Moving Forward

There have been a LOT of changes in my life over the last month. Some horrible, some great. But I couldn’t really say anything about it until now.

I am sure some of you have skipped ahead of my text, as the photos below caught your eye. So I’ll start with the horrible and end with the great. As many of you know, I have a day job… well… had a day job. The photos below were take 2 days after a rampant fire destroyed our building (no one was hurt, THANK GOD) and left us, quite literally, in the dust.

Photo 1: The warehouse from the back end/loading zone. No roof, no internal structure, floor littered with 2-stories worth of charred product.

20120206-131607.jpg

Photo 2: A look to the right, where you can see our neighbor’s destroyed warehouse. The fire started on this wall, on their side. An electrical conduit overheated, sparked, and set the whole place ablaze.

20120206-131617.jpg

Photo 3: What is left of my office. Luckily the personal belongings I had there were nothing of value, or that could not be replaced.

20120206-131628.jpg

Photo 4: The building from the front end. Upstairs are the owner’s offices, below the door to my office and the door to our common room/lunch area.

20120206-131801.jpg

It’s gone. All of it. Turned to ashes in under 2 hours time. The fireΒ  happened on the 16th of January at 9:30 at night. Being at night was why no one was present, and so no one was hurt. But it is also why it got so out of hand – no one was there to try and stop it, or even knew it was happening until the roof was on fire and could be seen from the freeway.

While it was deemed an accident, as it was an electrical short that sparked, that doesn’t seem to make things any easier for the owners. While the fire didn’t start or end in our unit, we suffered the most damage by far. We were the only unit that burned from front door to back door, and one of only two left with no roof. This was a truly devastating fire for our business, and business around us, and will take time to recuperate.

The good news is that they WILL recuperate. They will be back on their feet, and they will continue on. It is just a matter of time. However, they will have to go on without me.

I had decided back in September that 2012 would be the year I went full time with The Pampered Chef. I had a plan, and was putting my ducks in a row to make a smooth transition from Office Manager to Soon-To-Be PC Director in March. The plan was complete with time to help the company replace me, and for me to even train said replacement. I was going to gradually ramp up to full-time Chef status over 3 months.

When will I learn? For all the careful planning I do, for all the research, for all the work and effort that goes into having and executing a game plan… when will I understand that I’m NOT in charge?

I’ve had no choice – My resignation from this company was not what I wanted to give them, especially after they stood by me when Abigail came so early. Having a feeling of “forced” enthusiasm masking desperate attempts towards growing my business is not how I saw me taking on this next stage. But as my mother so wisely put it, “It’s now or never, hon.”

So Be It.

Fast forward to today, and you are looking at a Full-Time Pampered Chef Consultant. I am working on getting 4 more shows for the Month of February and 6 (SIX) more shows for March. I am less that $1000 in sales away from my very first raise with the company ($15,000 in sales milestone! Woot!) and a mere 3 recruits away from promoting to Director. The goal is to meet the first milestone no later than the end of March (but, really, I should be able to do it in Feb.) and to reach the second so that I can attend my first Director’s meeting (as a fully fledged Director) on May 2nd.

The path my Director has put me on is fast paced, but so rewarding. Before a quarter is over, I expect to be pulling in more than double what I was making at my day job. And working about the same amount of hours, or less, each month. How cool is that?

The best part though, is that I am now a WAHM (Work at Home Mom) and can stay home with my baby girl. With her ever growing schedule of appointments, therapy sessions, classes, and play dates, it is more important than ever that I am both a Stay-at-home-Mom AND a financial contributor to our family.

So forgive me for this one, but woman on a mission here:

If you would like to host a Pampered Chef Party in February or March, please leave a comment with your email address (or just email me at jenfrancis.pc@gmail.com). I would LOVE to come to your home and cook for you and your friends, and help you get a ton of FREE and discounted product for your kitchen.

And if you, or anyone you know, is looking for extra income (aren’t we all???) then consider this: Only 6% of ALL working women in the US make a 6 figure income. But 80% of those women are in Direct Sales like me. AND, only 5% of Pampered Chef consultants are male, but they make up the majority of the top 3% of sales for our company each year. Can’t argue with those results!! Not everyone needs a new job. But everyone needs more $$$. So if you need a full-time gig to pay bills, or if you need something on the side to pay off credit cards or pay for extras (like shoes and purses, or a family trip to Disneyland) then PLEASE come talk to me. Or check out my website at http://www.pamperedchef.biz/jenfrancis

Ok, shameless plug over. πŸ™‚ And really, please, say a prayer for my former bosses, Nick and Christine. They are doing a phenomenal job of picking up the pieces and moving forward with their lives and their business. And from one small business owner to another – it isn’t easy, but well worth the effort.

Thank you for your prayers and your support, as always. God Bless you.

-Jen

Pampered Chef

So, I’ve been going back and forth for quite some time about whether or not I should mention my latest endeavor on this blog. So far, the answer has been no. And the reasoning was because this blog is about me as a mother. It’s about our family. It’s about Abby. It’s about our life together. It is NOT about my work. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is becoming more than just a “job.” It’s becoming more of a mission. A mission to be home with Abigail during the day.

So, I’ve decided to blog about it. Last October, I became a Pampered Chef Consultant. Actually, I meant to become one several months before that. I was supposed to become a consultant on June first, 2010. Well… I sort of ended up in the hospital that day… So we had to postpone. πŸ˜‰

I’ve been loving being a consultant. It’s been a lot of fun! And the perks of getting to use PC products all the time makes me do a happy dance. I’ve been using Pampered Chef stuff since I was about 15 when my Mom introduced me to them in our own kitchen. My shows, and therefore my sales, have been going well. I have a lot of fun with my shows, and my guests are a blast! I’m excited to do my first Bridal Shower next month.

But the best part of it all has been the team I became a part of. My director (the woman who recruited me) has been selling Pampered Chef for 18 years! She is a great teacher, and an Executive Director. She has a team of over 400 consultants! (Wowza!) And on a monthly basis, a handful of us that are based locally meet at her house to learn. We try out all the new products, we give and receive insider’s tips, and we build a support system. Plus, we always eat really good food! It’s awesome!

But I didn’t just join because it is fun and I like the products. Those are perks. I joined because we needed the extra income. Because of Abby’s compromised immune system, she can’t be put in daycare. In time, this will change, but for now it is simply something we have to accept. So this meant I had to go down to part-time work, while my mother watches her (God, bless her!). PC is giving me a chance to help our little family stay afloat.

I’ve learned that the hardest part of being a consultant is getting people to host shows. It’s all about networking, because the “selling” isn’t work. This stuff sells itself – quite literally. I can’t tell you how many people come to a show JUST to get something they’ve been needing or wanting for a while. 85% of people who show up to a show buy something. Over half of the people who buy at a show order at least one item they already had in mind before showing up. The work there is so very simple. The real work comes in getting people to open up their homes. They say it takes about 6 months to really get rolling with a constant flow of succesful parties. And here I am, about 6 months later, looking forward to April because it has the most amount of shows I’ve ever done in one month!

Ultimately, the goal is to only need Pampered Chef, and quit the day job. We hope to have reached that goal by the end of this year. I really think I can do it, too! And that would mean that I would get to stay home with Abigail for good. The dream is to be a stay-at-home-Mom until we are done having kids and the youngest one gets to kindergarten. Then maybe I’ll go back to an office setting…. but we’ll see. If I love PC the way I love it now, I’m guessing probably not. πŸ˜‰

Anywho – now you know. And I feel good that I shared!

-Jen