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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

If Money Can Fix It...

It ain't a problem....

This is a quote that has stuck with me, hard core, since its truth hit me one unexpected day.  I felt so enlightened with this tidbit filed into my brains Rolodex and remember sharing it with two people I was close to, at the same time and the elder said "Oh I don't agree...money could fix a whole lot of my problems..." and the other party was like "Right on sister..." and I was like...seriously you guys...you just don't get it.  I guess I could mention that both parties were riding the poverty line whereas my family is/was not and no matter where I went with that conversation, I was the loser.  I was a "have" and they were "have nots" and of course *I* would think that way since I had that luxury.

I'll be uncomfortably honest here for a moment.  Money couldn't bring back my deceased son.  It couldn't fix the gaping holes grief left in my marriage.  It cannot heal broken hearts, or cure cancer or even buy a smile if it's not attached to a good intention.  Money, on its own is a worthless concept we've created.

But it's necessary.  And I get that.  But....

Reaching back into my past, I've not had a good relationship with money.  My whole childhood there was this idea...this...hope, if you will, that we would win the lottery and all our (my parents) dreams would come true.  MONEY was the answer.   Not hard work, or self-control or resourcefulness.  Just money.  Easy money.  It's no big surprise that my parents have issues with gambling.  It's no surprise that when you ask them how must it cost to "win" that $100 they give you a blank stare or peg you as some negative nelly just trying to rain on their parade (even though you're just you know...doing math....but whatever...)  My mother's whimsical fantasy, which she spoke of, often was always some sort of deal with the cosmos about the GOOD she would do "If only I won the lottery.....I could help SO many people..."  With money.  Money. Money. Money.  Barf.

(and shudder).

And then I began my family broker than broke.  But happy.  I think this was the first time I ever really understood how money never did buy happiness.  Jamie and I had none, but we had so much.  Livin' on love I suppose.  It didn't stop us from doing, being, helping and loving people.  As our family grew, we needed more to take care of more and so we did what we thought best...worked harder.  No, seriously.  We did.  Lots of things, too much to detail  here, but eventually we got to a place after years and years of doing what most people aren't willing to do to reach a state of financial okayness.  (I don't like the term financial security because...well...security is so vague..."if money can fix it...it ain't a problem..." and all...)  We're okay.  We save, slowly. We work on retirement crap and we feed, clothe and educate our children...but so do people who make much less and so really it's not money that I'm thankful for, it's opportunity and God and resourcefulness and hard work....

But now I'm in between a rock and a hard place.  I've signed up to sell something and I'm making money with it and this is VERY different than freelance writing because the potential to make a LOT of money is there, lingering.  I'm not some pie in the sky dreamer who fantasizes about big riches and glory.  If I am to be completely blunt (which is what y'all expect from me anyways) it terrifies me.  (As an aside every now and then Jamie will buy a lotto ticket and my dread is that we'd hit ANY of the numbers that brought more into this house than we'd reasonably see in a lifetime.  I would consider it a curse, not a blessing.)  I'm supposed to be building my team and signing people up and I've looked at the numbers and done a little research, a little studying and I'm pretty damn sure that anyone who gets in on this opportunity within the next couple of years is going to be very glad they did and those who thought about it and didn't...are going to be very sorry they didn't....I've always shrugged off things like this because I DETEST bullshit.  (Again, sorry about the bluntness) The "Sign up today...easy money...work from home..do nothing..." Just no.  I can't do it.  And I'm not being asked to, I can assure you of that.  The company and my leaders, at least, are pretty honest, which I value.  But the thing is, we have to...we simply have to present the financial aspect of the opportunity and I've seen the numbers myself...and well, they are appealing, if money appeals to you.  But I feel so...like..right now just typing out this blog, SO ANXIOUS about even "going there" with anyone because I so badly want to say 'Okay this thing...it's going to require hard work and stepping outside the box and putting yourself out there...but I can only sign you up if you are honest and will promise, promise to help your customers and not make a quick buck off of them AND....please understand this...you are probably going to make a good bit of money and you're going to like it but please, please understand....it will NOT fix the problems you think it will fix.  It will make the grocery store less scary and clothes shopping less stressful and maybe you'll be able to spend a weekend somewhere besides your bathroom scrubbing off the nasty gunk because you'll have hired someone else who needs the hob to do it but PLEASE....do not think it will fix things.  If your marriage is in trouble, this won't fix it...and if you have a rocky relationship with your kid or kids, please work on that instead of buying them shit they don't need...."  And y'all this isn't my job and I get that, but having to face this...it sucks.  And y'all are probably thinking "Dude, it's selling nail wraps, how on earth can you get so emotional about uhm...nail wraps..." and I get it, it's lame, but this is how I really feel.  Like if I flaunt the numbers and the idea of financial blessing, I am saying "Money fixes shit..." and it doesn't.
And I feel all these feelings over something that doesn't actually require me to feel anything like this...but here I am.....I am really struggling with this.  Like I have to have a pre-marital-Jamberry-sign-up counseling session.  Like one of the big selling points in sharing this with people is "you really can make money pretty easy as long as you wear the wraps..." and I have a hard time saying that because I picture this poor soul wearing them for like five days and giving up because they didn't "make a ton of money..."  Because really it's not easy. This isn't easy.  You have to care about people long after the sale.  You had to have cared about them BEFORE you ever made the sale.  You have to care about them..if you NEVER make a sale...and well, if you don't...or can't...you will fail at this and ....at life....

I'll never make what Jamie does and I never want to.  I've seen that man bust his arse for 17 years to make that "six figure income" (God I hate that...like when we sold Herbalife people said that all the time.  They never said I make such and such a year...always "six figure income..."  that one phrase is like nails on a chalkboard to me...but again, I digress)  But I do want to be successful at this because I love it. Because it's fun and because I want to help other people and this is a way I can do, but it feels like as soon as money is involved, as soon as I saw my commission...I felt guilty and bad like I didn't deserve to make any money and that's a whole other ball of wax.....

I still believe, with every ounce of my being, that money doesn't fix things.  It doesn't fix the BIG things anyway.  It certainly didn't fix mine.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

And The Banned Played On

There's this thing we talk about in Christian circles.  A little catch phrase for when things are looming above us....seems so big we can't possibly tackle it.  "Facing Our Giants" is something we talk about a lot.  You know the little dude David, quite sure he could kick Goliath's tush, not because he was strong and able, but because he had faith in the Lord.  That kind of faith is so empowering because really, we all have those giants.  Not the hairy, scary Philistine kind, but just normal, everyday people and situations that threaten to overtake our peace.

And so I was banned from a group I really enjoyed being a part of.  And it makes NO sense.  I mean, I can't get my mind around it.  My friends are shocked.  *I* am shocked.  But it's the same old story.  Girl World.  Play nice, play fake, do not TALK about anything and it will all  be okay.  And I already knew all this, but what shocks me is how this is coming from a person/people I looked up to as righteous and I realized it was so wrong to put ANYONE on a spiritual pedestal.  I just figured if I ever wronged someone who was a Christian, we'd talk about it, resolve it, have communion.  This whole shunning thing is beyond me.  They can have their group and pretend everyone in it is all happy and well and not human and all that, but what KILLS me is another Christian treating me this way, treating ANY sister in Christ this way. No dialogue at all?  Nothing?  No words, no even TRYING to sort it out? I just can't even (hahaha, Amber....that's just for you right there...)

And so I gave it up. I gave up the idea that this could be resolved.  I am crushed, not because I really care about the group,but because of how this was handled by people I always felt like....were so much better than me.  That loved God and loved people who loved God, but in the end, loved the faux peace that came from pretending it wasn't happening.  So I put it to rest, only after...(y'all know me...) I wrote a letter that wasn't even read to a person involved.

You see, poor Jamie took over the email while I was grocery shopping. He thought the whole thing was silly, but wanted to help me out because he's that kind of guy.  He got the same responses over and over again, more and more maddening "If she broke the rules, it's okay....we forgive her."  It couldn't POSSIBLY be that I didn't and that the reason they couldn't get to the bottom of it was because the messages that "broke the rules" were deleted by the mods before anyone could verify what they were.  I always say when you have two totally different stories from two different people, you have to ask yourself who has the most to gain from lying?  In this case, it wasn't me :)  I didn't say something ugly about a group of people who are following a book I am helping promote and then pretend I didn't say it, only agreeing to apologize in private.  I am just the girl who called it out because it was wrong.  It still IS wrong.  Like Jamie said, "You need to moderate a group? Fine.  Moderate.  That doesn't mean gossiping about the women who are posting in private.."  I am still really uncomfortable with a group of women moderating another group of women who are sharing very personal information about their weight and weight loss journey talking in private about those women, but hey, that's just me.  I think it's unloving, unkind and unethical.  But then, again, I'm a total troublemaker that way ;)

And so I sent my last word to explain MY position...and to give that person a chance to examine my side and prayerfully consider that maybe, just maybe...this Momma who stood up to that moderator might ACTUALLY be the wronged on and I know...oh I know...that creates a bit of a sticky problem when a person you like and is doing something for you has done something wrong.  No one wants to deal with that, but unfortunately, that's what being a grown up is...and so since my message wasn't even read and we've heard nothing back from anyone...and the group is still hidden from me....I will use this blog to say my peace.  This is the letter I wrote, all names removed because it's not my intention to call people out, just to get  IT out because what happened to me is wrong....And it will most likely happen again.

******************************************************************
Person who is involved, Oh my. What a mess. I was following the messages between you and my husband and feel like I'm trying to untangle a big ball of lace weight yarn after my cat got into it. There are some GLARING misunderstanings happening and my poor husband was trying to sort through it all for me. I do not expect a reply and quite frankly if I got another "Let's just all be friends" sort of reply, I would cry. I am so hurt that this is happening. And stunned. I cannot use that word enough. First, I did not try to sell or start a group to sell anything. This is making me batty. I said, yes in public, "I wonder if we should have a group for (product being discussed) consultants that love (book) to talk shop." THAT IS ALL I SAID. How on earth can that be construed as trying to sell anything or saying that (book)somehow endorses a product? Please examine the logic here. A group, that wasn't even yet named or formed, for consultants....trying to sell? To whom would we sell to if we all sold the product? "Talk Shop.." was that somehow misunderstood as shopping? Talk shop=talk business. I truly felt like I was saying "Hey, y'all....this topic is really bothering people, so why don't we take over to that booth over there..." Next thing I know, I am being pinged for soliciting. I was not removed from the group after this went on. As a matter of fact, everything in question (that had nothing at all to do with (products being discussed) at this point in the thread) was removed and it went along fine. It wasn't until I replied to the private message I got saying I understood how hard it was to moderate, but I felt like lying during all this was not okay...then I was banned. When I refer to lying, I am referring to the mods saying they deleted messages that were solicitous. They never existed in the first place...and the mods know this. It was a measure to justify the actions of deleted the "shark" messages...when other members stated they saw no spam, the moderators explained that's because they were so quick to remove them. No. Just no. I was on the thread the entire time and there were no solicitous posts. And the "quick to remove" is an interesting choice of words seeing as how the moderators left the private message up for a good 5-10 minutes without realizing it was there. There was nothing being hurriedly deleted for the good of the group, I can assure you of that. What WAS deleted? My post saying "Was that supposed to be a private message? Are we being discussed in private? I am really uncomfortable with that..." A public reply to a pubic post, but the mod doesn't get in trouble...only the member who says something about it. That's interesting isn't it? I would like to point out that yes, I understand the moderators volunteer their time and that is a lovely service. However, let me also point out that every single contributor to that forum is also a *volunteer* Every single person that encourages, gives ideas, solutions, recipes, answers to questions....WE ALL "volunteer". That word should never be used as a free pass for bad behavior or being above the law and that is exactly what is happening here. This has been said many times over in this situation..."She volunteers..her time..it's hard..." I understand. I really and truly understand,but I can't get on board with the idea that this is even part of the conversation when it comes to behaving badly. Your volunteer called the members in that thread a name. She then posted that publicly when it was intended to be private gossip. The exact words were "Like sharks to chum...I called it didn't I?" Can you understand how uncomfortable it is knowing that things you post are being discussed, in an ugly manner, by people you don't even know? I do accept her apology to ME, and it was a very sweet and humble apology, but I do not think it's okay that only went to me and was done so quietly. She owed an apology to way more than one person. That is not "drama." That is righteous behavior. Next, "threatening to blog..." I am sitting here thinking, really? Me? A Threat? ME? Melissa? If you only knew. If you knew me...my friends upon reading that last night in our own private discussion thought this was FUNNY. I am not "that girl." I think the phrase I used may have been too familiar "I am so upset about this I even blogged it.." Very common place in my life. It's a measure of how excited, upset, happy or sad I am about anything. I WAS blogging about this. That was my confession to her "This upset me so much I am even blogging it..." That was me pointing out how strongly I felt, not a threat? I am not sure how on earth it could be one....I mean....what exactly is threatening about that? I am just so...shocked. I mean I am really just shocked. I think we can all agree that there has been some huge inconsistencies in understanding and getting to the bottom of this. That tends to happen when evidence is destroyed before a neutral party can examine it. I tried to discuss this with the moderator,but when the misdeed was brought to light, she fled. I don't understand that way of doing things. To me, there is no "drama" in discussing something until a resolution is reached. For me, especially as a Christian, "Hug and make up" is not acceptable. We are called to repentance each and every time we sin. This person, while I am sure is lovely (I am not calling that into question, my children are the most lovely creatures on earth....They are my soul...I still spend many hours of my day bringing them back to righteousness as is my duty) has done wrong, and done wrong while representing (book) My banning was because I addressed it with her (in private no less....I was not banned for my public comments. She did so only after the private message) I saw the messages bounce back and forth once I got home from my grocery shopping last night and I wasn't sure if I should send my own message or not, but I had to this morning to speak my peace. I am not going to say "Ohhhh....how cute....let's just hug....let's make up...peace, peace, peace..." Do I want peace? Absolutely. But the sweeping under the rug so the room looks pretty is not my way of doing things. Let's actually clean up the mess. I am aware of the no soliciting policy. I didn't solicit. I told a mod in private I was so upset that I was blogging (she banned before she asked to see that and also blocked from further discussion with her. She completely just blocked me.) My crime? I called sin, sin. I didn't break the rules and I think once everything is examined, you will see that. I have been pushed out for standing up. Had that private message calling us sharks not been posted in public, all of this would be a moot point. So essentially this situation has the member who stood up for the other members banned, and the moderator still able to moderate. I hope you can see the huge injustice in that. It wasn't *until* I stood up about this comment that all the other accusations came to fruition, which is....concerning. I feel like I do with my children. I ask about what they did wrong and instead of a straight answer, I am given the 15 things the other child did to deserve what they got. I find it interesting that when you got involved and asked about what was happening, now all of the sudden there are all these things I've done. Were those an issue, enough to be BANNED, you'd think I would have been talked to about them prior to us contracting YOU. Were they? Nope. Only when we asked you was I able to face my accuser. I have been a (book fan) since it was offered in (magazine it was offered in) I have followed the Facebook group FOREVER. I get most of our recipes and tweaks and hacks for the plan from there, so I am asking for the ban to be lifted. This ban will affect my being able to stay on this and show it to others and I am horrified that someone's pride is being allowed to steal something precious away from my family. I am praying fervently that your moderator can see how her actions, a small thoughtless irritation, has caused such a ruckus. Grace abounds, my heart is soft towards her, but in love, I will not say "Oh it will be okay, let's just let bygones be bygones..." However, she has to bring this to the cross. We can talk about who did what and what was said until the end of time, but at this very second the Lord knows our hearts and who is truly in the wrong in this situation. I think we should all really, really think on that truth and how none of the specifics matter. They truly don't. We all love the Lord and this hurts His heart. I forgive her for her comments to me, but until she can admit the dishonesty in representing my actions, I can't forgive that because she hasn't asked. Instead of facing that, she banned me.... This is truly the last word I'll speak on the matter. I already know your position and that this had to be frustrating for me. Should you wish to reinstate me, I would be please. Should you not, I will mourn that loss and bring it to God. Only He can soften hearts and that will be my prayer. Thank you for reading. I would appreciate no further reply as I really do feel everything that needs said, has been said. With hope and love,

Me (and yes, in hindsight I feel SO stupid for saying I am blogging about it but a certainly didn't see it as a threat because I knew that I wasn't blogging specifics at all, or trying to call anyone out...and like...only 7 people read my blog LOL so the thought that saying "This is so upsetting I am even blogging about my feelings on it.." was a threat was weird to me, however, I do see where it could be taken as that and well, I get it but I knew what my intentions were and what I meant and had I been asked, I could have cleared that up.  Fascinating thing about DISCUSSION...it tends to do that clearing things up thing quite nicely.  Shutting down and refusing to communicate tends to do the opposite and that is what the mod did.  Blocked me.  For asking to discuss it...Awesome.  Also her apology was not THAT sweet. I read it once, thinking oh that's nice...but then I read it again and basically it was "You have to understand I VOLUNTEER....for up to 8 hours a day...and so I was tired and grouchy and I am sorry if you thought my comments were directed at you....they weren't."  Okay, so another straight up lie because when the comment appeared, she had copied and pasted the entire thread, so there really was nothing left to interpretation as to who she was speaking about......I hate "I'm sorry YOU felt that way apologies....")

Anyhoo, so I am moving on and moving up.  Got a lot of praying to do for those involved because a lot of selling out on beliefs in order to keep up appearances is happening and that is never good.

So I'm banned.  I'll deal.  And move on I will....

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Good Little Girl

My world is kind of like a rubberband.  Small on its own, but ready to stretch to limitless lengths at any given moment.  I may stay home most of the time, but my universe expands through the magic of the internet.  I love it.  People!!  Talking!!  Okay, so not face to face, and I love that too but it's not doable everyday for me.

So I participate in my own virtual reality.  Facebook being a huge corner of my fakey fake (but totally awesome) bigger world.  I love catching up with old friends and chit chatting with whoever feels the need and just socializing in general.  I'm sure if you're reading this, you concur.  It's got its upsides.

But now, business groups and forums and all nature of things that aren't individual people have a presence on Facebook and of course, I participate in those as well.  There's an element of weirdness when it comes to be a participant in a larger group where some "powers that be" can tell you what to say, how to say, to whom it can be said and if "they" don't like it, poof your existence just vanishes into thin air.  You broke a "rule." but no one can tell you how exactly and then when other people say they never saw the rule breaking happening the mods use their powers to convince the masses the whole reason that the world is a happy place is because those questionable posts were removed BEFORE the masses could be molested by them.

Big.  Fat.  Liars.

(Actually I'm quite unsure of the person in questions actual SIZE but the lie was impressive in stature)

I am one pissed off Momma today.  Number one, top pet peeve....the sand in my shoes, the nails across my personal chalkboard is LYING.  Seriously my world comes to a complete halt when someone lies and then they try to cover it up and basically throw themselves over you like you're a live grenade.  Damage Control.  Tape her mouth shut,....shhhh....quick, delete, delete, delete.

But we all know when anyone gets any kind of power, at some point, they are going to wield it irresponsibly.  That's just being human and I get it.  But what scares the crap out of me is how placid the followers are when this happens.  I am talking complete non-resistance, with almost a faint buzzing sound of worship of the Powers That Be...with praise about all their "hard work"  (It's an INTERNET FORUM.  Please, for the love of all things Holy, get OVER yourself if you think moderating an internet forum is some sort of great deed you are doing for the planet.  I get it...it takes some time..but let's just keep it where it is in terms of greatness shall we?) And if you say ANYTHING against the wrongs happening, you are "starting drama..."  It's not DRAMA, its responsible adult behavior. I am so sick of any dissention being labeled as drama these days.  It's become synonymous with "I don't like that you just caught me in a lie....called me out for a hypocritical opinion....held me accountable for my actions."

These days, it seems the live and let live is going a bit too far.  If someone is behaving badly, and it affects not just you, but multiple people....it is not only our right, but our responsibility to speak up about it.  What makes me so ill is that I am one of those speaker-upper people and I get LOTS of private affirmation (I am SO glad you said that...they were totally wrong...I can't believe...) but those people say nothing to the people who need to hear it.

And y'all might be thinking...so what?  So what if moderators on an internet forum use their powers of deletion and then saying that because they can delete (their own nasty comments about the members that were intended to be delivered to another mod via PM in a copy and paste gone horribly wrong) that is WHY the forum is so great.  Zero.  Accountability.

Think on those two words.  Zero Accountability.  Those two words frighten me beyond measure because it seems, as a collective, we are totally and completely getting comfy with them.  They are our ratty jeans, our fleecy slippers, our fat day sweatpants.  We don't want to speak up because it's uncomfortable, "doesn't involve me" or any other reason that has us watching the scene unfold with huge interest, but we're too busy holding our popcorn to jump in and lend a hand.

We are getting way to compliant and complacent and mindless.  We are lifting up people who abuse power, even SMALL amounts of meaningless power and shaking our heads at anyone who dares say "Hey, not cool."  We're Good Little Girls who do as we're told, when we're told and how we're told.

I challenge every single one of you reading this to stick up for the right thing the next time you get the chance.  Speak up.  DO something.  Don't be one of the faceless, mindless, voiceless warm-blooded space takers.  Be a person, with a voice and an opinion.  Compel other people to be the best version of themselves rather than accepting the worst.  Be kind, but be firm and stand your ground.  Otherwise, y'all....we're screwed.

Seriously.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Let's Be Direct

Once upon a time, Jamie and I got on this crazy bandwagon selling Herbalife products.  We had both lost weight and experienced huge amounts of energy and well, there was money to be made and we were so swept up in the possible fortune that could be made that we never really questioned the "system" as it were.  We weren't money hungry or anything, just desperate to stay together.  You see, this was right before he was gearing up for deployment.  He joined the Navy a single dude, then met me and we became three and the thought of leaving us was more than he could bear.  He wanted out and thought if he could do something else, he'd be able to do that instead (He didn't plan to like leave the Navy, but at that time felt he would be career Navy and was looking for an alternative.)  Anyhoo, so we sold this crap and did okay.  Okay enough to make it to the national conference thing that is supposed to get you pumped up to sell even more by parading millionaires and success stories in front of you for two full days.  It was fun, but didn't really inspire me to greatness.  All I could see was this stadium filled with hopeful people being told if they just "worked the business" they too would be millionaires. It left a bad taste in my mouth....for many, many years.

First off, I will say, at this point in my life, I don't think selling health products just because you bought a kit is a great idea.  That's an entire realm of personality responsibility that really doesn't lend itself to willy nilly representation.  You kind of need to know about the human body and nutrition and the reality that eating ANYTHING besides crap will usher in positive changes so that magical powdered shake may not really be doing what it says it's doing....it may just be the abstinence of the customer's daily Big Mac doing it.  So yeah, I'm not a huge fan of selling magical health products to people just because you signed up to sell it. (Now, I will say that some people selling these products absolutely DO know what they are talking about and are very knowledgeable and worth talking to!) I just think there needs to be more to it than that....but....My disdain for direct sales based on this past experience has been misplaced.  This is something I've been thinking about a LOT lately, even before I signed up with a company that employs this type of marketing.  Just the topic of consumerism in general fascinates me. Why do we buy what we buy and why do people sell what they sell?  Is it to make a quick buck?  What drives our decision making in all things money? I LOVE talking about that.

The other day an article came out bashing women (and just for the record, moron, it's not just women or "moms" selling products, so that was just dumb) who use social media to sell products they represent.  I kind of understand because some people are hugely obnoxious when it comes to what they are peddling (shut up...I can be counted among those people right now, but for good reason, which I'll explain below) but when you really examine what direct sales MEAN, it might change your perspective a bit.

What are direct sales anyway?  Long story short, the people who create or design these products skip Walmart and use people, like actual PEOPLE, to sell their products.  And this benefits YOU the consumer, hugely.  Why?  Well let's just examine that, shall we?

1. The salesperson is (most often) a customer themselves.  Go to Walmart. Pick up anything.  Now go ask an employee how to use it, how they like it and what they think of the product in general.  Chances are, they are going to shrug, look at you like you've lost your marbles and mumble some version of "I just work here..."  If you are buying from a direct sales company you are going to get way more information about what you are exchanging your money for.  You will be talking to someone who has actually USED this product or products from this company.  It's kind of like trading stocks with inside information (Shout out to Martha S. right here!!)  You aren't taking as much of a risk with your money when you purchase from a direct sales company...period.

2. But that person is just SELLING can totally b/s me, can't they?  I mean OF COURSE they will tell me this product is great...they just want to make money.  Uhm..dudes...direct sales representatives build their business from their inner circle on out...We don't start by selling to random strangers.  We generally share this great thing with the people we like the most first and we would not be taking the risk of pissing off our favorite people and stealing their money by selling them crap that doesn't work.  And...our "people" know each other.  If this thing is crap and not worth the money, our people will tell our other people and then we're hosed.  This is HONEST marketing.  We bank on the fact that what we are offering is worth it.  Otherwise, it wouldn't work.  You would sell this crappy thing to friend A who would tell friend B to steer clear...and then you are forced into early retirement a week after opening your doors.  The only way...and really let this sink in...the ONLY way direct sales works is by offering a product that does what it says it will.  It's based ENTIRELY on word of mouth.  Think about that for a few minutes....

3. But you're offended by this friend "selling" something to you...talking so much about it..."trying to get ME to try that crap"....Okay, but you're NOT offended by mutli-million dollar companies paying ga-jillions of dollars to pay other people to convince you your life completely sucks because you don't own whatever crap THEY are trying to sell you on?  Really?  You are more offended by that girl you went to high school with telling you about this amazing kitchen gadget that she has USED and that WORKS than you are by that guy shouting at you to "CALL RIGHT NOW for this LIMITED TIME OFFER???"  You live in a world that tries to separate you from your money every second of every day.  It's amazing to me that people are more comfortable giving their money away to complete strangers than to people they know selling a product they are using themselves and vouching for it's worthiness. All you see is a salesperson, not a happy customer. The reality is you are looking at BOTH.  If we lived in a world that required every product sold had to be used by the seller first, can you imagine how much different the world would be??

4.Well, why are there SO MANY companies selling so many different things?  It's annoying....right??  Have  you SEEN how many kinds of cereal there are in a grocery store?  We are a society that wants choices....and oh boy, do we have them.  You probably know someone who sells bags, someone who sells makeup, someone who sells house decor and someone who sells nail wraps (You know ME, so you know someone who sells nail wraps) and you might wonder....why?  Why is this person selling this particular thing? Well, why do you do what YOU do?  I have friends that sell a variety of different things but if I ask any one of them why they are selling that thing, the answer is always the same "We love the products.."  For whatever reason, the item WE are selling spoke to us, made some sort of difference in our lives.  It could be the quality surpassing other similar products we have used, it could be that the product changed a specific aspect of our lives (this is me with the nail thing...my nails sucked SO bad and this product completely obliterated this thing that embarrassed me for so long...), it could be sheer happiness the company or the product afforded us....but there's always the bottom line of "We love this and truly want to share it with you...with everyone!!"

The thing is, with direct sales, it's direct.  It's personal.  We mean what we say and say what we mean and it's astonishing to me how many people are uncomfortable with that.  We're okay with someone recommending a restaurant or a movie or even an entire neighborhood if we're house hunting, but the second someone tries to share a product with you that they are SELLING, we're looking up the ACLU, quite sure at least one of our rights is being trampled on.

I can't speak for the entirety of direct sales reps in the entire country, but I'd bet the vast majority are people like you (like me)  Honest, hard-working and actively seeking to live the best life possible.  The product they are vested in is part of that picture.  It's really as simple as that.  Think about something in your life that provides pleasure, comfort, entertainment or sheer joy!  How many people know that about you? Are they offended that you post pictures of your motorcycle, the awesome cake you decorated or the curtains you just found on clearance?  Hopefully they aren't.  My passions have been blasted across facebook every day for the past few years.   I've put up hundreds of pictures of our remodeling efforts, my children, yarn (and more yarn and well....just LOTS of yarny things), our chickens and goats and vegetables and links to things I've found hilarious, beautiful or inspiring.  I share ME with my friends and right now that includes what I'm selling (before my writing gigs dried up and become inappropriate, I shared that too!)  Not to offend but to include...

The thing is I wouldn't put my name on ANYTHING I didn't believe in.  For me, the end game is this question "If money was not even a thing, would I want to put this product/thing/hobby into the hands of the people I love?"  And the answer is yes.  I would want to give Jamberry to ALL my friends, I'd want to teach them to knit, I'd want to invite them over to see our latest home project and to play with my kids.  I truly believe in sharing any good thing I've found and I love it when my circle of people does the same.  We might live in a world that is more comfortable with passive, elusive and deals better with third-party randomness than face to face directness, but I really think we should question that on a grand scale. I think we should embrace as much of the personal (even how we shop) as we possibly can and rail against the system that has us "Pressing one for English." (and that's not a dig on Spanish speakers, it's a dig on "talking" to freakin computers by pressing buttons!!!)  I guess what I'm saying is what's wrong with getting a little personal, a little real, a little honest?  Intentional.  Passionate.  And direct!

Monday, July 7, 2014

That White Dot....Is Still $hit.

I used to be head over heels in love with another man. Now, now, this was pre-Jamie, so don't get your feathers all riled up by this admission.  Besides the dude was wayyyyy too old for me.  And famous.  And, well, married, so yeah, things just weren't going to work out but a girl could still dream.  As a matter of fact I'm pretty sure the number of women in love with this particular dude is well over a million but that's okay too, because I found my one and only.  You want to know who right?  Well, he sings, and was in one movie that I can recall, Pure Country.  You'll have to look it up if you want to know.

Anyhoo, in the movie there's a mix up and he appears to the main characters that he's a big old piece of crap...and one of the characters says the thing about that white bit on top of chicken poo....it's still poo.  A good bit of moral wisdom there right?? :)

One of my most glaring personality flaws is my optimism.  I know it seems like a good quality at first, but it's kind of like the Midas touch...it gets old really fast. A healthy amount of glass half full optimism is good, lovely and helpful.  A chronic inability to recognize the half empty part can have you all sorts of frustrated your entire life.  Believe me, I know.

When things happen to me or around me, I always use the opportunity to examine.  Why did this happen?  Why do people do the things they do?  Why do *I* always end up disappointed, frustrated and angry?  Well number one, I appear to be a poor judge of character and at the root of it is pride. (Just follow me here a minute)  I tend to give people more credit than they have due because they may have some kind of similarity to me (and I've written about this before) so my pride tells me because they are LIKE ME in some random area, they must be good. (Wrong)  Who am I to say my particular set of qualities equals GOOD in the first place?  What I value the most may be what someone else values the least and in that, I might be the type of person THEY wonder about, get frustrated with and angry at (I'm sitting here thinking you should never end a sentence with a preposition....and there I go, ending a sentence with one....and also, my son is absolutely adorable, just had to say that!)

I suppose it's all about perspective AND it's all about knowing when to stop expecting someone to change.  I value change.  HIGHLY.  I love rearranging my furniture, painting something a new color, trying a new food....becoming a better person.  I value change very much.  Freshness.  Newness.

Time, for me, always gives the illusion of change.  If enough time has passed, I think I can return to something or someone that let me down in the past and everything will be different.  After all, in that time, I've learned, grown....changed...and I always expect the other element has as well.  Time has a funny way of washing just enough dirt off of something to make it appear attractive again, but it's just trickery.  If you set that object back in the dirt, it WILL get dirty again.  And you WILL be disillusioned again....and it sucks.

Until you realize you are the dirt.  YOU are the element that makes that object unattractive again.  It's not the dirt's fault.  Dirt is good in its own right, but it just doesn't mix well with certain other things and once you realize that...once you realize you are either the dirt or the thing that gets dirty, you have a decision to make. Commit to washing periodically or stay out of the dirt.  It really is that easy.

And somethings are worth washing over and over again.  Some are not.  The key is to be aware that you always have to make that choice.  For yourself.  Eventually a pattern will etch itself into your brain and you'll get better at making that determination a little quicker.  At least I have.

It sounds so cliche, but life is too short to include people who constantly drain you, suck the life out of you, bring you down....if you spend anytime ranting about how absolutely maddening a person is, it really is better to just completely cut it out.  Remove.  Cauterize.

Today, after a reminder of this...(I'll keep that reminder to myself thankyouverymuch) this kept returning to my brainspace...

As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly (Prov 26:11)

So the lesson is....the white part of chicken poo, although it appears different than the rest...is still poo....and only a fool returns back to the putrid castoffs his body wisely rejected....and if someone is any of these things...(so that we cover all nasty bodily functions here) you can tell that snotty, stinky loser to....piss off ;)

Or a more polite version.