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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Even More Awesome Skylark Artwork and my April Stamp of the Month Card - 10 Success Tips - Part 3

..Creative Corner:

I'm back in the groove of work again!  It seems it takes at least as many days as I'm away from my office to catch back up and get my creative juices going.  I've been looking forward to creating with the April Stamp of the Month - Balloon Talk from the first time I saw it!  Many of the sets are easy to use in scrapbooks but can be more of a challenge on a card.  I use Ruby, Lagoon, Honey and Whisper as my color combination. 
Artwork by Michele Kunigk
A great use of bulk paper and accessories!
Here is a beautiful 12x12 Skylark layout by the very talented
Tamra Pope.  This is from Karen Morris's Awesome Artist Swap

Team News:
Quick Reminders:
* Next Monday is the end of the 1st Quarter/ Jr. Consultant Program
* Finalize your April customer newsletters
* Register For Convention and make your airline and hotel reservations

Business Bit: 10 Success Tips  - Part 3
This is the last of the 10 Success Tips - I decided to divide them up because I want everyone to pay attention to each one.  While they are all important, I think these last three are key!
8. Attend everything. Go to all area functions that are available to you and get on any conference calls that your company or manager offers. This will help you to stay positive, enthusiastic and less isolated.
9. Work towards company incentives. Company incentives keep the job fun and are designed with your success in mind. Working towards incentive trips, free product and company rewards will provide goals and keep your enthusiasm and your income HIGH.
10. Treat your business like a business and not a hobby. Hobbies cost money and businesses make money. If you want to take advantage of the tax benefits of owning your own home business the IRS wants to see that you are making money. That means it is important to track of your income and expenses and file your annual income taxes. Find an accountant who is well versed in the areas of filing taxes for small businesses; particularly those in direct sales.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

More Awesome Skylark Artwork - Part 2 of 10 Success Tips

Happy first day of spring!  The sun is shining here in Seattle and the first flowers are starting to peek their heads out.  I've been busy in my studio creating artwork for my April classes.  When I get them finished I'll share them with you.  In the mean time, I'm sharing more from the Rediscover CTMH event swaps.  Enjoy!

Creative Corner:
Today I'm featuring more artwork from 2 talented team members.  I love the way these 2 cards by Joanie McCall and Mary Thomas really showcase how well our papers coordinate with our inks, cardstocks and accessories to create a cohesive feel.  That is the strength and beauty of our product line that is hard to find through craft stores and online outlets.  These cards can easily be recreated for your customer clubs and workshops.

By Joanie McCall - Oregon

By Mary Thomas - Washington
Business Bit:  Part 2 - Today's Tip - From The Success Factory

I loved the tips in this article since it pertains to our type of business - Direct Sales. It's different in so many ways from traditional jobs. It has it's special challenges that if we can find systems to overcome, has rewards of flexibility that far outweigh the challenges
Subject: Ten Success Tips for your Direct Sales Business. Part 2of 3

4. ASK don't TELL. Sometimes we are so excited to talk about our product or our business opportunity that we can leave our prospect with 'hurricane hair'. Be sure that you are taking a breath and asking for the appointment or the sale.
5. A 'NO' is just one step closer to a 'YES'. Don't take a 'no' personally. If someone says no to you they are saying no to what you are offering, they are not rejecting you as a person. We are in the business of sorting and not convincing. Statistically you will need to ask ten people to join your team to get one recruit and you will need to ask five people to book a party before one says yes. When you are first beginning your business and refining your technique, those stats might vary a bit. However, knowing that you will need to work through several 'no's' as you edge closer to a 'yes' will help to keep things in perspective.

6. Schedule office hours. Some kind of structure is important; especially when working from home. Depending on your season of life (especially if you have young children) these office hours will change over the years. However setting and KEEPING office hours assures that you not only GO to work, but that you can also GO HOME from work each day.
7. Have a work area. If you have a separate room that is your designated office that is always the ideal situation. However, your 'office' may just be a closet or desk and file box for your business supplies that goes with you to your gatherings or classes.
Quote of the Day:


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Awesome Skylark Artwork - 10 Success Tips

Hi Everyone!

I'm back in my office and back to work.  I hope you found some useful information and creative inspiration in my posts these past 2 weeks.  
Team News: 
The Rediscover Events are incredible!  I would encourage everyone, especially those who have never been to a corporate event or are unable to attend convention this year to register if there is one in your area.  Kristine had a message about the power of network marketing - how to find new customers by working with people you already know.  They may not be interested in CTMH but they may know someone who is.  I have done this with my hairstylist and my nail gal.  When people ask me about my hair or nails and I give them Michael or Julie's card.  Both of these people have lots of potential customers for me!  I challenge you to ask someone in your life to become your referral partner to help each other build your businesses.
Reminder:  There are just 13 days left in the quarter.  Be sure to check your quarterly minimums to be sure you hit your $300.  For leaders, contact your team members to remind them.
Creative Corner:  
As part of our brief team meeting at the Seattle and Portland Rediscover CTMH events, we did an art swap with Skylark as our theme.  Here are the 3 winners from the Oregon meeting.  Congratulations to Tarina Holloway, Tera Boring, and Nancy Reding!  
1st Place- Tarina Holloway

2nd place - Tera Boring

3rd Place - Nancy Reding

Business Bit: Today's Tip - From The Success Factory 
I loved the tips in this article since it pertains to our type of business - Direct Sales.  It's different in so many ways from traditional jobs.  It has it's special challenges that if we can find systems to overcome, has rewards of flexibility that far outweigh the challenges

Subject: Ten Success Tips for your Direct Sales Business.  Part 1of 3

As a longtime volunteer in an organization in my community; one of my jobs is to help to replace women who leave their positions with the organization. This year we lost one of our most valued leaders. Her family finances had become challenging due to down sizing in her husband's company and so she was off to get a job herself to help make ends meet. She decided on direct sales; immediately asking me to join her in her business (I declined). However, I congratulated her on her enthusiasm for her new venture and asked her to sign up for our free email tips!

Recently I had a chance to visit with her and ask how her (3 month old) business was going. Her business, she told me, had come to a screeching halt. Another volunteer commitment was in crisis and was now taking ALL of her time and so, she was not currently working her direct sales business.

The story was familiar. I experienced it all too often in my own direct sales organization. As a leader, I never did get over the feeling of disappointment each time it happened. Someone with amazing potential who was a fast starter was gone before they'd even gotten started; LIFE had taken the place of her business.

The field of direct sales can be exciting and given today's current economy, many people are giving it a try. No resumes or interviews are necessary; just a small amount of capital to purchase a kit. So then what is the secret to success in direct sales? What steps can be taken to ensure one's success?

1. Have goals and find a buddy for accountability to those goals. Whether you want to make enough money for your child's college tuition, a car payment or a kitchen remodel; working towards something tangible is important. Break that goal into bite-sized chunks. What amount of work will it take in order for you to earn the amount of money you need to attain your goal? Share your goal with your spouse, your manager or a friend and ask them to hold you accountable for your weekly and daily activity.
2. Make lists. Working in direct sales means that you are your own boss. That means there will be no one but YOU to tell you what to do each day. If you are reading the daily email tips from The Success Factory, that is a great start as we always endeavor to help you with ideas to help you grow your business. However, making a daily 'to do' list will keep you on task so that the distractions of working from home do not side-track you.
3. Stay positive and enthusiastic. Make a decision to always look at the positives in every situation. When you experience difficulties, DECIDE to look at them as challenges that will help you to grow stronger. If you are having a hard day, always DUMP UP to your upline or recruiter. Staying positive for your team members is an important key to success as they will follow your lead. ALSO, do not complain to your spouse about your business as they may just encourage you to quit. Having the support of your spouse is another important key to success.
 Quote of the Day:
Success is not dependent on your ability to do this business well, but your willingness to do it regularly.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Recondition your Cricut Mats with Bonding Memories - End of the Quarter and the JC Program

I'll be back on Tuesday!  Until then, here is another great video to share. 

Team News:
A quick reminder that this is the last month of the quarter and the end of the Junior Consultant Program.  What that means is everyone who sign up as a consultant before January 1st 2014 must submit a minimum of $300 in sales by the end of March in order to remain a CTMH consultant. 

For leaders: I strongly encourage you to check your stats under Advanced Reports and contact those team members who are under the $300 to remind them.  I send a personalized email telling them how much they still need to submit and a link to their OBA.  I also make suggestions on what they might want to purchase and the current Constant Campaign. 
There are just 2 weeks left - check your stats so you don't lose valuable team members!


Here is another great video by team member Noreen Petty. (see Tuesday's post for her bio)  …the more you use your Cricut, the quicker your mats stop sticking, and boy, can that expense add up!! Fortunately, there is a super, cost-effective way to recondition your Cricut mats so you can use them over and over again even after they lose their sticky!!  I’ve created a quick video to show you how I do it!!

Naomi's note:
The one caveat I have is to check the warranty on your machine - I didn't start doing this until my machine was out of warranty.  By then I had 14 old mats I was going to throw away until I tried this - it really works and is a great upsell with our Cricut cartridges!  I put painters tape around the edge to create a clean glue line.  Here in rainy Seattle I leave the mats overnight to dry.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Team Member Spotlight - Noreen Petty - Flip Flap Videos

Team Member Spotlight:
We have so many amazing members of our team who have created videos that I think would be so beneficial to everyone to help promote our wonderful products.  Instead of me reinventing the wheel, I've decided to start a new feature on the blog to spotlight and share their work and information. 
Here is our first featured team member who has graciously agreed to let me share her videos on Flip Flaps:
Noreen Petty, Senior Executive Director from Cibolo Texas, is the leader of the Scrappin’ Chatters team.  She is consistently tops in sales and recruiting.  I have had the privilege of working with her on the 2010 Advisory Board and am so glad to call her my friend.  She has amazing energy and has made the transition from a full time military career to full time CTMH consultant.  Here is a bit about her in her own words:
 I became a Close to My Heart Consultant in May 2003 after attending a CTMH-hosted Stamp Camp. I had never been to a demonstration or seen the products. Once I received my very first Idea Book, I immediately fell in love with the paper and color selections. Later that night I continued to look through the Idea Book and found more things I wanted, so I contacted the consultant to get information about becoming a consultant. I love getting my purchases at a discount, so figured with all the beautiful products I wanted, I should become a consultant and save money on my hobby!
A couple years later, Close to My Heart held their annual Convention in Las Vegas…one of my favorite cities! How could I resist a trip to Las Vegas with the ability to write it off on my taxes? I got way more than I expected during that Convention and that trip was a huge turning point for me, as I realized the full potential of my Close to My Heart business!

At first, I signed up just to receive the discount, but my hobby evolved into a business and just keeps growing. I know if you feel this is the right choice for you, I can help you make your new business a successful one!

I have earned seven all-expense paid vacations to New Zealand, the Mediterranean, Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Costa Rica, all compliments of Close To My Heart. I have built a team of more than 250 team members scattered throughout the United States and overseas. Our team is called the “Scrappin’ Chatters,” as when we get together…we can chat all day long (or maybe it’s me!)

You can check out Noreen's blog at

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Easily Interactive Card - 5 Things to Avoid for a More Productive Morning

Creative Corner:
The card I'm sharing today is another one from my Awesome Artists Board Swap organized by my upline, Karen Morris.  I love participating in this swap because, although it takes a LOT of time and I feel pressure to do my very best work, I end up with great artwork for each of the new paper packets to share with my customers.
This is a simple interactive card. All you do is to cut your cardstock at 11x 41/4 fold it in half then fold the front back on itself.  I paper pieced the cake to easily make it 3 colors.  I am teaching this card this month as well. Here is the recipe: 
Happy Birthday Cake Card
X7183B Lollydoodle Paper Packet
C1581 Inspiration Flourishes
B1442 Belated Birthday Wishes
A1139 Congrats Graduate
X5666 Twilight Cardstock
X5929 Whisper Cardstock
Z2173 Slate Ink Pad
Z2197 Pear Ink Pad
Z2164 Sorbet Ink Pad
Z2193 Cotton Candy Ink Pad
Z2164 Lagoon Ink Pad
Bulk338- Flamingo Dots
Z1263 Bitty Sparkles

Business Bit: More about Time Management
Five Things To Avoid In The Morning For A More Productive Day
By Stephanie Vozza

If you’ve ever woken up on the wrong side of the bed or been frustrated in rush hour traffic, you know that mornings can set the tone for the rest of the day. While the morning is comprised of several hours, Hillary Rettig, a productivity coach for entrepreneurs and author of The 7 Secrets of the Prolific (Infinite Art, 2011) says the way you spend the first 15 minutes could make or break you.

“For many people, the morning holds our freshest, most energetic hours,” Rettig says. “Good time managers value ever smaller amounts of time. Those first few minutes of your day – both at home and when you get to the office – are vital.”

Doing low-value work during this precious time can put your day off course. Here are five things you may be doing in the morning that will sabotage your productivity:

1. Going online. Checking email or social media when you wake up is a common way to start the day, but those few minutes you think you’ll spend online often turn into an hour or more. Rettig suggests staying offline until 10 a.m.
“It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of the Internet,” Rettig says. “Protect the morning for the work that’s important to you, then be available for others later in the day.”

2. Turning on the television. For many people, the morning routine looks like this: Take a shower. Watch some TV. Eat breakfast. Watch some TV. Walk the dog. Watch some TV.
“The television stretches out our morning ritual and distracts us from our mission,” Rettig says. “Don’t get anesthetized by the TV – leave it off.”
If you need background noise, she says music on the radio is better. Save talk radio for your morning commute.
3. Skipping a workout. Procrastination begins in the body, says Rettig, and deskwork helps foster it. Morning exercise gets the blood flowing and makes you more alert. If you don’t like to sweat or can’t fit in a long routine, simply start your day by stretching, twisting or dancing.
“It’s important to work out the stiffness in the body, especially if you sit all day,” she says.
4. Answering the phone. With caller ID, most of us have some idea who is calling when the phone rings. Unless you’re someone who handles crisis work or makes sales calls for a living, get the most out of your morning by turning off the phone, suggests Rettig.
“The phone can be highly interruptive,” she says, adding that even short calls can distract you and take you off track.
5. Tackling busy or dreaded work first. While it can be tempting to “warm up” your day with busy work or your least favorite tasks, Rettig says it’s a better idea to start with something important that’s likely to yield a positive outcome.
“For example, make the one or two sales calls you think are the most promising,” she says. “Accomplishments motivate you for the rest of the day.”

Stephanie Vozza is a freelance writer who has written about business, real estate and lifestyle for more than 20 years.

Read more:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Masculine Card - Quote of the Day

I'm on my way to sunny and warm Costa Rica with my fellow incentive trip earners!  My husband, Dave and I decided to do a bit of exploring on our own in the Arenal Volcano area before joining up with the CTMH crew at the Westin Playa Conchal.  If I get a good Internet connection, I'll post some photos here.  But for now, I'm sharing more of my artwork to inspire you - feel free to use anything you find here to help you in your business.  All I ask is a bit of credit :)  I've got posts ready for the next couple of weeks so be sure to check back on Tuesday's and Thursday's.

Creative Corner:
For my card classes I always try to include at least 1 masculine card.  They seem to be much harder to make for a gal who loves bling!  Here in one from my February classes.  It is quick and easy and features Timberline papers.  As usual for my class cards, it uses mostly bulk papers and cardstock with a bit of the others. The stamp set is D 1525 Casual Expressions from the Cricut Artiste Collection and you can easily change the sentiment to others in that set or many of our other stamps.  A bit of bulk Hemp Bakers Twine and bulk Triangle studs help to accessorize the card.

Quote of the Day:
Service is the lifeblood of any organization.  Everything flows from it and is nourished by it.  Customer service is not a's an attitude.

From 212  - the extra degree by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson