Kim Washington, Thirty-One Gifts
Kim Washington, Independent Senior Executive Director joined Thirty-One in 2006. Whether you are looking for totes or purses that you can wear while you are out and about, thermals to transport food/drinks to a work, or organizational items to help you keep your home neat and tidy, Thirty-One has something to help simplify your life.
‘Ah ha’ moment that led to launching this business: Although I didn’t ‘create’ this company, my moment was seeing the super cute products and prints along with the low $99 start-up investment to begin.
Ideal Customer: A woman who needs to simplify her life with useful products or a man looking to buy gifts for a significant other or one of our men products (wallet, money clip, technology tote).
First Customer: Just by asking and sharing the catalog.
Measuring Success: I feel my success is based on my ability to move up through the company’s career path. I have worked through five levels of the company to reach the top level in four years. In addition, I was able to grow a team of over 4,000 in 5 1/2 years.
Biggest Struggle: Initially when I started I was ‘open’ for business 24/7 for my customers and mostly for my team. It put a lot of strain on finding balance for me and my family. It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized I needed to set office hours. I encourage all my consultants from day one to do the same. It has helped tremendously.
Surprise!: I didn’t realize the income potential you can make with a direct sales business. You are ultimately in control of your monthly paycheck by consistently sharing the products and the opportunity, in addition to leading a team to do the same.
Promoting Business: I consistently work my business each month through home parties. The more you get out into the community to get the Thirty-One products in customer’s hands, the more business you get as well as repeat business and new business from those who may receive our items as gifts. I have a monthly party goal that I want to achieve that helps me propel more parties, hence sales for the next and following months.
Two things I wish I would’ve known: I wish that initially I had set concrete goals no matter how big or small. It wasn’t until I missed the first year’s incentive that I realized I needed to create a plan to earn it. I also wish I took the business I was beginning more seriously and made more purposeful decisions as I was going along.
What keeps you up at night (business-wise!)?: I am always trying to think of the next best idea for me. Whether it’s a new team campaign or incentive or a goal for myself.
Ever tempted to throw in the towel and just get a job?: Absolutely NOT. I am very independent and realized that when I could achieve financial freedom I never wanted to punch a time clock again or have a boss. Plus the flexibility of direct sales allows me the ability to stay home with my two children while making substantial income — but not working full time hours or overtime.
Moving Forward: To create a training program for my current leaders to help them move their business to the next levels to ultimately propel them to the top level.
The absolute best part of owning my business is: being able to create financial freedom for my family.
If I had to start over again, I would have: set goals from the very beginning.
I never imagined: convincing others to take a risk in starting their own business would be so difficult.
If standing on a rooftop facing crowds of aspiring or struggling small business owners, I would shout: “I am truly blessed.”