Friday, June 23, 2006

WAHM Interview - Discovery Toys & Passion to Success

Discovery Toys and Passion to Success with Debbie Bernstein LaCroix
What Work at/from Home plan do you currently participate in?
My first business is Discovery Toys, I get to sell toys. My second business is a coaching business: Passion to Success, where I help others find their passion, pick a business that best fits them and then help them get started. I also work with my clients on trouble areas to give them a well-rounded business

What part of the country are you from?


How long have you been involved with this particular business?

Discovery Toys: almost 6 years

Passion to Success: a few months
What was the key element in your making the decision to become a member of this organization?

I joined Discovery Toys because I loved the toys and was planning to buy them anyway. I’ve always loved to play and my kids were my focus. I guess I was a discount buyer. I wanted nothing to do with selling. However, I love to share, so did a few parties to show my friends and see what happened. I was skeptical in the beginning. However, I was having fun and success followed.
For P2S (Passion to Success), I found I was being approached by others for help, so I put my passion of helping others to work for me.

Do you have any regrets?

Just that I hadn’t started earlier. I’d been approached but at that time I didn’t saw how it could fit into my life. With my coaching biz, I wanted to make sure I was ready and qualified first.

Do you have some major highlights or experiences that made you realize it was the right decision?

DT: I was making money and having fun. What more can you ask?
P2S: I needed some extra money being the sole income provider with Discovery Toys and was online looking for suggestions. My fellow WAHM’s encouraged me to follow this passion and believed in me.

How much did it cost total to get your business underway?  Please tell us if there are any hidden costs that you didn’t expect to endure.
Right now it’s $99, plus $26 shipping and tax. They have a program where you can earn it for free in your first 12 weeks, and you can pay in 3 payments so it’s not a lot of out of pocket up front.
You get toys and catalogs, and that covered it. I wasn’t surprised by other expenses. I figured I’d need pens, crates to carry the toys  (before they had the bags), and would need to restock catalogs. Other expenses were my choice, like doing a booth for $30 - $100. Long distance can add up if you build a team away from you. But I had everything I needed.
Right now it’s $99,
Did you participate in any other work from home type program(s) prior to joining your current program?  If so, what were they?  Why did you leave those?

I did do some freelance writing. However, I had a hard time concentrating to write a good artice with a young child at home with me. Plus, the paper didn’t want me to bring him to the office. I was working for my old boss.

In your complete honest opinion, what “type” of people would your organization be best for – who may be considering becoming a rep or member?  What qualities do you believe are needed to be successful?
There isn’t one type of person. I’ve seen some very shy successful people. Teachers do well. Moms are awesome. Anyone who loves kids and educational toys. Basically, anyone who loves to play and wants to help create a connection with parents and children through play. ? It’s a passion that is shared. If they want to make it happen, they will.
Those who leave don’t like rejection, are afraid to step outside their comfort zone, are afraid to give it time, don’t sell goals, expect things to happen without really working it, won’t pick up the phone, make excuses daily why they couldn’t work their business, or didn’t really care if it worked or not.
It helps to be coachable, listen to your mentor, get on training calls and apply what you learn.
Working from home is that, work. Many people want to make money, but they don’t really want to work. That is one of the biggest reasons people fail.
Traits that will help you, but can be learned, are self-motivation, goal setting, finding what motivates you and being able to use it to your advantage, and wanting it.
How many hours a week do you invest in your business?  Do you think it requires more than that or less than that?

This is a trick question. In the beginning, it will always be more. The key isn’t how many hours you work, because work has so many definitions. It’s also how smart you use the time. To some, working means studying and organizing. You can spend hours and hours “working” and never get anywhere. You can literally organize yourself into failure.
The secret is finding a consistent schedule and sticking to it. Work your business every day. Do just 1 revenue making activity a day. This can be 5 connected calls (you should get at least 1 yes), visit a business who would benefit from your products, host a demo, add a new team member, work a booth, do a personal shopping appointment, etc. But it needs to lead to and end result.
1 to 2 hours a day can really lead to an awesome business.  But you have to stick to it, and know that not every day will end with the results you want. Keep going.

Does your organization require you to have in-home parties or go door-to-door as part of their business plan? 

No. But I love home parties. It’s the easiest way to make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time.
For my consulting business, I do plan to do workshops.

Can all sales be done online?

If you want, but you need to be very good at online marketing. Everyone is trying to sell online. You really need a nitch to make this work. Direct sales is oversaturated on the net, so are most MLM. If you want to make money online, I suggest creating something unique and promoting it everywhere, including local.

Does your organization allow you to partner with businesses to set up displays selling your products or does that go against the guidelines?

You can set up a booth with others, but not host a party with them. For my consulting business I can do whatever I want.

What would you like to say to the people who will read this article that may help them to make their decision to choose or not choose this particular organization?

Ask questions, to yourself. Do you love the product? Does it give you goosebumps? Does this product fit into your life? Is it marketable? Does this company offer exclusive products? How will I get people to shop with me? Will you have fun? What about this company motivates you? Will you enjoy this business a year from now? 5 years? Every individual has different needs and wants. Follow your passion.
Is there anything else, based on your own experience that you believe people should know when trying to make their business decisions?
Personally, I would avoid anyone or business focusing on Get Rich. They are often trying to do that at your expense, and it’s hard to sort out the scams from legit opportunities. What matters most is not the money, but you. This includes your passion, your skills and experience, and the training you will receive. Love the products first, then look at the rest of the package.
Be willing to give your business time. Success won’t happen overnight. You have a learning curve. You need to get the word out. You will be learning new tricks and trying new things. If you are having trouble, look at why and look for a solution. If you give up and start over without addressing this, the same thing will happen again.
If you'd like to learn more about Debbie and her businesses, I strongly encourage you to visit the links provided below:
Debbie LaCroix, Discovery Toys Group Manager:

And owner of Passion to Success small business coaching, (helping you find your passion and use it to earn money)
If there is a business you may be investigating or have taken an interest in but just aren't quite sure if it's right for you - let me know.  I'd be happy to add them to my project list of businesses to investigate and review right here on Work at Home Mom.



Editor said...

Great advice, especially in the last paragraph where she says "What matters most is not the money, but you." I firmly believe that too because I've tried everything to make money before and nothing worked. Now, for the first time in my life, I am doing something that I love AND if it doesn't do well, I haven't lost anything because I would be doing it anyway.

Thank you for the added inspiration!

-Ann Jordan