I come from a sales and recruiting background but that doesn’t mean I’m the most confident. I know how to straighten up when I’m under fire and can close a deal but I like to know what I’m talking about. I feel most confident when I’ve researched my topic. Though there will be a few to argue without facts, I like to be able to back it up. With my student loan repayment, I’m sure you already know that I like to learn.
Just recently, we held a Spring Rally to talk about recent news, product information, sales strategies, welcome newbies and leadership. My District Sales Manager called and asked if I could speak about our Advanced Leadership opportunity. No, I was not the first pick. Our more experienced leader suffered a traumatic family issue and thought she wouldn’t be present. I was incredibly nervous. My entire leadership career flashed before my eyes. I began to think about what to say. I already knew the more experienced reps would have some pretty harsh questions such as:
1) Where did she get this girl from?
2) Why is SHE speaking at our rally?
3) Why should we trust her? Isn’t she a newbie?
Friday night, I literally prayed that I could deliver a good speech to gain credibility and also be able to thoroughly explain our program. I woke up Saturday morning and saw two leadership bonuses had been deposited into my account! At that point, I felt I was ready to face the world! It was the perfect motivation that I needed but I still didn’t know what to say. I’d never attended a district meeting before and at my first one, I’m speaking? How crazy is that?
On the drive to the location, I thought about it. I am a leader. I’ve made my way from sales representative to recruiter to human resources manager to director of operations. I KNOW about leadership. I compared my corporate experience to my Avon experience and realized something, I hate my corporate experience but it has prepared me for this role. I know the importance of setting priorities, being honest, frank, the difference between helping and holding someone’s hand, being prompt, easily accessible, knowledgeable and how to lead by example. I am a hands-on learner and teacher. I don’t believe in just saying something and not being able to walk someone else through it. Therefore, in order for me to teach it, I had to learn it and I attempt to be a master at everything I learn. It’s easy for some to just give a directive with no instruction. I can’t and I won’t. I truly want to help everyone become the best that he/she can be and in order to do that, I need to be able to show how.
The more experienced leader was able to make it to the rally so we split the presentation in two. I opened and she closed. While delivering the speech, I realized that I knew what I was talking about! Without even thinking about it, I had studied our leadership program from front to back, beginning to end and from side-to-side. Why? Because I need to know where I’m going. I’m not just stopping at one level. I am going to make it to the top. I flew through the descriptions with a breeze and then someone asked a question. My heart almost dropped when I saw her raise her hand.
She asked do I find myself doing a lot of work in leadership. It made me think. I don’t know why I didn’t prepare for that question. Anyone interested would like to know what all it entails. I really thought about it and then answered no. I compared it to my corporate experience. It is a HUGE difference. In the corporate world, I help people get to their goals but in the Avon world, people help me get to my goal. I didn’t go as in-depth as I should have but it is almost the complete opposite.
In the corporate world, I have to worry about people showing up 2 hours late for their shifts, making sure they’re being productive, approving time cards, corrective actions, finding the perfect balance to optimize operations and in the pit of my soul, unemployment claims for people feeling they were unjustly terminated because they failed to show for their shifts. Everyday begins to be a drag because you feel compelled to help someone keep their job.
In the Avon world? Completely different! You’re partnering with more business-minded individuals who are serious about making money and having fun at the same time. I receive phone calls, texts and e-mails from my team every few days but they’re good questions. Questions about how to grow with Avon. It brightens my day! I get excited for them when they share victories! Of course, when they grow, I grow. Naturally, I answer promptly but once you answer, they’re good to go. There’s not the constant help-me-remember questions or “I’m just asking a question so I don’t have to work” type of questions. I don’t think I need to say this but I just have to get it out: I LOVE MY TEAM! They are a team of beautiful women and men with goals and I love helping them accomplish them.
I sit back and think “where did this girl come from”—the overly shy girl? Where is she? And why didn’t she leave earlier? Each day, I become more confident in my ability and in myself. I know that it’s only due to my recent Avon experience. I actually love my Avon business. It allows me to have fun (I’m actually having a Facebook party right now), make new friends and make money at the same time. There’s no better feeling than to love what you do. Corporate world had broke me down. It had me rethinking my education, my experience, my dedication, the ability to do my job but not because of what I did, but because of what my team did. To me, your team is a reflection of you. Yes, some will say if they don’t want to work, fire them. And trust, I’ve done that but the cycle continued. The harsh truth is in corporate America, you will run into individuals that do not have the same drive as you. It feels so nice to finally have that with my Avon team. I look forward to growing with and learning from them.
To join us, follow these simple steps:
- Go to http://www.startavon.com
- Use my reference code: chicagosnatalie
- It’s that simple!
I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day!