Every industry has to deal with its own myths and assumptions, but when it comes to direct sales, there are a few common misunderstandings we'd like to set straight.
Even though thousands of men and women across Australia make a very healthy income from their independent direct selling businesses, there are still cynics out there who try to cast doubt about the industry's integrity, longevity and ability to offer a real career opportunity.
To combat sceptics, we're shedding light on some of the biggest misconceptions and dispelling the hearsay.
Myth #1: "It's a pyramid scheme"
Pyramid schemes are seldom associated with the sale of products or services with any real value. In fact, this 'get rich quick' scheme is illegal in Australia and has absolutely no link with direct selling.
The pyramid myth may stem from the way the direct sales lineage program is structured. Teams of Independent Stylists are set up in a way that is similar to a corporate organisation, where the CEO is at the top, followed by the vice presidents and senior management, down to the office staff.
In the corporate world it would be difficult to climb this kind of ladder without years of hard work, experience and some higher education, but in direct sales, you're able to move up quickly depending on the amount of effort you invest.
Any new Lorraine Lea Stylist can start their own business and rapidly ascend to senior levels of leadership if they wish. Stylists can increase their income and control their workload to match their own personal requirements.
As is true of any small business, you get out what you put in.
Myth #2: "You 'use' people to make your money"
This industry is all about people and building relationships, it's not about exploiting those who join. When a Stylist starts a Lorraine Lea business, they become part of a team and have an upline Leader. Their Leader is there every step of the way to help get the new Stylist's business up and running.
Few entrepreneurs and small business start-ups could succeed on their own without guidance and support from a paid professional business coach. Upline Leaders are the business coaches of direct selling, and provide free and ongoing training, support, guidance, recognition and mentoring. Lorraine Lea's compensation plan is based on performance, and Leaders' are rewarded when their team does well.
When you start a Lorraine Lea business, you're in business for yourself, but never by yourself.
Myth #3: "It's too good to be true"
There are lots of incredible stories out there about people who turn over big bucks through their direct selling business and enjoy flexible work hours to boot. This type of lifestyle and earning potential really IS available to anyone who wants to make it theirs - no second interviews, no hoops to jump through, and no prior experience required.
With constant guidance from their Leader, a wide support network within their team and online training tools, new Stylists are armed with everything they need for success, it just depends on how far they want to take it. As is true of anyone embarking on a small business venture, the potential is there, but it won't drive itself without effort and dedication from you.
Myth #4: "Direct selling parties are for older people"
The idea that parties are just for older people is simply absurd. Direct selling parties, or 'social shopping' parties as they're more commonly known, are a great way for people of all ages to reconnect with friends for a fun, relaxed night at home with a bit of retail therapy.
Parties fill the niche for customers who want a personal connection with the salesperson, and a one-on-one shopping experience. The tailored and ongoing advice and product support an Independent Stylist offers is something you just don't get from big retailers.
The Lorraine Lea business opportunity is not geared toward a particular age demographic either. It's actually becoming a popular part-time option for university students as a way to earn an income while studying, by teenagers taking a gap-year after school and by young people who want to save some extra money ahead of their wedding. There is no 'right-age' to start a Lorraine Lea business, just a right time in life.
Myth #5: "Direct sellers are people who can't get a real job"
People start a direct selling business for a number of reasons. Most are sick of the corporate world, need some extra money, are looking for a fun, social activity or want a better life for themselves and their families.
Our Stylists live in country towns and city centres all over Australia and come from a variety of professional backgrounds. There are former bankers, lawyers, farmers, marketing managers, television producers and shop owners who researched the Lorraine Lea business model, calculated the figures, and have all forged a successful new career for themselves.
It's not just those looking for a career change who are drawn to Lorraine Lea, the ability to run a business at their own pace is a great way for retired or semi-retired people to supplement their superannuation. Retirees can also reinvent themselves later in life without the need or cost of going back to school.
The Lorraine Lea business is one that can be embraced by anyone, and taken on part-time, full-time or big time.
Sound like something you could be interested in? Find out more about starting a Lorraine Lea business here.