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Stamping Is My Business!: Business Building Articles

29 posts categorized "Business Building Articles"

November 07, 2012

What The Election Can Teach Your Stamping Business

Election-results-2012As I write this, I'm a little sleepy.  I was up until 2:00 in the morning watching the election coverage, as well as  the victory and concession speeches.

And no matter who you voted for, I think what really surprised everyone about the election was that it was over so quickly.  President Obama was declared the winner shortly after 11:00 p.m. Tuesday night.  I honestly expected the election to go well into the next morning. 

In hindsight, though, it's easy to see why President Obama's win was so quick and decisive... and there's a real lesson there for all stamping business owners.


In the post-election analysis, it's become clear the Romney campaign wasn't running a strategy that took into account the changing demographics and preferences of American voters today.  And while the Romney strategy might have worked eight, or even four years ago, it simply wasn't a winning strategy in 2012.

This is a mistake stamping business owners make all the timeRunning with ideas and strategies that worked yesterday, but don't take into account the changing preferences, attitudes and opportunities of customers today.

As a result, many stamping business owners are left wondering why the ideas they've been told are 'tried and true' aren't doing as well as they used to.

And the simple answer is, they're not doing as well because the audience has shifted... but the business has stayed the same.

If your customers are moving and you're staying still, that's a problem!

Nowhere is this problem for stamping business owners more obvious than when it comes to doing business online.  
Every day, a growing number of customers and prospects spend more of their time, and do more of their business, online... and less face-to-face.

As a result, Stamping Business Owners doing business online continue to grow their sales and their profits, while Stamping Business Owners who aren't doing business online struggle more and more with just maintaining their numbers, much less growing them.

The numbers don't lie.  In the end, it's as clear as the election results Tuesday nightIf you don't shift when your customers do, you're going to get left behind.

I've recorded a video detailing the four simple ways stamping business owners can meet their customers online, increase their product sales AND their bottom-line profit.




October 22, 2012

(VIDEO) How Much Should A Stamping Business Owner Get Paid?

One of the questions I'm most often asked is, "How much should I be making as a Stampin' Up Demonstrator (Close To My Heart Consultant, etc.)?" Here's my answer:


Learn more about The Profitability Boot Camp!



September 17, 2012

If You're Struggling To Grow Your Stamping Business...Here Are Six Suggestions That Could Help

Struggling-business-womanA conversation was started in at least two online forums yesterday by a stamping business owner who was feeling discouraged about her business.  It seems like no matter how hard she tried, she just couldn't get her business off the ground.

First, let me say that if you're feeling that way, you're not alone.  Owning your own business is tough.  Starting a business is tough.  Maintaining a business is tough.  And growing a business is really tough!

Having said that, I also know that any one of you can start, maintain AND grow your own stamping business!  In many ways, it's even easier to that now than its ever been.

After reading through many of the comments in these forums, I'd like to offer a few suggestions to help you stop struggling:

1. What Worked Yesterday May Not Work Today
If you're in a situation where you used to have high customer attendance at certain types of events, but that's no longer the case, it may be that your customers have moved on to other things.  The question is, have you moved with them? 

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in business, and I see this happen in the stamping business community every week, is sticking with something even though your customers have told you by their actions they don't want it anymore.

Businesses are always changing.  They have to in order to survive.  If your business today looks pretty much like it did two or three years ago, but your numbers look a lot worse, that may be a sign things need to change.

2. New Customers Are Key
The other thing you need to look at is your customer base.  How many new customers have you added in the last year?  If the answer is, 'not many,' that's probably part of the problem. 

Most stamping business owners simply do not do enough marketing.  If you're not doing some type of marketing every day, truthfully, you're probably not doing enough.

If you're not bringing on enough new customers, your business will always be a struggle.  If you're also doing events that your existing customers don't want, it's a powerfully negative one-two punch.

3. Focus On The Big Picture
No one change is going to turn a struggling business around.  Business owners in this position often look for the 'magic bullet.'  Unfortunately, there really isn't one. 

What you need, instead, is a plan.  Start with your overall Objective, then deterine what needs to happen in your business long-term in order for you to be able to achieve that Objective.  Finally, break those long-term goals down into short-term ones.

What you'll discover is you probably have to do many different things concurrently in order to turn things around.  And that's OK.  A business is never just one thing.

And don't think you have to put 40 hours a week into your business to be successful.  You don't.  If you have a plan, and you stick to that plan consistenly, you'd be amazed how little time you actually need.

Remember... if you don't plan your success... you're planning your failure.

4. Don't Chase Ideas That Aren't Going To Grow Your Business
Stuggling business owners sometimes feel desperate.  When they feel that way, they often do things just to get something... anything.  While that may make you feel better in the short-term, it actually makes it less likely you'll succeed in the long-run

Pursue the ideas that are actually going to make your long-term Objectives a reality.  Crunch the numbers before trying anything.  Make sure the ideas can stand on their own, and aren't dependent on a big downline check on the back-end. 

Don't get sucked into the 'everyone else is doing it' or 'this successful person is doing it' trap.  Most of the time, this falls under the iceberg theory.  You only see about 10% of the whole thing.  If you just copy the 10%, you're not going to get the results you're seeking.

5. Don't Compete For Customers And Downline Who Aren't Going To Grow Your Business
Another desperation move is to offer your products and services at dirt-cheap prices.  Again, doing this only makes long-term success more difficult.  If you fill your business with 'customers' who only found you appealing because of your discount, how long can you sustain that?  If the loyalty of the customer is to the price-point, instead of to you, how long before they move on to the next person who's offering an even cheaper price?

In order for your business to survive and thrive, you have to get paid your rate.  And you should only work with customers who are willing to pay you that amount.  Anyone who isn't simply isn't a customer.  If you're not willing to commit to that, you're always going to struggle. 

6. You Have To Invest In Yourself Before Asking Others To Invest In You
This gets back to #1.  The world is changing.  Your customers are changing.  And your business has to change with it.  The road to success is littered with the remains of businesses who refused to change with the times.

Continuing education is one of the most important aspects of being a successful busines owner.  You can't serve your customers if you're not moving forward with them. 

For example, for better or worse, we're a technology-based society.  Your customers are utilizing technology more and more.  That means, if you want to continue to grow your business, you have to, as well.  To stubbornly refuse only hurts one person.... you!

The most successful people I know are always learning.  I personally spend between $20,000 and $30,000 per year on my continuing education.  I'm not saying you have to spend that kind of money, but you have to invest in yourself.  If you're not willing to make that investment, why should others be willing to make an investment in you?

If you're struggling, there are many things you can do to lessen or even eliminate the struggle.  But you have to be committed to change.  To change the way you've done things.  And maybe, even, to change yourself.

If you are committed, though, there's nothing you can't do!

August 14, 2012

Do These Three Things BEFORE You Implement A New Idea!

Idea-light-bulbOne of the biggest problems facing stamping business owners today is the amount of low-quality business-building information being passed around on blogs, boards and lists

Sometimes, the information passes through so many sources, it's like the game, 'telephone,' where what you finally hear is very different from the original information. 

Sometimes, you're only hearing part of the information. 

Sometimes, the information is being advocated by someone who doesn't share the same goals you do, or has a different business setup. 

And, frankly, sometimes, the information is just wrong.

How do you address this?  Just make sure you do these three things before you implement any new ideas into your business:

1. Take Out A Calclulator

It's amazing how few people crunch the numbers before they implement an idea, but whenever you're thinking about doing something new, crunching the numbers is the first thing you should do.  You need to figure out your revenue, costs and profit.  Then, you need to look at how much time it's going to take.  Divide the number of hours into your projected profit and determine whether or not its worth your time.


2. Ask the person sharing it how much money they MADE

If you have the opportunity, you should ask the person sharing the information for their numbers.  After expenses, how much did they MAKE?  How much did they put into their pocket?  Remember, this is NOT the same as how much money they took in OR how much product they sold.  You should also ask how many hours they invested to determine whether or not they were truly paid.


3. Ask the person sharing it HOW they made the money

Many of the ideas I've seen lately are only profitable because they lead to increased downline commission percentages.  If you don't have a large downline, however, an idea where you make your money on the back-end won't work for you.  So, make sure the profitability of the idea is being made on the front-end... directly because of the idea itself.


If you ask these three questions every time you hear a new business-building idea, then the only ideas you'll actually incorporate into your stamping business will be the ones that are truly profitable and pay you what you're worth.

It takes just a few minutes to do this, but, when you do, the payoff is incredible.

Please share this information with your downline, because if your downline are running profitable businesses, the odds are you'll be profitable, too!

If you have any questions or comments you'd like to share, please leave them in the Comments section below. 

August 09, 2012

Can I Sell Stamps Without Giving Myself Away?

Were-giving-away-the-farmOver the past few weeks, I've received several emails from stamping business owners expressing the same concern:
Does a stamping business owner have to give everything away (their time, their classes, their profit, etc.) in order to sell catalog product?

The answer... absolutely not!

While there's certainly been a push toward this sort of "marketing" lately, I believe it's one of the worst ways to run your business... and completely unnecessary.
Whether you're doing this as a full-blown business, or just supporting your hobby, you've all spent significant time and money learning your craft.  Time and money you could have spent on and with your family, friends and other things you love.  You should NEVER devalue that sacrifice!
You are all experts in your field... and you should be treated as such...  But nobody is going to do that until you yourself demand it!
There is absolutely no reason to increase sales if it's going to decrease your profits
And you should never position yourself as the least important, most discountable part of your business.
Frankly, anyone who asks you to do that has simply run out of ideas.
Get paid what you're worth!  Demand it.  Be consistent.  And you WILL find customers who are more than happy to work with you!
To your success,

July 23, 2012

What Ben Vereen Can Teach You About Business

John-ben-vereenThis weekend, I had the honor and pleasure of seeing a performance by a living legend, Ben Vereen.

If I had to count, I've probably been to over 100 Broadway, off-Broadway and cabaret shows in my life.  I can honestly say that Mr. Vereen's performance Friday evening was the best theater experience of my life.  I was, simply, blown away.

I also had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Vereen after the show.  As we spoke, it didn't take long to realize I was in the presence of someone who 'gets it.'  Someone who understands the gifts he was given, and doesn't take them for granted.  Someone who shows his thanks by leaving it all on the stage night after night... but still has the energy and graciousness to converse with friends, fans and colleagues after doing so.

During his performance, he told a story that reminded me of an important business lesson...

In 1992, you may remember, Ben Vereen was hit by a truck.


He had been in a car accident earlier that day.  Unbeknownst to him, he suffered a brain injury in that accident.  While walking home later that evening, he suffered a subsequent stroke and was struck by a truck.

As he described it, when he woke up in the hospital some days later, his leg was broken and in an apparatus. His head was in an apparatus. He suffered other broken bones and various injuries.  He had a tracheotomy and a colostomy bag.

Doctors told him that, due to the nature and severity of his injuries, he would never sing or dance again.  Just regaining the ability to walk would probably take about three years.

Mind-numbing, depressing news, to say the least.

A short time later, the late, great Gregory Hines visited Vereen in the hospital.

He told him one thing...

I'm opening a Broadway show and in ten months, you're in it.  Be ready.

And he was.

Ten months later, Ben Vereen danced onto the stage in the show, "Jelly's Last Jam."

So, how did he do it?  How did he resume his stage career singing and dancing in less than a year, when doctors told him he'd be lucky to walk in three?

Gregory Hines put something in front of Ben Vereen we all need if we want to succeed... a powerful "why!"

Imagine being in that hospital bed.  Hooked up to this and that.  Being told you'll never do what you love... what you were born to do... again.

The powerful 'why' Hines gave to Vereen... the thought of being back on stage, doing what he loves, was an incredible motivator.  An amazing incentive. 

By focusing on that objective, and backed up with the encouragement of thousands of letters from fans, Vereen worked harder than he ever worked before, didn't accept any excuses and committed to that powerful 'why.'

It's an inspiring story, and one we can all learn from.  A powerful 'why' will allow you to overcome just about any obstacle.  It will propel you past your fears and doubts.  It will open up a reservoir of energy you didn't know you had.  And it will get you to your goals faster than you ever thought possible.

Spend some time determining your powerful 'why.'  You'll be glad you did.

June 29, 2012

Banned From Facebook!!

image from

I don't understand why this happens every few months, but it does...
This morning, I had a bunch of e-mails from subscribers asking the same question:  Can I promote my business on my personal Facebook page.
The answer, unequivocally, is NO!
As has happened with many others, doing this can get you banned from Facebook.
And just because you know people who are getting away with it, that should not a reason for you to consider it, or tell others to do the same. 
"Other People Are Getting Away With It" is certainly not a principle I'd base my business actions on... and I'm sure you feel the same way.
But if you don't believe me, see what Facebook says about it themselves.  Go to this page, and click on the second bullet point.  It says, and I quote:
"Users aren't permitted to maintain an account under the name of their organization, or use personal accounts to advertise or promote themselves professionally."
You can also go here and here for more stories about how this practice could get you banned from Facebook.
Also, I've recut my free Facebook For Business webinar.  It's about a half-hour long and goes into great detail about what you can and can't do on Facebook to promote your business.
Finally, if you want to learn how to take advantage of Facebook, as well as your other social networking platforms, in a way that's not only within the rules, instead of the gray areas, but also gives you maximum effectiveness, check out the Advanced Blogging and Social Networking Boot Camp.
The Early Bird expires Tuesday, so don't delay!!!
Have a great weekend!

June 14, 2012

The Tony Soprano School Of Stamping Business Ownership

Tony-sopranoDid you ever watch The Sopranos?

Tony Soprano was a classic character.  Despite being bald, overweight and having obvious "mother issues," he was a charismatic leader and ran a pretty good "business."

I actually think Tony Sopano would have made an excellent stamping business owner!

Here's why:

1. He Gets Others to Do Most Of His Work
Tony had a whole army of people under him who did his dirty work.  He only got involved when it was absolutely necessary, or when it was work only a leader could do.

If Tony were a stamping business owner, he would have a team working on the day-to-day stuff, so he could work on the "big picture" business ideas that would allow him to continue to grow.

2. He Keeps His Family & Business Life Separate
Despite "working from home" like most stamping business owners, Tony knows how to keep personal and business matters separate.

3. He Has An Accountability Partner
Tony met with his therapist, Dr. Melfi, every week, working through his challenges and helping him continue to move forward.  If Tony were a stamping business owner, he'd have a Coach (like me) to help do the same thing.

4. He Has Multiple Revenue Streams
Just like a good Stamping Business Owner, Tony is smart enough to not put all of his eggs in any one particular basket.  He knows that a successful business has multiple streams of income, so if one folds, the others are there to keep things profitable!

Although this post is obviously written with tongue firmly in cheek, what we're really talking about here is the importance of having a business with a solid foundation in the basics!

If you feel like you could use a little help with the basics, check out the Stamping Business Basics Program! 

No matter how long you've been a stamping business owner, if you feel like your foundation could use a little strengthening, this is the program for you!

May 09, 2012

VIDEO - Three Ways To Increase Your Profits Today!

If you're struggling with becoming more profitable, there are several steps you can make sure you take today that will have an almost immediate, positive impact on your bottom line!
What are they?
I've recorded a video detailing each of the three steps!

May 04, 2012

Sucked Into Negativity

Negativity-positivityOver the last 24 hours, I've received several e-mails asking my opinion of the miscommunication regarding the Carryover Flyer. 

This has been a big topic of conversation on many chat boards, and one of my clients told me she was surprised at all of the negativity she's seeing out there.

I posted a message about negativity to my clients this morning, and I thought I'd expand on it a bit and share it with all of you:

In any business, there are things you can control, and things you can't control. 

Successful business owners (and by successful, I mean balanced and efficient) recognize the difference between the two and act accordingly.

When you're dealing with something you can control, do what you can to fix the situation.

When you're dealing with something you can't control, figure out how to minimize the problem and move on.  In some cases, you may even be able to turn that negative into a positive.

Whatever you do, though, don't do anything to make it worse!

When situations like the Carryover list thing happens, you have two choices:

      1. Quit
      2. Figure out how to roll with it and get back to work

If that sounds harsh, I apologize, but those really are your choices.

Should you expect a certain level of professionalism and service from the people and companies you deal with?  Absolutely.

And when those people and companies don't meet those expectations, you have every right to complain... but complain to someone who can actually do something about it!  That's productive.  And after you're done doing that, if you're not going to quit, it's time to get back to work.

Letting yourself get sucked into negativity is not and should not be one of your choices. It doesn't do anything to change the situation.  In fact, you just end up compounding the problem because all of that time and energy you're wasting on negativity is just taking more away from your business.  That's DEFINITELY making things worse!

Just keep calm and carry on.  Remember, NOTHING can stop you if you're committed to being unstoppable!

April 24, 2012

An Inspiring Letter From A Fellow Stamping Business Owner

I received an e-mail recently from a stamping business owner that I wanted to share with you.  Part of her e-mail actually inspired a line or two in one of my e-mails yesterday.

I'm sharing this because I want you to realize how much the things you do and say in your business impact other stamping business owners... even those not related to you.  That impact can be positive or negative, as you can see below:

Dear John,

I just wanted to write this and say thank you.  I'm a fairly new (company representative) and I have to admit to being pretty discouraged until recently.

Since I joined, it's just seemed like everyone is discounting everything.  They discount product, they discount classes, they give stuff away for free.  As someone coming from the business world, I don't know how anyone makes any money.

And the fact that so many of the most well-known (company representatives) seem to have other businesses on the side made me pretty sure you couldn't really make money doing this.

Then someone told me about you.

John, you are a breath of fresh air!  You're the first person I've found who actually tells us we should value our time and NOT discount our product or expertise.  And you seem to be the only person showing us how to actually do that!

I've had the opportunity over the past couple of weeks to speak with other (company representatives) who work with you, and I'm so impressed by the fact they're all running profitable, balanced businesses without having to give it all away, or work other side businesses at the same time.

You and your clients are inspiring, and have convinced me I CAN run a profitable stamping business that doesn't devalue my time, my skill or my product!  I plan on really making a go of this and sticking around for a long time!

Thank you!


Remember... your words and your actions carry great weight with not only your downline, but ALL of your fellow stamping business owners.  What you say and do goes a long way... one way or the other! 

It's important not to get caught up in the short-term, 'how can I make money today' mentality.  That type of thinking is one of the big reasons so many stamping business owners come and go so quickly.

Instead, focus on the long-term mentality of 'how can I grow a steady, sustainable, profitable business?'  If you do that, you'll be here for a long time, too!

THAT mindset is good for you.  It's good for your downline.  And it's good for the entire industry.

Please feel free to share this article, and/or leave a comment below.

April 05, 2012

Why You NEED A Powerful 'Why' (VIDEO)

Ever since I wrote 'Stamping Is My Business!' ten years ago, I've always explained that simply making money cannot be the reason you're trying to build your stamping business.

The truth is, money, in and of itself, is never a powerful enough motivator.  It's simply not a strong enough objective.  Trust me... on the days when you just don't feel like working your business, if it's just about money, you'll find a way to slack off.

Your Objective, however, CAN be about what that extra money will provide you and your family that you would not otherwise have. The undeniable truth is that money does open up opportunities you wouldn't normally have access to.

THAT 'Why'... that Objective... can be incredibly powerful!

For me, it's always been about my family.  Providing my son with the opportunities I never had, and giving my family experiences we would never have otherwise.  That gets me up and moving every morning.  No matter how I feel, no matter if working my business is the last thing I want to do, I can focus on my 'why' and get it done!

Last weekend, I experienced my 'why' in such a profound way, I wanted to share it with you.

My son, John, is a huge fan of Mardi Gras Indians. Mardi Gras Indians are African-American Carnival revelers in New Orleans, who dress up for Mardi Gras in suits influenced by Native American ceremonial apparel.  The suits are incredibly elaborate and hand-sewn every year.  Many of the tribes also parade on the Sunday nearest to Saint Joseph's Day ("Super Sunday") and sometimes at the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

John loves the costumes, the songs, the dancing.  He's too young to have a bucket list, but if he did, joining a Mardi Gras Indian tribe, if only for a little while, would be on it.

This past weekend, we attended a music festival that kicked off with a Mardi Gras Indian parade.  For reasons I still can't figure out, the Chief pulled John into the parade and let him dance with them!  They didn't pull anyone else in.  Just him.  Take a look at this video:

I can't even begin to describe the feelings that were going through me at that moment.  How happy I was for John, and how gratifying it felt to know that we were able to make this opportunity happen for him.  Because if I didn't work so hard, we couldn't spend the time in New Orleans that we do.  And if we couldn't do that, this would never have happened.

Honestly, I'm still so elated about this, I could work for the next month without sleep!

That's the power of a strong 'Why.'  And if you're struggling with focus, consistency or enthusiasm for your business, I would tell you to look at WHY you're doing this.  The odds are, it needs some revising. 

And I promise you this... once you find a truly meaningful 'Why' for your business, you will find a reserve of energy and enthusiasm you never knew you had!


March 30, 2012

VIDEO TUTORIAL - A Super-Easy Way To Resize Your Image For The Facebook Cover Photo

Many of you are struggling with resizing your images to use as your Facebook Business Page Cover Photo.  In this video, I show you a super-easy way to do it:

Click here to learn more about the SIMB Photoshop Elements Class.

March 26, 2012

Why There's NEVER Been A Better Time To Own Your Own Stamping Business!

Why There's Never Been A Better Time To Be A Stamping Business OwnerIn Friday's blog post, I mentioned that I thought there's never been a better time than right now to own your own stamping business.

One of my readers, Jan Brumbelow, asked in the Comments section why I believed that.

Rather than just answer her, I decided to write an entire blog post for all of you.  So here are...

The 3 Reasons I Believe There's NEVER Been A Better Time To Own Your Own Stamping Business!

1. Paper Crafting Continues To Grow Annually

According to the CHA (Craft and Hobby Association), paper crafting continues to be the number one craft-related hobby.  In fact, spending on paper crafting supplies has grown by approximately $100 million per year for the last several years... a time-period where the overall economy has not done well AND most discretionary spending has decreased dramatically.

While I wouldn't exactly call the industry 'recession-proof,' it certainly has prospered in an era of adversity.  If you were going to start a business now, THIS is the business to start!


2. More Ways To Make Money Than Ever Before

As technology evolves, and consumers become more comfortable utilizing it, the number of revenue streams a stamping business owner can open up has steadily increased

Selling product, charging for classes and growing your downline have now been joined by online classes and clubs, e-books, DVDs, Etsy stores, custom-cardmaking and more! 

Stamping businesses have never had more flexibility and opportunity.  Frankly, it is a LOT easier to run a stamping business that pays you what you deserve now than it ever has been

Truly, whatever your situation, you should be able to find a profitable model that fits your lifestyle!


3. More Tools To Reach More People Than Ever Before

At one time, you had to spend a great deal of money to get your marketing message out to a handful of people.  Now, the opposite is true!  It costs little or nothing to get your business in front of thousands... even tens of thousands of potential customers!

Again, as technology has advanced, the playing field has been leveled to the point where you, the home-based business owner, have the same tools at your disposal as a large corporation.  You can now tap into the same marketing channels that big businesses do with a minimal investment.

The fact that you can expose your business to more people than has ever been possible before means the growth potential of your stamping business is greater than its ever been before!

Whether you want to run a very traditional stamping business, an entirely online one or any other model, it's never been easier to get in front of your potential customers and make that happen!

The notion that you could run an incredibly profitable stamping business out of your home with no employees and very little overhead has never been more true than it is today!

I've been working with stamping business owners since 2000, and I've always been a huge fan of the business model, but as someone who's job it is to help you be successful, I can honestly say I've never been more enthusiastic about your future!

What do YOU think?  Agree?  Disagree?  Leave your comments below (and feel free to share this article with downline and potential downline, too!).

March 23, 2012

A Heartbreaking E-Mail (Video Follow-Up)

Well, yesterday's video on 'Should I Charge For Workshops?' struck a nerve with many of you.  I received a lot of e-mails from stamping business owners who agreed with the points in the video... and some from those who disagreed. 

I do think there was some confusion, though, as to the type of event I was specifically talking about in the video.  For that reason, I've re-recorded the video to make it more clear.  You can view the revised video in the post below.

Among the e-mails I received yesterday was this one.  It really breaks my heart when I get e-mails like this, because I think these situations are so unnecessary.  I'm sharing it with you as a cautionary tale, and I'll speak about it more at the end:

Dear John,

Even though I ceased to be a (stamping business owner) a few months ago, I stayed on your email list because I like the content you provide.  I hope you don't mind.

When I saw your video on whether or not you should charge for workshops, I felt compelled to write and share my story.  I don't mind if you share it with others, but please remove my name.

I signed up to be a (stamping business owner) several months ago because I needed to make money.  I was laid off a few months earlier, and didn't have much left in my bank account.

Once I got my starter kit, I started calling my friends to see if they would do a workshop.  I was surprised by the fact that all of them said no.

When I spoke to my upline about this, she told me I shouldn't call it a workshop.  Instead, I should call it a 'private class.'  When I asked her what the difference was, she said there was none.  Except that I should charge everyone $7 and offer to give the money back if they place an order.

When I asked if there should be a minimum amount on the order so I'm not making less than $7 (which I thought was pretty low to begin with) in commissions, she said that wasn't the point.

I asked her if the hostess should tell the people she invites they can get the fee waived, and she said no.  She said that if they know they're going to be sold to, they won't come. 

I felt very uneasy about this because I thought I wasn't being honest with my future customers.  I also wasn't happy to hear my upline say that people wouldn't buy product if they knew that was what they were coming for.  When I shared these feelings with her, she said 'all of the top Demonstrators are doing it and if I wanted to be successful, this was what I had to do.'

John, I'm sorry to say I didn't listen to my gut and went ahead and did it.  It was a disaster.  When I started passing out catalogs and talking about buying product at the end of the 'class' you could feel the mood in the room change.  It felt awful.  I felt awful.  The people who were there were not happy.  A few people did actually buy products, but I've never seen unhappier customers in my life.

I was so upset, I never did anything with my business again.  I thought I'd confront my upline when she called, but she never did.  Even after I went into pending.

Please let your readers know if they're going to do an event like this to be up front about the fact you're going to pass out catalogs and sell product at the end. 

John, I know you're probably taking a lot of c**p from people today for your video, but I think you're spot on with your message and it needs to be said.  If I saw this video earlier, I may still be a (stamping business owner). 


(name removed)

I wanted you all to read this because I think it's important to understand what can happen when ideas are left unchecked and unregulated.  Even ideas that may start out as good ones with the best of intentions are often tweaked and adjusted until they're a shadow of their former selves. 

And as upline, it's important to think about the ideas you share with your downline, and the messages those ideas send them

Finally, to (name removed), my message is this:  you should sign up again! 

I know you had a bad experience, but I think it was an isolated one.  Maybe you need to find an upline who shares the same ideas you do, but I can tell you as someone who's been working with stamping business owners for over 12 years, there's never been a better time to start your own stamping business!

There's more potential now, and you have more tools at your disposal, than ever before!  I hope you reconsider, because I think this can still be a tremendous opportunity for you.

And if any of you want to be this person's upline, send me an e-mail.  I don't know what she's doing now, or if she wants to come back, but I'm going to send her a long reply today, and I'll include the list of people who would like to work with her.