Though I have friends, family and fans lined up at their local TJMaxx and Sally Beauty store to buy our newest and freshest collection our Plant Inspired Beauty Care, most don’t know the failures I’ve overcome to get products out the door and in the hands of these major retailers. I get to boast that our all natural beauty line is in 7000 retail stores now, but when we got started and opened our own factory just to keep products on shelves I bet most people wouldn’t believe the failures I went through to get there. I’ll never forget being 34 weeks or so pregnant when the contract manufacturer that I used to make my newest All Natural line of sugar scrubs finally answered my ignored phone calls and emails. They answered to say, I know we made this deal for my then 3,000 retailers over a year ago, but they were going out of business and my rep was losing his job that same day I was being made aware of the order cancellation. Already pregnant, hot, bothered and ready to deliver my own baby. I dragged my sweaty self to drive an hour to their actual factory to do my very best to convince them that our brand would suffer its very lively hood with major stores like Ross, TJMaxx, and Burlington. I was so sad to learn that no matter how hard I tried, they wouldn’t budge. They wouldn’t even try as one of their last runs to add or being making my line. I had 4 weeks to intended delivery and I had a choice to make. I could be another statistic and close my women-owned business doors just as fast as they opened or I could pull up my skirt just high enough to free my legs to run the uphill battle I was about to face. I decided, with a 35-week old baby bump and all to call my retailers and barter a deal – I would open my own factory – baby in tow – with just 2 employees and they’d give me 4 more weeks to complete my order delivery. I remember how heartily they laughed at me, advising me not to do the unthinkable. Looking back, maybe I should have listened. Maybe I would not have later wanted to take my own life, be found crouched in corners on several occasions balling my mascaraed eyes out. I would not have tripped in and out of my big wheeled SUV trying to move too fast to drop off kids and meet another warehouse facility manager to find a new space – only if I would have just taken the easier route and given up. I did everything but give up. I pushed right along, finding a warehouse, finding suppliers of sugar, salt, glycerin, and fragrance. I couldn’t believe it. I was about to be a mom of 3, under 40 and opening my very own 40 man, 2 shift factory just 5 miles from my home only to appease the pride of not wanting to fail and close my all natural skin care business. It worked. I delivered my baby and I delivered my order. I found staff from my church and I found suppliers and a warehouse that was willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and go out on a limb with me. I did it! I opened a factory. Almost 3 years later we are now in 7,000 stores with 2 additional lines and nearly 20 new styles and fragrances! We’ve since closed our factory (after I dropped barrels of glycerin and tons of salt on my poor toes) but we still have the story to tell of inspiration and simply not giving up! I made several mistakes along the way but the very first one that mattered the most was nearly giving up. I had it all figured out and the minute I couldn’t see my way through the desperate end I wanted to give up. After hearing the news that our manufacturing contract was voided we cried together and decided that maybe we had it all wrong and we weren’t bound for success after all. We were in a state of depression and disbelief. We were in a pit but we had to get out. We took 4 steps to get out the pit:
Stepping back together to meditate on the issue itself. We decided the magnitude from a step back actually isn’t as big as they appear in the mirror. We stepped back and could really analyze who we could call for help.
Call for help
We called our spiritual counselor and mentor – friend. He told us to believe in ourselves and get the job done on our own. He believed for us when we had no energy to believe.
Believe in yourself + Make A Plan
Once we dried our tears we could actually see a way out of the despair. We plotted and planned 3 ways we could get out of our rut. We tested all three options and the one that made the most sense was the one that we stuck with and made a move on.
JFDI – Just Focus & Do It
We are firm believers as entrepreneurs that you can’t just speak about it, you have to be about it. Once we had our plan we didn’t allow financial resources or lack thereof to stand in our way. We believed that people were out there just waiting to help us. We just needed to get in contact with the right people that were there to help us make it happen.
Can you hear me now??
Knowing that : 83% of American adults own some kind of cell phone it's obvious that cell phones can certainly help us to stay in connection and communication. But can too much cell phone digital relations be harmful to our interpersonal relationships? According to Andrew K. Przybylski and Netta Weinstein of the University of Essex, even just having a phone nearby and not checking it can cause tension in interpersonal relationships. From their studies, they found that a cell phone nearby two people casually talking can make a topic less meaningful than it normally would be without the phone nearby. I'd imagine that because 42% of cell owners use their phones for entertainment from boredom - it can be assumed that maybe conversations aren't as deep when a phone nearby because you basically have another more interesting and distracting entity silently sitting in on the conversation the whole time - unbeknownst to the human engaged parties. The research team discovered that with a phone out of reach, sight and mind that more meaningful conversations were had and better received among each other. I'm thinking that the next time I want to have a real conversation with my team or my employee one on one I'm going to ask that they not bring a phone into the vicinity. This may help us retain our closeness and meaningfulness in our communication. I certainly am considering that when my hubby and business partner and I talk about business, family, or each other maybe we find a cell phone free location to do this in so that we can literally see each other eye-to-eye.
HOW TO TAKE A BREAK?
Set Hours of Cell Phone Usage and Stick To Them
So many people schedule out "Gym Time" "Play Time" "Date Nights" "Work Time." Learning the need to remove cell phone addiction from our diet means we have to be intentional about the time we spend on it and near it. Decide that you will use your phone for a certain set of "awake" hours during your day and choose to not just quiet your phone for the other hours but actually hide your phone for the other hours. I practice this in my home and it works out great. During dinner time, I want quality, undisturbed relationship building with my three kids so we put our phones in another room. We purposely turn the ringer off and we don't answer text messages or emails until we are done. It can be taken as rude to other people that can't reach us at that time but it is the time we designated for family and we decided that we wanted to be intentional about setting those hours. We do the same thing for family time and bedtime. We move the phone out of the room and on silent so that we are not at all disturbed - and even more importantly so we are not tempted!
Decide what works best for you but its obvious that we need to and have to be intentional about taking good care of ourselves. Whatever you decide, I hope you do what works best for you and for your family so you can live a happier and healthier life!
UI Global Brands Founder
Lifestyle and Business Coach
# 1 COLD SHOWER! AND USE WITH URBAN HYDRATION
You got it! Shameless plug here! But seriously a cold shower can help you have a better interview because it helps you relieve stress, increase alertness, and relieve depression! Learn More I use Urban Hydration Natural Skin Care . I feel like the natural loud fragrance of Lemon or Eucalyptus really wakes my spirit up and helps me tune in better for the day. I've owned my business for so long that I haven't done an interview in quite some time, but I just recently did 5 back to back interviews on the radio about taking vacations and how important it is in your life. I was restless all last night. Afraid to wake up late, afraid to mess up my lines or my train of thought. The shower I took was simply amazing. It helped me really calm all the way down and as I like to say "Bring It In."
#2 EAT FRUIT - PREFERABLY BANANAS
I'm honestly not a big banana eater and I try to only eat my super fun sweet carbs in the morning. Backing up all the way to the days of violin recitals, I remember my teacher telling me to eat a banana before I play. I didn't know why it was so important but I've studied to only find out that bananas are beta blockers. They help relieve anxiety and stress. I'm so clever now that I make sure that every morning, in my morning smoothie, I add a frozen banana. This fruit helped me today in prep for my interviews. I can totally tell that the earlier interviews went less smooth than the later ones after my smoothie - pardon the pun! Learn More
#3 LAUGH HA HA HA HA
Why did the chicken cross the road? Oh, to relive stress for that big interview of course! I know it sounds kind of weird, but one of the best stress relievers is laughing. So even if it isn't fun being stressed out, maybe you cut yourself shaving or you tripped getting out of the bed too fast, laugh at it! Take a moment and make fun. If getting to the interview wasn't absolutely flawless, no problem. Think of something funny and laugh about it before you walk in. The endorphins that you will release will tell your brain and your blood flow that you are happy to do what you are doing and the person or people receiving you will see it all over you. When you shine we know! Learn More
Most of all take time and enjoy what you are doing and relax. You will still live to see another day and that is the fun in it all. Remember looking at the glass half full is the best way to live life! Oh, and Good luck!
Business and Life Coach!
Founder UI Global Brands
#1 BE INTENTIONAL
Get your awesome self out there and let people know that you are awesome. That means checking your local paper, local college and your local business SBA office to find out what is going on in the world of money. There are so many grants, business plan competitions and angel investors that want to diversify their assets they just haven't met you yet! I remember going to events with thongs and bras in my bag, ready to whip them out no matter who I bumped into. I'd hope that someone would ask me about my company and I'd take that and run with it. I had to remove "shyness" from my vocabulary and think about my future self and the future of my business opportunity and go for it! So maybe your not pulling out thongs and bras and body scrubs at lunch meetings but whatever it is, get out there. Learn about events and organizations that can connect you to people who care and want to hear about your next big idea! Learn More
#2 HAVE A PLAN
I've entered God knows how many business plans and they are not all the best, but I learned a long time ago that business plan competitions can be helpful in many ways. Firstly, they make you prepare. Business plan competitions usually state what they want and what they are looking for and that is good because it forces you to put it all down in a professional manner. I used my plans from pitch competitions and business plan competitions to actually have right and ready to bust out at any real angel meeting pitches. I love that I can just jog over to my Dropbox folder and look up my last competition plan and get it all sorted just for them with out a lot of extra work. Whether you are using a business plan competition plan or if you use a back of a napkin, you need a plan. People want to hear that you've thought this thing through. Think of it like your cousin wants money from you ___ and yep, the reason they want money is blank. That's not good and I probably wouldn't give them any money. They don't know why they want it and where they'd use it and what they are going to do with it and how it can help them come back to you with interest. Then it's probably not a good idea to "invest" in your cousin's lack luster idea. Be ready. Have a plan. Learn More
#3 KNOW WHO YOU ARE
I always say its important to know who you are so that if a person says, well I'm interested in working with you but can you change your idea and can you make your idea do this and that, you can say NOPE that's not who I am and that's not what I do. Make sure you know what business you are in and what problem you are filling so that when other things look or get interesting you know how to say, no thank you. I stayed in a business venture WAY too long because it was sexy and interesting and gave me a lot of press. It wasn't good for me and it wasn't good for my family. I had to take a good look in the mirror and remember who and what I am and why I like being in business and walk quietly away from that other venture. It can be so hard to say goodbye once you've gotten involved so take it from one that has lost literally hundreds of thousands of dollars - don't even walk into what you are made or cut out for. Don't let the glitz and glam get you over excited and you completely miss the mark that can make you millions. FOCUS! Learn More I like this article that talks about knowing why you are in business. Take a quick read.
#4 BE HONORABLE
When I work with my biggest accounts and my investors, I always make sure that they know that I am honorable and I will pay on time and I will pay back and I will make money money money. I hold my end of the bargain every time and when I don't, I honorably call them or schedule a meeting to explain why I'm falling short. We have a HUGE honor culture in my office. I expect my employees to be honorable and honest and I expect my trade partners to be honorable. It's really my most important rule. I noticed that when I'm honorable to my investors they are more willing to help me in a crunch and help me fulfill my desires. I've built up a relationship action cycle where our relationship is good and based on honor so when I need them to take action the kindly feel comfortable to do it. And my honor with them is increasingly growing so that even if maybe my idea is not the best one for us to get into, I share my true feelings and we work together towards a goal.
#5 BE RELATIONAL
At the end of the day, I think people forget their investors should be their friends. If you don't feel like you can pick up the phone and call your investor with a question, an idea or a problem then rethink that relationship. I like to think I'm in relationship with my investor for a reason and it's not just for their funds in my business. I look at it like this, they are rich in money and wealth for a reason and I want to know more than just how I can fund my business but even how when my business makes me rich like them, how to act like a millionaire and also how to re-invest like a millionaire. See if your investor will allow you to meet with them on a regular cadence. Can you all golf together? Can you shop together? See how you can get some personal time so that you make the most of your relationship. They can get to know and learn you and you can get to know and learn them beyond their check writing skills!
I hope this is helpful if you have an investor or are looking for an investor. I've approached my one year anniversary with mine and I can't be more than happy. I tried Shark Tank and a ton of other opportunities, but it's like a good date, you know when you know and then you just GO! Good luck!
CEO UI Global Brands
Lifestyle and Business Coach
#1 Reason: MAKE MORE MONEY
That's right! Taking time off and taking a break could lead to you making more money. A study from Project Time Off found that, in their survey of Americans who did and didn't use their vacation days ( which by the way over half of Americans don't use their PTO), people who don't take a break are 80% less likely to get a raise than someone that vacations.
#2 Reason: BECOME INDISPENSABLE AT WORK
So, what I'm telling you sounds crazy. If you leave work you'll be most wanted and needed at work! Here is why - sorta like that your girlfriend or boyfriend doesn't miss a good thing until it's gone - more focusing on your come back than your leaving - your team gets to see an even better, even more inspired, even more creative you when you return. This thought is super opposite of most people's thinking which is "hey, I can't leave because 'they need me' or 'work may build up on me." Again, they will miss you, but they will love the you that comes back way more than the burnt out "diminished returns" you that they would have held on to agonizing over paperwork and offering half thought out decisions because, let's face it, only half of you is left anyway - the other half of you was smart enough to check out!
#3 Reason: YOUR SELF WORTH JUMPS UP THROUGH THE ROOF
People that take breaks are people that have learned how to delegate, they are people that learned how to say "NO" with confidence so that they aren't the ones getting work piled up on them so that they can't feel like they can part. People who take breaks aren't amongst 55% of Americans that forfeit their Paid Time Off. These are people that understand that when you take time off you get better sleep, you're more creative, and you see ideas and plans more clearly. So these workers feel better about themselves. They don't derive their self worth from always being in the office. They derive their self worth from other more internal places.
Here are some tips to taking time off if you are amongst the 55% of Americans that are not taking vacations:
1) START SMALL- by joining my baby steps vacation pattern. We like to say "crawl, walk, run." In starting small in vacation I say PLAN to leave an hour early this Friday. I got you! For you planners I ask for your time to be plotted out first. And for you friends that believe that we are vacationing - you are wrong, we are simply leaving one hour early.
2) BE INTENTIONAL - by taking a lunch or an extra half hour at lunch and when you are off at lunch or on that extra early hour off on Friday's - don't check your email or your computer. Don't even think about work. Allow work to be there when you come back. If you check out completely you have a better success rate at enjoying yourself, growing your self efficacy and your self worth.
3) PLAN to PLAY - The workers that do this successfully actually look at their calendars as soon as they can and plot out a week or two that is their "vacation." (Do not touch, I will be out, you all better figure it out without me time.) They also pad in an extra day to use to get their mind back in work mode. You don't have to have that nifty location already plotted but you do get to plan in your mind that you will be out. This makes you work harder prior to the time off and also accept that the time off is real and must be planned for. My family recently ran into this. We are bosses and we think that the buck stops and starts with leadership in the organization.
If you lead with time off and personal time as an important growth tool then your employees will believe it. We planned out a Memorial Day weekend break months in advance for us and our three kids. Two days before the trip I was excited to know that I get time off to replenish and relax but I was a bit nervous because I had completely forgot to plan something. This meant budgeting, financing, shopping - all of that hadn't happened for our trip. So we decided to create a "staycation" atmosphere. This involved us packing up our tent and are canteens and hitting the woods. The biggest reason it felt like we had driven 10 hours away was because when we got out of our car to set up our tent, we kept our phones and problems at the office tucked away inside with the leather seats and air conditioning. We had a blast and our kids will forever remember the camping trip memory that we created. I'm better for it, my husband is better for it and I know our office is better by us being better.
Well, good luck making more money, being the one they need most, and feeling better about yourself all because you took a real break away from your busy work life. I promise you will have a happier and healthier life for it!
Follow me on Instagram and Facebook @psycheterry for more lifestyle hacks and tips for living the best life possible.