Sunday, May 20, 2012

Resurrecting the Blog as the Easter Season Ends

Dear readers, however few of you there are!

Someone recently told me they really missed hearing about my Pink Transformation - I was very surprised, because I thought no one read this thing!

However, I've also noticed that keeping up with the blog really helps me to stay accountable to building my business consistently - so you can now look forward to hearing from me every Sunday.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Revive or Retire the Blog- You Decide.

Okay, weeeeeeell. I haven't written in a month but nobody seems to have noticed!

Part of the reason for my lack of blogging is because I got engaged last weekend!!! So on the one hand, I think I ought to let the blog go to focus on wedding planning stuff, but on the other hand I will need my MK business to pay for my wedding and continuing with the blog could help keep me on track.

What are your thoughts, captive audience? Are you out there? Do you care?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

You might as well...

"It doesn't cost us any more to think big than to think little - it doesn't make any more brainwaves - so why don't we just expect a lot?" That's a quote from my favorite MKNSD, Cindy Williams. I heard her tell a class once that she almost always gets a parking spot up front because she expects there to be one. Now, it's not EVERY time, but she sure gets more great parking spaces than other people because of her positive expectancy.

I've been learning to expect things to go in a more positive way, and it's working. It's not perfect, of course, but it IS better than if I don't have a positive expectancy! I've started saying to myself in the last few days that my customers call ME all the time with reorders and referrals and (no joke) THREE of them contacted me over the weekend with reorders!

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart" - Ps 37:4

Sunday, October 9, 2011

And Then Some

On the cover of my planner is pasted the following quote:

"The difference between average & top people can be explained in three words: And Then Some.They are thoughtful of others, they are considerate and kind - and then some. They meet their responsibilities and their obligations fairly and squarely - and then some. They are good friends to their friends and can be counted on in an emergency - and then some." - Mary Kay Ash

I felt the need to put those words in a place where I could reread them frequently, because in spite of all my blunders and failings, it's the kind of person I want to be. How often do we drudge through our day doing a mediocre, okay job, and not throwing our hearts over the bar? I didn't have my coffee, a little ankle-biter wouldn't take his nap, I'm stressed about such-and-such... we can come up with all sorts of rationalizations why we don't feel like putting forth the extra exertion it takes to do "and then some"-s. It's been true for me, I can say that with brutal honesty.

I am getting it right more than I used to, though. One example: I recently sat down for a facial with a friend from college who needed to choose makeup colors for her wedding day 'look'. Although normally my one-on-one appointments only take an hour, I worked with her for nearly three. Firstly, because I wanted to take the time to catch up on life with her, not just crank her through a facial, take her money, and send her home - I want to be true to 'The MK Way' which focuses on cultivating relationships with customers. Also, I know how a woman looks on her wedding day is pretty important, so I made sure we tried all possible combinations she thought she MIGHT like until we found the perfect one. Lingering like that, really focusing on making her happy - it gave me SO much satisfaction.

[Side note: I think I've mentioned before a fabulous book called Why Mars and Venus Collide: Improving Relationships by Understanding how Men and Women Cope Differently with Stress by John Gray. He talks about the physiological explanations for how we deal with stress and makes some great recommendations. It's a book you should read! Anyway, he talks about how a woman often measures happiness by the quality of relationships in her life, and how talking and cultivating that decrease her stress level. I realized that, although working my business is 'work', it doesn't need to be stressful if I remember that talking to, helping, and bonding with other women is stress-RELIEVING. It shifts my paradigm to think of what I'm doing as oxytocin-boosting girl-time rather than 'work' which just messes with my head.]

If only I would be that consisently others-focused with my general customer service and seek to 'and then some' all my clientele. I've been reminded of this business philosophy by recently reading The One-Minute $ales Person by Spencer Johnson, M.D. I picked it up at a used bookstore for $2.50 (woohoo!), and have been leisurely thumbing through it this weekend. It's a good practice for me to read non-MK business books (although ours are awesome best-sellers!), because it reminds me that good business principles are universal and aren't just a cutesy 'pink bubble' way of doing things. Principles like:

· "The 'Wonderful Paradox' - I have more fun and enjoy more financial success when I stop trying to get what I want and start helping other people get what they want",

· "Whenever I am successful, I know I have chosen consciously or unconsciously, to use the positive thoughts that created my success", or

· "After I sell On Purpose, people feel good about what they bought and about themselves. And so they give me invaluable REFERRALS!

are the same as what I've already been taught. Translated into 'pink lingo', it's:

· 'Imagine everyone you meet is wearing an invisible sign that says Make me Feel Important!', or 'Help enough other people get what they want, and you'll get what you want'.

· What we think about we bring about, expect acceptance, and the concept of 'affirmations'

· 'Business will go where it's invited and stay where it's appreciated', or 'it's 5 times as difficult to win a new client as it is to keep a current one happy'.

I also want to share something special that happened recently. I like to spend time during the day listening to educational or motivational recordings, and one of my favorite people to listen to is NSD Cindy Williams, who is one the most fun, servant-hearted, and successful people in the history of the company. Even though she grew up in a crazy abusive situation, she bubbles over with joy and has such a transparent, beautiful heart - she is just so inspiring to me and I listen to her almost every day. Anyway, I was listening to one of her talks where she mentioned that her 'love language' is words of affirmation, and I had the impulse to send her a postcard telling her how much she helps me and how great I think she is, so I jotted a few lines and sent it off. Well, she wrote me back! Now, I know I talk about our corporate culture here being a sisterhood where we encourage each other and I believe it wholeheartedly, but I was still touched that she took the time to write to me and it made me feel so important.

I mention Cindy because she didn't just reply, she And-Then-Some'd me. I sent her a little postcard, and she responded with: a handwritten letter, and autographed picture of herself made out to me, AND a little valentine-esque card with my name and a quote by Mary Kay Ash on it. Talk about 'and then some', this lady responded with so much generosity I almost cried (Okay, I did cry a little, but part of that's because I was having a rough self-doubting day). I took those three things and put them in a frame that's hanging in my office space to remind me not only of the affirming words she spoke to me, but as a reminder: I love Cindy because she's an And-Then-Some woman, and if I want to be like her, I need to seek ways to be that And-Then-Some woman, too.

So, to tie it altogether my dear readers, I want to leave you with a parting thought: I don't think it's difficult to see what and-then-some-s we can do in our daily life if we are listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Say you cook a Sunday brunch for someone you love - listen to that little voice that nudges you to fix up their coffee, too. Look for those opportunities, they are like an Easter egg hunt for toddlers (in other words, they are EASY to see!). I gave Cindy something small, and her generous heart immediately responded by outgiving me. God's heart is infinitely generous, and we can never outgive Him! So live from a generous heart and you'll see two miracles happen: 1) you will grow in generosity and see your heart become more like His, and 2) He will forever outgive you.

Happy Sunday, all! God Bless you !

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Look Good, Feel Good, Work Good, & Glorify God

I used to see mothers in public who seemed not to care for their appearance and it made me sad. I did (and still do!) not want to be the woman who 'lets herself go' when she has kids. However, I can say that I have a whole new level of sympathy for these ladies thanks to my godson. I find that if I do not shower-->dress-->hair-->makeup early in the morning before he's awake, it's difficult to find time or energy to do it once he's up. Sometimes I'm able to hop in the shower mid-morning when he naps, but he inevitably wakes back up before my hair and makeup are done, and he NEVER goes for sitting on the floor while I finish. I can testify that applying eyeliner with one hand with a wiggly 6-month-old menace in the other arm is a harrowing misadventure that I hope not to have to attempt many more times in my life.

The little problem with this scenario is that I STRUGGGGGGLE to get up in the morning. Short of buying myself a flying alarm clock which requires me to get up and catch it, I have tried nearly everything I can think of to try to become a morning person. My latest tactic is to have the song "Brazzle Dazzle Day" from the movie Pete's Dragon as my alarm clock. That song is too chipper a tune to remain grumpy if it's the first thing you hear in the morning! However, I have a magical ability to hit the snooze button before two bars of it have escaped my Blackberry. I so want to blame my lack of morning-person-ness on how exhausting my godson can sometimes be, that's not really the truth: I haven't been a morning person since puberty hit! Besides, who could blame a cherubic monkey face for their grumpiness? He's almost always cheery in the morning, despite having to deal with grumpy Auntie Guine - so I have no excuse. What I've realized is that if we don't hit the ground running in the morning (be it with personal grooming habits or our prayer life), it becomes so easy for the cares of the day to suck it away from us.

Mary Kay Ash used to get up at 5 am every morning, because she'd heard in a business talk somewhere that getting up that early 3 times a week was like adding an extra work day to your week. So she did it 6 days a week and accomplished 8 days of work in 6. She even invited the consultants to join her in this effort, and apparently many of them did (although I must admit I don't know many nowadays who do, other than NSDs are powerhouses of self-discipline). MK would recommend that before starting any work, a woman make herself presentable for the day. She'd say "A woman who looks good feels good - and as a result, she will also 'work good'!" - and I have to admit that in spite of sympathizing with those moms, I still agree.

Please understand, I'm not suggesting that women have to listen to how the media/pop culture tells them they should look - anyone who knows me and my struggle with my weight could tell you I'm clearly not trying to fit some moviestar image. I do assert however, that women as the crescendo in God's symphony of creation, the finishing touch and the crowning glory - that we should strive to glorify Him by looking our personal best.

I've had serious discussions with people who think that Christian women shouldn't even wear makeup, and I have to disagree. Although our concern can't be for the outward appearance over the beauty of the soul and the heart, we are still physical beings and our body is holy! My classic line is this: If our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and people have always adorned temples with flowers and color and art, then in the same way a woman can use cosmetics to 'adorn her temple'.

The refutation of this is to say that too many girls use makeup to 'cover themselves up', and I agree that's true. However, that's part of why I love MK so much - we are a teaching-oriented company that instructs women how to take care of their skin and how to apply makeup so that they are highlighting their best features, not covering them up. I think girls/women who wear too much makeup have probably not been instructed how to apply it correctly, and that's why I love getting to teach them (especially teenagers with thick eyeliner and too-dark bronzer).

Parting thought: "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God." - 1 Corinthians 10:31. So get up in the morning like it's on purpose, put on your lipcolor and mascara, and glorify God in all you do!

PS -A treat for you:

Monday, September 19, 2011

You become like the people you hang around

A lot of MK training includes the advice "Guard your circle of influence - you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with".

I've been taking this to heart more. First of all, because if I spend more time with Jesus, I'll be more like Him - duh! I've been praying for a greater desire for prayer and starting to go to daily Mass. What a difference it makes!

Aside from that, I've taken this gem of wisdom a step further - although I have (believe it or not) more than 3 days worth of audio training and inspiration, I decided to narrow it down to my top 5 favorite MK leaders, and I've only been listening to them during the weekdays. I've even incorportated it into the daily prayer I've been saying for my business: "Lord give me Gloria's charisma (Gloria Mayfield Banks), Pam's discipline (Pamela Waldrop-Shaw), Auri's drive (Auri Hatheway), Sherril's clarity (Sherril Steinman), and above all, Cindy's joy (Cindy Williams)!" These are women of such excellence that I really want to be like them, and listening to their voices mentor and coach me has been filling me up... but I find that I'm so wrapped up in my insecurities and fears at times that it takes drinking this motivation in every day to have the courage for my life.

There's so many good things I've been gleaning from all this that I want to stretch them out into more than one blog entry, so I'll leave you with one cute thing. I have been so inspired to discover that I have been in the habit of doing things that women who are now at the top of the Company also did: for example, my absolute favorite NSD Cindy Williams shared in one of her speeches that she taped a picture of a ring she wanted to earn on her finger. Well I have taped a picture of this ring on: it's the ring that women who debut as Sales Directors (who mentor and coach a team of consultants) in the next year will earn:

Gloria always opens her speeches with this cute little poem that introduces her (I could recite it verbatim for you because I've heard it so much), and I wrote myself one I am going to share with you like a nerd:

"I'm a confident and cheerful star, my mantra is 'Just do it now!'

I'm going to change a life today, to meet my goals and live out loud

I'm powerful, not pitiful, I know that I possess the skill,

to book and coach, to sell, recruit I'll find a way, I know I will

It doesn't matter how I feel if my dreams are becoming real

if it's to be, it's up to me to make that dream reality

So Spirit give me grace to run the race, and I will get there face by face

let all I do take me closer to my MK Sales Director debut!"

Gang, I'm committing to promote myself to the position of Sales Director. I appreciate your support, whether it be as my customer or as an intercessor who prays for me!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Use it or lose it!

"By trifles in our common ways,
Our characters are slowly piled,
We lose not all our yesterdays,
The man has something of the child.
Part of the past to all the present cleaves,
As the rose-odors linger in the fading leaves.

In ceaseless toil, from year to year,
Working with loath or willing hands,
Stone upon stone we shape, we rear,
till the completed fabric stands,
And when the hush hath all labor stilled,
The searching fire will try what we have striven to build"

- "The Building of Character" by J.R. Miller

Having been raised in the "Dream big! You can be anything!" generation, I sometimes lose sight of the little things and take their importance for granted. Several things in the past week have made me realize (again) how much the little things matter, how with each choice "our characters are slowly piled" as the poem says:

- I met with a friend from college to see about getting involved in youth ministry at the parish where she works. I've only done 1 thing in the last 6 months related to ministry. And I thought to myself "What the heck! I have a degree in catechetics and theology, I need to USE it!"
- This past weekend I was *cough* celebrating my fertility *cough, cough* and I was really out of sorts. Like more than usual. The BF and I realized that for the last few months I've been doing better, and then this time around my cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat, wanna-sleep-all-day crampiness came back with a vengeance. I have this essential oil that contains natural progesterone (it's called Progessence Plus, made by Young Living Essential oils), and when I put a drop of it on daily, I feel SO much better and I hardly have those issues. However, during the past month I wasn't doing that. "It's one little things, what's the big deal?" and after a month of that, I reap what I sowed.
- BF and myself were also reflecting recently is that how it's difficult to monitor an internal spiritual difference when going to daily Mass, but boy do you feel it if you stop going after you have been going!
- MK NSD Sherril Steinman says "No consultant keeps attitude to pristine level who hasn't sold something in the last two weeks". Another angle on this is "The easiest time to make a good sale is right after you've made a sale".

Taking all these things into consideration, it's like if you get something in motion it will get its own momentum, but "an object at rest will stay at rest".

So what momentum do you need in your life? What little things could you be doing to make each day count? What will you lose if you don't use it? Get in motion.

And now I have to go repeat that exhortation to the reflection in the mirror.