Many women seeking financial or professional freedoms, seek out a side (or full) hustle in direct sales. Known elsewhere as Multi-Level Marketing businesses (MLM for short), we see our girlfriends selling everything from clothing to diet shakes to essential oils in an effort to create the flexibility in their lives and careers they crave.
Enter MLM Badass and all-around Boss Lady Goals, Lindsay DiPonzio, who’s been killing the direct sales game through her completely relatable humor, gorgeous sense of style and infectious “Can-we-be-best-friends?” attitude.
Today, Lindsay is addressing some of the stigmas around running your direct-sales hustles, with some advice for any ladies getting into or already playing the game.
I don’t often talk about my experience in Direct Sales on personal platforms like my personal Facebook page. It’s not that I’m ashamed or embarrassed, but more afraid; afraid of being pigeonholed into the stigma that I’m going to try to sell you something or recruit you for some team that you don’t want any part of.
Well guess what? I’m not gonna do that.
Yes. I sell a lot in my direct sales business.
Yes. I have a team.
But I have always made it my goal to change the way that people see MLM (multi-level marketing) companies through my own actions.
I want women to feel empowered in the skin they’re in and I believe fashion—finding women something they can feel completely confident in—is one of the easiest ways to do that. I won’t apologize for walking that talk in everything I do and say in person or online. Let me tell you about some other things that I’m not going to do.
1.) I won’t force you to buy.
Common misconceptions about MLMs include the belief that you have to outwardly ask people to buy your stuff to gain customers, so let’s set the record straight.
No, I’m not going hound you to try my products.
You may be surprised to hear this, but my job is not to ask people to buy from me. My job is to use my products myself and share my experience with others.
My experience will spark the interest of maybe just a few people in my inner circle who will then be willing to try my products for themselves, even if just to support me.
If they like it, they’ll say so. This will spark the interest of those around them, and so on.
It’s a simple concept that almost sounds too easy, right?
Here’s the catch: If you want your business and sales to grow, you also have to make people like YOU. Post about yourself, your family, your trials, and everything in between. If they like what you post, they will engage, and most of the time this engagement eventually turns into at least one sale.
Think about your favorite celebrity. There’s something that you like about them that makes you interested in them. If your favorite celebrity comes out with a new fragrance or lipstick, you’ll likely try it because you just love them! Right?!
Do this with your own business. (I use the “CATCH” Method. Click here for more info.)
2.) I won’t force you to join me.
Another common belief about MLMs is that you have to outwardly recruit because you won’t make money unless you build a team under you.
Guess what? I’m not going to force you to join me. I think recruiting is obnoxious and sales-y.
I say this as someone who oversees a growing team of 20 women and counting. How?
I share with my community on a consistent basis how much I love what I do. I show people how amazing my products are. And yes, every so often, I remind them there’s a business opportunity.
If they’re interested, they approach me. If they’re not interested… Well, do you really want someone on your team that doesn’t enjoy the work? (Trust me, they will end up being more of a headache for you and it’s not worth it.)
I do what I can and use my social media platforms to attract the type of person I would want on my team and every once in a while, I find one.
Think of it like fishing. I don’t catch a fish every time I throw out the line. It takes some time, but I’m not gonna shove my hand into the lake and pull out a fish just to say I have one.
3.) I won’t apologize for my success.
You heard me.
I’m not going to hide the success or opportunities that direct sales has brought to my family.
Almost two years ago, my husband and I had just settled into our first home (getting acclimated to our mortgage payment) and had just adopted a puppy. It didn’t take long for me to start doing some math and realizing that although we made money enough to live off of, we certainly didn’t make enough to have financial flexibility.
Don’t get this part twisted. We’re not snobs that need expensive things to be happy.
But I knew it would feel good to be able to buy my husband the exact grill he wanted rather than the off-brand.
And I knew we would eventually need a fence in the backyard for that soon-to-be grown puppy to run in.
And I knew that being able to order whatever you want on a menu without first looking at the damn price would also feel really freakin’ nice. Amen?!
That’s where my mind was, and I knew I needed to figure something out to help us achieve the kind of financial flexibility we wanted.
When I started my business, I put myself in the mindset of success. I observed others and learned what I needed to do. I hustled and burned the midnight oil. I worked all day at my full-time job to hosting live sales into the late hours and getting invoices and product out on time. I set and met sales goals, only to set them higher and broader than they had ever been and meet them over and over again.
And guess what? We got my husband’s grill, we put up the fence in May, and I don’t know how much the lobster ravioli was that I ordered last night.
I don’t tell you this to gloat. I tell you because each of these anecdotes is a direct result of the direct sales opportunities that I’ve run with. These aren’t huge dreams, people!! They’re achievable and attainable, and darn it I’m PROUD.
So why should I hide that? Why should I be afraid of people that might judge me online if they know I am part of an MLM?
As author Rachel Hollis wrote,
“You shouldn’t let someone in the cheap seats have an expensive opinion in your life.”
- Girl Wash Your Face
If there is someone on the internet that has a problem with the fact that I have busted my butt to create an entire additional income for my family via direct sales, then we probably shouldn’t be Facebook (or real) friends anyways.
To the left, to the left.
I am hardworking. I have found success in direct sales and I won’t let these stigmas rule my business. I refuse to recruit for members or beg for business. I will not let the misconceptions of MLM define me.
I will continue to break the mold. I will celebrate my success and damnit, I will be proud.
Lindsay DiPonzio lives in sunny Orlando, Florida with her husband Joe and pup Jase. You can find her on Instagram at @lindsaydiponzio, YouTube as Lindsay DiPonzio, or join her Facebook Community, Head to Toe with Lindsay DiPonzio.
Questions for Lindsay? You can contact her at QuestionsforLindsay@gmail.com