The Avon Chronicles: Where I Am Today

As a society, we have become so wrapped up in instant gratification that we give up before the results even come in. Why let all of that go? Why give up when you’re so close to the finish line?

whereiamtoday
Where I Am Today – Billy Blanks Quote

I’d be lying if I said I wake up everyday, eagerly awaiting my next Avon move. There are moments when I’m downright tired! Frustrated! Hurt! Don’t feel like getting up or out of the bed. Oh, if only I could just lay in bed all day! Of course, this is never healthy — not for your mental and definitely not for your waistline.

Lately, I’ve been working out, hence the Billy Blanks quote above. For the past few years, I’ve been slacking when it comes to working out. Netflix binge with a glass in hand has become quite the routine. I used to go running or find some form of exercise every single day. There wouldn’t be a day go by that I didn’t engage in physical activity, sometimes twice a day. Thinking back on it, it’s when I was at my happiest.

I smiled more often. I felt good about how I looked in my clothes and I was even more socially involved. I don’t know how I got into this slump — an unending downward spiral of depression. The heavier I got, the less I went outside — the less I saw my family. Ultimately, the less happy I became. My smiles didn’t have any meaning or feeling behind them.

A few months ago, I decided to get back in shape — take control of my life. I began watching what I ate and slowly introduced exercising. The first two weeks were hell but I’m proud to say in less than two months, I’ve gone down two shirt sizes and possibly two sizes in pants (I haven’t went shopping yet). In the very beginning, I was immediately discouraged. Honestly, I wanted to see results after one session. A week went by and I almost gave up! What’s the sense in  dieting and exercising if you can’t tell the difference?

I found the willpower to keep going. I didn’t fluff up overnight so it would take more than 14 days to notice real results. For those that do not know, I service my mom’s nursing/rehab home. She’s a nurse there and I used to leave brochures there. In my drunken, self-pitying slumber, I stopped leaving brochures. I could never find the time. I always rushed home to hop in the bed. I was just so busy doing nothing! I used to drop brochures off religiously, regardless if I got orders or not — how can people know what to order if they don’t know if it’s on sale? Why hadn’t I thought of that?

My mom called last week saying the ladies at her job needed brochures. Of course, still feeling the after effects of being a lazy slouch, I didn’t make it to her job that night. Instead, I told her I’d drop the brochures off in the morning before work — at 6 a.m. —eek! What was I thinking?

Last Tuesday, I got in my car and I heard Billy say “where I am today is where my mind and will put me.” It was at that moment that it hit me. Running my Avon business is much like exercising. Do you want to do it everyday? Probably not. Will you see results immediately? Probably not. It’s the weeks of hitting the pavement, focusing your efforts elsewhere, sheer will and determination that yield results.

As a society, we have become so wrapped up in instant gratification that we give up before the results even come in. Why let all of that go? Why give up when you’re so close to the finish line? 

Am I really willing to give up weeks, months and now even a year of not only blogging, engaging in social media but the physical work of battling the freezing temperatures in the winter and sizzling heat of the summer?

As I drove off, I realized I’ve come too far to give up. I’m looking at the present when my ultimate goal is complete freedom. I dropped the books off and went to work. Two days later, my mom called to say that three new women wanted to order from me! That two-minute sacrifice of boredom paid off — literally!

Orders are back in and I dropped them off right before work yesterday and this morning 🙂 I didn’t dread either. I’m one step closer to my goal. Where I am tomorrow is where my mind will put me.

The Avon Chronicles: Are You Led by Fear or Determination?

To listen to this blog: Are You Led by Fear or Determination?

Disclaimer: Once again, I’m writing this blog from my iPhone 7 Plus. In no way is this a promo or endorsement for Apple. I am and will always be a diehard fan of the Samsung Note 7, even in a fire 🔥. My purpose is to show you how much you can really do without inconveniencing yourself. My purpose is to show you that if you really want success, you can make it happen. More importantly, don’t feel limited by your current situation, especially when it’s not your final destination.

I didn’t feel like mustering up the energy to reach over for my tablet. Yes, poor me *heavily laced with sarcasm* However, I’ve been having this thought in my head for quite some time and decided to capture it before it’s gone.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again —one thing that I didn’t expect from my Avon business was learning more about myself. I learned not only about my reactions, how I handle different situations, but how I prepare myself. I found out a lot about my thinking process. I learned not only of my desires but my fears which would in turn, control my actions.

One of my biggest challenges and a challenge that I’ve noticed with other reps is the fear of letting everyone down (ourselves included) and even the fear of success. As employees, we can only reach so high before we hit the ceiling. As entrepreneurs, we put a lot of stress on ourselves believing we have to reach that ceiling by a certain deadline — forgetting one simple principle: no one is perfect.

Understand the steps that you take now are for later.

Our fears show even when we’re doing our best to control them because our actions are led by our fears. When I joined Avon in 2015, I didn’t want any success or at least that’s what I had convinced myself. Keep in mind, I am somewhat of a perfectionist. Being mediocre was never an option for me. So when you reread that last segment, scratch your head at the thought of a perfectionist not wanting to be successful. The mind is incredible.

The fear of letting myself down.

I had convinced myself that Avon would just be a fun way to get out of house on weekends. This was the “safe” goal. No major commitment so if I failed, I wouldn’t be the laughing stock at the next family reunion. I could easily chuck it up to being a hobby so no major loss. Even the way I grew my business was for that of failure — by telling no one. I didn’t tell family, friends or anyone else. Even when I first introduced the idea to one of my co-workers, I was very cautious and nonchalant. I didn’t want to be one of the people super excited about a business only to fail. A lot of people do not want to feel as though they’ve let themselves down.

The fear of letting others down.

Just like the unrealistic goals and deadlines, we also have unrealistic expectations for our customer relations. We want everything to be perfect. If it isn’t, it won’t work. If I’m in a position to help others or even lighten their day with laughter, I’ll do it. When things don’t go as planned, I immediately shut down and become discouraged. Examples of when things go wrong: long delivery times, backorder (shortage), wrong item shipped, wrong size, etc. You can’t imagine my heartbreak when I feel as though I’m breaking someone  else’s heart, not realizing they are humans as well. There’s been times when I’ve delayed breaking  the bad news to them in fear of letting them down and they just throw their hands in the air and say “no problem, just let me know when it’s in.” 

The fear of refusing to place another order or even worse— asking for a refund because of something that was beyond our control 😱

Most frequently asked question: what if no one wants to buy from me?

The most simple answer: you’ll never know if you don’t ask. 

As I was growing my business, I constantly worried if anyone would respect a younger Avon lady. 

The fear of success.

The fear of success has a weird way of combining all fears. If you’ve conquered the fears of letting people down (yourself included), the real challenge is starting. As you grow your Avon business, you grow brand recognition, followers/fans and even those who would love to be assisted by you. You then begin to feel the stress of “what if I let them down”, or “what if I’m wrong” or even the simple feeling of being unqualified.

As my business grew, I asked myself: do I even want to be known as the Avon lady?

I never met younger Avon ladies until just recently. It was always my impression that all Avon ladies came with experience, knowledge and wisdom — forgetting they had to start somewhere.

With more recognition and praise from customers and Avon, my name easily became the center of attention. With more recognition, my brand grew and at in incredibly fast pace. It seemed even if I wanted to slow down, I couldn’t. Because I felt powerless, I wanted to slow down just to prove to myself that I am still in control. Note: I never said this was the correct way of thinking.

I may not be an Avon millionaire but in a year’s  time, I’m already halfway through Avon’s Advanced Leadership Program and a President’s Club member (for sales).

It’s not to shame other Avon representatives, but in the Avon world, it’s a major accomplishment. I had Avon representatives from across the country reach out when I made the national list for top 18  recruiters. Some wanted to congratulate me and some wanted tips on how I recruit. I immediately felt the pressure again.

Do I want this type of attention? How can I lead someone if I barely know what I’m doing?

Led by determination.

Looking back on my last two questions, I  was at my lowest point. I always valued myself lower and all of the recognition/praise only made me doubt myself more and through me into hyperdrive. I felt as though they were paying into an illusion and there was no way I could ever live up to their expectations.

I fooled myself into believing that value and worth only came with tenure. I slowed my Avon business down because I feared it was moving too fast for me. I think people may call this an Avon mental breakdown. I feared so much. I feared things that were beyond my control and that fear caused me to lose self control. 

I negated all of those heavy steps that I had taken in the beginning while chasing the glass ceiling. I’m not sure if other Avon reps hit this point but if you did/do, please let me know. I’ll pray for you and recovery. 

Even while taking a step back, I continued to receive a steady paycheck from Avon then it hit me. Aren’t my checks supposed to be more by now? What happened?

I had to take a step back to understand what slowed down my progress — it was me. Nothing changed but me, my thought process, forgetting my motivation and ambition, creating doubt where one never existed and never fully objectively looking at my progress. I ran fast and hard, I crashed and burn. I let myself talk myself out of success.

If you are going through anything similar, understand that you don’t have to continue spiraling downward. You can pick up where you left off.

Once you can rid yourself of fear, you are already on your way to success. Believing you can do it is already half of the battle. Now the next step is to do it.

As I’m reminded of my struggles but more importantly my goal, I work even harder to make this dream become reality. I had to realize that nothing in life is perfect and that as long as I can help others by sharing what I’ve learned in my journey, we are already doing better than our predecessors. As a mentor, that’s what I can do. I don’t have to be perfect but being open, honest and reliable has helped open doors so that my team and I continue to grow.

Now that you’ve finished this blog, I ask: what’s holding you back? What’s the worst that can happen if you are actually successful?


The Avon Chronicles: Happy Thanksgiving 🦃🦃🦃


First, I’d like to thank you all for reading and following along. I’d also like to wish you all a special Happy Thanksgiving 🦃!

As I was scrolling down my Facebook timeline or newsfeed, I saw so many people posting why they were thankful. I have to admit, for the first time in a long time, I felt deeply inspired. It’s been so long since I’ve seen so much positivity on Facebook. It is truly refreshing. Facebook was at the point that it was depressing and unnerving. I eventually felt the need to take a step back from Facebook and a few other social media outlets. 

It can be quite discouraging when you’re trying to focus on your inner-self and being happy. It can be even more discouraging when you’re trying to either launch, grow or maintain your business. The recent presidential election really brought out sides of people I never knew existed. I began to question everything and the authenticity of everyone. How can someone smile in your face and post such hateful things? Why does the world never seem happy?

What is real? What is fake?

So many questions and I realized that I was questioning my own faith. My own beliefs. My own will power and triumphs. I opened Facebook today just to post the above Happy Thanksgiving picture and became immediately engulfed by all of the Thanksgiving posts, reasons why they were thankful and well wishes to others. It’s truly beautiful. Today makes us take a step back from our cumbersome lives and appreciate the many blessings we have.

Hence, why I am writing today. After a social media break, I feel relieved, revived and inspired. I don’t always talk about my success with my Avon business as I’m rather timid and humble but it has given me a great deal to be grateful.

Why am I grateful for my Avon business?

1) I have the flexibility of working my business from anywhere. Right now, I’m writing this blog from my new iPhone 7 plus (Jet Black for those wondering). As long as I have internet, I can run my business from anywhere. Even without internet, I can still run my business in means of placing calls/texts, receiving orders and helping my team members. What other business do you know that allows you to run your business from your phone?

2) Tied into reason number one — I can also work my full-time job and my Avon business. It’s not impossible! I have a team of over 180 and I have already personally sold well over $10,000 since the year began. Since mid- February, my team has sold well over $110,000! I run majority of my business online though I do service a few local businesses on the weekends. That’s it! My business is running autopilot most of the time.

3) I know this business isn’t for everyone. Not just Avon but direct sales in general. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, persistence, and discipline to be your own boss. You need a lot of willpower and the ability to overcome adversity. Statistics show that many people quit in their first year. I’m proud to announce that I just reached my one year anniversary with Avon!

4) It’s also said that most businesses are not profitable in the first year. As some of you may know, I began taking my Avon business seriously in January due to student loan debt. I’m proud to report that my Avon business checking account has a positive balance and Avon pays my 2016 Nissan Maxima’s car note, insurance and a few other things! With less money coming out of my work check, I can free up some of that student loan debt. Not bad for working my Avon business part-time, right?

5) I’m controlling my destiny. My goals are far from over. Eventually, I want to work my Avon business full-time and I’m taking those actions to be able to do so. I hate the uncertainty of knowing whether or not I’ll have a job, not having complete autonomy and succumbing to even the most ridiculous request. 

To me, in my first year, I’m doing fabulous with my Avon business! With more experience and knowledge, I know my second year is only going to get better! And that gives me something to work towards! I’m very hopeful and excited about what’s in store. 

If you’d like to join me, Join Avon Now

I’d love to be your mentor. Together, we can make this happen!

The Avon Chronicles: How I Got Stuck with an Order for $115!

Being an Avon mentor is not always about telling the fluffy stuff. Being part of a team gives us the opportunity to learn from others as well as show others what we’ve experienced. It doesn’t always have to be a success story; it could also be a learning lesson. Just like you, I have also been through rough patches hence why I decided to share this story with you today. I am an open book. They say a smart man learns from his mistakes and a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. I’ve been smart at times, I’ve been wise at times and sometimes, I was just flat out dumb. Use my mistakes to guide you; you don’t have to make the same mistakes — unless you simply want to 🙂

When I first joined Avon, I did not have a credit limit and I was participating in the Hit $100 Challenge. If I completed the challenge, I received guaranteed earnings of 40%, free samples and a beauty bundle worth $100! I really wanted to win the challenge to prove to myself that I could do it. I did not have the support of my family but I wouldn’t let that stop me.

I decided that I would work really hard. Leave no stone unturned. I got out, hit the pavement, introduced myself to new people and left brochures at local businesses. One day out of the blue, I got a call from a new customer who picked my brochure up from a restaurant. She said she loved Avon and that she along with her family would like to purchase Avon from me. She ordered a lot of beauty items and then told me to hold on so her niece could also place an order. I was so excited! I was holding the phone and jumping for joy! She had become the new love of my life — I’m so easy *eye roll*. She proved that this could be done. I had finally made it. I told her that I would place the order on Wednesday and drop off on Saturday. She said that would be fine and we disconnected. It was all going so perfect. I didn’t have to work for this one. I didn’t want to run her away by asking for the payment upfront so I figured I’d just pay for her order upfront and collect it when I delivered.

I calculated the total of her items and it was well over $115! Her order alone would get me in the Hit $100 Challenge. Now I could sit back and relax. This was going to be so awesome! One customer and I’m done for the campaign 🙂

When Saturday arrived, I called her — bright eyed and bushy-tailed. I was so excited. I even smiled so she could hear my excitement through the phone. She didn’t answer. Still feeling pretty enthusiastic, I left her a voicemail. She called back within 30 minutes. Yes! I knew she wouldn’t let me down. She apologized and informed me that she was waiting on her friend to come with the money. She only had $67 and he had the rest. She said he would be there within an hour and she’d call to let me know when he came. Still feeling pretty optimistic, I thanked her for telling me what was going on. We disconnected and I waited on her to give me a call back.

One hour had passed and I thought about calling her but said no, I’m not the pushy type. I looked at the clock and four hours had passed. I thought to myself — “maybe she’s a little tied up or he’s handling some business.” Oh no! I fell asleep. I jumped up and immediately checked my phone. It was already Sunday! She hadn’t called so I gave her a call. No answer so I left a voicemail. I called again on Monday. Still no word back. I waited until the following Monday and called, no word back. I waited one more week and called again. This lady was too excited to have found an Avon rep. There’s no way she’d let me down. She never answered 😦

At this time, I had already received the free samples and was only one $100 order short of getting the bundle. I knew that I couldn’t return the items. If I did, I’d lose out. I worked hard for this. There was no way I was going to lose it.  So I decided to sell the products. I forgot she also ordered a jacket (XL-XXL) and shoes (size 10). I couldn’t find anyone that wanted to buy them! Since I had already paid for them, I decided to donate at a local women’s shelter. The way I figured it was a win-win situation; one deserving lady got brand new shoes and jacket and I got to keep my award sales. From some reason, I still felt as if I had lost 😦

I felt so defeated. I had done everything right. How could this go wrong? With the next order, I had 3 new customers and 1 new business! I had left brochures at their location and they had just lost their Avon lady so they said my timing was just right. The waitress introduced me to her sister, the owner introduced me to his neighbor and one of their patrons decided to order from me! It was so unexpected. Once again, I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy and I really didn’t know what to do. I just knew I wouldn’t mess this up. I told them that I needed the money upfront and even explained what happened to me with the $100+ order. To my surprise, they all understood! One lady even said “well you gotta get paid, don’t you?” She then asked if I had “one of those little Square things.” I didn’t. I knew I was forgetting something. Duh.

It was a great idea so I went to Square’s and PayPal’s websites and had them both ship readers for free. I carried the reader in my wallet so I’d never by jipped again. About a month later, I had a new customer call from brochures left at a beauty supply. She wanted to order for herself and two other coworkers. While on the phone, I explained that I take payment upfront. She said that’s how she’s always done it with her former Avon rep. Yes! I sent her an online invoice and she paid promptly. We arranged for delivery and she’s been purchasing from me from 9 months now!

Of course, you’re wondering about the lady that stood me up: she finally called about three months after she placed her order! She said she lost my number and wanted to know if I still had her order. I told her she’d need to place another order as I no longer had the items and that I needed the money upfront. She didn’t understand why and I informed her that she left me with an unpaid bill. I offered to take debit/credit over the phone. She said she’d call back. I didn’t hear from her until a month after that! And it was the same situation; she didn’t understand why I required payment. After I explained that I still remember she stood me up, she hung up.

It was definitely a learning experience. I was still wet behind the ears as some folks like to say it. Not only did I foot the bill for someone I didn’t even know, but I allowed her to run my business and to some extent, allowed her to break my spirit. Did she know she had done this? Probably not. At this point, it doesn’t even matter.

If she would’ve called in her order to any catalog company or ordered from Walmart.com, she would’ve had to pay upfront. This is no different. This is my business.

I avoided being pushy so I wouldn’t lose a customer and still lost a customer. It’s not considered being pushy. It’s called being a business owner.

The Avon Chronicles: It is A Big Deal

c20closeout
Avon Campaign 20, 2016 Stats

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).c20closeout

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.