It’s been almost a year since I learned about life changing forever! Everything happened at once. It was both annoying, maddening, freeing, frightening and I felt blooming crazy.
One of the things that helped me find a little sanity was the Girl Project. I had always wanted to be able to go out to the back yard (garden, for my new UK buds) and sit in the morning with coffee or tea. I imagined myself enjoying writing from the patio, watching the dogs play safely away from the trucks (Texas folks like to drive trucks, ya know). I would be able to smell the aroma of beautiful flowers, see the green trees at their best, the blue skies of my rural life and there would be no work involved to keep it that way! Ha!
Well, the no-work part didn’t happen. I’ve had to pull some weeds, shape some shrubs and prune the roses. Much easier than if I had to do it all from scratch. Remember, I love my desk and my car… not a shovel or trowel. I love heat and air conditioning, not sweat and cold. Thankfully, the weather cooperated and I didn’t have to sprinkle the yard or cover anything from freeze. My “girls” made sure everything was just as I needed it to maintain their hard work and my granddaughters are closer to the ground than me, so they did a great job when the weeds started growing faster than I could pull.
It’s been getting a bit dry, and it looks like the rain is coming. The farmers across the road are mowing their pastures, so it must be time to mow the yard. My love is out there getting that done, so I took some time and scissors (I know it should be a different tool) and ventured out to see what blooms I could find before they get pounded away.
What a beautiful sight! I am so excited! Take a look at the blooms from the back yard. They weren’t there a couple days ago… yesterday we were out and about til dark, but this morning!! How exciting I am to show you the blooms I brought in!
Now, I’m not an arranger, so I guess I need to put that on my list of things to do in retirement. Because, the “girls” did so well, I know I’ll have blooms all summer on the hydrangeas, beautiful color from the variety of lily’s and the fragrant gardenia! The honeysuckle on the dog’s fence is fragrant and the rose bush is climbing across the new closed-in porch. The miniature crepe myrtles are still growing and I’m just totally excited. It’s going to be perfect.
After the rain, I plan to start loving my dream yard. I’ve picked out my tea cup, my tea flavor and I have the press all ready to go to the back yard on my beautiful copper serving tray from Avon Living. I’m glad I got it during the holidays. The copper is perfect. There are some beautiful serving pieces, I think I’ll just need to add to my perfect backyard table… stay tuned. It will be a great place to test products, write suggestions and continue my venture into my personal retirement transition. Who says you have to stop all work? Aren’t you supposed to do what you love? I love playing with makeup, rearranging furniture (poor hubs) and redecorating on a budget. The daylight will be fantastic!
Since this is written, maybe I won’t even “work” … just enjoy the day, the dogs and some lovely blooming success. Sometimes the success is just about living better in the moment.
Now, let’s all be thankful for the rain that WILL find my backyard! I have confidence in the farmer’s judgement, my girlfriends’ advice and good labors and my ability to adjust to my new found freedom.
As a young mother, the days were ordered. Get up at the first whimper, place everything in order before the full-out assault to the morning and get everyone and everything done before running out of the house to work. After work chores included a time schedule to get everyone to bed on time and ready to repeat the morning ritual.
Hopefully, everyone leaves in a great mood, ready to attack the day with a positive attitude. That, too, takes it’s toll. It can be exhausting to take on the responsibility of everyone’s happiness.
As I’ve aged and they are raising their own, I see the challenges from a different perspective. I see them accepting the responsibilities with more grace than I. I think that’s a positive thing. They have a clear direction for their families and goals for the future. More positive to enjoy. I see God’s blessings as they move forward with their lives.
My mom and dad retired. I mean, they actually did not work or even think about having anything else to do after they retired. They fished, she quilted, he watched tv, they gardened, took long drives, played dominoes with church friends, helped others and they took turns bugging us on the phone. It was sweet and I loved those little phone calls about the weather or the mosquito population.
I don’t know anyone doing that anymore. I just don’t know them.
Everyone retiring has something else to do. They trade stocks, write blogs, sell handmade crafts, sell antiques, sell a used car or two and some even work part time at local businesses (where they probably have a trusted connection) that need a little extra help now and then.
I have an 80+ year old friend that continues to care for one infant in her home, until the baby can crawl. Then they move on and she takes another for some lucky working mom who needs a grandmother to nurture her newborn while she is away. What a great job!
Many sign up to sell something. It’s the easiest thing to do.
Some just want to sell a little product they believe in. It’s a good way to earn a little and stay sharp with business skills. It’s a good way to contribute to social causes, too. Selling the products that benefit the American Cancer Society, for instance. Those who sell the products earn a little here and there and enjoy a personal discount. Usually, 20-40%, based on their volume of designated products. They purchase materials and pay shipping from those earnings (so take about 10-15% of those earnings away) and the sales taxes collected benefit the communities where the products are sold.
The problem is the recruiting.
Most direct sales companies have realized that using the MLM model is a money maker for them… and their top recruiters. So, why wouldn’t they offer that to everyone? The truth is, very few recruit. Most sell and will take a recruit if they walk in the door or sign up under them. They’ll get a small bonus for that effort and possibly a 1099 to go with it.
Those associates who choose to pursue the dream of success, using the MLM stream, are flooding the social networks, emails and all other phases of communication. There’s so much of it that now many potential customers will not even look at the products (which could be smart purchases) because they don’t want to get flooded with opportunity reminders… over and over and over again. I don’t blame them.
The saturation of consultants in MLM’s is great. I have seen, from experience, that there are so many more non-successful at reaching their dreams, than there are those who reach the top. But, then… where is the “top”, for you? HOPE. That’s their magic. Offering hope. Because anyone CAN, but few DO.
The saturation is so great because they tout “start your own business” for such a small monetary investment and the “freedom to work as you please” while the newbies dream of posting on the social medias and waiting for the orders to flood the carts! NOT! When the big offers of success disappoint, they quit.
Because the company forgot their new associate signed up to sell a few good products to their contacts and that WAS their dream. Then the companies brainwash those well meaning sales associates to buying into the HOPE. And, the MLM label killed their initial dream.
It’s a process.
As I enter this new stage of life, I really want to sell some great products I believe in. Having worked in the industry as an employee, I have learned the value of the products and their ingredients. While I’m not actively recruiting, I’ll gladly help anyone who does happen to sign up under me. I’m not goal-reaching, other than buying and selling at a good return. It’s something I love to do and I hope the MLM aspect of my company will not hold me back.
This is truth. And it took me a time to come to this point.
When I first started, I went all out. I worked it like a business. Every day I made 5 to 10 contacts and every day I posted or wrote posts for scheduling. I gave up weekends for events and spent a portion of everyday in self development. In the first six months, I signed over 20 new associates. I earned bonuses and even a trip. It was fast and furious. It was fun, getting to know my team and helping them get started. Within 3 months, all but 11 are gone. Because they only wanted to sell a few products, not recruit. Because selling just a few products doesn’t make the money all the video’s and training talk about and everything the company offers as incentives, is focused on the recruiting. They only wanted to sell!
So I asked myself. Do I want to retire with the stress of working it like a business? Or why did I come here? I know, first hand what must be done. I came here to prove a point. I wanted to show them they chose wrong. I could do it better than most. So, I did. I took their bonus money, their rewards, even the trip and now I have confirmation that I don’t want to retire with the stress of working it like a business. I want to sell a few great products.
And, I still love some of the products. And, I really like some products my friends sell. I want to speak honestly about those products, and if someone orders from my affiliate website, I could earn a bit, but I want them to not be afraid of receiving too much spam. Did you know you can buy and then unsubscribe? A customer has a choice!
When I started blogging, my goal was to document the discovery process of my unplanned retirement. I’ve looked into affiliate links, cottage industries and the printable market. The thing they have in common is that they are selling something.
What I’ve learned, is it’s the same.
While it’s not a designated MLM, numbers do count. They earn by recruiting others to their affiliate or t-shirt business or download or membership site! It’s the same thing – without the label. Getting attention to your site or the proper link is recruiting. It’s selling. The payoff doesn’t come with a pre-paid trip (but you can buy your own without paying income tax on it) and you don’t need a fancy title to find your success. The dream is the same… hope. We hope to find joy in writing and recruiting to our affiliate(s).
It was a process.
I choose to sell a few great products that I believe in. Those products happen to be sold by some companies who also offer the MLM stream of income – but those companies are more than an MLM and, personally, I believe they do themselves a disservice by not finding a better balance between the earning opportunities and the product offerings.
The associates who represent the products should not be punished or held back because of that lack of balance. After all, they came here to sell a few good products with a good name to some good people who have supported the company for years and years.
I hope the MLM description of the companies that sell my favorite products, won’t kill my selling dream. My dream is about living better. What’s yours?