(Thanks to Getty Images/this article for me borrowing the photo above).
I am a stay-at-home mom who makes extra money for my family by working for a direct sales company. Direct sales as in home parties about make-up, candles, tupperware, or whatever overpriced thing you don’t with awkward presentations and so much eye contact that you have to buy it even if you don’t need it. SHOOT. ME. NOW. Here is the saddest part is, I genuinely enjoy it. The company for now shall rename nameless, but let’s just say it deals with natural and organic sauces, spices and mixes.
Why I love it…
I love food. My weight expresses that pretty openly, but I also really love cooking. My dad was my primary cooking teacher, and however he was a chef during college I wouldn’t call it culinary school by any means. Lately I have been all about making an exploring new recipes. Pinterest is my friend. Now with this company, I am having fun trying new recipes, integrating the ingredients into my current recipes, and helping people with their meal planning and cooking.
I can put it aside. My daughter went through 3 weeks of tantrum hell, so I was able to just not do anything but post recipes and I managed to still get a sale. I have been able to pick it up after, when I do have time, and keep going with it. Event planning, media relations, even dealing with Branding are on-going fluid processes, that you can’t ever really walk away from for a day or week. Not like this.
The company actually seems cool. I like the product but I also like dealing with the company. The company pays for the hostess benefits (the freebies reps give at parties), that’s not normal for direct sales. I’ve been surprised multiple times with how much hostesses get. So that’s cool. The company is actually growing during a horrid economy, and I’ve seen it grow. If you have a question, you can easily call the main office and ask. They have tons of well-priced samples for you to use, but don’t force you to use their promo items (I can make my own business cards, etc). And some other reasons too. The skeptic side of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but so far so good.
It makes being healthy convenient. I am actually healthy in terms of veggies. Not in terms of natural, organic, non-preservatives, etc. I don’t care so much. I’m starting to little by little, but very little. All these products are natural, and most are organic. So cool, I get my super healthy mom points by practically accident.
Why I hate myself for doing it…
Primarily sales is cheesy and corrupt, and I hate being associated to that. Being in public relations for 7+ years I have fought hard against the marketing/sales stereotype…and now it’s in my job description.
On that note, I can’t ask for money worth my life. It’s like ripping off my fingernail, it’s so painful and nerve wrecking for me. We’ve been in some dire straights lately and have had to ask for help from some people, and I swear it’s taken years off my life.
I’m slowly starting to have to talk(/believe) about why natural food products is better. I may as well be a grass eating hippy in my mind. Next thing you know I’ll give up meat and join a nudest colony.
I’ve had such a huge stigma against the women who do these parties, it makes me twitch to think I am one of them. (Yes, yes, yes, you could say this is me getting my just desserts or it serves me right for judging people but we are going to move past that because this is my blog/rant/online crazy place and I choose not to ignore that part of my brain at the moment.) And I guess like the stigma and dis-like that I had for all those women who I watched sell their goods -all happy and excited to “share this great opportunity for your family”, I am worried people won’t believe me either. It’s seriously hard for me to get past it, even though I know it’s wrong.
This just isn’t where I thought I would be. This is a greater problem in my life right now. I “should” be running a PR department for some major non-profit, building coalitions for causes, planning spectacular events, and doing something that may be worth writing a book about someday. I had 9 internships completed in 5 years, before I started my first full-time job running my own outreach department before I was even out of college. Now, I am lucky if I leave the house more than three time a week (twice is to church!). My daily work involves dishes, laundry, and finding an activity to keep the kid occupied. On top of the domestic-blah of that, I am selling products in my free time to try and pretend like I contribute to the household monetarily.
It’s starting to become so much more than just making money on the side though. I love looking at the recipes, planning the menu’s for the parties, talking food with people, and trying new stuff. I have the great problem of having to keep my husband out of my inventory. I find myself excited to work on my “business” and actually wanting to recruit people because I love it and want to “share the opportunity”, not for the commission, but I find my own insecurities getting in the way. I am ashamed, embarrassed, and just honestly still not a fan of anything sales, yet I am happy when I work on this stuff.
It’s all very complicated. I probably just need sleep. Or food. Or to not be a crazy hormonal pregnant lady on the verge of her second quarter-life crisis.
In the end, I am one of those women now. And one day I hope to say that without internally flinching, because I will get over my crazy and just accept something that makes me happy.