Tuesday, March 21, 2017

10 ways to get more done at your next crop!

1.  Pre-plan - Don't be the person who decides what to pack on the day before a crop.  A few weeks before the crop, start making a list.  That list will be your guide and you'll find yourself updating it often if you put it in a place you see every day.  Ideas will come to you and you'll be able to add them easily. 
2.  Pair down -  Do not take every supply you own.  Get that idea out of your head that you "might need it".  Let's be real, if you forgot something, about 20 people in the room will have it and be happy to share.  Unless it's your photos, most other things can be found among friends.
3.  Set a goal -  As a former teacher, I'm all about objectives.  What is your main goal for the crop?  If it's a certain album finished or 100 new cards made, write it down.  Post it next to your "to do and to take" list to help yourself stay focused on what you really want to get done.  When you get to the crop, feel free to share your goal with your friends.  It will make it easier if they know why you are busy and will help keep you on task if you have accountability buddies.
4.  Ease up - Once you are at the crop, let go of some of those perfectionist tendencies.  Remember that layouts and cards are about love, not about each detail being perfect.  Go easy on yourself and just choose to do a little less than perfect.
5.  Take breaks - You will not be at your best if your back is aching or your eyes are struggling to stay open.  Sleep when you need to for as long as you want, take a nap in the middle of the day when you need a break.  Can't sleep, find a comfy couch and just chill for awhile, read a book, listen to music.  You will return to your crafting refreshed.
6.  Eat good stuff - I understand that eating junk food at crops is the norm but if you really want to feel energetic, you will want to avoid those foods that are full of fat and sugar (yeah, I know it's hard).  Fat especially requires a ton of energy to digest so you will feel sluggish while that's happening.  Eat lighter, eat healthier and you will be amazed at the energy you'll have at the crop.
7.  Keep it simple - Complicated cards and layouts are for a place where you aren't distracted by music, conversations and noise.  Save those for another time, bring your easier pages and cards to the crop.  Think of techniques that are mindless, like fussy cutting or coloring.
8.  Stay hydrated -  Drink lots of water.  Dehydration makes you tired, hydration does the opposite.  Pop, alcohol and tea dehydrate you so if you are drinking them, drink a glass of water in between.
9.  Be comfortable -  Let yourself be comfortable at crops, no makeup, sweats, and ponytails are all appropriate here.  
10.  Have fun - Even if you blow one through nine, it's okay if you have had a great time with your friends.  It's really what crops are about anyway!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

10 Things to Absolutely Take to a Crop!

1.  Photos!  There are so many times I've been at a crop and someone has actually forgot her photos, yikes!  Help yourself out by keeping photos on a service like Google photos.  It's good for more reasons than just if you forget your photos.  They are precious, make sure you always have backup.

2.  Adhesive!  And not just a little adhesive, take a lot, it's the one thing you are most likely to run out of.  Make sure you have your tape runner, pop dots, glue dots, a glue pen and maybe even a Xyron.

3.  Paper Trimmer!  Don't forget spare blades too.  You aren't going to get very far if you don't have your trimmer with you.

4.  Scissors!  Bring both a small sharp pair (non-stick) and long scissors.  It's very hard to cut straight with small scissors and difficult to cut intricate projects with the large ones.  You need both.

5.  A Good Black Pen!  Even if you aren't big into journaling, outlining, marking sizes, and just taking notes are all reasons you need a good pen.

6.  Ruler!  Okay, maybe you are not obsessive about things being straight but a good ruler will help you line up photos and mats, help you cut just the right size, and give you the perfectly drawn straight line.

7.  Hand Lotion!  I recommend the Udderly Smooth brand.  When you are handling paper the moisture in your hands gets sapped away.  Also, most venues for crops have very little humidity in the rooms which further dehydrates you.  You'll need lotion and this type absorbs quickly and doesn't stain your paper.

8.  Cup Holder!  For one thing it helps with space if you hook your cup on the side of the table instead of taking up precious room on top.  Also, spills happen, don't let them happen to you.  If it contains a garbage bag too, even better.

9.  Snacks!  I know this sounds simple but the truth is, even if people bring snacks to share, YOU know what snacks work best for you, whether it's your favorite candy or if you like to stick to healthy snacks.  Unless there is a sign up where you can see what snacks are being brought, make sure you have what you need.

10.  Realistic Expectations!  Before you goal, decide what you want to get out of the weekend.  Is it to finish pages or is it more about socializing.  Do you want to organize or take classes.  Once you've decided your objective, pack accordingly and take it easy on yourself. If you don't get 50 cards done, it's okay!  It's more important that you had fun!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Why most people fail at direct sales

This may not be for all of you....

I know that not everyone on my list has ever thought about signing up to be a consultant for Close to my Heart or any other company.  However, I bet a lot of you have either been a consultant for some direct sales company or considered signing up.  This newsletter is for you because I'm betting you wonder either why you weren't successful or, if you've never signed up, is it even possible to be successful.
Here's the Truth
There are really three main reasons people don't succeed in a direct sales company and the good news is that they all can be fixed.

1.  People give up too soon.  Imagine that instead of a direct sales business that you were setting up a store on Main Street in your town.  You would have researched and realized that there was no way you could start up a brand new business and be in the black right away.  It would take a few years because you would have to build a regular customer base and those don't happen right away.  You need to market your store, advertise like crazy and not just on facebook.  You would have to hire a good crew and be there to supervise them.  You would have to figure out how to arrange the products, what types of sales to have, teach your people how to help customers.  You might have a lot of people in the first few weeks who come in out of curiosity but after awhile that would wane and you would have to figure out how to find new people.  Most of the time it takes 3-5 years before you start seeing a profit.  

So, if that's true for a regular business, what would make you think you would do any better in a direct sales business.  It's the same folks, it takes time and effort and hard work and perseverance.  If you know anything about people who start new businesses you know they spend a LOT of time working in their stores, it can be non-stop for a long time.  It's the same for you!  Success isn't handed to you, you work for it!

2.  People don't train.  When you get a regular job you are trained, right?  This is no different except, because you are the boss, you have to do most of your own training.  Yes, the direct sales company you sign up for will have training too and so will your upline and you absolutely need to go through it but don't stop there.  We are lucky enough to live in the information age on steroids.  We have YouTube, Facebook, online information, books, articles, it's a treasure trove of information that you can use all with the click of a mouse.  Google is your best friend if you let it be.  Never stop learning about how you can do better in your business.  Train yourself and do it constantly, you can never get too good at your business.

3.  Lastly I think that people don't take time to find just the right person to sign up under.  Did you know you can actually interview the upline you want?  An upline is the person you sign up under and it's their job to help you with your new business.  They should be a mentor and coach all at once.  Unfortunately many people in direct sales will go ahead and sign up people but then really do nothing with their fresh new team member.  Sometimes it's out of neglect but other times it's because they just don't know what to do.  This is why it's important for you to make a good choice BEFORE you sign up.  

Many people decide to sign up for someone at a home party.  I wouldn't recommend that you do that until you've done your research.  That means not signing up the night of the party.  I know this goes against what every potential upline would want me to say but it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the party and not find out about what kind of leader that consultant would be. Instead, find out about them.  The first place to look at their website, their facebook page, their blog, twitter, whatever else they are using for their business.  If their last blog post was last year, that's telling you something.  If you go to their website and they haven't even set up an "About Me" section then are they going to take care to help you do one?  If you do like what you see on their social media, it's time to give them a call.  Here's some questions to ask:

Do they have a customer newsletter?  How about a team one?  Do they have a team page where they can train everyone at once?  How long have they been a consultant?  Are they a hobbyist or a business builder (most important question you can ask, if they are hobbyist, how are they going to help you be a business builder)?  If they are business builder, how many people do they have on their team?  It's okay if it's just a few but then ask how are they training them?  Do they have team meetings?  How many times have they attended their convention?  Have they earned awards or trips in their company?  Do they have team conference calls? What would they recommend as the first steps you could take?

They don't have to have perfect answers in all of these areas, they just need to have the right answers for you.  If you need to be pushed, then a laid back person might not work for you.  If you like systems, make sure you choose someone who has structure to her training.  If you like to fly by the seat of your pants (like me), then you may like someone who will help keep you on track but not freak out if you do it your own way.  The more information you get, the easier it is to make a choice.

Direct sales isn't easy but starting up a new business never is.  If you believe in your product and in yourself there is absolutely no reason you can't do well.  It's 100% up to you.
So, if Close to my Heart is the place you would like to be and you are looking for an upline who cares, who will lead and mentor you  and who knows what it takes to be successful, I ask you to consider me.  The majority of my time is spent helping out my team and I would love to have you join.  This is a great time to start because we have TWO THREE DAY consultant training camps coming up this summer and fall AND a new catalog launch THIS month and it's not too late to get in!
Here's the link to join, there is no risk, if it doesn't work out for you, you still get to keep your kit and there is no pressure for you to stay.  If you really want to make a go of it, I'm here for you, if you just want to be a hobbyist, we can have a lot of fun just enjoying papercrafting.