My new mindset

As a new direct seller, I hang on to my bookings for dear life. So when I needed to relinquish a couple of them to get a new recruit started, I felt robbed (and was embarrassed that I could see it that way.)

I thought, how was I going to make up for those bookings? What if the ones I gave away end up being high-sales parties? Ok, back up. I knew that I was just having a moment of nonsensical panic. I’m supposed to be building a team here. And being selfish is definitely not going to cut it.

Instead, I sat down and mapped out a road to success that speaks to my true values:

1. No one is a lone success. Becoming successful means surrounding yourself with people who will help you move forward. They will share your vision, collaborate with you on projects and offer ideas to advance your goals and theirs. And these people do not necessarily have to be working for your company. Connect with women in other fields of business and those who have expertise that you want to develop for yourself. Learn how they’ve become successful and apply them to your business.

2. Give and share. Nowhere is this more important than in direct sales. If you learn something fantastic that will boost their shows, tell your recruits. Got extra supplies? Offer them up to your team members. Did you take a training course? Take notes and disperse them to your network. How nice will it be when they turn around and tell other potential recruits what a giving and helpful manager you are?!

3. Take time to encouarge. No matter how old we get, we want people to notice and celebrate our achievements. How much work would it be to give a team member a pat on the back? With e-mail, Twitter and Facebook, there’s no excuse not to touch base and say “great job.” We are independent contractors, but let’s create interdependent networks.

Hope you find this helpful, and I’d love to hear your ideas!

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It’s fashionable to … help other women in business

Building a business and a following takes lots of baby steps. One rule is not to spend a ton of money on marketing and advertising when you’re trying to just get your project off the ground. This is where the relationships and connections you’ve made along the way will become priceless.

I’ve always been an outgoing person. I enjoy learning about what’s new in people’s lives — especially women. (Sorry fellas: You already have a leg up in the world.) And a conversation I had with my friend Toni proved why it pays to surround yourself with smart and positive women.

At the same time I was launching my new party business, she was in the throes of putting content on her Web site www.rsvptoni.com, which features invitations, favors, etc. A lightbulb! I needed invitations for my parties so I became one of her customers. In turn, she offered to do fabulous calligraphy on the envelopes, and her Web address was unobtrusively printed on the back of the envelopes.

Voila! Guests would receive classy, standout invites from me (say no to postcard invitations!), while Toni found an inexpensive way to market her business. Now, how cool is that?!

Helping out your girlfriends will never go out of style!

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Party planning is a class act

As I’m getting ready to run my first Lia Sophia jewelry party, it hit me that all this prepping reminds me of something I love — back to school. Weeks before classes began, I would check over my reading list, shop for supplies (gosh, there’s nothing like freshly sharpened pencils, crisp white notebook pages and never-before-used erasers!) and coordinate my first-day outfit.

Fast forward and the feelings are similar: I’m going over the starter kit materials. I bought binders, notebooks and files to keep everything in order (at least in the beginning!) I even got a couple of new tops to show off jewelry pieces at shows.

But the best part of all my back-to-school days gone by was that knot of emotions in my stomach.  Will I make a good impression? What if we have to go around the room and say something about ourselves? I was nervous and shy yet  intrigued and optimistic.

And that’s how I’m approaching this new “September” of my life. I know I’ll be tested big time along the way. Will I make sales goals? Am I going to book enough parties? I would love to be a manager, but will anyone join me? How do I make a reputation for myself?

Like in school, teachers are essential, but in this wonderful world of social media, you don’t need a physical building. There are “teachers” at my disposal 24/7 on the Web. I’ve already learned a ton on Twitter from folks who are more than willing to offer tips and advice (especially women entrepreneurs — another one of my passions!) There’s webinars, telephone seminars, online how-tos — you name it, it’s out there.

I’ll keep you all posted on how my progress, but in the meantime you can also find me on Twitter @cindychin.

Me? A blogger?

Wow. My very first post on my very first blog. So much pressure!

I wanna say something clever, funny, smart, meaningful, exciting, memorable, but I guess I’ll just begin with a simple hello. I’m a journalist by trade but there’s an entrepreneur lurking inside of me. I want to be a woman in business. I’m trying out direct sales right now and I’ll see where that takes me.

One thing I know for sure is that I’m not afraid to try new things.