Thoughts & Struggles!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I’ve been getting questions wondering if I achieved my Career Sales Goal last week.

Sadly, no I did not. I was only $250.00 away from reaching it so I thought it was very do-able, but that was not the case.

Really last week was an eye opening week for me; actually it was like a slap in the face of reality for me.

My husband has been telling me “you work hard on your blog; posting daily, making videos, working on classes and projects; we do live events has it been worth it?”

I guess I really never looked at the money aspect of it. I blog and share because I love crafting. I didn’t look at the time it was taking away from family and activities because “I” was enjoying it. Now that the kids are leaving and moving on I see the time go fast!

Last week was sort of a test. I not only blogged everyday like I always do, but also did a video on each post. Yes, my sharing numbers went up and pins went up and that was Fantastic. I was happy and excited!

My husband said that’s GREAT, so did you get any orders or comments at least? Um, No.

So I posted some blog candy and my sales goal to see if you actually liked the treat holders and videos. I loved all the comments and was happy to hear so many people enjoyed the treat holders and the videos. Most were making them with grandkids, for grandkids, or co-workers.

I got lots of encouragement on the sales goal portion, but no sales the first day and a few the second.

So what have I learned?

I believe most of my viewers are demonstrators which I love to share my ideas with, but would appreciate them commenting more on my blog.

So what are the Pro’s and Con’s to continue daily blogging and sharing?

– I love crafting
– I love stamping
– I love to share
– I love to inspire other’s
– I love to teach other’s about stamping and crafting
– I love Stampin’ Up! products

– Lot’s of time blogging
– Lot’s of time creating
– Lot’s of time preparing
– Time video taping
– Time to do Live Events
– Taking away time from Family
– handful of orders

Okay, so what it really boils down to is a whole lot of time and no value for my time. Yes, we all have family time taken away when we work, but we also get paid when we work; when you spend all that time and not get “paid” I guess that’s where time comes into play as a con.

Don’t get me wrong I do have a handful of truly loyal online customer’s and I SO Appreciate all your orders and your friendships and encouraging words. You do not realize how much I appreciate that!

Make sure to check your mailboxes this week as I’ve mailed out a gift for each one of you to show my appreciation! You may have already received it.

Bill said, “focus more on the Live Events and less daily blogging. Work more on the Live Event projects and featured project for the month.”

Then I get emails like this:

“You seem to be charging for everything now (PDF files) and I’m unsubscribing.”

(Really, I think I give a lot away every single day.)

“I’m a hobby demonstrator and only order for myself, but would LOVE the PDF file as I can’t order from you because I have to keep up my quarterly minimum myself.”

(I understand that you are a demonstrator and that you like me have to submit a min. amount every quarter to remain active. If you are part of my team I’ll give you the PDF file if not; again I’m sorry you are another customer to me.)

What am I saying? To be honest with you I don’t really know myself. I’m caught in a hard place. This has truly been the HARDEST blog post I’ve had to write or have ever written.

I’m not sure I can or want to give up my daily blogging. UGH!

I know I may lose quite a few followers with today’s post; but I felt I had to express my feelings.

I also want to reiterate my Thankfulness and Appreciation for my loyal customers; I SO APPRECIATE your friendships and your Stampin’ Up! business.

I know a lot of you order from a variety of demonstrators and if I weren’t a demonstrator I’d do the same thing.

If you see a project or idea on someone’s blog and use it; I feel it is only right to order those supplies from the person you got the idea from. This in a sense pays them for their time and if anything else uplifts their day!

Thanks for your time in reading my thoughts and struggles. I have much to ponder.


41 thoughts on “Thoughts & Struggles!

  1. Shari McElroy-Sinclair says:

    Glenda, I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a struggle. I do understand. I make dozens of cards a month for my “card ministry”. With the cost of product, postage and the many hours it takes to make the cards and write a personal note inside, my husband, who supports everything I do, has begun questioning the worth of the time the card ministry takes away from our lives. Rarely does the recipient comment that they’ve received a card llet alone acknowledge the time iinvolved in making handcrafted cards. I didn’t start the card ministry for praise, but everyone likes to know that their efforts are appreciated. It is a big expense, and being retired and on a fixed income, I too, have much to consider as to how I should proceed or to just close the ministry. My thoughts are with you at this time. I would hate to see you stop blogging, you are very good at what you do in addition to being an excellent teacher. I do undertand the crossroad you are facing. I just wanted to let you know, I’m thinking of you. Shari McElroy-Sinclair

  2. Gerri K says:

    I’m sorry I haven’t taken more time to leave comments on your blog. I DO appreciate the time and effort you put into your posts and videos. I LOVED your Minion Treat Holder but didn’t realize there was a video until I read this post today. The video portion doesn’t show on the email unless you open up to your website. So I guess I’ve missed quite a few videos.
    I also LOVE your live events. Thank you!
    I am a demonstrator and I admire the generosity of demonstrators like you who share your creations. I’m sorry I haven’t expressed that more often.
    I hope you do what makes you happy, whatever that may be.

  3. Diane E says:

    Hi Glenda . . . just wanted to let you know I enjoy your blogs daily and live events (when I remember them, even with your reminder). . . so I usually watch the video after . . .it does take a lot of your time and you fortunately have a supportive husband . . . if you need to slack off a bit to take time for yourself that is understandable . . I order from you occasionally because I enjoy your projects and enthusiasm . . I will continue to do this . . just wanted you to know . . being retired and an ex-delmonstrator I am limited as to what I can spend. Keep up the fun work, but take time for yourself and family too!

  4. Jennifer says:

    I love your live events. I did enjoy the class you did this week with us making projects with you. You have wonderful ideas and techniques for cards and projects. I do enjoy your blog. I know it takes time out of your schedule for you and Bill to do the live events but I look forward to viewing them each time. Thanks so much!

  5. Mary says:

    I enjoy your sharing but I also know the flip side of blogging too. I only post 3 days a week and if I get one comment in a month that is a lot. People just don’t take the time to comment. I must take more time now to leave positive comments for all those I go to see everyday and spread some of the love to those I visit everyday. I do like your videos and your ideas, they are wonderful.

  6. Judy H says:

    Hi Glenda. This is, obviously, a good time for me to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU so much for inspiring me and for taking the time to showcase your talents! I truly respect and appreciate your dedication and passion for your craft. I don’t believe that your lack of sales or feedback is in any way indicative of how much your audience enjoys and appreciates the projects you offer, but I understand your need take a step back to re-evaluate your efforts. You have an amazing talent, and the time and effort you put into blogging your projects is very much appreciated by those of us who follow you and tune in to watch your live presentations. As disappointing as it may be that you’re not receiving monetary compensation or personal accolades for your daily contributions to your blogs and workshops, please know that you will truly be missed should you decide to quit blogging and demonstrating. My only advice to you would be to continue to do what makes you happy. If you aren’t sharing through your blog with a sense of gratitude and fulfillment, then you’re going to continue to feel like you’re “wasting your time”. Best of luck, friend.

  7. Jean Piersanti says:

    Bravo… I know this was hard to write, but you did a wonderful job. I too am a demonstrator, blogger and YouTube creator. I go through a lot of the same feelings and issues that you are struggling with. Thank you for posting this, it was a wonderful and honest read.

  8. Eileen McClean says:

    So sorry to hear of your disappointment .i love visiting your blog and your treat ideas were great. I am from Canada and cannot order from you but feel bad when you receive some unkind comments.I do not blog and know it must be so time consuming.
    I wish you all the best and apologies for not leaving comments especially after I enjoy the ideas so much!!,

  9. Kathy Horton says:

    So very sorry you are struggling, Glenda. Also, sorry I have not taken the time to comment on your blog. I look forward to your blog everyday. You are so very talented and generous. I really like hearing about your family, too. You are a wonderful wife and mother. You have had a lot of changes in your life lately, which I can relate to and are difficult. I wish you the very best and respect whatever decision you make for yourself and your family.

  10. Mary Alice Bellis says:

    I feel your struggle, and have to say that blogging isn’t always that satisfying. It’s hard work, but you have to realize that most of it is done for ourselves. Because we love it. then you have people like me, another demonstrator, who follows lots of blogs, and breezes through the emails admiring what fun thing people are making, but not always stopping to read the blogs. That’s the reality, and I realized that when I blogged. The only time I got comments is if I entered a challenge. Reality bites! I love your projects, and videos, and have on occasion watched the Live Events, but I have to admit I don’t have the time to stop and make comments as I look through blogs. Your letter today makes me realize that I have to support the people that take the time to blog, by showing a little love, even if I don’t order from you.
    I don’t think there is anything wrong with selling tutorial, as I buy them myself for projects I like, and don’t want to spend my time figuring it out when I can buy it from somebody who did all the work already. so, give that a try, too.
    My advice, cut back on the daily blogging, and nobody will really notice. We will always appreciate as many posts as you care to make.

  11. Char Wilson says:

    Glenda, I’m one of those that have been following you for quite some time on you blog and joining in from time to time for your live stream events. I always enjoy them and your banter with your husband.
    I am a hobby demonstrator and also have a blog, although since falling and severely breaking my right wrist, on December 17th, haven’t been able to even use my Occasions pre order items, let alone blog 🙁 So I have been checking out you and other demonstrators’ blogs just to see what you guys have done. The chance that I’ll even get to use my new things before the end of SAB is very slim.
    But, that isn’t why I chose to reply today. I guess I stayed in the background because I was told that demonstrators don’t want other demonstrators commenting on their blogs.
    And, I agree with you about the fact that if you get a cool idea from someone’s blog and they offer a PDF, buy it from then it at least out in a small order.

    I understand your frustration.

    I have always been in awe of the demonstrators that do you tube and live streaming events and just assumed that they get a lot of orders from those. Now, I know differently that this isn’t always the case.

    As a hobbyist, I’m just happy if I make my quarterly minimums and have told myself if/when it comes between my time with my husband, I’ll quit.

    But, I know that’s a tough decision if you have a big downline or are at a milestone in your career.

    Please know, that although I don’t know you personally, I hear your frustration and hope you and your husband find the right path for you..

    Thankfully, I have Swype on my Kindle so I could leave a comment.

    Big hugs

  12. Susan Rossman says:

    It may seem like a struggle, but it is a decision that needs to be made. Comments aren’t sales either nor are thank you comments. Every business owner needs to focus on the profit margin to make it successful. Put your energy into those tasks that lead to sales OR consider this a labor of love. Everyone in business has the same struggle and probably harder for women to balance due to the role she takes in her family. Balance is always good to keep the important things in focus. Kudos to your husband for helping you keep your balance.

  13. Barbara Palczewski says:

    So sorry to hear as I read your blog! As a recent hobby demonstrator, I follow you because I could not create the cards I make without your inspiration! I have not been blessed with the creativity that you show and share so freely and lovingly. The least I can do is submit a minimum order to be able to watch your videos and get the PDF! You and Bill do a great job! Know that there are people out there who care and I feel should be willing to at least support your creativity with a minimum order! Whatever you decide hoping we’ll still be able to keep in touch! Although we have never met, I feel we have a friendship!

  14. Lesly says:

    I just recently found your blog and have enjoyed visiting it when I have time. You are an inspiration to so many people. I understand the time investment you put in all that you do. In my business I had to decide what my goals were. Obviously some of the goals were monetary, however I thoroughly enjoy sharing and teaching and believe I have found the balance that works for me. I hope you find that balance and know that you are truly appreciated!

  15. Jean Baraclough says:

    Glenda, your honest and heartfelt “letter” to us all has made me stop and realize that I am one of those who hasn’t always let you (and others as well) know how much I enjoy and appreciate your work, your talent, and the time you dedicate to teaching. I have ordered in the past, but since then have become a demonstrator. You are right. A lot of your followers are demonstrators, I think, who look to you for inspiration. And it isn’t fair that we take and don’t give back. I can’t financially afford to order at retail, but I would buy PDF tutorials if you offered them. I understand your dilemma, but hope you will continue to do what you truly do so well.

  16. Tracy says:

    Hi, I couldn’t read this and not leave a comment, I have to say I have mixed feelings about what you posted, and what you hoped to achieve by doing so. I joined Stampin’ Up this summer essentially as a hobby demonstrator but with some thoughts that perhaps I could make a go of it as a business as well. I found your blog through some of the blog hops that many of the demonstrators participate in. But I think we have to be realistic, there are many, many, many, Stampin Up demonstrators out here, and Stampin up is giving many incentives to become a hobby demonstrator and to buy items for yourself and get the 20% off and free shipping. Also let’s be honest, Stampin’ Up has great products, but is pretty expensive compared to other companies and other companies have great products as well, so I think it will/is very difficult to make a living doing this. Which leads me to my main point, you should do all of the things you are talking about blogging videos etc because you want to do them. If you are doing them to get cyber comments and appreciate then you are doing it for the wrong reason. Don’t get me wrong all of us crafters like to have our work appreciated, but there are again many blogs to look at, and few people comment, but it doesn’t mean they don’t like your projects or get inspired. I also think it takes a long time to build a following that will build a business in a very crowded space. That said I like the projects you show, and occasionally leave comments. I personally rarely take time to watch videos, unless I really want to learn something, I am more a fan of picture tutorials. So my final thoughts are do it if you are enjoying it, if not, don’t, and I don’t think blogging to complain that you aren’t getting cyber appreciation will help you. I have seen many blog post like that and personally I find they rub me the wrong way, as if you are begging for attention. Do it for you, not because you expect anything back.

  17. Susan R says:

    Glenda, Don’t give up what you love, but as many have said in previous comments, you need to determine what works for you. I appreciate what you do and give freely. Charging for tutorials is understandable and fully justified as this is your job and intellectual property. You don’t receive a “hard salary” so sales are important. I personally don’t leave comments on any blogs very often, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what you do. You are a talented, creative person and I wish you success and joy in whatever you do.

  18. Susan K says:

    Glenda, I’ve been a mostly-silent follower since the Paper Craft Crew started and your cards caught my eye. I also follow so many other blogs that I’ve lost count! I enjoy your work and appreciate you sharing your time and talent with us, as I do the others. The problem with ordering from you lies with Stampin Up’s policy of charging for shipping. I actually had an order ready to click send to help you reach your goal but when it totaled and shipping was more than the cost of another stamp set, I just couldn’t do it! If they had free shipping at certain levels, I could afford to order from you and the other bloggers I love without feeling like I’m being cheated. Yes, I know it costs to ship the order, but other online companies manage to offer free shipping as an incentive. I’ve learned to substitute “bigboxstore” stamps into the cute designs I see online. Encourage Stampin Up to help you reach your goals by offering free shipping, at least on orders at certain levels. I agree with the others–do what makes you happy. Good luck with your decision.

  19. glenda says:

    Thanks Susan, I totally get where you are coming from with the amount paid for shipping. It seems like there should be a flat rate for the box size or something like that or better yet order so much and it ships for free. Thanks for commenting and checking out my blog.

  20. glenda says:

    Thanks Susan, I have put up my Monthly Projects PDF file for a flat fee of $9.95. They can be found in my Photo Gallery under Featured Stamp Set of the Month. I appreciate you checking out my blog and for leaving me a comment. I appreciate your support and friendship.

  21. glenda says:

    Thanks Tracy, I appreciate your candor and your insights. I have decided to keep blogging as much as I can but not to sweat it. I know I have loyal fans and customer’s who support me in any way that they can and I appreciate that very much. I wish you success in your own Stampin’ Up! journey.

  22. glenda says:

    Hi Jean, I appreciate your comments and have put my past PDF files up for sale on my blog. You will find them in the Photo Gallery under Featured Stamp Set of the Month. I wish you the best in your Stampin’ Up! business and I appreciate you taking the time to stop by my blog and checking it out.

  23. glenda says:

    Hi Susan, Yes each month I have a featured Stamp Set that the PDF file is FREE with a min. order or Now you can also just purchase the PDF files if you like. Thanks so much for checking out my blog and for your comments.

  24. glenda says:

    Thanks Barbara, I so appreciate all your support and comments. I wish you the best with your Stampin’ Up! business and I appreciate you orders and friendship as well.

  25. glenda says:

    Thanks Susan, I appreciate the comments and yes I do need to find a balance that works for me and my business as well as my family. It’s a work in progress. 🙂

  26. glenda says:

    Thanks Lesly, I’m working on finding my balance and I know it is a work in progress and it will come in time. I appreciate you leaving me a comment.

  27. glenda says:

    Hi Char, Thanks so much for commenting and following along with the live events and for leaving a comment. I hope your wrist is doing better and you’ll be stamping again soon.

  28. glenda says:

    Thanks Mary Alice, I appreciate the advice and I have stopped stressing about my post; if I don’t have anything stamped and ready maybe a blast from the past is my post; I myself forget what I posted month’s ago or even a year ago and maybe it fits the occasion or a sale going on. That saves me time. I have put my PDF files up for purchase and you can find them in my Photo Gallery under Featured Stamp Set of the Month.

  29. glenda says:

    Hi Eileen, Thanks so much for your kind words and leaving me an encouraging comment; I appreciate that very much!

  30. glenda says:

    Thanks Jean, I appreciate you telling me this and I wish you the best in your Stampin’ Up! Business as well.

  31. glenda says:

    Hi Micky, No worries I’m still here and posting. I’ve just learned or am trying to learn to not stress over having the perfect blog post or even posting every single day. If I don’t have something new to show I’ll bring back a blast from the past. Thanks for checking out my blog.

  32. glenda says:

    Thanks Judy, I’ve taken everyone’s advice and have eased up on my need to post something new everyday. If I have something new to share I will, if I have other demonstrators ideas to share I will, if I bring something back from the past to share I will. Basically I’m taking it one day at a time and trying not to stress about it. Thanks again for visiting my blog and giving me some advice to ponder.

  33. glenda says:

    Thanks Jennifer, Glad you liked the Live Event Class. I appreciate you checking out the Live Events and I’m happy to hear that you enjoy watching Bill and I; we do have a lot of fun.

  34. glenda says:

    Hi Diane, I so appreciate your orders and your comments. I totally get the ordering when you can; it can be an expensive hobby; but very fulfilling as well. Happy Stamping my friend!

  35. glenda says:

    Hi Gerri, Thanks so much for joining the Live Events and for leaving me a comment. I appreciate your support and encouragement.

  36. glenda says:

    Thanks so much Shari for your support and encouraging words. I too did the card ministry for my church for a number of years; so I get it. Thanks again and Happy Stamping!

  37. Katrina says:

    Hi Glenda, I can sure feel your struggle. I am also a hobby demo since 2008. I have never had a home party or stamp club. Just buy for myself. If I like someone tutorial I purchase it, as they have put a lot of time and effort in working all the kinks out. I subscribe to so many blogs I get behind in my emails. Most bloggers don’t post everyday and I would only do what makes you stress free. I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work. God Bless You

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The content in this blog is the sole responsibility of Glenda Calkins as an Independent Stampin’ Up!® Demonstrator.  The use of and content of classes, services or products offered is not endorsed by Stampin’ Up!® Unless otherwise indicated, images © Stampin’ Up! 1995 – present.