“Are you still stamping?” That's a question I have gotten quite a bit over the past few weeks.

And the answer is a giant YES!

What I've been on is a break, a hiatus, a vacation – from posting things.

I've had a rough few months, and I don't mean that in a poor, poor, pitiful me kind of way.

Instead, I look at it as an opportunity!

I've been in a rut for a while, always doing the same things over and over again. Why? Because it was comfortable. It was what I was good at. I won't say it was easy, it's been hard work. But it wasn't the same kind of challenge that it used to be.

Years ago, a very wise friend of mine, Cathy Parlitsis, gave me some very sound advice. At the time, she was working with empty nesters. She advised not to wait until Emily was in college to start making changes.

She said something like, many people wait until their kids go off to school to make changes. But then you are making decisions with a sadness undertone, not a spirit of excitement and joy. – that's totally me paraphrasing, she had a much more elegant way of wording it.

I wonder if she knows that that conversation made such a huge impact on me.

Side note – I haven't talked to her in years and she texted me this last weekend. What are the odds?!?!?

What Does All That Mean?

All of that leads to this… I will still be stamping and still be card making and still run this blog and have videos and Stamping Family, and I will be only be using products that I love.

So none of that is changing.

What is changing is the products that I use.

It's time for me to break out of my comfort zone and dive into all that is out there in the paper crafting world!

You will see a variety of products from different companies, all have been selected by me, my favorites.

And that's what I've been doing for the past few weeks.

I've been playing in my craft room! Trying new things, making different projects – doing my thing, and I needed a bit of time to process it all.

Did anything happen to bring about this change?

Yes. To be honest, a lot has happened.

I'm not into bashing or making public videos about any company, that's not my thing.

I do feel that those of you that are my loyal customers need to hear something about it though.

Before I say what tipped the scale, please know that leaving Stampin' Up! has been in my mind for more than a little while.

What happened was February.

I usually generate a good deal of sales every month. Several thousands of dollars in sales. Every. Month.

And in February, during Sale-a-Bration and all, by the 22nd of the month, I had $123 in sales – total.

Many of you were still ordering, but I wasn't getting credit for the sales. The SU ordering system worked the way it should. A person I highly respect at the company dove into figuring out what was going on.

And there is a lot that goes into it that customers shouldn't have to understand and it's actually something (called cookies – cookies are a good thing, I just don't like how they are using them) that I have been fighting for for years. So people think they are ordering with me, and then it switches to another demonstrator.

There is also a lot going on in the news that has had my business take a big hit. We delete A LOT of comments on social media and on this blog in regards to that. I won't touch on any of that, I'm just exhausted by it, and none of it is good for anyone.

But, for the first time in almost 20 years, I wasn't going to get a paycheck. And I don't know about you, but that's a big wakeup call for me! I was still working my booty off, and no paycheck was heading my way. In case you are wondering, that stinks!

And sometimes we need that nudge, whether it be big or small, to make changes.

Cathy's words of wisdom, paired with this giant nudge, led to several family conversations. They were hard conversations, yet easy at the same time.

What Would I Love To Focus On Most?

Matt asked me several times, “What would you like to focus on?”

I love teaching stamping! That's the best part!

There is a group I am in called GrowthDay. Any GrowthDay friends out there? It's an app, a group, a podcast maybe? But I've been an active member for almost a year.

One of the things that I keep starring in my notes is to not press so hard on the things that are your struggles, but to pursue what you really love and what you are really good at.

So with this shift, I get to double down on what I love – TEACHING STAMPING!!!

And that… that feels amazing!

Tired of Coloring in The Lines

For years, I have been saying that I am tired of coloring in the lines. I'm tired of rules that I have to follow when it comes to non-compete issues. It was worth the lines when we were earning the trips and things like that. But after the last trip, I took them off my goal list forever. So without that, why stay? Oh yeah, because I was getting paid!

Then I noticed myself getting more and more frustrated with the lines. I was passionately saying (yelling) to Matt, “I don't want to color in lines anymore!” This was on Feb 19th.

The #1 mindset coach, Ed Mylett, (also in GrowthDay) gave an amazing presentation just 11 days later, on March 1st, talking about how much we screwed up teaching our kids to color in the lines as kids.

Creativity goes out the window as soon as we set parameters. And it's so true!

An entire part of his presentation was on this topic!

That hit me like a brick to the chest.

I didn't need confirmation or permission from his talk, but as I listened, it was just another sign that I am moving in the right direction.

Matt is 100% on board with this. We have had some amazing conversations lately discussing it all.

So Now What?

Yeah, I don't have it all figured out just yet, nor do I feel pressure to do so.

Tomorrow, you will see an adorable card that I can't wait to share with you! The next day, you will see another one!

Thursday is our next Stamping Family Zoom, and I can't wait for that!

For my Stampin' Up! customers, I'm not gone yet and I want to help you with your orders and make sure you are all taken care of.

You, my audience and customers, you remain my #1 focus. None of that changes.

I am nervous and a wee bit scared. We still need my income for our family, not gonna lie or sugar coat that one bit.

We will be depending on my classes and Stamping Family for that, and that's a lot of pressure landing squarely on my shoulders. Thank goodness I can do hard things!

Who's Also Excited About This?

If you are, I need to hear it!

I will need to rely on my team of supporters, that's you! Your comments on posts, your memberships, your engagement will be invaluable.

I will do my part, I promise you that!

If you have questions, please ask. As I said, I don't have it all figured out just yet. And your questions may help me with that. If you have comments, leave them! I reply back to almost every comment.

Who's ready to see tomorrow's project? XOXO, Meg

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