Thank you ❤️

Just a short one today. So last week I posted well out of my comfort zone about fear and anxiety. If I’m completely honest, it probably wouldn’t have seen the light of day had I not been in that place. Admitting to yourself it’s time to fight once and for all is hard. Admitting to everyone makes you accountable and committed to do it!

I’m not going to pretend it’s been plain sailing since I put it out there. It hasn’t at all. The thing about anxiety is it’s a very lonely place. But I am grateful I faced the fear and said it out loud anyway. Why? Because actually, this time, it hasn’t been quite so lonely. I’ve had the most wonderful support. Kind words, generosity from people that has been so needed and appreciated. Understanding from people who have and are fighting the same battle.

So why post today? Really for 2 reasons. Firstly to thank those that have rallied around me. You will never know how grateful I am. But please know I love you for making me realise I’m really not alone. Secondly, perhaps even more importantly, to say please don’t ever suffer in silence. Reach out to those that love and care for you… I guarantee, they will want to help you and they will surprise you with the extent they’ll go to to make sure you’re ok ❤️

I’m not out of the woods yet… but I am sure now: I’m not on my own; I can win the fight; and provided I start being kinder to myself, there’s no way I can’t win. It’s ok not to be ok. We all have our demons and true strength comes from seeing them, accepting them and getting in that ring to fight them.

Boxing gloves at the ready! 💪🏼

Laters lovelies 💞

Is fear holding you back?

Fear is a pain. I have to hold my hands up and admit that fear has held me back many times, it’s thrown me into a mindset of indecision and it’s triggered anxiety.

It’s a tough one to overcome, in fact it’s just as hard to actually admit you’ve fallen in to the fear trap. I’m only at the start of the journey of breaking free so I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers. But I’d like to think I do have some real experience that might just make it a teeny bit easier for someone else in the same sinking ship though! I am making progress so I thought why not share the steps I’ve taken so far to start to beat the demon of fear.

So how has it held me back? Well the very process of fearing something is in itself is a distraction from actually doing anything. So much time is spent stressing about what might happen, why it’s so scary, why it’s justified to be something you can’t do, that you run out of time to even take the tiny steps needed to overcome it. It’s all very well analysing a situation, but if you don’t come up with an action plan to move on, then you just end up staying in exactly the same place with an even stronger fear than you started with.

It can spiral in to a worse place though. Have you ever found yourself with a sudden inability to make decisions? 🙋‍♀️ Yep, that’ll be me again! I really hate that feeling… I like a plan, I like to follow steps and tick them off, I like to know what I’m doing. Perhaps I’m a control freak? Either way, when I genuinely can’t make a decision it makes my mind almost manic and feeds the fear even more. Which leads me to the darkest place that fear can take me…

Anxiety. The irony here is that the anxiety is triggered by fear of feeling the fear. Bonkers right? The darkest place is only there because I open the door to it. You’d think that would be enough to shut it down wouldn’t you? Apparently not. The mind is a powerful thing after all. Anxiety can vary from being on edge and just not functioning to full capacity to full blind panic where basic functionality just disappears. I think you’ll agree, it’s a place to be avoided wherever possible!

Now let’s be clear here, I haven’t avoided the dark place just yet. I did say I don’t have all the answers. But where have I got to? I get there less often. And if I do end up there it’s not quite as dark – it’s like there’s a little window with some light coming in that gives me some inner strength to drag myself out again, or at least ask for help to pull me out. Ok it’s still not nice, but at least I get in and get out ASAP.

To try to articulate some of the things I do now, I want to use this blog as an example. The fear of pressing that publish button is very real and is exactly why it’s been a while. I love writing and have too many draft blogs to count. But actually putting them out there for other people to read… well that’s a different kettle of fish! Writing for me is only enjoyable when it’s from the heart – fiction isn’t my skill set and I can only find my voice when it’s something I feel. So the fear really comes from knowing that I’m putting real life me out there when I press that publish button. Im not sure I’ll ever be fearless! So instead I’ve used that fear to come up with a checklist. If all boxes are ticked… I feel the fear and publish anyway. If they’re not, I park it as a draft to revisit another day. It takes away that inability to make decisions as I’ve already pre set the criteria. And of course I like a list, so the checklist itself ticks the box and keeps the anxiety at bay 👍🏻

Here’s the list:

1. Is it real? I have a tendency to brain dump so that can mean if I’m particularly emotional about something that’s happened, over exaggeration can happen. That’s not to say that’s wrong from a personal perspective. It’s often helpful to read back how I felt at a particular moment in time. But an engineered perception in my head, driven by strong emotions to a situation isn’t helpful or useful in the real world.

2. Would anyone be hurt by it? I write about real situations and experiences so inevitably sometimes other people will be part of it. While I never name anyone, I think we all know if we were reading a friends blog and we were in it, name or not we’d recognise ourselves. So if it could be hurtful, embarrassing or uncomfortable for anyone, it stays a draft.

3. Would I tell my family? Somethings are meant to be personal and kept to yourself! So I find it helpful to imagine my mum or dad reading it. Don’t think I need to say anymore about that!

4. What’s the impact of people knowing this about me? This is my hardest one to assess as it does link directly to the fear. So I have to be brutal with myself here. In this very blog for example I’m assessing as I write… I’ve put it out there that I suffer from anxiety. (Skipping the brain dump assessment bit and going straight to my conclusion!) But I know lots of us do, it’s nothing to be ashamed of and we should be more open about mental health.

I’ve used this blog to try and explain my steps but I’m applying the checklist rule to lots of areas, not just writing. Sure the criteria will be different depending on the scenario. But it’s a good way to identify what you’re actually scared of in any given situation. I’m going to leave it there but wanted to end on another short experience that actually inspired me to think about this whole subject.

My little girl recently broke her arm in the park. 100 times she’d been on the zip wire and adored the excitement every time. Then on the 101st time it didn’t go to plan. We went to the park the next day, plaster and all and she went straight to the zip wire! Now obviously I had to step in, she was still in plaster! But whether it was consciously or not, when she walked back into that park she made a choice. She could either choose to be scared of the zip wire and play differently. Play cautiously. Or she could make the choice she did. Carry on exactly as she was. Not let fear get the better of her. As soon as the plaster was off, she ran straight to the zip wire 💪🏼 I will absolutely be encouraging her spirit, determination, tenacity and ability to face the fear regardless.

This is a little girl.

She faces her fears so she can keep living her life and having fun.

Be like that little girl.

Laters lovelies ❤️❤️

Chasing rainbows? 

Do you ever feel like you’re on your own with your vision? Like people think you’re crazy for following your dreams? They’re convinced it’ll never work and somehow think it’s helpful to you to be ‘realistic’ and share their view of how you’re just chasing rainbows? Well you know what, I’m challenging that! It’s not realism, it’s someone else’s baggage and if we’re ever going to make it in the world of business then we need to grow a thicker skin and rise above the negatives! 

Now let me be clear, this isn’t an attack on ‘non believers’. I’m absolutely sure that, for the most part, these are people that love and care for us and do genuinely want the best for us. But you have to accept they simply don’t see your vision… so the onus is on us not to be distracted by what others simple can’t see. Remember, you never know their world either. Maybe it’s an industry they don’t understand. Maybe they’ve been in it and it wasn’t for them. Maybe they saw someone else struggle. Maybe they’ve read something somewhere which doesn’t paint a true picture. All maybes but there will be something, because I’m pretty sure it’s not because they don’t believe in you. 

Just another perspective to throw into the mix, why not! Now here’s a thought. We’re not programmed to break through conformity. We are all more comfortable if we’re (on the whole) following the norm. At least we’re not questioned on the norm right? It won’t surprise you (I’m  sure 😉) to know that I haven’t always followed the norm. For example, I’ve made choices for my kids that were against the conventional. I had some backlash. All that did was make me learn more, reinforce and evidence my research and make me more confident I have made the right choices. So why not apply that same logic to our business? 

When something is important (seeing as I’ve mentioned kids, let’s stick with that), it matters and we’ll defend it to the death! We find whatever time is needed to nurture, to build, to be there, to battle through whatever battle we need to. There are no negotiations. We just do. And that is the principle we should live by with everything important! A business will not build itself just as our kids wouldn’t have the resources to fend for themselves, without us there. Time is needed. Patience is needed. Mistakes are essential – how else would we learn? But most importantly of all, your heart is required. In my opinion, if your heart isn’t in it, it’s not important enough. 

So what is the point of this blog? Why have I written this, tangent and all? Well if I’m brutally honest, it’s for me. I like to write as it keeps in check the madness that is my mind! But I hope it might just give someone else that reassurance too. You see what we’re doing isn’t a pipe dream. It’s a business that we’re building around all other kinds of commitments. Don’t underestimate how special that makes you. It’s a business that will take some time and effort to grow. And if some people think that’s chasing rainbows… well that’s fine by me! So let it be fine by you too! Because every single day I meet someone else who also wants to follow their dreams. And I will make damn sure I’m that rainbow, that sparkle, that positive energy that reminds them it’s ok to have a dream. It’s ok to be that rainbow 🌈 ❤️

How do you choose the right opportunity for you?

There’s no doubt about it – the network marketing industry is huge. And growing every single year. The industry provides the largest part time earning opportunities in the UK and sales are in excess of £2 Billion in the UK alone. Throw the rest of the World in and those stats become a little mind blowing. But with so many companies operating in the industry, how on earth do you pick the best one for you? Here’s just some of my tips on making the right choice 🙂

  • Start with the product – what will sit behind your business?

Is it a product you love yourself? Do you believe in the product? Will you feel confident recommending it to the people around you? Will you be willing to commit to ditching the high street brand and buying your own products? If the answer is no to any of those, it’ll be tough. Not impossible, but definitely tougher than it needs to be. People will be trying and buying directly from you so they’ll want to see your belief in your product is unshakable. If you don’t believe, why should they? 

How does the company value and believe in the product? Do they have a fair returns policy for example? This is important (or it is to me anyway!) If the company has a fair returns policy, you as a business owner will be protected (both from an ethical and financial point of view). In the early days particularly, that protection will be the comfort blanket that will give you the confidence to recommend away and ultimately start growing your business right from day one. 

  • Check the company out properly – will you be joining a trusted brand?

It might sound obvious but there’s nothing wrong with being thorough! Check the official sources rather than just relying on google. Network marketing is no different to aliments when it comes to google results! You get an array of weird and wonderful answers and not always from a reliable source. Check the company is registered with Companies House. You need to know your business will be legit. Next check that they are a member of the DSA UK (Direct Selling Association). As a member of the DSA the company will comply with the Consumer Code of Conduct which protects your future customers and the Code of Business Conduct which will protect you as a business owner. Check if there are any other accreditation’s they have, like the Investors in People award for example. This will give you an indication as to how the company values their business owners and how much support you might get when you start out. Oh, and see how long they’ve been in business. There can be big difference between company’s that are 40 years old and those that are new to the market. 

So once those checks are done and you’re happy you’re looking at good companies with good products that you like, you’ll probably find yourself with a short list – I know right! Not an easy process! But it is worth making this effort at the beginning to save some pain later on 🙂 So what do you look for to make the choice?

  • Can I work with this person?

In this industry you’ll have most likely have been shown the opportunity by an individual person. The responsibility of that individual is to show you how to get started, support you in learning about the business model, help you set goals both short term and long term. You’ll be getting pretty up close and personal so you do need to have some rapport from the start. They’re likely to become a very good friend if you choose wisely. Not going with your gut here can really hinder your business. You don’t want to suddenly find yourself on your own just because the two of you didn’t quite click.

  • What training will you have immediate access to? 

When you take the plunge you’ll be raring to just to get on with it. But you don’t want to go off in a direction that might come back and bite you later. So check if you’ll have access to some online basic training. Now of course, if you’ve already chosen someone you can work with then they’ll be there every step of the way to help you. But the general company trainings will give you that broader knowledge that you’ll need to start with a bang. 

  • Do I get the business model? 

Each company will have a slightly different business model and it’s important to have a basic understanding before you decide. You don’t need to know everything, you’ll gain a deeper understanding as you go. But things I found useful before I started: What’s my discount percentage on the products and how will that change as I grow my business; When I have a team, how do the company rewards work? Will I be rewarded on all of the team or just some; Are there any set targets I’ll have to meet to grow; Is the business model incrememted fairly? Do levels of promotion remain realistic as you grow? Again, your person will have told you the basics but you should take the time to understand the differences between companies so you’re comfortable you’ve chosen the one that will work for you. 

So there you have it. Those are the things I did to make an informed and confident choice of the type of business owner I wanted to be. And I don’t doubt for a second that the diligence at the beginning is why I have my growing business 18 months on. So I want to end on just one final point before the rambling refuses to stop! 

Whichever company you’re looking at, no matter what choice you make, or for that matter, whatever choice you’ve already made…  we’re in this together. Network marketing is a pretty special industry. It gives anyone with a desire to work hard a real opportunity to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of those around them. As professional network marketers it is our job and responsibility to champion what we do and make sure it stays the ethical, growing and life changing opportunity that it is. We need to support each other and our industry and go get those dreams.

I will slowly and carefully climb down from my soapbox now… seriously, I may never stop talking! But thank you for reading and if I’ve helped you at all… I’m here if you want to hear more 👇🏻 

For now I bid you good night.

Laters lovelies 😘

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Good things do happen

Hey, just a short one today. And really just some positive vibes to share with you all. So I’m a strong believer that good things do happen to good people. And I’m not just talking business here – it’s true just in life. 

Now sure, things can seem pretty poop at times. Like you’re desperately paddling under the surface just to keep things going. And then life will throw a curve ball, making it feel like at any moment you could drown. Sound familiar? Yep, life does that! But honestly, all will come good if you just respond in the right way to whatever is thrown at you. And the right way isn’t necessarily what you want to do in the moment! Believe me, I know! So my strategy is this:

In any situation, take a deep breath.

Ask yourself if your response is emotionally charged.

Take another deep breath and ask yourself the question again.

Decide your action/response. But don’t act yet! Do one more thing. 

Be ethical, always, and be honest with yourself. Will you be happy if you go ahead? Will you have any regrets? Will you know you’ve done your best in that situation?

Whatever the answer, act on/adjust/change the plan – whatever you need to do to know you’re a good person that’s taken the right steps.

I’m living proof if you do this, the good things (and the right things) will come. It may not be immediate, it might actually feel like it’s never coming at all. But do it always and when it comes you’ll probably blubba like a baby (moi? Cry like a baby? Never 😉) 

Do it good, do it right. 

Laters lovelies 😘

Know your why

Something I’ve become more and more aware of in the last 12 months is knowing how important it is to know why you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing. Because with anything that requires love, attention, effort, some nurturing… well, you need to be really clear on why your energy is justified to go there.

I really believe this is true of anything in your life. Whether it’s work, relationships, a hobby, a business, house improvements, the list is endless. And it’s true because with everything in life, there will be some tough bits. Days when you need to dig deep and just graft and get on with it  – days and tasks that would feel a hell of a lot easier and more achievable if you’ve taken the time to work out why it’s important.

Let’s take the example of home improvements – something of an ongoing chore for the last 5 years of my life! It’s only really the last 6 or 7 months that I’ve forced myself to focus on why. Up until that point I just slogged on (badly without any order!) getting more and more disheartened by the slow progress, to the point where everything stopped. And what was left was pretty much a house full of started tasks with nothing actually complete. And my why simply disappeared and was buried amongst the rubble and mess. The desire to plan was non existent and I just allowed myself to believe, whatever the original plan, it was unachievable.

But never one to be defeated, I’ve forced myself to remember why it has to be achievable, why it has to happen, and why there are no alternatives. I’ve not just thought about – I’ve written it down. And by writing it down, small bite sized chucks that will get me one step closer, have just revealed themselves. Small achievable steps that will make a difference. And the result? Well 1 complete room in just a couple of months versus the nada in 4 and a half years! And it feels good 😊 And by Christmas this year, they’ll be a couple more rooms complete – because that’s what I’ve planned and I know why it’s worth the effort 💪🏼💪🏼

So let’s move this to why I continue with my business. I mean seriously, I am busy. I have 2 young kids which live with me 90% of the time (divorced but that’s a whole other blog!) I have cricket club, cubs, ballet classes and more recently judo to fit in the week. I work ‘almost’ full time (I leave early 1 day a week to pick the kids up from school – happens to be my favourite day of the week 😊). I have the previously mentioned ‘project house’. I have a partner who has 2 kids of his own that live with us for a good bulk of the time. I have friends I love seeing. I have a normal busy life like probably all of you reading this has! So why on earth continue with a business as well? Which requires time, effort and dedication? Well simply because I know why.

Now why is very personal to you. My why will be wildly different to yours, I have no doubt about that. Why is mine, and quite rightly too. You have to own it. I own mine. I have 20 post it notes each with a single why written on it. I do love a post it! And I do love a why ❤ Just an example of 1 of mine – picking the kids up from school just 1 day a week isn’t enough. I miss them, they miss me. I want to pick them up every day. So it’s on a post it.

Every time I doubt whether the effort and time is worth it I look at my top 20. Now it’s not quite as simple as that of course. I don’t just read it and plough on regardless. I look at what I will be doing if I don’t do the business thing. I then ask myself 3 questions:

  1. Right now, in this moment, which is more important?
  2. What will happen if don’t spend this time on the business?
  3. What will happen if I don’t spend this time on the other thing (whatever it is)?

And once I’ve asked myself those questions, I make an informed choice. And that choice is always linked to my why. Sometimes I decide that my babies need me more (they are my number 1 why, so if they need me, they come first). Sometimes I decide that quality time with my partner is more important. Sometimes there is something that will have more consequences if I don’t dedicate the time to that, even if I would prefer to be putting the time into my business. But a lot of the time, my informed choice is that the hour of time is worth it because there’s nothing that will break if I do it. But my next goal might not happen (or break) if I don’t.

So never underestimate how important it is to know why you’re doing anything. If you know, you’ll only ever put effort into what’s important. You’ll naturally stop wasting time on stuff that just doesn’t matter. And suddenly time will open up and allow you to focus on all the important things. No matter how busy you are.

Now, Ed Sheeran, he’s on now at Glastonbury! And I really want to watch! So I’ll leave you to enjoy your evening (I’ll enjoy mine 😇)

Love to you all. Laters lovelies xx 😘

forever.emmav@yahoo.com

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My 5 top tips

So I made it to my first birthday in my Aloe business and I’m pretty pleased with that. Yay 🍾🎉

When I started, was I sure I’d still be going strong 12 months later? If I’m honest, probably not. But do I know I’ll still be here 12 months from now? Yes I do! Now I’m no expert and I’ve still got a way to go to get to where I’ve set myself. But I am consistent, and have been since my first month. So I thought why not share how I’ve managed that 🙂 If you’re interested, here are the things that have worked for me…

  • Just be yourself

If you’re anything like me, you may well be a little clueless in the beginning. And you know what? That’s perfectly fine! But the worst thing you can do is pretend to be something you’re not. I don’t mind the saying fake it til you make it but only from a mind set point of view. In a practical sense, never fake it. Be honest. Always. If you can’t answer a question straight away, don’t make it up. Just say you don’t know but you’ll find out. Then make sure you do find the answer. You’ll be thanked for your honesty in the long run. 

  • Take the time to know your stuff

I completely appreciate that starting a business is exciting and you’ll be itching to just get cracking. But how can you build trust with your future customers if you haven’t taken time to really know your products? The simplest way is to just use them yourself. If you already used them before starting then you have a head start! But it doesn’t end there. There are hours of video trainings available on all the products and they give you the opportunity to become an expert. Lots choose to dive in and not bother with the videos. But to me that’s madness! Use the training! 

  • Work on your mindset

Personal development is so important when you’re working for yourself. Work out the bits you need some help with and commit to learning them. And that’s not always easy, admitting there are some things you’re not that good at. But admitting and improving is so much better than winging it and never feeling confident. Believe in yourself and believe in the goals you’ve set. It’s your business and your vision – even if it’s invisible to everyone else never lose sight of it.

  • Avoid spamming

Always remember that not everyone is interested in what you do. You’ll have people that want to help you and support you but you’ll also have people that just aren’t that interested. And that is perfectly ok! Don’t annoy them by constantly shoving your business down their throats. Remember social media is, on the whole, a place where people go to look at photos, catch up with people they haven’t the time to see, reconnect with people they’ve lost touch with. They don’t necessarily want posts every 5 minutes about your new venture. 

  • Hang on in there!

Don’t fall into the trap of believing it will all happen overnight. Sustainable businesses take time to build. They take hard work, consistency, determination and a lot of heart ❤❤ So many people give up when results aren’t immediate. If you were a teacher or a nurse or an accountant – would you give up trying for a promotion if you knew you had to wait 2 years to get there? Or would you work hard, get the training you need in the meantime and keep ploughing on until that promotion was yours? So never give up. 

So those are the 5 things that have got me here, to the here and now. And no doubt there will be countless more lessons I’ll learn in my next 12, 24, 36 months. And I can’t wait! Really hope you find this helpful and I’ll speak you again soon.

Laters lovelies 😘

Emma 

https://m.facebook.com/foreveremmav/