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.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Don't ask for exceptions. Be exceptional.

Thank you to my beloved followers for reminding me how overdue I am to write! Those of you who aren't yet officially "following" the blog, please do! I want to know you're out there.

It's been two weeks since I've written an entry for a couple of reasons: one is that a dear friend of mine got married two weekends ago, and another is that this past weekend, I was helping my godson's parents move into their new place.

It got me to thinking about my life and my goals, and what stops me from working them consistently. Pamela Shaw, one of my favorite MK NSD's, says: "Success is hidden in your daily routine. If you accumulate a year's worth of today, what would the end result be - and what kind of days do you need to accumulate in order to be successful?" I took this to heart and crafted out a daily checklist. The most important part is a breakdown of what MK activities I need to be doing - but I'll be honest, I haven't kept to that with consistency.

Although I know what a "normal" day should look like, most of my days don't feel normal! It seems like every time I turn around and another month rolls by, there are more out-of-the-ordinary happenings and because of them, I cut myself a lot of slack over my routine goal. Too much slack.

Pam Shaw also says "Don't ask for exceptions. Be exceptional." My bottom line is that I give myself way too many exceptions instead of disciplining myself to be exceptional.

Isn't it amazing how in the ways that we should be more merciful and gentle, we are too hard on ourselves - and in the areas where we could use a kick in the pants, we coddle ourselves? Maybe it's just me. What a mess I have been, dear Jesus! The only solution I can see is serious divine intervention. I need to take this to prayer, lay it all down and ask the Lord to untwist my silliness.

"Everything I am, everything I long to be, I lay it down at your feet." - Matt Maher

Happy Labor Day, y'all. Pray for me as I pray for you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Just to clarify: Details of the $25 free offer

Just to recap: I'm offering $25 in free Mary Kay product if I haven't written in the blog in over 10 days. Here are some details about that:

1) From now on, you must be an official follower of the blog in order to win.

2)If already have an MK Independent Beauty consultant, or are yourself a consultant, you are not eligible to win.

3) Only the FIRST person to contact me past my blog deadline will win.

4)You can only win the prize once within a 3-month period. So if you caught me in August, you can't win again until November.

5) If you are the winner, you can shop online at Once you've selected your free product, all you need to do is select the "contact me for payment" option, and I'll process your order for free. I'm not going to chase you down to claim your free product - so once I've announced the winner, you need to contact me for your prize!

Thanks all! Goodnight.

Just ASK!

Yet another tardy entry. My apologies, dear readers! However, I have good news! The boyfriend is now not only working, but has found a place to live. So things are ducky, but they have been busy(Too many exclamation points???)!

My entry will be short and sweet: "If you ask and someone says 'no' to you, nothing has changed. A 'yes' can change everything, but you won't ever get it if you don't ask!"

I am afraid of being told no sometimes. Not just in my MK business (which really gets in the way of growing my business), but also and perhaps especially with God. This really gets in the way of growing in spiritual maturity! I anticipate that what I want to ask God for will be met with 'no', so at least half the time I never even vocalize it.

Now, this is silly on the one hand, since God by definition would already know even if I haven't asked. However, in the words of "Grams" from Dawson's Creek: "Prayer doesn't change God, prayer changes me". I'm realizing more as the years pass that God withholds from us sometimes because we haven't given him permission or access to do what He'd like to. We don't cultivate a relationship, we don't orient our lives toward grace, we don't give Him the freedom to say 'no' to us without coming to the conclusion that He doesn't love us. Can you imagine if that translated to our relationships? What children we can be... 'If you don't give me what I want, you must not love me'... and equally off-base, not trusting that our Father is GOOD and wants GOOD for us.

So in my spiritual life and in my MK business (as this blog is meant to show, I have noticed that whatever's going on with my MK is usually just a miniature of my spiritual challenges, etc), I am realizing that in order for God to bless my efforts, He has to have efforts to bless.

So I say to you, dear readers (and you, too, self!):
Ask the question you avoid out of fear that you'll be told no.
Ask for a raise.
Ask her out on a date.
Ask that person you know deserves what you have to offer, be it pampering or the Gospel.

Just ask.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Be weird

Life has changed really drastically in the past couple of weeks - my boyfriend has moved here with me and started work today at his new job! We have been crazy excited, but busy, too! - specifically trying to find him a place to live and make a game plan so we are running on the same track as we move forward.

In light of our country's financial... erm... dealings, I've been listening more and more to NY best-selling author Dave Ramsey, whose Financial Peace University I recommend to the whole world (including Capitol Hill!). One of his humorous quips is something like: Most people in the US have debt - you could say it's 'normal'. So, be weird!

There's more weirdness in Tim Ferriss' 4-Hour Workweek. He discusses how most people are still attempting to follow the model that we work in a career for 30-40 years, then we retire and finally live life the way we've wanted to. He argues that people can enjoy a millionaire lifestyle without being millionaires, and that we don't need to wait until our late 60s to enjoy that. He proposes people take frequent "mini-retirements" throughout their life. (It's a fascinating read I definitely recommend, just for the journey it takes your brain on. Destination: outside the box).

When I blend these two concepts with what I know about the direct sales industry, I'm convinced all over again that I'm on the right track, and especially proud to be a Mary Kay consultant. This business provides that mobile lifestyle and flexibility, and MK, Inc. is a debt-free company!!!

Although I cannot yet say that I am personally debt-free, I sure will throw a party when I am!

In short: I want to be weird. You should, too.

PS- Congratulations to my friend LS for catching me past my blog deadline! She is the first winner and has already picked out some great product as her prize!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

God First, Family Second, Career Third

You may have noticed - I am 5 days overdue to write! Why, you ask? Well, I will tell you!This past weekend, my boyfriend was out visiting me from Michigan. I am SO excited because he was just offered a job here and will be moving out in a couple of weeks. As you can imagine, I have been pretty focused on him during his visit. That inspired me with a topic for this entry, because I'm always trying to connect whatever is going on in my life with an "MK-ism" and this seemed a perfect opportunity to touch on the subject of priorities.

When I went to my first Mary Kay skincare class, I had no interest in the products whatsoever. I actually thought of Mary Kay as old lady makeup and teased my college roommate who used it (I should've taken my que from how gorgeous her skin was, silly me!). I actually only went to the class to see my first grade teacher, who was the consultant teaching the class. Boy was I impressed when I saw a Pink Cadillac parked in front of the house!

What happened at the table that day I can replay in my memory almost perfectly. As "Mrs. T" talked about Mary Kay Ash's respect for the dignity of women and the company's philosophy of "God First, Family Second, Career Third", I decided right then and there that I would buy MK products forever. The other cosmetic items I'd purchased were from companies that did NOT hold this up as a value, and I want to support the companies that are in-line with my values. THEN I got to actually try the products, and I loved them so much that I decided to become a consultant.

I can tell you since then that I have become much more aware of what my priorities and whether my life is reflecting my priorities. Part of what I love about the direct sales opportunity is that you decide your own hours, and you have the choice to not work and spend your time elsewhere. As my boyfriend and I get more serious, I consider him to be my Number 2 priority. So while he was here, I put MK aside and gave him my focus.

However, there's a flipside to this that I share with you because I need to work on it. I've heard NSD Kathy Goff-Brummett say, "Career is third, not thirty-third". She even talked about missing one of her daughter's performance because of a Mary Kay commitment she'd already made before finding out about the event. She kept her commitment - some people might say that she was putting her career before her family, but her own daughter would disagree! She said her mom was putting her first because she taught her the importance of keeping her word.

Sometimes my business slips from it's place at Number 3. Other things become more important: TV, sleeping, not having to face the rejection that's just part of working the numbers when booking appointments. What I'm finding is that if Number 3 is out of whack, it's because I'm already not doing well with the God and family part. When I'm REALLY putting the Lord first and my man second, my interior self is properly aligned for taking care of my MK business. This is the mold I'm trying to conform my life to - God first, family on a pedestal right underneath - and my career swiftly following and directly linked to the importance of the first two. 1) Because in order to put God first, I must be obedient to what I feel He asks of me and I KNOW what that is! 2) Because in order to have the financial peace I desire for my future family, I must work my business consistently.

I'm so grateful to have such a great motto to check myself by. If at my funeral people say that "God First, Family Second, Career Third" was how I lived my life, I could ask for no better legacy.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


One of the oft-repeated MKisms is that success in the business is directly related to one's ability to bounce back from setbacks. National Sales Director Sherril Steinman says that whenever she came up up against rough stuff, she would ask herself "Is this the crisis that will finally break me?" - and because she didn't want the answer to be yes, she'd push through whatever it was.

I can say that through all the rough stuff that I feel has characterized the last several years of my life... I am still breathing, and I haven't given up. But that's just not enough for me anymore - I want to say that I not only survived but that I'm now thriving! I want to say I've bounced back from all the crud, and although I do that eventually, when it comes to MK - it often doesn't happen very quickly.

I started MK in March of 2009 and I was loving it - holding appointments and recruiting... until summer came along and other things got in the way. It faded from my priorities until that winter. I had moved in with my mom and started organizing her inventory and samples to the point that she said "Guine, you obviously like this, why don't YOU just get back into it?" So on New Year's 2010, I resolved to get back into my Mary Kay business. I went to Seminar that summer, and I left with a dream in my heart to become a Mary Kay Sales Director. Then I left my fulltime job, moved half a dozen times, and ran into pretty bad financial issues. Even though I could have resolved those issues by WORKING my business, I got paralyzed by my panic, fear, and depression... and my confidence was so shrunken that I felt like quitting on everything. I could often be heard saying "I just quit life". When I came out here to nanny my godson, look for more work, and try to stabilize my life, I started working my business more consistently than I ever have. So, I went from about 9 months to bounce-back, to then about 5 months, and now I'm taking about a week to interior-ly give up, wallow, and cycle back through again. However, I'm hardly kicking butt yet.

In the last few months, I've watched one of my fabulous friends (who has been in Mary Kay for HALF the time as myself) finish qualification to debut as a new Sales Director. She's wrapping up qualification for her first free career car right now! I'm incredibly proud of her - and I look at her life and think "If she can do it, I can do it!" Then a little voice inside my head says, "Yeah, but her life is different from yours. She has a supportive husband, she can hold appointments in her home and you don't have your own space, she has .... she has ...". Those things may be true, but gosh darn it, why do I stagnate myself by saying that I'm not successful because I don't have someone else's circumstances? Why don't I put forth more effort at making money rather than making excuses?

What I need is to bounce back FASTER from setbacks and disappointments. GMB (my from-now-on abbreviation for Gloria Mayfield Banks) says "You do not have time for 'bad day'. If you need to cry, cry for the MOMENT and then move on". But you know what?! I want to WALLOW when I feel bummed.... I want to swim in Lake Feel-Sorry-for-Myself!

I can't tell you how silly it makes me feel to realize this about myself. Even sillier to admit it to the world on my blog. But here is my more-important declaration to the world: I want to trade in my polished art of wallowing for the ability to bounce back in less than 24 hours! So my challenge to myself for this month of July is to put a limit on the wallowing - after 2.4 hours (so, 144 minutes) I can no longer wallow, cry, or complain about whatever happened to get me down.... maybe we could even eventually get it down to 24 minutes.

I love the following definition of motivation:
- a choice,
- to take action,
- for a desired result,
- whether you feel like it or not.

That "whether you feel like it or not" would be the part I need to work on. And yet again, God uses MK as a lens through which I see areas of my life that need an overhaul, parts of me He wants to transform. The truth is I don't just need this bounce-back-ability in my business, I need it in my LIFE. Lord, help me!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Marble Blocks and Emotional Blocks

I'm not planning to write in this blog every day, but I HAVE to share about what happened to me yesterday.

I have been super fired-up because this phenomenal Mary Kay national leader, Gloria Mayfield Banks, was coming to the area to speak with Sean Key, the MK Inc. VP of Sales Force Motivation. Now, I made a list of "10 Things I Haven't Done Yet in My Business", and I'm working to accomplish them this year. One of those things was to have 5 people come to an event with me. Mind you, not to try to sell them anything or recruit them, but just to have 5 butts in 5 seats, period. Well I was so excited to make this THAT event because of the quality of the speakers, that I started emailing, calling, and asking my girlfriends in the area here to come with me. A handful said they would, but when I woke up yesterday, Hell descended upon me. Here's some of what happened:

-The baby I nanny is teething. He decided to have a screaming meltdown yesterday for almost 2 hours. It went from "I'm not happy" to "I'm furious, why aren't you fixing this?!" to "I think I hate you - I'm screaming!" to "Let's see if I can reach a dog-whistle decibel". When he finally fell asleep (after I slathered his little gums with the teething gel it took almost two hours to FIND) I looked down at his puffy little tear-stained eyelids and thought "Yeah, buddy, I feel the same way!" Deep!
-As this was going on, the girlfriends I thought were coming bowed out of the event for one reason or another. I wanted to be upset, and my interior dialogue went something like this, "Well, if they aren't going to be people of their word and do what they said they wou.... hold on there, self. How many people have YOU let down by not keeping your word? That's right. Don't be mad at them just because a screaming baby fried your nerves and you need to refine your follow-up skills". Deep!
-Then I got a message from an old girlfriend from college I've been hoping to get together with since she lives in the area and we were both in the same major at school. After weeks of not getting a response from her, she finally replied and said, "I am really not interested in Mary Kay products". I was honestly devastated. I hadn't even ASKED her to have a facial with me (which, by the way, I give as a complimentary service- you're never obligated to purchase anything!). I hate this stereotype of what I like to call "Scary Kay - the Pink Stalker". They're so obnoxious, they can't have a conversation with anybody without mentioning MK and trying to persuade people to buy from them. I have been SO afraid that people might perceive me that way that sometimes I have been a wimp and just not asked for an appointment! When I read her message, after I got over my initial sadness, I thought:

"You know what, no matter how soft, friendly, and sincerely interested in people I'm trying to be, some people will just perceive pushiness anyway. I do not have ultimate control over how they react to me, so why do I let their reaction have any control over whether I offer? A no just means nothing has changed, but a yes could change everything. I won't get the 'yes' if I never offer." - Deep!

-THEN, my most faithful girlfriend and I got ready, rushed through dinner, and left the house so late I knew we were going to miss the beginning of the event. As she packed her baby into the car, I realized - my car was not where I left it. It had been towed. At that moment, I wanted to sit myself down on the curb and cry myself into a hiccup fit. I didn't care about going to the event anymore. In fact, for a few minutes, I didn't care about Mary Kay anymore. "The world is against me, I am a failure"- all these old tapes tried to play in my mind. BUT! I realized that as upsetting as this was, I was handling it a LOT better than I would have last year. This time about a year ago, I had an incident of misplacing a bag that contained my color cosmetics inventory, worth several hundred dollars. As I drove to a color appointment, frantically trying to figure out where it was - I had an absolute meltdown. I actually DID cry myself into a hiccup fit. Seriously, my girlfriend opened the door, and there I was, in my cute little beauty coat, sobbing. What a lovely experience that was for both of us (not!). [PS - I did find that bag, by the way.] This time, I took a deep breath and said to myself, "If you don't go to the event, this day will have been a complete disaster. You have to go so that SOMETHING from today will carry you to tomorrow. Manage your emotions for now, and you can cry later!", and I decided not to even mention that my car was missing until afterward. We hopped in her car and went.

We took a few wrong turns, but eventually made it there and boy am I glad! When I walked in the door, I instantly felt refreshed. Just being in a room full of positive women is uplifting! Sean Key's words were just for me. At the end of the day, I had a smile on my face in spite of everything, because even though I'm not where I want to be yet, I also know I'm not where I was! Sometimes, victory is simply that we didn't let circumstances shake our confidence so much that we're steered off the course we chose when we DID feel confident. It is a victorious experience to feel beat up, tired, disappointed, whatever - but to not give up, and with a cheerful smile! Deep breath... next!

Parting thought, shared by Sean Key last night: When Michaelangelo was asked how he sculpted the David, he said, "David was always inside that block of marble. It was my job to chisel away that all that was not David".

I think God is using all the crap that happens to me to chisel away at all that He did not intend me to be. I've been encased in a marble block of wimpiness, avoidance, insecurity, hesitation, procrastination, oh and don't forget self-pity! Oh Lord, reveal a brave, confident, do-it-now woman underneath that 'marble block' - and thank You that the chisel is pink.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Invisible Sign that says "Make me Feel Important"

I have been amazed lately at how often I get tripped up in my business because of my own internal issues. One of my trip-ups is talking myself out of approaching someone about a facial or the business opportunity:
- "She doesn't wear makeup"
- "She's way too busy"
- "I don't look good enough"
-"I don't feel confident enough"
-"I don't want her to think the only reason I'm talking to her is to take her money", or
-"They will think I'm pathetic, I went to college and here I am selling lipstick").

My second is to spend so much time thinking about my own problems/struggles - even just thinking about my trip-ups and wondering "Where is my confidence? I KNOW I've been confident in my life, why is it lately that I struggle with this so much?"

Something that helps me a lot is to listening to audio training from women who have been successful in their MK business. They have overcome SO much! Some examples:

-Auri Hatheway: her parents were immigrants, her dad went to prison for narcotics-trafficking (after mortgaging the family home three times) worked alongside her mom cleaning houses to pay it off. She says "At the age of 7, I was TIRED".

-Gloria Mayfield Banks - Struggled with dyslexia as a child, and went on to earn her MBA from Harvard. She overcame a domestic violence situation and grew her Mary Kay business as a single mom with multiple children.

Caterina Harris- Had about $100,000 of debt after graduating from a private university and beginning in a job for a non-profit organization in her twenties.

Kathy Helou- Overcame anorexia, depression and hospitalization, but won a set of MK skincare on "The Price is Right", and it changed her life.

Cindy Williams- grew up around her mother's 7 alcoholic, physically abusive husbands. Never went to college. Worked in a bar.

Sherril Steinman- Started working MK after burning out from her flower shop business. She was raising twin boys and lived in a town of less than 1,000 people when she started.

Pam Shaw - Began her business drowning in debt, putting a lien on her car to order her inventory. After achieving national leadership, she journeyed through her husband's Lou Gehrig's disease and grieved his death without her commissions dropping.

Judy Kawiecki - Started her business with 2 kids, while caring for her ill husband (heart problem), mother-in-law, and sister-in-law (cerebral palsy). Today continues her business as a cancer survivor.

Laura Armstrong - suffers from General Anxiety Disorder, yet has become a Top Sales Director.

And that's just to name a few. Though I haven't met all these women, they coach me almost every day. I even have little pictures of them around my office with speech bubbles, reminding me of inspiring things they've said that I need to be reminded of.

I will get into a confidence groove in my business - but the "feeling" never lasts longer than a few weeks. When I hit a snag, I tend to retreat into my head, letting doubt and fear stop me from continuing to put forth effort. Lately, however, I have been trying to push past whatever I'm feeling and remain faithful to the daily effort I know I need to make. Just yesterday, I heard in an audio training: "Every day that you are doing the right thing, you are being a success, even if the results haven't shown up yet".

Well, I took my heart before the Lord and said, "Lord, sometimes I feel like I don't have what it takes, and sometimes I get so swallowed up in my problems that I forget about others. Please help me to take the focus off me, and show me who I could bless today. Help me to be detached from the results, but still be faithful to the daily activity I know I need to do. Let me do it out of love for You and as an act of fidelity to You". And the Holy Spirit whispered back - I experience so often that a flood of grace is waiting for the posture of my heart to be receptive to it by exercising my WILL to just get over myself!

It's very true. In Mary Kay, there's an oft-repeated phrase: Imagine that every person you come in contact with is wearing an invisible sign around their neck that says "Make Me Feel Important". That's what I'm trying to master - to see the sign others are wearing and to remove myself from that equation. Cheryl Warfield says that if you put your focus on others, your own pain goes away. When I get out of my head and choose to love on another person, whether or not MK is connected to that... I'm transformed. That's how my business has stretched me to grow. I guess that's why I'm calling this blog "The Pink Transformation".

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Help me stay committed & get $25 free!

I held a super-fun skincare class this past weekend- this "home party" setting is the best way to conduct your Mary Kay business, because you can work full-circle. In other words, it's the setting where you not only get your retail sales, but where you can book future appointments and dates to talk about the business with prospective new team members.

It's hard to admit this publicly, but I realized that I hadn't held an SCC in like, a year! It was a funny realization to come to, because as famous MK national leader Gloria Mayfield Banks has been known to say in her training sessions - "How many times do you go to bed on the first of the month, and then you wake up the next day and it's the end of the month? And you didn't do NOTHIN'! You were THINKING about doing Mary Kay, but you didn't DO anything!" Um... that is all-too-often the case with me.

Why is that? I can say with confidence that whenever I put the least bit of effort into the income-producing activities of my business, I get results. As the cliche goes, business isn't magical, it's mathematical. In direct sales, the rule of thumb is that 1 out of every 5 booking attempts or team interviews will give you a "yes". I'm fortunate enough that I fare above average with both - so what the heck is my problem?! Why don't I work consistently when I know I'll make money when I do?!

Some might say I don't believe in myself enough, some might say I'm thinking about it too much and not focusing my energies on the right activity. You could say I need better emotional management, and I would agree! Just a few months ago, another national leader told me to say the following self-affirmation: "I am the most emotionally-stable woman I know". These are all valid components, and I can say that my MK journey has been one of the most intense experiences I've had of seeing the need for some character overhaul.

What I've come to realize, however, is that if I boiled everything down to just one principle for guiding my life it would be this: what do I believe God has called me to, and am I being obedient and faithful to that? Okay well, yes I believe that the Lord brought me to this opportunity and that He wants me to throw my heart over the bar. I believe He is using it to speak to me (by the way, sharing about that is the purpose of this blog). A big dream in my heart, one that my boyfriend and I share, is to someday adopt children from around the world. I joke with people that someday coming to visit my house will be like riding "It's a Small World" at Disneyworld - but I also seriously feel that this desire was planted in my heart by God and that He's called me to raise a generously-sized family. However, that is going to take some serious mooolah! Being able to finance international adoption is my ultimate business goal - not only that, but to run my business out of my home so that I am AT home to raise those souls.

What does that mean for me today? It means I have to learn to be self-disciplined and self-accountable. I heard somewhere (4-Hour Workweek maybe?) that less than 5% of people will complete their work without supervision. Well, since I have no boss in MK, I had better become that 5%. In the words of Robert Schueller- "If it's going to be, it's up to me!" Yes, it's up to me - not to "make this happen" through the sheer force of my will or effort, but it's up to me whether I will respond to the call of God with faithfulness.

I have been so inspired in the last couple of weeks with developing a "rule of life" for myself, since I am at home nannying my godson during the day. A traditional "rule" comes from monastic life. It's the way a particular religious order lives out their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. I have been using this book to develop mine, even though I'm not a Mom yet!

From it, I have developed a flow to my day that has 50 items on it, starting from when my feet touch the floor in the morning to when my head hits the pillow at night. Everything is included - prayer times, meal times, chore times, active playtime with my godson, and working my MK business. I'm publicly committing to tracking this for the rest of June - and I'm going to report on my results to you for better or for worse! I'm convicted in my heart that God isn't going to take me to the next level in my business until I have mastered the level I'm at, so that's what I'm setting out to do.

One of my 50 components is time for writing - and though I have more than one blog, I want to be sure that I'm writing in this one every 10 days. SO, here's how you can help and what's in it for you! If you're the first to notice it's been more than 10 days since I last posted an entry - I will give $25 in free product. Deal? Okay.

(keep your eyes peeled for another another entry with more about my Rule).