Millions of Americans have turned to direct selling for part-time income or as a full-time career. In 2011, 15.6 million Americans participated in direct selling. Surveys indicate that most consultants choose direct selling because it’s uniquely flexible: They can be their own boss, set their own hours and work around other priorities such as their families.
Both men and women come to direct selling for their own personal reasons. Some try direct selling to earn just a little extra money for essentials such as braces for a child, or unanticipated medical expenses. Some come to direct selling to earn dollars for the extras such as a new car or a family vacation. Some even come for a career. Whatever the reason for giving it a try, direct sellers often find a lasting value far beyond their original goal or motivation. Direct selling offers one of the finest entrepreneurial skill building opportunities in the world. Many people find that what they learn from creating a home-based business of their own serves them throughout their lives in ways they never would have dreamed.
Direct selling can be a great way to earn supplemental income, or even provide a full-time income if you choose to focus on direct selling as a full-time career. If you are considering direct selling as an income option, be sure to understand the following before taking any further steps: regardless of your goals, direct selling is not “easy income,” you will not “get rich quick” and there are no silver bullets to success. Anyone who promises you any of these things is misleading you.
That being said, for people who set realistic goals and enjoy working in a flexible, self-directed environment, direct selling provides limitless possibilities. For some, this means working a few hours a week and earning a modest income to help pay the bills. For others, it’s a commitment of 40 or more hours a week with the goal of developing a network of consultants below you whom you will train and mentor so they too can be successful. For still others it might merely be the desire to buy products and services one already uses, but at a discount.
All of these scenarios are feasible and common in direct selling. Each requires a very different level of commitment, but the one thing they hold in common is setting achievable goals from day one and developing a plan that is workable – and then sticking to it.
It’s also important to remember that direct sellers who are earning full-time incomes didn’t start yesterday. They have worked for a long time, perhaps many years, to achieve a high level of success. They have developed an understanding of the business, they have likely recruited and trained a network of consultants and they have been diligent in growing their businesses over time.
Direct selling offers an opportunity for everyone, regardless of age, sex, race, religion or level of education. There are few, if any, barriers to entry and it’s one of the few places where women earn dollar for dollar what men earn. Not everyone who tries direct selling will succeed – some will find that they just aren’t cut out to sell products and services. And that’s OK. But the beauty of direct selling is that it’s open to everyone, it’s easy to get started, it’s easy to drop out if you find it’s not for you and, who knows, you might discover a whole new person inside you that you never knew existed.