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Direct Sales Lessons Learned from the Secretariat Movie

The Secretariat is a movie based on the true story about the life of a thoroughbred race horse Secretariat, winner of the Triple Crown in 1973.  Diane Lane portrays Secretariat’s owner, Penny Chenery, and John Malkovich plays the trainer, Lucien Laurin. The movie has been out since 2010, but thanks to DVDs, I just watched it this week. In addition to being a movie about a horse, there are so many nuggets of wisdom in this movie. Nuggets as it relates to direct sales lessons, specifically lessons for direct sales leaders/managers/directors.

Taken from an online review of the movie: “The theme of “girl power” is played up in this movie. Penny finds herself a woman taking on a male-dominated world, having to stare down everybody from the loud-mouthed owner of Secretariat’s rival Sham who dismiss her as “just a housewife”, boorish hecklers in the stands at the races, pushy reporters who questioned her horse’s ability, Ogden Phipps, the richest man in America, and closer to home, her unsupportive husband who pressured her to sell her father’s money-losing farm and horses rather than complete the mission of owning the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. In the classic “underdog” storyline, she stands up to them all and wins.”

If you haven’t seen this movie, I give it a two-thumbs-up and it is definitely worth the rental. I found it at my local library; perhaps it’s available at Netflix or Redbox too.

Whether you are currently a direct sales leader or you are in the process of becoming one, consider the summary above.   Even without seeing the movie, can you identify somewhat with a girl-power theme in a male-dominated world? Sure a majority of independent direct sales consultants are females, but consider the senior ranks of managing and leading a large organization. You’re essentially CEO of your direct sales business, responsible for most facets of your business – marketing, sales, human resources, accounting, operations, logistics, transportation, etc.

How many of your family, friends, acquaintances and even society think of direct sales as just “˜one of those things’ or as something women do for a hobby but “˜no one really makes any money at them’ or who think if you own a direct sales business that you don’t have a “˜real job?’   Most people in Penny’s life poo-poo’d the idea that she could run the stable and get all the chess pieces in place to have a Triple Crown winner.   Very few in her life thought she could do it. Most thought she was making a huge mistake. Do you ever feel like that with your direct sales business?

Penny didn’t give up and neither should you.   What she took on, what she overcame, and what she had to deal with to get there was no small feat. It was a massive undertaking.   But she believed all along that it could be done – in spite of all the naysayers and in spite of being the underdog. She proved them wrong. The rewards for her tenacity and overcoming odds were huge and made it all worthwhile.

She did it; and so can you!


This is not about going back. This is about life being ahead of you and you run at it! Because you never know how far you can run unless you run. – Penny Chenery

 About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a Michigan work from home mom who started her first direct sales business in 1988. She is currently a Superstar Director with Scentsy Fragrance and President of Income Wax, Inc. She enjoys helping men and women start and maintain a home based business throughout the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Germany, Ireland and the UK. You can learn more about her at http://www.ThrivingCandleBusiness.com

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