Catch up time, AKA what I’ve been up to for the past 3 months…..

Time flies when you’re having fun- or something like that. Looking back over the past 3 months, it feels like that I have been operating in an underground bunker- hard at work, largely hidden away from the world, and connected to the outside solely by social media. Working from home has highlighted some cold, hard facts: 1.) Get social for the sake of your health; and 2.) Never feel that you can’t change your course/path while working from home. The first fact was of the upmost importance to me. By nature I tend to lean more so on the introverted side when left to my own devices ( hence my love of books, solitary time, writing, you get the idea). However, being a stay at home mom to two young children by day and working from home by night left me longing for some adult interaction besides chatting with my hubby and going to the grocery store. So, I did what any sane woman would do: I started Googling mom groups. I reached out to my local Mocha Moms group and scheduled a playdate for the first time in August, and it went very well! I met some great ladies, and my kids were entertained.

The second fact was one that I had to accept with some humility. Sustaining any kind of income by working from home takes determination (to finish work and make that money despite numerous distractions), focus ( begin with the end in mind), and honesty ( to objectively critique your progress, keep that which works for you and discard the things that do NOT work). I had to come to some tough conclusions about my journey. In short, I discovered that I needed more: more structure, more outside childcare, and last but not least- more opportunity for growth! Working for the world’s biggest e-retailer is great, but I need a set schedule in order to plan activities with my family. I’m not opposed to quality childcare, but great caregivers can be expensive….catch my drift? The initial reasons for working for them have changed. I simply need more in order to stay relevant and competitive in this economy. (I will talk more about this in future posts.) I will say this: working from home is still in the plan, perhaps just with a different employer!

Speaking of work, in September I parted ways with the direct sales company that I joined in December 2015, La Senorita Jolie- and a bit of relief. I wasn’t like I had invested several hundred dollars ( I joined the company with $6 bucks and monthly website maintenance was embarrassingly low). Here’s the take-away thing about marketing/selling certain products: consumable products (i.e. skincare and cosmetic) are easier to market to others than clothing. In other words, it’s easier and economical to spruce up a look or pamper yourself with a great red lipstick and a detox mask than to pay $135 for a jumpsuit. Being the frugal person that I have become, the company’s vision ultimately didn’t line up with mine (especially when you can achieve the minimalist look with items from Thred Up* at 1/3 of the cost). So, at this point, I liken the process of finding a great direct sales company to speed dating. And I am having a blast! I just joined two companies over this past weekend (Origami Owl for $2, and Thirty One Gifts for $1- in all $3 bucks), and I am an unashamed “kitnapper”! I am enjoying the process, getting a feel for each’s company culture, and meeting some great folks along the way.

So….this is my life at this current point. Til next time……..

P.S. A huge thank you for those that have subscribed to the madness that is my blog! I love you all.

*You can find some amazing finds on Thred UP. Here’s $10 dollars on me…..go and look for that perfect bag or dress using this code: http://www.thredup.com/r/UO6SGQ

Advertisements

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!