Sunday, November 8, 2009

Parents As Teachers: Thank You!

Parents As Teachers celebrates it's 25th birthday this year. The amazing story and more details about this wonderful organization can be found here. (There is a contest for a great prize at the end of this post.)

As a late-in-life first time mom, I truly appreciated the services offered by my local Parents As Teachers organization. At the insistence of a caring friend whose child was also in Parents As Teachers, I enrolled in the program right away after the birth of my son. A wonderful parent educator, Ms. Kathy, was selected at random and started her home visits when he was about 3 months old.

Ms. Kathy at that time had over 15 years experience as a Parents As Teachers parent educator. Though my background and training is in adult and secondary education, she taught me a great deal about early childhood learning through our three years in the Parents as Teachers program.

Parents As Teachers continued to offer excellent services even after our son turned 3 years of age. The sharp observations of the the certified professionals at John Cary Early Childhood Center and Ms. Kathy's concise home visit reports ensured our son would continue his services through Kindergarten.

Not only did we receive parent educator visits and early childhood education services through our local Parents As Teachers program, unlike other communities, we have a mothers' networking group. For over 20 years, the membership-based Mehlville Organization for Mothers’ Support (MOMS) Club offers a nurturing, caring, networking community for those of us enrolled in our local Parents As Teachers programs. Immediately I recognized the value of this group and was an active participant and loyal member in MOMS Club.

If your children are in their preschool ages or you have a friend who is pregnant or has very young children, I encourage you to reach out to the Parents as Teachers program in your community. These services are free for everyone.

I can't say enough about my wonderful experiences with Parents As Teachers.

Thank you, Parents As Teachers!

To show my appreciation for all that Parents As Teachers has done for me and my child, I'm giving away a SimplyFun item to followers. Enter this SimplyFun prize drawing by answering the following Parents As Teachers trivia question.

Send me a direct message with your answer, which can be easily found by clicking the Parents As Teachers link above. Earn more entries in the drawing by posting this contest on Twitter with a @socdirector mention. Invite others to read and join this blog for additional entries in the contest. Good Luck!

In what USA state did Parents As Teachers begin 25 years ago?

Monday, October 5, 2009

What Will You Be for Halloween?

As direct sales/party plan business owners, we all wear different “hats” in our businesses: Consultant, Leader, Salesperson, Teacher, etc. So this Halloween season, to have a little fun, do the TWIST and look at the kind of costumes you can wear to add more sweet successes and juicy profits to your business:


Be a Witch by asking customers:

  • Witch date do you want?
  • Witch product did you like the best?
  • Witch host gift do you want at your house?
  • Witch of my company benefits appeal to you most?
  • Witch payment plan works best for you - retail, wholesale


Let your customers know:

  • Owl call you back when you ask
  • Owl give product demonstrations to educate and entertain your friends
  • Owl work with you to have the best home party you’ve ever had
  • Owl show you how you can make money, not just qualify for gifts
  • Owl provide an extra service to you by mailing written invitations to your party


  • Cat you see how lucky you are to have me as a Consultant?
  • Cat you host a holiday party?
  • Cat you come to a BOO (Business Opportunity/Ownership) meeting with me?
  • Cat you bring a guest to the party?
  • Cat you increase your paycheck anytime you want to?

Spider Web

  • Web's be business partners
  • Web’s schedule a party for Halloween
  • Web’s get a head start on holiday shopping

Don’t be spooked when it comes to talking to your customers! Connect with them and explain the treats you offer at your home parties! Get out and HOWL about what people will WIN when they book a party with you.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Business Sponsoring Recipe for Direct Sales & Party Planners

There are lots of ideas floating around the industry created by successful direct sales/party plan professionals long before I began my career in this industry. Over the next several posts, I’m going to share ideas you can implement this Halloween season to help you boost your direct sales/party plan business.

Here’s a fun way to present your company’s business opportunity during the Halloween season. Everyone loves to eat, and most of us want more money, especially around the holidays. This is a sponsoring recipe you can use at your parties – even though your products may have nothing to do with food preparation.

“We All Win” Snack Mix


2 c candy corn

1 c salted peanuts

1 c M&Ms plain chocolate candy

1 c any O’s cereal (Cheerios or Apple Jacks)


  • Combine all ingredients into large bowl.
  • Mix well.
  • Scoop ¼ to ½ cup of the snack mix into small food-safe Halloween theme bag and seal with a twist tie.
  • Give as a take-home treat with a sponsoring flyer or brochure.
  • Give only to those who are curious about learning more or anyone you feel would make a great consultant.

Explain the snack mix like this:

Are you mixed up wondering how you’re going to pay for holiday gifts this year, a new car, kids’ clothes, etc.? Here’s a mix that could be the answer.

If you like to have fun and are a little “nutty” [peanuts], consider beginning your own business with [company]. You can decide how many zeroes [Cheerios or Apple Jacks] you want in the dollar part of your profit and commission checks: 100, 1,000, 10,000, etc.

In a direct selling home party business, you’ll be able to Make Money [M&Ms] at least three ways: [show candy corn with the three colors and apply specifically to your three business levels].

  1. The base of your business is the profit you earn on the sales at each of your home parties.
  2. Next is sponsoring other people to begin their own business and join your team of representatives.
  3. For those who want to “point” their way to the top, you have a higher earning potential as a leader with XXX [company].

If you’re curious about TWISTING your mix up into money, let’s get together so I can tell you about more xxx [company] treats!

Notice how the word “curious” is used rather than interested. Most people are not interested until they have more information. They request more information when their curiosity is aroused.

Now go find some curious people with whom to share your mix – and the business opportunity!

Source: The idea mentioned in this post originated in an email message from The Success Factory. The information shared on these daily emails is compiled by four experts in the direct sales/party plan industry: Teresa Garrison, Robin Early, Dede Gruenberg, and Judy Jones. Their desire and passion for making a difference through helping others resulted in the creation of The Success Factory. With over 80 years combined experience, The Success Factory is a valuable reference tool and a must read for anyone interested in growing their personal direct sales/party plan business. Thank you, ladies, for sharing your direct sales/party plan knowledge.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Networking to Grow Yourself and Your Business

Networking is defined in the as:

–noun a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest: Working mothers in the community use networking to help themselves manage successfully.

Until recently I never really realized to what degree I have been living this definition. It seems as though my lifestyle has always been about networking. Everyday when I get out and about, chat on the phone or just simply walk my neighborhood, I am networking in one form or another. It’s so simple that we never really even realized that what we have been doing all these years is networking until someone in the professional world put a label on it.

As a business owner, I suppose I’ve always known the benefits of a more structured networking opportunities. Through the years, I’ve learned that it’s not necessary for me to pay annual membership dues to join a formal networking club. Nor do I have to succumb to the “old boys’ network” of civic and political networking. I had sampled such networking opportunities and found them to be old fashioned, expensive, regimented and somewhat limited. That is not at all what I was looking for in a networking group.

Remember the thrill you get from an amusement ride, that rush of adrenaline, the utter excitement. That is how I feel when I play an instrumental part in bringing together people who might otherwise be total strangers. Because I’m a business owner, it especially rewarding to network with other like-minded professional women.

I’m so grateful to have found The Joy of Connecting, a women networking group exclusively for women professionals and female business owners. This monthly experience has opened new doors for me with like-minded women professionals.

The Joy of Connecting is...

  • a wonderful gathering for business owners, entrepreneurs, professional women and guests. Unlike other groups, there is no membership requirement.
  • committed to spreading joy, support and genuine connections. We dedicate our open hearts to welcoming, nurturing, supporting and respecting women in all areas of their lives. This monthly gathering is different, rewarding and fun for all attendees!
  • open to any women interested in building relationships, expanding her business, promoting a cause, or helping others grow! There will be only one women per company or business category present at each gathering.
  • growing so feel free to invite your friends or forward this message to other women professionals, who also must register in advance. Registration information can be found at

Everyday I help others reconnect through healthy interactive play by sharing my business. This entrepreneurial spirit has awakened something deeper. Now, as a member of The Joy of Connecting, I am able to share the gifts of inspiration, collaboration and cooperation and link others who otherwise may have never met.

Last month was our “launch” gathering of The Joy of Connecting Saint Louis. Ten of us have embarked on a wonderful journey to healthy, happy and interactive lives in the Gateway City. There’s so much more room on our ship of dreams. Helping others is a GREAT feeling. Join us and enjoy the ride!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gather Your Family and Join National Family Game Night on September 23

Each year I discover there are designated days to celebrate some of our favorite things. Most of us can recall any number of the national holidays as declared by an act of congress (Presidents Day, third Monday in February) or those made famous by the card companies (Grandparents Day, September 13). Did you know there is a National Pancake Day (February 24)? Ever hear of National Bring Teddy Bear to Work Day (October 14)? Tell the truth... Were you aware there is a National Honesty Day (April 30)?

The one lesser-known holiday that we will celebrate in our home next week is National Family Game Night. I’ve put a big party sticker on our master calendar where Wednesday, September 23, appears. This is a firm date for me, MDH, and our preschooler. We’ll turn off the television, play some fun party music, have homemade pizza and soda (a seldom-enjoyed beverage treat). I think we may even enjoy ice cream in waffle cones; by far the most requested dessert in our house.

After dinner, each of us will choose one or two of our favorite games to play. We have a large selection of board games, card games, party games, educational games – some are American classics (Monopoly), some are brand new (Picky Sticks). If I were to count, my guess is that we have over 100 games and other fun family activities from which to choose for our family game nights. All of our game choices are a lot of fun to play or they wouldn't be in our collection. In fact, most are 30-minute play solutions so it's quick, too! You probably have your own vault of family games. So take a few out and dust them off. If you want suggestions of our favorites, just ask. I'll send you a list.

You can enjoy your own family game night with or without a national holiday. Start your own family tradition with National Family Game Night on September 23. Then revisit the concept next week, or next month, and so on. Pick the frequency best suited for your family's schedule and make it a new habit to reconnect with the people you care most about through family game time!

Get on the phone, send out invitations, and gather the entire family together for National Family Game Night. Join in on the fun with us and the rest of the nation. After you experience your first National Family Game Night, tell us your stories. I’d love to hear about how you are enjoying game time with your loved ones.

Go play!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Playing the Game Mahjong Helps Persons with Dementia

Recently a study was conducted at the City University of Hong Kong to explore the effect of an activity treatment—Mahjong—on the cognitive functioning of persons with mild-to-moderate dementia. Mahjong is The participants in this study were male and female, medium age of 84 years old, and showing mild-to-moderate signs if dementia. After 16 weeks of playing Mahjong, these persons did in deed improve their cognitive functioning.

“Regardless of frequency of playing, Mahjong produced consistent gains across all cognitive performance measures. … The effects lasted after Mahjong had been withdrawn for a month, suggesting that constant practice is not necessary to achieve therapeutic effect once an initial threshold is attained.”

Those conducting this study concluded that “Mahjong is a viable treatment option for dementia.”

They go on to recommend this form of therapy for dementia patients at the various senior communities. “Because Mahjong therapy basically does not require professional supervision and can be implemented as widely as space allows at a given time, the potential benefits of integrating Mahjong into the daily routines of an institution are enormous vis-à-vis minimal, if any, cost to the institution.”

Do you know of any senior persons who may benefit from Mahjong play? If so, consider paying a visit to that person—with of Mahjong in tow—and challenging them to a game.

There are a great many resources on the web where you may purchase the traditional Mahjong gambling game for two to four players, as imported from Central China, in various decorative cases and ornate styles. The cost of these tile games varies from $55 to $100.

There is a variation of Mahjong solitaire on sale for just $32 this month only at SimplyFun. It is one of four games on sale, our gift to customers during the SimplyFun 5th Birthday Bash. Now until August 31 you can purchase SimplyFun’s Turtlemania, a high-quality fast-paced game, based on an ancient Chinese Mahjong game, for 1 or more players ages 6 and up. Best of all, you can play Turtlemania in only 10 minutes.

Turtlemania, is a mixed up, race to the finish, speed and matching tile game not unlike those used in the study summarized above. Players race to dismantle 136 colorful and uniquely designed tiles by matching identical pairs as fast as you can. The more quickly you make matches, the more points you earn! Turtlemania normally sells for $49, but during SimplyFun’s birthday month it is only $32, a savings of $17!

Shop now at SimplyFun for Turtlemania and other fun original board games, card games, family games and party games, that offer 30-minute play solutions for the entire family.

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information, a service of the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, “An Exploratory Study of the Effect of Mahjong on the Cognitive Functioning of Persons with Dementia” © 2006.

Winds of Fortune: FamilyFun Toy of the Year Finalist!

This just in! FamilyFun magazine has notified us that Winds of Fortune has been named a finalist for their upcoming Toy of the Year Award! Finalists are expected to be listed in their November 2009 issue, with the top ten announced later.

This is great exposure for SimplyFun's newest game!