This week on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, it’s not just Becky describing the trends she’s seeing in direct sales. She’s joined by three members of the Modern Direct Seller Academy to discuss some of their recent shifts and big wins! Listen in as Marcia McMaster, Amber Grillot, and Pam Wilfing share their own industry experiences, how they utilize the tools in the Academy, and how their businesses continue to grow as a result of the new strategies they’re implementing.

Connect with Pam Wilfing on Facebook or at; Amber using @AmberGrillot everywhere or through her website,; and Marcia at, or by searching “Little Black Dress Approved #TocaraStyle Jewelry with Marcia” on Facebook and Instagram.

Considering the Academy for yourself? The Modern Direct Seller Challenge is officially open for the spring! It’s a free, five-day trial full of tips to grow your business, and it’ll give you a taste of the benefits of the Modern Direct Seller Academy. Sign up at


Time based notes:

  • 1:24 Marcia McMaster introduction
  • 1:54 Amber Grillot introduction
  • 2:37 Pam Wilfing introduction
  • 3:36 Marcia and the Academy
  • 4:36 Pam and the Academy
  • 6:43 Amber and the Academy
  • 8:48 Marcia’s “Ah-ha!” moments
  • 11:03 Amber’s “Ah-ha!” moments
  • 13:08 Pam’s “Ah-ha!” moments
  • 15:31 A big win for Marcia
  • 17:49 A big win for Amber
  • 21:06 A big win for Pam
  • 23:55 Our favorite office supplies
  • 26:16 Where to contact our guests


“Ah-Ha” Moments in the Modern Direct Seller Academy

Recently on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, Becky was joined by three members of the Modern Direct Seller Academy to discuss some of their recent shifts and big wins! Marcia McMaster, Amber Grillot, and Pam Wilfing shared their own industry experiences, how they utilize the tools in the Academy, and how their businesses continue to grow as a result of the new strategies they’re implementing.


I’m going to let our guests introduce themselves and share a little bit of their story, so you get a chance to get to know them. So, let’s jump right in!

Marcia McMaster: So, I’m Maria McMaster. I am in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada; I’m about an hour and a half east of Toronto. I have been with Tocara for three and a half years—almost four now—and I found and fell in love with the company in the middle of the pandemic, like most people, but I have extended my stay long-term because I love the family.

Amber Grillot: I’m Amber Grillot. I’m with Scentsy. I have been with Scentsy since September of 2016, and I can tell you, I have absolutely no clue why joined. It was a whim. It was like, “Okay, sure.” And, I clicked “Join.” But, I’ve stayed because of the confidence that I’ve gotten from it as I’ve accomplished goals and grown.

Pam Wilfing: Hello! I’m Pam Wilfing, and I’m in northern Indiana, in Fighting Irish country. I am a representative with Lemongrass Spa. And, I’ve been there a little over a year and a half now, but I’ve been in direct sales for almost 10 years. I had to make a little company slide after the one I had been with for quite a while had some changes, and Lemongrass filled the need for me with great products and just being able to have that flexibility and freedom.


Okay, so we have three different people on today, with different stories, different amounts of time they’ve been with their companies, and three different companies. So, this is going to be so, so good. Why don’t you each share a little bit about how long you’ve been in the Academy, why you decided to jump into the Academy, and anything in the Academy that stands out to you or that you love?

Marcia McMaster: It’s been almost a year since I’ve been in the Academy and moved into the VIP section, which has been amazing for me. I was looking for something different, a little bit more tangible, a really great call to action, and action items that I could actually do and apply to my business. I needed focus. And, that’s the biggest thing that I have achieved.


Yeah, in VIP, we have one-on-one calls. And, many times, we’re hopping on those calls, and part of that conversation is, “I have 4,000 things on my list, and I have 20,000 ideas swirling in my head. Where do I need to focus? Where is my time and effort best spent?” So, I love, love, love that that is something you’ve gained from VIP, Marcia.

Pam, what about you?


Pam Wilfing: Well, I’ve been in the Academy for a little over a year now. And, I’ve been in the Academy Pro since it started. And, I found Becky and the Academy when she was announced to be our leadership keynote. And, I thought, “Okay, I’m going to check this person out, and see who’s coming, and find out what I’m going to learn.”

And, I loved exactly what Marcia said: Your content is so down to earth and realistic and tangible. And so, I thought, “Okay, let me do a little more.” I did some of your free trainings and challenges going on at the time. And, that’s when I joined the Academy. And then, when Pro launched, I just felt like it was a no-brainer. I needed to do it, because it has that added layer of personal coaching, and I definitely need that hand-holding sometimes. So, what I have gained is confidence through the support that Pro offers.


Well, Pam, we look forward to your monthly progress report—or “Pro-gress” report—that we get every single month. And, it’s so fun just to see that added accountability of, “Hey, this was my goal for the month. This is where I landed. Here’s where I need help.” Sometimes we don’t always sit and reflect on where we’ve been over the last month, and where we’re going in the next month, so just that exercise of having to put it down on paper adds that layer of accountability. I love it.

Amber, let’s hop over to you!

Amber Grillot: I have not been in the Academy for very long; I joined in October or November of last year. Maybe September at the earliest. And, I knew I needed something, because we get tunnel vision in our business when we’re hearing the same people talk over and over and over again about the same things. But, it’s scary to branch out to somebody who’s not in your business. I’m like, “Well, they don’t know me. They don’t know our rules. That’s not going to help.” But, I knew I needed to branch out someplace. So, I took the leap, and I joined the Academy.

And, the brainstorming and the office hours with other people is huge. Even though has nothing to do with what I’m doing, I can kind of tweak what other are doing and twist it and make it work. And, it gives me ideas like, “Oh, okay, I can do something like that in my business.”


I could not agree more. That’s been one of my big “Ah-ha” moments as I’ve watched the Academy grow over the years. We’re all essentially doing the same thing. We’re doing it in different ways. We have different products. We have different incentives. We have different comp plans. But, the core business-building activities really are transferable across companies and products. And, you’re right, it takes some tweaking. But, getting outside of just the way things are done inside your company and seeing how others are doing things, I feel like that’s truly where the magic happens in the Academy.

Any “Ah-ha” moments that you all have had in your businesses over the last few months that you feel like could really help others that are listening to this episode?

Marcia McMaster: Absolutely. I think the biggest one has been having my own website through Oh My, Hi. With what we’ve all experienced recently with some social media hiccups and platforms not performing the way they should, having my own business identity online was a big moment for me. And, when we have those hiccups, where we can’t access our communities through social, you’re like, “Oh, yeah, that’s why I have my own website,” right? So, you don’t lose the look and the feel of your business. You don’t lose contact with your customers. It’s like losing your storefront, basically. And, you don’t have that when you have your own website.

Amber Grillot: One of my biggest things was the Oh My, Hi site, as well, because a lot of times, your company provides your site, and it’s easy to feel like you don’t need anything more than that. And, I didn’t for a very long time. I didn’t see a value in it—or I did, but it seemed like something upper-level people used. I wasn’t there yet. So, creating my own site was really important to me.

But then, the ready-made graphics? That sounds so silly, and so little, but it’s such a huge help. I may not use them in the way that you create them for, or intend them to be used, or in the order in which you do it. But, to go through and bust out a whole bunch of posts very, very quickly? That is a huge relief, because I don’t have to create it. I don’t have to think. I can just do it. And, that frees up my mind to do other things. It gives me more time.


I love that. We have our 365 Toolkit that gives you graphics for every day out of the year, but you’re right, you can use those graphics and captions in any order and any way that you want just to spark engagement. And then, recently, we launched our Social Selling Action Plan. And, every month, we’re providing a Canva template inside of that that you can customize; you can add your own branding to it. And, I have seen everyone using that in so many different ways, and it’s so fun to see how everyone puts their own flair into it, and I love that it’s helping you save your energy for building relationships and connecting with people and actual, real sales strategies, not being a social media manager.

Pam, what has been your “Ah-ha” moment?

Pam Wilfing: Actually, the Social Selling Kit is huge for me, too. I definitely use it. In fact, this month, I used it to create a Story and a Reel, and I haven’t done that in a very long time. And, I was able to reach people that I never had before. So, that was fantastic.

But, it’s really everything. I feel between the training videos, the Lives, the challenges, the kits, and the tools, there’s such a good variety that there is something in the Academy that works into our schedules and our lives. And, they’re just so easy to use and applicable in everyday life. I almost feel like it’s my personal assistant, the Academy, because it saves so much time. And, it also pushes me to try new things.


I love hearing that. And, I think sometimes when we jump into a program, we you feel like we don’t get the full value out of something unless we do everything inside that program. And, that’s the one piece that I just can’t echo loudly enough: You actually don’t have to do it all. You have it all, and it’s all there for you, and you can consider that your library, but it’s a matter of knowing what you need and how you can apply that to your business without feeling the overwhelm.

Speaking of, I’d love to hear from all of you about a win. What’s something you’ve learned, tried, or something you’ve done recently that’s been big for your business?

Marcia McMaster: So, I worked on my 90-day plan with you for the beginning of year. And then, we had a strategy call saying, “Okay, this is the big goal. And, it’s very time sensitive.” So, we sort of put the 90-day plan on hold. And, I’m regrouping after that now. And, the focus was, “How do I ensure that I earn my company incentive trip?” Because, I had never earned a trip before. I’ve won tons of awards in my sales career. I’ve been doing sales a really long time, but I’ve never earned a trip. And, I’m so excited. We’re going to Paris in May!


So incredible!

Marcia McMaster: So, you know, that was a big win. And, I was pretty humbled to earn it. Because, you know, when you’ve been in sales as long as I have, you earn awards. They’re shiny, and they’re pretty, but there’s something about an experience with people who have helped you get there that I genuinely look forward to.

And, you know, Becky, when we met in-person last August, and when that trip was first announced, it was something I really needed to achieve. And then, come January, it was, “Okay, I’m almost there.” And, we had a strategy we put it into place. Like, “Okay, what have you got? What can you do? Who are you going to contact?” And, boom. There’s a postcard coming from Paris for you.


Well, I am so proud of you. I didn’t realize this was the first incentive trip that you’re going on, too! And, I feel like this was a magical moment, because you’re right, I got to be a part of that. And, when we chatted that night, you were like, “I’m going to do it. I’m going to make this happen.” And, you did.

Amber, I know that’s a big one to follow, but what about you?

Amber Grillot: I mean, it ain’t Paris. But, as far as, the Academy, the last challenge—the I Heart Sales Challenge? I may not have accomplished much, but I used all of the stuff you gave us ahead of time in my team. And, my team was so involved in that challenge, and to see them excited, and to see people who usually don’t participate in challenges participate? That was so big. Like, it was a moment of, “Okay, maybe I am doing something right. Next week, I probably won’t be, but this week, I did something right.” And, my team may not have accomplished it, but they were really putting in an effort. So, that was a huge, huge win as far as the Academy.

And, in my business, I’m in a weird phase where I feel comfortable. Which is scary, because you’re waiting for the floor to fall out from underneath you. But, I feel comfortable, and I’m proud, and there’s a buzz. Like, there’s an energy going on within my team, and for me, that’s really exciting. That’s my big “Ah-ha” moment.


Feeling like the momentum is on your side, and having that ease, and feeling that comfort, and seeing things flow, knowing that things those systems that you’ve put in place are supporting you is a huge win.

Pam, what are your thoughts?

Pam Wilfing: I was actually sitting here thinking, “Wait a minute, should I talk about this one or that one?” Because, I’ve had several in the last couple of months. And, the I Heart Sales Challenge was a really big one for me. I personally had good results with it, but the team didn’t hop on too much. But, what’s great is, now with the new Spring Challenge coming up, I’ve been able to share my results with my team, so they can see what it can do for your business if you do take these steps. So, I already have heard from people that they want to join the Spring Challenge. So, that’s exciting!

But, through everything that I’ve tried or learned or done through the Academy and through Pro, the overall success and big win is my confidence level. I mean, I’ve been in direct sales for almost 10 years, and I’ve never had my own domain. I’ve never tried Project Broadcast. And, I currently have both. And, I’m using them. And, took me a long time to get, because I was worried about failing, and not doing it right. But, everybody in the Academy really just cheered me on and offered advice and help from different companies and different backgrounds. And, that’s what finally pushed me to do it.


Everything’s more fun with friends, right? And, one thing I love about the Academy is that it truly is community over competition. Like, there’s never an ounce of, “Oh, I don’t want to tell her how I did that, because what if she copies me?” It is very much, “We’re all in this together. The more we help each other out, the more we collaborate, the better we all are as an industry and as a collective.” And, I just find that huge. I love that. And, that really speaks to the character of our members. I get the privilege of leading everyone, but really, it’s the people in the Academy that make it so special.


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