After having my first child in 2005, I became a stay-at-home Mom. For the first few months, I was busy with my little girl. But, after falling into a rather predictable schedule, I became antsy and started looking for a hobby. That’s when I found candle making. It was therapeutic and I was actually really good at it. After perfecting them, I decided to try and sell them. I even went so far as to rent out a booth at a craft fair to try and sell them. And, even though I didn’t sell very many the first time around, I was instantly hooked on running a business.
About a year later, I had to accept the fact that candle making and toddlers do not mix. My little girl was becoming more of a handful and I had less and less time to actually make the candles. When I became pregnant with my second child, I knew I needed to either give up the candle business or find another way to keep it going.
I never thought of joining a direct marketing company. That is, until that moment I realized it was the perfect alternative to giving up my business. I had heard all of the usual stigmas surrounding direct marketing/direct sales/multi level marketing companies. Most of them stemmed from people that had a bad experience with pushy distributors/consultants that only cared about making money. But, when I went searching for a company I could trust, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. I found women, and men, that actually used the product or service they were selling. I found passionate people that loved the social part of their business just as much as the product they represented. I found quality products with great reviews and a fan base. I found a family!
I finally settled on a candle company I could believe in and hit the ground running. I did shows, fundraisers, and connected with people online. I bought candles for myself and my family and friends. They were great candles and I wanted to share them! I built a team of my own and trained them to just let the product speak for itself. And it did! I was doing well, and my team was doing well. But, as time went on and family life consumed more of my time, the business took a back seat. I no longer had the time or energy to put into my business and it slowly started to close shop. I stopped ordering candles for customers and handed over all of my inventory and leads to one of my team members.
Although my team continued to build their own businesses, after a while I stopped getting candles for myself. I had lost my passion for the product. I stepped down as team leader and decided to focus on just being a wife and a mother for a while.
Yes, it’s true that many distributors and consultants for direct marketing companies will quit. But, I’d like to look at it more like moving on instead of quitting. I learned a lot during my time as a candle business owner. I learned how to connect with people, generate leads, build a basic website, and how to run a successful fundraiser (I even ran a successful fundraiser in New York from my home in Wisconsin!) I learned about marketing and social networking. But, most importantly, I learned how great it felt to build something that was mine. I learned that hard work can get you places you’ve never been before. I learned that direct sales companies are a great way to empower people to share their passion, make friends, and become financially independent if they play their cards right.