I have been a Rodan + Fields consultant for six months. I know people were surprised that I joined a direct sales company. I know this because enough people told me directly that I was able to deduce that almost everyone thought the same thing. I understand the confusion. I was a writer, a reader and a teacher. I was not a business woman and I was especially not a sales woman.
Now though, I have a secret for you. I am a still a writer, a reader and a teacher. And I am a Rodan + Fields consultant. I have not changed as a person. I have only added to who I am.
I knew I wanted to join Rodan + Fields for the challenge. I wanted to do something new. I wanted to stretch my brain in different directions. I wanted to show the girls that I was working and contributing to our family’s income. So I started to do something totally out of my comfort zone. And it was scary. And I felt silly when I told people what I was doing. I felt judged. And I felt insecure. I was suddenly that woman who I had been avoiding for years. While many of my friends and family members have been amazingly supportive, I still questioned myself. But I held on because I had promised myself one year. I would not quit before the one year mark. And six months later, I have no intention of quitting.
Direct sales and network marketing are hard work. There are reach outs and coffees. There are phone calls and orders to place. There are posts to schedule and thank you notes to write. There are team members to mentor. But the actual work involved is not the hard part of this job. The hard part is ignoring both silent and verbal judgement of others.
The longer I spend in this line of work, the more confusing this judgement becomes. I represent a product created by doctors that people love and I share it with my friends. Do I make money off of my sales? Yes I do. And it’s good money too. Do I want others to join my team because I think they would enjoy the work as much as I do? Yes. And will I make more money when others join me in business? Yes, I will. And over time this money will have a significant impact on our family’s lifestyle.
I am an entrepreneur and I do the same things that other entrepreneurs do. Yet many judge the actions of network marketers in ways they do not judge other small business owners. People do not respond to emails, texts and phone calls because direct sales are uncomfortable and to some, annoying. And I can write this because I used to be on the other side of those e-mails, texts and phone calls. And I get it. I too ignored them. I skipped the parties. I forgot to RSVP. I let the coupon code expire without ordering. I declined the Facebook group invitation.
Now though, I have a different view of myself and of the women who surround me in direct sales. We are entrepreneurs. We are small business owners. We have found a career that fits into our family’s lifestyle. And we are making money doing it. And yes, we are asking our friends to support us both as friends and yes, maybe even financially.
We ask in the same way that your realtor friend asks you to consider her when you are selling your house. We ask in the same way that your yoga teacher friend asks you to give her class and her studio a try. We ask in the same way that your artist friend asks you to consider her for mural work when you decorate your nursery. And we ask in the same way that your banker friend wants you to say, ‘How’s work going? Is your commute any better?’ Or that your teacher friends want you to say, ‘How’s your class this year?’
I promise that your direct sales friends are no different than the other entrepreneurs and working moms that you know. We have found fulfilling work and we want to share it. That’s all. And if you are willing to engage in conversation with us about our products or our business as many of my friends have, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.