Today I have the privilege of interviewing Michelle Johnnie who as of today is one of the 2 highest ranked leaders in Paparazzi Accessories. Let’s listen as Michelle shares some words of wisdom for us today on the podcast.
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Awnya: Today we have on the call Michelle Johnnie, one of the Paparazzi Elite leaders. Michelle quit her job as a SPED teacher when she started having kids. Money got tighter and tighter as 3 children joined the family and she was always looking for ways to bring in extra money without going back to work full-time.
When her 3rd baby was only 5 weeks old, she saw some cute $5 jewelry at a festival booth. She knew it was a million dollar idea. She could sell something that was only $5 and was super cute. So she jumped in and started working towards her goal of making a few hundred dollars a month. Within just a few months she was making a couple thousand dollars a month.
Her husband quit his job 9 months after she started Paparazzi. And that’s been supporting their family for the last 4 years. Michelle is a Maven A-lister and has one of the biggest teams in the company. She enjoys heling others learn how they can pay their bills with Paparazzi. She is grateful for the relationships she has built and the places they have traveled and how Paparazzi ahs improved their finances and their lives.
Michelle is Crown 25 and she has reached Life of the Party Bronze access. If you know Michelle, you know she truly is “the life of the Party”!
Michelle: I am the life of the party. Come on, let’s be real. I have fun wherever I go. That’s what life is all about.
Michelle, what is your Why? Why do you do Paparazzi?
Michele: When I first started Paparazzi we just needed a little bit of extra money to make sure that we could pay our bills and have a little bit left over for fun things to do with the kids. I thought when I saw Paparazzi for the first time, I could sell $5 Jewelry and bring in extra money and that could help our family. When I first started it was to bring in some extra money.
Now, I still need to make some money because that supports our family. I really love helping people now and teaching them to do what I’ve done and teaching them how to sell and to get places. I love all the friendships I’ve made with Paparazzi. I am just a happier person now than when I joined Paparazzi. Way less stressed and I have way more friendships in my life and more money. And my family gets to do really fun things because of Paparazzi.
Bottom line, I joined because I needed money and I still do it because I need money but at the same time it has enriched my family’s life so much that I’m grateful that I can keep contributing to the family and have some freedom and flexibility and do these fun things with the family because of Paparazzi. We just got back to Utah from 9 days of traveling to Washington and Idaho and doing trainings and seeing the sights.
In a few weeks we are heading back to the Midwest to do some trainings there, sightsee and amusement parks. There are so many reasons why I keep doing Paparazzi. It’s just been amazing for my family.
Awnya: One of the things that you said in there, is that your why changed and that your why when you started was just money and now it’s so much more. Meeting people, helping people, growing your team, it just kind of evolves, doesn’t it?!
Michelle: yeah. One of the trainings I was doing last week, I just started crying because I can actually donate money to places now. And some of my best friends now are people I’ve met thorough Paparazzi. And not just teammates, but like customers and hostesses. They’ve become my friends. I just feel like every part of my life has been improved because of Paparazzi. The why I do it now is like 10 fold instead of just 1 reason.
Awnya: I feel the exact same way. I couldn’t have said it better
Let’s take a bit of a shift.
Draw us a picture, take us to your worst Paparazzi moment
Michelle: I had to think hard to come up with a bad moment with Paparazzi. I don’t know if this is the worst one, cuz I don’t feel like I’ve had a lot of bad moments with Paparazzi. There’s little things like once in a while someone will cancel a party or something slightly disappointing will happens, but I had to think hard!
There’s a little one when one time I didn’t weight down my displays well enough and a wind came along and it leaned on a customer, but like they caught it. I thought that was a little bit embarrassing but it wasn’t a big deal.
I was thinking back about one thing that was like *sigh*.
I thought about a show I did in Los Angeles, in LA. So my husband had quit his job, but before he quit his job, I just went for it. I had booked these shows thinking, I’m gonna go big and I’m gonna get this huge team all over the country and the way I need to do that is to travel to other states and do these huge evens and sign up tons of people there. So I booked these 3 events, the were called Ultimate Women’s Expos in San Francisco, LA, and Phoenix and I live in Logan Utah (northern Utah). All of them were $1100 booth fees. We’re talking major investment.
I booked these before my husband quit his job and I just had to do a little down payment on my booth. So then my husband quit his job and they are all in the same month, in October. I’m like super stressed because we have nothing to fall back on. It’s Paparazzi or nothing, right?! And keep in mind, when my husband quit his job, I wasn’t making $5000, $10000, $ 20,000, a month. I was making $3000 – $3500 depending on the month.
And So, I had to come up with the rest of the money and I thought I would have team mates in the areas by the time they get here because I booked them in like March. I thought “yeah, people will be joining my team there and they can come help me with these events.” In San Francisco I had teammates there and I stayed with them. They came and helped me with the event and they got to keep the leads for teammates and parties. Same with Phoenix.
I didn’t have any teammates in LA. I was begging people to come with me to LA. I was begging other people from other teams, just any one come with me. I thought “I cannot do an $1100 event with 20,000 – 30,000 women all by myself.” Nobody could come.
And then a miracle happened. If you really want me to go into it, I feel like God is part of my business and I was just praying so hard that this would work out and I could find someone to come with me to come to LA or meet me in LA and do this show with me.
The night I was leaving for LA, somebody joined my team and put me as their sponsor, and they lived and hour and a half from LA and I had never talked to this person before. I was like “Oh My Gosh this is like a total answer to my prayers!” I called her and was like “Welcome! I’m so excited for you! Guess what?! I’m coming to LA tomorrow. Do you want to come help me with this event.” And she did. Talk about an answer to prayers, right?!
Anyways, I went to LA, right, and I was exhausted because I’d done 2 shows out of state the 2 weeks prior. And the driving and I was just so exhausted and being stressed that I didn’t have a place to say, because I usually just stay with people I know. I was gonna sleep in my car.
I get to LA and I could feel my voice going and I was getting sick. And I’d paid all this money and I have all this jewelry, right. To have an $1100 booth fee, you have to have a lot of jewelry to sell at least $3000 in 3 days. I needed to make at least $2700 to pay for the booth jewelry and the gas down and everything and here I am getting sick. I sounded like a frog. I have this new person show up that’s never done Paparazzi. She had only been to 1 party. Luckily I had her though!
The event did not go amazing. We’ll just say that. I only sold like $2400. I didn’t sell as much as I wanted. I couldn’t talk and I was just so disappointed. I don’t know. It was a great learning experience.
Maybe I pushed a little too hard, got a little too big. But at the time, I thought things would be ok because my husband had a job and I was earning extra money. That was probably one of my worst moments in Paparazzi when I’m doing this big show and I sound like a frog. And my throat was killing, and felt overwhelmed and exhausted and like “What did I get myself into?!”
But I came home and recovered and hit Fashionista that month and that helped ease some of the stress and the money issues. The person that came and helped me she booked a couple of parties from it.
I just realized one event is not my whole business and it’s not going to determine if my business is successful or not successful. It is just one event of many and I can move on. And I did. I‘ve moved on and learned from it. But I still remember that one time that I did that really expensive show out of state with almost no help and I couldn’t talk.
Awnya: That would be completely scary. I admire you for taking that big of a risk. And I think that’s kind of the message that comes out to me in all of that is you’ve gotta take risk in order to get rewards. I’m not talking like 3, $1100 shows in a month. I mean if that is your cup of tea, do it. But if you don’t put yourself out there, if you don’t try things you’ve never tried, then you’re not going to get the big results.
And Michelle went out there and did these shows, even though some of them didn’t turn out exactly how she wanted, she’s gotten the results because she took risks in her business.
Now Michelle, what lesson do you want Paparazzi to learn from that?
Michelle: There’s a few things I’ve learned from this.
1- You don’t have to do really expensive booth fees to grow your business. I don’t do shows like that anymore because I decided in looking at numbers and everything that I could use my time and energy more effectively elsewhere than traveling out of state and doing these huge shows. They can be fun, but I don’t always think they are the most effective thing.
2- Plan ahead and be ready for the unexpected. I learned after that month and those 3 events that that’s not my business. That’s not where I want to be doing the business. I want to be doing the business on a smaller or medium show level. And doing things more locally or through social media rather than having to put myself out there and having to travel and all that stuff.
Awnya: I like how you try it. Like, some people they just say “Oh, I’m not a Facebooker, I don’t do Facebook parties.” They never try it. But you’ve been there, you’ve tried it and now you can be educated when you say “It’s not my thing, right”
Michelle: And you know what? I’ve been able to help other people for their bigger shows and help them prepare, so I’m glad that I did it. I’ve done everything. And as a leader I feel like I can say “I’ve done everything. What do you need help with? I can help you with that.” I’ve been here and done that so I can help them with that. I’ve done bigger shows so I know what to expect.
What is a habit you have that you feel contributes to your success?
Michelle: I think I have a habit of just going for things and just putting it all out there and going BIG. Not even going big, but going hard. You know in everything I do, I just do it. When I first started, that’s what I did and I feel like just going for it and not thinking about it too much or analyzing and doubting – I don’t do that.
You go for it and give it your all and you’ll be a lot more successful than if you are like “Oh, I’ll try.“ or “Oh I’ll just do this little thing here and see if it works and then if it works then I’ll do a little bit more.” But if you go for it and you give it your all at the very beginning, you’re going to have a lot more success and a lot more results than if you just do a little here and there. And in the end, you are going to be a lot more successful when you give it your all then if you just give it a little effort.
Consistency is huge. I have a habit of being consistent. If you’re consistent in your business you are going to have more business. And then another thing that I feel like I have a habit of doing is just being nice to people. Talking to people. Like caring about people.
Paparazzi, any business, is a people business, right?! You might be selling a product, but if you want people to join your team, if you want customers and hostesses to come back over and over and over and over again, you have to build relationship and you have to care about people. So I feel like if you have a habit of caring about people and, you know, keeping in touch with people then your business will be a lot stronger.
I could talk about a million habits that I feel like contribute to a successful business, but I think those are 3 big ones. Going for it, being consistent and just being a people person and talking with people and caring about people and letting them know that because when you show that you care about them and that you’re their friend, they are going to come back to you over and over again instead of just having to keep finding new people to sell to and host and join and all of that.
Awnya: I’m going to draw a quick correlation here. At convention, I want to say it was last year, there was a consultant I was talking to. And I love hippie headbands, since the day they came out, I wear Hippie Headbands all the time. So I’m at convention and a consultant comes up to me she is like “Oh my gosh! Those look so good on you, I could never wear that.” And I said to her “Girl, what is stopping you? Like, put it on and just rock it. You are just overanalyzing it.“
She said “I’m too old to wear it,” and I said “No you are not. Just put it on and you rock it cuz you are what you say you are.” So jumping back to your first point there. Don’t overanalyze. Don’t psych yourself out. Like, she totally rocked a hippie headband. It was all in her head that she couldn’t do it.
Stop psyching yourself out. Go big or go home. Just do it. Stop putting these limitations on yourself. Your business is not going to thrive if you are putting limitations on it. Take the first step. Get there. Do it.
Michelle: If you would have asked me when I joined Paparazzi if I could see myself where I am now? No way. Absolutely no way. When I heard Robin Frank say she got a $5000 check, it was like “Oh my gosh! That would be amazing to make that much money. But I don’t know if that is me. Like, I don’t know that I can do that.”
And yet, after I kept hearing a couple of stories I was like, I’m gonna go for it. I know that this can change my life. And I did. I went for it. Those stories are really motivating. When you hear people say they started in the same place where you are and now I’m here. But it is work and consistency and just doing it.
Awnya: One step at a time, right?
What advice would you give to a brand new consultant?
Michelle: Go for it. Go for it! Go big. Don’t think, “Oh, I hope I can sell 10 pieces at my launch party.” You are going to sell 50 pieces at your launch party. Be confident that this business is going to work for you. And if you’re confident in that, then you are going to treat it like it’s going to work for you.
Get your jewelry in front of lots of people. Don’t be afraid. Don’t make excuses. Like “I can’t do this because my house is too small.” I hear excuses all the time. But if you want this, you’ll just go out and make it happen and you’ll do it. I had a 5 week old and a 3 year old and a 5 year old and my husband worked full time and I babysat kids in my home for the first 5 or 6 months while I was doing Paparazzi. And I had a blog and I had church calling and all this stuff. My life was busy.
I just went out and made it work. You just have to go out and make it work. And be excited. If you act intimidated, if you act shy, if you act like “Oh, ya know, like, if you wanna come to my party, like, that’d be cool,“ you’re not going to get the same response as if you go out and say “I’m so excited. I have this awesome product, it’s only $5. It will help you look beautiful and it will save you money. Come to my party. On (whenever you’re doing it.)“ You’re going to get better participation.
And then once you get the people to see the jewelry you need to keep in touch with people that like your product. One of my biggest, biggest, biggest regrets is that in the past 5 years, if I would have kept all the email addresses of the people that bought from me or the people who said they wanted me to keep in touch and I didn’t, I would have a list of like 5000 people that said “I like your stuff” and I don’t have that because I didn’t keep in touch with people
Awnya: So many gems in that. Keep in contact with people. That is huge. Like, follow up is huge. Relationships. We’ve talked about that several times. Relationships are huge. Show that excitement. You’ve got to be excited about the product. I mean, you just joined the business, we know you are excited about it. Don’t let those negative people get into you head or into your excitement. Just block it out. Show ‘um your excitement and then wear the product.
Be a product of the product. You’ve gotta wear it. And you never know when like your mailman or your neighbor across the street will be like “Cute headband. Where did you get it?”
Great point Michelle, I just love those.
If you could suggest 1 thing to a consultant who was feeling stuck in their business to get things jump started again, what would that be?
Michelle: It would be what I just talked about. Go back and contact your past customers, your past hostesses, your like past people that have shown interest in Paparazzi. Do a Mystery Hostess party or another party. Ask them if they want a bunch of free jewelry, you know?!
Show them some of the new pieces that are out. I feel like the jewelry is so much cuter now than when I joined. It just keeps getting better and better and better. And if someone hasn’t bought from you in like a year, they may not know all the cute stuff that you have, so go out and contact the people that have supported you in the past.
Also, talk with those people that work in places with lots of other women and try to get baskets out. If you go back to the people who have liked Paparazzi in the past, most of them are still going to like it. It’s just that maybe they don’t know that you are still selling it or maybe they haven’t heard from you in a long time. So that would be my suggestion. Go back to where you had success with people in the past and make that happen again.
Awnya: Now if I could add just 1 thing to that, it would be (and I’m sure you meant this because I just know you), I know that you didn’t mean to send a mass text to everybody begging for a party or go on Facebook and post it to your wall. You have to do that PERSONAL contact people. It’s the relationships. Call them on the phone. Talk to them in person.
Michelle: Maybe I should say, “make a personal contact.” I’m a firm believer that if you are face to face or if you are talking to somebody in person, it’s a lot more effective than just posting something on you wall or mass texts or group messages. They don’t… No. No. No no no no. It’s personal. Everything you should do is personal, personal, personal. If all you do is rely on 1 post on your wall, “I’m going to post this on my wall and if it doesn’t work, this is the end.” You aren’t going to be very successful. I’m just putting that out there. Like, you have to make it personal.
I get mass invitations to parties all the time. I see people post all over their walls about stuff. I don’t volunteer. If they really want me to come to a party, if they really want me to help them with their business, they are going to ask me personally. They aren’t going to do a group whatever. Or just put it on the wall. That takes no effort to put something on their wall.
Awnya: Call up those people on the phone. I know it’s scary! Do some jumping jacks get some anxiety out of you however you do it. Make it about the relationship. Offer to make it a theme party, do whatever you gotta do but it has to be personal.
What is a quote that inspires you?
Michelle: How can you just narrow it down to one quote? Right?! It’s by Pele. He’s a soccer player. He said:
I know that success is not an accident. Like I didn’t just join Paparazzi and “Oh my gosh. I’m successful! Holy cow, I don’t know how’d that happen?” It is not an accident it is work! Sometimes its sacrifice. I still listen to training calls. I am learning from other people. I’m studying what the other successful consultants in our company are doing and trying to share that. It’s not an accident people. You gotta go out there and work it!
Awnya: Its hard work, right?! It’s blood sweat and tears. But that’s what makes it so rewarding!
Michelle: Every once in a while a little bit of blood but not much, luckily.
A: It would ruin the jewelry if you bleed too much, right?
What would you say is a must read and why?
Michelle: When you hit Executive Producer in the company, they send you the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, (and I think they still do that). This is probably one of the most read books or inspirational books or whatever category you want to put it in – of all time. And I can see why. When you are in a business, how to win friends and influence people is something you want to do. You want to build the relationship. You want to influence people in a positive way, this book just – everything about it is good. It can help you in every part of your life not just in business.
So that’s a good one. There’s a reason why it’s one of the most popular books of all time
Last questions. Give us a parting piece of guidance.
Build relationships in your business. Build them with your customers, build them with your hostesses, build them with your teammates. If you have them with those 3 groups of people, you are going to have a business. If you don’t have any relationships, your business is going to be way, way, way harder and not as fun! Right?! Relationships are what make a business fun. So I would say build relationships.
If you are at a party, joke around with people. Have fun. Don’t be anti-social. Care about them. I have customers who have kids with cancer or who have lost family members. I have done nice things for them not just because they are my customer, but because they are my friend also and I like to show that I care. Make people your friends. Have fun with this business. Get out there and talk to people.
Get it in front of people whether it is in person or on the computer, you just have to get it out of your house.
Awnya: I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you so much for coming on the call today. I know this is probably going to be one of THE most listened podcast episodes because of all the gems you’ve shared with us and how fun you are!
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