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people + places | eats + things
The first thing I saw on Instagram this morning was an on-point quote from fellow University of Georgia graduate Olori Swank, now a celebrity fashion stylist and entrepreneur: “Achieving your goals is a slow process; but quitting won’t speed it up.”
Yes. Let’s talk about that.
If you’ve been following me for any amount of time these past seven months, you may remember that in January, my skincare + cosmetics company announced an opportunity for consultants and directors to earn an all-expenses paid trip to Miami and Bahamas cruise. You may also recall that I really wanted to earn it. But on June 30, the last day to finish qualifications and get myself on the boat … I fell short.
And I fell short because I learned a really, really powerful lesson the hard way.
way I would ever achieve the goals I set was by doing the very thing I was refusing to do. I didn’t quit, exactly, but I definitely closed myself off to this side of the business. That was … selfish.
“Selfish? How is it selfish?” you may ask.
It’s selfish because of what I am able to do and accomplish with this as my full-time job. Yes, I knit and photograph and do some freelance storytelling work. But I have the flexibility to do those things because of what I have in my company. Most people who have full-time or side-jobs within the realm of direct sales (which is what my company is) or network marketing are the same way. They are able to have lives outside of the cubicles they are/were once chained to 40-plus hours a week because they took a chance on something crazy that they probably rolled their eyes about (like me!) and actually worked that opportunity until it paid them back tenfold.
It’s selfish because when I quit/was fired from (still not sure) the job I had at a brewery, I was able to quickly cover my bills and rent by getting over myself and holding appointments. Again, there are actually quite a large number of people in companies with similar structures to mine that are doing this daily because they are working.
It’s selfish because I became so singularly focused on not being pushy, but needing to have the finances to pay my bills, that I chose to only make money instead of share the wealth.
At the end of the six-month qualification period to earn this cruise, I sold more than $10,000 retail value in skincare and makeup. Bills paid; rent paid; even able to stick some in savings and that kinda thing. Let me tell ya, that’s a load off my back and my mind! My customers who use our skincare look and feel fabulous and don’t have to wear makeup. My customers who use our makeup love their colors and are digging our new foundation especially. Oh, and lipstick. Always lipstick.
But imagine if I’d taken the time to focus on sharing more about my company with those customers.
My customers who are on payment plans with me for their skincare … could have started their own business and gotten their skincare at a steep, 50 percent discount, not to mention they could have begun building a customer base of their own and started making profits. Those profits could go toward things like rent and bills, or a vacation for their family. One of my customers — who has the dang cutest house in Lexington! — dreams of owning a bakery one day. Even as a hobby consultant, I could have helped her strategize and make that happen. Another customer, who runs a daycare center in Athens, expressed to me once that she’d love to own a campground.
It is crazy.
But I did. I have. Team-building has been my biggest desire and biggest self-imposed struggle because I was too selfish to share. Too selfish to recognize potential in people and then tell them, “Hey Lisa, did you see my post last night about how my business covered my rent last month, and I did that by holding x-number of appointments in x-number of hours? I would love to help you and your husband buy that rental property on the lake by showing you how to do what I do.”
Maybe it’s not makeup or skincare you’re jazzed about, in which case my company may not be right for you. Perhaps it’s health and wellness; or fashion; or jewelry; or cleaning supplies. The Direct Sellers Association has a plethora of members and you can pull up any of their compensation plans and business models to find out more. It’s not for everyone, but I feel like a shabby friend and consultant for hiding my opportunity for so long.
In full transparency, the time is nigh for me to enter what we call “director in qualification,” or DIQ (pronounced dee-eye-queue, not like Dick Cheney) on Aug. 1. Selfishness in sharing stops here. I’m looking for at least five future consultants to work with me, whether it’s for that deep discount on their own skincare and makeup or for something bigger. I let the cruise sail on by because I ignored the process.
I’m not letting anything else do that again.
Sounds like how any good Southerner would order her hashbrowns at WaHo, doesn’t it? Well sheesh, now I’m hungry and it’s not even a #MeatetarianEats post!
Tonight I’m not writing about food. Instead, what I mean by scattered, smothered and covered is — and y’all get ready, because I don’t think I saw this one coming either — spiritually scattered, smothered and covered by the grace of a higher power. Now before y’all go and scatter yourselves because I’m writing a little church-y today, let me assure you I’m not going to try to convert you to anything. OK? OK.
I did recently start attending Cornerstone Church in Athens, Georgia, and though my reasons for doing so are mine alone, I will share that it’s been a really good experience thus far. I am a firm believer that an individual’s relationship with the higher power they believe in, if they believe in a higher power, doesn’t necessarily need to take place within the confines of a specific building with a steeple. That being said, it is nice to be in that environment once or twice a week.
I relate that back to my skincare + cosmetics business, and perhaps that’s why I needed it. In my company, we have two large business events and smaller weekly or bi-weekly local business meetings. Your success as a beauty consultant doesn’t require you to attend any of those, but when everyone is sobusy and there are so many distractions, it’s easy to re-enter life after the big events and forget everything you were so driven to do. Those more regular, smaller meetings to me are just as important as the big ones, because they remind me what I am working for. They keep me in the zone, so to speak.
Right now my unit doesn’t have weekly meetings, and it is very easy to allow myself to get off-track. When I get off-track, I get moody and anxious and stressed and snappy. Combined with a season of life in which I am responsible for every penny I earn, it’s even more stressful when I am off-track! I feel this is why I was led to seeking an environment where I am reminded of what my purpose is.
This Sunday the lead pastor at Cornerstone discussed the Biblical book of Hosea, who was a minor prophet. At the time Hosea reportedly lived, the region known as Israel was in a bit of disrepair: people were worshipping idols, leading lives that were pretty shady, and God reached out to Hosea and told him that Hosea will now lead a life metaphoric of that of the process he’s about to undertake with Israel to wake them up. You’ll have to read the book and draw your own conclusions, but here’s what was spoken to me through the service and the subsequent reading in my own time afterward.
Step 1: Scatter.
Yep. You see where this is going already, doncha!
Before there’s any kind of spiritual awakening … I needed a reason to have a spiritual awakening. My life had to go all sorts of kerfluffle. Looking back, there’s been quite a few times of “scatter” since I began to realize what I ultimately desire and am ultimately appointed to do. There were breakups of relationships. There were difficulties in job settings. There were opportunities for me to seek better, higher, more! But I managed to um, usually not do any of those things. I would start to do them, then be tempted or distracted away.
Step 2: Smother.
So your life’s a shambles. You are THE definition of hot mess express and someone can just go ahead and order tickets to your sh*tshow, right? I definitely feel that way a lot, especially recently. One step forward, two steps back. I had (thankfully I can now use the past tense here!) a number of days where I was smothered in those feelings of anxiety and stress and lack that I mentioned before, because I was so scattered and all over the place. And so far from what I know I am supposed to be doing!
Step 3: Cover.
This step is interactive. It requires you to pull your weight. Pastor Scott, talking on Sunday, mentioned that God’s love is forever if you choose to seek it. We do have free choice, but DANG if those first couple steps aren’t encouraging me to change my course!
If you’re cool hanging out in step two, feeling a little woeful and sorry for yourself and victimhood-y, hoping someone or something will come into your path and lift you out of your misery, that is your choice. Or say, maybe you’re not feeling like a victim, but perhaps you work your tail to the bone and are fiercely independent and think you can do it all by yourself, so you shut everything else out and become so caught up in busyness you forget why you’re busy in the first place … and then get overwhelmed and start questioning what the heck is happening. (Hi, hello, it’s me.)
But if you decide to sit down and have a little meeting with yourself about all those feelings and stress, and if you do believe in a higher power, there’s a chance you’ll be inclined to do what I did, which is finally accept that ol’ saying “I’m doing this FOR myself, but not BY myself.” When you do that, God does a little happy dance and suddenly he’s hanging out as your new partner. Covering you in love, in acceptance, in guidance. Like a therapist, but always there and it doesn’t matter whether or not your insurance covers it. Which is great, because mine does not!
Y’all. It took me a LOOONG time to get here, and “here” is not the end point. I’ve got a lot more ground to cover. My smother phase lasted entirely too long because I rejected and resisted the concept that I needed a God-filled environment like Cornerstone. But the more weighty all the negativity got, and the more I seemed to dig myself deeper into a mental hole, the more I realized what I needed was a BIG change. A shock to my system.
I’m as shocked as anyone that I decided to peep into a church setting. I’m grateful I listened to those little guiding whispers though, telling me to stop being stubborn and do what is right for my mental health, spiritual health and business health. Are you also feeling scattered or smothered? Overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and depressed? Then perhaps it’s time you explored options to shock your system, too.