Summertime....and the livin' is easy...
Summer is the most challenging part of the year for those that work from home. All seasons present their own challenges, yet when I think of Gary Keller's words about "getting lost in the land of Everything else" in his awesome book "The ONE Thing", summertime makes it especially "difficult" to remain "on target" in a day. I am also taught by those wiser that, "all distractions are equal"...and, that's life.
Not to mention the fact that I'm an empty-nester - I have reverence for those parents that now have to navigate the kids out of school as well! (I bow before you.)
Instead of getting distracted by all the extra fun things the summer months have to offer, make the added activities work in your favor! It is unrealistic for me to tell you what to do here, everyone has their personal priorities and circumstances to navigate, but perhaps I can give you a few tips to help you blend life and business together. If you can get the hang of how to do this for yourself you'll soon be enjoying the benefits of a booming business AND the BBQs, trips to the beach and family reunions all at the same time.
My motto is, "wrap your life around your business, don't let the business get wrapped around your life." The lines are gray, but to those that master this mash-up, life is more than very good.
Hopefully you'll agree that summertime can be one of THE best times to build a network.
Tips For A Successful Life/Business Mash-Up:
1. The sun is shining, birds are singing, the garden's growing and you…well, you need to make phone calls!
Take it outside! Don't resist. Set yourself up in a quiet corner of the yard and let the birds chirp and the garden grow around you. A wireless signal to the laptop with high-speed internet and a good headset for the phone leaves you free to walk and talk at the same time. Something I carry when I'm on the move - wait for it - is a notepad and pen. Yep. Call me old fashioned, but when I'm on leadership and training calls, I can get some weeds pulled, a few rows knit, or a sink full of dishes done - PLEASE make sure you are muted while doing dishes or flushing toilets while on conference calls...
DISCLAIMER: I am NOT an advocate of "multi-tasking".
When I am having a conversation with a person, I am with that person. Unless we're doing some technical training of some kind, I'm all theirs. I step away from all other "screens" so that I can be fully present with the other I am connecting with. It's a personal rule I hold sacred, even more so than texting and driving. A Network Marketer is in the people and relationship business bottom line and I find if I am checking email, browsing websites, or faced with family interruptions, I am NOT hearing what the person I am about to partner with is saying.
Stay focused on YOUR thing by working while enjoying the other things you want to do! It is a good idea to take hourly breaks anyway, if only for a few moments to refresh and "re-point". As a writer, former coder and socially engaged internet surfer, I have been known to sit at the computer for hours on end, also as one that can get obsessed with her projects, it isn’t easy to push away. I guarantee you it's better for our bodies and mental clarity when we do, the answer will be there when we return and we can carry on in a less resistant, far more productive way!
Besides, just maybe, the fresh air could inspire your next big idea?
2. Fuel Your Body And Mind!
Vacations, family events, spontaneous bbqs and neighbours remarking about the growth of your lawn can quickly fill up a day. Block and budget your time wisely. If you don't have a plan of your own for the day, you'll very quickly become part of somebody else's plan!
Get your sleep! If you aren’t getting at least 7 hours of quality sleep a night, then you are prematurely aging yourself. I wake up in the morning 8 hours after I went to sleep, not having heard a thing all night - with few exceptions. I won't say, "get to bed and rise early", because some nights I'm later hitting the hay than others. One of the joys of being a Network Marketer is that I can adjust my schedule enough to accommodate my work and rest periods.
Start your day off with a nourishing breakfast, your vitamins/supplements and maybe a snap in the shorts cup of coffee! I have to watch myself on this, it is one of my less desirable habits that I dig right into things once my feet hit the floor, what with everything there is to be done. Eat first, work after. Try to eat within 30 minutes of getting up in the morning. You'll find the quality and ease of your work much more fun when your body and mind is satisfied.
3. Be READY to talk about your business.
Stock up on business cards that you can hand out when you are attending summer events, and although you may hand them out, don't leave the party without a way to get in touch with the people you gave them to, even if they tell you they'll call you, you're the professional, don't leave without a way to reconnect. The event is NOT the time to show off your opportunity! This is the time to develop relationships, get to know them and an idea of whether they would qualify as someone you may want to work with.
Clue: get their phone number as well as their email address, email is not guaranteed to work, a phone number always does. Nothing's worse than getting home from a trip to have someone's email bounce. I do both when following up.
DO NOT oversell, or be pushy with people – they're there to relax, and so should you! Keep the conversation light. When someone asks you how you are or someone asks you what you do, be enthusiastic about having found a better way and how much you love having your own business! Tease them with a great before and after pic loaded up to your phone or a sample - always have them on you, this is a great way to have to follow up with someone to see how much they loved your product! I like to book a time with them after the event when we can focus solely on their interest and intentions and I can give them and the business the focus it deserves. Don’t wait too long before reaching out to follow up with people. Your speed in getting back to them will prove to them that you are serious and professional. My personal rule is 24 to 48 hours with few exceptions.
4. Make your trips work for you.
If you look at my sponsoring patterns over the years you can tell when I've been off traveling. There's usually a rash of new sign-ins within a week or two after a trip. I make sure I get their information and priority one after returning home is reconnecting with them. Talk to as many new people as you can and get the chance to know them along the way. Networking is important in any industry and can often be easier when you have martinis in hand and are celebrating something. People are also more relaxed and open to having conversations, just always remember to keep it light, have fun and LISTEN. That person sitting next to you in the sand may become your newest best friend and rock star business partner one day shortly after.5. Keep EVERYTHING on a calendar.
Although multi-tasking can be detrimental, you really can build your network marketing business in the nooks and crannies of your day! Following a calendar gives your mind freedom. You can be with family and friends when you need to be with them and focused on the income generating activities in the time slots set aside for them. Your business activities may not constitute a large percentage of your time, but for the time you give it you want to give it 100% of your focus. The same goes for your relationships with your dear ones, after all they're the reason you're stepping up to all this in the first place!
I hope these tips help you stay focused if you already work from home. Maybe you're just looking at Network Marketing for the first time, and you're trying to figure out how you could possibly add something else into your life? There is tremendous leverage in remaining focused and blending building with living. You hear it said that Network Marketing is a lifestyle business. So what do you want yours to look like?
The hard work of remaining focused DOES pay off and helps keep our businesses growing at a time when everyone wants to be playing!
Make it an amazing summer!