Thursday, March 31, 2011

why am i selling avon?

A little while ago I started doing something that I've toyed with doing off and on: I started an Avon business. Yup. I'm a girl.

I've been a little embarrassed about it, I guess, probably because I'm underemployed and I don't want to come off as desperate. I'm not desperate, and if I were, I probably wouldn't be starting an Avon business, because you really need to put money into it (as with any business) before you can see any kind of profit.

I also don't want to appear to prey on people. "You're my from meeeeeeee" just isn't my style. I've mentioned it to people, and I did sort of bully my mom into switching to me for her representative, but my feeling is that if and when people buy cosmetics and fragrances and the other stuff Avon sells, it should be because they want to, not because they feel sorry for their friend. I don't mind being (gently) pushy about asking people to buy it from me as opposed to someone else, but to buy it in the first

That said, one of the reasons why I started this when I had some free time but wasn't yet strapped for cash (both from being between infosec positions) is that I wanted to buy some of the products myself and take advantage of special representative-only offers and samples so that I could say with authority, "Hey, I like this product and I think you would too," or just respond knowledgeably when people asked me about the product line. For instance, Avon heavily touts their Lotus Shield anti-frizz product, so I ganked a sample packet and it's currently sitting in my hair. I have a very sensitive scalp and very fine, wavy hair, so I should soon know if the product irritates my scalp or makes my hair feel icky, and I'll know how I want to approach selling it. This is something Avon encourages, i.e. getting to know their products, and since I've always liked Avon, they don't need to ask twice.

The question remains: Why am I, a network security analyst, selling Avon? The reasons are threefold:

1. I love makeup. I know, I know, as a feminist I am supposed to feel that wearing makeup is succumbing to oppression or something like that. But I don't. I don't spend a lot of money on makeup or hair or clothing, but I do enjoy buying and using it, a lot.

2. I love showing other people how to do stuff. Showing people how to "do infosec", in whatever way, is one of my favorite things about being in the field, and why I'm so good at whatever job I may hold. I'm hoping that it's also going to be a big part of my Avon business. My favorite part is going to be showing other people how to do stuff and helping them find the best products for their particular needs, just as it is in infosec.

3. I want to know if I can do it, and by "do it" I mean sell something. I've always felt like a total failure at sales of any kind. Believe it or not, I'm painfully shy and I have a hard time approaching people in a selling context. So I'm hoping that selling something that I happen to love myself, when it's not a make-it-or-break-it for me, will make me more confident about the concept of selling in general. I'm not expecting this to be my livelihood; I just want to put myself outside my comfort zone and see what happens.

So ding dong! Avon calling!

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