by Kathy Moccaldi
Joe and I have 3 kids, a hefty mortgage, and a plan to get out of debt as well as replace the savings we should have had, since I've left the "real" working world to be home with our children.
We were both retail managers who would work about 70 hours a week. The jobs were super, until we became parents, then we realized this is not a lifestyle that is very conducive to parenting, with both parents gone so often.
On a pretty big leap of faith, in 1993, I left the retail (read: big, consistent reliable paycheck) and started a licensed in-home childcare. This started slowly, and in time I learned that it was a perfect fit for our family. We did have a few bumps in the road, but basically, the roof was over our heads, the kids were happy, and I didn't miss the stress of retail nearly as much as I'd expected.
By 1999, however, we had accumulated about $28,000 in credit card debt. Although the daycare income paid the bills as well as gave us a nice tax write off through many deductions, I somehow forgot we still weren't able to live on the salaries I'd gotten used to, and freely used the credit cards. Couple the large credit card debt with, by then, me feeling some cabin fever and missing grown up conversations-I knew I had to find something to do on a part time basis, without interfering with my kids sporting schedules, Joe's work, and family time. I began looking into things that didn't need skill, but yet I could manage for more than minimum wage. I'd thought I'd go back to waitressing or bartending, but I didn't want to work late nights, nor could I be to any place by 5pm to work as my daycare runs till at least 5:30. I really liked the idea of an extra income devoted to our debt, but was running out of ideas.
That January, I hosted an in home party where a consultant came in and sold kitchen tools. My friends had a great time, I got a lot of free products, and the gal asked me if I'd ever considered a job like hers. To be honest, I was pretty certain that she made no money, or not much, and since I hate cooking, it was hard to imagine that was for me.
Well, she made 25% of my sales that evening, which were about $1,000! That got my attention. She was only here about 3 hours, and beyond my house, there wasn't much else to do.
So, somewhat skeptical, I agreed to try this company out. This did involve spending $100 on a starter kit, but I made that back at my first party. Now, into my second full year I've made about $38,000 gross, earned a trip to Germany as well as to Cancun, and have had a lot of fun, which really benefited my childcare as I think I was starting to burn out. As of today, our visa debt is down to about $3,000 (ok, so I didn't put every cent on the bills, but did get a few rewards along the way), we are putting money steadily into savings and my future now includes this!
I'm not writing this to be an advertisement, which is why I didn't say what I'm doing, but the point is that there are many different companies out there that work the same way. You purchase a kit, do in home sales whenever your schedule allows, and they pay me on a monthly basis. Most of these are a business in a box type set up, which involves little on the part of the salesperson other than telling their friends, and asking for them to host parties or pass books. There are typically incentives to hosts to get bookings for the consultants, and the business then seems to grow on it's own. I strongly suggest anyone in a similar position as me, look into the various direct sales companies out there. There are many, and people can find product lines that they currently use and believe in. There are scams, no doubt, but sticking to well known names and asking many questions goes a long way.
I hope this helps someone. For me, it has been one of my best career moves, and the work is fun and lucrative.
My Story is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that would help others please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with "My Story" as the subject.