I am having a bad day.
First off, it’s Monday. Mondays in general are sucky.
I’m also sleep deprived because my older kid is sick, we have a $1000 car repair bill coming our way, my head is killing me and, to top it all off, everyone on Facebook is really ticking me off. From heated abortion debates (Did Carly Fiorina lie? Should Planned Parenthood be defunded?) to offensive memes about everything from gun control to global warming to the Pope (The Pope? Really? Is nothing sacred?), I’m about ready to throw in the towel, yank the wireless out of the wall and go live under a rock. I’m done. If I try to formulate one more thoughtful, balanced response to any of this nonsense, I think my head might explode.
My fingers are quivering right now because on a Facebook conversation about how stay at home moms can be prepared to financially support themselves and their children should something happen to their husband’s income (divorce, widowhood, job loss, etc.), I mentioned direct sales as a viable option. It’s not right for everyone but it does have a great flexibility for allowing you to work the business in a hobby or part time capacity and then step it up to full time if you ever needed to support yourself. This isn’t pie in the sky talk. I’ve known lots of women who have done it.
Of course, here comes the line,
MLMs have abysmal failure rates, and they prey on women. I loathe them.
Walk away from the internet, Grace.
But, I can’t, so I responded. See, I used to be that person and I would still say that most MLMs are not so hot. I see lots of them that, as far as I can tell, doesn’t involve actually selling anything but the system to sell things. Is there a product? Is selling the product where you can make a reasonable amount of money? If the answer is yes, then it’s really direct sales more than an MLM. But I digress…
The truth is a majority of all businesses “fail”.
With MLMs or direct sales, I don’t doubt that it is even higher than average. Why? Because the investment is so small. For a few hundred dollars, people will jump (or be enthusiastically coerced by a pushy recruiter) into one of these businesses almost on a whim. When things don’t work out as easily or aren’t as fun as they were hoping, they can pack it in with a fairly small loss. I hate to see anyone lose any money, which is why I try to make it clear to my potential team members all that’s involved in running your own business.
When looking at any direct sales business or MLM make sure you’ve done the following:
- Researched to see if there is a market for the product in your area beyond the family and friends who will buy from you because they like you.
- Established that the company is reputable and solvent.
- Compared the compensation plan to those of similar companies and actually done math to see how much you would really make.
- Asked yourself if you have the right personality and the commitment to learn how to be the marketer, salesperson, office staff, mail clerk, accountant and supervisor & trainer to a team.
- Are prepared to accept that sometimes there will be Bad Days (weeks, months) – even in a business you otherwise love.
Number five is really what I’m thinking about today. On days like today, I try to remember how much joy my business brings me, how much I love the product and all the wonderful dreams the business supports – like my non-sleeping 7 year old, the car that needs repairs (maybe that’s not so wonderful, but you get the idea.)
Last summer, my best friend moved from town and I was having a really rough time with it. I remember pulling myself up by my bootstraps and getting ready for a Pure Romance party even though I was not feeling it at all. I got in the car and thought, I can do this. I love this. Even on bad days, I am so glad I have this. Then I snapped this pic.
I love my job.