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What’s the most important mindset shift you can do to change your direct sales career?

I bet it’s not what you think it is. Most people think it’s about courage, vulnerability, putting yourself out there, getting ready to make the sale, or developing a thick skin. All are important mindset shifts to make, but not the most important.

It’s this: you joined a direct sales company to start a business… not a side hustle.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you need to work your direct sales business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But words matter. Your mindset about your business matters.

  • When you go out to eat, are you going for the entrée or the side dish?
  • When you decorate your house for Christmas, are you decorating the main entrance or the side entrance?
  • When there’s too much awesome-sauce for your amazing supper, where do you ask them to put the extra? On the side.

A side hustle is just that: it’s secondary. It’s not as big and important as your main job. It’s not as important as your main focus.

Even “part-time job” commands more respect than “side hustle.”

By calling your direct sales business a side hustle, you are telling other people that it doesn’t matter to you as much as something else matters.

Think about the message this is sending to your family and friends, your customers, or even your team.

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Mindset Affects Success

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

Henry Ford

If you think of your direct sales business as a side hustle, you inadvertently give yourself permission to not take it seriously. And once you have that permission, it’s much easier to let things slide a little bit.

Think about your favorite hobby: when do you invest money into learning more about that?

If you’re like most of us, the answer is “when you have money to spare.”

Why? Because it’s a hobby. It’s a side-gig. It’s intentionally labeled, both in terminology and in purpose, to be less of a priority than your other jobs.

By calling your direct sales business a side hustle, you’ve labeled it to being little more than a hobby — it’s something you do in your spare time. It’s not something you need to invest in, care for, or take part in.

And that’s the level of return you’ll receive. If you don’t invest something into your business, either time or money, then you’ll get nothing out of your business — it will never grow beyond the status of a “side hustle.” And if there’s no return on your time or money, why invest even more into it?

See the pattern here?

Mindset determines your expectancy: if you expect your direct sales business to be a business, then you need that mindset shift to start thinking about it — and calling it — a business.

How can You Shift Your Mindset?

Here are 7 effective ways you can work on this important mindset shift right away.

  1. Change the way you talk to yourself about your business. Are you growing a new business, starting a new business, or dreaming up the future? Then remind yourself of that.
  2. Change your language. The way you speak to others about your new business, even if it is small, will determine how much respect for that business they think you hold — and subsequently determine how much respect for that business they will hold. So choose your words wisely.
  3. Act “As If” — you’ve heard the advice “fake it till you make it…”? This is the more effective version. You know what you want your direct sales business to be, but it might take you a bit more time to get there because of other priorities. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Just don’t downplay the business in the meantime.
  4. Surround yourself with people who will elevate your mindset. If your direct sales business is still small, hang out with people who are running bigger businesses. Hang out with direct sellers who are ahead of you on the line, who are smarter than you, have bigger networks than you, and inspire you. Trust me, there’s no better way to step up your game than by hanging out with people who are already at the level you want to be at.
  5. Invest, learn, and apply your new knowledge. Whether you want to invest money in coaching or time in online learning (or both), anything you learn is only going to serve you in business if you apply it. But nothing jumpstarts that business-mindset like investing some serious time or money into that business and learning how to maximize your return on that investment.
  6. Develop new habits that support your new mindset. Set those hours of operation, put together those systems for client follow-up and marketing strategy. Things that used to be done “in your spare time” need to be scheduled. It doesn’t matter if your company is still small, or if you still have a full time day job — determine how much time you can devote to your new direct sales business, and work that time as a business.
  7. Step out of your comfort zone. Change is difficult — even when it’s good for you. And chances are, making this mindset shift is going to feel uncomfortable for a while. But there are going to be times when you’ll need to power through that to get to where your business will grow.

Once you’re ready to start treating your business like a business, it’s time to start learning how to run and manage your finances as a business. That’s right – things like budgets and financial reports are about to get real for you (and if you’d like help with that, my friend Jamie Trull can help you get started!).

The bottom line is, even if your new direct sales business isn’t the biggest priority in your life right now, that doesn’t mean it needs to be downgraded into a “side hustle.” In fact, if you have plans to ever turn your direct sales business into your primary source of income, you can’t afford to call it a side hustle.

Call it a small business. Call it a new business. Call it an adventure. Just call it something important.


Brenda Ster sitting at her desk with a pad of paper and a sharpie in hand with the words Change your wording around your business Your words matter for the blog post The Mindset Shift that will Change your Direct Sales Career You Own a Business, Not a Side Hustle

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