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Monday, January 17, 2011

Five MORE Minutes - and Then Some

As you know, I'm a fan of five minutes.  I'm NOT a fan of looming deadlines, and that's what I'm facing now.  

Let me add, thanks to the military, I have no contact whatsoever (for the first time ever, not even when he was in Iraq did I have a day without some sort of communication) with my husband and spent the first lonely day feeling sorry for myself.  That's depressing enough, but when I looked at my calendar, I realized the month spent trying to get our kids on airplanes back to school (and losing precious work, including At Home America parties and meetings) was destroying all I worked for (that's another story in itself, just trust me).

Suddenly, I'm paralyzed. I'm doing nearly nothing.  And then it comes to me... five minutes.  Get back into life.  So I meditated and prayed for five minutes.  Ah. Smart move.

Five minutes of freeing my mind put me on the path to success. First of all, the no contact thing does stink, but I can use it to our advantage.  I imagined four less interruptions each day, then, handing him a check for the money I earned because I used my time wisely.  Also, for us, there's one more thing, he's been waiting for me to send the children's book to the publisher and to type 43:10 (screenplay) into the computer so we can get a new agent...  I CAN do this.  Even if only five minutes at a time.

The next five minutes, about an hour later, I rationally listed my most important deadlines and what I needed to do to meet them.

For instance, as a homestyle specialist, I worked hard the past two months to get to the second of two levels, in order to earn an important all expense paid trip to Chicago to learn more about my company and how to succeed.  When the flight fiasco with the boys happened (and the lovely holidays), I set it all aside. Now, in order to gain the last level and the trip (not to mention a decent check and some free homewares for myself), I have seven days to get $800 in sales. YIKES! I typically only earn about $1000 in sales in an entire month!

Goal - Earn $800 in sales before 4PM Hawaii time on January 24
How - Advertise, beg, motivate three people to host a quick online party

With this information in hand:
In five minutes I rewrote my iPhone email signature and my email signature. Since I need sales right now more than a recruit, I focused on whatever might encourage someone to order ASAP - the fact the Sale-a-bration sale is only through January and only until each item runs out, creates urgency; the fact the items are as low as $2.99 creates a more urgent desire.

In five more minutes, I wrote from my iPhone five letters to friends or family who I truly care about and would normally write.  Hours later, I'd take five minutes and do the same on the computer.  Each day, I'll do it again, but with other friends.  

Results:  I ended up with two online orders.  Both were small, but they are orders I normally would not have. Besides, all orders add up and the magic number is $1000.  I'm now short only $712.

And you can see how the five minutes add up, too. And they're painless!  I'm going to post on Facebook each day a new item under $3 for sale. They have to go through the higher priced items to get to the sale items. Works for me.  I'll take five minutes to go through my address book and call a potential hostess. Five minutes will allow me to check an online party. Five minutes does so much.

With writing... five minutes will give me a minute of screenplay action (I can type a page in five minutes).  I can query three publishers, a literary agent, and print out a proposal. Five more minutes gives me another page. My deadline for the screenplay is a bit longer, I have until February 2. Still, I can take five minutes to figure out how many five minute spurts a day I need to meet the deadline.  Easy.

The most difficult of my home "business" is being a victim's advocate. The reason it's difficult is that it earns nothing and depends on the earnings from the other jobs.  Constantly, I have to stop working on what I truly feel called to do, to do the others.  It's a catch-22, isn't it?

The biggest way I help is through a website.  I've been struggling for the last several years (after years of success) because I don't understand how to create the website in my mind now that I use Mac and Dreamweaver, and therefore, rarely do I get to actually write, research, or help. It's another bit of disappointment.

Yet, again, this is how five minutes works.  Five minutes can allow me to choose a subject in Dreamweaver that I really do not understand, and read.  It's ONLY five minutes, I can deal with the dry and often confusing information in such a small amount.  I can use five minutes more to create a pretty web page as best I can. Another five minutes will be spent sharing information author Sue Russell has shared in her Missing Mondays.  And if I have another five minutes to spare, I can write. I can write about cold cases, real cases, domestic violence, a plea for help.

Yes, in five minutes, I can do it.

Incidentally, it took longer than five minutes to write this and I do wish I had an extra five to decide if it makes sense, but since I really write it for me, to keep me on track, I'd rather take my five minutes and earn another $5.

God bless you and pray for our soldiers.

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