Most of us don’t rush into big decisions without first doing a little homework. We research schools, then go to college to learn skills for a particular vocation. When we date and contemplate marriage, we question intently and consider whether an individual is a good fit. To prepare for childbirth, we take Lamaze classes and seek the wisdom and counsel of health care professionals and those who have gone before us.

Starting a direct sales business is no different. We should research, ask questions, investigate the company, etc. Often times, however, we’ll be sitting at a home party/show/demonstration/whatever, fall in love with the product, and think “I can do this.” It’s true, you can. There are several factors, however, that will significantly improve your potential for success.

Starting your business is a journey, just like most other things in life. The first part of the journey is introspective. Ask yourself the following questions:

What draws me to the idea of owning my own business?

Is it the ability to set my own schedule, to be home with my kids, to earn a little extra money, to get out of the house once a week, to get some recognition for my efforts, to support my family...? Is it a particular product or company mission?

Let’s examine both internal and external factors that are drawing you toward direct sales. Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the center (you pick: horizontal or vertical; it doesn’t matter to me!) Write Internal Factors on one half and External Factors on the other half, then list anything and everything you can think of relating to the desire to begin a direct sales business. Internal Factors (reasons that are inherent to you) include improved self-confidence, the desire to participate fully in the lives of my children, the satisfaction that comes from achieving goals, the desire to build a business, etc. External factors (basically everything else) might be additional income, earning trips, getting out of the house once a week, building new friendships, etc.

Go through your lists and pick your top 3 factors. They can be from anywhere on your paper. These factors will come into play when you determine your WHY.

What are my interests?

How do you spend your time? What activities do you enjoy? If you could pick one thing to do every single day, what would it be? Do you exercise, read, like to shop, enjoy make-up and jewelry? Flip your Factors paper over and write down all of your interests, then pick the top 3. We’ll use this later.

Look over your list and get a general feel for the type of product or service that might fit your interests. There is a company selling just about anything you can imagine, from bath and beauty, green cleaning products, romance enhancements, shoes, purses, clothes, nutritional products, fitness programs, jewelry, legal services . . .the list goes on forever. The key here is to generalize your interests into a couple of broad categories.

What are MY Passions?

What lights your fire? What occupies your thoughts? Where do you volunteer? Who do you most like to help? What causes do you support? On your Interests paper, write down your Passions. Identify your top 2.

For some, your passion may be a driving factor into company selection. Do I embrace the mission of a particular company? What charities does the company support? Who will I be helping by representing a particular product or service?

My friend has a passion for children’s literacy. She’s aligned that passion with her direct sales career and is working with a company dedicated to helping children love reading.

Your passion is a factor, not the only factor, to consider when exploring business possibilities. It’s a piece of the puzzle. Watch for Part 2 of this article coming soon!

Author's Bio: 

Heather Doering, owner of IN3 Network, coaches, consults with and trains women entrepreneurs. IN3 Network publishes "Escape From the 9 to 5," an online magazine dedicated to helping women leave the grind behind. She is a single work-from-home mom who endeavors to equip women with the tools to build successful businesses.

As a Lyoness business partner, Heather works with individuals and business owners, helping them develop a totally passive, independent income source. As Lyoness gains an ever-increasing market share in the U.S., Heather is equipping others to benefit from daily transactions in all sectors of the economy. There are currently 3.5 million global Lyoness shoppers, a number estimated to exceed 350 million by 2020.

Heather holds a degree in Psychology from Michigan State University, has over 10 years’ experience mentoring women and is a certified life coach, helping women successfully transition from employee to entrepreneur. She coaches and consults with companies and individuals who seek to grow their businesses through new and creative opportunities designed to increase market share and revenue.

Heather loves to run, enjoys watching and playing sports, and loves being a mom of 2 amazing boys (and one sometimes pesky dog) more than anything else in the world.

For more info on starting your business, branding and setting goals, subscribe to "Escape from the 9 to 5," IN3’s free online magazine here: For information on IN3Network’s services and events, visit .