IS THIS A SCAM?! Why are so many women asking me to join?

When I was first introduced to a Direct Selling business structure, I was a young “know-it-all lawyer” and did not want to spend the time to learn about it and its potential. The second time was years later. I was a seasoned, open-minded mom of two; who wanted to get back in shape and earn an income while being at home with my children. Like most women, going back to a traditional job was not something I wanted to do. This led me to look for a solution to my two problems. However, I did not just walk in blindly. I needed to thoroughly research it.

What is Direct Selling? Direct selling is the sale of a consumer product, person-to-person, away from a fixed retail location, marketed through independent sales representatives who are referred to as consultants. Direct sellers are not employees of the company. They are independent contractors who market and sell the products of a company in return for a commission.

Don’t be discouraged by the word “sell”. We “sell” all day long in our daily activities. From referring people to a restaurant, book, movie, work out class, or article of clothing; to sharing a recipe where people need to purchase the main ingredients. We “sell” because we enjoy sharing with people about a good experience we have had. However, through these referrals we make, the business benefits from you sharing and typically there is no referral fee for you. That is why direct selling is so wonderful for so many people. Direct selling is a great way for us moms to “stay connected,” stay at home AND still bring in an income for our family.

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Let’s first dispel some myths. Many people automatically associate a negative connotation with buzz words like “direct selling.” These people assume that those words denote a “pyramid scheme” and that the opportunity attached to those words is a scam.

What is a pyramid scheme? A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable structure that involves the exchange of money and there is no product offered. Pyramid schemes are illegal! The only people that make money on a pyramid scheme are the people at the top of the pyramid. No possible way exists for the people at the bottom of the pyramid to make any money.

How does it compare to direct selling? One very important difference is that members at any level can make an income through the company’s products. The second difference is that members at any level can earn more than the people who signed them up. Finally, direct selling companies are legal!

Here are some advantages to direct selling:

1. Low start-up costs and minimal risk.
2. You use or consume your overhead.
3. Great for a home based business. This is perfect for people who want to work from home! You don’t have to have a separate location or a staff to start.
4. Excellent training and coaching. One of the biggest advantages of direct selling is the built in training and coaching you get when you join. The result is lots of coaching, assistance and materials all designed to help you succeed.
5. Freedom. Because you are an independent business person, you work for yourself. You reap all of the benefits that other self-employed people do. You manage your own schedule. You enjoy certain tax benefits.  You work from anywhere.  You are your own boss.
6. Part-time or full-time – you choose. You can start your business part-time (in the pockets of your day) and then keep it that way, or build it to a full-time endeavor. It is your choice. You don’t have to take the big leap to self-employment all at once (or ever). Maybe you want to earn a few hundred dollars a month, maybe you want to earn enough to quit your job, or maybe you just want your products paid for.  You decide.
7. Helping Others. Find something you love and are passionate about and share it with others. Your objective is to help others and provide them with solutions to their problems. There is no greater satisfaction in knowing you have helped another person improve their life in some way.

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Sometimes we do not see the big picture, because it may be too daunting, too far away to worry about, or not a real issue in our mind. Sometimes we need someone else to show us. Imagine…it is 5 years from today…another holiday season is just around the corner…

Ask yourself: If you are a stay-at-home mom, are you still able to stay at home? Are you still at your same job? Did it survive the economic transition? Is your health better or worse than it is today? Did you reach that goal you have been setting year after year?

If you are a business owner, is it still around? Or did your business decrease as a result of changing times?
Did you have a plan B? An income stream working for you in the background; so if your financial situation were to change, you would be OK or if your business decreased you would be able to recover?

A residual income stream from a direct sales business is not only for those who want unlimited time freedom and the ability to work from anywhere. It is for individuals who realize that what is currently paying the bills may not last forever… How will you protect your future?

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