When we first moved to Dreamland, it was an emotional transition for me. What we left behind was 7 years of living in a tight knit borough. Our best friends were right out our front door. We were 40 minutes from the Philly airport, 5 mins from the closest grocery store, 2 mins from a drive through beer distributor, the best gluten free Chinese food was 8 mins away, we were 5 blocks from our kids’ daycare and grade school. Everything was convenient, we loved it. But I always knew that wasn’t the life for us. We like to be in nature and wanted to start a homestead, which we couldn’t do in the borough. We felt the pull to find a place where we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted with our land and to start a farm to feed our family and community. So we did, we found Dreamland and it felt so right. We became excited about creating a simpler life and we were on our way. I felt all of the emotions, happy, excited, scared, thrilled, anxious, all of it!
(I’ll get to the Multi Level Marketing (MLM) thing in a min, I promise)
As we were planning to move up here, I knew I was going to have to simplify my business as well. Starting a farm is no small task and there are only so many hours in the day, some activities would have to drop off. So when it came time to rework my business plans, two things stood out as distracting from my main goal of teaching about nutrition and helping people understand how sugar impacts their health – my essential oils and safer skin care services.
Every time in my life where I felt distracted or lost, a little time in nature always brought the clarity I needed. And I think now that we are living on the farm, I have that sense of clarity and knowing in my purpose. It feels amazing, but also requires some adjustments and letting go of things that are not serving my purpose.
Let me first clarify that this is not a bash-all-the-MLMs-post. This is about my WHY and finding my true North as I grow and experience the life of my dreams with my family. This is personal.
That said, I hope that by sharing my personal experience I can help others find clarity in their purpose to decide whether a MLM is a good investment in both time, money and effort. This is also the cold hard truth and I feel like in business the best way to gain trust is to be super fucking transparent. If you asked me at a BBQ this is what I would say. And I think that’s OK, to live, learn, and share your experiences, especially when you change your mind about something you’ve promoted in the past. I feel an obligation to adjust my advice based on new experiences and information when it goes against something I’ve said or promoted in the past.
Before I get into my WHY I also want to add that I have created some beautiful friendships along the way. Friends that I will love and cherish the rest of my life. I also want to say to my customers to trust yourself and do what’s best for you. I am not at all saying to stop buying the products I have recommended and still do (with a few caveats)…if you love them and they are serving you, then keep buying them.
So here we go…
In the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey taught us to make the main thing the main thing. And that’s exactly where I went wrong when I signed up for my first MLM, an essential oils business. I ignored my intuition. I had JUST established my nutrition biz and for some reason was all worried about diversifying my income streams because what would I do when my nutrition clients slowed down? I thought I needed the MLM business to grow my nutrition practice. But I was so wrong.
Here’s the Captain Obvious thing…adding a MLM to your nutrition practice requires you to start a completely NEW business. It takes time, commitment, consistency and money. It can easily become the main thing because your MLM team will want you to succeed (so that they succeed in reaching their next level) so you’ll be asked to participate in training, events, and then mentoring and supporting your team as it grows. Those are not bad things if that is what you want to focus on! (I actually learned a lot through the sales training to help improve my entrepreneurial skills.)
The issue is that I was distracted from my main passion by this other business and I began to lose traction on my main goal, which was nutrition!
Some weeks all I did was essential oils. In addition to that, I really wanted to learn about how to use essential oils safely and effectively. So I listened and learned what I thought was the right way to use these powerful oils. When I learned that to sign up and start teaching about how to use oils you didn’t need any training, I thought that was strange.
Intuition check: No training?
These are potent, powerful, wellness tools. There’s got to be some training involved if you’re educating others on how to use these oils! Unfortunately, the MLM essential oil companies promote using ALL the oils on EVERYTHING all of the time. And at first I was like, fuck yea! GIVE ME ALL THE OILS!!! Truth be told, these essential oils replaced virtually all over the counter medications in our home with the exception of some Benadryl in case of an emergency allergic reaction and aspirin in case someone has a heart attack. The oils, along with homeopathic remedies, are still our number one go to when someone is sick or in need of emotional support. In fact, I still use them every single day.
But the thing is, after talking to several trained aromatherapists and listening to the teachings of major experts like Robert Tisserand, I realized that what I was teaching was wrong, and I simply could not go on teaching how to use oils the way the MLMs do. I haven’t actually done much with this business in over six months in large part due to this reason.
Do I still recommend using essential oils? Yes, but my recommendations on how to use them have changed drastically.
I don’t believe all the oils all of the time – in your water especially – is a great idea. And all the aromatherapy experts (not affiliated with MLMs) would wholeheartedly agree. So, I feel like it’s my obligation to make that crystal clear. I no longer recommend using essential oils internally unless under the care of a trained (not but a MLM) professional.
Then came safer skincare. At the end of the day, it’s another business I was going to have to nurture and promote. And without that effort, for me, it was just a waste of time and money.
But alas, I asked myself…is this a product I trust (I did), can I support their mission (I do!), is the constant promotion and marketing something I want to spend time on (I did not). I love the company, the mission, their goals…
But I don’t like promoting consumption of products for the heck of it, because the new sunscreen came out. Plus, a lot of the product packaging was not recyclable, which irked me a little bit. AND! I know I can find and recommend other products that are just as safe and not as expensive while supporting a small business like mine. There again, this business just wasn’t in line with my core values. Plus, I wear mascara and lip gloss like twice a month so I honestly have no clue how to consult on makeup! Oops. I ignored my gut.
Truth be told, I didn’t let this business distract me too much. I couldn’t. Right after I signed up, we started the buying/selling process for our new home and very quickly I was too busy with moving that I literally had zero time to build it up.
What this all boils down to is…the more responsibilities you have, the more choices you have to make. And when you are starting your nutrition or health coaching business, decide to make the main thing the main thing, and stick with that.
There is nothing wrong with recommending high quality products you trust and if you find that in a MLM company, go for it. But regardless of the MLM business you join, you’ll be able to find the same quality, same mission, and environmentally conscious efforts, plus sustainability in non-MLM companies. See below for some of my recommendations.
An Ancestral Approach means finding a balance with the modern world while living as close to our ancestral ways as possible – respecting nature, eating real food, reducing toxic burden in the home and wellness practices, reducing waste, and living simply. These are my values. And by quitting my MLM businesses I feel like I’m supporting every single one of these values even more by saving money, spending more time with family and focusing on my main thing – my NTP practice. This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but it was a necessary one and I hope my story helps at least one person with their decision to add a MLM to their current business or not.
Although difficult, change is always possible. What holds us back from making the changes we desire are our own limiting thoughts and actions. – Satsuki
None of the below links are affiliate links.
Essential Oils I Recommend:
Safer Skincare I Recommend:
I also highly recommend finding a local company that uses simple ingredients and reusable containers. Pretty much every farmers’ market has one!