Business Tips and Tricks

Home Business or Hobby?

It is Monday morning and the last week to get Thirty One’s Summer Essential Enrollment Kit to start your own business for just $50.  Are you wondering whether you want to be a true home business owner or just a hobbyist?

The truth is not everyone has the same goals. Some people treat their business as a business and others dabble basically running a fun hobby.  You can do either one which is why direct sales is perfect for everyone.  If you want to truly run a home business which leads to financial success, you need to know the difference between the two!

There are five questions which can help you determine which category you are in – true home business or hobbyist.

1. Do you have a plan of action?

Although having a successful home business can be flexible, you need to have a plan. The plan needs to include what needs to be done and when.  It can also include plans for marketing, knowing your competition, and follow-up.  Customer specials, hostess benefits and company incentives are usually set up by the company so you will just need to include these in your plan when they are announced.  Have a plan on what you are going to do to grow your business?  Contacts?  Parties? Fundraisers?

2. Do you have a schedule?

Remember I said, your business can be flexible?  It is BUT you need to work at your business on a consistent schedule.   Set aside time in your day – EVERY DAY- to work your business in a profit producing way.  Have you scheduled and SHARED your “office hours” with your loved ones and your customers?  Remember working your business doesn’t include reading emails, checking Facebook, blogging, etc – these are all time-consuming activities to help maintain your business.  Working your business ONLY includes actual person-to-person interactions, such as making sales calls, booking parties, setting up recruiting appointments, Hostess Coaching, pink bag calls, etc.

3. Do you have a budgets for your business and are you investing in your business properly?

I struggle with a budget in my business but I am learning to reinvest in my business and myself.  Remember – you must spend money to make money.  I know it is difficult when you want the extra money to pay off debt or for emergencies in the house but your business will not grow when you put zero dollars into building it.  No one “got rich” without some investment.  You invested in the initial Enrollment Kit but it doesn’t end there.  I always tell my team, you are in this to make money – not spend it.  You need decide what to spend, how much and where you are going to spend it so you can grow your business. It doesn’t mean you need every product in the catalog. Things like: business cards, thank you cards, giveaways, etc.  According to the Diva Success System, you should never invest or spend more than $50 per month into your business.

4. Do You know if you ARE making any money? 

The enormous difference between a hobby and a business: Hobbies COST money, Businesses MAKE money. So, do you  KNOW if you are making any money?  I don’t mean, do you have money in you bank account because it only shows what you took in and spent during a given month.  You can use a calculator or a spreadsheet to figure it out.  Let’s look at your last party and see if you made a profit. Look at your expenses  for the party – including gas/mileage, any giveaways or freebies you offered to guests or your hostess.   Once you see your “profit”, look at what you did with the money.  Be honest.

5. Are you investing in your education?

Continuing education is important for business owners as well as in Corporate America. Learn something new- every day. Invest in your education through seminars, courses, and magazines or books. You are investing in yourself, your business success and your future when you take the time to continuously learn. This is a great investment in your greatest business asset … YOU.

I have been working my business for six years, and I will admit, I have fluctuated between hobby and business at times.  My ultimate goal is for a business 24/7 so I have been making changes this year to achieve my goals. You don’t need to do it all at once, take baby steps… Trust me, I get it.  Having tried my own home based business before, it is tempting to play and enjoy your new-found freedom but in order to succeed, you need a solid foundation.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Get Energized for Business & in Weightloss

This is a repost from April of 2013….

#1 – Establish priorities.

As in business, we try to tackle everything at one time. List your priorities and focus on just one or two items at a time. The same thing in your weight loss journey – one step at a time. Eating more fruits & veggies.  Exercise. Cutting out carbs. Prioritizing a list takes the stress off and allows you to focus on one thing at a time with the comfort of knowing where you will go from here.

#2 – Be as efficient as possible.

In my business, this is a little bit easier to do when I avoid Facebook, Piniterest and anything else that distracts me from my goals for the day. I even put a picture of a “security camera” in front of me. This is my gentle reminder I have to practice what I preach when it comes to office hours. In my weight loss journey, the same can be said – excuses or reasons why we don’t have time to take a 10 minute walk, eat the right foods, go to a meeting or as Weight Watchers would say “get active”. Don’t be a computer zombie or a couch potato, move even if it is up and down the stairs or around the block. Get up during commercials and move.

#3 – Combine your work with different areas of your life.

For me as a Thirty One Director, it is an easy to combine areas of my life. I use and carry our bags every where I go.  The best is when I get to combine work with a trip to North Carolina to see my daughter, Belinda. As far as my weight loss journey – it is not just a “diet”! Yes, my goal is to reach my ideal weight but I am also learning how to care for myself by eating right and moving more. Seems basic enough, right?

#4 – Actively manage your time and stop wasting it.

Time management may be easy for some but for me it is a struggle so calendar blocking has become my friend. My monthly calendar is color coded so I can manage time with family, work, my Thirty One business and time for me (sometimes this gets cancelled). Manage your time when it comes to activity or exercise. Add it to your calendar so it becomes a part of your every day life and you aren’t wasting the small amounts of time doing nothing when you could be active. I know, I need to practice this one myself!

#5 – Commit to learning new things.

My professional development is important to me because it is an investment in my business which helps me personally and my team. You can learn new things in a variety of ways like reading a blog, a video, a conference call, a networking meeting or a formal conference/ training. The same is true about my weight loss journey. I continue to learn new tips and ideas from my Weight Watcher meetings.

#6 – Don’t sweat the small stuff.

There are going to be bumps in the road but you can learn from them and then let them go. Sometimes this is easier to do in business then when we are losing weight. If you lost weight but are suffering from a small set-back like some weight gain or a plateau – look back on what worked and what didn’t. Protect your loss. Just because you gained a little doesn’t negate all the positive work that you have done.

#7 – Laugh more.

I have learned to laugh at myself. I LOVE what I do – who wouldn’t love to party every time they go to work, right? The same has been true in my weight loss journey . I have found  finding humor in everyday life makes me a happier person.

This might be lot for a Saturday but the lesson is simple – we tend to look at our lives as separate compartments – business, family, work, spiritual, etc. – very seldom merging together. When they do, it is often in a negative way – why not take the positive lessons we have learned and apply them to every part of our life as we take this journey through life.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Do you pinch yourself off?

My immediate response was “What do you mean”?  Why would I pinch myself off from anything? I read an article where the writer explained her thoughts on this subject:

If I didn’t stand up publicly for what I truly believed in, no matter how much I talked about it behind the scenes, I would never be able to fulfill my own burning desire to help enough women to live lives they dream of.

By standing in the shadows, and feeling more comfortable being the voice for someone else or staying silent about my beliefs, I had essentially pinched myself off from my big dream.

WOW!  Did you ever think that you were “pinching” yourself off from what you really wanted?  Here are some questions to help you discover if you are limiting your ability to reach your dreams.



1) Do you put yourself and your needs last?

Okay, let’s be honest – if you are a mom, a wife, a daughter or wear any of the other many hats that women wear every day, we have done this.  Were you ever told that you were “selfish” when you put yourself first?  Guess what, you pinched yourself off.


2) Do you feel unworthy or undeserving of your greatest dreams and desires?

Have you thought it for even a moment?  We get what we believe and what we focus on. So when your self-talk and beliefs are negative, it sets off a chain that conspires against creating your own success. Yup, you pinched yourself off.

3) Do you march up to the line with your dream or goal and then pull back?

Fear will stop you in your tracks.  Yes, I am right there with you.  That inner gremlin called FEAR rears his nasty head and I back down.  I have hesitated for a moment, doubting and YUP, I have pinched myself off.  Fear, and fear of failure in particular, keeps many women from even trying.

4) Do you ignore the need to invest in yourself?

Does your money trickle away and leave you with nothing to show for it? How much money do you invest in your personal and professional growth each year?  Honestly, my response was always “it isn’t in the budget”. UGH!  As a result, there wasn’t money in the budget.  I spoke the negative and it happened.  The truth is that you need to expand and bolster your skills, abilities and awarenesses.  When I changed the mindset and started investing in ME (personally and professionally) things started to change personally and professionally.

5) Do you avoid making a plan to get where you want to go?

Do you write down your goals?  Studies show that your chances of success get significantly greater when you write them down then if you don’t.  The plan doesn’t have to be a book, it can be a simple journal entry that will keep you focused and on track.

For me, these questions were a wake up call as to why I could be missing opportunities that will support my dreams.  What about you?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, guess what you are likely pinching yourself off, holding yourself back from sharing your great gifts with the world.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel, Thirty One Business

Don’t Give Up

monday morning

Thirty One’s National Conference is winding down in Columbus today.  There will be lots of PINK bubbles floating across the east coast over the next week or so as everyone travels home to share their excitement over the new prints, products, and incentives.

For those that may not have gone to their company’s national conference, this can be a time of wonder.  Wondering if I should continue?  Wondering if sales/ bookings will get better?  Wondering if I could be a leader?  The truth is if you can dream it, you can be it!  I know easy to say but difficult to practice, right?

I love the analogy from JulieAnn Jones about direct sales being like the Chinese bamboo plant.  If you haven’t heard it, here it is:

The Chinese Bamboo plant starts from a tiny seed. You plant the seed in the dirt, and you water and fertilize it. Nothing happens the first year…no sprout, no sign of life, nothing.

If you’re persistent, the second year you water and fertilize and protect the seed, and nothing happens.

The same for the third and fourth year. No sprout, no shoot, nothing.

Then, in the fifth year, if you’re still keeping the faith and watering and fertilizing the seed, the Chinese Bamboo plant begins to grow. In fact, it grows 90 feet tall in just 6 weeks!

The question is, did it grow 90 feet in six weeks or in five years? Five years, right? If at any point you had either stopped caring for the seed or worse, dug it up to see why the heck nothing was happening, it would have stopped growing and died.

So, maybe you have invested a year or two or maybe even 4 (like me) in your business.  You have developed loyal customers, built relationships and maybe even a team.  You have invested in your own personal growth as well as business tools so that you could have a successful business. You have spent endless hours working your business.  Yet, maybe you haven’t met your goals or you haven’t made as much money as you wanted or no one wants to book parties.  We have all been there at some point, right?

Then there are the Negative Nellies in your life who say “nothing is happening” or they discourage you or they say “maybe you should sell something else”.  I have heard those things too.  If you’re like most direct sellers, you may be tempted to give up. If you love what you do – DON’T.  Just remember the bamboo tree.

If you give up, the seeds you planted, nurtured, cared for, will die. But if you continue to care for the seeds, if you have faith and you don’t give up, one day (when you least expect it) the results of your labor could seem to magically appear overnight!

You see, there is a VERY fine line between those who succeed and those who fail in direct sales.  The different is some give up and some keep going, no matter what.  Which one will you be?

Don’t give up. You never know what’s waiting for you just beneath the surface of your business.  Off to buy some bamboo seeds or maybe I will start with a small sprout.  I don’t have a lot or patience.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Personal Development

personal development

This week’s calendar is filled with lots of things and I am wondering if I overbooked.  I thought I was learning how to block time for every aspect of my life – well, at least most of it.

Personal Development is something that I usually leave for last.  I know, after  LOTS of networking and training events with Thirty One and as an Executive with a non-profit you would think I would know better, right?  Or at least add it to my calendar blocking.  As I have said before, I do better when I am busy – when my calendar is full of appointments, meetings calls and parties.  Then it is easy for me to carve out time for me (and my family). Weird, huh? But, I never seem to find time for reading or doing things that will improve ME!

Today’s calendar is all about personal development which just happened by mistake.  I am starting with a Leadership Call with Thirty One.  From there I move into a training with JulieAnn Jones on Virtual Parties.  Yes, I said “virtual” not Facebook.  As soon as I understand the difference, I will share it with you all!!! In between these two things is my National Leadership Mentorship training.  I am hoping that all of this will keep me moving forward to reach my goals in personal volume this month.  Okay, so you are wondering, why is she rambling on about all of this, right?

Personal development is defined as “activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations”.  

I have identified some of my weaknesses in my business so I am working hard to learn all that I can about improving those skills.  Did I just realize what they were?  NO!  I just never thought I had a lot of time for personal development.  I left it for conferences and trainings without seeking out ways to improve on my own.

I have identified areas in my emotional, mental and social life that need to change too.  So, I am taking steps to make those changes.  It is not always easy but they are important.

Personal development is about change – accepting what is lacking in an area, looking for solutions or ways to improve, being willing to change and then EMBRACING the change so that it will become a habit.  I bet you never thought about personal development like that, right?  All along having faith (even the size of a mustard seed) that God’s plan for you will come to fruition.

What are you doing for YOUR personal development?  Need help in finding some solutions… share with us and maybe one of our readers can help.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!