I had the privilege of a couple of new consultants shadowing me at my party on Saturday. They flattered me by calling me a “star” while at the same time expressing some frustration at the slow pace of their own business. I did my best to reassure them that it was a long slow build up to this point in my business and most of it started the night I decided to quit.
[Cue Flashback Music]
I had two parties my first 18 months in the business
I started in August 2010. I had a launch party in September and then another party in November. Then nothing. I took my precious profit and put it into a local bridal show in January. If you know anything about bridal shows, they are $$$. I sold no product (we weren’t allowed to at the time) and booked no parties. The best that can be said about it is that I met my Mary Kay lady there.
I was pregnant at the time, so I limped along, keeping active by selling to friends and then focused my energy on my baby who was born at the end of April. Then in the fall, just about the time I had received several party rejections and starting to blame my stodgy town, my phone rings. It’s another consultant. From my town. Who was getting parties.
So, I did what any respectable person does when their excuses are yanked away from them: I lied. I told her my business was also going fine. We chatted amicably for a while and then I hung up and threw a huge fit.
What was wrong with ME? Why couldn’t I get parties? Why did I suck at this?
Turned out, the call from this other consultant wasn’t all soul crushing. A few weeks later she called again and asked if I wanted a party lead she couldn’t do. Of course, I jumped on it (after dramatically checking my very busy schedule, of course.)
My Last Party
It was my first party in 13 months, in a town I’d never been to with people I’d never met, so I forced my best friend (the one who said selling Pure Romance was my destiny) to go with me. It was a 40 minute drive to a scary, ramshackle house. I worried a little about being mugged. The girls were nice though and listened attentively through my demo. Then I wheeled my little stock bag into a messy little bedroom a mattress on the floor and waited for the girls to come back to order.
And waited. And waited.
The hostess walked by and I called out to her. “Is anyone coming back to order?”
“I dunno. I’ll ask.”
More waiting. Then she comes back. “I guess no one is ordering.”
I silently packed up my stuff and tried to pull myself together. My best friend didn’t say anything. Inside, I was waving the white flag.
That’s it. It’s over, I thought. I’m done. Zero freaking dollars. This was my last party. I quit.
I put on my game face, wheeled out into the living room and began thanking everyone for coming.
“Wait,” says the hostess. “They want to book parties.”
Oh. Oh! Slightly in shock, I got out my calendar. A few minutes later, I walked to my car with 5 new parties on the books.
It wasn’t over
“Let’s get dinner,” I said to my friend.
We stopped at a Perkins just inside town. I carried my Pure Romance money bag in to pay and put it on the table.
“Do you sell that?” asked our waitress when she came to get our order.
“I guess I do.”
By dessert, she had booked a party.
The night I decided to quit was the night my business really began
There was a time when I could trace all of my business back to that night and my zero dollar party.
True story. I swear.
Don’t give up. Don’t tell yourself that you’ll never succeed because you don’t know the right people, can’t seem to book parties or have low sales. I had plenty of chances to give up. Eighteen long months of chances and a big whopping goose egg of relaunch. But if I had, I would never have known what I could do when things finally got rolling.
Hang in there, babies! You can do this!