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Thursday, January 31, 2013

What New Year’s Resolution List?

You aren’t the only one who somehow misplaced that document, which you spent so much time developing at the close of 2012.

You were so intent to start 2013 becoming a better person. No more junk food. Early to bed, early to rise. That gym bag would come out of the back of your closet. And the one that seems to be on many of those New Year’s Resolution lists – This would be the year your started your own business.

There are many excuses people have in not getting around to that one. We’ve heard them all.  I think I’ve told many people that Alan had to tie me up and throw me in his vehicle to get me to Las Vegas and listen to various Watkins leaders say, “If only I had gotten into this business much earlier, I’d be a rich woman today!” Sure, I wish that I had gotten into real estate investment and education a decade ago when properties were doubling in value every year. Those were the good old days. But the U.S. went into a recession. My investment properties tumbled in value to half the price I paid for them. My position teaching real estate at a Southern California business school was longer needed.

Yet the more I heard about J.R. Watkins and the 145-year-old company that still carries his name, the more I could see why so many U.S. households were familiar with its top-selling products. Just knowing that Watkins experienced its greatest growth during the Great Depression made me feel it was time to stop searching for another 9-to-5 job that would make my young, inexperienced boss look good.

Yes, I remained negative during the first few years in the Watkins organization. While the original $39.95 investment was minimal, we decided our chief method of selling Watkins was through public events. So inventory needed to be purchased. Space rent had to be paid. Yet we became managers in our first year, and celebrated in Hawaii at an all-expense paid trip where Watkins picked up the tab. But it took until 2012 to see our business really take off. The primary reason was switching to a web-based marketing program, which not only increased our sales, but also helped our sales team grow.

As a result of our success last year, we will be attending the Watkins Grand Prize Getaway April 10 through the 14 in sunny Scottsdale. Yup! Another all-expense trip thanks to Watkins! That’s just about the time we will be tired of shoveling snow in Big Bear Lake, California. I can already smell the petunias and star jasmine.

I’m familiar with Scottsdale because I received my bachelor’s degree in journalism just up the road in 1969. Count backwards and you can guess my age! I’m thankful to Watkins for more than the extra income it brings in every month. It also gives me the opportunity to use my skills in writing, marketing, design and advertising. I actually was a very shy kid when I first got that piece of parchment. But in the last five years -- for the first time in my life – I’m more confident, more self-assured, and able to walk up to a prospective customer without being worried about rejection. It happens. That’s life. As Cher told Nicolas Cage after he said, “But I love you.” She replied with a sharp slap to his face, “Snap out of it!” But he pursued and won her heart. Oh, to think of all the positions I failed to even apply for because I felt I wouldn’t be chosen, then go into deep depression for the next month.

Life hands you lemons, but as the saying goes, make lemonade out of them. If we had quit Watkins in the first six months because sales weren’t rolling in, I might have remained that shy, secluded individual afraid of life. Today, I know I deserve the success that we have achieved in Watkins. And I’m very content with what I have. Who knew that only $39.95 would begin such a transformation!

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.     E.E. Cumming