This is a guest post from Donna Parker L.Ac.
I was just looking for a good protein bar. My sister-in-law gave me one she had in her purse. I loved it. I asked, “Where can I get these?” That’s where it began. I bought a box from her and when it arrived there was a flyer promoting a 5-day sugar cleanse using the bars and shakes made by that company. This piqued my interest as I had a few pounds of baby weight that clung to me like a baby baboon to its mother. Deep down I had to admit I was truly a sugar addict and often ate too many carbs in my state of sleep-deprived fatigue as a new mother and a new entrepreneur. I thought, “Heck, I can do anything for five days!”
I have a business background that helped me see my newly opened acupuncture practice as more than just helping people get healthy. It was a way to do the work that I was so passionate about and support my family. I knew that I had to create several streams of income in order to make it a success. I was already off to a good start as the lease-holder to the multi-treatment room flat in San Francisco. That meant I could rent out the unused space to help pay the rent. It also meant that I would have more responsibility as a “landlord” to my sublease tenants.
I wasn’t looking to add another business to my business, but I was open to product sales. I just didn’t want to have a lot of stock that might expire as well as I’m a terrible sales person in the traditional sense. I do sell herbal formulas, but I sell them at cost because I can’t bare the thought of selling them retail. It just doesn’t align with my soul. No judgment if you have a residual stream of income via retail sales. If you align with it, then you are on your path and purpose.
So back to the sugar cleanse. I did the program and it was super simple. I dropped the baby weight in the 5 days and easily kept it off to this day. I also had gotten rid of my sugar cravings and I had more energy. Ok, there must be something to this system. I immediately called several girlfriends, shared my experience and told them they had to try it. I ordered 4 more kits from my sister-in-law who said to me “You know, this is a business you can do and sell these kits to your friends.”
Remember my fear of overstock and retail pricing? Well, this is the amazing part. I could order them directly from the company, ship them directly to my friends and, get this, they paid wholesale prices, just like me. The company paid me a commission on the products. That was my introduction to direct marketing. Also known as network marketing. Now, you may have had a horrible experience with this type of business model. Maybe someone pressured you to join their team or down-line only to spend a ton of money to get started and then never make any profit.
For me, I had no experience, so I had no biased opinion. I just knew that I tried a product, it was amazing and I wanted to share my experience with everyone. It was at that point that I researched the company’s nutritional supplement line. It’s pharmaceutical grade, in the PDR, and number 1 rated in the US by the Comparative Guide to Nutritional supplements. Most of all, it was used by several doctors including Dr. Christian Northrup. This aligned with my integrity and high standards.
Over the years, patients asked repeatedly for a multi-vitamin suggestion and I never had an answer that I felt good about. Once, I found this product, I actively offered it to patients at wholesale prices and delivered to their home.
To make your business a success, you need to find not only a passive stream of residual income, but also one that is in alignment with who you are as a healer. There are many options out there so do your research thoroughly. Test the products on yourself first and make sure they live up to their claims. I can’t stress this enough with new acupuncturists who ask me for advice. I tell them to look at the long-term. Will you be treating patients in your 80’s? I don’t think so. So what will you do for an income then?
Donna Parker LAc. is a Classical Five Element acupuncturist, Certified in Integrative Nutrition, and a certified Health Coach who supports patients in making healthy lifestyle changes. Donna helps busy people work toward a healthier lifestyle using low glycemic eating and nutritional supplements that result in increased vitality and health. Visit Donna’s website at http://HealthCoachDonna.com for more information.