By | March 23, 2012

John put out a video on "Should I charge for my Workshops?".  Here's the link if you are interested in viewing it:

http://stampingismybusiness.typepad.com/blog/2012/03/video-should-i-charge-for-workshops.html

A follow up message from John that you may also be interested in reading

~~Rachel

A Heartbreaking E-Mail (Video Follow-Up)

Well, yesterday's video on 'Should I Charge For Workshops?' struck a nerve with many of you. I received a lot of e-mails from stamping business owners who agreed with the points in the video… and some from those who disagreed.

I do think there was some confusion, though, as to the type of event I was specifically talking about in the video. For that reason, I've re-recorded the video to make it more clear. You can view the revised video in the post below.

Among the e-mails I received yesterday was this one. It really breaks my heart when I get e-mails like this, because I think these situations are so unnecessary. I'm sharing it with you as a cautionary tale, and I'll speak about it more at the end:

Dear John,

Even though I ceased to be a (stamping business owner) a few months ago, I stayed on your email list because I like the content you provide. I hope you don't mind.

When I saw your video on whether or not you should charge for workshops, I felt compelled to write and share my story. I don't mind if you share it with others, but please remove my name.

I signed up to be a (stamping business owner) several months ago because I needed to make money. I was laid off a few months earlier, and didn't have much left in my bank account.

Once I got my starter kit, I started calling my friends to see if they would do a workshop. I was surprised by the fact that all of them said no.

When I spoke to my upline about this, she told me I shouldn't call it a workshop. Instead, I should call it a 'private class.' When I asked her what the difference was, she said there was none. Except that I should charge everyone $7 and offer to give the money back if they place an order.

When I asked if there should be a minimum amount on the order so I'm not making less than $7 (which I thought was pretty low to begin with) in commissions, she said that wasn't the point.

I asked her if the hostess should tell the people she invites they can get the fee waived, and she said no. She said that if they know they're going to be sold to, they won't come.

I felt very uneasy about this because I thought I wasn't being honest with my future customers. I also wasn't happy to hear my upline say that people wouldn't buy product if they knew that was what they were coming for. When I shared these feelings with her, she said 'all of the top Demonstrators are doing it and if I wanted to be successful, this was what I had to do.'

John, I'm sorry to say I didn't listen to my gut and went ahead and did it. It was a disaster. When I started passing out catalogs and talking about buying product at the end of the 'class' you could feel the mood in the room change. It felt awful. I felt awful. The people who were there were not happy. A few people did actually buy products, but I've never seen unhappier customers in my life.

I was so upset, I never did anything with my business again. I thought I'd confront my upline when she called, but she never did. Even after I went into pending.

Please let your readers know if they're going to do an event like this to be up front about the fact you're going to pass out catalogs and sell product at the end.

John, I know you're probably taking a lot of c**p from people today for your video, but I think you're spot on with your message and it needs to be said. If I saw this video earlier, I may still be a (stamping business owner).

Sincerely,

(name removed)

I wanted you all to read this because I think it's important to understand what can happen when ideas are left unchecked and unregulated. Even ideas that may start out as good ones with the best of intentions are often tweaked and adjusted until they're a shadow of their former selves.

And as upline, it's important to think about the ideas you share with your downline, and the messages those ideas send them.

Finally, to (name removed), my message is this: you should sign up again!

I know you had a bad experience, but I think it was an isolated one. Maybe you need to find an upline who shares the same ideas you do, but I can tell you as someone who's been working with stamping business owners for over 12 years, there's never been a better time to start your own stamping business!

There's more potential now, and you have more tools at your disposal, than ever before! I hope you reconsider, because I think this can still be a tremendous opportunity for you.

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