Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's Fall

Or at least that's what the calendar says.

Doesn't feel like Fall here today. Temps were in the 90's. Very little breeze. But that's GOOD. This is Santa Ana weather, which those of us in CA dislike because that's when we generally see those devastating fires. The wind enables them...

There are already several burning in SOCAL, but thankfully, none around me. Knock on wood that it stays that way.

I understand from friends in the Midwest that Fall is beginning to appear - the leaves are turning, the nights are getting cooler...

I mentioned earlier this month that September signalled a new year to me. It's a time for reflection - what I've accomplished, what's fallen by the wayside... Where do I want this next year to take me?

I belong to the Late Nite Stampers group, and Sherrill, their trusty leader, is holding a Boot Camp for its members this month.

I've taken Boot Camps before, from other leaders. They're always good. They make you try new ideas. They make you move out of your comfort zone. But most of all, they make you accountable.

When you're in business for yourself, you're responsible for your own accountability. And frankly, it's easy to talk yourself out of ANY accountability!

So, Boot Camps are good.

One of Sherrill's tasks for her recruits is to tell your own story.

And I realized I don't tell my story very often. So, here, for your reading pleasure (or not!) is my story:

My college roommates gave me a pelican stamp (many years after we attended this college, by the way) and an ink pad about 24 years ago. I was collecting pelicans at the time, and I was thrilled.

Right after I got that stamp, I came home from work and found an invitation to a stamp event at my next door neighbors house - for THAT night.

I didn't have anything else planned, and thought, well, this might be interesting. So, I went. 3 hours later, I'd spent $65 (this was in about 1989 or so, so that was a considerable amount of money!) and I had learned how to heat emboss!

That was the most funest thing since sliced bread! I embossed and embossed and embossed!

I should mention this stamp party was NOT a Stampin' Up! party. The woman demonstrated strictly for another single company. One particular stamp company. They had cute images, a few sets. My other neighbor and I decided to go together to purchase a couple of sets that we would share.

Fast forward about a year. I found an ad in the Rubberstampmadness magazine for this company called Stampin' Up! I responded to the ad, sending in my $5 or whatever the fee was for getting the catalog. I had lots of stamp companies catalogs by that time, since I'd begun to frequent stamp shows up in Los Angeles.

The Original Rubber Stamp Show was HEAVEN in 1989! So many stamps, so many people, so little money!

I got the catalog and the recruiting information. And, being the true Libra that I am, pondered whether or not to sign up. For NINE months! (I guess I could liken this business of mine to having a baby, couldn't I?!!?)

I worried about where I'd find my customers. I worried about having to spend my own money to stay afloat...

I finally decided to join! I called my soon-to-be upline and chatted with her for about 45 minutes. I, of course, had the OLD catalog, so needed a new one. She sent me another catalog, and new recruiting forms, and I signed up in January of 1991.

I still worried about where to find customers, but luckily, I was able to talk a group of gals I worked with at the time into hosting a workshop from me. They continued to be customers for quite a few years, and introduced me to their friends, and we all know the rest of the story - here I am, still, after 19 years.

I found some of my old Convention and Leadership badges while cleaning up the garage - here's a photo of a few of them:

The two in the upper left hand corner are from my first and second Leadership conferences.

I was so honored to attend these events. I was still a hobby demo at the time, but in those days, as your recruits moved up, so did you, so thanks to one of my downline, I was eligible for Leadership!

I thoroughly enjoyed them. I met the leaders of the company and got to listen to their success (and yes, some failures) and it kept me motivated.

As did attending the annual convention. I haven't missed one since the first one I could attend in 1991! Most fun in the whole wide world, attending an SU convention!

In 2000 I earned my only cruise. I was so excited, and it was a blast. That year we went to the Eastern Carribbean. I'd never been on a cruise before. I took my friend Chrissy with me. I think she enjoyed it, too...

The cruise is always a goal for me, but keeps eluding my grasp. One of these days, all the planets will be aligned again, and I'll get to do it again.

In the meantime, I set other goals for myself, to try and keep me motivated. I love my customers - they're some of the greatest people in the whole world. They make me stretch to keep up with the latest trends and techniques, and TOYS!

Thanks to all of you who have ever been a customer of mine!

Melie decided my story made him "nappy" - but for Melie, that's an every day occurrance! Check him out..

Even in this heat, he's been sleeping in the garage during the day.

Maybe he sleeps on the concrete and it's cooler there. Hadn't thought about that til now...

The next time I post, I'll be talking about My Digital Studio, and showing some photos of the pages I've been making with it.

It's SO EASY! And so much fun!

In the meantime, have a great weekend. Stamp something!

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