Is MLM evil? A realistic view at direct sales

Yesterday, I read an great article from Christianity Today, entitled “The Divine Rise of Multi-Level Marketing” (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/december/divine-rise-of-multilevel-marketing-christians-mlm.html).The article discussed the problematic nature of MLMs (aka direct sales), particularly among Christians (apparently you have some Christians who are so overzealous in pitching their wares to the flock that it has resulted in strained communication and church budgets alike). Being a veteran of direct sales ( I was a pretty decent Avon lady back in the day!), I was intrigued by the ultimate argument posed by the article: Is MLM a bad thing to join? Here’s a snippet that I found very interesting: “Further, MLM allows Christian women to engage business, community, and family at once, in a way that the current work–home divide doesn’t allow for, at least not as seamlessly. Many women want to work and raise a family without the demands of a 9-to-5 job.” From here, let’s break down what MLM is- and isn’t.

1.) MLM is NOT an “easy job”. Potential to make money is there…..are you willing to work for it? I’m not gonna lie- upon joining a MLM, you are goaded into thinking that “the product will sell itself”, blah blah. Newsflash: a box of facial cream is an inanimate object. It cannot speak or think. That means that you are going to have to draft a plan to pitch your product- and a good one, at that. Hopefully, you have a competent team leader that will train/groom you for the next 30 or so days. Sounds like work? That’s because IT IS WORK. Also, remember this: you won’t make a ton of dough by not putting in the necessary prep time.

2.) MLM is NOT a license to annoy the ones you claim to love. Treat your MLM like a business. When I say that, I mean this: don’t mix personal with professional. Don’t badger your mom, sister, and friends in purchasing a product in order to make a lil’ change. Prior to signing the agreement, actually read the compensation plan- and re-read it, if necessary. Create a budget. Write a vision statement, then draft an actual business plan. Store it next to your signed agreement. Once again, this is not a “jobby” ( a hobby masquerading as a job).

3.) MLM will NOT make you a sales guru. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone is not cut out for selling stuff. If your feelings are hurt if someone doesn’t text you back in an appropriate time, then chances are, direct sales is not for you. You have to have tough skin in this line of work. Persistence is key.

4.) Believe in the product that you have chosen to sell. Plain and simple. If you are passionate about a certain product line and believe that it can work for the other person, that excitement will shine through.

Just my input on the whole debate…..thoughts? Leave them in the comment section!

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Has anything really changed?

While sipping on my homemade latte in a fluffy robe, I was catching on highlights (aka “News Feed”) on Facebook. An article entitled “My Career Left No Room For Motherhood. Now I Advocate For Working Moms” caught my sparkling brown eye. In the article, the writer/blogger WomanInWashington detailed her experience in trying to raise children and maintain an equally demanding career, while her husband was able to maintain (and ultimately retain) his job and be perceived as a fully competent businessman/father. While I could empathize with WomanInWashington on some points (at the time when I gave birth to my firstborn, job flexibility was a joke and the income would not support the astronomical price of quality child care), the reality is that women are still largely seen as the primary caregiver. Married, divorced, widowed, whatever- if you birthed (or adopted) children and you’re a woman- you are now seen as the person solely responsible for the child rearing. It is the way society has set it up. Not just American society- the world at large view women in the same light. Does it suck? Yes. Is it erroneous? Absolutely. I look at it as remnants of a patriarchical ( and WASP-y) societal mindset that is slowly dissolving in the face of advancing technology and economy as a whole.

Don’t misunderstand me- being a mother is beyond awesome. But being a mother and having a career should not be mutually opposed views. The thing is, it’s darn near 2016 and we’re STILL debating the value of working moms????

never too tired for that

It’s no secret that I love reading articles and blogs on the ups and downs of being a working mom. It’s great insight on how others handle this awesome calling. However, some of the articles out there are kinda ridiculous. One example of this: Just a few minutes ago, I was reading “The Working Mom Complex: Just Too Tired for Chores” on the Working Mother website (http://www.workingmother.com/working-mom-complex-just-too-tired-for-chores?src=SOC&dom=fb). Not that I am unsympathetic, but I recall my mother and other female role models in my life who worked ( and kicked butt at their jobs, might I add) and still made time for the kids, their love lives, AND kept a clean home. No questions asked, it was just done. Just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean that you have to let things fall by the wayside, such as your health, appearance of your home, or even your sex life.

Take a look at the article and tell me your thoughts……..

a crappy – or ingenious- way to shop (depends on how you see it)

A little-known side effect of breast feeding is weight loss.It’s true- you burn like up to 500 calories, just by nursing! For me, it’s been great….which means that I now have a very good reason to go shopping ( as if I needed one before)! Because I also have a thrifty/entrepreneurial mindset ( i.e. how can I make this work for me), I am always looking for opportunities to maximize my shopping potential. In other words, can I earn a little something by wearing/promoting X-Y-Z? Mind you, it’s not a greedy mindset. I’ve always been this way. Instead of going along with the crowd in conspicious comsumption, I’m thinking to myself: “That’s really popular…..I wonder if I should invest in buying stock in it?” or ” Can I be a brand ambassador and get this stuff for either free or deeply discounted?”

But I digress. So I am in need of some crucial pieces that fit my new physique. What to do??? Of course, my mind went to a certain direct sales company ( NOT Avon). I like the minimalist design of the clothes, and it’s very flattering to any body type. Plus, I’ve already met with a rep based in Austin, and had a chance to actually to see and touch the clothing. Yes, the quality is very good. Opportunity is pretty decent as well. Sooooo…… don’t be surprised if I am pitching something in the next 2 months or so. All while looking great! Talk to you later……..