While I heartily recommend network marketing over a JOB, many graduates this month are hitting the streets looking for work. And it’s not going to be easy–with “more than 5.6 million 18 to 34-year-olds who are willing and able to take a job and actively looking for work, but shut out of opportunities for employment,” new graduates face stiff competition! So, what can a new graduate do to stand out from the crowd?
According to Jonathan Mulligan, 95% of job applicants don’t send a thank you note following an interview. In the competitive job market of today, graduates should take note of this statistic! In fact, in this blog, the authors list not sending a follow up card as the 4th in their list of Job Interview Mistakes.
Sending a quick follow up note is a great way to show your interest in the job and prove to potential employees that you are a thoughtful, conscientious person. Everyone likes to be appreciated–and a card in the mail goes a long way to make you stand out from the crowd! A quick note doesn’t cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. In fact, there’s an app for that!
Interviewees with smart phones simply download a simple app, choose a card, type in a message, and input the recipient’s address. For about $1 that card will be stuffed, stamped, and mailed for him.
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When I first started teaching at Grand Canyon University in 2000, I made a decision. If I were going to set myself up in a leadership position, I had to ensure that I was setting a good example. I never knew when I might run into one of my students–or when they might be watching me when I didn’t realize it, so I knew that I had to always make decisions as if I were standing in front of the classroom. As a professor in a Christian university who signed a statement of faith, I believed that was the right thing to do.
You might be thinking, “that’s not fair!” or “it wasn’t any of their business.” Maybe so, but here’s the thing. I have watched more than one pastor make some bad choices. And those choices resulted in many people turning away from God. To them, their pastor represented God. And so did his actions. I realized that, as a teacher, I had a similar influence on my students. I couldn’t stand in front of the classroom representing one thing and then act another way outside of it.
Think about it–what is the number one criticism people have of the church? Christians are hypocrites. We’re being watched. Every day. And our actions are weighed against our words.
I firmly believe that realizing that people are watching you is a huge part of leadership. When you stand up in front of a group and say you believe in something–you’d better live that out in your life. You never know when someone might be watching you.
When you start a network marketing business and you set out to build a team–you are also choosing to lead. From here on out, people are watching you. The people on your team. The people in your life who may not be ready to make that step. People you don’t even know watching you on Facebook.
If you truly believe in something, stick with it. Think about how your actions are going to affect others–how they will affect your company.
Here’s the thing–the most successful people are in a business they are absolutely passionate about. So passionate that they would share their product or service even if they never made a dime. That’s how I feel about my company. If you don’t feel that way–DON’T become a distributor! And if you do–don’t let money or any other reason take you away from that company. Remember your why–and remember the commitment you made when you signed up–to be a leader.
Regardless of whether you are running a business or living out your faith–please live out what you say you believe. Everyone makes mistakes. So if you do, apologize. Own up to it. Be real. Be genuine. Remember that you are making an impact, one way or another, on many others.
One of the most disastrous errors I’ve discovered women making in the past five years of my Network Marketing journey is the adult version of, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” I can tell you numerous stories about people I’ve met who say, “Hey, why don’t we set up a time, and I’ll tell you about my business, and you can show me yours.” Only to be subjected to videos and offers to contact their sponsor and invitations to a meeting–and no time to listen to what I have to say. It’s a set up–and one that is extremely offensive.
If you’re not truly interested in someone’s business, please don’t act like you are! I’m open to hearing what someone is doing because I may know someone who can benefit from her business–even if I can’t. But please don’t try to trick me (or anyone else!) into listening to your information by pretending that you’re interested in me or my business!
Another version of this is the consultant who thinks that once you’ve met her, you’re hers for life. You can never buy anything from anyone else because “you’re my customer!” Or perhaps the gal who is calculating in her mind how much money she’s spent with you and how much you now owe her. Another version is the friend whose feelings are hurt because you have another friend in the same field and you buy something from her. Yikes!
If I like a product or service, if it’s a good value, and if it’s in my budget, I will buy from a friend or fellow woman in business in a heartbeat. However, I have LOTS of friends in similar businesses, and I love them all! I support them over Wal-Mart all the time. (A great reason to keep in touch!!!) However, if I feel like I HAVE to buy from someone out of obligation or they feel that I owe them something because they are my customer–I don’t want to do business with them. And, to be honest, I don’t want them to do business with me, either. If my product/service is something that you like and that will be valuable to you–buy it because you want to, not because I’m your friend or because I bought something from you–and especially not because you hope that I will buy something from you!
One of the things that I learned early on is that, in order to be successful, I have to believe in an abundant universe. I have to believe that there is plenty of business to go around. I’m not in competition with anyone else or with any other company. There are plenty of people in the world to be my customer or to join my team. Don’t try to convince people to leave their companies to join yours. Be happy when your fellow women in business enroll a new team member or make a sale. Ladies, do yourself a favor–release others from feeling obligated to you–and you might find that they are more attracted to you! :)
PS Thinking about starting a home business? Click HERE to get a free copy of my book, License to Play, and learn why a business from home is a great solution for moms!!
Most women I meet who are building a direct sales or network marketing business are either working full time or have little ones at home full time. I do both! If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I home school my three kids, who are 10, 8, and 6, and also teach composition courses online full time. So, whether you’re working or have little ones at home or BOTH, I can relate!
When I talk to these women who are struggling to balance everything, I hear some of the same phrases over and over again.
“Once I get my house organized, I’ll be able to really spend time on my business.”
“Once I get my schedule together, I’ll be able to really build my business.”
See, we all want to believe that getting organized or making a schedule is the magic solution to achieving balance in our lives. We believe that if we can just get our act together, our business will start to grow. And once our business grows, we’ll have more time for our relationships, and we’ll be able to do the things that really matter to us. But the truth is that if your relationships aren’t ok and your purpose isn’t getting fed, getting organized won’t make you feel balanced. Instead, we need to START with our relationships and our purpose.
Women (in case you haven’t noticed) are relational–and heart centered. Have you noticed that if there’s something off in your relationships, nothing else goes right? It doesn’t matter if you had a banner day in your business–if you had a fight with your hubby the world will feel like it’s coming to an end. Relationships matter to us! So we need to put them FIRST, rather than trying to put the schedule first.
Schedule in time to be a good wife, mom, friend, sister, etc. For me, that means that on my schedule each week I write down a few people who I feel like I need to connect with. I make sure to give them a call or send them a card. If your relationships are healthy, you’re going to feel much more balanced and you’ll get more done!
In network marketing, we know that our WHY is the most important thing. It’s that deep, inner dream that keeps us going even when success seems impossible. So, usually, we just keep moving forward thinking, “someday, I’ll _____.” And, all the while, we wonder why we feel so discontent!
Well, moms, if your Why is to spend more time with your kids and you’re constantly saying, “not right now, honey,” “I’m busy right now,” “this is mommy’s work time…” etc, you are NOT going to feel good about what you’re doing! You need to start with your WHY and your PURPOSE before you start organizing and scheduling.
If your why is to be with your kids–then put your kids first NOW. If your purpose is to help orphans, then help orphans NOW–even if that means putting aside $1 a month or putting together a few boxes for Samaritan’s Purse.
When you start with your relationships and your why, then you will feel balanced. Your schedule will fall into place, and your business will grow because you will be meeting your Heart needs. Yes, it’s easier to check things off a list–but unless you’re feeding your heart, you’re not going to feel good about that list! You will have to make sacrifices if you want to build a successful business, but if you put the important things first, you CAN do both and not regret a minute of it!
In my day job, I’m a college professor. I’ve been teaching English composition as an adjunct faculty member at a community college since 2000–yep, that’s 12 years working for the government! In all that time, I don’t think the stipend per credit has increased–I’m still making the exact same amount of money I did 12 years ago! We don’t get raises based on our performance, and there’s a cap on how many courses I can teach, so there’s no way for me to increase my salary.
And yet, prices keep going up. Gas was 99 cents a gallon when I started teaching…now it’s between $3 & $4. Milk was usually on sale for about the same–99 cents, but now it’s also closer to $4. Has the intrinsic value of gas or milk increased? Nope. But the value of the dollar has decreased. As the government continues to spend irresponsibly and then prints money to pay the increasing debt, the value of the dollar decreases. So, while most of us are making the same or less, the cost of necessary items, like gas and milk, keeps increasing. This is hardest on the folks who have the least.
So, what’s a girl to do? I say, give yourself a raise! How? Well, I’ve been working my network marketing business for about 4 years now. And every year, my residual income has doubled. As I continue to share my business with others, my team grows, and my income grows. I may not be able to make more money at my JOB, but I can give myself a raise anytime I want in my BUSINESS simply by going out and getting a new customer or team member!
Are you in the same boat I am? Are you in a job making less than you were 10 years ago with more expenses? Go to work for yourself! After all, no one cares more about your family than you do!
(Not sure how to move forward? Click HERE if you’d like to give yourself a raise!)
Some of you may be wondering what in the world Speed Networking is. :) Imagine speed dating–only with business owners and salespeople. Essentially, a group of people get together and sit at tables. One side of the tables rotates one seat to the left with every rotation. Each rotation is 1-2 minutes–each person gets 1/2 that time to tell all about his/her business. You exchange cards and move on.
It’s crazy (literally!) fun, super exhilarating, and a great way to meet LOTS of new people in a VERY short time frame. It can also be overwhelming for folks who don’t know how to handle themselves at a speed networking event.
Here are 6 Tips for a successful Speed Networking experience:
1. Dress for Success! Be sure that you wear professional attire. People form their impression of you in the first 30 seconds of meeting you, for better or worse. It’s amazing what a nice necklace and pair of earrings can do for a t-shirt! You don’t have to go out and buy a new suit, but you do want to look professional. First impressions are important!
2. Focus on getting contact information with the intention of turning those leads into friends. The key is to listen and learn as much as you can about each person. Make sure you get their card–and that their card has their MAILING address on it! Instead of freaking out about having to move in one minute, slow your breathing down and really listen to the other person. Take time to connect as best as you can.
3. Try to let the other person go first. That gives you time to listen to the other person and think about how you can help him/her. Spend your 30 seconds focused on helping that other person, rather than just pitching your product/service. They will be impressed that you care about them and that you actually listened to what they had to say!!
4. These are business people, so if you are in network marketing, don’t pitch your opportunity right now. Focus on the product or service and how you can help him/her improve the business he/she already has.
5. If possible, bring a sample of your product with you to give/show to the person across from you. Make sure you have plenty of business cards. Remember, giving someone your website doesn’t work 99% of the time. Don’t rely on a flyer or business card to make the sale for you. That’s YOUR job. :)
6. After the event, FOLLOW UP! At a minimum, do the following:
a) Send an e-mail immediately saying Nice to Meet You. That’s about it! Don’t give your sales pitch, although something to the effect of “If I can help you with x, let me know!” Or “If you’d like to get together for lunch/coffee soon to talk about how we can help each other” along with a link to your site would be ok at the end of your e-mail.
b) Send a CARD–a REAL PAPER card to each person that you meet. This should be a simple Nice to Meet You Card. If possible, include your picture. You can say something very simple like, “Hi, First Name! It was great to meet you at the Speed Networking event on Tuesday. I had a crazy good time meeting you and all the other wonderful professionals at the event! I’m looking forward to getting to know you better!” (This isn’t hard! But, if you need help with a service that makes this EASY and INEXPENSIVE, let me know!)
c) Call them within the next few days to follow up and set an appointment.
d) Optional: If you are on social media, find the people you met and friend them on Facebook, connect with them on Linked In, etc.
The more “touches” you have with a person, the “warmer” contact they become. People will be impressed with your follow up, and they will feel like a million dollars because you remembered them and cared enough to send them a real card. :)
When people lose their jobs, the last thing they might think of is starting their own business. But starting a network marketing business might be just the ticket. My own business kept our family going when my husband was out of work for 18 months and confirmed for me the power of network marketing. Here are four reasons why you should consider starting a network marketing business if you’re out of work:
1. Hope. The network marketing profession is full of amazing, positive people who are continually improving themselves and helping others achieve their highest potential. When you join a network marketing company, you get inspired to believe in your dreams again. You start reading personal development books and becoming a better person. You begin to focus on helping others, rather than yourself. And all of that gives you HOPE, which is one thing you need a lot of if you’re in the midst of dealing with a job loss.
2. Activity. One of the hardest parts about losing your livelihood is losing the daily activities that went along with it! While you continue your job search, why not put effort into building a business, instead of wasting your time watching TV or surfing the net? Keeping focused on being productive will help you to maintain a positive attitude–and make money!
3. Income. While companies that promise a ‘get rich quick’ deal are probably too good to be true, it is possible to make a few hundred dollars a week when you start out with a network marketing company–if you’re giving it a full time effort. You may not be able to replace your income, but at least you’ll have money coming in–and it’s money that depends on your efforts, not on whether or not someone else chooses to hire you. Instead of worrying about money, you’ll be creating income for yourself.
4. Residuals. Whether you find a new job within a few weeks or a few months, the customers and distributors you’ve brought into your business will continue to use your products/services, creating a continuing stream of residual income. Who can’t use a few extra dollars every month? And, who knows? Maybe you’ll love your company so much that you’ll continue to work your business and create financial freedom for you and your family!
There are so many wonderful companies that have great products and services, and the low start up cost makes network marketing an ideal opportunity for many people. As long as you choose a solid, reputable company and make a decision to stick with it, no matter, what, you’ll find yourself asking yourself why you didn’t try this earlier! :)
What do you say when people ask you how your day is going? How about when they ask how your business is?
“Great–just a little exhausted!”
“Oh, you know, busy as usual!”
Do you find yourself saying things like, “Sorry I missed the party/Bible study/playdate at the park–I was just so swamped!”
As mom-preneurs, we are probably all guilty of saying something similar at one time or another. But when it becomes a habit, it can send the wrong message to your potential customers and business partners!
Why would someone want to join a business that leaves its representatives stressed out and exhausted, running so hard that they can’t take an hour off to enjoy their friends?
Honestly, they probably wouldn’t. It’s really important to think about the impression that we are giving others about ourselves and our businesses. Do you love what you do? Then let it show! Tell people about the great party you were at, the fabulous networking event, the great vacation you just took with your family, or how fun it is to hang out with your kids all day!
If you are too tired to enjoy yourself, then maybe you need to focus on the big picture for a little while. Who knows who might join you in your business if you let the light shine, instead of covering it up with busy-ness and stress! Remember, consistent action over time is better than a roller coaster ride of starting and stopping!
What are you going to do this week to change the way you present yourself and your business with your words?
I was talking to my accountability partner the other day about the struggle we have to find balance in our businesses. Some days, we work like our hair is on fire, not taking time to breathe. Other days, we feel like we are completely burned out and end up just vegging (or in my case, reading Christian romance novels!). As mompreneurs, we need to find a way to balance that crazy activity with rest and time with our families.
How can we do that?
One important step is setting boundaries. Consistent action over time brings results. It’s better to do a little each day then to burn yourself out in spurts. Even if you work from home, set working hours. If you work on the computer, like I do, that might mean turning off the computer when you’re not “at work” so that you force yourself to take some time to live your life. The beauty of being a mompreneur is the ability to set our own schedules and achieve great things while being present with our families.
Especially for moms with little ones, it’s important to take time to do the things with our families that make us feel like a real mom–reading stories, playing games, making dinner. And whether we are working up a storm or zoning out due to overwhelm, we’re missing out on those important times with our families.
Take some time to think through your goals. Decide what actions you can take each day to reach those goals & schedule your work day accordingly. Even when you don’t feel like doing anything, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to keep moving forward. And when you feel like continuing on like the Energizer bunny…well, don’t forget to close up shop for the day!
A friend of mine, Adam Packard, is in the process of reading a personal development book every day for 365 days. (Check it out HERE!) This is definitely a challenge I want to undertake at some point in the next few years, but for now I’m enjoying the little tidbits of wisdom I get from his facebook status updates!
A few weeks ago, Adam posted a review for a book called Carrots & Sticks, by Ian Ayres, that really got me thinking. He says, “If you’ve ever tried to meet a goal and came up short, the problem may not have been that the goal was too difficult or that you lacked the discipline to succeed.” In fact, he says, the problem may have been simply that the reward was not great enough!
As women, we are all trying to lose weight and be thinner, prettier, etc, whether we need to or not. That’s another post. But most of us use weight as a measurement of achieving our goals. I have a pretty nice reward for getting to my goal–a whole new wardrobe! But, in spite of the reward, it wasn’t enough motivation to keep me going. I’d be so focused on that weight goal that every time I stepped on the scale, I’d be discouraged and figure–”Who cares, anyway? I just want a cookie!” Sound familiar?
So, this week, I decided to combine what I know about rewards with what I know about women and meeting goals–namely that women do better with activity goals than results goals. So, I set up a really fun reward–basically a makeover for me–if I stick to my activity for two weeks. Nothing has really changed–except my focus is on completing my activities (eating right & exercising), rather than on getting to a certain weight. Guess what?! It’s working!
If you are having trouble meeting your goals (and you know they are SMART goals), try combining a great reward with an activity goal, rather than a results goal. I think you’ll amazed at the difference it makes!