Over the past 3 years my wife and I have been able to build a very successful direct sales business. Successful enough to fully support us with a full-time income comparable to that of a professional.
There have been a lot of interesting observations that we have made and comments that we have received along the way. My favorite is the suggestion that we have been “lucky” in some way. That the thousands of hours that we have put into this business, the time and money we have invested, really doesn’t matter. What is most important in life is luck! We were lucky enough to get in on an opportunity at the right time. We hear that a lot.
Since I do a lot of online marketing I am constantly seeing adds from so called “SEO Professionals” who are guaranteeing results with little or no real action, at a very low cost. I wonder how often these types of people are able to actually dupe people out of their money. My suspicion unfortunately is that it happens quite often.
We live in a world of instantaneous results. If we want to see a movie now, we don’t have to go to the video store. We just push a button and we are billed directly. We are constantly bombarded by messages that things can happen fast. We can learn to speed read and change our life overnight by listening to these tapes. We can look like Georges St. Pierre in 90 days, without having to give up the 20 years that he did to make himself look that way. We can learn to flip homes and be a millionaire in six months. Everything is available now and for only three easy payments of $39.95.
It is total crap and it is a lie. The old fashioned work ethic that defined previous generations is just as needed today, perhaps more because of the commonality of deception in the marketplace. This deception is most prevalent in my opinion in the direct sales industry. We hear so often the comment “Oh, that is a pyramid thing right?
Why is it that we get this question often. The answer is simple. A lot of the general public doesn’t trust people in this industry. The reason: There are way too many liars.
There are too many liars that claim that you just need to sign up and you will be wealthy in no time. That within six months you will be rocking your new car as you pull out of the parking lot heading to your retirement party.
There are too many liars that mislead you on the actual effort that it takes to build a business like this.
There are too many liars that make people believe that it is easier than it really is.
Then, when people get duped and sign up, and find out that the business is actually hard, that you have to do stuff that scares you in order to be successful, they feel ripped off and they quit. Then they bash the industry.
Meghann and I aren’t liars. This business is fantastic. It is giving me freedom to pursue lifelong dreams (like being a writer) but it is hard. We have had to work our butts off for three years straight to make a decent full time income. We have had to get outside of our comfort zone, overcome our fears, and push past discouragement thousands of times.
As our team has grown we find that a good majority of our time is spent training and coaching. It seems that when a consultant isn’t experiencing the results that they want in their business a combination of the following factors are present:
1. They don’t work their business every day. They will often work their business in fits and starts. They will work often a couple days in a row, or a long day on a weekend (for a show or party) but consistent applied action every day (even it is just an hour) generally isn’t there.
2. They haven’t been able to move past their friends and family. When they first started the business they had a spike in sales (related to parties or sales with their friends and family). They may have even had a recruit or two (generally from friends or family) but after a couple of months they start to stagnate. However, they have not done anything significant, other than a few sporadic actions, to move their business outside of their friends and family.
3. They stick close to what they know, and what is comfortable. They will do actions that are easy (like post statuses on Facebook), or talk to friends and family. But they won’t often move outside of their comfort zone. If they do, it is usually on an experimental basis (like they will go take a couple actions that scare them, go do a couple calls) but if they don’t get the results that they want quickly then they will retreat back to where they are comfortable.
4. They are rarely experimental with their business and are afraid to get out there and try.
5. They underestimate what it takes to be really successful in this business
6. They get down or discouraged far too easily.
7. They haven’t been working their business for that long.
Here is the TRUTH about this business: It is the best business in the world (in my humble opinion). You can make a professional income (heck you can make a Rock Star income). You can have ultimate freedom. You can have a life of contribution and excitement. You can (eventually) free up your time to do the things you love.
Here is the CATCH about this business: It is HARD. There are no shortcuts. There is no magic bullet. You have to do things that scare you. You have to get outside of your comfort zone. Anyone who tells you otherwise is misleading you and doing you a disservice. If you believe anyone who tells you that you won’t have to work your butt off, overcome your fear, be consistent every day, you are bound for disappointment.
You don’t become wealthy by taking a few safe actions here and there on a home based business. There is no magic bullet, secret formula, or quick fix in direct sales.