All posts by TheDSEF

A Note from Gary

A Note from Gary

gary-200x300 (2)

DSEF is ramping up our efforts to educate external constituencies about the value of the entrepreneurial opportunity associated with direct selling. The DSEF team is growing and moving with renewed urgency and focus to advance our long-standing mission to engage and educate key audiences about how direct selling empowers individuals, supports communities and strengthens economies. To accomplish that mission, the Foundation is moving aggressively to ensure that there is a “big tent” of credible voices beyond our industry that are educated, empowered and equipped to effectively speak on our behalf.

An important element of that work includes the partnerships that DSEF is forging with key academics, consumer influencers and regulators. For example, the Foundation’s relationships with the Federal Trade Commission and organizations like the Council for Better Business Bureaus help us shine the light on the ethical standards the industry works to promote and uphold.

We are excited to see some of these leaders in action as participants in the Foundation’s upcoming event on consumer protection and self-regulation featuring key consumer regulators, a national leader among academics in the field of regulation studies and a multi-industry panel discussion that will include DSA President Joe Mariano speaking on behalf of direct selling. Additional details on the event and how to participate are here. We hope that many of you can join us.

I’m also excited to announce that Regina Clay has joined DSEF as our Director of Consumer Initiatives. Regina spent more than 12 years in state and local government, most recently as Community Liaison for former Howard County, MD, Executive Ken Ulman. She will play an important role in expanding the reach of partnerships with consumer organizations to touch those at the state level, particularly in states with high concentrations of direct sellers, and pursuing new organizations, such as those focused on economic opportunity, women and Hispanic Americans that can help our stakeholders appreciate that direct selling is an entrepreneurial opportunity for all.

You can read more about our upcoming efforts in my recent column in Direct Selling News. I’m excited by what I see on the horizon and hope you will join with us on this important journey.

 

GHuggins_signature

 

 

 

Gary M. Huggins
Executive Director, DSEF

 

 

Helping Women Business Owners Achieve Financial Fitness

Helping Women Business Owners Achieve Financial Fitness

ginaWomen’s Money Founder Gina Robison-Billups knows firsthand the financial challenges women face.

“Women’s Money actually got its beginning when I was doing research on women in business,” Gina says. “I discovered that business organizations were focused on increasing revenue, but no one was teaching women business owners how to convert business income into sustainable personal profit.”

For the third year, DSEF is providing four hundred scholarships for women business owners – including direct sellers—to attend the National Women’s Money Conference in Las Vegas on April 18. Scholarship recipients can also participate in the Women’s Money Program for ongoing mentoring and support to help them improve their financial knowledge.

We especially encourage direct sellers to take advantage of this scholarship opportunity. If you have salesforce members in the Las Vegas-area who might benefit from the Women’s Money conference, they can register here and use the code DSEF2015. For more information, contact Regina Clay.

Sponsored by the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office and DSEF, the Women’s Money Conference provides women with the opportunity to learn how to reduce financial stress; feel confident with money matters; fix credit; pay off debt; maximize income; save for college and retirement; develop a financial support network; and build a more secure financial future.  A distinguished lineup of well-known women financial management experts will focus on providing each attendee with information on financial well-being.

Long an advocate for women business owners, especially those with fewer than five employees, Gina was asked to serve as council member of the National Women’s Business Council—a non-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners.

“Eighty-four percent of women say they are not receiving the financial messages they need, and I suspect that this is higher for women business owners and direct sellers,” Gina says. “After all, which organizations out there are addressing the unique personal financial perspective of women with variable income? That is why Women’s Money for Business Owners is so powerful. It’s for women with the unique financial challenges of business ownership.”

 

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Friday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Friday!

It’s National Consumer Protection Week! Direct Selling Association member companies of the direct selling industry have long been consumer protection supporters, which is why we’re excited to promote this important event each year. You can learn more about avoiding fraud and scams in the marketplace on our National Consumer Protection Week 2015 page here. And tell your friends on social media, too, by using the hashtag #NCPW2015.

To help you learn a bit more about how the direct selling industry protects consumers and consultants, we’re having a contest! Visit our site each day this week to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card! We’re giving one away each day this week, Monday – Friday, March 2-6, 2015.

To enter, answer the question below. We’ll choose one correct answer at random to win. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Carrie, our winner for Friday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Thursday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Thursday!

It’s National Consumer Protection Week! Direct Selling Association member companies of the direct selling industry have long been consumer protection supporters, which is why we’re excited to promote this important event each year. You can learn more about avoiding fraud and scams in the marketplace on our National Consumer Protection Week 2015 page here. And tell your friends on social media, too, by using the hashtag #NCPW2015.

To help you learn a bit more about how the direct selling industry protects consumers and consultants, we’re having a contest! Visit our site each day this week to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card! We’re giving one away each day this week, Monday – Friday, March 2-6, 2015.

To enter, answer the question below. We’ll choose one correct answer at random to win. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Tracy Wolski, our winner for Thursday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Wednesday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Wednesday!

It’s National Consumer Protection Week! Direct Selling Association member companies of the direct selling industry have long been consumer protection supporters, which is why we’re excited to promote this important event each year. You can learn more about avoiding fraud and scams in the marketplace on our National Consumer Protection Week 2015 page here. And tell your friends on social media, too, by using the hashtag #NCPW2015.

To help you learn a bit more about how the direct selling industry protects consumers and consultants, we’re having a contest! Visit our site each day this week to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card! We’re giving one away each day this week, Monday – Friday, March 2-6, 2015.

To enter, answer the question below. We’ll choose one correct answer at random to win. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Wednesday’s winner, Carmen M. Garrett!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Tuesday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Tuesday!

It’s National Consumer Protection Week! Direct Selling Association member companies of the direct selling industry have long been consumer protection supporters, which is why we’re excited to promote this important event each year. You can learn more about avoiding fraud and scams in the marketplace on our National Consumer Protection Week 2015 page here. And tell your friends on social media, too, by using the hashtag #NCPW2015.

To help you learn a bit more about how the direct selling industry protects consumers and consultants, we’re having a contest! Visit our site each day this week to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card! We’re giving one away each day this week, Monday – Friday, March 2-6, 2015.

To enter, answer the question below. We’ll choose one correct answer at random to win. Good luck!

UPDATE : Congratulations to Tuesday’s winner, Jessyca Hovendick!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Monday!

National Consumer Protection Week Contest 2015 – Monday!

It’s National Consumer Protection Week! Direct Selling Association member companies of the direct selling industry have long been consumer protection supporters, which is why we’re excited to promote this important event each year. You can learn more about avoiding fraud and scams in the marketplace on our National Consumer Protection Week 2015 page here. And tell your friends on social media, too, by using the hashtag #NCPW2015.

To help you learn a bit more about how the direct selling industry protects consumers and consultants, we’re having a contest! Visit our site each day this week to enter to win a $50 Visa Gift Card! We’re giving one away each day this week, Monday – Friday, March 2-6, 2015.

To enter, answer the question below. We’ll choose one correct answer at random to win. Good luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Monday’s winner: Suzi Israel!

Establishing an Effective Work Routine for Success

Establishing an Effective Work Routine for Success
Establishing an Effective Work Routine for Success

Establishing an Effective Work Routine for SuccessDealing with the unexpected comes with the territory of being a direct seller, but in order to set yourself up for success, it is important to establish an effective routine. Routines allow you to be efficient, thorough, and comfortable with your job. Of course, any routine must be created with your personal work schedule and lifestyle in mind, but check out our list below to help you get started.

  • Create your to-do list the night before so you’re ready to go for the following day. If you wait until the beginning of the day to make an agenda, then you wind up wasting precious time thinking about your tasks instead of completing them. Some even find it helpful to create to-do lists for the entire week and then break them down day by day before the start of the work week. Do whatever works best for you, but preparing your list the night before will help you get a jump on those tasks and responsibilities right away.
  • Organize and prepare necessary supplies for the next day. For example, if you have an opportunity meeting, gather your notes, any printed materials from the company, some sample products if applicable, business cards, etc. Pack everything up so you can simply grab it and go. Also, consider packing your lunch the night before and choosing your wardrobe before you go to sleep. This is another strategy that will reduce your stress and make you feel less rushed first thing in the morning.
  • Get started earlier. Do you find that you are perpetually running 5-10 minutes behind schedule? Do yourself a favor and wake up a little bit earlier. Your energy level won’t be affected, as your body won’t notice waking up a mere 15 minutes earlier. However, you will be allowing yourself that extra time to decompress with that first cup of coffee or rehearse that sales pitch one more time before you begin your day. Give it a try for at least 2 weeks, taking mental note of how it positively affects your productivity.
  • Make a schedule and stick to it. Scheduling your time is one thing, but adhering to it can prove to be quite difficult, especially with other personal and professional obligations thrown into the mix. Do your best to stick to your schedule, and even when something doesn’t go as planned, go back to your written schedule and rearrange it to make up for whatever time was lost. This way, you won’t always feel like you’re putting things off.
  • Make quicker decisions. This mostly applies to more trivial decisions like what you will eat for lunch or which font to use for your blog. Deciding faster about minor things will help you build and maintain your daily momentum as well as increase productivity.
  • Do the hardest task first. Tackling the most difficult task or project first prevents procrastination. Furthermore, if you save it for last, it’ll be on your mind the whole time you’re working on other things, which can take away your focus from where it needs to be. Get the hardest one out of the way, and when it’s done, take pleasure in knowing that it’s one less thing to worry about.
  • Check email at the end of your to-do list. If you’re like most people, the accumulation of emails in your inbox can become overwhelming if you don’t stay on top of it. Make it a point to check your email and take action on pressing business after you’ve finished your daily to-do list. This allows you to start the day with a clean inbox (hopefully) and use your time sticking to your pre-set schedule.
  • Reward yourself. Time management is hard work and requires self-discipline. This is not to be taken lightly, so when you’ve achieved your goals for the week or month, reward yourself as a motivator to continue your effective routine. Splurge on lunch by ordering a sandwich from your favorite deli, stop for a manicure on the way home at the end of the week, or see a movie with friends on the weekend. Anything that you will look forward to and won’t hinder your goals or progress will serve as a meaningful reward.

An effective work routine is as important as the job itself. Your reliability, independence, motivation, and self-confidence will all improve as you create and perfect your routine. What did you find most helpful from our list? How do you establish your own routine? Please share your thoughts in our comments section below!

Easy Ways to Build Great Habits For Success

Easy Ways to Build Great Habits For Success

Easy Ways to Build Great Habits For Success from http://dsefnew.wpengine.com“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” This statement penned by author Jim Ryun speaks to how you can find long-term success in both your professional and personal life. It takes time to make something a habit, and it certainly is a difficult thing to do. In the spirit of making resolutions for the New Year, we give you a few suggestions to help you make a habit out of your desired behaviors.

  • Make time to do it. As obvious as this idea may seem, so many people neglect to take this important first step. For example, if you plan to make exercise a part of your daily routine, you need to set aside a specific time to do that. Look realistically at your schedule and lifestyle to set yourself up for success. Someone who has the most energy and motivation at the beginning of the day would do well to carve out the first 15-30 minutes of the morning for a workout. Establishing the time beforehand will encourage you to stick to your goal and encourage you to continue.
  • Connect habits you already have to new habits you’d like to adopt. If your exercise goal is to spend 20 minutes on the treadmill once a day, then incorporate that into something you already do every day. If you always sit down to watch the 5:00 news every night, then spend that time on the treadmill in front of the television instead of sitting on the couch. Or if you always check your email at a certain time, work your exercise into, before, or after it. You’ll have a better chance at sticking to your desired behavior this way.
  • Make it as convenient for yourself as possible. If you want to exercise first thing in the morning before work, set out your clothes and equipment, fill your water bottle, and cue up your music the night before so you can roll out of bed and get right to it. You’ll have less of an excuse to skip it if it’s easy and convenient to accomplish.
  • Keep a calendar to chart your progress and reward yourself for meeting milestones. In order to stay motivated, you need to set goals and keep track of your progress. Set some benchmarks ahead of time and record them on a calendar, either digitally or on paper. Every time you reach a milestone, reward yourself in a way that will encourage you to keep going. Make the reward enjoyable and guilt-free so that you continue working toward your next benchmark and reward.

When developing good habits, do everything you can to set yourself up for success. Plan ahead, be realistic about your lifestyle, and track your progress. What great habits would you like to build in 2015? Which of our suggestions will be the most helpful to you? Please share your ideas in our comments section!

How to Overcome Your Fear and Succeed

How to Overcome Your Fear and Succeed

How to Overcome Your Fear and SucceedThink back to when you were a child and what scared you. Was it jumping into the deep end of the pool for the first time? Riding your bike without training wheels? How did you get past those fears? Although it’s normal to have fears about various things in our lives, it is important to develop strategies in which to overcome those fears and succeed. The following list will help you get started.

  • Create a backup plan. It is much easier to go about the uncertainty of operating a direct sales business if you have a “Plan B” in place. Try to anticipate circumstances that would be the most detrimental to your business and create a backup plan to fall back on if those circumstances ever occur. For example, what would happen if your company discontinues a product that is your personal best seller and the focal point of your sales presentation? How will you overhaul your pitch to highlight a replacement product? What would happen if you have to relocate out of the area and leave all your loyal customers? How will you re-establish yourself elsewhere? These are scary things to think about, but being prepared will allow you to move past them rather than suffer serious setbacks in your business.
  • Visualize and practice going through the event or activity. Many Olympic athletes as well as professional artists and performers admit to visualizing themselves crossing that finish line or nailing that performance repeatedly before they actually make a real-life attempt. The power of positive thinking should not be underestimated, and visualizing yourself succeeding can help you believe in yourself that you can truly do it. Visualization alone can’t win races or Academy Awards, however, so make sure you practice as much as possible. Whether it’s your sales presentation or an opportunity meeting with a prospect, practice alone, in front of others, while looking in the mirror, or recording yourself. The acts of visualizing and practicing will also ease your fear of failure.
  • Study and over prepare. We normally associate studying with being in school, but studying can be pertinent to your direct sales business too. You should be studying your catalog, prices, product features, manufacturing basics, current promotions, etc. You never want to be caught off guard or unable to appear knowledgeable about your business or the company you represent. Efficient studying and ample preparation are more than worth your investment of time and can help you overcome your fear of the unknown.
  • Focus on the positive aspects and tune out the negative ones. It will likely be difficult, but concentrate on tuning out any negativity that hinders your progress. This includes negative self-talk and people in your life who question your abilities or voice their doubts about your chances of success. Instead, tune in to the positivity you find in places like your upline, your supportive friends and family, and of course yourself. Be your own best cheerleader and you’ll never be too afraid to do what it takes to succeed.

Overcoming your fears has a lot to do with your state of mind and your self-confidence. Use the strategies above to clear yourself a path to success.

What are some fears you have about your business and how will these strategies help you get past them? Please share your comments below!