Increase your confidence as a balloon business owner

Increase your confidence as a balloon business owner. Hi, I’m Joette Giardina, CBA aka Balloon Coach.  I have been earning my income full time from the balloon industry since 2003. Over the years I have investested tens of thousands of dollars on training and travel expenses to increase my skills and increase my confidence as a Balloon Business Owner.  I now have the pleasure of walking side by side with my friends and coaching clients in the balloon industry to support them as they grow their Thriving Balloon Business. The thing that gives me the most pleasure is when the Alumni from my training programs share their success stories. Today I would like you to meet Sheetal Kurup,  Events by Sheetal, Millburn, New Jersey. Written June 15, 2020 in Balloon Coach Community facebook group.

 

Sheetals Yard designs

I want to share some great and exciting news. I just hit $40,088.50 in sales yesterday. It took me a year last year to make that much and now in just 2 months and 15 days I have made this much money. Here is my story and hope this inspires you.

Sheetal and her Family I am a wedding and event planner, event designer ( fabric draping) and also a balloon professional. When the pandemic started and events were cancelled, I had nothing to do but to stay home , read books , finish my courses which I had paid for from other fields. For 15 days I did just that..but when I reached the module on Marketing in one of the courses, things just drastically changed for me.

I had a biggest mindset shift while doing the course specially the marketing module. Initially I didn’t like marketing at all and felt it to be icky, salesly . simply put I was not comfortable marketing about my services. But while I was on Marketing module of the Course and when I heard in the course that you are doing a great disservice to people if you don’t let them know about your talent and skills and how you can help them, thereby making a greater impact and change in their lives. When I heard this, something dramatically changed inside in me. I started thinking how can I help people right now in this pandemic with the current skills I have. Suddenly I realized YES, I can help people by providing balloons to their yard…I had been displaying balloons in my yards as part of the One Millions Bubbles project to cheer people in my community when the pandemic started so why not sell my services and provide balloons to people’s yard so they can have something colorful to look outside their window there by bringing them happiness and joy. At the Same time I had just stumbled on the yard art group on FB . I put the two together marketing mindset shift and Yard art balloons and took massive action . I immediately let people know that as a balloon artist I can help them in this pandemic.  I started advertising in FB groups , towns mom groups about how I can help provide yard balloons to families to help with birthdays, anniversaries, graduations Mother’s Day , father da , engagement etc . Everyone is stuck at home and no events are happening.  So by providing no contact yard balloons I can bring joy to families and their loved ones. I started advertising March end and from April 1st I have been flooded with orders. My business has just taken off..and I have been crazy busy with orders ever since .I have had total of 233 orders so far for yard balloons and more orders are coming in . The biggest shift in my sales number came when I spoke to Joette after having crossed $8000 sales the first few weeks of April and she told me to raise my prices to make more money without getting burnt out.

Joette & Sheetal at Promotions & Profits Orlando 2019

I did exactly that , Joette gave me the confidence that it was okay to raise my prices .. I followed her advice the Same night we were chatting … raised my prices and people are still booking me at my higher prices. I recently did a webinar in May with Joette and Sara and shared some of my story, my yard pictures and pricing. Do check it out when u get a chance. Attaching few recent pictures of my yard decor . Enjoy

  Thank you Sheetal for sharing your journey with us! Do you feel inspired?

Sheetal at Parade Promotions & Profits Orlando 2017

Do you feel a bit more confident that YOU TOO can make your dreams in the Balloon Industry Reality? Here are  ways you can Increase your confidence as your grow your balloon business, like Sheetal Increased her confidence:
  • Invest in your training and attend a hands on program with Balloon Coach to increase your skills and knowledge.
  • Grow your professional network and surround yourself with like minded business owners
  • Practice your balloon designs and Sell what you Share
  • Read books on business development
  • Participate in Online learning and take action on tips from mentors in the industry
  • Sheetal shared more of her story and details about the price point she charges and the steps she took to increase her sales during social distancing.
You can get immediate access to the May 2020 webinar by becoming a member of Balloon Boss Mastermind Program and have ongoing group coaching and training through the monthly membership.  Special deal, save $50 on your first month and invest just $47 to have access to over $4,000 of online training and support.   When you maintain your monthly membership at $97 a month you will continue to have access to monthly Live Q & A the first Monday of each month at 9 pm EST, and New Webinar the 4th Tuesday of Each month at 9 pm EDT.   Take one step forward today your future self will thank you for. Your Partner in Success, Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor.  Motivator.  Speaker. BalloonCoach.com Join Balloon Boss Mastermind

Balloon Business Owner, How is Your Forgetting Curve?

Balloon Business Owner, How is Your Forgetting Curve?

 

Have you ever gone to a balloon or business training, workshop or convention and been super excited about everything you learned and can’t wait to get home to use the information and then not taken action on what you learned?

Research shows that:

  • Within one hour, people forget an average of 50 % of information presented.
  • Within 24 hours we forget an average of 70 percent of new information.
  • Within a week forget 90%.
What would you say is your typical “forgetting curve”? I created the resources at BalloonCoach.com to help reduce the forgetting curve.   I turned 50 this year, so I often use my age as an excuse for forgetting the reason I walked into a room and can’t remember why I’m there.  Do you ever have that happen, working on prep for an event and walk across your shop to pick up something you remembered you needed to take with you that was not on your packing list, then forget what you were looking for?   I have seen it happen often.   The other part of forgetting is that when we go to a training, there is so much information being put into our brain all at once, that it’s impossible to take action on all of it as soon as we return home.  We still have family obligations or current events we are working on so sometimes our notes get filed away or lost, and we don’t return back to that information to move forward.   We can easily become overwhelmed and just go back into our old routines and not implement new ideas. Ways to lessen your forgetting curve and take action to grow your thriving balloon business with the new knowledge you gain from training:
  • Take good notes! When at an event use a highlighter to select the top things you want to do when you return home.
  • Use a daily journal or calendar to track the most important things you want to take action on.
  • Set a day each month that you look back on past training to implement something new you learned in the past.
  • Prioritize which items you want to do first, take one step forward at a time.
  • Write your goals down.
  • Create a vision board to visualize why you are doing what you are doing to see the future the way you want it to be.  Great athletes visualize the victories before they happen.
  • Think about how you will feel when you put a new system in place or are able to offer a new service to your clients as motivation to take action.
  • Surround yourself with positive people who are also working towards making their goals reality.
  • Increase your confidence to do new things without the fear of rejection or failure.
  • Understand that failure is not the opposite of success, but success is a journey and not a destination.
  • Invest in ongoing support and training.  We all need reminders of the things we have learned but have put to the back of our brain.
  • Invest in a coach to help you problem solve and encourage you to keep moving forward.
  • Set a weekly schedule to success, time blocking the most important duties.
  • State your goals publically or with an accountability partner to follow up with you.
When you look at the list do you feel overwhelmed?  Being a business owner is not an easy task, and many time our friends and family just don’t fully understand our passion for creating a thriving balloon business.  By going to trainings and participating in online groups I have made friendships with some of the most amazing people. Having a network of Balloon Bosses to reach out to to share struggles and success and learn from each other is what has kept me in the industry full time since 2003. If I would have known in 2003 what I know now, I would of set up my company in a totally different way.  No need for you to make the same mistakes I did!

GREAT NEWS! You have several resources available to help you reduce your forgetting curve and help you have ongoing training at your fingertips.  Due to the struggles I have faced since starting in the balloon industry full time in 2003, I now share the training and insights with you to save you time and money to allow you to grow faster when you implement the action steps.  

  Success is a Journey Not a Destination. In 2019, I was presented the INSPIRE award by Betallic in recognition of my training programs created for the balloon industry. I want to share some of the powerful words on the award to encourage you.
  • Success is a Journey not a Destination
  • Dream Big
  • Believe in yourself
  • Born to Succeed
  • Create it
  • Make it happen!
    Each day is a new opportunity for growth when we Take Action to Thrive. Balloon Coach was created to help support and encourage you on your journey Invest in yourself today and join us in Balloon Boss Mastermind! What do people say about Balloon Boss Mastermind Program? I am so excited for this webinar with Chris Adamo Cba. (This month’s Balloon Coach Webinar 1/21/20 at 9pm EST). But then all of the webinars offered through balloon coach are fabulous and what is so nice or should I say wonderful is that you can go back as many times as you want and re-watch all the webinars. I love that and it seems the second time or third time I learned something. I do know that I would not be doing as well in my balloon business without Joette Meyers Giardina and Balloon Coach, and balloon boss Mastermind it’s the icing on the cake.” – Gayle Whitear Your Partner in Success,           Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker. Join Balloon Boss Mastermind for Ongoing Support and Training Learn online 24/7 from anywhere in the world at BalloonCoach.com Email Joette@ballooncoach.com with any questions you may have.

Packing List for FLOAT Balloon Convention 2020

Packing List for FLOAT Balloon Convention 2020!

  FLOAT 2020 is right around the corner! I believe firmly in the quote – if you are not growing, you’re dying.   That is one of the reasons that I have been attending balloon industry and business training since I started in the balloon industry full time in 2003.  We are so blessed to be a part of an industry where people are giving, positive, and energetic to be around.  Going to a convention with over 500 balloon professionals is an uplifting experience. FLOAT is my favorite balloon convention! (You may be thinking but Joette, don’t you put on a convention that should be your favorite?)  I produce a Business Building Workshop limited to 96 attendees in Orlando every year in November. It is NOT a convention, although some refer to it as one.   I have the utmost respect for the convention that Steve and his amazing team put on as it has 5 times the amount of people that I host in Orlando and is a different learning opportunity from what I host. I met the founding producer of FLOAT, Steven Jones, at a large group build he hosted prior to creating FLOAT called Balloon Town in Ohio. The experience was full of learning new things and meeting wonderful people whose work I had seen online on Balloonhq (the place we used to go for online connections before Facebook was created…YES to those of you who are much younger than I…there was a time Facebook did not exist!)   I can’t wait to spend a week with my FLOAT family many of which are some of my best friends and support system, and met at FLOAT or other conventions. I missed the first FLOAT in 2008 due to a schedule conflict, but have been to every FLOAT since! From participant to competitor to instructor, and 2020 will be my fourth year as a sponsor for FLOAT! Come by the BalloonCoach.com booth in the vendor showcase, on Monday and Tuesday from 11:30 am to 6 pm. I’d love to meet you in person and give you a small gift if you tell me you read this blog! KEY Times to be in the Vendor Showcase are during the Raffle Drawings at 12:15 and 5:15 pm on Monday and Tuesday! A couple of the things that I enjoy about FLOAT are:
  • The variety of balloon manufacturers and vendors all under one roof! That is real life; using products and balloons from multiple places.
  • Spending time with balloon professionals around the world to see the similarities and differences in business around the world.
  • Great content for social media. Take a lot of photos and share that you are at an international event learning from the top instructors in the industry!
  • Many people do not realize our industry is an industry, so when I share that I’m taking courses from companies around the world it shows that I take my business seriously.
  • Building a network with other balloon professionals that I can reach out to when feeling frustrated, burnt out or needing help. FLOAT feels like a Family Reunion!
  • Get a boost of energy to keep growing my business and increase my motivation.
  • Increasing my knowledge. No mater if the class I attend is an instructor that I have heard before or even a subject I teach on, I always walk away with a golden nugget of information, it might be something I learned in the past but have not put into play in my business yet to a brand new idea that makes me more efficient or more profitable.
  • We forget 90% of what we learn, especially if we don’t put it to use.  Many times attending a class on a topic we know about we hear something we had learned before but have not taken action on. This triggers us to take action and try something new to become more efficient or offer a new service to our customers to increase our profits.
CLICK HERE to view the Class Descriptions and see the schedule for FLOAT to plan the classes you want to attend Packing and Prep List for FLOAT
  • Positive mental attitude
  • Smile and a good handshake
  • Check what the size and weight requirements are for suitcases from your airline
  • Put suit cases out a week in advance and start packing early so you are not totally rushed at the end.  (I started my packing 3 weeks in advance)
  • Hotel and air reservation typed into calendar (AND printed out if needed)
  • Click this link for PDF Schedule, It is a nice graph for each day Sat -Wednesday. SAVE each day of the calendar onto your phone photos so you can easily access the schedule on your phone while you are at FLOAT!
  • Delete photos from phone and tablet, camera or purchase additional memory cards to have room for over 1,000 photos!
  • Pack a lot of business cards! You are meeting hundreds of new people it’s great to share your business cards to network after event. Seriously over 500 people will be there – bring lots of cards!
  • Portfolio or marketing materials that you may share during conversation to get ideas from others on improvements you can make.
  • Bring a special baggie or container (pencil pouch from the dollar store) or ladies even a cosmetic bag to put all the business cards in of the people you meet.
  • Pack your POWER CORD for all electronics (WBC 2012 Jani Blocker was nice enough to buy me a universal power cord when I left my laptop cord at home – not cheap!)
  • Tip from Steve pack in your carry-on a 3 outlet adapter to plug in your phone charger now you can share with 2 other people around you if there is only one plug and it’s being used you can still access power!
  • Pack an extension cord with multiple plugs! They come in handy in your hotel room since we all have so many electronics! Make sure it is 3 prong, 3 plug end or power strip
  • If you have one or more back up power pack or battery for your phone – bring all you have as you spend full days away from a power plug!
  • Hand held luggage scale you can purchase at Walmart or online, helps from extra fees at check in at your flight.
  • Chap Stick (The air is dry in St.Louis in the hotel -heater will be on due to cold outside)
  • Hand lotion
  • Jacket or sweater
  • If you plan to go site seeing or to grocery store or out to meals a winter coat, gloves, hat etc.  It’s going to be COLD.
  • Logo clothing to show off your brand
  • Balloon Coach Shirt from previous events to do a Balloon coach Group Photo on Monday at Noon in the Balloon Coach Booth of the Vendor Fair.
  • Backpack or day bag to keep your notebook, notes etc. in from class to class, your Balloon Coach Bag from Retreat 2019 has a zipper and place for a water bottle perfect to carry to classes!  (bring your luggage tag from Retreat so you know it’s your bag!)
  • ORANGE clothes or accessories for Sunday night Kick off party! You will see some fun and wild orange costumes, wigs, boas to simple orange t-shirt. Trust me you want to wear something orange to this fun kick off event to show your FLOAT spirit!   If you are a Balloon Boss Mastermind Member, or Alumni From Retreat and would like an Orange shirt for opening night email Joette@balloonCoach.com by Sunday January 12th with your shirt size to have A BalloonCoach Orange T-shirt for Sunday.  Not a member YET you can join Balloon Boss Mastermind NOW to have ongoing support and access to over $3,000 of online training at your finger tips – and get the bonus Orange Balloon Coach – #BalloonBoss t-shirt delivered to you at FLOAT!
  • Clothing for the Wednesday night Designer Awards Gala, theme “Bon Voyage – think cruise -saying good-bye to St. Louis” dress to impress!
  • Ladies will be in fancy pant suits to elegant gowns.
  • Gentleman will be wearing suits and some even a tux…so dress your best.  This is FLOAT stage 2019 when Betallic presented me with the Inspire Award.
  • At least 1 Pair of scissors in your checked luggage for jams and hands on classes.
  • Hand pump for jams and hands on class. You don’t have to have this but it comes in handy from time to time.
  • Vitamins or Emergen-C! Typically you get lack of sleep and you are hanging out with 500 people so keeping healthy is key!
  • Small bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Notebook, it’s nice to have extra pad of paper for notes
  • Pens – easy to lose a pen or run out of ink
  • Highlighter if you like to highlight notes during class
  • Gum/Mints
  • Travel cup, water bottle or money to buy one to have beverages in class and in your room
  • Travel Kleenex
  • Nail clippers and file, with all the balloon work you are bound to break a nail!
  • Static spray (heat will be on in hotel)
  • Swimsuit there is an indoor pool and hot tub at the host hotel.
  • FILES for the weeks events. If you are running crews while you are away and plan to be in touch with your crew. Email the information to yourself if you wish to review.
  • $$$$ You will want to have some cash and credit cards ready for meals and purchasing items from vendors on Monday and Tuesday , stop by and see me at the BalloonCoach.com booth!
  • IF at all possible, plan for a full 8 hours of sleep night before your flight. Once you get to FLOAT it is easy to lose track of time and be up in the lobby talking to a new friend til all hours of the night and morning!
  • Favorite granola bars, nuts, dried fruit etc. as many times you don’t take time to eat because you are visiting with people, good to keep your energy level up.
  • If you have a BalloonCoach T-shirt, Bag or Button from Past event please bring with you. Wear your BalloonCoach T-shirt on Monday! Thank you!
  • Not a Balloon Coach Member yet?  When you sign up for Balloon Boss Mastermind (discount at FLOAT) or  Balloon Boss Pro Summit 2020 (Orlando November) you can select a Balloon Coach item as your bonus gift in addition to saving money!
  TIPS While at Convention   Make friends with someone who has a car or split taxi or Uber cost and run to a store to grab snacks and food for your room to reduce food cost. The host hotel has a small fridge in each room Volunteer to work on the hands on builds, teacher prep, or competition teams to learn new techniques and make new friends. NO EXPERIENCE needed to help with group builds -just find out where they are going on at and jump in and help! Be proud to say “Hey, I helped make that and I know with confidence I can recreate it for my client” When meeting new people that you do not want to forget take a photo of them with their name tag up by their face. This way when you return home and your memory is mush from meeting hundreds of new people, you will easily be able to reference back to who is who! 2014-03-28 21.13.42 2014-03-28 21.13.47   Brenda Eng and Pearlyn Tam from Singapore After meeting at WBC they then came back to the USA for FLOAT 2014, and then WBC 2016, I enjoy spending time with people from around the world that share my passion for the Balloon Industry! Lots of fun memories are about to be created!           Tips to  Selecting the classes that will give you the Most Return on your Investment I love to pick the majority of my classes in a fashion that will lead me to more INCOME and Growth. so that I can make the most from my investment when I return home. Questions to ask yourself:
  • What part of your business do you want to expand?
  • Who are your Target Clients, which classes focus on items for that market.
  • What area of your business do you currently struggle in and need help with that will lead you to making more income.
  • Then I pick one or two classes just for fun to be inspired.
  • Who are the instructors you are inspired by their designs or by their Business Model? Example Johnathon Shelly Gerber runs his business with a team of employees at a building he leases. Melissa Rhea Vinson runs her business home based with a work studio on her property. BOTH are great designers and create beautiful balloons. But one may inspire you a bit more than the other as they have the type of business model you wish to have. Some want to always be home based…others prefer to expand outside of their home (neither is right or wrong) That is the cool thing about our industry there are so many options and only YOU determine which route is best for you.
  • This year I’m looking forward to learning from some new instructors I have never met before. And to be honest some of them I know little about. I will be reading more on their Bios and checking out their websites and social media feed this week to help me make my final decisions of which classes to attend.
  • Before you get to FLOAT review instructors Bios – check out their website or Social media see which ones inspire you the most or have a business model you would like to have.
  • When you arrive at  FLOAT look over the Book of Notes you purchased. I get the Color Notes as it’s most helpful for me when I need to go back and look things up — I have all my past convention books in my office to refer back to as needed. IF YOU did not order a book in advance I encourage you to order one as you register to be printed for you and even if you get it later in the week its a very valuable tool as you get the notes from all the General Classes.
  • TIP one of the cool things with FLOAT during GENERAL Classes is you are allowed to leave a class and go to another one during the same time frame. Just be respectful to the instructor and delegates and leave the room quietly and enter the other class quietly.   Each General Class is Offered twice, typically back to back.
Eat meals with different people. It’s great to see old friends, but make some new ones too!  You can order takeout and have a group picnic up in your room to not have to go out in the cold! The front desk of the hotel can give you a list of places that deliver to the hotel. IF you are not an outgoing person,and have a hard time meeting new people, relax and say hello! Send me a PM on Facebook Joette Meyers Giardina and I’ll be glad to introduce you to people!  Let’s get a selfie together!  I stay so busy at most conventions I sometimes forget to take photos – would love to have a photo with you in my Booth on Monday or Tuesday – or in the hall if we miss each other during the vendor fair. Networking is one of the main reasons I attend conventions. YES I want to learn from the classes. But the friendships I have made over the years from conventions have been my support system to grow my company and lead to many wonderful travels.   My room-mate and best friend Blenda Berrier and I met thanks to FLOAT.   *** Remember, lots of business cards!*** Show your support for the event you are attending.
  • Post on Social media you are attending the event (let your customers know you are continuing your education)
  • Post on your Business Page and your personal bag that you are traveling to St. Louis and then post from the event.   I cannot count how many people have stopped me at networking events at home to say WOW I never realized the Balloon Industry was a thing and your photos from your trip were Amazing!
  • Put out a Press Release before you go to the event – or after to get the most PR potential from the event for FREE marketing!
  • Purchase items from the sponsors at the vendor showcase, No, you can’t purchase everything. But realize the reason people are selling items is to help make back the money they invested in the event. I do my best to support distributors that attend conventions and that provide education for the industry (something to think of next time you go to look for who to buy your balloons from).
  • At the Balloon Coach Booth you can register for Balloon Boss Pro Summit Orlando 2020, Balloon Boss Mastermind and talk about other One to One and small group training available in Florida.
  • Post thank you messages, and send a note of thanks to the company or people who organize the event you attend.
  • Give your honest feedback on what you liked and what can be improved in the future
  • Putting on a convention is a huge undertaking. Take time to thank the producers, staff, instructors and sponsors.
  • As you post photos in the future of jobs you land, or increased income from classes you take give a shout out to the teachers and event you learned from
  I look forward to spending time with you in 2020 at FLOAT!   Your Partner in Success,           Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker. Join Balloon Boss Mastermind for Ongoing Support and Training Next live webinar January 21st, 9 pm EST Chris Adamo

Using Graphics to Design, Inspire and Upsell

Learn online 24/7 from anywhere in the world at BalloonCoach.com Email Joette@ballooncoach.com with any questions you may have.

Your Balloon Business: Prepared for Family or Medical Emergency?

Your Balloon Business: Prepared for Family or Medical Emergency?

(EDITOR NOTE: Medical emergency reference is not occuring at this moment. Being shared by Joette, from a previous experience) I’m typing this blog to you from a hospital surgical waiting room. My husband just had gallbladder surgery after being in the hospital for 6 days. One of the key things that came to mind: “Are you prepared for your clients to still be served, if you were in my shoes?” When I started in the balloon industry in 2003, for the first several years I did as much of the business as I humanly could on my own. Often, my husband and daughter became not-so-willing helpers, yet supporters of my business. They would work many evenings and weekends. Over time, I trained other people to work with me as needed and on days my husband had medical issues and would not be able to work.  I was thankful I had others who were trained and could pitch in. In January 2015, I sold my company to be able to work full time as Balloon Coach to support the balloon industry by creating new training opportunities for business owners. I still work as the Marketing Director and preparing to open a Retail showroom for Party People Events in Auburndale Florida. I’m thankful to be a team member now rather than the sole proprietor of the company. In May 2015, on a busy event day, the principal from my husband’s school called to let me know he was having a heart attack while teaching and to meet him at hospital. I got in my van and called Johnathan Gerber (owner of Party People Events)  to let him know the situation and that staff needed to grab supplies out of my vehicle, as I would not be at the events for that day. If I was the only worker for the event, I would have had to make a choice to either not be at the hospital for my husband or break two contracts and owe refunds to my clients. So, put yourself in my shoes.
  • What systems do you have in place to make sure your clients are served and money continues to be earned if you are not able to work?
  • What would happen if you were the one with the medical emergency?
  • Do you have someone who knows how to access your files?
  • Does anyone know how to contact clients and be able to create the balloons and set the decor or fill in if you are an entertainer?
If the answer is NO, here are some steps you can take to prepare:
  • Network with balloon professionals in your area that might be able to cover for you if needed
  • Have your recipes, directions to venue, contact info and all details set in writing or in computer system to easily be accessed
  • If you don’t have an employee yet, have family member or friend trained to know how to find this info to pass onto another balloon pro
  • Start the process of having a part time or full time staff member who could step in and take care of the event for you
  • Dream Big!! If the idea of having staff makes you nervous and you tend to be a bit of a “control freak” I encourage you to read the book The E-Myth Revisited. It has a great perspective on business and why many fail for not having business systems in place and share steps to put in place to grow.
Accidents and medical emergencies happen with no warning. Protect your business and clients by creating a plan now to be prepared. When I started in the industry full time in 2003 I had no idea that it was possible to create a thriving balloon business that could provide jobs for more than an income for the owner of the balloon business.  Over the years I have found that the balloon business owners that personally earn over $100,000 a year of income have a team to make that income a reality.   The balloon industry is a very physically demanding career, and time sensitive.   For some, stepping out and admitting we need help is tough with thoughts like, “if I want it done right, I have to do it myself” What I found over the years of coaching is those who have additional people working the balloon business with them from the start have a quicker growth rate and a reduced amount of burn out. Since originally sharing the Gallbladder story, my husband had 3 other hospital stays in less than a year.   Each time I’m in the hospital with Brian I feel blessed to now be a part of a team that is not dependent on me to pull off the events.  During my husbands most recent hospital stay Party People Events had one of our busiest weeks of the year. Team work makes the dream work. I encourage you to make a plan of who your support team can be for now and what you want it to look like in the future.  I share goal setting, marketing strategies, training and encouragement in my group coaching Balloon Boss Mastermind program.  I encourage you to try it out for a month and if it’s not the right fit you get a month of access to training from behind the scenes of a balloon business that does over a half a million dollar in sales a year.  For more information on building a strong foundation for your business join us in our group coaching and online training program Balloon Boss Mastermind  

Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker. Join Balloon Boss Mastermind

Ongoing support and training to grow a thriving balloon business!      

Packing List for Promotions & Profits Retreat Orlando 2019!

Packing List for Promotions & Profits Retreat Orlando 2019!

Tips to prepare to make the most out of your investment

Start your packing for Promotions & Profits Retreat Orlando 2019,  focused on creating new systems for success and hands on learning produced by BalloonCoach.com One of the TOP things to do to prepare to make the most out of your investment is to prepare to be PRESENT in the classes as much as possible.  That means, eliminating distractions so you can be in the moment, learning and creating new systems.   Take time now to set up who will be taking care of your business and family responsibilities while you are away. Prepare to reduce distractions:
  • Assign someone to answer your business phone and email
  • If you do not have a person to answer clients, put a new phone message and email response that you are out of town at training and will return messages __________ you set the deadline of when you plan to be able to get back with them.
  • Make a plan for family members or friends to take care of your kids or family while you are away.  Make sure if forms at school need to be filled out for someone new to pick up your child in case of emergency those forms are filled out.
  • Set a plan with your family or loved ones when you will communicate with them – will it be phone or text and time frame.  I found that  setting the expectation in advance that I would not be able to talk during the majority of my day helped. Depending on your time zone, having a morning chat before they head to work or school or night-time routine will keep you connected to meet their needs around the event schedule.
  • If you have events going on while you are away print any paperwork you may need to follow up with your staff on break and evening, or before class in the morning.
Promotions & Profits Retreat was created to:
  • Have our instructors share their business journey including their struggles and successes.
  • Talk real numbers and focus in on high profit decor pieces, that you can train staff to create so that you can build a business that can run without you inflating a balloon.
  • Build a network with other balloon professionals that you can reach out to when feeling frustrated, burnt out or needing help. Networking Lunch everyday as part of the program.
  • Get a boost of energy during a time that burn out can easily happen to leave motivated to rock the end of the year and start the next year fully charged!
  • Gain knowledge, our alumni who have attended with dozens of years of experience in the industry learn a new trick or procedure to make their business more efficient or increase profits.
  • Create systems for growth to become a Balloon Boss.
  • Increase confidence in building high profit decor.
  • Avenues to market your business.
Important Details The Host Hotel is:
1805 Hotel Plaza Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, Florida 32830 If you are still making a reservations please use the link on the website /orlando-2018-retreat/
There is NO HOTEL shuttle from the airport.
You can put the UBER app on your phone (use our Retreat Facebook group to see if you can share and uber with another retreat person to save you money)
BEFORE coming to the workshop if you are not already in our Retreat Facebook Group, send a PM to Joette Meyers Giardina on FB for me to put you in the group.
or email Joette@ballooncoach.com
This group has several videos showing you what is around the hotel area, a tour of the hotel plus a post where people are introducing themselves. Great place to ask someone to share an uber from the airport – or see who has a car to run to the grocery store, or if people are coming early or staying after to go be a tourist with!
BONUS Hands on Build time 
Sunday, November 10 from Noon to 5:00 pm, after you register you can work side by side with instructors and other attendees to inflate balloons to use in our professional photography for you to market with and learn about in our classes.
REGISTRATION at Event
BRING 2 business cards with you to Registration (if you do not have a business card print on a piece of paper or card stock your Name and name of your business the size of a business card.
Registration opens  Sunday from Noon to 7:30 pm  Ballroom Lobby, get your goodie bag and Name tag and workbook with the full event schedule.
If you are not arriving till Monday please Email Joette@ballooncoach.com to let us know.  Registration will start at 7:30 am Monday morning.
Optional morning activities are 7:30 am to 8:30 am
Grab your seat in class at 9:15 am.
Self parking is $10 a day at the hotel.
An area with grocery store and food from fast food to sit down is .8 of a mile down the road with a sidewalk to get there if you wish to walk from the hotel.
ARE YOU PLANNING TO ATTEND THE FULL EVENT? If you know you are not able to attend the full day and will be missing meals or days of the event, please email contact@ballooncoach.com to let us know your schedule so we can plan accordingly. Please print the Packing List for Promotions & Profits Retreat Orlando 2019 list below.
            Packing and Prep List for Promotions & Profits
  • Hearing Protection – we will have over 10 pieces of inflation equipment running during some of the hands on portion of the workshop if you are bothered by noise or would like to protect your hearing bring – ear plugs or noise cancelling earmuffs or headset to use during the hands on portion of class daily.
  • Swimsuit it will be high 60s in the evening and 70s and 80’s during the day there is a pool and hot-tub outside open 7 am to 11 pm.
  • Sunglasses or hat/sunscreen if you plan to come early or stay after to enjoy the sun or sneak out during lunch break for some sunshine.
  • $$$$ You will want to have some cash and credit cards ready for meals not included. You will also have opportunities to purchase inflation equipment & BalloonCoach.com courses.
  • We have Pamper services available in the evenings from Massage, Facials and Paraffin Dip Treatments email Contact@ballooncoach.com to be put on the schedule
  • Tuesday Night you can learn makeup and skin-care tips from Marlee and Tracie with Mary Kay, Get your Satin Hands treatment to moisturize your hands!
  • Positive Mental Attitude
  • Be OPEN to looking at things from a different perspective. It’s easy to get stuck in the mindset of, “I’ve always done it a different way”
  • Smile and a good handshake, this is a time to connect with like minded people you can turn to in the future for support.
  • Laptop or tablet if you have one, in the evenings you can round table to work directly into your computer to take action on what you are learning.
  • Friday night is Winter Wonderland themed event and style photo shoot we are the models.  Dress your best you do not have to wear the theme colors but if you like to they are white, silver and shades of blue.   We want it to look like an event our clients would hire us for from an Awards Banquets to a Corporate Christmas or NYE Party.
  • Themed clothing if you would like for other opportunities for you to take photos with the decor on your camera or phone (pair up with someone from the event and take each others photos,  this is not something you have to dress up for, but wanted you to know you can if you like in the evenings go change clothes and take photos in the different Photo Ops to use in your marketing for the holidays.   There will be a Staged shoots for the Clown Party on Wed evening, Parade delegations during Eddies Class on Thursday, and then Friday night at the Party.
  • New Years Eve  (gold, black, silver)
  • 50th bday   Gold, Black, silver
  • 4th of July
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Christmas  Red and Gree
  • Christmas – Winter Wonderland
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Back to School Big School Bus!
  • Clown/Circus
  • Neon Sweet 16
  • Baby shower in Pinks and in Blues
  • Halloween
  • Fall
  •  Easter
  • Unicorn Birthday
  • Check what the size and weight requirements are for suitcases from your airline.
  • Put suitcases out a week in advance and start packing early so you are not totally rushed at the end. (the last week before a trip always seems to be crazy)
  • Hotel and air reservation typed into calendar (printed out if needed)
  • Delete photos from phone and tablet, camera or purchase additional memory cards to have room for lots of photos!
  • Pack 120 business cards to exchange with others at retreat.
  • Portfolio or marketing materials that you may share during lunch or evening conversations to get ideas from others on improvements you can make.
  • Bring a special baggie or container or ladies even a cosmetic bag to put all the business cards in of the people you meet.
  • Pack your POWER CORD for all electronics (WBC 2012 Jani Blocker was nice enough to buy me a universal power cord when I left my laptop cord at home – not cheap!)
  • Pack an extension cord with multiple 3 prong plugs or power strip if you need for all your electronics
  • The lamp in your room does have 2 electric outlets and 2 USB ports on the night stand.
  • If you have a back up power pack or battery for your phone – bring all you have as you spend full days away from a power plug!
  • Hand held luggage scale you can purchase at Walmart or online, helps from extra fees at check in at your flight.
  • Chap Stick
  • Hand lotion
  • Jacket or sweater dressing in layers is good we are in FL with the Air conditioning on -some will be cold, some hot as we transition from hands on work with balloons to classroom lecture.
  • Logo clothing, or outfits you want your photo taken in to show off your brand when you take selfies in the photo areas
  • Comfortable shoes – we will be on our feet for the hands on builds Sunday, and Wed – Friday.
  • At least 1 Pair of scissors in your checked luggage. If you like to wear an apron while doing hands on classes bring it.
  • Hand pump if you have one not required
  • Notebook, it’s nice to have extra pad of paper for notes
  • Pens – easy to lose a pen or run out of ink
  • Highlighter if you like to highlight notes during class
  • Gum/Mints
  • Vitamins, you will  probably get a little less sleep than usual having an extra boost of vitamins the week before you come and during the event can help you feel your best.
  • Pain reliever, allergy medicine, any medications you take.
  • Travel cup or money to buy one to have beverages in class and in your room.  There is a Keurig coffee maker, microwave and small fridge in each room.
  • Travel Kleenex
  • Nail Clippers and file, with all the balloon work you are bound to break a nail!
  • Work out clothes if you would like to hit the hotel gym or sidewalks for a wake up or end of the day workout.
  • FILES for the weeks events. If you are running crews while you are away and plan to be in touch with your crew. Email the information to yourself if you wish to review.
  • IF at all possible plan for a full 8 hours of sleep night before your flight. Once you get to Orlando it is easy to lose track of time and be up in the lobby talking to a new friend til all hours of the night and morning!
  • Favorite granola bars, nuts, dried fruit etc. as many times you don’t take time to eat because you are visiting with people, good to keep your energy level up.
  • Hand Sanitizer if you use it.
  • Leave room in your suitcase for the materials from our sponsors you will get a Bag from Balloon Coach  with some small items in, flyers and few small goodies – a Mini Bottle of HIFLOAT etc. Plus there is shopping available at the Disney store in the Hotel and Disney Springs is in walking distance for some Disney themed Christmas gifs and other upscale shopping (open night Wednesday)
  TIPS While at Retreat When you meet someone you do not know – take a photo of them holding their name tag by their face so you remember their name when you get home. Get connected on Facebook while you are there. Eat meals with different people. It’s great to see old friends, but make some new ones too! IF you are not an outgoing person and have a hard time meeting new people, relax and say hello! Send me a PM on Facebook Joette Meyers Giardina and I’ll be glad to introduce you to people! Lunch Monday – Friday is 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm lunch buffet covered in your registration Dinner Friday night 7 pm included in your registration, with Dancing, Casino games and fun! (If you plan not to eat meals with us please email Joette to make adjustment to the head count for the hotel)   Show on Social Media that you are attending Industry Training!
  • Post on Social media you are attending the event (let your customers know you are continuing your education.) #BalloonCoach #Promotions&Profits
  • Friends and clients LOVE to see that you are investing in your business an fun photos of your travels keep people interested in your business!
  • Please post thank you messages, and send a note of thanks to the instructors that give you those ah-ha moments (without giving away the training you paid to learn)
  • As you post photos in the future of jobs you land, or increased income from what you learn give a shout out and tag the instructors and Balloon Coach.
  If you are reading this and not registered for Promotions & Profits Retreat 2019 Email Joette@ballooncoach.com to see if a seat is available for purchase. You can access training 24/7 from the comfort of your home, or office by joining our ongoing online training programs.  Balloon Boss Mastermind gives you Group Coaching, Marketing, Goals and Vision Training plus access to our webinar library from over 40 instructors at just  $97 a month with access to over $2,500 of online training.   Monthly live Q & A for Mastermind members the first Monday of each month, Plus access to our private facebook group discussions for support and training. I look forward to helping you reach your balloon business goals!   Your Partner in Success,           Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker. BalloonCoach.com    

Grow Your Balloon Business: Sell What You Share

Grow Your Balloon Business: Sell What You Share

The balloon industry creates a very visual product. When people see what they like on social media, your website or in a brochure they will request the decor they are most attracted to. Many businesses have difficulty when starting out to have a portfolio of designs to grab attention of their target customers. A great way to gain photos of beautiful balloon work is to attend hands on training. Back in 2003 when I started in the balloon industry, we did not have the magic of social media to help the industry grow. Today,  brand new balloon businesses can jump into action and create decor that catches their clients eye and thrive quickly. A mantra I have been sharing for years is “We sell what we share”.   If there is a specific type of balloon decor you do not wish to create, then don’t share those designs on your website or social media.  For Party People Events we prefer to create decor that any of our staff members are able to assemble and deliver.   Classic decor, columns, arches, three foot balloons, three foots with lights, neon decor with lighting are our go to items.  Part of our team have the training and skills to make very detailed pieces of art, however those are much more time consuming and cannot be duplicated by every member of our team. One way to build your portfolio as you grow your thriving balloon business is to invest in online and in person training that gives you access to the knowledge of how to create eye catching decor and then practice those designs and get them out for your target client to see. I would like to introduce you to a company that has done just that. Meet Paul and Gayle of Balloons by Gayle, from Fort Myers, Florida.                 Gayle and I originally connected online through a Facebook group, and she attended the first Balloon Coach business building workshop in Orlando in 2016, Bridge the Gap to Success, then in October of 2017 brought her husband to Parade, Promotions & Profits. They returned again for Promotions & Profits Retreat Orlando 2018.  During the Balloon Coach Hands on Workshops we have professional photography taken for the alumni to use in their marketing when they return home so they can Sell what they Share. Leaving with the knowledge how to make the designs is a great accomplishment, and confidence to price for profit is a great combination for growth. Designs created at Promotions & Profits Retreat Orlando 2018             Designs created by Balloons by Gayle September 2019 inspired by what they learned at Promotions & Profits Retreat Orlando.                   Gayle how did you hear about Balloon Coach? I was a follower of Joette Meyers Giardina on facebook since 2014, she was my very first balloon friend.   I then saw a post of Balloon Coach a short time after teaching myself by watching YouTube.  I said “I need this”.  When I sawy you were holding Bridge the Gap to Success in Orlando in November of 2016, I talked to Paul about how I want do do balloons and decided to take the opportunity and start with some good teaching.   After I met Joette in person, I knew what I wanted and needed to do to grow a balloon business. How did you decide to have your husband Paul become a part of your balloon business? When the next Balloon Coach training came up in Florida, October of 2017,    Paul had been helping me with the framing and set up so I wanted him eot also touch the balloons so I decided he needed to come with me to Parade, Promotions & Profits Orlando.  He loved it so much and learned so much.  That is when we decided to push onto the next level of our business.   Promotions & Profits Retreat Orlando 2018 was when we really starting networking and just getting out into the community to promote Balloons By Gayle. Having two trained people is so much easier when you have to trouble shoot and run ideas and solutions off each other.  Now being married to your business partner can also be a challenge but in the end it is so worth it. What is the Purple Tie Ball and why did you provide decor for the event? The organization that holds the event is One Way Out Ministries, they help get women out of human trafficking and also drug rehabilitation.  This is an organization and mission I wish to support and have seen so many women grow and turn their lives around. How do you gain new customers through going to strike your events? With large scale events where I know there are a lot of people, I always like to make sure I have my Balloons by Gayle shirt on, arrive a bit early and stand outside with my Magpole which people get attracted to.  As people are leaving the event they notice my logo on my shirt and they come over to talk to me and ask me what services I provide. During the strike of the Purple Tie Ball I had six really good contacts, mostly event planners and other business owners come up to me and ask for my card.  I immediately booked two jobs and have put out multiple quotes from that one event.   Thank you Gayle for sharing your story, tips and hints with fellow Balloon Professionals to help our industry grow.  When people experience professional balloon decor they think of all the different events that they want to purchase it for.   One of my favorite quotes is, “We don’t know, what we don’t know.”   Most of our target clients have no idea how balloon decor done right can transform a venue into a memorable occasion and bring their event to life.  Creating opportunities for your target market to SEE what you can do in person and via photos is a top key to success.  Grow Your Balloon Business: Sell What You Share!!   So make sure you are sharing quality, high profit designs to grow your thriving balloon business! BalloonCoach.com online and in person training was created to help overwhelmed balloon artists create Thriving Balloon Businesses.  I share my personal experiences  working in the balloon industry full time since 2003,  along with training from the network of balloon professionals I have had the honor of learning from throughout the years. I invite you to become a part of our online community by starting with our facebook group Balloon Coach Community – where we focus on business building topics. Looking for ongoing online training and support I encourage you to join Balloon Boss Mastermind  If you would like to experience hands on learning first hand then email Joette@BalloonCoach.com to find out about the next hands on opportunity available to meet your needs.  Private and small group classes are available in Lakeland, Florida at the Balloon Coach workshop and Party People Events behind the scenes work shadow programs. Grow Your Balloon Business: Sell What You Share! Your Partner in Success, Joette Giardina, CBA Founder BalloonCoach.com Grow Your Thriving Balloon Business Join Balloon Boss Mastermind

5 Tips to Increase Your Balloon Sales During the Final Quarter of the Year

5 Tips to Increase Your Balloon Sales During the Final Quarter of the Year Imagine yourself on New Year’s Eve, as you prepare to ring in the new year. Clinking champagne with friends and family, or as you preparing to pull a balloon drop. As you reflect over your accomplishments of this past year, what is the magic number you want to celebrate? The last quarter of the year – October, November, December – tends to be one of the most profitable times of the year for a balloon business. Are you READY to jump both feet forward to make this your most profitable quarter ever? Here are 5 tips to increase your balloon sales during the final quarter of the year:
  1.  Write down a goal.
  2. Identify your target clients to make that goal reality
  3. Create an action plan to reach out to those clients
  4. Take action daily to book out your calendar
  5. Establish your support team to make that goal reality
Let’s break that down a bit. Write a Goal.  If you don’t know where you are going, how do you expect to get there? Set a number, either:
  • An end of year sales goal
  • Number of new clients you want to service
  • Total number of balloon drops or decor set ups for New Year’s Eve
  • How many Christmas Parties you want to decorate
  • Number of Birthday parties you want
Bottom line: write a goal of some type that is measurable. Identify your target clients to make that goal reality
  • Not everyone is your customer, so do not waste your time fishing in a pond that does not have the money to pay you a profitable price.
  • Who do you enjoy servicing that has the money in their budgets and values quality balloon decor and service?
  • You don’t have to target just 1 specific person. You can market to a variety of people.
Create an action plan to reach out to those clients
  • Write out what you will do to gain access to the people you want to work with
Take action daily to book out your calendar
  • Building a thriving balloon business takes daily focus and action, not just waiting on the phone to ring
  • Set a schedule for success of tasks you will do each day, or throughout the week to gain new clients.
Establish your support team to make that goal reality
  • Growing a thriving balloon business takes a lot of time and energy. It is easy to work 80 hour weeks and get burnt out.
  • What are the things you do not enjoy doing in your business that you would like help with?
  • Seek out people with the skills and availability to help you from small task to inflating and going on jobs with you.
  • Team work makes the dream work.   I get to witness the power of a team daily as the marketing manager for a $600,000 a year balloon business now.   Each member of the team plays an important role to allow Johnathon Gerber to be a Business Boss of Party People Events, rather than a worker bee.
When you look at that list do you feel overwhelmed or excited and ready to move forward? Growing a balloon business is not for the weak at heart. It takes focused energy and working daily to make your dreams reality. Would you like someone to help you feel empowered to make your dreams reality with training and support for your journey to ROCK your end of year sales goals? I remember how alone I used to feel in my business journey when I started out in 2003 and how many times I doubted my ability to grow my business.  I’m so glad I invested in my training and building a network of balloon professionals who had been in my shoes to encourage me on my journey and not to give up. The balloon industry is booming and you are in the right place at the right time. In our Balloon Coach online programs you have access to training from balloon professionals and business owners from around the world that share their secrets to success.  No need to waste time and money making mistakes, learn from our mistakes and successes to have a quicker path to success!  The online training is at your finger tips 24/7 Join us in Balloon Boss Mastermind – the minute you sign up you have immediate access to over $2,500 of online training.   Webinar replays to help you excel during the last quarter:
  • How to make and sell balloon drops   – Chris Potts
  • Gain more clients with clear brand messaging –  John Roquemore
  • Enhance balloon designs with florals & ribbon  – Cody Williams
  • Beyond Likes   Make the most out of your instagram – Serena Waller
  • 3 C’s of growing your business and staying sane  – Dianna Glandon
  • How to find new customers online starting today – Brandon Turpin
  • Elevate your enthusiasm to increase sales  – Liz Romani
  • Digital Business systems for balloon professionals – Chris Adamo
  • Seven steps to success – Stuart Davies
All these webinars and more are a part of our online training available to you 24/7 to listen to while you inflate balloons, work at your computer or take care of other chores. When I started in the balloon industry in 2003, I never dreamed that today I would serve as the marketing manager for a balloon business that does over $600,000 a year in sales. Johnathon Gerber, who purchased my company back  in 2015 has built a strong team to make his vision of being a balloon boss a reality, one step at a time. If you would like to have hands on training from a team, I’m delighted to announce that in addition to our online programs and  yearly training in Orlando,  BalloonCoach.com and Party People events is now offering dynamic behind the scenes one to one training experiences in Central Florida. To apply for the program email Joette@ballooncoach.com In the subject put Hands on Training.    We will send you a form to fill out with the details of pricing and requirements to come work in our Auburndale Florida Warehouse with Johnathon and his team to focus in on your goals and see behind the scenes the systems Johnathon has put into place.   Your Partner in  Success,         Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker.    

Balloon Business Owner Self Care Tips

Balloon Business Owner Self Care Tips

As you build your thriving balloon business, it is very easy to put 110% of your energy and time into your business and neglect yourself and your family. From 2003 to 2015 as I was building my balloon decor company, Party People in Lakeland, Florida and I fell into the trap of being a workaholic! I was very guilty of of:
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Not eating healthy food
  • Putting off quality time with my family to work longer hours
Facing burn-out several times, I sold my balloon business in 2015. I now enjoy a bit of a more relaxed schedule as the marketing manager for Party People Events and serving as a mentor through BalloonCoach.com resources.  However I find that I am still driven by work more than I wish to be and have to focus on making time in my schedule for me and my family. Today I’d like for you to meet Rachel Porter, owner of Balloon Splendor in Mount Vernon, Washington.   We hope that her sharing her story will help you plan your schedule to include taking care of yourself to help your business thrive!
When did you start in the balloon industry?   I started balloons when I was laid off from my corporate job.  My sons were 5 and 7 and I wanted to be home with them and doing balloons was a way to do that.  Unfortunately, that spiraled down quickly. In my early days, the first 10 years of being in business really, I put the business first, putting my sons (single mom), house and myself second, third and fourth. My children resented me (we’ve since made up and we have a great relationship now), my family never understood why I had to answer my business phone even at the dinner table. I would cancel family get togethers in favor of doing that job.  I was more loyal to the business than I was to those that loved me.
Did you have other income outside of balloons? For the first two years, I was living with a friend who didn’t charge me for the rooms we were using.  I did have a part time job working for an engineering firm that a friend who worked at the corporate job I had started. I did his front office work and he rented the garage space in the back to me.  That lasted for a year.  By mid-1997 I was solo.  My parents would offer to help with groceries on occasion, I think more to make sure their grandchildren were fed, lol!
What did you do to grow your business?  I was an early adapter to the internet.  I had a website in early 1997.  The delivery business was quite robust because of it.  When I did deliveries, I would hand out cards to everyone that commented on them, and sometimes would have new orders called in before I made it back home.  I learned to keep order forms in my van.  I was also an early adapter to cell phones, having my first one in 1994.  I also did a lot of networking through my friends and family.  That’s a class onto itself!
How did you get training for your business? Until 2007 when I attended my first convention, I relied on Pioneer’s QBN program and any lessons I could glean from that program. I also attended the rare Qualatex sponsored trainings that came to the Seattle area.  I would comb through Images magazines and find designs I could do and change them up to make them my own.
Did you have someone working with you as you grew your business?   My husband retired from carpet laying in 2007, so stopped materially contributing to our household income then.  He did deliveries for me, errands, moving tanks and bases. He wasn’t much help in actual building of the decor.  When we moved up to Mount Vernon, he worked minimum wage jobs for the first couple of years, part time until my business took off up here.    He got a job at the school district working less than 10 hours a week (I needed him more hours). He worked for the medical benefits. He was bringing home less than $500 a month.   And then he had a medical emergency.
 
What was your husbands medical emergency?  A brain tumor. It wasn’t benign, but not aggressive enough to be malignant either. They removed it, did radiation, and I think the radiation was a poor choice.  Had I known then what I know now, I would have opted for quality of life over potentially extending it.  But it is what it is.  The job he had with the school district insurance covered the surgery and rehab.
How has his medical condition affected your business and health?  His surgery was in early 2015.  I had a very good New Year’s a couple of months before, so I had plenty of money in the bank.  So when his surgery came at the end of February, I was basically out of work for 6 weeks with him.  I stopped answering my phone unless it was an existing customer I liked.  A local balloon friend was instrumental in helping me maintain my client base in the Seattle area, offering to do jobs for me and giving me most if not all of the money earned from them.  That karma has come back to that balloon artist 100 fold. My husband lost his ability to speak, as the tumor affected language and speech. He knows what he wants to say, but can’t get it out.  His right side secondary motor function was also affected, so standing, walking, using his hands… all affected.  He required hours of therapy daily, and was improving wonderfully, until he came home. I live in a rural county, so home healthcare options are limited.  So there I was, assisting him with everything.  And because of the meds he was on, he had to go to the bathroom several times a night.  So not only was I a full time caregiver during the day, and running my business, I was also getting up with him several times at night.  I was literally exhausted, running on empty, and very sleep deprived.  That lasted for a few months when I finally made arrangements for him to be put in a nursing home.  My new goal was to help with his rehab so I could bring him home again.  The nursing home was 70 minutes away in no traffic (I went after morning rush hour so I could get back before evening rush hour).  I was gone 4 hours daily, 7 days a week.  He made great progress.  But never enough to come home. It was finally in 2018, after another surgery, and two more nursing homes that I finally had to make the decision to stop being his therapist and just be his wife.  The guilt of giving up on him was tremendous.  I ended up in the hospital from the stress, guilt and extreme grief of it all. Meanwhile, I am treading water as Balloon Splendor.  I was such an emotional wreck that I still didn’t answer my phone. I have a handful of very faithful female customers who were empathetic. I could talk with them on the phone, through tears, and it wasn’t awkward.  But because I always did an excellent job for them, they were willing to continue working with me, in spite of me crying through my jobs sometimes, being run down, being human. They listened, asked about my husband, they were very kind.  My revenue was literally a fraction of what it was before, but because my husband and I have been debt-free since 2008, (except for our home,) it wasn’t a hardship to live on as little as $3k a month or so for a couple of years while I focused on him.  Desperate times they were. What discovery did you make recently at a doctor appointment for yourself?   In finally coming around to take care of me, and having been fighting severe fatigue, apathy, and depression for the last year, I FINALLY went to a new doctor for may annual check-up.  I brought him up to speed on everything and he ordered a LOT of blood tests. Found out I am low on iron, and extremely low on Vitamin E, both of which are causes for my symptoms.  There were some other things that were bordering out of range, and other things going on, and it was a huge wake-up call for me to take care of myself first.  I don’t want to end up in the hospital.  Who’d advocate for me?  My family isn’t local, and they all work full time. My mom has her own health issues and my dad cares for her.
When unable to work what is the cost to hire in another balloon decorator?  I had a job recently at a casino, and when I was about half way through it, I suddenly broke out in a cold sweat, and felt like I was going to pass out.  I was hydrated, I had just eaten, you know… going through the checklist…  I was in bad shape.  So I called a friend of mine, who is a CBA and a fully competent balloon person in her own right, and she was able to drive out and pick up where I left off and finished the job for me.  I’ve learned to have a Plan B ready all the time.  When I hire her, I pay her $50 per hour.  I respect her skills, the fact that she is willing to do what it takes, and I NEVER have to worry about her trying to steal my customers. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT So think about that for a moment.  What is your labor rate? What are you billing the customer?  Are you charging enough that if the “caca” hit the fan, you’d be able to hire another balloon artist to step in and take over?  Have you built those strategic relationships?  Are YOU willing to step in at $10 or $15 per hour and cover for another artist? Some do, and I’m not judging.  I know some artists who have a “token labor rate” of minimum wage that they charge one another, and if that works for you, fantastic. Another thing to also think about, if you’re running your business solo, is if you had to ditch on your customer for a family emergency, is that going to break the bank?  If you had to refund?  Is that going to destroy your business?  If the answer is yes, then I strongly recommend you build those reciprocal relationships as a Plan B, make sure you’re charging enough to cover premium labor if it comes to that, AND, to always have enough cash in the bank that you won’t go under if all else fails.  Being a sole proprietor is very risky business.  The stress of that risk isn’t worth putting you in the hospital.
What is your advice to other balloon professionals as they grow their balloon business? Learn from my mistakes, learn BALANCE. You will be a better balloon artist for it. You will be a better business boss for it. You will be able to give 110% when you need to. Including when you need to rest and recreate.  The customer isn’t #1. Your business isn’t #1.  You are. Without you, the customer goes elsewhere and your business dies.
What training do you offer balloon professionals to help them price for profit and plan for situations where they use staff or outside contractors?  I have a Pricing Clinic coming up  which I will go in-depth on the math, and will address the labor portion and why it’s important to plug in numbers that may be a lot higher than you’re used to.  Having taught the pricing class several times already, I see a tendency to plug in $15 per hour for labor, and 50% for profit on the other end.   My Pricing Clinic will reveal to you why that may not be the best strategy. Click here for details on Pricing Clinic
                  Any other words of wisdom you would like to share? A wise woman recently told me, “Rachel, you need to put your oxygen mask on first, then put it on others.
Thank you Rachel for sharing your story so we can learn from your situation and make plans for our business to prepare for personal and family situations that may arise. These were great Balloon Business Owner Self Care Tips! I created BalloonCoach.com resources to give YOU the resources I wish I would of had back in 2003 when I jumped into the balloon industry full time. I now serve as the marketing manager for the company I once owned.  Johnathon Gerber is the owner and a Balloon Boss as he has a TEAM around him that helps market and run the business so he can have events going on that he knows little to nothing about and can take a family vacation and spend Sunday’s with his family  knowing the team he has put in place is serving our clients.  I share this information so that you know that it is possible to build a team to grow your thriving balloon business.
Your partner in success,
Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor.  Motivator.  Speaker. Balloonbosspro.com Build Your Thriving Balloon Business Join Balloon Boss Mastermind

Balloon Business Owner – It’s Your Turn to Soar!

Balloon Business Owner – It’s Your Turn to Soar!

While viewing this beautiful fountain, I was reminded of one of my favorite sayings shared at our monthly Lakeland,  Florida  American Business Women’s Association meetings by past president,  Maria Mahoney. “She took the leap and built her wings on the way down.”   Maria, a business coach often spoke of how we as humans let fear stand in the way of going for our goals. When you look at your life and business right now, are you standing in your way of success? Are you fearful to take the next step to grow? Do you fear failure? Do you fear success? When I started in the balloon industry in 2003, I had no formal business training.  I was excited and scared all at once about my new adventure as the owner of Party People Celebration Company.   I surrounded myself with amazing people by attending training in the balloon industry to share with my clients the unlimited potential of balloons.   The support network I grew over the years, I now share through the Balloon Boss Mastermind Program with access to over $2,500 on online training learning from the success and struggles of business owners around the world! I stepped out in fear and grew my business and referral network locally through business organizations and training.  When I sold my business I was doing $150,000 a year in sales working from a warehouse in my backyard. Now as the Marketing Manager for Party People Events I get to experience the exciting dynamics of being a part of a team for a thriving balloon business now run by Johathon Gerber with over $600,000 a year in sales in 2018 in central Florida. I enjoy sharing tips for setting goals and marketing to help you grow! As a business coach for the balloon industry since January 2015, I have found that many of my clients and friends struggle with dreaming BIG, Believing in themselves and taking the action to transform their life and business due to limiting beliefs, and negativity in their life.  It’s much easier to listen to the negative Nancy sitting on our should saying “you can’t do that”, “people will never pay that much money where you live for balloons” or “you don’t have what it takes to be a successful business owner”. The first step to success is to Believe in yourself and seek out the knowledge and skills you do not currently possess to TRANSFORM your life to create the future you desire.  This lovely statue shared all those values and I felt chills seeing the JOY in the face of the girl in this sculpture as it’s the JOY I feel when I see a business owner JUMP out in fear and take the next step in their business.   As I write this blog, I am currently on a 9 state teaching tour across the United States.   On my way to teach in Seattle, Washington I made a short pit stop in Meridian, Idaho to see a lovely fountain created by Brian Keith on the recommendation of Amber Clark of Up Balloon Boutique in Walla Walla, Washington.    When I saw the sculpture I immediately thought of you, my balloon friends.  This wording is from the side of the fountain. NEW WINGS Can you see her flying about you? Do you hear her laughing?  Listen! Now, it’s your turn. Deep breath, as the swing pulls back… Whoosh! You’re off on your own adventure! Go ahead, fly high.  Maybe you’ll catch-up to her in the sky. “New Wings: tells the story of a child transformed by learning. Knowledge has helped her tap into her potential and she is changed. As she flies, she anticipates horizons filled with new wonders and opportunities.  Fearless and inspired, her face displays excitement as she boldly soars over higher.  Her eyes say it all; she knows the secret: Never stop learning. With these sculptures, bronze shapes an exuberant story of imagination and hope.  they are dedicated to the women and men of Idaho who teach. So now it is your turn – at the side of the fountain, they have a swing you can sit in to take your photo, close your eyes for a minute and see yourself sitting in that swing looking over the goals you have for your business and your life!   I encourage you today to write those goals down, then Take Action and grow your thriving balloons business. Are you unsure what step to take next to grow? Do you feel alone on your business journey and that those around you don’t know how to support and encourage you? Balloon Coach Programs were created for! Want ongoing support with someone cheering you on? Check out our Group Coaching Balloon Boss Mastermind online program to see if it would be a good fit for you! Balloon Business Owner – It’s Your Turn to Soar! I look forward to supporting you on your journey.   Your Partner in Success Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor.  Motivator. Speaker. Balloonbosspro.com

Tips for Balloon Boss Moms

Tips for Balloon Boss Moms

  From one balloon boss mom to another I want to commend you for going for your dreams! After my only child Marlee was born in 1999, I had a strong desire to work from home. My husband is a teacher in Florida, so that means I need to bring in income to help support our family expenses. I purchased Party People in Lakeland, Florida in 2003, when my daughter was 4 and I was burnt out as a Social Worker. Our home was transformed into a balloon making factory! My goal was to be “the perfect at home mom” with dinner ready for my husband in the evening when he got home and having lots of time to spend with my daughter creating a flexible schedule by working from home. I was looking at business ownership through rose colored glasses. The reality is that we ate a ton of fast food and more microwave meals than I care to admit. My daughter and husband worked the balloon business with me on evenings and weekends to help grow the company, and to be able to spend time with me they became my set up crew. At one point my husband stated, “I don’t remember ever asking to have a 2nd job!” Today I want to share a few tips with you that I have learned along the way to encourage you on your Balloon Boss Mom Journey Do you feel a strong passion to grow a thriving balloon business and love the feeling of being your own boss? I have found on my business journey that there are many twist and turns along the way but when I found my “tribe” of like minded balloon professionals, and surrounded myself with positive, successful people their support and encouragement helped me keep moving forward and overcome so many obstacles along the way.     Things our children learn from having a Balloon Boss Mom:
  • To go for their dreams
  • You can create any business you have a passion for
  • Work skills
  • How to talk to strangers
  • How to behave in public
  • Customer service
  • Money doesn’t grow on trees
  • Opportunities to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds
  • Value the work that goes into a special event
                Work Life Balance: The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. -Stephen Covey Each day we make difficult choices, as a Mom and Business owner we are juggling two full time jobs. Women tend to often neglect themselves and put everyone and everything else in front of self care. I know I sure have. Over the years of business ownership I gained more weight and ate drive through on a regular basis. In June 2019 I decided to finally take action on losing weight. As of the date of this article of have lost 75 pounds on my weight loss journey over 11 months. I still have much more to go on my “fit at 50” goal but it is exciting to feel good! My knees do not have the pain they use to and that is energizing! Whatever your personal goals are, I encourage you to take action now…You can’t pour from an empty cup. I was sleep deprived, nutrition deprived and felt burnt out. NOW I have so much more energy to make my dreams reality!                             Fill your cup FIRST!
  • According to the National Institutes of health 7-9 hours of quality sleep directly effects our mental and physical health making us more productive.
  • Feed your body healthy foods that nourish your body with vitamins and create the energy you need to run a business.
  • Feed your mind positive thoughts
  • Set a morning ritual of time focused on you.
  • Schedule exercise, stretching or other physical activity to keep you strong
  • Plan at least one vacation or “stay-cation” a year to rejuvenate
  • Create a vision board to see your dreams daily, and put the Law of Attraction to work for you to make your dreams reality.
                Fun times traveling in our Party People Van! Marlee’s smile reminds me why I work so hard to make my dreams reality. If you have the passion to have a Thriving Balloon Business, and to be an amazing mom, I encourage you that it is possible to have both. The more that you have written plans and objectives the more time you can create for your family. One KEY to Your Success is to know your WHY
  • What is your WHY? Why do you have a balloon business write those goals down
  • Who do you want to spend the most time with
  • Set a schedule of Work time and Family time
  • Create a support team to help you make these dreams reality
  • Take action daily to THRIVE in all areas of your life.
  Marlee, Joette, Brian Rockstar Party WBC 2014 Denver Colorado     I made a lot of of decisions over the years between family time and serving my clients. The passion to have a thriving balloon business sometimes comes at a cost of less time with your family. Each of us have different personal, family and financial goals. For me, the key to making those dreams reality has been writing my goals, creating a vision board, and taking action daily to make those dreams reality.                 Marlee and my assistant Jen checking people into my first Orlando hands on event November 2016 Bridge the Gap to Success. Through these experiences Marlee has seen what it is like to be a part of a team, watch balloon business owners write their goals down and go for their dreams. In 2015 I took a leap of faith and sold Party People “my baby of 12 years” to Johnathon Gerber, I now serve as the part time Marketing Manager for Party People to have my full attention on creating online and in person training and resources for the balloon industry through BalloonCoach.com.                       It is exciting to see my daughter grow into a young adult, and now serve as one of my biggest cheerleaders. Proud mom moments that came through owning my balloon business include my daughter as an elementary student shaking hands with the Mayor of Lakeland and my Chamber ribbon cutting event and confidently introducing herself. The photo above is Marlee’s boyfriend Stephen, Marlee, my husband of 25 years Brian and I at BalloonCoach.com Promotions & Profits Retreat Orlando 2018 dinner. At this event Marlee had some great conversations with participants of the workshop talking about her goals for the future, she got her spark and registered for Aesthetician and skin care program. I am so blessed by the amazing men and women in the balloon industry that serve as my support system and that have been an active part of my family’s life. If you are in need of a support team of Business owners to help you make your dreams reality – check out our group coaching program Balloon Boss Mastermind   Your Partner in Success, Joette Giardina, CBA Mentor. Motivator. Speaker. BalloonCoach.com Balloon Boss Mastermind access to over $2,500 of training and support at your finger tips 24/7 Looking forward to June and July on the road across the USA! I would love to meet you at one of the classes check out Summer LIVE tour 2019 of 9 Cities!                     Tips for Balloon Boss Moms