Almost a year ago, I signed up for an MLM book business. I love kids books and wanted to do something to make a little money and inspire a love of reading with kids in my community.
It’s kind of a “thing” these days to have a little side business or a hobby shop. I wasn’t ready to go back to freelance writing and consulting yet, so I thought this could be my “thing.”
Well, I got started. I spent hours reaching out to Facebook contacts inviting them to my launch party or to like my page. I went to a friend’s open house for her clothing business launch with a cute packet and a free gift. I was ready to rock this “thing.”
The night of my party happened. I had a 3-year-old screaming outside the bedroom. I had my script loaded into the Facebook party script tool. I started the upload on my videos. I was ready to chat with my 6 guests. I had a lot of “maybes” and spent half my “party” time reaching out to the people who said they were coming.
Then the problems started – my videos didn’t load. That’s okay. I was ready with a “Change of Plans” script.
My conversation was great. I was using this as an opportunity to present what I was doing and my strategy was to follow up and ask for sales once everyone had a chance to look at the catalog.
I sent out packets in the mail and links via email. I followed up. I wasn’t too pushy.
But something was wrong. I just ignored it.
I kept getting emails about orders being delayed in shipping. I kept running into people who had “already” bought a few of these books from another party.
Ok. No big deal.
I kept telling people what I was doing. I kept at it.
But a month later. No sales.
I followed up with everyone from my party again to tell them of shipping deadlines for the holiday season. Two friends ordered.
I was excited and decided to hit it again after the holidays. Then, I was checking orders online and realized one of my customers wasn’t going to get her books until after the holiday. I was frustrated and luckily found the product on Amazon. I shipped it to her and made a decision.
I wasn’t going to keep after this book business. I decided to fail. The company had some shipping issues during the holidays. I’m a pretty forgiving person. And I realized that I could stick with this or dig deeper and search for why I failed.
While some of the circumstances were out of my control, the failure in this business venture was with my goal. I wanted to do the book business differently. I thought I was specific in my goal – blog about books and ship boxes. Create a Facebook group about books. Do a book subscription service better than my local bookstore.
I had some clear goals. However, my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t willing to do the Facebook party model or bookfairs. It wasn’t me.
I think direct sales companies are awesome. I buy quite a few products from people I know who sell them. But this model wasn’t for me. It might have been timing. It might have been a lot of things.
But the lesson I learned is that you have to get specific in your dream.
What is your dream? How do you want to work that dream? What do you want to earn from that dream? What are you willing to give up? What are you willing to learn?
I didn’t answer these questions when I embarked. So, I got stuck. I got frustrated. And I quit. And that’s okay.
But if you’re not specific in your dream – your dreams will usually come to a standstill.
Instead of books, I started a new venture. I started a service aimed at helping people define their “what you do.” It’s called ProPolish. I help job seekers, WAHMs and solopros polish up their resumes, LinkedIn and other social profiles, project proposals and websites. Getting clear on what you do matters. Let me help you Pro Polish. Get the details here.