No More Punching the Clock
Sue Mazza’s astute business sense and entrepreneurial spirit lead her to leave her day job and to strike out on her own.
Seventeen years ago, Sue Mazza couldn’t have imagined that her Avon business would become so successful, enabling her to have a career that provided both the financial security she was craving and a flexible work schedule so she could take care of her family. Today, the Senior Executive Unit Leader and President’s Club member can boast Total Unit Sales amounting to $1.9 million this year.
But Sue’s Avon career couldn’t have had a more inauspicious beginning. “My mother wanted to buy Avon bubble bath and couldn’t find a Representative to sell it to her, so I became her Representative,” says Sue. Still working full-time at a high-powered job in advertising sales and sales management at the time, Sue didn’t take her Avon career seriously until after her second daughter, Stephanie, now 15, was born. But, she admits, she wasn’t sure she’d be able to earn enough money with her business.
“In my other job, I would call on corporate clients, but my Avon business meant developing relationships on a one-on-one basis, and that was different from what I was used to doing,” she says. Although challenging at first, Sue soon found that she could use many of the skills she had developed in her advertising career in her new business and best of all, she could do it at her own pace.
“The nice thing about Avon is that you can build your business fast or slow. When my kids were young, I devoted less time to it. Now that they’re older, I can devote more time to it, so that now it’s become a full-time business for me,” says Sue. “Now I’m my own boss and I don’t have to punch a clock. I can take vacations with my family and not worry about job security when I get back.”
Sue attributes her success to finding Recruits, who, like her, who want something more out of life than just a “job” and are willing to work hard to achieve their goals. She also says that partnering with one Recruit at a time has helped her become successful. “I look at people’s sales and whether they’re involved in their business as far as contacting me if they have questions or problems and coming to our meetings. If I can see a spark of interest in an individual, I work with that person,” says Sue, who uses Meetings to Go and Downline Manager to track her Downline’s progress.
“The first thing I do every morning is fire up the computer to see what’s going on with my group,” she says. “I look to see who’s had high sales and whose Leadership titles may be at risk.” Partnering with her Executive Unit Leaders and Unit Leaders, Sue has developed a monthly program called Train the Trainer, which is held in seven locations near her hometown of Naperville, Illinois, and focuses on specific topics. For example, in April the meetings were devoted to ways Leadership Representatives could develop President’s Club members in their Downline. “With that combination of levels, Representatives sell more, they stay with Avon longer, and they make more money, so they’re happy,” says the 2005 Avon Woman of Enterprise Honoree.
When Sue isn’t busy working at home on her Avon business, she can be found prospecting for Customers and Recruits at the martial arts center, where she and daughters Rachel, 19, and Stephanie, practice To-Shin Do, a Japanese martial art. The trio are doing so well, they’re on their way to reaching the advanced (black belt) level. “To-Shin Do is wonderful because it’s completely different from anything else I do in my life in the sense that it’s a physical activity that also helps me be a better leader because of the discipline involved,” laughs Sue. “Avon is something that ends up working into every area of my life.”