Nothing to Say, But Can't Shut Up - haha! That's what I thought I should call my blog! What I write here might not mean a thing to you and I'm pretty o.k. with that. However, I have an active mind and like to sort things out out loud, so to speak. I also like to have deep conversations so feel free to jump in and comment. I'm glad you showed up and took the time to read. Welcome!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Get Your Business to Pay Off!

For 7 years I've owned my own home-based business. It's not the only time in my life I've done this - through the years I've become a this or that type of consultant largely because I wanted to buy a lot of that company's product and I found that I could do so for less money if I became a consultant. It was a practical decision based on the fact that I'm a bargain hunter at heart. It wasn't a business - it was a discount opportunity.

I think many of you are the same way and like me, think that earning a little extra $ on the side isn't such a bad thing. However, many times we become disillusioned about our business and wonder why we don't make a lot of money - or we think that the big success is only for others. I have some thoughts on this and just feel like sharing...

This past year I took a different tack with my business from the years before and in so doing have learned a few things:

  1. You must treat your business like a business not a hobby. Hobby effort = hobby pay. To develop an actual business, you must be focused and intentional about it. You (I) need to go out and find customers, provide good customer service, have product at the ready and make phone calls. That's how businesses run and home businesses are no different.
  2. You have to prepare yourself to hear the no's. No's pave the way to yeses! Everyone will not want what you have but that's not personal. Just know this. Business is mathematical and a certain amount of no's have to happen before the payoff of a yes comes your way.
  3. You have to brush up on your skills. Be knowledgeable about your product. You need to stay informed by reading company and team emails and publications. Stay sharp!
  4. You have to be willing to be inconvenienced. I find that many of us just want what comes easy. That's fine, but you have to know you will have the type of results that come from little effort. To advance and grow, you have to put yourself out, rearrange some things, be flexible. You know the saying "If you keep doing what you're doing, you're gonna get what you've got." Sometimes you'll miss a dinner at home. You might have to give up some entertainment or down time. To change things, you have to CHANGE THINGS. 
  5. Ask God to bless your work, not your laziness or inactivity. Too often we say "I'm just going to trust God with this" when what we mean is "I'm not going to try. If something falls in my lap I'll do it." People with this mentality often will not even let others know they run a business. What restaurant or shop would keep their doors locked, with no sign and then say "It must not be God's will" when they don't have sales? That's not trusting God, that's refusing to work.  I believe we must put in the effort and trust God with the results.
  6. Operate out of integrity always. Plain and simple. Be honest and trustworthy. A shortcut now might help you in the immediate time frame, but will do more harm down the road.
One year ago, I was convinced to begin treating my "business" like an actual business. At first, I just began dedicating a portion of each week to work my business. Because I only worked a few hours in retail at the time, I committed 15 hours a week for phone calls, office work and parties. I had no great goals, but just started with the basics. I could have begun with 3 -5 hours a week, but had the time to work a part-time job, so I allotted part-time hours. As the year has progressed, I've learned more and more ways to be intentional about my work. Six months after changing my approach, I was able to walk away from my retail job and gain more free time in my life. I've discovered that I love finding new customers and doing parties with them. I love the flexibility my home based business affords me and the way it's growing me as a business woman. One year later, I'm a stronger leader, have advanced to the top 4% of consultants and am narrowing in on being in the top 2%. Why? Because I began working my business the way it's intended to be done. 

What IF you made the phone calls? What IF you recruited? What IF you were intentional? What IF you stocked your shelves? What IF you read the company info? What IF you attended meetings? What IF you reached for more? 

I truly believe home-based businesses offer us opportunities to earn extra money and even advance ourselves while still allowing us to be flexible and fully active in our family's lives. In one selling appointment, I usually bring in what I made in a week at my p.t. retail job. If you are a business owner, I encourage you to give it a try the way it's recommended. Be focused and intentional - not all day every day, but rather by setting some work hours each week and deliberately working. Then close the office door and go back to your regular life. I think you'll see a payoff!!

Monday, October 22, 2012


It's only been 3 days since my last blog and already my life is different! I was just caught a little off-guard as I read Friday's blog on time... Has it only been 3 days? Could it be?

Truly, I had no idea what the past 3 days would end up meaning for me - no doubt, I still don't, but I know I won't be the same. 

In Friday's blog, I confessed my Facebook habit. I wasn't really ready to make a change, but inside my gut, the place where the truest emotions dwell, I knew I should - I must. I knew it I could free up time for me, my business, my family. I knew it could lead to more meaningful face-to-face interaction. I didn't know it would make me sick!!

Saturday, I attended a business workshop geared to help grow me in my business and as a leader. I listened intently as one after another shared their thoughts on the subject at hand. I listened as each shared their personal stories in growing their own business - how they got there, why they believe they've been successful, their gratitude. 

And then it happened. One highly successful woman started talking about time. About best choices. About doing whatever it takes. And then just like that, without any real warning (and yet I fully knew in my gut she'd say it) she said, "I had to give up Facebook." I thought - good for her, not for me.

But in my gut I knew I would. I knew I must. At least for a time. Still couldn't admit it. It had started brewing in me sometime ago. This was not news. I was just avoiding it. But finally, it was time. I came home. I pondered. I posted. I played Bejeweled Blitz. I chatted. I reread what I'd already read. It was time. I made a farewell post and I signed out. 

And then.... then I went to bed and began to dream about it. By morning I was sick. SICK! The vanity of it all! It hit me overnight - all I've been seeking is the affirmation of others. The time I've spent concocting witty phrases, wise thoughts, tip toeing around true feelings, blurting out things better left unsaid, stepping on toes, trying not to, all for me. 

I am not judging you, your habits or lack thereof - I'm guessing you have some bad habits somewhere, too. I'm pointing only at myself. This is my personal courtroom. I am the one on trial. I was guilty and felt sick. 

Yes, I know there is more to Facebook (and other social media). I am so very thankful for the ability to reconnect with people from my past, stay in touch with my kids, keep my mom and dad easily up to date with our lives. I love looking at your photos and learning through you. I do! But... when the house is quiet and I'm not trying to justify my choices to anyone, I know what I know. I have been caught up in a ridiculous form of vanity and pride. Wasting time, goofing off, pleasing myself, neglecting more important things, sabotaging my own goals and dreams. 

If this makes you uncomfortable, I'm sorry. If you think I'm still about the same business with this blog - you're probably right. I'm weaning myself off the stuff. But I know it made me feel sick. It made me weep in church. We only get one today,  and I had, time after time, frittered it away. 

I'm thankful for my new week! I love MONDAYS!!! Here I am - call me. ; )

Friday, October 19, 2012

Tick Tock

Rushing through Florence Italy.
Wasn't it just the weekend?? Seriously, I'm wondering how the week is gone already! Truth is, it's not gone - I have all day today to make something new happen and be productive!! So do you! 

I don't know about you, but I'm a pretty involved, active person - still I find that waste lots of time each day. I've been thinking about it and wondering if I'm being a good steward of my time or if I'm just making excuses to be lazy. Hmmmm. Don't get me wrong - we all need down time, but I'm having some nagging in my spirit about HOW I use my down time. Is it genuinely restful or is it like sitting around drumming my fingers on the table? 

Pausing in Venice, St Mark's Square.
And Facebook - trust me - I'm not really even talking to you here, just me! Goodness knows I'm a Facebook junkie. After sitting in Bible Study last night though, listening to Beth Moore talk about guarding our circle of friends and not allowing ourselves a steady diet of negative, gossipy, cynical talk.. well.... Let's just say I've got a lot to think about this weekend!!

Going into the weekend, I know I'm going to be busy. I have a conference to attend tomorrow and though I'm having mixed feelings about going alone, I realize that this kind of opportunity doesn't come around often. It will be beneficial for me to go, learn, absorb and get some new inspiration and motivation. It's a good choice! Sunday will be filled with church activities and then bam!, it's Monday again. Will I be ready and rested - able to give my new week my best? The "off" time and how I use it will determine my sense of rejuvenation, I'm sure.

Amazed by this clock in Strasbourg, France.
One more thing to think about this weekend. God's plans for us.... whoa! Are we tapped into HIS agenda for our lives, our weeks and our days? Am I?! Every day we have to make tons of choices about how we will use our time. For sure, God has given us exactly enough time to do what He wants us to do! I believe that we all have much more available time than we realize - but we need to reevaluate how we're using that time. Each week has 168 hours in it. Even if you work 40 hours a week and sleep 56, you STILL have a lot of leftover time! Still talking to myself more than you, trust me. 

Time doesn't wait.
So - as you move into the weekend, I encourage you to examine your day and your week. Draw out a "map" of next week. Block out all of your set-in-stone life requirements. Think: God first, Family second, Career third. My career choices, being flexible, are always the last to go on my calendar! Then see what you have open still and consider what God would have you do with that time. Time is precious. Once it's gone, it's gone. Time spent on one thing is time away from another. Give it some thought this weekend and let me know what you come up with. Maybe what you learn will help me! 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Life in Review

Oh my, my, my... Ever sift through a bunch of photos? Remember places you've been, things you've done? Well, that's what I did last night.

You see, I have a few new Facebook friends. Women that I aspire to be like. Celebrity types in my pink world. And well, whenever I get a new Facebook friend that I don't know very well, I go back and review my page to see it through their eyes. (I worry what others think of me. There! I said it.) And then I go and look at my pictures. It's just what I do.

So late last night, after everyone was tucked in bed and I'd played all the Bejeweled Blitz I could handle, I did the Facebook review. I glanced over my wall and yep, anyone who looks can tell what I do for a living... and btw, I'm very proud of what I do and the women (and some men) that I associate with... Anyone looking can see that I'm working. They can see that we added a new feature to our porch and that my daughter works in the same company I do.
Rachel Redmond, Debbie Sanders, Me - dreamers!

Next I went to the photos. Oh wow. I was a little blown away. Sometimes I really take my life for granted! Being a military wife for so long, you just get used to people making the same money you do and going the same kinds of places you've been. It's "normal". Only, it isn't. After being a civilian couple for almost 2 years, we've gotten away from it all and now I can look back with fresh eyes.
Air Force Ball in Hawaii

Ahhhhh. Zugspitse, German Alps

St Peter's Square, Rome Italy

I've been to London, Paris, Venice, Rome, Florence, the Alps, Hawaii, Korea ... starting to hear a little Johnny Cash in my brain.... I've skiied, hiked and sailed in dream locations. I've eaten stingray and drunk corn water (not that exciting, I know.).

Beautiful, romantic Venice
I've also raised 3 awesome kids who are choosing lifemates wonderfully well. I've been married for 29 (!) years to a man who treats me incredibly well. I come from 2 loving parents and have 2 fabulous siblings. I live in what most would call a dream home in a dream location.

Summit - Wiliwilinuinui Trail, Oahu Hawaii
Florence (Firenza) Italy
It's a little overwhelming now that I think about it. So, I asked my Facebook friends to shoot me if I every neglect to appreciate it. Now I'm going to tell you a secrect about me: I would be just as happy if I'd never been any of those places. In fact, I loved my life just as much when I lived in Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Jersey and Illinois. I'm just as proud of being a homeschool mom as any other thing I might accomplish in my life.

I love my life. I really do. And now, in my early 50's, I'm stretching myself in new ways and trying new things - learning to become a business women and leader of other women. I'm developing leadership skills I never knew I'd need. I'm seeking out women who need a way to improve their lot. Not because I have to, but because I want to. I love what I do.

Thanks be to God for the rich life He's given me in family and friends and may I always appreciate the opportunities I've had and will have. The lines have fallen in pleasant places and I hope that when you look at my Facebook page, you see a woman who loves God and her family and seeks to find joy and excitement in everything she does.
With the love of my life!
Korea - Stingray meal (and oh, so much more!)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cycling and LIFE

Because I know you want to know.... These are more lessons learned while biking on some trippy hills that I think apply to (at least my) life. 

  1. Don't wait too long to get back on the bike. The longer you put off doing the thing you don't want to do, the harder it is to do when you finally decide to do it. Got it?
  2. Sometimes you don't know you're climbing a hill until you turn around. You know it's hard. You know you need more steam. But, sometimes you just don't realize what's really going on. You think YOU'RE the problem when actually it's just the way the ride is. Then you turn around and discover it's easier. TA-DA.
  3. If a slope is too steep, you can reduce the climb by going across the hill. Kind of like, "How do you eat an elephant? Bite by bite.". Taking a major challenge and breaking it down into manageable chunks makes it.. well, manageable. Ponder, friends, ponder.
  4. The longer you coast, the harder the hill when it comes... Be mindful of letting things be too easy for too long. Keep some challenge going.
  5. Get the hard stuff done first. Saving those big hills to the very end only make it more difficult cause you're already tired. Get 'em done and feel good about it.
  6. Sometimes it's better/easier to go ahead and push harder a few times than go round and round a ton of times in a low gear. I get the temptation but you can wear out your mental muscle and physical muscles w/ lots of repetitions that don't offer much progress. Push a little harder and get there!
  7. Don't go near the house until you're ready to quit. Do I need to elaborate here?
  8. Get your ride done and coast the downhill home. No shame. Work hard in the beginning and enjoy the fruit of your labor. I am learning more and more about this.
  9. The lake is waiting to cool you off. It's really #8 again!
  10. Do it again soon! If you wait too long, you're likely to forget you can even do it. Get back on that horse...er, bike... and ride it like a champion!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM (All About Pink)

I'm going to lay out the basic facts, plain and simple, for those of you who are curious about how to begin your own Mary Kay business and perhaps a little leery of making that known. I know how you feel. I felt that way, too, once. 

First of all, I'd like you to know, it's a trustworthy company. We have a lot of rah-rah-rah and a lot of fun, but that's for motivation and inspiration ... and FUN! Who couldn't use more of that?! LOL

  1. Money - Everyone I know can use a little more $$$. There are no promises as to how much more you can make. That's up to you.
  2. Recognition - Some people just need to hear a "Well Done!" now and then - wear a sash, a crown, jewelry. Our prizes include all sorts of things, including diamonds!
  3. Self-confidence - How wonderful to hear and begin to believe that YOU CAN DO IT! Even very shy people grow and develop in this area.
  4. Flexibility - Few jobs are out there that will allow you to work on YOUR schedule. In this economy, most of us need more money but have little extra time. This home business is the answer.
  5. Car - High achiever? Earn the use of a car paid for by the company and 85% of your insurance. Why not?! Current cars: Malibu, Equinox, Camry, Mustang, PINK Cadillac
  6. Achievement - The company does not set limits on how far you can go. You meet the requirements, you advance. Period.
  7. Be your own boss - No one is "in charge" of you - it's YOUR business. Directors are there to guide, encourage and challenge you as you learn the ropes, but no one calls the shots except you.
Starting a Mary Kay business of your own requires the purchase of a Starter Kit ($100). You are recruited by another consultant and become part of her team and her director's unit. 

Step 2 is deciding how much $ you're going to try to make and how much time you are willing to invest. This will help you decide how much inventory to purchase. The more $ you want to make, the more you'll benefit from a large inventory. Your recruiter's director can help advise you here depending on your desires and financial ability. No large inventory purchase is required. 

You earn 50% commission on each sale. Active consultants purchase product from the company at a 50% discount and then sell at retail price. Simple.

There are no territory limits except what is governed by international agreements and regulations. You can establish customers all over the U.S. regardless of where you live. 

There are no party quotas or sales quotas. The more parties you hold the more money you are likely to make but parties are not required to be able to order from the company nor are you required to report parties (except for prizes and contests). 

Risk is limited! The company has a 90% buyback policy for your first year of business. This is why many take out a small loan, purchase a large inventory and set themselves up for great success... they know that if they change their mind, the company will buy back the unused product. Awesome.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1) If failure was not an option, what would I do?
2) What personality traits do I possess that will make me successful?
3) Where do I see myself in 5 years if I do nothing?
4) Where will I be in 5 years when I succeed at this?
5) What do I have to lose by trying?

THAT'S THE BASICS!  I'll be happy to answer any individual questions. Email me at sredmond2@marykay.com . You can check out individual stories on my website www.marykay.com/sredmond2 . Check out my blog on my recent decision to go all pink (give up my other job!). If you schedule a personal interview with me (phone, skype, in person), you will get one item from the catalog 40% off and go into a drawing for a designer handbag. Is there any reason you can't spend 20 minutes with me and get something great for yourself at an awesome discount? 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Don't Wanna!

Wow. It is absolutely one of those days. Not the everything-is-going-wrong kind of days. That might've been the day when my daughter was driving in 100+ degree weather on a very long trip and her A/C went out triggering the idea that we might have to buy a "new" car AND my son was in VA trying to get to Army camp in WA in the same 100+ degree weather and virtually the whole city was out of power... for a week... AND soon after our A/C in the house went kaput (and still isn't right) triggering the idea that we might have to pay more $ for the cool air than we paid last week. No, it's not that kind of day. 

It's the I-can't-seem-to-get-my-buttarski-in-gear kind of day. These frustrate me to no end. I know what I need to do and just can't seem to get myself to do it (just thought of Paul in Romans 7 and am a little comforted). Oh my goodness, I can think of a million things not to do while I'm not doing what I need to do!

ugh. I have done some important things - like my Bible reading and my Bible study - but yeah that's really it. I know. I know. We're not supposed to admit things like this. I just feel like if I don't come clean I'm going to sit around the rest of the day! And here's the thing, the more I sit around the more blah I get! It irritates the heck out of me!!

I've also been to the Storage Unit and found the flowers I needed and put together the centerpieces for tonight. BUT what I NEED to do is exercise! There it is. Right there. I need to exercise. It's not that I don't like to exercise; I do. I love rising to the challenge and conquering it. So what's the problem? I DON'T KNOW.

Is it having 2 kids, both adults, home today and hanging around? Maybe. Is it a feeling of being overwhelmed? Maybe. All I know is once this starts it doesn't get better until I do what I'm putting off. SO, I don't want to do it - but I don't want to do what I'm doing either. I want to finish my day feeling good about what I've done so I WILL get up and do the right thing. I know it will get everything else going and I'll end up being much more productive in general. So there you have it. I've procrastinated by writing this blog long enough. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Why I'm Going PINK!

This past week I made a decision and acted on it. I've been mulling it over for a month or more, prayed about it, and found myself increasingly antsy to do something about it. I've decided to go PINK! That is, I'm quitting my "day" job and devoting myself to my Mary Kay business. Do you think I'm crazy?

A few years ago (6) I decided to become a Mary Kay consultant. At the time it was a good financial decision and not much more than that. Oh, I heard the stories and I knew all about the pink Cadillacs, but that wasn't in my vision. I just really liked the product and my skin was better when I used it.

When I joined, I was a stay-at-home mom who homeschooled her kiddos and was active in my church. I could happily stay in my p.j.'s all day with my coffee cup in hand, getting dressed when forced to. I took care of my appearance for other people only. I weighed almost 50 lbs more than I do now.

Here's what happened: I began to think "Well, since I'm a beauty consultant, maybe I should get dressed in the mornings so I'm ready to represent." What an idea! Slowly, but surely that attitude began to permeate my being and I began to respect myself a little more. (My bad feelings about myself are another story altogether.) Over the next year, I began to increasingly take care of myself. I began to respect myself more. I began to exercise. It wasn't one thing or the other rather several things combined to help me and today I am a much healthier version of me. It wasn't makeup, but it was my perception of myself, day in and day out that changed. Makeup and skin care was just part of it.

Fast forward... Last year with my husband's retirement, I began to search for things to fill my days and provide some extra income. I wanted to make a contribution, but our country was in the height of a recession. I took 2 part time jobs making a small amount of money and worked them with all my heart. Many weeks I only got 15 hours of work between them both, however, I totally enjoyed being out and about. Sadly, one of the stores closed, leaving me with one of my jobs and no consistent hours. I felt like I needed to look around for something else. Meanwhile, the Lord seem to speak to my heart to "walk the path you're on". After much prayer, I realized I was already a business owner and perhaps I should work that business instead of look for something else.

By the way, as much as I loved my retail work, it was taking a great physical toll on my body. My legs were having some very serious issues that began to affect my back. I was dealing with considerable pain on a regular basis while having to work quite a bit to make a fairly small amount of money. Still, I enjoyed the work.

My decision to put real effort into my Mary Kay business came in late September. By October, I was already seeing that with some effort came payoffs. And the payoff was preTTy good. I continued to work it and my retail job. As I found success in my business, I began to let my mind consider greater possibilities. Up to this point, I thought real success was only for a few and not realistically obtainable. I now know that is not true. The fact is not many people are willing to really try.

Well, here I am 6 months later: I'm a Team Leader and in position to become a director, as well as earn the use of a Mary Kay car. (You work your way up to the famous Pink Cadillac.) I am motivated to keep on working because 1) I believe in the company priorities: God first, family second, career third. 2) I don't want to go through another summer of missing out on important family events because I can't control my schedule. 3) A little Mary Kay work replaces my retail job $ pretty quickly. 4) I have the opportunity to make much more $ (no territories, no quotas, no limits). 5) I totally love what I am doing! 6) The company has great integrity and is one of the few that has continued to make $ during the recession and provide hope for women who were struggling financially. 6) I like who I am. I am experiencing great personal growth and it's fun! 7) Weekly meetings filled with recognition are awesome! I've stood by for years watching the military members get decorated and acknowledged for their hard work. It's good to get some of that for myself. 8) I believe I can help other women develop themselves through their own business. 9) I know it's never just about makeup. 10) I'm working to follow Proverbs 31 and I believe it honors God.

The benefits of this business are rewards for consistent hard work. It is not a get rich quick scheme and doesn't promise to be. It's also not a pyramid. Each consultant buys directly from the company and moves up the ladder by her personal sales, her team size and her team sales. The company is paying the commissions for team sales. Each team member earns her own $ for herself. I'm so confident of this, I've introduced the business to my daughter!

So, now you know why I'm going PINK! I would love to have your business or even better have YOU as a team member! The more I learn the more I like it. Your support means the world to me and when I get that pink Caddy, we're gonna have a PINK PARTY! (BTW, those pink caddy driving women are making serious money and don't you doubt it. Give 'em a thumbs up cause they've worked hard.)