Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why Direct Sales is not for me

It started out good in 2011. 
I told myself that I wasn't in it for the money, but to recruit people into a business, it HAS to become just that. To get people to join with you, and commit to something long term, it has to be worth it to them. To get them to spend money on products long term, it has to benefit them financially. Income potential and big dreams are the key to getting people to stick around with direct sales.

The people that mentored me in multi-level marketing admitted to starting because of the enticing thoughts of the income potential. Yet they constantly told me that if I was in it for the money, I would not be successful and people would see that and not think I was sincere. So I was constantly in this torn mental state of being expected to build a business, set goals to reach a certain rank or income, continuously recruit people, hit certain benchmarks, and yet on the other hand just wanting to enjoy being a part of it, help and serve others without expecting anything in return, and not worry about specific business goals or meeting certain requirements monthly. 

I remember being taught to keep a contact list and every day add 2 new people to list and remove 2 people from the list. The people that were removed were to be the ones that were not interested in the service and product I had to offer. We were to be promoting our services, and for those that said they weren't interested, they were to be removed from our contact list. Needless to say, I could never get into a list, nor could I get myself to remove people. People were more to me than just a name on a list.

I also found that being a business-building coach was when I did the most "body-shaming" of not only myself, but others around me. I found myself becoming judgmental and careless. I went from being sincere and empathetic of people and their struggles, to being hard-hearted, annoyed and irritable with others that wanted what I had but weren't willing to put in the work. SO instead of helping them, I did as I was taught in network marketing, and I disregarded them. I was taught that to succeed in business, you can only work with the willing. I was taught that you cannot spend your time on people that are unwilling to put in the work. I was taught that for others to earn your time, they must prove that they are serious by either spending money on the product you are offering, or joining your team and putting in the work to prove they want to build their own business alongside you. I also felt that I had to reach certain expectations to prove myself to those that were mentoring me. In order for them to take interest in me, I HAD to reach certain ranks and business goals. If I didn't, I wasn't worth their time. This did, in time, prove to be true.

It seems the only way to 'fit' in is to recruit others to be on your team and in doing that it takes focusing on money and sales and teaching others to focus on money and sales (all in the name of dreaming big, because what are big dreams without the potential of big money?). Oh, and you want to go on those 'paid' vacations and team retreats with all your new-found 'friends'? You have to be sure and reach certain ranks and benchmarks, or you may just be left behind!!! (Don't forget, your upline has personal goals to reach too, ya know!)

After years of being in this business and being torn between what I wanted to be and what others had convinced me that I needed to be, I finally stopped. I stopped with the business goal setting and the promoting of products. I was finally at peace knowing that I could more easily do what I wanted to do, and that I could more freely build real relationships without the expectation of them to somehow 'prove themselves' worthy of my time. My fear of my mentors abandoning me if I didn't continue to meet certain benchmarks definitely came true. Many stopped talking to me. It seemed that if I wasn't with them, I was against them, and I felt I lost all support. Without support, I gained weight back.

It would take me quite a while to get over this realization that those that I once considered friends were really just business acquaintances and I was nothing more than that to them. My shame and sadness turned into bitterness and working out and the healthy lifestyle that I was living had become a negative experience for me, which in turn, resulted in weight gain and a negative attitude. It felt as though I stopped and gained weight back in rebellion to those that had abandoned me during that hard time. What used to be positive and uplifting to me, then became anger and frustration. I knew there was no one else to blame but myself, but it didn't lessen the pain I felt (or the weight that I had gained back!).

I have finally softened my heart to know that just because my experience with people and a health coaching business was negative, it doesn't mean that my life, thoughts and own person journey to health has to have that same negative outcome. I have let go of bitterness and am finally learning to move forward and focus on the positive once again. I have many people that still care about me, although I am no longer reaching those business benchmarks that successful coaches are reaching. These people have proven to be my true friends and had been there all along. I didn't cancel my coach account, I just stopped building it. I enjoy getting the discount as a coach, and having the option to help others with the products if they come to me and ask about it, but I no longer push the business side of it on others.

I love that this has been a great learning experience for me, and I am still continuing to learn almost 5 years later. But the most important lesson I take away from it is this; Direct sales is NOT for me.


Wow... I had no idea. I'm sorry that this happened to you. Seriously.

Amen! Took the words right out of my mouth!

Amazing and I know first hand as well about this.

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