Direct Sales: Easy or Hard?

We know Mary Kay isn’t “direct sales” and that the real focus is recruiting. Nonetheless, the company and its reps like to use that phrase because it “hides” the focus on recruiting and sounds like something legitimate. Who could object to selling??? I thought this was an interesting piece from Anita Garrett Roe’s site.

The following article is an excerpt from a speech given by a direct seller at a local meeting. We are told she was asked to speak on how direct sales compares to working a “regular” job. It was submitted to us, and although the original author is unknown, we wish to thank her for her thoughts and insights. We have edited it to share with you as you embark on a brand new year, with new opportunities to count the many blessings we have in this business.

Lately, I have heard so many people say how difficult direct sales is. “Its hard.” “I can’t get bookings.” “This just isn’t for me.” “I didn’t know how difficult it would be.”Well, I am a single mom of three who, before joining the direct sales family, held down two jobs. I would get up at 4:00 in the morning and not get to bed until midnight most nights, after returning from my part-time retail job, packing lunches, checking homework and relieving my mother, who helped out with the kids.

That, my friends, is difficult.

It is difficult always having to lower your dreams to meet your means. It is difficult to miss your son’s football game because you have to work. It is difficult knowing the rust bucket you call a car is eating you alive in maintenance, but you can’t afford a new one. It is difficult to realize that someone else is going to watch your daughter take her first step or have your son say mama to the preschool teacher.

It is difficult knowing that you have spent 40 years of your life working for someone else, only to realize that you will be retiring on one-third of what you can live on today. Or, worse yet, it is difficult knowing that you have diligently worked all your life, only to be given an early retirement and replaced by someone younger, more capable.

I will tell you what is difficult. It is difficult waking up one morning and realizing that your children, the most precious things imaginable, no longer need bottles, diapers, have tea parties, or are shorter than the baseball bat they are trying to swing. It is difficult realizing it is too late and that the time frittered away can never be retrieved. It slips through our fingers one-second at a time.

It is also difficult watching the spark in your partner’s eyes fade because both of you realize the house you have been wanting is just a dream because someone else is controlling your finances.

We have nasty habits about rationalizing, procrastination and skirting important things, rather than facing the issues. Too often we allow others who do not pay our bills, who do not share our dreams, to direct our futures.

As children we have absolutely no freedom; we rebel in our teens and scream for freedom. We reach adulthood and are finally free, only to relinquish that freedom because we think it is too difficult. We do not want to take responsibility. We do not want to make a wrong decision, so we obligingly give that awesome power to someone else. We wake up too late. We hear ourselves uttering phrases like: “I wish I had only . . .” and “If I could do it over again.”

You have no one but yourself to blame. You had the chance. Perhaps the opportunity was presented many times and each time you elevated the trivial to a higher priority than yourself.

Let me ask you: Is direct sales really difficult?

Is it so traumatic to show someone an exciting product or idea? Is it so difficult to understand that if you work this marketing idea for three to five years, you just might finally be able to send your children to a college chosen by excellence, rather than one chosen by price? That you could finally put your family in the home of their dreams?

Would you work really hard for eight to ten years, so you could mold a lifestyle of your choosing, so your family could live a lifestyle of their dreams, rather than trying to live how someone else thinks you should live?

How difficult is it to pick up the phone and call your hostess? How difficult is it to pack up your kit and meet some new friends? How difficult is it, really, to share what you love with others? Think about it.

Realize the awesome power you have in your hands with direct sales. There are people out there working three jobs. There are people drowning in debt; or agonizing through bankruptcy, realizing they only needed a couple hundred more dollars per month. That is difficult!

This business you have chosen has the ability to change lives. Direct sales cannot do anything. But YOU can change lives with it. You are the one with the life-changing ability. What are you waiting for?

There is difficulty and pain in success, and there is difficulty and pain in failure. Difficulty and pain in success will last a short period of time; but pain in failure lasts a lifetime. Which one is really more
difficult?

You will pay a price for your actions, and your choices.

Which choice will you make?

16 Comments

  1. pinkvictim

    3-5 years? 8-10 years?

    My wife has worked her MKrap “business” for 12 years… all we have to show for it, like millions of other women, is lost money, self esteem, and time together.

    It’s all lies.

  2. QueenOfTheTanned

    Has anyone done all of those things listed in this sad article with their direct sales profits? Maybe only the founder and those at the very tippy-top of the pyramid. “You will pay a price for your actions and your choices.” Holy cats! Is this an MLM or a “Don’t do drugs” ad? If you only need a couple hundred extra a month, you can 100% earn that with a part time job, you may or may not (99% more likely NOT) make that in an MLM. Go with the sure bet.

  3. morningstar

    Ok I thought prior to reading that this would have technical information, only to find an entire page on emotional strife. Nice focus Anita, yep a focus on your future money, not any one or anything else. Those of you in MK; are you not tired of this and many more pleas on your emotions meeting after meeting?

  4. Lazy Gardens

    It is difficult knowing that you have spent 40 years of your life working for someone else Mary Kay, only to realize that you will be retiring on one-third of what you can live on today with no retirement savings because you never made NSD. Or, worse yet, it is difficult knowing that you have diligently worked all your life, only to be given an early retirement and replaced by someone younger, more capable lose your unit and have to start over.

    I will tell you what is difficult. It is difficult waking up one morning and realizing that your children, the most precious things imaginable, no longer need bottles, diapers, have tea parties, or are shorter than the baseball bat they are trying to swing and you missed it because you were lost in the pink fog that is Mary Kay. It is difficult realizing it is too late and that the time frittered away can never be retrieved. It slips through our fingers one-second at a time.

    It is also difficult watching the spark in your partner’s eyes fade because both of you realize the house you have been wanting is just a dream because someone else is controlling your finances you let your upline manipulate you into a financial nightmare.

  5. BestDecision

    Sales is usually easier, mainly because of the intense pressure and reliance upon recruiting to make decent money.

    However, MK the brand has a HUGE stigma attached to it, and that’s hard to overcome. I don’t think people think “your mother’s Mary Kay” anymore, but they do think of the nasty cars driving around with stickers on them. Or the frumpy ladies they’ve seen wearing bad makeup, bad hair, and Red Jackets or suits that look horrible on them.

    They also remember how bad their experience was with their former Consultant. I once had a customer say her products used to be delivered smelling of cigarette smoke. Another told me her boxes always smelled like cat urine and/or wet dog.

    So, it’s actually hard all the way around. When you give up an entire Saturday morning and early afternoon to hold a party and then realize, as you’re exhausted and finally taking off your heels, that you netted less than you would have had you worked in your career for that amount of time, it’s just not worth it. I gave up countless family gatherings because I had to go to our hold my unit meeting, Saturday workshops or parties, Sunday parties or debuts, and then be on conference calls at 9:00 at night.

    In the end, you’re on a never-ending hamster wheel chasing something that is statistically PROVEN to be unattainable. If NSD daughters aren’t NSDs, doesn’t that show it isn’t what we thought it would be?

  6. LiftedFog (aka Melissa)

    It is difficult to miss your son’s football game because you have to work…

    …you miss his football games anyway in MK because you’re always having
    parties in the evenings and on weekends because most of your customer
    base works. You’re also not paying any attention at said game because
    you’re always on the phone or stalking other moms to try to drum up
    business…

    It is difficult knowing the rust bucket you call a car is eating you alive in maintenance, but you can’t afford a new one.

    …I don’t think I ever, in my entire time working for MK, met a single person
    who CONSISTENTLY made enough in MK to make a car payment. Nice try,
    though…

    It is difficult to realize that someone else is going to watch your daughter take her first step or have your son say mama to the preschool teacher.

    …You wouldn’t see your daughter take her first step anyway because you’ll
    just put her into her playpen so you can be on the phone trying to drum up
    hostesses, or so you can unpack inventory, or so you can sit on Facebook and
    advertise bogus sweepstakes and bonus gifts to get someone (ANYONE???) to
    “Like” your post…

    It is difficult knowing that you have spent 40 years of your life working for someone else, only to realize that you will be retiring on one-third of what you can live on today.

    …..It is more difficult to realize you will be retiring on NOTHING since MK
    doesn’t offer any kind of retirement plan or pension. You will leave the rat
    race with nothing coming your way, just a bunch of cheap jewelry and
    leftover inventory.

    I will tell you what is difficult. It is difficult waking up one morning and realizing that your children, the most precious things imaginable, no longer need bottles, diapers, have tea parties, or are shorter than the baseball bat they are trying to swing. It is difficult realizing it is too late and that the time frittered away can never be retrieved. It slips through our fingers one-second at a time.

    ….Yes. The time WILL go by. It does for all of us. The reality of MK is that
    there is no room for children. You will constantly be called to attend
    “training” seminars, Muffins & Makeovers, Pizza & Possibilities, “vendor” fairs
    (you’re not allowed to have booths, but we all do because we’re desperate,
    right???) And when you ARE at home, SEE PREVIOUS POINT. You will be
    there, but you won’t REALLY be there. Mary Kay is a time vampire.

    It is also difficult watching the spark in your partner’s eyes fade because both of you realize the house you have been wanting is just a dream because someone else is controlling your finances.

    …..Yes. The house. The dream house is clearly the most important thing,
    right? Because in MK, it’s all about STUFF. Not relationships. Just stuff.
    Here’s the truth about the spark: The spark in your partner’s eyes won’t fade
    because you can’t have your dream house. The spark in your partner’s eyes
    will fade because you stop treating him as a partner and instead treat him as
    a built-in babysitter and housekeeper so you can “work your business” only
    to return empty-handed or even further in debt. The spark in your partner’s
    eyes will fade because you will cease being GENUINE person and will turn
    into a manipulator who sees EVERYONE you encounter as a potential recruit
    or customer. The spark in your partner’s eyes will fade because your partner
    will look at you and wonder what happened to the person he fell in love with
    and will ask, “who is this pink-fogged and obsessed maniac??? what
    happened to my wife?”

    1. pinkvictim

      “Here’s the truth about the spark: The spark in your partner’s eyes won’t fade because you can’t have your dream house. The spark in your partner’s eyes will fade because you stop treating him as a partner and instead treat him as a built-in babysitter and housekeeper so you can “work your business” only to return empty-handed or even further in debt. The spark in your partner’s eyes will fade because you will cease being GENUINE person and will turn into a manipulator who sees EVERYONE you encounter as a potential recruit or customer. The spark in your partner’s eyes will fade because your partner will look at you and wonder what happened to the person he fell in love with and will ask, ‘who is this pink-fogged and obsessed maniac??? what happened to my wife?'”

      This. :*(

  7. MSgtK

    I can tell you as a former military recruiter, sales is the hardest job out there. You are totally dependent on people ordering your product. You can do everything perfect and end up missing goal. I was briefly a consultant and never sold anything but a lip gloss or eyebrow pencil most of the time. I quickly figured out you need rich people who want Mary Kay to be successful. I didnt run in those circles so I cut my losses and quit. We didnt have credit cards in those days. Now I know how the directors back then went into bankruptcy. Anyway there is only a rare personality type that likes sales and are successful. 99.9% of us are not.

    1. Cooling Off

      WarGames with Matthew Broderick, I think.

      I can tell you I know a TON of Directors who thought they’d be NSD’s who get to retirement age and have nothing to show for it.

  8. Yolanda

    Yes, I remember that quote. It was said by a machine who was programmed to play nuclear war games. The only outcome to the game was destruction of the world. The movie was called War Games with Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy.

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