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Taking Time To Slow Down

As January came to an end, I got immense clarity on a few personal issues – issues that had been leaving me feeling STUCK for a while.

In direct sales, it can be easy to put your head down and just “gut it out” until sales start drying up… and you wonder what’s going on.

It’s been said (by too many people) that direct sellers don’t quit the industry when they’ve got a full calendar. Well, maybe that’s true for some circles, but I’ve known too many consultants that intentionally put fewer shows on their calendar because they know they’re leaving.

They’re burned out. They’ve done “everything” they know to build a successful business, and they’re not seeing the results they thought they “should have” by now.

I speak from experience, because there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve felt like “success” wasn’t coming “fast enough” for my tastes.

It’s then that I’ve learned it’s time to chill out. Slow down. Sit back and get a look at the bigger picture of my life and business.

That’s where I’m at today. I’m re-evaluating a lot of things in my life and business, and while some of the decisions are tough, painful, and not what I want to be doing, I know they’re important. AND I have some easy choices I get to make, too.

Things like honoring my 5 Key Areas of Success – and taking time for self-care, instead of pushing so hard to “make things happen”.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and a place for pushing hard. But that’s not a SUSTAINABLE way to build a business. Take it from guys like Jon Morrow who nearly killed himself working too hard in his business.

You can only work that hard for so long, and then, you MUST step back.

relaxBesides, I don’t know a single direct seller who got into the business because they wanted to work more hours doing more work. In fact, I think the opposite is true. We’re willing to put in a few extra hours on the front end so that we can enjoy the residual benefits of our efforts over the long term.

And that’s what I’m modeling (and suggesting) for you today.

Over the next few months , a bunch of changes are happening behind the scenes at Direct Sales Classroom and over at my personal blog (from which this video was taken). I’m honing in on more of what’s really important and productive, and letting go of things that (while I love them) aren’t sustainable or profitable for me at this time.

One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a while is step more fully into my work as a musician. That means more time for writing, rehearsing, and recording (the 3r’s of music). I also want to get on stage more – as a speaker and performer. That means getting out and meeting people.

All that new activity means things have to shift.

Like coaching. I love doing it, and it takes a LOT of my time and energy. I’ll be looking at eliminating most, if not all of my one-on-one coaching work as the year goes on (or at least seriously re-evaluating how it’s done).

One of the things I’m doing right now is creating a direct sales training archive where ALL of my training materials will live (say goodbye to the online store!). It will be subscription based, and I’m hoping to launch it this Spring. I’ve got tons of training already created that people can’t access because it’s just too confusing to access it all. We’re working behind the scenes to make that more effective (and profitable) for everyone.

And what about me/you?

Self-care is something that slips when you’re working too hard. Well, it is for me and for a lot of my clients. Whether it’s as “simple” as not getting enough sleep, or something more complicated like intense family and health issues, there needs to be time for self care.

Life is just too short to put all your eggs in your career basket for the rest of forever.

For example, I stepped on the scale this morning, and I’m ashamed and embarrassed to say that I’m at my heaviest weight ever. There are a lot of “reasons” for it, but it boils down to me not taking the time to care for myself in the most healthy manner possible.

And I’m paying the price for it right now in ways that are too painful to express to you. So it has to change. Don’t worry, I’m not converting this to a weight loss blog or anything like that. But I did think it was important to “publicly declare” that a change needs to happen, and I’m willing to move forward on it.

But here’s the real reason I’m writing this today: TOO many of you are hurting like this and NOT taking care of YOU.

One of the things I teach over and over again is that the most important product your company has to offer is you. Period. If you’re not taking care of you, why should anyone else?

So I challenge you this week to take a closer look at what’s really important to you. What are you doing that’s not productive (or not as productive as it once was)? What things are you doing because you’ve always done them – but don’t produce results? What is wasting your time and pulling you away from the most precious things in your life and work. I’ve spent a lot of blog space talking about IPA (Income Producing Activities and Important Personal Activities). If you’re building your life and business around anything else, it NEEDS to change. Not “should” change. NEEDS to change.

Take a look at your 5 Key Areas of Success (Faith, Family, Fitness, Fortune, Freedom) and give yourself some clarity on what you will attend to, and what needs to be cleared from your radar. Then get focused like a laser on seeing more of the important things happen in your life.

Regardless of the industry you’re in, you need to look out for you. Because you’re in direct sales, it’s even MORE imperative that you take this message to heart.