This week on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, we’re publishing two episodes in one! First, we’re joined by three incredible industry leaders and Modern Direct Seller Academy members: Lisa Duck, Evelyn Abernathy, and Allison Bailey. They’re prepping for the new year alongside their teams, and they’re here to share not only what they learned in 2023, but what they’re most looking forward to in 2024. Second, DSA Canada award winner Wendy Castillo jumped on with Becky to share her sales insight and her advice for moving your business forward. This is information you won’t want to miss!
Time based notes:
- 2:04 Lisa Duck introduction
- 2:26 Evelyn Abernathy introduction
- 2:48 Allison Bailey introduction
- 3:33 Lisa’s 2023 reflection
- 5:31 Evelyn’s 2023 reflection
- 6:41 Allison’s 2023 reflection
- 10:52 Lisa’s 2024 forecast
- 12:30 Evelyn’s 2024 forecast
- 14:35 Allison’s 2024 forecast
- 17:07 Lisa, Evelyn, Allison wrap-up
- 25:39 Wendy Castillo introduction
- 28:40 Wendy’s advice for TikTok
- 32:05 Wendy’s 2024 forecast
- 33:06 Wendy’s tips for 2024
Tips for 2024 from Top Leaders
This week on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, we published two episodes in one! First, we were joined by three incredible industry leaders and Modern Direct Seller Academy members—Lisa Duck, Evelyn Abernathy, and Allison Bailey—and then DSA Canada award winner Wendy Castillo. They’re prepping for the new year alongside their teams, and they’re here to share not only what they learned in 2023, but what they’re most looking forward to in 2024.
Welcome, Lisa, Evelyn, Allison! Let’s just dive right in and let everyone know who you are and what your background is.
Lisa Duck: My name is Lisa Duck, and I am an Epicure leader. I’ve been in direct sales—I can’t believe it, but—17 years and been with Epicure for 13. And, I live up in Ontario, Canada.
Evelyn Abernathy: I am Evelyn Abernathy in Los Angeles, California. And, I’ve been with JAFRA cosmetics for 23 years. The first 15 years I was a buyer, because I wanted everything at half price, and the last eight years I’ve been a business owner.
Allison Bailey: I am Alison Bailey. I am from Dallas-Fort Worth, and currently live just west of town. And, I am in year 10 with Norwex. So, that’s exciting! And, I really have been a customer as long as I have been a consultant. So, I knew that I wanted the products in my home, and the best way to do that was to get a discount. So, I have really enjoyed owning my business and really enjoyed the progression of who I’ve become since starting my own business.
Oh my gosh, what a tremendous amount of experience here! I mean, decades and decades in business. So, you know that 2023 looked a little bit of a different for your business than some of the years in the past. And so, I’d love to hear just any reflection on 2023 and what it has looked like for you as a direct seller and a direct sales leader, as well as anything you’re especially proud of that you accomplished this last year.
Lisa Duck: Yes. 2023, to say the least, was definitely a different year than most. One thing that I’m super happy with in my business is the fact that I was able to build consistency, where it was on the “easy” button. So, you know, I have my Epicure business running consistently. I have my customer contacts and all that jazz. But, what I’m so excited and so proud of is the fact that, because of that consistency, and because of the little nudge from Becky here, I was able to branch out and start my own business to help other direct sellers develop systems and use apps that help them grow their business. So, I’m super excited to get that launched in 2023 and happy to see where it’s going to go beyond this.
Evelyn Abernathy: Well, one of the best things about being in this industry is the personal growth and the professional growth. This year, I earned the Number Three national level of the Top Micro Influencer. Now, if you knew me before I was doing direct sales, the fact that I am now able to even come on even a podcast like this… I mean, this is the first time I’ve ever done a podcast. So, that’s exciting, wrapping up 2023 like that! But, I’m just learning new ways of how to do business. So, it’s been really fun doing things socially, and I just really want to do a lot more transition from the in-person to the online business. That’s been really fun this year.
Allison Bailey: It’s funny, so this year has been a little bit crazy. I had some big personal stuff happen at the end of last year that I feel like I’m just coming out of the haze of. And, I think that it’s important to note that’s what the beauty of these businesses really can be, is they’re there when we can do them as business owners, and when we need to put stuff on a shelf or rely on our friends, we can lean on their expertise and how they run their businesses. And, learning from them has really encouraged me to kind of stop looking at what everyone else is doing in my company, and kind of garner that experience from what people in other companies are doing, and I really have been able to look at what brings me joy in my business and what doesn’t.
And, really, this last quarter of 2023, I really started noticing consistent sales without doing the race of the parties that we’ve been accustomed to doing, you know, the entire time I’ve been a consultant. So, that’s been really interesting, just to see the consistency that doing what brings you joy actually brings to your business, which in turn brings some less stress. And, “joy” is the word. “Joy” and “simplify.” Those are my words right now.
I love that all of you hit on different ways around how your business is consistently evolving and growing. And, it does look different year over year. Even with decades of experience, you’re continuing to reinvent yourself to stay relevant and really focus in on those areas that do bring you joy, and that also get you results in your business.
And, I think we’re going to hear more of that trend as we shift into 2024. So, we have our planning sessions coming up here in the next couple of weeks as we work with thousands of direct sellers to really plan out their year, and build their business around that lifestyle that they’re working so hard to create, and staying focused on the things that matter the most, and doing more in less time. So, I’d love to hear a little sneak peek from the three of you, because I know you’ve already put some thought into 2024 and what you’re looking forward to.
Lisa Duck: Absolutely. You know, I’m going to keep that consistency going with my Epicure business. But—and this actually scares me to say out loud—my plan for 2024 is to launch my very own podcast. I am a big, big believer that success in the direct sales business doesn’t just happen to those at the top of the company. I feel that success happens at many levels. Not everybody is in it for the six-figure income, and I want to shout out those who are running a successful business, but maybe may not be featured in their company newsletter or on-stage and so forth. So, be on the lookout for that coming early 2024.
Evelyn Abernathy: I am so excited about learning new things. Like, I want to be doing things the modern way, doing things differently than how I’ve been doing over the past several years. One of the things that I love about this community is having these wonderful people, and we get to network together, and talk about how we do business and share ideas. It’s absolutely wonderful. So, for next year, I want to see a lot more automation. I want to lean more into some of the trainings of platforms already put together; they’re there waiting for me to just dive in a little bit deeper. So, I think my word for next year will be “automation,” because a lot of things need to be automated to just run smoothly.
Well, and a little bit of a teaser of what’s to come in the planning workshop: We’re going to talk a little bit about what to automate and what not to automate. I think there’s a lot of really great systems out there that you can use to make your business easier and flow smoother. And, there’s a few things that we’re going to make sure that we do not automate, and we keep that relationship piece of the business at the forefront. So, we’re going to talk a little bit more about that here in the next couple of weeks.
How about you, Allison?
Allison Bailey: I think that 2023 for me became a lot about product education for my customers. I have made some changes with the way I encourage my team to order at this back half of 2023. And, my plan for 2024 is really to focus a lot on my team. I have a fair amount of what we call “casual consultants” or “discount buyers,” but I want them to know about all the products that they could be saving 35% on every month that you go to the store to buy. So, whether that’s dishwasher detergent, or laundry detergent, or shampoo and conditioner, I want them to know that they can get a discount on those products, and also share them with their friends and family. And so, I’m really focusing on team product education next year to kind of help change the landscape there for people that are already familiar with Norwex, but maybe don’t quite know what all we have to offer.
Amazing. Any final words just around what you’re excited about for this next year? Any kind of shifts that you’re seeing happening in your business?
Lisa Duck: I want to make sure that everybody knows to just follow your heart with this business. It’s going to lead you. And, you know, I sit there, and I have chats with Becky, and she knows that my heart is really in the training side of the business. So, I mean, I follow where my heart takes me. So, that is where the new business venture is coming from. But, I love Epicure so much. I could never leave it. I could never leave behind my team; I could never leave behind my customers. But, don’t be afraid to try new things.
Evelyn Abernathy: Well, for me, I think it is all about having a support system in your community or within your direct sales company, or in a bigger community, like the Academy, where it’s just amazing. What I love about the Academy is that you’ve got people from so many different direct sales companies, and we’re all just kind of sharing and leaning in together what works well. So, I’d say just focus in what your love is, and what your desire is for building in your business, and have a support system to do that.
Allison Bailey: I am super excited to continue growing with our VIP community here, and with the ladies that I do business with from my company, and just really looking forward to, again, simplifying. I think “simplify” is my word every year, but I feel like this year, I’m really going to honor it. So, simplify, enjoy, and just really work to make my business what I want it to be and not what maybe others expect it to be. That’s a really big deal to me this coming year.
Well, I want to thank all three of you for spending time with us here today and giving a glimpse into what you’re working on this year and what you’re looking forward to next year. This is the perfect time to take that pause and reflect and evaluate and look and see what’s worked, what maybe didn’t work, and what we’re going to shift and pivot and do differently next year. So, of course, everyone’s invited to join us for the 2024 planning sessions. They kick off on Friday, so make sure to save your seat over at ModernDirectSeller.com/2024Plan.
We also have an incredible bonus guest—one of our DSA award winners, Wendy Castillo! If you want to hear her full guest spot on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, as well as detailed insight from all of today’s guests, listen in here. For now, here are her tips for successful direct sales!
Wendy Castillo: First, you need to hear and follow you heart. It’s like this: When you share the opportunity for your business, it’s not like, “I want to sell to you.” No, it’s “I want to help you. What do you need?” That’s the more important.
Second, you have to be focused. Now, we want everything to be done quickly. But, you have to focus. Many people, they only want to believe in their vision when they have it in their hands. But, the thing is, believe before you have the results, and your vision will follow you.
And, be consistent. Persistent. Every single day, open your business. The “open your business” can mean you talk to somebody by phone, you can send a text, or you can put up posts on Stories, Lives, Reels, TikTok—you have many ways to grow your business and open your business.
In this business, something even more important to me is that I get back to my house with my kids, because I’m a single mother, and I have to be completely economically responsible for them. When I did construction full-time, I had to leave my house at 5:00 AM and come back at 7:00 PM. So, this business has given me that beautiful gift of working from my house, and I share this with other people: “You know what? My business did this for me.” So, share what the business did for you.
Also, know about the industry. In my case, this is my first business, and so every single day is good if you know more about your company, your products, but mostly about your industry. Because, people outside of this, they need to know about what we have. This is amazing.
Your business can help you reach big goals, but only with the right strategies and systems to keep you relevant as times change. Learn how we plan to see success in 2024, and how we can help you do that same, by joining our free 2024 planning workshop at ModernDirectSeller.com/2024Plan.