Do you ever feel like giving up on your business?
If you’ve ever been presented with an opportunity to join a direct sales or network marketing company, you probably have a pretty good idea about how they work.
You join and earn a commission on everything you sell. If other people join you in this direct sales company, you earn a small percentage from their sales too. Generally the presenter promises that if you just do X,Y, and Z, you’re guaranteed to make the big bucks.
Now before I go any farther, I do not want to give you the wrong impression.
Big money definitely CAN be made from direct sales. I’ve seen and heard the success stories for myself, but I’ll be honest with you…I’m not there yet. And you know what? That’s ok with me. (And for the record, this is NOT me complaining or being ungrateful for what I have accomplished. I am so blessed to have amazing customers and supporters. I would not be doing this if it wasn’t for you guys, so I really hope you can see my heart in this post.)
You see, I started with my company because I fell in love with their mission of equipping, empowering and educating women to help them take control over their own safety. This, for me, has always been about the mission first, before the paycheck. That, however, doesn’t mean that I’m not working toward bringing in some money to help my family’s finances. My goals are similar to what many, if not most, people joining such a company have- I just want to make a few hundred dollars a month to supplement what we’re already making. I’m not shooting for huge numbers right now.
I’ve been doing this long enough, that I have seen people who have started before me who are still not making what they want to make. I’ve also seen people who joined much, much later than me who have crushed their goals from the first week they’ve been in business. It’s SO SO SO easy to look at them and think,
“Why am I not where they are? Why can’t I seem to get off the ground?”
I KNOW that I am not alone in this. There are so many of you out there who have been in my place or who are right there with me now. So for both of us, for you and for me, I thought it would be helpful, and hopefully encouraging, for me to share with you the reasons I haven’t thrown in the towel.
- I’m stubborn- Not in an in your face, obvious kind of way. I’m really quick to give up in most areas, but the things that I think are really important? Those are what I just can’t give up on. Also, when you join a direct sales company, most people just assume you won’t do well. They think you’ll give up before you ever do anything with it. (Not that they’re necessarily wrong to think that. I think we all know of someone who has tried something similar and it just wasn’t for them.) Proving those people wrong is a strong motivator for me apparently.
- I believe in the mission- As I stated earlier, I believe in the mission. Like, really, truly, crying ugly tears when I think about it, belief. Before I joined Damsel In Defense I was a paranoid person. I ran from my car to my house when I got home at night. Stopping to get gas made me nervous. I was suspicious of basically everyone I saw. That is no way to live.
Giving peace of mind to women who have the same kinds of fears and anxieties I had is indescribably rewarding.
- I’ve seen it work- In my company, in other companies…I’ve seen the pink cars people have earned driving down the street. I know the single mom who quit her job to stay home with her kids thanks to her business. I have seen friends go on incredible vacations that they earned for free! If these people can have awesome success stories, I KNOW I can hit my goals. It’s just a matter of figuring out how and being brave enough to do it.
- I don’t trust my feelings- When you’re in direct sales, you have so many days when you’re on cloud 9- everything is happening the way you thought it would. You’re making new friends, you’re selling products you actually love, and you’re hitting milestones. Then there are countless other days when you’re not so optimistic. You can’t seem to meet anyone new. You face criticism from people who think you’re in a pyramid scheme (seriously, if you think someone is involved in something sketchy, ask them to explain the compensation plan to you and show you the products. If they can do both of those things, there’s a pretty good chance it’s not an actual pyramid scheme). That’s why, when I feel like calling it quits… I don’t… because I know that there’s a really good chance that tomorrow I’ll be back on that cloud.
- I keep getting pulled back in- Every time I’ve been close to actually calling it quits, something pulls me back in. The first time it was hearing from the co-founders about their trip to Cambodia. They talked about the work they had been doing to get things going with our Gotcha House and I knew I needed to stay. The next time, I was watching the first release of our SAFE Hearts line and I cried ugly tears. I knew that I had to tell everyone I know about these resources. With 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys becoming a victim of sexual assault in their lifetimes, I couldn’t not be a part of this, you know?
- I want to set a good example- I said it earlier, I am usually a quitter. If something gets too hard, I just stop doing it. But I’m a mom, and everything I do is being watched. I need my kids to know the difference between quitting something because you really don’t have an interest in it or you feel like quitting is truly the best option, and quitting because it feels too hard- because you’re not willing to put in the work that it takes. If I quit right now, it would only be because I feel like it’s too hard to keep going, even though it’s important to me. I wouldn’t be quitting for the right reasons, and that’s not an example I want to set for my children. I don’t want to see my children have huge dreams and goals and then decide, after they’ve already started pursuing them, to let their fears of inadequacy rule their lives.
- It’s fun- I’ve talked a lot about how difficult it can be, but being a Damsel Pro is actually really fun most of the time! I meet new people that I otherwise would have never run into. I’ve made new friends. It gives me a reason to get out of the house and remember who I am besides a wife and mom. When you stay home to raise your babies it can become easy to get caught up in the dishes and diapers and start to forget who you are. Having a reason to put on real clothes, and do your hair, and talk to other adults can be a much needed break from the chaos of family rearing.
- It’s teaching me- I cannot completely list the things I have learned since starting this business. I have picked up skills in speaking, marketing, computer programs, networking, etc. I have had multiple opportunities to practice dealing with difficult people in a professional manner. I’ve learned how to set boundaries and take control of my own calendar. My budgeting skills have been sharpened. I’ve become more compassionate and less worried about what others think of me. My confidence has grown. I have a better perspective to appreciate what my friends go through when they’re trying to get their own businesses off the ground.
- Accountability- I’m a people-pleaser. I hate the thought of letting anyone down. That can be both a good and a bad trait, but it does help me here. I work on my business, not only for me, but also for me teammates. I’m able to be an encouragement to them, and they help me get things figured out on my end too. The beauty of having a team is that even though you’re running your own business, there are other people who are doing what you’re doing, who can help you overcome obstacles that you may not have even seen coming yet.
If you’re still reading this, I would guess that you find yourself in a similar circumstance. You keep thinking that your goals are unreachable, that maybe you should just walk away from whatever it is in your life that seems too hard. I don’t know the details of your life well enough to tell you “yes, walk away”, or “no, don’t do it”. What I do know, is that if fear is the determining factor, you will not succeed in anything. You cannot allow your fears to boss you around and tell you that you should just quit. Yes, there are times in life when it makes sense to stop what we’re doing and go another direction, but there has to be more to that decision that telling yourself, “I’m too afraid to put in the effort”.
I want to leave you with this final thought. It may not apply to every situation, but at least in the direct sales world, it does.