Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Still Loving My Businesses!

Last month I was asked to make a dream board for my Thirty-One Celebrate and Connect meeting.  Since then I've been doing a lot of thinking about my business.  Have you ever heard someone in direct sales exclaim their love for their company and how much it has blessed them and changed their life?  If you haven't then you may not have hosted any of their in home parties or signed up to sell one.  I've dabbled in a few since  becoming a SAHM, such as, Avon and Cookie Lee Jewelry.  You'd hear from ladies higher up on the "food chain" praising the company for providing them with so much more income, stability and joy and the ability to stay home to raise the kids while still providing for their families.  Barf!  Don't paint everything to be so picture perfect, it isn't.  I sold Avon for five years and never made a profit.  They have to be one of the "greedier" companies out there when it comes to providing for their Representatives.  The only real reason I signed up to sell Avon was the fact that someone in my family had always sold it and it was nice to have it available if I needed something so when no one was selling anymore I thought I'd give it a go.  I'm not saying that no one is ever going to succeed with Avon.  There are many, many women and men who do make a nice profit from it but with the small amount I was selling it just wasn't worth it.  Like I said, Avon doesn't provide many perks at all for the average Rep. which is a huge disappointment.
My second foray into direct selling was with Cookie Lee.  Everything seemed so easy, buy the jewelry at 50% of the cost, sell at full price and pocket the other half.  Great!  That is until you need to spend that other half to replace the piece you just sold and now it's sitting in your inventory collecting dust.  It was kind of like a vicious cycle.  Buy, sell, replace and wait.  The only way I made money was to get my sister to go in with me and sign up under me which meant anything she sold I would get a percentage of and we agreed to split that.  We did have a nice chunk in our bank account when we stopped but we sat with a ton of unsold product, too.  At least my mom and the two of us liked jewelry and split it up in the end.  That little chunk in the bank helped pay for dinners when we all went on vacation, too.  Not a total loss but surely nothing like the picture my "up-line" painted.  Maybe the common factor in both of these endeavors was the fact that it seemed like the only thing both of these companies were interested in was padding their own pocket.  While Avon was the worst at compensating their Reps. Cookie wasn't too far behind.  Yes, buying jewelry at 1/2 the cost is a nice perk but shouldn't it last more than a year.  That was another reason we had to get out of the business of selling Cookie Lee.  When you receive piece after piece of defective merchandise or experience products breaking - DURING A PARTY! - you start to wonder if your conscience is more important than screwing someone over just to make a $15 profit.  Well I had to go with my conscience and move on and I'm happy I did.
So now we come to the present day where I'm happily selling two of my favorite products, Scentsy and Thirty-One.  I've been selling Scentsy for just over a year and it's fun.  Now I'm not going gang-busters or anything but business has been fairly steady the whole time.  Another plus is that I love the product!  How can you NOT rave about something you love.  That being said, while I do really think they have great products I'm not that impressed with the company itself.  I don't agree with their strategics and the fact that they love to string their Consultants along, not caring if they are wasting our valuable time.  Not cool.  Some perks with this company, but still nothing to write home about.
That brings me to the whole reason I started this post, I finally found a product and a company that I can see is making a difference in my life!  Cindy Monroe, the founder and CEO of Thirty-One is absolutely amazing! We Consultants are entitled to so many perks that it really shows how much she wants to see her company inspire and encourage and well, reward it's Consultants.  Okay, that is one of their tag lines but it is so true!  The products are AMAZING for starters and the perks are OUTSTANDING.  I really do love this company and everything it stands for.  No, I don't make enough to provide for my family but I do get phone calls from the home office congratulating me when I submit big parties and for hitting milestones in my business.  How cool is that?  I know that in this line of work your own business is what you make it and while thinking about the things to put on my dream board I became very aware of that.  I've been selling for 1 and 1/2  years and am only now thinking about recruiting more people into my business, not to become rich or drive a Mercedes but to allow others to experience all of the wonderful things that Thirty-One is willing to do for them.  Wish me luck on this journey and remember that it's not that we fail at previous attempts, it's that we follow a certain path to gain experience to become better at what we love.
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