I got a little bit annoyed this morning after checking my Facebook feed (I get irked quite often as you’ll probably know if you’ve read some of my previous posts such as this one) and I thought I’d have a vent about it to calm my cockles a bit.
It was yet another mention of an ‘MLM’ sales scheme and it really got my goat…you’ll know what I’m talking about I’m sure – everyone has at least one friend who has started their own ‘business’ and wants to shout it from the rooftops (Facebook group) and throw you an in home party to show off their wares. And that’s where my problem lies – did you notice it too and get just as annoyed…what is with those condescending quote marks I just used? If I was talking to you in person they would be “air quotes” or raised eyebrows or some other insulting insinuation about the authenticity of this type of business and it just makes my blood boil! This particular post was a blogger having a whinge about all her friends offering her stuff for sale (she used a much less pleasant word than stuff) and I read another post saying forget joining a direct sales company and use your money to start an Etsy store or write a blog. Which would be fine if you had brilliant creative skills, a good knowledge of business, marketing, legal requirements of your product and protecting yourself and your customer, knowledge of website building and mentors and colleagues who can show you the way and support your development. But if you’re an average type of girl like me who loves the idea of owning a creative business but who struggles to even sew a button on when it falls off (much easier and cheaper to buy a new shirt from K-Mart anyway right?) then these opportunities provide an accessible way into entrepreneurship. And speaking of K-Mart, I wonder how many of these ladies openly refusing to buy from their friends would have no issue popping in to one of the big department stores for their Christmas presents or kitchen wares or candles – I’m pretty sure the only people benefiting from that sale are an already super rich board of directors sitting in their overseas office somewhere. Or pop on to eBay and buy an exact copy of your favourite product for a fraction of the price? There seems to be absolutely no taboo about this in any of the blogs I’ve seen – so why pick on the people trying to make a go of it for themselves?
A few weeks ago I asked a friend who has her own MLM business how she responded to that kind of negativity and her response has stuck with me…’isn’t all business a kind of pyramid scheme at the end of the day?’ You’re hired by someone or you hire people, you sell things you’ve bought or made – importing or exporting or franchising or creating. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s worked for the man for a rubbish hourly rate, or even worse on a weekly salary putting in double the hours and getting paid the same whilst making $$$$ for the owners. I’ve worked in high street retail and seen the mark ups and the pay rates and the tactics used to get more sales yet it’s so main stream we don’t bat an eyelid (everyone knows those shoes were made overseas for about a dollar and are being resold for $100). At the end of the day business is business – but the difference I’ve found with a lot of direct sales people I’ve met is that they actually take an interest. They care about you and their product – probably even more so because they are selling to real people in their lives. They do fundraisers for local charities. They throw freebies and prizes at their customers and give free stuff to their friends just to share their love for their products. They share themselves and their lives openly, and you know that you are benefiting someone pretty cool when you buy a product. If you get directly contacted through Facebook don’t roll your eyes and sigh that one of your friend’s is selling to you – be flattered that they feel comfortable enough to reach out to you despite the risk of being judged.
Yes you are lining the pockets of a big corporate company at the top level but you’re also putting some of that profit into your lovely friend’s pocket which is a fabulous thing!
So next time you see another online party pop up on your newsfeed take the leap and join – if you like the look of the product go ahead and treat yourself or save a catalogue for your next gift idea. You’re not signing up to a crazed cult or an annual subscription to things you’ll never use…you’re being interested in a product that your friend loves, is working hard to promote and wants to share with the world. Make her proud of it!
Let’s support our local sellers – a friend sent me this Facebook post to share and I think it’s just fab – you’ll probably be surprised at the amount of people who respond and share.
I would like to buy as many Christmas gifts as I can from friends working from home as opposed to major retail stores??
Whether it’s, Candles, Kitchen gadgets ,Skin Care, Make-up, Nail Art, Photography, Clothes, Personal Trainers, Massages etc ,why not buy from someone you know ?
I have a lot of friends that are working from home trying to reach goals, like paying off the mortgage sooner, saving for something special or just having extra cash for everyday living ?
Lets help each other out ?
Post a link to your business, then copy and paste my status so I can comment on your status.
Thank you all ??