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About this blog

My cross-dressing life and times

Entries in this blog

Big Boy/Girl

By MichelleLea,

I have enjoyed reading everyone's experiences in acknowledging their gender roles--some good, some awkward given the culture we live in. As I have written before, I am content now to be able to wear feminine clothing on my own and feel comfortable doing it. I have to thank the girls at TG Guide for being supportive and empathetic. I believe that if we do nothing else in life, we need to be there for each other. We're all we have, and we're all in this together. I love you all.

On another note, I opened my first business account all by myself today, and do I feel smart. It was a small beauty salon, and fortunately, the owner was a lovely lady who was very patient with me. I go back this Sunday after everyone is out of church to complete the enrollments.  This makes three barber shops and now one salon that I have opened. Maybe, I have found my niche. I am going to the speed networking event at the Chamber of Commerce on Monday evening. That should be an experience for sure. More to come on that later.

Socializing

By MichelleLea,

I attended my first "Chamber Chat" s yesterday morning. I was held at a local Jewish Center for disabled children, and about 40 people showed up--a decent number in my estimation. As expected, everyone was very friendly and welcoming, and I was able to visit at some length with at least six. I did meet a few more in passing. This is just one of the events that take place o a monthly basis, and I think it will not only eventually be good for my business, I think it will be good for me personally to be a little more social. On the suggestion of one of my fellow agents, I have been reading Endless Referrals by Bob Burg where I got the idea to join the Chamber in the first place. His approach is very low-key. Be interested in the other person and let them do the talking. Then follow up with a personalized thank you note which offers to refer business their way as able. I think this is the rapport building phase. It will take time, but I enjoyed the gathering. BTW, one of the members gave a tour of their facility. JAFCO is doing amazing work with disabled children and their families. I was impressed.

On the other hand, my neighbor, Chris, invited me over tonight as I was out walking my dogs. He does invite me from time to time, and I was tempted to stop in for a few minutes. But it turned out to be a HUGE gathering, and I chickened out at the last minute. I am not feeling that great tonight, and besides, I think I would be a little overwhelmed and out of place. I don't think I'll be missed. And with that, I am going to take my two puppies and go to bed. And to all a good night!

Update

By MichelleLea,

It's been a few days since I've added anything, so I thought it is time. I have been keeping pretty busy with work and have opened two new accounts this year so far. I have three more ready to go before the end of the month which puts me on track to meet my next milestone. This is a good one since it comes with an $i800  bonus, and I can certainly use the cash. I may have mentioned that my District Coordinator wants me to be the #1 account opener in our market this year--I think I can make it. 

Yesterday I had implant surgery. I had an appointment for a consult along with my routine cleaning , and as it turned out the dentist had a cancellation, so I thought I might as well go for it. It will help save three of my back teeth and restore my chewing on that side, so I think it will be worth it. I am lucky to have plenty of bone in my jaw so that no bone grafts were necessary. It was somewhat painful even with the novacaine, but I had little pain afterwards, so I'm happy about that. My next big expense will be my two poodles and their visit to the vet. As you can see, I need to keep working! No more feminine shopping for the time being--Michelle will have to wait. She is not hurting anyway--LOL. Later.

I was thinking (always a dangerous thing) yesterday as I wandered around my backyard about my life as it stands now. I obviously have spent my whole life getting to this point, and as the Grateful Dead sing: What a long, strange trip it's been.Being truly on my own for the first time--ever--is an amazing experience, and I have the opportunity to live out my remaining years as I choose. It's all on me now. I find that refreshing. So far, I have not felt any overwhelming loneliness--which I understand can kill you as bad a smoking. I am so used to working on my own whether it be around the house or on the job. I don't seem to have a lot of spare time, but I am going to make sure I carve out time for me. My wife has not been gone that long, and I do have some down times, but I am able to snap out of it. Maybe I'm just cut out to be alone. There are advantages such as no one telling you what to do or that you did it wrong--like Chrissie Hynde sings in her song.  You can tell that I get a lot of my life's philosophy from songs. I have no interest in dating at this point nor do I foresee that ever happening. I have no room in my house now for another person--there is very little closet space. As you know, being a crossdresser takes a lot of room since I have two wardrobes. So, all in all, life isn't bad. My body is still functioning although my age is beginning to show and my eyesight is not as good as it once was. I'll keep barreling ahead as long as I can. We'll see what the new year brings.

Just a quick note that I hit my latest sales target which means an extra $350. in my pocket. I got some help from my Sales Coordinator to meet the goal. He knows how hard I work, and he is as anxious as I am for me to succeed. We work as a team and that is a good thing. I am in a position to hit my next goal a little sooner than this one. I have a lot to learn and will continue to learn as the time goes on. I'm going to spend the weekend getting organized for the week ahead. It might be high time to read another book on sales too.

By MichelleLea,

It's been a little while since I've gotten dressed up with bra and panties and all. I've been staying up later watching movies, and then it's time for bed. I felt like it tonight for some reason. Today, I drove to Jupiter, FL, which is about an hour and a half north of me, to have lunch with my sister, who lives in Vero Beach. It was kind of a nice halfway point for the two of us,  and I had learned of a restaurant on PBS to try. Initially, I was hoping she would come by herself so I could open up to her about my crossdressing. But she was joined by her husband, so I let that drop for the time being. It was still good to see her, and we'll probably do it again soon. Another time. It's gone on this long, no need to rush.

By MichelleLea,

It's funny, but for the past several weeks or so, my female dressing has taken a minimalist phase. When my wife died, and all the flurry of activity that accompanies a death in the family quieted down, I went on a buying binge of sorts. I was aided by the girls in the chatroom, especially Andrea, but also Penelope and others on what exactly I needed to get. I also had my own wishlist and pretty much filled out a wardrobe of sorts. For the most part, I am happy with what I bought, and it is fun to see all my feminine wear hanging in my closet. But now, instead of spending my evening hours getting all dressed up and taking pictures and chatting, I am content to dress simply and read or watch some TV or catch up on my paperwork. I am also watching my budget, but even so, I don't have any great urge to buy any more at this point. I'm sure that will change, and I realize that I may come across something that I must absolutely have to have, but for now I'm content. 
My mentor, Rich, and I have been spending a lot of time together lately doing employer presentations on the appointments I have set. Admittedly, it has been a little disappointing. Those who looked to be good prospects have been playing hard to get and unwilling to commit. We can only do so much, and you do reach a point where it is time to move on. Then last week, on a whim, I stopped in again at the barber shop in our local strip center and finally caught the owner. I made an appointment with him and yesterday, Rich and I made our pitch. He talked to his barbers that day, and when I called him later that afternoon, we were a go for this morning. As the morning progressed, we were able to see all five in the shop and they all bought at least one policy. It wasn't a huge account, but a really successful one. The four guys and one gal were really nice, and the owner couldn't have been more accommodating. So, it goes to show that you never really know how things will work out. I also have a new place to get my hair cut.
We had our office holiday party at Rosie's Bar and Grill in downtown Wilton Manors. It started at 5:00, but I didn't get there until a little after 6. I wanted to feed and walk the dogs before going and then I ran into construction traffic. It also took me a while to find it. I don't see really well at night, especially when it comes to reading address numbers and street signs. It turned out to be okay. I am getting to know everyone pretty well, and I can usually keep up my end of the conversation. We had a white elephant gift exchange. I have the worst luck with these things, but I always feel obliged to participate. I will make use of the Starbucks gift card, though.
Anyway, I have a chance to open another account tomorrow with a dentist's office. We are still on. We'll see how it goes.
My title is the same as a recent Bob Dylan song which is very beautiful and poignant--as in, I'm doing well--most of the time. I realize that this is a trying time of year after losing a loved one, and even though we haven't celebrated the holidays that much for several years, it's still difficult. Spending Thanksgiving with my sister was nice, and I'll probably spend Christmas Day with my neighbors--although that's not a given yet. I have been staying super busy, and I do require a fair amount of alone time, but maybe I do need to get out a little. I have such a routine and I hate to vary it. I am going to the staff Holiday Party this Thursday evening, although I have never been big on office gatherings. I don't want to be a stick in the mud either. Hopefully, the food will be good and I can find someone interesting to talk to. Business continues to be a bit of a challenge, although I have a full calendar for the next two weeks and expect to open at least two more accounts. That would make my month for sure. Of course, I had to through a stupid mishap into the works by back into a parked car of all things. I have a rear-view camera which I use, but not this time. Ouch.! It will cost me. For dumb! I feel like I"m going backward in my finances. At least, I have a car rental on my insurance policy so I'm not grounded.  I do find that if I keep going that things do brighten up.
I've been watching movies occasionally on HBO. I saw Hidden Figures which was very good, and also Deepwater Horizon,  good as well. What a disaster that was. I just haven't been in the mood to dress much lately, although i did put a skirt and blouse on tonight. I just do whatever feels right. All the best to everyone. 
So now the holidays are upon us; my first since my wife died. We never really did that much to celebrate them, but it's still different. My sister invited me to be with her for Thanksgiving, and I took her up on it. Vero Beach is a two and a half hour drive and even though Marybeth suggested I get a motel room and spend the night, I decided to just go for dinner and come home. I didn't feel like boarding the dogs, and I'd just as soon sleep in my own bed anyway. 
Marybeth's husband, Bill, is 14 years older than she is at 86--interesting since my second wife was 14 years older than me. My siblings seem to follow in my footsteps. He is nice enough, but a bit of a stodge--my brother cannot understand why she married him. I enjoy seeing my sister from time to time though. I'm not sure what word would best describe her--vivacious, maybe. She is somewhat perky and bright with a ready laugh. There is never a lack of conversation, for sure. Bill is a retired CPA who now writes novels--he has written two, both self-published. I hve to commend him for doing it.  A lot of people talk about writing a book--few actually do. My sister is also a writer--articles for the Vero Beach magazine. She is good.  They live in a huge, expensive, senior living condo--one bedroom, tiny. It works for them. 
I got to VB around 2:30 and the three of us chatted for an hour or so. Then it was time to go to the country club for Thanksgiving dinner. Marybeth has told me ahead of time that a sport or suit jacket was required but no tie. I started to do just that but then changed my mind. I had bought a dress shirt with French cuffs a while back with my wife's encouragement and never had it on. So, I figured, now is as good a time as any. Furthermore, I didn't like the look of a white shirt with no tie, so I dressed up a bit. Felt good. I did mix it up a little. The standard outfit in this set seems to be a navy blue blazer with tan slacks. I wore a tan jacket with navy slacks. I like both looks, but I like being a little different too. 
We were joined by Bill's daughter and her husband, who is originally from South Africa. They are recently retired at 60 and I gather fairly well-to-do. They were visiting Vero Beach because Hurrican Irma destroyed most of St. John's where they have a second home. Cindy had to keep reminding herself that complaining about losing their place was a 1% complaint when so many of the islanders lost everything, and now had no work on top of that. But was a cordial evening, and the food was good--traditional Thanksgiving fare. I don't like driving in the dark anymore, but I did make it home without incident around 9. My two dogs were happy to see me.
Today, I had five appointments. My District Sales Coordinator (DSC) ran them with me since I am not yet qualified to do an employer presentation. The first two went well, and we are scheduled to open my first two business accounts. The third appointment had to be rescheduled but remains active. My fourth appointment was run by my Regional Sales Coordinator since the DSC was not available. This one also went well and could be a possible account activation. The last appointment was a bust due to a misunderstanding. But, all in all, a very good day that could lead to me actually making some money out of this deal. Of course, nothing is final until the signature is on the dotted line, but our feeling is that it will happen.
I have two more appointments set for tomorrow, one with my DSC and one with the RSC since I am now working in two geographical locations. We'll see how they go.
I am starting to get more of a feel how this all works, and it seems at this point that my efforts will pay off. In the meanwhile, I'll keep on working and learning. I have more online courses to take so I will be in student mode again. My wife used to say that I am a perpetual student. I don't see anything wrong with that.

By MichelleLea,

This blog has become more of a journey into my new career rather than a journey into my transition from maleness to femaleness. But that is pretty much my life as of late. I don't mind the male side of me, as I really don't pay much attention to it when out in the world. I don't have to because that's who I am too, and I take pride in being well-dressed and well-groomed as much as I can in the business world. I don't know that I'll ever really be out of the closet as far as dressing goes. Sometimes I get gussied up because it's fun, but mostly I just like more lounging attire to unwind after a long day. I just like wearing whatever feels good to me at the time without anybody telling me that it's wrong. I admire those who make the transition into their true female selves. It takes a lot of courage, which is a shame since we just want to be ourselves. Anyway, all of the new AFLAC associates had individual meetings with our "bosses" and the head trainer today. Although, after my fourth week in the business, I haven't opened any new accounts, everyone is impressed with my work ethic. All they said was to keep doing what I'm doing and the money will come. So, that's what I'll do. I'm going to do some tweaking with my approaches and also call on some of my old contacts to get things going, but other than that, I'll keep at it. If nothing else, I'm getting a lot of exercise and fresh air  and meeting a lot of people. So, we'll see.
I can't say that I have had much trans activity this past week. I have just been too pooped at the end of the day along with a lot of follow-up paperwork that needs doing to even think about dressing. The only dress I want to see is my nightie. It's not all bad, really, although it will be better when things finally start to pop. I am making a lot of approaches and setting appointments, but then there are always those that fall through for one reason or another. The two really good ones I have has so far this week won't make a decision for another six months. Nothing happens fast, that's for sure. I have four presentations scheduled for the morning, so maybe one of them wiill come through.
I have been working some with a co-worker, Kathy, whom I have previously mentioned. As I said, she is very sharp and was a big person in IT with American Express making major bucks as she tells it. But she loves to talk, and takes soooo looong to do things, that it does get to me. She also obsesses over her prospects that are not happening and just eating up more of her time. I have to keep moving. If you are serious, fine. If not, I have others to see. Some agents do very well working with a partner. I'm so used to being on my own. My wife used to say that I don't really need anybody. It was a harsh statement. Maybe, it's true. I do enjoy good company, but it's hard to fine people with interests similar to mine, or maybe interesting people period. I will say that I have met interesting and alive people here at this website. I am grateful that it is here.
It is a dark and stormy night--couldn't resist. We have another system moving in which is expected, as far as I can tell, to bring some wind and rain. It really doesn't sound too unusual for south Florida, but my neighbor had to warn me that I had better pick up my yard.  I'm really not going to get too shook about it. I think Chris just is an alarmist. And while I'm on the subject, another thing about Chris. He's a nice guy, and I like him, but he is somewhat of a gas bag. If you tell him how you did something, he will tell you that it was wrong, and then proceed to tell you how it should be done. Anymore, it just let it go in one ear and out the other. I know what works for me. Sue wasn't crazy about him because he was all talk and very little action. Besides, his yard is not kept up, and Sue was big on appearances. She actually was like Hyacinth in the British TV show Keeping Up Appearances , a show she really liked.
It's raining hard now. Getting the dogs out will be a challenge tonight. Hopefully, we won't lose power. Right now, we're all huddled in the den, cozy, safe, and dry. I did my weekly grocery shopping and lawn mowing this morning before the rains started. This afternoon, I started to organize all the piles of notes and business cards and assorted papers that have taken over every unclaimed space in the kitchen/dining area. As Bette Davis would say: "What a dump!" Despite what my instructor said abo ut the simplicity of using 3X5 cards to organize business contacts, it is just not working for me. I am going to use an Excel spreadsheet and be done with chasing all this paper. Once set up, I will have an easy record of my contact history and can print one sheet of paper when I visit businesses again. That is my plan anyway. We'll see if it is less cumbersome than the paper trail.
So, I did manage to finally get in the shower and get cleaned up and do a little grooming. Nails need cutting periodically, you know. I painted my toenails a while back, and I'm letting them grow out. Now I have about a 3/4 paint job on my nails. I'm sort of using it as an experiment to see how fast my nails grow. I've heard that good nail growth is a sign of good health. I'm not sure what good hail growth is, but they are growing, so I guess that's a good sign. Beyond that, I didn't get overly dressed up tonight. Work has been so all-consuming that I haven't felt very "femme" of late. In truth, I haven't had time to feel much of anything. So, maybe it's time to give it a rest. I do feel that I should do something--this is a transgender website after all. I was sort of femme today with my part-colored toenails and  ladies flipflops. I wore a beaded necklace and bracelet with a men's shirt and jeans. A little of both--girls do all the time, so why can't I. I am a CD, darn it. I'll see who's in the chatroom tonight. It has been very quiet of late.

I had a good day. I have been going like mad trying to get my prospecting numbers in for the week, and then having to spend time with my District Sales Coordinator, that I have been a little scattered. So, I pretty much took the day for me to get my parts together. I organized my employer contacts that showed some promise and did some recalls this morning. Nothing major, but I did secure one appointment for my efforts. I also sent out some emails to businesses that I can't reach any other way--I'm not holding my breath on those. But I also sent my former employer, PACE Center for Girls, an email asking them to consider AFLAC. At least here I know the principals. I don't know what will come of it, but it would be a big account if it materialized. Worth a shot. I also reached out to the handyman who did our house remodeling. He and his wife befriended both Sue and me, and he gave his condolences. I hope to see him again soon. I also got dental insurance today from the same carrier I had at PACE. Of all things, I can't get a policy from ALAC--too old. The cutoff is 70. I'm just three weeks shy of 75. Anyway, I have pretty decent coverage again through Metlife which I will need since I'm contemplating an implant in January. I need to keep up with my dental hygiene.
My last thing of the day was to finally finish my credentials for the AFLAC policy writing platform. I have been having a devil of a time getting the software to cooperate, and have spent way too much time talking to tech support and customer service. In the end, I got it to work so now I know how to set up an employer and enroll employees. I passed the test and got my certificate. Whew!
This weekend, I will be planning with my prospecting partner, what areas we will hit. I also have a laundry that is piling up, and I will need to do some ironing. Good old youtube. I'm getting a little better at it. That's it for now. See you later.
 
I seem to have made it through the holidays in one piece and without going into a deep funk. I did it by pretty much sticking to a normal routine and staying busy--not hard with a house and two dogs. I was invited over to Christmas dinner and again today on New Year's Day by my neighbors, Dave and Jeanie. I was the only guest for the first dinner. Today, I was joined by another neighbor who lives next door to D & J, and with whom they have an on-again, off-again relationship. He wasn't drinking tonight so that made a difference, but still the evening felf strained. Also, dinner was awful, no other word to describe it. The corn on the cob was good, but that was it. Jeanie is not the best cook on a good day, at least to my palate. Anyway, I did my duty. I will be happy to be home on my own the rest of the week. I made a big pot of beef borscht yesterday. I found the recipe in the paper, and I haven't had borscht in a long time, so I thought what the heck. It is somewhat of a process to make--lots of chopping--but the end result was great. It was fun to do as well.
I did some work-work over the holidays, but I did take some time off too--need to recharge. I got a couple fo gift cards from by step-kids, so I bought a new pair of walking shoes that I can wear when prospecting--after all, I do walk for a living. They are  dressy enough to wear with work-casual. I also bought a couple of things for me at Target that had been marked down--a pair of velvety lounge pants, a crushed velvet bath robe, and a chenille cardigan sweater. It didn't break the bank, and they are things I have been wanting to buy for a long time. I am happy with what I got.
So, on to the year ahead. My boss wants me to be #1 in new accounts opened this year--I think I can do it. My goal is four for January. Very possible. I'll keep everyone up-to-date. Happy New Year to all..
Here it is five months now since Sue died, and it's Christmas, and I am on my own. One of our Christmas cactuses is actually blooming. We have never had one bloom at Christmas, so I took a picture and posted it on Facebook. I got a comment from Sue's sister and her cousin that it's a sign that she is here. I'm not much of a believer in those kinds of things, but it is odd. Also, the hanging orchid I bought her for Christmas last year is also blooming--for the first time since. We celebrated Christmas less and less over the years. Sue was glad when it was over. We weren't in a position financially to afford big surprise presents, but we were well off enough to buy things we wanted or needed at the time. So, we really wanted for litlte. We even gave up baking, although Sue would usually fix something special for Christmas dinner. I did get an invite from my neighbors to come for dinner on Christmas Day. I see them just about every day. We were good friends before Sue died, and I have become closer since then. 
I have been keeping busy with my work. Together my boss, Rich, and I have completed some enrollments, and I now have three active accounts. I am just short of my next goal which I need to make by January 12. Rich has been doing some finagling to help me get there and will pull some more strings if necessary, but I'd like to get there on my own. I have a good pipeline built up, and it's just a matter of closing them in time. The nolidays are throwing a little bit of a monkey wrench into my timeline. I don't want to be in this position again.
I don't just want to get by.
I want to KILL IT! 
See how this job has changed me. Maybe it was there all along and just needed coming out.
Speaking of which, I expect to have lunch with my sister this coming week. I saw a review on Public Television about a Chicago style pizza restaurant in Jupiter, FL. Since we are from Chicago, I thought it would be fun to meet her there. She is coming from Vero Beach, so I'll have the lions share of the driving, but I really don't mind. If she comes without her husband and the feeling is right, I might open up to her about being a crossdresser. I just take if for granted now. Maybe someone in the family should know, or not. I'll write about that later.
So that's my little bit for tonight. I am well. I try to stay mindful and let my thoughts go as they come. I am happy with what I am doing. I will learn and do well--I am already, although I don't know fi I'm quite up to minimum wage yet. LOL. That will change. Later.

By MichelleLea,

Well, the good news is that I (we) opened another account yesterday. This makes two for the week, three total so far. My "boss," Rich, is amazing. He can turn a no into a yes. I need to keep learning from him. We certainly don't get them all, and we have had our share of disappointments over that past several weeks. On a whim, after one such disappointment, he decided to try one more time on a prospect we had just about given up on. As luck would have it, we ran into the brother who is a partner in the business, and he has agreed to see us again on Monday. I'll bet we get another one.
So, the result is that after about two and a half months, I'm finally seeing some money coming in. Even though these new accounts don't become effective until January 1, and AFLAC doesn't get any payment until February 15, I get paid immediately. We open the account one day, and the next day my commission is in the bank. Nice. I get most of it up front, and then the balance as the account does make monthly payments. I will also get residuals from the account as long as it is open. I need to keep doing this.
As it stands, if I had gotten a "regular" job, after I had gotten laid off from my last job, I would have been much further ahead financially. To date, I don't think I'm even making minimum wage although that seems to be changing. On the other hand, I wasn't getting hired in education, and I wasn't getting any inteviews for other jobs. This was at least something. I also have to say that at my life stage, I like the fact that I don't set an alarm clock, and for the most part, I can set my own schedule. I also have control over where I work which means I'm not driving to hell and gone to get to work. Often, I can come home for lunch and let my puppies out--my neighbor does when I can't make it home--and still get my work done. 
All in all, I think I'm good where I'm at. I keep le
I told my District Sales Coordinator (DSC), Rich, who has become my friend and mentor, that, in my opinion, the hardest thing about sales is rejection. But now, I think that one learns how to deal with that; it's disappointment that's the hardest thing, and last week was a disappointing week. I had a fair amount of potential business in my pipeline, but they seem to be withering away for one reason or another. It boils down to getting people to make a commitment, and we are not a priority for them at this time. So, it becomes a matter of keeping one's head up and soldering on. I'm doing my best. I still have quite a few prospects lined up, so I'm not exactly washed up, and I did make another couple of appointments today. They would be small accounts, but they all add up. I'm going to start doing employer presentations on my own on Monday. Rich has been great about helping me out, but he has other commitments, and it's time I spread my wings and learn to fly on my own. We'll see how I do. A couple will be even more challenging as I will need to use my limited Spanish to do some of my explanations.  I'll have some help, but it should be interesting.
As I have mentioned previously, I have dropped out of the chatroom for which I feel some guilt, but it wasn't working for me anymore. I feel bad about leaving some of the people I met behind, but I think it is a good decision. I felt too stifled, and it was becoming too much of an obligation and an effort. I think at some point I will need to find another group to join, but I'm not much of a joiner. I like my routine and it's difficult to break.. I should do more on weekends.  Anyway, I am watching a little more TV--news and movies--and reading more. I like Public TV. I watched a Ron Howard documentary on the Beatles touring years last night which was a lot of fun. I sitll like the music after all these years. We'll see what the coming week brings.
I'm going to ramble tonight which is what I usually do anyway. My 75th birthday on Friday passed quietly as expected. Funny that I got more congratulations from my neighbors and co-workers than my own family. My sister sent me a short text--no card this year; and I didn't even hear from my brother. One daughter texted that a late card was coming--she is always late; the other called a day later. My erstwhile son didn't bother either, but we have only recently re-established communication so maybe that's not surprising. A few congrats and likes on Facebook and Linkedin. Another day in the life.
I did reconnect with my chatroom friends. I haven't been dressing as much and don't feel right about entering the chatroom en homme. Also, it has been late when I finally get finished with all my paperwork and organizing that I'm not up to spending a lot of time there. After a full day, I am ready for bed. (I have been tempted to use "just" so many times. I think I am getting better at eliminating it from my usage.)
As I have mentioned previously, I have several potential account openings this week. The appointments have been set up, and we are ready to open my first business accounts. I have quite a few things in the pipeline now, so I am hopeful that at least some will happen. I am doing this for the money of course--that's why you get into sales, after all--but even more importantly for me, I am trying to prove to myself that I can do it. I have tried numerous times before, and while I have not been a total failure, I have not set the world on fire either. This feels different in that I am able to give it my all, and even more importantly, I am not desperate for the money--eventually, maybe--but not for quite a while. So, what will be, will be as the song says. My expectations are moderate. I think my sales coordinator is more optimistic. He is now counting on my to make his district quota for new account openings. 
Then with that, I have to get my dogs to the groomer on Tuesday morning. I have my monthly eye injection on Wednesday afternoon followed my the Comcast tech coming to install a new internet for me. Friday, I've been invited to a Thanksgiving lunch at my previous employer, PACE Center of Girls. Busy indeed.
BTW, I did get dressed tonight for a short visit--skirt and blouse and a pearl necklace. Simple.
Here are some more tales from your blogging road warrior. Anyone who has been in sales knows that it is a roller coaster with highs and lows coming almost hourly. This week was no different.
I started early Monday morning before our 9:00 meeting and set one appointment right away. It was to be my last of the week. I struggled Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday doing follow-ups and breaking new territory--for me anyway. Nada. I can't say it was a total loss because I did uncover some promising businesses that will warrant a call back next week. But for the most part, it was heavy slogging either not being able to see the decision maker, or getting a flat out no, or finding out that the company already had AFLAC or a competitor. (Note: We don't replace existing policies.  We provide coverage where none exists) So it was a matter of carrying on believing that it would work out eventually.
As I mentioned previously, I had four appointments on Thursday to open accounts. The first one went very well, and the owner we dealt with ending up buying just about every policy we presented to her. Unfortunately, her husband was not present. More on that later. The next stop, not quite as well. Our owner here is getting married this month and has a lot on her mind besides opening an account with AFLAC. Still my District Service Coordinator (DSC) persevered and we did establish a group for the company. Enrollments will wait until the middle of December, after the wedding. Our next one required some more deliberation and consultation with outside partners, so no group set up. I think it will still fly eventually. And there was a glitch in our last meeting in that Rich (DSC) had arranged for a Spanish speaker to give a presentation to employees of a pre-school, but he bailed at the last moment, and no replacement was available. Addtionally, the owner of the pre-school was not available so we wouldn't be able to move forward anyway. We'll reschedule. Rich does not have high hopes for this one. We met with one other potential client later that afternoon, however, and that shows some promise.
So, here it is Friday morning, and Rich is up early and wants to meet me to wrap up the first client. Our owner, Sophia, is a real gem. She is sharp and a straight shooter. But, the husband wanted to be involved, so we had to wait for him to show up which took most of the morning. Rich had to re-sell everything again, but in the end it was a go with two polices yet to be decided. It was still a good sale, especially for a small company, and the owners made smart choices on their coverage. Rich and I came back to my house to work on the computer. We finally got the other employees enrolled and the account was transmitted to AFLAC.  It was a little messy, but we got her done. Rich says you always remember the first one. So it ended well, and I'll get a nice commission check by Tuesday plus an additional $150 bonus for making my fast start level and I also get free  business cards now. Now that was fun. I have an ambitious goal to  open 10 new accounts by the end of the year. With what I have in the pipeline, that is not out of the question. We'll see. I don't want to get overly excited or optimistic, but I also want to enjoy the moment. I did work for it after all.
More and more, I think my involvement with TG Guide is going to be right here. As I have previously alluded to, the chatroom has gotten to be more of a chore for me. I hate to say that and maybe I'm being selfish, but the conversations have gotten so repetitive, and sometimes it's difficult to even get anyone to say anything. I still like to dress, and I am glad there are places where you can go and be yourself, but it's not where my head is at right now. I don't need to be told what I need to do to be feminine. I can do that well on my own, thank you. What I would like is stimulating conversation on a variety of topics. Not really into tweeting though; that seems to get nasty at times. So I'll just hang out here. This works for me  Until next time...

By MichelleLea,

Today was one of the first days in a while that I have not been running around trying to get things done. Now that I think of it, there were probably some work things I could have done, but I took the time for me instead. So, I read two long New York Times articles, one a free-wheeling interview with John Boehner, former House speaker; and another on the disarray of the Democratic party. I also subscribe to the Miami Herald and the Washington Post,  so this was catch  up on the news day. One thing I read about John Boehner was that he was very meticulous about his dress and irons all his own clothes, which inspired me to do my own washing and ironing. I even polished my shoes. I joke that when I am out prospecting, all I have is a smile and a shoe shine. Even watched a little TV. I never did see Lincoln . Very powerful, but that's Steven Spielberg for you. I had to get the news of the latest shooting from my neighbors. This is getting to be an almost daily event. Nothing will be done of course. I don't know what it will take. There is little moral courage in this country it would seem. We here will do what we can.
I mean, I really wasn't going to get dressed tonight--well, maybe some lounging clothes--but nothing serious. As I mentioned previously, some nights this week, I have not even bothered with that and have gone straight from my dog-walking clothes to my nightie for bed.  I have also been avoiding the CD Chatroom for several reasons, mainly because being dressed is de rigueur for being in the chatroom--I do approve of this unwritten rule, by the way. Also, it has become rather boring and one note, I'm afraid. For me, I can only talk about what we are all wearing and how feminine we are for so long. I go along with it, and I have made some good friends there, but it's usually the quietest chatroom. Very few go there.
But anyway, after working in the yard, I definitely needed a bath, and I needed to do some shaving, and then I put on some panties and a bra with breast forms--haven't done that in a while. Then I dug out a long skirt and and a blouse to go with it and a little jewelry, and voila! Here I am. So there. I will probably visit the chatroom later. I haven't watched a movie in like forever, so maybe I'll see what I can find.It's nice out tonight, so I might just sit on the porch with my dog and watch the stars.
One last thing, this is funny. I actually got asked out on a sort of date today. It was one of the cashiers at Walmart that my wife and I have known for at least 10 years. She is Mexican and is my age--she told me--and as it turns out, her son has the same birthday as I do--November 10, next Friday. So, she thought that we should have a joint celebration, and we exchanged phone numbers. i don't know if i will even happen, but she is a nice lady, and it wouldn't hurt. I am certainly not looking for any relationship myself, and I don't see her as a fit in any case, but I don't want to let her down either. We'll see.
I had a few things on my "to-do" list today, but putting the house back together and doing yard work were priorities. AFLAC had almost completely taken over the dining room area, and that had to come to an end. As I wrote last night, I have  decided to use an excel spreadsheet to manage my prospecting, and am in the process of inputting all my business contacts. The sum total of my progress in that area, except for a few entries last night, is to move all the stuff from the dining room into the den. So now, I'm sitting with piles of stuff in the den which I guess is an improvement of sorts. At least it's out of direct site should anyone come to visit. Actually, my neighbor, Jeanie, is the only one who comes, and that's to let the dogs out. Anyway, it looks better for me to look at.
So then, while I'm cleaning the living room, I decided it was time to do some rearranging there. I have always thought that our recliners are way too far back from the TV, so I figured out a way to move them closer without having to redo the whole room. It came out well, not that I watch TV anymore. I had one casualty when I moved the couch. It was backed up against the wall, and the paint stuck to the leather and came off with it. We were without power for a week during the hurricane, and the humidity must have weakened the paint. It is out of sight for the time being. Another project. Oh,and I put the leaf back in the dinette table where I eat, so now I have more room there. In the afternoon, I tackled the yard. The arica palms in the front need constant maintenance to keep them at a reasonable height. And the oleander needed some work. And there is always weeding. I like living in Florida, but everything grows all the time, and it's really a challenge at times to stay on top of it.
I have a busy week ahead. Hope something pops. I have low expectations. I well keep on keeping on.

By MichelleLea,

This was a busy week, but lately, aren't they all? AFLAC was running a contest to kick start the quarter, so we were all encouraged to go out there and rack up some good numbers. The ones who reached a certain level would be invited to a fancy downtown bar--Blue Martini--this coming Monday. I was a little handicapped since I had a full day of training on Tuesday, and another hald a day training on Thursday. Additionally, on Monday I worked with someone else which was a little different for me. Kathy has been in the business a little bit longer than me and is just starting to make some headway. She is sharp and has a good approach, although she is much more analytical than I am and is more selective of the businesses she calls on. I may get that way, but right now I don't do much discriminating. Pretty much, if it's got a door, I'll go in. Still, we ended the day with 53 approaches and one appointment set. 
Wednesday, after my second time through Level 1 sales school, I really pounded the pavement and made 79 approaches and set 7 business appointments and 1 direct sale appointment. As some of you may know, sales is an up and down deal. On  Thursday, after my morning training, I went out and made 43 approaches and came up empty-handed. i even went downhill as I lost one of the appointments I had previously set--I wasn't terribly disapponted in this one as it was pretty iffy to start with. My boss gave me some encouraging words last night, and I bounced back with 23 approaches today and 4 appointments set. Kathy also did an employer presentation for me which went well. Hopefully, it will translate into some enrollments and get me on the board.
So, this weekend I will catch my breath and get myself organized the for comng week. I have 10 appointments with employers and Kathy and my boss Rich are going to do them for me. I haven't been to Level 2 training yet, so I don't know enought to do them on my own. I will have a lot more leeway when I can make my own presentations. So, little by little I seem to be getting there. It does take time and there is a lot to learn. In due time. BTW, I am invited to the Blue Martini on Monday. I don't drink anymore, but hopefully the food will be good. I will try to post the picture that was taken at training. I put it on facebook and have gotten a lot of likes and comments.

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