113 – Interview: “Being successful at anything is sticking it out…” – Robin Burns

Meghan Q Barrett  0:04  
Hey mama. This is Mama’s daily dose. I’m Meghan Q Barrett of allyoumama.com. And this is a special interview show, where we bring you guests to add value and connection to your mama life. And today’s guest is Robin Burns. For the past six and a half years, she has been a senior sales leader with Norwex. And she is also a wife and mother who loves juggling the kids activities, a passion for fitness and everyday life, all while educating people on how they can live a healthier lifestyle, I would put money on the fact that you are very well versed in direct sales or MLM social marketing, whatever you want to call it. You either know someone that does it, you are someone that is in the industry, if you have been in the industry, or you have certainly been invited to a party for some kind of MLM or direct selling, it’s kind of all around us with social media now. And no matter your feelings on direct selling, or multi level marketing, Robin offers some real life insight on how to be successful. A lot of people go into direct sales, thinking this is going to be easy, I’m just going to sit back and I’m going to make money. But that’s not the way life works. Direct Sales is still a part of life and does not go against the flow of life. In order to make anything work. You need to work it. As Robin says, being successful at anything is sticking it out. We can do hard things and it’s going to get hard. Those that are successful. Look to the long term, and stick out those hard patches, knowing that there are some great patches coming along. So sit back and listen to Robin drop some knowledge bombs. And let’s get moving before we get interrupted. 

Meghan Q Barrett  2:06  
Thank you, Robin for joining me today. And this is new for me that we actually have an in person interview All the rest have been over zoom. So it’s kind of cool just to sit down next to you and chat.

Robin Burns  2:18  
Thanks for having me. It is cool. Yeah, I think everything is virtual these days. So it is nice to do something in person with someone. It’s kind of rare yet right now,

Meghan Q Barrett  2:29  
What we’re talking about today is Robin is a superstar in direct selling, or network marketing, multi level marketing, social selling whatever you want to call it. Honestly, I’ll probably use the terms interchangeably. I think it’s interesting that there’s kind of been a resurgence of MLM direct marketing. They actually started in the 1800s. I did some research on this, it started in the 1800s. But there was this big resurgence, you know, with Facebook and Instagram, because people could reach so many more people by you know, going live, you didn’t have to drive hours for all these parties and things. And so I think it’s interesting that it’s been around so long, but we think it’s like this new thing that everyone’s kind of hopping on.

Robin Burns  3:16  
It’s definitely not a new thing. But I think it has a new place. I think for the longest time me included, had kind of a negative view of what direct sales or multi level marketing companies were all about, you know, they had this bad rap or bad reputation in I would say the past five to six years, it’s grown to be a much normal thing. It enables people to have a life and still make a great income. Maybe it’s supplemental, you know, there’s so many variations of it, that I think it’s becoming a lot more popular because it appeals to so many different types of people.

Meghan Q Barrett  4:01  
There’s about 6.2 million Americans that are involved in direct selling in some way and 74% are women. And I actually I tried to look up a statistic on what of that percentage was moms.. I couldn’t find it but I think it’s a pretty high percentage that are moms as well. So what got you to join, direct selling? Because I mean, there’s no I mean, I don’t want to say no one out there… maybe there is a child out there that their dream is to become a direct seller. You know, it could be you never know, people have people have dreams, but how did you get involved in it?

Robin Burns  4:41  
Well, I like to say that I accidentally got involved in it. I’ve been in direct sales for about six and a half years. And before that point, I You could have told me that I would be doing something like this and I would have laughed you to the floor because I was like no way now Me, before doing direct sales, I had been a stay at home mom for about five years, which was a blessing. And before that five years, I was in the professional world, you know, have and I had a career. But after being at home for five years, I was invited to an in home party, you know, those things that we used to do back in the day, and I was blown away at the the demonstration the products and basically got home and said to my husband, it was amazing. I spent $200, and I think I should sell it. And he said, you drink the Kool Aid. But when I first started out, I thought this is my way just to get out of the house once or twice a month, and maybe make some fun money and reconnect with adults. So selfishly in the beginning, I started and I really started as a hobby with zero intention of it being anything more than that just a hobby and some fun money.

Meghan Q Barrett  6:09  
I mean, I was in direct sales as well for a little while with with a different company. And I personally think that what draws most women and moms specifically to direct selling is that you can kind of do your you have your own thing, you know, you said it was like this selfish thing that you wanted to do. You want to do something on your own, and you wanted to interact with some adults too. And I think people have this negative connotation on it, that it’s like, okay, you know, women are joining, because they just want to make money. And there’s about 25% of people that are in direct selling actually make money. And we’re going to go into that a little bit more. But it’s this like sense of community and camaraderie around it too, that you have, like these women or men too, that are cheering you on, and you have this group and you’re a part of something. And it’s not necessarily just the money part. I mean, that’s cool. And a lot of people do do it for the money. And you know, be able to have some fun money or pay for dance classes, or extra vacations and things with the family. But I think a big part of what draws women and moms specifically to direct selling is just having that thing for yourself. And, you know, the sense of autonomy that like, Hey, I’m making my own money, I’m building this thing, and I’m, I’m doing it on my own..

Robin Burns  7:32  
For sure. And don’t get me wrong, there’s, there’s nothing better than the role of mom, you know, and I don’t take that lightly. But this gave me something of my own, to make me feel like I was more than just mom and wife. So I think it does give myself as well as anybody else in this just their own sense of identity and purpose, rather than just running around and doing everything for the family.

Meghan Q Barrett  8:09  
Definitely. And I think I mean, there’s also this, like, negative connotation on it that people say that direct selling is, is targeting women and targeting moms and like selling this dream. And I think sometimes that when it is sold, it is sold as like this, this dream that you can have it all like, you know, you can be at home with your kids, and you can sit back and make money. And that’s not the case, you know, with anything to be successful..it takes work. And I think that’s where people think that or they go wrong with direct selling is that they think that they can just go in, and they can live the life that they’re going to live and you know, be at home with their kids all the time, but then make a ton of money without doing the work.

Robin Burns  8:53  
Okay, as with anything, you’re going to get out of it, what you put into it. I do think that there are companies that are out there that promote, you know, the dream, you can have it all. And truthfully, you know, you can but it’s what you put into it. If you  if I were to treat this like a hobby, it would pay me like a hobby. If I were to treat this like a part time job, it would pay me that way. I’m fortunate that I do treat it like a full time job and I treat it that I am an entrepreneur and my own boss. And if I don’t show up for work, then I’m not going to get paid. Like I want to be paid. And so I think it’s as with anything, you know, what you put in is what you’re going to get out. And you’re absolutely right. I think you know, with all of your statistics that you were saying, you know, 50% of people that joined direct sales companies or whichever classification you want to use, usually quit within the first year. And that’s because they get into it thinking this is going to be easy money. And it’s it’s not easy money. It’s, it’s easy to do, if you’re if you’re working it, but so many people find out that when you have to work it, that it’s, you know, it’s it’s harder and when things get hard people quit.

Meghan Q Barrett  10:26  
Yeah, definitely I kind of put that akin to like New Year’s resolutions, you know, people are so excited in January, and you’re thinking of like how great it’s going to be when you reach the goal. But then most people quit by February because they realize, hey, I have to give this stuff up, I have to put this work into it, that it’s not just this dream. Like I feel a lot of people just want to skip the steps of putting in the work. And not only in like direct selling is it sold that way. But you know, it’s like eight minute abs and all this stuff. It’s like they’re selling this dream, saying there’s no work… when you got to put the work in, you’ve got to put the work in. Okay, so we’ve gone over some statistics, and just one other one I want to throw in there is that, so 25% of people make a profit in network marketing, give or take. And of that, about 12% make more than $5,000 a year. So not only in direct sales, but in life in general, people tend to ask the negative of it or say, Hey, I don’t want to be in that 75%. Instead of asking, How do I get to that? 12%? How do I get to that? 5%, 1%? So what was your mindset? And how did you go into this business? You said you started as a hobby? How did you get into that mindset of, you know, being profitable in it.

Robin Burns  11:57  
I would say that I am naturally a competitive person. And it’s not necessarily being competitive with others, it’s it’s competing with myself and seeing what I’m capable of. And again, after a year of doing this, really as a hobby, I was able to attend a conference, and got to hear the founder of my company speak and just really heard from her heart, what this was for her and what this was as a company. And I think it just flipped a switch with me, and made me realize at that point, what would happen if I did treat this like a job. And I actually showed up for work every day and was intentional about what I was going to do. With my day and with my business and setting some goals. I think for the first year, I didn’t really set goals, I just was having fun. And don’t get me wrong, I still have fun. But I think that if you don’t have, if you don’t have goals, you are kind of setting yourself up for failure right there. Because you have to have something to aim for or to exceed. So my competitive nature is what kind of got me started in the first place. And then setting those goals. And once I would achieve those, I would stretch them. And we can do hard things. So yeah, we don’t stretch ourselves, then we don’t see what our full potential is. So I think that’s an important part of it. And that is when I really started to find success in this. Yeah,

Meghan Q Barrett  13:45  
I mean, definitely setting goals and anything otherwise, you know, it’s like, you don’t have this roadmap, you don’t know where you’re going. And as you said, you know, I was having fun, and that’s great. But you can have fun and make money too, for sure. Which is even better. And I think it’s you know, having that mindset of setting goals and kind of having that deeper intention that you talked about to that it’s not. I mean, making money is great, too. But what’s the deeper intention behind making that money and being successful too? You know what I mean? Like as your goals are you just like, hey, this is my money goal, and that’s what’s gonna get me there or do you have like deeper intentions behind those goals?

Robin Burns  14:28  
I have deeper intentions and it started out as making some fun money. But it changed from not just the money with me, I find so much joy and happiness in helping others to achieve their goals. And so what started out as kind of a selfish journey for me, changed very quickly when I saw that I was able to help others to really reach their goals and dreams as well. So that is another benefit or perk of direct sales is that you are building relationships, you are building a community like you spoke of. And as a leader in my company and industry, it’s enabled me to network, if you will. But really, with those relationships help others and I think that’s, for me more important than just making the money.

Meghan Q Barrett  15:31  
Yeah, I mean, I think that’s kind of the, the real dream for everybody, I want to go out there, I want to help people, I want to make my life worth it. And, hey, let’s make some money along the way, because that’s awesome, too. You don’t have to just give, I think the world is all about giving and receiving, you know, there’s this flow to it, you can’t just be a person that gives gives gives, because then you got nothing left to give. And if you’re just a person that takes takes takes, then you’re messing with the flow of things. So it’s kind of like that give and receive right, you are giving other people you’re helping other people on different levels, you know, by one selling products and to helping other people grow their businesses. And in return, you are receiving not only the satisfaction of helping people, but monetarily.

Robin Burns  16:21  
So I am the kind of person that I feel like, when I give the more than I give, and the more that I’m able to help others. The and it’s not that I do it for this reason, but I get so much more in return. On the other hand, I will say that some especially moms that get into this business, you know, because we women tend to be we put our heart into everything, we tend to get emotional. But you do have to find a point where you flip that switch, where I’m not just a caretaker, that I’m also a businesswoman. And sometimes I have to make business decisions. And many people that have either one not been in that type of business or in an industry where they’ve had to make business decisions, and they get into direct sales struggle with that, because they’re just used to being just taking care of others, and not hurting feelings necessary or necessarily or things like that. But there’s a fine line between giving, and helping and sharing, and also learning how to be a smart business person.

Meghan Q Barrett  17:41  
I mean, as we talked about, kind of like the best of both worlds you can give and you can provide all this awesome stuff and opportunities for other people. And that you can get great stuff too. But it’s kind of like that.. being selfish and selfless are not mutually exclusive. You can be selfless, and give yourself and train people, and you know, give people opportunities. But you can also be selfish and say, Hey, for my time and energy that I’m giving, I get something back too.

Robin Burns  18:10  
Yeah, and that’s, that’s part of being a smart business person. And I’ll go back to just why people and maybe this is going backwards a little bit. But getting into direct sales in the first place. Somebody said to me once that it fits into the cracks of our lives, you know, as a busy mom, or busy dad or busy anybody, whether you have a full time job or a part time job, or no job at all, most direct sales companies enable you to fit it into your life versus your life fitting into it. And then it can grow from there. And once again, what you want out of it,

Meghan Q Barrett  18:53  
We kind of talked about that before making what you want out of it. But I think one of the biggest things, especially with moms, is like that fear to jump in. And not only like put yourself out there, but invest in yourself, put this money up front. And I think it’s crazy that I’ve read this statistic that people are actually more afraid of losing $100 than they are excited about getting an extra $100. So people are way more afraid of losing what they have, than they are excited about going after and getting what they want. Well, with a lot of things. I think it’s compounded when you’re a mom too, because then you’re like, Okay, I’m not only making this sacrifice, whatever it may be for myself, but it’s going to affect my kids. It’s going to affect my family and everything else that I do whether it’s a money, sacrifice, a time sacrifice, an energy sacrifice. So I think when people go in to starting their own business, direct selling,hobbies, whatever a mom wants to do for herself, you are making a sacrifice there, but you have to realize, is it worth it what I want in the end?

Robin Burns  20:06  
I think the first thing, the first piece of advice I can give anyone that is considering doing any type of direct sales, is do your homework. Make sure that you’ve done your research to find out what the company, what’s the worst case scenario, what’s the best case scenario for you, and find out what you’re capable of doing. But do your homework before just jumping in. Because there there are companies out there that don’t have the consultant, if you will, best interest at heart. So do your homework, that’s the first piece of advice. And then, like you said, be willing to invest, whether it’s the time whether it’s the money, and to be successful in this industry, you’re going to jump in, and you’re going to be excited, and that momentum is what gets you going. But know that there with anything, there are ups and downs. And the people that are successful in this industry, are those that are in it for the long term, don’t go into any direct sales, business or opportunity, thinking that this is going to be a way to get rich, Quick, go into it thinking, Okay, if I stay the course, and know that there will be, you know, good times, or highs and lows, but if I just stay the course, and have a long term goal of maybe four or five, even six years, those are the people that find success.

Meghan Q Barrett  21:53  
And I think that is excellent advice for not only direct sales, but any goal in life.

Robin Burns  22:02  
Yes, whether it’s fitness or food, or whatever. Yeah, it’s it’s more of a long term. And we, as a society have just come to think that everything needs to be done immediately. But truly being successful at anything is sticking it out and knowing you know what your long term results are aiming to be. 

Meghan Q Barrett  22:26  
I feel like we could go deeper into a lot of these, but we are going to have to wrap this interview up. So I will end it with the question I ask all of my guests…And what is one thing or piece of advice you’ve received that changed you and or your life?

Robin Burns  22:44  
All right. Well, I struggled with this because I feel like I have who been advised by some really awesome people in my life as an adult and as a child, but I’m gonna go with two. One is business and one is life. Business, don’t compare. It is so hard to say this, or it’s not hard to say it, it’s it, but it’s hard to actually do it, but not comparing to others. Because the only person or the only, the only person you’re really in competition with is yourself. And there’s always going to be someone who does more in sales or has a larger team or gets to the next level faster. But knowing who you are and what you’re capable of, and being your best you I think is the most important thing. And then I’ll finish with something my mom said from an early age and in life, you kill them with kindness. I, I was raised in the south. And it’s so true. You know, if you take a kindness approach to everything, it brings you personally more joy. And that, in essence, is received on the other end. And I think that if you just kill him with kindness, it makes life better for all.

Meghan Q Barrett  24:16  
Well, I think you said that great. Robin, thank you so much for joining me today and being my first in person guest. It’s like a total different vibe to this than talking to someone over the computer. So I really appreciate that. And where can people find you? Where can they find information on you

Robin Burns  24:34  
Never even said what company I work for? I am a chemical crasher. I work for Norwex and my everyday life is sharing with others how to get rid of chemicals in their homes and what they’re using on their bodies. So in essence, creating a healthier lifestyle. So though, we are going to attach my link tree that has all of my information, or you can find my website is just Robinburns.norwex.biz.

Meghan Q Barrett  25:11  
Awesome. And you guys have to check out the Norwex. If you have younger children, I will tell you my favorite product, which I don’t use for its actual intended purposes, but I think it works great are the body cloths that I use to wipe my kids down after they eat because they are so messy and so gross. But you’re not using all these paper towels. And it’s not like a one time use thing. So if you get anything, go get the body cloth to wipe down your dirty children. 

Meghan Q Barrett  25:40  
Mama, no matter if you are in direct sales, trying to start your own business or just lead a better life. You have to be willing to invest in yourself. And you have to be willing to stick out those hard times and really look at the long term. Sometimes we have to give up that short term pleasure in order to get what we want in the long term. And a lot of times that is easier said than done. But as Robin said, we can do hard things. You’re a mom, you’ve already done a bunch of hard stuff. Now imagine if you keep pushing yourself further, how much more you can do. And make sure you check out Robin at Robinburns.norwex.biz. I’m telling you if you have messy eaters, those body cloths are a must. And hey, if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, make sure you head on over there @MeghanQBarrett and that is Meghan with an H and have a great day free of mama guilt because you deserve it.

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