A year or so ago (probably longer), I wrote a response to someone's sarcasm regarding my experience with Direct Sales. That post has gotten many (over 280) hits since then but few comments....until today.
JennyHaHaasked today if I was still a proponent of BeautiControl and commented briefly about what I gathered to be her "less than desirable experience."
I am choosing to respond publicly in hopes that all the searchers who come here through Google wanting to know about BeautiControl or why Angela Brown got fired from BeautiControl (she didn't, by the way) can read and really hear what I want to say.
Yes! I am a stronger proponent todaythan I was then. Here's why. Please keep in mind that these are reasons that I am either currently living/experiencing or witnessing other consultants in my personal unit living. This is also my personal blog and as such, I am able to say just what the hell I think about any given topic that I choose. I don't drink the koolaid of our company and there are things about our company that disappoint me. Those disappointments don't control my destiny and I learn to work around them. So here's why I'm a stronger supporter of BeautiControl today than I was 3 years ago.
1) I'm walking, breathing, living proof that this business has the capacity to change lives. When I decided to promote to Director, I had TENS of THOUSANDS of dollars in credit card debt. Since then, I have paid off over $24 thousand of that while still providing for our family. In all fairness, MusicMan has contributed to that too but over 75% of the payoff has come from my commission checks and from profit from my personal sales. Of that 75%, over half of that has come from my own personal sales and the profit that I've made serving other women with my business and product(s).
2) Women who are joining our unit are making money immediately by learning how to hold $500 bc spa events. They are having fun. They are not going into the hole with inventory so someone higher up can make a buck. The buck in our unit stops with the consultant. This kind of leadership is a choice.
3) Every time the economy gets worse or something out of our control happens, my business gets better. Women (and men) are looking for additional income to pay their bills. Sometimes they need it to put gas in their cars so they can get to their J-O-B-Sor pick up their kids. Many times, they need it to pay for groceries and electricity. They want options. They want control. They want flexibility. They want recognition in a world/society gone amuck. They want fun. If they so choose - they can get those things with us.
And speaking of options - when we (as a society) have to cut back....women do not cut back on what they call attainable luxurieslike skin care, glamour and a few personal in home spa treatments. Sure, they might not go to the day spa as much - but they will come to sources like me to have one level of service below the day spa (obviously at the day spa, they worker does the treatments on you but I teach women/men how to do it on themselves). Once they work with me, they discover that many times, we have equal quality for much less money. I hope that makes sense. It's those attainable luxuries that many women aren't willing to give up and that makes what I offer even more attractive to them and their budgets.
4) One doesn't have to sell their soul to the devil to be successful in this business or company. If you witness someone who isn't being honest or is solely using others for her own greed and self promotion - then you know to stay away from that. But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. That kind of behavior and greed is in the world....learn to recognize it and get away from it. Empower women to make good and moral choices that they can live with - that their families can live with. Support them to work their business - not just order a bunch of products - those are things that poor leaders do who are only interested in stepping on the backs of people. Sooner or later, it will catch up with you because you can't live a lie forever.
5) I can't imagine doing anything else where I would have the benefits and perks and money that I do without huge sacrifices that I do not want to make. I'm good at this and it blesses me as well as other people. It's a win-win for everyone.
I feel relatively certain that it's safe to say that experiences of people who are greedy and how people rise to the top on the backs of others is the nature of the beast. That's not exclusive to Direct Sales and certainly not to BeautiControl. I have spoken with other Directors and other consultants all over the country (and in Canada) who struggle with the same old questions that I do - "How do you rise above all of that and keep going in a way that is morally and ethically acceptable to you personally?" and "How do you keep it all in perspective?"
Direct Sales is made up of people. People are not flawless. People can be greedy and irrational and fake and whatever else you want to label them as. That isn't exclusive to Direct Sales either. The current situations on Wall Street should be indicative of what happens to a group of people who go too long without personal ethics as a whole or who aren't regulated when they are supposed to be serving others.
(This isn't directed at JennyHaHa but all those who google Angela Brown and come here to see) The only people who know whyAngela Brown left BeautiControl are Angela and Melissa/Kristi. It's none of the rest of our damn business. I was curios too...and then I realized that if I concentrate on that....or who is doing what that they should not be doing - then I am robbing myself and those I am committed to serving of the benefits of focused activity and leadership. We deserve better than the example that some set in this world. We deserve better than the example that some in this company set. That is life.
To me - the answer is simple but the answer is not easy. I concentrate on my own personal business, who I am, what I want, and how I'm going to take that and help/serve other people to help them get what they want. It doesn't always come in that particular order either. I am not waiting for someone to tell me what to do or how to do it. I am not waiting for John Wayne and the calvary to ride in and save the day. I'm way past spending energy on blaming others for my circumstances or consequences or thinking that I just have to settle for the hand that I've been dealt. I learned through my life with The Bouncer that the best way to make ends meet is to get off my own. I am a servant and a teacher. I work to develop leadership skills and techniques but I am not a natural leader. John Maxwell helps me with that and I put effort into it. I can not control how or why other people run their business the way they do - even when they are climbing on the backs of others. It has really come full circle for me in the past two years and I know deep in my heart that I do believe that the purpose of a TEAM is to help everyone grow. I'm responsible for myself but I am accountable to others along with myself.
I make a choice every frickin day to do what is right. Some days I fail and I pay the consequences. Sometimes those consequences are miserable. Some days I really get it right and I rejoice. I try to have more of the rejoicing days than the miserable days because I'm committed to learning from those mistakes - mine and the ones of others.
Speaking of mistakes - there are countless examples of people who I do notwant to be like. I don't feel a self righteous superiority over them because I can't afford to take my focus and energy off of what I want to create and accomplish and what I want to become. It's a process every single day - becoming that something which you want to be. It's the journey and not the destination. I don't want to be the BeautiControl police either - because that's less energy to direct to my goals and those I'm working with. I'm committed to these consultants....and their effort tells me how committed they are. We are a team.
Regarding the cars and trips - I lovedriving that BeautiControl Mustang. There isn't a day or single time that I drive/ride in it when I don't think of how good it feels to have something tangible to remind myself that the work that I put forth and the TEAM effort paid off. That gear shift in my hand and the purr of that engine is very tangible. And here's the kicker - I used to think when I heard leaders in our company say how seeing other people success was better than their own success....I used to think that was bullshit. I have come to learn through experience that for me - it's the truth. Nothing can compare to the exhilaration that I feel knowing that car is mine through earning it...but on the flip side of that token - nothing can compare to the feeling that I get when one of the people that I'm working with calls me so excited that she can't talk because she just booked 7 spas in less than 1 hour. Or how about the woman who calls me and is overcome with gratitude because a technique and skill we've been working on together just came through for her - she just profited over $400 in less than 2 hours. Or the consultant whose self confidence level has risen so much recently that she now begins conversations with strangers about anything...not necessarily just her business. Or.....the woman who secretly confided in me that she's preparing to leave her abusive husband of 20 years because now she believes that she has what it takes to survive away from him....because she can put food on her table and clothe her children....money can't buy those kinds of results. These are not instances that are occurring in each and every 100 or so members of my unit...but they are occurring with people who are putting forth consistent and focused effort.
I can't control the world. I also can't save it. What I can do; however, is have influence over and with some parts of it, including some people. I believe I have possession of a gift. Gifts are to be shared before the full value can be realized.
A very wise person once shared with me the following quote, "Esse Quam Videri". It means "To Be rather than appear".
I want to BE successful as opposed to appearing to be successful.
I want to have the choices that financial freedom bring me instead of appearing to have money.
I want to BE happy as opposed to appearing to be happy.
I want to BE a servant instead of appearing to care about people because they are a potential sale.
I want to BE a living instrument of grace....instead of appearing to know all the answers and hide from myself.
Think about the differences in those things....really think about them.
JennyHaHa - if you love BeautiControl - come back with a different group of people and experience something different but remember the difference will have to begin with you and what you focus on. Perhaps you'll visit this blog again and become a regular?
To others: If something I wrote here perks your ears and you want to learn more...just ask. I can't share the gift with you unless you let me know you might want it.
Those people who are sucked into the cycle of appearing rather than being are setting themselves up for falls...and hurts....and consequences....don't get caught in that.
Esse Quam Videri.