Atlanta, School Counselors and Sunsets

Just returned from ASCA, the American School Counselors Association's National Conference in Atlanta. Wonderful weather, blue, blue skies, warm temps, low humidity and fantastic accommodations. Negotiating Atlanta was a breeze and southern helpfulness and hospitality were everywhere. Thumball was a welcome addition to the event's exhibition floor where we received praise and thanks for expanding the product options available for guidance and career counselors.

Sounds pretty awesome, almost pollyanna but I could find things to complain about if encouraged yet what would be the point. I realized that at previous trade show events I became very concerned that the costs of participating would be greater than the return. I would lose myself in making calculations worried we could not possibly sell enough Thumballs to even break even with travel, exhibit, shipping and equipment costs, let alone the time away from our other responsibilities. But this is not the true point of attending a trade show.

I inhaled deeply, looked at my wonderful husband who can see the bright side of every possible situation and stopped my silliness. It is the poverty mentality my parents taught me so well, that " balance the books" thinking as the only measure of success, a philosophy that serves no one really but the books.

The ASCA attendees were excited, motivated and increasingly creative with their thinking when discovering our creation, Thumball. The top three sellers were the Icebreaker, Who Are You? and Emotion Mania which all promote social relationships, connection with our feelings and healthy ways to express them. These dedicated counselors are assisting students in need or at times of crisis and our product is helping. It's hard to place only a monetary value on that kind of work.

The counselors that had already used Thumballs visited our booth to say "My students love these; Thumballs work really well to motivate my withdrawn students; I use them at home as much as school because they are so much fun." Gratifying to hear for sure, but still our business needs to make money to survive. Then I thought, wow, there are over 350 Thumballs out there in America now doing their job and selling themselves and we can rest assured that money is in escrow for our future needs.

It is like our visit to Atlanta when I thought we should be rushing off to the Georgia Aquarium, The World of Coke and the Underground in order to get the maximum return on our trip I had to stop and take a breath. Turns out it was the night we never left our hotel which was best of all. From our 24th floor room we witnessed the Atlanta skyline transform from blues to yellow to pinks and orange in a dazzling array of shapes and images that went on for hours.

We could scarcely catch our breath at the beauty of this city and the wonder of earth's cycles . I remembered that all things are possible and we get chances every day to make a profit and sell merchandise but the sky that evening will never look exactly that way again and there is no price on a perfect golden sunset shared with the one you love, like Visa reminds us that my dear friends is priceless.

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