A mom’s guide to making more money in 2016

Mothers have always been resourceful. We could build a fire from a tube of lipstick and a little hairspray. And although we could build a better fire by adding the contents of our martini glass, we aren’t crazy. We work smarter, not always harder, for the results we need to get the job done.

Naturally, we’ve started companies that work around our lifestyles. “Stay-at-home mom” no longer means you have to choose between being paid for work or doing it for free (Oh hi, parenthood). And to no surprise, I’ve tried some outstanding products from moms who have added “Independent Consultants” to their resume.

An additional source of income is always a welcome idea for parents who stay at home with little ones, or who want to make cash on the side of their corporate careers. Chances are you’ve met one or more Independent Consultants from at least one of the following direct sales companies. You may be interested in earning extra cash, but you have questions: What really goes into it? Which company is right for you?

I sat down with a few Chicago moms and asked them to give me a real rundown on their companies … no brochures allowed. Here’s what they said:

Beautycounter

Maggie Degand

Months with Beautycounter: 10

Clocks in: 3-4 hours/week

Title: Director

Persons recruited for her team: 30

Why is Beautycounter right for you?

I was searching for safer alternatives to my beauty regimen, and for shampoo and other products for my children. Until I discovered Beautycounter, I could not find an entire line that carried these safe products.

What are the best perks of your job?

Sharing this information with others about how to find and use safer products is very rewarding. And the discount is huge! We get 25 percent off.

Biggest annoyances?

I wish they offered a household line. And more hair care products; which I think is on the horizon.

I like what I hear, but is it really worth my time?

You buy shampoo and conditioner, right? Many companies sell things you don’t need to use every day, we sell things you will need day-to-day. It’s a pretty easy sell.

Fair enough, what’s the buy-in?

It’s $85 to sign up, and you get a commerce platform and a personal website. You don’t have to buy the starter packages, but the savings are huge if you do.

What do you pay out of pocket every month?

Nothing, unless I want products. $150 is a suggested sales goal per month, and you get a three month grace period if you don’t reach it.

Does your income come from your sales or the sales of the people who you recruited for your team?

My personal sales earn me 25 percent on my client orders. I earn nine percent on team sales, with a five percent sales bonus if I reach certain goals. I can earn up to 35 percent on all sales if I am having a great month!

What’s your favorite product in the line that you recommend?

I love the Countertime Cleansing Balm. It’s multitasking and can even out wrinkles (it seriously works!), remove make-up, be a diaper balm or a hydrating mask.

What does your income supplement?

I paid for our last family vacation and build up our savings account. If I could put in more hours a week, I’d be on my way to a six-figure income. You get out of it what you are able to put in.

Stella & Dot

Vanessa Matuschka

Months with Stella & Dot: 3

Clocks in: 10 hours/week

Title: Stylist

Persons recruited for her team: None … yet!

Why is Stella & Dot right for you?

Women love accessories, and they love to feel good about themselves. What an easy sell. And I get to wear everything in my inventory!

What are the perks of your job?

Honestly, the job is fun. I love that while they encourage you to build a team you can still earn anywhere between 25-35 percent without a team. I personally don’t have anyone under me right now and I’m still earning my 35 percent.

Biggest annoyances?

A very challenging customer, but that comes with the territory and with any job. There is ALWAYS that one person.

Why is Stella & Dot worth your time?

I enjoy it and it makes me feel “social” since my going-out days have become few and far between. In addition to that, how great is it to hang out with a group of women, have a glass of wine or coffee and make some money?

OK, I like wine. So what’s the buy-in?

You can buy in at several different levels but it’s 100 percent worth investing the extra cash. The more products you can display at a trunk show, the better. Even a small buy-in is worth your investment.

You mentioned you have not built a team yet, so your income comes from what you put in. How is that going for you?

Yes, my income has all come from my own sales. Also, I just earned a stylist promotion and that paid for all of my spring samples. As a stylist you can earn marketing materials, jewelry comps, etc. All in all, if you are motivated, you will earn your investment back within just a few trunk shows.

How many hours do you put in?

Working from home can be challenging if you aren’t organized. One of my kids is in full day school and I have one child at home after 11 a.m., so I spend a few hours working in the morning and maybe 30 minutes after they go to bed. The average week for me is only about 10 hours, but I’m just getting started.

What is your favorite Stella & Dot product?

Stella & Dot has really stepped it up within the last four years bringing on new designers. I’m obsessing over the spring line at the moment. It’s so boho chic! I would have to pick our tassel necklace. The price point is a little higher than our average, but it’s sexy!

What are you able to supplement with your earnings?

I love being able to buy my husband a gift with my own money or send money to my grandmother with no questions asked. There is money to be made sitting at home with your hair in a bun, between pick-up and drop-off from school.

Beachbody/Shakeology

Angie Koerner

Months with Beachbody: 6 (Husband has been with the company for two years)

Clocks in: 15-20 hours/week

Title: Coach

Persons recruited for her team: 3800+ Coaches

Why is Beachbody/Shakeology right for you?

The best part is earning an income while helping ourselves, our family and others live healthier, more fulfilling lives. We are in our 40s with five boys and a little lady and we are healthier and in better shape now than we were in our 20s.

Best perks of the job?

My husband, Steve, and I are a team of health/fitness coaches, so working out with my hunky husband is a huge perk!

Biggest annoyances?

Steve and I would both agree that our biggest annoyance would be someone questioning the value of their health and nutrition, yet has no hesitation spending $4.50 a day at Starbucks for coffee.

Why is it really worth your time?

That depends on you and your goals.

What’s the buy-in amount?

A person can get started as a Beachbody Coach between $39.95 -$305. It really depends on what products are purchased during the Coach sign-up process.

What do you pay out of pocket a month?

The monthly minimum is $15.95 which is a website maintenance fee. However, if you want to be an active coach and build the business, you can expect to pay approx $130. This includes your monthly Shakeology and your maintenance fee.

Does your income come from your sales or the sales of the people who you recruited for your team?

Both.

What’s your favorite product in the line that you recommend?

I love 21 Day Fix; it’s my go-to program. It’s a portion control nutrition program combined with 30 minute workouts. It’s so easy to fit into our busy schedules.

What does your income supplement?

Currently, our mortgage. And that’s just the beginning.

Advice for anyone looking to get into Direct Sales?

What are you waiting for? Create your legacy and start building your brand and empire.

Rodan + Fields

Stacey Roney

Years with Rodan + Fields: 5 years

Clocks in: 35 hours/week

Title: RFx circle achiever

Persons recruited for her team: 1600 and sponsors 110

Best perks of the job?

Being my own boss and having complete time freedom to build a successful business around my kids. My office is anywhere I have Wi-Fi and the company offers tons of great incentives.

Biggest annoyances?

People that think direct selling is about harassing friends to buy things. I don’t care if anyone buys or joins my team. I am looking for people who are looking for me. I offer amazing products that will help change skin and an opportunity that will help change their future. If they aren’t interested, next!

Is Rodan + Fields really worth my time?

It depends on what your goals are and what you want out of life. For me, I really wanted to earn a multiple six-figure income, but wasn’t willing to sacrifice time with my kids.

What’s the buy in amount?

$45-$995. There are four options that provide varying amounts of product for personal use and for demonstration.

What do you pay out of pocket a month?

It is $24.95 per month for two websites. (A .com where customers order their products and a .biz where they go to join the business.) We also re-invest $80 per month in the form of product.

Does your income come from your sales or the sales of the people who you recruited for your team?

The foundation of our business is selling product. With that said, I only know so many people who I can sell my products to, so we expand distribution through online sites. It’s just like a virtual franchise. If I help someone launch their online business, Rodan + Fields compensates me a percentage of my new rep’s sales in exchange for me training, mentoring and helping them.

What’s your favorite product in the line that you recommend?

Reverse Regimen for brown spots. I had considerable sun damage from growing up in the ’80s laying out with tinfoil and baby oil. After only a few months of using the Reverse Regimen, my freckles and pregnancy mask faded and I was able to go foundation free.

How many hours do you spend a week with Rodan + Fields?

When I first started, I squeezed this business into the nooks and crannies of my day. I was running three businesses and working 65 hours per week. My three babies were all in diapers so I would spend an hour a day building it by posting on Facebook and sharing with friends and fellow moms who I was talking to anyway. Within two years I replaced my previous income and transitioned into working this full time. I no longer trade time for money as I did with my previous businesses. You get paid over and over for work that you do one time.

What does your income supplement?

Everything. We are financially stable and are able to put more money aside for college funds and retirement without sacrificing our quality of life now. We love to travel and this business allows me to work from anywhere.

What would it take to make your business a six-figure income?

Be coachable and be willing to share the products and the opportunity with others. It is a very simple, easily duplicable system.

Advice for anyone looking to get into Direct Sales?

Find a product that you can get excited about.

Disclaimer: No company listed here guarantees any level of success or income. Income depends on each individual’s own efforts, diligence and skill.

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