How the Network Marketing/Direct Selling Profession Is Impacting Women’s Lives by Sue Seward

How the Network Marketing/Direct Selling Profession Is Impacting Women’s Lives

Surveys conducted by the Direct Selling Association (DSA) revealed that approximately 77.4% of direct sellers in 2015 were women.  This percentage is most likely even higher now.

I’ve met and learned from some amazing women over the last twenty years in this profession and sprinkled a few of their personal experiences throughout this article. Big thanks to all who contributed how the Network Marketing/Direct Selling profession has impacted you and your family’s life!  It’s not always a bowl of fruit in this business, there will be ups and downs but hey life can have dirty laundry, skeletons in the closet and a little baggage and so can any business venture!  It’s what we do with it all to make things right that matters the most!

Women are wired to network with a sense of nurturing and ability to put another person’s needs before their own especially when it comes to their family and community. 

Women are generally good listeners.  Women are in tune with their family’s health needs, so they are typically product oriented and many times they are the one’s making buying decisions.  They enjoy sharing the products they use and are seeing excellent results with.

My mom who turned 90 this year, was one of the first women to encourage me to reach out to help and encourage others.  She instilled in me not to let anyone steal my dreams.  She has always been a great listener with a keen sense of women’s intuition.   Personally, it feels good to have picked up on some of these qualities.

Network Marketing can be the perfect choice for any woman struggling with the decision to build a career outside the home. 

She can choose to build a business from within the home to embrace the entire family especially women with young children like I was when starting out over twenty years ago.   Placing our two sons’ in the care of others was not an option because personally I wanted to be available for them growing up, but I also wanted to be able to contribute financially.

Starting a business from home with a career in Network Marketing/Direct Sells was more practical for our family since opening a brick Mortar business would have been quite costly.  I decided to focus on treating my home business just like any other business.  I set up the home office in a spare room, with computer, separate business phone line, and hired an accountant to help with important business deductions when it came to tax time.  As far as setting up a business entity always seek advice from an expert about you own personal situation.

Typically, people who run a Network Marketing/Direct Sells business are not get rich quick overnight success stories. 

How long it takes to be in profit really depends on each person and each situation but for those who stay with it for the long term it can be quite rewarding.  The best thing we can do is have an attitude of making a real difference in people’s lives.  This only improves the industry for everyone.

Walk into a social event and watch how most women networkers conduct themselves.  The more we care about others the more chance we are going to relate with them.  The more people we connect with the more referrals we’re going to walk out with or develop online in social media outlets like FacebookTwitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.   Focus on people and what they do by taking a genuine interest in them.  Keep an open ear for clues as to what they are interested in and looking for in products and services. Remember if you’re doing all the talking you won’t really find out much about the other person and what they are interested in.  Women are typically very in tune with other people’s needs.

There are no glass ceilings in this profession for women. 

We can take it as far as we want when we focus on making a difference in other people’s lives.  A profession in Network Marketing/Direct Sells allows a mom like me who barely made it out of high school with no college degree, to build a solid career that offers the ability to earn as much or more than some people who have degrees.  In Network Marketing someone can keep earning residual income even when they may not be able to work at times.    I experienced this first hand when going through some serious health challenges some years back.  Where else can people earn an income even if they are not able to work?  We were even able to purchase a second home at the lake that we kept in our family for years and sold at a profit.

This is from a good friend of mine who I’ve known in the Network Marketing profession for twenty years.  She’s been a sponsor, friend, and a mentor to me over the years.  Here’s her story about how this profession has impacted her and her family:

“I was a stay at home mom when my children were little.  We were broke and lived paycheck to paycheck.   

After this our children started into school and I went back to work so we could enjoy more things, Problem was I ended up working long hours. We had more money but there was not enough hours in a day to enjoy life.  I began to realize if I didn’t change something, I’d be retirement age and have missed out on life.   I heard about Network Marking and decided to give it a try.   I went thru many ups and downs, taking time to learn as I went along.   It wasn’t always easy, but it defiantly was worth it.   

I am very thankful for this industry.   It gives the average every day person an opportunity to start a business without having to mortgage the house.  Today, I am debt free and able to do choose to do. We can go anywhere we please, when we want.  My children are grown, and I have grandchildren.  Two are up north, we were able to go up for graduations, and look at colleges with the first one.   We have been able to see almost every state in our great nation, and many other countries.  We have the freedom to choose what we want to do and where we want to be.   We no longer live by a time clock nor do we have to live from paycheck to paycheck.  I’ve met the most wonderful people in the world and have friends across the USA and many other countries.  I enjoy helping others reach their dreams and showing them a better way and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to live on my terms.  This industry gives the average person a chance to change their lives if they are willing to work and learn to dream again.” Diane Walker –

In network marketing the income a person can earn is determined by the effort they decide to devote to their business.  As I mentioned before, it’s very important to treat this like a real business for it to profit like one.  There are tax advantages for home business owners too.  Just be sure to contact a reputable accountant to find out about business deductions that are allowed to help keep more earnings for you and your family.

This profession helps women like me to develop incredible leadership skills which are priceless for someone with no experience, no income, no credibility, very few contacts, little confidence, and no corporate background when starting out twenty years ago. Self-development is an ongoing process no matter how successful any person becomes.    The possibilities are endless in Network Marketing/Direct Selling for the woman who sees what this profession really has to offer beyond just the income or tax advantages.

This is what my friend Karen has to say about how this industry has impacted her life.    We’ve never worked together personally but we’ve been connected online in the industry for twenty years:

“Network Marketing has some of the greatest minds and hearts I’ve ever met.

I started my self-employed career being very scared of people and their opinions of me but with the mentoring of others I’ve learned that fear isn’t real and I can recreate myself, which I did for the most part.  I still have a bit of anxiety speaking in public but working eye to eye with others, getting in to their heart has helped me become a more and better person myself.  For me, network marketing has been the best personal development program I could have ever taken on.” Karen Nilsen Umstattd can be reached on Facebook.

It’s not unusual in Network Marketing that we hear people say “you mean there’s an investment to get my business started”?  What happens is people who do not get started right in the first place may end up quitting because delayed gratification is difficult, or they may not understand the importance of personal growth.   Any business can often take two years and sometimes more to turn a profit.  Building a home business in Network Marketing/Direct Selling is no different.   Most people have full time jobs and start their home business part time on the side.  Try not to allow anyone to tell you that you have no real business just because you may be building it part-time.  One of my favorite mentors over the years,

Jim Rohn always said, “I’m working full time on my job and part-time on my fortune!”  

Invest in your business and also in yourself by setting it up the right way from the start.  Seek out mentors in this industry who have done it successfully and are happy to offer their advice.  Jim Rohn was a great example for all of us!

I met Kate and her family over five years ago at our church One Chapel here in Spicewood Tx. She and her husband Tres have been very special to me and my husband over the years as spiritual mentors and friends.  Here’s what Kate has to say about how the Direct Selling profession has impacted her and her family’s life over the years –

“I started my Mary Kay business 16 years ago as a young, single, adult.  At the time I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life.  I didn’t know how to dress up or even how to apply makeup!  It seemed like an unlikely business for me.  But when I met the woman who ended up being my leader, I was enamored by the shoes she was wearing (black high heeled pumps} and wanted shoes just like them for myself and a reason to wear them.

16 years later I’m married with 2 children and still run my business on a part-time basis.  It provides a little extra income for my family as well as the opportunity for me to have time with my female friends.  And of course, I have learned how to dress and do my own makeup! (And the shoes I’ve been able to wear over the years…are fabulous!) I wouldn’t change my experience over these years for anything, and I have gained unmeasurable confidence in myself which I can now pass on to my children.  I love this business!”

Kate Sansom
Mary Kay

Entrepreneurs constantly invest in themselves and usually work without pay for many years.  They understand delayed gratification because they realize that the eventual pay off will be rewarding.   Many experience losses and overcome adversity because they’ve grown personally and have the confidence to do it all over again.   Entrepreneurs act and present themselves as professionals with a business minded attitude.  Having this sort of attitude will create more attraction to your enterprise.  Strive to develop into an entrepreneur.   There’s a great DVD on this called ‘The Call of the Entrepreneur’ by Robert Kiyosaki.  He understands how business works and he also understands that Network Marketing/Direct Sells can be a rewarding venture.

I met Lori when she was presenting her jewelry for a home party at the home of a good friend of mine. While I’m not much of a jewelry person myself what I wanted was some girlfriend time and that’s exactly what I got along with some nice jewelry!  She was so delightful to be around, made the party fun, relaxing and is such a professional at what she does!   This is how Direct Selling has impacted her and her family’s life –

“I am the last person you would ever have imagined to be a direct seller.   After a very successful career in retail management and H.R., I chose to be a stay at home Mom to our youngest child (and only daughter), Alex.    She was 4 when I started my Premier Designs Journey.  (She’s now a junior in college!)  Imagine a stay at home Mom who didn’t wear much jewelry being successful in a direct sales jewelry business.  Don’t believe it?  Neither did I.  I knew nothing about jewelry much less fashion, but I was willing to learn.  And, Premier provided all the training and encouragement I needed.  When I agreed to join Premier, I thought it would be a temporary gig.  I thought I could do this for a few years until my daughter started school.  Little did I know that over 17 years later, I’d still be with this amazing company. 

We go through so many seasons in our lives, and I absolutely love the flexibility that a direct sale business affords me.  At one time, I was one of the top retailers in our area, was being recognized for holding over 100 events per year and winning all kinds of awards and prizes including some fabulous trips.  If our budget was a little tight one month, I could reach out to some of my best customers/hostesses for some additional orders.  Every time I went out to show the jewelry, it was pay day.   I learned that I really could determine my income, and that unlike in a traditional job, my bank account was a direct reflection of my efforts.

Eight years ago, we brought my elderly mother to live with us.  She has Alzheimer’s and several other health issues.  Out of 7 children, I was the only one who had the flexibility to care for her in our home.  I never would have been able to do that if it wasn’t for Premier.  This business has truly been a blessing in all the seasons of my life.

Whether you’re looking to make a little extra income, get recognized for a job well done, want to be around positive influences, need some girl time, or just want something fun to do in your retirement years, a direct sales business can meet that need! 

Our founder has always said that if you have a teachable spirit, you can succeed in direct sales, and he is right!”  Lori Galindo – Premier Designs Jewelry-

I met Stacy on Facebook about two years ago when I had decided to join Pampered Chef because I love to cook and wanted to personally stock my kitchen with some quality items and do so at a discount.  She is a fabulous sponsor, leader and mentor!   This is how the Direct Selling profession has impacted her and her family –

“Financial Peace!  That’s one of the best ways I can summarize how Pampered Chef has benefited my family.  We used to be a family that lived paycheck to paycheck with credit card debt and no savings or retirement.  I would dread going to the mailbox.  Within four months of starting my Pampered Chef business I was able to completely pay off all our credit card debt! We’ve been able to travel the world for free, pay cash for braces, cars, remodeling projects, college and even the adoption of our 5th child. We went from “more month than money” to having money in the bank.  Pampered Chef has offered me the opportunity to earn an income with a flexible schedule working as much or as little as I want.  I’ve been a ‘stay at home mom’ earning a full-time work income.  I’ve grown both professionally and personally and probably one of the best benefits of all.. I’ve learned to cook!  I went from being a Hamburger Helper Queen to being able to make fast and fresh easy meals for my family.”  Stacy Atkinson Itzel –

It’s up to women leaders in the Network Marketing/Direct Selling profession to show professionalism whether in person or online in Social Media platforms and to always uplift and encourage one another.  It’s never appealing to bash another person’s company or product.    It’s taboo to try and talk someone into or convince them to join your company when they have said they are happy with their company, products and what they are doing.

Help other women to realize that they can be successful and then show them how to get there on their time schedule by finding out what their business goals are.

What sort of skills do they have?  Are they product focused or would a service business be more attractive to them?  Do they love networking?  Do they enjoy uplifting other women?   Are they plugged into social media, or do they love meeting people in person, or both?  Are they hospitality oriented and enjoy entertaining people in their home?   Do they enjoy talking with folks on the phone, making sales calls, etc?  Have they ever owned any type of business?  Plug people into resources and mentors to help and encourage them on their journey.

My mission and purpose for building a career in Network Marketing has been the ability to provide opportunities for our two sons’.

When I started my home-based business over twenty years ago our boys were young.  I loved being able to stay home with them, take and pick them up from school and to their outside activities.  Now they are both grown up and off building their own successful careers.  Our older son has been serving in the US Air Force since 2012 and has moved up into a leadership position.  Our younger son graduated from UT Permian Basin in May of 2016 with a Bachelor of Science Degree and has been working for a worldwide oil company earning a great income with full benefits.  He’s now studying to take the LSATS for law school.   I feel that my mission and purpose as a stay at home working mom has been accomplished.  The same thing can happen for any woman in any situation who chooses to build a successful business career in Network Marketing/Direct Sells.

As a woman, wife and mom, it’s been a blessing to have created a career that has empowered me to make a difference in other people’s lives over the last twenty years, especially for how it has impacted my own family and these other fabulous women I’ve met over the years!

Sue Seward is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, founder of Gluten Free Lady who is dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives yesterday, today and tomorrow.  For twenty years she has recruited, trained, mentored, spoken on stage and contributed articles for the Network Marketing/Direct Selling industry.  Contact Sue on her blog at –

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