Friday, May 22, 2020

Don't Knock It 'Til You Try It

There isn't a place on this earth that hasn't been impacted
by COVID-19
We're in the middle of a pandemic. I don't see it ending any time soon. Just assume that everything will remain closed for the rest of 2020. As an eCommerce business owner, I have experienced an increase in sales as more people are shopping online. However, not everyone is experiencing an increase. Millions have lost their jobs or had to shut down their businesses. Some shut downs were temporary, but as the death toll from the pandemic rises and prolongs the estimated date for "re-opening", these temporary shut downs are becoming permanent. How are people shifting? I've noticed that more people are becoming open to the idea of starting a multi-level marketing business. It's interesting to see the shift, especially for influencers and celebrities.


Me: You know that starting a direct sales business is what opened my eyes to living as an entrepreneur.

Award received at a
5Linx Convention
I started a direct sales business in 2013. I had success with it too. I made money, built and maintained a team. It wasn't about the money for me. I was doing well with my healthcare professional salary but I quickly realized that there were limits to where my career path could take me. Essentially, I had mastered my job and was getting bored. LOL! The biggest thing I gained from building a multi-level marketing team was a change in perspective. At the time, I was a youngin'. I was a "boss", or so I thought. I had a title. I was earning a decent salary. But at what cost? Direct sales put me at the same table with people who were earning my annual salary on a monthly basis, from their couches and by their backyard pool, no less. It definitely had me re-evaluating my life choices. I stopped caring about my title at work and took a good assessment of the way I was living.

Imagine sacrificing a lot of "wants" and being broke for 4 years after buying a house with a pool to only realize that you don't get to actually enjoy the pool because you're AT work earning money to pay for the house with a pool that you don't use. No one ever posed the question to me before direct sales. It was just a way of life that people had succumbed to. I decided that I did not want this to be my life for the rest of my life. 

I really had to "observe" nurses
administering transfusions, only
for nothing to be done if I wrote
incident reports for mistakes made
Being a Transfusion Medicine Specialist was really gratifying work. I really enjoyed it. HOWEVER,  the bureaucracy, red tape, politics and lack of REAL concern for process improvement was weighing me down. Who was I really helping? Was I making an positive impact on the people who mattered the most to me? I couldn't really say that I was. A lot of those high earners in my direct sales company do amazing work in the community. They have a very flexible schedule with more free time than most as well as more income than most. I wanted to eventually be able to have the kind of impact they had. So I set out to "Fire My Boss", as they say in direct sales trainings.

I knew that I wanted to retire by 35 but I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to do it. I thought my direct sales business was going to be the path but Jehovah had something else in store for me. Even in 2014, I would have never thought that whipping shea would become my main gig. But here we are.

What Direct Sales Taught Me
  1. Humble yourself and be coachable.
  2. Monthly earnings can be as much as an average annual salary. People do it. Average people with no degrees, just a work effort.
  3. You don't need a job, you just need money.
  4. Have systems and automation in place so you can duplicate yourself without having to be there.
  5. You're going to be rejected and laughed at, it's inevitable, keep working.
  6. Build a re pore. Find out how what you can help relieve a potential customer's pain point. Sometimes you have the answer for sale, sometimes you give a referral that doesn't involved them buying from that time. People respect that and usually come back to buy at some point.
  7. Don't take it personally if your closest friends and family do not support you. Everyone is fighting their own battles. It's not about you.
  8. There are reasons and then there are excuses. Be able to recognize when you are making excuses.
  9. Move on. Just keep moving forward.
  10. The Law Of Attraction is a thing but you still have to actively market your products. If no one knows about your great product, it's still trash. 

While Fancy Free Hair & Skin started "accidentally", I will say that I wasn't completely new to running a business. I honed my technical laboratory skills while running a medical laboratory, but building a business...I got dat from direct sales. Team building, team engagement, professional/personal development, all from direct sales. I learned that entrepreneurship is a mind game and direct sales trained me to continuously adjust to "get my mind right".

Most people who have success with a direct sales company will be successful with almost any other business venture they touch. If you are NOT a business person but want to start a business, start a multi-level marketing business that sells something you like or are interested in. Make sure the team you're on has a good leader that hosts trainings and encourages personal development. If you're coachable, the training will have a lasting impact on your business life no matter where it takes you. 

Don't knock it until you try it. If you don't want to join a team, support someone close to you who is building. You have no idea how gratifying it is to get one "yes" when all you've been getting is "no". LOL!

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Self Made Netflix Series: Fancy's Commentary

Let me just start by saying, I know that everything in this series was not true. Netflix kind of made that disclaimer when it was marketed as "based on her life" and not a "biopic". But whatever, I was entertained. As a woman. As a woman in business. As a woman in business in the beauty industry, I could relate to her struggles and triumphs. Here's my two cents...

People will deflect their own fears on to you

Poor C.J., the husband. He just didn't have the vision or the ambition. Our people are scared now, in 2020. I can only imagine how deeply entrenched the slave mindset was as the child of a former slave. He just wanted to get by and be comfortable. He meant well by encouraging his wife to take a job when things got tough. As a man, he probably didn't want to see his wife hurt. I can admit,
set backs can be discouraging and sometimes the feeling of defeat can be overwhelming. However, successful people get back up, assess the damage and learn from the mistakes. I can admit, had it been my husband trying to sway me from my dreams I wouldn't been irritated. Understanding but irritated. 

Beyonce said it best...

It's MY shit! BOW DOWN, BITCHES!!! I've never been one to brag or talk a lot about what I've accomplished or the things that I have. However, it is super annoying when people assume that your lifestyle is because of your husband. The man always gets the credit. I am blessed that my husband actually gives me credit for my accomplishments and business acumen. While my husband helps me with heavy lifting, literally, he lifts the heavy stuff, and sales, he would NEVER try to take any credit for Fancy Free Hair & Skin. That's my baby. He helps and invests in me but it's mine. If I thought C.J. was weak for trying to encourage Madam to get a job, he was SUPER weak for trying to take credit and ownership for her company. Very annoying. Would not recommend.

Marketing makes a difference

There are sooooo many trash products out there that are successful because they have a great marketing team behind them. Madam C.J, may have stolen the formula for her "Magical Hair Grower" product but she had a story that sold which is why she is more prominent in the history books and not her mentor. I realized this early on in my business and hired a marketing team to help me tell my story in a way that is relatable and compelling. Watching this series made me realize that I I can do better with sales. I am no where near as aggressive as she was portrayed in the Self Made series. Her sales team was lit. Since hiring a sales force isn't quite in my budget yet, EYE gotta go harder myself. Noted.

You can get a $1 Million order and not make a dime

It seems that everyone who has a product wants to get placement in a big box store. I'm glad that this series showed that isn't the only route to success. I thought that's what I wanted early on. But then I got some mentors and learned the truth about those deals. 
  1. I'd have to make changes to my formulas. My customers are attracted to the natural ingredients of my products. However, natural products mean shorter shelf life. Which means, products should be used almost as soon as they are manufactured. Product placement in large stores almost always require longer shelf lives which means....adjusting the formulas and possibly adding a few more preservatives. I'm not necessarily interested in doing that.
  2. Your product placement on shelves is at the whim of the store. If your products are placed anywhere other than eye level...forget about it. If they decide they don't want to carry your products anymore....forget about it. If stores are closed because of a pandemic or war....forget about it.
  3. Filling that $1 million order is the first step but then you have market downs, charge backs and charged off goods, you might no make ANY money. Imagine doing a million dollars worth of work and going home with nothing. Heartbreaking.
In the end, I was entertained and inspired. I think that's what the Madam would have wanted. That's all I have to say about that.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.