I have written and deleted this post many times. It’s one I know a lot of you have been waiting for. You want answers. It’s hard to walk the line between being honest and respectful. Hopefully I have succeeded in educating and enlightening without hurting anyone’s reputation – as this is not intended.
I was sat on a hotel bed somewhere in the Nevada desert in August 2015, slightly dizzy with giddiness as I had just filled out the short registration form and signed up to become a Younique Presenter.
I didn’t know what to expect. I had seen online party groups and games that were floating around Facebook and the whole thing just looked like a lot of fun!
And it was!
I made up themed parties! I created fun how-to videos, make up looks, I even put together parody videos to showcase the make up.
Within 3 months I made several big promotions and hit a leadership level within the company. I also had a bunch of amazing women join my team and we had so much fun creating flash sales by breaking down collection deals and well, we just enjoyed the journey.
Back then; Younique was a small family. The owners Derek Maxfield and Melanie Huscroft were completely dedicated to helping women to earn some extra money using social media- enabling them to work from home or even from their bed if they needed to! Home parties are not possible for most stay at home mums because getting childcare is difficult. The concept of the online party was very unique to the brand and Younique really were the leading company in this idea.
Now; many Network Marketing companies have followed suit and I am constantly getting invitations to online parties for IT Works, Doterra, Ann Summers, Body Shop, Jamberry Nails just to name a few!
It’s cool to be part of a company that is so forward thinking. The bi-yearly new product launches were so exciting and a big event for all involved!
The rewards were brilliant. The commission rates were competitive with other companies and the freebies and half price vouchers you got as a seller made it possible for me to build a massive kit of make up within 3 months at no personal cost. That is impressive.
I did over $56,000 in retails sales personally
Earned two incentive trips
Won a yoga bag full of make up and merchandise
Earned a back pack full of goodies
Won a Younique branded trunk full of the entire skincare line and named Top Seller in the UK November 2016.
I was buzzing.
Then there’s the team I had joined. At first, I was celebrated by everyone above me. I kept seeing my name on leaderboards. I broke records, won competitions and earned a lot of incentives from corporate. I was asked to give online training to the wider teams and did so with enthusiasm.
My uplines would make posters and share the love over social media saying how awesome I was. How much they valued me.
I can’t lie. It felt pretty darn amazing.
Buzzing from all of the praise and fun I was having, I encouraged more people to join in with me! My team grew to 40 and then…200! My team: the Younique Sweethearts filled my soul with joy. We met up, did live videos together, cried together, laughed together and so much more. I learned so much from them all and I am so proud of what they have all achieved in and outside Younique. I was loving it all until…
Well, a couple of things happened that changed everything.
One, Younique went into partnership with Coty.
This brought on a LOT of changes. Some good, some not-so-good.
Younique started to bring out a lot of cash bonuses, more competitions, more new products released each month, more emphasis on sponsoring and sales….just more of it all.
Except, the white/yellow status presenters – the women who were not looking to build a team but just do a few parties a month to earn enough money to pay for their kids’ after school clubs, they were not given any recognition or extra incentives at all.
No, the company wanted massive growth. And we can’t have growth if everyone who joins Younique does not build a team.
The second thing that happened – I clashed with the leadership above me. Don’t forget, the reason I joined this company was to have FUN. The reason I brought people in was so they could have fun with me!
I never saw people as a number. I never liked the whole cold-messaging thing. I HATED the copy-pasted messages this industry often encourages you to do.
I am not talking about any specific person now, because it is a collective mindset in this industry.
“No means not for now”
I learned, painfully; that sometimes no just means no.
And sometimes no is a polite way of saying “Shove off”
As the other companies cottoned onto the online party idea and started to send out cold messages I realised how saturated social media had become with all these MLM companies.
The other thing I was taught; is that everything posted on social media is with the intent to earn business or sponsors. Sell your amazing life working from home. Show the world how blessed you are to do what you do. Repeat until you get bites.
Now I’ve been out of the company for a couple of months I feel extremely uneasy about the whole thing. I tried to do the business in a way that was being true to myself, but the fight was too exhausting.
Then my dad got sick. The day he died I had a little time alone with him. He was breathless and clammy. I was holding his frail colourless hand and he said weakly “I’m sorry to take you away from work”
He and I had many extensive conversations about my business. He coached me. He gave me strength to do what I did and deal with the opposition. He knew my concerns about how things have changed and the expectations that were on me to work a way I was uncomfortable with. He understood me. He helped me.
I had made the decision there and then I was done with Younique. And not just Younique, but Network Marketing in general. The pressure to remain positive; to maintain an online presence every day. To deal with bullying and haters. To be told “No” again and again, to have people leave your company and be pressured to grow your team…it was just exhausting and I refused to see people as replaceable objects.
“Dad, I’ve decided I’m not going to do Younique anymore,” I said hesitantly. It felt like I was admitting defeat. It felt like failure.
But Dad put his other hand on top of mine and looked mildly surprised but so proud. His brown eyes looked at me deeply and warmly as he simply said:
“Oh I am so pleased. That’s good.”
And we didn’t say anything more on it.
He got it. He just totally understood and he did not judge me for it. I am so grateful we were able to have that moment.
Don’t be afraid to fail. I wanted to hit the top of the company. I was only two promotions away. And maybe if Dad hadn’t died I would have been able to do it. But I certainly knew I couldn’t do this one without him.
Recently; my boys were talking about Younique. Ryan said “You’re not doing Younique anymore are you?”
And I replied “no sweetheart”
And you know what he and Alex said next? It may surprise you:
Alex: Good, I like it you’re not on your phone all the time
Ryan: You never did make black status but that’s ok, because you did really well
Alex: Yeah, you’re the best mummy in the world
Nicholas: Mummy is the super best
Ryan: (putting his hand on my shoulder) Mum, don’t feel bad. You did a good job. I’m proud of you.
Words of advice for anyone thinking about doing Network Marketing:
You need to find your unique selling point. Put your personality and creativity into what it is you want to do. This is the only way to deal with the saturation.
And choose your team wisely. Sign up with people who suit your needs.
Thirdly, find a mentor. Someone to coach you and uplift you on the days when you feel like quitting.
And finally, when that day you need to quit does come (and it will) don’t beat yourself up. All good things must come to an end and it only means more brighter opportunities are coming your way.
Bottom line: I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I learnt a lot from doing Younique and it is a growing experience indeed. As an individual seller, it is a viable business opportunity. You just need to be able to do it in a way you feel comfortable.