Top 10 WordPress Plugins For Party Plan Divas

Must Have WordPress Plugins

Here is the UPDATED list of  the Top Plugins I recommend for all Party Plan Divas blogs:

1. Akismet -the ultimate in blocking spam in your comments. Comes with the standard installation of WordPress. Before getting started with your blog, take a few moments to configure your Akismet plugin.

2. All In One SEO – The “Out of the Box” SEO solution for WordPress.

3. LinkWithin – Provides and image list of “related articles” for your readers to easily click to see more.

4. Contact Form 7 – The easiest solution for collecting information from your readers and guests. Create custom forms will very basic HTML knowledge.

5. All-In-One Events Calendar – Simple yes highly functional Event calendar that displays in its own page or your sidebar. List your parties, open houses, opportunity meetings, conference calls and more!

6. JetPack – Bring the power of the WordPress.com cloud to your self-hosted WordPress. Jetpack enables you to connect your blog to a WordPress.com account to use the powerful features normally only available to WordPress.com users.

7. Facebook Like Box – Facebook Like Box Widget is a social plugin that enables Facebook Page owners to attract and gain Likes from their own website. The Like Box enables users to: see how many users already like this page, and which of their friends like it too, read recent posts from the page and Like the page with one click, without needing to visit the page.

8. Shareaholic – Share all of your blog posts seamlessly through numerous Social Media platforms.

9. And The Winner Is… – Easily pulls winners of contests and giveaways from the comments left on that post.

10. Tweet Old Post – Keep even older posts fresh with “Tweet Old Post” which will automatically Tweet URLs of older posts.

There are hundreds of other PlugIns available for WordPress. Comment here and let us know YOUR favorite!

The Law Of Abundance

Today is the day for you to “Sign your check” as part of the New Moon Celebration and the Law of Abundance.  Here is an article I wrote last year about the Law of Abundance – what it is, why you should participate, and how you can get started right now on making 2012 your best year ever.

As a huge believer and follower of the Law of Attraction, I was excited to read up on the Law of Abundance that my local radio was discussing as I drove my angels to school this morning.  The “Morning Guys”  from WABB in Mobile, Alabama  use it and swear by it as a way to bring success and wealth to your life.

I came home and read several sites on the Law of Abundance, looking for more information.  I found several sites that I never knew existed – including www.abundancesecrets.com, www.law-of-abundance-living.com and more.  I was excited to read the same kind of stories that I have known, loved, and LIVED with the Law Of Attraction.

One site summed up the Law of Abundance by stating:  The universe exists on the principle of abundance. It is by giving that you receive. This is the law of abundance, which stipulates that we cannot enjoy the riches of the universe unless we are willing to share them with others.

Basically: it is an Ancient Chinese tradition to guarantee prosperity in the New Year.

Bringing it to the 21st Century: The Law of Abundance Check!

I want to challenge you all to join me TODAY, January 23rd to celebrate the New Moon by writing your own Law of Abundance Check.  Here is how it works:
1. Take a Blank Check.
2. You shouldn’t date the check at all – (why limit your abundance to a single day?)
3. Make the check out to yourself.
4. Use your full legal name.
5. Leave the dollar box and line blank.
6. In the memo area write, “paid in full.”
7. Sign the check, “Law of Abundance”

That’s it! You will need to keep the check with you at all times in the New Year (except when bathing & sleeping), so put it in your wallet, purse, planner – whatever you keep closest to you at all times.

You MUST complete this task before the first NEW moon of the year (which is TODAY – January 23rd).: Experts say, we should complete it within 24 hours of the new moon.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you will be joining us today, and let’s see how this Law effects us all in 2012!

“What We’ve Got Here Is A Failure To Communicate.”

Last night Mike and I dined at a local restaurant and listened in as a customer was trying to give his order to the waiter… who was just NOT understanding what he was trying to say.  Both the customer and the waiter got frustrated, and sadly when the order came out – and was wrong – instead of sending it back, we over heard the customer say “No, it is fine, we just will not come back.”

Communication is such a critical part in Leadership, that it can truly be a defining factor on whether a company succeeds or fails.  Misunderstandings, Assumptions, and simply LACK of Communication are all detrimental to even the best of businesses.  In fact, I think it may be THE #1 thing that could make a difference of whether a company succeeds or fails.

In the last few months I have seen many Party Plan Consultants walk away from their businesses stating reasons like “I never knew what was going on,”  “I felt all alone,”  “I never heard from anyone,” “I was only talked to when I was producing big numbers,”  “I only felt important when I had big sales.”  In the case of the restaurant, it is a customer who was unhappy and will probably not only not visit the establishment again, but share with his friends the poor experience that he had.  In Leadership, you simply can not afford to have this barrier.

So how do you overcome this?  How do you communicate effectively to ensure the success of your business?

Do it well.

One misconception about effective communication is that there needs to be a lot of “fluff” and “pizazz.”   With all of the junk and distractions we are presented with each day, effective communication now is more about getting the point across in a clear, concise manner as quickly and effectively as possible.   Do not try to jazz up your communications with a bunch of fancy words or phrases in an attempt to sound more professional.  Research shows that the best communication is at about a 4th grade reading level, there fore everyone understands it.  Get to the point so everyone can get on with their day.

Do it often.

In my opinion you can not OVER communicate something important to your team.  In fact I think a lot of times it is not even WHAT you are communicating as much as it is showing that you ARE communicating and keeping people “in the loop.”  People want to feel informed, they want to feel included -  the sense of unknowing leads to fear, upset, and eventually giving up.  By “touching base” often, even with small updates, you are showing that their time matters, and that you care about them enough to want to keep them informed.

Do it together.

Collaboration is the new business model in 2011.   People not only want to be in the know, they also want to be seen and heard with their opinions.   Tools such as YahooGroups, Google+ Circles, Facebook Groups, etc allow for you to not only get your message sent, but also for everyone in the “group” to be able to discuss and weigh in as well.   It gives your team a feeling of belonging, and that their feelings truly matter.

Do it now.

My pastor said this week “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago… the second best time is right now.”   Whether you are a brand new Leader, or whether you have been leading a team for years, the best time to begin great communication is right now.  Stop what you are doing right now, and send an email out to your team.  Or create a Facebook Group and then announce it to your team.  Let them know that you care, that you are there to help them, and that you will be working to keep them as informed as possible to help them succeed in their business – no matter how high or low their sales are this week.   Send a note to them that effectively communicates that you will be communicating more effectively :)

Keeping your team connected and informed is one of the first steps to building a remarkable team.  It is one of the easiest, and most effective things you can do to ensure the success of your business.

How To Be Perfectly Imperfect

Last month while I was in Texas I attended one of my Brand New Consultant’s Business Grand Opening Party.  Stacey and I have spent hours on the phone since she became a Consultant in December, and I have so enjoyed getting to know her and becoming friends, so it was a delight for me to get to see her do her debut show.   I had hosted a “Mock Trunk Show” the night before to help my team learn some Presentation Techniques, and noticed throughout my presentation she was feverishly taking notes, so I was excited to see HER version of what I did.

The show was at her mother’s house which was absolutely gorgeous – I just love Texas homes!   It is so different than anything I have ever seen around Pensacola.  The products were displayed beautifully around the home where people could walk around and touch and try things on.  I was very pleased with the full set up.

As I was walked around admiring everything I noticed something on the floor that caught my attention.  This beautiful, pristine home with amazing design and architecture… had one tile with three little paw prints dried in the clay.   As I was caught admiring it the homeowner explained that it is authentic Saltillo tile from Mexico, and if you look closely at each tile, many of them have small marks from plants, wild dogs, chickens, and other animals.  That is when it struck me… she had chosen “imperfect” tile… on purpose.

So many times I talk to Party Plan Consultants who are caught up in making sure everything in their business is “just perfect” - and more times than not it will stall the process of a new Consultant getting going.   They spend hours – days! – organizing, studying,  primping, practicing, reorganizing, reading, … and never actually START!  Then discouragement kicks in when they look up and realize they have been a Consultant for 6 months and have not been successful and quit… it is a vicious cycle that I see EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Stop trying to be perfect – YOU are perfect, with all of your imperfections.  Will you mess up – yes, guaranteed.  Will anyone notice – probably just you. Will you learn from it, grow from it, and be better for it – ABSOLUTELY.

I stood in the foyer as I listened to Stacey present her show.  It is like a mother waiting in the hallway of school while her child does her first piano recital.  I was nervous for her, but so excited, and she “played” just as beautifully as I knew she would  Stacey did a remarkable job, and was an inspiration to her Brand New Consultant who was in attendance at the party as well.  It had been a while since I watched a new consultant take her “first steps” – but even after 13 years in this business, I learn a lesson every time!

Mike and I have plans to retile our bedroom, and I will be looking into this perfectly imperfect Saltillo tile.  What a wonderful reminder to have every day that imperfect IS perfect… and beautiful.

The Comfort Zone

The Comfort Zone

I used to have a comfort zone, where I knew I couldn’t fail;
The same four walls and busy work were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before,
But, I stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.
I said it didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing much,
I said I didn’t care for diamonds, rings, and such.

I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special all my own!
I couldn’t let my life go by just watching others win
I held my breath and stepped outside to let the change begin!!
I took a step and with new strength, I’d never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone good-bye, and closed and locked the door!!

If you are in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out
Remember that all winners, at one time were filled with doubt!
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true!
Greet your future with a smile and Success is there for you!!

~Author unknown

How many times have you been able to relate to this poem?  We are in the second half of 2010 Divas!  Do you want to finish this year “comfortable” or ” SUCCESSFUL??!”  Get moving!

AllBusinessCards.com Review and Giveaway *Closed*

I am so excited to have another opportunity to offer one lucky Diva 100 full color custom business cards from AllBusinessCards.com! Business Cards are our #1 business tool for marketing and branding your business, and with AllBusinessCards.com, it has never been easier to create EXACTLY what you want!

AllBusinessCards.com has the most impressive “creation software” I have seen yet.  You can LITERALLY design a business card just exactly how you want it – no templates, no text restrictions – just simply what you imagine for your own business card.   At AllBusinessCards.com, designing any product is as easy as A-B-C:

It really is that easy – check out some of the cards I played around with in the Custom Design Center:

Wanting a little more color? Sure, they have a full stock library of backgrounds, images, fonts – everything you need!

Design your own Business cards and play with their awesome software by clicking here.

Despite the name, AllBusinessCards.com has other products too – including Metallic and Sticker business cards, Self-inking Stamps, Letterhead, PLASTIC CARDS (perfect for your VIP program!!)  and more!

Ok, so are you ready to find out how you can win your own – FREE!?

One lucky Diva is going to win 100 Full Color Custom Business Cards from AllBusinessCards.com! No purchase necessary to enter. Read below for all of the details.

Please be sure to read the complete rules:

To enter this contest, first visit visit AllBusinessCards.com Then, come back here and please leave a comment below, letting our readers know what other business boosting products you would like to try.

You will get an additional entries for each of the tasks below. You must comment each entry INDIVIDUALLY, as that is how winners will be drawn. Please be sure to leave your e-mail address, so we may contact you if you are a winner.

For additional entries, please first check out AllBusinessCards.com, and then do any of the following -please be sure to come back and leave a follow-up comment for each of these completed tasks, in order to be counted as an additional entry:
  • Subscribe to our free Daily Tips Newsletter (in the top right sidebar of this blog) and receive daily training, tips, and inspiration directly to your email (or if you are already, leave a comment telling me so)
  • Follow this blog on FaceBook by clicking the link, or on the button on the right-hand column of this blog (or if you are already, leave a comment telling me so)
  • Follow me on Twitter @partyplandivas (or if you are already, leave a comment telling me so)
  • Display ThePartyPlanCoach badge on your blog by grabbing the code on our sidebar
  • Blog about this giveaway (and paste a direct link to your blog post in your comment)
  • Tweet this Giveaway up to three times per day, but must be at least one hour apart – Win 100 Custom Color Business Cards from @AllBusinessCard and @partyplandivas http://ow.ly/29YWC

You get one extra entry for each extra item above. Please leave me a comment separately for each additional entry. Make sure to leave your email address. Contest ends at 8pm CST on Monday July 26, 2010.

Holding a Party Open for More Sales

I had a party 2 weeks ago, only a few guests but the mother-in-law of the hostess said she would get a few outside orders. I had my information on everything for her to mail the orders/payments. I checked in with her and the hostess a few days after the party…nothing. Then I called again and she said that she DOES have orders and will mail them in to me.  Well, that was two weeks ago, and I still haven’t received them! What do I do and how do I keep this from happening again?

Ahh, this unfortunately is all too common of a problem in our industry.  Even with the best of intentions, it is seldom you will get “outside orders” AFTER the party.  And if you do, sometimes it is a hassle to actually GET THEM from the Hostess! So how to you prevent this from happening and avoid stress of waiting and wondering?

First, make sure you include plenty of Outside Order Forms and Catalogs in your Hostess Packet. Your Hostess is most excited and motivated BEFORE the party – not after. Give her every opportunity to have higher party sales before the party begins.

You may even consider giving “Double Hostess Credits” on orders she takes before the party.  By giving a higher incentive, she is more likely to ask for those outside orders – which will show her just how easy it can be to sell your product.  This is of course living up for a Recruiting Opportunity!

During your Hostess Coaching, ask each time if she needs additional Order Forms or Catalogs.  This is a very important part of Hostess Coaching!  Do not over look it!  Your Hostess is your #1 potential Recruit, and by having her show the catalogs around and receive orders, you are showing her that she too could make money with your company.  Even if she is not interested in the Opportunity, she can significantly increase her Hostess Rewards by getting orders from people who know they will not be able to attend the party.

Close the party the night of the party. At the end of the night you must total up the entire party, including tallying all Hostess Rewards with the orders that have been placed.  Get any payment information for her order and “close” the party.  Let everyone at the party know that you will be closing the party that night, but anyone is welcome to do their own “Catalog Party” and have that information with you in the Ordering Room.

If your Hostess wants to try to collect more orders after the party, give her a deadline of two days to get the orders and payment to you.  Let her know you will be placing the order in two days, after the checks have cleared.  Any longer than that, and you are almost penalizing those who WERE at the party, by making them wait longer for their orders.  Assure her that you can take orders at any time, even if you need to add it to another party’s group in order to do so.  Reminder her also, that as a Consultant, she could “get paid” anytime someone wanted to place an order, simply by processing the order herself.

As with anything else in our business, the most important thing is to stay in control of the process. Make sure to respect those who DID come to the party, and did place orders – they are your new clients!  Do not put the “potential” clients ahead of the ones you already have.

Are you suffering from Analysis Paralysis?

Symptom: You want to start a blog for your business. You have chosen a layout and colors and images.  But it’s not q-u-i-t-e ready to go live yet.  You just need to finish that one last…

Symptom: You want to start Gardening your business.  You have all of the tools you need, you even have them all assembled and ready to go.  But you aren’t q-u-i-t-e ready to get started yet.  You just need to wait until…

Symptom: You want to begin recruiting women into your business.  You have people who are interested, and you understand the process and compensation plan.  But you aren’t q-u-i-t-e ready yet.  You just need to learn a little more about…

Diagnosis:  You have Analysis Paralysis!

Analysis Paralysis is where you can’t make any forward progress because you bog yourself down in details, tweaking, brainstorming, research and… anything but just getting on with it.

Sound familiar?

According to Wikipedia the term “analysis paralysis” or “paralysis of analysis” refers to over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.  I am guilty of this “disorder” and if you suffer from these same “symptoms” here is how to overcome them, and move towards the success you deserve.

First, get the specifics. What exactly IS the task you are over analyzing?  I understand wanting to do something well, and wanting to do it right, but do you REALLY know what that even looks like?  Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What do you absolutely have to do for the project to be a success?
  2. What tasks can absolutely not be put off while later?
  3. What are the most painful items to change after the project is finished?
  4. What could realistically go wrong?

Next, set some deadlines. Set deadlines not only on the completion of the project, but also on key decisions to help prevent slippage throughout the process.  I like to think of them as “mile markers” to kind of chart your progress and make sure you are on the right track.  Plus it helps to keep you motivated when you have a shorter term goal – so you see success more quickly. Do your best to stick to the goals and time lines you’ve established. If you have to push a date back, do your best to make a plan for how to get caught back up, instead of extending the entire project.

Revisit your WHY. Most of the time when you begin over thinking, you have lost touch with the burning desire for the RESULT of your project.  If for instance your “why” is to quit your job to be home with your children full time, think about the things you are missing RIGHT NOW because of your paralysis.  School projects?  Moms Day at Lunch? Maybe baby’s first steps?  Get in touch with your reason WHY you are working this project in the first place, and use that desire to help push you forward.

Give up perfection. How many times have you said to your children “Nobody’s perfect” yet you try to ALWAYS make everything perfect?  Perfection is a MYTH!  Give it up!  Do your best – that is as “perfect” as you will ever get.

DECIDE to do it. Easier said than done, right?  I understand. But it is critical. You must make the decision to stop over thinking, stop over working the “little stuff”, stop putting off the REAL tasks, and get down to the business of succeeding.

Remember – to get what you have never gotten, you must do what you have never done!

Step on out Diva.  Get out of your own way.

Your LIFE is waiting.

Lessons From a Bike Ride

You may remember my post a few weeks months ago when I bought a new bicycle to use to help get me in shape for the Party Plan Divas Seminar at Sea. Well, I must admit, ever since I bought it I have been so busy, I have not had the discipline to ride it – until today!  Who knew that what was supposed to be a “simple bike ride” could teach me so much!

I live in a very nice “suburban” style subdivision which honestly, before I moved in last year – I had no idea even existed. I joked that this must be the one and only subdivision in Pensacola that I have never done a party in!  I knew the subdivision was large, having been told the story that there we actually three “phases” and I had moved into the third and final “phase.”  I had never really thought about what size a “phase” would be – I really had no idea JUST how large it is.  Until today.

I set out a little before 9am before it was too hot to just have a nice “ride around the neighborhood.”  I discovered that if I went into each cul-de-sac that they were all uphill, so I could get a good little workout and then “coast” while I let my legs rest for a few seconds before pedaling again.  I was probably about 20 minutes into my ride when I saw a sign that said “No Outlet” so I assumed it was another cul-de-sac.  What it should have said was “Point Of No Return.”

I am not sure how long it took me to realize that I was completely, utterly lost, but when the realization hit, I nearly panicked. I had been mesmerized looking at houses,  the beautifully manicured lawns, pretty landscaping.  I looked around me and realized I had absolutely NO idea where I was, where I was headed, or even what direction “home” was.  I remember thinking I should take my phone in case anyone called – but I was “only going to be a few minutes” so I left it.  I remember wishing I had my GPS.

I saw no signs of life – not even a car in a driveway, so there was no one to even ask for directions.I kept pedaling though, thinking eventually I would have to at least find a street name I would recognize.  I started thinking that this bike ride was turning into a Gilligan’s Island tour and cracked up – nearly wrecking the bicycle.  It was a good thing no one was there to see – they may have taken me in for lunacy.

By this time my legs were KILLING me.  If you read my Tweets or Facebook about buying the bike, I mentioned how it had probably been 10 years since I had ridden a bicycle.  Needless to say, when I woke up this morning, I had no intention of working my legs to the point of Jell-O.

Finally, nearly an hour later, I saw a familiar street. Though I was crushed that I realized I was still a  LONG ways from home, it was inspiring to at least see something I recognized.  I talked my legs into continuing to pedal, and a little while later I was coasting (thankfully) into my driveway.

As I got in the shower I was amused thinking about how my little ride had been so metaphorical with my life lately.  I will admit, I got LOST a few weeks ago.  I am not afraid to admit it.   I was looking for a way to lighten the load and “coast” through a couple parts of my life that I was tired of working on.  I started thinking of different paths, different behaviors, instead of focusing on the things that mattered most – like my direction.

We all get off course, take a wrong turn, or make the wrong choice that leaves us with a sense of being lost.  We abandon a course when we think there might be a “faster” or “easier” way to achieve the goal, often resulting in failure. What I learned today is if you “just keep pedaling” – you can find your way back, get back on the right path, and make it home.  You may get some bumps and bruises (or INCREDIBLY sore Jell-O legs!) along the way, but it will make “coasting in to home” that much sweeter.

If you have abandoned your path, fallen off the wagon, or let some things slide – I encourage you to “just keep pedaling” to find your way back.  Tomorrow I will set out on my bicycle again – with not only the knowledge of where NOT to turn, but also with the confidence that if I get lost again, that I can – and will – find my way home.

Trouble Booking Parties

It seems no matter what I do, I can’t get people to book shows. I’ve tried everything I can think of, but no luck. Also, I never get people to fill out their with list – I overheard someone at a party saying if they fill it out, it will give me a reason to call them! Any suggestions?

Hey! Yuck – sounds like the person who made that comment was not really at the party for the right reasons. Unfortunately that happens sometimes – people come to support their friend – not to be there for the party. But that is ok – it’s pretty rare, so just let that roll off your shoulders.

As for bookings, we have a ton of ideas in the Training Library – everything from incentives to games to increase bookings – but the bottom line is that you have to find their “wanna” and attach hostessing a party to that “wanna” – much like recruiting.

For instance – for the “social butterfly” of the group you would talk about how much fun your parties are, and how its tough especially this time of year to get friends together when they aren’t busy with everything else. Talk about how you can have a “wine and cheese” party and have some much needed “girl time” away from the family stressers of the holidays. That kind of thing. Have her connect with the idea that her party would be a fun event to get her friends together – plus make shopping easy AND she gets some free goodies as well.

For the financially stressed shopper – highlight the hostess rewards and items she can receive free. Talk up gift giving and your “add ons” such as gift wrapping etc. Show her how just a little bit of time and an even smaller amount of “work” (like getting you her guest list) will help her earn her holiday gifting.

For the outgoing spontaneous guest – offer a free Vacation using the Vacation Voucher in the Template Library. Usually I say to offer this with a party having $XX in sales – but heck, run a special NOW that everyone who books in January is going to get a FREE VACATION redeemable anytime in 2010. I did this one month and got 20-something bookings… I had to GIVE parties away.

Also – go through your old order forms and see who marked that they were interested in having a party, or in the business, OR who has made a mark next to items on their order forms. This is a big reason why you tell them to “make marks” as you go through things in your demo – they don’t know they are creating a “wish list” for you just like that!

And if all else fails – hostess your own Mystery Hostess party, invite every woman you have ever come in contact with in your life (lol, I’m serious!) and play booking games and have giveaways that encourage bookings!

Remember – if you are not booked as solidly as you want to be – it simply means not enough people know that you do what you do! just keep telling yourself that over and over until you are consistently talking to people every single day, and you understand WHY- you have to have to have to talk to enough people to get booked solid. If 1 in every 5 says yes (the industry average) then you need to talk to 50 people to get 10 parties.

You can do it – I’m here cheering you on!