I Applaud You, Mother Hustler.
You know that moment, when your walking through the mall, minding your own business, and all the sudden in your peripheral vision you see a person beginning to approach you from a kiosk. You try to avoid eye contact and pick up the pace of your step, in an attempt to visually convey the fact that you are not interested in whatever the hell they’re about to ambush you with?
“Free sample?” they blurt as you pass, holding out an object to lure you into a sales pitch. Ugh, that’s the worst, right? Talk about pressure. I mean, you aren’t interested in what they are selling, but you don’t want to feel like a jerk by rejecting them either. It’s a tough spot to be in, when all you wanted was a pretzel and some new shoes.
Sometimes, it can feel like this exact same scenario plays out on a place most of us spend a lot of time — Facebook.
There you are, scrolling along, minding your own business when all the sudden, you get a message in your inbox.
It’s from someone trying to sell you something. Be it directly or inadvertently, their mission is the same, to get you to purchase their product.
Unsure of what I’m talking about? Here’s a few examples:
Now, I have seen many people ranting on Facebook about this issue, understandably. I can understand the frustration of having your inbox look like this (this isn’t even the half of it). If you aren’t interested, you aren’t interested – I get it, I really do. But the thing is, each of these people was unaware that the others had done the same thing. How could they know?
I feel the need to make a few quick points about this situation. Not to change peoples minds, but instead to make them think twice before lashing out against those who are trying to grow their business. Here are some things I think about when responding to the influx of messages I receive.
They are supporting a family. Lularoe, ItWorks, Thrive, LipSense, Nerium, Isagenix, Limelight, Plunder and Paprazzi Accessories – just to name a few – are companies that allow people to generate extra income for their families – from home.
One of the toughest things that a mother (especially of a newborn) has to do is return to work after giving birth to a child. It’s heartbreaking for a mom to have to leave her heart at home and walk out the door without it, I know from experience.
These companies allow mothers to spend more time at home with their children, while still managing to generate much needed income for their family. They are able to use social media – the most easily accessible form of networking – to get their product out there and into the hands of the consumers quickly and easily.
Side-Hustle. Some of the people who sell these products aren’t always mothers. This day in age it seems oftentimes the middle class (like myself) are working SO HARD to move forward and make ends meet, but we often find ourselves running in place and getting nowhere, living paycheck to paycheck.
Some people have decided to take it upon themselves to do something about it. They have started their own business and are working furiously day and night to get their product out into the world, in exchange for a small profit which they can use toward a down payment on a home, or groceries or car payments. They aren’t doing it just for fun – it’s their livelihood.
Believe it or not, they don’t want to stalk you. I don’t personally sell anything, but I am close to many people who do. After numerous conversations with some of them I can tell you, that they don’t want to bug you about their stuff. They really don’t.
They don’t wake up in the morning and say “Oh man, I can’t wait to see how many people I can piss off and annoy today, it’s gonna be great!”
It goes more something like this: “Rent is due in 2 days and despite the fact that my husband has been busting his ass at work this week, it’s still gonna be tight. If I can sell a couple ( insert product here) today it will help tremendously”.
“Oh my gosh I can’t believe how good I am feeling and how much energy I have because of this (insert product here). I really need to tell my friends about it so they can feel this good too!”
It takes a lot of balls, tenacity and motivation to put yourself and your business out there, facing the risk of being ridiculed and rejected. But they continue to do it because they are passionate about it, and that deserves praise. You don’t have to buy it, you can tell them you aren’t interested, hell you can even unfollow them – but bear in mind that their goal isn’t to lose a friend, it’s to do whatever they can to raise awareness about what they’re selling.
They believe in the product. Listen, if someone dedicates their life to a company or product, and spends countless hours purchasing, organizing, promoting, invoicing and networking – it’s not because they think the product sucks and doesn’t work. They wouldn’t give so much of themselves, if they didn’t truly believe in their heart that what they are selling is quality and will be enjoyed by the consumers.
I personally get genuine enjoyment from supporting my friends in their business ventures. I would rather make purchases from people I love, knowing exactly where my money is going. as oppose to a big box retailer who’s CEO is currently parking his private jet in the backyard of his mansion and has no clue I even exist.
I applaud anyone who busts their ass to do something positive for their loved ones, who doesn’t rely on others to support them and does whatever they can to build a successful future.
I understand the frustration these sales pitches may cause some of you, and to be honest I think there are a few people out there who go overboard, and give the rest of them a bad name. Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch.
I sincerely hope that you will take all of these things into consideration the next time someone approaches you about something. If you aren’t interested, let them know. You don’t have to be a jerkface about it. A simple “No thank you” will suffice.
And for you business owners out there, if someone does say “No thank you”, leave it at that. No need to question their decision or try to convince them – that’s when you cross over into the stalker category, people.
If you sell a product I would love for you to leave a link to your business in the comments. I think you are wonderful for doing what you do and I will always support you. Not always financially though, my husband is getting tired of my shit….