Thursday, July 31, 2014

Reaching Out

With all the flying and traveling I have done over the past 18 months, you would think I would take a book on a plane to keep myself occupied and in my own little world.  Well, I had good intentions but God had other plans on flight 2979 last Saturday night from Orlando.

I was tired from waiting an extra 2 hours in the airport cause of delays due to storms and just wanted a window seat so I could watch the sky as we flew home.

So I made it to the back of the plane and grabbed the first window seat I could get to and settled in not really paying attention to my surroundings. Mentally I was reliving the trip and making a goal list for the coming days.

Then a young man asked if the seat in the middle was taken and we said no. So this young man stowed his backpack and sat between me and the young lady in the aisle seat.

I couldn't help but notice the young man had a buzz cut and it quickly reminded me of my son and what he looked like before and after Basic/AIT. (My son is a PFC in the US Army.)  I tried to shut myself up and I questioned if I should start a conversation.  I thought and thought and finally decided to speak up and told myself he would think I was crazy for asking him the question, but Oh well, he wouldn't be the first to think I was crazy.

I took a deep breath and asked, "Do you happen to be in the military?"  He smiled really big and said Yes, how did you know? Then I went on to tell him about my son in the Army and turns out this young man lives really close to where I work and is in the Coast Guard Academy. It made for a very nice flight home.

So, Don't be afraid to reach out and speak to someone, you just might make a friend!

Take care of yourself and seek help! Don't feel alone!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How Far You Have Traveled

I am back home in good, comfy Tennessee (aka home) and my head/mind is still swirling with all the training and information I received at the conference last week.

I was blessed by a dear friend (D) who offered to take me back and forth to the airport and we had some really great conversations about each other's goals and interests and of course we talked about our businesses as well. She may not realize it, but she has become one of my mentors because she has inspired me to try new things or look at tasks in a different light. It was a blessing to not have to drive back and forth to the airport alone and having those valuable conversations really helped me a lot.

I was blessed by three other ladies in my company who encouraged me, cheered me on and truly listened to my goals and offered to help me in any way they could. For the first time at a national conference I felt like I truly belonged there. Thank you A, S, and M. I am forever in your debt for your words and support during LITE14.

I realized the day I flew out that it was an anniversary of my return to TN 2 years prior and I was truly amazed at what GOD has done in my life and for me in the 2 years I have been back here. Everything I have is because of Him. In a time back then when most expected me to fall into a deep depression, I returned to TN with no job, and took what I had learned at 2012 conference and had my top-selling month ever in Direct Sales. So at the end of August that year, my profit check paid my car payment with $3 to spare and I have never forgotten how much I started believing in myself again at that moment. God has brought me through some ugly times in my life and I know he is still walking with me today. I am so thankful to Him for all He does for me daily!!

Today, I urge everyone to take a few minutes to mark how far you have traveled in your journey and not to look back in despair, but look at your current location. Be thankful for where you are! You have come a long way and still have a ways to go (if you are like me), but the journey is where we learn the most from God. I stand amazed at what God has brought forth in my life today and can barely imagine what He has in store for me ahead.

Be a blessing to others and lift up someone else every day! Empower them to believe in a dream and ask if you can help them achieve it in anyway.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911. If you need options and ideas to get to a safe house for you or your children, please contact 1-800-799-7233 and they will help you!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Open Minds

I remember a picture and quote from years ago that likens our minds to a parachute. The mind works best when it is open.

I am not here to change your core beliefs or to ask you to do something totally crazy or unexpected, but I am here writing to share my life experiences and hope that my mistakes and triumphs can help you see that you always have a way out of your current situation.

When your supervisor tells you that you must attend a customer service class and you have worked for the company for 18 years, do you fuss and complain about it constantly and even after the class?  Or do you go to the class without complaining, participate and trust the fact that you just took a refresher course and there is always room to learn and improve?

In a few days, I will be attending a leadership conference for my direct sales company. (If you want to know more about that part of my life, check out my facebook page or my google+ profile.) I am looking forward to learning what programs are coming and new products that we will be offering this fall to our customers.  This years conference is so different than ever before because it is completely business and leadership focused. I am excited to go and learn from the top leaders so that I can grow my business and share the information with my team.

It is not easy to lead a team of very different people. I work hard to plan a workshop every month to help them increase their sales and be more comfortable with the business. I don't always get my ideas across in the way I plan. I get frustrated because do not go as planned.

I pray a lot for my business and my team so that I can be the best leader/coach that God would have me to be.  Leading a team in direct sales is a lot like having a Girl Scout troop and I did that for 15 years. 

I pray that all of us going to Orlando this week for LITE14 will attend with a great attitude and plan to have an open mind about the new programs and products that are ahead for our company.  You truly cannot learn without an open mind.

Stay true to yourselves, do not let anyone put you down and know that no matter what God Loves you and wants to be a part of your life! Be Safe my friends!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

What are you Selling?

All of us are selling something. Think about it. Everyone, whether they are in Direct Sales or MLM, is selling something. The mechanic down the street sells his expertise, the graphic designer sells her designs, the photographer sells her pictures, the hairstylist sells her talent, the Christian shares their faith and there are tons of other examples if you choose to see them. Don't fault others for making money by sharing products they believe in. Encourage them and share them with your friends to lift them up.

It is no secret that I am a proud business owner in the Direct Sales Industry. I started this blog to share my personal journey and how God covered me, blessed me and rescued me even after I turned my back on him many times in my own life. God constantly pursued me and welcomes me with open arms every time.

I just want to encourage you today to check your speech, your attitude and consider all of that as your walking, talking resume to the world. You are always selling something. You could share your kindness, your love of animals, your gift of hospitality and many other things. We all have gifts are commanded to use them for the Glory of God. 

God has a purpose for you and God loves you. Do what you are meant to do but return all the Glory to God who gave you the talent.  I was told a long time ago, that if something comes easy to you as breathing then it is most likely one of your innate talents you were blessed with. 

My day job for 18 years now has been doing administrative office work. Even though now I am in the accounts payable field, I am still working in an office providing a service to my agency and our vendors.  

For 11 years, I have been part of a direct sales company and I love holding the shows, events, fundraisers sharing the products that I love so much. I also recruit and train others in my area (near and far) because I love to see people succeed and achieve their dreams. 

Today, Take a little while to take an inventory of your life, your aptitude and what you are good at and put it to good use helping others around you. I believe in you, now CHOOSE to believe in yourself and work toward a goal with love.

Keep yourselves safe and take care to speak with kindness!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Say everything with kindness

Words, attitude and tone of voice mean a great deal when you are speaking to others. Consider how you sound when you speak. Do your words have value or are they empty complaints to hear your own voice to get what you want???

I cannot stand to hear people complain. I have worked in customer service for many years of my adult life and I am professional with my customers and co-workers when the need arises during the work week. 

When I hear people talk on the phone about how they are going to lodge a complaint with the sole purpose of getting their items free, people that is just flat out wrong and it is also a form of stealing. 

Consider this, You place an order for a customized specialty cake with a local bakery.  You pick up your order at the appointed time, the bakery employee (or the cake decorator themselves) has you check the cake over and you say to their face that the cake is great or wonderful and thank them with a smile. Then you go home and have your party, eat the cake and then call the store back telling them how the order was wrong or the color of the icing was not exactly what you ordered.  Depending on the chain or store you are dealing with, you might get part or all of your money back because the store wants to keep you happy. So you got your cake for free.  Have you ever thought of what happens to the person that created that cake for you or how they are treated after you LIED to get what you wanted for free? 

IF you had taken the time to speak to the decorator and tell them to their face what was incorrect (if anything actually was), they usually can fix any errors on the spot and keep everyone happy. Then you pay for your cake and you have been honest and upfront and not caused anyone to written up because you wanted a FREE cake.

All in all, this boils down to choices.  You can choose to get upset over tiny things that don't make a bit of difference at the end of the day or you can sit there and scheme and complain to get your way and make people in service jobs run the other way when they see you coming into their shop.

Some bosses punish their workers when they have to give a refund and some don't. I have been thrown under the bus by former supervisors when they caught a minor typo in a newsletter I sent out.  My supervisor actually told a bank manager that I was inept and stupid because of a minor typo. This went on my Performance Evaluation and everything. This did not make me work harder, it made me hate my supervisor in those days.

There is nothing wrong with complete honest constructive criticism given in love.  What is wrong is your mental attitude when your sole purpose is to get someone fired or wrote up because they upset you or told you something you didn't want to hear. 

And please, if you find a fly in your bag of celery, don't call the grocery store to demand your money back. Because honestly that celery was not bagged at the store in most cases and all you are doing is making yourself look stupid by demanding a refund.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What are you focused on?

In business, I often hear that we as business owners receive what we focus on. I fully believe and know from experience that when I put God and his word first every day, things don't seem to bother me as much. Do I do this everyday? No, I don't always put my faith and reading first. And sometimes I go a couple of days without reading and then I really get lost in the 'world' so to speak.

In direct sales we often ask consultants a simple question when they start the business or set new goals. The question is: "What is your why?"

Over the past 11 years, my "why" has changed dramatically. I joined my company (PartyLite) to make extra money selling their beautiful accessories and fragrant candles. I saw the income opportunity as a ticket out of my job at the time.

Just like my business goals have changed over the years, my personal goals have changed over my lifetime as well.  Rest assured I have no plans to turn this blog into a promotion for my company, I just used my business as a way to show examples of focal points and how when our focus changes, our lives to exhibit change eventually.

I believe it is always good to take a break from reality and close yourself off to reset yourself and your mindset and focus. I do this by making a vision board every six months.

What is a vision board? My definition of a vision board is simply a poster or piece of paper with pictures or words to show your goals. I have made several over the years and currently have a vision board and a prayer board on the inside of my bedroom door so I see it every morning when I leave my room. 

So, when you read this, My suggestion is for you to create a vision board. A vision board can include any of your goals (faith, business, personal, family, health, etc.).

Proverbs 16:9 A person plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps. (NIV)

As I have said before, Pray, then plan and pray some more and be sure you have peace before making decisions.

Stay safe and don't be afraid to ask for help!