Work From Home Mom

Planners, planning, and plans: A review of the new Anthology Planner

Planners are very important books in so many of our lives.

I say books, but there are just so many different ways to keep track of life now.  You can use a phone hooked up to the cloud sharing with your computer, tablet and every other electronic device you own.  You can use pieces of paper from your kid’s school, that maybe aren’t the best choice, but you know where to find them.  Or you can use a traditional planner.

One of the reasons that I love a traditional planner is that I like to make lists, lists about things to do, to get, to make.  I need to be able to put my stickies somewhere, or my entire desk would look like a patchwork of chaos! Also, as a goal setter, it is proven that writing your goals down are better ways to visualize them happening.  So I use stickies and sharpies in my planners to make sure that I see them regularly.  And finding the best planner for my networking marketing business is hard.

I remember just a few years ago, the only option you had was the basic day-timer from the office supply store.  It was sturdy, did its job and everyone was happy, but were they?  In the last 3 or 4 years more and more pretty planners have come onto the market.  From Erin Condren, Plum Paper, Heidi Swapp, My Big Ideas, it seems that everyone has a planner now-a-days.  And all have great parts about them.  I have bought many many of them, and have currently been using one from Blue Sky.  And while it works, it isn’t perfect.

So, when this baby hit the market on December 1st, I was super excited.  Have a quick watch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH9Ufxuqfi0%5B/embedyt%5D

Lisa Bearnson is the creative mind behind Anthology, and does a beautiful job creating beautiful items, and this one is no exception.  The price point is amazing.  ($39US/$52CND)  And what you get with it is absolutely mind blowingplanner, anthology, daytimer,

• Faux Leather Album (6” x 8”)

• 12 Month Dividers • 12 Page Protectors • 96 Pages

• Calendar/Event Stickers

• Changeable Date Stamp

• Glitter Tape

• Designer Pencils

• Designer Eraser

• Decorative Clips

Things I love about this planner:  I love how easy it is to use.  It comes undated, so you can start whatever month you want.  But you have the pretty date stamp to fill in the dates.  I love the size of the planner.  It is substantial enough to feel like it isn’t going to get lost, but small enough to take it with you.  I LOVE that I can add and move pages around.  (see below for a great offer).

What I don’t love – the amount of space on weekends – but that is just me.  Some weekends feel super busy for me, so I need a bit more space.  But there are stickies for that.

In the world of planning, this is a great addition to the marketplace, and I am personally hoping to see the line expand.

If you would like to purchase one of these awesome, you need to have this pretty – buy now!!! – IF you are US Customer – buy here! 

PS – For every $75 you purchase, you can receive an additional item for 50% off!

PPS – anyone who purchases a planner from me in December 2016, will receive a complimentary download to print and use.  A choice between a “mom’s on the go” kit or a “direct sellers business on the go kit”.  Both have 10 great sheets to use with your planner!

So exciting to get 2017 off to a great start.  Keep in touch and I will be sharing other tips to wrap up 2016 and make 2017 awesome!

 

Busy Mom’s Guide to the little ELF: Holiday Special

Simple set ups for that Elf on your Shelf

elf on the shelf, mommy survival, holiday, christmas

I don’t know about you, but the first year I did the Elf thing, I was super excited about it, for the first 3-4 days… then after that, my enthusiasm started to disappear a bit.  Now, I almost dread elf day.

So, in order to help out all the other moms in the world who’s children love the elves, here are some simple ideas to get your elf going for the next 24 days.

Day 1 – Arrival Day, our elves (yes, we have 2 because I couldn’t find the first one last year and ended up having to buy another one).  The elves arrive with a note from Santa and the kids’ advent (chocolate calendars).  I usually just have the elves “hanging out” somewhere close by.

I also made my elve’s poseable this year. Check out this blog post which will help!

  1. Hanging from somewhere on the Christmas tree (upgrade, tp’ing the Christmas Tree)
  2. Sitting inside the fridge all wrapped up (make sure it isn’t something that you are going to need that day)
  3. Hanging in the fruit bowl (mine eat a LOT of bananas)
  4. Get a cheap little pot from the dollar store and label it candy cane plant, have the elf sitting in it.
  5. If you have your stocking up early, hang out (feet up) in there
  6. Playing a game with another toy
  7. Wrapped up with spare wrapping paper or ribbon
  8. Do you have a nativity set or miniature village, mine likes to “move” those pieces around the house
  9. Taped to the wall in various places using washi tape
  10. Some people do the snow angels in the sugar candy – good for you, I hate elf clean up
  11. Using a dry erase marker to make mustaches on the family portraits
  12. Fishing for the dog (cat) need a small stick, some string and a pet treat
  13. Hanging out in a bowl/sink with a ton of white marshmallows and a Barbie/super hero
  14. Having a shopkin party (I don’t know about you, but I think we have about 100 of these little things in the house, I am going to bury the elf under the shopkins
  15. Do you have a doll house? Have them move all the furniture in the wrong rooms
  16. Reading a book to a bunch of other toys
  17. Zip lining or hanging down from a tall piece of furniture (ribbon and pins may be required)
  18. Having a nap in a tissue box
  19. Stuffed in a wine glass (preferably clean, but if it is getting near the end of elf time, you may need to at least rinse it out)
  20. Ice fishing in the freezer (attach an ice cube to a string
  21. The “Day off” have a note from the big guy that your elf had too much hot chocolate last night and needs a day off to recover, but will be back tomorrow
  22. Do you have a scrabble or other letter game. You can leave words around the house that they
  23. I work from home, so one day that is going to be “family only” day, I am going to washi my laptop SHUT so that I can’t work (Now that is going to be hard!)
  24. Now, leave a bunch of candy canes in your candy cane plant! (see #4)

And finally, your good-bye letter

Want copies of the welcome and good-bye letter – join us on our Elf on the Shelf Facebook support group

And a few more ideas because I am on a roll

  • Hersey’s kisses make great elf droppings
  • Use the Naughty nice cards (found on our facebook support group)
  • Depending on your family traditions, your elf could bring your child’s new pjs for Christmas Eve
  • My kids always get a new chirstmas book sometime in December, so the elf will be on the book shelf with that
  • Take an sELFie with your child while they are sleeping and show them the picture in the morning
  • Make a snow man using different sizes of marshmallows and food writeable markers
  • Have a snowball fit with another toy and mini marshmallows
  • Elf eats too many cookies one night and has a tummy ache (cookie crums required) – elf could take the next day off as a recovery day
  • Elf writes something on the bathroom mirror in toothpaste (messy clean up)

So, I recommend having an “elf” kit tucked away

  • Marshmallows of different sizes
  • Fishing line
  • Dollar store ribbon
  • Washi tape
  • Candy/candy canes
  • Scrable or other letter game handy
  • Tape
  • Special elf wrapping paper

So, I hope this helps you – you can follow my Instagram in December to see what my crazy elves are up to.

I have a pinterest board of some ideas

And don’t forget to join our facebook support group.

 

Keep up with me and my other life hacks!

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And you can always friend me on Facebook!

 

Politics and Business, when can they mix?

Is it ok to mix business and politics?

With the US election heating up and only a few weeks away, I have seen a LOT of posts for both supporting and criticizing the different candidates.

Now, here is the thing, I have seen a lot on both sides (or multiple sides if you throw in independents, or here in Canada).  And the problem is that about half of the people seeing your posts on social media agree with you and about half don’t.  And the more passionate you are, the happier, or more frustrated you are going to make those people.

In the last 3 days, I have personally unfollowed about a dozen people.  Some I have agreed with their views – others not so much – but it isn’t about their beliefs, but their overwhelming passion on social media is causing lots of positive and negative “drama” in their feed.  No matter who you are supporting, there is always that one friend who totally disagrees with you, and they feel that they should explain to the entire world why you are wrong.  This devalues your ideals.  And honestly, can effect your social media persona.

Recently, there was a speaker at one of the political conventions that spoke on behalf of the candidate.  The speaker was obviously nervous in front of the overwhelming large group of delegates and the national media.  They stumbled on their words, and while did a ok job, may not have been happy with their performance.  The issue came from the caption that placed with their title – it said “Vice President, Marketing” and the company name.  So, here is the issue – anyone watching that presentation who is outside of the direct sales world, would not understand that the speaker was an independent consultant – as the title listed Vice President.  They now believe that this person may (or may not) speak for the corporation as a whole.  And in fact that is exactly what happened.  There was a huge “hubbub” on Facebook that XYZ company would support such a candidate, and validated some peoples feelings about the organization, and disillusioned others.  When in actual fact, the company does not support either candidate.  The individuals of that company likely support someone, but they have been responsible and not publicized it.

My firm belief is that politics should never be mixed in business, and if you are an independent representative with a company and use social media as a way of promoting your business, politics should be left away from that too.  You may need to find another outlet for your politics and passion, but you don’t want to turn away potential customers or business partners because of your views. Because once a person unfollows up, they are not likely to return.

Just my two cents! If you want to follow my un-politicial facebook page – please join me!

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Everything I have learned in direct sales

My Four Year Direct Sales Anniversary and what I have learned.

You could say I have learned a lot in the last 4 years.  When I started, I was a full time child and family photographer.  I was working 20-30 hours a week taking pictures of other people’s families.  Then working another 40-60 hours a week editing, marketing, doing administration.  I had a part time assistant, a part time baby sitter (did I mention my children were 4 and 2 and still at home full time).  I was tired, burnt out and didn’t know what to do.

I had been out of the work force for 4 years, and really didn’t want to go back.  Then, I was doing a photo booth at a vendor event, and I spied “them” these awesome little pieces of jewelry – they fit so well into my photography studio… but I lied to the woman running the booth, saying it was for a friend that I took the information.  I loved them.  So, I went home, thought about it overnight, asked some basic “not for me, but for my friend” questions  – and took the plunge.  I didn’t tell my husband what it was “oh, just some jewelry samples for the studio” – he would have killed me if I had join ANOTHER direct sales company (in just the past 2 years, I had done a stamp company and a food company).

What was different this time – I made a decision that I needed to find some extra income, and I was actually going to work this business this time.  So, when the package came in, I took the time to read the materials that were in the kit.  I watched the (very few) videos in the back office.  And I started telling everyone, except my husband, what I was doing.  I got the “is it one of those pyramid things” my response was, I sure as heck hope so!  I shared what I was doing, I was shocked when people started buying from me, even more shocked when they wanted to start their own thing.  By the time we hit Christmas, our little “team” had grown.

 

Now what?  Well, now I felt responsible for these people – so, I went out and I started learning.  I watched every Youtube video I could find, read every blog I could find.  Asked leaders in my company who they read, and ordered books and videos from them.  I absorbed everything I could about the industry and how to make it work.

Did I make mistakes, FOR SURE.  Did I make the same mistake more than once, yep, maybe even 3 times.  But I kept doing it.  And because of that people started their own businesses with us.  Did all those people succeed, nope – but what I have come to learn over the last 3 years, is that it isn’t my fault.  I made choices along the way that have impacted my success.  I cannot be held responsible for what other people do or do not do.

I ranked up quickly through the company commission plan.  In 18 months, hitting the 2nd highest level, was in the top 5 in our company in all of Canada, and in the top 20 in the entire company.  Was riding a high – and then it happened.  On January 12th, 2016, we received an email that the company had to stop operations, and was closing.

Shock – total Shock.

 

My family had come to rely on the income.  My family had built our lives around this business.  I cried for about 2 hours, big ugly yucky tears.  (I had a bad feeling the night before, so had asked my husband to stay home from work “just in case”.  Then, I decided I needed to do something.  We called a video meeting with our team.  We talked about next steps, how to move forward, what we would do.

By some luck, within 7 hours of receiving the initial news, we heard rumblings of “something”.  A company was going to come in and support us.  Our teams would move over, they made quick promise and would do everything they could to make things right.

They didn’t have to do anything.  They could have let the natural progression fall apart and there be nothing left of my beloved company.
Has the transition been smooth – nope, not even close.  Those of us that have chosen to stay and work with the new company are just now beginning to see the rewards – almost 9 months later, but what I can tell you is that the rewards with the new company are going to be way better and bigger than they could have ever been with South Hill Designs.  What I learned while I was with the new company was incredible, but I also learned that isn’t the company I wanted to be with.  There have to be 3 things in any compny – good products, good people and a good support structure.  So, I went off looking, and now I am with another amazing company and look forward to some great opportunities.

 

So, what have I learned learned in direct sales in the last 4 years? Here is a summary

 

  1. If you want something, don’t worry about what others think.  The only person you have to answer to at the end of the day is you.  And if you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day, you have done a good job.
  2. If you want something, and don’t know how to get it, YOU need to find the answers and not expect anyone else to find them for you. My sponsor and I were learning at the same time, but we both have different strengths and weaknesses, she learned her way, I learned mine – but we have both been successful.
  3. Sh#t happens – get over it and get moving again.
  4. This is the best industry in the world. You can pick your own hours to work, your own timelines, and your own destiny – but don’t get me wrong, you still need to work.  I work a good 40- 50 hours a week, but I work WHEN I want to.  I might work on a Saturday at a vendor event, but then take a Wednesday to get my hair done.
  5. There is no better industry for rewards. I have figured it out, and in the last 3 years, between trips I have won, free products, other benefits – I have likely earned an extra $10,000K in “stuff”.
  6. This industry is not perfect, there are things about it that I don’t like – but nothing in life is perfect, and I have the power to fix the things that I don’t like.
  7. I would not do anything differently, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

I have found my “home”.  Network Markets, Multi-level Marketing, Direct Sales, Party Plan – whatever you want to call it, I am home.  And I know that I am with the BEST company out there.  It has a mix of products  (no more one hit wonder products for me).  It has a comprehensive and varied compensation plan,  – so I can see that the company is stable.  So it is diverse, stable, and scalable – sounds like a darn good investment in my books.  It has an amazingly caring management team, almost ALL have been in the field, so they get what we do every day.  Is it perfect, nope – but that is ok, I am not perfect either.

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Why do Big Box Stores have their holiday stuff out early!

Why big box stores having their product out early is an important sign for direct sellers.

Yes, it is that time of the year again, back to school shopping has begun.  But wait, Staples has had their back to school displays out weeks ago, and other big box stores have their hallowe’en and even Christmas displays starting.  It is hard to keep a calendar and know when to shop for what!

So, why do these big box stores do this to us? Do they think we are going to buy reindeer wrapping paper in August? Or pencil sharpeners in July?  No, they don’t – but what they do know is that we are going to buy a LOT of those products in the last few weeks leading up to the holidays.  They also know that they have limited delivers and even LESS storage space in those big box stores, so if they are going to have enough in stock for us, they need to bring in in early, on every possible truck, and get it out, so that they will be able to move in their small storage areas.

But you might ask, what does that have to do with me as a network marketer? Is it just to remind me how much money I need to make? No, what it should do is remind you that YOU only have limited trucks and limited storage space (well, figuratively speaking).  Think about the holiday season.  One of my personal key products is a giftable item.  It is huge around Christmas and Mother’s day.  But there are only so many Saturdays in November, and only so many in mid to late October.  I am looking at 6 maybe 7 afternoon or evening parties that I can facilitate, and that is if I don’t already have vendor events booked.  Add a few Sundays (I personally feel that Sunday is my family time, so out of those 7 weeks, I usually only allow for 2-3 bookings) add a few weeknights here and there – and my “display shelf” is filled with maybe 12-15 times slots.  Now, in my first year of business, that was ok.  I didn’t have a lot of clients that year, so I was able to fit them all in.  Now, 3+ years later, I am scrambling with my VIP hostesses to get them into my calendar in a time that works for them and me!  So, yes, I have been talking to my hostesses since June about getting their time in.  They also know that they need to hold that time, because the likely hood of me being able to move my truck so to speak, is not very likely.

Now, if you are selling a consumable, this time is even more important.  People only have so much money to go around.  So, you want to be contacting people early so that they can stock up on the things that they need, so that they can budget their money better over the holiday time!

So, basically, is when you see the back to school products on the shelves, you need to be thinking September bookings in YOUR head, and when the tinsel and lights show up at Costco, it is time to fill your holiday presentation calendar as well!

Want to know more about the great giftable and consumable products that are part of my line, join my VIP group, I am always giving away great goodies and tips on how to have a fun filled healthy life!

And you can always follow find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

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Diet Products vs Health Supplements, what is the better business for your bank account?

A business case for Health Products vs Diet Products

 

diet products for sale

Recently, I heard of a company who represents a new “magic pill” for diet products.  Take one of these in the morning, one in the afternoon and you can lose 12 lbs in a short period of time.  Sounds great doesn’t it!

Here’s the problem with that as a business. Once the customer has lost those 12lbs, if that is all that they have to lose, they will figure they don’t need your product anymore, and go back to doing what they were doing before.  And likely in 3-4 months, will have gained some of that weight back, and maybe come back to your product, but more than likely, they will think that that “magic pill” didn’t work, and go and try something different.

As a business, you will get 1 maybe 2 months of that customer on your product.  They may refer some friends to you, but likely, they will keep it secret, because they really don’t want their friends to know they had that weight to lose in the first place.

With a business such as Youngevity, they are promoting HEALTH not just weight loss.  Weight loss is a small part of the product offering, but the key focus is on getting your body working for you.

Recently, a large number of the people in the company took on a 21 Day eating challenge.  This challenge did not specifically have any products tied to the 21 days.  Many of the people in the challenge were already on some of the products, but the healthier eating was the key focus of time period.  Yes, many (and most) of the people on the challenge did lose weight, but that was an added bonus.

The other issue with diet products, is there is always a bit of a fad associated with them, and eventually, that fad – like a 80’s shoulder pad – will end.  Healthy living will continue to grow as our population ages, and as the available farm land shrinks and is over harvested!

One of the best stories I have heard since joining Youngevity in early 2016, was a dear friend of mine who suffers from chronic pain.  She is a young woman, with a young son, and many of the chores that we take for granted having to do, are things that she would LOVE to feel that she could.  Well, back in the spring, she realized that the lawn needed cutting.  Because of the pain, she had never been able to cut the grass, and if she attempted it, she would be in agony afterwards.  So, on this faithful day, she decided to try.  Not only did she cut the entire lawn (they live in Rural Saskatchewan, so it is a big yard), but afterwards, she was able to enjoy the rest of her day.  No, she is not pain free – but what she has now is a quality of life that she didn’t have before starting with Youngevity.  If she was using a “magic diet pill” that would not have helped her.  Has she lost some weight on the Youngevity products – yes! And so have I, but I want to work for a company, and represent a product that is about being healthy.

So, while diet pills may work for your weight, they will not create customers that will stay with you for long periods of time.  So, that won’t be healthy for your bank account either.  Find a company that is about promoting a healthy life style.  Not only will you be helping people in many ways, but it will create a healthier bank account for you!

If you are interested in hearing more about the Youngevity advantages, send me a message – and we can chat about your long term health of your body and bank account!

 

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