Uplines, downlines, sidelines, recruits? I had to learn a whole new lingo when I joined SU. So, here's a few basic definitions for those of you who are unfamiliar with these words. A demonstrator sells (and buys for herself [insert duh here]) the product. A demonstrator signs up under another demonstrator, called an upline. (You can't just call SU and say I want to be a demo. That was my first surprise!) The process of signing someone to sign up under you is called "recruiting." The demonstrators who have signed up under you are called your "downline." 2 or more demonstrators under the same upline are called "sidelines." If an upline herself sells a certain amount per month, she will earn a commission off of your sales. (We will cover compensation in general terms in another post). And her upline is also earning a commission off of your sales, all the way up to that 5th level of upline (I think!). So, after a while, if you have decent sales and a large downline, you are sitting pretty!! This is why you may be approached to join as a demonstrator yourself. Also, to be honest, it is fun to be part of SU and some of us really just want to spread the fun!! Now, back to selecting an upline. I didn't do a good job selecting an upline. That isn't meant as a criticism of my upline, who is an enormously successful, hardworking, and nice woman! If you are looking to be a successful businesswoman, my upline is amazing!!! Rather, what I mean is that I didn't take the selection seriously. If you recall, my goal was to cut my spending and increase my artistic skills. I chose an upline who lives hundreds of miles from me for just the random reason that she had offered a really good special on some sets a few months earlier. Makes no sense now that I look back on it, but I wasn't thinking this through. I knew her name and that was that. Given my goals, I should have selected someone nearby my home whose work I admired. I could have attended classes and really benefitted from the fellowship. Some uplines are fabulous businesswomen (most are female...); some are amazing artists. I assume that there are some that are both, but I think that they might be the exception rather than the rule. In any event, the important thing is to identify YOUR goals and select an upline that fits those goals and not anyone else's. I recommend asking around and interviewing at least 2. Tell the upline your goals (is it just to buy the product at a discount for your own use, are you looking to make money for the family budget, or perhaps you are looking to meet a lot of other stampers. You may have one or more of these goals, as well as others. Ask her what kind of support she provides her downline and how long she plans on staying with SU. Don't be shy about asking about the number of her current customers. And, if you are her friend -- it is critical that you discuss what will happen to any customers that you may have already sent her way. Will they become your customers or stay with her? Of course, your customers may have their own opinions about that, but the point is that communication before you sign up is essential. NEXT: WHAT HAPPENED RIGHT AFTER I SIGNED UP!