I’m just going to say it, I sucked at running a MLM Business. Before you scoff at the acronym “MLM,” hear me out. MLM stands for multilevel marketing and sometimes gets the incorrect title of “pyramid scheme.” Even though I said goodbye to my business, doesn’t mean that it is a scheme and we hate everyone who does them. On the contrary, I think they are still pretty great but just not for me.
Note: This is a yarn lovers blog, but in order for you to understand how the yarn biz came to be, you have to understand some of my biggest mistakes. Six of them, actually.
- I gave in to the need for “freebies.” I believe in order to make a sale, there had to be some free item as an incentive to buy. While I still believe in the power of the freebie, it does not need to be with every. single. sale. In one month I gave away almost $100 in free stuff and guess how much I made…$100.
- I copied what other successful people were doing to an unhealthy degree. One of the top leaders in the company used twitter, I started using twitter. One of the top sales folks taught 30 classes in a month, I tried to teach 30 classes. I felt like doing more meant more success. So instead of doing a few things great, I did a few things okay.
- I wasn’t honest about how hard it was. How many times do you hear “it’s just as easy as inviting people” or “the products sell themselves”? I don’t know why I believed the fallacy that I could show up with my products and people would be buying hundreds of dollars of stuff in the first 10 minutes.
- I was afraid to say “no.” Someone would ask me to do a class and I would drop everything to do it. I would take off from my full time job to do coaching. I would put my life on hold because that’s what everyone else is doing.
- I didn’t keep good records. I struggled with bookkeeping, call logs, and member information. Some months I didn’t know if I had lost money or earned money. Some months I couldn’t even tell you who all I did classes for. I was keeping my head down and hoping success would just poof into my lap. In turn, I didn’t have concrete goals like make $500 this month, I would just said I wanted to teach 10 classes.
- If I made a mistake, I thought it was the end of my business. I would forget to call someone or accidentally place someone in the wrong spot then it was the end of the world. I was so indecisive that each decision I finally did make felt like it would make or break me. Like success was just one good decision away. BTW, that’s sooo not how it works.
So how did these six mistakes help me? I am glad you asked. The short version is I track my finances like a hawk, I became much more decisive and made peace with bad decisions, I am really freaking transparent about everything. The long story can be found next week right here on the blog.