Chapter 25. Expanding My Family: Opening Doors for Longaberger Consultants

My Dad was a master at opening doors and welcoming others. He had a way about him, a witty gleam that drew people in and made them want to work hard, please him, and become a part of his family. What they didn't know was that he considered them family the moment they first walked through the door of the Longaberger Company.

My father and I always believed that relationships are at the heart of any business. We work tirelessly to maintain those we've already established, while discovering and nurturing new ones along the way. In the mid-1990s, when we were building baskets faster than we ever imagined, we invested in our employee relationships tangibly by throwing elaborate company picnics that would make even Elvis burn with jealousy.

These "Family Days," as Dad called them, were filled with carnival rides and cotton candy, hamburgers and hot dogs, stuffed animals and sugary treats galore. Longaberger employees arrived, hand-in-hand with their families, and ate and played all day long. I have so many wonderful memories of bringing my own children to those events when they were small; memories of twirling on rides under puffy clouds with Dad nearby, or watching Claire and Matt toss rings in hopes of winning another prize. Dad filled up on joy by watching others laugh and enjoy his generosity. It was one of his favorite parts of our business year.

Soon enough, however, with the business growing and our numbers ...

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