A Breakthrough Moment with Stefanie Skokowski
A Breakthrough Moment with Stefanie Skokowski
From Reading, Pennsylvania, Stefanie is re-married and to her loving husband and they have a whopping six children between the two of them. They have created a beautiful blended and evenly divided home with 3 boys and 3 girls. Stefanie has a degree in psychology and for years has served as a social worker, working with children from birth to 3 years of age experiencing developmental delays. She introduced the industry of direct sales and network marketing in 2006 and has been able to create a full-time career from doing so. Hear how Stefanie has broken free from her past, her hurdles and hurt, now creating a life full of big dreams and working to inspire others to do the same.
How did you get inspired to start doing what you do as an influencer in your industry that has to lead to where you are now?:
My passion is to encourage and inspire people to become their best, to overcome self doubt and pursue their dreams, especially women. I have experienced domestic violence with my ex husband and have endured four years of divorce and custody battles and had to file restraining orders. It was during this time that I was building my network marketing business. One of the things I love most about the network marketing industry is the personal development one has to embrace to be successful. It was these principles that I applied to my life to get me through this hard time. I now like to pay it forward and share my story to inspire others to not let life's obstacles stop you.
We often have a book, podcast, video, or event stand out to us that was instrumental in shifting our perspective in business. Do you have one that stands out to you and was a significant impact for you moving forward? If so, can you share?
I love reading and have always dove into any book that can help be grow as a person. Mentors such as Tony Robbins and Jim Rohn are two of my favorite. But, the biggest impact and turning point for me was attending a corporate national event. Getting to events and being surrounded by like-minded people is so important.
“One never knows what story they will hear or who they will meet that will make a huge impact.”
During the time of this one corporate event, I was in the middle of my divorce and feeling sorry for myself and using my circumstances as excuses. One segment of the conference featured a couple who were the first to reach the top rank of the company and they shared their story. While they were building their business, their daughter was killed in a car accident. But they didn't quit, they didn't let that tragedy stop them. That was one of the biggest reality checks I ever had; their story had such a huge impact on me. It was at that moment that I realized I wasn't alone in my life struggles.
“I wasn't alone in my life struggles.”
Yes, I was going through a horrific time in my life, but I didn't have to survive the death of my child. That's the time I dropped the excuses and was determined to not let my challenges defeat me. If I didn't attend that event, I would have quit this industry and not be here today. We are all going through challenges in life. Like Jim Rohn used to say,
"The same wind blows on us all; the winds of disaster, opportunity, and change. Therefore, it is not the blowing of the wind, but the setting of the sails that will determine our direction in life."
What are some of your biggest lessons learned over the years through the evolution of the industry and what are you applying to your business today that is working for you that you maybe were not doing before.
When I first started in the industry, home parties and monthly hotel meetings were still encouraged, and social media was just taking off as a new platform for growing one's business.
“Technology has certainly changed the face of our industry.”
We can now use these tools to have a truly online business and connect faster to more people all across the world. Use the tools so that it's easy to duplicate. Say less to more people. Don't use social media as a way to blast your company and products, but rather as a platform to first provide VALUE to build your brand and audience. Use attraction marketing. I look at social media as a platform to make friends faster. That's it. And once those relationships are formed, you can then approach people with your opportunity and product as you would with any close friend.
What has been your biggest challenge and how have you worked to overcome it?
Mindset is 100 percent everything. It trumps skill. Skill is necessary, but if one does not have the right mindset and does not believe in oneself, skill doesn't matter. Because of my history with domestic violence, I struggled with feelings of unworthiness. Not believing in myself. Not thinking I can really be successful. So despite all the skills I developed, I wasn't progressing the way I should have been. Once I learned the power of affirmations and how our thoughts can affect our reality, I was able to slowly start re-framing my old paradigms and build my self confidence.
What’s the best advice you ever received?
Oh I've received so many great tips and advice over the years, it's hard to pick just one! I would have to say the best advice I received is not to worry about what others think as you chase your dreams.
“You can’t be a people pleaser.”
Often times you will feel alone. Most people don’t have the courage to pursue their dreams, so when one does, they will attract some haters... you’re reminding them of dreams they gave up on. Find your tribe and surround yourself with people who emulate your goals and desires. You become like the top five people you hang around with the most, so make sure you are hanging around the right kind of people. If you are the smartest person in the room, and then you were in the wrong room.
What’s your best advice for handling criticism?
Look at the intention of the person giving the criticism. If it's constructive and meant to help you grow, consider it and maybe you can learn from it. If the criticism is meant to be destructive, remember that people often criticize things that they themselves do not have the courage to pursue.
“Remember that people often criticize things that they themselves do not have the courage to pursue.”
Negativity is more of a reflection of the person giving it and not of the person being criticized. At the end of the day, all that matters is what YOU think and believe.
In our industry we get a lot of no's and too often people take that as criticism and take that too personally. We need to remember that it's a numbers game and we can expect to get no's and that's ok! We are SIFTING for people who are open to what we have to offer, not CONVINCING. I like to remember the analogy of the waitress who asks if you want coffee at the end of a meal. She asks EVERYONE she serves. Some say yes and some say no, and she doesn't get upset if someone says no. But it's still her job to ask EVERYONE. That is how we should view our business....some will say yes and some will say no.
What do you believe your true purpose is? What value and impact do you hope serve and give to others?
I am an encourager. It's my nature and passion. My purpose is to encourage others that despite their background, or their current circumstances, they can actualize the greatness inside of them. It's in all of us. I love to give value to others by providing this encouragement and to use my story to inspire others that nothing and no one can stop them if they don't let it.
How do you structure your days?
First 30 min is devoted to meditation, prayer, visualizations and saying my affirmations. It makes a big difference in how the rest of my day goes.
Exercise is next.
I'm a morning person, so my income producing activities have to happen before mid afternoon when I am at my sharpest. Do the hard first! Prospecting, follow ups, and making new connections have to happen every day and have to happen first.
Blocked off time for family (different day to day depending on my children's schedules)
Team support/training in the evenings.
Day ends with reading/listening personal development to continue to grow
How do you find time to follow your entrepreneurial journey while juggling other life responsibilities?
“You make the time for things that are important to you and if you want it badly enough.”
When I was working full time at my job while building my business, I got up earlier (an hour earlier) and stayed up later. I averaged 4 hours of sleep my first year til I got to the point where I was able to quit my job. A temporary sacrifice I was willing to pay. I also communicated with my family why I was doing this, and that this was for them too. I had to miss a few events such as sports games, but I also involved my kids in my business by letting them pick things they would like to do once I was able to quit my job. It helped them understand and support what I was doing rather than protest it.
What tools do you find indispensable in your day-to-day business?
My phone - This is no longer a home-based business; it's a phone-based business.
My calendar - I still use paper calendar
Short videos - that explains the business/product to prospects. Keeps the message uniform and easy for the team to duplicate. (Be the messenger, not the message.)
Tracker system to track your business - either old fashioned notebook, CRM, or an app such as Teamzy
ZOOM videos - to communicate face to face all over the world.
Social Media is such a gateway for influencer’s today. What platforms work best for you and why do you choose to use them the most?
Facebook works best for me because that's the one I have most experience with and am most comfortable.
“Doing Facebook LIVES has made a big difference in my ability to reach more people to provide value and it's a way for me to interact with my audience in real time.”
I also choose Facebook because it's still the biggest platform than all the other ones combined.
I also use LinkedIn and find it valuable for prospecting about business opportunity, because people are on this platform to do business. I find more people on this platform are open to hearing about additional income streams and opportunities.
What are you tips for maintaining a present influence on these platforms and how do you encouraging continued engagement with your following?
Post every day. In my opinion, once a day is enough. Just make sure it provides value. I will ask: will what I'm about to post help, lift up and encourage people? Do LIVE videos! Not only does it allow your audience to see and hear you, but your audience can interact with you. Notice who is liking your posts and making comments. Take the time to message them to say hello and thank them for supporting your posts. Go to your audience's wall and like and comment on what they share as well. Consistency is key. Once you build an audience, they will expect to hear from you daily.
What can people expect to see when following you?
They can expect to see positivity and encouragement. Tips on how to overcome obstacles and reach their goals. Reminders not to ever give up and that they have greatness inside of them. My goal is for people to feel encouraged and empowered from what they see on my social media profiles.
What do you believe set's you apart from others in your same industry?
I am relate-able. My goal is for anyone to feel that they can do what I do. I share my struggles and what I have overcome so others know that I am just like them. Although I am a leader in this industry, I don't convey that I have arrived....quite the opposite. I share that no one every arrives and knows it all and there is always room to grow.
What’s next for you?
I see myself continuing to build in the network marketing space, to help as many people as I can achieve success in this wonderful industry. But next for me is public speaking. Down the road, I will be writing a book.
Lastly, what legacy do you hope to leave behind and imprint do you hope to make on others?
My biggest legacy is the one I am leaving to my daughters. They have watched me grow in this industry and already have learned that there is no limit to what they set their minds to. If I have encouraged even one person to pursue their dreams and believe in themselves, and change the trajectory of their life, then I achieved my goal.
Where can people find you?
Instagram Handle: @stefanie_skokowski
I’M WHITNEY KAY
JUST YOUR AVERAGE MOM, WIFE, AND MULTIFACETED BUSINESS WOMAN. I AM A SERIOUS COFFEE ADDICT, FOODIE, DESIGNER AND DEEP DOWN A LITTLE BIT OF A TECH NERD. MY PASSION? TO INSPIRE FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS TO PERUSE THEIR PURPOSE AND BUILD THE BUSINESS AND BRAND OF THEIR DREAMS.
TEMPLATES, OH MY!