I’ve been down a lot lately.
This is not a sympathy bid, because it is frankly embarrassing to me that I can’t seem to shake the urge to mope about some of my circumstances. I should be able to find hope in Him. I spend hours in scripture looking for that verse that will help. I spend time in prayer, though not as much as I should. I know, intellectually, that I should have joy, hope and peace, holding tight to the promises of God. I know that. I do.
I struggle anyway.
More often than not, my inspiration is a little more tangible, a little closer to home.
This is what inspiration looks like to me: Continue reading
With apologies to Ol` Bosephus, I must ask if you are ready for some football?! In honor of my alma mater kicking off the college football season tonight, I thought I would share that oldie, but goodie from early in that other UNC alumnus Andy Griffith’s career “What it Was Was Football” as well as one of his last works on Brad Paisley’s (we love Brad!) “Waitin’ On a Woman”.
We here in Lee County in central North Carolina just got some bad news: the Lee County Economic Development Corp announced that the unemployment rate rose from 11.0 percent in May to 11.2 percent in June while the labor force declined from 26,887 to 26,818. Honestly, these statistics merely confirm the feeling of economic malaise that pervades this area of the state. Even sadder is how many folks are not part of these statistics because they’ve given up looking for work or because they do have a job but it’s not what they want.
I wish these folks could know the joy we’ve come to know in our family the last few years. We’ve been so blessed in our family that Emily found Thirty-One Gifts, which allowed her to build a business, quit her full-time work, stay at home to be a mom to our girls, and even earn us trips to Disney World, Cancun, and Dominican Republic. I just want to stand outside the unemployment office and sign people up!
See Thirty-One’s Income Disclosure Statement here: IncomeDisclosureStatement
Emily and I just got back from the Thirty-One Gifts 2013 National Conference in Atlanta. 16,000 hootin’, hollerin’ consultants and a handfulof husbands. I loved this video they showed of some of the husbands taken during last year’s Leadership Incentive Trip to Cancun.
Emily has learned a lot about sales in a relatively short period of time with Thirty-One. I know she has raved about the tips she has gotten at National Conference every year. She has learned by the examples of other Directors. She has listened to her fantastic coaches. But some things you learn the hard way.
When someone contacts you about buying something, setting up a party or for more information on joining your team, you must respond immediately. Chances are, that person has made inquiries in more than one place. The person who responds with a thoughtful answer first is more likely to convert that sale or sign up a new team member. We learned this the hard way back when Emily still worked full-time in addition to her job as a Senior Director with Thirty-One Gifts. She would not be able to call or email in response until that night or maybe even the next day, by which time the person would have in many cases moved on.
No matter what else is going on (sometimes including sleeping and eating), those initial inquiries about joining Thirty-One or a new customer get answered immediately. So far, this policy is yielding dividends. Note: while it is important to be attentive to current customers and team members, this policy is for new inquiries only. It would be way too stressful to apply this to every single business call or email and have the potential to run you ragged. It’s like ER triage in a way; the existing team members and customers are like stabilized patients and the new contact is fresh off the ambulance. Both require attention, but it’s important to prioritize.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
I must confess that one of the hardest things for me to do is surrender my career to God and trust in Him. In marriage, in parenting, in health… in so many other areas of life it is easier to acknowledge that He is control — and that I am not. There is a temptation to want to surrender to Him those things that we know we can’t control anyway, but reserve to ourselves and our own “wisdom” the things we think we have more control over. The challenge, then, becomes surrendering in areas over which we have the tightest grip.
“But I have such great plans! And I’ve spent so much time and effort preparing!” we tell ourselves. “Surely God wants me to work hard, right?” The answer is yes… according to his will. To use the boat analogy: Are you rowing in the right direction? Is God your captain, or your passenger? Is His Word your map or your life preserver? One successful entrepreneur, Scott Osborne, owner of a faith-based company, SentforHim.com, says you must seek His guidance, and with that guidance comes the confidence that sees you through the times of struggle into the times of blessing.
What if you are between jobs or are underemployed? Still seek His guidance. But be careful not dismiss that “still, small voice” if it’s prompting you to do something difficult. For many folks, the answer to their prayers IS hard work… the hard work of starting their own business or adding a second job. My wife Emily has gone through such a journey and her hard work has blessed our family in a number of ways.
A preschool director who already had a tough and demanding job, she saw an opportunity a few years ago to get a discount on some great products — purses and totes from Thirty-One Gifts — and joined as a consultant to get discounts and maybe get some spending change. By following where God has led her and working that business hard, she has grown her business to the point where she was able to initially go part-time at her main job and pick our girls up after school for more family time, to recently being able to quit her other job and make Thirty-One her full time gig. She’s been more successful than we ever would have imagined and a lot of it has to do with working hard in the direction God was leading her and not trying to rely on her own wisdom. Had we relied on our own “wisdom” and planning, we would never have thought that direct sales — or sales of any kind — was Emily’s path to success. But He knows every hair on our head and he knows what is best for us.
Pray for His guidance. Trust in his prompting and the doors He opens. Do not waste time and energy fretting and moping about the ones He closes. And work hard in the right direction.
If you think the Thirty-One opportunity might be right for you or someone you know, as a business venture, a part-time gig, a supplemental income, something to enable you to work from home, or something to keep you busy if you already stay at home, please contact Emily Page and get more information.
It is great being married to a Proverbs 31 wife. It is great being married to a Thirty-One Gifts Senior Director, too. She has blessed our family and our marriage with what she does. That said, I know that there are men out there concerned about what having a Thirty-One wife means for their marriage. The short answer is: It will be an enormous blessing, if you let it.
My wife Emily and I never dated.
Admittedly, she disagrees with me slightly on this, because we hung out A LOT. But we didn’t go on anything we called a date at the time. And since this is MY version of our story, I’m saying we never dated and you can’t just change history retrospectively!!… Where was I? Oh, yes. We were best friends. Still are. But she can’t argue with this one: our first kiss was AFTER we had agreed to get married and spend the rest of our lives together. Crazy, right?!
Believe it or not, we knew exactly what we were doing. Truth be told, I have never felt more confident or right about any other decision in my whole life. But let me back up a bit. Continue reading
My wife Emily is a Thirty-One Gifts Senior Director. There are so many great things about that, including the income it generates for our family, the incentives and trips she has earned for us, and her increased pride and purpose from her work.
But my readers should know how much I love being married to Emily.
She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the product of her hands, And let her works praise her in the gates. ~ Proverbs 31:26-31
She is funny. She is smart. She is caring. She gets me. She needs me (no small thing for a husband). She is my best friend. My wife’s business has prospered at the same time she is honoring God as a mother and wife — perhaps because of it.
With Thirty-One, she is able to pick our girls up from school in the afternoons. She meets new friends as customers and colleagues. She is diligent and shows our daughters the value of hard work. She earns trips to take her husband to Cancun and her family to Disney World. And she does it all with silent and invisible pain of fibromyalgia. I couldn’t be more proud of my lovely and talented wife. I hope I can do my part to help her continue her success as a Thirty-One Director and a Proverbs 31 wife.
If you are a husband whose wife is considering becoming a Thirty-One Gifts consultant as a way to bring additional income to the home, as a flexible career, as a second job, as a way to work from home, or as a way to own her own business, I hope you prayerfully encourage your wife to do so. It is a great company and can bless your family and your marriage. Join up with Emily and let her show you how.
If you have questions about Thirty-One, please explore Emily’s blog or post a question here.