Nothing in life that is worthwhile comes easy. You’ve got to fight for everything that is meaningful. I absolutely, 100% believe this, and we have directly experienced this in our business.
Results take time to produce, and if you are a person that is addicted to instant gratification then you will be sorely disappointed if you are going into business for yourself.
Sure there are “stories” of overnight success (I don’t really believe any of them). Even if they do exist, I’m willing to bet that behind that story you will find a person who has experienced many setbacks, and despite this, they have stuck it out. They have just kept at it until they got the result they want. They had something inside of them that allowed them to take the long view, embrace the journey, and stick at it until they reached their goals.
The picture above is from Seth Godin’s best selling book “The Dip“. The concepts from this book have had a major impact on our business.
I think that the graph above (reproduced from the book) PERFECTLY describes the majority of people’s experience who get involved in a direct sales business. It absolutely was our experience as well, and I’m grateful that we stuck.
The picture above notes the relationship between effort and rewards. Godin meant the graph to apply to all business ventures. I think that it has a particular application to direct sales.
Here is the application:
When you first start out, you experience a relative level of success. When I am training my team I like to refer to this initial success as “the friends and family bump”. You tell your friends and your family about your new business venture. Many of them will “test” out your products to see if they like them. Some of them will purchase again, but not all of them. So your customer base immediately starts to recede. Some of them may also want to get involved with the business venture themselves. However this initial bump doesn’t last.
Soon you find yourself heading into the “Dip”. This is where you have exhausted your initial network of contacts. You are still working your business, and still trying, but you are starting to see your results diminish.
The Dip is where many, many people quit. Those who persist past the Dip, end up with a significant share of the results, and rewards over time.
Persisting past the Dip is hard because it requires you to get out of your comfort zone. It requires you to expand your personal network. It requires you to experiment with new strategies. Anytime you start experimenting you open yourself up to failure. So not only do you have to persist past the Dip, but you also have to get over your fear of going outside of your comfort zone, and you have to get over your fear of failure.
Here is an absolutely perfect example of the Dip in our business. We started with Scentsy when it first came to Canada in 2009. Initially we were able to recruit quite a few people, and we had a lot of sales. What is very, very interesting is that the vast majority of people that we recruited to sell in 2009 quit, when the Dip happened (as it happens with everyone).
We persevered THROUGH the dip. We kept at it. We kept recruiting. We kept increasing our sales base. Day after day after day. As a result, we were able to rise to the highest level in the company.
There was nothing special about what we did. It was just simply a matter of persevering through the Dip. I laugh (and get somewhat frustrated) whenever someone says that we were “lucky” because we got involved in the business when we did. If we were “lucky” why wasn’t every other person who we initially recruited just as lucky? I’m not talking about a “couple” of people. I’m talking about dozens of people who started up with the company when it first came to Canada, and who quit when they hit the Dip.
Luck has nothing to do with it. It is all about persistence past the Dip.
The Dip is what I like to call a “brutal fact”. There are many brutal facts that impact every business. It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, you are going to have to confront and accept some brutal facts. I believe that the Dip not only applies to direct sales, but that it applies to all types of businesses. You will initially get a surge of reward when you first start based on the “newness” factor. However, you will then experience a dip. The key to your long run potential is whether you can persist past the dip.
The rewards are found PAST the dip. Persisting past the Dip is the final most important thing we have done in our business. I intentionally kept this one for last; however it just as easily could have been #1.