By Laurie Ayers
Successful direct sales consultants, representatives, managers and directors know that if you want to work at home, you actually have to work while you are home. That may sound like a piece of advice from the redundancy department or a blinding glimpse of the obvious, yet you’d be surprised how many don’t actually follow those words of wisdom.
Having a direct sales business working from home provides a plethora of benefits, one being the flexibility to work when it’s convenient and fits into your lifestyle. Being your own boss and having no set, pre-determined hours to report to work also require a great deal of discipline. There is no shortage of distractions at home – young children, household responsibilities, television, good weather … take your pick. At least when you worked outside the home, you generally couldn’t leave on a whim to tend to non-work related issues. It wasn’t a temptation. You just knew that when you were at work you were expected to work.
I recurrently hear consultants bewail that they wish they received a text when their back office or workstation was updated with need to know information. Or distributors want to receive an email when they receive a new recruit or an order. Have we really become so lazy that we cannot click on a website or login to your virtual office to see if there is any new information that may require you to take some sort of action?
We have remote car starters and television remote controls; we have microwave ovens and we have The Clapper to turn off your light switch. Now we want someone to spoon feed us information that we need to be successful with our direct sales business? Some protest that they shouldn’t have to log in? Really? If your direct sales parent company provides you a back office workstation that is anything close to what mine does, and I suspect many companies do, that is a fundamental component to your success.
I’ll say it again because it bears repeating: If you want to work at home, you have to show up for work.
I’ll leave the nuts and bolts – the specifics of how you spend your work day – to you. Recognize the difference between being busy and being productive. Perhaps you need to play mind games with yourself for a bit and pretend you are still working outside the home and your boss is keeping an eye on you. Or perhaps you force yourself that between the hours of x and x you will work on your direct sales business without distraction, without losing focus.
Find a system that works for you so that you’re not so easily distracted. In the summer my biggest distraction is the outdoors. I live in Michigan so after a cold winter and a wet, dreary spring I so appreciate the enjoyable summer weather and I want to be outside soaking up the sun every day, reading on my hammock. But I still need to work my direct sales business every day too. What works for me is to make deals with myself.
I will tell myself if I work x amount of hours in the early morning, then I can go play x amount of hours outside. It’s amazing how driven and motivated I am to getting things done when it’s sunny on the other side of my office door. I’m even doing it this moment with this blog post. It is a beautiful sunny day, and I don’t want to be in here writing. I enjoy writing, but I enjoy playing more. So as soon as I am done with this little project, it’s break time.
If your direct sales business isn’t as successful as you hoped, take a person inventory of your time. Are you showing up for work? Or are you more likely just busy at home but not treating your business like a real job? You may be surprised what a slight change of attitude and time management can do for your business.
Here’s to success!
About: Laurie Ayers is a Michigan work from home mom who started her first direct sales business in 1988. She is currently a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles and President of Income Wax, Inc. She enjoys helping men and women start and maintain a home based business throughout the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany, Ireland and the UK. You can learn more about her at http://www.ThrivingCandleBusiness.com
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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