Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What to do when it's not FUN anymore…

“We all have a point at which we want to quit. We all have a breaking point. We all have a time when we question what we are doing, especially if it's difficult. Usually the number one sign is when we say, `This is no longer fun. It's just not worth it.'…

You must understand this and realize that at some point it's going to happen to you. You must understand the power of these psychological traps and do everything you can to combat them…”From Rick Pitino's book Success is a Choice

How full is your booking calendar? Is your team thriving? Do you even HAVE a team? Are you having fun with your business - and if you are not, why not?

The month of May can present its own unique set of challenges. While to us, the milder weather and abundance of sunshine should herald the proliferance of parties - often we find that our priorities are not the same as those of our customers. Graduation parties, end of the year activities, garage sales, weddings and showers all vie for the attention of our hostesses and their potential guests. The month of May can be a more challenging month to schedule parties that are well attended and that do not cancel.

How will you handle these challenges? Do you have a game plan or will you just toss in the towel because it is too hard?

“No matter what kind of business you have, if you are not committed to a `failure is not an option' mindset, you are setting yourself up for failure, says Neil Anderson, president of The Courage Group, a consulting firm for entrepreneurs.

In his book, Success is a Choice, Rick Pitino explains and dissects the importance of mental attitude in growing a business.

TSF is excited to offer you this book at 25% off - but only while supplies last. This is a resource that you will reference time and time again. It also makes a great Father's Day gift for that not-so-easy-to-buy-for man in your life! Visit our website and order your copy today!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Telephone challenges…

Tammi writes…I'd love to hear you address this issue some time... I am a stay-at-home mom and the best time for me to make phone calls is during my toddler's nap time (once I pick up my older kids from school, I feel lucky if I get time to go to the bathroom in private, much less make professional phone calls! Homework, dinner, bath, family time, screaming toddler, etc...) Most of the time, the people I call are not home during my toddler's afternoon nap and I have to leave a message. My question is twofold... What is the best thing to say on an answering machine (don't want to sound pushy or desperate and want a way to want them to return my call)... and is it OK to call people's cell phone number even if you think they may be at work (keep in mind many are people who filled out a form at a fair and I don't know them).

Dear Tammi,
Oh boy - I remember well the days when my office hours were 1-3pm. It was naptime for my toddler, preschool time for my son and those were my office hours - period. I can also remember having the same frustrations that you are experiencing when people who I needed to talk to, weren't home. What's a mother to do? Well, here are some ideas that have been shared by some consultants in the past and also that I have used over the years that have helped with this delicate business/family balance issue.

1) One of the most successful consultants in our company built her business to over 400 consultants within her first 2 years by focusing on moving ahead her business by doing one positive thing each day. It was so successful in fact, that our company adapted it into a `battle cry' for all consultants to mirror. It was called “One a Day”. Daily, you focused on doing just one positive thing: Book a party, schedule a recruiting appointment, hold a recruiting appointment or sell some product.

2) When making contact with people ALWAYS ask them what a good daytime number is for you. And, if they are giving you their cell phone number - ask them if you have permission to use it.
3) Saturday mornings from 9am-11am is a wonderful time to reach people at home as are Sunday evenings. These were times that my husband and I `negotiated' child care.
4) On Fridays, I had a friend who I hired for three hours in the morning to take my daughter so that I could do phoning. I found that having one day a week when I was following up with those who I couldn't reach during nap time really helped.

5) I traded time for time with a friend. We would take turns watching one another's children. This way, again, I had a time other than naptime when I could reach people.

6) When leaving a message, I always tried to say something that would entice them to want to pick up the phone the next time I called or perhaps call me back. “Oh I am so sorry I missed you! There are some exciting things going on right now that I just know you'll want to hear about. Call me at: 555-5555 if you have a moment. But if I don't hear from you - I'll try you again.

7) If I have left multiple messages with no luck - then I will leave a message that says: “I am feeling like such a pest and that is the last thing I'd like to be. I know you are busy and I don't want to presume that you are no longer interested - but if you'd do me a favor and just leave me a voice mail at 555-5555 to let me know one way or the other - that would be great! Thanks. (The key is that if you tell them to leave a voice mail, then they are more likely to call because they don't think they'll get you in person.)

8) Instead of flipping on the TV on evenings when a party cancelled, I sat in the office and did my phoning anyway. This, like the Saturday morning/Sunday night calls were points of negotiation with my husband.

The bottom line is that you will have to get creative. I found that the more money I made with my business, the more cooperative my husband became in terms of co-parenting. If you are just playing with your business and it is more of a hobby that costs your family money vs. a viable money making business - you can hardly blame a spouse for being less than cooperative. OUCH…a challenging but necessary message to hear and consider.

Thanks for writing in! We love to hear from you! - TSF

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

For those of you new to the hive...

Treasure Mapping is a wonderful way to really set your business on fire. Here are the steps as outlined by The Success Factory...

“When the `why' is there, the `how' gets easy” - Jim Rohn

Treasure mapping is an activity designed to help you visualize your goals. It serves as a concrete reference point that will keep your `why' in front of you every day.

A treasure map can be simple or complex. When complete the end result is a collage of pictures and/or words and phrases that help you to focus on what you want tobe, to do, andhave. The finished product can be small enough to hang on a bathroom mirror or it can be larger and serve as a focal point to hang in your office. It may be mounted on poster or core board or be pages of a scrapbook if you desire.

A treasure map is never set in stone. It is fluid and can be added to and amended as your dreams change and crystalize.

Visualization is a powerful key in goal setting. Allow yourself the time and thought to do this activity. It will be time well spent.

Homework to do in advance:
Pull out some old magazines and page through them. Don't think too hard. Let your mind run wild and have fun fantasizing! As you browse, go through and cut out pictures and phrase that leap off the page at you. You might find phrases like “A place of my own” or pictures of a desirable vacation destination, a pair of running shoes (to symbolize a fitness goal) or even a graduation cap.

Optional and time permitting: Is there is something very concrete that you have been imagining about? Perhaps it is a house you pass each day that you would LOVE to live in, a new couch for your family room, or even a business to invest in. Get out your camera, take some photos…allow yourself to DREAM BIG!

Supplies to bring to the conference:

Poster board of any size (or scrapbook if you desire)
Glue or glue stick
Colored markers (if you are feeling artistic)
Magazines for sharing and continued “snipping”
Your homework (see above)

What to do:
Let out your inner child. Begin to edit and collage your homework onto your poster board or into your scrapbook. Even if you are not particularly “artsy” the end result will be a focal point that you can use as a powerful visual. It will be a concrete reminder of your `why' that you will be able to reference as often as needed. When life and work become challenging, this treasure map will help keep you motivated from within. ENJOY!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Attitude is EVERYTHING

We just got back from dining out with my family for Sunday dinner - a rarity as our busy schedules make it difficult for everyone to be available. The restaurant was a favorite - one where, historically, we knew the food and service were good…usually.

Our waitress today, was very competent - every order was correct, delicious and the food delivered in a timely fashion. However, hard as we tried, we could not get her to warm up to us at all (and we are a friendly bunch). She had a drill sergeant attitude in the way she greeted, took orders and served our lunch. It made for a most uncomfortable situation whenever she came to the table. We managed to have a good time, nonetheless, but it really tempered the afternoon a bit - her attitude was a dark and cloudy as the cloudy, rainy day outside.

It made me think how important OUR attitude is when we do our parties. Often, getting our families settled into dinner or homework and getting ourselves out of the house in a timely fashion can leave us tense, crabby and frazzled. If we are not careful, that attitude comes right in the door along with our display of samples.

Here are some tips to help you arrive at your destination refreshed, relaxed and ready for FUN!
1) Cut down on stress by being sure your car is packed up the night before your party or in the morning. This will leave one less thing to worry about when you leave.

2) Have two or three “standard” demonstration outfits that you always wear - this avoids a last minute clothing crisis.

3) Consider hiring a neighborhood teenager as a mom's helper to smooth the transition time as you depart.

4) Cook double so that on the nights you are working, you already know what dinner for your family will be - pull out that crock pot!

5) Know where you are going in advance! Double check the directions your hostess gives you online so you aren't stressed if you are traveling somewhere unfamiliar AND so you know how to get home!

6) Be sure you have a cell phone in case of emergency.

7) Carry a great CD of upbeat `traveling tunes' in your car to chase that departure stress away and get you pumped up for a great evening.

Remember, packing a great attitude is as critical as your samples in order to have a successful evening! If you are having fun, they will have fun. And if THEY have fun, why wouldn't they want to join your TEAM?!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I can't book any parties…

This is a familiar tale of woe that we at the TSF hear fairly frequently.
The truth of the matter is, if you aren't booking enough parties, you aren't asking enough people. That is usually the easy answer and the bottom line. Perhaps you are thinking about asking people to host a party, but if you would actually log your activity you would see that you just aren't asking enough - plain and simple.

Booking parties, just like recruiting team members, is a numbers game. You have to ask approximately five people to host to book one party. So, in theory, that means that at an average party of 8-10 people you should book 1-2 parties - right?

Perhaps you are afraid that if you ask every person at the party to book a party, you will appear pushy. Let's do a paradigm shift on your thinking for a moment here, shall we? What if, as a guest at a party, you were the only one that the consultant DIDN'T ask to book a show? How would that make you feel?

Remember, we are in the sorting NOT convincing business. Ask everyone! If it helps - announce at the beginning of your presentation that you WILL be asking everyone to join you in the business and/or book a party and if you neglect to do so, you will pay for the shipping on their order. THIS will make you accountable because you can bet that your guests are going to be waiting for you to forget!

Having difficulty booking parties over the phone?

It is time to do an attitude check. Do you have trepidations or are you confident when you invite people to host a party? Ask a friend or your upline to listen in the next time you do phone calls - or really stretch your comfort zone and record your side of the conversation. You may be surprised at what you hear. If YOU wouldn't book a party with YOU, then it's time to revamp your attitude. If you don't feel confident then try to figure out why and ask your upline for some coaching in this area. Fake it till you make it is the golden rule. With practice, you will get better and confidence will come. Yes, you will make mistakes but that is how we learn best, wouldn't you agree?

For more ideas on booking and recruiting order our Business Basics training CD set!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Getting sidetracked…

Have you ever had one of those days where you nearly break your arm from attempting to pat yourself on the back?

I will share that last night was one of those times for me. I ended the weekend with a clean house, a clear desk, a TO DO list compiled, lunches made and Monday dinner planned. WOW, I'm good!

And then…what is it that they say about best made plans?
I began my day right on schedule at 6:20am setting out on my 40 minute walk - 10 minutes into the walk, the downpour began. OK - so much for physical fitness - I'll go home and get an early start on my Bible study. Strike ONE.

My sweet husband, however, apparently hadn't read my schedule and was completely frazzled looking for some paperwork that he needed so that his day would go as planned (he says it's my filing system that is to blame). Strike TWO; so much for my morning quiet time.
Stay calm - the paperwork location continues to be a mystery and now it is 9am and he has to leave. I have already lost one hour of my designated tip writing time (8am-11am), but - no problem…I'll just boot up the old laptop and get cracking.

OF COURSE - I can't get my internet to connect on my laptop. DRAT! Alright, this should be an easy fix with all these swell built in Connectivity Wizards. (Don't you LOVE when you know just enough about your computer to be really, really dangerous?). What's that? My clock chiming - 10am??!!!! WHAT THE HECK??? No internet, no tips, no quiet time, no exercise…AUGHHHH#)**%($*#$*!!!!!!!! STRIKE THREE!


What's the take away this morning?
1. Working from home can be distracting-duh.

2. Do your best to WRITE DOWN your plans for the day - having a list enables you to `tweak' as needed and still accomplish something.

3. Be aware of and do your best to be in control when beginning a journey down a rabbit trail. Ask yourself - Is this the best use of my time right now -or- can this wait until later? When dealing with something that is lost - is this absolutely positively something I MUST find right now? (ie; The only set of car keys, YES, paperwork - in our case - can be replaced at a later date, not ideal but possible.)

4. Life happens - just go for Plan “B”. Celebrate what you DO accomplish today and add the leftovers to tomorrow's list. (Hey, at least dinner's in the crock pot-food is good!)

5. Computers and the internet can be MAJOR time wasters! Factor time to clear email into your daily `to-do's' but do not exceed the allotted time. If you are having computer problems DO NOT spend hours trying to resolve them unless absolutely necessary. Move on to your next `to-do', grab the next teenager who crosses your path and he will probably be able to fix what ever is ailing your PC in no time whatsoever (yes, this is a personal testimony - my son fixed my laptop in just under 30 seconds.)