I’m writing today from the national convention of one of DSA’s member companies. I came to speak to the group about the benefits this company’s DSA membership provides to its consultants. Each time I have the chance to meet and mingle with some of the 15 million U.S. direct sellers I am reminded what a wonderful collective story there is to tell. Each of the women I’ve had the chance to talk with during the past two days has a slightly different story about how or why she became a direct seller, but I have yet to find one that doesn’t have something to do with personal empowerment, supporting a family or just looking for something new to do.
I sat with a group of four women at lunch yesterday. Their experience with the company ranged from two years to just a few months. I asked each how she got involved and was impressed with the candor of their responses. None of them set out saying “I want to be a direct seller,” but each had found her way here. One had reluctantly attended a party, ended up buying several products and a few months later decided to give selling a shot because she thought some extra money each month would take the pressure off the family finances – that was two years ago.
All the consultants I’ve met are very genuine, real, intelligent and motivated women. There’s no hype, there’s no pretense – but there is a lot of camaraderie. During the introduction of the fall product line each was busy writing notes and facts that they will use when they demonstrate the products. The addition of additional colors was a particular high point. “I can’t tell you how many people have been asking me for that in red!” I heard one woman say.
I’m headed home on a red-eye flight tonight. Most of the women here will make their way home tomorrow, armed with a new selection of products, new friends and new strategies for achieving their goals. I leave here with a certain satisfaction that the collective story of direct selling, for all of its diversity, is still just as I portray it every day – a flexible opportunity that can be personalized to one’s own situation. In a world with so much bad news, I think that’s pretty cool.