, he apologized for not listening to me and said something that left in awe, “Mama, I am going to throw this day away and start with a better one tomorrow.” The next morning I did not have to say a word. In fact he was ready before I even asked him to.

Embrace mistakes as lessons in your personal development. Your opportunity to learn from it is in direct proportion to your ability to get over it.

How do YOU handle mistakes?  In my “previous life”, I was hesitant to admit my mistakes for fear of what people would think.  As we count the hours to the deadline for holiday orders, I pray I will embrace any mistakes I make.  When life gets crazy and we are rushed, mistakes happen… the question is, how will you handle it?

When I became a MOM many years ago, I learned it was important to admit my mistakes and take ownership of them.  I didn’t want my daughter growing up putting mom on a pedestal which could topple and crumble, leaving her filled with doubts and heartache.  It was a great learning lesson for me as I embraced my mistakes over the years.  I know it sounds crazy but some of those mistakes have made me the person I am today.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Increase Your Sales

I know, it is getting close to Christmas and Vacation Veronica is ready to creep in.  You know who I mean…. the inner gremlin who tells you  “it is time for you to take a break” or “everyone is shopping at the malls” or any of the crazy thoughts which keep us from moving forward with our business during the busiest selling season of the year.

For me, I am at Day 2 of an event at AT & T in Bedminster.  My first time taking a big event like this in a long time but I am grateful for momma’s help.  A closed event for employees, and vendors.  Okay, so more about how to increase your sales….

No matter what your business, I know there are many of us in direct sales struggling with the same thoughts.  Some are shutting down their businesses getting ready for their own holiday while others are plugging along.  With so many exciting things happening at Thirty One with Customer Appreciation month coming and the NEW Spring Catalog Premiere, I am too excited to be winding down my business yet.  

For many of us, our direct sales business has been changing from home parties to parties dominated by social media.  From Facebook Live to Zoom parties to 31 minute parties to texting parties…. the home party has gone away for many.  I came across a blog by JulieAnne Jones which made me giggle. She starts off with:

I know, I know, your home party plan merchandise sells itself. I’ve heard that a million times from my direct sales clients and friends and I believe it…to a point.

So why does it make me giggle? Because I have said it a million times to potential hostesses when we are talking about booking a “shopping experience”.  Admit it, you have too. We know the “face to face” parties are where things really happen, right?  When people are having fun and you are providing them with solutions to every day problems, they will shop.  Believe it or not, there are ways to provide the same personalized shopping experience on social media but it is for a different blog post…

None of us want to be the pushy sales person BUT you need to be using some sales techniques or you are going to leave money on the table. Okay, maybe not literally but you will miss out on the opportunities in front of you…..

So here are some tips on how to maximize your sales at the end of your home party or at your social media base party.

1. A Wish List. This is a great way for your guests to keep track of the items they like and helps with checkout. Getting customers to tell you what their favorite products are or what is on their wish list is a great way to help them with the best deals when placing an order, hosting a party or joining your team.  I am going to create a google form for my online parties to not only be able to gather information on the guests but to ask for their “wish list” offering a ticket to be drawn for all who complete the form.  A minimal cost but worth it in the end.

2. Shopping.  Help you guests with shopping whether in person or online.  I have been utilizing the Tag Team version of a Facebook party and my guests loved it.  No need to go to the website.  Be sure you include how to shop in at the end of your presentation or during your social media party.  Make it easy for them.  Be sure to talk about customer specials, shipping times, etc.. This seems like a no-brainer but the truth is sometimes we forget something.

3. Provide a Nordstrom, not a Wal-Mart experience for your guests.  Honestly, this is my favorite thing to do.  Spending one on one time with guests.  I will help them find the best deals so they get the most value for their dollar.  Dedicated time to each customer to answer their questions and help them with choices will increase sales and build relationships which will lead to future bookings and sales.  I have been known to spend 45 minutes on the phone with a customer sending sample shots to them just to ensure they receive exactly what they are looking for in a product.

4. Add-on Products. Solution sets have always been a part of Thirty One’s party experience (as well as many other direct selling businesses) A core product teamed with two other products.  Asking guests if they want the monthly special is easy and usually a welcome reminder according to party guests. Your job is to know your merchandise and catalog so well you can suggest add-on products based on what your customers like (upsell).  A high percentage of people will say yes to relevant suggestions, increasing your bottom line.

So, which one of these tips are YOU going to implement to increase your sales for the rest of the holiday season? Better yet, what is YOUR best tip for increasing sales? Share with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Celebrate and Connect

Out of the Box Gift Ideas

We are just 18 days from Christmas and I see the panic on the faces of many struggling on what to get those on their holiday list.  I will admit, I had those moments looking for the “perfect gift”.  Having moments where I let the inner gremlins step in bashing those out of the box ideas….

Has your gift giving list grown?  Has your office just decided to hold a Secret Santa?  Are YOUR friends looking for gifts for people in their office or do they know someone who is looking to give gifts to their co-workers or customers?

For those of us in direct sales, I know this sounds OBVIOUS but have you approached them about using YOUR products as gifts.  Now, I don’t mean just hand them a catalog to look through, I mean really help them with their gift giving dilemnas.

I offered my customers this year the opportunity to make their Christmas Wish List.   Remember the wish list of your childhood.  The one where you scoured the catalogs and sale papers making a list of EVERYTHING you could possible want then gave it to your parents who shared it with everyone in the family.

Some created their own list of what they wanted and then told family to contact me.  While others, provided me with a gift list and a few words describing person they needed to buy a gift for.  I then made practical suggestions from our product lines for them.  I know you are all thinking – when do I have time to do that in addition to my shopping, work (full and part-time), kids, etc.  The reality is most will not take advantage of it BUT you could start off by offering it to your hostess or those VIP customers who shop year round with you, never missing an opportunity to share your business with others.

Let’s try it with some of our Thirty One products:

  • Busy Mom, Mom Taxi – what about a Thirty One Hanging Traveler Case bag filled with pens, pencils, note paper, crayons, etc. to leave in the car.  Maybe even a few non-perishable snacks for the kids or an energy bar or two for mom. You never have to hunt for a pen or you can keep the kids busy while in the car.

  • Hubby, Mechanic, Car fanatic – How about an Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote filled with everything they would need to take care of their car?  They can keep everything in the trunk – organized so there is still room for the groceries.

dad's car kit

  • College Student – How about a Large Utility Tote filled with everything they would need in an emergency?  Blanket, jumper cables, first aid kit, etc.  Our daughter got one when she started driving. I know, most people have AAA but honestly sometimes they take FOREVER!  In the dead of winter, would it be nice to have a filled bag in the trunk so when a good Samaritan stopped to offer assistance you had the supplies you needed.  How about filling it with snacks along with a gift card or two.  You will be sending them back to school with food to get through those tough nights of studying..

So, have I sparked any ideas?  Are YOU thinking outside of the box?  Some people will think it is tacky to give a gift of the product you sell but think about how special it will be if it is combined with something they would know you picked out just for them.  I mean we all LOVE our products, why not share them with friends, family and co-workers.

What are you doing for “outside of the box” gift giving this holiday season?  I am still looking for a few gift ideas, how about sharing YOUR best company gift idea with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Unclutter Your Life, Weigh to Goal

Will You Shift Your Thinking to Change Your Life?

Life has a way of throwing us curve balls.  One minute all is wonderful and the next we are slammed with challenges which can send us into a black hole.  On this Monday morning, how will you see the world?

Will you be ready to charge into the week or are you already thinking how behind you are or how bad it will be?  You have a choice and what you decide can make the difference in a good week versus a bad week.

I love how my Thursday morning Weight Watcher meeting messages tend to relate to my everyday life.  The topic of “shift your thinking” hit me hard.  Why?  I am continuously guilty of the failing prey to the negative inner gremlins.  I talk a good game but I have moments too when those curve balls send me down the dark path of doom and gloom

So, on this Monday morning when I am headed home from an amazing visit with my daughter in North Carolina – I am fighting the inner gremlins.  I have decided to slam the door on them.  Yes, I may have eaten (and drank) more than normal.  Yes, I may have gained a little weight (or not).  Yes, I may have taken the focus off my business for a little bit.  BUT instead of thinking of the negatives of the trip, I will focus on the positives.  I got to spend an awesome 5 days with my daughter so we could reconnect.  I got to meet new people.  I got to clear my head and get creative in my business.  I got to rest.  All positives I will focus on as I head home.

Your mindset is not set in stone.  Think about how many times during the day you switch from a positive to a negative mindset.  Believe it or not, we do it ALOT!  There are two areas in our lives we need to switch from a “fixed” mindset to a “growth” mindset – our weight loss journey and our business.  What’s the difference in the two mindsets?

A growth mindset lets us see new experiences and challenges as a chance to grow – to learn, to improve and benefit.  I like to think of this a the positive inner gremlins beating the negative ones.

A fixed mindset is when we are not open to new things.  We tend to except things as they are.  Negative thoughts stick in our brains and setbacks seem like mountains we are unable to climb.  As a result, we continue to do the same thing expecting different results.

When we are ready to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, we unleash positive powerful changes.  The weight starts to come off, your business starts to grow.  We develop skills which will help us to not only make healthier decisions but will also help us to succeed in life!  Our growth mindset allows us to reflect on our slips or mistakes and learn from them while moving forward.

Why do I relate the two – weightless and growing your business?  Because  the journey for me has been linked to the same negative inner gremlins.  If I am feeling bad in one area of my life, the other seems to suffer as a result.

So, how do we shift to a growth mindset?  We need to stomp to the inner gremlins and here is a way to do it:

Fixed Mindset:  “I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this (lose weight or make money in my business).  It’s so hard!  I don’t think I can keep going.”  See the negative inner gremlins feeding and growing stronger.

Reality Check:  “This is a challenge and I’m not sure how long I can keep going, but I won’t ever know if I stop now”.  This is where we make the conscious decision to try.  To give it one more day/week/month to eat healthy.  To give the business one more month to see if I can make money.

Growth Mindset:  “This challenge has been tough but if I continue to make small changes and try to keep going, I know I can do it”  Focus on the accomplishments – big or small.

I challenge you to start this week with a growth mindset, will you accept the challenge.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!