Unclutter Your Life

Tips on Homemaking

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Do you know what today is?  Yes, it is HUMP Day… half way through the week and halfway to the weekend.

Over the last week, we have been doing some remolding and repairs in the bathroom.  We had a small electrical fire in the lights above the medicine chest which turned into a major project.  So for about a week, the medicine chest was sitting in my living room.  I know what does this all have to do with “homemaking”, right?8133762f897b470f847f2c663562ef7f

It brought back some memories and got me motivated to clean up some of the stuff in the house.  My idea of doing chores for many years – since I have lived on my own – has been keeping things neat, a feather dusting and a quick vacuum or sweep.  Nothing major except for when I had the urge to move the furniture, then watch out.

When did I go from Saturday morning (or my day off) cleaning to just having things passable.  When did I stop paying attention to the details of housework like my mom?  I learned about cleaning and homemaking while living with my parents but the lessons never translated when I moved in on my own.

I went on the hunt for some help with homemaking hints, so I could get a refresher course.  Here are the 5 best tips, I found….

1. Practice.

Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but things do get better over time. What area do you struggle with – cleaning the bathroom? Practice. Struggling with laundry? Practice.  I never thought of these things as skills but in order to get good at them, you need to do them every day (or often) until you get really good at it.

2. Work on one area.

Or at least one area at a time. As much as you would like to, you don’t have to be on top of everything all the time!  It would be nice but truth is, it’s a juggling act.  Get the bathrooms shipshape, and then the laundry room is overflowing. Then the kitchen gets scary. And so it goes.  So take it one step at a time, one area at a time. Then repeat.  I struggle because our kitchen, dining room and living room all flow together, keeping them separate seems like even more of a struggle.

3. Give yourself grace.

We all have challenging seasons – maybe a pregnancy, a new baby, illness, job loss, or maybe moving to a new house? These are HUGE so don’t beat yourself up while going through it.  It is during these times, you need to slip into survival mode and just concentrate on the bare basics.  Honestly, I think I gave myself grace for far too long (5 years of challenging seasons).  During these times I have had enough on my hands so I am done heaping more guilt on myself.  What about you?  Do the guilt gremlins invade your space too?

4. Remember Who you are serving.

Cleaning (homemaking) was always all about pride or for my family’s sake but mostly about people pleasing.  When I didn’t do it according to the rules or the script, it was discouraging.   I woke up this morning with an AHA!  What if I am doing this as service to God—and Him only?  It really changes my perspective, the same as my dieting is pleasing to him.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men (or family, friends, or neighbors). ~ Col. 3:23

So, with a song in my heart and strength in my hands, I am going to it!

5. Study the craft.

I may not be studying like I did in school BUT I am looking for articles on how to do things quickly, easily and toxic free.  I am not saying the dust bunnies won’t still creep in but they won’t linger as long.  Pinterest and Google have some great tips to help with the skill of homemaking.

Here are some more tidbits of information I picked up along the way:

  • Baking soda gets the smell out of stinky spots.
  • Clean the dirtiest areas of the bathroom first and then work your way up the mirrors last.
  • Run a lemon through the garbage disposal to freshen the sink.

By learning new tricks, homemaking is becoming more manageable and not a dreaded chore.  What are some of your best tips?1342735549209_2735191

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

#BeYourOwnBoss

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The quaint streets of Sylva, North Carolina were my office last week.  Yes, I was on vacation BUT I was also a walking billboard for my business.  I started conversations and made connections.  I have to admit, it was out of my comfort zone BUT the streets of NC seem so much more welcoming then the streets in NJ.

One of the best “perks” of being of being your own boss and have a direct sales business is I get to have total freedom on how I run my business. Honestly, running a successful direct sales business can become an all-consuming task.  To keep that from happening, you have to stay on top of everything that’s going on in your direct sales business. I know, you are wondering is it worth all of the effort?  Let me tell you – it absolutely is!

Here are some tips and tricks for keeping everything manageable:

#1 You need to stay hungry for success.

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This is one of the toughest things for me.  Set goals for your business around bookings, sales, and recruiting and create a strategy for going after them on a daily basis. This helps you to stay focus and succeed in all three areas. Not only will it help you to keep creative, but you’ll be modeling things that your team can follow to grow their business.

#2 Keep an eye on your business facts and figures.

Keeping you eye on the numbers doesn’t mean just checking your reports to see if you and your team has sales.  I have gotten better with “organizing” my expenses BUT they still are not logged in my records.  The bottom line is that if anyone asked me what it costs me to do business, I would have to just guess. This is not good. You need to “know your numbers” before the end of the year and doing taxes so you have a true read on how you’re actually doing in your business. This means you need to organize accounts, track expenses, and keep everything up to date so you know where you are at any given moment. I use a simple tickler file to organize expenses, now the key is to put them on the excel spread sheet every month.  When you know your finances are in order, then you will know how your business is doing,  NO, it isn’t much fun but if you do it at least once a month, life will be easier.

#3 Stay Educated and Execute what you learn!2317e07863b5414d8ee1011c7062804c

Keep up to date on trends in your company and in the industry by reading magazines, blogs, and your company information and publications.  Things happen and you need to be sure you’re on top of any changes as soon as they happen. Some would recommend reading newspapers like Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal because the information in these publications can have an impact on you even if it’s not business specific. I find some of the best information coming from expert emails and newsletters, like Julieann Jones or Becky Spieth or Desiree Wolfe.  Reading is great but if you don’t DO SOMETHING with the information, there is no real value to you.  If you read something which sounds like a good fit for your business, make a plan and take action to try it. Even if it doesn’t work out the way you planned, you’ll learn from the experience – win or lose.

#4 Social media – pick two!

Social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, Google Hangouts and the list goes on.  It seems like every day there is a new spot to promote your business.  Overwhelming?  To me it is.  The key is knowing where your target market hangs out.  If most of your customers are on Facebook and Instragram, start there.  Be consistent.  Share and don’t constantly ask for sales. Don’t be that “pushy” sales person.  You want to be seen as a trusted expert in your product area.  I am consistent on Facebook by using Cinchshare.  I LOVE it.  The minimal cost allows me to plan my posts even when I am on vacation.  CLICK HERE to get a free trial.  Taking the time to post for a week will same you time and will help to increase your visibility online.  This is a great way to keep things simple.

What are your best tips for staying on top of the “business” of your business (or home projects).  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

How to Improve Facebook Interactions

Happy Monday!  It has been a whirlwind twelve days since the launch of the $1 offer at Thirty One Gifts.  New recruits learning the ins and outs of growing their business through social media.  I LOVE the excitement and being able to share so many tips from so many different resources.

How many times have you posted a picture or a message on Facebook and you hear crickets?  No one comments.  No one “likes” it.  NOTHING!  I usually blame it on Facebook’s algorithms!  Wouldn’t it be great to get LOTS of likes, comments and better yet some shares?

At Thirty One, we are all about sharing and not selling on social media.  Yes, I will highlight this month’s customer special BUT I will leave out the price.  Yes, I will show how I use my products and share the excitement of them.  NO, I will not say “I need XXX in sales to meet my goal”.  NO, I will not say, “I need XXXX to reach an incentive.  Why?  Because then we look desperate.  Who wants to buy something from someone who is desperate to sell something?  Wouldn’t you rather get excited about the product and its uses?

Here are some winning Facebook Strategies:

1. Update your profile picture:   I know, a no-brainer, right?  The truth is that people connect with real people. Replace your logos or product pictures with your smiling face.  How exciting would it be to meet someone for the first time and they say “I recognized you from your picture”?  I love when that happens.  Use the same pictures on all of your social media sites.  I change them all every other month to keep things fresh.

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2. Update your cover picture:  I do this monthly.  WHY?  People check back when there are new pictures in their news feed.  Avoid too much text or using more than 3 pictures in your cover picture. Websites like picmonkey.com or canva.com are great to make your own for even the most non-tech person.

3. Enter a description for your super amazing new cover photo:  This is a great tip from Lynn Bardowski: “this is a secret trick that few people take advantage of. Click on your cover photo and you’ll see the description section on the right. I’m betting you’ve never filled it out. Enter a greeting like, “Hey, (your name) here. Thanks for stopping by,” with a call to action, like asking your fans to join your email list. End with a link to your contact form and SAVE. Now, here’s the cool part. Go back to view your page and hover over your cover pic. The description will pop-up. Boom!”

4. Be more social: Another no-brainer, right?  Social media should be social, right? Believe it or not, when you begin to interact with people instead of trying to SELL, you will get a response.  Ask questions, show your funny side, inform, inspire and be you. Social selling is about building relationships, not actually selling.

5. Use your EVENTS tab: I will admit that I didn’t use the one on my public page very often – okay, never!  Did you know that you can click on “Manage Tabs” and move it up near the top so your Events tab shows under your cover pic. AMAZING, right?  Use that to create events for everything from Facebook Parties to Vendor Events to Product Reveals to Opportunity Events. Since your biz page is public, all the events you create are searchable like in a Google search.  This makes the possibilities huge. Include keywords in your event title to maximize your reach.

6. Schedule posts at the best times:  I have to be honest, I have heard a lot of talk on the best time.  The truth is that the best time is what works best for your niche.  The general rule for posts on Facebook are typically in the afternoon 2pm – 4pm on weekdays, 10am – Noon on Saturday and Sunday at 8pm. I have found that mornings also work for my customers.  I use CinchShare to save time and it helps to post at the best times for my audience.

7. Create more albums:  Want to increase your ranking on Facebook?  It is based on the engagement on your page.  What gets the most engagement?  Photos and videos.  Albums can be themed for events, holidays, motivational quotes, customer favorites and more. You can also share the album link on Facebook Parties and Event pages to create a virtual catalog of your products.

So, who is ready to get visible on Facebook?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Hope Wissel

How the Green-Eyed Monster of Jealousy Can Inspire You

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Franklin  Roosevelt

A new month.  A NEW catalog season.  A new beginning.  Time to reflect on July.  July was a tough month for me not because of my business – personal sales volume met as well as team numbers.  I was blessed to head to National Conference to enjoy the pink bubble with my Thirty One sisters.  So why was it a tough month???

I got sucked into the vortex of social media and the comparison gremlins started a new battle of whether I was a success.  As I scrolled through Instagram and Facebook, I saw countless celebrations of success.  I was happy for them because they had worked hard and deserved it.  The realization hit me that I really didn’t do my best.

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What started out innocently enough, in no time at all, had me sucked into the wormhole of comparison.  By the time I emerged, I felt like crap. I was JEALOUS with a capital “J.”  Yes, I said it!  In my heart, I knew that I couldn’t compare where I was to where they were – so many things were different but those inner gremlins were having a field day.

Others had more followers. More likes. Better websites. Better pictures. Better programs. Better style. Better everything.

imagesThe question then became “What am I doing with my life?”.  Part of me wanted to start a “pity party” because I was in full on green-eyed monster mode. I know that I’m not alone.

Research shows that people have an innate drive to evaluate themselves, often in comparison to others. People are as harshest critique and the one way we do this is through social comparison.

Two recent studies found that people on Facebook frequently have lower self-esteem than those who use Facebook less or not at all. Chronic Facebook users experience mostly negative impact from comparing themselves to others who are “better” than them.

As I look back on how I reacted to the social media black hole and jumped back into the real world, my jealousy got me thinking.

What if, instead of comparing myself to those I thought were “better”, I flipped the script and let comparison be an example of what’s possible?

If you’re naturally prone to comparing, what if you used comparison as a form of motivation?  Want to exercise your green-eyed monster demons with me? Here are a few tips:

1. Eliminating social media totally isn’t a reality for may of us, BUT try to minimize the time you spend on any social media platform.  Research says Americans check their social media 17 times per day. I bet we can get that number down.

2. Remember that most people are posting their most polished, shiny, and filtered part of their life.

3. Still feeling the urge to scroll and feel less than worthy because of it? Take a look at what you’re feeling.  Dig deep because the reason isn’t usually on the surface. Take the ick out of jealousy and look at it as a tool to help you figure out what you would like more of in your life.

4. Look at the person you envy and ask yourself, how am I like this person? When you see how you are like that person, you can see their success as a real possibility for you.

“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” -Jon Acuff

This is my favorite saying and often hard to remember.  Reflect on where you’re at in your journey. Many times, we are comparing our beginning to someone else’s years of experience. We missed out on all of the hard work, time, and dedication that went behind the picture or post we’re seeing today.

How can you honor where you’re at in your life? How can you use this knowledge as inspiration for what’s possible for you when you reach your “middle”?  I’d love to hear from you! How do you handle comparison?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Comparison Highjacks Contentment

sparkleI praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well ~ Psalm 139:14 ESV

We live in a culture of constant comparison. Someone tweets that they just had lunch at a fab restaurant; you had canned tuna and raw carrots. Not even baby carrots but a big ole carrot out of the bag.

Someone posts an Instagram of a gaggle of friends dressed in Lilly Pulitzer pink lunching by the lake, and you’re reading about it dressed in sweats, trudging down the grocery aisle with a snotty-nosed kid pawing at the cereal displays.

You pull up Facebook and read about Barb’s vacation in Paris, and you’re happy for her . . . sorta.

A woman looks at Pinterest boards, and comes away with her greatest fears confirmed: her kids look shabby, her house looks dumpy, and her clothes look frumpy.

Social media accentuates the culture of comparison by sending the false message that your monotonous tedious boring existence is a poor excuse for living compared to others whose lives are awesomely exciting all the time. Secretly you hope your husband never stumbles across Pinterest to realize what a loser of a wife he really has. Mercy!

Social media breeds instant comparison at the click of a button. Comparing who has more “Facebook friends,” “re-tweets,” “followers” and “re-pins” is maddening. The age-old comparisons of appearance, accomplishments, possessions, and position are still around. Technology has simply magnified the access to other people’s lives, even though you’re only seeing what others want you to see.
Then there’s Christmas letters. Photo cards of friends and family with letters detailing every wonderful milestone of the previous year. We read them and think, “My life stinks!” That letter doesn’t tell about Brian getting suspended from school for cussing in the classroom, Megan getting caught lying about studying at a friend’s house, Brie’s on-going battle with depression, Dad’s loss of a major account, or Mom’s twenty-pound weight gain. Just the highlights. Only the good stuff. We read it and say, “good for them.” All the while thinking, “what’s wrong with me?”

Comparison is the devil’s tool that he uses to undermine your confidence and kills contentment like nothing ever will. It magnifies insecurities and fosters a self-absorbed pre-occupation of your inadequacies. As one pastor said, “One of the main reasons we struggle with insecurity is that we’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with everybody else’s highlight reel.”

Comparison sullies the canvas upon which God longs to display His greatest work. Nothing will rob you of your confidence in Christ like comparison. The measuring stick will get you stuck every time.

I love what Jesus said when Peter asked about John’s future. (Yes, he was comparing his future with John’s) “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” (John 21:22) In other words, “It’s none of your business! Stop comparing!”

Have you ever wondered why Jesus picked such a ragtag bunch of blundering blubbering misfits to be his disciples? Even though they stumbled their way through much of the gospels, once they were filled with the Holy Spirit, this uneducated, unrefined, untrained bunch of unruly fishermen changed the world. A few days after Pentecost, the Jewish Supreme Court questioned Peter and John about their persistence in preaching the gospel and their audacity to heal a beggar lame from birth.

The dynamic duo preached a mini-sermon that struck the religious rulers to the core. But here’s my favorite part of the entire scenario: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

The Sanhedrin leaders were mystified at how this bunch of scrappy saw-toothed misfits could wax so eloquently. Then they had an ah-ha moment. They realized the men had been with Jesus. That explained everything.

That’s what I want people to say about me! She’s an unschooled ordinary girl. How does she do what she does? Oh, I get it. She’s been with Jesus! Can you think of any better accolade? I sure can’t.

Let go of the tendency to compare and take hold of your uniquely fashioned, pre-ordained, God-given talents and abilities. You are specifically equipped by God to do everything He has called you to do and to go through. Including being the mom your kids need.

Then when the world questions how you do what you do, they’ll say, “Oh I get it…she’s been with Jesus.”

Thank you Sharon Jaynes for today’s message