Growing the Business

Running Out Of Time?

How many days do you run in circles?

Today was my day. I had three items on my Bling list.

  1. Change the beds.
  2. Schedule social media posts
  3. Listen to 2 development webinars.

Have you used Bling? It’s a fun and Free Messenger App that helps me stay on track… if I keep my phone close.

I find using a digital calendar and keeping the deets in the notes section to be a grand help. Every evening before I retire, I check my calendar, lay out everything I need, enter the quickie notes in Bling and wash my face.

The few minutes that little routine requires, allows me to sleep peacefully and wake up confident. There’s nothing like an organized mind and a clean face on a lavender scented pillow case!

To make it even easier, I have beautiful containers labeled by day. Each time I schedule a follow up or delivery, I place materials in the coordinating day container, schedule any tasks I need to complete before the appointment and relax. When I schedule every step, I know the meeting will be a success because I consistently plan. By the time I’m ready to prepare for that day, I can usually find it already assembled. Just grab my materials for the day and go!

Each week I take time to prepare 30 sets of handouts. Sometimes it’s labeled samples, sometimes postcards, some are brochures or flyers. Each morning, as I enter the office, I pick up five or six and determine how they’ll be distributed. Maybe they go in the day container or the mailbox. However it gets done, the day is not done until I’ve made the contacts. How can I follow up, if there’s nothing to follow?

As your own organization system takes shape, you’ll be finding extra time for fun or work. Just remember… leave some white space so you can join an impromptu lunch with friends or a video call with the granddaughter. Networking with friends and business associates is never wasted time.

Take it one step further… Here’s an example: Monday I work from home – no scheduling of errands, but it’s a great day for changing the beds, etc. Tuesday is volunteer day, errands are scheduled before and after. Wednesday mornings are a great time for recruiting, as long as I get home to be with my granddaughter by 3. See, you may find breaking down your days for maximum efficiency helpful and while it takes time to get in the habit, it’s well worth it!

Hint: if you prefer a paper schedule use a pencil for flexible appointments, ink for the unchangeable. Using a white eraser keeps it neat. On my digital calendar I end each flexible entry with F (flexible).

Granddaughter’s are not flexible and she loves gingerbread cookies-they go in the Wednesday container!

Becoming the organized master scheduler of your time allows more flexibility for you! Believe it or not… creating an intentionally organized life is… a matter of living better!

Growing the Business, Thoughts of the Day

Today Could Just Be Different

Today COULD be the day that everything changes.

When I awoke and stepped on the cold tile floor, I thought… “why am I doing this?”

For just a few dollars, I could purchase a small rug that would make my feet warm when I wake up in the mornings.  For a few dollars more, I could probably buy some new house-shoes and for just a few hundred, purchase carpet.   So, “why”?    I’m waiting.

I’m waiting to make the right decision for the new flooring. Of course, the decision hasn’t settled on me yet.  So my feet get cold.  I don’t want to buy a rug, because when I settle on the flooring, I won’t need it.  Same with the shoes.   That’s why.  I’m waiting.

When I started my Avon business, I had waited about 6 months from the first time I thought about it.  In that 6 months, I didn’t make any extra money and I didn’t meet any new friends and I didn’t add any new skills to my life that could make a difference.  The price of the start up kit changed and the incentive offers changed – but I waited.

FINALLY, I moved in the right direction… starting my business with a sweet lady with an English accent that really kept my attention!  I met new people, banked some cash and best of all… added some skills to my life that changed me forever.   It was a gradual change, but it began with that first decision.

If you are waiting on something to ‘settle’ on you before you make an important decision, let me encourage you to move toward the ‘decidin’ part’, as my grandmother called it.  Get on with it and enjoy meeting others, earning extra money and adding skills to your life.  It will change you.

I hope you’ll choose to join me at Avon.  But, first… I’m off to choose a rug!

Growing the Business, Uncategorized

Avon Parties – what a difference!

It all begins with the Invitation!  Someone INVITED you to Avon…  maybe to a PARTY…

Here are some suggestions to make your party fun, creative and profitable.

My favorite:

Select a theme… build on the theme, invite the friends to bring food based on the theme, make it about the theme… and btw, it’s an Avon party, too.

Tell everyone about your “spring color” party… prepare snacks that are spring colorful, use spring colored napkins and wear spring colored attire… maybe a bonnet!  Decorate with Easter grass of many colors in clear containers…  invite your guests to bring their favorite “spring snack” and prepare at least ONE Spring-related game.

When you hand them that beautiful invitation… mention… and BTW, it’s an Avon party, too! Won’t that be fun? We can check out all the new spring colors in fashion and makeup!

Door Prize entry….    Provide a  Registration Card, on the back provide an  area for a Wish List.    Fill it out throughout the evening, not just at the beginning.  Take them up at the end of the evening and award door prize(s).  You’ll have contact info for follow up and will know the products your guests are interested in, or have questions.

Wish List…. Save the brochure for the end of the evening, during the shopping portion.  Collect the Wish list with the order form to use in another drawing.  Use that for future offers, incentives, up-sell.

Think-about-it-packet…  use these to secure more parties.

The Think-about-it packet is a party pack with order forms, brochures, instructions, etc.

Instead of accepting their “no”… ask them to consider taking a “think-about-it-packet”.

There are three rules, to accepting them.

1)  You have to agree to take at least 2 minutes to look at it and think about it.

2) Since you agree to do that, you have to take my call and  agree to talk to me for 5 minutes this week… when would be a good time?   (give her a business card with the time circled)

3) You have to promise to let me down easy if you decide your answer is no.

When you call back, if she says no, you can use your phone skills to show her the benefits of a brochure party… taking orders for you, like a helper.

SHOW UP ON TIME… 1 hour early!   There is no better respect to give your hostess than to show up on time, looking professional, and prepared!

That means in your DRESS CLOTHES… with makeup, Avon attire… looking snazzy!  You’ve PRACTICED your presentation … and you KNOW your stuff without having to read!  KNOW what page the products are on… my trick, code a label on the bottom of the product!


to her, to her guests… what do they WANT?  What do they NEED?   Not enough money to buy whats on the Wish List?  – Opportunity time!


Don’t promise a delivery date that “rushes” you… what if you get sick? What if UPS is late?     If you are to call back … DO IT!


This  question turns everything around… What Can I Do To Support You?

Call all past guests… within 2 weeks of delivery… (on your calendar, please)

Are they happy with their products? Do they need refill?

Would they like to earn their FREE refill by booking a home or brochure party for you?

Growing the Business

Hints for Outdoor Event-ing

I love doing outdoor events… or I did, at one time!

Back in the day, as they say, I could set up the tent alone, unload the truck and build a display in no time.

I had the picture in my head and knew how it should look.  I dressed to sell, and be warm. I had my words in their place and knew every price, markup and available swap.

I had to get back in the swing of doing my own event, after a 6 year hiatus while working for the company, instead of myself.

Here in the south, we speak to people, wave and make eye contact as they walk or drive by.  I think I forgot how annoying it can be when they ignore me.  Is it that hard to say “good morning”?  I love speaking to people. I love hearing about their lives and families. I really enjoy talking about my business, and I’m pretty good at reading them and knowing when they prefer to talk about themselves.  I can listen, at least until the next customer slips under my tent top.

I like to think the children who run free and enjoy the weather and my wares are learning something. Like how to put it back, don’t touch, and don’t spill your drink there, please. I can teach them quietly while mom enjoys my neighbor’s booth – maybe she will stop here and take them to the next vendor.

Ants and rain, wind and rude people, sunburns and unsupervised children, do not stop dedicated vendors who love the carnival atmosphere and the joy of sharing with others.  There’s a “look” between them. Something akin to the momma “looks” when you slipped and said the bad word or answered inappropriately.  Then, if you watch carefully, you’ll see the smile of understanding spread across the vendor’s sun kissed faces as they empathize.  It’s still fun and always profitable.

So, here are my tips for a successful vendor event:

  1. Buy the great weights for the tent. Whatever they cost… we saw several types.  We opted for the Pinterest suggestion of using Gal jugs of water, tied to the tent. It’s economical and we will be using them in our Keurig.  I saw someone use the judysame type jugs with pebbles.  I have to say with the gusts we weathered this last weekend, they were not enough.  Picture this: my friend, Judy and I were hold the tent poles at one time, like we were water skiing! We really had a great laugh over the wind.  I learned, from the vendor across the way, that using bungee cords to join the two tents together by the legs and top rails gave us the extra support we needed. There are weights made for tents… canvas, plastic and a variety.  The best one we saw was a “runner” between the two side sets of tent poles.  The gentleman had 2 2×4’s from front to back poles and bolted them thru the tent poles.  Then they used the wooden runners like pallets for their stock.  It took him 5 minutes to install and 5 minutes to tear down.  The weight was sufficient and easy to transport.
  1. Set the tables INSIDE the parameters of the tent. Not on the edge… allow room to drop the tent canopy over your products for evening or weather.
  2. A great booth, allows the customer to ENTER , get out of the sun and rain and have a soft spot to walk. They’ll stay longer. They’ll shop. If you have an extra seat or bench – perfect!  I saw where a vendor had purchased puzzle shaped pieces of mat (like for a kid’s room) and created a great floor for her booth. Of course, she was among the last of the vendors to finish packing – but she always had people standing in her “store”.
  1. Keep your money in your pocket, not in a register or money box. Use that for straightening and lightening your load.  You’ll do better if you sell at the product display and make the change right there.
  2. Add the tax into your price and round it to the dollar amountno time for coins at the carnival.
  3. Have a crew of loving family and friends help you break down. Order pizza and beer and celebrate your success. You’ll be exhausted after several days of living outdoors. I use clear plastic tubs with lids to carry product. Most are the same size, to stack easily.  Each tub has a product brand or name on the paper taped to the inside.  Give each helper a cloth to dust the products before packing. They’ll be dusty. Others can help you load tubs in no time, when they don’t have to ask questions.  You can inventory them the next day. Ask them to set the tubs outside the parameters of the tent when they are loaded and snapped shut. You’ll be able to drop the tents while others are loading tubs.
  4. When possible, I rent the tables from the vendor event organizers. This minimum expense and the accompanying service of setting them in place, is well worth the cost.  When I have to carry my own, I use the foldable white plastic type, as they are lighter and travel more compact.  I always buy the 4 foot, making my booth set up more flexible.  I take a thick mat to even the surface between tables.  A piece of cardboard does nicely, too.
  5. Pack the tents neatly! Fold the canopy to lessen the wrinkles, sweep it off, if needed and stand the frames carefully. If the canopy is wet, place a reminder on your calendar to unpack it for drying at home. It’s your home away from home and you don’t want any unexpected issues when you arrive at the next event!  We have seen a number of tent styles used successfully. Your choice depends on your product, space and set up staff.   The guys across the way lifted my top poles because I’m so short.  I appreciate them, but I really need to figure that part out. I will.  I used the quick pop-up type and bought it at Tractor Supply, near my house.  It came with a rolling case and clean, crisp white canopy.  I borrowed a canopy with my booth brand on it and substituted it, giving our booth some clear identification.
  6. Dress in layers and put your hair back! You never can tell what the weather will do, so be prepared. Don’t overdo your makeup, again… the weather.  Be fun, simple and enjoy the ride. 
  7. FOLLOW UP is the key to continuing success in days to come. Be sure to have a reason to collect contact info. Shoppers are suspicious, but if you have a great reason, they’ll give you name, email, phone and sometimes a mailing address.  Then, be ethical with that information.

Vendors like each other.  We make deals and swaps and help each other when the tent blows.  It’s a cool team of people you probably didn’t know 24 hours before.  When vendor neighbors leave, they do so knowing they may never meet again. However, if you are lucky, you’ll have a plan to see each other down the road.

Take time to take it all in! All the smells, jokes, people-watching pleasure, and opportunities that come to you are profit. They are experiences you didn’t have yesterday.  Make notes on your calendar and consider whether it would be good to rebook right now!  The world is small.  There’s always a new inspiration, a new friend, your next potential partner, and of course, the sell… profit comes in many ways- don’t miss out on any of them.

Growing the Business, Thoughts of the Day

Success is about the WHATEVER

I’ve found that retirement is a time to do more than you possibly did while you were working!

One day I overheard someone mention that they wondered how they ever had time to work a “real job”.  I just laughed it off… until now!

I love selling Avon. Mostly, I love helping people solve their most current issue with their skin and sometimes assist as they choose gift items or daily care products for family and friends.  Since I love helping people, it stands to reason that the best part of my side gig is the face to face conversations and relationship building.adobe-spark-post (2)

Through Avon, I’ve met women who want so badly to become their own person, so to speak.  What I love to show them is that THEY ALREADY ARE!  It’s their perception of what they would look like, if they “were their own person”.  I think what they mean is if they were energetic enough to work to become the person they see in their dreams.

When I decided to go back into direct sales, my friend asked…”Are you going to do whatever it takes to achieve (the incentive)?

WHATEVER is a big word, folks! I know, better than some, that it takes fortitude to build a direct selling business to the scale from which we would love to earn.  Replacing a salary takes work… and if you want to “retire” at the same time… one would be fooling oneself!

At the same time (within days) of our notice of downsizing, three tragedies struck my personal world.  ‘Overwhelmed’ is not even a big enough word to describe my life. Poor hubs. He’s so loving and loyal and knows when to get out of the way.  So, I did not do the WHATEVER.  I couldn’t hardly move. Or eat. Or make a phone call.  It was like life had ended during those days and weeks.

Then, a former customer called.

We had no relationship outside of Avon.  But, she remembered, that I knew the product she needed.  She remembered that I could find it for her, even if I couldn’t sell it to her.  We were both excited to visit and renew our talk about our children, her skin care need, my return to direct selling and her own plans for future retirement.

She was the reason I moved passed the disaster.  My relationship with her was one of helping.  I helped her meet the needs she was experiencing at that moment.

I felt great helping someone else, rather than feeling sad and overwhelmed by the responsibility and loss in my own life. She became my impetus.  Our relationship made me move.

Now, we have a team. We are working a local county fair this week. We are meeting new people again and doing the WHATEVER.  My calendar is full and my floors need sweeping. The landscaping team I hired need answers and the dogs need baths. I have an Eastern Star meeting to attend tonight and my wonderful up line has stepped in at the fair.  I need to print more tickets to my workshop (for fair follow-up) and I have a 2:30 appointment with a young woman preparing to be a stay at home mom.  I’ll be starting two new team members this week, just like I did last week.  We will be counting the money together in 3 weeks!

How would I ever have time to work a full time “regular job”? Or for that matter, retire!

Success in direct selling … mine happens to be with Avon… is about the WHATEVER. Being a personal shopper is about doing what makes YOU feel good.

Being the business owner is about serving others!

I love being the owner… how about you?

Growing the Business, Thoughts of the Day


Today MONDAY –  Follow Up Day.

Following up from the weeks’ successes and moving the ‘almosts’ into the water as they decide to “step off the boat”, as my pastor, Chad, shared Sunday- is my Monday goal.

As I sat there 7 rows back,  listening to him, I could just see the incredible realization Peter must have enjoyed when he realized what Jesus was offering him.  His HAND! His SUPPORT! His PROMISE!  I loved that picture in my mind!  When we have the faith to ‘get out of the boat’, we just may find ourselves ‘walking on the water’ as Peter and Jesus did TOGETHER!  It reminded me why I love what I do!

Don’t worry, I didn’t miss the message… we were talking about having faith in seagullour heavenly Father to keep us safe as we do his bidding and move our lives in the right direction for His glory… not ours.  Still, it reminded me why I love what I do!

I can’t help but think of the similarity as I begin my follow up routine this Monday morning.

I’ve seen many people  start to do something they just knew they would love… only to realize their faith in themselves would soon falter and they’d be looking for something else along the way- because their experience wasn’t what they desired.  Many times, they just didn’t think it through or don’t have the skill, money or time to devote to a new endeavor. Sometimes it’s not important enough to acquire the skill, set aside the money or devote the time… but they are positive minded and they should be able to “do it”.

Anyone can think positive for ten minutes. Anyone can throw money at an opportunity and play at business. Anyone can start an exercise routine and anyone can start saving money.  Just because we can, doesn’t always mean we should.

Only the strong can keep a positive attitude when the sales don’t come in, or it’s too hot outside to run, or they really want to buy something outside the self imposed budget.


Because sales don’t always come in when we want them.  Sometimes, we need to leave the house and attend a function or spend .69 on a brochure and drive 15 miles to a location and drink sweet tea with a prospective customer before she will spend her hard earned money with us.  Sometimes, she will spend $5.00 and sometimes $50.  BUT, the JOY of meeting people and learning about their needs, and being able to HELP is the best feeling in the world.  Sometimes, we will sweat and do without.

I believe if our faith in our own abilities and willingness to develop ourselves to succeed can thrive, the real winner will be us!  It’s not about selling someone more, it’s about meeting their needs, solving their problem or providing a good example for a new team member.  Doing the right thing for each person is never wrong.

Sometimes someone needs a hand.

In sales, we get to meet an awesome person who allows us to come into her life and get to know her. We get to help her solve problems.  We get to care that she is here on this earth and how she is making out.  Some people need us to care! I’m glad I get to be one of those people.

So back to my Monday Follow Up.  While I know that not every customer buys every time, and not everyone I believe would make a great business partner will , I KNOW success is somewhere, someone down the line. I stay vigilant and caring and yes, positive minded.   I want to call, inquire, share great news and hopefully, provide inspiration.

During the week, I meet new people, visit new places and try new strategies. I gather email addresses and phone numbers, connect with others on social media and through referrals.  I unfold myself to them at the first meeting and strive for a connection.  I pay to play by furnishing the best samples, sales materials and services I can offer. I spend time developing my skill.


And then… comes Monday!

Without the follow up, we can’t finish the conversation.

Did I connect? Will they let me in? How will I help? How can I make a difference?  That’s what Follow Up is.  Trying to make a difference… in a friendly, business kind of way.   Helping someone else take a step out and be there to offer the support they need.  Giving my promise to give great service, thoughtful answers and a big hug (or handshake, as needed) .  Doing the right thing for the right person.  Doing this together.

That’s why I love what I do on Monday morning!

Growing the Business, Thoughts of the Day

Friday… day

Fridays (before retirement) meant the end of a hard working week… at some places I worked.  My last job – not so much.  When you work with lots of people, encouraging them and answering their questions, facilitating their actions… you work when they need you.

When their work is also their past time, it normally involves some weekend contact.  So, Friday’s take on less meaning.  There is no end to your week when you work like that.

So, after a time, I managed to lose my work/life balance.  It wasn’t intentional… it just occurred.  It wasn’t even what the company wanted for me… it just happened. Even the team members  apologized every time they called on the weekend.  I was tired, not clearly focused and in the end, less motivated.

So, really… being available 24/7 didn’t do anyone any good.

I missed the grandchildren’s school programs, trips with girlfriends, seeing my sisters when they all got together, a musical at the local college, the birds building the nest at the edge of the porch, game day at church, my old friend’s funeral, time at the piano, organization meetings and local events I had loved before and most important, meaningful time alone with my love.

Balance is a fleeting skill.  When you don’t exercise the core muscles, you lose your balance.  If you don’t visit, go see the masses, have a drink with a friend, or watch the birds, your core muscles get weak. You can’t stand straight. You can’t carry on a current-content conversation, and you can’t listen to soGorgeous Purple flowersmeone who needs to talk… because you are not there.

So, while I search for that elusive balance in my retirement, I have made a plan.  Every Friday… with intention, I will visit someone I haven’t seen in awhile.  Since I know it’s easiest to start in one’s “warm market”, I’m choosing my friend Dianne for today.  Last week, I stopped to visit my long time friend, Lou, at her volunteer station. We had a great visit and I felt so good when I left.

Today, Dianne… who is a former co-worker and now, friend, has lots of interests. I love to hear about her travels, the music concerts she attends with her husband, her adorable grandsons and of course, her new business interests.  I’ve made a list.

As usual, I am reminded that I don’t think I am through working yet… but I’m exploring the realms of retirement – on my terms – in balance with the rest of my life.

Growing the Business


We apologize- your approximate wait time is 11 minutes.

If I’m lucky, they will offer to return the call … in 11 minutes or more… but I won’t lose my place in line!  Yeah, right… how do I know that and where is this line?  I’m a strange person that loves to stand in line!

Anytime I see a line of people, I simply get in the longest one and start talking! It’s a great place to meet people and learn how their world is different from mine.  Sometimes I find a person I can help, if they are open to it.  Sometimes they need to know what I have learned, but they just don’t know it yet. Always, I learn from them. It’s a matter of listening.line

I know someone who would be terribly embarrassed while I do my “line thing”, so I try to shop alone. The samples in my bag or the business card in my hand never take away from the store owners objectives because I love to shop at successful businesses!

They have the longest lines, you know.

So, how can I stand in line for 11 minutes while I’m on the phone… waiting for the approximate moment someone will answer?   Let me check on my online friends… who is standing in line with me today?


Send a PM to Billie… “Wanna do lunch?  I have something new to share!”

Apply SSS Soft and Sensual  REPLENISHING Hand lotion! The fragrance alone makes waiting better! When I’m in an actual line of fellow humans, the soft fragrance always evokes curiosity!

LOVE a post of Zanders then follow up later today with a call.  “Got time to visit?”

TEXT a great product story to a follower in the northeast. Her son has his first date tonight!

EMAIL Polly about her leggings! What a snazzy design!  I wonder what she’s up to these days.

POST Birthday wishes to everyone…. There! Done!

Oops… 10 minutes… gotta get my thoughts back around the person waiting to give me great news! I’ve worked my way near the front of the line, I trust!  I wonder what I will learn about the personality on the other end of the line?