In Part 1 of this post, I talked about my friend Laura who struggled with low self-esteem for most of her life. On numerous occasions, she proclaimed that the only way she’d speak “in front of” a group of people is if she could speak from behind a curtain, a la The Wizard of Oz.
But then she started her own business as a LuLaRoe consultant, and everything began to change. As I interviewed Laura, I was struck by how well her journey illustrates Practical Principles of Self-Worth. (Be sure to read Part 1 for Principles 1-3.)
“I’ve never been a fan of direct sales. I’m not a super confident person, and the idea of trying to convince someone to buy the exact same thing from me that they could get from someone else seemed unrealistic. But LuLaRoe is different, each print is only made in a limited quantity of pieces and each consultant gets different inventory so it’s not as competitive. I’m not trying to convince someone to order the exact same Tupperware from my catalog as they could get from their cousin with the same catalog. My stuff is unique to me. If I don’t have something you want, someone else might and that’s okay. But I do strive to make personal connections with my customers and provide them with a great shopping experience so they will want to shop with me first.”
Practical Principle of Self-Worth #4 – Accept your strengths and weaknesses.
Honor them. Utilize them. Work with them. You can beat your head against a wall trying to improve your weaknesses. They’ll still be weaknesses. To honor who you truly are, you have to work with your nature rather than against it. That’s exactly what Laura did. She found a company that offered a unique inventory to decrease direct competition, and a business model that let her genuine warmth and customer service skills shine.
Even though she knew LuLaRoe was a good fit for her, her mind wasn’t totally made up. But instead of being paralyzed by that uncertainty, she bravely walked into it.
“When I first signed up, the company was going through a huge influx of new consultants signing up. Because of this, there was a wait to become a consultant. At the time the wait was 3 months long, and until you got your call and made your initial order there was no commitment. So I convinced myself and my husband that it wouldn’t hurt anything to file the paperwork while we decided. Most of the time I was waiting, while trying to convince my husband why I should do it, I was internally convincing myself why I shouldn’t. It wasn’t until the moment when my husband started ordering some of the additional supplies that I would need that I finally felt like it was actually going to happen.”
Practical Principle of Self-Worth #5 – Take tangible steps toward your dreams.
Too many women wish and wait for a fairy godmother to swoosh in and solve all their problems. That kind of passivity leads to diminished self-worth because you give up your power and your ability to control your situation. Laura leaned in. She wasn’t 100% convinced she could do it. In fact, she kept giving herself a mental back door, a way out if she changed her mind. But with each step she took toward her dream, it became more and more real. She began to actually see herself doing it. Unexpected money appeared that took away her fear of going into debt. Her actions opened a way to make it possible.
Since becoming a LuLaRoe consultant, she’s done so many new and brave things. I literally squealed with delight the first time I saw Laura on camera – doing Facebook Live, of all things! Not a “safe” recorded video. Live. Streaming. Video. Showing her face and everything! No longer the woman behind the curtain. No longer hiding. I thought to myself, “She finally killed the Wizard!”
And she’s rockin’ it! She looks so natural and comfortable on camera, you’d never know she was once deathly afraid of speaking in public.
You need to stretch your comfort zone, or it will shrink, leaving you afraid of more and more things. Laura’s definitely outside of her comfort zone doing video. But she’s going for it and doing it anyway. I asked her what changed, that she’s now so comfortable doing something she used to find terrifying, and this is what she said:
“I’m glad you think I look comfortable on camera but the truth is I’m not at all! I am not someone who feels comfortable with public speaking. You can ask my college speech teacher. I’m pretty sure he only passed me because he was worried about the long term effects on me if I had to take the class again! When I started this business, I was dead set on only doing online sales and simply showing photos of the clothes with me hiding behind a computer. But as I studied successful consultants, and even just noticed who I preferred to shop with, I noticed how much of a difference it made to feel that personal connection with the person behind the clothing. We aren’t just another generic big box store; we are mothers and wives and daughters and friends. I think letting people know a little bit about who we are makes them want more to support us in our small business.”
Laura credits supportive friends and family for making it easier to go live on video. And since tackling Facebook Live, Laura’s even ventured into Periscope, where she’s talking to strangers, and the possibility of facing online trolls is very real. VERY brave, Laura. VERY brave!
Practical Principle of Self-Worth #7 – One success leads to another.
Laura’s decision to say “yes” to herself, to invest in herself and stretch out of her comfort zone has paid off big-time in terms of her self-worth. She’s doing things she never thought possible. She’s stepping into her own power, and she feels great about it!
“After being a stay-at-home wife and mom for over 5 years, it becomes hard not to lose your sense of self-worth. Even with well-meaning family members, stay-at-home moms just don’t get the acknowledgement they really should. I think that’s why direct sales are so popular; it allows them a chance to get out and be something other than ‘Mom,’ to have other people acknowledge them for something solely linked to them, and not their husband or children. Overall, I’d say find something that goes well with what you want, and who you are.”
Practical Principle of Self-Worth #8 – Be true to the Real You.
So many women I talk to say that they’ve spent so much time taking care of everyone else in their lives that they’ve forgotten who they are. But you’re important, too. Your wants and dreams matter. Your opinions matter. You matter.
If you’re struggling with self-worth, one of the first things to really examine is where and how you’ve lost yourself along the way. Rediscover the things that make your heart sing. Then go do those things.
Laura decided to step into her authenticity. She embraced the Real Laura. She stopped hiding and killed the cowering Wizard inside of her. Her self-worth is improving daily, and her candid interview is proof of that.
Laura, thank you for being so vulnerable. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I’m sure many women can relate to your story. I’m so proud of you, and I can’t wait to see what you do next!
Do you love LuLaRoe? You can connect with Laura here: