I consider all of these years a success simply because it is a means to support my own habit. Some people will have great success in whatever business they try. For me, I will not. I am not a sales person and I try hard not to be. I have not come close to finishing the years in the black, but if nothing else, I have had 20-30% off on products that can otherwise be a little pricey. I was able to write off expenses that I would have been incurring regardless, like photo developing, gas, and a new computer for digital scrapbooking and photo organization. Most importantly, my success has been in the way of relationships. I found a church (in IL) that offered free monthly “Scrapnights.” I showed up without knowing anyone and 3 years later, I had made a lot of good friends whom I would have probably never connected with outside of that hobby. It’s amazing how quickly you can get to know someone by looking at their photographs. I am convinced this is a great opportunity for churches to host as a way of reaching out to non-believers or deepening relationships through fellowship specifically geared to women.
On the failure side, I joined home businesses that had been around a long time, so therefore I wasn’t able to cash in on a new market, unlike my friend in 31 who is near the absolute top of the hierarchy. For me, there was never any profit to be made. With Creative Memories, you are required to sell (which for me meant mostly buy) $500 per quarter. With Stampin’ Up! the minimum is only $300. But the kicker for me was the quota. For CM, your quota started over the month after you met your minimum. So for example, let’s say you happened to sell $500 on January 21, your 3 month quota would start over in February; so you’d then have Feb, March, and April to meet the $500. For SU, the quarters are fixed. You could sell all $300 in January, but wouldn’t have to sell another $300 until the end of June. I have to say I jumped into this without truly understanding how this all worked.
I’ve learned much over the years. I was once given the advice, if you have a home business, it’s better to sell consumable product like Tastefully Simple or Mary Kay. For me, that has proven true. I try to be a minimalist (which obviously is hard with kids), but I don’t want a bunch of candles or Tupperware sitting around. The second lesson I take to heart now is this: When faced with a need to buy something, stop and consider if you can buy the item by supporting someone’s home business. If I need a pizza cutter, I will turn to a Pampered Chef consultant 9 times out of 10 before going to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Why? Because she will get excited about your order; the megastores will not. Lastly, take some risks. Don’t let your feelings get hurt. And when it becomes a chore, it’s time to quit.