Hope Inspires, Hope Wissel, Recovery

Anniversaries – Celebrations With Reflection

This past week I celebrated two anniversaries both filled with emotions and the struggle to remember.  Two milestones in my life which changed me forever.

On Friday, hubby and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.  We have been together 18+ years BUT only married 10.  If you know our story, you get it.  🙂

I generally blog about our story BUT this year,  I want to share the gratitude I have for this man.  Our road has been a rocky one – from his commuting for 5 years, to living together to marriage.  It all seems so basic, right?  But add to it – recovery on the road to relapse, a perceived loss of independence, his congestive heart failure, my diagnosis of MS and now his retirement.  Life on life’s terms which is something I’m not really good at.  It has been a true test for both of us of our wedding vows.  He has been my rock on my most difficult days.  I have tested his patience and he has learned how to communicate just a little bit better. We have grown together in so many ways…

As we sat at dinner the other night, the subject drifted to the one question to be sure about a relationship.  I had never heard this and honestly, I was scared. But he continued saying it is “do you bring out the best of each person?”….. Of course I had to know what he thought about us because honestly my memory is awful and fear was creeping in.  My immediate reaction was to feel less than. Not worthy of his unconditional love.  Instead of blurting things out, I prayed to be quiet while he finished.  He said “our life has been a balance –  sometimes we have brought out the best in each other while there are times, we have brought out the worst.  He said it is life but the true test is how you get through it.  We have made it.  WOW!  I didn’t get defensive.  I didn’t try to over analyze.  I just was grateful I kept my mouth SHUT and for how far we have both come. I may have already forgotten much of the night, I pray his words about our life together stay with me forever.

Jump ahead to Saturday and another celebration…. WE HAVE 3 YEARS!  I look back on where I was three years ago… a hot mess on the verge of losing my hubby, a mound of credit card debt, a victim mentality while I isolated feeling less than everyone else, broken emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Appearing confident (often cocky) on the outside while a scared child on the inside.  I had walked this road before and relapse became part of my story.  I had let down my family, my friends but most of all I had let myself down.  The strong confident person was gone.  What was left was a broken, shell of my former self.  Sadly, I didn’t notice it – I thought I hid it well.  I blamed everyone else for what was wrong in my life when the only one who was to blame was me.

As I sit here writing, unable to feel anything but sadness (MS seems to play with my emotions as well as taken my memories) I struggle to remember how bad it was.  Not just this time but the first time (my first clean date was 10/26/91).  Hubby often says, God took the memories because it was too unbearable for me to remember.  God gives me glimpses at times but when it becomes overwhelming for me, they fade and only segments remain.  So instead of struggling to remember, I try each day to be a better person than I was yesterday. Does it always work? NOPE!  I know with God’s help, it will.  I continue to go to meetings – I need to hear the struggles, I need to share my blind faith, I need to be surrounded by people who have been where I have been and I need to remember  “never” should not be part of my vocabulary.

Today, the credit card debt is paid off.  Today, I am trying to connect with local women in recovery.  Today, I accept I am an introvert but it does not mean I need to isolate.  Today, I know my ride & die gals who have been with me since the first night 3 years ago are just a phone call away.  Just for today, I like myself.  Today, I don’t beat myself up over the weight or how I think “I should look”.  My life is blessed in so many ways.  Yes, MS kicks my butt BUT it is not an excuse to go back to those old destructive behaviors.  Living life on life’s terms is not always easy but WE do recovery together.

Thank you to everyone who has walked these many roads with us.  We are grateful for the part you have played and continued to play in our lives.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

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!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Motivation and the Holiday Weekend

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TGIF! Not only is it a Friday but it is the Friday of a holiday weekend.  For some, they are off today or maybe even Monday so that they can enjoy the extra time with friends and family.  Let’s be honest, whether it is the weekend or getting ready for a trip, staying motivated in your business can be tough when you are looking to wrap things up and close up shop for a few days.

When you work for yourself, you can work at your own pace controlling your schedule.  You have the freedom to go after your dreams. If you decide to take an afternoon off and say, no one will know, right?  But will your work suffer? Probably!

So, as I head into the holiday weekend and plan for those summer trips, these are some of the things that I am going to do to keep my direct sales business on track:

Share goals and plans with friends and family.

I don’t know about you but I need to be accountable.  You can easily slack off once in awhile but remember that you are responsible for your own success.  So having friends or family members keeping you in check  will help. You are much more likely to stay on track if you have someone holding you accountable. They aren’t there to track your progress or punish you but just having someone who is aware of your goals helps.  When you share the work you have done and progress you are making, you’ll be motivated to continue pushing yourself!

Think big picture. 

Working my direct sales business full-time and  blogging on the side, I often have way too many things on my to-do list.  Having a game plan for day-to-day tasks is important to getting things done, and sometimes I forget the big picture. For me, the time spend sharing my strengths, hopes and experiences translates to more readers which leads to building more relationships which means I get to continue this crazy adventure!  Focusing on the big picture is much more enticing than seeing each task as an individual chore.  Whatever the big picture is, post it over your workspace so you can remind yourself what you’re really working toward.

Celebrate little milestones

Focusing on the big picture is great, but you need to remember to celebrate successes along the way. Easy, right?  If it is so easy, why is it the one thing that we tend to forget to do? I have to constantly remind myself to CELEBRATE!  Thankfully, I met the Fierce Cheerleader, Eryka Peskin, who reminds me daily to CELEBRATE – the good, the bad and the ugly.  All of it deserves celebration.  Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back when you’ve hit those little milestones.  Share your success with your followers, your customers and your team. I love the idea of a fresh bouquet of flowers for your work desk.  Make sure that you plan ahead which milestones you’re going to celebrate and how you’re going to treat yourself. That way the celebration of the journey will be as much fun as the celebration when you reach your goal/

How do you find motivation when you work for yourself?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!