Secrets of Working from Home with Pauline Phillips
Episode Highlights:[0:51] Pauline’s short story on how it all began for her with direct selling
[1:43] The secret to running a business from home (with 10 children)
[2:29] The impact of direct selling in Pauline’s life and family life
[3:45] How to be organised as a work at home mum
[4:46] Pauline’s tips to being successful in business
[5:41] Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise
[6:31] How to stay focused in a distracted environment
[7:40] Should you dress up even when working at home?
[11:18] The value of business mentoring
[14:23] The benefits of a direct selling lifestyle
Transcription:[0:38] Jen: Welcome Pauline, today we’re excited to have you with us. You’re an incredible and successful leader from an Australian party plan company. Thanks for being with us today. [0:48] Pauline: Well, thank you, Jen. Thanks for having me on. [0:51] Jen: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your background?
[0:54] Pauline: My background actually is in direct selling and it goes back to 1978. I was only 19 years old. I was actually teaching piano at the time and I just got married. Right away I became pregnant. So, the morning sickness, that was a bit of a disaster. Once that left me, I found that I needed something to do just to keep myself busy.
I had a friend who was in a direct selling company and I contacted her and asked her if I could join the company that she was with. So that’s where it all began for me.
There’s lot of challenges and distractions can be huge. However, I think my biggest reason to being involved with direct selling is the flexibility. Having a to-do list is essential. Making sure that you plan your next day and getting to tick off each task can be really rewarding. It gives you that sense of accomplishment.
Giving yourself a day off is important as well, Jen. I really believe that. I love to be in control of my time and simply just to be my own boss. That’s really fabulous. [2:35] Jen: Can you tell us a bit about how being involved in direct selling has changed or impacted your life and your family’s life and your direction as well? [2:46] Pauline: Oh Wow, do you have whole day? [2:48] Jen: Yes! [2:52] Pauline: That’s exciting. Look, I’m a mum and I actually have 10 children and I gave birth to each of them one by one. I’ve reared them for a very long period of time. [2:58] Jen: Ten children, that’s incredible. [Laughs] [3:01] Pauline: Yes [3:01] Jen: That’s why they’ve asked you to talk about working from home. [Laughter] [3:04] Pauline: Perhaps. I know when you think about it, who would want me in their business taking all that maternity leave. Not that it existed – my oldest is 38 this year. So I don’t think it did exist back then, but you know, direct sales has given us so much as a family. Until the age of 29, I’d actually never been out of Western Australia and I then had the pleasure of attending a company conference in Hobart. That was followed very quickly by an incentive trip to Queenstown in New Zealand. So without doing what I do, I imagine I would still be living in Perth. Not that that’s a bad thing. It’s a beautiful city but I’m more than likely would still never have left that state and now of course I’ve been to many parts of the world, sometimes twice, sometimes three times and direct selling has helped dramatically to make me the person I am today. [3:57] Jen: With ten children, I mean, working from home would be an incredible challenge. How do you stay organised? [4:04] Pauline: Well, I think, I’ve really got to factor in the things that has to be done, like, making sure they go to school every day, and things like that. I am down to my last one at school now. I run a paper diary. I couldn’t bear my phone to crash and to make me to suddenly lose everything. It is good backup if I don’t have a diary or the bag doesn’t allow room for it, so it is in my phone, but I do run a paper diary and I love to set alarms. If I’ve got a phone call to make, I’ll set an alarm five minutes beforehand just to make sure that I do. If I’ve got meetings or webinars on, they are things that I have to plan for. So having systems in place is very important to me. And I do give myself days off. I have an elderly mother that moved over from Perth to where I am and she takes a lot of my time now. I had to factor that into my life. I’m still going to be super organised to do everything that I want to do with my business. [5:00] Jen: When you bring someone new into your business, what recommendations do you give them to help them setup a successful home business too? [5:08] Pauline: I first try to teach them to do what I do. It depends what they’re open to I feel. Some people will treat it as a very serious job. Others will treat it as a hobby and that’s fine depending on what their individual needs are but I will teach them to keep good records, to plan ahead, to have a place in the home that is their workspace.
Not everyone has the luxury of an office, however, you can still keep your things together so that you can access them quickly. I think even the dining room table, if it means that. Pack your things away and unpack again the next day so that you know where everything is and things are tidy. If it’s tidy, you know you’ve got a good free space in your brain to do what you’ve got to do. If you spend all your day tidying up your office, then that’s not being very proactive. [5:57] Jen: Sure. How do you juggle the time with everything else you’ve got going in your life, ten children and a business, how do you manage? [6:05] Pauline: Is there such a thing as making time? Sometimes I just have to prioritise that my business is going to be more important than perhaps that load of washing that could wait until tomorrow. So it’s really important to me when I get up and I’m having an office day at home, I’ll get dressed for success. And when I go into that office I am at work. So I tell myself that I’m not actually at home, I’m at work. I only come out of my office for lunch and then back to work.
I really do have to tell my brain that this is my work day, this is my workplace and I’m not going to allow other duties to get in the way. If I was getting in my car and driving to a workplace, that is exactly how it would be. I would leave everything as it is at home.[6:50] Jen: Working from home can present many distractions. Can you share with us your secret to staying focused and motivated? [7:00] Pauline: I believe that you always have to know what you’re striving for, that’s goals, isn’t it? That’s what goals are and what you have to do to achieve them. So one of my secrets when on the phone with an upline, or even just another consultant, is to remove myself from the computer and go to a quiet place and talk to them.
I live in a country town so I have the beauty of sitting in my loungeroom and get to look at my view. It’s a park across the road with cows and paddock behind, so how lucky am I. And that really works for me. I feel that if you want to be focused and motivated, I’ve just talked about – your office and it’s your workplace, however, sometimes we can still be distracted just sitting at our office desk.
So if I am having a really outstanding mentoring session with my upline,and I used to do it in front of the computer, and it’s so easy to have a quick look at Facebook or to do something that is a distraction. So I really discovered that removing myself and putting myself in a really nice, quiet environment is very, very healthy for my business. So that’s what works for me. [8:06] Jen: I once heard somebody says that it was important for people working from home to get up in the morning just as they would going to any other job, any other career that they would have. Dressed for the day, lipstick on for the day, all of that. Is that something that you do as well? [8:24] Pauline: Look, I’ve had my days when I haven’t done it and I honestly feel that it does affect you. When you get up and get dressed for the day and from the shoes up – I can always remember for attitude you do a head check from the neck up. But when it’s dressed for success it’s from the shoes up. I honestly believe that you will reflect in your attitude for the day based on the shoes that you’re wearing. And I have to say if you’re wearing moccasins, you’ll get a moccasin kind of day. [Laughter] It’s not going to work for you. [9:00] Jen: So you’re never tempted to show up in your home office just in your PJ’s and slippers? [9:05] Pauline: At 7AM, that’s quite possible, Jen. But at nine o’clock, I am set and ready to go. I’ll tell you, it’s not five days a week. I’ve had other commitments in my life but the days that I dedicate to my office, there is no way that I’ll sit here in moccasins. I’ve tried it and I tell you it doesn’t work. So that’s a thing of the past with me. [9:27] Jen: And have you ever struggled to stay focused and motivated? Working from home presents so many different attractions. How do you manage this? [9:38] Pauline: I think when I was younger and I had more children at home, I was certainly incredibly busy, so I had to create a balance. I can come in to my office five days a week now without any worries at all and dedicate hours to my business. Whereas back then, that wasn’t always possible. I would have to focus on my children through the day and most of my work would be at night which, in Party Plan or direct selling that is certainly be how it is for a lot of young mums. And I would enlist the help of my husband, so when he gets home at the end of the day if I was not working that night, between 7 and 8 I would spend that hour on the phone, the door would be closed and he would know to keep the children in another room so that I could do those calls, because it’s the only time I could do them. [10:26] Jen: Yes and were they ever banging on the door? [10:30] Pauline: No. [laughs] [10:31] Jen: I often work from home and I do have that going on… banging on the door “Mum!”
[10:36] Pauline: It’s quite funny because most of that was back in Perth days. It was a very long time ago. We lived in a very old house and the door handle was quite high and look, there probably was the odd banging on the door but then my husband come and shush them up and take them away. [10:50] Jen: So he was really supportive too? [10:53] Pauline: Absolutely. He understood. My first five were born in nine years and so they were pretty young. And sure, they wanted mum from time to time. They had me all day, so it was just that time… [11:05] Jen: That’s incredible to spend all day with your children and then you pop them in bed at night and off you go into your office and get your hours done. [11:14] Pauline: Yes, or jump in the car and go off and earn some more money. I had a very successful business back in Perth with a team of managers under me then I got the promotion to go to Victoria from that company. So, you know, it was a lot of changing things. And I was one of the youngest people to get the position that I got with that company and to have five little boys at that time was a bit of a wow factor, (I think) for everyone. [11:40] Jen: Five boys? You didn’t mention that. [Laughter] [11:41] Pauline: There you go. [11:44] Jen: That’s even more incredible. [11:47] Pauline: Well I always joke now that I had to move to Melbourne and drink the Melbourne water to get my first girl. [Laughs] [11:53] Jen: Do you have a mentor or someone that you look up to that has helped you in your business? Maybe it’s somebody from within your own company or maybe it’s someone outside? [12:02] Pauline: Since I’ve been with this company which is almost six years, my upline in this business, I have to say, she is an excellent coach and I really, really love the calls that I have with her. She takes me to a whole different level with the way she asks me questions and things like that. And we really do delve quite deep into what makes me tick, what keeps me going, what motivates me. Honestly, it’s the best injection that I can get on a weekly basis. So yes, certainly, I do have a great mentor. [11:33] Jen: And what about the other way around, I mean, you have a team, is that something that you think that you’re doing for someone that’s in your team as well? Did you mentor anybody underneath you? [12:44] Pauline: I would say that I am. I possibly could even do that better as I’m one of these people that tread that very lightly. I don’t want to upset anybody and I suppose you have to be a little bit assertive in that regard. That’s something that I am working on and I think that through listening to more coaching DVDs or in the car listening to a CD so that I can get a little bit more coaching in that department myself. I’d like to do that better actually, Jen. [13:14] Jen: Can you recommend any book or resources that helped you along your journey? [13:19] Pauline: Look, I am actually the worst reader so I am not big on reading. I probably used the excuse of being time poor to stop me for having to read. But when it comes to listening, that’s another story. I do love watching YouTube clips that I can get a hold of. And I often search for great ones to listen to. I’m actually just back from a conference up at the Gold Coast and we were introduced to the most amazing speaker. She’s my new number one speaker.
I just loved her really clear and precise messages like there’s just no time to waste. And I’ll disclose that I am almost 58 years of age so I still have much that I want to achieve through my work. Honestly, she inspired me so much that I’ve just taken delivery of her book. I’ve got YouTube… [14:05] Jen: Stop holding out on us, what’s her name? [14:06] Pauline: Oh, can I tell you? [14:09] Jen: Yes, sure! [14:10] Pauline: Her name is Terry Hawkins. [14:11] Jen: Ahh… Terry Hawkins. [14:12] Pauline: And she is incredible. Absolutely incredible. She tells you how it is doesn’t she? Do you know her? [14:17] Jen: Yes. Suck it up. [14:19] Pauline: She tells you how it is and honestly, they would normally not inspire me. I would feel threatened by that, but not this lady. Just incredible. [14:28] Jen: So what would say your takeaways from her presentation were? [14:33] There’s no time to waste. [Laughs] And at nearly58, there is no time to waste. I often joke that I’m going to stay in this business until I’m 70. Then I’ll reassess the situation. So I think the owner of the company is quite happy about that because I’ve had a wonderful journey with them. [Laughs] We’ll see how I go. But, yes, just do it now and really share the opportunity.
I really want to share the opportunity to help this company grow and mine own business will grow, of course through that. [15:07] Jen: Can you share with us, just in summary, the benefits of the direct selling lifestyle, what it has offered you? [15:13] Pauline: Oh, wow. I’m my own boss and I totally love that. I determine my own income level. If I need a day off, I can take a day off. I don’t have to check with the boss. I did work in a school office for 12 years and I actually managed it- and I have to tell you I really loved it for quite some time. But the job satisfaction doesn’t even come close. [15:31] Jen: An then you had your own little school at home after that. [Laughter] [15:39] Pauline: Well it was at my children’s school, so they would come to work with me and then come to sick bay and then, you know, they’ll wait in the car for me to finish 20 minutes after they finished. And it was fabulous and I was able to do so much for that school and I know that it was all that direct selling experience that I had.
Just organisational skills, there was so much. I was never trained for anything except direct selling and that was year after year, conference after conference, upline after upline, the things that you learn in this industry can honestly get you a job anywhere. I truly, truly believe that.
And the job satisfaction at that job was good but it doesn’t even come close to the results and the recognitions that this industry brings to me. And so, when you stop waking up and love going to work, that was my sign that it was time to totally do the business that I’m doing now. So I gave up that other job. It’s just fantastic. I’m so glad I did. [16:40] Jen: What about the fact that you have learnt all of these different things and they’ve impacted you, do you think that these are lessons that you’ve been able to pass on to your own family as well? Do you think that they’ve benefited from your learning? [16:56] Pauline: Some of them have some great organisational skills. Even my son who is now a teacher, he’s actually a dad to eight children himself already. And you know, at school he just takes on so many extra roles because of his organisational skills. I have a daughter who just can’t herself, she started a job two weeks ago and she’s trying to redesign the whole business where she is because she can’t help herself. [Laughs] And I think they all learned to be – I wouldn’t say that they are very organised themselves but they can certainly organise anything that needs to be organised. [17:44] Jen: Right. Thank you so much for your insights today on working from home. We’ve really enjoyed sharing your experiences and I wish you an incredible future. Thank you so much for being with us, Pauline. [17:45] Pauline: It’s a pleasure. Thanks for chatting to me.