There are many stay-at-home moms that are attempting to help the household by having a little side-business. The kind I am referring to today is the "pyramid scheme" type, that builds a business off of someone else's already established network. As your little business grows, so does the original, which means the money can begin to flow in nicely. I'm sure you are aware of these businesses if you are a female in the Facebook world: Beachbody, Essential Oils, Thirty-One bags, LuLaRoe, Usborne books, etc. I imagine back in the day it was more of Tupperware and Avon parties that women were hosting to sell products to their lady friends. These are all fine businesses, and the women that are doing them have good intentions. They want to help their families, as well as help those that purchase their products. My purpose in this article is not to make anyone feel less than for these business endeavors. I applaud you for being like the Proverbs 31 woman, and being ingenious in how you help your household. In some ways, it feels wrong to even say anything negative when women are doing a good thing for their families like this. But, it isn't helping anyone to not address a glaring flaw in the approach of these businesses, so here it goes.
There is a reason these side-businesses have become something of a joke within the church, eliciting a response of a slight snicker or annoyed sigh when the topic comes up. We all know that if we, out-of-the-blue, get a message from a stay-at-home mom that we haven't heard from in years, there's a good chance they are trying to sell us something. I once had a woman hound me for almost two years to start up a business under her, although I politely replied every time that I wasn't interested. I always got asked how my life was, but it quickly moved to business talk. It made me feel a little used, and not really cared about. And it has happened to me more times than I can remember with various women. Sometimes I don't even respond anymore to those types of messages, because I know they've pasted it to a hundred others in their friend list. This is a major reason why I haven't started my own little side-business at home. I don't want to be tempted to do that to the women in my life.
Something that I've appreciated that some of my friends with these side-businesses will do is limit how much they post about their particular product. Even better, I've had friends start a business Facebook page, and mainly post about their product there. If their friends are interested, they can follow that page, instead of being bombarded every time they go to see what their friends are up to on Facebook, especially if they are posting more than once a day about their product. It might seem like a bad business move, but it gains respect in my eyes. It makes me feel like they are actually thinking about me as a person more than their business. We all want to feel cared about, and it can start to appear selfish if a person posts constantly about their product. I hate to "unfollow" people, but, admittedly, sometimes it has happened out of desperation to see something different in my feed every once in a while.
In order to not shame these business ladies any more than necessary, I'll stop there. My only plea is that you make the women in your life feel like more than just consumers for your business. If you ask how they are doing, really stop to consider if you care or if you are just waiting for that open moment to make a plug about your business. I admire that you are helping to provide for your family. But, please, be genuine as a friend through it all.