This is a guest post by Jackie Piscatelli. She shares her story of getting involved in direct sales to encourage you to start a side hustle of your very own.
If you asked me three years ago to join a direct sales company, I can guarantee my answer would have included some sort of expletive in it to say “No.” In March 2015, I was laid off (currently at the same time as my then-boyfriend, now husband). You remember that winter, the one in Boston where it snowed EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Well, one of my friends mentioned she was going to a Traveling Vineyard tasting and suggested I come as a way to “get out of the house.” I was very hesitant on attending as I was NOT a home party type person. I had been to many in the past and always felt the consultants were pushy and I wound up making purchases for things I didn’t need or really even want.
With my walls up, off to the wine tasting I went. After being there for two hours, I thought “Wow, I am sitting at home drinking every day so maybe I should start getting paid for it.” After the event, I messaged the consultant and expressed interest. She was helpful and NOT pushy at all (green light so far). I then did my due diligence (which anyone should do before investing into a side hustle). I found Traveling Vineyard to check all the boxes in both a professional and fun manner (another green light). The investment was less than $200 so I figured, “What the heck do I have to lose?” At a minimum, at least I’d get some wine out of the deal.
I got my first few tastings under my belt that spring and thought, “Okay this doesn’t even feel like work, but I am having fun.” I never have considered myself a sales-y person, nor do I want to be. Speaking with a colleague a few weeks ago, she said to me that I continue to have success because of my personality and natural ability to sell without actually selling. My motto with this business has always been “If you like it, buy it. If not, no skin off my back.” This was a fun side gig for me that was helping pay for my wedding. I found that attitude is everything. People pick up on your cues. If you are pushing something too hard, it’s not going to work, no matter what job you are in.
Fast forward 6 months and I got my first two “wine babies”! I never in a million years even thought I’d start to build a team. This wasn’t part of my “plan.” I just wanted to make some money selling wine to help pay for my wedding. Well here I was now responsible for helping two other people launch their new business; a scary thought for sure. Luckily, Traveling Vineyard has a great on-boarding and training process in place, so I felt confident helping my two new teammates.
With new team members and my own business to contend with (and a regular full time job), I had to really prioritize my workload. A couple of things really helped me along the way:
- Set 15-20 mins aside every day for your business. Even if it’s while you are watching TV with your laptop in front of you. Multi-tasking is where it’s at!
- Ask for help! Being totally new to a business and managing people, I was constantly in our support forum asking questions to make sure I had the right answers. Not only will this save you time on your own end from re-creating the wheel, but you learn so much.
- Step outside your comfort zone. Whether it’s in line at Starbucks or at the grocery store. Find a way to talk about your business- where it makes sense. This can lead to conversations you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Since starting Traveling Vineyard two and a half years ago, I have now recruited three team members and become a 3 Star Leader. While that is great, what is best of all is that this September I was able to have the wedding of my dreams. Much of this is due to the success I’ve had with Traveling Vineyard. I was able to pay for my dress, band and photographer with my proceeds from Traveling Vineyard. To me this is and was HUGE. I am thankful for the opportunity I’ve had with Traveling Vineyard and can’t wait to see where it goes.
So I guess the moral of my story is…..If you are thinking of trying out a side hustle, give a shot. You never know where you may end up!