So the industry we’re talking about is direct sales. When I look at the personal development industry, a lot of people look at something and compare it to a perfect ideal. But since there are no perfect ideals in the real world, all we have to compare it to is something basically like being employed.
There are two types of companies out there. One kind of business hires their people as employees, and the other type of organization brings people on as independent contractors in a more empowered situation. When we’re talking about direct sales, it’s the second type of company we’re talking about here, and we’ll give you guys more distinction so you can delineate.
Here’s the funny thing: you have this industry called direct sellers. There’s a big organization out there called the Direct Sellers Organization, and there are all these companies that are underneath that umbrella. Now inside the industry of direct selling, you’ve got all different types of business models that exist in that. A common term 20 years ago was multi-level marketing, and a term before that was network marketing and both of these terms have a little bit of a negative connotation. A lot of companies have flown underneath the banner of those terms that weren’t legitimate opportunities or didn’t have a legitimate product.
A lot of companies that were actual, real network marketing companies haven’t always necessarily done the right thing. Guess what: not all businesses succeed, not all businesses operate with good integrity, and in a business such as this where people aren’t being micromanaged like they are when they’re employees, even the distributors of these companies can be a little wayward sometimes and cause issues.
I’ve been a part of direct sales since 1998. Rachel, you’ve been a part of it since when?
I got started in the industry about 15 years ago, and I love it. You mentioned, Shane, that there are good companies and there are not so great companies, and that’s in any industry, right?
I for one, take a stand for the industry. I do think it deserves to exist and it’s been a game-changer for me and so many people I’ve come into contact with over the years. Some good people are attracted to this type of business, but not all people. There are some not so great people who are attracted to this type of industry as well just like anything. But overall, I’ve had a blast, and it’s been a life-changing — and continues to be — a journey for me. I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.
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