Direct sales is often thought of as an industry dominated by women – stay-at-home moms selling kitchenware for extra income, empty nesters peddling jewelry to fill their time, working women marketing cosmetics on the weekends.

But for intrepid-minded men like Joel, one of our Traveling Vineyard Wine Guides, direct sales is an untapped opportunity. Like many others, Joel found himself trapped in a cubicle, having settled for a job that he liked but didn’t love. The introduction to Traveling Vineyard gave him a vision of a new future: a future in which he was his own boss, setting his own hours, selling a product he loved … because who doesn’t love wine?

A year later, he’s well on his way to achieving that dream. He’s building his team, meeting amazing and supportive people, having a great time, and progressing up the ranks within the organization. He’s on target to turn direct sales into a full-time career.

Joel isn’t an anomaly. There are innumerable people out there who are dissatisfied with their conventional, 9-to-5 jobs but can’t see a way out. Career-minded men and women may disregard direct sales because of an imperfect understanding of the potential. It’s time to answer their questions.

I know direct sales jobs are great as a sideline, but can they really stand in for a full-time career?

While not all direct sales jobs have the same earnings spectrum, if you choose the right one, it absolutely has the potential to become a full-time, lifelong career with a strong income and the prospect for growth and advancement in the team you build. It also promises independence and the chance to be your own boss, set your own goals, and work at your own pace.

Those well-established in the direct sales industry can rely on a steady stream of income from a variety of sources: there’s the income from their own events, there are bonuses and awards from the company headquarters, and there is revenue from the sales of the teams they build. And depending on your level of commitment and your success, it can add up to a very nice paycheck.

Depending on which company you choose to work with, direct sales jobs often give you a lot more freedom than most traditional work structures and have lower overhead than other self-employment options. (For example, Traveling Vineyard, which has no on-hand inventory requirements, requires a one-time purchase of a Success Kit for less than two hundred dollars.)

One key to a full-time, direct sales career is to choose the right product. So many of the items marketed through direct sales are one-and-done. How often do people need to restock their kitchen goods? How often can they afford to indulge in jewelry? Joel chose wine and Traveling Vineyard because most everybody loves wine, and when people find a wine they love, they buy it over and over again. Choosing a consumable product – food or drink, cosmetics, etc. – means you have the chance at winning repeat customers with every sale. This increases your income without increasing your effort, leaving you time for team-building and mentoring and moving you toward a full-time career more quickly.

The direct sales industry seems pretty female-centric. Is it something men do?

You don’t find as many men in the direct sales industry, but it’s not because men aren’t well-suited for direct sales jobs. The main reason direct sales is female-dominated is that many of the major direct sales companies market products for women. Cosmetics, home goods, jewelry: men don’t typically feel comfortable selling these products.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for men in direct sales. There are loads of direct sales opportunities that are a great fit for men. Joel found a product he loved, and with it, set himself on a new career path. Traveling Vineyard isn’t the only company that has a gender-neutral product. Though wine is equally popular with men and women – Joel’s events are attended by both – there are direct sales companies that appeal specifically to men. They sell meat and grilling accessories, fire safety equipment, and outdoor home goods like lawn care equipment and car stuff. It’s just a matter of finding the right product for you.

Joel still works a traditional corporate job for now, but he’s steadily working toward his goal of making Traveling Vineyard his career. The promise of independence, of being his own boss, and determining his own future gives him the inspiration and energy he needs to turn Traveling Vineyard into his dream job.

If you’re interested, you can read more about how Traveling Vineyard supports our Wine Guides as they strive for success.


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If you’re a Traveling Vineyard team member, do you have any advice for someone who wants to turn a direct sales job into a career? We’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments.

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