Often, it is the little life experiences that motivate the direction of my blogs. This week, there were two! I know that many of my followers yearn for tips on scrapbooking page layouts or on tools, but today’s message is for my fellow businesswomen! I grew up in a family business, so I understand owning your own retail type of business, but my love is in direct sales. I hope to inspire some of my fellow Creative Memories advisors in this message but also ANY woman who owns her own business and feels she isn’t being supported by her family.
I am in a networking type of Facebook group and recently someone asked, ” If you have support from your spouse in your business, what suggestions can you offer on how you got it?”
It makes me so sad to know that many women struggle to manage all the different hats that we manage and often start businesses with so much excitement only to have that excitement squashed by family, friends, and especially spouses.
I recently read a book by Barbara Stanny called, “Secrets of Six-Figure Women”. She researched the similarities between the many women who were powerhouses in their fields. She also researched the many similarities amongst their peers who owned businesses that were always struggling. One thing she found was that the ones making 100K + a year always assumed they COULD. The other group of women seemed to have a common mindset that they somehow didn’t DESERVE to make good money and that money was somehow dirty if it was the woman that made it.
I have not done any of my own research but in my 24 years of being in direct sales and after coaching literally thousands of women in one way or another to be successful, here are a couple of things I have noticed.
First, many women have trouble charging a fee for products and services. They have no problem dropping a couple of hundred dollars with the local boutique but somehow, it is not OK to charge others for their own product or service. Often, women with this mentality fail because they just can’t make money giving away the farm! Another big issue I see often is that many believe that OFFERING a good product that could change someone’s life is somehow PUSHY.
I have sadly watched so many passionate women fail in business because they just were so afraid of a NO that silence was their GO-TO in any conversation. When you choose SILENCE instead of SHARING, you already got the NO you were so afraid of.
PUSHY is when someone won’t take “no” for an answer. Continuing to offer “answers” to one objection after the next, ignoring clues of how uncomfortable the person being SOLD to is feeling, IS PUSHY. If you are PUSHY, STOP IT. But, most of my fellow businesswomen are NOT pushy AT ALL.
This is different than telling someone about something you love that you think may help someone else in some way. So my first advice to my women entrepreneur friends is… if you are not PROUD enough of your product line and do not feel like it is awesome enough that others WANT to hear about it, then you are not in the right industry. Find something you love and believe in and OPEN YOUR MOUTH. If you get a NO, simply say, “I”m so glad you felt comfortable telling me how you feel on this! I really appreciate that. If you ever run into someone that you think I could help, would you be willing to pass on my information?”
I want to help you get the support from those you love but before you can be taken seriously, you need to bring home the bacon, so to speak! That is why I started this blog post with the advice to simply OPEN YOUR MOUTH. How bad do you want it? Take all the “no’s” you need. Some accuse me of just being lucky and finding the right people but the truth is, I just get WAYYYYYY more “no’s” than others.
Having a business, on any level, is a time commitment. A time commitment that steals you from your typical chores around the home, steals time from spouse and children, and in the case of home-based businesses, likely ADDS a bit of disorganization. If everyone in your home has to sacrifice a little because of your business, it is reasonable of them to expect some return, right?
In the direct sales industry, with low start-up fees and low overheads, many jump in without a plan to be successful because the risk, even if one fails, is low. Some try a few ideas to get their businesses up and running and when they hit brick walls, one after the other, throwing in the towel and being just a “product at cost” type of advisor, becomes more appealing. How about if you came into the business with the thought that you CANNOT FAIL? If you can’t fail, you have to get right back up when you hit that brick wall. There is NO ONE out there that hasn’t hit brick walls. The difference between the powerhouses and the failures is that the powerhouses put on their big girl panties and keep going. They attend trainings, read self-help books, and hang around with other successful people in order to always learn and grow.
Another typical thing I see is women who love, love, love their product line so much that they buy, buy, buy instead of sell, sell, sell! Let’s say your spouse started a company out of your home and sold, say, video games. He has a spare room in your house dedicated to all of the video games he is “selling”. When Friday night comes along and you all want to go on your date night, he mentions money is tight, so let’s just go grab some Chic-fil-a instead of going to our favorite restaurant. If this excuse comes up often, I suspect you would not be too excited about his business because now, his business has impacted YOUR life but not in a good way.
For me, I remember years ago being successful but in a sneaky kind of way 🙂 I LOVED having my own money and hence, yes, I put lots of my income back into the product line. I justified that if I had more, I’d sell more so that was definitely eating into my “profit” margin. In addition, when I had real profit, I would order things (typically clothes, shoes, and jewelry) and when these goodies came in, I’d go take the tags off speedy fast and put them in the closet. So back then, my husband had a horribly messy house (“Beckie, WHERE exactly IS your office because it appears to ME that YOUR OFFICE is ALL OVER THE PLACE!”). He had to listen to me on the phone all the time (selling, coaching, etc.)ANNNND, he never saw the money! It wasn’t until I decided to be a partner in the bills, college saving, contributing to our retirement, and buying the little extras for our family that he treated my business with respect. He even began selling and team building FOR ME. Before, what would he say? “Hey, John, you should get your wife to sell what my wife sells and never get a home-cooked dinner again and, oh yeah, you will probably have quite a bit of credit card debt!”
If you want support then you have to earn it. Now my husband DOES brag about me. Before my dad passed, I remember him telling one of his physicians about how successful I was, how many trips I had been on, and that “she probably makes more money than you!” That last statement was not true but the fact that my dad believed it tells me that I was doing very well!
So, now, if you are reading this and WERE contemplating a business, I hope I haven’t talked you out of it. Being a business owner is one of the things that I have done in my life that I am most proud of. I have grown in so many ways! I was lucky to have started my business when my kids were babies and I feel they have learned firsthand that moms CAN have their cake and eat it, too! They have learned about vision boards and goal setting and never giving up. I have learned so many skills like bookkeeping, marketing, budgeting, social media, inventory management, event planning, public speaking, coaching, and so much more. Owning a business has made me a better, more self-confident ME. It has provided a significant income. It has paid for college, home improvements, dream vacations, and more. In addition to all of the self-improvements and extra income that was almost invisible when I taught school, I have also developed the MOST AMAZING FRIEND GROUP locally and all over the United States!
Remember when I said there were TWO little life instances that motivated me to write this blog? The second one happened last week. Twice a month, on Fridays, I do a Sneak Peek video at 1pm to show my clients, via ZOOM, the new products coming out in a few days. My clients LOVE this service and if they have to miss it they need the graphics as soon as possible so they can decide what all they want. Last week, I got a call from my youngest daughter letting me know that her wedding dress finally came in and FRIDAY, at 1pm, was her fitting! I can’t imagine being an employee somewhere else and being able to easily just leave for a special moment like this but being my own boss, I simply let my clients know that the 1pm Sneak Peek would be moved to Saturday morning and what did I get? I got remarks from my special clients letting me know to SAVOR this time with my daughter. Being your own boss does mean you get to choose your own hours and I will never look back on my decision to join the ranks of SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS WOMEN in an industry where my clients seem to love me as much as I love them!
Are you at a time in your life that you would like to experience personal growth? Maybe you could use a little or a lot of extra income and don’t mind getting some “no’s” along the way? Perhaps you feel like doing something to occupy space that was once filled with children who have now all grown up or to find a new friend group that builds you up.
I would love to mentor you to success. No experience is needed but a positive attitude a must! It’s just $49 to start!
Thanks for reading. I appreciate you 😉