Initially I’d like to say this book is a compilation of stories from my year in direct sales. They are all true stories written solely from my perspective, my thoughts, opinions and feelings about what I went through during this period of time. I choose to address that because I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about direct sales. It is extremely possible to be honestly successful in this business, I earned a car with my team for gods sake… though whether all of that was honest work is up for debate. Actually no. Its really not up for debate. We’ll get there when the car story comes along, but I’ll tell you now that I was greatly conflicted about the idea of “earning” it. I do believe had my entry into the business gone a bit differently I would probably still be in that world motivating people one face at a time.
That said I don’t want to place blame on the leaders I was following. I made my own choices in “owning” my own business. I chose to sign up. I chose to order a ridiculous amount of inventory. I chose to build and lead a team. I chose to quit. The leadership was simply there to encourage me through my downs, praise my “successes”, answer my incessant questions, and help me to grow my team members as well. Although, it certainly wasn’t all kittens and glitter. I didn’t completely stand alone in my choices. I listened to what I was directed to do, like a fucking sheep, and did it. Low questions asked. It was through the guidance I received I made the choices I did and really at the end of the day I will still take complete ownership of each choice.
Overall, I am someone who is typically an objective thinker. I prefer to understand all possibilities, statistics, odds, ect before taking action. That doesn’t mean I sit and mull over decisions for months, actually I’m the polar opposite and horribly impulsive to a fault; BUT I still want a complete understanding of the outcome of whatever it is I’m about to venture into. I abandoned almost all objective thinking when I started my business. Worst best mistake ever. “Have faith”, “Trust the process”, “with God by your side you can do anything”. These were all phrases frequently used to turn frowns upside down and help you believe that no matter what, “You can do it”. Hell, they would say fucking anything to get production in the door. ANYTHING. We’ll get there. Anyhow, I was like well what do I have to lose? I closed my eyes and followed God’s lead. Or my directors. Or the same thing.
God. Now this is an interesting subject. I won’t stay on it because I am far too ignorant to it to really get into it, but this company is huge on God. So naturally I had to adapt if i wanted to make my business work. Naturally… ironic. HA anyways. I didn’t know where I stood on this subject before my business, I gave it a shot during the duration of my business, and now that its all said and done i’m still unsure of where I stand. NO. This is not an invitation to save me. I understand its benefit, I understand there is good work done through religion in communities, I get why people use it, practice it, follow it but I have seen it used and abused over my 30 years and right now I am happy just doing what I can to be the best possible version of myself. At least making an effort. I fuck up a lot. I’m fortunate to have an amazing support system and overall pretty decent morals. At the end of the day i have no specific religion to call home, and I’m satisfied with that.
These people would hold on to those phrases and their God like they were the defining factors of dear life itself. Looking around the rooms and seeing their “joy” I was like, well maybe they’re on to something and who am I to say differently? Yes, “Joy” is purposefully quoted. As time passed through my business and the more I got to know people I noticed for… most, that “joy” was simply covering the constant struggle, battle, and true difficulty that comes along with the success in this business. It was a facade plain and simple. Especially mine if you saw my fucking Facebook on the daily. There was rarely a time I was actually joyful. I was though, initially.
Success. Now, success is an interesting word. It’s so strong and intimidating. We’re all killing ourselves to have it. We all grow up knowing of it and wanting it, but what the hell is it?!
Success: 1. The favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of ones goals.
2. The attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
3. A performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors: The play was a success.
Thank you dictionary.com
What a vague word. Ultimately what I take from it is that success is accomplishing a goal you set for yourself. Well today my goal was to get out of bed and watch my child rip off his diaper and pee on his I-Pad. Hot DAMN am I successful or what?! But, really I know I am and being a parent is absolutely a challenge each day, but watching these kids learn and grow… that’s my version of success. Today at least.
Now that I am sitting here and reflecting I don’t know that any of the goals I set were actually for me. They were set to impress the masses. I couldn’t have cared less… obviously. I quit. I quit my business one year to the day after I signed up. Quitting was probably the smartest and most successful decision I made during my whole fucking business venture. Now why is quitting a success? Why is quitting a goal I had for myself? Truth be told I wouldn’t really define that as a goal but in quitting I really attained things I valued and when I say things I valued I mean happiness. I was so incredibly unhappy working in that business… at least after the first….6 months or so. I actually started to hate myself. HATE. No joke, hardcore, hate myself. I wasn’t even myself. Ultimately I hated what I was becoming because I wasn’t me anymore. I love swearing. I love dirty jokes. I love going out and getting a good beer. I love being blunt and putting everything out on the table. I had to shelter that for months! So in quitting, I got me back. I had a clearer understanding of who I was and who I wanted to be. Now I didn’t just revert back to all the strange parts about me. The business did give me a better understanding of the life I wanted to have with my husband and kids and who I wanted to be with them. But that did not mean God fearing individual. It still means sarcastic asshole, but with a hint of tact and kindness.
Now all of those things don’t exactly put direct sales in a very positive light. During my time I heard some interesting and uplifting stories that moved me to be one of those crazy sobbing women you would see on a talk show. Like, bitch please get a tissue and calm yourself. But, really. Some things these people had been though and the success they attained in that world is just astounding. It is moving and it makes you want to set huge scary goals for yourself. You want to be that person too. You want to slap that struggle in the face and say, “screw you struggle, I’m going to own this!”. I met some very wonderful people that I will never forget and some that I still even stay in touch with now. That industry does breed some really good friendships.
“You want to be that person too”. That’s an intriguing train of thought. I found myself saying I want to be just like that, I want to be on a stage moving people to be their best. That’s one thing I have always loved about my job in retail was training and motivating people to think outside of their boxes and do what they could to take it to the next level if they so desired. So when I’d say I wanted to be that person, that was just never going to happen. Everyone has a very different struggle and when I’d compare I would beat myself up because I felt I never measured up to this person. We were often told not to compare ourselves to one another but would always be put in a position to listen to everyone’s successes and told we could be just like them. How could we not feel like failures? I’m it’s strictly meant for motivation, but really? There must be a better way. There is a better and different way and I am sure I will expand on it in greater detail in a future chapter.
I’m me. I would set business goals based on something someone else had done simply because it was possible for them. Only to find that I just wasn’t motivated enough in this business to do it. Not so much a lack of motivation. I am absolutely a passionate person and when I fall in love with an idea of something watch out because I will not quit until I have it. It was more just a lack of interest. I had no interest in choosing to conduct my life or business the way I was directed to do so. So I quit and here are all the stories of how I failed forward to my version of success.