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Pampered Chef: Losing my motivation....

  1. susanr613

    susanr613 Senior Member Gold Member

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    Hello:

    I am in a quandry and am looking to you more experienced folks for your thoughts. (This is a long post)

    I started Pampered Chef in Nov 07, so last year was my first full year. I started the biz for the following reasons:
    - To get out of the house on a regular basis and meet people
    - To save $ for DS Bar Mitzvah
    - To upgrade my kitchen
    - To cook for and with others
    - To be able to afford the "nice to have" things

    Last year was a very good year. I achieved Career Sales, recruited a couple people, and did well for SATs. I also replaced some major appliances and went to Europe (not trip incentive). You'd think I'd be raring to go and achieve even more this year.

    So, here's what's throwing me off...I have hit two of my big goals. I have saved more than my half of the Bar Mitzvah budget (it's not till March 2010), and I have everything I need and want in my kitchen (and overflowing to my garage). Doing shows is still fun, but now more of an energy drain and source of guilt because I am either doing back to back shows when DS is not with me, or dragging him along.

    My year has not started too well either - my January and March were very light, and May isn't looking too good either. Instead of freaking out like I would do last year, now I really don't care.

    So, I'm at the point now where my why's have either been fulfilled or aren't relevant or important. I'm thinking about whether or not the "why" that is still there, namely, making $ for the nice to haves, is worth the cost.

    I already know that my director is not a good resource to turn to for this discussion. Pampered Chef is her life and she has a hard time seeing things any other way. In fact, I have heard her make disparaging comments about team members who do not follow the trajectory she wants them to follow.

    So, I'm turning to this board for your reflections on your PC journeys, especially if they have been bumpy.

    Thanks so much -
     
    Apr 2, 2009
    #1
  2. chefann

    chefann Legend Member Gold Member

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    That's what's nice about this - you can back off and let the "why" come to you.

    If you have specific "nice to haves" in mind, sit down and figure out how much you need for the ones you really want. You may find that a show a month will be enough to tuck something away in your "whatever" fund, while still keeping you active so that you can step things back up if/when you have another big why.

    As far as your Director, you may need to remove yourself from her presence if she starts making disparaging comments about your activity level. I just don't understand the Directors who want everyone to be a go-getter, when that's not what those consultants want. I'd love to have a few people on my team who submit small but consistent sales!

    One of my cluster-mates is going through a similar decision right now. She'll be just about inactive (under the old plan) and have a past host call out of the blue wanting to do a catalog show. So she's not stressing about it, but will take the sales where they come. She just told me the other day, "It must not be my time to quit yet."
     
    Apr 2, 2009
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  3. Nanisu

    Nanisu Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Do you love this job? If you do you need to renew your passion. Revisit why you are doing this. My passion has changed a couple of times in the past 9 years.
     
    Apr 2, 2009
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  4. kam

    kam Legacy Member Staff Member

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    Oh My Gosh! Susan, those could be my words too! I started about the same time you did, too (Sept 07).

    I feel the same way. I don't know if it is the new career plan or what.

    I think I have seen other posts from you that you work a full-time job in addition to PC(?).

    I know that lately, with all the stress of companies scaling back - I have needed to work harder and longer hours at my FT job. It is important for me to appear to be always available and that takes time away from other things - PC included. So that has hurt my PC business. Are you feeling addiitonal stress from your FT job?? Could that be contributing to your feelings?

    For me, I guess, PC has always been a part-time thing to me. And with the new career-plan, I can "be" inactive" in the month I don't submit sales. I don't like that. Sometimes life takes over and I don't have sales in a given month. Sometimes my sales are: Feb $3000, Mar $0, April $2000. The new plan is going to force me to hold over a show to the next month so I am always active. And YES, being inactive for one month IS important (even though you don't lose your Career Sales) since for next year's KE, you will need to be active the 3 months in a row prior to KE. I wonder if Sample Packs and Changeover Kits will require so many months of activity...(off topic, sorry).

    But, the point is that the new rules are making me feel like I am "less" of a consultant on the months I don't submit. So, this is contributing to my "I don't care" attitude right now. And, while I know consistency IS important, my day job NEEDS to take priority.

    Susan, one of your reasons for getting into PC was to to go out and meet people. Is this still true? This is actually one of my main reasons I started, too. And, since this is a main reason, I find that when I run into a string of "not-so-good" hosts, this can really cause discouragement, too. If I have a string of hosts who are rude, cancel or blame me for all their problems, I find myself just not wanting to deal with the public for a bit. How have your February hosts been? If they have been good, focus on that.

    Sorry, so long, but I understand what you are going through right now.
     
    Apr 2, 2009
    #4
  5. wadesgirl

    wadesgirl Legend Member Gold Member

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    Susan,
    I felt the same way last year. After taking a good long look at myself and posting about it here, I discovered it wasn't really about my business it was me. I ended up going to the doctor who helped alot. I think some of it had to do with the long rough winter we had last year. I only had one booking in March at the time and none in April and May. Once I realized I loved my business and loved what I do, that's all it took. I had two great months in April and May last year after that. If I would have let myself get down in March I probably wouldn't even be doing this right now.

    By the way, check out my thread "It's all about your attitude" in the Chef's Lounge.
     
    Apr 2, 2009
    #5
  6. pampcheflisa

    pampcheflisa Advanced Member Gold Member

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    Susan, I can totally sympathize with you on this. I am going through this exact predicament myself. I work f/t too, and I don't really need my PC money (although it's nice to have). I started it b/c I love PC, and I wanted to be involved in it and my consultant quit and thought I might as well make the commission off of it in my circle of friends. Things were great and I did put effort into it, but found that things really "came to me" until last fall. I do have a few time constraints, so sometimes it's hard for me to do all the things I know I'm supposed to do to thrive in this. I feel like right now I am trying to balance way too many things, but I'm not sure if I want to give up PC just yet or not.
    One difference is that I love my director and so part of me feels like I'd be letting her down if I let my business go, I usually am in the top 3 sellers in her group.

    not sure if that helps at all - just know that you are not alone!!
     
    Apr 2, 2009
    #6
  7. jrstephens

    jrstephens Legend Member

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    I feel the same way Susan. I give it to God and let Him provide me with the shows and orders that He wants me to have. When He thinks my time is over then the orders will stop.

    The first several months of selling I worried myself to death if I did not earn something or have major sales. I finally made the right decision and prayed and prayed until I felt comfortable and no worry about the shows or orders. It is really a good feeling too and my stress level is way down. And my sales and shows have had a steady flow. They may not be big but it is just enough for me to able to balance part time job and life with two kids, my new clerk's jod and my other side job with PC. I love the extra $ but I never depend on it and that way I do not hurt if I do not have it.
     
    Apr 2, 2009
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  8. heat123

    heat123 Legend Member Silver Member

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    I totally have the same attitude! If it's not meant to be, all orders and party interests will stop! Until then, I keep chuggin along, even in these times of recession and tax increases for my state! Not stressing over it though. What happens, happens and is meant to be.;)
     
    Apr 2, 2009
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  9. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Susan, there's nothing wrong with taking a step back. Clearly you're good at this. Maybe your light schedule is a blessing allowing you to move from gung-ho to hobbyist. If back-to-back shows stress you (and your DS), make a pledge to do only a certain number of shows a week or month. There's nothing wrong with saying that your calendar is full when you have only 2 shows scheduled for a particular month. You get to decide what constitutes a full calendar.

    Give yourself some time to process. If it's truly time for you to completely step away from PC, you'll know.I'd just hate to see you lose your career sales and then decide that you want to stick around.
     
    Apr 2, 2009
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  10. legacypc46

    legacypc46 Senior Member Gold Member

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    I think these feelings are all normal and simply part of the cycle of being a consultant. I hit my first two years like gangbusters. Now I am in a completely different phase of life. I struggled for a while over how to mesh PC with my new priorities, but then I decided to stand back and simply see what happened. That decision was incredibly liberating. I no longer sweat my calendar. Instead, I focus on enjoying the people I meet while doing the things that matter most to me. I am doing fewer shows by choice, but I am enjoying them.

    I think Rae typed some wonderful advice.
     
    Apr 2, 2009
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  11. chefsteph07

    chefsteph07 Legacy Member

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    That's true about the career sales, that the only thing that stinks for you if you get out and then decide you want back in!

    Why don't you just commit to turning in the $150 every month to stay active while you decide what you want to do, that way if you do decide to get out you will know in your heart that it was the right decision and you thought of every avenue.

    I do know what you mean though about wondering if you are done..I went through that 2 years ago where I didn't really pursue any bookings and just did shows that came my way, or when I got guests at shows who approached ME about doing shows. I had a slow spring and summer, but then I kinda got out of my "funk" (that's what I called it) and went back at it. Only you know when PC has run its course for you.
    Good luck!
     
    Apr 2, 2009
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  12. stefani2

    stefani2 Veteran Member

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    here are my suggestions:
    - take a break (1-2 weeks)
    - change your 'why'
    - do things different (try something new - show, products, recipes)
    - do a Dream Board (give yourself NEW goals)
     
    Apr 2, 2009
    #12
  13. Intrepid_Chef

    Intrepid_Chef Legend Member Silver Member

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    Wow ... it's NOT just me and my friends!

    My church seems to be filled with people in direct sales. The pastor and some of the members do ACN .. his wife sells jewelry. The pastor once said he learned, "If your why doesn't make you cry ... it's not big enough."

    My why ... at first it was to supplement my income. Then it was to REPLACE my downsized income. It never seemed to happen. In the past year, I figure I've lost $4,000 or more in post-tax income due to budget cuts at work.

    Now I've FINALLY regained the 8 hours that were taken from me 11 months ago. (How many people had to be laid off or leave this earth for that to happen? They cut 6 positions and one person died!) And meanwhile, since the most recent round of layoffs, I've gained some new responsibilities and truth be told, was frequently squeezing 40 hours or more into 4 days.

    But even before that, I felt like I was spinning my wheels ... sending out newsletters only to get just 2 replies, both from people who wanted to be removed. Making phone calls that would not be returned. Sending e-mails that went ignored. And I think that so much has happened outside of PC that I'm still shell-shocked. The survivors guilt after the layoffs, the traumatic death of a co-worker, the constant mental health struggles of a friend ...

    I just submitted a $150 show (which includes $30 of my own purchases.) So I am officially active in April. I think I am done for a little while.
     
  14. chefsteph07

    chefsteph07 Legacy Member

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    Di,
    Having traumatic events in your life can certainly leave you shell shocked and feeling guilty, that's for sure...

    I would hate for anyone to leave the business, but as I stated in my above post, I think you are doing what's right for you, you submitted for April, now see what happens.

    However, I saw your signature line w/ your goals written...are you following them? Doing 3-2-1? Pampering a business? Everyone goes through lulls and ups and downs in this type of biz. I have a PC pullover jacket from Merrill and I wore that to the mall a couple weeks ago, I got a fundraiser for a Relay for Life team, and 2 shows from a jewelry store I was in, the jewelers were asking me about PC and I got bookings out of both of them...you just never know...
     
    Apr 3, 2009
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  15. PCJenni

    PCJenni Veteran Member

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    I just went through a period of doubt about my business too. I had a great Jan for me (1900 in sales). I had a full calendar for Feb and March (4-5 shows each month) All but 1 show for Feb and March cancelled... 8 shows in all cancelled in 2 months. I was shell shocked. I had just promoted in Director, had 2 people falling off my team. I thought "ok, the universe is telling me something". Then all of sudden I got phoen calls out of the blue to book shows in April. I have 6 solid shows booked in April, signed 2 people on March 31st and the remaining 3 people on my team each recruited someone. Ok, the universe is telling me something else now. The great thing about this business is you can "ebb and flow" with it. You don't have to conquer the world each month!
     
    Apr 3, 2009
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  16. heather223

    heather223 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Susan, I agree with what everyone else said. Take a break for awhile. Do the 1-2 shows a month to get your extras and then let everything else fall into place. I know you are good at this and would hate to see you leave.
     
    Apr 3, 2009
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  17. doughmama

    doughmama Advanced Member Silver Member

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    I've been having a difficult time lately in motivating myself. I find that Pampered Chef is always in the back of mind- how many shows do I have, who do I need to call, ... Stressing myself out. I think about walking away, but I LOVE the products and find when I am at a show, I love talking about the products and the business and it really does sell itself.

    So I know that I need to step back, breathe and stop being so hard on myself. I will continue to get shows on my calendar, just maybe not as many as I had the first year. But I will stick with it and know that eventually that real passion I had in the beginning will return. Kind of like a marriage - ups and downs but the roller coaster is always worth the ride.:)
     
    Apr 3, 2009
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  18. stefani2

    stefani2 Veteran Member

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    what about only doing, say, 2 days of Pampered Chef a week? That is enough of a break the rest of the week that you should be focused and motivated. Pick business hours - ex: 9-11 a.m. Monday and Thursday. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE 'FREE' DAYS, TOO!

    oh ya, and spending part of your comission on something special always helps to get motivated again!:D
     
    Apr 3, 2009
    #18
  19. pampchefrhondab

    pampchefrhondab Senior Member

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    I'm with you - my motivation is shot! I was just thinking about quting PC once I run out of bookings, but for some reason I keep getting pushed back. My husband just found out he is going to be off of work two weeks w/o pay. One week in May and the other in Sept. I'm so glad they gave us warning so we can plan. We will be okay, but now I want to work my PC business harder to make up for the lost income so we don't have to touch savings.

    I'm going to work this weekend to get back into the groove. I have my first show of the new season on Monday. I'm looking forward to seeing how everyone responds to our new products! I also have a bridal shower the end of the month I need to get ready for.

    I really need to start looking at getting a booth at a fair. I need some new customers:)!
     
  20. susanr613

    susanr613 Senior Member Gold Member

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    Many thanks to everyone for such great advice and atta girls. I tend to either throw myself at things or back off completely. You have helped me see the middle ground and that it's ok to be there.

    I am going to bookmark this thread and refer back to it when I'm getting too stressed.

    Thanks so much!!!
     
    Apr 3, 2009
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  21. raebates

    raebates Legend Member Staff Member

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    Hey, Susan, you can always PM, email, or even phone me when you're feeling overwhelmed.
     
    Apr 4, 2009
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