Friday, September 30, 2011

Questions From a Potential Shelf Reliance Consultant and the Answers part 2

Sometimes when a person is looking at becoming a Shelf Reliance consultant they are ready to jump in  and than learn as they go.  Other times people have a lot of questions, they want to understand everything before they comitt.  Recently I have been working with a gal who has a bunch of questions.  I thought that her questions were excellent and even thought provoking.  These are things I thought others might be interested in so I thought I would share them.

1.    As a Shelf Reliance Consultant how do taxes work?  Is it a 1099?
Yes it is a 1099 form we receive at the end of the year as long as commissions for the year are over $600. We are responsible for filing and paying our own taxes. Employees get w2 forms.

2.   Who does the showings at Costco and Time Out For Women?

Over all events such as expos, fairs, are a first come first serve basis.  You can sign up for anything that you want. 

The only exception is Time Out For Women.  Corporate Shelf Reliance is a sponsor for TOFW and invites the top selling consultants from the area to run the booth.

Costco is a retail outlet and consultants have nothing to do with the sales there.  Although we can offer our customers a cheaper price than Costco’s.  (that includes shipping)

3.    What are the typical net earnings?  I read on your blog what you averaged, but I am guessing that is a gross earning.  In essence I am wondering how much $ you put out per month for the pamphlets, and things for the parties that are handed out?

This is a hard question to answer.  My business strategy is long term so some of my expenses now will not pay off for a while.  With that said the numbers I use to figure out my profit are:

The Numbers I use:
Average party sales: $930
Party Prep: 1 hour
Party day: 4 hours
Post Party : 1 hour
Cost of party:  $15.00 (this includes invitations, catalogues, price lists, Q brochure, samples, sample cups, and gas)

So let’s consider one party:
6 hours of work
$93 in commission -$15 cost = $78
Or that translates to $13.00 per hour
Let’s look at one month: I usually do 1 party a week which is 4 parties a month
$78 x 4 = $312
That is enough to pay for you starter kit, and your first months Q, and a $62.00 profit. Not a huge profit for the first month but enough for dinner and a movie.

Lets look at Month 2:  You don’t have to pay for the starter kit!  So all that would be profit. 
If you are looking to make good money you should look at making two goals:

Goal #1 Build a Team
Shelf Reliance is a multi-level company, this means that as a consultant you get paid off of the work of those on your team.  Let’s look at a simple scenario
You sign up 5 consultant (this is very doable)
They each sign up 3 (this is again very doable)
They sign up 1
Each consultant does 4 average parties
Your personal Sales: $3,720
Team Sales: $133,920
Commission: $1,302
With team building you are not increasing the amount of work you personally do, but you are expanding your earning potential exponentially.

Goal #2 Building Q Sales
Q sales are reoccurring sales that really boost a consultants commission.  One of my  Consultant’s Elise had a baby this spring, consequently she did not have any parties, but she did have a bunch of Q’s set up.  She still received a sizable commission check during due to the Q’s she had previously set up.

Shelf Reliance has a  commission calculator that helps consultants or potential consulates understand how commission works. 

 It is an excel spread sheet that helps you see the earning potential as a consultant. As you play around with it try entering what you think is reasonable for you.  It does take some time to build a team, but less time that you might think.  I have been a consultant since March or 2010 and I have a huge team, bigger than I ever thought it would be.

4.    How soon did you find your online sales exceeding home sales (if that is the case)?  Did you find you had to get established through home sales before the online sales could even take off, or are the two related at all?
When I first started online sales were not an option, so but once it was I found that online sale quickly eclipsed my party sales.  Maybe within two months my online sales were much larger than my party sales.  I say that but I already had a large customer base, and I am very active online.  I blog, I participate in forums, I sponsor give always and I do online adds.

You do not need to do both home parties and online.  You can do both (which is what I do) but there are consultants that do only home parties or just online sales.  I like to do both because they hit a different part of the market and supplement each other nicely.

5.      When orders are made do they ship directly to the person who made the order?
Yes, all orders are shipped directly to the customer.  Many other party business ship to the consultant or to the host of the party. Shelf Reliance ships directly to the customer

6.    Can you tell me more about what the Q club is?
Do you understand the Q itself?  The Q is a way for customers to build their food storage over time.  They make a list of the things they want to add to their food storage and then they set a budget of how much money they want to spend each month.  The Q then functions much like a online movie rental program.  Each month they purchase something from their list and it is shipped directly to them.  I LOVE the Q.  It takes so much of the hassle out of food storage.

The Q Club is a rewards club for those on the Q.  Member can join for free by signing up with at $100.00 q.  Or buy signing up at a party were 3 or more other people join.  Members receive points that can be redeemed for free product. They also receive a coupon each month discounting a specific product each month (25-30% off) , shipping discounts, special offers, and gifts.

7.     Do you have any idea how many consultants are in the (fill in the blank) area?
No I don’t.  Shelf Reliance does not release that information.  I do know that there are consultants in (fill in the blank) area.  But I don’t worry about that.  There is plenty of customers for everyone.  For example I live in a small agricultural area.  The small town I live in is surrounded by other small towns.  When I first signed up I found that there were 12 very active consultants operating out of the one of those small towns. Wellsville Utah, the population of Wellsville is only 3,272.  That is a lot of consultants for such a small town (many of them are in the same ward).  These 12 consultants have been amazingly successful, most are now gold or platinum and all have had great success in a small town.
The company is still young enough that I would not worry about how many consultant are in your area. Shelf Reliance has only been a home party business for 18 months that is still very young.   

Last Day to Enter the Harvest Giveaway

Just wanted to remind you that today is the last day to enter the Harvest Giveaway.

If you haven't entered all four ways you can enter. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mango Chicken Stir Fry with Coconut Rice

Wow!  I love this. Easy, fast, delicious and full of food storage ingredients.  
Tips for Success: 
  • When making stir fry or any dish that cooks fast, it is imperative to have everything ready before you turn the stove on.  If you have all the ingredients measured, chopped etc  than stir frying is easy, if not you are scrambling around and things burn. 
  • This recipe makes 2-3 generous portions--I make it for my family (2 adults, 3 small children) and it is just right, but if you have more mouths to feed you may want to double it. 
  • Start the rice first. It takes longer to cook so get it going than work on the stir fry.
  • The rice can be microwaved.  All you need to do is use a large microwave safe bowl, add the ingredients, and microwave for 18 minutes. 
  • If you don't like cilantro leave it out and it is still a great dish.  My kids don't love cilantro so I left it out of theirs and it was good. 
  • When using a marinade be sure to discard it after you have removed the meat. 


Coconut Rice
1 c. white (or jasmine scented) rice                                               
1  c. water                                                                                         
1 can coconut milk                                                                          
2 T. freshly chopped cilantro
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. shredded coconut (optional but delicious)

  • In the medium saucepan, add the vegetable oil and let it coat the bottom of the pan
  • Place rice, coconut milk, water, shredded coconut, and salt in the pot and set over medium-high to high heat. Stir occasionally to keep rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
  • Bring the rice mixture a boil
  •  Once the rice begins to boil, cover with the lid and turn down to low heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes
  • DO NOT take the lid off the rice until it is done (the water is all out and the time is up)

Mango Chicken Stir Fry


1 marinated chicken breast (Tropical Marinade Recipe Follows)
1 cup freeze dried mango (or 1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced)
2 Tablespoons dehydrated bell peppers
2 Tablespoons freeze dried onion red onion
1 lime
2 T. vegetable oil
1 T. chopped cilantro

  • Cut the marinated chicken breast into 1-inch chunks (bite-sized).
  • Rehydrate the mango, onion, and peppers, by placing all three in a 2 cup measuring cup, than filling the measuring cup with warm water.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes until all are soft and plump.  Drain.
  • Heat a large saucepan (1-2 minutes). Add the vegetable oil.
  • Add the chicken, bell peppers, mango and onion.
  • Cook until the chicken is no longer pink on the inside (about 8 minutes).
  • Add the cilantro and stir fry another 1 minute.
  • Cut the lime into slices for each person to garnish their food.
  • When the chicken is cooked thoroughly, serve the mango chicken on top of coconut rice while both are still hot.

Tropical Marinade
 1/4 c. lime juice
zest of one lime
2 T. veg. oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. honey (or just 1 T works)

  • Place up to four chicken breast in a gallon Ziploc bag.  
  •  Pour marinade over chicken.  
  •  Seal bag, removing any excess air.  
  •  Squish chicken (inside the bag) and marinade around.  
  •  Let chicken marinade for 30 minutes or overnight. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Food Storage Celebrity, Jodi Moore, My Top 5 Food Storage Tips

Jodi has been blogging about food storage and emergency preparedness with her sister-in-law Julie over at Food Storage Made Easy for just over 3 years.  They started as total beginners and have shared their journey with readers as they have built their food storages and learned about how to become more prepared.  While they still don't consider themselves to be "experts", they have a lot of great tips and tricks they love to share.  

5 Things I Wish I had Known About Food Storage When I Got Started

#1 - Wheat is just FLOUR

  Photo Source: Annie Mole

I was really intimidated by long term food storage in the beginning because I didn't even know what wheat looked like, let alone how to use it.  One day I was at a friend's house and saw her wheat grinder sitting on her kitchen counter.  I asked her about it and she gave me a demo and sent me home with a baggie full of wheat flour and a great whole wheat bread recipe.  I made homemade bread for the first time in my life and had an "aha" moment when I realized that if I know how to cook with FLOUR, I already know how to cook with WHEAT.  A few months later I was able to afford to purchase my own wheat grinder and my food storage life changed forever.

#2 - You don't have to store everything a calculator tells you to store

 Photo Source: Leonid Mamchenkov

 In the beginning I was obsessed with getting the exact right pounds of everything that the typical food storage calculators said to get.  As my shelves started filling up with legumes like split peas and lentils, and I faithfully tried to learn new recipes to actually USE those items ... I finally admitted defeat.  I just do NOT like split pea soup or lentils. I even tried sprouting lentils and sneaking them into foods but I still did not like them.  It is not a sin to store more of something else that you and your family will actually EAT.

#3 - You need more water than you think ... and even more than that!  

 photo source: Dottie Mae

Most sources say to store somewhere between 3-14 days of drinking water and assume 1 gallon per day per person.  I initially thought that 14 gallons per person was a TON of water and I would be all set with that amount.  As I have done more research and practiced living through different emergency situations, I have quickly realized how important water is, and how many things we use it for beyond just staying alive. 
 There are things you can store (paper plates, sanitation kits, etc.) that can reduce the amount of water you use for things like washing dishes, flushing toilets, etc. but it is still a good idea to store as much water as you possibly have space for.  Stick juice and pop bottles EVERYWHERE in your house.  You will be glad you did!

#4 - Beans are an AMAZING food!  

 photo source:  cookbookman17

If you think beans are just for chili so you don't need to store very many, think again.  Over the years I have learned so many ways to use beans and my storage has grown to reflect that.  White beans can be ground into a bean flour that can be used as a healthy, low-fat thickening agent.  You mix bean flour and white to act as a white sauce base for soups, homemade mac n cheese, etc.  You can add a little chicken bouillon and make a fantastic cream of chicken soup for casseroles.  
If you cook up and then mash your beans, they can become a fat substitute in tons of baked goods.  Don't replace your oil with sugary applesauce, add a little fiber to your cakes and brownies by using beans!  You can even match the color of beans to the color of the food you are making and no one will ever know the difference.  
One of the best purchase I ever made was getting an electric pressure cooker to make my bean cooking super easy and delicious.  I now have the confidence to use beans in so many different things, and if I ever have a powerless emergency I can easily transition to cooking them using alternate methods and using them in all the foods I've been practicing with this whole time.

#5 - Starting small is better than not starting at all.  

 photo source:  Yoni Lerner

This was an approach that I took with starting to get my food storage in place.  Julie and I developed the ten babysteps on Food Storage Made Easy to make it very easy to get started without getting overwhelmed.  However there were many things we were really intimidated by that we just ignored for the first little while.  Powerless cooking was one of the biggest examples.  Instead of starting small with a small camp stove, I just chose to ignore the topic and worry about it later.  Looking back, I wish I would have jumped in and started at least researching and learning a few small things back in the beginning.  It would have given me a lot more confidence for emergency situations and I would have had a lot more years of experience with that topic.  So if there is something you feel overwhelmed about, just jump in and at least do something SMALL!