What is stopping you?

I like reading books written by successful people. Sometimes, rarely, success just happens to someone. That’s unusual. Most of the time successful people seek out success. They plan for it, imagine it and work for it daily. This got me thinking. What if, as a test, we emulate them? What if, for a time, say a whole year, we do what they say worked for them? What if we follow their lead and use their example? There are so many examples of successful consultants, directors and national sales directors in Mary Kay. What if you picked one, read her story, found her plan and just did it? I’ve been thinking about that lately. What is it that stops us? It’s fear. We’re afraid of failure, we’re afraid of success. We’re afraid of looking silly or not being good enough. We’re afraid of other women and we’re afraid of ourselves. It’s all just fear. What if we could separate ourselves from our fear, and just do the work? This is what I’m thinking about. Talk to your director, talk to your national. You are not your fear. Success is for you.

When goal setting is hard

I’m a goal setter. Every December I assess my accomplishments of the year and think about what I want to do next. But this year I just can’t get it figured out. Nothing seems clear cut. I’ve had a few of the same fitness goals, run this race, climb that mountain. I do it, it’s fun, but what’s next? I need to set some business goals and some financial goals but I haven’t been able to get my head around exactly what they should be and if I feel committed to them this year. I started thinking about goal setting in general and whether or not it’s important. Here’s what I found.

I’m not that driven by money. Even though we totally need the stuff, it just doesn’t crank my engine. I found this great article from last year. that is totally worth a read.  Forget about goal setting in 2018-do this instead.     

The author says:

“When you make it about money, you almost always fail eventually.

When you make it about what fulfills you,

you’re willing to go to the end of the world to make it happen.”

According to this article, you can reach your goals by doing activities that you find fulfilling.  It’s not really about the goal but about doing fulfilling activities. This reminds me of the old adage “If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.” This idea also fits in with the concept that if you help enough other people get what they want, you’ll get what you want. 

So what do I find fulfilling? The other night I was watching that new show on Netflix where the acclaimed author from Japan, Marie Kondo, teaches people to organize. She has a whole process where the subject has to decide whether or not an item brings them joy. (In all honesty, I haven’t read her books but she has one called Spark Joy and another called The Life-Changing Magic of Tyding Up and they get pretty good reviews.) I think we could apply a similar approach to the activities, the busy-ness of our lives. Not everything we do can be fun, I mean we have to clean the toilets right? But, what if we only did the things that truly brought us joy? Cleaning the toilet in and of itself isn’t joyful, but, providing a clean home for my children is. So, in a roundabout way perhaps that does bring joy. (Or maybe not, that’s up to you to decide.)

The point is, perhaps we can mix up this goal setting thing that we’re always so focused on. I’m a master, I know how to break a goal down into what must be done each moment of each day. From this, I feel like most things can be done with good discipline and hard work. But, does this actually make me feel fulfilled? What if instead I spent the next year only doing activities that truly brought joy to my life. I know the hard stuff isn’t going to go away. I’m still going to have to do the work, but if I can see the work through the lens of how it fits into fulfillment, it might actually bring me more joy than I realize.

This idea is a work in progress for me. Something new I’m considering. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Do this in December

We get so many questions about closing out your year and how to handle taxes. Here’s a quick list of what you’ll need to do in you Pink Office account to make your taxes easy breezy.

  1. Enter all of your sales for 2018. Mark every sales invoice as paid and delivered. If you have any invoices that weren’t paid, mark those as “write off debt.” This will appear on your “Tax info report” as “invoice bad debt.”
  2. Import or manually enter all inventory orders and mark them “create order and mark shipped.” Then add a payment to the order. This is the process that will save information to your financial records.
  3. Balance inventory levels. Make sure that what is on your shelf matches what is in your Pink Office inventory. If there is any question you can search your history for that item. Just find the product number in your inventory (you may need to check or uncheck “only show on hand”) and then click on “transaction history” in brown. This will show you everytime the product was bought and sold. Pretty handy.
  4. Contact customers for last minute gift ideas or if they need anything for their holiday look. You can even ask if they’d like to remain on  your mailing list. Remember, you pay to mail them things. If they truly aren’t interested you can spend that money more wisely. Archive customers you won’t be needing on your main list.
  5. Enter all extra income (probably commissions) in the money section.
  6. Enter all expenses in the money section.
  7. Once that is all done, take a look at your tax info report in the reports section of the app. You are all set for the new year!

Thank you

This Thanksgiving we’d like to take the opportunity to thank you, our valued users, for your loyalty and support. As we enter our 19th year as a company we are ever humbled by your continued patronage. We hope you have a beautiful holiday with your family, friends and loved ones. We are truly thankful for you.

Working around the holidays

We found this beautiful image in the digital assets from www.marykayintouch.com

It can be difficult to fit your business into a busy holiday schedule. Here are a few quick and easy ideas to work your business and enjoy the holidays at the same time.

  1. Be prepared with samples. You are going to likely be out an about more during this season than ever. Your chances for meeting new people are abundant. Take some time to prepare some samples with your business card attached and hand them out any chance you get. Some conversations will give you the opportunity to get her information too. Be sure to have a pen handy so she can jot down her number or be ready with your phone to save her contact information right on the spot. Another fun idea is to leave a few lipstick samples in the ladies’ room at holiday parties. Be sure to have your info attached!
  2. Schedule time for work. I know you have a ton of baking to do, the laundry is backed up, you need to decorate and the house is a mess…but don’t forget to schedule time for work. Look at your schedule and block out some time to make contact with your hostesses, call prospects for bookings and make time for actually holding appointments. Your clients and prospects are busy too…but they need new looks for holiday parties; they have beautiful new outfits that are going to look awful with their summer lip colors. It is your actual job to help these people! Post options on social media and offer to deliver products. You have to continue making contact with your clients even when you’re busy with the holidays. January you will totally say thank you.
  3. Don’t be afraid to talk about your business. You are going to be meeting new people at parties and family gatherings. Someone may ask “so Susie what do you do?” If your response is “I teach 3rd grade.” You just lost an opportunity to grow your business. Instead, try this “I teach 3rd grade and am actually really excited about growing my business with Mary Kay. I love teaching and helping people and Mary Kay offers me the ability to do both. Have you ever tried our skin care?” BAM…opportunity. But you have to have your words ready. You have to be confident. When you are growing your business you need to be ready to talk about it all the time. Your excitement will be contagious.

Those are just a few quick and easy ways to work your business into and around the holidays. What other ways have you found success in working during one of the busiest times of the year?

5 reasons to call customers in October

You need to sell some product, you need to touch base with some customers, you need to boost your upcoming holiday sales. October is the perfect month to call your existing customers. 

  1. The seasons are changing and so is their skin. Contact your customers about reprogramming their skin care for dryer winter months.
  2. Everyone loves a new fall color look. Call our customers to offer to refresh their colors from summer to fall. Offer them a free color consultation tell them about new products and collections. Be sure to let her know that she can invite friends to earn free product.
  3. Call to let your customers know about your holiday products and services you offer. Do you gift wrap and deliver for free? Do you offer any discounts or have a holiday open house. Contacting your customers with this information is a great idea. If you do a mailer or send out a social media invite it’s ok to actually make contact with those customers. Real conversations give you the chance to cover all your bases at once.
  4. Call to get wishlists. Chances are your customers want products they haven’t bought for themselves. Call to get a wish list that you can share with her husband or significant other. Entice her with a special gift just for providing the list.
  5. Update her information. You might be sending out Christmas cards or holiday open house invitations. If so, contacting your customers in advance to make sure you have her most current information is a perfect reason to initiate a conversation.

Try these ideas to make contact with your customers this fall and have a booming holiday season!

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!