I’ve been writing my new book this past couple of weeks and as I write streams of consciousness about business I’ve come to a realization:
I really hate MLM companies. Like, a lot.
To be fair, I don’t hate them for the hustle; I respect the men and women who join these and put the hard work in, hoping for their shot at having a better life. To me, they’re all entrepreneurs who are going for their dream and I cannot deny them the chance.
What I do hate, though, is the way the parent companies go about it. I’m not talking about the predatory tactics and pyramid schemes (that’s an entirely different conversation). But rather, the cookie-cutter methods they promote as “successful” sales tactics.
To be entirely transparent, I had a brief stint when I was 19 as your neighborhood Avon Lady, but I never gave it much of a go so I don’t have firsthand knowledge of the intricacies of MLM marketing policies so I will admit that my opinions come from speculation.
With that said, I’ve done enough marketing in my life to know what works and what doesn’t.
What doesn’t work is an entrepreneur who has a business that isn’t unique. That’s the downfall of so many of these “Huns” as they’re known (because these entrepreneurs will message people on social media with something along the lines of “Hey, Hun!”) – there’s nothing inherently unique about them. They’re coming from the same company as 35 other people in my Facebook feed and aren’t giving me a compelling reason to buy from them. Do you understand what I mean?
The same thing happens in “regular” lines of business, too. I’ve seen entrepreneurs try to stifle their personalities in order to fit into a mold that they think will make them successful.
Whether it’s thinking you need to look a certain way, offer a certain type of product, or something else that goes against your inherent self, allow me to offer a different route: Satisfy your own self and embrace who you are as a person to become a better entrepreneur.
I swear quite often. It’s just my vernacular and I don’t try to hide it. If “shit” is the right word for the situation, then “shit” it is; I’m not going to spend time thinking of a synonym and waste the effort. Consequently, I have most likely lost readers or listeners because of this.
You know what? I’m totally fine with that.
If they can’t relate to who I am as a person, then my message cannot resonate with them. They’ll be stuck on blushing over the shit and miss the message I’m trying to deliver.
The same should go for your business, too. It can feel scary to go out into the world as your own person, I completely get that. It’s way easier to separate yourself from a failure at something that has a strict set of guidelines than it is to embrace your inner uniqueness and have it rejected. But if the “riches are in the niches” isn’t it worth it to let a little bit of your light out?
This post is for you who feels a little like they’re struggling to find their place in the world (business or not). Letting your light shine, even a little, will draw a smaller following it’s true. But the key to your success is that small following. They’re the ones who get you and will follow you anywhere.
Appealing to a wide crowd and selling to “everyone” sounds like a great idea, until you have to deal with it. Why try to reach thousands who won’t get what you’re doing? Isn’t it easier to instead embrace the hundreds who do (and will support your business)?
Give yourself permission to step outside of the mold and be the unique person and business owner you are.
Stop trying to fit into the “ideal” that you think will give you the achievements you’re assuming come along with it.
Want to be a fitness coach but are a little out of shape? I bet you could pull in some clients who are intimidated by super-fit influencers and think they’ll never be able to do a push-up. Want to embroider rap lyrics on a sampler but are afraid your Mom will think you’re weird? She doesn’t have to buy one. Want to post makeup tutorials but don’t think you’re professional “enough?” Consider how many makeup artists were born with this talent at day 1: zero. They all started somewhere.
Don’t let your uniqueness hide in the dark. If you want to create a business that sustains you and helps you accomplish the goals you’re reaching for open yourself up and let that light shine!