I know you’ve thought about it.
Let me first start off by saying that I’m not anti-MLM. In fact, I have several friends who are ‘building their empires’ and I couldn’t be happier for them. But, it’s not one size fits all.
It seems like everyone has either joined an MLM or is thinking about joining one. It’s crazy how popular MLM’s have become in recent years. If you’re a Momma, you’ve probably thought about it as a way to earn some extra income so you can either work less or stay at home with your kids full time. But, before you jump ship and go all in, there are some things that you should consider. And, let’s be honest — the person that is recruiting you to join may not disclose this information to you.
1. You’ll have to love what you sell.
There I said it. You have to love what you sell. I mean, really, truly love it. If you don’t, people will question your motives right from the get go. Trust me, people can see right through you if you don’t believe that your product is the best out there. You’ll have to be ready to convince other people that your product or service is the best and they will need to have it. If you’re not able to love what you sell wholeheartedly then you shouldn’t be selling it. Period. End of story. If you have any hesitations on this aspect, hold the train. You’ll regret it later if you jump in now.
2. You’re going to annoy your friends.
The MLM that I was a part of told me that one of the first things I should do to be successful was to make a list of 100 friends and hit them up first. Don’t worry, they said, they won’t be annoyed because you’re their friend. I hated this part. I felt so scuzzy doing this and I’m sure I annoyed more than one person along the way. If I did this to you, please forgive me. The other thing they told me was to go for 100 no’s because the more no’s I got, the more yes’s I would get and that would turn into sales. Ugh. Awful. Again, I’m sorry. It’s true what they say, when you know better you do better. So here I am knowing better and trying to do better.
3. You’ll spend a lot of your own money.
Be a product of the product they said and people will see how great the products work and they’ll come to you wanting to try too. Truth be told, I bought into this for a while. And, when I say I bought into this I mean this quite literally. At one point I was spending close to $300 per month on being a ‘product of the product’.
Signing up my husband was one of the first things I did because signing two people under me meant I went up in rank and gave myself a promotion. But, in the long run that just meant I had to have one more auto-ship item coming to my home every month. And that just means more money going out the door. I won’t try and tell you that I didn’t get anything from this; but I will tell you that even though I was consuming the product I was paying for it (at a discount). However, the reason that I signed up in the first place was to make money so my family and I could live a little more comfortably after quitting my job.
This is just my experience with the MLM that I was a part of. I can’t speak for other companies, so if you’re going to join a company, make sure you do your research. Find out if there is a minimal amount that you have to spend each month in order to “qualify” to earn a paycheque. What I’m saying is that you should keep your eyes open and ask lots of questions.
4. You’ll have to sacrifice time with your loved ones to get the job done.
I’ll admit that when I first started, I grossly underestimated the time it would take to ‘build my empire’. I had watched others above me build their businesses in what seemed like an effortless fashion and I thought, hey, that looks relatively easy. It wasn’t. I soon began to realize that I had to be willing to sacrifice time and experiences with my loved ones in order to get there. Again, this was true for my experience and it may not apply to all MLM’s but it certainly did to mine. I would get up early, before my kids were up to do an hour of work and I would stay up later to get work done after they went to bed. And, there were also countless hours during the day where I was glued to my phone, trying to get everything done.
When I first signed up I decided to ‘go all in’. I really, really wanted to make money for my family. There are so many sacrifices to make when you have four kids and are down to one income. I desperately wanted to stay at home with them, but I also wanted the opportunity to continue to contribute financially to our household. So, I worked my tail off to try and make things work and it put a lot of strain on our family. There were a lot of times that I wasn’t present when I should have been. I spent a lot of time multitasking when I should have just given my kids my undivided attention.
My relationship with my husband shifted because I was devoting so much time to this new side hustle and was not present with him when we were having conversations or out doing things. I know what you’re thinking; I can do it differently. Maybe you can. Just be aware that all those people who are at the top of their businesses didn’t get there by accident. They’ve worked hard and they’ve probably had to sacrifice a lot of their personal time to get there. Maybe you can do it, but what are you willing to sacrifice to get there?
5. You’ll have to have thick skin.
I’ve heard the saying so many times “comparison is the thief of joy.” This is unbelievably true. In an MLM, you will spend so much of your time meeting other people. They’ll want to build businesses and some of them will be successful. Some of them won’t. The ones who are wildly successful in their business will stand out. I can guarantee you that you will compare yourself to them. It’s the MLM way. It’s meant to inspire you to sell more, do more and rank up. Seeing other people having success made me happy for them, but it also made me feel small and inadequate.
I know this one is on me completely, but I had to work exceptionally hard to not let this bother me. I was spinning my wheels and I worked really hard to try make things work. The harder I worked the more I would beat myself up about not hitting a certain rank or not missing a bonus. That feeling was awful. It completely affected my mindset.
Right now, there are so many people starting a side hustle. I get the appeal. It’s certainly attractive to be able to spend more time at home while still making some money to contribute financially to your household. And, I am not anti-MLM. I have good friends who are doing really well in their businesses and I personally support a lot of them because I enjoy their products. So, if you’re going to choose to be a part of an MLM or a direct sales company, please, just do your research. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. I realize that my experience is just my experience, but don’t head into something believing that you’re going to be successful without putting in a lot of effort.
And, please, don’t let the hustle ruin your happiness.