My Four Year Direct Sales Anniversary and what I have learned.
You could say I have learned a lot in the last 4 years. When I started, I was a full time child and family photographer. I was working 20-30 hours a week taking pictures of other people’s families. Then working another 40-60 hours a week editing, marketing, doing administration. I had a part time assistant, a part time baby sitter (did I mention my children were 4 and 2 and still at home full time). I was tired, burnt out and didn’t know what to do.
I had been out of the work force for 4 years, and really didn’t want to go back. Then, I was doing a photo booth at a vendor event, and I spied “them” these awesome little pieces of jewelry – they fit so well into my photography studio… but I lied to the woman running the booth, saying it was for a friend that I took the information. I loved them. So, I went home, thought about it overnight, asked some basic “not for me, but for my friend” questions – and took the plunge. I didn’t tell my husband what it was “oh, just some jewelry samples for the studio” – he would have killed me if I had join ANOTHER direct sales company (in just the past 2 years, I had done a stamp company and a food company).
What was different this time – I made a decision that I needed to find some extra income, and I was actually going to work this business this time. So, when the package came in, I took the time to read the materials that were in the kit. I watched the (very few) videos in the back office. And I started telling everyone, except my husband, what I was doing. I got the “is it one of those pyramid things” my response was, I sure as heck hope so! I shared what I was doing, I was shocked when people started buying from me, even more shocked when they wanted to start their own thing. By the time we hit Christmas, our little “team” had grown.
Now what? Well, now I felt responsible for these people – so, I went out and I started learning. I watched every Youtube video I could find, read every blog I could find. Asked leaders in my company who they read, and ordered books and videos from them. I absorbed everything I could about the industry and how to make it work.
Did I make mistakes, FOR SURE. Did I make the same mistake more than once, yep, maybe even 3 times. But I kept doing it. And because of that people started their own businesses with us. Did all those people succeed, nope – but what I have come to learn over the last 3 years, is that it isn’t my fault. I made choices along the way that have impacted my success. I cannot be held responsible for what other people do or do not do.
I ranked up quickly through the company commission plan. In 18 months, hitting the 2nd highest level, was in the top 5 in our company in all of Canada, and in the top 20 in the entire company. Was riding a high – and then it happened. On January 12th, 2016, we received an email that the company had to stop operations, and was closing.
Shock – total Shock.
My family had come to rely on the income. My family had built our lives around this business. I cried for about 2 hours, big ugly yucky tears. (I had a bad feeling the night before, so had asked my husband to stay home from work “just in case”. Then, I decided I needed to do something. We called a video meeting with our team. We talked about next steps, how to move forward, what we would do.
By some luck, within 7 hours of receiving the initial news, we heard rumblings of “something”. A company was going to come in and support us. Our teams would move over, they made quick promise and would do everything they could to make things right.
They didn’t have to do anything. They could have let the natural progression fall apart and there be nothing left of my beloved company.
Has the transition been smooth – nope, not even close. Those of us that have chosen to stay and work with the new company are just now beginning to see the rewards – almost 9 months later, but what I can tell you is that the rewards with the new company are going to be way better and bigger than they could have ever been with South Hill Designs. What I learned while I was with the new company was incredible, but I also learned that isn’t the company I wanted to be with. There have to be 3 things in any compny – good products, good people and a good support structure. So, I went off looking, and now I am with another amazing company and look forward to some great opportunities.
So, what have I learned learned in direct sales in the last 4 years? Here is a summary
- If you want something, don’t worry about what others think. The only person you have to answer to at the end of the day is you. And if you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day, you have done a good job.
- If you want something, and don’t know how to get it, YOU need to find the answers and not expect anyone else to find them for you. My sponsor and I were learning at the same time, but we both have different strengths and weaknesses, she learned her way, I learned mine – but we have both been successful.
- Sh#t happens – get over it and get moving again.
- This is the best industry in the world. You can pick your own hours to work, your own timelines, and your own destiny – but don’t get me wrong, you still need to work. I work a good 40- 50 hours a week, but I work WHEN I want to. I might work on a Saturday at a vendor event, but then take a Wednesday to get my hair done.
- There is no better industry for rewards. I have figured it out, and in the last 3 years, between trips I have won, free products, other benefits – I have likely earned an extra $10,000K in “stuff”.
- This industry is not perfect, there are things about it that I don’t like – but nothing in life is perfect, and I have the power to fix the things that I don’t like.
- I would not do anything differently, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
I have found my “home”. Network Markets, Multi-level Marketing, Direct Sales, Party Plan – whatever you want to call it, I am home. And I know that I am with the BEST company out there. It has a mix of products (no more one hit wonder products for me). It has a comprehensive and varied compensation plan, – so I can see that the company is stable. So it is diverse, stable, and scalable – sounds like a darn good investment in my books. It has an amazingly caring management team, almost ALL have been in the field, so they get what we do every day. Is it perfect, nope – but that is ok, I am not perfect either.
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