Clear the Clutter

Throwback Thursday: Spring Cleaning the Closest!

When it doubt what to post, I always go back to the first year I started blogging – 2013.  I can’t believe how long it has been.  The timing for this post is perfect given the crazy weather we have been having in Jersey….. well everywhere.  

Over the last few days, I have begun to do some spring cleaning – my first stop is always my closet.  (Honestly, mine isn’t this bad but it is getting there.)  A chance to put away the heavy sweaters, pull out my capri pants, flip flops and short sleeve shirts.  Okay, so the weather may still be a little cool, down right cold,  but to me – spring is here!  

While doing this, I came upon some things I bought and still had the price tag on them.
(5 years later and this is still the case!)  You know – the perfect sale, something which seemed right at the time or the never ending impulse buying.  So, I have a Closet Filled with  (some) Regrets.  I saw an article the other day which made me stop and think about what is in my closet, the opener said – 

Only about 20% of clothes in the average person’s closet are worn on a regular basis, says Ginny Snook Scott, chief design officer of California Closets, the designer of customized closets and storage spaces. That’s especially the case for women since “men tend to wear more of their wardrobe, as they stereotypically have less,” she says. “They tend to have less than 10 pairs of shoes that they rotate fairly well, whereas women have four to five times that amount, on average.”

WOW!  This made me take a look at my closet again.  What were the things I wore on a regular basis?  I am a jeans girl all the way in the winter so why do I insist on buying skirts/dresses which never seem to make it out of the closet?  Since I am still on my weight loss journey, (at doctor’s goal but still looking to go lower) I have not been buying as many clothes – holding out for milestones in my journey to treat myself to something new. The St. Paul’s Church Rummage Sale is coming up in May so as I clean out my closet, I add to the pile of things to be donated.  My impulse shopping may be just the right thing for someone else.  What will you do with the “regrets” in your closet?  Do you have a favorite charity to donate to or is there something else you do with them?

I saw a tip somewhere on a blog or Facebook, I can’t remember which which someone shared which I think is going to be my new rule of thumb:


My grandmother always says you should wear something once for every dollar you spend on it. I thought it was silly the first time I heard it, but now I find myself holding up items and thinking “Will I really wear this 25 times?” It definitely helps my impulse buys! G-E-N-I-U-S! 

What tactics do you use to avoid purchase regrets?  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

So You Want to be a Leader?

Throwback Thursday: So You Want to be a Leader?

June starts a new “fiscal year” with Thirty One and I am sure it is the same with many direct sales companies.  It is when I start looking back, not just at the past year but at my journey. It is when I start setting goals for myself for the new year.

Thirty One is offering an incredible opportunity right now….a chance to earn FREE Fall products AND up to $5000 in Disney bucks.

I love this incentive because the focus is on sharing the gift of Thirty One, NOT becoming a leader.  For some the word leader is scary.  I have heard it a million times, “I don’t want to be a leader”, “I don’t have the time”, “I won’t know what to do”, and the list goes on.  The BIGGEST tip I have given my team is: just share the gift of Thirty One and stop focusing on whether or not you will (or won’t) be a leader.  Have fun.  Help others. Share the excitement and the love.  The rest will fall into place.

This is a blog I wrote back in June, 2013.  I had only been a Director with Thirty One for about 8 months.  The thing is, this is still true today:

I never thought of myself as a leader, let alone a great leader.  I have always been a “behind” the scenes girl.  When attention was drawn to the work I did, I backed away and gave credit to bosses or those on my team, anyone else but me since I did not like being in the spotlight.  When I made the official decision to go into leadership with my Direct Sales company – the thought terrified me (and still does sometimes).  What did I know about being a leader?  I didn’t want to let anyone down – my up-line, my team, my family or friends.   I have been a “people pleaser” most of my life, a follower and not a leader.   

An interesting quote by Direct Selling Education Foundation said “the more others respect you as a leader, the more successful your business will be.”  

Here are some basic tips to help you to be a LEADER:

  1. Keep your word.  This is a basic concept for life.  If you give someone your word, it should mean something.
  2. Be inclusive, welcoming and make others feel safe.  If you do not get this kind of support from you company sponsor or director, find someone in the company who makes you feel this way.  I have been blessed with an AMAZING Sponsor (National Executive Director) Hope Shortt.  I want to be like her when I grow up.  Yes, I am much older than her but she is a leader I would follow to the ends of the earth.  I want my team to feel the same way. 
  3. Encourage creative thinking.  This used to be hard for me, in my years in the non-profit world, as a Program Director.  I lacked confidence in myself so it was difficult to encourage creative thinking in my staff.  As I grew, so did they and so did my ability to encourage “outside of the box” thinking.  I encourage my team to build their business with a solid foundation of company standards (home parties, etc) and then get creative.  Make their business – THEIR business.  Stand out from the crowd. 
  4. Allow people to share ideas and concerns.  My early management style was a dictator.  Fear, low self-esteem and lack of confidence had me instilling marshall law. As I got, older and squashed the inner gremlins, I learned to temper my demands and be open to suggestions.  I had a potential recruit come to a team training and share how she felt with my current party style.  It was not pretty.  WOW! In a room full of other consultants, it was a hard pill to swallow.  I listened and thanked her for her suggestions.  Yes, I quickly changed my party style so everyone is having fun (or at least I hope so).
  5. Support others and help them grow.  I tell everyone who joins my team, they not only get their kit but they get me.  I am there to help them in good times and bad.  It isn’t just about MY income or MY goals but it is about helping them reach their dreams – big or small.     
  6. Maintain an exciting and fun atmosphere.  In my past life, this was tough for me.  I was insecure and thought too much fun was a sign of bad management.  Over time, I found it was important to have a place people enjoyed working and coming to every day.  My team tells me all of the time – You are crazy!  I like to make things fun for them, get them excited and then they share the excitement with their customers and their teams.
  7. Hold others accountable for their actions.  I was a tough boss in the workplace but EVERYONE got treated the same – good or bad.  As a leader In direct sales, I struggle with holding my team accountable for their actions/ goals.  I am always afraid they will perceive it as being all about me (and my paycheck) instead of hemming them attain their goals.  I will alway encourage them and help them along the way. 

As I have said before, I originally fell into leadership (as a Senior Consultant) but then I made a conscious decision to be a leader.  I do a little each week to work on my personal development.  I know  if I focus on overcoming my challenges as a leader, I will be able to be a more effective one for my team.  What qualities do you think make a good leader?

Have a ThirtyOne -derful day!

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday – A Holiday Weekend

Yes, I know it is only Thursday but I am sure you are already planning for a long holiday weekend, right?  This post was originally written back in 2013 (when I was a newbie to blogging).

Growing up on the Jersey Shore, Memorial Day weekend was filled with mixed emotions. It was the start of the summer season which meant the “bennies” (or shoobies as we called them in South Jersey) would be invading for the next few months.

In high school, I worked at Kohr’s at Third Avenue so this was the first BIG weekend we got to work. Typically, we started working on weekends when it was nice around Easter. This was the weekend we were able to reconnect with old friends who came home from college or those who traveled to work for the summer. We enjoyed days on the beach and long nights on the boardwalk – working and hanging out with friends. The summer traffic was never really thought about nor did we really think about the people invading our beaches.

Fast forward to my mid-20’s when I moved to South Jersey – living just outside of Ocean City and working in Atlantic City.  I came to dread this weekend. No longer did it hold the joy of traveling to the beach and long nights of hanging on the boardwalk. Now it was filled with shoobies/ bennies who congested the roads and littered our beaches. It made parking impossible. The joy of the summer was replaced with dread. Honestly, we spent more time at the beach from Easter to around the middle of June then we did the entire summer. Those were the days filled with sunshine, quiet moments on the beach and only a little bit of traffic mostly caused by locals.  

Yes, I know it is great for the economy and a definite plus for all of the small businesses in the area. For many businesses, the summer season is what carries them through the long cold winter.  As for me, I will wait until the mid-week between now and mid June to enjoy the warmth of the beach and strolls on the boardwalk. Then I will wait, patiently, for the crowds to go home before I head back to the beach. The pool at the complex will be my haven during the day and on an occasional mid-week night, we may travel down to take a stroll on the boardwalk.

Last Sunday after we celebrated our wedding anniversary at the Wharfside in Point, we rode along the beach.  I will admit, the excitement of seeing the rides going, people walking on the boardwalk and some traffic brought back so many memories. I actually can’t wait this year to enjoy some of the craziness.

What are your plans for this weekend at the Jersey Shore? Do you have any tips for avoiding the crowds and still enjoying our wonderful beaches? I would love to hear them.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Unclutter Your Life

Throwback Thursday: Dream Big

I was scrolling through old blog posts for inspiration.  Sometimes I get stuck – wondering what to write about or if any one would notice if I recycled an old post then SMACK, I remember I would would know the difference.  Sometimes an old post pertains to what is happening now in my life so it could stand another look…

Back in 2014, St. Pauls’ UMC did a church-wide study during Lent called “Daring to Dream”.  Back then, I was in the midst of letting fear keep me from letting my dreams soar.  Funny, I am back in the same spot and I am not even sure why.

On Easter Sunday, Pastor gave a sermon entitled “Dream Busters – Dream Builders” which in a nutshell was about faith, hope and the love of Christ which enables us to fly on the wings of God’s dreams for us.  I looked back at my notes from the sermon and at the book we were reading and it was yet another wake up call for me.  I say it a lot but God is always working in my life, allowing me glimpses of what he has in store for me.   Yes, I get scared but not scared enough to keep me from reaching for those dreams. Sometimes it is just enough fear to keep me focused and working towards his dreams for me.Here are the three dream busters which keep us from reaching our full potential:

  1. Yesterday’s failures. I know I am not alone in allowing the shackles of guilt and shame to continue to bind me. Of course, not as often as they used to but guilt about past mistakes do continue to haunt me.  I rehash the mistake over and over until I finally turn it over to God and let it go.  Sound familiar?
  2. Today’s frustration.  Are my personal expectations too high? YES! Do I compare myself to others (personally and professionally)? YES!  Perfect Polly creeps in on occasion and convinces me if I’m not “perfect”, I will never achieve my dreams. WRONG! It is NOT about perfection, it is about the journey. One of my favorite mantras.
  3. Tomorrow fears. Some days, I don’t even know what I am fearful of – fear of success, fear of not measuring up, fear of disappointing others or fear of failing?  Or is fear just an excuse for not trying?

Once we know what is busting our dreams, when can figure out how to change the dream busters into dream builders?

  1. Doubts dispelled. I need to remind myself daily with God all things are possible. Remember the mustard seed? I keep a mustard seed jar close (a gift from my Director) to remind me of this message.  Because as long as you have a small amount of faith, things are possible.
  2. Despair dispersed with confidence and hope.  I never realized what a control person I was until someone called me on it.  Let Go and Let God because he alone can provide for our needs.  Really?  It goes back to faith as small as a mustard seed.  Be confident God will provide for our needs.  He will also be there to wrap his arms around us and give us hope when we feel weak.
  3. Security of Love. Have you ever doubted God’s love?  Be honest!  I know in my darkest days, I wondered how he could possible love me.  The truth is God’s love has lifted me up from the depths of addiction along with my sometimes shady past and he continues to love me on a daily basis.

Are these some of the barriers holding you back from dreaming BIG? I have found as long as I open my heart to God and his love, I am able to DARE to DREAM.  Pause for a moment and think about your dream.  Picture it.  Feel the feelings you would have if you reached it.  Haven’t dreamed in a long time?  It may take some practice but be still and listen to your heart.

What are your barriers to dreaming big? Share them with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

So You Want to be a Leader?, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Working for Yourself……..

Sometimes I like to go back to “this day in history”, well not really but I do like to go back to posts I wrote when I first started blogging.  Those days when I draw a blank and wonder if I should continue to write daily.   The original post was called “Working for Yourself” but I have updated it just a little…

I think dreams of being my own boss go back to a time when I made pre-mature baby clothes.  I did it all – design, cutout, sew the clothes, sell and deliver to the local stores.  I don’t remember the year but I was working at the Ocean Club in Atlantic City and had the support of the AMAZING Sid Ascher, a marketing genius.  Was I ready to be my own boss?  No.  Did I even know what it meant? No.  I just liked the freedom of making my own hours but at the time, I was not very good at time or money management.  To say the least, I went back to working for someone else.

My next leap into being my own boss was when I was a single mom…. I took my grant management skills in the non-profit world and opened “H.O.P.E. Consultants”.  For Belinda’s four years in High School, I was my own boss.  As things changed in the grant management world, I joined the 9 to 5 workforce to help a grassroots non-profit.  Then after 6 years of long commutes (4 hours round trip, 4 days a week),  I left the job I LOVED (and hated – LOL) to be my own boss as a Direct Sales Consultant. Why? The freedom to make my own hours with no long commute far outweighed the fear of owning my own business.

Has it been easy? No.  Did (or do) I let fear get in the way? Yes.  I hopped back to part time work when I lost faith in myself.  I hopped back into part time work when fear took control.  In January, I stepped away again to rely on God to help me grow my business.

Are you considering being your own boss?  Whether it is a direct sales business or a storefront or a service business, here are some things you can expect when you work for yourself…

#1 – It’s Just You:

Obstacle: As a sole owner all responsibilities fall on you. Or maybe it’s not just you and you have teamed with someone or have an employee or maybe even an intern to manage, which could all be new territory.  Managing your own schedule can be difficult if you’re used to structure. Are these insurmountable? No but you need to be ready for them.  Time management can be a little tougher as you learn how to maximize your productivity.

Advantage: It’s just you! No more office politics, micromanaging, or working for someone who doesn’t appreciate you– the list goes on and on.

#2 Blending Your Work Life with Your Home Life:

Obstacle:  The upside of an office job is in most cases the ability to, both physically and mentally, leave your work at the office.  This can be tricky when you’re working from home, and could be a struggle for family members.  Renting a separate office space isn’t always practical or necessary.  I have set up a separate area for my “office” which has helped me to stay more organized. It also prevents my business from intruding into every aspect of our personal lives – for the most part.  Of course, we do have bags and organizing products throughout the house.

Advantage: No commuting! Hubby and I joke about my “long” commute now when I head down to my office.  Blending your work life and your home life isn’t bad when you build your business around something you’re passionate about.

#3 You Will Work Longer and Harder Than Ever Before:

Obstacle: You may work from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to sleep BUT you will not regret it because you are building something you love.  This will be true in the beginning because you will do whatever it takes to get your business off the ground.  Things will change as your business grows.

Advantage: You will work longer and harder, but for your own gain. Nothing is more satisfying!  While you will make some time sacrifices, you’ll also have more flexibility.

I am always grateful I am my own boss when there is a crisis, a family emergency, a holiday gathering or an unexpected guest because I can make my own hours.  I have learned over the last 6 years how to overcome the obstacles (most days) and embrace the advantages.

There are sacrifices toward owning your own business, but for successful entrepreneurs, the advantages far outweigh the difficulties.

Want to know more about owning your own Thirty One business?  Click HERE to see all the details. 

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!