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I am a proud network marketer

Weeks like this remind me of my overflow of blessings.

Two of my babies are sick. And because of my profession, I don’t have to worry about whether I get paid or not. That’s the gift of residual income.

Lately, there’s been an upswing of criticism leveled at network and multi-level marketing. You know, “schemes” and “shams” aimed at taking advantage of desperate people, especially moms who want to stay home.

I’ll be honest. I did not want to be a professional network marketer. Internally, I made disparaging remarks about the profession until I read about Dave Ramsey’s support of it as a viable and even desirable career.

So I want to air a few grievances I have if you are the kind of person who, rather than just keep your opinions to yourself, likes to air them in what is, let’s by honest, your attempt damage a respectable career and your friends who are pursuing it.

Why are you so offended when your friend asks you to consider buying something from the company they represent? I’m sorry if you don’t like their “tactics.” Often it’s less of a reflection of the industry and more that they are new, trying to figure out how to earn a living and haven’t been fully trained in their new profession. Most network marketing companies actually work hard to be anything but “high-pressure” or manipulative. Besides, doesn’t your attitude say more about you and your unwillingness to support a friend? How long did it take you to be proficient in your job? The fact that you extend so little grace is frightening and reflects poorly on you, just so you know.isagenix-june2011-16-728

Many of the network marketing companies I am familiar with make superior products with excellent customer service and quality control. Much like the fair trade industry (many companies of which utilize the network marketing model), buying from a friend in network marketing is a chance to support a company that does things right. Meanwhile, how much of the money you spend is on products made by child labor or unfair wages or with companies whose multi-million dollar advertising budgets help pay for big celebrity endorsements? That’s certainly more admirable, right?

I can speak only about my company, but the reason our product formulator came out of retirement to start this company was because a deadly spider bite caused him to create a no-compromise product to save his own life. After making thousands of products where companies dictated ingredients out of GREED, he found products that worked because they were made with genuine intent. And he partnered with a couple who had corporate AND network marketing experience. A couple who was retired and wealthy, who didn’t NEED to start the company. But they saw the industry as needing a makeover, so they wanted to right some of the problems by creating a compensation plan that’s truly awesome. One that other companies are now copying.isagenix-june2011-17-728

Sorry to gush, but I ADORE my company. Network marketing is an excellent career, but especially with these pillars: a great product that people want to buy again and again, a compensation plan that’s fair and generous (which looks nothing like the pyramid model that most non-network marketing companies have), a company that offers a duplicatable system of tools for associates to share, leaders with experience and at least five years under its belt.

One of the biggest misconceptions about network marketing is that it’s “easy money.” I’m sorry if someone gave you that impression. Yes, I am paid this week even though I’ll do very little “work.” In fact, due to life’s circumstances, I’ve done little with my business the last 18 months. And yet, I’m still compensated week after week and earn a decent annual income because I put in a lot of work at the beginning. I was on team calls daily. I went to events. I was coachable, which is the most important quality. I did what my leaders suggested and what they were doing. I didn’t have a ton of time in my day to work the business, so I took action when I could doing income-producing activities.

Unlike a lot of other “jobs,” network marketing income is a genuine reflection of earning a living based on the time, talent and training you invest in your work.

I’ve done a ton of entrepreneur and at-home work. Because I wanted to be able to prioritize my family first. This is my take.

54b21d46263c24c610450a981c9f3e3cAll kinds of mom-ing are hard. I have so much respect for full-time working mommas and stay-at-home mommas. All moms make sacrifices. We choose what path makes the most sense for us, and we take it. So why all the judgement on moms who are professional network marketers? It needs to stop. Honestly, it’s the oldest profession. Before companies had millions of dollars to create manipulative, slick advertising campaigns, people told each other about products they loved, that helped them. This industry reroutes those millions in air time and celebrity endorsements to ordinary people, including moms like me, to share with friends and family. Instead of hating me, maybe you could actually be happy for me.

Because here’s what you haven’t seen or cared to notice.

In my past at-home work, my sacrifice to help our family make ends meet so I could be present often meant:

  • Desperately taking any paying job, sometimes ones that paid less than minimum wage.
  • Working for tyrants and bullies.
  • Mindlessly pushing products that I didn’t actually know much about or believe in.

As a result:

  • I felt unworthy.
  • I was stressed and actually less present when I was with my family.
  • Always worried about and thinking about where the next dollar would come from.

Now I am:

  • Confident in my career, despite some so-called friends being a-holes about it. (Side benefit: You get to see more of people’s true nature more quickly when you are a professional network marketer.)
  • Able to set my own hours and terms of work to truly put my family first.
  • Free to use my gifts to help others and help them with solutions that are so life-changing.

If this helped you understand professional network marketing or spoke to you in any way, I’d be honored if you would share and help others see the industry for what it truly is!

Mommy stuff, Uncategorized

I’m proud of you, stranger SAHM

Dear stranger SAHM Mom,

What I mean is not a that you’re stranger, just that you are a stranger. I don’t know you. But I know about you. You do amazing feats like:

  • Change about 3,000 diapers a year for two-three or more years. If you use cloth diapers like me, you also spray or clean out the poo and wash 2-4 loads of diapers and reassemble them every week, too.
  • Get screamed out for 11,000 or so hours a year, and depending on the general temperament of your little one, perhaps double or quadruple that amount.
  •  Hold a child for the majority of the day while she’s teething, sick or generally not herself.
  • Prepare and cook meals, grocery shop, pay bills, clean house, chauffeur children, do laundry, volunteer and perhaps work from home….all in the midst of caring for the basic needs of your child or children.

But what you more than likely don’t do is get a congratulatory note. Or a pat on the back. Or an offer for reprieve. Or a compliment. You don’t earn “employee of the month” or have the esteem of your colleagues.

In fact, more than likely your peers think you’re crazy. Or stupid, especially if you have a degree and you could be earning a sizable income. Some might have told you they think you’re crazy or stupid or both. Some think it but are holding their tongues.

Insure.com estimates the average mom spends 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year taking care of her children, plus serving as a chauffeur, cook, nurse, homework helper, accountant, and private detective (necessary to find out what the kids are up to, of course) for a total of $65,283.81. Another similar index, created by Salary.com last year, estimated the value of a stay-at-home mom is actually $118,905.

Crazy, stupid woman who’s doing this for nothing, I ADORE you. Only recently have I begun to earn an income working from home, but I’ve been you for many of my 14 mothering years. Working for nothing. Despite a master’s degree. Despite the lack of accolades. Despite a big white space in my resume where my awards and accomplishments used to be listed year after year and they suddenly just stopped.

You don’t do it for the honors. You could care less about the recognition. In fact, you do it in spite of the negative — and sometimes toxic — environment that tries to belittle you for this choice.

I see you. I know it’s not always easy. I know the days can be long. The diaper changing and potty training can be exhausting. The crabby attitudes can wear you down like a chisel. It’s not the high road or the easy road. I know you weighed the options. I know you invested in your life and your children with GREAT SACRIFICE.

You know there is no major recognition on this side of heaven (save for your grateful spouse), and you do it anyway. For that, I adore you. I’m cheering you on, and if I could, I’d slap a certificate on your wall and your resume.

But someone would probably get peanut butter on it. So just know I’m so proud of you!