It’s happened to all of us at some point. It’s been the friend from grade school; old college roommate; the mom from pre-k; husband’s sister that doesn’t like you; or maybe even your next-door neighbor. Yep, we’ve all had our Facebook news feed loaded with statements like, “I sell XYZ; I love it! Who will have a party for me?” Or a DM out of the blue asking you to buy something from them, or, “You need this product!”
We have all encountered that girl who is selling something and she wants us to know about it. We all know someone in direct sales.
Are you sick of it yet? I am! But it’s probably not for the reason you think…
STOP TRYING TO SELL ME
See, I actually love seeing these types of posts from my Facebook friends. I don’t even mind the DMs, no matter how random it seems.
What I’m sick of are the posts from mommas throwin’ shade about these women who are trying to get their new at-home business up and running.
Maybe you’ve been one of those moms making that social media statement proclaiming that if you “see one more post selling 123”, you’re going to unfriend them. It’s cool, we’ve all thought about it at some point, I’m sure. But let me explain to you why it may be important to stop and pocket that thought next time.
DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER
Next time your BFF from 4th grade hits you up asking to come to her Facebook party, stop and think about her. Do you know her story? Or just the pretty 4×4 squares that she posts each week. Adversely, we also live in a world where dirty laundry seems to get hung out on the (on)line daily. So it can be hard to decipher what’s really going on in another momma’s life.
Maybe this momma is in great financial need and she’s hoping to make a few extra hundred dollars a month from these sales. Did she tell you this? Most likely not.
Did you know? From a survey of 20+ moms, at least half of them began their network marketing and sales for financial reasons? Responses ranged from the need to supplement lost income to the ability to afford the product they were selling for the representative discount.
Maybe this momma has found herself feeling less than fulfilled after she shuttles kiddos off to school. Now, this new side-hustle or business is her chance to feel like she has a purpose. As moms, we know how rewarding being a mother can be. But we also know, at the end of a day of continually caring for our children, we can feel depleted. And maybe Momma is just lacking anything to call her own since she became a mother.
REAL MOMS, REAL STORIES
I interviewed 20 women – most of them mothers – about their experiences in network marketing. And the “why” of all these women essentially came down to two things: financial benefits or the chance to have something that was solely their own. That’s pretty powerful if you think about it!
As moms we want to feel that we are always contributing to our families and society, all while keeping a piece of ourselves.
So why wouldn’t we support the women who are working towards this?
Of women surveyed, 50% admitted that her initial reason for beginning a social selling business was to have a place to make connections. Mommin’ ain’t easy! It has its ups but boy, it can be isolating.
“I really loved the products and wanted to bring in some extra income. I wanted something that pushed me and that was my own. As a mother and a wife, I lost who I was! So I needed to have something for myself.” – Gabriella Jakins, GCM contributor
Direct Selling is about relationships. Just ask any woman you know that has attempted to do sales. We long for connections and relationships. So yeah, you got a message from the girl you haven’t talked to since all those AP honors classes in high school. She’s trying to make a connection and build a relationship with you.
If we’re being honest, reaching out and making friends as a mom can be pretty awkward. So give her a little grace. Hear her out and politely say “yes” or “no”. You never truly know someone’s story and the connection and relationship mean more than the sales.
“[…] I wanted to do something “more” than just be a stay-at-home mom. I’ve always had 3 jobs at a time but I quit my 9 to 5 when I had my son 3 years ago.” – former Gulf Coast mom
THE SMALLEST OF THE SMALL BIZ
Being a Gulf Coast mom means loving the #228 and all it has to offer. We love our small little towns up and down the coast and avidly support the small businesses that make the coast who we are. What’s more small and local than the mom down the street?
Moms working at-home businesses need to be empowered and supported just as we do all the other small businesses in town.
And the truth of the matter is, big national businesses, mom and pop shops, and moms working at-home businesses are all trying to get their name out there on the internet. It’s just the world we live in. And big or small, some do it right and some don’t. But we seem to fault the mom next door for “doing it wrong” more than that big box store. Remember, don’t judge her before you know her full story.
Regardless of the reasons for representing a direct marketing company or how long she sticks with it, these women – and many times, moms – are entrepreneurs. As RBG so eloquently put it, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”
A woman starting and working her own business is making decisions. She is building her confidence and growing relationships with value.
You might not see that now, but support her efforts and you will see the works of her labor come to fruition.
Interestingly enough, most women who stay involved with their “side hustle” and treat their direct sales partnership as a legit business do one of two things:
- She continues on social selling, whether that means staying with her current company or capitalizing on a new opportunity that provides her greater advancement.
- She stops representing someone else’s company and completely dives into her own independent business; taking all the things she learned from her time in direct selling and starting a small business from the ground up.
WHAT SUPPORTING HER MEANS
In a nutshell, support means support! 100% of women surveyed for this post unanimously agreed that they don’t expect each and every person they contact to purchase something from them. Moms in direct sales, truly want your friendship and support. It’s all about the relationships, remember?
She’s thrilled when you take the time to share a post she’s made about her business. And just some small encouraging words on her post lets her know she’s supported. At the very least, “like” the dang post! It doesn’t mean she’s going to message you a million times to buy something. And if she does reach out to you about the engagement you’ve been giving on her posts, be upfront with her. We all like to hear it straight. The same goes for those mompreneurs. Let her know if you are interested in what she’s offering, if the timing is off for you, or if you are simply showing her love and support. She’ll appreciate your honesty.
AN UNREAD BOOK
Direct selling, network marketing, social selling…whatever you want to label it, we will all be affected by it. We applaud women every day for the sacrifices they make to support themselves and their families. And moms working at-home businesses should get the same respect as those that leave the house for the 9-5.
Because, to me, there is something so satisfying and encouraging about seeing a fellow mom become an entrepreneur; a woman “doing her thang!”
So remember, each time you “snooze”, “unfriend”, or “hide” a fellow mom, you are inevitably missing out on a part of her life story. Essentially unwriting a chapter of her life that is consequential to the ending of her overall life’s journey.