Pro-Life Strategies Leave Pro-Choice Strategies In The Dust

For one seminar in grad school, I had to purchase and read a dissertation of my choice. The dissertation I chose changed my understanding of feminist leaders, the cumulative power of small steps, and the importance of trusting the talents and energy of ordinary people. Marsha Vanderford focused on strategies the leaders of one pro-life organization and the leaders of one pro-choice organization used to motivate their supporters, then showed the results of those strategies. I summarized Vanderford’s findings below.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)

Dr. Vanderford used research material from the 1970s. Keep that in mind as you read some of the motivational strategies below.

Minnesota Concerned Citizens
for Life

Pro-Life Motivational Situation
Difficulty & Threat

Definition of the Problem

Abortion is murder, genocide, and
dehumanization. Abortion is against
women’s role, American values,
individual rights, and the judicial
system. Abortion advocates are a
powerful, immoral, merciless minority
that wants to protect their own power
and wealth.

Abortion Rights Council
of Minnesota

Pro-Choice Motivational Situation
Threat

Definition of the Problem

Illegal abortion is brutal, filthy, and
dangerous because it is done with
knitting needles, butcher knives, and
coat hangers. The pro-life side is an
underhanded, irrational, hypocritical,
and unreasonable minority that wants
to oppress women, restrict sexuality,
and discriminate against the poor.
The  pro-life side ignores the needs of
women in trouble and in poor health.

Results of the Problem Continuing

Legal abortion would soon lead to
more babies dying, euthanasia,
nuclear war, threats to every individual,
and threats to the entire nation.
(Present dangers)

Results of the Problem Continuing

A return to illegal abortion would mean
putting the government in the hands of
a few religious men to the harm of the
entire country, especially the loss of
individual rights for women.
(Future dangers)

Benefits of Solving the Problem

Protecting motherhood, protecting
society, and protecting America.

Benefits of Solving the Problem

Preserving women’s right to choose,
preserving a medical technique for
relieving mental or physical suffering,
ensuring safety, and keeping a cure for
teen pregnancy.

Justification for Taking Action

God is on our side.

Justification for Taking Action

We are upholding American laws
and American institutions.

Identifying the Problem Solvers

Pro-life leaders told pro-life supporters
to take simple actions in their daily lives.
Individual and small repetitive actions
would add up to powerful results. Pro-life
leaders gave credit for every success to
every pro-life supporter. Winning
depended on the individual actions
of every pro-life supporter.

Identifying the Problem Solvers

Pro-choice legal and medical
professionals gave glory to themselves
for taking action in legislatures and
courts. Pro-choice leaders
occasionally gave credit to  pro-choice
supporters who performed simple
organizational tasks (mailings,
organizing members), staffed
information booths at fairs, sponsored
advertisements, and spoke to interested
groups. Winning depended on the
willingness of pro-choice supporters to
keep sending money to support the
actions of the legal and medical
professionals.

Steps to Success

Small repetitive actions that added
together would lead to success,
including garage sales, sponsored
dances, bake sales, cookbook sales,
Santa Claus breakfasts, collections
of scrap newspaper, card parties,
Christmas boutiques, craft boutiques,
babysitting for people attending pro-life
demonstrations, staffing county fair
booths. Pro-life leaders provided
detailed instructions on what
to write to federal, state, and local
legislators, whom to call for help
before lobbying, what to read to be
informed. All tasks could be performed
in or near the home as part of everyday life.

Steps to Success

Success would come from legal experts
making court challenges to abortion
bans and from lobbying efforts by
medical and legal professionals.
Pro-choice leaders expected supporters
to continually send money to pro-choice
organizations so professionals could
continue their important work.
Supporters should also write lawmakers
when professionals asked them to.

Continual Reminders

Abortion is a danger to norms
and values. Each pro-choice legal
victory is a reminder of a continuing
threat. Pro-life leaders sent out frequent
newsletters with lists of small actions to
take and steps for taking those actions.
Pro-life leaders linked each pro-life
success to individual actions. Pro-life
leaders emphasized past successes.

Continual Reminders

Pro-choice leaders increasingly focused on
pro-life successes. They gave few suggestions
for concrete actions pro-choice supporters
could take in their daily lives, provided little
information for how to take actions, made
no links between individual actions and
success, and made few links between
pro-choice actions and concrete successes.
Pro-choice leaders continually asked for
money. Pro-choice leaders glorified
themselves for sacrificing their lives
and time and for overcoming obstacles.
Pro-choice leaders placed the blame for
pro-life successes on pro-choice followers.

Results of Motivational Strategies

Pro-life supporters felt a measure of
control and personal success. They
also had frequent and continual
opportunities to socialize and have fun
with each other while working for the cause.

Results of Motivational Strategies

Pro-choice supporters felt little control,
little if any personal success, loss of
confidence in pro-choice power because
of increased perceptions about pro-life
power. Pro-choice supporters grew tired
of sending money to professionals who
glorified themselves. Pro-choice supporters
felt isolated from each other except for
occasional pro-choice functions.

Important Considerations

Pro-life leaders had the benefit of a
current threat affecting everyone and
could appeal to religious as well as
patriotic feelings. Pro-life leaders told
individual pro-life supporters that they
were the source of pro-life power and linked
all pro-life successes to individual actions.

Important Considerations

Pro-choice leaders had the disadvantage
of only a future threat that would affect
fewer values and fewer people. Pro-choice
leaders gave individual pro-choice supporters
no personal power and did not link successes
to individual actions. A change in tactics
from lobbying to single issue politics
confused pro-choice supporters.

Dr. Marsha Vanderford identified the glory needs of feminist leaders in the 1970s. My blog posts about feminist leaders prove they are still glory addicts today. Pro-Life leaders elevated pro-life supporters as the the reason for all pro-life success. Pro-choice leaders “relegated” pro-choice supporters to “secondary importance”. The “secondary importance” is evidence that feminist leaders have been creating inequality between women since at least the 1970s.

Pro-life strategy has left pro-choice strategy in the dust. It does not matter that abortion is legal to women who cannot get abortions because of state restrictions put in place through the small, repetitive actions of individual pro-life supporters.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.

“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Ms. Magazine.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.

“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
Eoin Hartnett
University College Cork, Ireland
No date
This project is no longer available online.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Paula M. Kramer
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks or months.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Websites

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Business Directory

betterplanetbusiness.com

Reputation Management Directory

myrecordnow.com

For a wide ranging selection of articles on feminism and other topics,
see The Zawadi Nyong’o Daily

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As an American, I have freedom of speech.

As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anything the National Organization for Women claims to do for women.

In 2016, I started adding the section below to all of my new Feminist Leader blog posts. I also added it to all posts published before 2016.

The National Organization For Women
Silences Women

National NOW has blocked me on its Facebook page. I wrote comments based on my blog posts. All of my blog posts are based on a wide variety of evidence. Much of the evidence comes from National NOW’s website, emails and posts from NOW presidents, and emails from NOW staff members. I use no hostile language, no slurs, no profanity. I do use the phrase “glory addicts” in reference to NOW leaders. I also use “glory addiction”, “glory fixes”, and “a dedicated network of glory addicts”. Dr. Marsha Vanderford (Doyle) identified the glory needs of pro-choice leaders in her 1982 dissertation.

Feminist leaders have been silencing women for decades. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf got together for a conversation that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1993. The discussion included why women choose not ta call themselves feminists. Did these four feminist leaders working for women’s equality ask women who choose not to call themselves feminist to speak for themselves? Of course not! The four feminist leaders silenced millions of women by speaking for them without first requesting permission to speak for them.

Imagine a group of women who choose not to call themselves feminists getting together for a conversation to be published in a magazine about why some women call themselves feminists. Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree with nonfeminist women denying them the opportunity to speak for themselves? Of course not! Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree that nonfeminist women had the right to speak for feminist women without their permission? Of course not!

My feminist leader blog posts provide evidence that feminist leaders still create glory for themselves while relegating supporters to “secondary importance”. Dr. Vanderford used the words “relegated” and “secondary importance” in her dissertation. Eoin Harnett of University College Cork in Ireland used the same “secondary importance” phrase:

“Throughout the ages, women were frequently characterised
and treated as inferior and of secondary importance to men.”

NOW leaders even relegated two of their supporters to secondary importance. The supporters responded to my last two comments on National NOW’s Facebook page with comments supporting NOW. NOW leaders silenced those supporters by removing their comments along with my comments. Instead of creating equality, NOW leaders treat other women the same way patriarchal men treat women:

NOW leaders silenced at least three women on Facebook while posting claims to be creating equality for women. Secondary importance is the opposite of equality, as women throughout the ages could testify.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.

“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Ms. Magazine.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.

“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
Eoin Hartnett
University College Cork, Ireland
No date
This project is no longer available online.

Updated April 30, 2017.

The Little County That Can & Does: World, National, & State Firsts

Portage County, Wisconsin (population a little more than 70,000) is The Little County That Can & Does because it is lucky and smart. Portage County is lucky because it grew up with everything it needed to create success. Many Portage County residents are smart because they use their luck to create a variety of successes. Today, Portage County is a hotbed of spectacular success. The book From Pyramids to Circles: Shaping Groups to Succeed will include chapters about both Portage County and Wood County in Wisconsin.

Wood County was not as lucky as its neighbor Portage County because it did not grow up with everything it needed to create spectacular success. However, the residents of South Wood County are learning to shape their county to create the kinds of success that can lead to spectacular success.

From Pyramids To Circles is currently in revision. Blog posts about Portage County and Wood County will be listed in the book as further reading.

Because Portage County residents are both lucky and smart, the county is also a hotbed of world firsts, national firsts, state firsts, and models of effectiveness.

When appropriate, firsts appear in more than one category.

The wide range of firsts indicates what is possible when the situational factors necessary for spectacular success are present in one place.

Contact paula at speakingfromtriumph dot com with additions and corrections. Both are welcome.

Embarrassing Firsts

As of November 2017, I added an embarrassing Portage County state first. No one is perfect. Embarrassing Portage County firsts are at the bottom of this post.

Portage County, Wisconsin Volunteers

The spectacular successes are possible because of the people who volunteer to make events successful. I am now interviewing Portage County volunteers, asking these five questions.

1. Have you always lived in Portage County? If yes, skip to #4.

2. How long have you lived in Portage County?

3. How is Portage County different from the other places you’ve lived?

4. What do you enjoy about living in Portage County?

5. How does your volunteer work benefit your life in Portage County?

If you are a Portage County, Wisconsin volunteer and would like to participate in the research for my book, please send your answers to the email address above.

Thank you.
Paula Kramer

World

Educational First

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1991

Educational First

Aber Suzuki Center & American Suzuki Institute
Originally known only as American Suzuki Institute, the Aber Suzuki Center is the first Suzuki Institute in the world outside of Japan.
1971

Business Firsts

Women In Trucking Association
The Women In Trucking Association is the first association for women truckers in the world. Men can be members as well. The Women In Trucking Association has members in North America, Australia, and Europe.
2007

The Women In Trucking Association initiated an event for Girl Scouts to earn a Transportation Patch. Working with the Greater Chicago/Northern Indiana regional office, the Women In Trucking Association developed the curriculum and patch. The event has been repeated in the United States and Canada (Girl Guides in Canada).
2014

Largest

Trivia Contest
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point radio station, WWSP 90fm
1969

Renewable Energy Fair
Midwest Renewable Energy Association
1990

Student Operated Paper Machine
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Paper Science and Engineering

National

Educational Firsts

Cottage at Stevens Point Normal School
For students to learn how to run a household
1915

Conservation Education Major
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1946

Student/Faculty Television
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1968

Communication Program
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1969

Student Chapter of the American Water Resources Association
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1975

Wellness Program in University Life
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1975

Computer Information System Major
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
early 1980s

Paper Machine Designed for Teaching
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1995

Suzuki Voice Training
2006

First American to Fulfill Voice Requirements of the European Suzuki Association
Suzuki Singing Books 1 through 4
Mary Hofer
2008

Undergraduate Health Promotion and Wellness Programs
National Wellness Institute
2008

Wellness Academic Accreditation Program Institute
National Wellness Institute

Student Government Association’s Environmental and Sustainability Issues
Director and Committee
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Athletic Training Research Using Virtual Reality Hockey Technology
2019

Business First

Restaurant Salad Bar
Sky Club
1950

Media Firsts

Radio Broadcasting Station at a Teachers College
1937

Student/Faculty Television
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1968

Health Firsts

Wellness Symposiums, Now National Wellness Conference
1975

Six Dimensions of Wellness Model
Dr. Bill Hettler
(National wellness founder along with Dennis Elsenrath and Fred Leafgren)
Intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, and physical wellness
1976

First Institute with Wellness as its Mission
National Wellness Institute
(Originally launched as Institute for Lifestyle Improvement by the
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Foundation)
1977

Environmental Firsts

Conservation Education Major
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1946

Student Chapter of the American Water Resources Association
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1975

Green Circle That Forms a Physical Circle Around a Community
1989

Artistic Firsts

Bachelor of Music Degree
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1959

Suzuki Voice Training
2006

First American to Fulfill Voice Requirements of the European Suzuki Association
Suzuki Singing Books 1 through 4
Mary Hofer
2008

Award Firsts

First Recipient of Friends of Lulu’s “Women of Distinction” Award
Maggie Thompson
2004
(Friends of Lulu existed from 1994 to 2011)
National organization promoting women as readers and participants in the comic book industry

First Recipient of the Transportation Innovators Champion of Change Award
Ellen Voie, President & CEO
Women In Trucking Association
Presented by the Barack Obama White House
2012

Models Of Effectiveness

CAP Services
Community action against poverty
(Asked where Portage County gets its volunteers, the late CAP President
Karl Pnazek replied, “I pick them off the sidewalk. They just grow here.”)

Central Rivers Farmshed
Events, programs, workshops, and resources that support a local food economy

Community Care of Portage County
Long term care for the elderly and disabled
(Until the state of Wisconsin changed home healthcare in Wisconsin)

Teaching Partners
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
College of Professional Studies
Pairing faculty and teaching academic staff for discussions about teaching and learning

Wisconsin Lake Leaders Institute
Management of lakes and working with state and local governments

Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas
Peer to peer partnership

Writing Lab (now Tutoring-Learning Center)
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Horticultural Only

“Hans Aanrud” Triumph Tulips
Named for Hans Aanrud, Norwegian writer, drama critic.
Great uncle of Portage County resident Ruth Aanrud.
Ruth has kept the tulips growing in her garden since the 2010s.

State

Educational First

Student Organization to Work with North Central Conservancy Trust
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Land Conservation Society
2014

Environmental Firsts

Renewable Energy Fair
Midwest Renewable Energy Association
1990

First Publicly Owned Project to Earn LEED Platinum
George W. Mead Wildlife Area Education & Visitor Center
Architect Thomas Brown, Stevens Point
Mead Wildlife Area encompasses land in Marathon, Portage, and Wood Counties.
2005

First Solar Transpired Wall
Stevens Point Airport
2009

Green Tier Status
Central Waters Brewing Company
2010

Student Organization to Work with North Central Conservancy Trust
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Land Conservation Society
2014

UW Campus with 100% Electricity from Renewable Sources
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
2016

We Are Still In Declaration
The “We Are Still In” declaration was released June 5, 2017. Leaders across the United States are signing the declaration, committing their organizations to the Paris Agreement on combating climate change. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Chancellor Bernie Patterson was the first chancellor in the University of Wisconsin system to sign the declaration.
2017

First University Of Wisconsin School Named To The Princeton Review Green College Honor Roll
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

First University Of Wisconsin School To Achieve 100 Percent Renewable Electricity
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
2017

Agricultural First

Anaerobic Digester
Gordondale Farms
Nelsonville
2002

Artistic First

First Sculpture Park Owned by a Municipality
Stevens Point Sculpture Park

Investment First

Investment in Healthy Food Enterprises
Incredible Edibles Investment Club, LLC
One member lives in Wood County
2013

Religion First

Call to Common Mission
In 2000, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America came to an agreement known as The Call to Common Mission. The agreement allows the two denominations to share worship, clergy, evangelism, and outreach. The Stevens Point congregations of the Intercession Episcopal Church and the Redeemer Lutheran Church are the first in Wisconsin to partner by sharing not only a building, but also a clergy person for the two churches. Together they are the Beloved Community of the Episcopal Church of the Intercession and Redeemer Lutheran Churches.
2017

Premier/Largest Midwest Events

Portage County Cultural Festival
A day of fun, food, and learning organized 100% by volunteers.

Riverfront Jazz Festival
Local, regional, and internationally renowned jazz musicians coming together with the funds going to the UW-Stevens Point Jazz Studies program.

Walk Wisconsin
Noncompetitive yearly event for people of all ages and abilities on routes including all or parts of Portage County’s Green Circle.

State Embarrassments

Criminal First

Double Lynching
In October 1875, brothers Isiah and Amos Courtwright shot and killed Sheriff Joseph Baker. Stevens Point residents removed the the Courtwrights from the jail and lynched them from a large jack pine tree. This was the first and only double lynching in Wisconsin.

Binge Drinking Highest (Shared)

Portage and Iron counties share the highest binge drinking rate in the state, 29%. For a county that creates spectacular success by working with others and satisfying others, this is an embarrassment. For a county that is a hotbed of world, national, and state firsts, this is an embarrassment. For a county that is a model of effectiveness, this is an embarrassment.

“The Burden of Binge Drinking in Wisconsin”
Sarah Linnan, MA
Jason Paltzer, PhD, MPH
Erin Skalitzky, MPH
University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
October 14, 2019

~~~~~

Paula M. Kramer
Copyright 2019
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks or months.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Working With Others & Satisfying Others

Resource Websites

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Business Directory

betterplanetbusiness.com

Reputation Management Directory

myrecordnow.com

Girl Growl Backfire: A Businesswoman Makes An Opportunity Disappear

Originally published Wednesday, July 17, 2013.

Revised and republished November 22, 2015 after a web host transfer.

The description for the first episode of TLC network’s Sin City Rules included the phrase “high-powered women”. When I think of high-powered women, I think of women like Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Marissa Mayer, Jody Foster, and Oprah Winfrey. I don’t agree with everything those powerful women do, but I recognize that they are powerful. Because of the phrase about powerful women, I watched the first episode of Sin City Rules. One episode was enough.

None of the women I consider high-powered do any of the following:

Hire six little men to lead them into a big party.

Invite other women to unfamiliar events so they can publicly laugh at them.

Engage in bad and ugly gossip so they can feel superior.

Announce that, “I am God.”

Lana Fuchs, owner of Billionaire Mafia, did all of the above. Instead of speaking and acting with girl goodwill towards other women, Lana purposefully growled at one woman in particular.

Lana’s girl growls backfired not just with television viewers, but with TLC executives. TLC cancelled Sin City Rules before the end of its first season. It did not even broadcast the final three episodes.

The blog Carbon Poker commented on the cancellation because one of the women on the show was professional poker player Jennifer Harman. The blog reported that Lana “constantly harassed” independent entertainment business reporter Alicia Jacobs.

Norm Clarke of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on a tweet from Gigolos co-producer Marklen Kennedy to Alicia Jacobs: “Cruella de Vil Fuchs is still mad that house fell on her sister back in Oz.”

Clarke also reported on a tweet from Karina in Toronto: “the only likable women were @REALJenHarman & @AliciaJacobs. Otherwise it was girls gone wild – Cougar edition!”

For a complete understanding of the lengths Lana Fuchs went to growl at other women on Sin City Rules, read the episode summaries yourself.

Clarke reported that the person with the most to lose from cancellation of the show was Lana Fuchs. Apparently, Lana saw the show as an opportunity to “energize” her Billionaire Mafia fashion company. Her girl growls backfired and made that opportunity disappear.

Remember, Lana Fuchs announced that, “I am God.” She made these statements about Billionaire Mafia:

Lana Fuchs is also the President and CEO of Billionaire Mafia, a Lifestyle Clothing Brand, which has become a top contender in the apparel industry in only a few years.  Lana continues to be involved in all aspects of the company, from design and manufacturing, to sales and marketing.  Since the creation of Billionaire Mafia in 2008, Lana has succeeded in turning her brainchild from a small tee shirt business into a global lifestyle clothing brand consisting of a full line of knits, wovens, denim, leather, tees, jewelry and much more.  Currently in 400+ select specialty retailers in the United States, Billionaire Mafia is currently in the process of establishing its flagship stores nationwide and distribution overseas.

Click on the link below to see how Billionaire Mafia is doing now:

www.BillionaireMafia.com

Not only did businesswoman Lana Fuchs make an opportunity disappear, she apparently made her company disappear.

“Sin City Rules cancelled, Jennifer Harman off TV”
PokerPop
Carbon Poker
January 18, 2013

“‘Sin City Rules’ gets poor reviews”
Norm Clarke
Las Vegas Review-Journal
December 12, 2012

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

3 Things Oprah Could Learn from Scentsy Owners Heidi & Orville Thompson

Originally published Thursday, January 20, 2011.

Republished August 17, 2015 after a web host transfer.

Scentsy is a Meridien, Idaho company that hosts home parties to sell wickless candles. The year 2009 marked Scentsy’s fifth anniversary. Owners Heidi and Orville Thompson planned to spend $25,000 for a company celebration. While planning that well-deserved self-indulgence, the Thompsons developed some self-awareness. The nearby city of Boise had been hit hard by the recession. Orville and Heidi Thompson felt that spending $25,000 on a party for 350 employees would “strike the wrong note” for their struggling neighbors (Entrepreneur Magazine, February 2009).

The Thompsons decided to change the focus of their celebration. Scentsy’s 2009 sales had come close to $200 million. The Thompsons upped their celebration fund to $100,000. They gave $100 to each of 1000 employees and told them to spend the money at small family businesses on the same Saturday. Those employees chose forty businesses and spent $2,500 at each one. A number of the chosen business owners said that Scentsy’s gift of customers and cash meant survival for their businesses.

Scentsy hosted three more shopping days in the fall of 2009 through Contribute 2009. Sixty-seven thousand Scentsy home consultants pledged another $200,000 to spend at small family businesses. The consultants told friends and families about the shopping days. Many of the family and friends went along without pledging first. The total spending to support small business and help families was likely $400,000 to $500,000. Other businesses have followed Scentsy’s example in supporting U.S. families and their small businesses.

The success of those small businesses will create more success in their communities. More success in more communities means more success for the country. Eventually, Scentsy will be able to be self-indulgent again, and I hope they have a blow out party.

 

What Oprah Could Learn

1.  There is a Time for Self-Indulgence and a Time for Self-Awareness

Heidi and Orville Thompson became self-aware of how a self-indulgent party would affect their neighbors.

Oprah took more than 300 handpicked fans to Australia for a luxury vacation to promote Australia’s tourism industry. Australian taxpayers footed part of the $3 million Oprah received for the trip. Oprah celebrated the 25th anniversary of her talk show in a self-indulgent way while millions of U.S. citizens were going hungry and U.S. small businesses were struggling to stay alive.

2.  Giving Up Control Can Increase Effectiveness

Orville and Heidi Thompson gave their employees control of the money and which businesses to support. They told their employees to spend the money with no strings attached and to keep what they bought for themselves.

Oprah gives her audiences what she feels like giving them. Whether or not everyone in her audiences wants what she gives them seems unimportant. Oprah’s gifts come from corporations, not small businesses.

3.  Putting the Spotlight on Others by Creating Success for Them Brings an Admiring Spotlight Back to You.

Heidi and Orville Thompson put the spotlight on struggling family businesses. To celebrate Scentsy’s sixth anniversary in 2010, the Thompsons organized a “6 Pack Give Back”. They gave $50,000 toward helping twenty small family businesses. The spotlight has admiringly shone back on Scentsy and the Thompsons through numerous articles and this blog post. That kind of spotlight helped other businesses follow the Thompsons’ example. That kind of spotlight probably increased Scentsy’s sales.

Oprah self-indulgently kept the spotlight on herself in Australia. Journalists who went to Australia had to explain what they were going to write and where they would publish the stories. They had to be willing to have examples of their stories reviewed. An article in the December 7th, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald was not exactly admiring in its report about Oprah’s visit. It suggested that as a guest of the Australian government, Oprah needed to interact with the ordinary Australians who paid for her trip, not just with her “hosts, minders, and sponsors”.

How many small family U.S. businesses would be able to survive these hard times if Oprah became self-aware, gave up a little control, and took the spotlight off herself to shine on small family business owners?

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com