From Chicago to the Bahamas!

You know what’s good about going to the Bahamas? Earning an all-inclusive trip to the Bahamas! Check out the pictures from my trip!

Hopefully, you had time to review the video above. Avon aired the video of me on June 5, 2017 and it was such an honor to be featured! Last week, my dad called and asked if I could believe all of this was happening. He said “I bet you didn’t think you’d be doing all of this with Avon.” As you know, I served on an advisory board to help develop a technology for Avon sales leaders, traveled to New York, currently serving on advisory board for another special project and now, the Bahamas! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a dreamer. I have high goals and the determination of a lion stalking its prey — but in truth, no, I was NOT expecting any of this and couldn’t have imagined it in my wildest dreams.

You have to understand something about me. I am what they used to call “Chicago’s Inner City Youth.” They probably don’t call me that anymore because I’m not a teenager but in short, this means that I’m from the ‘hood. I didn’t grow up in the suburbs. I am a product of Chicago Public Schools, both grammar and high school. My schools weren’t #1 in the state, city or even neighborhood for that matter. I grew up on 79th street. I say all of that to say this, my upbringing wasn’t the most affluent. My parents made sure I had the necessities and even a few luxuries but when I graduated, I didn’t have a BMW waiting in the driveway for me. I got my first job at 16 and have been working ever since.

In my household, we were taught to go to school, get a good education and then, get a good job. I can’t fault them. It was all they knew. Back in their days, that would be enough to provide for one’s family; however, in 2017, not so much. There are people working 2-3 jobs just to remain afloat. I just couldn’t see that as my calling — working…at least not for someone else. When I was a teen, I tried to start my own business with affiliate marketing. I didn’t get far but then again, I was using an old Brother notebook that didn’t even have a color display (showing my age) and didn’t know much about the internet or marketing.

You see — this is why this trip is so important to me. For the first time, I am doing what I feel is my calling —- living life to the fullest. Not asking anyone for permission. Not sacrificing my personal health for a job. Not dreading waking up every morning at 5 a.m.

So how exactly did I end up in the Bahamas? Thanks to Avon’s Vacation Like a Boss incentive. One of the beauties about joining Avon is having an Avon mentor. Mentors help new representatives launch their business. Avon mentors are rewarded if the new team member becomes successful. Mentors receive nothing if the person isn’t successful. Contrary to popular belief, mentors do not receive a dime just for bringing people into the business. During the incentive period, I helped 19 new representatives successfully launch their business and their first orders were each over $150.

I uploaded the pictures below from my trip. The Bahamas was absolutely amazing! The food was delicious! I loved everything I had! The views were beautiful. The sharks were unique 🙂 I got to meet other Avon sales mentors. We laughed, danced, partied and learned about some upcoming, exciting new changes with Avon! Top secret so I can’t spill the beans just yet 🙂

Now, let me tell you why I love this company so much! I arrived in Newark, NJ airport and received an e-mail from the airline that my flight had been cancelled due to the weather. I went to the customer service terminal and as they were informing me that they couldn’t accommodate me due to weather cancellations, I was receiving a call from Avon with hotel accommodations! Now tell me that isn’t amazing! A company that truly cares about its representatives! They could’ve let me spend an awful night in the airport, but they didn’t! It was my first time in New Jersey so I decided to try some lasagna. Absolutely delicious!

If you’re interested, click here for me to be your mentor.

To purchase Avon products online, click here to be directed to the online store.

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Trying out the mark. Liquid Lipstick in Cozy

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Experimenting with the new mark. liquid lipsticks (Not Released Yet)
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New Jersey Hotel
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New Jersey Lasagna

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New Jersey Hotel Room

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Slots!
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Julie taught her the slots 🙂
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Avon Recognition

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My friend and I on a walk around the resort
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Pool time!

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Made it to the Beach

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The pork chop was amazing!
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Daiquiri!

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JeanPierre and Rebecca
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It was VERY hot!

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Bathroom Selfie!

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Las Vegas: Making Money Never Felt So Good

While most people were in Vegas losing money, I was in Vegas MAKING money. Does your job allow you to take a vacation whenever you want? Wanna know how you can do the same? Got a cell phone/tablet? What’s stopping you?

I’m officially back home in Chicago and OMG!!! What was I thinking?!?!? It’s going to be an average of 85 degrees all week in Las Vegas and here I am — 50 degrees! I can’t believe I left such beautiful weather. Smh…what was I thinking? As you can imagine, I had a wonderful time in Vegas and made sure to try to take as many G-rated pictures as possible lol. If you want to see, check them out below!

Though I’m physically tired from travelling, partying and time zone changes, I’m emotionally and even spiritually charged! I woke up yesterday with a big smile on my face. I am so blessed!

You see while most people were probably in Vegas losing money, I was actually in Vegas making money. No, not by gambling BUT I did win $1.10 lol I’m not the most traditional Avon rep. I’ll tell you that right now. Yes, I do have customers that I visit in-person but not frequently. I service mainly businesses and for my face-to-face customers, I don’t do anything extraordinary — sorry, I find a way to work my business into my regular life. Majority of my business is ran from these two babies here:

I take my cell phone and tablet just about anywhere I go so I can work everywhere I go! Don’t let that whole “work from home” title fool you. Your office is wherever YOU want it to be. Do you have your e-mail account linked to your phone? E-mail these days are just like text messages. So if you don’t, I don’t know why not. All it takes is a couple of minutes to reply and BOOM, you’re done!

While in Vegas, we walked the Strip, went down to Fremont St, watched a magic show, danced with the Jabbawockeez, visited the Mob Museum, rode the On and Off Bus tour, played along with the Virtual Reality tour, visited a few clubs and of course — dinner and drinks (lots of ’em)! No wonder, I was able to take over 200 pictures and even videos! BUT even with all of that, I still gained 6 new team members and received online customer orders!

This is how I MADE money! Yes! I was still enjoying myself. Actually, I was enjoying myself MORE when I realized I was making money.

Realistically speaking, I probably work my business one hour each day and if I’m feeling very risque or took a break the previous day, I may work up to 3 hours! For those of you just thinking that I sit in front of my tablet all day —- noooooo, sorry :/ I don’t but I always make myself available to my team. With technology, it’s so easy. I’m only a call, text, e-mail, Zoom meeting or even Facebook message away 🙂 When you have all of this technology, what is really your excuse? How much did or are you paying for your cell phone? Is it making money for you?

It doesn’t seem like much but every small action leads up to a big reaction. One hour a day adds up. Consistency is key.

I am so thankful for my business. Just recapping, I was able to visit Jamaica, Alabama and New York (August) last year. My business was still in the “baby” stage and was growing. I never missed a beat with my business. Because of this, look at what’s in store this year:

 

  • March – trip to New York
  • April – trip to Las Vegas
  • June – trip to the Bahamas
  • August – trips to Nashville and New Orleans (separate trips)
Now I have to schedule another trip before the year is out 🙂 Hmmm…where should I go? Miami? Los Angeles? Puerto Rico? We’ll see 🙂
Las Vegas pictures:
(Disclaimer: excuse the hair. A little experiment gone wrong lol)
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Dinner at the Rooftop
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Dinner at the Rooftop

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What’s life without a good photo collage of yourself?
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Back Home from New York!

Everything has been moving so fast, I didn’t even get the chance to say that I was going to New York (again)! Back in January, I was asked to serve on the 2017 Digital and Social Media Advisory Council. First, I’ve never served in any advisory board so this was just insane to me! I was so excited but then again, I didn’t want to jinx myself lol. Other than my one post I made when I first learned of the role, I haven’t said too much about it.

The life of a beauty boss

Everything has been moving so fast, I didn’t even get the chance to say that I was going to New York (again)! Back in January, I was asked to serve on the 2017 Digital and Social Media Advisory Council. First, I’ve never served in any advisory board so this was just insane to me! I was so excited but then again, I didn’t want to jinx myself lol. Other than my one post I made when I first learned of the role, I haven’t said too much about it. Now that I’m back home from New York, let me explain a bit.

Avon corporate employees and those that oversee the Digital and Social Media Advisory Council invited us to New York for a meet and greet. Of course, everything discussed is confidential so I can’t go into the specifics 😦 — but just be prepared to see some great things coming from New Avon, LLC. I don’t want to sound cheesy and scripted but it is truly an honor to be able to say that my company values our input and is striving to make our experience better.

What happened in NY:

I left for New York on Wednesday. The company had a black car pick me up from LaGuardia airport. He then took me to the DoubleTree Hotel which is literally, right around the corner from corporate headquarters. On the ride there, I was deep in thought. My husband used to travel frequently due to his job. Of course, I never said anything because I didn’t want to discourage him but I always thought to myself: “he must be important”, “this company must be really big” and then at one point, I questioned my own job and level of importance and ability to get to that level. I thought travelling would be out of the question and I’d never have a career that would allow me to see the world. As I rode in the car, I hit the moment of realization. I’ve been on two company-sponsored trips in less than 8 months AND I’m pushing for the trip to the Bahamas. Don’t be blinded by this little ol’ makeup company is all I can say.

I approached the hotel and a nice gentleman met me at the car to open the door. I felt like royalty. I was one of the first to arrive and my room wasn’t ready so I sat at the bar and worked for a little while. This was actually pretty cool. I had four new team members join the team while I was on the plane so this gave me the opportunity to send welcome e-mails.

Once I finished my e-mails, I looked down at my nails and I couldn’t believe I let them go that long! Like seriously — ugh!!! The last time I had my nails done was before Valentine’s Day…smh…I’m so embarrassed. Just reading that makes my soul cringe. Then I realized it was the perfect opportunity. The rest of the team hadn’t arrived yet. I went to Facebook for nail salon recommendations but everyone suggested a place that wasn’t in Uptown. First, I don’t even know what Uptown is but I digress. I guess I was dressed normal because I fit right in. Whenever I asked for directions, they all talked to me with precise directions with exact street names and no turning directions. They’d say something like “oh yea, it’s over on 8th Avenue” or “go to 15th”. I realized I’d never find the nail salon so I opted for a taxi lol

I went to Fresh Nails on 15th but they couldn’t do my nails because I have a protective gel coat on top so one of their patrons suggested a salon on 14th. Once again, completely lost but thank goodness for Google Maps. It was a couple of minutes walking distance so I decided to get in the well-needed exercise. I actually walked right by the nail salon. There’s a pizzeria on the side of it that smelled like heaven! It made me think of my first and only slice of New York style pizza and I got lost in the aroma BUT I didn’t cave in to temptation. Not this time.

I headed upstairs and was greeted by a lady named May. I’m not sure if it was her salon or pure coincidence. She looked at my nails and was surprised to say the least. She was very nice and conversational, explaining that many New York shops do not add anything to the nail because it’s too time consuming. She said New Yorkers like to get in and get out, leaving if the wait is longer than 5 minutes. And I thought Chicagoans were impatient lol Of course, she couldn’t let this Chicago girl off the leash without saying our nail salons and how they do nails are weird lol

My first experience with a New York salon was pretty good. I headed back down to the street and decided that I’d just walk back to the hotel UNTIL I put in the address to DoubleTree and realized it was 2.5 miles away! I called another taxi lol I would’ve walked but the team had finally arrived and I didn’t want to keep them waiting (or at least that’s the story I’ll be telling from here on out). I got to meet some of Avon’s more seasoned representatives and some that I had met from my last trip to New York.

Once again, I was the baby. Each person had been with Avon for over 6 years! I couldn’t believe I got to sit at the table, let alone work with these beautiful, talented women. At 6 o’clock, Avon took us to dinner at the Aperitivo which is right across the street from Avon’s headquarters. The food was delicious and the dinner conversations were amazing. We then headed back to our hotel but we couldn’t pass up the lighting on the building (pictures below).

It was only about 9 p.m. when we made it back to the hotel so we decided to hang out downstairs and chat. We didn’t get to bed until after 1 a.m. and had to be up at 6 a.m. I was so excited that I didn’t think about the meeting — you know, the reason why we were there in the first place lol The meeting ran from about 8:30-3:30, don’t worry, they didn’t starve us. Unfortunately, the end of the meeting meant we all had to go back home 😦 Once again, we had cars pick us up to drop us off at the airport.

My flight back to Chicago was delayed by nearly 3 hours *sigh* so I was stuck at the airport. I was finally able to connect to WiFi and realized two more people joined my team! At least this gave me something to do while at the airport 🙂 One of my team members learned of the delay and offered to keep me telephone company 🙂

Pictures:  I didn’t really get to take awesome pictures like last time but then again, that’s because I was too busy having fun lol. Of course, the others took plenty of pictures but I was just too excited for all of that lol I’ll get better pictures next time *wink*

Here are a few pictures:

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New York nail trip, nails done at May’s Nail Salon
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Just arrived and headed to my hotel
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Julie
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At the DoubleTree Hotel sending welcome emails

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Lunch time!

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Nightcap!
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At LaGuardia sending welcome e-mails

The Avon Chronicles: Perfection is a Myth

As Avon representatives, we often unknowingly set ourselves up for failure by believing everything is going to be perfect. Then if it doesn’t appear perfect, we deem it as failure and quit. Let me be the first to tell you: there is no such thing as perfection. There’s not a one-size-fits-all model and no 100% guarantee that everything you do will work. As an Avon representative, you will experience many learning curves. There are going to be ups and downs. The key to being able to bounce back from the down is being able to think independently, creatively and quickly. Most importantly, understand: perfection is a myth.

 

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

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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.