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?

Avon Promotional Items for Shy Representatives

Not long ago, I posted a blog including passive aggressive tips for shy Avon representatives. In the list, I suggested getting a tote. I felt it was only right to show some of the promotional items and list a few ideas so that representatives looking to grow their business could have an idea of simple and easy ways to promote themselves.

True story: while waiting on Chicago’s train system, aka “el”, I noticed a lady staring at me. She never said a word but looked at my tote. I continued to watch her. She then pulled out her phone and began typing and looking at my bag. That day I ended up with an online order! I guess some people just prefer to shop online 🙂

Blog for shy representatives:

Tips for Shy Avon Representatives

If the thought of knocking on someone’s door or walking up to a random stranger for Avon scares the lights out of you, don’t worry! You’re not alone. The common misconception is that you have to be an outgoing, life-of-the-party, can-talk-to-the-wall type of person in order to be successful with Avon. It’s far from the truth! There is no right or wrong way to sell Avon unless you simply don’t sell Avon — but then, that’s just wrong.

How you market yourself depends on you. Do whatever you’re comfortable doing and if it makes you too uncomfortable, don’t do it. Every once in a while, you will have to step outside of your comfort zone in order to grow but remember to take baby steps until you’re ready. There is no deadline set that says you have to have a certain task accomplished by a certain date. This is your business. Grow it at your own pace. As you gain more experience and knowledge, your confidence will grow and eventually, you’ll have no problem approaching strangers about your Avon business.

Grow at your own pace and not just for your personal well-being but for the growth of your business as well. Many people can sense fear, self-doubt and any negative emotion. This can either play into your benefit of someone helping you because they feel sorry for you but often, you’ll run into people that are not eager to buy because they believe you lack confidence in your business, products and/or self. Many newer representatives are shy or timid when it comes to sharing the Avon opportunity or products due to fear of rejection or fear of not seeming knowledgeable.

So what can you do?

If you fear coming across as ill-prepared, there is Avon University which teaches how to grow your Avon business, grow sales, repeat customers, product knowledge and much more. Not only will you have an online university at your finger tips but you will also have the guidance and support of your District Sales Manager, your upline if you’re assigned and the help of Avon Customer Care and Product Hotline.

This leads us to the biggest fear: rejection. Fearing rejection makes anyone lose confidence at times. Let’s talk about how to boost that confidence so rejection can roll off your back like a drop of sweat. An instant confidence boost is people approaching you versus the other way around.

Try a form of passive-aggressive marketing in the form of self-promotion. You can do this by wearing Avon clothing and accessories from the Avon brochures. If someone compliments your perfume, makeup or outfit, tell them that it’s Avon then offer a brochure. Also, wear an Avon pin/button, name badge, pens, bag with the Avon logo, hat, t-shirt, etc. Items as such may be found or created online using Town & Country, VistaPrint, etc.

Get business cards and/or flyers. Leave a business card with your tip or whenever you pay a bill. This also counts when you mail in the bill — someone has to open it. Hang a brochure/flyer/business card on local bulletin boards.

If you have a car, try a window decal, sticker, magnets, suction cup hooks, or even window chalk. Put your name, AVON and contact information. Your car is now a moving advertisement. When sitting in the parking lot, people will notice and either approach for brochure or take one if you have the hook.

Have a house? Try a lawn sign or poster in the window.

Have inventory? Try a local flea/farmer’s market. People will approach your table or think about having an open house.

Have to deliver to existing customer? Make sure you deliver in an Avon bag so everyone else that may see it knows that you are the local Avon representative.

Already have customers? Ask for a referral. Tell customers that they can pass the brochure out to friends and family. Give great service and they’ll be eager to refer friends/family. – this website offers lead boxes to leave at businesses and have customers/recruits place their contact information in the box for you to contact.

Have tons of brochures? Try tossing. Tossing is the act of throwing Avon brochures (100+) in neighborhoods (also called canvassing). Brochures are usually older and the return rate is about 1%. Toss brochures in driveway/porch. Try to cover books in event of rain or snow using a zip lock or Avon Clear Literature Bag.

Many businesses have an area to leave literature. Ask if you can do the same and leave a few Avon brochures or business cards.

Social media

Of course with social media, you don’t have to worry about anyone slamming the door in your face. They’ll simply ignore 🙂 If you’re on Facebook or LinkedIn, be sure to include Avon in your job title. Your friends/followers/connections will receive notification of your new title and will either congratulate, comment or “like.” Create a Facebook business page and invite all of your Facebook friends to “like” it. This will allow you to keep only those interested updated on new Avon news. Even look into having an online party.

E-mail all of your contacts to let them know about your new Avon business.

Be creative! Have fun! Remember, if someone approaches you and you share a brochure, always get the contact information to follow up. Inform the potential customer/recruit that you’ll simply follow up to see if they need anything or to remind them that your order goes in.

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