Do You Focus on the 99% or the 1%?

A few weeks ago I had an aha moment. Here's the Reader's Digest version (and I promise, I'll get to why this is relevant to you and your direct sales/home party plan business before I'm done). About a year and a half ago, a very close friend of mine "unfriended" me in real life. She didn't literally say "we're not friends any more" but when I found out through a status update on Facebook one Saturday morning that she was getting married that day (and that was the first I was hearing about it), it became pretty clear to me that I was no longer in her inner circle. This all happened during a challenging time for me personally, so of course I took it more personally than I should have. I had pretty much gotten over it and moved on, content with our casual interaction, until I found out a few weeks ago (again through Facebook) that she'd had her baby earlier that week.

That really stung.

So I called my best, wise friend Sharon, who knows me better than anyone in the whole world. I was complaining about the fact that I can never seem to let go of those relationships in my life that are clearly over and not serving me anymore. And that's where the aha moment comes in. Sharon asked me "Why are you focusing on the 1% whom you think don't like you instead of the 99% who clearly love you? You have over 4000 Facebook friends, for heaven's sake!" That's when it dawned on me that we, as direct sellers, do this all the time.

Think about it. You come to the end of your home party and out of the three people you invited to book a party, two enthusiastically said "yes" and one rudely said "no." Which one do you obsess over on your drive home? The 1%, right! That's crazy.

Here's the second aha moment I had when this happened that may help you to shift that focus. I realized (with Sharon's help) that the end of our friendship had nothing to do with me. My personality was no different on the day my friend chose to walk away from our friendship than it had been during the previous four years when she seemingly adored me. Nothing earth shattering had happened. I didn't steal her money or shoot her dog. And the truth was, this wasn't about me at all. It was simply a fact that she'd shifted and that I was no longer a good fit for her in her life.

When someone tells you "no" in your direct sales business, it's never, ever about you (I can just about guarantee you of that). It doesn't mean they hate you or you've done something that caused them to say no. It means they're insecure about their ability to do what you're asking, or they think they're too busy or they don't know enough people or they'll let you down or it's too much work. All of those reasons have everything to do with them and nothing to do with you. And when you tell yourself anything else, you're focusing on the 1% instead of the 99%.

Do yourself a favor right now. Take out a 3X5 index card and write on it, in big, bold, black letters, "99%." And put it up where you can see it in your office space. Every time you look at it, let it remind you of all that you're doing right and all of those customers, team members, and hosts who adore you and all that you do. It's a simple shift that could make a huge difference in your business (and your life).


You may, as long as you do not alter it and include the following information (with active links as appropriate)

Julie Anne Jones is a direct sales corporate consultant, coach, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific systems, language, and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at




  1. Julie April 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    It must have been what you needed to hear today. Thanks for the comment.

  2. DH Harvey April 26, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Julie Anne…WHY did you make me cry with this? Thanks amil for sharing this-it's totally true!

  3. Julie April 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks, Gail. So glad you liked the article and that it supported you. Looking forward to staying connected here on the blog and through the newsletter.

  4. Julie April 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Yay! Thanks for reading and I’m glad you’re focused on the 99%, Linda.

  5. Linda Kinsman April 23, 2012 at 7:41 am

    What a great tip. I will focus on the 99% and I'm glad you have a wonderful friend that helped you!

  6. Julie April 19, 2012 at 10:34 am

    She is indeed, Jhanna!

  7. Julie April 19, 2012 at 10:32 am

    My pleasure, Gail. Glad we found each other out here in “cyber space.” 🙂

  8. Gail Pare April 19, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Hi Julie,
    I needed this so much today!! (and I guess everyday).  I am a new party sales consultant for Simply Said Designs LLC.  I am holding my launch party soon and though I've gotten many replies of people coming to the party, I often sit and wonder whats next!  What will happen if those I ask for a party say NO, where will I get my next list of friends from that I can ask ?  I guess I'm dwelling on the negative before I even reach the positive!
    I would love to read your stories so I am signing up for your newsletter and will follow your page.
    thanks for making me think a little differently 🙂

  9. Jhanna Dawson April 19, 2012 at 8:49 am

    That is a wise friend you have there. Awesome reminder as I set out about my day!

  10. Julie April 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Glad you liked it, Harriett!

  11. Harriett Brawner April 19, 2012 at 6:56 am

    I love this!

Comments are closed.