Direct Sales Success: What Dad Taught Me About Business

To offer equal time to my Father this month as I did my mother last month, I sat to think about the things I learned from my Dad that I have applied to both my direct sales business and my coaching business. Dad wasn’t a highly educated man – he never finished high school – but he was smart. He served in World War II, in Hawaii as a mechanic, and could fix just about anything. This guy took a Chevy Blazer, chopped off the back end, and built himself a tow truck because he always wanted to own one. He saw obstacles as opportunity, and like my mom, was as stubborn as the day is long.

Here are a few of the lessons Dad schooled me on that I now apply to my own business:Dad helping daughter

  1. “Don’t tell everything you know, Kid.” Dad rarely called us by our names. He was 56 when I was born, so I think it just kept him from being confused. When he used this Dad-ism on me, it was usually because I was getting excited about something I felt I just had to share. What he meant was to hit the highlights, and save the details for people who are really interested – like when you’re trying to book a party or give your recruiting talk. Hit the highlights, don’t tell everything you know to the uninitiated. Save the details for the people who are really interested.
  2. “Take care of your own self first, Kid.” This was Dad’s comprehensive way of telling us to mind our own business. Usually, this happened when I was busy trying to parent someone or something else. Stray animals, inattentive siblings. I thought I knew better sometimes. Dad’s advice was to take care of my own business first, THEN I could worry about helping my brother or sister or the stray cat on the street. My modern-day equivalent is to put my own oxygen mask on first. Self-care has become an integral part of my daily routine. This also applies to my business. I need to focus on my business needs before  I look to the needs of my direct sales team or their extended team members.
  3. “Don’t take no crap from anybody, Kid.” Pretty self-explanatory, I think. In my business, I’ve translated this into not chasing after clients, or begging for bookings in my direct sales business. I lay out my expectations when host coaching, and I stick to my guns. If someone’s waffling on their guest list, I call their bluff. I’d rather be up-front and know what to expect in my business, than stand around scratching my head wondering why my host has cancelled again.
  4. Be proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished. This one is hard for most of us – especially mompreneurs. We face so much guilt on a regular basis, that it becomes challenging to recognize the good work we do every day. Even if our efforts don’t always produce the results we desire, the fact that we’re giving it our all is truly commendable. I had to wait until my Father was in the hospital dying to finally hear him tell me he was proud of me. It was worth the wait, but not something I’d recommend to others. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you how great you are and what a great job you’re doing. See it in yourself – and celebrate it now!

Building a strong direct sales business takes courage and faith. Dad was a strong, positive old coot that didn’t take “no” for an answer. This Father’s Day, when you’re remembering your Dad, remember the lessons that you can apply to growing your business as well.

Copyright 2010, Lisa Robbin Young.



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Lisa Robbin Young offers direct sales coaching and training to direct sales professionals looking to grow their business like a real business instead of an expensive hobby. Sign up for her free weekly ezine at


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