Archives For Thirty-One Gifts


Around this time every year I see a pattern start taking effect in the direct sales business. The months of September, October, and November (especially early) are a flurry of activity. Everyone’s having success. It’s a great time to sell, to recruit, and to promote. Honestly, autumn in the direct sales business is a wonderful time.

But towards the end of November and early in December these are the things I hear:

1. “It’s hard to get a party in December, everyone’s so busy.”

2. “I’m too busy to have parties! We have so much family stuff going on!”

3. “There are just too many distractions! It’s so hard to run my business right now!”

4. “I’m absolutely worn out from the last couple of months! I’m just tired right now.”

5. “I’m just going to take a break for the next month or so and then I’ll get ‘right back to it.’”

And you know what, a lot of that is true.

But BEWARE! There are pitfalls here…

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What is a H.O.T.?

JasonC —  August 3, 2013 — 3 Comments


A H.O.T. Is 

  1. a Husband of Thirty-One
  2. emotionally supportive of his thirty-one wife
  3. always striving to help her achieve the most she can in her business (& life!)
  4. proud of his wife’s accomplishments
  5. confident in his manliness (despite being able to name every fabric pattern in the Thirty-One catalog on sight! But not the thread colors, though… that’s going too far ;) )
  6. the CEO guy (carry everything out! Or Constant Encouragment Officer!)
  7. an expert at photography, newsletter creation, web development, order sorter, embroidery inspector, full-time PR guy, social media strategist, or whatever else needs to be done!
  8. not afraid to wear hot pink (when necessary) or carry purses (sometimes lots of them)
  9. is comfortable being the only guy hanging out with 10 (a party) – 16,000 (national conference) girls 
  10.  always standing beside his Thirty-One girl, through thick and thin

We are all of these things and so much more! 


Here’s an old post I did about resources for the Direct Sales Husband.

Here are some active Facebook groups for your H.O.T. to check out:

31 ManPac Facebook Group

H.O.T. (Husbands of ThirtyOne) Facebook Group

All right, guys, what did I leave out from the list? I know you’ve got some good ones!

Brief explanation of the graphic:

I was going for the look of hot metal just out of the forge. Back in the day I used to dabble with 3D programs, but this I did entirely within Photoshop. It has some 3D tools and this is my first attempt ever at using them. Overall, I’m not entirely satisfied, but I suppose it’ll just have to do for now, since this post was ready 2 days ago and I’ve just been dabbling with the image since.



For 3 years now I’ve attended the Thirty-One Gifts National Conference. Of course the main reason I attend is to support my wife, Holley Cox so that she can get as much out of the conference as is possible. I have a few jobs (carrying stuff around, taking hundreds of pictures) as well, but really it’s about supporting her through it. 

Along the way, though, I learn quite a few things every year myself. And honestly, the more I go, the more I realize I have to learn.


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The key to tapping the incredible earning potential possible with direct sales lies in recruiting and developing a team. This takes time, but generates great rewards. Many of my posts have been directed towards husbands or consultants. This one is directed more towards girls who already have a team, or are actively growing a team.

Any time people start “grouping up” you’ll notice that each group develops its own “personality” and “character.” Even if you’re at a conference of peers, you’ll notice this same thing. People will gravitate towards certain groups and that group will have it’s personality. It may just be a group of people sitting together at a particular table. In those cases, eventually the group will find that there is a leader of the group. It’s not voted on. It just happens. Then when it does, the group follows the leader. 

In the case of direct sales businesses, the leader is determined by the hierarchy of the team through recruiting. That means you, if you have a team, ARE A LEADER! How about that? Here’s a simple definition for you:

Leader: Someone who has followers.

Unfortunately, this leadership position often goes to waste. This has some inevitable negative consequences, which are almost entirely avoidable. 

If you’ve been in Direct Sales long enough to have developed a team, then you’ve heard the phrase: The pace of the leader determines the speed of the pack. That’s true of your personal business. But it’s true in other areas as well. As the leader for your team, you have the ability to determine the “personality” and character of your team.


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Check out Part 1 of this series for answers to a number of common questions.

Running a business may seem like a daunting task for someone who has never done it before. Especially when you hear stories on a regular basis of people starting up a small business only to find it actually loses them money. And more money the longer they’re in it.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Choosing the right company goes a long way, and there are several good ones out there. Thirty-One Gifts is a great example.  Then follow these pretty simple rules to avoid getting in over your head:

7 Rules For Running Your Direct Sales Business On A Shoestring:

1. Don’t spend money on anything in the business unless the business generates income  to purchase it.

2. Don’t buy (and show) products people don’t want!

3. Host your own in-home parties using yourself as the hostess.

4. Talk to other consultants, find out what expenses they think is actually worth the cost.

5. Make use of every incentive the company offers.

6. Fundraisers are your friend!

7. Make a budget for your business, and stick to it!


Now, let’s dig into each of these a little deeper:

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Olympic ParkTeam Cox DirectorsGirls of Team Cox2012 Product RevealPhillips ArenaLive It Up!
Phillips PanoramaWorship BandScott on SaxJohn Rorke, CameramanSpirit CollectionPower Couple
SED RecognitionSmile for the Camera4 HOTs Cheesin' It Up!Beach Balls 1Beach Balls 2Holleys SED Crew
Beach Balls 33 HOTsProduct 101Kizzy!Sue RuschFront Row Crew

31 National Conference, a set on Flickr.

The 2013 National Conference for Thirty-One Gifts is just around the corner! For those of you who are on the fence about attending (you definitely should, it’s quite the experience!) here are some photos from the 2012 conference to get you excited!

If you’re considering bringing your husband, you’ll notice there are quite a few guys present. Every year more Husbands Of ThirtyOne (H.O.T.s) attend. It’s a great way for him to share in the excitement and see a little more closely what it’s all about!


If you’ve been reading my blog over any appreciable amount of time, you’ve heard me go on about how important it is to run your direct sales business like an actual business (as opposed to a hobby). Recently I was reading an interesting question on Facebook that went something along these lines (and this is specifically about Thirty-One gifts):

Do you have to invest money into the business (over and above the starter kit) in order to be successful?

The answer is “Yes, and no.” (Of course!) And the question got me thinking about how a direct sales business can be run like a business and with the least (or at least reasonably little) investment from the consultant.

Let me spend a little time explaining what I mean…

Thirty-One Gifts New Consultant Kit

An early Thirty-One new consultant sign-up kit. Oh, how times have changed!

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What You Focus On Grows

JasonC —  June 24, 2013 — 4 Comments


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What does it take to be successful in direct sales?

Do you have to have a ton of friends? Be super smart? Highly motivated (or self-motivated)? Do you need to have money to make money? How about spending tons of time on the business? A marketing degree? Do you have to start early with the company (getting in on the ground level)? 

While I’m sure any of the above factors (with the exception of having money to make money) can certainly be beneficial, none of them are necessary. 

Dogwood in Bloom

So, what IS necessary to be successful in direct sales?

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Check out Top Reasons Direct Sales Consultants Fail (Part 1) if you haven’t read that already. Today we’ll finish discussing the main reasons why those people in direct sales end up leaving their business.

There’s a widely-spread statistic that says 95% of people who start a direct sales business fail. That’s pretty staggering. 19 out of 20 people who start in direct sales end up quitting. Wow. I’ve also read that the average consultant sticks with a company less than 2 years. Those are pretty sobering, depressing claims. So, why is it that way? I’m not entirely convinced these statistics are true. But if it is, how can we avoid this outcome?

Top Reasons Direct Sales Consultants Fail

1. Lack of Support

2. Lack of Knowledge

3. Running the Business Like a Hobby

4. Bad Product Fit

5. Bad Business Model Fit

6. Life Happens

By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it covers the majority of cases. Yesterday we covered Lack of Support, Lack of Knowledge, and Running the Business Like a Hobby. Today, we’ll finish up with Bad Product Fit, Bad Business Model Fit, and Life Happens.

Rooty path

The path to success (or failure) is often bumpy. Stumbling is part of the process. Just get up, wipe yourself off, and get back to work!


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