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!

Blessings, Thoughts of the Day

Step Right In

1986.  The house was quiet when I arrived home. I opened a little Coors light and flipped on the TV. Then, the mailman called. We talked about the weather (it was hot) and the rain (it was muggy) and about mowing the yard.  That phone call lasted for two hours and two minutes, but it seemed like two minutes.  He asked me out, and to make a long story, short…  we REALLY liked one another.

Here’s the tricky part.  Children. Children of a previous marriage. Children of a previous marriage – on both sides.  And, a couple that fell head-over-heels in love and fascination — all in two weeks!

What fun we had trying to plan “dates” around “kid-weekends” (they were opposite weekends).

Most of the “dates” consisted of picnics, fishing trips, dinners at McDonalds – you know the kind of things kids love to do.  A few dates were actually in adult venue’s… but not many. With two full time jobs and 4 step children, we had a great adventure!

I hope you’ll enjoy the visit. Ask some questions-cause we’ve been there. I hope to share our family with you and want you to share your “step” adventures with me. So, Step In, and join the fun!

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?

Thoughts of the Day

Texas, my home

Sometimes I find inspiration on Facebook that is real:

“And for a moment, no one cared about statues, politics, race or religion. Everyone came together to help their neighbors, friends and strangers survive. Maybe God chose Texas to lead the way. To show the rest of America how to unify and work together towards a common goal. I have never been more proud to call myself Texan. Copy and Paste.. #Lovethyneighbor #godblesstexas #texasstrong #texasforever #ProudtobeATexan  #wearetexas”
The sun came out today. I’m about 4-5 hrs. north of the disaster. In the thick of the volunteers. We seem to have been spared the rains, but not the worry and concern for those Texans and our guests trapped  in the devastated areas south of here.

They are part of our family as sure as the sun came out!

In my 60+ years in this great state, I’ve seen many demonstrations of big-hearted giving.

Young men from our rural town have gathered their boats, gassed up their trucks and settled their young families.

Young women have filled their cars and SUV’s to head south to help.

The adults are mentoring the volunteers of tomorrow by encouraging them to gather water, clothing, toiletries, and other suitable donations.

The Christians are praying, the government is planning, the people are doing what needs to be done.

In our town, everyone has an opportunity to serve. In our town, children are led by example. In our town, the good citizens lock arms and hearts together and reach out when needed down the road.

Lately, it seems our differences had driven a wedge in our family. The unforgiving and the negative assumptions have closed the minds and hearts of many.

Maybe this rain will soak that wedge to pliable understanding and openness to thoughtful contemplation and unity.

Maybe God will be heard and felt and enjoined with us as we stretch to reach those in need.

Texas has a giant heart.

Move over, Harvey!

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.

Thoughts of the Day

Artful Opinions

What a blistering week we’ve had!

I’ve read the complaining posts on several sites over the last few weeks about the Confederate statues and flag and I have to admit, I had to search for my own personal opinion.

Not that it matters, except that I really don’t like apathy and lately, it seems I have subscribed to it.  So, as I delve closer to the retirement path,  I’ve done some reading… from books…. real books.  I visited a library and found several books with hard backs, comfy paper and black typed words.  I can do that now.

Admittedly, I’ve skimmed them, picking and choosing my paragraphs (at least I’m honest about it) and here’s what I’ve concluded about myself.

I love statues for their art.

I am intrigued at the story of others lives.

Artists and those laborers who assisted, poured their heart, blood, sweat and muscle into the very core of  those projects.  They are mostly beautiful to behold and intricate in detail. Every mouth, hoof and eye are painstakingly designed and formed.  Every pedestal is planned, chiseled and completed to meet the display need.

In full disclosure, I am a 4th generation, direct descendant of a Confederate officer.

I am in agreement that if the offensive statues and monuments were placed there in hate… they should be removed in love.  Peacefully, with a purpose, in order to teach the promise of love.  Rather than destroy beautiful pieces of art, plan their appropriate removal. House them properly and use them to teach our future generations.

Those that were placed in the early years after the war, honoring the services of those who did what their hearts deemed right, are heartwarming tributes to a difficult time for everyone.   The marble monument stands to remind me that my relative was brave enough to stand for his belief when the call to action was sounded.  I didn’t know him, and didn’t know his opinions.  What I know is that he and the others in the small community felt compelled to serve.  He wasn’t apathetic and as far as I can tell, not wealthy or of a particularly high rank in his community until his valor and service deemed him suitable for advancement.

First Lieutenant David Richard Reynolds, CSA monument in cookville
It was the right thing for the time period in this community. To serve meant to act honorable.

Similar instances have occurred throughout our lives.

Vietnam war memorials have been erected and are enjoyed by millions, prompting patriotism and honor for lost family members and community acquaintances.  One day, someone will declare them a tragedy because of the atrocities that occurred and destroy the beautiful tributes to a difficult time.

Each war is strenuous for its citizens.  No war should be forgotten, regardless of the unfavorable sufferings and sorrow of its’ citizens. I would hope my great-grandchildren could have a peaceful way to learn and observe what can happen when the country must exude force.  

This part of transitioning to retirement is an important surprise to me. I have found so much more news and not all of it is hate-filled. But to find the great stories on heroes and everyday good… once must look beyond the obvious outlets.   While the streets are crowded with protesters, demonstrators (both loud and peaceful) and the skylight above is dimming from the nearing eclipse, I  can only hope and pray that someone, somewhere will see the true value in the art… and use it wisely.

I wonder about your opinion.

Blessings, Thoughts of the Day

Oatmeal Memories

After a recent post where I mentioned the missing oatmeal, I received an email inquiring about the cookies.

Sometimes an event perceived as awful at the time can bring great, lasting humor to a family. The entire family can repeat the incident, but not without tear jerking laughter.

I think it’s amazing the choice of lifetime events we can access from our memories.  The feelings of frustrated embarrassment and the hilarious reactions of the teens present on that particular morning bring me such joy .

Parents spend a ton of thoughtful energy trying to choose the activities that shape and mold or at least provide distraction.Slide44

The outdoor activities – those involving water, sun and sky are the ones that have lasted with my family, the holiday fun – and the kitchen adventures.

Once, after arriving home following a business trip Thanksgiving eve, with 16 or so coming to lunch, I grabbed my recipes and journeyed the seven miles to town to buy groceries.  Well, just imagine what products the store may have been running low on and you can guess the adaptation EVERY recipe would require! It was a catastrophe.  One of the ‘issues’ was the broth for dressing.  So my non-cook brain settled on soup.

Just let me end this quickly for you. Imagine dressing from a meatloaf pan, thick enough to be SLICED, and gray enough to scare anyone off!  To this day, no one even thinks of me when dressing is on the menu.

But, they all remember the day, the laughter and my personal decision to never cook dressing again!!

See, that activity shaped and molded some of the best cooks. I know them all… my children, nieces, husband, brother and in laws. They all have specialties and they all love to cook.  I have to say, the hubs probably became great at cooking out of necessity.

Aren’t I the lucky one?

Blessings, Thoughts of the Day


What time do I need to wake?
Answer: I don’t NEED to wake!  
Change the sentence, please.  
What time do I want to wake?  
Answer: When I’m needed.


It seems that years spent multi-tasking for someone else has taught me to live my life around the NEEDS of the ______  (you can fill it in).  Moving from one topic or project to the next by spinning quickly was the way to control my surroundings. Staying in control was the point, after all.  Make yourself valuable and you’ll always work, I’ve learned.

Now, no one NEEDS me to do anything.  The children are grown, the hubs is really independent and I have no job.  In this new world, I often just sit and think about my next move, because I’m the only one who needs me today.

Before, the deadlines dictated the speed in which I made decisions.  Now, before I know it, I’ve “thought about it” for several hours and imagined many different scenarios, not reaching any destination on that map.

This morning, for instance. I headed to the laundry room to start a load and out of the corner of my eye I saw the beautiful handcrafted pantry shelf by the back door.  Now, I’ve not been one to really care about the pantry… except that the shelves were functional and available. My sweet husband painstakingly built the pantry to my perfect specs. The shelves had to be narrow to fit in a hallway, and I needed it to be sealed so I could clean it properly.  The shelves are a perfect compliment to the kitchen cabinets in the adjoining room.

I spent years cooking meals for the family, until he retired.  He always cooked some along the way, after I planned it, did the dreaded shopping and always cleaned up afterward.   After he retired, he took over all the cooking responsibilities and that was perfect for me!

No more oatmeal raisin cookies  for me!

Today, in my new life… learning to NOT WORK outside our home, I am compelled to move that can of beans further back on the shelf so it won’t fall.

BAD MISTAKE! There goes my focus.

Well, just suffice it to say, the cans are all sorted, dusted and neatly placed on those handcrafted, beautiful shelves.  The boxes are all faced to the front and the bags are secure in plastic containers.  The wood has been dusted and

Pantry Shelves, a distraction for a time

little “gifts” left in the corners (screws, nuts, light bulbs, non-working batteries) have all found another home and the beautiful pantry is well organized.  I’ve swept the floor, the cob webs from the corner and even the ceiling. I cleaned the windows in the door and as my eyes wander away from my project, out the windows to the dusty car… but first!

What’s the target for today, I remind myself. 

From the book, Intentional Living, by John Maxwell,  I learned that it’s ok to do new things badly the first time.  I’ll do them again, and next time I’ll do it better — keeping my eyes on the target, completing at least one task at hand, on time without getting sidetracked.

An hour later and once again, I’m headed toward the filled washer (now with cool, no suds-water) to start the load.  If I just hadn’t glanced away. If I just had kept my eyes forward, focused on the task at hand, the load would be done!

One step in front of the other, then check back to see what I missed! That’s the plan!