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Around this time every year I see a pattern start taking effect in the direct sales business. The months of September, October, and November (especially early) are a flurry of activity. Everyone’s having success. It’s a great time to sell, to recruit, and to promote. Honestly, autumn in the direct sales business is a wonderful time.

But towards the end of November and early in December these are the things I hear:

1. “It’s hard to get a party in December, everyone’s so busy.”

2. “I’m too busy to have parties! We have so much family stuff going on!”

3. “There are just too many distractions! It’s so hard to run my business right now!”

4. “I’m absolutely worn out from the last couple of months! I’m just tired right now.”

5. “I’m just going to take a break for the next month or so and then I’ll get ‘right back to it.’”

And you know what, a lot of that is true.

But BEWARE! There are pitfalls here…

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Upsanddowns

Direct sales is like most other businesses in more ways than not. One of the biggest differences is to what degree the direct sales consultant is in control of the outcome of their business. Generally speaking, the harder you work, the better your results and the better your income.

But it’s not always that way.

There are ups and downs like any other business. Sometimes it seems achieving the same results is twice as hard, or next to impossible.

And here’s the thing: You can’t let the downs “get you down.” It’s just as dangerous to allow yourself to “slow down” when things are going (and growing!) great. Either of these situations can be personally devastating because as a direct sales business owner it is all so personal! 

So… what do you watch out for for the Ups & Downs of the direct sales business? And how do you break out of it if you get “down”?

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This is the 2nd in a series of posts about Team Newsletters for Direct Sales. Check out Part 1 if you haven’t had the chance to see that yet!

Tipstricks

Newsletter Notes For Direct Sales Leaders (Part 2)

Things That Make A Newsletter Work

Do This:

  1. Remember to keep it recognition-focused
  2. Keep it as short as possible.
  3. Whenever possible use pictures instead of words.
  4. If you include an article, either keep it very short or include highlights of take-home points of some sort.
  5. Listen to feedback you get on your newsletter and be responsive to it.
  6. Pick a style for your newsletter and stick to it.
  7. Use the tools that you have already.
  8. Find out who is actually reading the newsletter.
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As a leader in a direct sales company, you’ve worked hard to build a team. The people who belong to your downline are incredibly valuable to you because they are the key to achieving big dreams with your direct sales business. That makes keeping your recruits (and their recruits!) engaged one of the most valuable things you can do as a direct sales leader (the other thing you can and should do is model for them a high-quality personal business that they can emulate and duplicate).

In order to keep your team engaged, it’s important to reach out to them in different ways. Build that relationship and be there for them. Consistently. One of the things that can be most demotivating for girls on your team is when they need you and you’re not there. It happens, and it has happened to Holley. But do everything you can to avoid this! Trust me!

Ways you can engage with your team:

  1. Personal calls, emails, texts.
  2. Team Facebook groups.
  3. Group calls and training.
  4. Team meetings (business and social!)
  5. Monthly newsletters.

This post is going to focus on tips for your team newsletter.

One of the reasons I’m writing about this is that this is a great area for a Direct Sales Husband to step in and help out. I do a lot for Holley’s newsletter. Maybe you can help your wife with hers. (And if not, hopefully this article will still help!)

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The 3 T’s of ATTiTude

JasonC —  August 12, 2013 — Leave a comment

I recently had the opportunity to hear a great former coach (Bruce Pearl, former head coach of the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team) speak for a high school football team and really had some good take-aways that I think would be great for the direct sales consultant or small-business owner.

Bruce started out by saying how your year turns out depends on a lot of factors, but the key is your:

ATTiTude

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In the past I’ve blogged about the importance of setting goals in your business. (Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2of the Goal Setting posts). All that is important for the H.O.T. to do personally as well. The more intentional you can be, the better!

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My Personal H.O.T. Goals for 2013-4

1. Intentionally place Christ at the front of my marriage and leadership in the household.

2. Focus my primary efforts on the relationship with Holley to make it the best it can be (#1 will help with this too)

3. Become more proficient with video and to encourage Holley to do more small videos for her team.

4. Be more active in networking with other HOTs

5. Clean up Holley & my social networking presence

6. Gently but persistently encourage my wife to Blog. And help her however she needs.

7. Avoid any large gaps in blogging myself

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Rundown

 

Rundown Part 3

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a compendium of posts which I consider to be my “Direct Sales Husbands’ Handbook” (DSHH). So here I go with part 3!

If you’re new to this blog, here are links to my 2 previous Roundups for your perusal:

Roundup Part 1

Roundup Part 2

These posts are a great place to start. I started “blogging” several years ago, but had to “reboot” the blog in Spring of last year due to technical issues. Although a lot of my posts are DSHH related, I also do reviews and other series when I think of something I think is interesting. These Roundup posts avoid all that other stuff and get straight to the meat of the Direct Sales Husbands’ Handbook.

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Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World by Joel Salatin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Folks, This Ain’t Normal is an excellent exposition on what is wrong with our nation’s farming and food infrastructure system. If you participate in big agriculture (the industrial agriculture complex), you’ll probably hate this book.

But if you’re an individual who is focusing on feeding your family. Raising your children to be healthy. Providing SAFE food for them, then reading this book is not only essential, but is a call to action in the political realm.

The first step in the process is becoming educated. Being enlightened to the fact that there is a problem, a major problem, with the way the food system in America works. Just knowing that there is a problem opens one’s eyes to see what comes next. The problem is that “the system” in America is set up for the profit and benefit of big agriculture. NOT for the benefit of the consumer (which is the mistaken understanding that most people have). And that creates a false sense of safety and therefore compliance in the sheeple of America who just buy what’s available in the supermarket, assuming it is safe and of high quality.

The second step in the process is to learn more about WHY there are problems, the nature of those problems, and how we got there in the first place. Learning about the evens of the past century or so which resulted in the U.S. Government creating oversight of America’s food production. And the way those regulations severely hurt the American farmer while padding the profits of big agricultural business. The way the federal government has actually set legal precedent that says you, an individual, do not actually have the right and freedom to choose what you eat. And how regulations limit both the quality of food available to you and prejudicially infringe on the ability of small farms and farmers to enter the market.

The third step in the process is to see that there is an emerging movement to create change. Once educated, we the people still have in our power the ability to reclaim this government for the good of the people (as opposed to the good of big business). And this book is definitely a call to action to that goal.

Joel Salatin writes with an excellent easy-to-read style. There is plenty of fact and tons of humorous real-world examples to illustrate exactly what is going on in our food system. This book is genuinely a fun read.

As you can tell, I’m fired up about the content of the book. I don’t see how anyone could read this (unless they are part of Big Ag) and NOT be fired up in the same way. We all want good food. Safe food. Healthy food. And after reading Folks, This Ain’t Normal, your eyes will be forever opened to the fact that our very own government is set up against this very goal, while claiming they are doing us a service. And the lack of personal responsibility that pervades our culture HAS TO CHANGE. Maybe a little education will do the trick.

Read this book!

View all my reviews

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The key to tapping the incredible earning potential possible with direct sales lies in recruiting and developing a team. This takes time, but generates great rewards. Many of my posts have been directed towards husbands or consultants. This one is directed more towards girls who already have a team, or are actively growing a team.

Any time people start “grouping up” you’ll notice that each group develops its own “personality” and “character.” Even if you’re at a conference of peers, you’ll notice this same thing. People will gravitate towards certain groups and that group will have it’s personality. It may just be a group of people sitting together at a particular table. In those cases, eventually the group will find that there is a leader of the group. It’s not voted on. It just happens. Then when it does, the group follows the leader. 

In the case of direct sales businesses, the leader is determined by the hierarchy of the team through recruiting. That means you, if you have a team, ARE A LEADER! How about that? Here’s a simple definition for you:

Leader: Someone who has followers.

Unfortunately, this leadership position often goes to waste. This has some inevitable negative consequences, which are almost entirely avoidable. 

If you’ve been in Direct Sales long enough to have developed a team, then you’ve heard the phrase: The pace of the leader determines the speed of the pack. That’s true of your personal business. But it’s true in other areas as well. As the leader for your team, you have the ability to determine the “personality” and character of your team.

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Check out Part 1 of this series for answers to a number of common questions.

Running a business may seem like a daunting task for someone who has never done it before. Especially when you hear stories on a regular basis of people starting up a small business only to find it actually loses them money. And more money the longer they’re in it.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Choosing the right company goes a long way, and there are several good ones out there. Thirty-One Gifts is a great example.  Then follow these pretty simple rules to avoid getting in over your head:

7 Rules For Running Your Direct Sales Business On A Shoestring:

1. Don’t spend money on anything in the business unless the business generates income  to purchase it.

2. Don’t buy (and show) products people don’t want!

3. Host your own in-home parties using yourself as the hostess.

4. Talk to other consultants, find out what expenses they think is actually worth the cost.

5. Make use of every incentive the company offers.

6. Fundraisers are your friend!

7. Make a budget for your business, and stick to it!

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Now, let’s dig into each of these a little deeper:

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