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Finding Rest from Good Work

Finding Rest from Good Work

This November, we will celebrate our 10 year anniversary with Scentsy. Ten years seems like such a long time to me especially when this is never what I set out to do with my life. Even though this wasn’t my plan, here we are, almost 10 years later, still loving what we get to call our “job.”

But if I’m honest, I haven’t always loved this work. It’s been extremely difficult at times to stay motivated in the day to day grind of sharing the opportunity and selling and coaching hosts and leading a team. But I know it’s not just my job that gets mundane at times. Once you’ve done any one thing for a period of time, it can become pretty ordinary and start to feel stagnant.

I don’t want to do work that I’m not passionate about and I’m guessing you don’t either. I don’t want to give my all to something when I myself am lacking the inspiration to get things done. I’ve tried lots of things to remedy this lack of inspiration over the years. We’ve attended countless trainings, listened to mentors, sought out new and exciting ways to grow our business. We went through a season where we literally changed the way we did everything in hopes of finding some fresh motivation behind new methods. Some of those things worked and some of those things just found me more overwhelmed and uninspired.

The only thing that has brought me back time and time again to a place of inspiration, self-motivation, and positive growth in my business is rest.

Yes, you read that right, simply rest.

All the good work we have to offer the world can be increased and multiplied by rest.

I know that rest sounds counterintuitive. If I lack motivation and inspiration, shouldn’t I work harder to find that? Not necessarily. Sometimes you just need rest from the good work you’re doing.

One of the major problems with direct sells I see these days is that because of the way it works (i.e. sales, sponsoring, building and leading a team, etc) your work can never end. You can literally work as many hours a week as your heart desires on your business. Go, go, go, go, don’t miss the momentum, don’t miss the call, don’t miss the opportunity, don’t miss the chance to learn. Those are all good things, but most things are good i moderation, not excess.

The never ending work day, work week, work month and work year slowly snowballs into burn out. I have seen more leaders leave direct sales over burn out than for any other reason. 

And that’s where we circle back around to rest. Rest is the place where you’re reminded of why you do what you do and what it is you’re working towards anyways. Rest is the place where you remember who you are and what you have to offer the world. Rest is the place where you breathe and eat and fellowship and play. Rest is where inspiration and motivation is re-birthed.

But what is rest?

It is not sleep or idle time in front of the tv or scrolling social media. It’s really the opposite of all 3 of those things. Rest is finding peace in a chaotic world. It’s re-connecting with you are and the things and people that you love. It’s being disconnected from the big and re-connected with the small. So how do you find rest in our busy, busy world? Here are some simple ideas to help get you started:

1. Set work timelines
Everyday, before the day begins, I prioritize my 3 big wins for the day, and set a stop time on my work. What doesn’t get done within the timeline of the workday, simply doesn’t get done. This helps in several areas of my business. First of all, it helps me identify the most valuable tasks in front of me and helps me make them a priority for the day. Because I’ve set a timeline for my workday and 3 big wins, I’m focused on getting those 3 things done within the timeline and I become more productive…less time scrolling Facebook or shopping on Amazon, or answering texts or calls that may interrupt my tasks for the day.

2. Stop 
This seems so simple, but when you “work” in an environment where you can literally work all hours of the day, it’s easy to just keep going. But you need to stop. Hold true to your timeline, and stop working. Texts, Facebook messages, emails, phone calls, they can all be tended to later when you’ve set aside some time to work. Don’t let your phone rule your life. Stop working and be present.
(If you’re thinking you can’t do this because you’ve always been available, let people know that you aren’t always going to be available and why. They’ll adjust to your lack of constant availability, and they may even respect you more for setting some boundaries.)

3. Take care of you
Taking care of you looks different for all of us. For me, working out, cooking dinner, having my family around the table, praying, putting my phone away, reading, playing with my kids, journaling, painting my nails, having a glass of wine, sitting outside, dating my spouse, traveling, visiting with friends….and the list goes on….these are all ways that I take care of me. All of the above listed items are things that bring me joy and restoration and peace. They calm down my always running mind and allow me to focus on the things I love the most about my life, my faith, and my family.

4. Put away your phone
This may be the biggest challenge for all of us. We have become hyper connected to the world around us. Some people think that because we have a phone, we should be available at a moment’s notice to respond to a text or answer a phone call or check Facebook or instagram or twitter or snapchat, or read an email. But it’s not true. Just because you have a phone you can carry in your pocket, doesn’t mean you have to carry it in your pocket all the time. Part of finding rest is learning how to disconnect from the things that don’t truly matter and re-connect with the things and people that do truly matter. I have been known to have my head in my phone while watching my kids play outside. I have been known to say “just a minute” to my kids while I finish a post or a comment or response to a text. We’re all guilty of those things. And honestly, the phone issue doesn’t go away unless we intentionally make a conscious effort to change the way we view our availability. Simply put it away. Plug it in in your room while you’re making dinner or leave it in the car while your kids are playing at the park, or set “no phone” hours in your house. Do what works for you, but put it away.

5. Remember who you are
Often our constant focus on the bottom line and our progress in our work can consume us. I have found that remembering who I am and the talents and interests that I’ve had for almost all of my life, make me a better business owner and leader and parent. Ask yourself these questions:
What did I love to do as a child? What did I want to be when I grew up? What are 10 things I would do with a free afternoon and no other obligations?
The answers to those questions may seem irrelevant, but they aren’t. They reveal a lot about who you are, what you believe, and what you were created to do on this Earth. For example, as a child I loved to write and dance and explore and hike and play hide and seek. Many of those things I didn’t do for years. But re-discovering those gifts and talents and interests created a new inspiration in my business and my work day.
I’ve loved to write since I was a little girl. I have journals filled with words and dreams and lists and goals and plans, but I wasn’t actively using writing in my business. Now, writing has become part of the way I communicate with my team and leaders and potential customers. I have re-structured my work day to include writing as one of the ways I work my business.
Remembering who we are may seem silly and unnecessary and very un-business like, but getting to the root of who you are and what you love to do and finding rest in doing things you actually enjoy doing can rejuvenate and refresh your business in ways you never thought possible.

I don’t want you to burn out. No matter what field of business you’re in, no matter what your job is, there are ways to find renewed strength and passion for whatever it is you call your work. The first step to getting there is by finding rest.

Now What?

Now What?

We have finally come down off an event high after an amazing week in Nashville at this year’s Scentsy Family Reunion. We heard from the most inspiring speakers, had a blast with our team, and Brian and I even had the chance to present on stage with the improv group, Second City Works.

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Our Star and SuperStar Directors had an amazing day of upper level leadership training led by Vanderbilt University. We filled up the Grand Ole’ Opry two nights in a row, and Scentsy even bought out the Wildhorse Salon for us one night.

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As usual, we left Scentsy Family Reunion feeling spoiled, loved, encouraged and appreciated. What more could you ask for? Oh and there was lots and lots of confetti!

But if you’re like me, you can walk away from an inspiring event and then get home and stare at your computer and wonder, now what?

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I’ve had a couple days to process and decide what’s next for me, and I thought it might help you get your thoughts and plans in order too. Here are my tips on what to do now that you’re home and the Fall season is just around the corner.

  1. Focus 1st.
    Decide what you want to do with your business over the next 6 months and get rid of all the extra fluff. One technique I use to do this is to Brain Dump. Just start writing on a piece of paper. Everything you learned. Everything you saw. Everything you’re excited about. Everything you want to do. Write anything and everything that comes to your mind. Then re-read it and use it as a launching point to clear your mind and narrow your focus. Answer the questions “Who am I?” “What do I want from my business?” “Who can I bless with this opportunity?” and go from there.
  2. Plan Ahead and set your goals accordingly. 
    The Fall season is quickly approaching and with school starting soon for most of our kiddos, it seems like once August 1st rolls around, it’s Christmas before we can blink an eye. So the plan is essential. Decide where your sales are going to come from. Are you going to look into events, book home parties, focus on online parties, host fundraisers? Make a decision and start filling in your calendar. Make a goal for each month (you may want to base your goals around earning that free trip to next year’s Family Reunion, or that glorious trip to Punta Cana, or AFRICA!). You’ll need a personal sales goal, a team building (recruiting) goal, and a goal for the number of contacts you plan to add to your list for each month. As you’re planning, keep in mind your personal events (birthdays, travel, etc) as those things may alter your goals one way or another. Set aside time to work your business. That may mean getting up before your children (gasp!) or working late at night, but if you want to see different results, you have to do something different. Decide how many opportunity conversations you’ll have in a month and how many samples you’ll pass out. You can do this! Make your plan!IMG_3603.PNG
  3. Remember what matters.
    Relationships are what this business is all about. Cold calling is never a good idea. I know that no one really cold calls anymore (because people don’t call people), but messaging me on Facebook just to tell me about your business is basically the same thing as cold calling. Relationships really do matter, friends. As you’re booking parties, sharing the opportunity, and adding people to your contact list, do it with others in mind. Care about what’s going on in the lives of other people. Ask genuine questions. Be honestly engaged with others. Does that take more time? Absolutely. But it’s more effective in the long run and will drastically increase the fruit you see from your efforts.
  4. Stay inspired.
    After an event, it’s easy to feel built up and inspired, but after we’re back at it for a while, we can lose a little bit of our sizzle. To make sure you stay inspired, make a commitment to taking care of yourself. That looks different for everyone. For me, I regularly journal about the blessings that have come from our business. It reminds me why I’m passionate about Scentsy and helps me stay focused to help others reach their goals. I also practice self-care through reading regularly, working out, and turning it all off at night….meaning you won’t find me responding to messages or emails after 5:00. Also, if you’re a leader, make a commitment to share regularly, meaning, make it a point to share what you’re doing in your business, what you’re learning or the latest idea you heard. When you make a commitment to sharing, it helps you keep your brain full of great ideas and encouragement that will not only keep you fueled but will benefit your team as well.
  5. Fight the fear.
    The fears and doubts in your head, they’re liars. Stop listening to them. Remember who you are. You were put here to do something only you can do, to tell a story that only you can tell. And the work you do matters. It matters to your family, to the people you get to bless with this opportunity, and to the world. This is a about more than wax and warmers, this is about loving well, giving more, and growing ourselves and our team members. So don’t let fear stop you from doing great things. Look in the mirror, YOU are your biggest competition. Try to be a little better today than you were yesterday and give yourself some grace when you need to. Stop expecting perfection and start working towards progress. When you feel the fear, remember what Mel Robbins taught us, 5-4-3-2-1. You can do this! Fight the fear.

What are you waiting for? Let’s get out there and bless some people with the best home fragrance on the market and the best direct sales opportunity there is.

July Goals

July Goals

So in all honesty, I had super ambitious plans for this Summer. Those plans sounded something like “be an awesome, fun, Summer mom and rock my business at the same time.” “Oh and start a couple new projects, write a lot on the blog, read 8 books, etc, etc, etc.”

Let’s be real…so not happening. I always do this. I always think that I can do it all during the Summer, but I really can’t. And maybe you’re thinking you can’t either.

July 1st marks the halfway point of the year. We’re halfway through it, ya’ll. Seems crazy to me. Instead of looking at the month of June and thinking I screwed it up because I didn’t do everything I said I was going to do, I’m choosing to look ahead to July and August and do a little better tomorrow than I did today.

I think the Summer should mostly be about grace. I want to do it all and be it all for everyone. We do that as women sometimes. We put too much on our plate and think we can do it all, and then we feel bad about all the things we didn’t do instead of celebrating the things we did do.

I may not have had a great Scentsy social media presence so far this Summer, but we took a week off and took our kids to the beach, and I feel like we should celebrate that.

I may not have written once on this blog since I re-laucnhed it. Not once. And maybe I should be disappointed in myself about that, but I’m not. I’m choosing grace instead.

I may not have accomplished any customer follow-up so far this Summer (yeah, none), but we’ve caught fireflies and gone to the children’s museum and played in our backyard kiddie pool. And we should celebrate that.

I may not be the most efficient business chick in the world during the Summer, and you know what, I’m cool with it.

I’d rather be the mom who is less concerned with her to-do list and more concerned with the memory list.

I do have goals for this month. They’re not good goals. They aren’t necessarily measurable like real goals should be, but they are covered in grace.

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So this month, I plan to:

Read more.

Swim more.

Play more.

Movie more.

Bake more.

Gather more.

Love more.

Dream more.

Any maybe that’s what Summer is really for….grace, dreams, and people around the table.

Summertime is always the best of what might be. ~Charles Bowden

What about you? What are you planning on doing this month? I’d love to hear.

The Balancing Act

The Balancing Act

Oh Balance! What a word! A few days ago, I was having writer’s block, so I asked for inspiration on facebook. And balance came up more than once.

Here is what I have come to know about balance in my life.

Balance does not exist, at least not in the way that we expect it to. There are seasons in our lives when we have to focus on some things more heavily than others. Really in all reality, there are days in a week that we focus on some things more than others.

What do we expect “balance” to look like?

I looked up the definition of balance and, here is one that I found:

“mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.”
Considering the fact, that as I’m writing this I’m eating half a sleeve of Girl Scout cookies (thin mints to be exact), I would not say that you should ask me about calm behavior and/or judgment. Especially since I plan on running 5 miles in the morning! 
Very few people have mental steadiness or emotional stability. Most of us are crazy if you look just below the surface. Why is that? Most of it probably comes from the fact that we are constantly trying to impress other people through the way we live. 
 
If you have children and a husband and a job and you attempt to keep everyone fed and clothed on a daily basis, then you probably feel like your life is usually out of balance. It’s like there isn’t enough time in the day most days. 
 
For me, balance has come from scheduling. I know that’s boring and not what you were looking for, but it’s true. 
 
This is my schedule for the 1st 4 days of this week. I literally write down everything I have to do, and then highlight it when it’s done. 
 
 
 

My schedule includes all aspects of my life. Being a mom who works from home. It gets very hard to multi-task! I have to plan out everything, including time with my husband and kids. I do have help though! My fabulous baby sitter, Amy, comes over about 15-20 hours a week to help with the kids so I can respond to e-mails, send out team and director updates, plan training events, grocery shop, meet with consultants,  etc.

If I didn’t plan things out, I would be completely lost! Now in all that planning comes intentional balance. I have to schedule in time for myself, for dates, for lunch with the kids, for gymnastics, laundry, dinner, and on and on.

I literally only do laundry on Mondays. Before, when I was doing laundry every day, I found that I was wasting so much time starting the dryer over and over again. I would have to re-run the washer because I would let the clothes sit in it too long. I wasn’t being intentional with my time. I was aimlessly doing laundry. Now my main focus on Mondays is to get all the laundry done. I do anywhere between 10-12 loads every Monday, and then I don’t touch dirty clothes the rest of the week!

Now that may not be realistic for you, but if you’re desperately searching for balance, I would suggest looking at how you spend your time. Many of us say we don’t have time, but we find the time to spend on facebook or watching our favorite TV shows.

My challenge to you to track the time you’re spending every day for a week straight. You’ll find that you have a lot more time than you think you do. And when you’re searching for balance, a little intention behind the planning of your week can make all the difference in the world.

 

originally posted at { http://allisondalke.blogspot.com/2011/03/balancing-act.html }

Finding the Time

Finding the Time

I spend every Sunday scouring my calendar looking for all time I need to get everything done. It’s in my nature to plan, but with my focus this year being on intention, I have found myself spending even more time tearing apart my schedule searching for every spare minute.

Being a mom, a wife, a business woman, a church volunteer, a runner, and not to mention a short order cook, plus a friend, a sister, now a self-acclaimed writer, an event coordinator, and even a counselor at times, it gets a little hard to fit it all in week after week. I think we all have that struggle. How do we make it all happen?

It’s amazing what a little intention can do. It can take you a long way. Below are all the things I attempt to cram into a week:

  • Church: 1 hour of attending, 4 hours of serving
  •  Kid Time: At least 1 activity with each kid where I get to spend time with only that child
  •  Dinner: a home cooked meal at least 4 times a week
  • Scentsy: a team update, a director update, 2 conference calls from corporate, sales, recruiting, 1 lunch a week with downline, team meeting plans, and on and on, etc…
  • Physical Health: running at least 3 days a week
  • Spanish class, gymnastics, gymboree, and ballet with the kids each week
  • Laundry! (which I only do on Mondays!)
  • Bible Study: 3 hours of meeting and 5 nights of homework
  • Date Night with my hubby: We plan at least 2 evenings (just the 2 of us!) per month
  • Me Time!: Yes! I plan bubble baths and time to read!

So it often seems quite impossible. That’s the list I start with, and I find ways to make it all fit somehow.

The most interesting thing is that before I had my “Finding Time Sundays,” I would go into the week completely clueless as to what needed to get done. I knew I had a lot to do, I just had no idea when I was going to do it!

Now I make it intentional. Every week. I know when I wake up every day exactly what needs to get done.

I know it’s not a brand new idea, to plan out your week. I’m just saying you should try it. I know it seems like work, but it actually makes your week so much easier!

It’s interesting to me that we can ALWAYS find the time to do the things we really want to do, but very rarely can we find the time for the things we need to do or the things we should be doing.

You can find the time. I have no doubt. Happy planning!

Until there’s more…
Allison

originally posted at { http://allisondalke.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-time.html }