My degrees are in education, and I was a special ed. teacher for about 10 years. I taught elementary kids with severe behavioral disorders, and as you can imagine, no one does that long enough to retire. (I became a special ed. teacher because I told the people who set up student teaching assignments that I didn't care where I went as long as I only had to take one bus to get there. But that's a story for another time.)

About 8 years into my career, one of my friends told me she started a business teaching scrapbooking classes in people's homes. I hosted one of these classes and learned that I could do it too because it was a direct sales company. At the time, I thought there were just 2 direct sales companies - Tupperware and Avon. I had no idea that I could buy pretty much anything I wanted from direct sales companies.

I bought the start up kit and figured that I'd do a party here and there, stock up on a lifetime of supplies and quit in a couple of years. I had no idea how big and diverse and wonderful the direct sales world was. A couple of years later I did quit, but it was my teaching job that I left. 

I built my Creative Memories business to the point where I was consistently in the top 1% of the company, earned lots of incentive trips, and most importantly, made lifetime connections and friends. I had a large customer base and a productive team. I attribute that to providing excellent customer service, staying connected to my team and to writing a lot of notes.

Back then, not everyone had email, and some people only checked their emails every now and then (which doesn't mean every other hour like it does today). So, I wrote handwritten notes. I wrote thank you notes to party guests whether they purchased or not. I wrote thank you notes to hostesses when they booked and after they had their parties. I wrote woo hoo notes to team members when they did something right and boo hoo notes when things didn't go right.for them.

I loved my business. Until I didn't. Maybe it was the economy of 2008, changes in the company and the scrapbooking industry or the fact that we were gearing up for a cross-country move and our girls were leaving the nest. But I knew it was time for me to transition out of my business.

Celebrate every day,

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