You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy. ~Eric Hoffer
Over the past few months, I’ve donated numerous tote bags, home products, jewelry, and Tupperware – products purchased or acquired through home-based business parties I’ve attended or hosted over the years.
I found a pair of silver hoop earrings, still in their box. I remember that $40.00 purchase: after telling the consultant I didn’t need anything she replied with “Just buy something small, you know, to support the hostess.”
I was happy to support the women’s shelter with a donation of those earrings.
I passed along a set of four candle votives to a friend who had admired them. I remember that purchase as well: a friend was just starting in her Southern Living at Home business and needed a $25.00 sale to meet her goal.
The friend to whom I gave the votives to was thrilled to have them.
Yes, I am a sucker.
The amount of stuff I acquired from “hostess gift specials” and “hostess party points” was staggering; some of it I put to good use like the mini storage bin labeled “Lonely Socks” in my laundry room and the lovely Sutton mixed metal necklace I wear regularly; both are two items that make me happy.
I attended many home parties when my boys were younger in order to help the hostess earn free stuff. Inevitably I would host a party in order to help the hostess earn more free stuff and, in a few cases, I signed up to be a consultant. I remember my husband cringing and saying “Here we go again.”
I love the excitement of an opportunity, and the chance to make money in a way that allowed me more freedom, more flexibility and the chance to be my own boss. I would get excited, reach out to all my friends (who I am sure were thinking “Great, here comes Karen. What’s she selling now?”) and put my effort into selling stuff. I loved the challenges and sales goals: win a trip to Aruba; earn a Kate Spade wallet; earn a free sales kit as well as the sales conferences. Earning the prizes was more exciting than the commission check.
Since making a commitment to minimalism, I can see how earning all the free stuff was exciting at the time but really didn’t bring much fun, excitement, or joy once earned.
I know that these companies are designed to get people to sell the product and be enticed by a lot of freebies along the way, however, I have made a conscious decision not to participate for the sake of free stuff.
I know from experience, that there are people who choose to make money in this manner and that they need to widen their net to get more customers. I have made a conscious decision to mindful not to get caught in the net.
I know there are many home-based businesses with products that I absolutely adore and buy on a regular basis. I have made a conscious decision to purchase only what I need.
I have reached a point of not wanting more; instead, I’d rather give. Instead of buying the $40.00 earrings, I’d prefer bypassing the actual sale and giving the $12.00 commission to the consultant and giving the hostess cash toward the “free” stuff she wants. I just don’t want the product or more stuff I don’t need.
I can feel the shift in my being – perhaps as a conscious consumer? – as I follow the path to minimalism and continue my journey toward owning less, buying less, and living better.
Freedom over freebies? I’ll buy that.