My friends have many different jobs in their lives, as we all do. There is the role of wife, mom, friend, housecleaner, wound healer, entertainer, cook, disciplinarian, chauffeur, a paying job or other profession, and on and on. A line of work that I’ve had many friends jump into in the past few years is direct sales or multi-level marketing (MLM) companies. I, too, have dabbled in a couple.
Lately, I’ve read many rants (that’s what it feels like to me) about how tired people are of seeing Facebook posts about whatever product someone is selling (skin care, cosmetics, oils, books, heath products, etc). They don’t want to be invited to online parties, get random messages from “friends” about how their products or company can change their life, and so on. I get it. It can be over the top sometimes, mildly annoying, and no one wants to feel like they are being used for the gain of someone else or their profit.
However, on the flip side of the coin, when I see another person–especially a mom–who is making time to share about a product or company that she loves, and through which she is trying to help her family with a paycheck among all the other responsibilities she has, I want to stand up and cheer her on. I want to high five her. I want to give her a hug and say “Way to go! Keep going!” I may not want to buy her products at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t encourage her along the way. It’s hard enough to be a mom today in the digital world without feeling like we’re not doing enough, being enough, and doing all the right things along the way. We don’t need to be torn down for our choices to better ourselves or our families based on our business opportunity choices as well.
As a mom of two kids and as a friend to other moms, here’s what I would want to teach my kids and say to my mom friends when it comes to being a lover or a “hater” of MLM companies and responding to direct sales:
Dear Kids and Mom friends,
Be Bold and Courageous.
If you love something, it’s changed your life in some way, or you think it can help someone else, then share about it. Sometimes this takes boldness and courage to share or contact someone out of the blue because they keep coming to mind. Don’t worry about their response. Share anyway. Great things don’t come to those who aren’t willing to take chances. Sometimes we have to take steps of faith and do things that are uncomfortable to help others and become better people and leaders ourselves.
We are all on different journeys and we won’t all love to do the same things. That’s okay. Encourage others who are working hard and those who are making a difference, even if it looks like it’s just for their family.
Always share with confidence AND respect.
I’m a firm believer in sharing what you’re passionate about with the world and helping those around you. Share what’s on your heart. Share your business opportunity or products with others. Share yourself with the world. Don’t be afraid to bring your whole self to the table; Don’t compartmentalize or hide a portion of yourself. Be authentic, the world needs it. Do all of that authentic sharing with respect for others and be okay if they say no.
You can say no, respectfully.
It’s okay to say no, in fact in life you should say no to a lot of things so that your yes is meaningful and right for you. You can say no with respect while not degrading or belittling another person because of what they do or how they do it. We may live in a world of “say whatever you want” online but that doesn’t make it okay. If you’re tearing apart another person, even online or in a blog post, then you’re just being mean and maybe a bully.
Don’t take it personally.
There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you do or how you do it. Brush it off. Don’t take it personally. Ultimately what others think of you does not define who you are.
My hope is that we would be moms and women who are lovers not haters. May we be women who encourage one another along the journey even if we don’t take the same paths or follow the same passions. May we be women who respect one another even amidst our differences. May we strive to be who we are and bring all of our authentic selves to the table. Let’s be brave and courageous, confident yet respectful and not look to others for our validation. This is where we’ll all thrive and find joy.