If you are trying to balance your Direct Sales/MLM business and your family, and feeling out of sorts, this article is for you. You can build a successful business with small children at your side. I did, so can you!
If you are a direct sales WAHM (or even a dad!) building a direct sales business and wondering how to keep balance and sanity in your life, then this training segment was written just for you. So, let’s chat – mom to mom.
First, let me share a little of my story so you’ll know that I’ve “been there, done that” and am not talking theory. I’ve built my business through baby number one, a pregnancy, baby number two, and on up to my current position of one teenager and one pre-teen. All the while, my kids were at my feet and I was home with them. Simple? No! Fast growing? Nope! Worth it? Every second!
Perhaps like you, when my husband and I decided to have children, we were adamant that one of us would be home with them. Since he was the major breadwinner, that meant I would be home. And, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
But, it’s hard to make it on one income, so I began looking for a business. Long story short, MLM kept coming up, and although I was skeptical, I educated myself and jumped in.
Today, I am happy to be among the ranks of the successful MLM income earners, but it didn’t happen overnight; it wasn’t easy; and there were many times along the way that I wanted to quit. Does this sound familiar to you? Don’t worry, with a few pointers and some true grit, you’ll get there as well.
Here are some ideas that I hope will help you as you move along your direct sales journey, especially as a mom building strong kids and a strong business.
1. Get very clear on your reason “why”. This will sustain you when someone tells you “no”, or things get slow. Make sure your “why” is very powerful to you and that it means more to you than what anyone else might say or think. For me, the ability to create a fabulous lifestyle for my family and to never have my kids in day care meant more to me than anyone else’s opinion.
2. Realize that as a mom with small children, you will have to balance and prioritize in a different way. Communicate with your sponsor and your team about your commitment, your priorities and how you will balance the two. Never feel the need to compromise your values while building your direct sales business. I didn’t and you don’t have to either.
3. Get organized. And, I mean in every area of your life. Organize your business and your life. Set up one calendar with everything about home and business. Mark out times that are strictly family, and every other non-negotiable time in your life. Then, (and this is important) find times each day that you will work your business. Commit to these times, no matter how small the time frame. Be consistent and don’t procrastinate.
4. Ask for help in anyway that you can. Talk to your spouse about taking the kids for an hour so you can make calls. Talk about splitting up household duties differently. Invest in help as your budget allows. I know hiring a cleaning lady was a priority for me as my business and profits grew. The grocery store can help with this. Buy pre-chopped fresh vegetables; marinated meats; and whatever you can to make things simpler. I am a stickler on healthy meals and nutrition, so I have never resorted to the “fast food” syndrome. Get a crock-pot and use it! Make healthy, delicious meals a snap.
5. Form a babysitting co-op with other moms in your area. Then, use it and reciprocate. I used the times I babysat other kids as playtime for my kids, and then used the times when my kids were at a friend’s to work my business. This was an amazing resource for me as my kids never felt like they were at a babysitters. They just saw it as a play date with someone from the play group.
6. Set clear goals and intentions for your business. As Yoda said to Luke in Star Wars II, “There is no try. There is only do, or do not.” Same for your business. Make success non-negotiable. It’s a marathon, and not a sprint. So what if it takes you seven years to become a top income earner, or hit your income goal? Will it be any less worth it? NO! Make it happen.
7. Work on self-development. MAKE time for it. If you look for time in your schedule, it will never happen. You must make time for your business and make time for the very important task of developing your mindset and growing your business from the inside out. This is the single MOST important ingredient in your business.
8. Use technology. Today, with the Internet and all of the tools out there, keep in touch: delivering timely information to your prospects; training to your team and even putting yourself out there so that people who are ready and looking for a business NOW can find you through the search engines. Do NOT let technology scare you. I had moderate success in MLM doing it the “old fashioned” way. I created a full time income, but not “obscene money.” Today, using the internet exclusively in my business, I’m a very happy MLM WAHM working about 30 hours a week. I’m able to work fewer hours than the “typical networker” because I let technology be my sales force and “PR people.”
9. Get your kids involved. From the time kids are two, and maybe even younger, you can find helpful, fun and educational ways to get them involved in your business. In most direct sales businesses, toddlers can place labels on brochures, on products, envelopes, etc. They can fold letters, stamp postcards, and have a great time “working” alongside mom. Relax, and let go of your perfectionism. When was the last time you paid any attention to how straight the stamp is on a letter you received in the mail?
10. Get them involved in non-business activities, too. My 17 year old son makes dinner for our family many nights. Now, if you are thinking he pulled out the box of Mac-n-Cheese, think again. He made baked chicken with Apricot/Mango Sauce; Quinoa; Green Beans with Pine Nuts and Red Peppers and a salad with goat cheese. I’m really not kidding. I LOVE to cook and have always loved having my children cook right alongside of me. Now, he is ready to do his own thing and is better prepared to move into the world. Imagine what kind of time that offers me!
11. Compare yourself to no one! This is so important. Who are you competing with? Only yourself. Competing with anyone else is like comparing apples to oranges. Everyone has different strengths, weaknesses, life challenges, ambition and goals. Comparing yourself to anyone else is a waste of energy. If you must compare, then use yourself and your past accomplishments as the measuring stick. Track your steps and then strive for more each week. Your business will soar!
12. Reward yourself. Life is meant to be fun and so is business. In the beginning, it’s more difficult to set income goals, because you are building the foundation. This was always frustrating to me, until I discovered that by setting activity goals in the beginning, I could track my progress and feel good about the steps I was taking along the way to make things happen. And, as my action steps picked up, the rewards kept coming, and my business kept growing, producing those earlier elusive income goals. Look inward and take outward action. Get busy charting your own game plan and focus forward. Along the way, treat yourself for a job well done. And, it doesn’t have to be extravagant. Make it fun, though!
13. Believe in the power of your dream. The subconscious mind is a funny thing. It does not know the difference between what is real and imagined. So, since YOU are the one who controls your thoughts, daydream some powerful thoughts. Let your mind go nuts as you wander through your own field of dreams. And, while you are “there,” BELIEVE it! Believe it and it will come true.
As a mom, you have the ability to offer the greatest gifts of all to your children and your family. You have the ability to raise happy, wholesome and educated children. You have the ability to contribute to the family income without the need for make-up, pantyhose, or glass ceilings.
What a relief! You truly have the ability to “have it all” and “have enough” without compromising your children along the way. Grasp the opportunity before you! I promise, you will never regret it.
Jackie Ulmer is a network marketing veteran, coach, MLM author and Social Media Strategist. She’s built a downline of tens of thousands and a multiple six-figure income. Her passion is teaching others how to use the tools of online marketing to attract leads and sponsor others.
Learn more at JackieUlmer.com