Why I Left Direct Sales and Lessons Learned

It’s been six years since I left my direct sales business and until now I have never shared why.

In 2006, I became a National Vice President with Arbonne International.  It was an incredible time in my life and something I had dreamed of achieving.

At our monthly recognition event, I was to introduce myself and share a bit about me in just two minutes. When it came my turn, I spoke these words:

I was told I only had two minutes to share so instead of sharing about me I want to share with you about what God told me when He woke me up at 3AM this morning.  He said, “Mercedes are temporary but relationships are eternal.”  

This was quite unusual to say at a promotion event but it is what God wanted me to say and I had a strong desire to obey it.  It seemed to strike the audience and the message of others not materials things carried over in the training the next day.

It wasn’t soon after this event that my business started to crumple – business builders stopped working, leaders began drifting and it just became hard.

Now let me go back a bit and share with you where God began to shake me up.

During the last month our team was working towards NVP, I went on a mission trip with my friend Lisa Voss who had become a mentor.  She had remembered me telling her that I wanted to use my business to support missions so she invited me on a trip to Nicaragua with a small group of women to minister at a retreat for missionary women.

This trip shifted my soul.  My eyes were opened and my heart began to change.

As I returned home and our team finished our goal of NVP, a goal I worked towards for four years, I didn’t feel fulfilled or satisfied in it.  Something didn’t seem right.

You see my draw to direct sales or network marketing was because it filled spaces in my heart that I desired like love, acceptance and importance.

My love languages of words of affirmation and gifts were totally fulfilled in this business.

Win a Trip – No problem I’ll make it a happen no matter what!

Win a Car – No problem that’s a done deal!

Win Jewelry – Oh yes, every time YES!

Promote to another level – Let’s go to work team!

None of these achievements are bad or negative but when they became so much of my focus and my foundation it became an idol in my life.

Therefore in 2009 after I pretty much had a skeleton team in my business, I walked away.

In 2011, I began writing about what God was waking me up to in my life after I walked away in 2009 over on my other blog IWokeUpYesterday.com.  But until now I have never shared about my experience in direct sales and the lessons learned.

So here are 4 things I learned that I would love to encourage you to consider as you build your business.

1. Know Your Identity – God took me out of the business and into a walk with Him because I didn’t know who I truly was. My foundation was skewed by thinking people made up my identity rather than God.  It wasn’t until I truly made God my foundation by digging into His word daily that I began living my life for Him first.  My personal life verse is 1 Corinthians 6:19, “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

2. Know Your Purpose – One of the greatest investments I made when my business and life was falling apart was personal development. I attended a series of leadership training that allowed me to dig into me – why I do what I do and think what I think.  Also, it allowed me to see beyond myself – to know and live my God-given purpose.

3. Know Who Is Safe – Looking back on my own experience on what worked and what didn’t work, let me encourage you to have a mentor or coach in your life that is NOT in your business – someone who doesn’t have an interest in whether you earn the promotion or not. Also, someone who can help discern decisions, offer a different perspective and is safe to speak to especially as the main upline in a large direct sales organization.  You need someone you can share your struggles and concerns with that is again NOT in the same business.

4. Know Others are Watching – You are in a people business so others are watching and desiring to copy your ways – your downline, sideline and even upline.  Therefore, you are responsible for your choices and how you decide to work your business.  Let me encourage you to be a women of your word with integrity willing to admit when you failed. I failed a whole lot of people when I manipulated my success to gain recognition and has spent the last eight years dealing with the consequences and forgiving myself.

I hope you hear my heart in this post that I really want you to consider these lessons I learned and check in with yourself.  Ask yourself these questions:

Do I know my identity?

Do I know my purpose?

Do I know who is safe in my life?

Do I know who I’m influencing?

Let me encourage you to take time today and really ask yourself these questions. Even take them to God and ask Him to speak truth about your life and business right now.

IMG_5721aThere is so much more I still want to share but this is already a long post. Please come back again or definitely consider subscribing so you don’t miss a single post.

Michelle 🙂

P.S.  I feel the need to tell you I do believe in the business of direct sales/MLM/Network Marketing.  When it is done with integrity and from a servant’s leadership heart it is powerful.

P.S.S. If you don’t know your purpose or its not crystal clear, then download my new resource for free just below

” 5 steps to Uncover Your Purpose so you can live with Confidence, Clarity and Contentment.”

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