Dream Building Time

Dream Building Time with Karen Van der Veen

Episode Highlights:

  • [0:57] Who is Karen Van Der Veen?
  • [1:22] How Karen found the world of direct selling business
  • [1:54] A brief background on Karen’s business
  • [2:27] Life without her direct selling business
  • [2:50] Can direct selling change you as a person?
  • [3:49] What’s so interesting about dream building?
  • [4:49] Introducing dream building to new consultants
  • [5:40] How to use dream building in your team
  • [7:22] The secret of the red car
  • [8:28] Using dream boards in the low point of your business
  • [11:03] Using technology or social media in dream board building
  • [11:55] Vision board as a family activity
  • [16:13] How to get your team emotionally engaged
  • [16:47] Inspiring your team through your visions
  • [18:54] The benefits of the direct selling lifestyle
Dream Building Time with Karen Van der Veen


[0:39] Jen: Today we’re so lucky to have Karen Van Der Veen with us. Karen is from a party plan company, a global company in the candle and home decor category. Today we’re going to be talking about dream building. Welcome to the show, Karen.

[0:52] Karen: Thank you. How are you, Jen?

[0:53] Jen: Great! How are you?

[0:55] Karen: Good.

[0:57] Jen: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

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[0:59] Karen: Sure, I live in Victoria on a farm of 20 acres with my husband and three children, two girls and a boy. And it’s a beautiful sunny day.

[1:09] Jen: Do you have animals on this farm?

[1:10] Karen: We do. We’re not a working farm, it’s just a bit of a fun place to live. I have a horse and my girls have three sheep, some dogs, and we’re hoping to get some cows, soon.

[1:22] Jen: Oh, that’s very exciting, very different to my environment. So, can you tell me, why did you get involved in direct selling?

[1:30] Karen: Initially, it was because I wanted the challenge. I wanted something to do for me, something to get me out of the house. Something else to focus that wasn’t just being a stay at home mom. I love being home with my kids. I think it’s a real privilege that I’ve been able to stay home and look after my kids, but I wanted something to do for me and bit of a challenge and also to financially help my family as well.

[1:54] Jen: So can you give me a short overview of your direct selling business? Tell me about your team and your growth. Where are you at?

[2:02] Karen: Well, this changes often as I sponsor new consultants and as consultants leave it’s constantly changing, the dynamics changing, and the culture’s changing in my business. One of the exciting things I think leading a team and working with those girls and building those relationships with those girls is something that I really enjoy about what is that I do.

[2:25] Jen: So if you weren’t in direct selling, what do you think you would be doing?

[2:27] Karen: You know; I really don’t know. I thought about that question a lot and I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now. I wouldn’t be traveling as much as I would, as much as I have, and there are certainly lifestyle things that I also wouldn’t have. So, not sure what my life would look like if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now.

[2:50] Jen: What about you as a person? Do you think you would be the same person or would you be different?

[2:54] Karen: Oh, I’m definitely different. Definitely, a different person.

[2:58] Jen: How so?

[2:59] Karen: You know I really found something that I love. I love what it is that I’m selling. I’ve got a lot confidence, personal confidence from being good at what it is that I do. And there’s – when you’re successful at something, when you feel that you’re achieving something, it gives you a lot of empowerment. I think as a woman and as a person – yes, I can do this. Yes, I’m actually really good at this. I’m good at being a mom. I’m good at looking after my family, but there’s other things that I’m really good at as well. I’ve really, really found that with my business and my candles. So yes, definitely not the same person that I was and I’ve got so much more confidence in myself and my ability in what I do.

[3:42] Jen: So, I know you’re excited to talk with us about dream building, today. Can you tell me you wanted to talk about this particular topic?

[3:49] Karen: I love dream building especially since only three months ago I achieved my biggest goal that we had on our dream board. My husband and I, which was to moved to acreage that only recently have we have done that, and that’s huge, and that’s been on my dream board for about 12-15 years, we’ve been working towards this, so that was a really big tick. You know, having your dreams, having your goals is such an important thing in your personal life, but also in your business as well because it gives you that focus. I’m a really big believer of we get more of what we focus on. So if you have your beautiful dreams and your goals and your focusing on those and that is what you’re going to achieve.

[4:37] Jen: So, is there a process that you go through when you help a new consultant get started in regards to knowing their why, knowing their goal, why they’re here, why they’re doing this business?

[4:49] Karen: It’s really interesting when you bring on a new consultant and initially you hear their why. Why is that you’d like to do this? What is it that you want to get out of it. And then I usually find within the first month their Why changes. Their eyes are opened and this is they see what they can achieve and what it’s doing for them. Their Why changes and it grows. It’s like their mind is opened and they can see, “Oh, wow, I can do that, or, I can do that!” And it just grows, so, I find that I’m constantly asking them, what is your why? How is why changed? And when we train our new consultant within the first three months that is something that we work with them on and we’re asking them and we find the changes.

[5:40] Jen: So how do you use dream building with your team?

[5:41] Karen: We build dream boards, like a vision board and I like to do that about once a year with my team. Me personally as well, I think it’s good to refresh things but you’ll find that you’re achieving your dreams. When they’re there, when you can see them, you’re achieving them so much quicker than if they were just in your head. I find that yearly is a great time frame to sort of change and update your dream boards. So we do that as a team about once a year and then as we – throughout the year as we go to training and conferences, and things, you’ll find the girls get inspired and motivated and they’ll have different goals. So then we sort of do not so much vision boards but we do like some mind mapping around the goal that they want to achieve or in a specific goal like where they want to achieve in. Incentive trip or whether they want to build towards leadership and then mapping that out to see what that would look like.

[6:34] Jen: So, do you have a vision board to help you and do you believe that the key ingredients when building that vision board?

[6:42] Karen: I knew you were going to ask that. I actually do have to redo my dream board because I have achieved everything on there. So I have…[crosstalk]

[6:50] Jen: Well, well, well. Congratulations on doing that. That’s incredible.

[6:56] Karen: I need to redo it but one of the things that I always have on my dream board is a red car, because red car is fast.

[7:07] Jen: [Laughs] So they say.

[7:08] Karen: Yes, so they say, but for me, when I first joined – we had some training from head office and it was a training segment on seeing red cars. Have you heard of that before?

[7:20] Jen: No. Tell us about it.

[7:22] Karen: It’s really awesome, but it’s a Brandy’s concept of getting more of what you focus on. And you know when you go buy a new car, see one that you really love. Suddenly, you’re seeing – everywhere you drive, you’re seeing this car, everywhere, because it’s what you’re focused on and so it’s around that whole concept and that has – so a real pivotal moment for me, and my business, and something that I fall back on a lot and I train with my girls, they will come to me and say, “Oh, you know, this is happening in my business or, I can’t get bookings or I’m not seeing – I can’t see sponsors and you know, I have to go back to them and I’m like, what is that you’re focused on? Are you focusing on – when you go to a party are you thinking, “I’m not going to get any bookings, this is not going to be good.” And so forth or are you thinking, “Yes, I’m going to get booking. This is what I’m going to go and do.” If you’re focusing on the negative, that’s what you’re going to achieve. You’re going to get negative – the negative outcome, whereas, if you’re focusing on the positive and focusing on this is what I want, this is what I want to achieve. This is what’s going to happen, and that’s what you’re going to get more of.

[8:28] Jen: So, knowing your dreams is especially important when you hit a low point in your business. So how do you use this as a tool to pull yourself or your team members back up? And do you have a vision or a dream board in that process?

[8:39] Karen: I have something that I’m working on at the moment to be perfectly honest. We have about five months off with my business just three personal health issues and some health issues with one of my daughters that I’ve had to work through. So, I’m in the process of having to, you know, build up my business again and be a bit more active in it. So, yes, you can go through lows. Everyone goes through low point in their business and sometimes it can be hard to get out of that mindset, to get out of that hole, I suppose, and so I think, “Okay, what is it that I want?” You have to remember – go back to your why. Why am I doing this? What is it that I achieved? So, again, having those dreams and having that vision board, looking at that and it helps you to refocus on what is this that you want and gives you that inspiration and motivation, but also talking to other people. I’m a really big believer of having a mentor, having someone you can talk to, and not just one mentor. Talk to other people within your business. I have two or three people who can help mentor you because they have gone through the same things that you’re going through. In that way, we’re all going through and I think in this business, people are really caring and sharing and it’s about building relationships so we’re all more than happy to help each other. I find it that having someone who can mentor you that you can talk to and you know, who can give you a kick up the butt when you need it is really good.

[10:15] Jen: Yes. I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had those health issues in your family at the moment, although it’s very comforting to know that you are able to take that time off from your business so easily, that’s really important. Unlike most other careers that you would be doing, you wouldn’t be able to do that. So I’m sure they’re very grateful for that right now.

[10:38] Karen: It is. At least one of the things that I talk to my team about, I talk to our new consultants about, in this business it’s something you can put your tools down when you need to and then you can pick them back up again when you’re ready as well. And that has been comforting, really, really important to know that yes, I’m ready again now. I can get back on the horse and get on with it again.

[11:03] Jen: Do you use technology or social media for creating vision or dream board?

[11:08] Karen: I haven’t looked into that. No, I didn’t know you could do that.

[11:13] Jen: Well, we’ll talk afterwards. You know, some people would do use online stuff. Are you more of a clip out of a magazine? How are you doing it?

[11:24] Karen: Yes, you know, I’m a bit more of a tactile person. I still like to read books, the ones that you hold, not the ones on a Kindle or something like that, I still like to hold the pages. I’m a creative person. In my spare time, I like to do sewing and things like that, so very tactile person. I’m the cutting out person, sticking things on. I put a bit of bling here and there and yes, that for me works.

[11:55] Jen: And what about as a family? I mean, it’s funny, do you do this on your own or is this something that is a family activity.

[12:02] Karen: I started off doing it on my own. I’ve been in my direct selling business for three years now and I started, definitely started doing my own but you know, it’s really interesting how it rubs off on your children, particularly my two older girls. They’re 13 and 11 now and it’s a thing really – they’ve always known that our goal was to have acreage and to live on a farm so we can have horses and things. And they – because we talked about it all the time and they loved it. They love the idea. That’s what they wanted and then, so we’ve achieved it now and see their sense of achievement too and I think it’s a really good role modelling for them as well. So that the – how you set goals, you don’t achieve them instantly all the time. Sometime you have to really, really work at achieving, but then when you do, they get that real sense of satisfaction and yes, wow, we’ve achieved this and this is really awesome. So, and interesting to see how they sort of implement that in their little lives too. “I want to do this or I want to achieved that. I want to save up for this and get that.” It’s been a really good influence on them too.

[13:13] Jen: It’s funny, my husband and I moved into a new house, probably about two years ago and one of the things that the previous family left behind was their family dream board. And it had – it was this giant piece of cardboard that everyone had an input, mom, dad, and the two kids, boy and a girl, one sort of about 12 or 13 and then a nine year old. And it was just so interesting to have a look at where everyone’s coming from with the different desires and things that they want over the next five years, but how they were all working together to achieve that. It’s something that I just couldn’t throw it away so I’ve filed it because I just thought it was so beautiful and something that my husband and I will love to do with our girls when they get a little bit older. They’re only toddlers now, so. And you’re right, it’s just all about showing them how to put your goals on a board like this and create that vision and do that together and help each other to keep looking back and keep working towards it as a family. It’s really important.

[14:16] Karen: Yes, definitely.

[14:19] Jen: So we talked a little bit about how your dreams have changed and your goals and your vision as you progressed in your business, could you share a little bit more about that with us?

[14:29] Karen: Specifically, about my business? Where I wanted to go, you mean?

[14:33] Jen: Yes.

[14:35] Karen: It’s also something that’s under review since because of the past five months. You know, having to rethink, if you ask me a year ago, I probably would have known exactly where I wanted my business to go, but you go through these speed humps and it takes you a little bit in a different course, so to speak, but I love – I have girls on my team who would love to have their own team so that’s something that I would love to encourage them and build them up to achieve. I think it’s really nice when you see those around you being successful. It’s not – I don’t think in this business it’s all about you. I can’t – even though I have a vision and I have my dreams, I can’t make my team have my dreams. Their dreams are their dreams, so in order to achieve my dreams, I have to help them achieve their dreams. Does that make sense?

[15:28] Jen: Yes, definitely. So how often do you – you said that your team do it once a year. You’re updating your vision boards and your dreams, but what about you? When are you going to do this new board? Do you feel that’s something you can do now or is it…?

[15:44] Karen: Yes, I think I’m definitely in a much better place to start looking at doing that dream board again. And then, I’m work out where it is it that I want to be and where it is at I want my business to be as well. I’m a bit impatient. I want everything now. [Laughs] And then when I don’t achieve it I’m like, “what am I doing wrong?” [Laughs]

[16:04] Jen: Back to that Why time.

[16:07] Karen: Yes, I know, I know. So I can be a little bit impatient and it’s like, I want it now. I don’t want to have to wait.

[16:13] Jen: So how do you get yourself or your team emotionally engaged?

[16:18] Karen: That’s a hard… that can sometimes be really hard. I do sometimes find that hard because they can create these dream board and say, “Yes, that’s really great. That’s a great goal. That’s inspiring and blah, blah, blah and they’re like, yeah I love that. I love that I love that. And then they take it home and sometimes, nothing can happen with it. That’s a really good question, how do you get them engaged and I think it comes down, really it does come down to them having to want it badly enough.

[16:47] Jen: So, how do you communicate your vision with your team to inspire them? Is it something that you do?

[16:52] Karen: I do, at least I try to. [Laughs] I do it a lot at my unit meetings. We’re often sharing things about our businesses and where we’re going and what we’re doing through our social media, Facebook page. We do a lot of sharing and our wow moment that has happened to get that inspiration and motivation happening, getting people to share, because once they’re engaged, again, you’re building a relationship with them and then they’re engaging in their life much more involved in their business is too.

[17:29] Jen: So you mentioned earlier that you think it’s important to have a mentor and that you do have someone that you look up to and helps you in your business. Can you share a little bit about that?

[17:37] Karen: Yes, I have two or three people who mentor me. I don’t have just one. I think in direct selling businesses there are lots of people that have different skills and I love learning from different people. That’s really how I learned and that really works for me. I don’t read a lot of books and things. I’m a much more hands on learner, so talking to people, getting advice from people is how I learn and grow. And I think it’s really important because you can share difficulties and challenges, but also, there’s wow times as well and having someone who understands the business and what it is that you are going through is really important and really important for your growth as well. And not only in your business growth, but personal growth as well, who you are as a person and your skills and things. I just think it’s so important so that is some advice that I give to my team and other leaders that I speak to, “Don’t be afraid to go ask other people for help. It doesn’t mean that you’re not doing a good job, it’s just that you know that you’re willing to learn and that you want to grow and that’s how you can do it.

[18:54] Jen: So in summary, can you share with us the benefits of this lifestyle and having this direct selling business has on you and for your family too?

[19:05] Karen: It made a real difference. It really has. I loved the free overseas trips that I’ve had, fully paid for by my direct selling business that I’ve achieved which in itself has made me feel really empowered. In fact, I can take my husband along with me, so yes, I’ve achieved this for us. It’s amazing. I love the income. That pays for my children’s school fees. That’s such a good financial contributor and makes such a difference to us and that I can be home with my kids when they need me. When they’re sick or I need to take time off, I’m here for them and I’m getting my me time as well. My outlet, grow me financially, contribute to my family as well, be a better person.

[19:56] Jen: Thank you so much for sharing your insights and your journey with us today, Karen. I’ve learned a lot about dream building and creating that vision and achieving goal. I definitely – I’m going home tonight, sit down with my husband and make sure that we do the same and I look forward to hearing about your new dream board and I hope that you’ll send me a photo of it. I’d love to see what direction you’re heading in next. Thanks so much.

[20:23] Karen: Thanks for having me. [20:25] Jen: Thanks, Karen.

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