I don't know how else to begin. Really. Just one word.
Firstly, I had several different people email me regarding my last post. I was told I was inspirational. I'm a hero. People look up to me. Honestly? I kind of scratch my head and go "really? They look up to me?!" Then I mentally slap myself and say, "Gracefully accept this praise--you are that person's hero and inspiration in this moment and that is a blessing."
It may seem weird to have to have that little talk with myself. Alas, it happens frequently. People in real life sometimes think I'm really cocky and overconfident. Truth? I'm horribly insecure. I second guess things I do, things I say, decisions I've made, even to this day. My overconfidence is really a facade--I boost myself up because I no longer feel the need to rely on other people to do it for me.
Growing up...I didn't have the mother-daughter relationship I should have had. I was abused. I was abused in many ways, including the worst there is (which for the record, I believe is emotional abuse rather than sexual--I had both--because latter can be put behind you, the former lives within you, often forever). I lived with the secret of that life for a long, long time. Now? I'm not embarrassed to tell people. I don't advertise it obviously (I mean, how awkward would that be? "Hi, I'm Raye and guess what? I was emotionally and sexually abused growing up, how about you?"). I'm not ashamed of it like I used to be, however. When its warranted...I tell people. If it makes them uncomfortable, that says a lot more about them than about me.
The reason why I bring this up is very simple. You know (unless you've been in a cave for awhile *wink*) that I became an independent consultant for Thirty-One gifts at the end of September. It's a hobby for me really. I love the bags, the purses, the organizers and its fun to sell. I sell mostly to teacher friends but am beginning to branch out a bit. I love it. I get to get out of my house a couple of times per month, meet new ladies and just have fun. It's really quite cool. Getting paid to do it is just a bonus.
Thirty-One - based upon Proverbs 31 which talks about the virtuous woman -- has a very simple mission: Celebrate, Encourage and Reward women. They make good on their mission by celebrating and rewarding their consultants. I always have people marvel at my huge display, their eyes bugging out and say "holy cow, Raye, is all of that stuff really yours?" My answer? Yes. And about 85% of it I didn't pay a cent for. I earned it free by having parties. It's very awesome. My reason for joining Thirty-One was simply to help push that mission. Now that I am much more secure in who I am (not entirely but better than I ever have been), I have vowed to take C-E-R to the next level and bring that mission into other women's lives.
In November, our sweet social worker from my school had a party with me at her house. It was a small party but man, did we have a great time. I do my little show and then let them do their thing. If the ladies order, awesome. If they don't, awesome. It's really about just having a good time and making these ladies feel good about themselves. Through that party, I met my hostess for my party on Saturday, the 18th. This gal is a single mom, a social worker in my inner city district, who busts her butt to set a good example daily for her children.
I know that there is a huge reason this woman and I came together through our mutual friend. She has a set budget due to her situation. I worked hard to get her up to the magic number at her party because its a double hostess credit month. We got there by the grace of God. But I also knew that this woman was going to balk at paying for her half price and hostess exclusives because it wasn't going to be in her budget. I left her last night with some homework--select her hostess freebies and call me when she was ready to close.
I had another party tonight, with a student teacher from school, and called last night's hostess when I got home. As suspected, she spent her freebies but didn't want to take advantage of the hostess exclusives because she couldn't justify the expense. Well, I was not about to let these exclusives go because she couldn't afford to pay for them. At both parties I have been to with her -- our mutual friend we met through's party and her own -- she has admired my Suite Success Tote. I knew she really wanted it but didn't want to pay for it due to her budget.
So for about 5 seconds, I deliberated. I thought about the mission - Celebrate. Encourage. Reward. And I knew what I had to do. I had to reward this woman who is working hard for her children. Who has the right mindset to stick within her budget and not deter from that. I said, "Well my dumplin', I know that you really want the Suite Success Tote because you have admired mine both times I have met you. You work hard and I want to reward you. So, I am going to buy your Suite Success Tote for you. Please consider it a gift from me to you." We were on the phone together but I heard her jaw drop. She was amazed. Shocked. In awe. I've met her twice and would do this for her?
It isn't because I'm a saint. Far from it. It's because it was the right thing to do. I will take it out of my commission. Not a big deal at all. She was so grateful and I knew in my heart I had done the right thing. I carried out the mission of Thirty-One by not thinking about myself, but by thinking of someone else. Someone who deserved to be treated well. To be rewarded for being a good example for her children.
A bonus will be that she will tell her friends about me. They will think I'm awesome and will call me when they want to order products. That's fine. Not necessary but again, just a bonus. I don't need the commission I make doing this....but I love doing it because I get to make someone's day.
That's worth so much more than any commission or dollar amount could ever be worth. There are people, of course, who do not understand that. But I do. And I will teach that to my children. Money means nothing. You can't take money with you when your number is called. But you can leave behind a legacy of generosity. Of faith. Of doing good for other people simply because its the right thing to do.
To me, that is the absolute epitome of what Celebrate, Encourage and Reward means.