What a weekend!

http://www.lafollette.wisc.edu/publicservice/floods/images/Monona%20Terrace_Lake%20Front.jpgThis past weekend I went to my first Mary Kay company event - Career Conference - which took place at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center located right on Lake Monona in Madison, WI.

What's really neat about the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center is that it was built by architect Frank Lloyd Wright! Myself and another member of my MK unit, who's also a graphic artist, had a blast walking around the convention center and viewing everything! Even the gift shop had replicated pieces of Frank Lloyd Wright's various works for sale - it was pretty neat!

Anyways, below is one of the new Mary Kay commercials that they premiered to us at Career Conference - it's actually pretty cute and funny! I also think it's pretty clever, as all the things the women ask, we offer!

Career Conference was really fun though, but exhausting!

The first day/night there, we picked up our registration packet and goodies (including 5 full size new items we're offering this quarter!), some of us got ribbons to attach to our conference badges (which reminded me of the badges we wore at ACEN when we went) - I got 1 ribbon for it being my first year in Mary Kay; some ladies had a huge long thing of ribbons attached to theirs - the most I counted was 12! After registration, a few of us, who didn't have anything scheduled for the afternoon, walked around before heading over to The Great Dane Pub and Brewry to reserve a table for our group (there was almost 20 of us, from our 3 unit group). If you're in downtown Madison near Capitol Square, I recommend checking out this place! The food was really good and at an affordable price too! We didn't have any drinks, since it was a business conference, but I imagine some of their brews would probably be good if you like beer.

After dinner, we walked the 2 blocks back to the conference center and the sat in the opening ceremony for the evening before heading back to our hotel - there was a lot of recognition! They also gave away a lot of prizes too - bags, jewelry, a free registration to Seminar this July in Dallas, scrape booking sets, and other fun things! Also, they prayed before the sessions, which was really neat to see, as Mary Kay was a Christian, and the company is founded on the Golden Rule with the structure of God first, family second, career third. It was really neat to see that put in action! They also showed some inspiration video footage of Mary Kay Ash speaking at various seminars during her time - it was really neat! She seems like she would have been a really neat older lady to sit and chat with, kinda like my grandma on my dad's side! Unfortunately though, she died in 2001 - only a small handful of women at the conference remained standing when they asked how many of us there had met her.

We went back to the hotel for the night, trying to find the N. Iowa vs Michigan game on the radio, as my director is an alumni of N. Iowa and was freaking out that they had made it that far. When we got back, she watched the end of the game in our hotel room (which was AWESOME by the way! It was a suite, with a stove, dishwasher and fireplace - it had better appliances than my apartment and was only slightly smaller! and we got a great deal - $55/room, $13.50/person!). It was pretty amusing watching a 7 mo. preggo lady jumping around, getting all into a basketball game on TV! After the game, my unit had a PJ party with one of the other units we came with and we had a little birthday party at midnight, as one of our girls was turning 30!

The next morning, we woke up at 630 and we were down at the continental breakfast by 730 so we could leave the hotel by 8. We had morning classes at 830 and then a morning session at 1030, followed by lunch and the closing ceremony.

Some of the stories these women shared... WOW! One woman, Hollie Sherrick, her story really surprised me that it hit close to home. She shared that when she first started Mary Kay she was a single mom and $50k in debt. She really felt she had nothing left to lose. After getting out of debt though, her credit still wasn't high enough to get a home loan and she had to work and wait for it - getting a home of her own was a dream of hers, much like it is for me and hubby, although, like Hollie, we're in the same spot she was in (hubby's credit still too low according to the bank). She did get approved though, and for so much more than she was expecting and was able to get her dream home! Her and her unit were also recognized at the conference as #1 in production too! I figure, if she can get that much out of debt and become the #1 unit in production in our conference area, then why can't I do this? I'm in a lot better circumstances than she was, there's no reason I can't. As nice as it is that I only work 2 days a week and make a "decent" paycheck considering how little I work, after the first 2 months, I have been BORED out of my mind. There's no reason why I can't do this better when I have plenty of time to myself - especially since hubby got a 2nd job and I'm home alone so much these days.

So overall, this weekend was a big boost to my confidence that I CAN do this.

They left us with several challenges, which I am working on. One of my goals for this year that I posted back in January was to get my Red Jacket by Christmas. Well, I'd rather earn enough that I can afford to go to Seminar and wear my Red Jacket there.

I also decided I *want* to go to Seminar now. Originally, once I learned of the cost, I figured, forget it, I won't be able to afford it and we're going to Dallas in October anyway on vacation... but after this weekend, I want to go. Plus, 1 night we get to wear prom dresses and ball gowns too - how fun is that?? I love getting all dressed up like that! And it's all good, I'll be in the conference center pretty much the whole time so it won't be like I'm exploring the city without hubby - we can do that for our trip in October. My director said that if we just start saving a little bit from each party we do between now and then, we should be good to go once July comes.

Also, the girl in my unit who I mentioned earlier that also does graphic design work, her and I really got to bond this weekend which was really neat! I needed something like that - ever since I moved back to my hometown almost 2 summers ago, I haven't really felt connected with anyone my age. I have a few friends from high school I still occasionally meet up with and talk to online and on the phone sometimes, but they're busy with their kids a lot too as well as work. Now this girl, she's a single mom too, taking online classes, but she makes an effort each week to be there at our meetings and we have art and video games in common too. So it was just nice getting to bond with someone close to my age, that's female and lives nearby.

So a lot of good things came out of this weekend and I'm really glad I went!

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