What is direct sales?
Direct Sales (sometimes referred to as Network Marketing, MLM, Multi-Level Marketing) means direct to consumer in a non-retail environment. Independent consultants of direct sales companies market and sell products directly to consumers. The independent consultant is their own business owner. They are restricted to how they can market and sell based on the company’s policy & procedures. When you purchase from a direct sales independent consultant, you truly are supporting a small business.
My history with direct sales.
Here’s the thing, I know you can go Google all about direct sales and what exactly it is and you will get the same generic answers. So here’s what it means to me.
Direct Sales has gotten a bad rap over the years for many reasons. My parents sold Amway when I was young. I remember their inventory being in the closet by the front door. From things I have read over the years, Amway was one of the first big companies and was under a lot of scrutiny for being a pyramid scheme. So, I am sure when you just read that you cringed a little. Did you know Amway was vindicated and found to not be illegal or a pyramid scheme? Probably not.
Anyway, after that, I remember my dad doing a handful of different direct sales/MLMs. One I remember fondly encouraged the kids (I was a teenager at the time) to be involved; to learn business, personal development, and more. It was fun and the products weren’t half bad. As much as I enjoyed the “fun” aspect, the product wasn’t something I was passionate about. Another that I joined with my dad wanted me to do all the things that I didn’t like about network marketing. It was a service and our upline wanted me to make my list of family & friends and then convince them all to cancel their current service and use mine. There wasn’t much benefit or value to my friends & family. I never looked at it again.
A few years passed. I worked a corporate job that I loved. Then one day we were all laid off and within a year the company didn’t exist anymore. While looking for another “day job,” I became a mom and started my own business. I also stumbled into a community of women that were amazing. They lifted each other up and encouraged each other, even if they didn’t always see eye to eye. It was among this group of women that I found Origami Owl.
When I first found Origami Owl I fell in love (and actually wrote a review over on Mama Say What?!). My consultant lived across the country from me and as I got questions about the lockets, I would refer them to her. She didn’t make it easy and she knew I was going to eventually sign up. She was right. Not because I wanted to sell it to people, but because I loved the product and loved sharing it. So why not make a little kick back on it.
Fast forward. I joined LuLaRoe and after a year I realized it wasn’t the right fit for me or my family. Shortly after leaving LuLaRoe, I realized what I loved most about what direct sales has brought into my life.
Newsflash: It’s not the money.
I know. I know. So many say they joined for the extra money or the side hustle or a family vacation. I realized through the last 4 years that what I truly love about direct sales are the relationships. The sisterhood with other consultants with my brand and a variety of others. The customers that have become friends, some I forget they started as customers at all. The personal development. The abundance mindset. Some of it was always lurking in the background, just waiting to be nourished to bloom.
Because of the relationships I have formed, I found 2 new amazing direct sales companies to partner with. Both fulfill my why and my needs for my family. And I get to keep working with the women I have come to respect. We encourage and support each other on the daily (heck, quite a few have been checking in with me to make sure I get these blog posts written so I can take my blog live). We laugh and cry with each other and I could not imagine my life without them. And I have The Socialite Suite to thank for all of it.
Are you in direct sales? What’s something you love about direct sales?