Following a System for Success with Stacey Knudsen
- [0:54] Who is Stacey Knudsen
- [1:24] How Stacey got involved in direct selling
- [2:10] How Stacey thinks her life is if she’s not into direct selling
- [3:32] Why systems is a very interesting topic for her and why it’s important in the business
- [5:18] How systems were introduced to Stacey
- [8:35] Top three mistakes people make when creating a system
- [10:37] How systems evolve and adapt
- [12:10] Should you solicit team involvement in creating a system
- [15:30] Stacey’s mentors and inspirations
- [16:28] Stacey’s book recommendations
Transcription:[0:39] Jen: Today I’m so excited to welcome Stacey. Stacey’s from a successful party-planning company in Australia. So welcome to the show today, Stacey. [0:50] Stacey: Thank you. [0:51] Jen: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What’s your background?
[0:39] Jen: Today I’m so excited to welcome Stacey. Stacey’s from a successful party-planning company in Australia. So welcome to the show today, Stacey.
[0:50] Stacey: Thank you.
[0:51] Jen: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What’s your background?
[0:54] Stacey: Well, I live in a small country town called Mildura in Victoria. I live here with my partner. We don’t have any children at the moment, but it is in the plan. I have worked previously in lots of different industries, but I’ve been in direct-selling now for almost 10 years.
[1:10] Jen: Wow.
[1:12] Stacey: So it’s my 10-year anniversary in September, but previous to that I’ve done work in banking as well as car sales and hospitality and lots of different admin-type positions as well.
[1:24] Jen: So how did you get involved and why did you get involved in direct-selling?
[1:27] Stacey: When I was working, I moved down to Melbourne away from Mildura when I was 23. And I started out working in the bank part-time and I worked in a shopping center. I was walking through the shopping center and I came across the party plan that I’m selling now. When I saw it, I used the products previously and loved the products. And when I saw it at the time, I didn’t know a lot of people where I was living and I saw it as a way to get out and meet people. But also whilst I was working part-time, I was looking to supplement my income, but the biggest thing that attracted me, of course, was the flexibility to be able to work around my part-time position at the time.
[2:10] Jen: So if you weren’t in direct-selling, what do you think you would be doing? What do you think your life would look like?
[2:15] Stacey: At the time that I joined direct-selling, I think my skillset wasn’t very high as in I didn’t have a huge amount of skills. I’d mainly done admin jobs and hospitality. And when I—if I was to look at what my life might look like, I’d probably would have just been still either at the bank or doing something very similar where my skills probably wouldn’t have broadened into the sales industry. And my income potential would have probably been more limited. So I probably wouldn’t have the lifestyle that I have now.
[2:50] Jen: But what about you as a person? Do you think that being in this business has changed you personally?
[2:55] Stacey: Definitely. I’m not the same person I was almost 10 years ago. I lacked a bit of confidence. Although I seemed confident on the outside, I was not very confident on the inside. And I think it also opened my eyes. I never had that person in my life that taught me things about goal-setting and how to grow as a person, rather than, just being in a job and just go to work and come home. It sort of taught me how to have a purpose, so I guess being able to have the opportunity to become leader, which I don’t think I could have done in another industry because I didn’t—I lacked the confidence to try for it, if that makes sense?
[3:32] Jen: Yeah. So today, we’re going to be talking about the importance of following a system, which is a topic that you have chosen. Can you tell me why you think that following a system is important?
[3:41] Stacey: The reason why I think systems are important is because, without systems, any business fundamentally doesn’t work. That’s probably the biggest thing I’ve learned in my time. Following systems in everything from hostess coaching to how you run your party, so to speak, as in how you ask for bookings, all those sorts of things. And then of course, you got systems with consultants as well. So when you sign up consultants from the minute that you meet them, there’s a system based on how you signed them up, what you do after that and so on. And I think that is fundamentally a structure in your business and without it, you can’t—I don’t believe being successful in the direct-selling industry.
[4:28] Jen: And so what about you? Can you share with me what other areas in your business that you have a system for?
[4:33] Stacey: Well, I have systems to pretty much most things, especially when it comes to my team because they need to have a structure to help them to become successful as well. So from the minute that I do a sponsoring interview, I’ve got a system how I do the interview. I’ve got—it also has a little bit of flexibility, but I have a system for the interview. I have a system from the minute they sign up to what they do next, as well as, what happens in between while we’re waiting for their kit. Then, when the kit arrives and all that sort of thing, I also run training as well, so I have to have a system on how to run my training and of course, just generally, my business in general when it comes to customers, hostesses, all those sorts of things.
[5:18] Jen: So how did you learn that a system was important when you first got started? Did you follow a system or did you do things a certain way and then realised it didn’t help your team grow or…?
[5:28] Stacey: Yeah, I think I learned the hard way [laughs] with people. I probably didn’t follow the system because if we look at something like sponsoring, for example, in the past, I—when I was doing sponsoring, I was so excited that somebody was coming on board that I wasn’t following the system. I was bending the rules because I wanted them to stay or I was trying to get people to come in, so I was making mistakes by not following a structure. Because if you follow a structure, then they learn to follow the structure, whereas if you don’t have a system, then your consultants don’t have the best start as well, so it sort of comes down to how you run your business affects how they would then run their business. And I think that’s probably the biggest lesson that I learned, you know, because when it came to doing the actual parties themselves, that was fine, but I think that’s probably been the biggest lesson where I should have followed the system, but thought I knew better [laughs], or that I do—not that I knew better, I just thought that the way I was doing it was okay, if that makes sense.
[6:28] Jen: Yeah, yeah. Sure. So can you share an example of something, somebody that was in your team that maybe didn’t follow a system or had their own ideas like you may have done in the beginning and what was the outcome for them?
[6:41] Stacey: Yeah. Well, I have recently had a new leader in my team come out. And while she was in the process of learning to sponsor, there was one girl that she met that she—I can see a lot of myself in her as in I watched how she dealt with this girl in the sense that she felt sorry for her and her story, and how-what was going on in her life at the time. And she sort of let that affect how she followed the system, as in she made—she was different in the way that she got her up and started to the rest of the other girls, as in she bent the rules to try and help her and let her convince her to do it differently. And as a result, that girl ended up never actually properly coming on board, which taught her a lesson, as in she learned that changing the system doesn’t work, like as in there’s a system-
[7:37] Jen: It’s there for a reason.
[7:38] Stacey: -it’s there for a reason, yeah.
[7:38] Jen: Yeah.
[7:38] Stacey: So I was getting—[laughs]
[7:40] Jen: [Laughs] So in your opinion, what are the key ingredients of a duplicable system?
[7:44] Stacey: Making sure that it works for everybody. So making sure that it covers, it’s simple, that it’s not complicated, also that it has benefits for the consultant as well. So for example, if, you know, we do a coaching call with the girls and if they don’t do a coaching call, they don’t get that valuable one-on-one time where they can ask questions or go through their figures, et cetera. But if you just get them to report their figures, like a lot of places do, then they don’t see the benefit in that for them. They just think, “You just want my figures.” So in that sense, that’s why giving benefits to the consultant, why it’s important to do the coach call helps them to see that it’s easy, if that makes sense.
[8:31] Jen: Yeah.
[8:31] Stacey: Other than that, yeah, that’s probably the main things.
[8:35] Jen: What do you think of the top three mistakes you see people make when they’re formulating their own systems?
[8:40] Stacey: Complicating it, not teaching it in the right way, as in not getting it across in the right way, and also not—
[8:51] Jen: So there’s even the system for teaching the system. I love it. [Laughs]
[8:55] Stacey: Yeah. [Laughs] There is one. And also, yeah, like I said before, making it benefit to the consultant as well, why they should follow that system, why it works. And it’s funny that we talk about systems because when I was a brand-new consultant, I struggled with bookings, and my upline taught me this booking scripts that she said to me, “This works, use this script.” And like most new consultants, I didn’t use the script.
[9:17] Jen: Ah!
[9:17] Stacey: And it wasn’t until I got down to having one booking in my diary and she said, “Are you using the script?” And I was like on the phone going, “Yes,” but I was shaking my head going, “Uh-oh.” [Laughs] “No, I haven’t really been using it.” And then I thought or I’ve got to go and dig this script out. So I found it and learned and memorised it before I went into this party. And I went to that party and I even read it off the sheets because I hadn’t remembered it. And I managed to get two bookings at that party. And from that day onwards, I never ever struggled with bookings.
Jen: [Laughs] Stacey: And…
[9:55] Jen: And so did you ever let your—let this consultant know that you…
[10:01] Stacey: I don’t think I ever told her because I think, you know…
Jen: Yeah. [Laughs]
[10:05] Stacey: But I never, and that’s—I tell this story to a lot of my downline because I say to them, “I’m not just telling you this stuff because I’m making it up. I’m telling you because I’ve been there and have done that.” And I tell them the story because it is quite funny and they go, “Really? You use to struggle with bookings?” And I’m like, “Yup.” [Laughs] But that’s why it just goes to show that a system is important and having scripts and having ways to teach your consultants, but also say you can teach your fellow directors as well, so they can teach it becomes duplicatable through the whole downline is really important.
[10:37] Jen: And so do you see, do your systems evolve every time? Do they change? Do you adapt them to things that are going on?
[10:45] Stacey: Of course, you do, like it’s sort of, it’s something that you’ve got to evolve, you’ve got to, like the company even changes things over time when they realise that something could be more effective or things like that. It’s like any business, you’ve got to evolve with technology. You’ve got to evolve with everything. So you can’t just keep your system the same forever. And you just got to learn how to adapt your system as you go. And you learn what works and what doesn’t work along the way and that’s probably having been in the business for quite a while. That’s where I’ve went from a lot of my mistakes and why my business is in a far better position now than it ever has been because of that reason, because I’ve learned how to evolve and adapt the system.
[11:26] Jen: And do you think that that’s something they do that, you know, a different period through the year or do you do it on an as-needed basis? How does that work? When are you changing things?
[11:35] Stacey: I do it sort of—
[11:37] Jen: Is that something that you review, say, every six months? Do you go over them with your team or…?
[11:42] Stacey: No, probably I’m the sort of person that probably does it as I go. So if I realise something is not working, then I try to fix it there and then rather than letting it continue till it’s been going on for another six months. I just tend to do it as they go and use my intuition, I suppose, with the way that I see, you know, if I see something sort of could do with a bit of tweaking, then I’ll change it as I go and then I just obviously filter that down through the team.
[12:10] Jen: And is it something that you do on your own or is it a team effort? Is it, are you open to ideas and suggestions changing your systems from your team or is it something that you kind of manage on your own?
[12:20] Stacey: I’m definitely open to suggestions from consultants and that’s why the coach calls are so important as well because I use their feedback or I listen to them and I sort of take on board things that they’re saying. And even when it comes to training, if there are things they tell me that they feel they need training on, I work that into my training schedule. I base that on what I think they need training on when they don’t always know. But I also do have a new leader in my downline as I mentioned, and her and I do bounce ideas off each other all the time. So her input is just as important as mine. So I don’t just feel that I’m the only one that can make the system work because everybody’s, as the saying goes, “Two heads are better than one,” but yeah, definitely. I definitely use the teams’ input as well.
[13:06] Jen: And if you could turn back time, what would you change in regards to how you systemised your business?
[13:12] Stacey: That’s a tricky question.
[13:13] Jen: Well, you would have definitely used those script. [Laughs] Stacey: Yeah. [Laughs]
[13:17] Jen: In the beginning. As far as creating your own systems, I mean, what do you think you would change if you could start from the first day now?
[13:25] Stacey: I think what I’ve learned over the time that I’ve been in the business and the things that I would change, the hardest part was learning how to deal with different personalities and how to coach and mentor different people. I guess I was the sort of person that I learned things very quickly, so when other people wouldn’t, I found it difficult that they couldn’t pick it up like I could and even an example, if I had a new director at one stage and I used to get frustrated at how she couldn’t get the online ordering system. I’d show her like more than ten times and she still couldn’t get it. And I think if look back at it and I think to myself, “What I should have done was thought, ‘Okay, what’s a different way I can show her?’ because obviously this isn’t working?” So I think looking back at how I’ve changed as a person is a big part of it. And learning how to work with different people and that not everybody learns how I learn was probably the biggest thing that helped me to change my business and how I structured it, and all those sorts of things. And also, just having the confidence in myself and I think practicing what you preach is a very big part of this business. And you can’t expect them to do something that you’re not doing.
So I think that when I look back, one of the biggest enemies in this business is procrastination. And I was a very big procrastinator, I still have my moments but most of the time I’ve learned how to overcome that. And that is where if you procrastinate, then you’re teaching the same thing to your team. So that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve learned out of how to run the system better. It’s really how to manage your life better in general, it’s not just about your business because this a people business, and you need to make things “duplicatable” and make it so that people can follow what you do and make it work for them, and that I honestly think is one of the biggest keys to success in direct-selling.
[15:30] Jen: So do you have a mentor or someone that you look up to that helps you in your business?
[15:35] Stacey: Yes, well I’m lucky enough that the company I work for appoints company mentors as well, so as well as having your upline, you have someone appointed to you by the company.
[15:47] Stacey: So she has a lot of great experience in direct-selling. She actually built a multi-million dollar business in direct-selling many, many years ago. And she has been a part of our company for a lot of years or as long as I’ve been there. She’s a very exuberant kind of lady. She’s very upbeat and got a lot of passion for this industry. And she’s very good at being able to motivate and teach you things or just give you a different perspective on things and she’s a really great person to look up to. And I think to myself, “If she could do it as a single mom with two young kids, there’s no reason I can’t do it.” So she’s really great to work with.
[16:28] Jen: Can you recommend any books or resources that you may have used that have also helped you along your way?
[16:34] Stacey: Yes. One that I was introduced to very early on when I was in this industry was Mary Christensen. She’s written a lot of books about being successful in the direct-selling industry. The thing I like about Mary’s books, she’s got lots of different books and I have most of them, “How to be a Network Marketing Superstar” and “How to be a Recruiting Superstar,” all those sorts of things. And she’s got lots of books, but what I like about her books is that they’re very short chapters, so you can actually reference to what you’re feeling at the time you need to read, because it’s very difficult when you’re busy to read a book, to sit down and read a book front to back. And I think when it comes to learning bits and pieces, it’s very handy to have chapters that are short and are very easy read, just to refresh your ideas and sometimes get a different perspective when you feel like you’re hitting a brick wall. So her books have been very valuable to me.
I’ve also have Michael Losier’s book on The Law of Attraction. I’ve learned a lot about the law of attraction and, positive affirmations and different things like that along the way. And also, more recently, we had at our national sales seminar, Niki Keohohou over in Hawaii.
[17:47] Stacey: But I also have a book of hers now that I’ve only just started from when I met her in September. So she was very inspiring. And I believe I can learn a lot from her about coaching and mentoring and things like that as well. So books like those sort of resources are always important in this business because it always gives you a new perspective.
[18:07] Jen: In summary, can you share with us the benefits of this lifestyle to you?
[18:12] Stacey: For me personally, well, definitely, things have changed over 10 years as far as my priorities, things that I wanted to be in this business for. But more so now, I have a few health issues which has made it more important for me to look after myself. And I’ve learned that working in high-stress jobs like the car industry, were not ideal for me and I have a lot of potential and a lot to give. And I think that I feel like my potential was wasted in a lot of places that I worked because I know I can do more.
I like being in control of how much I can earn. And at the end of the day, if I don’t earn that money, then it’s no one to blame but me. And it is a very big motivator, and also because for my partner and myself, having a better lifestyle, and also when we do decide to have children, it is flexible for me to be able to work around that because unfortunately, realities these days, it’s very difficult to have a child on one income. And I just want to live a comfortable life.
I just want to be able to teach my kids values as well. That’s very important to be able to teach them, the future and pass on values about how to set goals and how to achieve goals and how to do those things. I want to be a role model for my future children and also for my friends, family and just in general. It’s changed me as a person and I now see that I could never do anything else. This is me down to a tee, so yeah.
[19:50] Jen: Thank you so much for sharing your incredible story and your journey with us. I enjoyed listening to it and I wish you so well in the future. It sounds like you’re on to more incredible things to come. So thanks so much for being with us today.
[20:04] Stacey: No worries. Thank you for having me.
[20:05] Jen: Great. Thanks, Stacey.