Save your marriage today.

Let me start by saying that if this post prevents just ONE divorce it will be worth it, if you pass it onto a friend (who is having marital challenges) they will benefit from this knowledge and you will make a difference in their marriage as well as the lives of any children who get to see their parents resolve their conflict and stay together.

A few months ago my wife Rachel introduced me to an amazing website:

http://www.MarriageBuilders.com

We began listening and reading TOGETHER and this material has SAVED our marriage!

We bought the books (used paperbacks) on Amazon for less than $10 and listened to the website for free, on my computer as well as on our smartphones. I’m not paid by these folks to promote their website, but I want to pass it along to help out other couples who are facing similar challenges.

We had already read other books like The Five Love Languages and Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus…..    but Dr. Harley’s material gave us a comprehensive understanding of what we needed to do to strengthen our marriage and stay together for the long haul.

Don’t get me wrong, if there is abuse or a substance addiction in your marriage staying together may NOT be an option, but what if you just have internal conflicts in your marriage that is driving you away from your spouse?  What if you just need some fundamental issues resolved?

Marriage Builders will help you fix these issues.

Our society makes it far too EASY to just get a divorce and abandon the most fundamental relationship in your life.

You see divorce on TV and in the movies, and it seems like every famous person in Hollywood has been married 6 or 7 times. When the negative impact of divorce is marginalized in the media it suddenly becomes a viable option, even if divorce is disastrous to our lives on so many levels.

IT is WORTH IT to look at this website and gain a better understanding of what it takes to stay happy in your marriage.

Any long term couple could benefit from the concepts taught on the Marriage Builders website, your marriage is worth saving, especially if you have children involved. Your children need you in their lives, even if you get an amicable divorce you will see your children LESS because they will live under a separate roof.

Divorce is NOT worth it especially if you can “work it out”.

Check out the website, show it to your spouse, if the website helps your marriage please leave a comment here!

-Ben Alexander

The Simplest Business in the Ballooniverse.

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This is all the equipment you need to run a BD region with 10, 20, even 50 artists.

You can earn an excellent income with the simple objects in the photo.  

An apron, a hand pump and a few balloons to do tryouts and land new clients.

A phone to close deals and contact your team.

A laptop to access our online orientation and online X-scheduler. Here at HQ we handle the billing, payroll, licensing, background checks on new artists and all the other back office functions crucial to the smooth operation of a national company.

Of course, you also need a mode of transportation to get around, which was not included in the picture. Our Regional Partner in Los Angeles gets around on a motorcycle with his balloon apron in a backpack, you don’t even need 4 wheels to make this work!

Back in 2011 we entertained the idea of branching out into Balloon Décor. At our company HQ we bought heavy helium tanks, shelves of balloons, PVC, and all the other equipment you need to do balloon arches, columns, balloon drops, etc. We did a handful of jobs, but we realized that scaling a décor business nationwide would require tens of thousands of dollars in equipment that could be lost, stolen, damaged etc.   

By keeping this concept light and simple, with online tools that organize people and clients we have an enterprise that can scale anywhere there are restaurants and families.

We can scale this globally, the internet knows no borders.

If you are reading this blog from somewhere else in the world and you have a business background please reach out to us:

http://balloondistractions.com/build-a-region.html

If you live in a city anywhere in the USA and you want to have a business that is super simple and efficient we would like to talk with you. You can go through our Online Orientation in under a week and start earning cash within about 10 days.  

There is no financial investment to join us other than balloons (which you can buy anywhere) the gas in your vehicle and your time spent building a team.

You will be a 1099 Independent Contractor, so you determine your schedule, the pace of your work, and the size of your income.

You determine the SIZE of your success.

Fired! …. at 12 years old.

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Written by Ben Alexander

Every day, all over the world, every single MINUTE people are waking up and going to their jobs and expending their energy, time and intellect in exchange for the money they need to eat, live and take care of their family.

No other plant, mineral or animal does this other than humans, with the exception of performance animals and service dogs… and we pay them in food and shelter, mainly because it would take a very talented dog to handle coins and paper currency.

Of course, you can’t forget your friendly killer whale down at Seaworld, doing flips for buckets of fish and occasionally living up to their names when that little switch goes off in their Orcan brain and they decide to murder that small primate in a neoprene wetsuit who has been ordering them around for the last few years.

If you outweighed your boss by a few tons how tempting would it be to simply END them one sunny day?    

My first job was an auctioneer’s assistant, I was 12, the guy who hired me knew me from church and he was a total jerk. He paid me $2 per hour to clear brush in his backyard and help him run estate auctions on the weekends. At the time the minimum wage was about $4 an hour, but I was 12 and he paid me cash.

You have about zero options for legal employment when you’re in sixth grade, and my parents would not have been happy if I’d become a cocaine dealer while still in elementary school.

In this first job I learned all about auctions. People would die, and we would come in and sell every item in their home. This was interesting because you learned that used stuff was pretty worthless 99% of the time. At one house I took home a whole set of heavy duty hand tools for about $4. They were probably about 60 years old when I bought them back in the 1980’s, I still have those tools in my tool box to the present day.

A valuable thing to learn early on is that THINGS have less value than you may realize.

During the actual auction I would hold up items and then help haul stuff around for the buyers.

At 12 I was a smallish kid, so my lovely boss would always tell me what a pathetic weakling I was. I had spent my childhood reading books and avoiding  athletic activity, for a mere 2 bucks an hour what the hell did he expect, Hercules?

My boss would also find odd lots of stuff in warehouses and then buy it to sell it elsewhere. I remember one day when we drove to a decrepit warehouse in a ghetto of Philly where we loaded about 500 one gallon tins of tomato sauce into his box truck. To this day I have no idea what he did with 500 cans of tomato sauce. It was crap work and he paid me crap pay, and then he fired me a few months later.

I guess 2 bucks an hour was too much to pay a 12 year old kid, perhaps he found a 5 year old who could work for less?

So there I was, fired from my very first job at the tender age of 12.

I had all the feelings that one associates with being fired; shame, humiliation, failure, disappointment, etc. But in a way getting fired is an action of forced change, you have no choice but to look around and consider your other options.

Later on in life, when I was fired from other jobs I took it in stride and always landed with all 4 paws on the ground. Getting fired forced me to try new jobs that I never would have considered if I didn’t need work. I was a waiter in a BBQ restaurant when a balloon guy came in and started twisting balloons, if I had NOT been fired from my last waiter job I never would have learned balloon art, if I had never learned balloons my present company would not exist today…

Everything happens for a reason.

The apple does not fall far from the tree….

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written by Ben Alexander

Next month my oldest daughter Claire turns 16. When I started Balloon Distractions she was only in kindergarten, she’s been there all along from Balloon Jams in our living room to expanding this across the entire country. Many times Claire and her sister Grace went with me to restaurants to train new artists, and they’ve been there all along when my wife and I have discussed business challenges across the dinner table.  

There are a handful of event gigs that I’ve been doing year after year, Claire has been going along with me as my “apprentice twister”. She’s wonderful with children and very good at handling people in general so I’m getting her ready to rock some restaurant gigs once she’s mastered a few more shapes.

My youngest daughter Grace has ZERO interest in doing this, so I’m glad Claire has stepped up to the plate. I don’t want to push them, I’m just glad to spend time with Claire, she is a joy to work with.

We’ve been in business 10 years already so it makes sense that we will still be around in another 20 or 30 years. I think Claire has some natural leadership talents that could lend themselves well to helping me lead this company, not just in the United States but internationally as well.  

At the same time I don’t want to be the type of business owner who promotes his child just because of blood, Claire will have to prove herself at every level.

As a parent I’m doing my level best to make sure both my daughters get a solid academic foundation that opens many doors to them, whether in business or elsewhere.  

 

Build the Lever.

Archimedes once said:

“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” 

A small business can only give so much to the local community, but a national business that generates 10 or 50 or even 100 million dollars per year can do so much more. When I started BD it was just a concept in my imagination, a wild idea with which I had no idea whether it would work or not. As I write this today we provide a living for many of our Regional Partners and great part time income for the high school and college kids on our teams across 42 cities.

It all started with a crazy idea in 2003… a tiny seed that sprouted into a nationwide business. 

I have another crazy idea and I’d like to share it with you. If you are brand-new to our company this idea might have an impact on your life, as well as the people you bring on and train as you move up through our system.

Imagine for a moment that we have scaled up to 200 regions across the United States and we start opening day camps each summer that employ our balloon artists as counselors and teach children positive thinking, balloon twisting, face painting, comedy, magic and (maybe even) juggling. Our counselors would make a great hourly wage each summer and our camps would be a great training ground for our next generation of entertainers. Our summer camps will be unique, fun, and cater to that offbeat child who might not fit in at soccer, cheerleading or football camp.

To GIVE BACK we would offer 20% of the enrollment at a reduced rate (or free) to kids in the neighborhood who normally would not get to enjoy such a neat experience.

What kind of impact would BD have if we gave a child from a rough background the opportunity to learn something joyful like balloon art, magic or face painting?

What if we encouraged that child to get better each summer and brought them on as an entertainer when they turned 16 years old? … What IF when that child reached 18 they were awarded a Balloon Distractions scholarship to help them get through college?

Could we take a child “under our wing” so to speak and change that child’s trajectory into adulthood? 

Could a little BALLOON talent agency do ALL that? As I write this we are like a small lever that provides a modest income for 300 members of our team, but when we are in 200 cities with 10,000 children in summers camps we can do AMAZING things. Balloon Distractions then becomes a huge lever that can do great things and impact the lives of thousands of children in a positive way.  

Granting 100K in annual college scholarships is not possible at our current size, but is becomes tenable when we are in every city in North America.

If you are reading this as a new member of our team consider the impact that YOU can have in the life of a child. Perhaps your Faith called you to join on our team and to lend your talents to our mission.  

Balloon Distractions does AMAZING things in the lives of the children we entertain, the college students and Regional partners who earn an income from this business model and the lives we save through our clean water efforts in Central America. 

The bottom line profit is important in any business, but with Balloon Distractions you are a part of a higher purpose than just making money.

In my personal life I don’t need a bunch of fancy JUNK with which to impress people.  My greatest reward will be going to the college graduation of a young person who entered our summer camps as a  child with NO CHANCE in life, knowing that my company gave him that shot at success, an opportunity to learn, grow and work hard to see tangible results at the end of the day… or when I’m in Honduras and make a balloon for a child who is healthy and thriving because they have clean water to drink.

The summer camp concept will take a few years to fully develop, but if you are a Regional Partner right now consider the fact that you are already teaching your team a skill that enables them to go out and average over $20 an hour in income on a regular basis, and over $50 an hour when they perform at special events. That skill will also make your team well suited to working as camp counselors once the summer camp concept is launched in your region.  

As a Regional Partner you are making a positive difference in the lives of all the people you train and develop, and you can’t predict the end result of teaching just one person this new skill. I’m sure the guy who trained me back in the 1997 had no clue that I would go on to start a company, and that BD would go on to train over 4,000 balloon artists so far.