Anne Howie, The Party Plan ExpertPosted by Deb Bixler
Ann Howie is the New Zealand version of Deb Bixler! LOL
She is very well known down-under as the Party Plan Expert!
This is the first of a 4-part series of posts that were transcribed from our radio interview on the CashFlowShow – Direct Sales Radio earlier this year.
We transcribe some of our best shows into text as a service for the hearing impaired. In order to be updated when subsequent articles are posted, please subscribe to the CreateACashFlowShow RSS feed.
Ann Howie Radio Interview Transcribed To Text
DEB BIXLER: Good evening, everybody! Welcome, everybody, direct sellers around the world. This is Deb Bixler, and you are listening to the CashFlowShow Radio.
We are so excited to have you here tonight, and we’re excited because we have a terrific guest from down under.
ANNE HOWIE: Thanks, Deb. I’m really excited to be asked to come on your show, and yes I’m looking forward to chatting to you for a while.
DEB BIXLER: Yes, and it is probably one thing you’re going to learn: it always surprises me how the radio show goes so quickly compared to doing regular teleseminar trainings. It’s really interesting.
Well, today’s show is brought to our listeners around the world. We do air seven days a week. The second and fourth Wednesday of every month is live, so we’re live tonight if you happen to be listening right now on Wednesday. What is the date today? June 13th. We are live, but we are on seven days a week. So every show replays every day for two weeks.
Okay, Anne well let’s just get started. I want to say for everybody listening: Anne is an author, trainer, speaker, and she is based out of Christchurch, New Zealand and is a party plan expert for Party Planners down in New Zealand. But why don’t you just give us your background yourself rather than me doing it? How did you get started in the industry?
Start Party Plan Business
ANNE HOWIE: Well, I got off to an interesting start, really. I wasn’t very interested in a party plan business at all. I didn’t have any particular interest in the industry, but what I was interested in was staying home with my children and not working a 9 to 5 job. So I did come across party plan a little bit by accident, and it didn’t take me too long to realize that I didn’t have to work too hard to be able to earn the money that I needed to be able to send my son to Montessori school, which is what I really wanted to do.
We needed $100 a week, $20 a day for Alex to go to Montessori School. And I turned up at this party, and this woman was selling perfume and aromatherapy. I actually didn’t think she did a great job with the party, but I watched her… send aromatherapy oils around all of the group. There were 30 oils, and we had to sniff them all out of the bottle, and by the end of the party, all of us felt ill. But everybody still bought something, and she sold $400 that night. I asked her how much she earned, and she earned $100 cash for herself. And I’m thinking, that’s all I have to do to pay for Alex’s Montessori. And so I thought, “Well, I’m sure I can do a better job than that.” So actually, that’s how I get started.
And I really didn’t think that I was going to last. I was quite interested in getting the kits, so I was one of these terrible people who thinks – well I just get the kits, I’ll do a few parties, and then I’ll probably just quit.
But after my first six parties, I already had money in my pocket. I paid all my investment back and I had money. But in three months, I had enough money in the bank to pay for a full year of Alex’s Montessori, and so I thought, maybe I’ll just stay a little bit longer.
So I keep staying and staying and the roads got bigger and bigger. Suddenly I was having holidays in Mauritius and Hawaii and Phuket, and I was driving brand new company cars, and I had — I started off with no skills at all, totally shy, totally scared, and learned skills all along. By the time I got to the stage where I decided to make it a life change and sell my business, I had over 100 people joining my business every month. So it was such an amazing growth for me, and going from just wanting to pay for some preschool for my son to completely changing my life and my family’s life. It’s honestly been the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s been amazing.
DEB BIXLER: Right, right, and your story is so similar to so many. Like when I went to my first party, I was sitting there thinking, “I could do better than this.” [Laughter]
ANNE HOWIE: Funny thing is, when I went to do my very first party, suddenly I wasn’t quite as cocky or confident.
DEB BIXLER: Right, right. So I know that you did very, very well in your company. You moved up to a leadership role?
ANNE HOWIE: Yes, I did. The whole way. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I mean, we had reasonably good training, but I still was stumbling along the way and people kind of joined me. I didn’t really understand how that has happened, but people just kind of joined and I became a leader. And at that time, we needed four people to join our team, and I honestly remember thinking: I’ve made it. This is amazing. You know, things are just going to go so well for me from now on. I’ve made big time. I’m a leader.
But I’ll tell you what, I hadn’t even finished my first glass of champagne before that wore off, and what happened was reality was quite different to my imagination and I wasn’t really prepared for it. I had a system in place to get to do my parties, and there were all the things that was I doing as a consultant, and suddenly I was just this leader who had people calling me all the time. They had problems they needed me to fix. They wanted to tell me big, long stories about themselves, which was great, but I’d spend all day on the phone and no time doing my own business. My sales plummeted, I couldn’t maintain my group. You know, it rapidly turned into a bit of a disaster.
DEB BIXLER: Right. And you know what? I hear that so often. A lot of the people I coached that had come to leadership too fast weren’t prepared for it, and are just kind of lost with the direction to go. So I know that’s a really common — especially with either good consultants really good at sales, you have a lot of shows, you’re going to meet a lot of people, you’re going to bring a lot in, but also with companies that grow really quick. Now, we have little more than three minutes ‘til our first break.
ANNE HOWIE: It’s fast.
DEB BIXLER: It is, isn’t it? Today, I did a map. I saw a map on somebody’s site about where they were worldwide, and so I did a map of where we’ve sent CashFlowShow home party plan training products, and I have to say that New Zealand is a little under-represented. It was one.
ANNE HOWIE: Well, we could maybe fix that.
DEB BIXLER: Yeah.
ANNE HOWIE: I do a lot of work in Australia as well, so how’s Australia looking?
Home Party Business Success
DEB BIXLER: Australia, United Kingdom, Canada of course, and United States are the top locations for product shipments, also for people coming to the website. But anyway, we’re going to come back after the break, and we’ll talk more about how to be successful in your business, three, four, five times bigger, but without that much effort.
So what kind of troubles did you have? You know, we have like two minutes and 30 seconds left before break.
ANNE HOWIE: [Laughter] Well, the main problem really was that I was completely overwhelmed, and this thing had become like a monster.
What I’ve noticed over my time in coaching and also in developing leaders in my business is that people get a shock if they’re not prepared; and that’s what happened to me, I got a shock. But what happens is that often people didn’t stay where they are.
Their business doesn’t grow because they can’t put things in place. They’re always fighting fires. Either that or they quit after a short time of leadership, which is a shame because it really doesn’t have to be like that. So it became really important for me to help people get ready for leadership and then to get ready for growth so that your empire can build. You can build a big business, but not with these awful growing pains and this feeling of overwhelm that keeps happening. And maybe after the break, I could talk a little bit about what the growing pains are and how they come about.
DEB BIXLER: Right, cool. Well, we have a minute and a half. Do you want to share some?
ANNE HOWIE: Okay, I’m not sure what the time is, so the growing pains happened because we get into our system. Everything is running well, so as a consultant that was happening for me, and then a new phase of growth happens and suddenly we’re overwhelmed with all this new work.
So of course this happens, and we go, “Oh my goodness! I’ve got to either fix something or I’m just going to collapse,” so we fix something, and it’s always under a stressful situation. So we fix the system and we get the system sorted, and then we go along for a while thinking this is great.
Work At Home Business System
You know, I’ve got the system going to make working in your home business easier… it’s all working well. But then the business grows a little bit more, and suddenly we find we’re in that overwhelmed place again, and then we’re drowning. We’re putting out fires, and all of a sudden, we just consciously have to sort the system out. So we do some more changes, we sort that system out, we go for a little while, and then it just keeps on going.
DEB BIXLER: Right.
ANNE HOWIE: So this is a growing pain, and it’s stressful.
DEB BIXLER: Right.
ANNE HOWIE: So we can actually avoid all of that.
DEB BIXLER: All right, you’re going to give us some solutions for that after the break?
ANNE HOWIE: I’m going to give it my best shot. [Laughter]
DEB BIXLER: I’m sure you are. All right, so we’re here with Anne Howie and she’s an author, trainer, speaker based out of New Zealand, and she has 15 years of experience in the industry beginning as a consultant, becoming a leader, and she has won lots of awards. Check out our sponsors please and we will be right back!
Party Plan Expert For Hearing Impaired
The CashFlowShow Radio is transcribed into text for the hearing impaired so that all home party consultants can take advantage of the training. Please share this with anyone who can benefit from this service.
Print the PDF of the Anne Howe The Party Plan Expert Interview part #1.
In order to be updated when subsequent articles are posted, please subscribe to the CreateACashFlowShow RSS feed.