I can't tell you how many times I've heard a demonstrator say they wish they had a "better" upline. If I had a stamp set for every time I've heard virtual angst on this topic, there wouldn't be room for ME in my stamp room.So I'm giving a little bit of a tough talk today. This is for those of you who've been "orphaned," "abandoned," moved away, or otherwise got left behind.
First of all, I'd like to say that you have a legitimate right to your feelings of disappointment. Go ahead and acknowledge that you feel alone and under appreciated. That you wish you had someone to call when you hit a milestone, that family members just don't get it, that you go green with envy when you hear what someone else's upline brought them from convention.
It's ok to feel that way. However, it's not ok to KEEP feeling that way, and that's what I'd like to talk about today. As good old Dr. Phil always says, the only person you can change is yourself. So let's start there.
There ARE poor uplines, one who "abandon" their new recruits, refuse to return phone calls or emails, or otherwise act irresponsibly to their downlines. This happens in every direct sales business on the planet. But the vast majority of uplines are just ordinary women living their lives, doing Stampin' Up on the side. And they need to be given a break. Their lives do not revolve around Stampin' Up in the manner you might wish them to, and you have to accept that.
You might have developed such feelings of outright bitterness over the years that you actually need to forgive your upline. If that is the case, I would encourage you to do so right now in your head. Do it for your own sake. Don't let your business have that undercurrent of resentment. Accept that your upline is who she is, and allow her to be that.In addition to accepting your upline for what she is, you have to accept your circumstances. Regardless of your situation, you're in it. "No matter where you go, there you are," as the saying goes. You need to start making the best of it. It is what it is. You CAN succeed. You don't HAVE to have an upline to help you. Don't let yourself use that as an excuse not to achieve your fantastic potential with Stampin' Up.
So number one--Acknowlege your feelings, number two--Accept the situation. What's number three? Appreciate yourself.
You're not getting a reward or even a card from your upline if you hit a milestone or find a new recruit. Ok, then, find a way to reward yourself. Don't go overboard, of course, but celebrate your achievements with some new ribbon or some fancy paper. Maybe it's an extra hour in the stamp room. The reward could even be a payment into your convention fund. And if I can add one little suggestion--it's really never wise to reward yourself with food. We don't need any contributions to "stamper's butt," right?!
When you are under-appreciated, you need to learn to appreciate yourself even more. Don't let yourself stop feeling good because no one around you understands or appreciates what your accomplishment really means. Your efforts are praise-worthy no matter if you're getting that praise or not. Veronica A Shoffstall wrote, "Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." I hope you will learn to grow your own roses.
One last "A" to throw at you--Audience--surround yourself with a supportive audience. If you are like some women I know without a soul in the world to cheer them on, not even a supportive spouse, then you will be finding it very difficult right now. You have my compassion.
Your upline doesn't have meetings, for whatever reason. YOU have them. Invite all the demos you know and a bunch you find on the demo locator. Start up a group if there isn't one already in your area that takes in orphan demos. If no one comes to the first one, invite some more and do it again. There are other demos like you out there, and getting together to stamp is important.
Create your own community or join an existing one. Start investing some time in online forums or chat boards, and start surrounding yourself with positive people who will cheer your good days and commiserate on your bad days. I would never have earned my first incentive trip if it hadn't been for my online friends believing in me. I really believe that. I couldn't give up when they were rootin' for me so hard!
Lots of people might say forums are a waste of time, but I have found them immensely rewarding when you use them in moderation. Our world is a completely different place than it used to be, and you can find your friends all over the globe. One of my very favorite things about going to Stampin' Up events is getting to meet the friends I have been chatting with online for years.
Side note: It is way too easy to fall into the trap of thinking the grass is way greener in someone else's downline. What you need to remember is that you honestly do not know what it is like to be a member of that person's downline. They might be big-time achievers and have a glitzy website and advertise fantastic-sounding incentives, and yet never return the phone calls or respond to emailed questions. Maybe they are so overwhelmingly awesome that they overshadow their downlines. You never know.
So here's your report card--you got four A's and one B. Acknowledge, Accept, Appreciate, Audience. Here's the B. My number one piece of advice for demos who find themselves alone out there is this: Be the upline you wish you had. Focus all that energy into growing your own downline and becoming the best upline you can be. Your experiences will make you stronger and better because you will know first hand how important that encouragement and support is. You're gonna be AWESOME!