Hope Wissel

The Spoon Theory

As the holidays approach and the busiest season of the year for my business, I need to be reminded of this theory.  I’m one of those who run at 200% on good days and then collapse into exhaustion.  There are a lot of us who do this BUT for those with chronic diseases it takes on a whole new meaning.

I push on the weekends for events and home parties with a goal of taking is slow during the week.  Okay, so it doesn’t happen often.  The aches generally turn into not sleeping, exhaustion, tingling in my arms and legs along with the ever changing mood swings.   Then when scrolling through some things, I came across this post I did about a year ago and thought…”this is definitely a good one to reblog”..

The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino was used to describe her battle with Lupus to a friend.  It is a great way to explain those silent diseases. You know, the ones where we don’t look sick.

My days go 50/50.  Some are great while there are days when I struggle.  I walk a little slower.   But don’t most people creeping towards 60.  Breathing issues come with weight gain but really I didn’t have this much trouble when I was almost 300 pounds.  Yes I was!  Memory issues – we all have them, right? Senior moments have progressed to not remembering key events in my life.  The unexplained mood swings and actually having to talk yourself into getting up in the morning because you just don’t have the energy to move.

There is frustration when people make comparisons to our struggles seeming like it is no big deal.  Our struggles are real.  Isolated symptoms are manageable but when they are all put together it is a nightmare.  The difference in being sick and being healthy is having to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.

So what is the spoon theory?  Start with a handful of spoons (say 12)…

If you are healthy, you have a never-ending supply of “spoons”.  But when a silent disease forces you to plan your day, you need to budget those “spoons” throughout the day. So you start with 12 spoons.  You always have to be conscious of how many you have, and don’t drop them because you can’t forget you have _________ (fill in the blank with your hidden diagnosis).

Now, list all your tasks for the day, including the simplest one – the ones you don’t even realize take any effort to do.  Each task will cost you a spoon. Yes, each and every one of them.

Crack open your eyes and take a mental assessment of your body.  Getting out of bed is an effort because you didn’t sleep well (1 spoon).  Get a shower (1 spoon). Wash your hair (1 spoon). Get dressed (another spoon). You are already down 4 spoons and you haven’t even made it to the kitchen. Two more spoons to make breakfast and clean up.  You are down to 6 spoons and you haven’t gone to work.

Commuting to work (1 spoon).  Sitting too long, one of the toughest things for me (another spoon),  Lunchtime – skipping could cost you a spoon.  Three more gone and half a day of work left. More long hours sitting or a hectic day at the office will cost you another spoon.

Commute home (1 spoon).  We are now down to 1 spoon.  Dinner to prepare, laundry, prep for the next day at work or maybe you were supposed to meet friends for a movie.  You may not be able to do it all.  OR, if you do it all, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

So, what happens when the spoons are gone?  We are done – unable to push any further and it is time to rest or crash.  Regardless of what your silent disease is, we live with the looming thought tomorrow may be a better day BUT it could be worse.

The hardest thing for me is slowing down.  I want to do it all. I want my old life.  I hate missing out on things. I get frustrated,  I need to think about the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one thing.  I miss the freedom of just doing. . I miss never having to count “spoons”.

I share this not for sympathy but so others can understand the challenges of those with a silent disease.  I see this as a blessing just as I saw my addiction as a blessing. I am forced to think about everything I do. I am forced to be in the moment and not waste time or energy.

Do you know someone who is struggling with a silent disease?  Take a moment and give them a hug to let them know you NOW get it.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

I’m sure you have heard it a million times “a picture says a thousand words” or something like it… No need for a caption sometimes, it is just enough to post a picture and let it speak for itself.

Picture taking is easy with smartphones, no need to carry a camera. You can take a picture anywhere you go as long as you have your cell phone.  I mean, how many of us leave the house without our cell phone?  I know, I don’t and if I do, I head back to the house to get it. Once you take a picture, it is easy to post on Facebook, Pinterest, SnapChat and Instagram.  I’m sure there are more places but they are the ones I know.  I will admit, I use Facebook most of the time and occasionally Instagram.

An article on the Direct Selling Education Foundation website called “4 Ways Photos Can Help You Grow Your Business” gives some great suggestions:

1. Take pictures of yourself and other people using your product.

I’m not a big fan of posting pictures with me in them BUT I will post pictures of product (or with my customers in them).

Sharing pictures when I am at a vendor shows allows me to share not only my display but encourage potential customers to visit the event.

Photo contests are a great way to get customers to share their pictures. I have done this as well on my closed Facebook group for my VIP customers.

2. Take pictures of your parties (with permission).

I don’t do this one as often as I would like.  I always forget until it is too late.  I am usually so involved partying with guests and the hostess I forget about taking pictures.

3. Take pictures of things you get to enjoy as a result of your business.

This could be of a vacation you have earned, a program or sport your children gets to participate in because of your business.  It can be somethng you have earned from your company as well.  So excited to be cursing this year for our 6th wedding anniversary courtesy of Thirty One. 4. Share pictures of things unrelated to your business. This lets people know you are not all about business.  Share pictures of your family, motivational quotes, pets, kids – anything and everything you are interested in.

I started sharing pictures long before I knew it was a marketing strategy.  It was a way for me to reach out to family, friends, and potential customers to let them know about me, my products and where I was for vendor events. Another way to network and build relationships with customers.

Share DON”T sell.  How often do you see the posts for “buy now” or “need to sell” begging you to buy their products?  How often have you seen ads for great deals on products fill your news feed?  I know I do every day.  I love seeing people use their products or their results from using things.  It creates an interest in the product.

What will your next photo op be to share your product or your business?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

To Discount or Not, is the Question?

It is Saturday and for many direct sellers today is the day for vendor events.  We use these events as a way to expand our circle of  potential customers and hostesses.  Some vendors will be successful while others will struggle?  Some will be “selling” and making deals while others will be embracing the value of their products.

Are you a direct seller who falls into the trap of discounting your products?  Do you find people are always asking you if they can buy the sale product without the qualifier (spend so much to get)?  There may be a good reason for it…

Customers have found you slash prices on a regular bases – even on current product and continually offer sale items without qualifiers.  Don’t get me wrong, I may offer some of my regular customers a special or two on occasion but NOT on a regular basis.  Why?  Because in the long run, I will not make any money.

There are many who would disagree with me BUT the truth is when you discount your products, you are hurting yourself and the industry as a whole.  Why are prices set at a certain price point?  Why are specials set up during a given period?  Because a team of experts at your company’s home office set the prices based on research, production and promotion.

I have stopped taking product to vendor events to “clear out my inventory”.  Why? Because I save those deep discounts for the people who support my business on a regular basis.  Customers buying items at a vendor event at a deep discount, will only be customers as long as you have deep discounts.  I WILL sell current products at current prices without charging for tax and shipping.

Extreme discounts are a mistake because:

  • People will expect them. Why would they pay full price if they know you’ll be running a huge sale in a day or two?
  • It devalues the product. The list price will seem too high, even though your team of experts know the true value.
  • You need to make money.

TRUST the brand. TRUST the price. TRUST yourself.

Are you thinking the only way to draw in customers and new team members is to cut your prices?  Believe me when I tell you, it may happen in the short term but will not be enough to sustain or grow your business.

Here are some things you can do to draw in customers without de-valuing your products:

★ Free or discounted shipping: This is a lower cost burden to you and is still enticing to clients. (Can you say “Amazon Prime?!?”)
Tax-free weekends (or day): Does your city or state participate in tax free weekends? Join the party and spread the love to your customers.  You can do this on a regular basis to help you draw in customers.
★ Raffle entries for a free product: This localizes the expense to one product rather than crazy discounts across all inventory.  Do a “Mystery Hostess” party and give away the hostess perks.
★ Product samples: If your company offers samples – hand them out freely with your business card.  If not, get creative about how to share the love.  I sometimes do a mini catalog with chocolates or a nail file or a Proverbs 31 bookmark with my contact information on it.
★ 10% discounts for an outside order: You and I both know outside orders are rare. Reward them with a small discount!
★ Connect personally: Offer a discount to the people in the room. This increases exclusivity without burdening you financially.                                                                      ★ Offer a discount for referrals:  When someone refers someone to me and they join my team, the person referring them gets a $25 VISA gift card.  If it is a retail order, the referring person gets a card with a small gift.

Always remember, you have value and your products have value. You want to stand out in the crowd of direct sellers….. and I don’t mean by selling your products at cheap prices.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Thirty One 5th Anniversary


February 7th, 2011 – the first time I talked to Hope Shortt.  Some would call it stalking – I followed her on Facebook and I read about her when I Googled her name.  I already knew what an amazing person she was BEFORE I had this conversation. I told her that I wanted to join her Thirty One team. She asked me “what my why” was? I mean we ask people that all of the time, “What is YOUR why?”. I was nervous and this people pleasing person told her that I wanted to earn some extra money. No big dreams. I wanted to share the products at vendor shows, didn’t want to do home parties and really was not interested in having a team. The recruiting aspect was kind of taken care of because it was just one day prior to the FREEZE. WOW, that was a relief.  I had been doing craft/ vendor shows for over 20 years, so that was going to be easy.  Hope listened and said that she would be there to help when I needed her. No pressure just support and kindness.

I shared Thirty One at vendor events – selling but still NOT booking parties. I mean I had a full-time CRAZY busy job, who had time for home parties. Then my first TWO potential recruits. OMG!!! I was honest with both of them from the start.  I wasn’t doing home parties and I was going to learn along with them. Believe it or not, they still joined as soon as the freeze lifted and quickly qualified with $1,000 in sales each. I was a Senior Consultant.  I wasn’t sure what that meant but that was okay.   Then I got a home office lead that wanted a HOME PARTY! Panic set in… it was someone I didn’t know and I was clueless. I had never done a home party. I could do this… and I DID!  I stumbled my way through it – no additional booked parties or recruits but I had sales.  So that was okay.

My FIRST Thirty One National Conference in 2012 was where I set the goal and decided that I wanted to be in Leadership.  The goal was to be Director BEFORE National Conference 2013. All of those stats that say those who go to national conference earn more – TRUE! Those who go to national conference – PROMOTE – TRUE! October, 2012 I was DIQ and in January 2013, I was blessed to earn my $1,000 Director Bonus. It was a whirlwind time filled with lots of emotions.

National Conference 2013 with my daughter and members of the Rays of Hope Team.  I walked across stage and was CELEBRATED as a NEW Thirty One Director. Tears of joy flowed freely that weekend and continue each time I think back to the moment.  Hope Shortt, my National Executive Director, hugged me and the tears continued to flow.

Since that year, my why has changed so much.  I no longer work full-time but have a part-time job till my Thirty One business pays all of my bills.

I still struggle with my “why” and learning to DREAM BIG. Home parties are second nature.  I continue to work on personal development so that I can CELEBRATE – ENCOURAGE – REWARD my team. The biggest blessing from Thirty One is the restoration of a confidence in myself that I lost when I was in HIGH SCHOOL. Yes, I have earned FREE products! Yes, I have been able to pay off debt & travel as a result of my commission checks! Yes, I have found a sisterhood that I didn’t know existed in my Thirty One sisters! Yes, I have grown in my walk with God, learning to trust and believe that his will will be done in my business! These are all the things that Thirty One has blessed me with…. it CHANGED MY LIFE. Could it be the think that changes your life?


Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Tips from the Million $ Party Girl

monday morning

Halfway through November with only about 6 weeks left in the year.  YIKES!  Was one of your resolutions or goals to build your team?  Or maybe be consistent in your business?  One of the biggest struggles that most direct sellers have is getting out of their own way.  They think that leadership (and success) requires knowledge and ALOT of time.  Guess what neither is true.

I have been following the AMAZING Lynn Bardowski, the Million Dollar Party Girl and have been getting some great tips.  So whether you are a leader, working towards leadership, had a momentary thought about being a leader or just want to grow your personal business here are some tips from “How to Build Your Direct Sales Team“:

1. CREATE your vision. Successful leaders create their vision – before setting goals. Mix 1/3 passion with 1/3 purpose, add in 1/3 crazy and blend well with massive action. Vision will inspire you and others to act.


2. BUILD belief. Lack of belief and confidence is the #1 reason people don’t start a direct sales business, or give up. Your belief in others is what will motivate them to take a leap and go for it. Send cards, texts and Facebook messages that let your hostesses, potential sponsors and team members know how awesome they are.

3. SERVE others. Successful leaders put the team before themselves. This is true for direct sales success as well. Plan on devoting your time, energy and sometimes profits to mentor and coach consultants. Don’t worry about the party chain you’re giving up to give a new consultant a great start, or the profit you just lost by helping a Consultant at their Grand Opening party. That’s small change compared to the lives you’ll help shape, and the bigger income that will come back to you in the future. Let this question be your guide: “Is what I’m doing serving myself, or serving others?”

4. ASK open ended questions. You don’t have to know all the answers, just the right questions. Here’s my top 5: 1) What interests you most about [leadership, the company, hosting a party, earning the trip, etc.]? 2) What is your BIG WHY? 3) On a scale of 1-10, how committed are you to making your WHY a reality? 4) Tell me about a recent success; what did it take? 5) What do you attribute that to?

5. RECOGNIZE effort, progress and results. Social media is your best recognition tool, and it’s free. Give shout-outs on your group page and create a wall post with a fun graphic. 

6. INFLUENCE with your attitude, actions and belief. Successful leaders are caring, empathetic and grateful. You are influencing all the time, even when you post on Facebook. Are you the dream consultant that you want to sponsor? If yes, keep doing more of that. If no, then work on being an awesome consultant first. Do what you want duplicated.

Lynn has some great tips on vendor event set-up which is especially great during this holiday season.  Stay tuned for an upcoming boot-camp with Lynn sponsored by Jersey Shore Direct Sellers.  A great opportunity to learn how she grew her business to be the Million Dollar Party Girl.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!