New Year continues...

There are times we all question our decisions or our abilities. That's tough enough to deal with. What is especially hurtful is when those closest to us, a spouse, a parent, question our decisions.

More times than I can count, someone considering a direct sales career has told me, "My mom is really upset with me. She says, 'Why would someone with a degree and lots of professional experience throw that all away to sell products at home parties?'"

A husband says, "Why don't you get a real job"

Yes, this kind of criticism cuts deeply. In most instances, the concerned mother or the frustrated husband does not intend to be hurtful. They're attempting to shelter their loved one from disappointment.

Regardless of the path we take in life, there will always be naysayers, those individuals who believe they are looking out for our best interests. The man or woman possessing self-confidence points out the many success stories attributable to direct selling, and the fact that the Internal Revenue Service considers direct sales a legitimate way to earn extra income or a full-time livelihood.

In my experience, by the time a wife begins to earn a five-or six-income figure, receives a free car from her company, and qualifies for a vacation for two to a tropical resort, the husband has become a believer.

At the awards banquet during a direct selling conference in Ohio, I was seated beside a woman who was being celebrated that night as a top seller and recruiter. Her day job? She was a criminal court judge. As we talked, the woman confided in me:

"All day long, no matter what I do, I make someone unhappy. That's the nature of being a judge. But in the evening, when I do my parties, I make everyone happy. So what job do you think I like to do?"

As we talked, the woman said she did not want to wait for retirement from the bench to go into direct sales full-time. "Then why wait?" I said. "Do what you enjoy. Life's too short, otherwise."

She squeezed my hand, and I saw tears well up in her eyes. Moments later, the company's vice president of sales, standing at the lectern, announced the name of the top achiever.  It was my new friend, the judge who loved direct sales.

On stage, she accepted a bouquet of roses and a diamond tiara was placed on her head. Asked to provide a comment, she thanked her team and expressed heartfelt gratitude to the company that made it possible for her and so many others to excel.

Then she took a deep breath and made this announcement:

"I know my husband will think I've lost my mind, but I want you to be the first to know that later this year I am tendering my resignation as a judge to do what I love, share this company and this business opportunity with others."

As one, the audience rose in thunderous applause.

Confidence is having the poise to persevere. Here was a woman possessing the confidence to be what she wanted to be.