A fun fact you likely don't know about this blog: at it's very inception, it was themed around makeup because for a couple of months a half a decade ago, I dappled in selling Mary Kay. I wanted the skin product and for the same price, you got a the whole set AND a starter kit to start selling makeup. I was like, "Well, I'm broke AF, so mine as well," and that's how I spiraled into a little foray into selling skincare and makeup.
I had big aspirations. I knew the web, so I was going to sell through Facebook and eBay. I was going to do those makeup parties zero times because they're dumb and a trap and are awful, but I knew I could move product online without having to actually know how to apply makeup (to this day, I'm still an eyeliner and mascara only girl, with some eye shadow for the fancier days).
I surprisingly did sell a couple hundred dollars worth of product with some amount of effort, but refreshing my lead funnel wasn't happening. I didn't want to harass friends and family any further than I already had. And just like that, my career of makeup sales had ended.
I didn't start to hate network marketing companies like Mary Kay until I realized: it's almost not an exaggeration that everyone is selling something.
My friend once knew I worked in marketing, so she set me up on this networking meet-up with her former teacher. It wasn't real networking. Instead, he just tried selling me on join a multi-level marketing company that sells groceries call Amway. Then another time, a girl at Target told me about how her mentor quit their job because they made so much money at this company. I am awkward, so I didn't walk away fast enough, and she started selling me on joining her tribe to sell Lord knows what.
An old friend reached out to me on Facebook messenger once to check in on me. It was so nice! That is, it was so nice until they started to try selling me jewelry. Another friend was going to "let" me try a "free sample," so she could sell me a nice beach body shake thing. A friend of a friend reached out to me to see who I knew with skin, trying to tell me that's all I needed to be good at Rodan and Fields sales.
Now any time someone "checks in" on me from the past, or a new social media follower direct messages me, it's someone selling me shrink wrapped stomachs, the most jolting energy drink, the best scented oils and maybe even some knifes.
I miss the old days, when people would resurface not to extort your emotionally connection to sell products, but because they genuinely are interested in what's going on in your life. I miss the idea that a stranger being nice to you in Target genuinely likes your outfit and isn't trying to "network" with you to get you to join their pyramid scheme.
It's just a shame that now I approach a lot of encounters wondering what they want out of me. Or even, what a harmless conversation can turn it into. I told a woman once I loved her lipstick color (harmless compliment) and next thing you know, I'm getting the LipSense spiel. Or take loud leggings. I mention they're "fun," and next thing, I'm invited to an online LulaRoe legging party.
I find it so annoying, I'm even hesitant these days to talk about the blog to people, or market too extensively Richmond Brunch Weekend to my network because I just don't want to be that person guilting people into anything.
And I don't mean any malice to those who choose to sell something. I did it too. It's okay. It's just annoying when you reach far down into the rabbit hole and I feel like an idiot for thinking maybe you cared about me.
For those considering network marketing, know that the Federal Trade Commission doesn't endorse working for any company where you have to build a 'sales' team underneath you to build more revenue. Know that you'll have to put SOME kind of money up front to start, and there are a TON of stipulations on that 'no-risk,' promise. Know that YES you CAN make money, but how much? How much time are you willing to put into it? I definitely made money, but spent real amounts of time doing it. And I still BARELY made money (again, a couple hundred dollars).
Also think about your personal relationships. Do you really want to chase down that girl that sat in front of you in math in 10th grade to make $10 commission? Do you really want to stand in front of a restaurant giving out "free" makeovers? If the answer is yes, then consider: are you willing to take those customers (and probably friends) and make them into your minions so you can start making revenue off their revenue? From what I gather, that team building is really where the money is, but circle back up to point #1: the FTC advises against it. Then, once you're at the top of the pyramid, you've got to KEEP ADDING people because of the sheer amount of people who join and promptly quit. If there was attrition like that at a real company, you'd NEVER want to work there. Oh, and if you miss your sales goals? Bye, bye incentive car and title.
And for my last point, unless you're going to try like hell, it probably won't pay off. Colloquially, I know friends peddling all kinds of stuff, and over time, nearly all of them stopped. I can think of one person still selling jewelry, but not nearly enough to ever quit her job. So is the annoyance factor really worth it? My vote is no, so please stop trying to sell me everything.