January 20, 2022
Essential Oil Business, Getting Started, My doTERRA Business Story, Why DoTERRA?

She’s A Simple: My 7 years in Direct Marketing

I really thought one day I’d sparkle like a diamond… like a dōTERRA Diamond.

When you take the leap into the world of direct sales you hear story after story of rags to riches accounts. Single mom, living in a car, peddling her last drops of essential oil and becoming a millionaire. This sentiment echoes on every call, with every leader, and every coach… Everyone can be a diamond if you just worked hard enough!  That’s what I was told over and over. If I’d just BELIEVE then it could happen. But what if I didn’t have the belief? If I lacked the belief, then I was told to borrow someone else’s belief at least until I began to possess it. It’s sounds strange typing these words. In my worldview as a born again Christian, belief is the key, but it’s not about believing in myself or another person or my vision board. It’s about putting my belief on the Lord Jesus Christ. Maybe in retrospect, that should have raised a red flag, but I was in need of an at home job with flexibility and eager to chase the dream.

At recruiting events, conferences, convention, social media, I met diamonds… so many of them. They were regular moms. Some were educated, some were not. Some came from middle class families, some didn’t. Some had a western medical background while others sought homeopathy only. Some were organic, homeschool moms with a gaggle of kids  and some were business minded entrepreneurs. I’d look at what was needed to succeed in sales and think, “I could do what they do.” And with starry eyes I began to believe that a simple girl like me could be a diamond.

Many of us come to believe this dream is possible, especially when surrounded by diamonds. You know the saying, you’re the average of the 5 people you hang around with? Well, if I hung around people who were sparkling, wouldn’t it make sense that one day even if I felt like a lump of coal, I’d eventually become a Diamond? This dream of arriving is why direct marketing continues to expand. There are SO MANY companies and new ones popping up at every turn. Just this week another friend asked me to coffee to share the health benefits and income potential with her amazing company where people make millions. I don’t doubt her product might be life changing. I also don’t doubt that people make millions because I’ve seen it. But arriving at that place is not as easy as one might convey.

My direct sales story is not unique. It is like that of many others- a similar story with different characters. Direct sales is hard, demanding work. It’s not for the faint of heart. Everyone I’ve known who has succeeded in this career has worked extremely hard for years. It’s definitely not a job for all, but it has been one of my many jobs over the last 7 years. It has immensely blessed our family financially. I’ve been able to do very good things as a result of this biz. I was able to stay home with my kiddos while earning more than I ever dreamed. The people who venture into direct sales are like gold miners in the 1840s who left a comfortable, stable punch-the-clock life for the harsh, grueling, yet hopeful opportunity of hitting it rich in the Gold Rush. Direct marketers cling to the stories of discovery. That’s what keeps many coming back. Day after day, year after year. Hoping to find that nugget. Holding on to this belief keeps us motivated year after year, setback after setback, accomplishment after accomplishment. We believe, or maybe we hope, we’ll meet the right people, be in the right place and achieve the dream. Belief, for better or worse, was the driver that has captivated my attention over the last 7 years.

Over the last many months, I’ve been a bit consumed with a podcast about American scandals and while listening to the Bernie Madoff story, I felt compelled to begin writing my own chapters about the highest highs and the lowest lows of this crazy business called direct sales. Now, I have to clarify, unlike Madoff, direct sales is NOT a ponzi scheme. From my experience, it’s about helping people buy what they want and being compensated for time, effort and energy. It can be hours of hard work with little if any reward. It’s more about giving and hoping for an eventual return. It’s about people questioning you and your ethics. It’s about your reputation. At times in the quest to help people or to find your small nugget of gold, the overwhelming cost and/ or the glitter can blind and distract. This business model will change you, your relationships, and your outlook.

Now, if you’re in direct sales this isn’t a post to dissuade you OR encourage you to jump in. Do I think it’s possible to build a profitable direct sales empire. Of course. I’ve seen it happen over and over again for others. Do I think there is a cost. Of course.

This is simply reflections of my experience. Chapter by chapter. This is not going to be one post, but many. Seven years makes for a lot of stories and a lot of learning. Direct sales has forced me to grow in areas I never thought much about, and for that I’m thankful. It’s also been the source of more tears than I thought I had in my reservoir. If any of what I share resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you. What’s your story?

SIMPLE: DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

From my early months in the business, I believed I’d be a diamond. Looking back over my life and going for diamond, one picture of my childhood comes to my mind. It’s that of an 8 year old wallflower who hoped she could be the center of attention garnering the adoration of a boy at school. Although I’m now in my mid-50s when I think of my direct sales experience I think of this girl. And rejection.

An 8 year old me full of enthusiasm and hope

If you leap into direct sales, I hope you’re good with rejection. For whatever reason, I’ve chosen careers filled with rejection- 11 years in real estate and 7 in direct sales. Through perseverance I ended up doing fairly well in both careers, but it was not easy. No matter how much rejection I’ve encountered through life, I wish I could say a time came when it began to roll off my back. Being rejected still stings even after all these years! Putting myself in a place of vulnerability where I’m either accepted or rejected is always tough. Being at the whim of someone else’s interest and choosing is not my favorite place to be, but it’s life. Perhaps this is why I tend to be the person who almost always buys what people are selling. It’s like I’m subtly saying, “I know what your’e going through. I believe in what you’re doing. Keep up the good work.”

Thinking back on my 8 year old rejection, it’s crazy that I remember the feelings so clearly, but it was the first of many instances of trying to measure up. Do you remember the scene from Brady Bunch where Jan wallowed in self-pity because Marcia always came out on top? And then Jan cried out, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”

Can you identify with Jan? I did. When I was about 8 years old, a new girl transferred to our small DOD school in the Azores. Without any effort, this girl, Valencia Lyons, captivated the school with her long flowing blond hair with wispy strays that created a halo around her face. She glowed. In contrast I was the goofy, awkward, chunky monkey with gappy front teeth wearing homemade clothes who excelled at studies, but not so much in popularity. But deep down, I longed to be someone like Valencia Lyons- The Diamond.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. It’s embarrassing to think this was important to me as an elementary kid. I would hope most 8 year old girls wouldn’t be so worried about superficial things, but at the time it was important to be accepted and included.

More than 40 years later, the struggle of this life song is still the same, different verse. I still have a hope that I will arrive…one day.

Every Diamond in my direct sales company is hailed as a celebrity at the yearly company Gala Night. Prior to Gala night these diamonds purchase expensive gowns and choose a song to play as they run across the confetti filled room with cheering onlookers.

Years ago, I thought I’d grow up {within the company} and be a diamond. I began choosing passwords with the word “DIAMOND” in them. (Don’t worry, they’ve all since changed.) I dreamed about that Gala night. I imagined being surrounded by friends cheering knowing how incredibly difficult the accomplishment was and I chose a song I thought would reflect who I was: SIMPLE

I don’t have connections. I don’t have a big following. I have terrible placement strategy and no one in my upline helped in this journey (more on that later). I wanted my story to be one that glorified God- that my business was successful because of Him, no one else. I’m simple. Not fancy. And I wanted to let others know that simple girls, homeschool moms, without connections or handouts could make it. I wanted those with a strong, competitive work ethic and desire to climb could help others and in turn we’d find our thing that would carry us to unexpected places. I wanted to let all know EVEN IF no one else believed in what I was doing, it was possible to achieve the dream.

Here are a couple lines from my song:

SIMPLE by Florida Georgia Line

We used to live on Instagram
Worry ’bout who all gives a damn
‘Bout where we’ve been and where we ended up
Then I met you and you met me
And all the rest is history; an epiphany
That all we need is us

At the time I wanted to have the underdog story that turned to gold.

But I’ve changed. I thought my passion and drive could bring this dream to fruition, but it couldn’t. I did all the things and I’ll share more on that later. All I can conclude is maybe God didn’t want it to happen that way I dreamed. If He wanted this house to be built, then maybe it would’ve been easier without so much pain and heartache.

Although I continue to work and set goals, I no longer dream about being a diamond. It’s a little hard for me to even type this because in a way I feel like I’m giving up on myself. I feel like I’m quitting on mile 20 of a marathon. I’m not a quitter, but I do know when to take a step back and re-evaluate. Over the years I’ve had many people reach out and ask how I keep going despite setbacks. I’ve learned a lot along the way about what is truly important to me.  This biz model is hard and especially hard without a team of business builders. I’m so grateful for the hundreds of customers who have blessed this life. I’ll continue helping others and serving my community with education.  Hoping for the unattainable combined with unmet personal expectations and pressure have made me realize this simple girl can only do what she can do. If it means I am a lower rank like Premier, Silver or Gold, yet never walk a carpet and experience falling confetti, I’m okay.

As FGL sings:

Ain’t no need to complicate it, we both know that’s overrated
We’ve been there, it’s safe to say it ain’t our style
We’re just simple like a six string
The way this world was meant to be
Like laughin’ love, make a lot out of a little

If a little is what I achieve.

It’s good.

Author: Braveheart Essentials
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