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The Direct Sales Conundrum: Embracing Entrepreneurialism

I have a few confessions to make:

1. I love direct sales. I love doing home parties, meeting people and making connections. I love seeing new faces and learning about new people. I love seeing the insides of other people’s homes. Especially unique homes with stories. I love direct sales.

2. Direct Sales is not enough for me. Lest you think I’m greedy, I’m discovering that I’m not alone. I’ve coached dozens of direct sellers that are trying to find themselves in their business, and I’ve found out that they, too, feel like direct sales is not enough. It has nothing to do with the compensation plan, or feeling that they won’t succeed. In fact, many of these women are VERY successful in their direct sales business. They just feel like there’s something ‘more’.

3. I am an entrepreneur. I mean that in the “I want something I can call my own, to grow from a seedling and watch it blossom and grow” sense of the word. By design, you never truly own a direct sales business. Sometimes, it owns you. yes, you can build a successful business in direct sales, but the busines you build is always “You, inc.” and your direct salescompany is at best a wholesaler and partnerin your venture. You never really ‘own’ the company.

As an entrepreneur, I jumped from company to company trying to find that “right fit”. Sometimes I juggled multiple company affiliations because I thought they’d work well together. And if I found a company that didn’t see things my way, I’d jump ship – again.

For a long time, I thought it was just me, until I heard stories from other company hoppers. I thought there was a problem with me sticking to stuff. I thought it was my entrepreneurial ADD kicking in. And that’s when it hit me.

I call it The Direct Sales Conundrum.

The problem isn’t that you’re flighty, or can’t stick to one thing. It’s not even the fact that you can’t ever own the company – at least not entirely. It’s the fact that you’ve hit the wall in your business between being a distributor and being an entrepreneur.

You’re trying to force a square peg in a round hole.

Direct sales is amazing for entrepeneurs because it eliminates a lot of the original fears entrepreneurs have about going into business for themseves: your product, marketing materials and all the logistics of delivery are already handled – and you have a whole R&D team and corporate offices backing you up. You’re not cash flowing that expense out of your own pocket. All you have to do is handle your personal book of business and manage your own clients – and train your team to do the same.

There are a ton of benefits for entrepreneurs to get their feet wet in a direct sales business model. The ‘conundrum’ comes when you’re not happy with we feet, and are ready to jump headlong into the entrepreneurial pool.

The things that make direct sales great can be the very same reasons why entrepreneurs get listless in their business. Maybe you have some great ideas on how the company should create a new product, serve a new market, or provide better customer service (I sure did).

Those ideas alone would be enough to get soem entrepreneurs shifting in their seats. When you couple those ideas with a burning passion to see changes happening – and they’re not happening – you can get downright frustrated in your business.

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore.” has been a war cry for entrepreneurs probably since the beginning of time. We get to the point where we crave something more than our direct sales business, but we’re carrying around too much fear to make the leap into our OWN business.

Smell it? It’s fear.

I’ve watched client after client wrestle with their own fear demons. Some were able to successfully build a direct sales business that brought them contentment. Others wanted “more” and struck out on their own.

The irony is that many of those people wanted to transition out of their “real job” and discovered they had only transferred assignments to a new company.

They were still working a job, they just had more flexibility.

What about you? I love direct sales, and will probably always be a consultant for a company that I love. I also embrace my inner entrepreneur in the other company I’ve built and the new brand I’m launching next year.

There’s nothing wrong with realising that direct sales has serve its purpose in your life, and moving on to the next big thing for you.

There’s also nothing wrong with loving a company and products that you are passionate about and sharing them with the world.

Whichever you decide, decide it for yourself. Live life and build your business without apologies. Make mistakes, take big leaps, grow your world and expand your mind.

Because if you don’t, who will? You’ll be that square peg trying to squeeze yourself into a place you don’t belong.

2 Comments

  1. the coolest girl on the planet - HA!

    So I originally wanted to end this post by saying "you'll be that square peg trying to squeeze yourself into someone else's round hole", but it just didn't sound right when I read it out loud.

    🙂

  2. Lynsey Jones

    Great post and so true. This is why I branched out a few years ago and began Party Plan Divas – I am now working full time at my passion which has always been coaching others, but I stay with my party plan company because I love it AND to keep my "finger on the pulse" with the industry.

    Well thought out and well written!

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