Have you ever wondered how some people manage to move forward in business and life so quickly? Or how some people can break negative patterns and behaviors and others can’t seem to?
Charles Duhig has found the answer: small, consistent habits.
I found this book fascinating and very entertaining. Charles explains the science behind success in an easy to understand way. He also talks you through some very interesting cast studies where success was achieved as a result of small changes to habits.
This book might just unlock a whole new world of opportunity for you, both in business and in life. I highly recommend it.
I’ve talked before about another book by Mary Christensen, but I also adore Be a Party Plan Superstar. This book is aimed at people that are fairly new to the direct selling industry and provides a pretty solid foundation in knowledge and skills required to build a successful direct selling business.
I didn’t read this book when I was new in the industry. Instead I was introduced to this book when I already had a multi-million dollar turnover in my business.
But I still found this a useful book and used it as a “check-up” for my own business. And I did find areas to improve! I also used it to gain an understanding of what a new consultant needs.
So I used this book in my personal business and as a leader. Add this one to your list too
A huge obstacle in business – and in life – is procrastination. I think we all know the feeling!
In the book Eat that Frog, Brian Tracy provides 21 ways (!) to beat procrastination and how to get stuff done.
It would have been so easy for me to do nothing in my business in the past eighteen months since my daughter was diagnosed with acute leukemia. Instead I chose to apply the strategies in this book to maintain focus and move forward in the pockets of time I managed to find.
I found the concept of doing the toughest things first incredibly liberating! By getting the hard tasks out of the way first each day, I felt so much lighter….I didn’t have that lingering dread hanging over me. And because I started to tackle the tough tasks first I felt fresher and I could think more clearly.
It was so much easier to do the hard things first than putting it off to the last minute (often late at night), which would add stress to the mix when I really didn’t need any more!
If you’re a procrastinator or want to be able to get more done, this is your book!
These three books should keep you busy for a while. Let me know in the comments which book has been helpful for you…
Having success leads to more success. And if you take the time to celebrate your small wins on the journey to your direct sales goals, you’re far more likely to achieve your big hairy goals!
Allowing yourself to celebrate each win along the way will help to anchor the experience in your mind.
The enjoyment of the achievement will last longer and embed in your subconscious mind. This will help you to keep both your conscious and subconscious mind on track to repeat that wonderful feeling of success….leading to more success!
I celebrate “Moët Moments” (yes, I’ve named it after the champagne).
Each week I set a small goal that will help me reach my larger goals. When I achieve that weekly goal, I celebrate it with a glass of Moët because it feels like a special treat that I don’t indulge in often.
But don’t dwell on the champagne part. Your Moët Moment could be anything….a night out at the movies, a massage, a long indulgent soak in the bath, gourmet chocolate, having the ironing done for you…. anything that’s a treat for you. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money but it does have to feel special to you for it to work.
I know it’s easier to just tick off your task and move on to the next one.
But you’ll actually achieve more success faster if you enjoy the journey and savor the wins along the way. Plus it’s enjoyable!
Below I’m sharing my Moët Moment worksheets. They come as 2 on one A4 page and I’m sure you’ll love using them.
Download them today and share your wins with us in the comments. I’d also love to hear how you celebrate your Moët Moment.
I’m a massive reader but I don’t actually read…as such. I’m an audiobook fan, I get read-to.
I treat my car as a rolling university. Folding laundry is a joy when I’m listening and learning.
Waiting for the kids becomes another opportunity for self-development.
I’m also a sharer. I like to share the awesome books that inspired me. Or the books that taught me things. Or the books that motivated me. So every now and then I’ll post an article to give you a little update on my new favorites.
I’m crushing so hard on Mel Robbins right now…so forgive me in advance for gushing. This book has been a life saver!
When my daughter was diagnosed with leukemia I used this book to help me build the coping skills I needed right then.
I used this book’s simple strategies to continue moving forward in my life and my business. She explained how I can stop negative thoughts in their tracks and maintain a positive attitude. And although her strategies are simple, they work!
The strategies are also fabulous for increasing motivation and ending procrastination. I am so much better at getting the “hard stuff” done now.
It is a must read for every direct seller who wants to grow, for every party plan superhero who wants to expand her comfort zone, for every person who wants to jump into new things, and for everyone who wants to focus on the positives in life – but has a hard time doing so. So get it!
I have been so lucky that I got to attend a training session with Mary Christensen. She’s so engaging, relatable and full of fantastic advice.
In her books, her real-life personality shines through! All her books are easy to read and full of information. But my favorite is Be A Recruiting Superstar because I changing people’s lives by introducing them to my direct sales business.
I also love this particular book because it contains some fascinating insight into direct seller’s personality types. And you can use that insight in your approach when talking to people about your business opportunity. If you would like a little taste of that, take this quiz.
Look at that strong woman on the cover! I loved this book.
It’s an entertaining book with some interesting case studies that I could relate to. I also picked up quite a few new tips and tricks for managing my time and working around my family.
But that’s not the biggest gain I got from this book.
After reading I Know How She Does It, I had a new perspective on the the concept of “balance”. Too often as women we feel pressure to be all things to all people all of the time.
But this book opened my eyes to the idea that balance can – and should be – viewed over a longer time frame. Say a week or a month – not necessarily day to day. Sometimes we need to focus on our career or business and work hard and put in the hours. Sometimes we need to be home, with our children.
This book taught me I don’t need to feel guilty. I’d feel guilty when I was working because I wasn’t with the kids and I felt guilty when was with the kids because I wasn’t working on my business…you know that merry-go-round? I’ve learned that there is enough time for everything and everyone, including time for self-care.
Working In Your Business vs. Working On Your Business
There’s a difference between working in your business and working on your business. Allow me to explain…
I noticed that when I started to treat my direct sales business as a business, rather than a hobby I did on the side, it started to grow. Massively.
Instead of just doing the parties, working to get bookings, and fulfilling orders (working in my business), I began to work on activities to grow my business (working on my business).
The most important thing I did to make this work was to set aside time to do the things that would help me to get ahead. And I also made my business portable so I could work in small pockets of time.
When I started to plan my time across all aspects of my direct sales business (bookings, hosting, social media, recruiting, etc.) to keep a balance in my efforts things started to really improve. I made sure I worked in the business to deliver awesome service and maintain an income now, and I worked on the business for future growth.
Balancing your energies and efforts is important. For example, if you only spend your time and energy on finding new people to sponsor, you will soon run out of party bookings and your business and orders will fizzle out. But if you only spend time on getting new bookings, you’re not growing your team and you’re running on the spot (just faster).
Like the circus act, you have to keep all the plates spinning or they’ll fall and break!
To help me maintain that balance and keep myself focused, I developed my own weekly planner.
I found using this planner to be super helpful because once I started to actually allocate times, I stopped trying to do everything all the time. I stopped replying to messages, making host coaching calls, or be on social media while really I wanted to be with my children.
Now I could be with the children and give them my full attention because that was time I had freed specifically to be with them.
During the times I had allocated for business activities, I was able to focus and be more productive because I wasn’t trying to do 5 things at once while feeling guilty for not spending enough quality time with the children.
I also negotiated times with my husband to work in my home office for a few evenings while he organized the kids so I could work on my business, adding to my available work time.
Using the planner stopped me from feeling overwhelmed because the boundaries between work and home life were no longer blurred.
When I was with the children, that was my time with the children. When I was at work, I could focus fully on work and be productive.
Using the planner also helped to plan other important activities for myself, such as exercise, date nights, etc. Self-care is important and the planner helped me to make time for it.
To-Do List & Making Business Portable
To focus my work time, I used specific to-do lists for each aspect of my business, such as party bookings, sponsoring, host coaching, etc. This meant I could walk to my office and be immediately productive because I always knew what I had to do.
Additionally, I created folders for each of those aspects of my business. This way I could grab a folder and start work and have everything on hand that I needed.
This also made my business portable.
If I had some waiting time, for example waiting at gymnastics or basketball, I could grab a folder and my to-do list and make these times incredibly productive. Waiting for the kids never felt like wasted time.
Even if you only have 15 minutes, you’ll be surprised by how much you can get done if you’re organised and ready to work.
Over the years I’ve trained many people on this system (using a weekly planner, business to-do lists and portable folders) in their direct sales business. The people who actually implemented this system reported a big boost to their business and a big increase in the quality of life as their work-life balance improved.
How to Use the System
Grab the Planner download and print it off. You’ll find a timed version and a version without times so you can put your own time blocks in.
You’ll notice that it’s divided in hourly blocks of time and the days of the week. Now cross out the times you definitely can’t work on your business because you have other commitments.
Also cross out the times you need to keep fee for personal time, such as exercise, time with family, etc. Alternatively you can write in these time blocks what you’re doing.
Now look at the times you have left. That’s the time you can allocate to working on your business. Grab a highlighter or colored pens and allocate some time to each aspect of your business (bookings, sponsoring, host coaching, customer care, social media, or other).
Some people like to write in the time blocks what activity they’re doing, some people use color coding and highlighters. Use whatever works best for you.
Grab the To-Do List download and print it off.
On the sheet you can see the different headings that correspond with different aspects of most direct sales businesses. There’s also an unlabeled spot for your specific needs (or you can use it for notes). Now sort all your business activities for this week under the various headings.
Use the To-Do List headings for your folders. You can put everything you need to complete the tasks in these folders so you can easily grab them when you have a pocket of time. So you’d have a Host Coaching folder, a Bookings folder, a Sponsoring folder, etc.
So there you have it: the complete system to plan time to work in your business and on your business and you’ve made your business portable!
I’d love to hear how you implement these tools in your business and which topics you add to your planners. Remember to send me a message and let me know.
I have always been fascinated by personality types and different quizzes to find out what personality type you are. So when I came across a personality quiz specifically designed to help direct sellers, I jumped at it instantly.
The quiz was developed by the fabulous Mary Christensen. In her book you’ll find 8 personality types, but I’ve found these four the most common and helpful to distinguish:
Peacocks Peacocks are the most colorful of all the personalities. They are enthusiastic, spontaneous, and passionate. They follow their instincts, radiate warmth, and make friends easily. Peacocks are drawn to the limelight. They talk a lot, often speak fast and may embellish a story for dramatic effect.
Doves Doves are the most sensitive of all personalities. They are caring, nurturing, and kind. Doves bring harmony to any group because they are thoughtful, considerate, and tolerant of all viewpoints. They will turn away from disagreement rather than hurt someone’s feelings.
Eagles Eagles are the most driven of all personalities. They live to win. Eagles are confident, ambitious and assertive. They won’t stop until they get what they want.
Owls Owls are the most observant of all the personalities. They are fascinated by facts, figures, and detail. They are sincere and reliable and sometimes a little pedantic.
Oh no! I’m a Peacock
The first time I took this quiz, I was identified as a “Peacock” and I was not happy about it. I had considered myself a more nurturing “Dove” type and now I was a flashy Peacock.
But when I was honest with myself, I realized I really did love attention, recognition and loved seeing my name in print and being recognized on stage at company events. I was indeed a Peacock and ready to own it!
The next thought that went through my mind was about my team, I really wanted to know their personality types as well so I would know how to bring out the best in them. I asked them to complete the quiz as well and many did.
That the quiz uses birds to explain the various personality types was helpful to me. The associations are logical and very easy to remember so that was a big plus when it came to working with my team.
How I Applied the Personalities in My Direct Sales Biz
Understanding these different personality types made a massive difference to my business. It was the first time I really stopped to think about the fact that not everybody likes to do things the way that I do.
I knew that superficially, of course, but I hadn’t taken that knowledge to the next level and applied it consciously to managing myself or my team.
From then on I started offering different forms of recognition, taking into account that Owls and Doves often prefer a phone call or personal card in the mail over public recognition.
I also started delegating detailed tasks to Owls in my team, which draws upon their strengths and helped them to feel valued and.
I worked closely with Eagles to help them soar high but also develop patience with other personality types. I made an extra effort to shine the spotlight on the Peacocks, remembering that it wasn’t all about me.
I evolved into an Eagle
A few years later I took the quiz again and this time I had a new result. I had “evolved” into an Eagle. I was focused, goal oriented and a very high achiever. I had learned that consistency is the fastest way to success even though I’m still impatient.
Of course we all have aspects of each of the personality types within us. People are complex and beautiful beings, nobody is a one dimensional bird.
When I first took the quiz I realized I had very little “Owl” in me. I wasn’t very detail oriented and I wasn’t very organized. But, as they say, the first step in changing things is being aware of what you want to change. So I worked hard at increasing those skills over the years, to the point that I’m now extremely detail oriented and organized…although there is some room for improvement. I have to admit my office is usually messy and not very “owl-like”.
It is due to this quiz and – most importantly – the understanding of the different personality types for myself and my team that I was able to build a multi-million dollar business. It made me a better business woman and a better leader.
So, take a few minutes to take this quiz now. And then share it with your team! It’s a gift of knowledge that you can give yourself and others. It has the potential to change your life, just as it did mine.
As I’m writing this in late 2017 [updated in 2021], this is my favorite list of apps. Next year, I’ll probably discover new apps and services that I simply must have. But right now, these are my top apps and I use them all the time for my business and I thought I’d share it with you.
Fundometer This app helps you to track sales goals for yourself and your team. I particularly love to use it when I’m tracking my progress towards an incentive trip or an iWish goal. It is so satisfying to update it and see that you’re getting closer to your goals. The app is free and is great for visual people as it provides visual stimulation and a progress meter.
iWish This is a free bucket list app with a raft of ideas for you. It’s a great app if you know that you want to do things and make memories but you are unsure of what those things are exactly. By making your bucket list you know what you’re working so hard for. It’s a great help to keep you motivated, especially because you get to move things from your iWish list to your iDid list as you’ve achieved them. The only thing that iWish (you see what I did there?) is that they had used the word “goal” rather than “wish”. Wishes are things that you hope for while goals are things that you make happen. But I guess iGoal isn’t such a catchy app name.
Positive Prime Confession: this is my all time favorite app. Positive Prime is the best tool I’ve ever found for accelerating and automating success. It has been scientifically proven and is based on the latest research in neuroscience and positive psychology. It’s a selection of mind-movies…kind of like Netflix for the brain. It helps to bypass critical filters and directly program your subconscious mind. It’s super powerful (and actually fun too!)
You can get started for free but trust me, a paid subscription is worth every cent as it enables you to personalize your sessions and massively amplify the effectiveness. I use it to focus on my business, my fitness goals, my personal goals and to feel great while doing it all! Read my full article on Positive Prime here.
Canva This is the online graphics maker that you didn’t know you needed. The free option is so good that most people get away without paying for advanced functionality! Canva lets you quickly and easily make images for social media and printables to help you boost your business.
Canva has various sizes all ready for you to go for Facebook event covers, A4 worksheets, Pinterest graphics, ebook covers, and just about anything else you can think of. Never made graphics before? No worries. Canva provides free layouts ready to go. All you need to do is change the text to say what you want it to say. If you want you can change the colors, add a photo or icon….but the free layouts look so good that you don’t really need to.
Cinchshare If you find that you’re spending too much time working on your social media posts this is the app you need! Cinchshare allows you to schedule posts for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. It has some great features especially for direct sales heroes like you. I use it to schedule posts to my Facebook team groups, my business social media, and Facebook parties and events. It helps you to maintain a consistent posting schedule, no matter what else you have going on in your life! It is cheap to use and worth every cent!
Headspace Meditating? For business? Oh yes! Headspace is particularly good for beginner meditators as it guides you through a series of training sessions. And there are a bunch of sessions to choose from for quick 2 minute meditations right up to more advanced and longer options. I usually do a 10 minute session and I find it gives me clarity and focus. Meditation has been found to reduce stress, improve concentration, increase happiness, slows aging and is great for immune and cardiovascular health. Who doesn’t want that?
I’m very goal oriented so I love that this app keeps track of my meditations and gives you merit badges. Yes, I love achieving badges. The app is free with plenty of options but you can purchase more functionality too.
These are the six services and apps I use almost every day at the moment. Are there any apps that you can’t live without in your direct sales or party plan business?
You know how at a party, you can suddenly hear your name being spoken even at the other side of the room?
We love hearing our own name spoken so much we can pick it out in a hubbub of voices.
This is why remembering names is an incredibly useful skill in direct sales, because in our business it’s all about relationships.
I like to use people’s names when I’m running a direct sales event or party. I regularly get comments about how great am at remembering people’s names. But I don’t actually have any special talent or amazing brain for remembering names. It’s a skill that I’ve developed over the years once I realized how useful it is.
On the flip side, it can be embarrassing to call people by the wrong name or to blank out and resort to the generic “love” or “doll”. Calling someone by their name makes them feel special and valued. After all, you’ve made an effort to remember their name!
Most of us find it hard to remember people’s names. That’s because your brain finds it hard to remember “random” bits of information. And a name of a person you’ve never met before has very little connection to anything else in your brain.
So the name “Brian” will likely just slip your mind just as soon as Brian introduces himself. This is even worse at parties where you meet many new people with new names in a short period of time.
However, there are a few tricks you can use to become a Name-Memorizer-Grand-Master. (That exists, right?) You can find many strategies when you search the Internet, but these are my personal favorites and have worked really well for me.
Commit Start by deciding that you’re going to be great at remembering names. Many of us tell ourselves that we’re bad at remembering names…Stop it! Be nice to yourself and remember that it has very little to do with talent and everything with developing a skill. Start with your attitude. When you go to a direct sales party, just before you get out of car or just before guests arrive tell yourself: “I will make my best effort today to remember everybody’s names.”
Repeat, repeat, repeat Once someone introduces themselves, repeat the name: “Hi Jasmine, so lovely to meet you”. You can make a comment about how pretty the name is, that your niece has the same name, or something else that’s a compliment. If it’s an unusual name, you can ask for the spelling or the proper pronunciation, that way the person repeats the name so it will stick in your brain better. Make sure you do this in a warm and interested manner, don’t make them feel uncomfortable because they have an unusual name. You could say something like: “Sorry, I can’t hear too well with this noise in the background. Could you repeat how to pronounce your name?” or “That’s a very pretty name. I’ve never heard that before, could you say it one more time so I get it right?”
Focus Often the reason a name slips your mind 2 seconds after hearing it, is because we’re not focused when we’re introduced to someone. That’s the reason you want to start with a change to your attitude. If you change your attitude to a genuinedesire to remember names, you will focus when you are introduced to someone. Often a “bad” memory for names isn’t a memory problem but a focus problem. Work on focusing fully on the person you’re being introduced to. As someone is about to be introduced to you, make sure you concentrate. Remind yourself that you really want to learn their name.
Lucky Door Prize Get all event guests that arrive on time to fill out their name on a card to go in the draw for a lucky door prize. This way you have their name written down!
Jason Bourne Jason Bourne your way to their names. I mean, listen in to conversations and mentally note what name people call each other. That way you can pick up names you’ve missed or forgotten. This is especially useful is there’s a rush of people arriving at the same time and some people weren’t introduced to you.
Connect By connecting a person or a name to something else that’s already in your brain, you’ll be more likely to remember it. You can connect a person or a name to a celebrity (Brian looks just like Ryan Gosling, and the names rhyme too), to a characteristic (Jasmine smells lovely), or to their job (Margarita works in a bar). Connections like that will help a name to stick in your mind.
These are my favorite tricks for remembering names. However, the tricks aren’t the most important step to remembering names.
For me the most important thing was the decision to start making an effort to remember people’s names.
Once I had made the decision, my attitude changed. I focused more and I was more present during the introductions. The other tricks were just extra little ways to help my brain remember names.