People have wondered why I’m so open about my failures. It isn’t because I’m ‘ok’ with FAILING itself. It is because I accept that failure happens, and I learn from it, but I also want to help others learn from it without them actually *having* to fail. Make sense? I’d rather point out my own flaws and mistakes (and really, it took years to reach that point), and have it help someone else out, so they don’t have to experience the disappointment and agony of that same failure.
I believe it also helps those that HAVE failed, so they see that they are not alone! I’m considered successful in my business, though in my mind, I should be oh-so-much-more by now. What I have to realize is that people see what I’m doing, and they are like, wow, that’s awesome! I have to understand that for some, it does not come this ‘easy’ (was so not easy, but I apparently make it look as if it is), and they think that they could never do what I do.
Yes, you can.
My sister and I have failed so many times at our business, oh my word so many times, but what sets us apart is that we have NEVER given up. Have we thought about it? Oh yes. But we didn’t do it. We kept pushing. We are still learning, still growing. I would rather document and be open about our failures, so that others can see that we are NOT getting by easy. We have had the same trials that they have had, but we accept them and move on.
So back to the point in my story that I left off with…
While I was working as a deli manager at Meijer (worst experience ever. 20 years old, never been a manager, they didn’t train me to be one until 6 months later, and I have realized in years since that I was fully depressed while at that job. It was my first ‘I have to get out of here, I quit’ experiences), my uncle contacted me because he thought I would be great at something he was doing. This was after I got burned on the first two gigs, but before I had decidedly ‘retired’ my dreams. I was like, awesome, I hate my job, I want another way, show me what you got.
One of my manager friends also felt the same way I did, and so I invited her to come along with me to his house, so we could see what it was that he had. I really wish I could remember her last name, because she was great, and I think would benefit from what I finally do now, 12 years later. Anyway, so we go to my uncle’s house (hey Uncle C, if you are reading this, give me a call :), you owe me one), and he shows us Mela____a. I want to point out right now, that any companies I talk about where I failed at, does not mean that they don’t work!! Please understand that I’m not putting them down! My point with sharing them, though, is that I have tried SO MANY things, and I have above-average intelligence, above-average work ethic, above-average determination, yet I still was unable to succeed with them. The average person rarely does.
So, the M company. Back then, they were essentially a buying club. Now, I think they have ‘outsider’ pricing, and member pricing, which you get percentages of both on everyone ‘beneath’ you. Not a bad deal, right? The products were decent, prices weren’t too bad, products good for the environment, and I could make some money. He was making some money at the time, and it sounded like great potential, so I was like, sure, I’m in. I can’t remember if my friend got in or not. It didn’t cost too much to do, and to be honest, I may have done it without telling my fiance. I have a terrible memory for details, if you haven’t figured it out yet.
The problem I realized later, though, was that it was no different than any other MLM. There were multiple levels of pay, I had to get certain levels filled out to move up in status, etc. I don’t recall any volume at the time, just a monthly buy requirement to stay in (most have that, and as a true business owner, you should understand this is legally sound as well). So you literally just made money based on what others bought beneath you.
Trouble with this is, if you don’t find people, you don’t make money at all.
I never found people. I also didn’t really have any help with it. Sure, my family supported me by buying products, and my mom signed up under me (I think…actually, I may have signed up under her. No idea), but the vitamins were pointless, as most pill-form are, and the other stuff just got too expensive.
Failure #3. I got a few monthly checks from them, but I’m pretty sure not one was over a dollar. My mom is still in it, because she really likes a few of the products, but in ten years, the total of her received checks did not even add up to what her first check was with our current business. Wow.
I’d also like to point out that my uncle is no longer with the company, either. Took him longer, but he also didn’t have much support, then he moved across the country.
After that failure, I gave up for a solid 5 years. My husband was glad, I’m sure. I accepted that I would be stuck working a job for the rest of my life, then getting to live a little at the end, if I made it that long. 95% of people do exactly this, so it wasn’t like I was wallowing, just accepting.
Find out next time what made me come out of entrepreneur retirement!