I’ve been fully self-employed for a little over 2 years now and I see posts on social media ALL THE TIME of others who long to better balance family with work (or just not waste half their lives sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic) by working from home. But there’s usually a caveat with their plea. “I want to work from home but NO DIRECT SALES, PLEASE.” And you know what? I used to be one of those people. And while I spent time in my ivory no direct sales tower, you know where I was working? In a string of cubicles, some with long commutes in hellish traffic, while my kids sat in daycare that charged me a kidney (and my little toes if I was ever 5 minutes late picking them up).
While I know this industry isn’t going to be for everyone, I’d like to share my some steps to my epiphany. Perhaps I can spare you the painful process realizing that maybe, just maybe, you can step beyond the fear and the stigma and start down the path to actually working from home instead of just dreaming about it.
Here are a few ill-informed things I used to think, and what I’ve come to know now that I’m actually making this business work for me.
- Direct sales doesn’t really offer any substantial income. I used to truly believe someone could make maybe a few hundred bucks a month in any given direct sales business, unless they had a team of hundreds of consultants under them. I now know this to be completely false. I worked in several companies where I would toil ungodly hours and do things far outside of the scope of my job description for absolutely no extra payoff. Under the blanket of “it’s a bad economy,” companies just couldn’t afford (or didn’t want to afford) cost of living increases, raises for stellar performance or bonuses. In direct sales, your income is truly dependent on your effort. If you bust your butt, you just earned your own raise. And you can get a pay raise as often as you earn it. Will you become a millionaire overnight? No. But will you become a millionaire over time, if you truly work hard and stick with it? Chances are that you will. And yes, I said millionaire, without being hyperbolic.
- “Those” businesses don’t really sell anything I’m interested in, so why would I want to sell products nobody needs. I can’t tell you how many in-home parties I attended over the years (mainly just to support friends and earn them some free goodies) for purses, jewelry or makeup and I just couldn’t imagine myself selling those things because I don’t buy a lot of those things. I’d usually make a small, obligatory purchase to support the hostess and the lady running her own business, but because my purchases were small I assumed everyone was buying that way. I was wrong. I can’t tell you how many ladies I know in a variety of businesses who earn very good money selling products just like these. I found the right company for me with a product and a mission I believed in, and I quickly learned that social commerce is BIG business.
- If I did have a direct sales business, nobody is going to show up to my parties. I dabbled in a few party-model businesses before coming to the point where I am today, but I was notoriously bad at getting people to attend parties. Knowing what I know now, I probably didn’t have the right mindset and wasn’t talking to enough people. I am very introverted by nature and really hated doing live demos, so I was probably self-sabotaging a bit as well. Then I found my current company, which is NOT a party plan. This was music to my little introvert ears. NO PARTIES. Well, hello. My business is largely driven by social commerce. You know how you’re looking for a nail salon, or a stain remover, or a Chinese food restaurant and you poll your social media friends (you know you do it, too)? Well, just like that, I recommend my company’s business and products to people on social media. And I don’t have to be a pushy salesperson, because I offer something people want. I give them the information about it. If they want my products or to earn more money, fantastic. If not, that’s also fine. I don’t like to be pressured and I’m not sure I know anyone who does, so that’s not how I roll.
- I need steady income and those businesses really can’t supply it. Again, I’m not sure where I was getting my information (my rectal database, more than likely). But when you work for a good company and you are consistently doing the work, there really is no way to falter on a paycheck. If my paycheck isn’t what I expected, I have nobody to thank for that but myself. I can always up my goals and boost my activity if I need more money. More work equals more money. Crazy, huh?
- I worked my ass off to become a writer and I don’t want to throw that identity away. What I failed to realize is that direct sales businesses are far less time-intensive than a typical 9 to 5. I can get done what I needed to do in less time (not to mention ZERO commute) and still have time to write. So why give that up? I can still pursue my passion, but now I can do it on MY terms. That means no more writing instruction manuals, government reports or other insomnia-reducing materials unless I CHOOSE to write them.
So what caused me to finally wake up and smell the opportunity? Necessity. I was on maternity leave and I desperately did not want to go back to doing the same old thing while I put a brand new baby in daycare. I needed to figure out a different way for my sanity and my very clingy baby’s well-being. So I did the research and I pulled the trigger. Now I run my business around my family’s schedule, take care of my kids and I don’t have to give up writing. And if you’re thinking this is something special that you can’t do, you’re wrong. Anyone with the right attitude and work ethic can do it. It’s not magic. If you’d like to discuss working with me, you can contact me here.