When I started my direct sales business in 1995, I wasn’t looking for a full-time career and I certainly didn’t consider myself a business owner. I started for one simple reason. It looked like a fun way to earn some extra money and get a great deal on products I purchased for myself.
It didn’t take long before I started to see the bigger picture of what my business could mean for me and my family. Hearing testimonies from those who left full-time jobs to do their business full-time inspired me. Eighteen months after starting my business we had our first child and I decided not to go back to work full-time. Instead, I was going to build my direct sales business.
Then reality set in.
When you think of working for yourself and having flexible hours, it sounds like a dream. But, you quickly realize that your results depend 100% on you… your effort, your commitment, your determination, your willingness to learn and try new things, and your investment of time and energy.
There is no boss telling you when to go to work each day or someone deciding where you will spend your time. Even though your hours are flexible, they are not optional if you want to achieve a consistent income and build a growing and thriving business.
Since my journey began, I’ve met and worked with thousands of direct sales consultants who have big dreams. And although many of them say they are willing to do what it takes to achieve them, few actually do.
I believe it’s because they treat their business like a hobby instead of a business. If you want results of a successful business (whatever success means to you), then you have to treat your business like a business.
Aren’t sure if you have a hobby or a business? Here’s a simple test.
Do you intentionally seek out new customers each day or wait for people to approach you?
Do you schedule time for personal development and training to better your skills or only attend training events when you have nothing else going on?
Are you diligent in tracking and re-evaluating your goals, your activities, and your results (proactive) or do you work in survival mode just doing whatever you can, whenever you can (reactive)?
When people ask you what you do, do you share with them confidently or share apologetically for fear of what others may think?
Do you have systems in place for customer follow-up, host coaching, sharing your opportunity, coaching team members, handling your taxes, etc., or are you always scrambling and handling things as they happen?
If I were to sum how I was able to achieve what I set out to achieve with my business, it was because I treated my business like a business. Some examples of my business-minded activities were…
- I faithfully attended training meetings and events.
- I set yearly, monthly and weekly goals and when I didn’t achieve them, I re-evaluated my actions and re-calculated how I would achieve them.
- When a booking was canceled, I made sure I got another booking to replace it.
- I kept myself accountable by working with my leaders and coaches.
- I invested money in tools and systems that would help me communicate more effectively and ultimately generate more income.
- Instead of “playing office”, I spent time doing things that would help me achieve my goals, even if they were hard or out of my comfort zone.
- I implemented systems that propelled growth and worked those systems, again and again, knowing it’s not just about doing the right activities, but doing them enough times.
In a nutshell, I stopped running my business like a hobby. I stopped being unintentional. I realized that random actions produce random results and I didn’t want random results. The results I was looking for came when I ran my business like a business.
Be honest with yourself. Which category do you fall? Do you have a business or a hobby?
If you desire to achieve business-like results, what can you change in the way you do business?
As always, we love hearing from you so feel free to share below!
After building her own business for 20 years, Lydia Martin joined the Step Into Success team as a trainer for Direct Selling Now & Digital Academy. Her passion is teaching business owners digital systems and strategies that help them be more effective and efficient.