Don Karn

Throughout most of the second half of the 20th century, the concept of “abundance mindset” for the average American family consisted of a common four-pronged approach:

  1. 1. Dad—sometimes with mom’s help—provided financially for the family by working a full-time job outside the home.
  2. 2. Purchasing a family home was the first goal of any savings plan.
  3. 3. Providing for the kids’ higher education was the second goal.
  4. 4. Saving for retirement was a third goal, often supported by dad’s company’s pension program.

Many prudent parents could achieve these four components of abundance, even with money left over for a modest family vacation once a year, or for more far-reaching outings every two or three years. For many families, this was the good life and they were happy with the “abundance” they enjoyed.

There were no guarantees, unfortunately. If dad lost his job, both the income and the pension disappeared. Then how could they pay the mortgage? Where would college tuition come from? The huge flaw in the four-pronged abundance mindset outlined above was that it depended heavily—almost entirely—on one prong: dad’s continued employment. The moment that went away, the rest of the abundance components tumbled like a house of cards.

As the 20th century entered its final quarter, more and more families realized that dependence upon one income earned by one parent in one job was a dangerous situation for the family’s financial stability. More moms went to work to bolster the family income, some in part-time jobs, others in fulltime jobs outside the home. With this new situation came one positive—more income for the family—and one big negative—“latchkey kids” and the problems associated with children left to their own devices while both parents worked. What to do?

A possible solution often came first with the ring of a doorbell and in the form of a friend or neighbor—the local “Avon lady”—offering her company’s exclusive beauty products. Mom could try them right there in her living room, or maybe she was invited to a Tupperware party, where each product was demonstrated (including the signature “burp” closure), after which mom was encouraged to hold a similar party at her home. The best part? There was money to be made! Build your own home business, work on your own schedule around the kids’ needs, and create a whole new abundance mindset. For many moms, the direct selling opportunity was a godsend.

There were many products and services to choose from, so mom could select the home business that most appealed to her and start bringing in money.

But what about dad? Very soon it became apparent to the savviest and hard-working dads that instead of going off to work every day for someone else, they, too, could make a living with a home-based business. Why devote 8 to 10 hours a day (or more) to a job outside the home that often left him tired during the week, and that relegated weekends to household chores, cutting even more into family time? If dad began a home-based business (or if dad and mom went into business together), the family could achieve economic stability leading to financial growth that could make short work of all those four prongs mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Aha! Both mom and dad now embraced a new paradigm: direct selling offered a true “abundance mindset” for their best lifestyle, now and into their future.

An added beauty of direct selling is that it is contagious… in the very best way. When mom and dad’s friends and acquaintances learned of their home-based business and its wonderful benefits, they were eager to join. They, too, could see that direct selling provides true abundance: income growth, time freedom, financial security, and a family lifestyle everyone dreams about.

The story does not end there—and this is the best part: let’s jump ahead to present day and see if direct selling is still relevant. In the last decade, countless companies cut their staffs dramatically, putting hundreds of thousands of employees out of work. Many could not find other work for months or years, or they had to take a job making far less than a living wage. The family home went into foreclosure. Dreams of college went unfulfilled. Every aspect of the family’s “abundance” was lost. What to do?

Once again, savvy and hard-working moms and dads facing this dilemma grabbed onto an opportunity that maintained its bright prospect even when most of the financial news was grim. Once again, direct selling provided the “abundance” for a bright future. That bright future continues today and will for many years to come. It is the reason I’ve been in this business for over five decades!

DON KARN is vice president of North American markets for an international network marketing company. He is a board member of Gabriel Media Group, Inc., publishers of Networking Times, and a board member of the Association of Network Marketing Professionals.