I came across a blog post today by a guy who had seen a recent article on the increasing popularity of direct selling. He was bemoaning the fact that the result would be more invitations to direct selling parties or demonstrations. He’s right that the poor economy will probably encourage many people to explore whether direct selling is for them. There are tons of products out there that are of interest to people – especially with the holidays coming up. But what really caught my attention was his “warning” to people to decline the invitations. What? His logic is as follows: “The hard truth is that we do not need more broke Americans spending what little surplus cash they have on stuff they don’t need,” he says. I hardly think it’s fair to paint the U.S. economy that unfavorably – the majority of Americans are far from broke. In fact, I believe it’s his kind of pessimism that makes an already tentative economic situation worse. He probably has his mattress filled with cash, too. My logic says that in this type of situation you should get out there and do what you can to return our economy to good health – and while that doesn’t mean extravagant, careless spending, it also doesn’t mean hunkering down and becoming a hermit in your own home.
Here are just a few thoughts:
1) Give yourself a “pick-me-up.” If the news of economic woes has you feeling down, you need to look on the bright side. The economy is cyclical – it always has been and always will be. Sitting at home a worrying about it won’t change a thing. If you are invited to a direct selling party or demonstration – go and have fun! It’s an inexpensive night out. If you find something you love, consider it a little gift to yourself. If not, thank the hostess for a wonderful evening, and on the drive home think about how you didn’t spend $25 for dinner, $10 for a movie ticket, and who knows how much for drinks afterwards.
2) Be part of the solution. Most women don’t stop wearing cosmetics when a recession hits, just like most people don’t stop their health and wellness routine. For people who already buy these products, most will keep on buying. Others may even discover new brands because smart companies (direct selling, traditional retail or otherwise) increase their marketing during economic slowdowns. Research shows people are very receptive to marketing when the economy is slow because they are looking for signs that things are getting better. I say, don’t just look for signs – get out there and do something about it! When people start buying again, the economy is going to get better, so forget about putting your money in your mattress and be part of the solution.
3) Do yourself a favor. A thriving economy is built on commerce. Whether a particular company has its products on store shelves, sells through mail order or engages a salesforce of consultants to market its products – the end result is the same – products and services are distributed to those who want them. There is always going to be a market for quality products and services – and direct selling gives people the opportunity to earn supplemental income while having fun at the same time. If you are looking for an additional source of income and are intrigued by the thought of doing something on your own, direct selling may be a good option. But, that doesn’t mean you should take the choice lightly. Be sure to set goals and thoroughly check out any company you are interested in to make sure your expectations are reasonable. Direct selling is, in fact, selling, so don’t expect the commission checks to start rolling in without putting in some work. And be sure to think beyond your immediate family and friends. While they are a great group to start with to get your feet wet, long term success will require you to get out of your comfort zone and market your products on a wider scale.
Pessimism fuels economic woes, and depriving oneself of a little fun now and then only makes the situation seem worse. So America, while the government is busy throwing billions of dollars at the situation, take the easiest step you can and change your own outlook. Get out there and have a little fun. If you happen to pick up a new shade of lipstick or a new centerpiece for the dining room table, all the better. Consider it a dose of medicine for both your psyche and the economy.