Oh. My. Gosh.
Can it be true?
No, it can't be.
But it is.
I joined a direct sales company. Pampered Chef, to be exact.
Those who know me well know that I HATE direct sales companies, so it probably came as a complete shock to a lot of people when I announced on my Facebook "Went to a Pampered Chef party today and had SO MUCH FUN! seriously considering becoming a consultant, which is ironic for me because normally I would never consider joining an independent business company like this, but I am REALLY EXCITED!" Normally I don't like going to parties like these because I always feel like the consultants look at me with a dollar sign over my head. MLM companies especially drive me crazy, as we actually have lost several friends over the years when we didn't invest in their companies. Other friends have heard my hour-long rants about how much MLM companies drive me CRAZY. (teeheee, my friend Stephanie probably fell out of her chair when she found out!)
I went to this party mostly because I felt bad for the host, a good friend of mine. She invited a TON of people and it seemed to be a really busy weekend she had picked, so everyone was RSVP'ing "no." When I went, I discovered the consultant was actually a friend of mine from church. She had invited me to a few events over the years and I had always declined. But, I was really impressed with how she did her cooking show. The food was really good (an autumn risotto with chicken and cranberries), I learned a lot of cooking tips from her, and I never once felt pressured to buy anything. I had a few questions for her because I kept thinking to myself, "Gee, maybe I could do that!" I did buy a couple of items I recognized from my mom's kitchen that I LOVED, and the consultant (Becca) and I decided to meet the next day. I came home and sheepishly told my husband I had fun and wanted to be a consultant. I was a little worried he would say no, after all, having a Tupperware party led to a big fight between us. Surprisingly, when I told him his response was "Well, if it's something you are interested in then go for it!" He was even excited about the starter kit since it had so many awesome tools in it.
And so it began. I jumped right in with both feet and took off running. I did all of the training courses they had online, and I was very surprised that over and over it was stressed to not pressure anyone, and how important it was to build relationships with people instead of just caring about their relationship with Pampered Chef. I read Doris Christopher's book "The Pampered Chef" (the story of how she created the company) and I felt totally inspired by her story of starting in her basement to save money for her girls' educations. I also love how she values peoples' marriages over her business and encourages consultants to keep them prioritized correctly. My husband even said "You know, the more I learn about this company, the more I'm glad you are a part of it." How's that for support!?!
Of course, my beefs with certain direct sales and MLM companies are still there, and I am not about to give up on my ideals and beliefs on how people should be treated when it comes to businesses like this. So, here are my promises:
-I promise NOT to look at every human interaction I have as a business opportunity
-I promise NOT to look at people with dollar signs over their heads
-I promise NOT to stop talking to someone if they are not interested in The Pampered Chef
-I promise to NOT clutter up Facebook and my blog with Pampered Chef updates. If people want to know what's going on in that world, they can "like" my Facebook page here . Even then, I promise to make the majority of my posts on FB usable without having to spend money. This will also be the only time I will "promote" my business on a blog post.
-I also promise to do whatever I can to make guests at my shows not feel pressure from myself or my host to purchase.
Dave and I discussed the importance of keeping these promises to myself and my friends and family. If I start to get frustrated about low sales/lack of shows/etc. I need to double check these promises and make sure I am keeping them. I need to keep in mind that it is for fun, and while I do have goals I need to make sure relationships come first.
So here's to a new adventure! While you won't be seeing promotions necessarily on my blog, you will be seeing a lot of new recipes and adventures from shows, so stay tuned!
PS - I know I have a few friends who read this blog that also run their own businesses like this. If that is you, PLEASE NOTE that it is not you who drives me crazy! People who do I am no longer friends with and they probably have no idea I have a blog.