My past is littered with failed multi-level-marketing attempts. In the 90s a close friend got me into Amway. It was disastrous. I didn't even manage to get one friend or colleague to 'look at the plan'.
Two years later I was more or less press-ganged into joining NuSkin at a women-only luncheon. I sold a couple of bottles of rather nice skin and face gunk but that was a fizzer, too.
Six years ago a colleague persuaded me to join Agel, saying I couldn't fail. Agel sells high-end vitamins. Unfortunately, good as the product was, the price was a bit of a killer, and as a rep I had to buy two boxes at month at around $100 each to stay in the business. I had no takers for becoming a rep under me, and, a couple of thousand dollars later, got out of that one.
At that point, I swore I would never again get involved in an MLM business as clearly I was not a born salesperson.
Why obviously explains why I've just signed up to PartyLite to become a candle lady, doesn't it?
The difference is, this time I have real faith in the product - and my friends are urging me to join so they can buy candles from me and hold candle parties with me presenting, so they get candle freebies of their own. I have finally found something people want to buy from me.
I am a candle addict. I have candles throughout the house and bugger the ozone layer and my carbon footprint, I thoroughly enjoy burning them. As a bit of a connoisseur of candles, I adore the PartyLite ones for their clean burn and good scents, which don't fade and aren't sickly overpowering. Before I even decided to become a 'candle lady' I was already a brand ambassador.
It was a tossup whether to try and supplement my income with PartyLite or Enjo, as I have big beliefs in both products. PartyLite won for the simple reason that people use and replace the candles quicker than they do the Enjo products. We'll treat ourselves with a pretty, sweet-smelling candle; it's an affordable luxury which starts at $17 - less than most lipsticks. We don't think of buying a cleaning glove as treating ourselves (but we are really, because we're cleaning the house without chemicals and our bodies will thank us). The money isn't quite as good with PartyLite but the starter kit is cheaper, and people really WANT to hold candle parties; already I have three friends who want to host one for me.
This time, I have also done my homework with my accountant. You see, most people who join an MLM business hear the words "expenses are tax deductible" and rub their hands happily. People trying to get you to join an MLM will tell you they are deducting their expenses so you can too, and if their MLM business is bringing them income which is higher than the tax-free threshold, they may well be deducting their expenses. However. The tax man gets grumpy on MLM people starting out who try and claim everything they spend on their business - Agel samples, Amway samples etc - as a tax deduction when they are not yet getting a large income from their MLM business. If your MLM business is earning less than the tax-free threshold, the ATO treats it as a hobby business and you can't claim expenses.
In my case, the main expenses I'll have are buying sets of new brochures from time to time and other stationery. Any candles or accessories I want to add to my kit I will get from 'hosting' my own candle party from time to time, as there are freebies for every person who hosts a party and depending on the takings from the party, the free candles could be up to $200 in value. If I achieve sales targets in the first three months the company will also give me a number of free accessories to use in my display kit.
My aim is that in a couple of years I can wind down the computer stuff and be, mainly, a candle lady. Ideally with a team under me, as that's how you really start to make an income from the business, obviously.
I hope, hope, hope I have found my niche. I need an extra income, I need something I can be passionate and confident talking about and demonstrating, and I need something people can afford and want. Hope it doesn't all go up in smoke!