Saturday, May 28, 2011

Just the Facts... on Greeting Cards

Hi Friends - In the past couple days, we've fielded a lot of questions regarding our business with Send Out Cards.  The fundamentals of 'how to get started, the history and mission, the future, and more.' In the conversations, we've also talked about Netflix and how Send Out Cards is often compared to Netflix.  And they are a good comparison - what if you knew about Netflix ten years ago and you could make $ on each DVD sent out... well, the time is here with Send Out Cards and the the chance to make $ with each card or gift that is sent out.  We usually ask you to message us for details because I do believe in the relationship with those we sponsor. We don't just *sign* someone up for SOC.  We get to know you, your need and what package will fit you best... do you need it for business, personal, or both... give us a call or email to start OUR conversation.

In one of the conversations, we were asked about the greeting card company.  We did some research and found some facts.  (Thanks Laurie Delk!)

U.S. consumers purchase approximately 7 billion greeting cards each year, generating nearly $7.5 billion in retail sales. The exchange of greeting cards is one of the most widely accepted customs in the U.S.

The average person receives more than 20 cards per year, about one-third of which are birthday cards.
Greeting cards range in price from $1 to $10, although counter cards typically cost between $3 and $5. Cards featuring special techniques, intricate designs and new technologies are at the top of the price scale.

Women purchase more than 80 percent of all greeting cards.  *And although women are more likely than men to buy several cards at once, men generally spend more on a single card than women.

There are two categories of greeting cards -- Seasonal and Everyday. Total card sales are split approximately 50/50 between the two types.  The most popular Everyday cards are Birthday (60%), Anniversary (8%), Get Well (7%), Friendship (6%), and Sympathy cards (6%). The most popular Seasonal cards are Christmas (60%), Valentine's Day (25%), Mother's Day (4%), Easter (3%), and Father's Day (3%) cards.

Nine out of 10 Americans say they look forward to receiving personal letters and greeting cards because cards allow them to keep in touch with friends and family and make them feel they are important to someone else.  Although e-mail, text messaging and phone calls are valued by Americans for helping them communicate with family and friends, the majority of Americans say they prefer the old-fashioned handwritten card or letter to make someone feel truly special. 

More than 90 percent of all U.S. households buy greeting cards, with the average household purchasing 10-30 individual cards in a year, but have a NEED for 70 greeting cards a year.
Why don't people buy these other cards? It's more expensive, it's inconvenient, it's time consuming, and they forget.  Well, we have a fix for all the above - Hopefully we can help you... and then you can help the next person looking for a great system for keeping in touch. 

You can do this too... Always here for you - Danielle

Monday, May 23, 2011

Take the Chance... What If?

I find myself sitting here at 9:20 pm on Sunday night with the boys in the St. Louis/Lambert Airport with hopes of still making a flight home tonight.  You may be wondering how or why we are in St. Louis if we live in Dallas – it’s not a school holiday, it’s not summer break… nope, we acted on an idea… a prompting to join friends for a BBQ and a weekend of fun.
What is a prompting? A prompting is that ‘little voice’ you hear in your mind that says… “maybe I should” or “what if…” For us it was about taking a chance on the ‘what if’ this weekend.   Have you heard this voice? Have you listened to it? Ignored it? Questions like: “What if I ask her for a date?” What if I ask for a promotion? What if we moved? Have a baby? Start my own business?  If you have heard the ‘what if’ whisper, did you follow it?  If not, why? What do you have to lose? What is the risk?
What if that one girl says ‘no,’ and then you stop asking girls out – you might miss your soul mate.  If you don’t try to have a baby or adopt, you might regret it years from now. What if you wait to start your business and in a year see where you could have been if you had just followed that little voice… that little prompting.  The only difference between Tim & I with Jordan, Jules, Adam, DeMarr and others is time.  The only difference between you & I is time… but you’ll never be where we are if you don’t start.  Don’t stand back looking inward. Take an inventory, chat with your support network and take that chance – no matter what your passion or business.
Returning to our action on the prompting of going to St. Louis this weekend and the fact that we are still in the airport (going on 6 hours) with the boys by myself, I have no regrets.  Why?  I have no regrets because we had a great weekend BBQ with friends and the weekend ended up being more memorable than I could have imagined.  It started with a Facebook status entry about brisket smoking and my response/tease about crashing their BBQ.  It was followed by my BFF asking ‘what if you jumped on a plane and joined us…’  Hmmm – what if?  What if we did leave immediately and fly up Saturday, only to return on Sunday?  What did I have to lose?  And that’s the question and fear I want you to overcome when you face your what ‘ifs.’ 
I don’t want it to seem like we chose to start our Send Out Cards with little decision, there was a decision.  We loved the concept, the philosophy and mission. Of course, after nine years in direct sales, I didn’t see a reason to start another business. Boy, am I glad I listened to my ‘what if’ voice. I was already going to purchase the Wholesale Package based on the number of cards our family sends and I wanted to save in the long-run despite the upfront (system cost).  I thought for $59 to become a business, ok… ‘what if’ I did make a little money from sending my own cards and gifts – not to mention the cards and gifts others would send….  Obviously, if you’ve followed us here on the blog or Facebook or we’ve had a chance to chat via email and phone calls, you know our history.
Just as listening to that ‘what if’ voice to start a business with Send Out Cards, brought about great lessons and opportunities for memory making, so did the ‘what if’ voice about going to St. Louis.  Our trip to St. Louis brought memories with the kids about Acts of Random Kindness, kickball, playing with dear friends and a lesson about a little baby lost to SIDS as we released balloons to Heaven one year after the Lord took her from her family. Our boys learned about Ellie and even though she is gone, she is not forgotten.  This memory and the pink & purple sunsets and double rainbow Ellie sends her family on Earth are so worth the ‘what if’ about going to St. Louis and the ‘what if’ we don’t get home because of the storms.  Don’t let the fear stop you from a memory, a milestone, a moment of success – take the risk. You don’t want to wonder ‘what if’ and have regrets. I promise the risk be worth the rewards.  I’m always cheering you on as an entrepreneur – no matter what your business may be.   --Danielle

Friday, May 20, 2011

Don't Allow Fear Stop Your Success

FEAR – It’s a little word, but somehow has big power.  I noticed that today with my 6-year old and the trip to the dentist to have a cavity filled.  It was more his anxiety and fear going into the office than the procedure itself. Of course, rationalizing with adults and their business fears is easier than calming a 6-year old… most of the time anyway.

I once read some tips from Romanus Wolter, who is author of Kick Start Your Success and Kick Start Your Dream Business.  And what helped the business owners Wolter talked to did to overcome their business fears included the following:
1.      Taking baby steps with everything you do.  By taking baby steps with any new action you make it is easier to make changes or edit your plan.  This goes for goal setting too – have your end goal and break it into smaller tasks (goals) to achieve along the way.

2.      If you are in a direct sales business, ask yourself if the business can be duplicated to those you sponsor?  It should.  You should never feel like you have to recreate the wheel to be successful. What tools & education/training does your company provide?

3.      Surround yourself with people willing to help.  This is your team… your upline(s), your sidelines, your support network.  Join various business network groups or simply hang out with great business people – especially in other areas. You may find synergy partners or someone to give you insight on your business from another perspective.

4.      Live in the NOW.  You hear me share this in regards to your family and the events you want to do; that tomorrow isn’t promised.  This is my also a great method to overcome my business fears. I do focus on the future and make goals, but I put a lot of focus on the NOW and all the great things that happen to my business and my family every day.

How about you?

How do you battle your business fears? What do you do to overcome them and focus on going forward? Let me know in the comments or answer this as a rhetorical question. To vanquish these fears and devise an appropriate course of action, we must trust our instincts.

1. Be honest about the cause of your fear. Personal beliefs are extremely powerful. They form the basis for how we react in fearful situations.
2. Maintain a positive attitude. Don't let fear cloud your outlook. Get creative and turn the fear into an opportunity for growth.
3. Don't let what people say or do bring on self-doubt before you take action. Accept that rejection happens to all of us, but it will only impair your progress if you allow it to. You can use this to overcome obstacles in starting your business or overcoming your first ‘no.’
4. Anticipate bumps in the road. Acknowledge that you'll sometimes feel disheartened.   One of the best books I’ve read in my nine years of direct sales is “Stay the Course” by Adam Packard.  “Stay the Course” is a quick read by a great friend, mentor and leader in my business with Send Out Cards and contains many nuggets to improve your business. 
      If Tim & I can help you duplicate this business for you and your family, please let us know. We stumbled upon SOC as a business and definitely count our SOC family, income and adventures as a blessing.  We are here for you – we are cheering you on as you shoot for the moon. --Danielle

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Don't Forget to Follow-Up

I sit down to write today’s blog entry and I have so many ‘business strategies’ I want to share.  Why?  Because today, I was notified from Send Out Cards that one of our team members and friend, Ashley earned the Cruise Incentive and will she’ll be sailing three days from Long Beach, CA to Ensenada, Mexico.   Tim laughed at me (in a supportive way) as I was more excited to see Ashley succeed than I was when I heard I made the trip earlier in May.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to be on the cruise and will get my passport renewed ASAP; however, it was seeing someone on our team succeed to the next level.
I do feel like a big sister who supports those ‘younger’ than me in our business.  I don’t know all the answers, but I will share what works and what hasn’t. The biggest challenge for many is in goal setting – I’ll sit down and write the specific goal and then work backwards and make smaller steps. 
For example, Ashley knew her goal…. The Cruise – She knew what it took to earn the Cruise (She’d need to sign five new distributors) – And she knew the deadline (May 23).  And before Ashley would achieve signing five new distributors and earning the cruise, she needed to sign her first distributor.  Yep, that’s right – in a month’s time, Ashley signed five new people into the business.  A win-win for both the distributor and those she sponsored as they now have a tool for sending cards & gifts AND just found their own vehicle for financial freedom.
How did Ashley sign five new distributors?  It’s all in the relationships… and in the follow-up.  Just like our business, those on our team and others within the SOC family, we believe in the relationships and how can we help you utilize this tool… for personal or business needs.  The fortune is in the follow-up… you’ve heard this no matter what your business is and you’ve seen the outcome.  Using Send Out Cards for customer & client follow-up, as a warm marketing tool and for personal relationships will make an impact.  Ashley had made lot of connections and built relationships, she then tackled the fear of follow-up... and thank goodness she did.  She followed up with those who had expressed an interest - and tada.  Sometimes 'no,' just means 'not now;' however, what you are offering may fit at a later time. Do you see a similarity in your business?
Now that Ashley is headed to Mexico will she slow down? Highly doubt it – she’s got some great momentum and has a team of five… her next goal… Manager.   The one thing about our Send Out Cards business is that others can duplicate the same success. There are no area meetings, no inventory or parties.  Despite that, Tim & I are there to help Ashley with her new goal of Manager because at this new level she will see her income change; it is a great milestone and will really change her business. 
For those of you reading this – as our team or friends of our team, please know how important you are to us. It is a blessing to be part of your business and your families. I just wrote about that in my Gratitude Journal yesterday, but my heart is full this week. You guys are working so hard and making great changes for your family.  Keep shooting for the moon; we are here for you!  --Danielle

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Weekend of Blessings & Memories

What a weekend! And it took a bit to catch back up. J Sorry for the tardy blogs this week, but at least you know I’m writing from the heart based on our events and your feedback.  May 6-7-8, 2011 could not have been filled with more fun, family and blessings. 
Friday, we celebrated our middle son turning six years old. Saturday, we celebrate our oldest son’s First Holy Communion.  And of course, Sunday was Mother’s Day! We were blessed to have both my mom and Tim’s mom in town for these festivities. It was nice to celebrate Mother’s Day with everyone in person.
I have to tell you, it’s been years since Tim’s or my First Communion and the memories came flooding back.  Our moms brought photos from those two days and kids, names, and celebration memories were shared.  The boys loved the old photos and our families’ attire from the early 1980s.  They giggled as they asked “why does Uncle Mike look like a Bee Gee?” Of course, they have no idea who the Bee Gees were, but heard the quote from a movie.
This year’s First Communion class was special to me.  Yes, our son was making his First Communion, but it was also my second year of teaching many of these kiddos for Faith Formation (aka: CCD).  Yes, they’ve grown since we first met in first grade; however, I feel like they just grew into little adults these past nine months.  And then there was the fast-forward imagination and tear as you watched these kiddos walk down the aisle in their suits and white dresses with veils.
When you & I have talked (or maybe you’ve read) our WHY about having our own business… this is exactly why!  I own my own business, make my own schedule and prioritize my family first.  If I had any other job, I don’t think I would have been available to teach every Wednesday at 3:30pm.  I know any other parent teaching would have made an impact on my son; however, the bond that I share with him – and 15 other second graders is something that makes my heart swell with happiness.  I dont' want to be working a j-o-b and miss these moments... I don't want to fast-forward to my boys walking down the aisle as a groom and wonder where the years went. I want us to enjoy it "now."

Are you living in the now?  Are you living in the now with your thought or actions?  Or are you waiting til ‘someday?”  Someday is not promised, nor does the word exist in the dictionary.  Having your own business isn’t going to magically change things within the first day… the first month; however, if you put the time into it, you’ll see changes easily within the first year.  I speak from experience… it’s all about the Law of Averages (and that we’ll save for another blog on another day). 
Whatever business you are in… or are starting… start now and start w/ realistic goals and measures for success – perhaps it’s extra income to pay for your child’s sports or dance, extra income for a housekeeper or car payment… or perhaps, replace your j-o-b.  Anything is possible. Find your dream, state your goals and take action.  Always cheering you on as you shoot for the moon - Danielle

Monday, May 2, 2011

Stay Connected with Others

We are all busy with our schedules and often forget about enriching other people's lives. Making time to reach out to loved ones and strengthen connections is good for all of us. Connecting with friends & family is a simple gesture that has the most impact when it comes to showing someone how much you care.

One of those simple gestures is sending a greeting card to remind people someone is thinking about them.  A recent survey by the Greeting Card Association found that almost 9 out of 10 Americans believe they are as close or closer to their friends and family than they were one year ago.  Sometimes one person connecting with another will set off a boomerang effect of reaching out!

Did you know that 62% of people feel inspired to send someone a card if they receive one from that person?

How do you stay connected and in touch with family & friends?  (1) Set some time each day to reach out to others. Reaching out doesn't take a lot of time, but it can be very meaningful to those we touch. A simple phone call, e-mail or card reminds our loved ones how much we care. (2) Take time to reflect on what is important and of value in your life. See my blog entry about my gratitude journal. (3) Do it now!  Don't wait for a reason to connect. Send a "thinking of you" or "just because" card can be one of the best ways to show someone you care – and we believe in celebrating people and milestones NOW and not in their eulogy.

Hold on to these connections through memories. One of the best ways to keep our connections top of mind is by holding on to a physical memento or keepsake. Reflecting on old letters and cards helps us to remember our most special connections… and your card – with your words, photos and handwriting will be cherished. Promise.

I know we appreciate you – as our friend, follower and fan.
Wishing you Mohr memories and success. -Danielle