Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Setting goals & Making Resolutions

I know every January millions upon millions of people make resolutions for the new year. They declare to themselves, and sometimes the rest of us, how this year is going to be different. How this year they will achieve that lofty ideal they have set for themselves.

We know the big ones. Weight Loss. Saving Money. Get a new job. Get an education. Get a second education. Have a second breakfast. wait ... no, sorry, Lord of the Rings reference snuck in there on me.

And we all know how quickly these fade. How quickly all the will power is used up and gone. How quickly we abandon these resolutions and goals and return to the status quo. Personally, sometime in the summer (when shorts and capris have returned) and sometime in the fall into winter (when I have to put on the oversize sweatshirts and bulky winter coat) I realize how little I have done to improve myself or my station in life over the last whatever months. I remember why I set those goals and what I wanted to achieve. I read this blog all the time and he talks about Big Wins and Immediate Results. And I Love It!! And I love a ton of other things about his principles and ideas, but we'll stick with the Big Wins and Immediate Results thing for now.

I overthink things. Regularly. Ridiculously. I shoveled my carport today. 4 of the stalls weren't cleared out at all. Granted we didn't have 12" of snow because it is enclosed on 3 sides, but there was still enough to make a mess. So I cleared all the stalls that weren't already cleared out. I needed the exercise, and wanted to do something nice for my fellow tenants. While I'm doing it I start wondering if the office will call me and ask me not to do it again. Because I wasn't clearing it perfectly, because there was some left behind, because I didn't "technically" do everyone's, because it's not my job. And I had this whole argument in my head ... over something that was almost certainly NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!!

So, setting goals can be hard for me. Well, no, I take that back. Setting the goal isn't hard, following through on the goal is hard. Two reasons, First and foremost I try to set all my goals for the whole year at once. And then right alongside that is the fact that I overthink and overplan everything. So I have 5 goals and I have 10 steps to each goal and each of the 10 steps has 3-5 baby steps associated with it and next thing i know I'm sitting on the couch watching Season 1 of Bones yet again because I can't seem to force myself to do anything at all.

I am almost 33 years old and I am just now figuring out that Taking one Baby Step at a time is not only okay, but is preferred. Also, just because conventional wisdom says to "eat less, move more" if you can only do one, then just focus on the one. If conventional wisdom says exercise at least twenty minutes three times a week, and I can only make myself do my own made-up program of weight-training for 15 minutes twice a week, then do that! I am just figuring this out!!

But boy am I glad I did! I got three things moved around between my kitchen and office, by taking it in small steps. I got a bunch of stuff rearranged in my kitchen cupboards and storage, by taking it in small steps.

And, drumroll please, the one I am most proud of right now

I did warm lead calls, exactly according to my goals (3 calls Monday night, 3 calls Wednesday night, and 3 calls Friday afternoon), TWO DAYS IN A ROW NOW!

It may sound pathetic, but I have never been able to do this before. And, felt so incredibly good about it. Some of our trainers have said 5 people a day, 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month. and I don't disagree with her. I think that is a fantastic way to crank your business into high gear. If you can stand to do that. I have this phone anxiety and just could NOT make myself make calls more than once a week. But since I am shifting my mindset, and I'm only making 3 calls at a time, suddenly it's not quite so daunting and terrifying.

Another one of the many things on the very long list of Things I Love About Direct Selling is the easy achievements. I set this goal for myself, and I'm doing well at it! I can see myself continuing it for quite awhile. I can see it becoming a highly successful habit for me. And that makes me proud.

Alongside that, I emailed my leader and shared my joy with her. I told her what i had done, and I told her I hadn't gotten any tangible results yet (no bookings, no parties etc) and her response?
Yippee Yippee - This is your year - i just know it - you go girl
I Love It!! If you join the right team with the right company, you can go as far as you'll let yourself go!

Where do you want to get to??

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


One of the things I find endlessly amusing are the people who simply don't understand why you would want to be an entrepreneur.

They stare at you blankly when you tell them what you're doing.
They ask questions about insurance when you tell them about the product.
They shake their heads in disbelief when you tell them about your goal to get a free car.

It amuses me. But it didn't always. I did direct sales for another company, home decorating & candles, for 3 years shortly after college. I did ok with it, but I was still highly influenced by other people's opinions. I'm staring down 33 and only now am I starting, and I mean just barely starting, to move beyond letting those opinions box me in.

At our L'Bri national convention last year, in 2009, Nicki Keohohou said something. She said that at the core, people will start a direct sales business, or any business, for one of just a few reasons.

To gain the respect of someone else.
To make someone proud of them.
To be proud of themselves.
To build something of their own from the ground up.
They want more for their family.

Ultimately when everything else is stripped away, their core base for being willing to consider it will be one of these things.

For me this was kind of life changing. I realized quite suddenly as she was speaking that I did want my family to be proud of me and I wanted to gain their respect. But, the minute she said they want to build something of their own from the ground up, not just a lightbulb, but an entire Fourth of July grand finale fireworks display went off in my head.

So many of the things I have tried or dreamt about or set goals for over the last number of years has been for this reason. To build something I can proudly put My Name on. I know other people at that convention had similar realizations, but with totally different core reasons.

So, now, when I tell an acquaintance that I lost my job in December, share the story of what happened, and begin to explain what I am doing now, the reaction I get amuses me. I explicitly share that I am working on building this L'Bri skincare business, that I am working on a consulting business for Social Media and basic Computer Helps, and that I am working on my 2nd novel and prepping to get my 1st one submitted to agents in order to get published. I share those things and, as if I haven't even said any of that, they will inevitably ask some version of

"Well, are you looking for a job?"

Yes! I am. I am applying for my 2 jobs a week, legitimate jobs that I am qualified for (sometimes over qualified for) that I would take and that I would be good at, to maintain my unemployment. But, that only takes up so much time in a week! I am filling my weeks with ... well with too much facebook, but also with L'Bri University, with reading and teaching myself more about social media, with brainstorming ideas for proposals for that and my computer helps business, with time spent writing my novel. And time spent with friends and family. But they inevitably come back around to:

"Well, good luck with the job search."

I had an acquaintance do just that this weekend. I shared with her how I lost my job and I shared an elevator pitch on my consulting business as well as this L'Bri business and her very first question was "Have you ever looked at contract work?"

I am so deeply grateful that I have gotten to a point in life, finally, where I can hear that and be amused. I can answer her and move on to other topics, and not sit and stew on that question and what she may or may not think of me or my abilities or ideas for days and weeks on end.

And when I'm driving around in my Nissan Murano with my L'Bri magnet on the side, I will smile widely and be very very proud of this team I built that I can put My Name on.

Friday, January 21, 2011

How does $120 in Free Product sound?

One of the things I have always absolutely loved about Direct Sales is the hostess programs. If you try to translate a hostess program to department stores it starts to sound completely and utterly ridiculous.

Do it! A friend booked a party with me this week. She invited 17 people on facebook and is doing other invites and order gathering. She gets 6 people to come out to the party and 5 of them buy $60 in product. Her other friends buy another $150 in product, totaling $500 in sales for the company/consultant/me. That 6th guest at the party is so broke she can't order anything, but she had so much fun she decided she would get her friends together and have her own party. That $500 in sales is going to get my friend over $200 in free product!! Woo hoo for her, right??

Let's go to a department store. My friend invites a bunch of friends to go to Store X with her. Some of her friends can't join her that day, but they go on their own and buy $150 in stuff. My friend gets 6 people to join her for the shopping day and, again, 5 of them buy $60 each in stuff. Totaling $500 in income for Store X. What does my friend get for gathering her friends, organizing a time for them all to join and bringing them into Store X??


But that is one example of a L'Bri show and the Hostess Rewards. And that is just the baseline. That doesn't include my free makeover, the Thank You gift, the booking rewards or anything else that I might throw in depending on the month.

I've done Pampered Chef shows and had to go through the catalog 3 times just to use up all my free product.

I've done Lia Sophia shows where I have to figure out which items I'm getting free vs which ones for half price vs which ones I'm saving for the shows I now have in the future that my friend's booked.

We've all done shows for a company or two, we get how it works. Yes I know, some of us are better at having people over or gathering orders or whatever than others are. I've had absolute BOMBS for shows too. But, ultimately, when you compare Direct Selling to Department Stores, we are head and shoulders above them. Plus, you get to meet ME! AND, you don't have to leave the warmth and coziness of your house to do your shopping. You can go directly to my website whenever you want and place an order and have it shipped directly to your house in less a week, typically. You just can't beat that.

So, how much free product would you like to get??

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I am going to be 33 this year. It is only in the last couple of years I actually began considering my skin and how old I truly look. As a twenty-something I liked the claims of various skincare companies and I'd laugh at the utterly wrinkle-less woman advertising a wrinkle cream. But I truly didn't think all that much about it.

I had an incredibly vague idea what exfoliation was and zero practical idea of why one should do it. Then I started using L'Bri. They told me to exfoliate, so I did, sometimes. Then I started learning a little bit about why. So I did, a little more. And, as is often the case, I don't make it a personal ownership/responsibility until something dramatic happens for me. (Ask me about the eye gel incident sometime).
Back in early December I used our Fruit Enzyme Facial Peel one morning before work. This peel uses fruit enzymes to pull up the dead skin cells off the surface of your skin, and then it gathers them together in these little balls that you
can feel under your finger tips as you rub it around on your face. It is simultaneously disgusting and highly gratifying. I do it in the shower so all those little balls of skin can go right down my shower drain, and I don't have to worry about cleaning out the sink afterwards or anything.

The thing about it was, I did it on a Tuesday morning. On Thursday morning I was doing something at my desk and set my jaw into my hand and noticed that my skin was still soft!! TWO DAYS LATER!

I was blown away! And I've been using these products for almost 5 years!

I have had similar experiences with the Facial Masque in the past. But since I only like to do that one at night, and it needs ten minutes to dry, and time-management has never been my forte, I often neglect that one.

Last week, I saw a twitter post from Bethenny Frankel, one of my heroes, that said
"Good tip: when using those bath/shower scrubs,do on dry skin in shower.Then turn on water&rinse.much better results.smooth like a baby."

and I thought, "I've never tried that."

So yesterday, when I got into the shower I did my
normal shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shave routine and instead of putting some of our Exfoliating Facial & Body Scrub right into my cleanser to use on my face, I just used a dollop of it right on my dampened, but not intentionally wetted face.


My skin was about as soft as the facial peel made it, and i noticed the difference!

This is one of those things I love about L'Bri and about skincare and about the internet. You read one small tip from someone and suddenly you can totally change how you do something and actually see the difference! I've done this a few different times with L'Bri products and man oh man, it makes a difference.

I figured since exfoliation is the process of sloughing off the old to bring the new to the forefront, New Year's was a good time to bring it up. :)

So, with all of my thoughts on the matter, what are yours? What's your favorite exfoliation? What do you notice or not notice? What would you like to see after you exfoliate? Let me hear ya!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Absolute Power

I read. A lot.  My dream is to be a novelist, so I read a lot.  Right now I'm on Vacation to work on a novel.  This guy created

"National Novel Writing Month."

Nicknamed NaNoWriMo, or NaNo for short.  I've got just over 17,000 words out of the 50,000 required to "win" the contest.  If I could get myself working on the novel again, I'm quite sure I can knock out 10,000 words per day, and easily hit 50,000 before the end of the month.

I read Stephen King's book On Writing about the process of writing fiction. One of his biggest tips was to Read a Lot, Write a Lot. So i have taken that to heart.  That's why I finally broke down and read the Twilight books, but that's another post for another day.

Last night I was reading David Baldacci's novel Absolute Power.  I'm 99% sure that is the book that they made a movie out of that Clint Eastwood starred in.  I am thoroughly enjoying it.  It has a few characters with an incredible amount of drive and ambition. One of them is musing about how hard he's worked and what he sacrificied to get where he is.  He's thinking about his drive and ambition.  I thought to myself,

"What if?"

What if I could exert a little bit of drive, a little bit of consistent ambition?  I have incredible, enormous hopes and dreams for my life and the lives of those around me. There is a quote that says something to the effect of "A wish is a goal without backbone." Or "A goal without a plan is just a wish without backbone." I tried looking it up and couldn't find it.  Right now I am the epitome of that idea.  I have all sorts of dreams and goals and wishes.  A few of which I can't actually do much about.  But there are plenty I can make active plans and purposeful steps towards.

As I was pondering that last night, I thought, as I often do, about my business with L'Bri.  If I exerted a minimum of consistent backbone I could have more than a few active plans full of purposeful steps towards achieving some of those dreams.  And, that action may propel me forward in the areas that I can "do" less work in to achieve a certain goal. (i.e. being single; I can put myself out there and try dating etc, but at the end I can't "make" someone love me or want to marry me.)

What about you? do you have dreams without a backbone?  Do you have wishes without a plan? Do you need a vehicle to generate some income? or some self-esteem? or some public speaking skills? or some general leadership abilities?

We can be that vehicle!

For a small investment you can try us out and see if we fit!  I heard a speaker at our convention ask if L'Bri was the vehicle to achieve your dreams.  And I realized something, I love L'Bri. This is a company I can believe in and happily be a part of. This is a product I can offer every single one of my family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers in good conscience.  We have a hostess opportunity and income opportunity I can believe in and, again, offer in good conscience. 

But what he made me realize, was that it is possible (incredible as I consider it ;) ) that this could not be the right vehicle for someone else.  That another company might be a better fit. I say all of this to say "I would love to help you start with us, give it a month or two, and see if we fit!  Give us a chance, give me a chance! 

I would be more than happy to sit down and discuss what our opportunities look like and how they might fit in with your life and goals. 
No pressure. No signatures in blood. 
Just a talk. 
What do you think?
Could we be exactly what you're looking for?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I am a dreamer at heart.  I used to work in downtown Janesville and often drove past an old movie theater on my way home. I would daydream about marrying some amazing business man and us opening a Dollar Theater there.  I felt (and still kind of do) that I needed a husband for that type of business because I am great at the idea, and lousy at the execution/follow-through.

I would drive past a seniors only apartment complex and day dream about asking for a break on my rent if I intentionally get to know the tenants and plan activities and events for everyone. 

I see other people starting traditional businesses and I'd day dream about doing the same. 

A large part of what would always stop me is that I simply do not want to have to work that hard to keep my head above water.  In a nutshell that's why I choose to maintain my place as An Employee. (See Richard Kiyosaki's 4 quadrants if you don't know what that means.)  I want to know that I get paid to show up, to some extent.  The risk is minimal. The reward good enough to keep my butt in that chair day after day.

And all of that is one of the reasons I Love L'Bri.  It allows me to dream.  It allows me an outlet to consider a life different than what I have.  It not just allows, but demands I consider a life different than what I have.

What if you got a trip to a spa just for helping other people join you in something you love doing??

What if you got a free car, including paid insurance, for helping those people maintain and grow their own dreams and hopes and goals?

What if you got an all expenses paid trip to somewhere exotic and warm and beautiful in January!  For keeping in contact with your customers, giving away some free stuff, and doing nothing more than working towards that Spa trip?

Can you imagine any other scenario in life in which this could be true?? 

You bring a few friends to Kohl's to shop and they give you $100 in free clothes because you got some friends to come spend their money at Kohl's.

You get a free car because you recruited 10 of your friends to join your gym and they stayed for a year.

You get an all expenses paid trip because those friends you brought to Kohl's with you, well they got a few of their friends to go and did the same thing you did a few times too and you did it some more on top of those original friends.

Those are incredibly loose examples, but they are as close as we can get in the "real" world.  Can you even imagine any of those scenarios to be real??  You'd ask for the fine print. Where's the catch?  Where am I going to get screwed on this deal??

I know.  It sounds crazy.  Partly because Direct Sales doesn't translate to "real life" because it is such a different dynamic and a vastly different structure.  But also because we've been told all our lives the 40 hours a week in a cub, for 50 weeks a year doing 30 to life, and you'll get to retire at some point, hopefully with enough money to eat something better than catfood.

What if?

What if it were possible?  What if it were possible for you??  What if this were the opportunity that coudl change your life? Or your family's life? Or your outlook on the world?

What if this is the situation that gives you just the outlet for adult conversation you need after too many consecutive hours in the same house with your kids?

What if this is the opportunity to buy your husband that La-Z-Boy he's been drooling over every time the ad comes on TV?

What if this is the chance to have that exotic vacation to somewhere warm in the middle of the Dead Wisconsin Winter??

What if you said yes?  Yes to any of the above.  Yes to all of the above!

Yes to something new and different and fresh and exciting.

Yes to work, a different kind of work.  A different style of interaction.  A drastically different program for income.  But Yes.

I would absolutely love to get together with you and explore how saying Yes could impact your life.  I would love to get you the information you need to make an informed decision.  Let's meet for coffee.

Whaddya say?  Wanna dream with me?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

My First Time

I was a faithful (other brand) user for years.  At some point towards the end of high school or possibly the beginning of college I realized the value and logic to washing your face regularly.  And when a friend started selling (other brand) I started buying.  First and foremost because I was a good friend, but secondly because I knew I ought to be using something on my face regularly.  I liked what they had to say, and at the time I liked how it made my skin feel. I used the product faithfully, even switching between programs, following consultant suggestions and figuring out what would work best for my skin and, more importantly, my lifestyle. I used it for 5 years or so, maybe.  As with many things in life, one loses track of the timing after the time has passed. 

Then a very dear friend of mine sent me an invitation to this L'Bri thing.  She had bad acne.  Cystic, painful, red, very self-conscious-ness generating. I didn't have any of that.  I got a blemish or two only around my "cycle" and those weren't all that bad.  I was, however, a "picker."  I'd pick at my blemishes and pop them etc.  So I had some scarring on my chin, but nothing to make me all that self-conscious, and certainly nothing noticeable enough to deter me from picking.

Now, what you probably do not yet know about me, is that I am an incredibly Loyal person.  Like, ridiculously so.  I find anything I like or appreciate, and I will be Loyal to the END of Time.  I am incredibly disappointed when a manufacturer stops making my favorite conditioner or hair creme or brownie mix or whatever.  Having been a Loyal user of (other brand) for years, and having helped a couple of different friends maintain their sales quotas with (other brand) I debated the merits of going to this L'Bri thing my dear friend was having.

In the end, Loyalty to my Friend won out over Loyalty to my Brand.

4 years later, I can say,

I am so glad it did!

We participated in the Lesson and used the product right on our own faces.  We did this masque thing they had on only half of your face so you could see the actual difference.  Which was dramatic for some and noticeable for others. My friends noticed the smile lines around my mouth had faded, but then I was only halfway into my 20s, so I didn't have much "aging" to work on yet. ;)

The consultant spent some time going through one of their brochures and talking about the ingredients in most cosmetics products.  She said that most products have a first ingredient of water, but that L'Bri used Aloe Vera Barbadensis instead of water.  She told us how Aloe is a natural anti-inflammatory and therefore, very good for you skin.  She told us how L'Bri only uses natural ingredients in as pure of a state as they can access.  She explained that the only scent or color in any of the products came from the actual ingredients contained therein, i.e. the cleanser is green because it contains chlorophyll, which is the same stuff that makes plants green.  She also explained some of the chemicals used in most other brand's products and how those were detrimental to your skin and could actually accelerate the aging process. 

I'll be honest, I was a bit cynical.  Anyone can print a pretty brochure and tell you "facts" about this ingredient or that chemical, but the proof is in the pudding ... or the cleanser as it were.  But, I can honestly say, by the time we were done with the demonstration, I was very impressed with how my skin actually felt.  I wasn't sure yet if I bought into all their propaganda (which is what I basically called it in my head) but I did know that I had bought into the results of using the product.

I ordered the "just starting off" set and was quite impatient to get it in the mail. And I went so far as to book my own lesson because their Hostess Program at the time, was to give you a free Masque when you hosted your own qualifying lesson.  And, believe me, after seeing some of the dramatic results around my friend's table ... i wanted that masque.

After learning what I did about the ingredients, having felt the product on my skin, and having ordered a set, I had a very difficult time going home and continuing to use (other brand) until my L'Bri set came.  But I did, because I am Good Follower and "they" tell you to wash your face every night and every morning.  I was so excited when my products came in the mail.  And I had a great lesson of my own and expanded my product set.

That was 4+ years ago.  And I can still say that I am incredibly grateful to my friend for inviting me.  And grateful to my God for prompting me to go and help my friend out, because L'Bri has truly changed the course of my life.   I use a product I believe in.  I have an opportunity I can share with confidence.  I became a part of a company I could represent proudly.

And I am excited about what the future holds.  For L'Bri.  And, for me.