Thursday, May 22, 2008

Success Magazine Article - Part 2

Direct Selling Offers Flexibility and Financial Freedom
Erin Casey May 5, 2008

Tap into a proven system for success. Avoid wasting time or money by learning from others’ experiences and wisdom. Direct selling companies often provide high-quality, high-impact marketing tools, including personal Web sites, brochures, catalogs, DVDs and CDs to help direct sellers present a professional image—at a fraction of what it would cost to produce the same tools on their own. Additionally, training in best practices is frequently offered online and via conference calls as well as at local and national conferences.

Start a business for $500 or less. Direct selling companies offer big opportunity with minimal startup costs. For a small sign-up fee, new reps receive access to training and marketing materials, discounts on products and sample products to show and sell. You can set up office at your kitchen table with phone and laptop. Low overhead combined with minimal(if any) inventory expenses make direct selling businesses affordable. And because many companies handle online orders and deliver directly to customers, independent representatives can focus their time on connecting with potential clients and team members.

Experience flexibility and time freedom. The flexibility to work around full-time jobs or to create an income stream that fits into their families' schedules is a huge perk. Becauseeach representative is an independent contractor, not an employee, there is no set schedule or required number of hours. On average, part-time direct sellers devote three to 10 hours per week to their businesses. Those who pursue the business full time invest 15 to 35 hours per week. In either case, representatives can set their own schedules and build their businesses during off hours and lunch breaks or on weekends.

Earn what you’re worth. When you’re the boss, you don’t have to ask for a raise—you simply go out and earn one. A results-driven industry, direct selling levels the playing field by offering the same opportunity to everyone regardless of age, ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic background. Equal opportunity, a clearly defined career path and no earning restrictions mean there are no limits on what successful direct sellers can earn. While some in the industry are earning millions, it’s more common for direct sellers to use their businesses to earn extra cash per month to pay for dinnersout, private school, college expenses, cars and family vacations.

Maximize your earnings with residual(or passive) income. By building a team of people who love the products and are excited about telling others about the opportunity, direct sellers can leverage their time and maximize their income. Capitalizing on a team’s efforts means a business owner can devote 10 hours a week to their business, but with 10 other people also devoting 10 hours to their businesses, the team leader earns a commission from the collective sales and team-building results of 110 hours’ effort. It also means a team builder’s business has the potential to grow, even while he or she is on vacation.

“I like the honesty about direct selling,” says economist Paul Zane Pilzer, author of The Next Millionaires, “because it openly tells people the way to get rich is residual income: Get paid tomorrow for something you did yesterday—and let it accumulate.”

Reap the rewards of helping others succeed. Building a team definitely makes financial sense, but it also offers significant intangible rewards. Though representatives run their businesses independently, they often develop a family-like connection with their team members and others in the business. The friendships formed and the experiences of helping others improve their personal and financial lives are often as meaningful to direct sellers as the money they earn.

Get the recognition—and prizes—you deserve. In the corporate world, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, much less free vacations, luxury cars or fine jewelry. Direct selling companies know most people work more diligently and with more enthusiasm for a reward. First-class incentive trips to exotic locations, free cars or car allowances, fine jewelry and cash bonuses are offered by many companies to those who excel. And the opportunity to earn such rewards is open to everyone.

Become a better you. Direct sellers are faced with numerous comfort-zone challenges, and by overcoming those challenges they grow personally and professionally. The encouragement and training these independent business owners receive from their companies’ leaders as well as others in the field spur them to step outside their comfort zones to achieve success.

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