You’ve heard of direct marketing. It’s a process that allows people to sell products and services directly to the public, removing the middle man from the equation, and companies such as Avon and Amway are popular brands in the industry. Despite its prevalence, there has long been controversy around the business model. Some people have called direct marketing (DM) a pyramid scheme, noting that the folks on top make money by bringing more people in. Others, such as Stormy Wellington, vehemently disagree, and she has good reason to. Wellington, who has more than 70K followers on Instagram and is considered one of the top performers in the field, has used direct marketing to radically change her life. After shuffling between small-time jobs and promising small businesses to make ends meet, Wellington committed to DM, found her niche and has literally made millions. Now she’s also devoted to  teaching others (her social media handle is even @coachstormy) how to do the same. EBONY asked the entrepreneur to speak candidly about the industry, from its stigma to the formula for earning those legendary six-figure checks. Here’s what she had to say:

It’s not a pyramid scheme: “People who say that are simply repeating what they’ve heard. Pyramids have no exchange of product. There is no pay. In direct sales we exchange dollars. My company has no advertising budget and no middle man—we are the billboard and ads. Every time you make a sale, you get a check. There is compensation for referrals but talent scouts, managers and agents get referral fees. Franchises also work the same way. You can pay $500,000 to buy a franchise and pay them 25 percent of your earnings.”

Believe in yourself: “We have an epidemic of non-believers. People talk faith but don’t live it. You have to believe that you can and will change your life. You have to believe in the products you choose to work with. Everything in life has some risk.”

Focus on the 5Ps: “You can sell many things in direct marketing, from teas and coffee to health products. The goal is to find a good company. Here are the five things you need to do—

  1. Find a company that fits your personality and complements the way you want to do business, from the way you conduct meetings to the product.
  2. Determine whether the people running the company, such as the CEO, complement your values.
  3. Love the product you’re selling. Pick something that you are passionate about and that motivates you to want to share it with others naturally.
  4. Understand the process and system of how you will conduct business. How can you sell your product effectively? How will you engage clients? Where will you engage clients? How many items do you need to sell per day?
  5. What’s your paycheck? Any company you work with with should have a compensation plan that make sense for you and your financial goals. That will keep you inspired.”

Interested in finding out more about direct marketing and Stormy Wellington? Reach out to her @coachstormy or find out more here.