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Would you like the latest scoop on your favorite party plan? Are you looking to join a company? Would you like to learn about new launches? Stop by daily (or subscribe) for the latest Party Plan and Direct Sales news.

Are you a party hopper? Share Your Story!

If you've been involved in a party plan company (currently or previously) you are welcome to share your experiences by contacting me. I will post your comments on this site along with your current business link. Keep in mind that the comments are moderated and anything inappropriate, offensive or off-topic will not be posted. Click this link to share your story.

Are you a "wannabe" partier? Enjoy our hassle-free resource!

Stop in to read the latest party-plan news and to read comments from "party-hoppers". We hope you find our reader experiences helpful but please keep in mind that everyone will have a unique experience. Recognize that all have different schedules, motivations, interests and abilities. A company that may not have been the best fit for one person may be the perfect fit for you.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fairs, Events and Expos, Oh My!

In my previous post, "Don't just sit there...stand there. A simple tip for events & expos" I discussed one of the biggest mistakes I made while promoting my home-based direct selling business at fairs and expos.

Tags: business | vendor fair | events | expos | craft

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Direct Sales - The Ups..the Downs...the Ups..and the Downs

I have been a sales leader in the direct selling industry for five years now with two widely popular companies. While the products and businesses I represented were dramatically different, one aspect of the business never changed. Direct sales is a business of ups, downs, ups...and downs.

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Home Business - or Home Based Conglomerate

I've spent the last five years searching for the perfect home business. I am a "frequent-flyer" on just about every internet forum related to work-at-home opportunities. Even when I was working nearly full-time in the direct selling industry, I was still scoping out the "next best thing".

Tags: home business | WAHM | work at home | SAHM

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Are You Ready For a Break?

It is mid January where many of us run to warmer climates, drink cocktails and take a breather for awhile. Have you had a break lately? Even home-based professionals need a breather. The key to a really relaxing and stress-free break is planning ahead. 1).

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Does My Work-at-Home Business Spoil My Children?

Today is Saturday. The day where most of people take a break. Not me. Today
is my busiest day. I write articles, ship Ebay items, place orders and market
my websites. I have two preschoolers so during the rest of the week I work
while they are sleeping at night or napping.

Tags: family | WAHM | SAHM | Kids | home business


Thursday, January 25, 2007

When Working from Home is Not Working for Your Family

I'll never forget the day that I finally decided to work from home.
I held various positions in the social services industry prior to the
birth of my first child. I taught parenting classes, I worked with
at-risk youth and juvenile delinquent teens and I investigated child
abuse and neglect reports. In the eight years I worked in the field,
I'd convinced myself that many of the social problems I'd been hired to
fix were partially the result of moms that were too busy working
(outside the home) to properly care for their children.

Continue Reading...

My New Work at Home Blogging Job

Hey everyone...

I wanted to welcome you to visit my home-business blogging job at I share the subject with an extremely talented writer, marketer and home business guru!

Stop in and read our posts. There are also other wonderful blog topics on Families that range from politics, to family fun.



Tuesday, January 16, 2007

When Working From Home is Not Working for Your Family

I'll never forget the day that I finally decided to work from home.
I held various positions in the social services industry prior to the
birth of my first child. I taught parenting classes, I worked with
at-risk youth and juvenile delinquent teens and I investigated child
abuse and neglect reports. In the eight years I worked in the field,
I'd convinced myself that many of the social problems I'd been hired to
fix were partially the result of moms that were too busy working
(outside the home) to properly care for their children.

I worked in an office that was comprised of about 95% women. Most of
them were young mothers. I threw the first grenade in my own "mommy
war"when I proudly announced my intention to quit my job and work from

As I packed up my desk and said my "good-byes", I was convinced that
my co-workers were insanely jealous. Why wouldn't they be? Nearly
one-half of their paychecks were spent on someone else caring for their
children. They would only be able to see their kids a few hours each
day and on the weekends. They had to ask for permission to go to soccer
games, school plays and lunch dates with their kids. I felt so sorry
for their poor children who were probably languishing in daycare

I was a twenty-nine year old, know-it-all, brand new mother of a
baby girl. I had a booming direct sales business that I launched during
my maternity leave. I had it all and I was not afraid to puff out my
chest and discuss the horrors of child-care centers with anyone who
would listen to me. I was doing the right thing. I was sacrificing
financially for my new baby but she was worth it. Those other mothers
probably just wanted new cars, nice clothes, a great career or a break
from their kids once in awhile (heaven forbid). All I needed was a
healthy baby and a few hundred dollars per month to pay the bills. I
firmly believed I had everything that I needed (at least for a little

I had my second child (a little boy) fifteen months later. My family
was the vision of perfection. Two beautiful, healthy children, a mom
that worked from home, a healthy marriage, we had it all. I went on
play-dates. I attended bible studies. We went to the park whenever we
felt like it. It was pure bliss. My business was flourishing and so was
my family. It didn't take long before I was swamped with business. I
loved the pace and paychecks. I loved the incentive trips. I loved
working on my patio while my children played in the backyard, at the
park while my children slid down the slides and in my car while my kids
watched DVD movies. I rarely left home without my cell phone and laptop.

"Honey, help your brother up the slide, "I have another call I need
to make." "Sweetie, why don't you play your games on the computer while
I talk with Janet?" "Maybe your nana can take you to the park today, I
have a lot of work to do". "Please...just watch Sesame Street for a
little longer, I have to enter orders on the computer". "Mommy has to
work. you need to leave me alone for a bit!" "I'll play with you in a
minute, okay, just a bit longer...after the next call...I promise".

As I mentioned earlier, my direct sales business was booming. Within
two years, we didn't need to sacrifice anymore. I was making more money
than I had as a social worker. I went from puffing up my chest and
espousing the values of working from home, to puffing up my chest and
sharing my "you can have it all" work-at-home success story with anyone
who would listen.

The second grenade that was launched in my personal "mommy war"
landed straight on my own self-righteous lap. It started when I watched
a fellow direct-sales mom quite literally "shoo" her daughter into
preschool while she chatted on the phone in her brand-new SUV. The
well-dressed little girl hopped out of the car, looked back at her mom
and waved. Her mom was too busy chatting on the phone to wave back.
With her ponytails hanging down, she walked into her school...alone.
Would that be me soon? Was that me...already?

Later that month, I talked with a direct-sales coach and told her
that I was having a tough time balancing my family and at-home career.
Her response was, "why don't you put your kids in daycare part-time or
hire someone to come to your home to help, that's what I did and I had
a thriving business", she bragged. She was rich. It was tempting.

That summer, I attended a national sales conference for my
direct-sales company. Ironically, it was at the event that was supposed
to be motivating, uplifting, fun and inspiring that eventually led me
to my breaking point. If you've never been to one, it is a sight to be
seen. There are balloons everywhere, free feasts, gifts, prizes,
awards, music, dancing and hourly pep-talks from other women who have
everything. (At least that's what they'll tell you).

As soon as we arrived, one of many motivational speakers stood up
and shared her success story. She attended soccer games, playgroups and
sporting events while managing a booming full-time business from her
home. As I sat in the audience with listening to pens clicking and
women feverishly jotting down notes, I remember thinking, "wow, she
makes it look so simple, what is wrong with me?"

At the grand finale of the so-called motivational weekend, I watched
as my co-consultants were paraded across the stage and given
spa-certificates and other goodies for various accomplishments. I was
one of them. As I shook the hand of the CEO of one of the largest
companies in the nation, I felt empty inside.

Was this what I was striving for when I made the decision to stay
home? Wasn't my goal to spend more time with my kiddos? On one hand, I
desperately wanted the attention, the cheers, the awards, the dinners,
the cruises and the career. At the same time, I cried when I looked at
all of the "stuff" I had been awarded and wondered how many hours of
sacrifice my kids made for my tote bag, coffee mug, gift-certificate
and framed award. After three years of my home-based "busy-ness"and one
so-called "motivational weekend", I finally got it.

As far as the "mommy-war" is concerned I am Switzerland. I love
staying home with my children and wouldn't change it for the world. I
love my flexible schedule and weekly play-dates. I simply don't think
that working from home is necessarily a better option than putting
children in daycare and in many cases, it is worse.

I am often envious of the mothers who have a career outside of their
homes. What would it be like to leave your work at the office and give
100% attention to your child when you return home? One of the biggest
challenges work at home moms rarely discuss is that work is always
there. As I pass my desk during dinner-time I often catch myself
thinking, "maybe I'll just send out one more quick e-mail". When my
phone rings in the middle of family movie night I'll wonder if it is a
customer. "I'd better take it, you guys". I would love to leave work at
work someday.

After experiencing the pros and cons of both worlds, I am neutral.
I've heard many fellow work-at-home moms argue that that they chose
telecommuting or a home-business so that they could "be there" for
their kids. But what if they really aren't there? Wouldn't it be better
for a child to have a care-provider whose job it is to pay attention to
them versus a mother who is so busy trying to earn a living from home
that she is more focused on working than the children?

When I hit my breaking point a few months ago I considered returning
to work on a part-time basis. As I was jotting down the pros and cons
of working at home vs. outside the home, I had an epiphany. Instead of
trying to figure out what worked best for me, what if I focus
completely on meeting the needs of my family. My pro and con list
suddenly turned into a schedule and a plan. I asked myself the
following questions;

1. How much money do I need to make per month to make ends meet? 2.
How many hours per day can I devote to earning that amount of income
where it will not affect the quality time I spend with the children? 3.
What types of expenses do we have that we can get rid of so I can focus
more upon the children and less upon work?

Instead of completely walking away from my work at home career, I
decided I could learn a little something from my successful working
friends. I set work hours. I enlisted the help of friends for
childcare. I planned ahead to ensure that I wasn't "shooing" my
daughter into preschool so I could take another phone call. I figured
out my work schedule and I stuck to it. When I "returned home" from
work, I devoted 100% of my attention to my kids. I even changed my
answering machine message, "thanks for calling...I work out of my home
and my office hours this week are, if you are calling after
hours leave a message and I will call you back on the next business
day. I became the toughest boss I've ever had.

When I think about my ten year journey into the workforce, into
motherhood, out of the workforce and back in it again, I am reminded of
a quote by Oprah Winfrey that is a valuable reminder for working moms,
stay at home moms and work-at-home moms, "You can have it all. You just
can't have it all at once."


Traci Anderson has been a Work at Home Mom since 2002. Prior to
trading pantyhose for PJ's she was a child abuse investigator, youth
counselor and victims' advocate.

When she is not wiping noses, playing with legos and getting dizzy
from too many games of "Rosie" she enjoys blogging and writing. She is
the proud editor of five personal weblogs including,"The Ultimate Guide to Making Motherhood Simple...ish" and 365 To Do's. "Daily Nice Things You Can do For Someone Else". You can view all of Traci's sites here.

This article can be reprinted freely online, as long as the entire article and this resource box are included.

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