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MLM Woman Issue 110
March 2006

This FREE newsletter is made possible by our advertisers and customers. We thank them for their support!

From the Desk of the Editor

Welcome to the 110th issue of the MLM Woman Newsletter. This month we feature articles by five fantastic women to help you break through your barriers and achieve the success you want and deserve.

Please be sure to let your friends know about this month's issue and invite them to come and visit us.

Also, if you have comments, questions or something to share after reading this month's issue, please visit our MLMTalk Discussion Forum and join in the conversation!

Enjoy!

Linda Locke, Editor MLM Woman



MLM Moms
By Jackie Ulmer

If you are a mom (or even a dad!) building an MLM business and wondering how to keep balance and sanity in your life, then this MLM training segment was written just for you. So, let's chat - mom to mom.

First, let me share a little of my story so you'll know that I've "been there, done that" and am not talking some MLM theory. I've built my business through baby number one, a pregnancy, baby number two, and on up to my current position of one teenager and one pre-teen. All the while, my kids were at my feet and I was home with them. Simple? No! Fast growing? Nope! Worth it? Every second!

Perhaps like you, when my husband and I decided to have children, we were adamant that one of us would be home with them. Since he was the major breadwinner, that meant I would be home. And, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

But, it's hard to make it on one income, so I began looking for a business. Long story short, MLM kept coming up, and although I was skeptical, I educated myself and jumped in.

Today, I am happy to be among the ranks of the six figure MLM income earners, but it didn't happen overnight; it wasn't easy; and there were many times along the way that I wanted to quit. Does this sound familiar to you?

Here are some ideas that I hope will help you as you move along your MLM journey, especially as a mom building strong kids and a strong business.

1. Get very clear on your reason why. This will sustain you when someone tells you no, or things get slow. Make sure your why is very powerful to you and that it means more to you than what anyone else might say or think. For me, the ability to create a fabulous lifestyle for my family and to never have my kids in day care meant more to me than anyone else's opinion.

2. Realize that as a mom with small children, you will have to balance and prioritize in a different way. Communicate with your sponsor and your team about your commitment, your priorities and how you will balance the two. Never feel the need to compromise your values in building your MLM business. I didn't and you don't have to either.

3. Get organized. And, I mean in every area of your life. Organize your business and your life. Set up one calendar with everything about home and business. Mark out times that are strictly family, and every other non-negotiable time in your life. Then, (and this is important) find times each day that you will work your business. Commit to these times, no matter how small the time frame. Be consistent and don't procrastinate.

4. Ask for help in anyway that you can. Talk to your spouse about taking the kids for an hour so you can make calls. Talk about splitting up household duties differently. Invest in help as your budget allows. I know hiring a cleaning lady was a priority for me as my business and profits grew. The grocery store can help with this. Buy pre-chopped fresh vegetables; marinated meats; and whatever you can to make things simpler. I am a stickler on healthy meals and nutrition, so I have never resorted to the "fast food" syndrome. Get a crock-pot and use it! Make healthy, delicious meals a snap.

5. Form a babysitting coop with other moms in your area. Then, use it and reciprocate. I used the times I babysat other kids as playtime for my kids, and then used the times when my kids were at a friend's to work my business. This was an amazing resource for me as my kids never felt like they were at a babysitters. They just saw it as a play date with someone from the play group.

6. Set clear goals and intentions for your business. As Yoda said to Luke in Star Wars II, "There is no try. There is only do, or do not." Same for your business. Make success non-negotiable. It's a marathon, and not a sprint. So what if it takes you seven years to become a top income earner, or hit your income goal. Will it be any less worth it? NO! Make it happen.

7. Work on Self Development. MAKE time for it. If you look for time in your schedule, it will never happen. You must make time for your business and make time for the very important task of developing your mindset and growing your business from the inside out. This is the single MOST important ingredient in your business.

8. Use Technology - Today, with the internet and all of the tools out there, keeping in touch: delivering timely information to your prospects; training to your team and even putting yourself out there so that people who are ready and looking for a business NOW can find you through the search engines. Do NOT let technology scare you. I had moderate success in MLM doing it the "old fashion" way. I created a full time income, but not "obscene money." Today, using the internet exclusively in my business, I'm a VERY HAPPY Six Figure Income Earner working about 30 hours a week. I'm able to work fewer hours than the "typical networker" because I let technology be my sales force and "PR People!"

9. Get your kids involved - From the time kids are two, and maybe even younger, you can find helpful, fun and educational ways to get them involved in your business. In my business, toddlers can place labels on brochures, the bottom of candles and other products, envelopes, etc. They can fold letters, stamp postcards, and have a great time "working" alongside of mom. Relax, and let go of your perfectionism. When was the last time you paid any attention to how straight the stamp is on a letter you received in the mail? Get them involved in non-business activities, too. My 13 year old son made dinner for our family the other night. Now, if you are thinking he pulled out the box of Mac-n-Cheese, think again. He made baked chicken with Apricot/Mango Sauce; Quinoa; Green Beans with Pine Nuts and Red Peppers and a salad with goat cheese. I'm really not kidding. I LOVE to cook and have always loved having my children cook right alongside of me. Now, he is ready to do his own thing. Imagine what kind of time that offers me!

10. Compare yourself to no one! This is so important. Who are you competing with? Only yourself. That's truly it because competing with anyone else is like apples and oranges. Everyone has different strengths, weaknesses, life challenges, ambition and goals. Comparing yourself to anyone else is a waste of energy. If you must compare, then use yourself and your past accomplishments as the measuring stick. Track your steps and then strive for more each week. Your business will soar!

11. Reward yourself. Life is meant to be fun and so is business. In the beginning, it's more difficult to set income goals, because you are building the foundation. This was always frustrating to me, until I discovered that by setting activity goals in the beginning, I could track my progress and feel good about the steps I was taking along the way to make things happen. And, as my action steps picked up, the rewards kept coming, and my business kept growing, producing those earlier elusive income goals. So, look inward and take outward action. Get busy charting your own game plan and focus forward. Along the way, treat yourself for a job well done. And, it doesn't have to be extravagant. Make it fun, though!

10. Believe in the power of your dream. The subconscious mind is a funny thing. It does not know the difference between what is real and imagined. So, since YOU are the one who controls your thoughts, daydream some powerful thoughts. Let your mind go nuts as you wander through your own field of dreams. And, while you are "there," BELIEVE it! Believe it and it will come true.

As a mom, you have the ability to offer the greatest gifts of all to your children and your family. You have the ability to raise happy, wholesome and educated children. You have the ability to contribute to the family income without the need for make-up, pantyhose, or glass ceilings. What a relief! You truly have the ability to "have it all" and "have enough" without compromising your children along the way. Grasp the opportunity before you! I promise, you will never regret it.

About the Author
Jackie Ulmer, a veteran Network Marketer, has coached and trained thousands of representatives both inside and outside of her sales organization. Her passion is inspiring others to succeed in their own dream. Contact her or sign up for her newsletter through her website: http://www.streetsmartwealth.com

Goal Setting and Letting Go
by Donna Davis

Do those two thoughts seem contradictory? Can you actually set goals for yourself and your business and yet relax and “let go”?

We read a lot about setting a goal for ourselves and then making it happen. And there’s usually a lot of activity and “doing” involved in working toward our goals. Letting go, on the other hand, is more of “being,” relaxing and trusting. So how can the two work together?

I’ve always been a planner and a doer, but I hit burn-out in a previous business. Even though I had created a nice income in that business, I made the decision not to continue. I was physically and mentally exhausted. I had not reached my original (very high) goal for that business and so the decision to stop pursuing that goal was very painful at the time.

But once that decision was made, doors opened for me that I would never have imagined. I now have two totally different businesses and I’m having fun!

So how does this all work? First, get in a quiet place and write down what you want to achieve, personally and professionally. Write down specific goals for what you want, i.e., in business that could mean sales dollars or numbers of customers. Personally that could mean reading a book a month. Then write down what action steps you need to take to accomplish that.

But then take a step backwards and look at why you want those specific goals. Is it to be able to stay home and raise your children? Is it to get out of debt? Is it to grow and become a better person? Or to be able to help your community or a cause you love? Identify the reason behind those goals and THAT is really your ultimate goal.

Work your plan but take a few minutes each day to tune into your intuition and your inner guidance. When you can get to the point where you feel the underlying driving essence of your goal and how that will enhance your life, then you can relax into it. You do the work but listen to clues along the way so you can make adjustments. My change was fairly major but your intuition and instincts will guide you in making the necessary changes – whether that’s big or small.

This doesn’t mean that you stop whenever things get a little tough. But this does give you a roadmap to follow. Work your plan, listen to your inner guidance, know the essence of your goals and then let go of the outcome. If you’re on the right path, your intended outcome will happen. And if you need to make some detours, trust that those clues are guiding you to a better and stronger place.

About the Author
Donna Davis has successfully built several businesses from a local accounting service to a large online network marketing team. To learn more about Donna, her family and her current business, visit http://www.HotAZCandles.com. Email ebook1@aweber.com for free ebook “Entrepreneurial Spirits.”

Business Success
Without the Blindfold

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion." - Jack Welch

Vision is the first critical element in business success. Vision gives a clear picture of what you intend your business to accomplish. Without vision, you simply don't know where you're going. Hard work and perseverance cannot replace a clear vision.

It is something like the experience I had at a wilderness camp in the Canadian Rockies. About twenty of us were blindfolded and led to a maze in the woods. The maze was laid out with ropes strung together, from tree to tree. The terrain was uneven, with bumps and hollows in the ground. The ropes ranged from a foot to three or four feet off the ground. Our objective was to ring a bell somewhere in the course.

I know that I retraced my steps more than once, coming to a place where the ropes met at a forty-five degree angle, or where a rope ended at a tree. I knew I had come to that same corner before, touched that same tree before. Then I would turn around and go back, trying to find my way without being able to see. Throughout the course, I met others, our hands touching on the ropes as we groped in darkness along the rope maze.

Meanwhile, I could hear the bell ring at least three times. That meant at least three of the participants managed to find their way. One time the bell rang, I knew I was close. I could tell the direction of the sound, but somehow, I got off track again. I didn't find the bell. Most of us didn't.

I did persevere. I didn't give up, even as began to feel frustrated that I couldn't get out of the maze. I kept trying to find my way, back and forth and up and down along the ropes, but I couldn't find my way with my eyes covered.

After we took off our blindfolds, the bell was clear enough. With the blindfolds, most of us couldn't find it. All of our effort was wasted effort.

I'm not sure what lesson the wilderness camp leaders intended us to gain from the experience on that day. But as a metaphor for doing business, the experience is a powerful object lesson of what happens when you set out to accomplish something without being able to see where we were going.

We had no vision. We were supposed to find a bell somewhere, without having a clear vision of where the bell was. One of the participants who finally did ring the bell said that he had missed the bell even when he had found the right tree. He hadn't reached high enough up the tree trunk to find the bell.

The whole process is something like going into business to achieve "success." There is no clarity of vision in such language. What does "success" look like? Will you know if when you find it? Where is it? Without a vision, you can work hard, struggle, come close without knowing it, and never reach your objective.

The word "business" is directly related to the word "busy." Both mean "care," "anxiety," and "being occupied." This is a good description of my experience of the rope maze. I have no idea how long we were on the ropes course. It seemed like an eternity. I know I was very busy, continually moving, continually working, continually trying to find my way, going over the same ground again and again without ever reaching my objective. I was busy, but my busy-ness was not effective.

Perseverance in the wrong direction is simply wasted effort. Without a clear vision of where you are going, you can get far off track, still working hard, and never accomplish much of anything.

The trap of doing business without a clear vision of where you are going is that you simply become busy. Being busy is no substitute for doing the real work of your business.

About the Author
Kalinda Rose Stevenson, Ph.D. Author of "No Money Limits For Real Estate Investors: Discover The Money-Making Secret In The Monopoly Game That Will Turn Your Money Struggles Into Money Abundance - http://www.nomoneylimits.com/ - kalinda@nomoneylimits.com

What's Holding You Back?
by Angela Thompson

I've missed many opportunities in my life because I didn't know the answer or take steps to change my future. One of the biggest mistakes I made was turning down a full grant to attend college. Years later, I had a similar opportunity to teach at a local business school. One of the perks was attending classes for free, and I again turned it down. I had been given a second chance to make up for the biggest mistake of my life, and I didn't take it. I was full of self-doubt and lack of confidence, but also something bigger, the fear of failure.

Does this sound familiar? Have you ever been presented with that golden opportunity that you knew you wanted, but didn't take? What stopped you? Who were you afraid of letting down - your family or yourself?

It wasn't until turning 50 that I discovered something. I wasn't afraid of failure, I was afraid of success. I got so used to the status quo, that I didn't know what I would do if I actually did succeed. How would my life change? Was I ready for it? Would I know what to do? I knew how to struggle, but if I reached success could I pull that off? Could I become a leader or would people see through me and realize I was a fake? I didn't know, but I suddenly knew I had to try.

More than half my life was over and I hadn't really accomplished anything. I was no further ahead than when I graduated. My life had turned out nothing like I planned. I felt like I had been sleepwalking through it with no idea of where I was headed or why. It was a major turning point for me. I finally discovered the person I was meant to be. I stopped worrying about what others thoughts or how they perceived me. It was what I thought that mattered. I had dreams and goals and I was determined to achieve them. I knew if my life was going to change, then I had to do it. If it's to be, then it's up to me, became my mantra.

Life took on new meaning. I decided that fear would no longer keep me from experiencing joy in my life. I didn't want to just exist. I wanted a life filled with passion, happiness, success, and freedom. I wanted to try things I had never done before. I wanted to have fun!

I had an opportunity to test this when my daughter took me out for dinner at a little pub. She asked if I had ever played pool. I told her no and I had no intention of starting now. She knew my fear of being in front of people and trying new things. Then I remembered the promise I made to myself. I would not let fear hold me back anymore. Feeling very subconscious, I walked to the pool table and let my daughter proceed to teach me how to play. I even let our waiter give me some pointers. And the most amazing thing happened. I beat her the first two games. I felt like I had hit the lottery. It wasn't because I had won, but because I had stepped out of my comfort zone and tried. I had also taught my daughter a valuable life lesson - "It's never too late to become what you might have been." ~~ George Eliot

This new confidence inspired me to do something else I wouldn't have attempted before. I attended a convention by myself, where I knew I wouldn't know anyone. A little hesitant, I walked into the room, sat down and started a conversation with the person next to me. Later that evening, I introduced myself to a girl that was standing alone and we spent the rest of that evening and most of the convention together. I found myself approaching more people and starting conversations. My fears of being rejected were unfounded. People responded to my openness and honesty and I made new friends in the process. I was so excited. Each time I stepped out of my comfort zone, my confidence increased.

I became aware of how thoughts or words, whether positive or negative, have on our lives when heard over and over again. They have the power to shape the person we become. Just like a song you've heard and can't get out of your mind for days after, negative thoughts can affect us the same way.

Studies show what you focus on most, you'll move towards. If you focus on all the negatives in your life, then you'll attract more of the same. These thoughts eventually become habit. You start to believe them and your life becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy. That's why affirmations are so powerful. They work the same way. Focus on positive thoughts and you'll get positive results. People are attracted to those that believe in themselves.

Here is one of my favorite quotes:

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

~~ Frank Outlaw

Decide now what it is you want. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 or 20 years if you continue doing the same things? When presented with an opportunity or a challenge, ask yourself some questions. What will happen if I don't take any action? What will the outcome be? Well, most likely, nothing will change. You'll stay stuck in your job, struggle to pay your bills, or live in fear. Now, ask yourself what will happen if you take that risk? You could find a job you love, be earning more money, or have more time with your family. Which of these scenarios appeals to you most? You have a choice. What actions you take or don't take next will determine the course of your future.

Deciding what you want is your first step. Once you know that, make a plan and know your WHY. Without having a clear focus as to what you want to achieve, it will just be a wish. Next, visualize it. See it, feel it, as though you have already achieved it. Visualization is very powerful. If you see it and believe it, your mind will find a way to make it happen. Now, put your thoughts into action.

There is more I want to learn and experience and I'm ready for the challenge. I hope you are too. There's a saying, "the journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step." Are you ready to take it? If not, what's holding you back?

About the Author
Angela Thompson has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. She has owned a cleaning company, been a Realtor and has been involved in several home-based businesses. She and her daughter are currently independent distributors for Mia Bella Gourmet Candles. Her desire is to help people realize their potential and fulfill their goals. You can visit her at: http://www.TheJoyofSoyCandles.com



When Your Passion
Becomes an Obsession
by Sandy Phinney

So, you’re looking into the world of Home Businesses. Well, Congratulations! I truly think that the "home business arena" is the wave of the future. With the rising gas prices ( congrats to Exxon for ‘record profits’ this past quarter!) , and with what’s called "outsourcing" (I like to call it "sell out sourcing"), causing thousands of people to lose jobs - I am sure that working from home will become the norm.

As you’re looking at your vast array of choices for a home business, let me tell you what to watch out for. Don’t let your enthusiasm, excitement, and passion for being your own boss, turn into an obsession. I’ve seen this happen to many, many people through the years. They go from being stressed about their finances, to being stressed from over work! If they don’t catch themselves and rethink "why" they are doing this to begin with, they will almost always fail.

My first suggestion is to remember "why" you want to work from home to begin with. Number one, you need an income. But also, you want to be available to your family. You want to go to all of little Johnny’s football games and little Debbie’s dance recitals. You’ve decided that you don’t want your kids put into daycare. You may need to take care of a loved one and can’t find a boss flexible enough to let you do this. It might be that you are physically not able to hold down a full time job. If you find that you are breaking your own rules and working through a football game or dance recital, or if you’re still taking your kids to daycare to get your work done, aren’t you defeating the purpose of staying home to begin with? That is a sign that your "new business" may be becoming an obsession.

What I have seen is that people start comparing their new business to their old job. In a regular job, you get paid weekly. Money is coming in virtually right away. In a business of your own, you may not see any profit for a while. Some times, you only get a monthly commission check. People then start to get anxious and work longer hours to try to get more money. It seems logical to them at the time.

Then they become a workaholic and are missing all the games, dances, recitals, family time. They quit going to family functions because they need the peace and quiet to work while the rest of the family goes off for the day. Then they start taking their kids to daycare to get a few more hours of work in during the day. Or worse yet, they put their little darling in front of the DVD player and let them watch t.v. all day long, so "Mommy or Daddy can get some work done."

Now, the family is starting to resent the business. They hate it that you’re on the phone all day, or the computer all night. They hate that you lock yourself in your room all the time. Finances are going from bad to worse because you’re "investing" in leads or advertising. It becomes a catch 22. If you slow down, so will the money, if you work harder, you’ll lose your family.

My suggestion is very simple. Don’t start up a home business when you’re desperate for money. If you need money right away, get a job. Even if it’s part-time and you work your own business part time. At least you have some money coming in. Also, the next thing, and this is VERY important. Make a SCHEDULE. Have "work hours" and stick to them! Adjust the hours to coincide with your family’s schedule. If your kids don’t get up til 9:00am work from 7am-9am. If the kids take a nap during the day, schedule that time for work. If they go to school, make those your work hours. Does your family have favorite t.v. shows they watch at night? Schedule in a couple of hours at that time. Be flexible and keep your family the top priority. If you do that, you will be geared towards long term success.

The absolute worst thing you can do, and it will kill your business before it ever gets off the ground, is to have your family resent you and feel like they come second to your "new home business". Sit your family down and discuss with them what you are going to be doing, what it involves, and what THEY can do to help YOU. Your family wants you to succeed, but not at the cost of feeling second or even worse. Find a business that is "family-oriented". Find something that everyone can take part in. There is nothing better in life than having a successful home business that incorporates your family - not excludes them. Good luck in your future endeavors.

About the Author
Sandy Phinney has been involved with some form of network marketing since 1990. Sandy says one key ingredient to her success has been her "ever so patient and supportive" husband Jim. "It just makes it so much easier to work your business when you're not having to deal with an unsupportive spouse. There are enough obstacles to overcome with a home business, having a spouse rooting for you really gives you that extra boost when you need it most". Sandy works her home business around her family's schedule. She has 3 teenagers that support her as well. You can find out more about Sandy, her family and her home business if you visit http://www.LuvRcandles.com.

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