Jennie Bellinger is a Certified Professional Coach and the host of the Badass Direct Sales Mastery Podcast. She works with badass direct sales moms to achieve the financial and time freedom they desire so they can be fully present in their children’s lives. An entrepreneur since 2010, she understands the desire to contribute to your family’s future and be present with them in the here and now, and how difficult balancing those two priorities can be. So Jennie has learned the hard way (while building two separate businesses, raising two kids, and navigating a divorce) to fulfill that need to contribute and be there for her children.
Where did the idea for Level Up Coaching come from?
I started my own direct sales journey with an in home party jewelry company in 2010. I was a mom of a toddler at the time, and went on to have a second child while also building my direct sales business. As I continued to build and grow, I noticed the high turnover rate that was happening not just in my company, but seemingly in every direct sales and network marketing company, and it was frustrating and confusing for me to see so many people leaving their dreams behind. Running a successful direct sales business is just like running any business as a solopreneur.
The idea for my current business was a seed that was planted with one specific conversation that I had with my successful mentor and germinated and sprouted over the course of 18 months or so. I remember I was out to lunch with my mentor, and she asked me, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” And I remember thinking about my answer for a bit and what came out of my mouth surprised even me… “I see myself helping others becoming super successful in direct sales and getting paid for it.”
Over the next few months, I was introduced to a few different business coaches, none of whom focused on or had successful direct sales or network marketing experience or knowledge.
Approximately 18 months later, I was in a coaching certification program and was certified as a professional coach on Feb 28, 2017, and Level Up Coaching, LLC was “born” the next day.
I work with rockstar direct sales moms to take their business from making an extra $100 per month to being in the top 1% of their company.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day is spent coaching clients, either privately or in groups, over Zoom or by phone. I often have coaching notes and recordings that I’m sharing with them after the session, and setting up my system for helping to remind them of the goals they’ve set for this week or this month.
I also spend one to two hours networking daily. I network virtually through attending various BNI meetings around my local area, and having one to ones with BNI members across the nation and even around the world. I also network in a couple women’s networking groups (Women Empowering Women and Polka Dot Powerhouse).
One way that I keep myself productive is by having one hour on Sunday where I plan my week and take a look at my KPI’s to insure that I am doing the activities that will build and grow my business with new clients and new referral partners weekly.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I often bounce my ideas off of my coach and my boyfriend (who is also an entrepreneur). Once I’ve got a good idea of what the idea will take to get started, I start by announcing it to clients, referral partners and on social media to hold myself accountable for actually doing it.
I find that once I get things started, I can get it rolling by creating it as I go along. I’ve found that “Done is better than perfect.” I tweak the idea, get feedback from participants, and continue to work the idea until it blooms.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I have to say, I am loving networking with people not only across the country virtually, but also worldwide. I am truly a people person, and I love getting to meet new people in different states and different countries to collaborate and create more success for more people. Pre-COVID, I was already doing a lot of networking and work from home, but since COVID started, I’ve had the opportunity to network with people in 8 states, 3 Canadian provinces, Costa Rica, Ireland, Great Britain, France, South Africa and India.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit that keeps me productive is my weekly planning session. This allows me to truly focus on how many clients I am serving, how I am serving them and how I can continue to help them build on their success. They are my motivation and my inspiration each and every week.
My weekly planning session came to be when I realized that I was networking more than serving clients, and I needed a way to keep my focus and build intention into my business. I started by asking others around me to help hold me accountable. A few others offered to pop in on my Zoom room that I keep open to them so I can be held accountable.
I then developed a form that I fill out weekly that focuses on my Key Performance Indicators, my priorities and specific tasks that will fulfill one or both of those.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I were to give advice to my younger self, I’d say to keep building relationships and make connections. I am happiest when I am connecting with others on a deep level.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I keep hearing “everyone is ‘Zoomed out.'” It seems that people are assuming others are sick of Zoom. But my experience so far has been that when given the choice, an overwhelming majority of people prefer to connect over Zoom than over the phone.
So, instead of lamenting how we can’t connect in person, let’s focus on our gratitude that we have the technology and ability to still connect face-to-face via video conferencing.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The one thing that I do over and over is that once I find something that works in my business, I continue to do it over and over despite the boredom that I may personally experience in the process. I focus instead on the new clients that those strategies continue to bring to me, and the excitement of starting with a new client and continuing to support and serve me current clients in ways that bring them more success in their business and personal lives.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The one strategy that has helped me grow my business has been hiring my own business coach. Just like a therapist cannot counsel themselves, a coach cannot coach themselves. Having my own coach has provided me perspectives outside of my own, a sounding board for ideas, accountability, new knowledge, new connections and so much more. When hiring you own coach, ask them if they have a coach or coaches of their own. If the answer is no, move on. A coach who is not being coached is not someone who is investing in themselves, their business or their clients.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I had as an entrepreneur is that I tried to design my own website rather than hiring a pro to do it. This meant that once I did hire the pro, he had a lot of clean up to do in addition to rebuilding the website. I’ve learned to invest in those who do “the thing” everyday, and stick to what I’m best at, coaching.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Use focus groups that are made up of ideal prospective clients/customers, current clients/customers and former clients/customers to help you develop your next product or service. Many entrepreneurs are aware that marketing firms use this to test marketing ideas, but this applies to all types of businesses. By getting former clients and current clients together with prospective clients, they’ll sell YOU and/or your product for you to the prospects!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently purchased into a money mindset group coaching course. It was something that helped to shift my view of my own relationship with money and how riches show up in my life.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Calendly. It’s an online scheduling app that allows me to share my calendar with others who want to meet with me. This helps to reduce the number of back and forth emails to find a good day and time to meet and where…. Calendly allows them to see what days and times I have open and sets up the Zoom link for us both. It’s truly been a lifesaver for me.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Success Principles by Jack Canfield. This book was an absolute life-changer for me in 2013. In fact, I re-read it often, and keep a copy on my desk for reference as needed.
What is your favorite quote?
Your actions speak so loud that I cannot hear what you say. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
- If you are a solopreneur, hire a coach if you don’t have one yet
- Set up your Calendly ASAP, it saves time and emails
- If you have an idea, bring it to life quickly. Don’t worry about it being perfect, done is better than perfect.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.