Thursday, December 15, 2016

Not Today

I do not think so.
(c) 2016 Adobe Stock
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Ever since my post titled, “Happy Holidays and Welcome to December the last month”, I have been playing around, trying to explain to my followers my Black Friday experience.  I even have a post half way written, so I can just plop it onto this blog, and be gone.  It is not easy being a business person. 
One of my goals with this particular blog was NOT to write a blog post, have cute frilly words, give you guidance, and then when the hook is securely firm into your neck, I will hit you with 500 products you can buy from me, all with a low price of $1000 a package.  It has never been my way.
So, when I talk to you about my Black Friday experience as a seller, it is MY experience.  Nothing fancy about it.  Can I tell you what I do when I am not writing a blog post?  I have mentioned it several times, but for those who are just finding my blog, it would be helpful if you knew about people behind the blog.
I am not going into the whole, “when I was a little girl” type of story because I sort of fell into selling. I only figured out that I liked marketing and advertising 20 years ago, and it all started when I was a baby, and my parents told me that I would play during the television shows, but stopped when a commercial came on.  OK, enough of that.  Let’s fast forward…
It was really a failed attempted on getting marketing internship jobs that lead me to becoming an Independent Longaberger Home Consultant. I thought, “why am I acing an interview, and then suddenly they could not hire me.  I understood that in order for a company to even offer an internship (paid or unpaid), they had to have money to do so.  Every single one of the internships I interviewed for, offered me the position the day of my interview, but then turned around to tell me that through budget cuts or some other odd reason, the position was dropped.  I thanked the interviewer, and reassure he or she that I am available, should the position become open again.  One marketing firm I was interviewed 3 separate times.
I thought to myself, “why am I putting myself out there if these companies do not want to hire for a “go to gal”? (After all, that is what most of these positions are really). I was willing to do an unpaid position if I had to.  So, I created my own intern position.  All I needed was someone who was willing to sign off that I was working.  So, I thought the best place for that was a direct selling company.   There were 2 at the time I was willing to look at; Longaberger and Pampered Chef.  I talked to the Pampered Chef consultant first, who was sweet.  When she explained exactly what a Pampered Chef consultant does during home parties, I started back-peddling.  I was not willing to cook during a party unless the host does not mind taking out a small insurance policy that covers consultants, who burn down their place.  Since that time, I realized that Pampered Chef consultants do more than just cook during demos.
My next appointment took me to my original Longaberger upline manager, Scott Beavers.  In case, you have not noticed by the name, he is a man, married with a wife, but Scott was a man.  After he explained Longaberger, I thought to myself, “if he could do this, and not his wife, I can. So, I signed up.
I have been at this position for over 15 years, some with the utmost confidence in the world, and some with, “What the heck am I still doing here?”  Longaberger has changed hands twice since I became a consultant, from Dave Longaberger, the founder, to his daughter, Tami, to a company called JRJR Enterprises. I thought, “OK, this is it, I need to do something else.
I started looking towards my other loves and what gives me peace when the world is very crazy inside.  I started creating scrapbooks, greeting cards, and other digital (and non-digital) stationery items (invitations, wedding items).  I am getting into more digital software, such as the Adobe products (Photoshop, Illustrator, editing photos in Photoshop Lightroom), and I discovered that I love to write.  I decided that I was going to make this all into a business, and the business P. Lynne Designs took off.
So, what does this have to do with Black Friday?  It has to do with the experience that I have never really paid to much attention to Black Friday before as a business owner.  I have done my own marketing with the materials that Longaberger provided me, and if I got a sale, I got a sale.  No big deal.  This year (2016), as an Independent Longaberger Home Consultant AND an owner of a stationery company, it WAS a big deal.  I wanted clients, both offline and in person, and online.  I thought that I made all the right moves, and I was upset that I received not one order from either company.  I wanted sales that sort of filled up the first two months of 2017.  I had cards on my Etsy shop and I was more than ready with my Longaberger website, but there was one key component that I did not mention:  My website (P. Lynne Designs).  It was not ready.  Neither was my Amazon shop or my Shopify shop (which has been in limbo since 2014).  There are other things that were not ready (such as my listing on Manta).
So, now, am I upset?  You bet.  Will I quit trying?  No.  I will keep on moving and learn from this moment in time. Will I be ready for Black Friday 2017?  100% (as an older lady from my church used to say when I was a teen).  I will look at it as a loss, but I will also look at it from a learning standpoint in my life that says, “Keep going, keep moving.”
What I want you to take away from this blog post: You can have everything in place and no what you want to do, where you want to go in life, and still not have everything in place for the journey.  Life is a learning curve, and it starts with day 0. People are born into whatever circumstance they arrive at.  It is not your fault and sometimes you do not get to choose what you want out of life.   Different moments of time are there to teach you.  Yes, even becoming a business owner, and I am still learning.  I do not know what 2017 will bring.
I wrote in the post, “2017 and Me”, what I want out of 2017, but that is not all of it.  What I wrote was only a small portion of the things and new experiences I want to achieve.  That is for only me and God to figure out for the coming year.  They are called memories and they are not just for me to say that I went to this place or I ate at that restaurant.  Part of these experiences are so that I made some kind of impact. 
Who knows, I might bless someone with a job (either through my company or an opening that I have heard of), give someone a dollar who needs more than me, invite a stranger to my church for a hot meal or a good word of encouragement, but the point is not to make it all about me.  Teach a child, comfort a person, take part in something bigger.  The sky is the limit.
Yes, 2016 (and even 2015) have been humdinger years for me, something that is time to put in the past.  It is time for me to move forward, and you, my reader to move forward.  Take the time to think about the next two months of the coming year, and see how you can enrich your life and those that are around you.

In the meantime, say to yourself, “Not Today!”