It is A Big Deal
My biggest competition is myself. I always seek to push myself farther and harder than I’ve gone before. It’s a blessing and a curse really. At times, it’s great because you accomplish so much but then when it rains, it really pours. It tumbles down harder than a stack of bricks. You start thinking about where you want to be and what you should have accomplished based upon YOUR timing.
Often, I look at Avon’s leadership levels and I always think about where I should be by now. Nothing is ever good enough. I always look up, up, and up. I’m not one to dwell on the past so I have no choice but to look forward. My dream is to make it all the way to the top of Avon’s leadership chart so naturally, I’m never fully content with my current standing. It can be so depressing at times.
I was blinded by potential. I never sat back and thought about what I had accomplished because I knew it wasn’t the amount I needed if that makes any sense — one of the downfalls of the overly ambitious. I think at some point, we all encounter this issue regardless of the field. You want something so bad that it becomes all you can see and when you don’t see it, you get an overwhelming sense of failure 🙁
At our district sales meetings, my DSM would always introduce me to the rest of the attendees. She’d put me in the spotlight and tell the team what all I’ve been able to accomplish since joining Avon. She’d tell the team how great I was because I conduct majority of my business online. I always thought like “yea, whatever, no big deal”. At times, I really thought she did it just to motivate me to keep going — something she does with all newbies.
The entire room would express their oohs and aahs and I even had representatives ask how I do/did it. A few ladies took down my number so we could chat later. Even with this, I really thought it was just their way of making a girl feel welcomed, ya know? Like this is nothing. Everyone does this. There are women that have sold Avon longer than I have been alive so what’s the big deal?
These district sales meetings quickly turned into Question and Answers segments. Of course, they’d all want to know how many people I had on my team and my challenge of being an e-rep as they like to call them. Some even flat out told me that it couldn’t be done :/ I’ll be honest. There were many more naysayers than people that believed that I could do it — not because they didn’t believe in me, but because they hadn’t seen it done before or often. So immediately, I wrote them off believing they didn’t want to work their business. It was the only rationale I could develop to keep me motivated and focused.
Our sales cycle is 2-weeks long and the final reporting day is what we like to call Close Out Tuesday (term used by leaders). Close Out Tuesday’s gives all stats for sales and leadership. Each campaign, I’d look at my stats, Campaign 20’s stats (shown below), updated on 9/27/16. Not being arrogant but I got used to seeing my name on the top for recruits so I became indifferent. I simply told myself others didn’t want to be in leadership. I’m not in Top 10 Sales Increase because it compares the previous year’s stats (I haven’t been selling for a year).
Still, I was able to write all of this off. Talk about a case of serious denial. As some of you may know, I was 1 of 22 leadership representatives asked to help Avon develop it’s new business management tool. As a result, Avon flew me out to the New York headquarters in August. I got to meet some of the big “wigs” in Avon corporate but I also got to meet some of the top leaders.
I’ll never forget the day I was at work and received a text message from a New Jersey area code. In the message, he introduced himself, his role with Avon and then invited me to New York. I was so in shock and in denial that I thought I was dreaming. I called and texted just about everyone to share the news. I was ecstatic! Believe it or not, I was still in denial. Not as much but there was still a cast of doubt. This could not be happening! It took arriving at the airport to realize this was really real! It brings tears to me eyes just thinking about it.
While in New York, I learned more about the Avon leaders and I was the baby there both age but also tenure. They all seemed floored away but my progress. I was at a table with ladies that were responsible for selling millions in a year and they were more interested in me! We picked each others’ brains and I realized it has taken them years to get to that level and here I am, crying because I haven’t accomplished it in 9 months. Sounds silly just writing it but that’s what happens when you’re an overachieve with unrealistic goals.
You begin to realize how if you aren’t careful, you set yourself up for failure. I’m #10 in the district for sales and that wasn’t good enough for me. Number 10 in sales and it wasn’t good enough for me. I had to repeat it just so I could really see how silly I sound. I am in the top 13% of sales representatives in my district in my first year. Number 1 for recruits.
No one ever tells you that joining Avon is a life lesson. You eventually change/mold not just professionally, but personally. I was so focused on getting to the top that I forgot to acknowledge and even appreciate what I had accomplished. As I speak to other representatives, I begin to realize that they’d love to be in my position.
I don’t believe any of the top 10 sales reps have less than 5 years in the field and here I am, not even a year and I’m there. I’m beginning to realize it is a big deal.