From Pocket Money to Supporting the Whole Family!

Linda Pearce was looking to make ends meet and perhaps earn a bit of pocket money after she attended a Norwex party (unwillingly) in 2008, loved the products and agreed to become a consultant. She certainly wasn’t to know that six years down the track her small ‘pocket money’ business would allow her to support the whole family – even her husband quit his job to become part of her team!

When she started the business, Linda’s children ranged in age from five to nine and although it was the year that her youngest started prep, she really didn’t like the idea of all three children doing aftercare every day just so she could work. After attending one of the parties and then holding a party for her friends who all bought up big, she knew she had the beginning of a business so decided to ‘jump in’, become a consultant and see where it would lead.

Now the children are all in their teens and they like to help her in the business; putting together information packs and labelling catalogues. They know that the more they can help, the more time she will have to spend with them. Her husband, Peter, has now left his job as a mechanic and also helps her run the business, as well as running the house for her, and in 2015 he will take on the home schooling all of their children too. They tried it last year with their middle child and found it so beneficial that this year they are going to try it for all the kids. As she says ‘having three at home will be a challenge but we are looking forward to it!”

With over 5000 consultants (yup!) which she manages with her extended team, Linda is a busy woman. She has had to learn to take time off as she knows the importance of work/life balance. She says “It has been a discipline for me to take time off as I get so much job satisfaction from what I do, but I know that I need to care for myself and nurture my relationships with my family and close friends and so that is why I now schedule my down time.”

One of the things she particularly loves about working in the direct selling industry is that, while she earns a terrific income, she can do it all “working hours that means I never have to miss out on attending excursions, sports days and other special events with my children. I also love that, because of my involvement with Norwex, my kids have had opportunities I never had growing up – including going with my husband and I on work related trips to Hawaii and Fiji.”

A report by Deloitte Access Economics into the direct selling industry found that nowadays direct sellers tend to be under 45 with a whopping 65% of the industry aged between 25-45 years old. Perhaps not quite so surprisingly, the industry is dominated by women (90%) who are looking for a flexible work/life balance which allows them to earn extra income. Many are bringing up young families or holding down a part time job and direct selling offers them the opportunity to build their own business at the same time.

Not only does direct selling offer lifestyle choices that appeal to generations X and Y; the industry makes a huge contribution to the economy as a whole. Comparable in size to the Processed Food and Vegetable Industry, the direct selling industry contributes almost $1.7 billion to the economy through the employment of over 475,000 people signed up to various direct selling organisations (mostly part time) with over 250,000 of them actively working at any one time.

 Author: Handle Communications

Social and economic impacts of direct selling: Direct Selling Association of Australia Inc. by Deloitte Access Economics, December 2013

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