Sunday, August 7, 2011

Starting the Process

On August 6, 2011, I made a decision. I decided to join a company – which shall remain nameless – because my best friend wanted to advance her career with said company. She is a mom of three beautiful boys and works from home with this company. On August 6, she was in the title of Director Two. Now, that means nothing to you, I know. Quite frankly, it meant nothing to me, except that I wanted to help her get to Director Three (another title that means nothing to me). After all, Dionne has always been there for me, to support me in whatever I have done over the past 20 years.  If excelling to the title of Director Three would enhance her life, I wanted to be the one to help her.
 
The reason I’m not writing the name of the company is because I don’t want there to be any preconceived notions about what the company is. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t know much about the company even though I use a lot of the products they carry (thanks to Dionne). The name of the company isn’t important. What is important is that I joined this company as a customer for $1 (ONE DOLLAR) and the opportunity to earn money without having to buy a website, carry an inventory or pay any monthly fees. I do, however, have to shop every month for personal products—Stuff I would have purchased anyway from the grocery store or Costco, but made from all-natural ingredients and much better for my family (especially my son, who has asthma and severe allergies). I wouldn’t be spending any extra money anywhere; just changing my shopping habits.
 
Yes, the money is certainly enticing. I don’t exactly know how I make money, but I’ll figure it out later. Besides, I run an extremely successful travel and event planning company and, to be honest, I really don’t want a second job. I want to help my best friend. While not a multi-level marketing company (MLM), this is a referral-based business. There is no advertising. Everything is word of mouth. I feel like I joined the Masons or something—Ask about joining, and you get to join.
 
The way this all came about it pretty funny, too. Dionne and I always say, “Everything happens for a reason.” Well, Dionne was heading out to Minneapolis to attend the convention for this company and her mother was supposed to go with her. About a month before the convention, Dionne’s mom told Dionne that she couldn’t go. Dionne already paid for the tickets and was given a hotel room (which, by the way, is a story in and of itself that I will tackle later), so she asked me if I would go with her. I knew that I was going to be in Mexico for one of my destination weddings the weekend before, so I ran it by my family to see if I could go. After all, I have three-year-old twins and my mom and husband would be taking care of them without me. Fortunately, they said that I could go.
 
I was able to purchase my plane ticket for a mere $2.50 on the way there, thanks to all of the traveling that I do on American Airlines. My flight home was $173. Dionne had the hotel covered, and another good friend of mine, Trygve, lives in Minneapolis and said he would take me to and from the airport. Two nights before I left, Dionne told me that she was given wrong information from someone, and had no hotel room. She was forced to pay the first night at an exorbitant rate. Fortunately, Dionne’s husband has relatives in Minneapolis, and Dionne stayed with them on the second night. Too add to the good fortune, I had won a gift certificate from Delta Vacations for all of the business I brought them, and was able to use that for a hotel for two nights. Plus, I got a travel agent rate of $40 on a rental car. Dionne and I were set for the two nights that I was going to be there. We hadn’t seen each other in three years, so we wanted some “girl time” when we weren’t at the convention.
 
But, I digress.
 
So, I went to a workshop with a man named Russ Paley, who is apparently a bigwig in this company. He talked about making a plan to reach a high level in the company in twelve months, and be able to earn a lot of money. Frankly, I was half-listening. I was thinking about my own company, Candy Cain Travel, and how I could apply the concepts that he was teaching to growing it and gaining more clients. I started writing my own ideas, then told them to Dionne, Tryg and Tryg’s wife, Susan, that night over a Juicy Lucy at the 5-8 Club. Dionne asked if she could show us the presentation about her company. Unfortunately, Tryg and Sue’s dog was sick and it was late, so we went back to the hotel and bid them farewell.  Once back in the hotel, I watched part of the presentation.
 
I must have ADD or something, because I couldn’t make heads nor tails of it, and my mind kept wandering. Dionne, as patient and wonderful as she is, explained things to me a bit better. Still, I wasn’t interested. Even though she told me that I didn’t have to aggressively (or even passively) pursue people, I didn’t want to do it. She told me that I just had to shop, and I didn’t want to do it. She told me that there was no commitment, and I didn’t want to do it. She told me that I could stop at any time, and I didn’t want to do it. I dug my feet in because I had all of these preconceived notions about what I would have to do and how I was going to let her down. I just wasn’t interested.
 
The next morning, we went back to the convention. We were running late, so I dropped Dionne off and found a parking spot. The workshop started before I could get in, and I felt uncomfortable walking into a room with a bunch of people hanging on every word of whatever speaker it was and interrupting them. I did, however, want to attend the workshop by author Linda Eyre, about balancing work and being a mom. After all, I own my own company and am constantly struggling with balancing business and family. I met Dionne at the doors of that workshop.
 
While I was standing in line, I met three women: Sarah, Jessica and Stacey. They were so gung-ho about the company, I felt like they were in a sorority and I was on the outside, watching them bond. (Mind you, I have NOTHING against sororities! I am a proud alum of Alpha Delta Pi, and Dionne is Theta Phi Alpha.) They were so nice and wanted to include me in their conversation, so Stacey, the clear sorority president, turned to me and said, “So, how long have you been with the company?” I explained that I hadn’t been with the company at all and I was just there to support my best friend. “Well, why not?” They asked. I explained how busy I was and how I didn’t have any time to do anything other than my own company. “Don’t you have time to shop?” Stacey asked me. I was confused. I told her that I did, but didn’t see what that had to do with anything, and she told me that all I had to do was shop online for products that I would usually use at home (hairspray, cleaners, shampoo, cereal, etc) and I would be a part of the company.
 
I told her that I was still not interested, that I was fine going to the grocery store, yada yada yada. I gave every possible objection that I could. Finally, she looked at me and said, “Don’t you want to help your best friend?”
 
And there you have it, folks. Guilt. Old fashioned, Catholic-grandmother, Italian-style guild served to me on a silver platter by a woman I had been speaking with for maybe ten minutes. So, Stacey from northern California, Dionne has you to thank for getting me involved. In all sincerity, I never looked at it as helping my best friend. If I had looked at it that way last year, I would have joined. But, as Dionne and I say, “Everything happens for a reason.”
 
So, we all went in to the workshop and listened to Linda speak. She mentioned her new book, “The Entitlement Trap,” and talked about how she wanted it to debut on the best seller list when it is released on September 6. In order for that to happen, 15,000 copies must be sold. (By the way, the woman is AWESOME. Pre-order her book, will you? Parents will learn A LOT.) After the workshop, Dionne went in to another one about doing home presentations, which I had absolutely NO interest in. I told her that I was going to finish an article I was writing, and would meet her after her workshop. We went our separate ways.
 
As I was hunting for a quiet place to sit and type in the Minneapolis Convention Center, I saw Linda Eyre standing by herself. I approached her and told her how much I enjoyed her workshop. Then, somehow, we got on the topic of marketing for her book and getting the 15,000 copies pre-ordered before it was released on September 6. I told her about my marketing seminar and book, “Magnetic Marketing: How to Attract Clients and Dollars,” and told her that I would like to show it to her to help her hit that number. Surprisingly, she was looking to kill time, and sat with me at a table that had just freed up outside.
 
I went through my Power Point presentation as fast as I could, giving her suggestions and links. She vigorously took notes, and repeatedly said that she wants me to speak with her husband, who happened to graduate from the Harvard Business School. (Intimidation, anyone?) I gave her a few kick-ass suggestions (if I do say so myself) about how to thrust her book into the limelight even before it is released. I even emailed her my presentation, a PDF of my presentation and my book. She thanked me profusely, gave me a hug, then left for the airport. I sincerely hope I hear from her again.
 
I met up with Dionne, who wanted to head to the last general session. Again, I had absolutely no interest in attending the general session. Aside from being uninterested and nervous about the massive crowd (I panic in large crowds), I was absolutely exhausted and my stomach was not too happy with the burrito I scarfed down for lunch. Dionne said that she would text me to come get her after the general session was over, and I headed back to the hotel. While driving to the Comfort Inn – Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, my mom called to let me know that a couple of commission checks had arrived for me. I told her to open them while she was on the phone with me. The total of the checks was just over $3500. Right then, I decided that I would join Dionne in her business venture. Even though she told me otherwise, I thought that I had to pay a fee to join, like Mary Kay or Avon or any of those home party companies. I had a little over $3500, and I was only expecting $3000 in checks. I would invest in my friend.
 
After I got off the phone with Mom, my mind wandered to my impromptu meeting with Linda and how much she loved “Magnetic Marketing.” Then, I got to thinking... Just thinking, though. If I could prove that “Magnetic Marketing” works in any field, perhaps I could become a speaker at conventions to teach people how to grow their business. Perhaps I could get a major publisher to actually publish my book, instead of having to offer it as an e-book online. Perhaps my own book would debut on the best seller list...
 
Okay, I decided to help Dionne by joining the company. But rather than just sitting there limply on her organizational tree, I decided that I would use this business to test my “Magnetic Marketing” strategies. After all, I created “Magnetic Marketing” to work for the wedding and travel industry. When people started telling me that they were able to use it for other businesses, I was a little taken aback. Why would people listen to me to grow their own businesses? That’s when I realized that “Magnetic Marketing” could be used for any industry, but I hadn’t tested it myself. This was my opportunity to take a business that I knew nothing about and turn it into a financial success using the principles, theories and strategies that I created and wrote about in my book. I sold myself on joining Dionne and taking it seriously.
 
After publishing the article I had been working on all day and taking a nap, I went to pick up Dionne. On the way back to the hotel, I started asking Dionne hypothetical questions about building a business. The conversation went something like this:
 
Me: Right now, you are a Director Two. What do you need to get to Director Three?
 
Dee: I need one personally enrolled Director.
 
Me: What does one have to do in order to become a Director?
 
Dee: Get eight personally enrolled customers.
 
Me: How much does it cost to enroll?
 
Dee: Well, until August 16, they are running a promotion and it is only a dollar.
 
Me: Excuse me?
 
Dee: A dollar. One dollar.
 
Me: And what is the fee after that?
 
Dee: What fee?
 
Me: Right.
 
Dee: No, what fee are you talking about?
 
Me: The fee to participate in the business.
 
Dee: There isn’t a fee. You pay a buck before August 16 and then you shop at least once per month.
 
I was sold. We got back to the hotel and I signed up, just like that. Dionne is a Second Income Consultant. She earns a decent amount of money from her business, and can teach others how to do it. I plan on taking her knowledge and the business opportunity, applying my Magnetic Marketing techniques to it and teaching others how to make a lot of money. I’m not the kind of person that will invest money into anything—not even stuff that I’m interested in or believe in. I don’t like taking risks like that. But a dollar? Sure. And now I can prove my Magnetic Marketing strategy. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
 
So there you have it, my friends. If you want to join this crusade to earn money from home, please shoot me a message. I put a status on my FaceBook about the opportunity, and over ten people responded that they want to try and see what happens. Dionne is going to be the one to give more information, and she does so via a free webinar. One of my friends is actually checking out the webinar at noon tomorrow. Would you like to check it out? Let me know.  There’s enough money out there for everyone.

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