I have been a leader in a direct sales company for over two years.
It wasn’t something I planned for in my business- but it aligned with my passion to help women see their potential.
Rising quickly to the top of the company almost gave me whiplash, and when asked “how did you do it?” I sometimes had no idea how to respond. I have since reverse engineered that success story and can very much tell you how I did it and what factors can and cannot be duplicated in my story.
But one of the most challenging things as a leader in a direct sales company is the eyes that are on you- the hopefuls and the dreamers that see what you’e done and they want to do it too- with every fiber of their being. Because you want that for them too- but is it possible to create thousands of leaders in a single company?
Seeing hopeful women come in was always exciting- to hear them say how excited they were to own their own businesses and build something wonderful. It lit me up inside- and still does! There’s something fresh and invigorating about a new business endeavor- the nights you can’t sleep because all the magnificent ideas of what you’ll create are stirring around in your mind. The endless stream of creativity and inspiration! I LOVE that part.
The part that became challenging was trying to figure out how to help thousands of people achieve something- when I knew deep down it wasn’t the perfect endeavor for them.
I’m not one to dash a dream to bits- I’m the quickest to build someone up- give them tools and the courage to create. But there were times- and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit this- when I realized there was no way some of them were going to succeed in the way they wanted to.
I knew they’d be able to have massive success doing something ELSE- and that became very challenging as a leader they looked up to and trusted. It wasn’t that I didn’t think the products were great or that they could be enjoyed by all- it was more that I saw they would never be able to be passionate cheerleaders- shouting from the rooftops about what they were selling- either from fear of rejection or lack of enthusiasm about the right things. The right things being- the things other than money and recognition. I couldn’t sabatoge peoples’ dreams, but I also had a hard time watching them deal with the confusion of WHY this wasn’t working for THEM.
I’ve put together some factors to consider when signing up to sell for a direct sales company, multi-level marketing company or network marketing company.
MLM is Niche
Ever heard the saying- “Riches in the Niches”? It’s true! You are selling a very specific thing. Niche is AWESOME and I encourage it always. You can’t sell to everyone but you can sell to a select few VERY well. The problem comes in when you have no idea how this niche product actually applies to you or connects to the people that you connect with!
This is why it is not only crucial to align with a product that you love- but one that aligns with who you are. If you love the night cream but totally hate the other products and can’t see yourself being proud to stand for the line- it’ll show.
You NEED to believe in the business model
On an even deeper level- if you don’t have full confidence that MLM IS a great business model- you’ll be fighting an uphill battle against your greatest enemy- SELF DOUBT. Think you’ll seem like a fraud? Chances are you WILL if people get the slightest sense that you’re not proud to be doing what you’re doing!
You have to go through an almost baptismal process when aligning with any business, but especially an MLM. You are going to become indoctrinated to their way of thinking, selling, doing business, networking, and communicating. You will be a representative of not only the company you choose- but of the industry as a whole. You can’t ride the line or profess that your company is “different” because it’s confusing to people and it’s the most overused line in the industry- which will immediately make you a cliche.
You DON’T own your own business- not entirely
You will have very limited creative rights- even though this concept of “your own business” is rampant- there are either going to be FDC regulations on what you can say, or there will be someone at the top making sure everything is in alignment with the greater purpose of THEIR COMPANY. Key words here– if you’re not the one creating and sourcing and branding and pricing the products you are selling, it is NOT I repeat NOT your business. It’s not your company- and you are one piece in the whole mechanics of someone else’s dream. MLM is a great starter business- and can be a wonderful life long career for people who don’t have any need for something all their own! If you don’t want the headache that WILL come from having your own business and being the final decision maker, then MLM is a great route to take.
If you’re an innovator, a big dreamer, a thought leader and don’t do well with limitations on YOUR dreams- then there are probably a million other paths that would be more ideal for you!
If you’ve found something you love and you can talk about all day to everyone you know and even people you don’t know then PLEASE by all means- consider MLM as a fantastic option! It’s the best business training program I’ve found- where you can earn as you learn.
If, on the other hand, you have always dreamt of owning your own business, and you have the dream charted out down to the last detail- but are just looking for some cash flow to fund it- consider that nothing comes without cost. The “cash flow” can come when you are living completely in your purpose and creating what God put you on this earth to create!
Good luck in making your decision- I know you’re deserving of abundance no matter where you choose to put your energy and focus!