“…What do Apple Computer, Hershey Chocolate, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and the Ford Motor Company have in common? They all started out as home-based businesses. Over half of all U.S. businesses are based out of an owner’s home….” [see quote origin here] According to the Direct Selling Association, in 2007 direct selling independent contractors were responsible for $30.8 billion in sales by 15 million people in the United States; and $114 billion and 62.7 million people worldwide. That is a lot of home business activity.
Participating in this incredible home-based commerce landscape, with not one, but two home-based businesses is Susan Degnan…marketing and direct selling maven [ email@example.com ]. I like that word, maven. It means someone who is experienced and knowledgeable in something. And Susan is an experienced and knowledgeable direct seller and home-based business owner. Susan graciously agreed to one of my interview blog posts.
Q: I love to talk to people about the benefits of having a home-based business. Susan, you have told me that you have a home-based business…what do you like about working from your home?
Susan: I love being able to work my business around my life. The freedom to do what I want, when I want to do it, without having the burden of having to be at a 9-5 job. I love my family and want to enjoy my life to the fullest. I want to produce a lifestyle for myself that allows me to not have to worry about money. I believe that a home-based business is the key to achieving that goal.
Q: What would you consider to be the challenges of working from home?
Susan: Probably the challenge I face the most is motivating myself each day to work on my business. There is no boss and no deadlines. Also, I really love being with my family and enjoy puttering in my house, so these things sometimes gets in the way of working my business.
Q: Have you found the internet to be of value to you in your home business? In what way(s)?
Susan: I am working with one of my team members on developing our website for nutrition and coaching. Although I am a firm believer that talking to people is the key to success, I trust his judgment that this is a valuable venue. I also believe that the internet attracts many people who do most of their business on-line. My company is currently in 7 countries and within 10 years will be the largest health and wellness company in the world, so working the internet is a must!
Q: You have two distinctly different enterprises that keep you busy as a business woman. One is work you do in the publishing industry. What challenges you there?
Susan: I am the Marketing Manager with my company and help new and seasoned authors market their books. Although this specific industry is fairly new to me, I am a people person and have been working in management in one venue or another most of my life. The publishing industry keeps you on your toes, always learning. I am challenging myself each day to become a better writer and that is somewhat stressful, because I have had insecurities about my abilities in that area.
Q: You told me previously that you began a direct selling business. Why do you think the direct selling industry is exploding as it is across the globe?
Susan: I believe that the time has come in our country where people now understand that corporate America is no longer a safe bet for employment. Working for someone else creates a false sense of security and leaves you living paycheck-to-paycheck. If you want to secure your financial future, a home-based business that produces residual income is key!
Also, I have been very fortunate, because my business deals with health, wellness and weight loss. I love helping people with their health and simultaneously have an opportunity to participate in a million dollar a day industry. Doing what you love while creating a secure financial future for your family is the best!
Q: What are your particular joys in working in the direct selling industry?
Susan: That’s an easy answer. I want to roam freely through each day and participate in my life completely. Financial worry is such a burden and residual income is the answer! Additionally, people help me to grow spiritually and I want to offer something to each and every person I meet. I know that each day I have an opportunity to contribute to the world I live in.
Q: What advice would you give to a young person, say directly out of college, who might want to “be their own boss?”
Susan: Investigate a business prior to jumping in. A home-based business with a residual income is the way to go, but many businesses fail in the first few years. The five criteria that must all rank a #10 are: The owners of the company must be proven experts in their field. The products must be consumable, emotional is a home run. Timing is everything. Training must be superb and the comp plan must be a binary. Old MLM comp plans are too hard to work.
Thank you Susan!
Some helpful information about small business and direct selling can be found:
- Direct Selling Association: http://dsa.org
- Direct Selling 411: http://www.directselling411.com
- Small Business Administration (United States): http://www.sba.gov
- Great resource for home-based business (United States): http://www.business.gov/start/home-based/
- An interesting and helpful site for small business information in the United Kingdom: http://www.smallbusiness.co.uk
Filed under: Home-based Business, Interviews | Tagged: Apple Computer, business, Direct Selling 411, Direct Selling Association, Ford Motor Company, Hershey Chocolate, home-based business, Mary Kay Cosmetics, small business, Small Business Administration, Susan Degnan |