30 Years in Business with Nothing to Show for It

Big day today.

We turned over the keys to the warehouse that served as our furniture studio for over 16 years, to the landlord.   My husband spent the past 30 years as full-time professional furniture maker. When we married, we became business partners, as well as, spouses.

Shane made beautiful custom furniture for the homes of movie stars, country music superstars, Fortune 500 executives across the United States plus a few exotic locations like the Bahamas and Panama.  Our clients will enjoy their handcrafted furniture for years to come, as it was built to last for generations.

We, however, have nothing to show for the decades of hard work we put in to building our brand and our product line.  Once we finish liquidating our assets, we will never receive another penny from all that work.

We also own a network marketing company and today we hit a milestone in that business.  I told you it was a big day.

For the past several weeks we have packed and purged and moved out of the furniture studio.  We haven’t had a lot of time for other things.  I have helped my network marketing team in small pockets of time, mostly via text message. However, I have not been working that business all that much.  And yet, we hit this financial milestone today.

With our custom furniture business, if I wasn’t hustling sales and Shane wasn’t crafting furniture, we weren’t making money.

Our network marketing business keeps sending us checks, every month (or week) because we did the work 5 years ago, or 5 weeks ago.  We did the work once, we keep getting paid.  That’s called residual income.

Now that we are (almost) done closing the furniture studio, I can spend more time teaching folks how to earn residual income, because it is rewarding.

Today I also realized just how much our furniture business owned our lives.  Our networking marketing business makes our lives fun.

Today was a big day.

Glenna Griffin has a travel lifestyle

How to have a Travel Lifestyle with Glenna Griffin

Glenna Griffin is a travel consultant with WorldVentures who teaches ordinary people how to have a travel lifestyle.

Note:  Glenna and I go way back.  She was one of the first women I connected with when I left my home office and started networking.  Check out our networking tips video from 2013.

Describe your business:
My business is a travel club, not just club, it’s a travel lifestyle. We show people how they are able to take affordable vacations.  I am passionate about travel and the need for people to take vacations.  Vacations are about memories and memories have no price tag.

How did you get started in your business?
My sponsor was visiting Linen ‘n Things just before they closed in Katy. Met my son, he said he wasn’t interested but thought I would be. He gave me her card and I set up a time to meet. After looking at the concept I knew it was for me. I previously worked in the travel industry and loved to travel and this gave me the opportunity for a travel lifestyle.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
My biggest hurdle I have had to overcome is learning how to network. I had never been part of a multilevel marketing company. I was totally out of my comfort zone.

How has this hurdle made you better?
I have learned how to network and be comfortable talking to people I don’t know.

Top 3 books for personal and business growth?

What does gratitude mean to you?
Gratitude for me is being grateful for all the people who have touched my life, I feel really blessed.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
Linda Ballesteros and Bonnie Karpay, they were there when I first started networking and taught me all I know about how to network.

Gratitude is being grateful for all the people who have touched my life. Click To Tweet

Follow Glenna Griffin

Travel with Glenna Griffn

Travel with Glenna Griffn

One Bite at a Time | Conversation with Teresa Sisson

Teresa Sisson is the owner of Sisson Kitchen in New Caney, Texas.

Describe your business.
Sisson Kitchen is the culmination of all that I do and everything I do comes from the heart. I am a Tupperware consultant and with my husband, Ronn, I also have a food trailer. These two businesses allow me to combine my love of cooking and helping others.

How did you get started?
I started my Tupperware business because it was a great deal on amazing products, then I realized I could earn money & gifts too! The food trailer actually started as me trying to help fulfill my husbands dream of owning a baked potato business. My love of cooking kicked in and now we do gourmet potatoes and snack foods too.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
My own procrastination combined with my need to over analyze & micro manage everything. I can get stuck on the small details very easily. That turns into self-doubt and fear.

How has this hurdle made you better?
I am learning to let go of the reins and ask for help when I need it. Recognizing these traits as hurdles has been a major step for me. I’ve always known that no one is successful on their own, but I’m taking steps to collaborate with those around me.

Top 3 books for personal and business growth?

  • The Bible. I know it may seem cliché but it is the foundation I stand on.
  • Fish! (Best business philosophy ever.)
  • Think and Grow Rich is good also.

What does gratitude mean to you?
To me gratitude is the ability to be thankful for all that I have even in the midst of strife. Ronn & I have seen a lot of hard times in the last 10 years, but we never lose sight of how truly blessed we are.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
There are too many people to list and I would probably forget someone so I’ll just list a few:

I appreciate my husband Ronn. He is a good man and he supports me 150% in everything I do. No matter how hair brained my idea is, he is right there to back me up.

My Daddy & Momma are my greatest blessings. They taught me that success was not a title or financial statement; it is knowing that you did your best (with your family, friends, community, and work) and being able to sleep peacefully at night.

Anything else you’d like to add or include?
Never let anyone or anything stop you from pursuing your dreams. They may seem silly to everyone around you. They may seem impossible to accomplish. The journey is the important part, because it will change you.

Follow Sisson Kitchen

Teresa Sisson

Teresa Sisson

You Don’t Have to Run Your Business Alone | Conversation with Virtual Assistant Angela Campos

Angela Campos, founder of Virtual Assistant Services Team, provides traditional executive administrative services virtually.  Services are provided on project basis, one-time consult, or on retainer for when you need that “extra right hand”.

“Imagine the secretary or admin sitting behind a desk in a corporate office. That’s me, but I get to do what I love from the comfort of my home. I have experience with C-Level executives but don’t let that scare you away!” explains Campos.

How did you get started in your business?
My previous corporate job downsized the level of assistance it offered their executives thus laying off quite a number of us. My husband was soon to “retire” from the company he’s been with for 20 years. I didn’t want to be in a new position working my way up again and have to quit if relocating for my husband’s job required me to do so. Therefore, I chose to go into business for myself.

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
The two biggest hurdles have been the amount of time I spent alone working from home and getting my name out there. Both reasons require motivation AND prioritization. Coming from the corporate level with a set schedule to creating your own schedule – even when there are no clients – can be quite daunting. Learning to network and to always be on the ready to give your business commercial is the only way to be able to build your business. So, you have to stay motivated and able to prioritize your days to make the most of them.

How has this hurdle made you better?
I’m more aware of what it takes to run a business and all the little nuances of the day-to-day in business. I’ve been able to hone my skills in customer service because without that and impeccable skills in other areas, you have not business.

Top books for personal and business growth?

What does gratitude mean to you?
Gratitude means being grateful for each and every thing God has blessed you with. Every thing from your family, your job, your material possessions but also to be grateful for the trials and tribulations because that is when we grow.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
I am blessed to know my Lord and Savior because without the family and friends He’s placed in my life, I would be sitting here today to enjoy and be grateful for what I have. I appreciate my husband for finding me when he did (God’s timing!) and for loving me through all that I am for supporting me in this business endeavor and having the confidence that I can do what I have set out to do even though it meant a huge financial change in our lives.

Anything else you’d like to add or include?
Thank you Kandas for this opportunity! Women helping other women to grow and prosper in every walk of life is something I strive to do, too.

Follow Virtual Assistant Service Team

Virtual Assistant Service Team

Virtual Assistant Services Team

How to Personally Sponsor 5 Distributors into Your Network Marketing Business in 4 Days

Growing a network marketing business requires filling empty seats at a presentation.  Until they see a presentation, a person can not decide, yes or no, about an opportunity.  Yes is great.  No is good, too.  We are all taught that it is a funneling process!  The more seats you fill, the more decisions made.

Recently, my business partner Susie Glennan, did a push to earn VIP status at our company’s annual convention this coming September. There were a couple of specific goals she needed to reach to earn VIP, and she worked her tail off.  As a result of her extraordinary effort, Susie was able to sponsor 5 distributors into her organization in just 4 days.

Susie’s Story

Here is Susie’s story in her own words:

Last Thursday one of my customers called and met me at Starbucks to see how to make money with (my opportunity). I showed him the (presentation). He upgraded to preferred customer and was considering signing up as a distributor. He thought his brother would also like (the business). WHILE AT Starbucks, a really friendly woman and her girlfriends started chatting with me, so I showed them the APP. I took a photo of all three of them and sent cards to all three of them.

In the meantime, my customer was at the next table and downloaded the APP. I bounced between tables showing everyone how it works.

Apparently…sending photos on cards and putting photos on bulk cards to sell was just what the ladies were talking about. My customer didn’t sign up, but by Friday, one of the ladies met with me again. Her name is LaVonda. We spent 3 hours chatting and she wanted to sign up!

Saturday we got back together to sign her up and while we were going over final details her church group came into Starbucks, so I showed some of them the APP and told them about LaVonda’s new biz. They LOVED it! LaVonda and I have plans for her first gathering…This woman made it happen! She’s a Preferred Customer and Distributor but hoping to upgrade to a bundle in the next week or so!!! AND her friend who was there the first day said she’s going to be her first customer.

Honestly, I started off last August re-learning how to network and get back in the game. I received good advice from my networking group and followed it. Recently, we had the first VIP contest and I got it in my mind that I had to win. It didn’t happen. When it came around a second time I had many customers on the fence or they kept waiting to raise the funds. So I asked everyone I could if they were ready to sign up or if they could do me a favor, sign up, and see if they like it to help me make VIP.

While I didn’t qualify for VIP or Sr. Mgr. because of volume, it started a flurry in my business and I’ve received several calls to help customers upgrade and/or learn to use the system better in just one day because of my phone calls the day before. Other things that happened because of my flurry of calls to everyone yesterday…Someone I don’t know contacted me to learn about SOC and some of my friends who are customers are now considering signing up.

It’s a numbers game people and the momentum changes how we appear to others because we’re on this forward flowing motion and people feel it.

Nuggets of Wisdom

There are three nuggets to take away from Susie’s story:

  1.  Planting seeds does not reap immediate results.  Seeds need nurturing to germinate and grow. When they bloom, it will be worth it.
  2. Listen to your peers.  Susie asked her networking group for advice, which she followed.
  3. Follow up.  Follow up.  Follow up.  These 5 distributors didn’t sign themselves up, Susie called them and asked if they were ready.

Okay, so really there are more than 3 nuggets.  Here is another:  Stay in forward flowing motion!

Add 5 distributors to your MLM opportunity in 4 days. @thebusywoman Click To Tweet

Interview with Sagan Morrow, Freelance Coach

Sagan Morrow is an author, lifestyle blogger, and freelance coach, based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Describe your work.
I’m a professional lifestyle blogger, blogging about topics related to food & fitness, style & beauty, writing & business, feminism & social issues, and healthy living.

A major part of my business is that I teach new freelancers how to achieve success in their own freelancing businesses — after freelancing for 8 years myself, it’s wonderful to be able to help out other people in the freelancing industry!

How did you get started in your business?
I started freelance writing and editing because of my passion for those two activities, as well as because I wanted to be my own boss, work my own hours, and go to work every day with true joy. Thanks to my blog, I soon “fell into” freelance social media management as well!

From there, I’ve transitioned from doing freelance projects for clients to helping other freelancers rock their businesses. I’ve received so many questions about how to be successful as a freelancer, and I’ve seen so many people struggle in their businesses, that I realized it was time for me to really give back and make my main business focus about helping these people succeed and sharing my own knowledge and learnings from being a successful freelancer.

The Business of Writing and Editing by Sagan Morrow

“The Business of Writing and Editing” by Sagan Morrow

What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in your business?
Being true to myself and the shifting directions that my business took. I’ve had so many opportunities to take the “easy road” by accepting projects and working with clients on things that I wasn’t actually that interested in. Being honest with myself about the direction I wanted to take my business, and being aware of when I wanted to shift gears, and putting together a plan of action (and implementing said plan!) to make those dreams a reality, is no easy task.

How has this hurdle made you better?
This has been SO important for my business. It means that I’m happier, the quality of my work is higher, and my productivity levels are through the roof. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Top 3 books for personal and business growth?
I’m also going to nerd out here and point to the One of my favorite books for personal growth is “The Alchemist.” Such an inspiring and thought-provoking story (and it’s so well-written!).
Oxford English Dictionary
as one of the best books for both personal and business growth — learning new words and the meanings behind them help us to better express ourselves and communicate with others, which is so priceless.

Of course I have to give a shout-out to the book that I wrote! It’s called “The Business of Writing & Editing: Practical Tips & Templates for New Freelancers.” It has received five-star reviews including comments such as “this book has been literally life-changing for me.” It’s a really accessible, practical guide for business growth!

What does gratitude mean to you?
To me, gratitude is all about the meaning we give to things, and what we learn from them… and understanding that even when we make mistakes, even when we receive criticism, even when we receive feedback that isn’t as positive or uplifting as we’d like, we are still able to think critically about that and interpret it in a way that we can make real use out of it to improve ourselves and increase our understanding about ourselves and the world around us.

Who do you appreciate? Why?
The list is too long! I’m so appreciative of the support I’ve received from all the people in my life, even when they didn’t quite understand what I do. I’m incredibly grateful for the amazing encouragement and positive, constructive feedback I’ve received over the years which has helped me to learn, grow, and be who I am today.

Anything else you’d like to add or include?
Thank you for this opportunity!

Gratitude is all about the meaning we give to things, and what we learn from them. -@saganlives Click To Tweet

Follow Sagan Morrow

Sagan Morrow

Sagan Morrow

Michelle Bowers, Fiber Artist Interview

Michelle Bowers, Fiber Artist Interview

Yesterday, my little family spent the afternoon at First Saturday Arts Market in the Heights neighborhood of Houston, Texas.  We brought along our video and podcasting equipment with the intent of finding three artists to interview for our Handmade in Texas website.

I know what you thinking.  Yesterday was not the first Saturday of the month.  It’s been raining here for a few weeks and the market was rained out and postponed the first 2 Saturdays of January.

Yesterday was gorgeous.  Perfect weather for an arts market and the turn out at the market was incredible.

The first artist we interviewed was Michelle Bowers from Katy, Texas.  She is a self-taught fiber artist who developed her skills while playing with her small children.  Now that her children are older, she has turned her hobby into a work at home business.

I am so excited to share this video interview with my work at home audience here at Gratitude Geek first, before we release it on Handmade in Texas!

Here is a link to the video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/TinAtDvV5Jc

Turn hobby into business. #Interview with fiber artist Michelle Bowers. #BlogBoost Click To Tweet

Hope you enjoyed the interview as much as I did.  Michelle Bowers, fiber artist, proves that you can turn a craft that you love into a business while raising your small children.  She will certainly inspire moms with young children to pursue your passion profitably!

Connect with Michelle Bowers, Fiber Artist

More from Gratitude Geek

Get Rich Quick in 2015

Back in May of 2014, Seth Godin created a profound, albeit short, list that puts richness into perspective.  He posted 10 lines that laid out the path to get rich quick, including these three that resonate the most with me:

  • Enrich your world by creating value for others.
  • Enrich your relationships by saying what needs to be said.
  • Enrich your skills by learning something new, something scary.

And then wrapped it all up these thought provoking words:

“The connection economy pays dividends in ways that the industrial one rarely did.” – Seth Godin

There are two important lessons in this list.

First, blog posts can be short.  Really short.  10 lines.  Seriously, who knew?

Secondly, enriching others is the true path to wealth.

What are you doing in 2015 to get rich quick? @sethgodin #blogboost #notwhatyouthink Click To Tweet

Relationship Marketing Tip of the Day

Yea, here’s the deal.  This entire post if your relationship marketing tip of the day. Read it, do it, live it.  Enrich others.

Leave a comment and let the world know what you are doing in 2015 to get rich quick!