Pyramid Schemes, Scams, Direct Sales And More!

“Are Selling Products A Legit Income??”

I have to say this is one of the most popular questions I get emailed. But the truth is, even I wondered this same thing before getting involved in this business. A few years back, I was approached to join a company, and my instant thought was Pyramid Scheme and scam!! It’s sad that I thought that way, but many people do as unless you are in this business or well educated about it, you just know what you hear. Many of these companies we think are scams, are actually backed by the Better Business Bureau and have been around for many years!!! So today I am going to cover a few of these popular questions, along with how to know if something is legit and the truth about Pyramids.

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Is it Legit?!?!
Direct Sales Companies are VERY legit. They are large companies that chose to pay independent contractors to advertise them instead of using TV adds, Billboards, etc. They are actually helping our economy by putting the money in your pockets vs some very large CEO of a TV station. To find out if a company is legit, you can google them or see if they are registered with the Direct Selling Association. You can also read the reviews about the company online, but remember to only take so much away from those. Job’s are like food, each person has a different preference and different experience so expect to see both good and bad reviews.12004772_995077193889412_9133849978607155890_n
How these companies work, is you advertise their products for them and in return they pay you a commission. Each company has a different pay scale, but in my experience the average is between 10-40%. Finding out what they pay is very important before you begin! Direct Sales companies are very smart, they know people are going to share a product they love, and they encourage that sharing by paying you for it. What better advertisement is their than a happy customer?? I would believe my friends love of a product a lot more than I would a celebrity on TV.

 
The companies usually require a start up fee, and this is what scares most people. They see that fee and instantly think it’s a scam and they are being robbed. But the truth is, MOST jobs have a start up cost such as background check, uniform, training, etc. With direct sales companies, you want to make sure your cost comes with something!!!!! It should include samples for you, catalogs, brochures, products, a website, product discounts, training, etc. The average cost of a start up kit is around $100 and most have ways for you to make that right back by selling the products in your kit. If the cost is very high, with no products for you, think twice before joining and look more into the company!!! Start up costs are also a tax write off!!! It’s a business investment and you get it back at tax time. The IRS knows direct sales companies are a legit way to make an income.

 

Pyramid Schemes
Pyramid schemes are when one person is on top and makes a lot of money and the people on bottom don’t make hardly anything even though they are doing all the work. These are out there and you want to be careful, but most times they don’t sell any products, more work on just recruiting other people to join. Here are a few signs a company is a Pyramid Scheme and you want to run for the hills.
According to the Direct Selling Association, here is what you should watch for in Pyramid Schemes:
1) Promising lots of money for no work
2) Teaching people to recruit and not sell a product
3) Very large start up costs
4) Not having a product that they sell
5) Having a few people who make a lot of money on top, and a lot of people on the bottom making very little money
For more signs on what might be a pyramid scam, visit the Direct Selling Associations Website
http://www.dsa.org/docs/default-source/direct-selling-facts/legitimatecompanies.pdf?sfvrsn=2

 

 

Pyramid VS. Direct Sales10573_348288578631716_299887124_n
Now to some people, the direct sales business mirrors a pyramid, but the honest truth is in MOST jobs you do have some people higher up. For example, in the school system you have a Principal on top, then teachers, then par pros, then students. In most direct sales companies, you have someone who has been in the company for awhile on top, then your sponsor, then yourself. The people on the top do usually get paid off your income, but to do so they have to keep themselves active AND they have to help their team members. They get paid for having a team and teaching other people to be successful, just like managers do. Just because some people make more on your team in direct sales, does not mean it’s a Pyramid.

As you can see, direct sales are a great and very real way for people to earn an income. In fact, direct sales companies have been around since the 1920’s! They do get a bad reputation though because of the way some people teach their teams to market. If you do it the right way, you can be very successful, make a great income, and have fun all at the same time!!! My #1 tip to be successful is find a product you love and use, and share it, never sell!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Learn more about Direct Sales Companies at http://www.dsa.org/ and http://www.directselling411.com/
Make sure to also check out our Work From Home Directory for a list of legit Direct Sales Companies

Dana

Graham Cookies

As a parent, it is always a struggle between finding foods my kids will eat, and my desire to have them eat healthy foods. Lately as I have noticed that effects sugar have on my 4 year old, I’ve been working hard to find healthy foods that I can make. And that he will still enjoy haha. One recipe I recently found that everyone loved, is home made graham crackers! These are very easy to do and delicious!

INGREDIENTS:graham cookies

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or flour of choice
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, cold
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a blender combine the ingredients.
  3. Next put in the chilled butter.
  4. Scoop the mixture onto a piece of wax paper, with another sheet onto and roll out with a rolling pin or cup
  5. Roll dough out and use cookie cutters to make shapes or a cup just for circles.
  6. Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

 

To Freeze, simply cut the cookies into shapes and then place them onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then you can place them in a plastic bag and you can freeze them for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake them, just cook them with an additional 1-2 minutes of bake time added on and keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

yuuuummmmy

 

 

 

Dana

Get Paid To Write


One problem many people encounter when looking to work from home is the time involved. In my experience, most people want to work from home to have MORE time and to be with their families. The problem is that many set income jobs require you to work set hours each day. I don’t know about you, but working 8 hrs and having to keep my kids quite and away from me that whole time just wouldn’t work for me at all. That would basically be the same as me working outside the home! So what to do???

GET (2)

Get Paid To Write

Jobs with flexible hours are the solution!!! Now the great thing about these jobs is YOU set your hours, work when you want, and work as little or as much as you want. The downside, you have to WORK to make money. You have to devote the same amount of time as you would with any job, but you pick when that is. For me, I get up before my kids, and stay up later than them. I also work during their nap time. I average less than 20 hrs a week most weeks but that’s what works for me. Im also established in what I do so for that work I make a full time income.

 

The most common flexible hours income provider is by owning your own business and sharing products you love. Another popular option is writing/transcribing/data entry jobs. Now these are hard to find and most times you do need experience or a degree in transcribing. When you find a good one, make sure to hold onto it and they are hard to get. This is pretty much the job everyone emails me looking for. A job where you enter information on the computer a few hours a day and get paid. It’s a good deal for busy Moms! Here are a few companies to check out for these types of positions:

 

Quicktate https://typists.quicktate.com/transcribers/signup

Quicktate employees transcribe voicemails, memos, legal files, medical files, letters and other audio files. Some files are 2-3 minutes long, others are hours long. Employees must use proper spelling and punctuation, must follow instructions, quickly type what you hear, have your own supplies. No convictions of a felony of misdemeanor on your record. Average pay is $1 for every 400 words typed.

 

BloggingPro Job Board http://www.bloggingpro.com/jobs/

This is a great place to find writing jobs on any topic! You can find a steady stream of employers looking to hire bloggers here and if you can write on multiple topics, you can bring in a steady income.

 

TranscribeMe https://workhub.transcribeme.com/Account/Register

Register to transcribe documents and files with one of the largest online transcribing agencies. Pay is by the hours and ranges from $10-$20 and hour depending on your typing speed. Jobs are not always available so you work when something comes in. Must have a computer, internet, and a good understanding of the English language.

 

MediaBistro http://www.mediabistro.com/joblistings

If you visit the freelance section of this site, you can find many job options such as ones for writing, articles, blogs, marketing, etc.

 

Aberdeen http://abercap.com/careers/

Get paid to transcribe documents and videos with this family based business. Many jobs require you to work at their office, but the “real time captioning” and “transcription” jobs can be done from home.

 

Capital Typing  http://www.capitaltyping.com/

Hires independent contractors to do jobs such as transcribing, secretarial services, data entry, and online customer service.

 

Tigerfish Transcribing http://tigerfish.com/employment/

If you are a quick typist, have a good ear for language and written English then you can get paid to transcribe from home. Must have a computer, phone, and internet service to do this job.

 

Speakwrite http://speakwrite.com/

Work from home in the US or Canada as an independent contractor doing transcribing and typing jobs. Must have a typing speed of 65 WPM to qualify.

 

Scribie https://scribie.com/freelance-transcription#intro

Earn $10 per hour transcribing files from home. Must have a good typing speed and good listening and comprehension skills.

 

http://beafreelanceblogger.com/betterpaidbloglist/ This is a FREE list that has options for making over $50 per hour blogging.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dana

Becoming A Work From Home Mom

10402444_10152513761944576_8837897643593524145_nWorking from home is a very popular topic! Especially for busy parents who want to treasure every single moment they can with their kids. In this day and age though, more and more parents are finding they need to return to work to be able to support their kids, even though they would give anything to stay home with them. I was the same way!! I went to college full time while raising two young kids, and once I graduated the bills were piling up. But if I went back into the work force, I would never see my 3 year old and 2 year old. Plus the cost of childcare in my areas was super expensive so It wouldn’t be helping us too much. Thus began my exploration into how I could do both, be with my kids and help my husband with the bills. It took time, research,  trial and error, lots of hours of work, getting outside of my comfort zone, and being willing to work my butt off. But now, 2 years later I make a full time income spending my day with my 3 kids! Its an amazing opportunity and something anyone and everyone can do, but you have to be willing to put in the work.

Learn more about how I got started, my recommendations, and balancing it all on a special PodCast Interview with the wonderful Jim and Teresa Adams of Family Matters First

http://familymattersfirst.org/podcast/99/

Feel free to email me with any questions on how you can become a work from home Mom!!

Dana

Tax Writes Offs For Small Business Owners

tax write offsFor many small business owners, tax time can be very scary!! It was for me when I first got started, until I did my research and learned how easy the IRS makes filing taxes for small business owners. Plus, many things you never would even think of, can be written off at tax time. When you own your own business, remember that any expense you put into your business, is a tax write off. Whether it is training, supplies, work meetings etc. Make sure to always save your receipts though and keep documentation of what you are spending and bringing in with your business. And never be afraid to ask someone for help in filing your taxes. Its always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Here are a few expenses you can write off at tax time:

  1. Home Office. No matter if you rent or own your home, if you have a designated space where you do your work, then you can write that off at tax time. Keep in mind it needs to be a true office space, not your kitchen table or bed. You can write off $5 per square foot of the office area for up to 300 square feet. So if your office is 150 square feet that is $750 you can write off! http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Home-Office-Deduction
  1. If your office is at home, you can also deduct the cost of utilities. You need to figure out what percentage of your day is your work time though to get the cost you can write off.
  2. Internet used for your business can also be written off at tax time. Like utilities, you need to figure out what percentage is used for work vs leisure.
  3. If you have a car payment, and use your car for doing your business, that can be deducted. This is tricky though in that you must be driving to meet a client, pick a client up, or delivering products. Going to get coffee or groceries does not count.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/index.html

  1. Retirement Plans- If you have set up a plan for retirement that is tax deductible. Even if you only put in a little bit each month.
  2. Office Supplies- Items like paper, pens, ink cartridge, work computer, work printer, work fax machine, mailing supplies, business cards, thank you cards for business, etc are all tax deductible
  3. Health Insurance- If you pay for your health insurance yourself and are a small business owner, that is tax deductible
  4. Child Care- If your kids are in child care at anytime while you are working, that is a tax write off
  5. Training- If you attend training events for your business, that and the cost to get there is tax write off
  6. Start Up Costs- If your business required money up front to get started, you can write all of that off at tax time
  7. Hiring an accountant to help you with your taxes!
  8. Advertising for your business
  9. Websites, domains, and maintenance that promote your business and company

Remember, when in doubt at tax time, always ask for help!! This is not something you want to mess up on. I personally do my own taxes as a small business owner and while its time consuming and tough, it can be done. If you aren’t comfortable doing them yourself, hire someone to help you!

Great Sites to Check Out For More Information:

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Deducting-Business-Expenses

http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2013/10/22/10-tax-tips-for-owners-of-a-home-based-business/

Dana