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).