What Makes A Successful Leader?

By Susan Twellman, Co-Owner & Founder of Apriori Beauty, LLC

S.TwellmanThe term “leader” encompasses a broad description with vast and multiple components.  There’s historic and memorable leaders (both good and bad ones), as well as leaders in our personal and every-day lives that will never be mentioned in history or social media.  The fact of the matter is, you’re a leader.  The question is: are you an inefficient or successful leader?

I personally don’t look at myself as a leader, but with 6 kids and several companies, I know I am one.  I mean, I have to be, right?  As a leader, you need PASSION.  You have to care about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with because if you don’t, it will show, trust me!  How can you expect someone else to follow you if you’re not even enthusiastic about what you’re doing?  I take extremely good care of myself and am very selective about what I put into and on my body.  If I fall in love with a pair of jeans or skincare product (always Apriori Beauty of course!), I share and tell everyone about it.  Take for instance, Apriori Beauty’s motto “Use, Love, Share.”  It’s that simple; if you lead with passion, others will follow.

The next essential component of a successful leader is AUTHENTICITY.  Be who you are and be genuine all the time.  Otherwise, you’ll be scrambling trying to recall which “mask” to wear when confronted with a situation or individual.  Besides, people want to see the real you, not the fake persona you assume they want.  Maybe it’s my personality or the fact I have 6 kids and have no room in my brain to develop several personas, but I can assure you that I am myself 100% of the time.  If I’ve ever talked with you, I’m sure you’ve heard random tidbits and facts about my life.  It’s who I am and because I’m comfortable being myself (do I have a choice?), people know that no matter when or where they see me, they will be speaking with the one and only Susan Twellman.  Not mom Susan or Apriori Susan.  Just Susan.

CREDITABILTIY.  You must, I repeat, must be credible and true to your word.  As a leader, if you say you’re going to do something, do it.  Your success as a leader is dependent upon the trust of others.  If you’re consistently breaking commitments and dropping the ball, your team’s trust in you will quickly vanish.  Here’s where accountability comes into play.  Remember, you’re not alone, especially as a leader.  You have an entire team here, ready and willing to help you if you need it.  Make sure you have someone keeping you accountable, which will in turn maintain you as a credible leader.

We all make mistakes and will continue to do so until the day we die.  We’re human, it’s what we do.  However, as a successful leader, the trick is to LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES.  Go back and analyze the situation(s).  What went wrong?  Could it have been prevented?  What will you do differently the next time you’re presented with this situation?  Utilize the lessons you’ve gained through trial and error and turn them into examples when leading your team.  Your mistakes can prove to be valuable lessons and learning experiences.  The key is to admit your wrong doings and learn from them, not repeat them.

Your business will throw you curve balls, and when it does, your ATTITUDE will either make or break your team.  You can’t control others, but you can control yourself.  Whenever you’re feeling frustrated and reaching your breaking point, focus on maintaining a positive attitude.  The more positive your attitude is, the stronger your confidence will be.  The stronger your confidence is, the stronger your team will be.

The best thing you can do as a leader is GIVE.  Give your time, commitment, knowledge, assistance, guidance, and especially, patience!  Your team will not only appreciate your support, but will also gain and grow from it as well.  At Apriori Beauty, we’re all about sharing and helping one another.  Take for instance, the Facebook group “Team United.”  Every Monday, a different Consultant holds a conference call and shares ideas and tips on how to develop and expand your business.  How cool is that?  It doesn’t have to be “me” against “you” and it isn’t.  We’re all in this together and the more you learn and grow, I do as well.  Another great example, my weekly “Walk the Talk,” which we’re doing right now!  I love sharing and bonding with other women.  We have so many talented and diverse women in this group, who each bring something to the table.  I learn just as much from you as you learn from me.  Again, it’s a win/win situation!

I want to leave you with one last thought.  The most crucial and significant aspect of a successful leader is ETHICS.  As a leader, you will be tested LeadByExamplemore times than you can imagine.  It’s in these instances where your core values and beliefs will determine your actions and ultimately grow or weaken your team.  Some people are under the misconception that they have to sacrifice ethics for success.  Wrong!  Yes, you may lose a Client or even a Consultant over a disagreement, and if you do because you stayed true to your values, then that is what’s best for your team.  At the end of the day, it’s you who has to look in the mirror, no one else.  When confronted with a difficult situation, remember your passion and why you became a leader in the first place.  Seek guidance and support from team members and accountability partners.  And lastly, be yourself and no one else.

Define and Achieve Your Goals

S.TwellmanBy Susan Twellman, Co-Owner & Founder of Apriori Beauty, LLC

People often say motivation doesn’t last.  Well, neither does bathing.  That’s why we recommend it daily. ~ Zig Zagler

Last night during dinner, Shelly, my 17-year-old daughter, told me about an assignment her Lacrosse Coach had given her: Create 3 goals – 2 goals for your team, and 1 goal for yourself.   After a long day of school and then a tough game, the last thing Shelly wanted to do was think about goals, but it got me thinking.  I have a bazillion goals swarming throughout my head every minute of every day; however, I don’t write them all down and strategize an actual plan to achieve them.  Instead, a good number of those goals just stay in my head instead of developing and becoming accomplishments (i.e. cleaning my office desk).  Defining and achieving your goals is something I often talk about and today, I’m going to be adding a little “umph” to my walk as I talk you through planning out and developing your own goals.
Here are a few essential tips for establishing and accomplishing your goals:

BE MOTIVATED BY it
When determining your goals, create goals that motivate and are important to you.  Ask yourself why they’re significant, because if it’s a goal you honestly have no interest in, then most likely no progress will be made.SMART

BE “SMART” ABOUT it
In order for your goals to be strong, they need to be SMART:
Specific – be as clear and detailed as possible when defining your goal
Measurable – include amounts/dates that can be tracked and recorded
Attainable – it has to be realistic and possible
Relevant – relevant and applicable to your life to avoid chaos and inconsistency
Time Bound – establish a deadline to work towards and meet

WRITE it
First, WRITE what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to get there.  If we all start writing our goals and keep them in one place instead of scattered about on post-its, we can see the process and development of our accomplishments.  Transferring your words from thoughts onto paper is one of the hardest but most effective steps, and is essential in establishing clarity.  Instead of writing, “lose 15 pounds” or “obtain 5 new Clients”, write out your goals in complete sentences.  For example, “By June 1, 2013, I will have lost 15 pounds,” or “By May 1, 2013, I will have signed up 5 new Clients.”   Keep your goals positive and strong.  Remember, this is something you’re going to ACHIEVE, not fail at and the best way to work towards accomplishment is staying motivated and positive.

Now, some of you may have very personal goals that you do not wish to share with anyone, which is understandable; however, you’re not alone and having a spouse/close friend/family member/co-worker aware of your goal and the work you’re doing to attain it, will equal an extra cheerleader on the sidelines rooting and keeping you accountable.  Discipline and determination are not easy attributes to maintain.  If they were then everyone would be healthy, happy, and successful.  I urge you to find an accountability partner to help you stay on track.  Why?  Because you’re worth it and so is your goal!

PLAN it
Part of the goal process is creating an action plan.  Write out individual steps and then once you’ve reached that step, cross it off and move onto your next move.  This will not only help you track your progress, but also keep you on schedule with your deadline.

DO it
And more importantly, STAY with it!  Especially if you don’t feel like it, stick with your goal and work on it daily.  It’s easy to make excuses and procrastinate, but that won’t get you any closer to achieving your goal.  The only way you’re going to break through those barriers is if you refuse to give up and march on through.  You’ll not only turn your goal into an accomplishment, but you’ll also gain strength, which is far more powerful than any excuse.

I challenge each of you to create a goal by the end of the week and establish your action plan for achieving it.  And to add a little “umph” to the challenge, set a goal for each of your team members, specific to each Consultant you’re sponsoring.  Remember, the difference between try and triumph is just a little umph.

Network Marketing: A New Career Path for Professional Women

S.Twellmanby Susan Twellman, Co-Owner & Founder of Apriori Beauty, LLC

“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs” ~ Tony Gaskins

These days, women are migrating away from Corporate America and heading towards Network Marketing, where they’re experiencing more success and achievement acting as their own boss and company owner.  Between 1997 and 2007, women-owned businesses grew by 44%, which is twice as fast as men-owned firms.  In addition, direct sales totaled close to $30 billion in 2011, leaving more than 4.5% year-over-year increase from 2010.

So, we have the statistics laid out, but what does this mean and how does it apply to you?  WHY are women choosing network marketing and WHY is it better than the corporate world?  I spend a lot of time talking to women because I love learning and hearing about their gifts and talents.  I ask them question after question about their lives, business goals and aspirations.  More importantly, I listen to their answers, where I’m able to gain a clear perspective on who they are, what their personal and professional goals are, and what they’re looking for in a business.  Corporate America isn’t structured to accommodate itself around your schedule.  Instead, you work your life around its expectations and time constraints.  This is why network marketing has been so valuable and successful for women.  You can work from home and schedule your own business hours so you don’t miss your kids’ carpool nor soccer games.  Furthermore, when you work for someone else, your daily tasks are geared towards their success and not your own.   Why spend 40 hours a week making someone else successful when you can work less and directly obtain the rewards for yourself?

Back in the 1970’s and ‘80s, corporate life was the place that women wanted to be.  Take for instance, Mel Griffith’s “Working Girl”, which came out in 1988.  The new-found independence and opportunity to work outside the home, suit up and settle in a posh corner office was enticing!  Nowadays though, women are just as happy (if not more) strutting away in their yoga pants while working in the comfort and flexibility of their own home for their business and on their schedule.   Hence, emphasis on “their”.  Their home, Their business, THEIR schedule!  In network marketing, YOU decide your business goals, which can either mean working your business eight hours a day or even 2 hours, depending on how much time you want to spend on it.

Whether you’re searching for supplemental income or looking to develop a full-time business, network marketing is a realistic and valuable opportunity.  In today’s economy where corporate jobs are no longer guaranteed safe and retirement plans are crumbling, women are seeking rewarding career paths, where they can be themselves, have time to spend with family and friends, and lastly, live a comfortable and financially-set lifestyle.  With low start-up costs and monthly overhead, flexible schedules, and realistic and attainable rewards and incentives, network marketing is the dream solution for women everywhere.