Direct Sales: Your Business Your Way Monday, Apr 3 2017 

My husband, Marshall, used to say that sales is the one business that has no limits. You control your amount of income and the number of hours you want to put into your career.

When my children were young, I sold Avon and Tupperware. These companies allowed me to make some good money with the flexibility needed while caring for three little ones.

Today we have many home-based direct sales businesses to choose from. Along with some personal contact, such as home parties, most lean more toward the utilization of social media than door-to-door sales as Avon once did. But they all offer an opportunity to own a business, be your own boss, and make it as successful as you want it to be.

Every company has their own twist in this very competitive market. For example, Beautycounter offers safer cosmetics and personal care products. Pampered Chef is known for quality kitchen items. And my favorite, Young Living, carries a wide-range of pure essential oils. I promote Young Living while also pursuing my writing career, public speaking, and working as a trade rep for my publisher.  (If you decide to purchase or join Young Living, please use my full name as a reference – Mary Doyle Brodien)

Other home-based direct sales companies include Scentsy, Jamberry, Younique, tastefullysimple, 31 Bags, Norwex, Shaklee, Damsel in Defense, Stella & Dot, Rodan & Fields, Origami Owl, Lilla Rose, and Mary Kay.

Self-employment comes with as many challenges as there are rewards. If you’re interested in following the direct-sales path, here are some points to consider:

  • Will you be selling a product you personally use and value?
  • Is there a start-up fee or requirement?
  • Must you meet a certain quota?
  • Do you have friends, family members, and neighbors who you believe will be interested in what you sell?
  • Are you comfortable reaching out and talking up the products you sell?
  • Are you disciplined enough to market, sell, collect, and maintain records for tax purposes?
  • Do you want to work this business as your part-time or full-time employment?
  • If this is your sole income, can you support yourself when sales are low or non-existent?
  • Can you afford your own medical insurance?
  • Are the hours you hope to work this job doable with your current family/employment situation?

(To see my posts on topics relating to my book, go to Mary K Doyle Books.)

Diminishing Workforce Thursday, Dec 10 2015 

For the first time in 65 years, the word’s working population is declining. Most of my life, global overpopulation was a concern. We are now at a point where it is the opposite, at least in regards to the workforce and consumerism.

What does that mean? Globally, we will have, and are predicted to have, for some time, too few workers and customers.

Most countries are aging due to lower fertility rates and longevity. The majority of the population in most countries soon will be middle to late age. As a population ages, so does their needs. Focus shifts to services rather than durable goods. We tend to save more and spend less with age. The elderly need more medical care and pharmaceuticals than household products, cars, and luxury homes. Companies that market to teens and younger adults diminish, while others such as pharmaceutical companies, grow under these circumstances.

The economy no longer will need as many employees. And yet, finding the right employee in some positions and also to replace those retiring will be increasingly more difficult. Young entries will not have the necessary experience. And companies also will be more challenged to meet pensions, as so many of their previous employees will be retired.

In 2050, India will be the most populous country with Nigeria and Indonesia close behind. However, overall they will continue to be in the lower-income category. In fact, low-income countries will make up 14% of the world population in 2050 as opposed to today’s 9%. Recruiting from these countries may be an option.

To increase the numbers of future employees, this past October China eliminated their one-child policy.Countries including Singapore, Australia, and Canada’s Quebec are encouraging cash grants to encourage bigger families and more generous child support for working mothers in the hopes of boosting the desire for more children. Robots also will fill in to increase productivity.

Worldwide, we will have to update our perception of aging to allow the experienced senior employees to remain in the field. We are healthier than our counterparts even a decade ago. There will be more reasons to continue working than not, and therefore some accommodations will be necessary. Businesses will have to adapt the workplace to the joint and vision needs of their older employees.

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

Earning Potential Tuesday, Oct 28 2014 

Statistics consistently show that the more education we have the more employment opportunities are available to us and with a greater earning potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for those with only a high school diploma is 7.5% whereas those with a Bachelor’s degree is down to 4%. In addition the average weekly earnings for those with only a high school diploma is $651 while those with a Bachelor’s degree earn nearly twice that much. And the earning power continues to increase with higher education.

The more education we have the more choices we have for employment, although today many graduates are experiencing disappointment in their ability to acquire employment of their choice. We are at a time in history when the debt of tuition has to be weighed against the time it will take to earn enough to pay it off. I’m a strong advocate for education and personal growth but for many, college is not possible for a number of reasons.

The Careerbuilder section of this past weekend’s Chicago Tribune listed five of the best jobs without a college degree. The positions include Dental Assistant with an annual salary range of $28,820-$41,980; Elevator Installer with an annual salary range of $62,060 to $91,240; Health Information Technician with a salary range of $27,520 to $45,260; Massage Therapist with a salary range of $24,380-$51,820; and Carpenter with an annual salary range of $31,550 to $55,340.

I was particularly surprised about the elevator installer. It isn’t a position I’ve ever thought of and don’t know the risks or skill level needed for it, but if you’re physically able and up for the challenge, it just might be a career to consider.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

Education for Life Thursday, Sep 12 2013 

The economy appears to be improving a bit, but unemployment and underemployment continues. Figuring out how to support ourselves and families is a constant challenge.

With the new school year underway, I believe there are some classes that should be mandatory in high school. Rather than simply learning information, we have to know how it can be applied to lucrative employment and life skills. Following are some classes that I’d like to be required curriculum.

  • Basic Finances. Credit card debt is easy to acquire and difficult to eliminate. It’s shocking how many people don’t understand the simple fact that you have to pay for what you charge, and the overwhelming stress of debt, until they are drowning in it. Everyone should take at least one class on budgeting, banking, credit, and investments.
  • Work Ethics. The business setting has changed drastically in recent generations. Understanding professionalism with coworkers and management is key to company and career advancement.
  • Professional Attire. Most new grads have little knowledge of acceptable work attire, and how could they? A class on appropriate dress for various professions would be valuable.
  • Educational Application. High school coursework, and for those who go on to college, the tens of thousands of dollars in tuition, is of little value if graduates do not know how to translate that investment into lucrative and rewarding employment.
  • Self-employment. Due to financial and employment challenges, most everyone will run their own part or full-time business at some point. Knowing how to market a business, run it, and manage bookkeeping is vital to its success.
  • Social Media. Social media is an important form of communication that has numerous benefits. It also has critical consequences. A class on social media etiquette, benefits, and ramifications is essential.
  • Compassion. We are not in this world alone. Treating co-workers and clients respectfully may not have a financial return but will benefit us in the long-run.
  • Environmental Consequences of Work. Learning ways to commute to work and complete our employment responsibilities with the least impact on the environment is vital to all of our futures.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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