I talk about plenty of struggles, but the big ones…they’re harder to talk about. Sometimes out of respect for my private life, sometimes out of respect for others, sometimes because I’m afraid people don’t want to hear about that from me, and sometimes just because I know someone will personalize something that is not at all personal. My brain is constantly working to find the bigger lesson in small things, so I’m inspired regularly by everyday occurrences…and then I second guess whether it’s ok to talk about them. I’m also constantly encouraging others to press on and not worry about what others think, we all have this struggle when trying to grow. Especially if you are trying to grow a business or brand online. It’s a balance, and the reason I like to remind people that my online world is just a hallway, it’s where I encourage and share the things I learn from my own hard experiences. I rarely share the struggle, though.
All of this to say that, while it may not be exactly the struggle you’re most interested in hearing about, I want to be completely transparent about the struggles of starting a new business in the last 18 months.
If you aren’t caught up, I’m a mom of three who are now 5 (almost 6 😭), 8, and 10. Two boys and a girl in the middle. My husband is a captain on an Air Attack base for Cal Fire and the crazy, deep, complete love of my life. Up until two months ago, I spent roughly 70% of my life without him (21 years this month), 70% of my parenting alone, without family, and the other 30% was hard. I had anxiety about him going back to work because I never knew how long he’d be gone. I had anxiety about trying to fit a month of love and family time into just a few days. We struggled to find one another, we struggled to communicate. My kids and I lived with my parents on two separate occasions for an entire school year. It was a struggle. I’m sure I’ll share about it someday. I just want to be clear that my life is not as beautiful as my website and my Instagram. Those moments are real, they are as beautiful as they seem, they are the messages in the mess sometimes though. That is just the truth.
The struggle I’d like to share is regarding my business. I left a company as a top leader in February 2021, I was at the peak of my income, earning 6 figures. I had a large team of roughly 1,300. I had no intention of ever starting a network marketing business and once I became successful and was proud of the product I was sharing I had no intention of leaving…and if I did I did not ever want to do it again.
You see, direct sales, MLM, Network Marketing, whatever you want to call it…it’s hard. In some companies it is so hard, I still can’t wrap my head around how I managed it all. It’s a lie to say “you have nothing to lose,” “it’s so easy, the product sells itself,” “with only x hours/events/parties a week you can earn $$$.” I don’t think people are trying to be deceitful, they just get caught up in it all. The FTC now has many laws and rules around this kind of language, but it’s largely ignored, as I’m sure you’ve experienced. What’s worse is that I realized that I had started to do this. At the same time, I realized that I wasn’t earning what I was worth. I realized the struggle my team was facing and the time and effort they were putting in. For many people in this industry, this creates desperation and results in more claims about a financial future they aren't living, but rather desperately trying to maintain or build. I couldn’t do that.
So, despite loving so many people, feeling like I’d made a commitment, fear of backlash, and the obvious concern of losing a substantial income, I made a big decision, in a short amount of time, to leave and actually go work with another company.
See, I had big ideas for change. I wanted new directions, better tech, a company with a plan to fit into the mainstream, and the future of online sales. I was told it was not possible, but then I found it…by accident, just trying to support my cousin.
The products were clinically proven, award-winning, and effective. The innovation was incredible and only in the beginning stages. The systems were in place and forward-thinking. As soon as I launched my new business I had no doubt that I had made the right choice for myself and anyone who felt this was right for them. I could not actively share these revelations with anyone personally, because that’s part of what you sign when you “sign up for a discount,” it’s risk-free…unless you wind up going big and then realizing you need to change directions professionally. It was fine though, that wasn’t my struggle. I had a lot of people coming to me about this opportunity, wanting to learn about what I saw and why I would take such a risk at such a time.
I doubled my average monthly income in my second month with the new business. I tripled it in the three consecutive months following, I had never really believed that one could earn that kind of money. Even at the height of my previous business, my great big income goal prior had been less than half of what I was earning at that point.
My team was on fire and I had people earning income and titles that they had never been able to achieve in the past. It was so incredibly exciting, and different. I was no longer asking people to buy anything. It was exactly the kind of business I always thought this should be.
Soon after the transition, I had a large and well-known leader come and join me. She brought with her an incredible amount of people and volume. As quickly as she found this opportunity she was offered many others outside of direct sales, so what was going to be her main gig originally, almost immediately became her far-off side gig. That’s really ok. I actually love that it’s able to work for people like this, it’s why so many professionals and top influencers are here, I love that she can still earn a great income and (2) free all-inclusive trips for two while achieving so much in other areas. I struggled with finding connection with her large team though, they had not come here for me.
I knew what to expect, I had seen these things happen over and over again. When a leader is no longer leading, the team they bring will not continue, it's some kind of physics 😂. So my income dropped, but never below what my big life goal was prior to coming here. I find that to be pretty remarkable. Some of my most incredible leaders and team members came from this and continue to. My business is still growing strong and more importantly, the company is in unprecedented growth, 300% annually, and continual growth month over month, during a recession.
I struggled because I had a lot of assumptions made about how I came to the decision to leave. Many untruths, some bald-faced lies, and more rumors than I cared to know about swirled in my previous company. They still do. As difficult, sad, and unfortunate as this is, I was/am ok with it. I struggled with the fact that I knew there were a lot of talented and genius individuals who could truly benefit from this new kind of business, and that their teams and customers would as well. I knew there were those in many companies who were overwhelmed and unhappy, but hanging onto something illusory and idealistic, clinging onto bonds and things that were so far outside of business that maybe it wasn’t even about the income or potential anymore. I knew that I really didn’t want to actively recruit those people, or actively recruit at all, so while I struggled with the hurt on occasion, I never struggled with my mindset, or growth, because while I don’t slide into messages with people, I do have many who want to know more about this new direction of marketing and earning. I have plenty who understand or are at least willing to learn about the power and innovation behind it.
The struggle, true struggle I have, is that I am ashamed of MLMs. I’m ashamed of the practices. I cringe when I get messages from people trying so hard to follow what they’re told to do, who I know are just hoping to earn something small to help pay some bills, but it’s so not right.
As in religion and politics and nearly every other big thing…I feel I fall somewhere in the middle of this dichotomy. I understand why so many feel hurt and betrayed by the MLM industry. Some had family or friends who relentlessly recruited them. Some had people they started to distance from because it always went back to their products or “opportunity.” Some lost thousands of dollars. Many have lost time…so much time.
It kills me when I see posts about starting a business using terms like “you have nothing to lose,” when it is documented that 99% of people in this industry do not earn money. There is something to lose.
Your family and friends don't throw you a party when you quit a 9-5 to join a network marketing company…so let’s be completely honest here, right off the bat you lose something- even though it’s not monetary, because those MLM haters are out there. There is something to lose.
(for the record, my family is crazy supportive of me)
I had someone comment on a post I did the other day, she had loved my content…until she learned I was one of those. I’m a fire wife, a mom of three, a podcaster, and a business owner, I was top of my master’s program and graduated with distinction, I currently consult for companies on how to grow online and build affiliate programs, I represent brands, I have a lot of hats and successes I'm proud of. But, she said “eeeeeeewwwwwww” when I calmly responded to her first comment about MLMs.
There’s something to lose.
I struggle because I simultaneously want to shift the world's opinion of this industry while changing the industry itself. It's so complicated, it can feel overwhelming at times if I let it, but I'm not doing it alone.
I came to this company because I understood the quality, benefits, scientific evidence, and insatiable innovation of the products, but more importantly, I saw the future and what they were setting out to do. I continue to learn and try to understand MLM culture and its history because I was wrapped up in it by accident. It happened without me even realizing and because I was successful I believed it would be that for everyone.
As I grew personally and as soon as I realized I was no longer willing to bring people into the business the way I had been, no longer able to talk to my leaders and tell them big things were coming or that it would get easier, that I was no longer happy or optimistic, no longer willing to ask people to use their discount so that I could earn money, no longer enjoying the job itself…I was done.
I want to write. I want to speak at colleges to positively influence new generations. I want my children and their children to go to college without wondering how they’ll afford it. I want to invest in properties that will be handed down for generations. I want to encourage others to grow, be better, and chase dreams. I want to enjoy family time every day. Most of all though I want to lead and live with integrity.
And yet…here I am, still in an MLM…or so it’s considered. That’s my struggle. Everyone claims they have the best thing, comp plan, future…etc. But no other company is setting out to change the industry. That’s what I choose to be a part of. That’s what I struggle to show and explain. The product innovation here is incredible, I’m so proud of it. But, it’s the disruption of an industry that has been given a bad name, for good reason, that I need to see through. It’s a model that is truly beyond the MLM umbrella, so much so that professional coaches, doctors, physical rehab facilities, celebrities, med spas, and successful professionals from every walk are becoming a part of it.
It’s about the systems. It’s about the future. It’s about so much more than the lie that there’s nothing to lose. It’s work, I work every day. It’s commitment and education. It’s habit building and character building. You cannot run a business without having some serious drive, self-discipline, and work ethic. What I do tell people is that it’s simple, it’s duplicatable and scalable and so complete that it’s almost unreal. The business itself is so simple my 8-year-old could do the motions of it…but it’s not easy. Nothing great is ever easy, it is uphill. If you want to be in the best shape of your life, you have to work at it every day, nearly all the time. If you want to build a legacy business, it’s gonna be uphill, but I do have what I truly believe is maybe the only vehicle like it where that success is inevitable, but based completely on the work you put in.
My biggest struggle is getting this across. The difference. There’s nothing I can say in a post that will translate it without sounding just like everyone else. Top leaders from companies, outside those I’ve worked with, who I know are struggling with the same things I struggled with, simply aren’t willing to believe it can truly be done differently, and correctly. It’s impossible to explain the vast amount of technology, resources, and ingenuity that exists here…so it’s a struggle. But it’s a good one, I suppose because it’s one I am proud to be in.
I was given a shirt by one of my greatest mentors that reads “Dream. Struggle. Victory.” The bigger the dream, the bigger the struggle, and the bigger the victory.
It rings true for any business, any goal. Just make sure you're struggling in worthwhile areas, friend. I promise it’s worth it, and it’s ok to talk about it too.
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