I shared on Instagram a few days ago some of the things I dislike about MLM’s (Multi Level Marketing, aka Pyramid Schemes.) This led me to thinking not so much about MLM’s but with the attitude that has permeated our culture since the rise of social media, particularly preying on us women. 

It started out with this question in my mind: Why is it that so many women are drawn to sell products/make money from home/start a business? 

Could it be because of the glorification of the Boss Babe? The Boss Mom?  The #side hustle? 

Now before I get into this, I promise I’m not trying to offend anyone. I will be talking about MLM’s in this post and it’s an extremely sensitive subject. I know so many people who are part of these and I have NOTHING against the people or the products! I can’t stress this enough! Lots of my friends sell products and sell them well! I use several products from different companies. The issue I have is with the method that these companies, and some of the salespeople use. However the main point of this post is not to bash Multi Level Marketing companies but to bring to light the mentality that I see on social media. I’m not here to start any arguments. I’m just asking you to think about these things.

It seems everyone these days wants to be an entrepreneur (although selling products for a large established company does not make you an entrepreneur, it makes you a salesperson. It’s totally fine to be a salesperson! Every large company needs good salespeople! But they are not the same thing. More on this later and why I feel it’s important to separate those terms.) And if you aren’t a so called “entrepreneur”, selling some product or another and making money from your home, you are constantly getting asked to join a team by any number of friends who are. 

But WHY is there so much pressure to do that? Why is it that women feel such a pull to be a so called “Boss Babe?”

Let me say right now that if you want to sell products, do it. I have nothing against women selling things (as long as it’s in a courteous and respectful way.) I have nothing against women in business and making money. To argue that I do would be silly because I have a small photography business of my own. I love it! It’s fun and enjoyable and challenging! But I’m trying to get to the root of why women feel so much pressure to be a “BOSS BABE” and to let the world know that they are one?

NEWSFLASH: It’s extremely easy to deceive on social media 

I dislike the term “Boss Babe.” It’s overused in the social media world, and I feel it can be very deceiving. Women love to post photos in their boss babe shirt saying they just won a free vacation from the business they sell for and that they love their company and “This could be you don’t you want to join too! My #sidehustle that I run from my phone just payed for my next trip to Hawaii and if you joined me your financial worries could be over! This will happen immediately if you become a BOSS BABE like me!!” Ok, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but the glorification of the Boss Babe has made this whole small business thing look completely different than it actually is. Did you ever consider how easy it is for people to act on social media as if they are making a fortune, even when they’re not, just to get people to join their team? We already know how easy it can be to live a fake life through social media….transparency and authenticity is now applauded on apps like Instagram, and I feel we are so often deceived when it comes to the “Boss Babe.”

It’s easy to make yourself look busy and like your business is completely booming on social media even if it’s not. A photographer I follow once said, “The key to getting more business is to act like you’re super busy, even if you’re not.” Hmmmmm. Interesting, huh?

The term “Enterprenuer” seems to be a desired title. Why?

Could it be because we as women feel that we aren’t worth as much unless we are running a business and making money? Why? Why do we feel the pull to have a side hustle? Don’t tell me we don’t; this is the exact reason MLM’s have taken the country by storm, and why the majority of the salespeople are women. Women have a great tendency to join companies like this. 

Could it also be because we are prone to comparison? Because we see our friends start to flaunt the “BOSS BABE” status and feel like we should be doing it too? Comparison and self-worth. These are two issues that most women struggle with. Could these be behind the boss babe trend?

What about the girl who doesn’t want to be a boss babe? What about the woman who has several children and barely has enough time during the day to take care of her family and house and the even the thought of running a hashtag side hustle stresses her out? What about the one who just wants to be a full time wife and mother, and give all of her time and energy to her husband and children? Or have a full time job where she is not her own boss? 

That’s ok, you say! She can do that! 

And she can. But don’t you think that if we would STOP WITH THE GLORIFICATION OF THE BOSS BABE, the issue of comparison would be a lot easier to deal with?

 (Also, the term entrepreneur is now being used in in interesting way. Please don’t call yourself an enterprenuer or my personal favorite,  a #mompreneur when you sell products for another company. You may sell products for another company, but you are not an entrepreneur. Don’t get me wrong, I know that selling products takes a significant amount of time and energy. But as a friend wrote recently, “Hearing a hard-working MLM participant call themselves an entrepreneur while peddling the products of a successful corporation is offensive to the hard working small business people of the world creating and designing their own products or services.” It’s true.)

Having a #sidehustle doesn’t make you worth more.

The Boss Babe mentality subconsciously makes us wish we did more with our lives. Guess what? It’s ok to work a normal job, or be a stay at home mom without having a side business.  Most of life isn’t glamorous. It’s normal, day to day things. If you’re a stay at home mom, this means keeping your kids alive, fed, and happy. If you work a 9-5 job, it means doing the daily grind. Owning a small business looks like a lot of the same thing. Let’s stop glorifying small business. 

If you own one, it’s a great opportunity, and I applaud you for the hard work and that you get to do what you love. But it’s not glamorous most of the time, am I right? It’s just plain old hard work.

 If you’re a salesperson for a company and it’s something that you love, keep going with it, and do it will. But don’t make it sound like something that it’s not. Don’t pressure your friends around you. I love the attitude that a friend of mine has with her BeachBody coaching. She told me “I want people who are not in it for the money! But in it for helping others, loving others, and keeping the main thing the main thing.” We need more of this attitude. 

And if you’re a mom who has no time or desire to run or be part of a business or company, it’s totally ok. Life your life. Invest in your family. Don’t compare yourself to people on social media. Their life probably looks much the same as yours. 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this! Like I said before, I’m not here to start any nasty arguments. The last thing I want to do is hurt or offend people. I’m asking you to consider what I said and come to your own conclusions about whether or not you agree with me. And you’re welcome to leave a comment below!

 

xoxo,
Jess

  1. Jane

    February 21st, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks Jess! You put into words something I’ve felt for a long time and couldn’t organize into a statement. I’m all for ladies to pursue their interests, help with expenses, whatever! And sometimes, financially, it’s a must to keep the family afloat. I admire these gals, and don’t know how they do it. But it all comes down to the WHY. First priority is our husbands and children – too often “our” interests and businesses rob from that calling. Especially when they come from a sense of needing to keep up a certain image.
    And many of us have trouble finding that fine line between being a good salesperson and maintaining honesty and integrity. And not pressuring friends to “buy” because they are friends.
    Have you ever reading any of Suzanne Venker’s writings? Though not from a faith perspective, she has much to say about women in today’s society that just, well…says it! She has a blog – google it if interested.
    Blessings to you!

  2. Jess Lapp

    February 22nd, 2019 at 1:58 am

    Thanks for your thoughts Jane. I appreciate that!

  3. sarah

    February 21st, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Ooooh controversial. Love it

  4. Ben Zornes

    February 21st, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    Jess, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. Feminism has convinced even many Christian women that their glory is found in being “businessy.” Of course, a virtuous woman is described as industrious, frugal, productive, and shrewd in business (Pr. 31). However, it is in the context of making a home, helping her husband, and raising her children. You’re exactly right, and it’s heartening to see a needed response to this trend. I’d be much more inclined to buy the high-quality craft of an industrious home-maker, rather than the oils & supplements of a corporation whose product is not oils & supplements but their product is their salespeople.

  5. Jess Lapp

    February 22nd, 2019 at 2:00 am

    I really appreciate your thoughts Ben. I agree, women should be productive, but our value is not in our “hustle.”

  6. Abigail L Good

    February 21st, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    Jess, you are right on!!! And giving voice to the pressures I often feel as a small business owner to be and do even more than I already am. Thank you for this!!

  7. Jess Lapp

    February 22nd, 2019 at 2:01 am

    Thanks Abigail!

  8. Abby

    February 22nd, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Totally agreed on this! Thank you so much for writing this article!

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