Guest Post by Alyssa Avant
The other day my children were pilfering through a draw of my stuff. The top chest drawer typically holds undergarments, but I also often have put items there that are “keepsakes,” hoping my kids won’t get into them. This particular day, we had gotten a new chest of drawers and I was cleaning out the drawers.
The children found a silver link bracelet. Looking at it brought back a flood of memories. Although the memories aren’t so good, the lessons are important. This bracelet was an achievement bracelet for a direct sales company that I was a part of over five years ago. Once a consultant achieved specific sales or recruiting quotas, they would receive a new link for the bracelet.
Whether the bracelet was worth having or not, it was the shiny object that motivated me to achieve. There was more to it than just the bracelet itself; it was more about the camaraderie of our unit, the feeling of belonging, and the high of knowing I had “succeeded.” But the reality is that I hadn’t ever “succeeded.” Unfortunately, due to the way the company worked, paired with my desire to achieve, the scary truth is that I had purchased my way to success.
Even worse, all of the purchases were done with credit. Now looking back, I see a $5,000 achievement bracelet that is worth less than a hundred bucks. The lessons learned from my mistakes are much greater. There are lessons learned from my time in direct sales that are priceless, although I wish my debt could be paid off with lessons, rather than cash!
One, I learned that there are more important things in life than money. It is more important to me to enjoy what you do, to feel that you have made a difference, and to know that your work is ethical.
As a business owner, I have learned that integrity is of utmost importance to me; it is a top priority in my business. When I work with a client, I am most concerned about whether or not what I am doing for them is solving their problem, meeting their need, or answering their concern, rather than how much money it is putting into my pocket.
Many times in my direct sales years, the pressure to sell overshadowed the need to help. I am thankful for the ability as a business owner to emphasize people over pennies. I realize that every experience in direct sales companies is different and I have nothing against the concept itself; I am just drawing from my experience.
Direct sales experience did have positive effects upon me personally as well. The sales experience gave me the confidence I needed to sell. The training and leadership support helped me to believe in my training abilities and have been useful in my business. During the same time that I was working in direct sales, I was also pursuing speaking opportunities. Because of my sales experience, I knew how to promote myself.
All these lessons great and small, although they were expensive to learn, will not be forgotten soon. I’m even considering wearing the $5000 bracelet as a constant reminder of what’s truly important in my life and business.
Alyssa Avant is a published author, professional speaker, and tech coach. Alyssa has been working virtually since 2007. She has years of experience working with online professionals and business owners.
She is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others so they can avoid the years of trial and error that she experienced as a new online business owner. Alyssa takes special pride in teaching entrepreneurs how to begin and handle all of their technology needs. Alyssa has gone from being a solopreneur to building a team of professionals who help meet all her client’s technical needs.
Visit Alyssa at http://www.AlyssaAvant.com.