4 Things an MLM Is Teaching Me That Has Nothing To Do With Money

Have you ever done something hoping for one thing and then you walk away with something completely amazingly different? You know, maybe you go shopping for new sandals but you exit the store with the most beautiful pair of boots. EVER?! Ok I am kidding. Maybe. I do love shoes. I want to talk about how possible it is to sign up for something with a specific desired outcome, yet walk away with so much more.

For me, it has been my experience in my first business venture. Before you assume this is a post about MLM’s, please know it is not. I want to share what I am learning about myself as a result of being someone new to having her own business (and new to the MLM world). And just how powerful that all can be. I promise you do not even need to have your own business to have this post resonate with you. Trust.  And read on.

 

  1. People are watching.

Working in corporate America, I find that my brand is someone who can get shit done but also who strives to inspire others. I would say this is true in my business with one exception. When I leave the office, I can pretty much leave my work there until I return the next day.  The majority of my networking and success at my current job happens in a set environment. It reduces anxiety quite a bit because I can unplug when my work day ends.

With promoting, I have realized I need to be ‘on’ a lot more of the time, even in my personal life. I never know who is watching nor do I ever want to miss a chance to have a ketone conversation. It forces me for the better to be very cognizant of what vibes and energy I am giving off to other people.  It is forcing me to smile more, to engage in conversation more, and just really make a concerted effort to ask how other people are doing.  This is so important and eye opening to me not just from a business perspective but from just being a better human being. We all are a work in progress, and for me, this experience is truly helping me blossom. I feel more alive almost because I am not just going through the motions.  I am putting emotion into it. Not to mention, the better my energy, the better the energy is around me. It’s absolutely and positively infectious.

 

  1. Life can be so much more fulfilling when you let people in.

Similar to #1, as someone who is extremely introverted and shy, having my own business is forcing me to overcome that. I find life richer and more fulfilling when I get to chat with other people, whether it’s about ketones or not. It’s giving me a reason to reconnect with friends and acquaintenances. I ­know this will sound contradictory as I am introverted… but I am a social person. I love being ­­­able to interact but typically it is intimidating for me when I am in unfamiliar settings or around unfamiliar people. I am overcoming this as I realize how much there is to gain by talking and learning from others.

 

There is no shortage of like-minded people and that is what gets me truly amped up. My client base and network base potential is endless, which really means that I have endless chances to meet amazing people.  Yes, my initial motivation may be to share the ketone experience but there are so many other gains. I never know who I am going to connect with that perhaps will teach me something. Or perhaps I will teach or inspire them. It gives me renewed hope in a time where there is so much baffling madness around us. It reinforces how kind and good people can be. I know I digress on this point often in blogs, but it nurtures my spiritual side.

 

  1. Branding is so important.
    A huge part of having a business is my social media presence. With that comes a responsibility. People can build whatever persona they want to whether it’s true to form or not. I never want to be anything but authentic and relatable. If I post how hard a CrossFit workout is, it is because I suffered through it. If I post a ­­before and after picture or a photo of my abs, it’s 100% real. I want people to see me for who I am. It is important for me that if I inspire someone to try ketones, that I am not falsely advertising. Being real is what we all are drawn to.

 

  1. I am my own worst obstacle yet my biggest opportunity.
    The only thing that would ever prevent me from being successful is myself and being in my own way. As an introvert, it is not easy for me to strike up conversations with people I do not know, but I am doing more of it (and every time I actually do, it’s remarkably easier).  We all have seen quotes about fear being in the way or on the other side of fear lives happiness.  It is so true. The only thing that separates me from those in the business killing it is myself. There is no reason I can’t be successful (and I whole heartedly believe I will) once I get out of my own way.

 

 

Which also means that I am my biggest opportunity. I have so much to share and teach and inspire that as I do more and more of it, the more happiness and success I will derive. The sky is the limit isn’t it?

 

When you find something that just makes sense, almost like it’s the missing piece to a puzzle, things just organically start to fall into place. Yes you should put in the time and the effort, but when positive intent is there, you become so much more open to things that you may not have ever imagined. There is so much to gain from believing in new opportunities (and I am not talking financial).  We should strive to grow and constantly evolve. We never ever should stop evolving.

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Spam Bombs and Credit Card Fraud Will Make Anyone Crazy

Last Wednesday started off like any other day. I stopped by a colleague’s desk to catch up on her recent vacation. I got back to my desk 10 minutes later and saw I had 297 unopened Gmail messages. I immediately knew something was off; even on my best day I am not that popular. I had a slew of emails with similar subjects like “Thank you for subscribing” or “Thank you for your inquiry”. Some messages were English, some Spanish, some were what I think to be Arabic.” WTF?!?!” went through my head a million times. I immediately logged into Gmail on my computer, and deleted what now rose to about 500 emails. But they would NOT stop. Emails were coming in by the second. I added a million filters which caught thousands, but it was relentless. And I was at wit’s end. I sighed audibly a good 3 times when my cube neighbor popped up and asked, “Ok, Missy, that was the 3 sigh. What is going on?” I told him I was getting spammed like crazy, so he came over to look at my email. We saw about 500 in my spam box (and growing) and about 60 in my inbox (and growing) and he exclaimed, “Holy shit, you’ve been hosed!”  Thanks, Pal.

I tried googling what was going on. My first assumption was my email was hacked and I would need to delete the account, which was heart wrenching and not really an option I wanted to consider.  I have probably a decade’s worth of emails and information that I did not want to part with. After not finding much help on Google, I tried finding Gmail support (which basically does not exist, or if it does, Google has it so purposefully and cleverly hidden).

I did find a Gmail help forum. I posted a question not really expecting a response as I had no idea if it was monitored or even frequented. Much to my surprise though, I did promptly have a few response.  Here is a snippet of that conversation:

snippet

 

 

Silly naïve me was truly fixating on the wrong issues which is the point of being spam bombed. I kept asking questions about switching emails, exporting/importing while icantchooseone insistently told me to check my finances.

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So after about 3 comments from him/her, I got spooked enough to start calling my banks and credit card companies. Everything was good on the bank fronts, same as the first credit card company I called.  When I called my second (and only other) credit card company, the agent was checking recent transactions. He told me there was a charge made the day before for $2.99 to an online apple store. He asked if I had an iphone apple account, and I said I did.  However, that is not the amount of my typical monthly charge. He said there was another charge made that day to the same store for the amount of $3000.00. I assured him that was not mine, and so he flagged it as fraudulent and declined it.

He also told me there was a $33 apparel charge over the weekend that was declined as it was suspected of being fraudulent. Really, credit card company? This is me… an avid shopper who drops money on clothes ALL THE TIME all around the country and the world. $33 is suspicious but a $3000 apple charge is not?! At any rate, I actually found that amusing (and truth be told, my credit card company is typically on point with catching fraud so I am very grateful).

The agent also immediately cancelled my current credit card and was issuing another one to be mailed to me. So who knew?  Icantchooseone was onto something, much to my dismay.

About two minutes after I got that squared away with the credit card company, I received a phone call from apple about a recent charge that was declined. I let him know that was fraudulent. It is good to know (not being snarky) that even though a fraudulent charge got through initially on their site, they have checks and balances for when that charge goes astray.

Side note: It was unsettling to say the least that on July 4th when the first little fraudulent tester went through (I am sure it was an attempt to keep the amount small and undetectable to see if they found a winner card to rip off), I was chillin at the pool without a care in the world while someone or someones were probably sitting in a dark basement somewhere, anywhere really (and I don’t know why I assume it’s a basement. Maybe I have watched too much “24” in my day) laughing up a storm at what a sucker I was and all the new fancy electronics they were going to buy. If someone is smart enough to decode or crack a code or whatever it is they do to get people’s personal information, why are they wasting their talents on such evil? But I digress…

I of course immediately messaged icantchooseone back to let him/her know of the charge (as I think this person was legitimately concerned. He/she had told  me the first day when he/she was logging off to go to sleep, guessing lives in a different country and checked back in the next day). He/she also told me that as I suspected after putting two and two together, that the email spam bomb is intended to distract from the credit card charges. To put in perspective, I am certain I received about 200,000 spam emails during the course of 6 hours; that is NOT an exaggeration.  I cannot explain the feeling of seeing emails pouring in. It is like not being able to stop bleeding no matter how many Band-Aids you put on.

At any rate, I have since put every possible alert on my bank accounts and am re-evaluating when and how I use credit cards. I will never know how or where or when the hackers got my email and credit card information, which also is endlessly infuriating. It is a weird feeling that somewhere my information was exposed. Also, the sad reality too is that I am sure that after these delinquents got rejected by my card, they moved onto the next innocent. So I write this post as another reminder that credit card fraud and even identify theft are very real, very prevalent threats.  Knock on wood, I am lucky that the extent of my hacking experience ended with a few charges as there are cases far more severe. So everyone when it comes to your money, finances and identity, be safe, be smart!

Bathroom Selfies: Trouble or Truth?

A few Saturday mornings ago, I was getting ready to workout. I had on pajama bottoms that are probably 5 sleeps away from completely disintegrating, paired with a sports bra. I was not exactly a vision. Anyways, I was walking around my condo doing who knows what (I get easily distracted) when I sauntered past a mirror. Mind you, I do not typically stroll around in just a bra because well, it’s just not my thing. ANYWAYS, I caught a glimpse of my stomach. Well really I caught a glimpse of what I thought might actually be abs.  I had to rub my eyes a few times to make sure I was not dreaming. I obviously had to strike a few different poses and angles to confirm it was not just a figment of my imagination.  I also went into my bathroom to check in that mirror. I turned on and off every combination of lights from my bathroom to the hallway to my bedroom. Ok so at this point of reading, you are thinking, “Missy, you are psycho”. Yes, yes I am. And that is the point of this story.

The psychosis continued. I messaged two of my friends that I knew would tell me if there were really indeed traces of abdominal muscles showing or if it was a figment of my imagination. I expected them to confirm the latter, but much to my dismay, they did not. They told me something like “Missy, you look amazing! And you need to get your head checked. You have total body dysmorphia.”

I share this little story because I know I am not the only one with thoughts like this. I know I am not the only one even at my age who still struggles with body image insecurities. I also know that like many of you, for every moment of confidence I have, I have exponentially more moments of self-doubt.

At this point, I could go in a few directions with this (much like the book series I grew up with, Choose Your Own Adventure). I could write about how we are our own worst critics and give a few tips for how we perhaps can start to change our thinking, but that is not really the main point that is percolating in my brain.(Nor do  I truly know how to do that because surely if I did, I would not even be writing this post today). If you are like me, our insecurities are years in the making.  I am not arrogant enough to think my post will make any of us, including myself, think otherwise.  Or perhaps I could write about how we as a society have unrealistic expectations, but that’s been done time and time again.  I would not do it justice.

Truth be told, I have edited this post about 5 times because I keep vacillating on what is I really want to articulate. I have pinpointed what I essentially want to tell myself and anyone else reading this who also finds themselves obsessing about what they think is imperfect about themselves:  Let’s cut ourselves some slack. We will always have goals or some formed idea of what we think perfect is that we continuously work towards, possibly never to actually be achieved (not because of pessimism, but because we must admit we often set unrealistic goals). Because the thing is, there is no perfect. We can spend our whole lives feeling like we do not measure up, and it becomes like any other negative thought we have. We start thinking it and putting it out there. We keep seeing flaws and ignore everything else. Instead, we need to focus on the positive and freakin compliment ourselves for when we notice something that makes us go, “Well damn, that is impressive.”

Yes, absolutely, I want a 6 pack or even just to have a flat tummy. I also workout like a boss and I do stuff that blows my own mind. Maybe my abs are not where I want them to be, but what about those traps?  Or biceps? Or whatever it is.  My body does reflect the work I put into it if I would just take a minute to acknowledge it and appreciate it.

I know that despite a few bad ass bathroom selfies I am not going to poof, become totally in love with my body. Nor do I expect you to overcome whatever your insecurities are from one little ole blog post. But I do think though that what I learned from those pics is that I spend a lot of time zooming into pictures and honing in on everything and anything I do not like (and I know a lot of you do the same…  It’s ok to admit it, I just did!)  We are not going to change overnight what could be years, decades even, of negative thoughts, but I sure do not want to feel like they are ruling my life. I do not want to be consumed by the negative. I should not need anyone else either to validate how I look (as I did in sending my abs photo to friends). If I see it, I should own it. So should you. End of story.

 

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