The Essential Habits for Your Business


Episode Highlights:

  • [0:48] Karen’s story on how she got started with direct selling
  • [3:33] What Karen thought about the direct selling business
  • [6:31] The impact of direct selling business in Karen’s life
  • [9:13] Why habit stood out from the list of topics she wanted to discuss
  • [9:22] The poem that changed her life.
  • [11:01] Why Karen thinks that habit is the key to success
  • [11:49] Three habits every leader need to develop
  • [16:31] The Employee Mindset vs the Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • [19:10] Building confidence in your team members – how Karen did it.
  • [28:20] Karen’s resources and book recommendations


[0:35] Jen: Today we’re excited to have Karen Millers with us, an incredible and successful leader from a network marketing company. Welcome, Karen.

[0:45] Karen: Thanks, Jen. Thank you for having me on.

[0:48] Jen: Thanks for being with us today. Can we talk a little bit about yourself? What’s your background?


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[0:35] Jen: Today we’re excited to have Karen Millers with us, an incredible and successful leader from a network marketing company. Welcome, Karen.

[0:45] Karen: Thanks, Jen. Thank you for having me on.

[0:48] Jen: Thanks for being with us today. Can we talk a little bit about yourself? What’s your background?

[0:53] Karen: Well, my background is actually banking and finance. I’ve worked for major banks for many years. I met my husband in the bank as well. So I did that corporate life and we got sick of being transferred around the countryside and we decided to be in control of our lives, and we bought a business. We bought a licensed post office. We did that for a few years and then we went back to working for other people again.

What I’ve always loved about what I’ve done, Jen, is that I’ve got to speak to a lot of people in every role that I’ve had. I’ve been a big communicator, listening to people. I’m a bit of sticky beak I’ve always loved that about all of my roles is that I always get to speak to people. What I never liked about my roles is that, in the bank we got transferred every couple of years. In fact, once we had children it really got hairs on it.

So, we also had a post office and what I love about the post office is I got to talked to people all day. What I didn’t like is that we work 10 hours a day, six days a week and our youngest child was six months old so it was really hard. And you’ve got to sell a lot of stamps. Sixty cents stamps, yes, you’ve got to sell a lot of them. We stopped doing that after three years and then we went back to working for other people again.

My husband went out and was always looking for the perfect business. I stayed in that corporate role. By that time, my children were a bit older and unfortunately all I ever did was yell at my kids. I would get up in the morning and I’d start yelling at my kids to hurry up and get moving so I could take them to school. And then I’d run around for somebody else all day and then I would pick them up from whatever after school care they were in and then I’d start yelling at them again, hurry up and get moving.

That’s really my background. I was a yeller. [Laughs] [2:35] Jen: Can you tell me then why did you get involved in direct selling? How did you come about this opportunity?

[2:41] Karen: So what happened was, my husband it was really, really hard to go and work for somebody else again and my husband was always looking for another business after we’ve sold that post office. He was in a role where he was working directly with small businesses and he thought, well, I will just look and find the perfect business for us. One day he came home and he said, “I’ve found the perfect business.” And this is six years after we’ve sold the post office.

[3:07] Jen: Wow! So there’s a long search. [Laughs] [3:09] Karen: Yes. And I said, great because I was really unhappy with the treadmill that I was on. Yelling at my kids all the time and really not getting anywhere. He said it was a direct selling company. I thought he was nuts!

[3:28] Jen: Did you know what direct selling was when he told that to you?

[3:29] Karen: Do I know what direct selling was?

[3:31] Jen: Yes.

[3:33] Karen: Well, I can tell you what I thought it was. I thought it was where you sold stuff to your friends and then you have no friends. That’s what I thought direct selling was. It was something that I was never, ever going to do. And in fact, I told my husband that I was never going to do that. So that’s how I got introduced.

What happened was, he said to me a couple of things. He said to me, “Do you know how, what it is?” And of course my response was you sell stuff to your friends and then you have no friends. And he said, “Karen, Do you know how electricity work?” And of course, the answer is no. I don’t know how electricity works. I don’t know how my car works. I don’t know how my mobile phone works. I don’t know how my computer works. I have no interest but I do use it every day.” And he said to me, “You don’t know how it works yet you use it. How can you disregard something just because you don’t understand it?”

I don’t know about you, Jen, but when my husband says something really profound and I know he’s right and I’m wrong, I absolutely hate it. So, he had me there. And he says, “Look, all I’m asking you to do is just go and have look. Go and have a look with an open mind.” And so he sent me along an event.

We were living in Toowomba at that time which is in country Queensland and he said, just go and have a look. Anyway I said, “Why don’t you go and I’ll stay at home and look after the kids.” And he said to me, I’ve already been, I think it’s worth looking at so you just go. So I went along and very-arms-crossed, and closed minded, all that sort of stuff and what happened was that, I got very, very impressed with some of the innovations from this company and it really intrigued me. And so…

[5:23] Jen: Are you talking about product Innovation?

[5:25] Karen: Yeah, product innovation. The technology the company was using and it really blew my mind. I thought, well, I actually need to know a bit about that. So for me, I was open enough to start using some of their products and I saw amazing changes in my health, in my appearance, and because back then the internet wasn’t fantastic, the only way I could learn more about the product was to actually attend events. So I went along and I learnt more and because I was attending events. I was meeting people that were part of the company. What happened was I started looking at their life and comparing their lives to my life. I thought, “Oh my goodness. I thought direct selling was for losers, but really, they’ve actually got lives and having a great time loving what they are doing, spending time with their family and I wasn’t. As a corporate employee…

[6:20] Jen: [Inaudible] [6:22] Karen: Yes. And I just thought, you know what, “I’ve got to actually stop and listen to find out more about the business opportunity behind it, then just the product because they’ve all got better lives than I have.

[6:31] Jen: So look, can you tell us a little bit about how this opportunity, how having this business has impacted or changed your life and your direction.

[6:41] Karen: Jen, so many things. First of all, it changed the house of our family and what it’s done for us as a family is it has given us choices. Before started working for this company, we never went hungry, we always have food on the table, we have a good job but we worked really, really hard and really long hours and we didn’t spend time with our family.
We used to have one week holiday a year. We’d then go to the Gold Coast and spend a week at the beach and then we would come back and go to the family farm or go work on the house because we don’t have a lot. We had chosen to put our kids in private schools so we had the choice of one thing or another. We couldn’t do both. We didn’t have a lot. And since joining this business and over time, we’ve grown the business that now spans into many other countries working from home. We have amazing holidays every year. We are just about to head off to Europe again. This will be our 12th fully funded overseas trip with the company.

[7:47] Jen: An incentive trip?

[7:49] Karen: An incentive trip, yes. And that’s been since 2008 and we’ve got choices now. Our lives – my biggest choice was when my kids were little was just to be able to stay home with the kids during the holidays and not have to put them in a vacation care or holiday care. I made a promise that I would never work on a school holiday, again, well, my kids are 25 and 21. They don’t go to school anymore, but I don’t work on holidays. So I mean, changes in our lives have been huge. From being able to choose to have a cleaner to be able to just have fun with our family instead of just surviving with our family.

[8:28] Jen: Yes, that grind. It’s one of those things and now you can have all these things that you were working so hard for but you’ve been able to be a present parent so that’s really important.

[8:43] Karen: Absolutely! and for everybody it’s going to be something different. What’s important for me – I was so excited that I could get a cleaner. I mean, somebody else [crosstalk] [8:51] Jen: [Crosstalk] I would be excited about that. [Laughs] [8:53] Karen: Yes. It’s the little things in life. I remember getting our kitchen redone and just the celebration of having a kitchen that I love, that I got to design, that I didn’t have to be skimpy with. Those sorts of things. They might not be a thing to some people but they are really exciting things for us.

[9:13] Jen: Before our chat today I sent you a list of topics to choose from and you chose to talk about habits. Can you tell me why this topic stood out for you?

[9:22] Karen: Habits are the most important things for us, whether we are thinking of our health, teaching our kids to brush their teeth in the morning and night. When we think about business, habit is really very, very important. In fact, when I first started treating this like a real business someone shared a poem with me called, Who Am I? Do you mind if I share it with you?

[9:44] Jen: I’d love you to.

[9:46] Karen: Okay. It’s called, Who am I

I’m your constant companion.
I’m your greatest helper or heaviest burden
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure
I am completely at your command.
Half of the things you do; you might as well turn over to me
And I will do them, quickly and correctly.

I am easily managed. You must be firm with me
Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessions, I will do it automatically.
I’m the servant of all great people and a laugh of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.

I’m not a machine though.
I work with the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of the person.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin.
it makes no difference to me.
Take me. Train me. Be firm with me and I’ll place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am habit.

[10:47] Jen: Wow!

[10:49] Karen: That poem was really big eye opener for me about the habits that I needed to develop in my life. And so, when you ask me what I would like to talk about, that was the first thing that popped out for me.

[11:01] Jen: Why do you think habit is key to the success of your business?

[11:05] Karen: Because if you don’t do… Our business is easy to do. It’s very duplicatable, but if you stop doing those core things, those things that you must make habits, your business will go backwards or not grow in the first place. It’s just like anything that we do whether it’s a health habit or exercise habit, or even just how long it takes our kids to learn to brush their teeth. It takes years to get that habit. Habits are the most important thing you do within our business. Doing those same things every day, but of course we do them with different people all time. It’s the key and the foundation to any business success, whether it’s in direct selling or in bakery down the road.

[11:49] Jen: What do you are the top three habits that you believe every leader need in order to develop?

[11:56] Karen: First of all, as a leader or as a distributor for a product, I think you need to be meeting new people every day, adding to your list every day, following up every day, and the biggest thing for me is that mindset. It’s working on my mindset every day and staying connected with the company and aligning with the company. So anything that I’m doing is always aligned to the company’s goals as well as my own. That habit of – they’re the habits of success.

[12:26] Jen: What are the three top habits that prohibit people from growing their businesses?

[12:32] Karen: It can be simple things like, negative talk, complaining. I know myself personally. I have some habits that weren’t particularly good when I started working for this company and a lot of them were employee habits, I had an employee mindset. I had to change a lot of the ways I thought because of the habits that I have accumulated over the years. I had a whole list of things that I had to change.

[13:01] Jen: So what else do you think, besides that?

[13:04] Karen: As in things that we need to change?

[13:06] Jen: Yes, what else do you think stops people from growing their business. What habits do you think get in the way?

[13:13] Karen: I think that listening to people that are not where they want to be, that can be a habit. Many of us do that sort of thing and being a whinger and complaining about things. I’ll be very open and frank there. We’d expect other people to do things but we wouldn’t actually do them myself. So there are sorts of habits and people don’t even realise… [crosstalk] [13:37] Jen: habit of having different expectations for other that you may not have for yourself.

[13:42] Karen: Absolutely.

[13:44] Jen: So, how do you develop new habits?

[13:47] Karen: One of the things that – first of all with anything it’s first of all matching a decision to change things. I know for myself personally just with some of my mindset because I had never taught anybody to do anything. In my roles I’ve never been a sales person before. I had lot of self-doubts and things and I lost confidence and stuff like that. I started with just some really simple things and things that a friend took me through a task of writing all the things down that I was picking myself that would stop me from being where I wanted to be in this business or anything else for that matter and change all my negatives to a positive. I went from a lot of, “I’m not good enough or I’m not a good teacher, or I’ve not earned any money why would anyone listen to me or that sort of stuff.”

In the opposite side of the page I would change that I’m not good enough to, I’m a good teacher. I am capable and successful. I’m a million-dollar earner. I am all the things that I wanted to be. I knew I’ve had to be, to be successful. And those things I made a habit of saying to myself every day. Every day twenty times a day, I would sit down, I would think to myself I am a good teacher, I am capable and successful, I’m positive and motivated, I’m scheduled on time. All of the things that held me back that were bad habits or just thinking habits to positive habits. They became me after a while because I said them to myself that often and I started believing them. And habits are – our sub conscious mind are quite extraordinary; what we can teach ourselves just by changing the words that we’re saying inside of our head.

The habit of talking positively to myself instead of thinking of the things that I can’t do, think about the things that I can do. Those sorts of habits had really changed me.

[15:50] Jen: Can you share an example of how you identified a habit that you or your team member have that wasn’t serving them? What did you do to make the changes?

[16:01] Karen: Well, often it would be similar things for most. In our business our work predominantly with a lot of women we do have man in our business. In fact men are the most successful in our business, we want to change that. We want some women being more successful than the men.

[16:16] Jen: Girl power…

[16:17] Karen: Yes. And what I find is it’s usually the same thing for everyone and that is their own self-doubt. What often happens… [crosstalk] [16:30] Jen: Is it confidence?

[16:31] Karen: Yes, it’s the confidence thing and thinking that they’re not good enough. We work on the same thing usually with everyone and that’s the mindset. Mindset is a big thing. We have these things I always say, people always say to me I’ve got a voice in my head that doesn’t allow me to move forward and I go, you’re so lucky you only have one voice, I have the whole committee inside my head. There’s a whole committee of them telling me that I’m not good enough. I had to actually often have a chat with them and say, “Look, it’s really interesting what you’re thinking but you’re not right.” And we work on that all the time.

Mindset is the biggest challenge we have in our business because many women in particular my age, I’m 50 years old, what happens is we grow up, we get married, we have kids, we put our lives on hold to support our husbands, our children, we come out the other end. Our children have grown up and they’re leaving home sometimes their husbands have left home as well and we’re set to create our own financial journey again. All over again.

Often, we have gone through the stage of supporting our families and we’ve been lost along the way. Swept all our dreams and our hopes under the carpet to support our families. And then, we come out this other end and we’re lost. We have lost our confidence. We’ve lost what we’re capable of and so that is always the biggest challenge that I find in our business.

The other one that I find is that people that asked and are really confident at what they do – and this is the opposite in the business spectrum and this is male and female when they’re being really successful at their job and the career that they’ve had and they’re coming to the direct selling market, they have to start from the bottom. They have to learn all over again and they have to be prepared to be bad at it at first. That’s also a big challenge. We’ve got both ends of the spectrum, from people that have no confidence, we’ve got to give them the confidence and there’s people that have lot of confidence that they need to be prepared to fail along the way. That can be a really hard thing for people that are super successful at everything else they have done.

[18:51] Jen: You mentioned mindset, how do you actually turn someone around and give them the confidence to help them propel their business and themselves. How do you do that?

[19:01] Karen: It’s certainly not something – I’m not a life coach or anything like that. [crosstalk] [19:10] Jen: Well, you do have a very successful team, so you must be doing something right. Tell me what it is that you do to help turn these people around that are lacking in confidence. How do you shift their mindset?

[19:19] Karen: Well, first of all, it’s about being realistic and talking about the things that are possible for them and asking good questions. What’s possible, now what if this could happen?

First of all, getting where they want to be because when somebody joins our team it’s not about what I want or my success is about their success. So it’s finding out about what they want first and going, “Okay, let’s work towards that.” This is what we have to do. Let’s put a plan in place. So it’s about being strategic about what people want and unfortunately, the biggest thing is most people don’t know what they want. I know I didn’t know what I wanted when I first started. I’m very clear about what I want now, but I wasn’t very clear about what I wanted at first. I just thought if I can get my product paid for that would be fabulous, that would be my first step. It was never anything else more than that. It’s about knowing what somebody wants first and then we can get them to that step. They build their confidence along the way. It’s about being connected with the company.

Our company is extraordinary. They give us amazing tools to help with self-confidence. We’ve got something in place that the company really helps us with, we don’t have to pay for that so we’ve something that can help us there and it’s about staying connected with the team. We have training calls. We have different things to help our team grow that confidence and also doing a lot of work. Together we are a team. I call it my family.

We do a lot of things together. We do presentations together, we do events together and so when people are brand new and they don’t have any confidence we’re helping them every step of the way so they’re not on their own and even if they’re living in another state or another country, we can help them now. The world is so small with Skype and Facetime and all that sort of stuff. We can still do conference calls with their guests or their prospects and help. It’s about being part of the community and really working together to get where everybody wants to go as individuals.

[21:21] Jen: The other thing that you mentioned was that there’s some people coming to the business that have always been successful at whatever they do and they’ve come from the top and they’re starting back down, how do you manage that? How do you shift that for them and help them create new habits and what do you do there?

[21:41] Karen: It’s again about having lots of conversation and preparing people. There’s a great book out there by John Maxwell about Failing Forward and I often talk about that book a lot that our business is all about that. It’s one step forward, two steps back, but the thing is, if you’re not failing, you’re not living. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, whether it’s love, marriage, kids, whatever, health, it takes two steps forward and we take a step back. That’s life. If there’s no ups and downs in our life, you’re not living.

Your heart monitor is going up and down all the time. Once that’s flat lined, you’re stuffed and that’s with life as well. Life is about living, it’s not about protecting yourself in a bubble. If you want – nobody’s going to pay you a large sum of money every month if you’re not prepared to do something for it. So, we really do have lots of conversations about that and unfortunately we do have people that leave because they just can’t stand the thought of not being good at something, but we’ll do whatever we can to help them along the way.

[22:48] Jen: Can you share a story of somebody in your team, no names of course who’s been successful due to certain habits that they have and what are they?

[22:56] Karen: Just from the top of my head we’ve got a woman that I greatly admire. When she first came into our life, our business, she was the biggest whinger I’ve ever met in my whole entire life. [Laughter]

In fact, she just complains about everything. I didn’t personally sponsor her to our business. In fact, I would not have because I just thought she was a whinger.

I had worked with plenty of whingers in my life and I didn’t want to work with whingers in my business as well. I look for happy, excited people that are loving life or are looking for more in life. Anyway, the girl that brought her into the team said, “I really like – there’s something about her. I’m going to persevere and to this day, I take my hat off to this girl that talked to her every day and got her out of this constant whinging stage to a state where this girl today is one of our best leaders. She has changed so much because of the work that this other person did with her, but also the work that she did on herself. Now, I just admire her so much. I admire the girl that actually took the time and really – she just saw something in her which I couldn’t see because I couldn’t get past the whinging.

[24:30] Jen: It’s perseverance.

[24:33] Karen: Yes. And that’s what a lot of people don’t have. In fact, I wouldn’t have with this person but I have different things that I can be persistent with. But yes, she just had the persistence to [crosstalk] [24:48] Jen: What is your morning routine to start your day right? Tell me about it.

[24:54] Karen: For me personally, it’s time for myself first and my family

I get up really early in the morning. I’m an early riser. I get up about quarter to five every morning. I go exercise. I either swim in the Gold Coast. I swim a couple of kilometres and I do black line therapy which gets me to think about my day and what I’m going to do or go for a run along the beach and have a swim which is what I did this morning, which was just fabulous. So it always usually starts for a time for me for the day and then I listen to something. I listen to Soundcloud or other things that are of positive nature, usually some self-development or something like that. Or I’d listen to one of our own training course but I listen to something every morning. [crosstalk] [25:56] Jen: From what you mentioned earlier, your mornings were all about yelling and rushing your kids around, now it’s all about Karen, having a clear mind, and loving it.

[26:09] Karen: Life is – and even now, our children are 25 and 21 as I said before. My oldest daughter is working with business alongside us. So a couple of mornings a week she’s at home as well and so she does the same sort of routine with me. Our youngest daughter is slowly getting into our business as well so it’s a whole family affair and that’s really nice better than a lot of families that I see now just running out of the door every morning not talking to each other. We are doing things together as a family and I love that.

[26:44] Jen: How have your habits changed as your business is growing?

[26:49] Karen: I’ve kept doing the same things all the time. When I was at the beginning, I follow a plan which was four presentations every week and building our business from those four presentations, I still do that every week. That’s my core habit and then as our team is growing, because I’m supporting our team a lot more, I do a lot more event for the team than I used to. So I’m doing those sort of things as well. I guess, I really just expanded my habits to include other people as part of those habits and just sharing everything.

When I was working in the bank I used to train other people to do my job and I was always very fearful of that. I would worry that if I taught someone to do my job, if they are better at it than I was, I would lose my job. My habit today is to share everything. Share, share, share and share some more. I’ll teach you everything I know because what I know is that today, in this environment, in the direct selling industry environment, everything we do is duplicate. And so, if I share and our team members are better than I am and there’s plenty of them that are, I can assure you, that’s fantastic. It’s so exciting. So my habits have changed of what I was like as an employee, with that employee mindset to a more abundant mindset and certainly a more abundant life.

[28:20] Jen: Can you recommend any books or resources or mentor that’s helped you along your journey.

[28:26] Karen: Absolutely. First of all, that poem that I read, that’s in my white board in my office. I look at it all the time and I read it often because I found it so important with getting my habits right because it would remind me. I love The Compounding Effect by Darren Hardy. That’s one of my favorite books of all time. I love Jim Rohn, sadly he’s not around anymore but I love the Jim Rohn stories, the Sowing and Reaping, his so many stories that he shares on personal development. I also was a really big fan of the Secrets because I had to change as I said I was a bit of a whinger before I started and so I really did love the Rhonda Burns, The Secrets. One of my favorite network marketing books, I guess is of one of my favorite authors is Big Al Tom Schreiter. He’s written some great books and of course, John Maxwell’s Failing Forward. There’s so many good books out there.

[29:32] Jen: Thank you so much for all your insights on habits. I’ve really enjoyed sharing your experiences. Thank you so much for your time today, Karen.

[29:40] Karen: Thank you for having me on. I’m very, very privileged. Thank you so much. I feel very special to be invited to this call.

[29:47] Jen: Thank you.

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