Back in 1978, my mother toted me along with her to a regional sales meeting where she was given an Avon Achievement Award for the first quarter of 1978.
That white mug with the gilded rim sits on a shelf in my dining room to this day.
On that day, I was just over three years old, and I distinctly remember three things from that event:
- That room was packed with people that I didn’t know.
- I was VERY proud of Mom
- When someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I indicated that I was going to have a business just like my Mom.
I flash back to that early memory each time I pick up that cup, and pinch myself knowing that not only have I built a successful direct sales business, I’ve also get to train other consultants on how to do the same thing for themselves. It’s been an amazing journey over the last couple of years, and in honor of my Mom, here are a few of the lessons I learned from her that I’ve translated into my own Direct Sales Business:
1. Don’t share the discount. Family and friends may come out of the woodwork asking for freebies and favors. If you run your business like a real business, you have to be mindful of your profit margin.
2. Family is important. Mom would throw me in the car and we’d make a day of doing deliveries. I remember one particularly rainy day where she ran from door to door in the rain while I sat patiently in the car. There were no car seats then (yes, I’m dating myself), and I sat in the driver seat watching her get drenched while she collected payments, made deliveries and came back to the car with her earnings. She would often reward me for behaving. In my early days I had my oldest in the car with me, and as he got older, he actually helped make the deliveries. There are ways to include your kids and make them feel included in your business if you keep your focus on what’s really important.
3. Reinvest in your business and yourself. Mom made a point of setting aside a portion of her earnings to reinvest in her business. I now teach other consultants financial strategies to help keep their business growing and cash flow stable. If you don’t value learning and growing your business, no one else will.
4. A business means nothing if you can’t enjoy the rewards. For all the hard work my mom put in, she still managed to find time to take us on vacations all over the state. Mom and Dad didn’t make a ton of money, but our frugal vacations were always fun.
5. Stick with it if you want to be successful. Kind of a backwards lesson, because as successful as my mom was in 1978, she struggled to stick with any one business long enough to get traction. She had entrepreneurial ADD in the worst way, and it was hard for her to stay focused on one venture. She saw financial ups and downs as a sign that SHE wasn’t successful, and started chasing rainbows. That lesson haunted me for years and now, the proof is in the growth of my own business in the last 2 years.
There are tons of other lessons my Mom taught me. These are the ones I felt would best serve you in this week after Mother’s Day.
© 2010 Lisa Robbin Young.
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Lisa Robbin Young is a certified direct sales marketing coach, teaching direct sales professionals to grow their business like a real business instead of an expensive hobby. Sign up for her free weekly ezine at http://www.homepartysolution.com/