Making sense of #hastags

I know you’ve seen Instagram posts with a million hashtags at the bottom. What? Why? How does that even help? It seems most people love or hate these little guys #. Some go a little hashtag crazy and some of us don’t use them at all. So what is a hashtag, how does it help and should you be using them? What hashtags are most popular? Which should hashtags should I use for my Mary Kay business?

If you don’t know already, all a hashtag is is word or group of words proceeded by a hashtag (we used to call them pound signs and they look like this #.) They are used online, particularly social media to categorize or group posts together. Be sure you’re not using any spaces. In that case only the first word would attach to the hashtag. So you’d say #sundaymask not  #sunday mask.

Hashtags put posts together and can be a great resource for reaching the audience you desire. So, let’s use the #sundaymask example. You use your timewise repair mask and snap a shot for Instagram. Below the image, you comment something about taking the day off (or whatever) and you use the hashtag mentioned. Now, anyone who clicks on that particular hashtag will have the opportunity to view your image. The more popular it becomes the higher up on the list it will be. (Posts become popular when they have a high number of likes…or hearts.) This is helpful if you have your URL in your profile. So, let’s say that you mentioned that you were using a Mary Kay mask, a random Instagram user can find your profile and click your URL to your marykay.com page. Ideally, she’ll order the mask from you. In order for your hashtag to help, you’ll have to have your Instagram account set as public. Then, anyone looking at that hashtag can like your photo and view your profile. If you are worried about privacy, you can have a separate account just for your business. Which, Instagram actually suggests. There is a business profile available and you can even track your success of using hashtags. I found this blog post very helpful in learning more about hashtags and how to set up a business account.

So, what are the most popular hashtags to use for your Mary Kay business?

The top five for Mary Kay are

#marykay

#mymklife

#skincare

#makeup

#beauty

The top five most popular beauty related hashtags (not related to another beauty company) are

#beauty

#instabeauty

#makeup

#model

#cute

one more just because I like it…

#wakeupandmakeup

 

As you can see, some of them are the same. So, you’ll see non-Mary Kay posts in the broader categories. But those are a great place to start. Keep in mind, the idea here isn’t about originality. So, if you coin your own hashtag, that’s nice, but it may never be noticed.  For example, #mkconsultantcarrie may never catch on.

Also, as an independent beauty consultant with Mary Kay, it’s important that you know the legal guidelines to follow. Don’t let this make you shy away from using social media for your business. A few short minutes in the marykayintouch.com website will help you understand what is and isn’t acceptable. Log in to intouch as you normally would, click “resources” and then “digital zone.” Check out the information there so that you know what you can legally do.

Some quick hashtag etiquette: Use no more than three per post. Place hashtags after actual comments.

Hopefully, you feel encouraged to engage more people on social media. It can be a great tool for growing your small business! You’ll be #winning

 

More than time management, it’s productivity management

Every year as my children get older I think things will become less chaotic. Here are a few of my mistakes.

I think: We’ve added a driver, therefore, I’ll have fewer errands.

Reality: We’ve added a driver but not another vehicle so that just equates to more organizational skills from me as we navigate car sharing. On more than one occasion I’ve been the one left without a ride.

I think: My kids are older, they’ll sleep more. Therefore, I’ll sleep more.

Reality: They don’t really sleep at the right times still and for some reason, teenagers want to have their most meaningful conversations at precisely the hour my brain begins to shut down.

This list could go on and on as you can imagine. With all the chaos going on in my home as we’ve gotten yet another school year started I thought I’d do a little research on time management skills. I’ve already missed a couple of appointments and classes my kids were supposed to attend. So I decided to look at what others have done to avoid making these same mistakes. As I peruse lists I’ve found a few consistencies so I thought I’d condense those here for you today.

 

  1. I keep seeing this word “declutter.” I don’t think clutter is a problem for me in general but then I think about the clutter in my mind. I keep a written date book, not a digital one. I do this for a very specific purpose other than the fact that my date book is super cute. Whenever I pick up my phone to enter something in my calendar I end up doing several different tasks that aren’t datebook related. Also, I use the word “task” very loosely. So the clutter in my mind has to go somewhere. When I try to manage it all in my head is when I miss important events. So, whether you use a written calendar or a digital one, it’s important to get the clutter out of your head and onto a calendar.
  2. Another theme that is repeated is to make lists and prioritize them. When we make a list for ourselves we tend to do the “easy” tasks first. To really really be productive I challenge you to make two lists. One personal list with the top six things you need to do each day, and one business list with the top six business-related tasks. At least 2 of them should be income producing activities. Then, do the hardest ones first. Make them the most important and get them out of the way. I’ve also been reading about not having your daily lists be too long. I think Mary Kay was smart when she developed the 6 most important things list idea for her beauty consultants.
  3. Delegate: I’m actually pretty good at this one. At some point in life, I realized that having a 10 year old clean a bathroom was better than it not getting cleaned at all. Do I clean the bathroom better than a 10-year-old? Ummm, that’s a hard yes. But, do I have time to clean every bathroom in this house? Ummm, that’s a hard no. So, if I delegate the stuff that’s really going to be ok if I’m not the one doing it, I have time to do the other things that I actually am the only one that can do them. My kids can’t do my job, but they can do their own! (Ok, so it takes one training session and a few follow-up checks, but kids really can clean, even if they think they’re going to die.)
  4. Wake up early: I get it. I really really get it. I bawked this one for years and years. When you have babies, it seems impossible. (actually, when you have teenagers that get up in the night to make waffles and turn on all the lights and watch youtube at 3am in the kitchen it seems impossible…we got a loud fan in our room.) But if you can start getting up early just 1 day a week, it will turn into 2 and 3 and eventually it will be 5 or 6. I can’t tell you the crazy amounts of stuff you’ll get done before everyone else gets out of bed. Even if you’re not using those early morning hours for work, perhaps you want to use those hours to workout, you’ll have increased energy and be a happier person. Maybe you’ll just get up 30 minutes earlier than you normally do and use that time to drink a cup of coffee, look at your calendar and read something inspirational. Start small, but take it from the girl that is the most NONmorning person you’ll ever meet. Waking up early will totally change your productivity. I’m going to add a second point to this same number. Routine: create a morning routine for yourself that works. What I do in the morning may not work for you. But whatever it is, it should wake you up, and get you motivated for success. You should also have an evening routine that sets you up for a productive morning. Do you need to make lunches or choose your clothes (or anyone else’s) for the morning? I’ve even been known to lay out my makeup in the order I need to use each product. That way I can just pick it up and throw it in the drawer when I’m done the next morning. Do what you need to do at night to save time in the early hours.
  5. The last one is a “don’t.” I usually try to stick with positive points…but I have to share this one as a “don’t.” Don’t Multitask. This one is hard if you’re working from home with a small child. Everything you do is multitasking and that makes sense, you do have to keep that baby alive after all. When we say don’t multitask it means with your business. When you’re making calls…make calls. When you’re sending follow up text messages, don’t also check your email. Just do what you’re doing and do it at 100%. Then, do the next task at 100%. You’ll get done faster and find that you’re way more productive.

I am sure you have great tips and tricks you use throughout each day to help you stay on task and to manage your time. I’d love to hear about those. Also, don’t forget to use your weekly plan sheet! Let us know what other ideas you might have. Comment here or on our FB page.

(I found the image above on Pinterest. PinkOffice is not associated with the website listed and we may or may not support their views.)

What is your journey, and what is success?

I was 21 when I first became a beauty consultant. My journey has had many different looks. I’ve been a director, drove a free car and am currently a personal use consultant and work for Pink Office supporting consultants as they manage business big and small. I like to say that I’ve always got an opportunity in my hip pocket. As you get older your perspective changes, along with the elasticity of your eyelids and maybe your hair color. I remember having a hard time connecting with what I thought were older women. I remember having a hard time imagining what it would be like to have teenagers in my home when I was having baby after baby. I never would have been able to fathom one of those babies moving out, and yet, even that has happened.

As I think over these years I think of the roll Mary Kay has had in my life. There were times when babies were taking naps while I did facials or going to grandma’s while I did an interview. There were times with daddy when I made phone calls and even now as I write this post an elementary-age daughter is working on her math homework beside me. The products too have changed, not just in what they do or the bottles they come in, but where they are in my house. They are in makeup bags spilled on the floor in front of the hall mirror when a teenager got ready this morning, and a mascara left on the counter in the half bath for a last minute touch up or extra lip glosses in the junk drawer because someone keeps leaving them on the kitchen table. In one way or another Mary Kay has made it so that these kids could be with me. I got to watch them change from little girls sneaking a quick swipe of mascara to grown women packing a year’s worth of product to take to school halfway across the country.

My journey is unique because of Pink Office and the opportunity Mary Kay provided for us changed as well. The skills I learned as a consultant filtered into the rest of my life and are invaluable. Time management, delegation and the art of list making are a few of the skills that helped me grow up and be a better mom.

Success looks different on each of us. It might be financial for you. It might be the car or career level you achieve. Success might be leaving a job that demands too much or working from home part-time. What you think is success today might not be what you think it is 10 years from now. You may be dreaming too small. No matter what that looks like for you I truly believe you can find that success with your Mary Kay business.

I usually don’t write specifically about your business in this way, but this has been on my mind lately and I wanted to share it with you. I’d love to hear your success stories and where you are on your journey. Comment here or on our Facebook page.

(images from www.marykayintouch.com)

Time to set new goals

Seminar is over, or just about over, and dreams were achieved. Beautiful women we all admire walked across the seminar stage being recognized for their accomplishments this last year. There were new directors and NSD, queens were crowned and the courts received their prizes. But for others, they sat wide-eyed. Some declared, “next year, that will be me.”

So, how do you do it? How do you turn that dream into a goal?

One of my favorite sayings is a goal is a dream with a deadline, and it’s all about numbers.

You may have chosen the goal to be in the Queens Court of Sales, or to become a director. You might have your sights set on a new car. Whatever it is you need to know that it’s well within your reach.

  1. Talk to your director (or senior director if you already are a director or NSD if that is appropriate) and let her know what your goal is. She will be your biggest cheerleader and the best coach. She has likely gone ahead before you. She’s walked in the shoes you think are just so darn cute and she wants you to have a pair of your own. So, to begin, let her know. She loves you and wants to help you. Also, once you breathe the words aloud, you can’t take them back. This will be a step of commitment.
  2. Break your goal down into monthly chunks based on your own numbers, if you’re new, use someone else’s numbers. Again, your director will help you with this. She knows the numbers.
  3. Break your monthly goals into weekly and daily goals. (Perhaps you want to work on a 6 day work week. We were made for a day of rest.)
  4. Work diligently toward those goals every single day and don’t back down. Ultimately it will be what you chose on a daily basis that will determine whether or not you realize your dreams. So put up lots of posters, lots of encouragement. Trash your house with images of what it is you want. Put it in front of your face all the time so you’ll remember exactly how it felt when you said “next year.”
  5. Don’t get discouraged and quit. The only difference between successful people and those who are not is that those who achieved whatever it is, didn’t quit. They had the bad stuff happen to them too. Talk it out, get frustrated, whatever you need to do, then just don’t quit.

I can’t wait to see where this year takes you. I love to look at the pictures on social media and I know every year that those beautiful smiling faces mean so much more than the diamonds and sparkles of the moment. It’s actually about all the lives touched along the way and about the changes that person has seen in her own life. Good luck and don’t forget to track your progress in your Pink Office account!

Healthy Diet: Healthy Skin

Are you encouraging your clients to nourish their skin from the inside out? Environmental factors are huge when it comes to skin care. What is happening on the surface of our skin can be addressed with Mary Kay skin care, but what we put into our bodies can drastically affect our overall results. Try these ideas to enhance the results you’re already getting from your skin care and encourage your clients to do the same.

I found a few links with great information about what foods are best to improve skin from the inside. (click the Pink words to visit the articles)

I always knew drinking water was great for skin, but who knew dark chocolate was?

This article gives ideas to boost things like collagen production and even ideas for whiter teeth.

Here are some recipes to add fruit (and antioxidants) to your water to drink your way to healthier skin.

https://www.purefiji.com/blog/drink-clear-glowing-skin/
https://www.purefiji.com/blog/drink-clear-glowing-skin/

 

Perseverance

A quick google search of the word “perseverance” brings us to the Merriam Webster definition.

continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition the action or condition or an instance of persevering steadfastness
My favorite quote on Perseverance is by Newt Gingrich. “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
It means not quitting.
It means not giving up.
What does that mean for you today? Does it mean another afternoon in the office when it seems the whole world is at the pool or beach? Does it mean making phone calls, meeting with consultants and customers when you feel like you’ve already talked to everyone? Does it mean getting creative and figuring out new ways to reach your goals?
Perseverance probably means all of that and so much more to you right now. I can tell you one thing, a few days will pass, the end of the month will come. It will either come with you reaching your goal or not. The difference will be in how you feel about yourself. The difference will be in whether or not you pressed on.
Now is your chance, don’t leave anything on the table.

Nobody quits

I’m really into gym related analogies lately. You’ll just have to forgive me. One reason I love physical challenges is that they parallel real life. About a year ago we took our family to Colorado to hike one of the 54 mountains that tower over 14,000 feet. We’ve only done class 1 or 2 trails and these aren’t “bring an oxygen tank” type hikes but they’ll wear you out for a few days. My youngest daughter was 9 at the time of her first ascent. This past school year, as she was trying to complete a “very hard” division worksheet I heard her say to herself “If I can climb a 14er, I can do this.” That’s what those kinds of challenges teach us, that we can do more than we thought we could. They stand as landmarks in our lives of when we thought we could do no more, but we did more anyway.

Last week I went to a weight training class called “body pump.” I’ve gone a few times before and it’s not a walk in the park. If you talk to the teacher before or after class she’s a doll. Just the sweetest lady. She smiles during class and I wonder if she’s hurting too. A few times when I thought she wasn’t looking I skipped a rep. She was looking because she yelled into the microphone, “nobody quits.”

http://esp-fitness.com/total-power-range/weights-bars/

She gains nothing from me being there. I have no responsibility to her. But I wasn’t about to stand there and look like a quitter. Because everyone in that room knew it wasn’t them who had skipped a rep. I wanted to put my bar down and lighten my load. I wanted to pretend I had an appointment and skip out early. But she said, “nobody quits.” Sometimes I just need someone to yell at me to keep me focused on what it was I said I wanted. I was there because I wanted to be. No one made me, my goals are my own. Hearing her voice pulled me back from my internal pity party

That made me think about June. I thought about how maybe you might want to just pretend you didn’t have a goal in the first place. Or, maybe change your goal to make it a little easier. I thought about how you might want to walk out and pretend you have something else more important. To that I say, make a call. Call your director and let her see you skip a rep. Let her see you shaking. Be transparent and she’s likely to very sweetly say “nobody quits.”

If you don’t want to call her. If you don’t want her to know. Then I’m here to very lovingly yell. “NOBODY QUITS.”

You showed up here because you said you wanted something. Now don’t stop until you’ve reached that goal!

Find your balance

I cry in yoga. I don’t know why.

I joined a new gym in January and I love going there. There are a wide variety of classes, one offering is Yoga. I go once, sometimes twice a week. Every time, without fail, I cry.

Like, an actual sob.

I don’t have any idea why. But I feel great when I walk back out that door.

At first, I was trying to fight it. I would do everything I could to hold back the tears. Just last week I decided that from now on, I’m just going to go with it. So I pick up a towel on my way into class and as we flow through the vinyasa, the tears flow down my face. The truth is, I think I’ve found my balance.

Picture of a random woman, this is not me.

If you’re like me, and many women are, you have two speeds. Turbo and asleep. Yoga is neither turbo nor is it sleep. That’s where I stop, just before I hit the brick wall. I slow down and actually breathe. I think about all the things that I am thankful for and I pray. Down run the tears and I never hit the wall.

For once in my life I’ve found a balance between running everywhere, working, being a mom, a cook, a cleaner, and folder of laundry. Somewhere between being a friend and wife, a daughter and volunteer I balance. It’s one of the best hours of my week.

It’s hard to walk away and go to class. I have to leave my phone at the door. Sometimes I leave my family still eating dinner and who knows what will happen to the dishes. But I walk away from all the crazy where I am focused and quiet for 60 minutes. I encourage you to find a balance. You’re working so hard right now to reach your goals. Year-end is so close you can almost hear the crowd cheer in the arena. You might feel like you can’t stop. You can’t take even a one minute break.  It can literally consume every hour of the day because you’ll likely dream about your work. I challenge you to leave it all, to walk away for just 60 minutes a week. Have you considered the benefit it would have to your business if you were recharged? Go for a run, find a yoga class, get on your knees and pray, journal in a coffee shop (with your phone in the car.) I think the key is to focus on just one activity. I bet you’ll leave stronger, energized, emotionally and spiritually relaxed. (You might even meet a new face or two.) I challenge you to find your own balance. And please, tell me about it. Comment here or on our FB page with how you are or plan to find your balance.

Own your dreams

There are a few times in life that we know, looking back, were pivotal moments. For me, one of those moments came when someone said, “dream your own dream.” This might sound crazy but it is not only possible but actually easy to dream someone else’s dream for you.

I believe this can come in two forms. When someone doesn’t want what you want or when you don’t want what do….I’ll explain.

For example, you might have someone in your life telling you that your dream is unachievable, or worse not even real. This can really hurt if you love that person. This is someone that is always going to be in your life. In that situation let them know that it would be nice if they were on your team, but if they’re not, that’s ok. You can say “You know what, you might be right. You might also be wrong. But honestly, this is my gig and I’m going to give it my best effort. Even if I fail a little along the way, I’m going to keep going. If you don’t support what I’m doing, just support and love me and just don’t tell me that you disagree. Because I already know.” I believe that over time as your loved one sees you enjoying your journey that he or she will start to soften up. Chance are they are just trying to protect you. But, sometimes you just have to tie your boots and trust in your training.

Another example might be when someone has a dream for you that just isn’t your dream. If your dream is to be a successful beauty consultant with hundreds of customers, do that. That’s a great dream. Be the best at it. Sell more, win more prizes, touch more lives with facials and skin care parties. It is ok for your dreams to be your dreams. Every career level in Mary Kay can be very lucrative. Each one is a good goal. If you want to drive a new car free of charge, do that. Share the opportunity, sell the product, help other women build their businesses. Make that your dream, not someone else’s dream for you. Someone might see something in you that you don’t see. She might be very well-meaning and she might want to tell you that she thinks you’re amazing and can do anything, but you just don’t see that. It might sound scary when she tells you all the things she thinks you could be. The thing is, you actually CAN do those things, but they have to be your own dreams, you have to own them or they will never come true. In my opinion (trust me on this, it’s just my opinion) it’s ok to dream little dreams. If you start stacking those little dreams on top of each other you may end up farther along than you ever imagined. But if you don’t own them, if they are never truly yours, you’ll look back and not understand where you are or what brought you there and you might even be unhappy.

When you’re looking at your life or at your business, don’t let someone stop you. Go as far as you can imagine, then go a little farther. Dream big but only what is truly your own. On the flip side, don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams, your goals aren’t good enough or big enough. Big dreams are relative to the dreamer. What seems small to them might actually be the biggest dream you’ve ever dared dream and girlfriend, that’s ok. You just keep on reaching for that one and once you hold it in your hands, admire it’s beauty and dream on. You’ve got this. It’s all yours.