Unclutter Your Life

How Do You Unplug?

why unplug

Today I am sitting at Jersey Shore Medical Center waiting patiently (ok maybe not) for hubby to have his procedure and head to a room.  I was in this same spot 7+ years ago.  The only difference is, this time is a battery replacement which they say is a simple procedure.  I know, what does this have to do with being unplugged right?  Well, I might be more plugged in today to pass the time but as soon as he is out of surgery, I am unplugging.

When was the last time you totally UNPLUGGED from technology?  A scary thought, right?  I used to think it was impossible.  I have my own business and I rely on social media and technology for a large portion of it.  What happens if……?

A million reasons run through your mind as to why you should NOT unplug, right?  What did we do BEFORE technology took over our lives.  I used to call people until I got someone on the phone or if they had a machine, I left a voice mail.  The truth is business survived and thrived, right?

The last time I totally unplugged was on our cruise in 2011.  By totally, I mean no cell phone or internet.  No communication with anyone who wasn’t on the trip.  After the first 24 hours (always the roughest), I actually didn’t think about technology.  I enjoyed the trip and the people around me..

I haven’t totally unplugged for a long time, I have changed the way I look at technology and its effect on my life.  My obsession with my phone is a habit I developed during my relapse – a way to escape and turn off the people around me.  Did I know it then?  NOPE!  I justified it in a million different ways.  Now, I struggle with putting down the iPad.  LOL.  I started during puzzles and word games to help with my cognitive issues with my MS but it isn’t long before I am moving into scrolling Facebook or checking email.

What effect does technology have on your life?  I bet A LOT of the requests for your time, your money, and your energy come to you digitally, right?  Probably mostly via email as well as messages on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networking sites.  And it is stressing you out. It’s distracting. And worst of all you suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).  I know I am not alone in this.  I have always said “there is no PURSE (substitute your product/company/business) emergency”.  So it was time I finally practiced what I preached.

Yes, I used to check email in the middle of networking meetings; while stopped at red lights; in the middle of dinner with my family; and as soon as my eyes popped open in the morning.  I used to hate to have any notifications showing on my phone. Yup, all part of the obsessive/compulsive life.

I was afraid. Afraid of missing out:on booking a party or the next big potential customer or potential team member; or maybe someone on my team had a question. I was afraid of just not being “in the know” or worse yet, them going elsewhere. Crazy, right?  The truth was (and still is some days) is I didn’t like myself enough to spend time with me so why would anyone else want to.  A harsh reality which has come from recovery.  As a result, I buried myself in social media where I could be who I wanted others to see – sometimes not letting them see the real me.

If you are in direct sales, thing about it…. who would want to join your team if we are  always accessible?  If your obsession is just with everyone else’s life, maybe unplug to spend some time exploring yourself and the beauty around you. Here are some tips for unplugging and re-claiming your life.

unplugfromtech-1024x1005

#1 – I removed all notifications from my phone – the apps are still there but the only notifications I get are text messages.  My family does a lot of texting so it is a good way to connect with them long distance.

#2 – My phone is usually on “do not disturb except for my favorites”.  This keeps me focused on enjoying time with those I am with instead of grabbing the phone every time it rings.

#2 – I start my morning with devotions and a smoothie – social media comes later.

#3 – I don’t have multiple tabs open on my computer.  I try (sometimes I don’t succeed) in only checking email and social media periodically.  I actually am more productive.

What do you do to #UNPLUG?

Have a blessed day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Business Marketing

better together

It is Friday and for many of my Thirty One sisters, they are headed to National Conference in Columbus Ohio.  This is  my favorite time of year for so many reasons but the BIGGEST one is that as Thirty One sisters, we are better together.  Together we celebrate our achievements.  Together we encourage each other through the hills and the valleys of our business.  Together we reward each other with hugs and high fives.  Although I have always been a team player, working solo (especially in my grant writing days) seemed to be my favorite mode of working – that is so different now.  I thrive when I am surrounded by the love and support of my Thirty One sisters.  I will be with you in spirit this year as I celebrate, encourage and reward you from a distance.

I started thinking about some other things that are better together like peanut butter & jelly, wine & cheese and sugar & spice.  Then I start thinking about the different ways that we can market our business.  I know a strange transition but it happens that way some times.

For many in direct sales, we have lean business budgets because our goal was to make money when we joined NOT spend it right?  But we need to keep ourselves front and center with our potential customers.  What makes them think of YOU when they are ready to buy?  Is it that they carry your products or use them on a daily basis?

 

Here are some inexpensive ways to advertise your business when you are out and about:

 

1. iPad, iPhone or laptop “skin”

I think this is a great idea.  I am always either on my iPhone or my iPad.  My phone currently has a plain cover and doesn’t tell anyone what I do.  My iPad is the same.  I am going to create a skin for my iPad and cell phone, so no one will miss a chance to know what I do.  I mean I usually wear a Thirty One shirt and I ALWAYS am carrying a Thirty One bag but by using my visual brand, what a great conversation starter!

 

2. Social media

Everyone is on social media – all or some but at least one if they are in business.  There is Facebook, Twitter and YouTube which offer space to say who you are and what you do. Then there is Periscope and LinkedIn.  Personally, why not use these platforms as an opportunity to remind your friends and family what you offer?  How about using business images or sayings on your profile headers, add photos of you at work (everyone loves a party), your company logo or a recent company training, instead of a photo of your dog or a pretty sunset.  I think personal things are important too but there should be a 80/20 split on your personal page.  Remember sharing is caring.

3. Social events

Step out of your comfort zone which can mean getting out of your current networking circles. Scary, right?  Find new events where media and decision-makers are mingling which might earn you some free publicity.  Get involved with causes that are near and dear to your hear.

 

4. Video

This is becoming something that I am more comfortable with the more I do them.  Practice makes perfect, right?  The use of video is growing every minute.  Make them short and to the point.  Think about the videos that you watch and what makes you click them or not.  Have real world videos like your team at work and play, highlight product demonstration or give virtual tours of your office.  Things that would let people get to know you and your company product.  I am doing videos on my Facebook parties and getting a lot of positive feedback.  Thank you to the Tag Team Peeps for their ideas.

 

In the past, it was sell, sell, sell.  Today, it is more about positioning yourself so that customers think of you when opportunities arise.  What is your best tip for sharing instead of selling?

Have  ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel, Unclutter Your Life

#UNPLUG

why unplug

When was the last time that you totally UNPLUGGED from technology?  I know that may be scary to some and I thought it was totally impossible.  I mean I have my own business, I rely on social media and technology for a large portion of it.  What happens if……?

A million reasons run through your mind as to why you should NOT unplug, right?  What did we do BEFORE technology took over our lives.  I used to call people until I got someone on the phone or if they had a machine, I left a voice mail.  The truth is business survived and thrived, right?

 

The last time that I totally unplugged was on our cruise in 2011.  By totally, I mean no cell phone or internet.  No communication with anyone that was not on the trip.  After the first 24 hours (the roughest), I actually didn’t think about technology.  I was enjoying building relationships with people face to face.

Although I haven’t unplugged completely in a long time, I have changed the way that I look at technology and its effect on my life.

 

So what’s the effect of technology on your life?  I bet A LOT of the requests for your time, your money, and your energy come to you digitally, right?  Probably mostly via email as well as messages on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networking sites.  And it is stressing you out. It’s distracting. And worst of all you suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).  I know that I am not alone in this.  I have told my team and others in direct sales “there is no PURSE (substitute your product) emergency”.  So I finally took my own advice.

Yes, I used to check email in the middle of networking meetings; while stopped at red lights; in the middle of dinner with my family; and as soon as my eyes popped open in the morning.  I used to hate to have any notifications showing on my phone.

I was afraid. Afraid of missing out: on booking a party or the next big potential customer or potential team member; or maybe someone on my team had a question. I was afraid of just not being “in the know” or worse yet, them going elsewhere. Crazy, right?

Here are some tips for unplugging and re-claiming your life.  Honestly, who would want to join our direct sales business if we are always accessible?  Is there really a “purse emergency”?

unplugfromtech-1024x1005

I have removed all notifications from my phone – the apps are still there but the only notifications that I get are text messages.  My family does a lot of texting so it is a good way to connect with them long distance.  I start my morning with devotions and coffee – social media comes later.  I don’t even have multiple tabs open on my computer when I am working so I only check email periodically along with Facebook.  I actually am more productive.

What will you do to #UNPLUG?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Celebrate and Connect, Hope Wissel

Holiday Marketing

The week after Thanksgiving and my email inbox is overflowing with all kinds of offers and suggestions on what to get everyone on my Christmas list.  Most of them I delete while others I may glance out briefly to see if there is really anything that I or anyone on my list needs.  In most cases, nothing has jumped out at me.  In the midst of all of this, I have been thinking about what I am offering my customers this holiday season.  Are they just glancing at my emails and hitting the delete button?  Are they thinking about ordering and then they lose focus?  Here are some ideas from “the self-employed.com” website:

  • Offer Holiday Bundles – not only will you increase sales and your commission check (if you are in direct sales) but it provides a discount to your customers.  There are many talented consultants with Thirty One who design bundles every month with the monthly customer special.  You can check out some of them on my Facebook Page.  I also have a VIP group for my customers and hostess where I am offering the 12 Days of Thirty One Christmas.  Each day has a different special available for that 24-hour period.
  • Upsell Stocking Stuffers – you know that little something to add to a person’s stocking. Most direct sales companies have items that are $5 or less that are perfect for this.  Thirty One has rosettes ($5) , nail files ($2), Key FOB ($5), and custom address labels ($5). You could bag your stuffer up in a small timeless memory pouch ($5) and then wrap the present in the larger matching pouch.  Additional sales – bigger commission check.  The little things add up.  These smaller items are also perfect for teacher’s gifts, secret Santa or just a little something to give that surprise guest over the holidays or throughout the year.

I use Facebook and am now starting to use Linked In to expand my network circle.  Social media is HUGE now with everyone posting their company specials and looking to attract new or more customers.  Honestly, I am not sure if there is a tried and true way to make the most of the holiday shopping season without getting somewhat lost in the shuffle.

The greatest success comes from building relationships with your customers.  Remember those customers that always wait until the last minute to order – call them, remind them of the deadline to make sure they don’t miss out.  Have a wish list from a hostess or customer, ask her who you could contact on her behalf.  This is a HUGE help for those husbands who never know what to get their wives.  I even have “HINT, HINT Honey” pictures for wives to share with their hubby or special someone.

Off to make some phone calls to ensure that my customers receive their orders by Christmas.  What have you been doing to stand out from the crowd this holiday season?  Share your ideas with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Entrepreneurial Think Tank for Moms, Hope Wissel

Linked In or Out

On my quest to expand my social media skills, I have decided that my next “conquest” will be LinkedIn.  I know you are all probably asking yourself “why” or “what is the big deal” but for me it is a conscious decision to expand my network of contacts in a professional business arena.  I tried Twitter but I just could not commit to the constant tweeting or limit the amount of  words or characters.

So, having already taken a class with fellow ETTM members, I figured it was time to put my foot to the pavement and take ACTION!  How funny that just about the same time I make this decision, I received a link for an article from Entrepreneur.com about the “3 Ways you Might be Screwing Up Your Linked In Account” so I figured I might as well check it out…

Mistake 1: Having an unprofessional or awkward profile picture. Or not having one at all.  Thankfully, I have a semi-professional picture on my LinkedIn profile page.   It was taken at an ETTM conference but with the specific purpose of using it for my social media pages.  Not my best picture but it definitely looks more professional than the last cropped picture.  What about you – do you have one?  If you want to BRAND yourself, you need to have a picture where you look friend and approachable.

Mistake 2: Not having any recommendations.  To me recommendations and endorsements can be synonimous.  You want to have people vouch for your skills, and with no recommendations and /or endorsements, it appears to the general public that no one will vouch for your experience, skill sets or specialities.  I have very few actual recommendations but I am gathering endorsements which I think are just as good – what do you think?

Mistake 3: Not adding live links to your work history.  WOW!  I would have never thought of this.  I mean I do have links to my blog, and my Thirty One website but I never thought about including other links.  This article points out that links give creditability to the things that you say you have done including that you did them well.  This brings up a tough decision for me since I am really not interested in going back into my old career (COO of a non-profit or grant writing).  Do I include this work, or leave it out?  The vote is still out on this…

What have I learned?  My profit on LinkedIn isn’t bad – not jump off the page, call me today kind stuff but passable.  Do I want it to have a WOW factor? Of course, who doesn’t, right?  So, I will continue to post my blog on LinkedIn as well as daily “Brighteners” that bring encouragement to others.  I WILL NOT post sales brochures but I will share the benefits of our Thirty One products that may help someone.

If you are active on LinkedIn, what is your best tip? Share it with us so we can all expand out networks in an effort to grow our businesses.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!