Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm back

Physically and mentally. I'm back in the states after a wonderful vacation and I'm back to blogging. Y'all have convinced me and reminded me of what this was to begin with.

So I'm back and I have a vacation to blog about:) I have to say that I'm hesitant to do this for a couple of reasons - a) its a little overwhelming to think about writing all of this down and b) I get worried that I will be viewed as bragging.

Let me address that up front - for my own sake. My husband works for a company that kicks their new advisors' rear-ends for the first 3-5 years. You earn a very small salary - Cornbread took a 75% pay cut - (although in a very small town, it is a sufficient salary) and they ask you to do some really difficult things that ultimately result in a battle of keeping your self-esteem. In return, you work for an absolutely incredible company (consistently voted in the top 10 companies to work for in the US & the #1 company to work for in Canada) and you receive some incentive/rewards along the way. One of those incentive/rewards is an opportunity to earn 2 trips each year. And the trips are amazing. The choices are incredible and the out of pocket cost is absolutely miniscule in comparison to what the trip actually costs (the advisor pays for excursions and lunches and thats pretty much it).

The advisor needs to hit a certain production level in order to earn a trip. In addition to hitting that production level, he/she has to hit goals in certain categories... by hitting those categories his/her entire book of business will be sufficiently diversified according to Edward Jones standards of practice and expectations - so its not JUST about hitting the production level, but hitting it in an intentional and appropriate manner. In other words, you're not going to earn a trip by reaching the production level by only selling insurance - you also need to have a certain amount in this fund class or that one, some applications for new hires, etc. etc. I'm putting this in very basic form to simply state that it isn't necessarily a sales incentive, but that the advisor needs to be intentional about how he is selling.

By the time the advisor has been with the company for 5-7 years he/she should be earning that production level pretty consistently and earning two trips each year (this is the typical timeline, there are, of course, people who earn them sooner and some that earn them later). This is a HUGE incentive/reward for Cornbread and me because it is going to give us an opportunity to travel to places that we would NEVER be able to afford to go to on our own. It will also eventually give us an opportunity to bring our girls to places that we could never dream of bringing them (we would have to pay upcharges to bring the kids in addition to their air fare... so this is not a cheap option and not going to happen for many, many years).

Our options for this trip, for example:
Mediterranean Cruise
Domincan Republic
Dublin, Ireland
Lake George, NY
Nevis, West Indies
Fall Foliage Cruise along the East coast
Napa Valley, CA
Albequrque, NM (hot air balloon festival)
Los Cabos, Mexico

Dave earned this trip back in February and we chose to take it in October to coincide with our 10 year anniversary. (He did not earn the next trip, but will now be working on earning the following trip which would take place in late summer/fall of 2009.) Very few of those trips were available in October - only 2-3 of them. In addition, the trip slots fill up pretty fast for some of the destinations (there are 4-6 weeks available for each trip and 50-75 slots for each week). So our choices were very limited. Napa Valley, for example, was an October trip, but it was full by the time Dave earned the trip so it was not an option for us.

So all of this to say, Cornbread worked very hard to earn this trip AND we have to pay taxes on it:) I am so proud of the work that he has done and I'm so proud and happy that he earned his first trip just in time for us to celebrate our 10th anniversary in a wonderful place! He has been beaten up for the last 4 years and definitely deserved this and earned it. We certainly don't have the money to pay for something like this on our own, but are very grateful and feel extremely blessed that he works for a company that offers this perk but requires you to earn it. We are also grateful that he works for a company like Edward Jones - it is such an amazing company and atmosphere/culture and we are blessed to be a part of it.

I am posting all of this because I worry that it will seem like I'm bragging when I post my daily adventures in Los Cabos, Mexico. I know that not everyone has the opportunity to do this kind of stuff. I also recognize that sometimes priorities are different between people and that sometimes causes tension. Cornbread and I place a high priority on experiences and that is what this trip and hopefully future trips provide for us! We are very fortunate and very blessed.


Doni Brinkman 11:25 AM  

How exciting Jana!!! That is just awesome. I think vacation time is so important.

Jen 12:58 PM  

Can't wait to hear! Great too that it hit your 10th. I had a 6 month old on my 10th and my babysitter flaked. :-(

Not braggy at all~just sharing your experience with us all!

Mommy Brain 12:26 PM  

I can't wait to live in Mexico through you...don't worry about bragging...give us every juicy detail...I'm not going anywhere any time soon and I welcome the "vacation!"

one hot momma 11:41 AM  

Hey Jana,
I know this is an older post, but I was just checking in! How exciting for you to be taking this trip! Yes, please do brag on your hubby! He deserves it and if someone has issue with you doing that, that's their problem! You should be proud of him!

I'm missing blogging...had to stop for a while until I get this teaching thing figured out, and also didn't want all the parents prying into my "stuff"...I'll figure it out eventually, I still have my account, just not my blog. Maybe you can teach me how to make it "non-public, and invite only!"
Keep up the posting! It gives me a chance to "escape" from the yuck of reality right now!
And, by all means...brag away!

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