Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Rambling from 36,000 Feet


I have a lot on my mind right now, so this is going to be a big blog entry. You deserve a big blog entry from me, my dear reader, as it is practically a month since I've written anything. For that, I apologize. Life has been a little hectic for me, both in good and bad ways. I've really been building my business strong, so that it can be my sole source of income-- In addition to my husband's, of course. (Believe me, even if I were making $10 Million per year, my husband wouldn't quit his job. He loves being a cop and he was just promoted to lieutenant last month-- one of the good busy things in my life.) 

As you may or may not know, I own a travel and event planning company called Candy Cain Travel. I had a fantastic website, and GoDaddy screwed the whole thing up last month. (One of the bad busy things.) After fighting with them for two days, they wanted $800 to restore my website and all of the emails. I told them to go scratch, thus taking the first step in reducing my travel company's internet visibility. Mind you, I am still booking travel and creating destination weddings, but I'm actually filtering a lot of the work that comes in to my franchise, Candy Cain Travel - Great Lakes Region. In 2012, I had 26 destination weddings on the books, not including what Jason and Anita planned over at Candy Cain Travel - GLR. I've gotten so fed up and stressed out with destination weddings, I have greatly reduced my calendar. As a matter of fact, that's why I'm on the plane right now-- Heading to Mexico for my only destination wedding this season.

Slipping out of the house with my husband to get to the airport early while my five year old twins slept in the house with my mother got me to thinking… Do I really enjoy this lifestyle? Last year, I went to Mexico alone fourteen times. I go without my husband or children, usually accompanied by an assistant. (Kira, one of my best friends, is accompanying me on this trip.) As soon as I get to the resort, I make sure everything is in place for the rehearsal dinner and that it goes off without a hitch. I eat my own dinner, take a shower, and go to sleep. The next morning, I have breakfast, check in with the bride at the salon/spa, check in at the wedding office to make sure that everything is in place, have lunch, get changed, supervise the ceremony, supervise the reception, have dinner, go to sleep. On my final morning (the day after the wedding), I wake up, have breakfast, check out and head to the airport to get home. It's non-stop, starting with the drive to the airport from my home. My day started at 5:00am EST. It won't be done until 10pm CST. This is just day one. If you do the math of how much work I do on a destination wedding from the time that the clients book the wedding until the time I get home from where ever the destination is, I make maybe $15/hr. 

With the work from home business, I haven't made less than $25/hr, regardless of how many hours I work per month.

Me & My Kids on Mother's Day 2013
The thing that really gets me is that I leave my kids for days at a time. I don't know how parents can leave their kids in daycare from morning until night and only spend a couple of hours with them per day. I can't do that. I understand that it is a choice and not everyone feels that they can work from home. I get it-- It just isn't for me. I actually really like my kids, above and beyond loving them as my children. They're fun. They've got good hearts. They're smart. They're entertaining. They're sensitive and compassionate and loving. I want to spend time with them. More over, I want to make sure they have everything they need in life. I want them to have the best educational experience possible. I want to be at their concerts and field days and stuff.

I guess what sucks is that their very first Spring Concert with Our Lady Queen of Apostles Catholic School is on May 16, and I'm going to miss it. This wedding was planned waaaaaay before any news about the Spring Concert came out. They're singing a bunch of songs from The Wizard of Oz, which is going to be so stinking cute.

And I just realized that i took the camera with me. Dammit.

I should be in the audience with the other Pre-K parents, waving at my children on stage, comforting my son when he gets nervous and walks off-stage in the middle of a song, laughing as my daughter fights for prime position in front of the microphone. I should be there, but I'm going to be on a beach in Mexico instead, supervising a wedding for someone that I won't meet in person until this afternoon when I get to Playa del Carmen.

Travel just isn't for me anymore-- Even if I do own the company. My priorities have been readjusted.

Fortunately, working from home gives me the time freedom to do what I want, when I want, and work around my family's schedule. If I had started with this company when my best friend Dionne first asked me back in 2009, maybe I wouldn't be on a plane right now.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda…

When my husband and I went to Pre-Cana Class, we talked a lot about having kids. (For those non-Catholics that don't know what Pre-Cana Class is, it is basically a class given through the Church that prepares you for marriage.) My husband said he wanted three children; I said I wanted four. We had a lot of problems conceiving, as I may have mentioned before in this blog. Five miscarriages, six failed inseminations and one successful IVF, we ended up with our twins Catherine and Charles. We don't have any eggs on ice, and I nearly died three times while giving birth seven weeks early. (I had pre-eclampsya.) We're done. We're not going through IVF ever again. And, truth be told, I'm going to be 37 in September. I'd much prefer to focus on the two I have than go through the grief and stress of IVF again.

Anyway, I went off on a tangent as I sometimes do. During the Pre-Cana Class and thereafter, my husband and I decided that I would stay home with the kids while he would bring home the bacon. I was okay with that idea. I never liked working for someone else anyway, and I owned Teen Trend Magazine that was doing pretty well. Plus, I had just started my travel company. (We got married in 2005, folks… Eight years ago!) I wanted to bring in a little extra money, and had dabbled with a company called Aloette before I met my husband, so I tried to do that again. I spent more than I earned. So, I tried Mary Kay. The woman that recruited me ended up spending her money on my orders to keep me active, and I had so much MK crap in my house that I sold it on eBay and got in trouble for it. (Incidentally, I still have MK products in my basement!) I moved on to PartyLite-- I quit after driving out to Brooklyn from Middle Island and earning a whopping $27. I joined Monavie and spent way more than I earned-- And never made one sale. Pampered Chef sounded like a great idea, until I found out that I would actually have to cook to have a party! I spent the $600 on the kit and never booked a party.  I still use half of the stuff from the kit, while the other half is under my basement stairs.  I even tried Avon, and an old lady yelled at me for "moving in on her territory" when I left a catalog in a Physical Therapy office.

The conclusion that I drew from these different experiences was that I absolutely HATED sales. I needed to do something that didn't involve sales. That being said, I sold Teen Trend and Multiples Magazine, another magazine I had started, right after the twins were born. I had nothing but my travel business, and I worked as hard as I could on it. I was pretty successful, too. I started traveling for my company in June of 2009, when Charlie and Catie were 15 months old. I would go away for a night or two, and come home. I didn't have to leave the house to make money, until I ended up starring in a developmental television show, Wedding Lane with Candy Cain. (Click here to view the trailer!) I appeared on countless radio shows internet interviews, magazines and so forth. 

Then I started traveling a lot. I got really successful.  The more successful I was, the more I needed to travel. Last year, well, I told you how much I traveled just last year. I added all of the time that I was away from home in 2012, and it added up to just under three months. That's three months of me being away from my family. I mean, how much would I miss?

When my husband was hit by a drunk driver in January, I couldn't help but think, "Thank God I wasn't away." What would I have done if I was in Mexico when he was hit? What would he have done? 

Yes, staying home and being successful is a priority to me. I have seen how much people earn monthly with this company. As you saw by my last entry, I'm at a point where I earn about $2000 per month. My friend Jason got a check last month for over $17,000. My friend Gene is expecting a check for around $25,000 next month. Do you have any idea what a check like that would do for my family? Hell, think about what it would do for you and your family. It would change the game a little, wouldn't?

It boggles my mind how people say, "I'm not going to pay to work for someone" when they hear that there is a $29 purchase required to earn money with this company and a $12 per year renewal fee. Really? You're not going to pay to work? Then how do you plan to GET to work? My husband is a cop and he pays $5600 per year in gasoline alone to drive to and from work. I pay $12 per year and I work from home in my jammies. Not kidding. That $29 one time and $12 per year is completely worth it to me to be able to be home with my kids. Do you think I pay for daycare? No, I actually pay to have my kids in private Catholic school-- courtesy of the company I work from home for. I also use that money to pay for gymnastics and baton twirling… And will use it to send them to the day camp they want to go to without blinking an eye.

I also don't understand how those same people have no problem dropping upwards of $200 on a "kit" to do direct sales, then have to be under the pressure of meeting sales quotas. And if you are leaving your home to do parties, how in the world is that working from home?? Take a look at my experiences:

ALOETTE
I enjoyed Aloette because I was using it to supplement my income when I was a professional actress. I tried it while I was on hiatus between shows, then came back to it when I got married. It cost me $199 to get started, and I earned a small percentage of everything that I sold. I honestly can't remember what the quota was, but I had to meet a monthly minimum. The original owner, Christy Cohen, actually sold Aloette a few years back. I never made more than $3000 in the time I did Aloette, and I even spent a bunch of money to go to their Convention back in 2002.

MARY KAY
I have a bad taste in my mouth from Mary Kay, simply because it could be such a shady business. In order for someone to keep their car payment, they have to keep a certain status… If they don't keep that status, they lose the car altogether. The woman that enrolled me was shelling out $3000 PER MONTH in products in order to get a $600 car payment. I quit, and suddenly my sister got a 1099 from Mary Kay at the end of the year. Turns out that this woman got my sister's social security number and was placing orders under her, too. I can't believe that Mary Kay allows shady business practices like that. Plus, you MUST order at least $400 wholesale every other month in order to remain active. I was a "red jacket" with MK, people-- And I never made more than $500. I started selling stuff on eBay, and got a letter to cease and desist. I still have that crap in my basement.

MONAVIE
MonaVie makes that "magic juice" that cures all ailments and is sold in wine bottles for a ridiculously high price. I don't even remember how I got sucked into MonaVie, but I did. I made ZERO with them, and my husband drank a lot of juice. He liked the energy one, but the others were overpriced and just "preventative." If I wanted to sell juice, I'd work at Orange Julius.

PAMPERED CHEF
When I went to a Pampered Chef party, I loved the idea of being like Martha Stewart and selling stoneware and fun kitchen stuff. My grandma used to do demos for Farberware, and I thought it would be fun. I bought the kit and invested like $600, and was told to set up six parties. Well, I'm not a good cook-- And that is known by my friends and family. No one would have a party for me. Not. One. Person. I tried to return the kit, but wasn't allowed. The person that recruited me dropped me faster than a hot potato, and I've still got part of the kit in my basement. I do, however, still use my pizza stone.

PARTYLITE
I went to a party and I loved the candles. I though, well everyone likes candles, so I signed up and bought a kit for like $250. Again, I was told to set up six parties, which I did in my area. I made maybe $40 off of each party, but I was almost in the black! I got a call to do a party in Brooklyn (NO training, by the way-- I figured it all out myself), so I decided to do it… And I earned a whopping $27. That's what I paid in gas- At least. Right then, I quit and sold some stuff on eBay. I still have stuff in my basement.

AVON
Avon was so short lived, because I left a catalog in a Physical Therapy office where I was being treated, and received a nasty call from an old lady telling me that I was in her territory.  I quit and that was that.

I can truly say that I only remember that enrolled me were for Mary Kay and Monavie-- And that's because those ladies were friends of mine before I started. The worst thing is people who promise all sorts of support and then disappear. That NEVER helps with anyone on my team. Ever. If you want to work, we will work with you. I will work with you. There is a $1000 guarantee this month. I want 50 people on my team to earn it so that I can say that the company paid my team $50,000. It would be stupid to enroll someone and leave them at the curb. That isn't what I do. It isn't what my team does. We work together-- And we love it.

We'd love to have you join us, too. We're a fun group of people, and darned successful. Check out my brand new website at www.greenerhorizonsgroup.com/candy -- You can even fill out a contact form there, if you are interested in learning more. I'd love to help you earn $1000 this month.

I'm coming in for a landing, so I'm going to wrap it up here. I still have lots that I want to write about, but I will save that for the flight home. I also have a new trade to post!!

4 comments:

  1. You made alot of good points about the various direct sales businesses. I've spent more in direct sales than what I made. I had better luck selling on Amazon. Keep up the excellent blog!

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