Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More Quotes from "Winning With People"

Here are some more of my favorite quotes from Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time by John Maxwell.

"Since nothing we intend is ever faultless, and nothing we attempt ever without error, and nothing we achieve without some measure of finitude and fallibility we call humanness, we are saved by forgiveness." -David Augsburger

"In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends."

"Friendship is like money, easier made than kept."  -Samuel Butler

"There may be nothing more important in a marriage than a determination that it shall persist.  With such a determination, individuals force themselves to adjust and to accept situations which would otherwise seem sufficient grounds for a breakup."  -Dr. Alfred Kinsey

"What we obtain to cheaply we esteem to little; it is dearness only that gives everything its value."  -Thomas Paine

"It is impossible to learn anything important about anyone until we get him or her to disagree with us; it is only in contradiction that character is disclosed."  - Sydney J. Harris

"The key to everything is patience.  You get the chicken by hatching the egg,
not smashing it."  -Arnold Glasgow

"The greatest virtues are those which are most useful to other persons."  -Aristotle

"A genuine friend encourages and challenges us to live out our best thoughts, honor our purest motives, and achieve our most significant dreams."
-Dan Reiland

"Keep a fair-sized cemetery in your back yard, in which to bury
the faults of your friends."  -Henry Ward Beecher

"I realized that if you're slinging mud, you're losing ground."

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks
others have thrown at him."  -David Brinkley

"Most people make some good choices every day, but they don't make enough good choices to create momentum and obtain success."  -Hector LaMarque

"Because the high road is uphill, no one travels it by accident."

"Treat people as though they were what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Monday, November 14, 2011

Quotes from Winning With People

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time by John Maxwell.

"Good relationships are more than just the icing on the cake in life.  
They are the cake."

"Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important.  They do not mean to do harm.  They are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves."  -Poet T.S. Eliot

"I always say that the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself.  You've got to be your own best friend first."  - Phil McGraw

"He who cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself." -George Herbert

"This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well."  -Statesman Sir Francis Bacon

"The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." 
-Lady Dorothy Nevill

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1

"We gossip because we fail to love.  When we love people, we don't criticize them.  If we  love them, their failures hurt.  We don't advertise the sins of people we love any more than we advertise our own."  - John  Whit, "The Flight"

"People can be the wind beneath our wings or the anchor on our boat."
"Whenever you are too selfishly looking out for your own interest, you have only one person working for you-yourself.  When you help a dozen other people with their problems, you have a dozen people working with you."- William B. Given Jr.

"Sometimes when you give someone a piece of your mind, 
you lose your own peace of mind."

"I believe that if people made the effort to see things from other's points of view, 80% of our relational conflict would disappear."

"Understanding someone properly involves learning from him, and learning from someone properly involves changing oneself."  - Hans Kung

"The Platinum Rule:  Treat others the way they want to be treated."

"Treat a man as he appears to be and you make him worse.  But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be."  -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Integrity is the basis of trust....  It is the one quality that cannot be acquired, but must be earned.  It is given by coworkers and followers, and without it, the leader can't function."  -Warren Bennis

"A blessed thing it is for any man or woman to have a friend, one human soul whom we can trust utterly, who knows the best and worst of  us, and who loves us in spite of all our faults." -Charles Kingsley

"Successful people make right decisions early and manage those decisions daily."

"All seems infected that the infected spy, as all looks yellow to the jaundiced eye." -Alexander Pope

"Studies have shown that, in the average home, for every positive statement, a child receives 10 negative statements.  The school environment is only slightly better; students hear seven negative statements from their teachers for every one positive statement.... It takes four positive statements to negate the effect of one negative statement." - Neil Anderson

Some powerful words for you to ponder.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Chance Encounter, A Lasting Bond | Parade.com

This article was in today's Parade magazine which comes in the Sunday paper. I really enjoyed this heartwarming story and thought I'd share it in case you missed it!

A Chance Encounter, A Lasting Bond | Parade.com

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An Experiment in Personal Growth

As proud as I was to lose my twins baby weight, I must admit I have put 10 pounds back on this year.  Add to that, my stomach  muscles are in rare form (diastasis recti) and there are other areas of my body needing a lift, tuck, and tone!  A cheap and accessible fix is running and I've lost weight before running.  Its a great idea, except I HATE to run... or exercise.... or sweat.  I decided I was going to do it anyways.  Will power in many areas isn't my strength so this was going to be an all around experiment in personal growth!

A failed start about two months ago due to some foot issues brought me back to a point of decision to begin again the last week of September.  I searched for some new runner tips online about breathing, body positioning, and how to start a running program.  For someone like me who is out of shape and doesn't like to run, I found a program that has been very doable.  I am currently in week three of the training program and am proud of what I've accomplished and the dedication I've had to my new project.

Most days I'm pushing my two year old twin boys in a stroller but really enjoy time to myself on the off day. Here is the training schedule I'm using and run at least 5 days a week.  (I can't remember where I found the information, nor can I find it again.)  I use my cell phone to time the intervals.

Walk 5 minutes to warm up.
Week 1:  Run 1 minute, walk 5 minutes, 5 times for a total of 30 minutes
Week 2:  Run 2 minute, walk 4 minutes, 5 times for a total of 30 minutes
Week 3:  Run 3 minute, walk 3 minutes, 5 times for a total of 30 minutes
Week 4:  Run 4 minute, walk 2 minutes, 5 times for a total of 30 minutes
Week 5:  Run 5 minute, walk 1 minutes, 5 times for a total of 30 minutes
Week 6:  Run for 30 minutes

There were many reasons I hated running, even as a kid.  I was so out of shape that it was uncomfortable, shortness of breath due to being out of shape, asthma, side stitches, muscle cramping, etc....  I looked up information on breathing techniques to help with the shortness of breath.  Proper hydration and stretching can help prevent muscle cramping along with not running on a full stomach.  You can find a lot of great tips in this article plus more on their website.

Women's Health Magazine web article  "101 Greatest Running Tips"

In my first three weeks of running I lost 5 pounds on the scale and my clothes are fitting better, I'm gaining muscle, and I can physically see the toning results.  As great as those are, I must say there are several more affecting other areas of my life.  I normally run in the morning shortly after breakfast and find that is a great way to start my day.  The physical activity and fresh air get me moving and working right away and I find myself getting more accomplished each day.  Running has been a great stress reliever and also gets my children out for some fresh air too.

Even in these early stages, I'm already learning to enjoy running even though it is challenging and pushing me past my exercise comfort zone.  Seeing myself attain each small goal towards my ultimate goal is encouraging and rewarding.  I never thought I'd see myself as a runner and now once I reach my running 30 minute straight goal, I'll set a new one- like a 5k!  These achievements, in an area that previously seemed impossible, are raising my confidence.  Now I'm striving for goals in other areas of my life that always seemed too lofty- like in business.  Crazy how one small change can be a catalyst towards improving my whole day, my outlook, and other personal goals.

If I can do it, so can you!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Can We Build Mutual Trust?

Relationships rise and fall on trust.  John Maxwell evaluates five people principles associated with building trust in relationships.  Question 3 in Maxwell's book  Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time, is The Trust Question:  Can We Build Mutual Trust?

The Bedrock Principle
Trust is the foundation of all relationships.   
"Developing trust is like constructing a building.  It takes time, and it must be done one piece at a time.  As in construction, it's much quicker and easier to tear something down than it is to build it up.  But if the foundation is strong, there is a good chance that what is built upon will stand."

Trust is the framework of a relationship.
"A relationship can also be described as being like a painting.  Trust is like the frame that surrounds it--and holds it together.  It provides a context in which to view the work of art.  Trust defines its boundaries. And trust secures it to the wall so that it can be enjoyed.  Trust provides emotional structure."

Earning Trust of Others

  • Trust begins with yourself.  Awareness of your own weaknesses allows for personal growth and honesty with others.
  • Trust cannot be compartmentalized.  A person cannot be trustworthy in one area and not in another.  If a person compromises his or hers values in business, he or she will eventually do the same to family and friends.  How a person treats others is how he will one day treat you.  "An individual's character eventually bleeds into every aspect of his life."
  • Trust works like a bank account.  To grow your investment in others, you must continually do things which build trust.  On occasion, you may make a mistake and lose credit.  However, past deposits will still be earning interest!

Surround yourself with an inner circle of true friends.  To identify these people, ask yourself if they: "love me unconditionally, embrace my vision, embody my values, represent me well to others, look out for my best interests, speak the truth when I need to hear it, support me during the tough times, and defend me to my critics."

The Situation Principle
When a relationship encounters a rough patch, do you focus on the situation or the relationship?  We can't just bail out of a relationship every time we need to work hard or make sacrifices.  This is especially true with our family as we don't get to choose who they are.  We all have friends and family who put more strain on relationships than others.

Ways to help you keep the proper perspective on a situation.

  • Focus on the big picture.  Remind yourself why a person is important to you.
  • Communicate the big picture.  Even amid tough times, let people know that they are loved and important to you.
  • Evaluate whether a problem is a one-time deal or a repeating scenario.  There is a big difference between the two.  Even repeated problems can be solved with a commitment to resolution from all parties.
  • Learn to pick your battles.  Making every little thing a big deal creates a tense, unhealthy atmosphere for you and  those you interact with.
  • Show unconditional love at all times, especially during the storms.  As a parent, spouse, friend, and leader, people need to know you love them in the best and worst of times.

The Bob Principle
"When Bob has a problem with everyone, Bob is usually the problem."  
How to spot a "Bob":

  • A " Bob" carries around problems and spreads his poison to others.
  • A " Bob"  will find a problem in every situation and expose them to others.
  • A " Bob"  always creates problems and tries to involve others.
  • A " Bob"  is usually the ready ear for other people's problems and encourages people to continually dump problems on them.
  • A " Bob" never sees a problem with their own conduct.
"Every problem starter is like a fire lighter.  And each of us is like a person carrying two buckets.  One is filled with water and the other with gasoline.  When we see the spark of a problem fire being lit, we can choose to douse it with water and put it out.  Or we can throw gasoline on it and make it worse.  If we want to control the amount of damage Bob can do, we need to use the water."

How  to deal with a "Bob".

  • When someone tries to be negative, say something positive.  Always try to find the bright side.
  • If a person's motives are being criticized, give them the benefit of the doubt.  Never presume to know the heart of another person.
  • Encourage people to resolve problems with the involved parties instead of bringing them to you.
  • Keep "Bob" away from others to avoid spreading their negativism.

The Approachability Principle
"Approachabiltiy" is a powerful tool to have in your relational toolbox.  How you conduct yourself and what messages you send to others will determine your opportunities for connection and relationship building.  Here are ways to make other people feel comfortable approaching you.

  • Exude personal warmth.  If you genuinely care for and like people, others can tell.
  • Appreciate the differences in people.  Know the strengths and weaknesses of different personality types so that you can respect and work with each kind.
  • Have a consistent mood.  People will feel comfortable approaching you if they know what to expect.  
  • Show sensitivity towards people's feelings.  Adjust how you relate to others based on their moods and feelings.  People are more likely to open up if they feel they are on the same wavelength.
  • Understand human weakness and express your own.  Pretending to be perfect alienates others.  When people can admit their own faults, they can readily accept the faults of others.
  • Forgive easily and always ask for forgiveness quickly.
  • Be authentic.  Be true to yourself and genuine with others.  
Maxwell says to "walk slowly through the crowd"- meaning, when in a group of people, take time to talk, connect, and be sensitive to their feelings, needs, and wants.

The Foxhole Principle
"When preparing for battle, dig a hole big enough for a friend."
A foxhole friend is one who will stick by you through tough times and help you battle through.  It is during these rough times that you find out who your real friends are.  

  • Foxhole friends are rare. 
  • Foxhole friends provide strength, comfort, and confidence before, during, and after battle.
  • Foxhole friends can see your perspective on the situation and show empathy.
  • Foxhole friends forever impact your life.
  • Foxhole friends love unconditionally.

To have foxhole friends says something about who you are, as does being someone else's foxhole friend!

Previous Posts on Winning with People
Winning With People
Are We Prepared For Relationships?
Are We Willing To Focus On Others?

Posts on other Maxwell books:
The Fear Cycle
Quotes From Failing Forward
Ch 9: Get Over Yourself--Everyone Else Has
The Top Ten Ways People Get in Their Own Way


Monday, October 10, 2011

The Art of Getting Along

    Sooner or later, a man, if he is wise, discovers that life is a mixture of good days and bad, victory and defeat, give and take.  He learns that it doesn't pay to be a too-sensitive soul, that he should let some things go over his head like water off a duck's back.  He learns that he who loses his temper usually loses out, that all men have burnt toast for breakfast now and then, and that he shouldn't take the other fellow's grouch too seriously.
    He learns that carrying a chip on his shoulder is the easiest way to get into trouble, that the quickest way to become unpopular is to carry tales of gossip about others, that buck-passing always turns out to be a boomerang, that it doesn't matter so much who gets the credit so long as the job gets done.
    He learns that most others are as ambitious as he is, that they have brains as good or better, that hard work, not cleverness, is the secret to success.  He learns that no man ever gets to first base alone, and that it is only through cooperative effort that we move on to better things.
    He realizes (in short) that the "art of getting along" depends about 98 percent on his own behavior toward others.
Alberta Civil Service Association News

Taken from John Maxwell's Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time.  (The Approachability Principle)


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Reaching People Through Their Love Language

According to author, Gary Chapman, everyone has a love language- meaning a method of communicating or receiving love which makes them feel most loved.  While his book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, is written towards your relationship with a spouse, you can easily attribute the same information towards your children, coworkers, team members, customers, etc...  A key to life and business is building relationships with others.  Treating someone the way they wish to be treated is the proverbial way to build a relationship.  Assessing those you know professionally and personally can give you greater understanding as to how to show love and make them feel good!

The Five Love Languages

Words of Affirmation
Quality Time
Receiving Gifts
Acts of Service
Physical Touch

Below are the notes I took on the qualities and characteristics each love language when I read the book.  Ways to express love to someone with that particular language are included.  Each chapter of the book uses anecdotes to highlight the qualities and how you can best show love to a person with each particular love language.  Chapman also lists additional ideas and tasks at the end of each chapter.

Words of Affirmation
People with this love language feel most loved through oral and written words or language.  They love to be acknowledged for what they do and who they are.  Here are ways you can show love to them.
  • Verbal Compliments 
    • A greater motivator than nagging words.
  • Encouraging Words
    • Encourage untapped potential.
    • Encouragement requires empathy.
    • Opposite of critical or condemning words.
  • Kind Words
    • People often interpret our tone more than our words.
    • The opposite of judgmental.
    • Love doesn't keep a score of wrongs or bring up past failures.
    • "A soft answer turns away anger."
    • Forgiveness is an expression of love.
  • Humble Words
    • Love makes requests, not demands.

Quality Time
A person with this love language feels most loved when you are fully present and focused on a conversation or activity together.  Here are some tips in providing this type of person with great quality time.
  • Undivided Attention
    • Turn the tv off and minimize any other distractions.
  • Togetherness
    • Full, focused attention versus living in close proximity.
  • Quality Conversations
    • Share experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires.
    • Listen sympathetically and ask questions to understand thoughts, feelings and desires.
      1. Maintain eye contact
      2. Undivided attention
      3. Listen for feelings
      4. Observe body language
      5. Refuse to interrupt (The average person listens for 17 seconds before interrupting or interjecting.)
  • Learn to Talk
    • Self-revelation is the expression of emotions, thoughts, and desires.
  • Personality Types
    • Dead Sea:  receives expression from others but does not give outward expression.
    • Babbling Brook:  shares everything and doesn't stop talking.
  • Quality Activities
    • Doing something together that at least one person wants to do and the other is willing to do in order to express love.

Receiving Gifts
A person with this love language feels most loved when people offer a gift great or small.  Here are some details about gifts.
  • Gifts are visual symbols of love.
  • Gifts and Money
    • They don't need to be expensive, the thought does count!
    • If cost, is an issue- change your attitude about money.  Giving gifts to a loved one is an investment.  You are purchasing self-worth and emotional security.
  • The Gift of Self (Presence) counts!

Acts of Service
A person with this love language feels most loved when people do things to help them.  Assisting them with a need or taking a task off their plate will make them the happiest.  Here are some things to keep in my about acts of service.
  • Offer assistance, complete a chore, DO something kind- without being asked.
  • Complete chores or tasks with a positive spirit to express love.
  • A request can give direction as to how someone wants to be loved but a demand stops the flow of love.
  • Love is a choice and cannot be coerced.

Physical Touch
A person with this love language feels most loved when they are being touched.  Here are some things you should know about physical touch.
  • As simple as a handshake, a touch on the arm, holding hands, putting your arm around someone, or embracing.
  • Critical for healthy emotional development in children.
  • Touch communicates hate or love and can make or break a relationship.
  • Explicit touch takes more time (a long embrace) and implicit touch is brief (a quick pat on the back).

Discovering Your Love Language
The answers to these questions could help determine which love language you are or you can use them to help determine the languages of others.
  • What do people do or fail to do that hurts you the most?
  • What do you most often request of others?
  • In what way do you regularly express your love to others?
  • What would be your ideal spouse?

Click on the link below to go to The 5 Love Languages website and take the online quiz there!

People have a few basic needs: love, security, self-worth, and significance.  If we do not feel loved, our differences are magnified and we will fight to have our needs met.  Others are viewed as a threat to our personal happiness.  People who do not feel loved experience great pain and emptiness which impacts all areas of their life and how they deal with it.

Here are a few of Gary Chapman's books in regards to the Love Languages.

Intentionally love someone today!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Help

My husband and I seldom watch movies.  So our recent movie date was a rarity, much needed and much enjoyed!  I picked The Help based on the storyline, the reviews, and the acclaim the book had received.  We were not disappointed!

Here is a synopsis of the movie in case you haven't seen it yet as taken from the official movie site.

Based on one of the most talked about books in years and a #1 New York Times best-selling phenomenon,  “The Help” stars Emma Stone (“Easy A”) as Skeeter, Academy Award®–nominated Viola Davis (“Doubt”) as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny—three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s,  who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed —even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times.
Deeply moving, filled with poignancy, humor and hope, “The Help” is a timeless and universal story about the ability to create change.

Click here to view the movie trailer.

The Help was released on August 10, 2011 and was #2 at the box office that weekend followed by three weekends in the #1 position as the the weekends' top grossing movie.

The primary theme of the film is racial discrimination but there are many undercurrent themes.   I love a movie that really makes me think.  You can relate the themes in The Help to your personal and professional life.  Here are a few additional themes that developed a lot of questions for me!

  • Interpersonal skills.  How do I speak to and respect others?  It made me think of all the things I've been reading about in John Maxwell's Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time.  Do I build up the self-esteem of others?   I love how the main character tells a small girl repeatedly "You is smart, you is kind, you is important."
  • Parenting skills. What kind of relationship do I have with my children?  Who has the greatest influence on my kids?  How well do I know my children and meet their needs?
  • Societal and Personal Values.  What values does our society find acceptable?  How do I feel about it?  Do I do the right thing regardless of what everyone else is doing?  Do I have it in me to fight for something I strongly believe in, even if the risk is high?  Am I strong enough to encourage others to do what is right?
This film will make you evaluate yourself on multiple levels!  It would be a great film to use in team building or training.  If you haven't seen it yet, you need to!


You can find the New York Times Bestseller on Amazon.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Just Between Friends

Yesterday, I told the cashier at Babies R Us that kids are only expensive because we constantly buy things to contain them or their mess!  Times two, of course, at our house and times three or four or more at others!  Much of our gear shows little wear because we move from stage to stage so quickly.  Buying used items saves a bundle and selling our old ones makes money!

Today I finally got my first visit to Just Between Friends Tampa North which I've been hearing about for two years now!  Just Between Friends (JBF) is a giant consignment sale held twice a year for maternity and children's items.  The sale is run by volunteers and merchandise is stocked by community members.  Here in Tampa, it is held in the spring and fall but sales are held all over the country throughout the year.  Click here to  find a location close to you.

To make some money off items collecting dust in your garage and clear space, sign up to be a consignor.  JBF has a special online tagging system that allows you to create an account, make and print tags for your items, and track what is sold.  You can earn up to 70% of your sales versus much smaller percentages at traditional consignment stores.  Click here for additional consignor information.

To pick up items for you and your kiddos, early attendance is key for best selection.  You will find a large selection of toys and clothing.  You will also find strollers, highchairs, larger play equipment, books, bathing, feeding, and potty training items.  Items are inspected for functionality and cleanliness.  You can see the deals many shoppers have already scored by viewing their comments on Facebook.  (Click here.)

Volunteers shop first on Wednesday, then consignors, followed by first time moms who register in advance, and military families.  Thursday and Friday are open to the public.  $2 admission is charged but fliers for free entry are available in local magazines.  Saturday is half price day where many items are marked 50% off and admission is free!

To see an article and news footage from the spring 2011 event click here.  Tampa's ABC Action news was onsite today while I was there and featured a story on today's evening news.  The Tampa North event information is as follows:

The Tampa Bay Baptist Conference Center
15601 Lake Magdalene Blvd., Tampa, FL 33613

Dates & Times-
Thursday 9am -7pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 8am - 2pm

The JBF Lakeland event will be held October 21-23, 2011at the Lakeland Center and the next Tampa North event will be held again March 8-10, 2012.

If you'd like to consign at future events, you can sign up and beginning tagging your items now.  Perhaps as you clean out closets for next season, wash and tag each item before boxing so you have less to do last minute!

We all work hard to support our families!  I hope this bit of information makes you money or saves you money.  Be sure to pass the info on to your girlfriends too!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pumpkin Pancakes

With the first day of fall arriving this Friday, summer will officially be over.  While those of you in states further north are already experiencing cooler temperatures, those of us in the south are still steamy!  These pumpkin pancakes will be sure to get you into a harvest mood regardless of the temperature outside.

It can be difficult to serve up something new, healthy, or even hot during a rushed morning.  These pumpkin pancakes are quick and easy.  You'll be squeezing in a vegetable serving and your kids will love them!

I originally found a recipe on Allrecipes for pumpkin pancakes from scratch.  When I read through the reviews, someone had posted a simpler recipe using a prepared pancake mix like Aunt Jemina. 

2 1/2 Cup Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix
3 TBS brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
1 3/4 cup milk
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 TBS vinegar
1 cup pumpkin puree


  1. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients just enough to combine.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.
**I had to lower the cooking temperature.  At first, the pancakes seemed to darken real fast but stay raw in the middle. 

This recipe was enough to feed my family of 4 two days in a row!  I just reheated the pancakes the next morning.  I also thought I might try adding some raisins or pecans next time.  My little guys ate them as is without syrup.  If you'd like the full recipe from scratch, click here.

"Happy Fall Y'all!"


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Boosting Your Business With Sample Sales

This time of year is one of my favorites for business.  My organization releases a new catalog with many new products!  It gives us all a fresh start for the busiest season of the year- fall!  Many of you may be in the same position now!  New consultants or distributors may initially be disheartened by discontinued samples or inventory they possess.  Take heart, these are great for business!  Start planning your sale now!

Name your event.
  • Sample Sale
  • Hostess/ Customer Appreciation
  • Open House
  • Christmas in "July" Sale
  • Clearance Event

Select a Date
I usually host my event over a two day window such as Friday and Saturday nights from 6-9pm.  I find that you can catch a few people the second day that weren't able to make it the first night.  I also allow customers the opportunity to "shop by appointment" as well.

My event is held in my home.  I set up additional tables and clear out my kids' toys.  If you aren't comfortable with this or don't have the room, host the event at a neighborhood clubhouse, friend's house, or at your church hall.

The Guest List
Invite past hostesses, customers, family, and friends.  Depending on the size of your database and the years you've been in business, you may want to focus on the people you've seen in the past year.  If you use guest surveys, include an option for them to check if they want sample sale information.

How you spread the word and how often will be key to your turn out!  I do all of the following in this order!
  • Mention dates of sales at all your shows, parties, and events even if it is approximate.  For example, I tell everyone "July and December".  Talk the event up so they look forward to an invite.
  • Send out an email, Facebook Event, and/or Evite about 3-4 weeks in advance so guests can mark the date on their calendars.
  • Mail out a paper invite  1-2 weeks ahead.  I order postcards from Vistaprint. ( 100 Postcards for just $1.99)
  • Send electronic reminders one week out to encourage RSVPs.
  • Send a final reminder within 24 hours of the event.
  • If I don't have emails or electronic ways to send a final reminder, I will call the those guests and leave a message.

Some Tips on Turn Out
  • Reward guests for RSVPing and bringing friends.  I use a ticket system so I offer a ticket for RSVPing and for each friend they bring.  Another idea is to do a special drawing for free product with all the guests who RSVP.
  • Advertise your specials well.  I tell how much I have and at what discount.  For example, this year I had over 500 jewelry pieces with half of them marked 50% or 75% off.
  • Offer refreshments.  I offer a large selection of yummy food and advertise some of the favorites in my reminders.  Many of my guests come for the food, not just the sales!
  • Give-a-ways help a lot.  In the past I've offered a free gift to everyone who came.  I always have a large selection of drawing items.  This year, I used some of my products but also brand name items that people would recognize.  I advertised these items on my postcard invitations and in my reminder.

Setting A Sale Price
Don't be afraid to mark your samples down.  Sitting on items will not earn you money!  I'm able to always buy samples at 50% off but when our new line comes out, I usually earn an additional 30% discount which allows me to sell items later at 75% off with little loss.  Those that sell at 50% off still make me money!  The bigger the bargain, the greater the draw with customers.

Creating New Business
One of the greatest perks of a sale like this is to add new bookings to your calendar.  When ladies come to shop, advertise your specials and display new product lines if you have it available.  Offer a special gift if they set up a show on your calendar.  My sale is held just before the new line comes out so I know what I have to spend on new samples when I go to conference.  When I return, I send each guest a letter thanking them for coming along with a coupon, a new catalog, and any drawing items they may have won.  This year, I told my guests if they contacted me with their top 5 favorites pieces out of the new catalog, I'd double their coupon. I try to encourage them to look through the new collection so they will love it and want to host a show to get it for free!

Additional Sales
If you have customers who live outside your area or some who won't be able to make it, they can still partake.  I mailed catalogs to those who requested them and emailed them a list of my sale items.  They were happy for the savings and I was happy for the additional sales!

My sample sales are always very successful and I look forward to them so much!  I enjoy visiting with all my customers and catching up on what has been going on in their lives.  My method has worked well for me over the last 8 years.  If your first event doesn't go as well as you would like, stick with it.  I've built some loyal attendees over the years and now they tell their friends they can't miss it!


100 Postcards for just $1.99BOGO: 500 Premium Business Cards for $3.99    

Friday, July 22, 2011

Encouragement, Buy 1, Get 2 Free!

In February,  I posted "Visual Love & Encouragement" where I talked about using Crayola Window Crayons to write messages of love and encouragement on windows and mirrors. 

Window Crayons 5-Pack

These can be purchased right now, BUY ONE , GET TWO FREE at Toys R Us through tomorrow (Saturday, July 23rd, 2011).  They are regularly $4.49 each.

These make great gifts so stock up.  Give them as bridal shower gifts and explain they can be used to write love messages on the bathroom mirror.  In direct sales?  Give them to your downline with a note of explanation or a specific quote or verse for them to write on their mirror.  Have kids?  Use them to decorate your sliding glass doors with letters, numbers, or holiday decorations!

(On a side note, I have found the best method to remove the crayon is to use a dark wet wash cloth to scrub it off and then follow up with a paper towel to dry the glass.)

Don't forget to check out my original post with ideas for these crayons, you can click here.

Additional DEALS
Toys R Us is running some additional great deals on toys and then below a few links.
  • Play-Doh Buy 1, Get 1 free
  • Vtech Toys Buy 1, Get 1 free (Plus, see link below for $5 off coupons, you can use 1 for each item! I purchased $50 worth of toys for $15!)
  • Crayola Crayons, Markers, & Paper, Buy 1, Get 2 free
  • Crayola Color Wonder & Color Explosion, Buy 1, Get 1 free
  • Leapfrog toys, Buy 1, Get 1 50% off
  • Fisher Price Imaginext toys, Buy 1, Get 1 50% off
(Just to name a few.) 

Click HERE to view all of Toys R Us' 2 day deals.
Click HERE to view the weekly ad.
Click HERE for a $5 off Vtech toys coupon ($19.99 and up).

Look for some new posts next week, including: boosting your business with sample sales!  Have a great weekend!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Are We Willing to Focus on Others?

Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time

Are we willing to focus on others?  That is the "connection" question John Maxwell uses to organize the second section of his book Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time.  The "connection question" is made up of 6 principles which explore ways to focus on others and their needs instead of oneself.  In doing so, you become more desirable to others and build stronger relationships.

The Big Picture Principle:
"The entire population of the world- with one minor exception- is composed of others."
To break self-centered or self-serving behavior, focus on the big picture, which requires three things:
  1. Perspective- There are billions of people in this world who will never know you.  Most of them have needs far greater than yours.
  2. Maturity- Most people hit a stage in life where they feel unfulfilled and desire for more meaning in their life.  The key to finding meaning is to use your strengths to serve others.
  3. Responsibility- Entering a marriage or leadership position will expose ones' maturity and sense of responsibility.  Maxwell says that good leaders: put others first, serve others, take responsibility, are a good example, give others credit, and mend relationships.

The Exchange Principle:
"Instead of putting others in their place.  We must put ourselves in their place."
The two key elements of this principle are perspective and empathy.  Here are ways you can make the exchange:
  • See others in a positive light and give them the benefit of the doubt.
  • Get to know others by listening to their concerns, studying their culture or job, finding out their interests, visiting their home, or simply just asking questions!
  • Work to find the legitimacy in another person's viewpoint and acknowledge their valid point.
  • During times of conflict, work to see the similarities in others' viewpoints instead of the differences.  Don't focus on trying to win.

The Learning Principle:

"Each person we meet has the potential to teach us something if we have the right attitude."
  • We need many mentors.  It is impossible to learn everything from one person.
  • No one is too old, too smart, or too successful to learn something new.
  • Be passionate about learning, don't fall into an idle comfort zone, keep stretching yourself.
  • See the value in other people.  I recently met a woman with incredible wisdom who could easily be overlooked based on her physical appearance.
  • Surround yourself with people who will help you grow.
  • Look for people's uniqueness and strengths, then ask questions.
  • In order to show growth, there must be a change.

The Charisma Principle:
"People are interested in the person who is interested in them."
A Sanguine is a great example of a charismatic person.  Even if this isn't your temperament, there are 6 things you can do that will attract others.
  1. Show a genuine interest in others.
  2. Light up your face with a smile and draw people in.
  3. Make an effort to remember names and call people by their name.
  4. Encourage others to talk about themselves and be a good listener.
  5. Build conversations with others based on their interests.
  6. Go out of your way to sincerely make other people feel important.

The Number 10 Principle"
"Believing the best in people usually brings out the best of people."
Believe that each person you encounter is a 10.  Here is why:
  • All people have potential and can achieve it if they just believe in themselves.
  • Believing in others encourages them and brings out the best.
  • Everyone wants their life to matter and wants to feel significant.
  • When you help or believe in one person, it overflows to others.
  • Seeing others in a positive light makes your day more positive.

The Confrontation Principle:
"Caring for people should precede confronting people."
Nobody likes confrontation so most people try avoid it, however it's impossible.  Generally, if conflict isn't dealt with quickly and correctly, it just compounds!

Here is Maxwell's list of unhealthy approaches to handling conflict:
  • Win at all costs
  • Pretend it doesn't exist
  • Whine about it
  • Keep score
  • Pull rank
  • White flag it

Here is Maxwell's 6 step plan to healthy conflict resolution:
  1. Only confront someone if you care for the other person.  Keep the other persons interests in mind and try to make the outcome a win-win situation.
  2. To resolve a situation, meet together face-to-face as soon as possible.  Avoiding the issues or putting off a situation will just make it worse.  If a personal meeting is absolutely impossible, then use the phone but Maxwell says to never resolve conflict via email.
  3. Preconceived notions can cloud your judgement.  Your first goal should be to seek understanding, not necessarily agreement.
  4. Outline the issue causing conflict using a positive approach.  Describe your perceptions without making conclusions or statements.  Express clearly how the issue makes you feel without accusations.  Explain why the issue is important to you.
  5. Encourage a genuine response and truly listen.  Maxwell says that 50% of the time people don't even realize there is a problem, 30% of the time they knew there was a problem but didn't know how to solve it, and 20% realize there is a problem but don't want to resolve it.
  6. Agree on a positive action plan which focuses on change and the future.

The third organizational question Maxwell uses is the "Trust Question:  Can we build mutual trust?"  By following me on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribing to the blog, you'll get notified when I share the five principles from the third question in Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time.  You can check out my first post on this book where I discussed the "readiness question" and it's five principles by clicking on this post:  Are We Prepared For Relationships?

WOW!  Maxwell's book is only $5.51 through Amazon today!  The list price is $14.99, that is a 63% savings.  I highly recommend picking up your own copy of this easy to read book!  Don't forget you can get free two-day shipping if you have an Amazon Prime.  Get a Prime account for free through Amazon mom.  See my post: Amazon Mom for more information.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Networking Success

Networking events are a great way to make new business relationships.  When I quit teaching years ago to work my direct sales business full time, I attended a weekly networking meeting on Thursday mornings for over a year in my community.  Each week everyone would give their 30 second commercial, we would have a short guest speaker, a sponsored breakfast, and time to chat at the end.  Monthly evening mixers were held at the sponsor's place of business.  If you are new to networking, here are some suggestions for getting the most out of your time.
  • You can find meetings in your area on meetup.com, look in your local newspaper, or visit my networking page for networking meetings I have listed in the Tampa Bay area.
  • There are a wide range of events that meet through out the day.  Some may host mixers with no formal setting.  Other groups will allow you to attend evening events even if you are not an official member.
  • Go prepared with an interesting 30 second commercial that highlights what you do or what you are looking for.  It is best to change up your commercial if you attend regularly.
  • Bring business cards to exchange.  Brochures and product samples are also a good idea!
  • Don't be a fly on the wall!  Introduce yourself to others and ask about their business to begin a conversation. 
  • It is important to continually build on relationships, but be careful not to use the same people each week as your comfort zone!  You want to meet a wide range of people and keep building new relationships.
  • Understand, that the intention of networking groups is to build relationships with other professionals.  This can take time, you must earn trust within the group. 
  • Committ to attend regularly. 
  • You can schedule appointments or one-on-ones with professionals you meet in the group to exchange business information and grow your relationships.
  • Find out what you can do to help other professionals.  Often referrals are most important to them.  By doing what you can to help others, generally they will want to help you in return.
  • Volunteer to sponsor an event.
  • Ask to be a guest speaker at an event.
  • Make sure you dress professionally and have a positive attitude.
  • Joining groups in other communities where you wish to grow your business is a good move too!
Some of the people I got to know through this particular networking group, I still have relationships with today.  Others, I run into regularly within my community.  The key is in building relationships!

Related Articles:
What Message Does Your Look Convey?
A Lasting Impression

Best Wishes!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Which Are You?

Which Are You?

There are two kinds of people on earth today;
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.

Not the sinner and saint, for it's well understood,
The good are half bad, and the bad are half good.

Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man's wealth,
You must first know the state of his conscience and health.

Not the humble and proud, for in life's little span,
Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man.

Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years
Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears.

No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean,
Are the people who lift, and the people who lean.

Wherever you go, you will find the earth's masses,
Are always divided in just these two classes.

And oddly enough, you will find too, I ween,
There's only one lifter to twenty who lean.

In which class are you? Are you easing the load,
Of overtaxed lifters, who toil down the road?

Or are you a leaner, who lets others share
Your portion of labor, and worry and care?

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
From:  Custer and Other Poems, 1896

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Restaurant Gift Cards Cheap

Have you heard about Restaurant.com?  Find unbelievable savings on gift certificates to restaurants in your area.  There is a new promotion where you can save 80% off the already low prices.  Get $25 gift cards for just $2 or a $100 gift certificate for just $8!  Yes, I know, it sounds to good to be true!  They do work, we've used them!

Coupon Code:  DEAL for 80% off!
Click here to see the flier.

Search for available certificates in your area by entering your location or search for places where you'll be visiting.  Read the fine print before you purchase.  Usually there is a minimum you are required to spend in order to use the gift certificate.  For example, for the $25 gift certificates, you usually have to spend $35.  Sometimes, the certificates can only be used on dine-in purchases and many exclude alcohol.  There used to be expiration dates on the certificates but none of the ones I've purchased recently have had an expiration date.

You won't find any big chains listed on the site; most of the restaurants are independently owned local spots!  The available restaurants range from lower priced family places to high end gourmet fare.  Giordano's Pizza is one of our local favorites that we buy gift cards for on restaurant.com.   Here are a few other examples:  Shula's steakhouse, Fly Bar, Crabby Bills, Ashley Street Grille, The Empress Tea Room, and Cherry's!

Treat yourself to a date night!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Are We Prepared For Relationships?

Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time

All of our successes and failures in life can be traced back to relationships with specific individuals.  These relationships create a ripple effect reaching beyond us to others with whom we interact.  This is the basis for John Maxwell's book Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time.  "Are we prepared for relationships?" is the first of five questions outlined in his book.  Here are the five principles Maxwell uses to address our readiness factor when it comes to relationships.

The Lens Principle:  Who We Are Determines How We See Others
  • Several people sitting in the same room may all describe a situation differently.  Our perception is influenced by who we are on the inside. 
  • It is possible to assess a lot about a person's personality just by watching how they speak and interact with others.
  • "We all have a personal frame of reference that consists of our attitudes, assumptions, and expectations concerning ourselves, other people, and life."  These factors determine our personality and "color not only how we see life, but also how we let people treat us."
  • "Our thinking and our attitudes are as much a part of us as our talents and abilities.  They also determine what we do."

5 Things That Determine Who We Are
  1. Genetics-  We are born with a specific temperament.
  2. Self Image- How we see ourselves affects who we surround our self with and how we treat others.
  3. Experiences in Life- Our experiences prepare us for how we handle life both positive and negative.
  4. Attitude and Choices About Those Experiences-  We control our world with our attitudes and the choices we make.
  5. Friends-  The people you spend time with are the ones who shape who you are.

The Mirror Principle:  The First Person We Must Examine is Ourselves
  • Having a realistic picture of yourself and liking who you are is critical.
  • We often are our own worst enemies and create our own problems. 
  • To make a positive change, start by changing yourself.
  • "If you do not believe in yourself, you will sabotage relationships."
  • "In most situations, I am the problem.  My mentalities, my pictures, my expectations, form the biggest obstacles to my success." -Ralph Stayer.

The Pain Principle:  Hurting People Hurt People and Are Easily Hurt By Them
  • One in four Americans is imbalanced.
  • When someone lashes out it is more about an internal conflict than the external circumstance.
  • "Hurting people overreact, over exaggerate, and overprotect.  They also over influence.  By that, I mean they control the relationship."

Dealing With Hurting People
  1. Don't take it personally.
  2. Look beyond the person for the problem.
  3. Look beyond the situation.
  4. Do not add to their hurt.
  5. Help them find help.

The Hammer Principle:  Never Use a Hammer to Swat a Fly Off Someone's Head

Respond, don't react! 
Here are some tips on how to avoid overreacting.
  1. Total Picture- Slow down, ask questions, and take in the whole picture.
  2. Timing- Knowing when to speak or act is more important than what you do or say.
  3. Tone- Our tone of voice can change a situation.
  4. Temperature-  Overreacting to a problem will generally make it worse.  Responding coolly can help diffuse a problem.

Tips for developing a softer touch:
  • Let the past stay in the past.
  • Ask yourself, is my reaction part of the problem?
  • Remember that actions are remembered long after words are forgotten.
  • Never let the situation mean more than the relationship.
  • Treat loved ones with unconditional love.
  • Admit wrongs and ask for forgiveness.

The Elevator Principle:   We Can Lift People Up or Take People Down in Our Relationships

"You hold the power to make another person's life better or worse by the things you do today."  What kind of person are you?
  • Do you add something to life making it more pleasant?
  • Do you subtract something from life becoming a burden?
  • Do you multiply something in life by intentionally, strategically, and skillfully adding value to others?
  • Do you divide something in life by intentionally hurting others to make yourself look or feel better?

These are merely quotes and tidbits taken from each of John Maxwell's points.  Each chapter is really fabulous, I encourage you to read the book!  The next post from Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time will address the connection question:  are we willing to focus on others? 

You can enter your email address in the box in the right column to get email notifications of new posts, or "like" Twice the Work" on Facebook for updates.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Travel With Your Business

With us living in the Tampa area and all my family in New England, we don't get to see them as often as we'd like.  However, my business makes the few trips I take each year affordable!  Taking your business on the road has two huge benefits:  tax write offs and expanding your customer base or downline!

Do you have friends and family out of your immediate area?  I'm sure you do!  These days people are always on the move.  High school friends, old roommates, extended family?  Book a trip, pack your business and your family then head out!  Or make it a girls weekend and go alone! 

Expand your business to other parts of your state or the country.  Plan parties, shows, events, and informational sessions to share what you are doing.  Ask whomever you are visiting to watch for events going on in the area.  You could register for expos while in town.  When travelling for business, you may be able to write off mileage, air fare, hotels, rental cars, and some meals.  Consult with your accountant to make sure all your receipts qualify.

My two boys are now 19 months and just took their 5th flight north.  Last year the boys flew to New Hampshire 4 times between the ages of 3 months and 12 months.  Two of the trips, I even took the two babies by myself!  Some trips we celebrated baptisms and first birthdays but any excuse for my boys to see my parents and our extended family works for me!  During this most recent trip, we attended a family wedding.  How awesome that my business allows me the opportunity to be with my family during these occasions! 

While there, I book a few home shows, attend area trainings or events, meet with my downline, or talk to ladies about the opportunity my business offers.  Since I'm working, I'm able to write off my airfare.  Finding supervision for my boys while I work is much easier too since I have family eager to spend time with them!

There are many advantages to owning your own business... controlling your own schedule, the ability to take it with you, and yes, tax write offs!  Check your list of contacts, or maybe your Facebook friends, and plan a "business trip"!


Other posts you may like:

Business Write-Offs
Including Children In Our Business
Educating Family and Friends

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Winning With People

John Maxwell is an amazing author!   If you follow my blog, you've seen past posts sharing some of my favorite points from Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success.  Many people shared how much they liked the series of posts. 

The Fear Cycle
Quotes From Failing Forward
Ch 9: Get Over Yourself--Everyone Else Has
The Top Ten Ways People Get in Their Own Way

I'm moving on to another of Maxwell's books called Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time

You can pick up your own copy to follow along with me by clicking the Amazon link below.  As an Amazon Mom member, you can get free shipping on the book and have it within 2 days!  (Not sure what I'm talking about, see my post on Amazon Mom for more information!)

Success in life and business weighs heavily on people skills.  Even those who think they are a people person will learn some ways to build relational success.  Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time is divided into 5 focus areas with several critical principles each.  The chapters are easy enough to read one or two a night and written in Maxwell's powerful style with anecdotes and quotes.

The five critical questions that form the outline of his book are:
  1. Are we prepared for relationships?
  2. Are we willing to focus on others?
  3. Can we build mutual trust?
  4. Are we willing to invest in others?
  5. Can we create a win-win relationship?

Continuing education is important to the growth of you and your business.  Join me on this book study.  Next week I'll post on the first 5 principles that fall under the readiness question.