Hope Wissel

How to Organize Your Great Ideas

Thank you Christie Browning for these AWESOME ideas..

 I used to think I was the person who took ideas and made them happen.  Over the last year or so, I have become an idea person.  The problem is, I get the idea – maybe write it down and then forget about it.  Or I get obsessed with it and go over board doing everything in my power to make it happen.

Can you relate?

Most ideas which fizzle out probably should.  They would be the ultimate Pinterest fail (at least in my case).  But sometimes there are some really good ones, I don’t want to lose track of.  Maybe the timing is wrong or worse the ideas keep coming to the point I am on overload.  Overload and MS are definitely not a good mix!!!  I then end up not taking action on anything or implementing any of the amazing ideas.

Are you someone who has a lot of ideas but struggles with keeping them organized or putting them into action?  Thanks to Christie, there are some suggestions for you…. I am going to try to start organizing my ideas, so I can move into action mode and ultimately make them happen!  Want to join me?

#1:  Dump your brain

I have been to MANY trainings where we have done this at the start of the session to help us focus.  It is a great way to just empty the mind-clutter without losing the great ideas! YES, it is possible.  So, grab a notebook and pen and start writing!  Keep the notebook on your desk,  your nightstand or wherever as long as it is close so when an idea hits, you can write it down. Get the thought on paper and stop depending on your brain to remember!  My brain is useless for this.  LOL!  By writing them down, you have a written record of your ideas.  Believe it or not, some of them will overlap and work with ones you have already had.  Also, by writing it down, you can review them when the “aha moment” passes to see if it is really a great idea.  Maybe you will pass on it now, but who knows in a few years, it might be doable.

#2:  Organize the madness

Having ideas is a great ….BUT every brain dump needs a little bit of organization.    I use color coding in my planner, so why not use the same principle in organizing my ideas. Create a color reference for each category. My categories are:

  • Blue – Personal (medical in my planner)
  • Pink – Business
  • Yellow – Family/ Household
  • Green – Financial
  • Orange – Spiritual

Once, you jot down an idea make sure there is enough information (not a book, just a few sentences) so if you come back to it, you remember what you were talking about.  Now, highlight it with a color.  In a “perfect world”, all of the ideas would be together in a notebook by category.  Yup, I’m so not there yet.

#3:  Plan to take action

So every idea I have doesn’t get acted on or do I even attempt.  There are some ideas  which die the minute I wrote them down or when I come back to look at them with a fresh pair of eyes, I think… “that ‘s crazy!”  I still keep them around in the never ending notebook because you never know, right?  The truth is, you will be able to tell from a brain dump which ideas will work at at that moment and which ones you need to hold on. The ideas I want to work on, I transfer to my planner and start planning it out. I figure out what steps I need to take to get started.  I identify what needs to happen. Then… jot dates (a basic timeline) or I prioritize what needs to be done first, then second, etc.  Unfortunately,  identifying a budget has always been last on my list.  If it is going to cost money,  I find someone with a more practical head to talk with about it so I don’t go off half cocked.

Organizing your ideas is a way  to help you stay focused on what needs attention now. I “squirrel” a lot lately so using this system has helped.  Be sure to ask yourself, “What needs to happen first?”.  “What projects have I already started I need to finish before I launch another idea?”  Sometimes ideas are great, but need to wait until other things happen first.  It’s easy to get distracted when something is new and exciting comes along, but the reality is, you will never actually cross a finish line or reach completion on an idea if you keep jumping around.

We all have goals, visions or even are why, right?  So be sure the idea you want to launch gets you closer to your goal, to your vision for your life, your business or your finances?  If it does, then hold onto this idea.   If it isn’t a perfect fit, push it to the bottom of the priority list.  Keep your list alive but updating it and reflecting on it regularly.

How do you organize your ideas?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Time Management – Does it Exist?

 Are you a hot mess?  Are you already dreading this week and it is only Monday morning?

Today should have been my first day back in the office after being gone for a week BUT Irma had other plans.  I did spend some time in the office last week BUT I’m not sure how much I actually got done.  It is Monday and I am playing the avoidance game.  Avoidance is a time waster which leads to being hard on yourself, right?

When it comes to business especially one online – wasting time will be the death of it.  I don’t mean time you take to renew your physical and mental powers because we need to do it in order to keep going.  I’m talking about the wasted minutes and hours which get out of hand….. the black hole of Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram.

I have talked about time management in the past and really wonder if we are managing our time or our tasks?  When I sometimes find myself obsessed with everything BUT working productively in my business I go back to the basics:

#1 – Block distractions.

I know it can be easier said then done.  How often do your keep multiple tabs open so you can see if you get any messages.  Block email and Facebook alerts (all social media), turn off your phone (or at least lower the volume) and hang a “do not disturb” sign on your home office door (if you have one).  What are the things which distract you from getting work done?

#2 – Set a time to begin work – and stick to it.

When you turn on your computer for work, give yourself a certain amount of time (10 minutes or so) to surf the ‘net and review your email before you begin.  Set a timer if you have to so you can then focus on work.  Switch into work mode and don’t look back until you’re done.  I have done the back and forth thing, jumping from one thing to another and the end result is my brain becomes mush and it is more difficult to focus.

#3 – End your work at a set time.

This is a tough one for this workaholic.  Hubby works the swing shift so I try to set my work hours accordingly.  Does it work?  Sometimes.  I do some early morning hours, then head back in the afternoon till the early evening.  Are there times when I spend more on my business and less time everywhere else?  Yes, usually for several days during the month when I am closing parties or it is the end of the month.  I am practicing on a regular day, setting a time to stop work so I can refresh myself both physically and mentally. I find when I do this, I am more focused when I am in the office.

#4 – Distinguish busy work from working toward goals.

I am so guilty of this.  Busy work can be a waste of time. Remember the “black hole” I mentioned earlier, the truth is you may be procrastinating.  Did you set a goal which is TOO BIG or are you afraid of failing?  They should scary you but you can break them up into manageable steps.  The best way to beat procrastination is to take action!  Do something to move forward

 

What is your best tip for managing your tasks instead of your time?  We all have 24 hours in a day, there is no changing it.  The difference is how we decide to work during those hours.

Would you like some more great tips on Time Management which have worked for me?  Fill out the form below:

 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Marketing to Millennials

This old lady struggles with expanding my customer base or should I say bridging the generation gap.  I know Thirty One (and other companies) provide simple solutions for millennials (the 18 – 35 year olds) but sometimes I just miss the mark. Thank you Nika Stewart for some great tips on how to reach the largest living generation!

I remember reading the newspaper (delivered to the house by a paper person) every morning.  It was how I got the news. I got gift ideas from television commercials or catalogs in the mail.  I learned about fashion by flipping through magazines. Yup, I’m old.  Now those things have been replaced with smart phones and social media.  A simple touch of a button and everything is at your fingertips.

Millennials can usually be found buried in their phone ignoring traditional media ads.  They are always engaging on Snap Chat, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and occasionally Facebook.  I’m sure there are some new things out there too but I don’t know them yet.

So as a direct seller who is looking to expand your business, how do you reach these tech savvy consumers when you are an old timer?  Here are some tips from Ghost Tweeting and Nika Stewart:

#1 Social Media

You will find the millennial on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter on a daily basis. Social networks are the primary way they get their information. They’re scrolling through feeds searching for a laugh, for inspiration, for food, and for news.  To them it is not a dark hole to get lost in, it is where they get news, inspiration and connect with friends.  We used to pick up the phone and TALK to people. I actually miss the days of talking on the phone.  Social media is a black hole for me which soaks up time or at least it is my perception.  Maybe it is time to change the  mindset!  So, how do you create content to appeal to them?

Lighten up: Want to have your posts shared creating a wider customer base?  Make it funny even if it is serious.  Find trending topics, add your product information and post silliness.  “70% of millenials say they share content because it makes them laugh”. Think of how many more people you will reach this way.

Provoke an emotional response: Millennials want real, they want gritty, and they want to be moved. Get deep and create content to tug on their heartstrings.  

#2 Engagement

How many times have you posted on your personal page, your VIP group or even on your business page and heard crickets?  You are consistently posting maybe a few times a day (on your own or with the help Cinchshare) but no one is engaging in the posts.  First, did you have a call to action in your post?  The truth is, you are not working the social media circuit if you’re not engaging with your followers.

Millennials are hungry to be part of something bigger, and they need to be accepted. Nothing provides acceptance like addressing users personally. This means commenting back, responding, and keeping conversations open. Users who are engaged with accounts (not just broadcast to) are much more likely to share, recommend, and tell friends about the brand they feel a bond with. 

Do you respond to comments or just “like” them?  Do you engage those who comment in conversation or do you just talk to everyone?  Go back through your posts and see what posts get the most interaction.  In my VIP group, it is usually contest or questions; so why would I change this up on my personal or business page?

#3 Video

Facebook LIVE was a game changer when I started doing regular posts but I got out of the habit.  I find it easier to type my content or put it in pictures than I do talking in a video.  Video marketing is the gold standard these days, everyone is doing it.  According to Animoto (I rediscovered this again), “80 percent of millennials consider video content when researching a purchase decision.” 80 percent! Yes, you need to do video.  It doesn’t have to be you personally, it doesn’t have to be long or perfect – it just has to be a video with a message.

Millennials want to be informed as well as entertained, so create video content to demonstrate expertise in your field while keeping your brand relevant and lighthearted.  I know for us “old timers” this could be tough but it is definitely going to be a game changer.

Video options include: customer testimonials, behind-the-scenes livestreams, demonstrating products in action… get creative! Video provides an unprecedented opportunity to make a meaningful connection with the masses.  I have been working on some and sharing the ones ThirtyOne does to keep things fresh.

The marketing landscape is changing and the baby boomers (like me) will either be left in the dust or decide to move forward stepping out of our comfort zone.  The days of formal presentations, and slick ad campaigns is gone.  The traditional marketing no longer works.   The sooner we embrace new methods for reaching customers especially this generation, the sooner we’ll see our business grow.

How are you changing your business to  grow?  Share your ideas with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Favorite Products

Cinchshare for Consistency

Do you long to be consistent in your postings on social media?  Are you crazy busy and despite your best efforts, you never seem to have time to post on social media?  Would you love to be able to interact with your customers during a Facebook party and NOT have to worry about posting at the same time?

I was one of those people……

When I got onto Facebook or Pinterest, I would spend hours.  I always said it was for business but it never really produced any income.  I love the fact with Cinchshare I can post to Facebook and Pinterest on a consistent basis WITHOUT opening either website? Think it is impossible? Well, welcome to Cinchshare...

Cinchshare has given me time – time to work on more income producing activities; time to connect with customers during Facebook parties, and most importantly time with family. Sound to good to be true, right?

I designate about 2 hours per week, usually on a Sunday night, planning my week of posts to Facebook. This includes my team page, my VIP customer page, my business page and sometimes even my personal page. How can I do it in two hours or less? I recycle posts previous posts, I use saved posts I saw during the week and I sometimes create my own with Cava right in Cinchshare.  I don’t troll the endless posts on Facebook to see what I want to post. My posts are intentional and designed to create conversations. I am technically challenged so if I can use Cinchshare – anyone can!

At any given time, in addition to my regular daily posts, I could have up to  5 Facebook parties going on. It was becoming an all consuming task and left little office time for anything else. I tried the FREE posting programs which were okay but they had a lot of glitches. I have tried many of the other paid posting programs BUT CinchShare is the one  I LOVE.

Are you on Pinterest? You can use Cinchshare to post on Pinterest as well. No need to just copy and “pin” others posts to your boards. Create your own so they are pinning you!

For a mere $10 a month or $100 a year, you can get started. In fact, you can get a FREE trial for 37 days, too. You simply click Cinchshare and use the code CSFREE. It is so easy to get started. The videos will walk you through step by step so that you can post to ANY Facebook page where you are the Administrator or the host. There are so many great features including linking videos, batch posting and importing Facebook pictures. Give it a try…you will NEVER go back to posting on you own.

Have you tried CinchShare? If so, what is your favorite feature? If not, what are you waiting for?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Beware of This Invisible Competition!

Thank you Gwen Smith for today’s message:

As Christian believers, we are called to live set-apart lives. To be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 19:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:7). To be in the world, but not of the world. God is the source of all holiness, and in order to live set-apart lives – to be sanctified – we must spend time with Him and allow His Holy Spirit to lead us.

God loves us too much to leave us as we are. He wants much more for us than that! God’s plan is to make us more like Himself… to sanctify us. He is Yahweh M’Kaddst, the Lord our Sanctifier.

Let’s take this street level. I don’t know what your days look like, but mine are pretty full. They start early and end late. Once the sun rises, it seems that coffee isn’t the only thing brewing in my house. An invisible competition brews daily that vies for my time and attention. The competitors are often “good things” that end up to be “time-robbing things” that keep me from God’s best and God’s presence. When I’m kept from God’s presence, I’m also kept from growing in His divine grace: major loss for me.

Have you been there?

Does an invisible competition brew in your home and heart too?

I’m thinking: Yes. We all struggle with this.

So what are some of these “good things” that end up being “time-robbing distractions”? They look different for each of us. We are all like snowflakes and fingerprints: unique. A few good things that come to mind are over-commitment, activity overload, electronics, excessive shopping, volunteering at church or community service. Yep. Went there. Again, none of these things are bad in and of themselves, but they can become a hindrance to sanctification if we allow them to take precedence over our personal growth with Christ.

A big one for me is electronics. Let’s put our computer lives under a spiritual microscope for a moment. I’m an e-girl. I love my MacBook Pro computer, my iPhone, email, instant messaging, and the World Wide Web. Though I’m admittedly fully immersed in the e-life, I’m also cognizant of the fact that the e-world has become a dangerous addiction and spiritual deterrent to many.

I struggle with this personally. These electronic forums host a powerful and efficient opportunity for us to connect with other people 24/7. While much of social media, online surfing, and emailing is innocent, encouraging and fun, they also present us with opportunities to sin and to become distracted from set-apart living.

Over the past several years, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, blogs, games and texting have replaced many of our face-to-face conversations. For some of us, time with electronics has replaced and/or diminished our devotion time with the Lord. Online activities have become a new source of temptation for us, an opportunity to live a fantasy or a momentary escape from the daily grind.

A friend of mine recently said, “My computer whispers to me.” Yikes! Mine does too. I readily admit, at times I don’t manage my time efficiently because I give in to the lure of e-life by responding to an audio alert indicating “I’ve got mail,” or to a notification that someone has left me a message on a social media site. As a result, I waste time because I have spent it unwisely – therefore, robbing myself of productive time.

We are warned against this in Scripture. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV).

Now, hear me clearly on this: I am not saying that electronics or computers are bad. In and of themselves, they aren’t bad. I’m simply suggesting that it would be wise for each of us to prayerfully consider the amount of time and energy we devote to these things.

How can we be set apart in our e-life? How can we establish healthy e-boundaries that will protect our purity and our time with God? Perhaps we could start by taking an honest look at the amount of time we commit to our social e-lives versus the amount of time we commit to spending in God’s Word and in His presence each day. (Did that sting? Rest assured it stings me, too.)

The good news is that we can turn to God for direction in all of this. His Word points us to a vital promise of wisdom that will guide us in holiness. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5, NIV). How awesome is that? God loves us so much that He offers us an endless supply of wisdom. We just need to ask – so that we are enabled to walk in His wisdom and to live each day in His holiness.

Are you holy as God is holy? Do you want to thrive in His divine grace?

When we determine to grow in sanctification and allow God to lead us to deeper places of divine grace, those around us will see the hope of Christ in us. Isn’t that where we want to be?

No matter where we find ourselves on the path of sanctification, it is encouraging to remember that God’s not done with us yet. God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:6, NLT)

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!