In this episode of the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, you’ll meet Kelly Trenholm, Director of Field Development at Style Life. You’ll learn how Style Life allowed Kelly to combine both her passion for teaching and for direct sales. Since joining the Style Life team, Kelly’s positive personality and compassionate nature has helped to inspire, educate, and motivate thousands. Listen in to learn from Kelly, and how authenticity is the key to shine in this industry!
Time based notes:
- 0:51 Meet Kelly Trenholm
- 01:20 Kelly’s Background
- 02:21 About Style Life
- 06:33 What Truly Makes a Direct Seller Shine?
- 12:20 Fast Tips to Stay Positive
- 18:25 Consistency Club
- 19:40 Getting Started & Establishing Habits
- 25:07 Natural Progression (Business Principle)
- 26:50 Celebrating Levels of Success & Wins
- 27:29 Where to Learn More About Style Life
Set Sales Goals that Fit Your Lifestyle with Kelly Trenholm
UPDATE: Style Life is now part of the Signature HomeStyles brand. Learn more.
In a recent episode of the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, we were joined by Kelly Trenholm, Director of Field Development at Style Life. She’s a firm believer that authenticity is the key to shining in direct sales, which means setting goals and creating a plan that fits with the lifestyle you’ve envisioned. Read on to learn how!
Kelly, if you don’t mind, just give us a quick introduction. Let us know what your background is, who you serve, and what your business is all about.
Sounds great! So, I’m the Director of Field Development at Style Life. I actually come from a public education background, so I was a middle school teacher for 12 years before switching careers and taking this role. So, alongside my teaching career, I was also in direct sales, growing a team, and luckily, with social media, Style Life and I were able to connect. Jeff actually slid into my DMs, and it was a match made in heaven, so here I am, living the dream lifestyle, being able to work with people every day to help them to achieve the lifestyles that they dream about.
For those that have not heard of Style Life, tell us what you’re all about. What’s the story behind the products? What do you sell?
As I like to say, Style Life is literally a lifestyle brand. We have a whole bunch of different products, from home fragrances to stationary to greeting cards to home décor to giftables, and so that’s really what our story is, that we’re your online, one-stop shop, gift boutique. So, you can grab that giftable, you can grab the cute little mug, and then also grab the gift bag and tissue right on the website, and it’s all delivered right to your door. So, I like to say we’re the lifestyle brand that’s helping make life better and make life easier for people across the country. And really, Style Life was built because our wholesale brand company wanted to touch more people directly and help them to have success.
And, isn’t that the best part of direct sales? That you get to see that impact? You know when you’re making a purchase from a direct seller that that’s directly impacting their family, and their family’s income, and so I love that vision behind why they stepped into direct sales. And, as the Director of Field Development, you’re working with direct sellers every day, right? Like, you’re seeing success, you’re seeing what works, and you’re seeing what doesn’t work. So, tell us, from your perspective, what truly makes a direct seller shine?
Okay, so I actually have a few things that I feel like really make a direct seller shine. The first one is themselves. Honestly, it seems like everybody thinks that there’s a magic key to success. And, I always say, “You are the magic.” You don’t need to be the most experienced in direct sales. When I got into it, I was teaching. I was getting married. And I was like, “Well, let me give this a try and see if I can make some extra money.” And, it was a jewelry company, and I was a health and P.E. teacher, so I wore sweatpants, and I always joked that I didn’t need to wear jewelry on a daily basis. But, that’s where I learned that it was just me, and I was just sharing what I loved, putting my own spin on it. Because, that became my magic story. My sparkle studs that were in my ear were my best sellers, because my story was sweatpants, and people who like you follow you, and they’ll like what you like, and I was sharing how these little products brought joy to my life. You just have to be proud of who you are and what you love about the company that you’re representing.
Next is to never settle in this industry. We always hear, “Well, what if I fail?” Right? The thing is, you can’t fail. No one else is going to determine whether you’re a failure or a success. At the same time, the opportunity to rise to levels that you probably never even believed in can also be yours. So, stay consistent. Don’t settle for “No,” and don’t settle for “This isn’t working.” Find a way put in the work, and it will work for you. Your vibe attracts your tribe, and especially these days, so many direct sellers are putting themselves out there on social media. I mean, you’ll see me out there on social media with my family, being goofy, having my dance parties, sharing my Style Life. But, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and what you’re putting out there, because that’s what you’re going to get back in return. So, keep your vibe positive, keep it happy, keep smiling, and every time you go to make that post or make plans to reach out, just get happy. Do your dance beforehand. Put on your pump-up music. Put on your lipstick. And go to town.
My last one is just to keep it simple. I mean, I haven’t said anything that’s rocket science here. There’s no right way. There’s no magic formula. It’s simply you never giving up, staying positive, learning and trying consistently, and sharing the joy of the journey that you’re taking—even the failures. Because, that’s relatable, and that’s an important part of it. So, create the lifestyle you want. Just keep it that simple.
This sounds great in theory, right? Like, we all want to show up happy and positive, and put a great spin on things, and attract all of these amazing customers into our life. But, let’s get a little bit real here: We all have those days where this business can feel really tough. So, what are your best tips to keep that positive outlook in your business?
Absolutely. When I when I talk to our field, when I have my coaching calls, and even when I just talk to other people in the industry, what I’ve realized is that feeling is based on some type of factual evidence. Usually, when they’re saying it’s a tough day, it’s because they haven’t gotten a result that they were expecting, and so they’re basing their worth and their success on something that they can’t control. They’re basing the toughness of the industry on the expectation of something that they want.
I’ve always told our field: “Find success in taking action, because this business is like a boomerang. If you put it out there, it’s going to come back to you.” Now, that boomerang might go on a little journey. It might go to another continent and then come back. But if you stay consistent with and find success in the action, that’s really the only thing that you can control. And that will bring the results, but don’t base your worth on those results—which I know it’s so hard to do. Don’t look for other people to validate your worth. Find what you made you proud today, without expectation, without a result. What are you proud of at the end of every day before you go to bed? And then, share that with someone who’s in your corner. Share it on social media. Share it with your followers. Share it with Becky. Share it with somebody who you know is gonna be like, “That’s awesome! You went out of your comfort zone. You actually got through a tough time.” No tough time last forever. Sitting right now, today talking, we’ve made it through 100% of our worst days. So, it’s gonna go by; you just have to get out of it. You are in control.
We are in a very results-driven industry; it’s easy to measure our success against what titles we’ve received, or how many ribbons we have at our conference. But, knowing that all of those results come from activity is so, so important, and to be attached and committed and consistent around the activity. And, I know that you just brought on a whole group of new direct sellers over the last month or so. When they’re getting started, what are your tips so that they can really create those good habits and find consistency and show up for their business every day?
So, I feel like I’ve used the word “lifestyle” a lot, because you truly want to make the freedom of direct sales work with your lifestyle, right? So, I encourage people, when they’re getting started, to look at how they are currently living life, and to really track their time. I want them to look at what they’re doing in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, and decide, “Is there time where Number One, I can make it an authentic part of myself?” Like, are you going to your kids’ soccer practice and sitting on the sidelines, and maybe your business comes up in a natural conversation? “What do you do?” is a common question, right? In that case, you should have your 30-second commercial ready. It should fit into your lifestyle authentically. Remember: You are the magic.
And then, the other thing is that you have to look at what your goals are for the lifestyle that you want, and then attribute how much time you actually need to spend on their business. I’ve found that most people in the direct sales industry only need to spend 15 or 30 minutes a day to get to where they want to be, because they don’t want to be business builders. So then, even business builders don’t necessarily need to spend a ton of time doing the action every single day. Now, there are definitely people who are spending a ton of time—myself included, and I’m sure yourself included, Becky. But, that’s because that’s our lifestyle. That’s what we chose. So, to truly feel fulfilled and happy doing this as a new direct seller, you have to make it work for you, because you are working for yourself.
You know, I think back to the early days of my direct sales, where I had a new baby at home with me, and I had the drive and the excitement and the motivation to want to be doing this 24/7. I was seeing how fast my business was growing, and I also had to balance that with the season that I was in, in life, right? Now, it’s pretty much full-time work, but back then it was like, “Oh, man, I really wish that I could be doing this all the time, because I love it. But I have little kids at home, and tomorrow, I might not be able to work as much as I did today, because we might be up all night long…” So, that’s what you said around creating a business that works for your lifestyle, and also knowing that those seasons continue to change.
I remember when I got started, I was like, “I just want to do a little bit,” you know? And then, I had set those attainable goals, so I was like, “Well, I’m successful,” right? Because, it was a little number. So then, I was like, “Now I want more. I’m going to shoot for more.” So, set those goals to match your realistic expectations in the time that you have.
And, don’t look at other people and compare. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t do that. Look at what you want, learn to do certain things, and walk before you can run. There’s a natural progression in your business, but I think some people just jump in, and they’re looking at other people, and they’re looking at those success stories, and they’re thinking they’re gonna have it tomorrow. But, it’s gonna take time.
Seasons, right? And, keep in mind that you never know how much somebody is working behind the scenes. Maybe they have an entire team of assistants helping them behind the scenes, or maybe they’re spending a ton of money on advertising, but you just never know. So, set your own pace, run your own race, and set your own goals. You can be motivated and inspired by others, but the comparison game is tough, because this is an industry where we do thrive on those leaderboards and those levels and reaching the bigger numbers, but it’s still really important to celebrate success every step of the way.
This episode of the Modern Direct Seller Podcast is sponsored by our sister company, DirectFlo. DirectFlo provides the #1 Training Platform for direct sales companies. It comes preloaded with the Modern Direct Seller Curriculum. Learn more about how we can support your direct sales company at directflo.com.
Take Action: What is one change that you could make to show authenticity to your customers?