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!