It's been another week to remember in the podcast interview agenda, where we are discussing different business models that you can apply to your military life.
Most recently, I had a chance to sit down with another MLM Minded Military Spouse who truly brought the passion to her business in this interview.
Meet Summer Rain and hear about how she turned her stale marriage around with her business during her husband's deployment.
My name is Summer Rain Buzzard.
I am a military spouse and almost 13 years.
I'm also a mother of four babies, ages three through 11.
I have a business where I work from home mostly.
I empower, educate and entertain women.
My passion is definitely helping women to understand themselves, their bodies and have better communication in their relationships.
To top of that, I also love getting military spouses together.
I was an 18-year-old military spouse navigating the world of the unknown, not coming from a military family.
And over the last 13 years, I've had to kind of just figure this life out for myself.
I didn't want to do it alone.
I always want to do it with groups of people, as many people as possible.
Listen to Summer Tell her Story Here or keep reading for my commentary <3
Building Your Own Community For Your People AND Your Business
So, I have an organization called Milso Connects in Pensacola right now- because that's where we are. We have over 300 spouses who are involved in our local events throughout the month.
In October, before I came here I was kind of stocking it to see like what are the spouses doing? What's everybody doing locally?
I wanted to like jump right in because if I am bored, if I stay home- I get depressed and lonely and anxious.
I know the more I'm around people, the better it is for me in general.
I realized there was nothing happening. And I was like, “no, we can't do this.”
There's gotta be something going on. I actually fell into helping to start the kickball team here for this chapter as well as the bunko club.
I helped a friend start a book club.
She helped different women start a crochet club and from there like everybody just kind of is getting together and doing all the things.
Summer Was Nominated Military Spouse of The Year, And It Propelled Her Business!
I was actually nominated twice, was nominated – a few times really, but you can only accept the nomination twice.
So I did accept it in 2015 and 2016– which was really crazy because that was right after I had given birth to my son, my kid #3. And he is my special needs baby.
So he had a lot of needs at that time. My husband was away and so I couldn't believe that through all of that chaos I was still inspiring people enough for them to nominate me.
Since then I've been involved with the network this past year I got to go to Pentagon city actually for the conference got to meet everybody I've been talking to online for years. So that's cool.
A little About The Military Spouse Of The Year Conference
So if you could think of like everybody who's like, who's who in military spouse world, they were there.
I kind of kept telling myself, “You are worthy, you are worthy,” but you look around and you're like, “Oh my gosh, do I even belong?”
And they're doing such incredible things it was just a really cool to feel included in that group for sure.
Sustainability In Your Business
A lot of my military spouses had been asking me what business models are sustainable, especially with younger spouses that are going overseas.
They really don't have a network yet online for the typical MLM type stuff where you reach out to your friends and your family when they're displaced in a new country and often have language barriers between them and the country citizens.
They don't really have the same support system that the stateside spouses do.
Summer's Take on Sustaining Your MilSpo Life & Business
My company is Pure Romance. We're an international company.
We have consultants in Canada, United States, Puerto Rico, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and we're hoping for a few more years soon.
What's really cool is we have a ton of military spouses.
It's super military friendly company.
We have a lot of military spouse consultants in Japan and all the different bases: Germany, Spain, anywhere, as long as you have a social security number basically and a way to get mail from the United States, you can be a consultant.
I actually joined eight years ago –
Everyone Has A WHY. Find Yours & Share Your Passionate Story
Very long story, but the short description I can give you is that, I had been a spouse for five years.
I had just given birth to my second child.
She was only, three months old. And my husband had deployed when she was three days old on his second deployment.
And we were in such a Rocky part of her relationship.
I gotta tell you the part we were at is the part where most people don't make it through.
In this military world, there's 60% divorce rate for military families.
It's so sad that I have seen so many of them in the last 12 years that we've been in the service.
Many of our friends and back.
And so it kind of was like God's intervention.
I always say that I found this company when I did because as a woman and you know, once you make a decision, like that's it, like that's your out–
I remember thinking like, “okay, I need out. I need a way to make money. I gotta be able to do this on my own.”
How Did You Find Your Business Idea?
And so I found this company funny enough from this girl posting on Facebook, right?
I ended up connecting with her, having a party, falling in love with it, thinking that-
I could do exactly what she did as long as I have like a script or, somebody telling me what to do.
I just needed to know the information that I could do it.
And I did it.
And my husband's reaction was like kind of iffy at first because he didn't understand it.
And of course he's like,” I dunno,”
I think he was in Afghanistan at the time.
And I just remember being so nervous, like, “what are all the guys going to say to him over there?”
You know? But it worked out.
All of his friends actually place orders with me and I ended up making my money back. I knew I was very lucky at that time where not everybody's going to get that kind of support off the bat.
Why Did You Choose Pure Romance As Your Business Model?
For me and my relationship, when he came home from that deployment, it was immediate curiosity that set in because of what it is I sell: everything from bath beauty, massage, lingerie, two bedroom accessories.
He came home to, “I'm leaving actually for five days to go on a conference and you get to be home with your babies, you know, that you barely see over the last few years cause you're always deploying.
It was the best thing that ever happened because while I was thinking of a way to try and get out of this marriage, I went to this retreat and the retreat was everything I needed to hear how to fix my marriage.
It was incredible.
I , literally, was sitting in these classes and they were teaching things like, ” if your client asks you this and they're having relation problems, you can refer them to this person,” or “that person might need doctors and therapists, but also here's some other ideas you can give them in the meantime.”
I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh, this is like a checklist, This is all the things that I haven't even tried. I haven't even gotten my own relationship at chance.”
And so at home. I told myself, “okay listen, you're serious about trying to work this out. I wasn't, but I am now.”
I said to my husband, “here's our list of stuff. We're going to do this over the next 30 days.”
And he was like, “I'm in, let's do it.”
And so I literally used everything that a consultant would consult with me about as a client on my own relationship. So, I was then, the client who changed my business.
How Did You Realize That MLM Was A Viable Option As a Business that Could Move Anywhere
I was the one who was like,
“wow, this isn't just a direct sales company, isn't just like one of those pyramid schemes.”
This is like real life stuff.
And as soon as I realized that,
“wow, okay, we're, you know, we're not fixed all the way.”
We're not perfect.
Do You Think Your Online Business Saved Your Marriage?
It doesn't happen overnight like that.
But after those 30 days, it was a completely different shift.
We had open communication, we have more intimacy. We were just at a whole different place that we wouldn't have been at if I hadn't taken the chance to learn all of the things.
And um, so fast forward, we're still married, added a few kids.
Marriage is hard people. And I think that because I openly talk about how hard it is and all the places that we've been in our marriage, it really does help young spouses.
I was 23 with two kids thinking about leaving the military life behind and, and it was hard, you know?
But we made it through. So hopefully that's been able to help a lot people just to see that, it is hard, but you work, you can get through it.
I have to completely agree and caveat off of what Summer is saying here as it relates to business as well. With business, as long as you're nurturing the things that are important, they're going to make your success later on and that same concept can be used in marriage, personal development, any life issue, etc.
What you water will grow.
I can tell that Summer is very passionate about what she does and I really felt that younger spouses, who don't really understand how to maintain a relationship in the turmoil in the deployments could benefit from her wisdom here.
It's so crazy how much ill-willed advice is out there in regard to relationships. And it's amazing that Summer found a way to kind of combat that and keep people connected and united- on the same path. All through her work in her organization and opening discussion around intimacy.
Why Do You Think Your Business Saved Your Relationship?
I mean, honestly this is one of the things that got us through, like the next part of our chapter- with him always being on presidential duty trips.
-I couldn't sit there and worry about him being gone and miss him every day.
I needed something to fill my own spirit and give me a purpose besides just being a wife and mother.
So this truly empowered me then to go out and inspire other people.
And it's necessary to have that independence and not be so, ” his job is my job.”
It's not, you have to create your own life .
All those taboo things that come up. It's true. You know?
What Are Some Challenges You Have Faced That Your Mobile Business Has Helped Pull You Out Of, Even Stronger?
So it's hard because we did the transition recently from enlisted to officer.
It's difficult to even talk about the different dynamics there. So being a new 18-year-old enlisted spouse, you aren't given information.
You literally need a network of people.
You have to go out and find people who will feed you information that they know and you guys can have to piece the puzzles together.
Yeah. Do you know what I'm saying?
So then as an officer's spouse, the military-like vomits information at you and then you're like, “Oh, I don't really actually have to talk to people because we all have the same information.”
That was one of the things that inspired my Milso Connect project was, we really need to bring spouses together in unity.
I don't care about ranks, we kind of leave that out the door.
But I want people to know that there is a support system and that will get you through these hard parts of your marriage and your life as you enter into the fleet.
About The Business Model. How Does It Work?
Say you are, you know, you're moving from him about to back to the States or you're moving from the States back to Okinawa or whatever. How do you control your inventory or is it necessary to even have inventory and how do you build a network from scratch?
So I have been lucky.
I haven't been able to be overseas, but we have a ton of girls who go back and forth overseas with this business.
So our business model is really cool because there's a lot of different ways to make income.
So for example, if I just wanted to sell online.
I could literally build my own community.
- giving advice and sharing facts and asking questions and seeing what they want to know about and through those conversations sell products right.
- Then I could also go and do in-home parties where I actually meet up with people face to face.
- Do coffee dates, do couples consults– whatever we need to do to be in person with these people.
- We have an option to build a team, which is what people think of when they hear pyramid because it's one person who sponsors people who sponsors people.
But the thing about our business is we actually don't get paychecks from our company.
We buy wholesale and sell retail depending on what your level is in the company.
What Do You Love Most About Pure Romance's Business Model?
I love that there is the bonus – we get the cash check deposits that go into my bank account every month from corporate. Those are like gifts for trainin people that come in so they don't take it from our pay.
The new recruits can come in and earn a $500 cash bonus, like nothing. It just incentivizes them to keep working and keep staying with us.
Do You Recommend Carrying Inventory?
I carry a ton of inventory, but I've also built it up over eight years.
The thing about inventories, it's never required for any company that I know of.
Maybe maybe one or two I've heard of strongly suggested, but our company strongly suggested it without any force.
We actually have- I guess you could call it like zero interest business loans.
So if somebody wanted to carry inventory, we literally give them 50% off of what the price would normally be.
And then we say, you have five months to pay us back.
And it's usually like 70 to $90 a month payments, but you get $1,000 worth of inventory.
What I love about having on hand inventory is that it is statistically proven that if you carry inventory you will sell more products.
How Do You PCS Proof A Business With Inventory In Mind?
I remember the, about two months before moving I was like, okay, I need to start being paying attention to what's in stock, how heavy the items are, how much room they take up.
Because if I'm going to ship them either with a moving company or put them in my personal car, I needed to make sure that it was less weight and less space as possible.
And so I was really conscious about that.
Example: If this product weighs like three times more than this product, I'm going to try and sell out of these. But as I'm selling out of them, I'm going to do two things.
- That money has to go back into my business because it's basically my stock is a cash register for myself. Right. It's like an ATM machine.
- So I could either save that money, um, for future purchases or it can reinvest it back into something that's smaller.
I saved some of it and then I invested in other things that I wanted to carry that were much smaller to be able to travel with. So, I downsized quite a bit for this trip because I knew it was a long trip is going to my house is like almost half the size smaller as well.
There was just a lot of moving parts for me to take on this PCS specifically.
Saving the money helped because whatever I saved, that means when I got here I could place an order and my sales would still show up for what I sold.
It would just be a different month and I would be able to restock my inventory shelves for all my new clients here, which I'm still working on.
Every single girl that I have spoken to who has been overseas, they literally dumped their stock like they will do like a big flash sale and then they take that money and when they get there they place a big order just to wrap everything.
So we're not making profits really when we do flash sales, it's more or less as military spouses specifically to help us move our businesses around the time of a PCS.
Wouldn't Customers Prefer Online Shopping For The Anonymity?
People will spend more in person with me because of the nature of what I sell.
I would say like my average orders are around $75 online, but in person it's $250
What is One Piece of Advice or a Tool That Someone Could Use to Really Ramp Up and Start Gaining Some Traction in Their Sales or Business?
When we were in at Naval station, goose Creek in Charleston, South Carolina, I had recruited eight spouses who all lived in the same neighborhood.
While some people would say, Oh my gosh, that's saturation, which they all started to freak out and think that's what was going to happen.
It did not happen because they finally took my advice, which was being a part of the military is one of the most incredible things because we have this exclusive network of people that we get to sell to connect with, hang out with all those things.
But, if you do not know the community, the civilian community that you live in, you will not be able to sustain an MLM or direct sales business. And I firmly believe this.
You can ask any of my girls, I preach it so hard that it's so important to give back and be a part of your community because when you give back to them, your time, your energy, your effort, guess what?
It all comes back to your business too.
Summer makes a great point here and I have to re-iterate it- It's all about reputation.
Even the Air Force preaches this day in and day out. Airmen and the families that actually take active participation in their community have reported enjoying their time on station more, feel less loneliness, seek appropriate support, and have a generally positive perspective in their life. Plus, I have met some incredible people, just by exploring and engaging with the community around me. And it's all about servitude, isn't it?
Not to get too Woo Woo on everyone, but It's all universal intelligence at that point too. It's, whatever vibe you're giving out, you're going to receive right back.
Talk About a Client That's Either Touched Your Heart or Changed Your Business Practice.
(WARNING If you're not comfortable with Sex Talk- STOP READING!)
So when I was a brand new consultant.
When you're a new consultant, people ask you questions and sometimes you have to be like, “okay, I'll get back to you, let me find the answer and I'll get back to you.”
I mean, I still do, but when you're new, you don't want to be second guessing. You don't want to tell people the wrong thing.
And I have this client – it was less than six months in the business- she was an older woman. I wouldn't say too old, but she was much older than me.
Her children were my age and I was, I think I was 23 years old at the time, and she told me that she found my presentation incredible.
She learned so much.
She never thought she'd hear what she had heard before.
And she said to me, “I think I trust you enough to tell you this.”
And I'm like, “Oh my goodness.” She struggled with intimacy with herself and having orgasms for 17 plus years. Now, as a woman, that's devastating.
Nobody can give you an orgasm.
Only you can do that for yourself.
And so to hear her feel like she was in such a blocked place and she wasn't able to feel that joy, I was like so sad with her.
We literally cried together and I felt helpless because I was like, “Oh my gosh, I'm so new. What can I help with?”
So I gave her some ideas of what I had learned at some of my trainings.
We tried one thing and we tried one thing together and I was like, Hey, here's what I suggest.
And I recommended something to her. I said, but please, now that I'm in this with you, if it doesn't work, please let me know.
So, I'm all in on this thing.
We will find something, we will find something.
And she did. She called me and said, “Hey, I'm so sorry. I hope I'm not bothering.”
She said, “It didn't work. I couldn't, you know, it didn't work.”
So I told her, “it's okay. We're going to keep trying this, we're in this together,” and we tried something else.
She called me again,
And I was like, “okay, okay. I'm like trying not to cry for her again.”
By this time, I'm so emotionally involved with this woman.
And finally, a third thing I had recommended, I went back to my mentors and I was like, this is what's going on as slew tribes we've talked about.
And we gave her some actual like relaxation techniques along with the third product.
And she calls me again-
and I'm like, “Oh no. What's wrong now?”
She's crying and sobbing over the phone- and tells me
“It FINALLY WORKED”
and here I am thinking, I just felt like I did that. I mean I didn't really do that.
I gave her the tools to do that.
And my next thought was,
“How many other women are suffering from whatever and they just needed someone to listen to them and be willing to be their partner in crime through it?”
Most women will not talk to their doctors about what's actually going on.
So I have found in the last eight years, I'm the first point of contact for a lot of women's intimate thoughts about what's truly going on with them.
Clear The Air. Do You Have Any Misunderstandings About You or The MLM Industry That You Want to Clear Up?
Yes. So I think the biggest misunderstanding is that when you hear the company Pure Romance, the first few thoughts that pop up for people is one that's just an MLM direct sales company.
We kind of touch on that a little bit, but the one thing I wanted to say about that is if you actually get to know the consultants who are in this business, we're in it usually for so much more than money.
I feel like you can always make more money but you can't make more time. And that's kind of what we give people time in their relationships, time with themselves especially cause we really advocate for self care and empowerment for women.
And then I think for me the biggest misconception people might get from me is I'm very passionate.
I don't know if you can tell.
When I believe in something I believe in something and I will fight for anybody for any calls. If somebody feels like they can't be heard, I will make sure that they are. I've been like that pretty much my whole life.
But I think it's because sometimes when I'm so passionate, I might come off a little abrasive.
Maybe I've been called that once before, but I honestly, if you know me you can talk to me about anything and I'll do just about anything for anybody.
So I think that might be the only thing that I think people might misconstrue about me.
So here is what we need to take away from Summer's insight and wisdom.
- Plan for your business- Summer has over and over discussed the importance of planning. especially when it comes to managing a business and its inventory. It's also a great idea to plan and book ahead so that you have work waiting for you on your next duty station.
- Always find your crowd- Look, a lot of people just don't like getting out there and mingling. But, it's the quickest way to grow and scale your business. So if you're an introvert, like me, it's time to save your energy and start practicing the beautiful art of networking.
- Support yourself- not only is it important to find a business that will financially support yourself. But, it's very important to support your emotional and physical needs as well. Summer mad a great illustration of this when she attested to how her business not only serves her financial needs but helps her make new connections with friends, and most importantly- saved her marriage!
I can't brag enough about this woman and what she is doing for the military community. If you want to know more about Summer or have any thoughts on this article- please comment below. I am excited to hear a discussion around this!
Where To Find Summer Rain Bussard
You can order directly from Summer through pureromance.com/summer-rain or she can
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