In the last eight weeks or so, the words “unprecedented times”, “unusual situation”, and many others have been used liberally to describe life during a quarantine. At Master Networks, we wanted to share the stories of members and entrepreneurs — just like you — who have pivoted to thrive during these times.
Laurie Landis has been a member of Master Networks since 2015, and an entrepreneur for over 35 years. She previously owned her own graphic design and advertising business before becoming a skin care consultant, makeup artist, and image consultant with Mary Kay Cosmetics. In her leadership role, she also enjoys mentoring and equipping women to design the unlimited life they love.
What was your main business focus before the quarantine?
As a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant, the main focus of my business was getting together with women to treat them to a complimentary facial, either one-on-one or in a group of 3 to 6 of their friends and family. I also met with women to share information about our business opportunities and how they might meet their needs. In my leadership role as a Sales Director, I also held weekly training meetings with my team of consultants.
Another important part of my business is making new connections and meeting new people. I spent time attending vendor shows and developing opportunities to offer women pampering experiences to get their opinion of our services and products. So, essentially, my business has always been about being with people.
What was your first reaction to the quarantine?
My first reaction was the same as a lot of us, concern and uncertainty about what was happening. The most worrisome moment was when we thought our manufacturing facility in Dallas might have to close. Even though I do have an inventory of products, it was daunting to think what would happen when my supplies ran out or if I didn’t have something someone needed.
Luckily, our fears didn’t last long because our company was asked to create hand sanitizers for the healthcare workers at area hospitals, and therefore was essential. Although many women would agree that facial cleanser and mascara are essential! 😉
What inspired the different business moves you made during quarantine?
I am fortunate to have a large network of smart, savvy MK colleagues who collaborated and shared ideas of how to do what we do, virtually. Those who had experience with sharing our products through social medial and virtually took immediate action to get the ideas, tools, and tips to our sales force. We’ve had those methods available to us, but it wasn’t our main approach. Now, it has become our only way. Our corporate staff has pivoted as well to keep us educated, motivated, and inspired to adapt and embrace change.
I’ve also shared the changes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned with my team, which has opened their eyes to new opportunities and ways to build their businesses. I felt a strong sense of responsibility to learn quickly so I could help them pivot and know that they can be successful under these circumstances.
Of course, my Master Networks family’s encouragement, support, and inspiration has been vital. The weekly Zoom meetings have brought us even closer. Not only among the members of my chapter, but with members from chapters around the state. We’ve gone out of our way to help each other continue to expand our reach and connect with people who might benefit from our services.
I’ve learned so much from these business leaders, as well as the Master Networks video training available through the Business Success Summit and FB Live interviews.
How has changing your business helped you through the quarantine?
I’ve gone though a huge learning curve with Zoom, Streamyard, FB Live, and other virtual technologies. I’ve learned a lot about lighting, angle, background, and other subtle factors that affect how you present yourself on camera.
But the biggest impact has been in my confidence. Several of my MN friends suggested I do a video on how to present yourself virtually, since I talk a lot about image and putting your best face forward. So I did! I posted it on Facebook in a local networking group of 5,000 plus members in Central PA. That’s not something I ever thought I’d do!
And through another connection I made during one of our Zoom Chapter meetings, I met a man who was putting together a virtual bridal event. I asked if he had anyone from Mary Kay offering makeup artistry and he invited me to join. It required me to send in a YouTube video.
With everything I had learned, I sat down and created it very quickly. I joked that the perfectionist procrastinator in me was screaming, but I did it anyway. With the knowledge and experience I’ve gained, I’ve been able to seize exciting new opportunities. (Click HERE to watch Laurie’s video!)
How do you see these changes affecting your business going forward?
I see these changes enhancing my business dramatically!
Even though I was hearing that videos, rather than pictures, would connect much more effectively with my audience, I was resistant. Nothing will take the place of the in-person connections Mary Kay Cosmetics, and my business, was built upon.
But I have embraced the virtual reach social media offers, and I also see the tremendous potential of continuing to do virtual facials and parties to supplement the in-person appointments.
A big advantage is the ability to connect with women outside of my area. We don’t have territories, and can have clients and team members anywhere in the US. Working virtually can lift limitations of time, distance, weather, or travel concerns.
Ultimately, coming through something like this should give all of us confidence that we can handle more than we think we can. And that we need each other more than we probably realized before. I know I’m stronger and better because of it. And the deeper connections I’ve made with friends, family, clients, and business colleagues will continue to grow.