Thursday, November 17, 2011

Get to work!

3:15 p.m. Today's project was to earn the money for a full tank of gas (or thereabouts) and a holiday hairdresser visit. Since my gas tank was almost on empty this morning, and I had no appointments, it was time to get on the phone as soon as it was decent to do so.

The Lord allowed me to wake up at 5 a.m. this morning, so I prayed and waited to fall asleep until my 6 a.m. cell alarm was set to go off, but it wasn't happening. And worry was beginning to creep into the quiet time. Better to go downstairs, turn on the heater for Steve, start the coffee, empty the dishwasher and take my shower. Then I was able to start my devotions. I read the day's devotional passage, posted my verse for today on Facebook, checked in on a sick friend, and then it was time to read my Bible portion and write in my Mary Kay and personal journals. I was so encouraged by King David's victories, even crying out a fist-pumping "Yes!" as he wiped out the giant Philistines in I Chronicles 20. My reading prepared me for a day of effort, persistence, and success.

Since Steve was home with me today after his morning care giver left, I needed to make sure he was situated, started on a task--sweeping the back patio and cleaning the yard--and start just a limited 3 hours to make calls. Sounds like a lot of time, but with interruptions for Steve's personal needs and to direct him to his next task, I had to be very focused. My first call was to a lady who works at the Riverside County Office of Aging where I attended a caregivers' support group yesterday. She had selected a specific lipstick color out of the catalog I left with her at the front desk. I had it in stock, so I made arrangements with her to deliver it pronto. Nice cash sale, and furthermore, she and I really hit it off and she's looking forward to a facial next week. Steve and I promptly stopped at the gas station where I get 10 cents off per gallon with Ralphs rewards, so my $10.00 went much further! And I'd earned the remaining $9.00 needed for my hairdresser tomorrow. PTL!

I love this business, because I am responsible for earning what I need for each day. And I have discovered, as I told my retired business owner dad last week, that the harder and more consistently I work, the more ladies God puts in my path who want the products I offer!! Nothing new here for any sales professional, but when I see it happening  for me, I'm just amazed! The customers were pre-ordained by God, but if I don't start conversations wherever I go, or if I don't call my contacts and leads, I'll never know who they are. And if I don't offer excellent service, I won't get second appointments that will bless those women who may even want to start their own businesses. Life's funny that way, and very exhilarating! Proverbs has several verses about good business practices, so I'll quote a few favorites.

Proverbs  10:4: He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
Proverbs 27b: Diligence is man's precious possession.
Proverbs 21:5: The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty.
Proverbs 22:29: Se a man diligent in his work? That man shall stand before kings.

Connecting with customers I know and have spent time with is one thing; cold calling leads from boutiques and community events is far more daunting! One has only a few seconds to make a friendly, honest impression. So it helps if you are friendly and honest, of course! On my calls from evnts where ladies signed up to book free facials, I am just  myself, a person with the joy of the Lord and trust in Him. I end up leaving a lot of messages, naturally, and people generally don't call back. So I note the date and time and move to the next one. (I'll call again at a different time of day). It's exciting to actually talk to a person, after leaving lots of voicemail, and generally they'll set an appointment with me. If not, it's either a bad time of they aren't interested. That's okay--I'm not interested in everything I'm offered either. And I know that I'll gain more leads at two upcoming boutiques I've been invited to participate in.

At tomorrow's boutique where several ladies from church will be attending,  my consultant Candy is going to fill in for me while Steve and I go to a Care Givers' retreat in Sun City, to enjoy programs that will be held for both of us. So I will give any leads she gets by giving mini-facials and selling products to her to contact. My prayer is that she will get plenty of business from those contacts! Her success is a priority for me, too.

On December 9, I'll take party in a Christmas boutique in Mission Viejo, a very upscale event. How did I get invited? Apparently, the the Lord gave me great favor with the cousin of the hostess from the day we spent together at the Hootieville boutique a week ago last Saturday. The Lord didn't need me to make a good impression, but setting up a beautiful display table, posting special prices, and smilingly giving scores of mini-facials on the shoppers' hands were my part to do--my due diligence as a professional Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant (Star Team Builder, soon to be a Team Leader).

I did book appointments today, even with a lady I'd never met, and made plans to see customers I already have. At bedtime, when I write my praises to the Lord Jesus for all of the things He has accomplished and the obstacles He has removed in my behalf, I like to close my eyes, thank Him once again, and just say to myself, "I worked hard today!"

Just as He challenges His people to do!

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