I've been working as a Demonstrator for Stampin' Up for about a year now (shocking that it's been that long) and I've been evaluating how I run my business and thinking of making some changes lately. I was a Stampin' Up customer long before I became a Demonstrator, and I love the products... lots of great rubber stamps sold in coordinating sets, amazing papers, and cool accessories (I'm such a sucker for beautiful ribbons and baubles!) My struggle lies in the fact that I don't love the Sales "environment"... quotas, upselling techniques, the idea of pressuring people, etc. I figure live is too short to spend your time doing something that makes you uncomfortable, even if it is for money (that oh-so-great motivator)! So I'm probably the best Demonstrator possible for people who hate being pressured to buy something - I simply won't do it, despite the fact my business may suffer as a result. When I first started planning classes I restricted myself to using only Stampin' Up products, since my association with Stampin' Up is what inspired me to start teaching from my home in the first place. And I do have those nasty quotas to fulfill, so I figure that using the products in my classes might help inspire attendees to purchase them - which is a good thing for my business. That said, it's the teaching I love... I have such a great time being in a room full of people, knowing I can share something with them that I love, seeing them get the hang of a new technique, sharing their sense of pride when they look at something they've made and say "I can't believe I did that!!". I've lately had a (mini) revelation... if I'm planning and teaching these classes because I love the creative arts and I have such a great time sharing that passion with others, why do I need to stay within the Stampin' Up "box" (for lack of a better word)? I've often said that my motivation for becoming a Demonstrator was to have an excuse to make the time to be creative, instead of putting it on the back burner as an enjoyable but lower priority task than say, laundry and grocery shopping... the creativity was always the key in that equation, not the idea of making a commission (although yes, that would be nice!) So, for the class I taught this evening called Wine-y Wednesday I let myself "out of the box"... I used some Stampin' Up punches and paper, but incorporated glass etching cream from Michaels and a few great dollar store finds too... then I uncorked a couple of bottles of wine (the name of the class probably gave that away) and let the chips fall where they may. Not only was this one of the most enjoyable, relaxed classes I've taught recently, but I ended up making money and generating Stampin' Up sales at it too... go figure. I'll have to see if this new theory of mine works in future classes I plan as well!