The sun is bright and the wind is fair, so it’s time to walk.
In Texas, a walk at certain times of the day will almost always include mosquitos. The little jiggers just think they belong with someone who is trying to work up or sweat…or not. They buzz around one’s head until you feel like you will fall over from swatting. I guess they actually help increase your heart rate. That could be a blessing in the long run.
I try to remember to wear something dark so just maybe, I can hide from them. You know, I read the herb, jojoba, is a natural repellent, so apparently that’s why those bath oils work so well. I put a 1/2 cap full in the dog’s bath water to help her fight them off. It’s not a product for outdoor-in-the-sun use! It’s OIL. Duh! If you plan on being in the sun, around the water, find your SPF!
So during our walk, before I got off point, I noticed beautiful blooms in my garden! Everyone knows I have a brown thumb, so I was so excited I had to take a picture. Any beautiful thing that I don’t kill is a miracle to be sure. So, I hope you love my picture of the clematis growing in my yard… on a trellis… facing the dog’s yard. Ugh!
That’s right. The one thing I planted myself, that’s growing beautiful, only faces the dog’s yard! No one from the street can see it.
Even if they are in the driveway, they can’t see it. It’s the one plant I planted and grew successfully and my dogs are the only ones to enjoy it.
Except me. Except you. I hope you enjoy your walk… without any pesky tag along flying blessings. Enjoy the view. It’s a great way to live better!
As a young mother, the days were ordered. Get up at the first whimper, place everything in order before the full-out assault to the morning and get everyone and everything done before running out of the house to work. After work chores included a time schedule to get everyone to bed on time and ready to repeat the morning ritual.
Hopefully, everyone leaves in a great mood, ready to attack the day with a positive attitude. That, too, takes it’s toll. It can be exhausting to take on the responsibility of everyone’s happiness.
As I’ve aged and they are raising their own, I see the challenges from a different perspective. I see them accepting the responsibilities with more grace than I. I think that’s a positive thing. They have a clear direction for their families and goals for the future. More positive to enjoy. I see God’s blessings as they move forward with their lives.
My mom and dad retired. I mean, they actually did not work or even think about having anything else to do after they retired. They fished, she quilted, he watched tv, they gardened, took long drives, played dominoes with church friends, helped others and they took turns bugging us on the phone. It was sweet and I loved those little phone calls about the weather or the mosquito population.
I don’t know anyone doing that anymore. I just don’t know them.
Everyone retiring has something else to do. They trade stocks, write blogs, sell handmade crafts, sell antiques, sell a used car or two and some even work part time at local businesses (where they probably have a trusted connection) that need a little extra help now and then.
I have an 80+ year old friend that continues to care for one infant in her home, until the baby can crawl. Then they move on and she takes another for some lucky working mom who needs a grandmother to nurture her newborn while she is away. What a great job!
Many sign up to sell something. It’s the easiest thing to do.
Some just want to sell a little product they believe in. It’s a good way to earn a little and stay sharp with business skills. It’s a good way to contribute to social causes, too. Selling the products that benefit the American Cancer Society, for instance. Those who sell the products earn a little here and there and enjoy a personal discount. Usually, 20-40%, based on their volume of designated products. They purchase materials and pay shipping from those earnings (so take about 10-15% of those earnings away) and the sales taxes collected benefit the communities where the products are sold.
The problem is the recruiting.
Most direct sales companies have realized that using the MLM model is a money maker for them… and their top recruiters. So, why wouldn’t they offer that to everyone? The truth is, very few recruit. Most sell and will take a recruit if they walk in the door or sign up under them. They’ll get a small bonus for that effort and possibly a 1099 to go with it.
Those associates who choose to pursue the dream of success, using the MLM stream, are flooding the social networks, emails and all other phases of communication. There’s so much of it that now many potential customers will not even look at the products (which could be smart purchases) because they don’t want to get flooded with opportunity reminders… over and over and over again. I don’t blame them.
The saturation of consultants in MLM’s is great. I have seen, from experience, that there are so many more non-successful at reaching their dreams, than there are those who reach the top. But, then… where is the “top”, for you? HOPE. That’s their magic. Offering hope. Because anyone CAN, but few DO.
The saturation is so great because they tout “start your own business” for such a small monetary investment and the “freedom to work as you please” while the newbies dream of posting on the social medias and waiting for the orders to flood the carts! NOT! When the big offers of success disappoint, they quit.
Because the company forgot their new associate signed up to sell a few good products to their contacts and that WAS their dream. Then the companies brainwash those well meaning sales associates to buying into the HOPE. And, the MLM label killed their initial dream.
It’s a process.
As I enter this new stage of life, I really want to sell some great products I believe in. Having worked in the industry as an employee, I have learned the value of the products and their ingredients. While I’m not actively recruiting, I’ll gladly help anyone who does happen to sign up under me. I’m not goal-reaching, other than buying and selling at a good return. It’s something I love to do and I hope the MLM aspect of my company will not hold me back.
This is truth. And it took me a time to come to this point.
When I first started, I went all out. I worked it like a business. Every day I made 5 to 10 contacts and every day I posted or wrote posts for scheduling. I gave up weekends for events and spent a portion of everyday in self development. In the first six months, I signed over 20 new associates. I earned bonuses and even a trip. It was fast and furious. It was fun, getting to know my team and helping them get started. Within 3 months, all but 11 are gone. Because they only wanted to sell a few products, not recruit. Because selling just a few products doesn’t make the money all the video’s and training talk about and everything the company offers as incentives, is focused on the recruiting. They only wanted to sell!
So I asked myself. Do I want to retire with the stress of working it like a business? Or why did I come here? I know, first hand what must be done. I came here to prove a point. I wanted to show them they chose wrong. I could do it better than most. So, I did. I took their bonus money, their rewards, even the trip and now I have confirmation that I don’t want to retire with the stress of working it like a business. I want to sell a few great products.
And, I still love some of the products. And, I really like some products my friends sell. I want to speak honestly about those products, and if someone orders from my affiliate website, I could earn a bit, but I want them to not be afraid of receiving too much spam. Did you know you can buy and then unsubscribe? A customer has a choice!
When I started blogging, my goal was to document the discovery process of my unplanned retirement. I’ve looked into affiliate links, cottage industries and the printable market. The thing they have in common is that they are selling something.
What I’ve learned, is it’s the same.
While it’s not a designated MLM, numbers do count. They earn by recruiting others to their affiliate or t-shirt business or download or membership site! It’s the same thing – without the label. Getting attention to your site or the proper link is recruiting. It’s selling. The payoff doesn’t come with a pre-paid trip (but you can buy your own without paying income tax on it) and you don’t need a fancy title to find your success. The dream is the same… hope. We hope to find joy in writing and recruiting to our affiliate(s).
It was a process.
I choose to sell a few great products that I believe in. Those products happen to be sold by some companies who also offer the MLM stream of income – but those companies are more than an MLM and, personally, I believe they do themselves a disservice by not finding a better balance between the earning opportunities and the product offerings.
The associates who represent the products should not be punished or held back because of that lack of balance. After all, they came here to sell a few good products with a good name to some good people who have supported the company for years and years.
I hope the MLM description of the companies that sell my favorite products, won’t kill my selling dream. My dream is about living better. What’s yours?
I’ve spent a good amount of years working in the cosmetic industry as a consultant, representative, employee and customer. (this post includes affiliate links) The routine is always the same. The products may differ, but the routine is what’s important.
Science teaches us that the skin responds to our efforts, environments and consistency.
When we drink plenty of fluids, exercise, protect it… we live better.
Here’s the basic facial skin care routine, my two cents are listed in red.
Cleanse twice daily.Use a cleanser (not soap) that meets your skin’s needs. Moisture in everything… plus oatmeal or lavender if your skin is easily irritated. Exfoliation “beads” (if you work outdoors or are in a dirty environment) – there are cleansers for every skin type! Be sure to PAT dry… don’t rub your sweet skin!
Exfoliate.When you exfoliate a couple of times each week, you open up your skin to the benefits of moisture and any other treatment you provide. Without removing the dead cells, the treatments and rich moisture applied will just sit on top… wasted. There are all types of exfoliants. Every company has their top seller and the price ranges are unbelievable. Shop wisely. Here are my two favorite exfoliate products: Anew product line has several and it just depends on your preference. I really like the Clinical Resurfacing Expert Smoothing Fluid. It’s a product to gently exfoliate and retexturize at the same time! And, I love the Bamboo Polish Facial Exfoliant from Luminess, as a daily gentle scrub. It smells like banana’s! One tip: don’t use dipilitories or products containing alcohol immediately after exfoliation unless you want to enjoy an uncomfortable stinging sensation and possible redness afterward.
MOISTURIZE, girl! After showers, while your pores are warm and cozy and OPEN, take advantage of opportunity to give your all-over skin a break! Even better, if you can add it IN THE SHOWER! Then don’t forget to cool your body down before leaving the shower.
SUNSCREEN EVERYDAY! Without doubt, we know that the sun can damage our skin in a very short period of time! Fifteen minutes and WHAM! got ya! Everyday, whether it’s in the Day Cream or the Sunscreen Lotion, there must be SPF15 or more! Personally, a daily SPF15 and foundation which contains SPF are part of my routine.
DOUBLE CHECK.While you are adding that excellent moisture, notice if there are changes in your skin appearance or texture. If there are…treat them and if needed, go to the Doc!
TREAT. If we are lucky and determined, we live longer. We may choose to, as my friend said, “look great for my age”. I agree with her that looking too young is unrealistic and stressful. Looking healthy and not older, is a much better option. Exfoliation regularly, applying sunscreen every single day and using retinol laced products help us to achieve our best look. MOISTURE is most important, but applying it to clean, new skin is required. Choose treatments wisely, from eye creams to dark circle removers and skin tightening products… all require the above 4 steps before benefits can be noticed.
That’s the routine. Simple and straight-forward. Do it and benefit. Skip it and try to make up time later. Like I said… skin has some self-healing properties. It can rejuvenate with your attention to the details. I encourage you to make it part of your effort to live better!
Whatever you do, MAKE A PLAN TO PLAY IN THE TRAFFIC!
We learn to make friends as children. Usually with our cousins or siblings, first. Then at day care or primary school. Remember, the teacher reminding us to be kind, to share, do our own work and to be fair? Those rules in relationship building still work today, especially in business.
So remembering those lessons, let’s consider our business contacts. What type of person do we want as business partners? How many new business partners will it take to make a positive change in your business? What will my new business partner act like in our relationship?
Having identified the type and number of similar behavior-ed partners needed, it’s likely you’ll identify their traffic pattern.
Where do they play? Do they spend time at ball fields, on running trails or online? Do they eat at great restaurants, shop at finer clothing stores, travel to places you love? Do they love a great deal and wear your brand?
Where do they work? Do they work in offices, dressing trendy? Do they work outdoors and have sun-kissed skin and calluses? Are they tech-smart or tech-challenged?
Where do they live? In apartments, with lots of people around them or in single residences, maintaining beautiful yards and entertaining others at dinner? Are they rural, soaking up the peace and quiet or in the hub of controlled chaos or excitement?
Discovery is important as you intentionally plan to Play in Their Traffic!
After you PLAN to create new contacts, build your strategy for meeting your new business partners. Having friends as business partners will definitely be a better way to live.
Practice giving compliments. Genuine, beautiful statements of truth. Take a couple of hours to play in their traffic. Where are your ideal partners sitting on park benches? Where are they having coffee, what are they reading, which walking trail do they visit, which events will they attend and very important… may I join them in social media groups.
That’s where you meet people. For every person you make eye contact, find an amazing attribute and compliment it! “You have beautiful eyes”, “you should wear blue everyday”, “what an adorable bracelet”, “precious children”, “I love the way you wrote that post”, “thank you for helping me understand” – – be real!
When you make eye (or private message) contact, your door is open!
Now practice those relationship building lessons you learned as a child.
Be kind, polite, share, do your own work and be fair in all things.
So… PLAN. Choose a time and be prepared with information, conversation starters and yes, your short 30 second blurb about your business (in case the opportunity presents itself) . Enter your plan on your calendar and highlight it when you completed your task. Share your calendar with a partner who has agreed to ask you about your day.
INTENTIONALLY, sit in the traffic until you have met your goal of contacts. That means you started the conversation, received their contact information and have their permission to contact them again!
How will you continue to build the relationship?
Connect through Social Media… text a “hello, I’m glad we met… here’s my link”, text.
INTENTIONALLY, revisit the traffic area, you’ll know them the next time. If there’s interest in the beginning, you may choose to visit the traffic weekly, monthly or maybe more. Go with your gut. Can this person be my friend, my business partner? Should I introduce this person to another partner?
Follow the rules of your youth: Be kind, polite, share, do your own work and be fair in all things. BUILD the relationship from contact to friend.
Email or text: ” I wondered if you’d like to visit when I see you at the coffee shop tomorrow” “I’m thinking I need to buy some new running shoes, do you mind if I ask what brand you wear”. “The friend I mentioned yesterday will be running with me next week, I’d like to introduce you”… “I don’t know if I mentioned, but I …”
Mail: Send cards for holidays, birthdays (it’s on FB), etc. Write personal notes to your new friend, share experiences.
Consistently, work the plan to build contacts.
Consistently, work the plan to build the relationship with each contact.
Change, the “contact” label to “friend”. By really getting to know your new contact, you’ll build a friend. We never have enough friends.
I’ve read that people find more jobs and opportunities by networking with those they know. I personally find this to be true. Every team member I have personally recruited started as a contact and progressed to acquaintance and then friend. Sometimes it’s months before they need my business, sometimes it takes years. But, always, we are working on the progression of contact, acquaintance and friend. Maybe, they’ll choose me as a partner, maybe I’ll choose them by being kind, polite, sharing, doing our own work and fair in all things.
So, go Play in their traffic. Remember the childhood rules of relationship building and enjoy building your own team… and growing a group of friends that fit in your life, and business, in a most comfortable way. It’s about living better!
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.
Give it some thought. Do you want to sell? Do you want to deliver? Are you handy with social media? If the answers are yes, and you can see yourself as a sales person and a team builder, get on with it and enjoy meeting others, earning extra money and adding skills to your life. It will change you.
If you can’t decide, because you can’t determine if it’s really for you… send me a note. We can talk for a few minutes… maybe I can help. But, first… I’m off to choose a rug!
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:
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 same 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.
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.
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”.
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.
Add the tax into your price and round it to the dollar amount… no time for coins at the carnival.
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.
When possible, I rent the tablesfrom 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.
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.
Dress in layersand 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.
FOLLOW UP is the keyto 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.
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 stuff. Mostly, I love helping people solve their most current issue, whether it’s a physical need or want or something less tangible. 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.
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 personal relationship – she was just a one time customer. 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. It took several weeks of working out her needs. I used the skills I gained in all my work years. Still needed.
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 for her business. My calendar is full and my floors need sweeping. The landscaping team I hired need answers and the dogs need baths. . 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 helping two new young women to start their direct selling off in a positive manner… in three weeks, I plan to help her see some growth.
How would I ever have time to work a full time “regular job”? Or for that matter, retire!
Success in direct selling … is about doing the WHATEVER.
Being the business owner is about serving others! Being their helper, is FABULOUS!
I love supporting the owner that needs a little consultation. Need to visit? Just send a comment and let’s talk!