We all have different life experiences that help shape us into the adults we become and the career paths we take. I believe that most people in America (and possibly elsewhere in the world) are taught to look for jobs, not opportunities. Most adults today were raised by loving, well-meaning parents, that showed them the example that hard work = a steady paycheck, food on the table, and maybe a vacation every summer.
A typical day in the life of a working mom (and dad) in America today looks somewhat like this. The alarm goes off at 5am. You literally run out the door by 6:30 with your three kids in tow, pancake syrup stuck in their hair or dried up Cheerios stuck to their clothing. Maybe you buckled the carseats correctly? Drop your beautiful sweethearts at daycare, teacher prying the screaming, sick baby off of your chest. Fight bumper to bumper traffic all the way into work. Arrive 10 minutes late for a meeting with your boss, because of that 3 car pile up on the interstate (at this point, your stress level and blood pressure are at it’s maximum). By noon, your head is pounding, and you’re pounding the coffee, because of that late night you had with your baby that has a respiratory infection that he caught in said daycare. You pray it doesn’t spread to the others. Especially not you. Too many deadlines. In the 15 minutes you have to eat your lunch, you stare at the 4 walls of your cubicle. It really is a cute cube. The pictures of the babies are just the cutest. Wow, that vacation you took last summer was awesome. You wonder how many more days until you have the PTO to take another week off? And you pray that you will meet your projections so that the bonus amount you receive can pay for your vacation that you’ve already charged. On top of that, you need that bonus to pay taxes. What are you going to do if it doesn’t come? Well you force yourself to just forget about that, it will. Time for your 1pm meeting. Before you know it, it’s 5:30pm. Most of your co-workers have left already, but you are pushing towards this deadline. Someone has to go the extra mile here. THEY surely aren’t working for that promotion – but YOU are! When was your last promotion? Two years ago. Ouch. You’re finally in the car, bumper to bumper the whole way home. Pick up those babies, almost throw up at the smell inside the daycare and at the snot that’s dried up all over your sweet, sick baby’s face. You cry the whole way home. No time to cook dinner tonight, so you run through Chick-Fil-A drive through – chicken nuggets for all. You know it’s not healthy, but what can you do? Less tears by your babies at this point is best – you have enough of them to wipe off of your own face. It’s 7:30pm – bath time, story time and bed. You’ve spent 2 hours with your children today. Maybe tomorrow that can be 3? You cry yourself to sleep. At least Friday is payday.
Can someone in their right mind tell me why this is normal?
Most believe it’s normal because they don’t know another way. They have only been taught to look for jobs and respect that process. Jobs give you steady work, a steady paycheck, a 3-5% raise each year, maybe a bonus, and peace of mind. What else could you need?
In my opinion – opportunity.
Why is opportunity so much different? Doesn’t it still involve work, possibly much more than your job would require? Possibly, yes. The world of Entrepreneurship is an amazing one, but does often come with high start up costs, loans & investment. The risk is often too high the average American.
Opportunities that exist outside of starting your own brick & mortar business are out there, amazing ones at that, but most people scoff at them because they exist under the platform of Network Marketing.
Do an internet search of Network Marketing and you are likely to find a myriad of articles on the subject of MLM (or Multi Level Marketing), the majority of them casting a negative light on the business model. Do an internet search of some of the products that Network Marketers sell and you are likely to find just as many negative articles, excerpts or videos, written or recorded most likely by frustrated individuals that have likely failed in their business attempts.
Why is this?
I believe there are a multitude of reasons, but in my opinion, the number one reason a negative light is cast on this business model is that there is a lack of understanding, and therefore a lack of respect of it. The second reason, which directly relates to the first, is that culturally, we have been led to believe that there is only one way to become successful. Success is the result of a debt-incurring four-year (or up to eight-year) college degree, an entry level position and a rise through a Company to the top. If you get there. For those that don’t head to college after they receive their diploma, they enter a trade or hourly work, often striving for more, but without knowledge that they can have it.
Lack of understanding of this business model exists because most people assume and do not research. Most have seen failure in the industry, not success, modeled. Many have had negative experiences & negative pressures. Passing assumptions and judgements to the next person and to the next person creates a cycle of negativity, doubt, and on-going lack of respect.
So what actually IS Network Marketing?
A direct selling method in which independent-agents serve as distributors of goods and services, and are encouraged to build and manage their own sales force by recruiting and training other independent agents. In this method, commission is earned on the agent’s own sales revenue, as well as on the sales revenue of the sales-force recruited by the agent and his or her recruits.
I’ve been in the Network Marketing arena for the past eight years. I’ve learned and grown in this industry and I’m here today to tell you that it’s REAL, it’s ALIVE and it IS the way of the future.
Remember that typical day I described above? Did it cause your stress level to rise? It caused mine to. The reason is because I’ve been there. I earned my four-year degree and graduated with one of the best jobs in my field. I bought my first brand-new car and got my own apartment. And then I went to work and cried. This was even before I got married and started a family. I knew the high-pressure career world was not for this precious and very insecure 22 year old. I gave it all I had at the time, through lots of tears & a massive panic attack that landed me in the ER one Thursday night, ironically after watching an episode of ER. I was diagnosed over the coming months with Panic Disorder and I knew that aside from medication and counseling, I had to make some changes. I found my way into a more steady-houred, possible future flex-time opportunity in that next year. At this time in my life, I didn’t know another way. As my children were born, that flex-time opportunity came to life and I began scaling down my work days. I knew that I would love to be a full time stay-at-home mom, but I wasn’t sure how we could ever afford it. We had the expenses of a double income family, so making that drastic cut was a cause for much concern. Remember the school loans?
Nine years after we graduated from college, and two children later, my husband and I made a brave decision and found ourselves in a new city. Never in my life did I think I would leave my home and my family. But the thought of becoming a stay-at-home mom and walking away from the cubicle was enough to make me agree to do it. I was free!
One year later, we had our third child. We lived in a lovely community and met wonderful people. But somehow, it didn’t appear that all of those people around me were struggling on one income as much as we were. It was really easy to attend boutique clothing parties and monogram my newly purchased jon-jon’s, but as I did this, trying just to be accepted and ‘keep up’, our debt rose.
On a play date with a group of friends about two years after our move, I was searching for a specific type of product and soon learned of an excellent one that I was so excited about. I was excited about sharing it. And all of a sudden, I saw an ‘OPPORTUNITY‘!
Despite my excitement, this decision was not very welcomed by those that knew and loved me. They were certain that I was involved in a scheme, that I would lose money and in no way could I earn an income.
Eight years ago… I’ve seen so much, learned so much, grown so much. I may not have it all together, but I believe I have it so much more together than I did in my first description. Normal for me now looks a bit like this.
My alarm wakes me at 6am and I wake my kids and get them ready for school. By 7:15, two of them are already starting their day – I’ve driven them to school in my pajamas with my dog in the front seat. My middle-schooler is dropped off (same scenario) by 8:30am and then it’s time for me to begin my day. I have the entire day to do as I wish. I work. I walk the dog. I work a bit more. I do some social media. I write. I take some calls. Do some Zoom conferencing. Two kids are home by 2:30 and the other by 4:30. I get them off of the bus. I help them with their homework. I cook them dinner and I drive them to their activities. Once a month, because of the work I put in, I earn a paycheck that has grown over the past eight years and never once gone away – due to the power of residual income. Every month, I have the ability to determine my schedule, my work hours & my commitment levels. I don’t request vacation time. I take it. I have even explored other passions and gone back to work full-time for a period, while still maintaining my business. I have freedom to do that – all while maintaining and growing that residual income.
This is MY normal.
Does anyone in their right mind see anything wrong with that?
So let me ask you…
- What would you be willing to try if you knew you might not fail?
- What is time freedom worth to you?
- What would controlling your own paycheck mean to you?
- What would it mean to know you have the same opportunity as every single one of your peers to hold the same top position, if you so desire?
- What would it look like to be a part of a team of future thinking, happy, positive, excited entrepreneurs that are like-minded like you?
Do those negative assumptions that I mentioned above stop you from any of these? What I’ve seen over the years is that there is such deep rooted fear inside most of our souls. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of what other people think. I believe this keeps people away from our business model and it drops people out of the model before they even give themselves a chance to try. One negative word from a family member – OUT. One ugly comment on Facebook – OUT. That saddens me.
I remember one specific conversation with a neighbor, probably about six years ago. He sarcastically asked me, ‘How’s that business going?’ I will always remember the look on his face when I told him, ‘Well, it’s paying my mortgage. How’s yours?’
We make choices in this business model. We allow all of the negative voices to take us out, or we allow them to move us forward. Sadly, I believe your negative assumptions about Network Marketing are also likely a result of seeing so many people you know enter a business like this and quickly step out, or move on to the next. What you don’t understand is that is often because of their own belief and confidence issues, not a result of the business model itself.
Over the years, I have become a believer of people. Because someone believed in me when I first began (more than one person, actually), I know the power when someone says – YOU right there – YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES. Most of us can not see what we are capable of. But others can see it in us. I have grown into Leadership and Love in this business. Each day, month or even year in Network Marketing is not perfect, but I have had more wonderful days than bad ones, more laughter than tears, more hope for the future than I have ever had in my life. I’ve stayed passionate about the product that I share, but have grown passionate about leading others with love and grace. There is so much good here, my friends. If only you allow your eyes to see it.
If you would so consider a future in this amazing business model, I want to leave you with these questions to ponder and research. I advise you not to join a company without learning about it.
- Is the start-up investment a large one?
- Do you have to maintain an inventory?
- Do you have to maintain a quota?
- If you miss your quota over a certain period, are you at risk of losing your customers and team?
- Do you get paid to recruit people?
- Are the products that you represent affordable or do they require that people join your business to be able to afford them?
- Are their numerous products or a simple few?
- Do you believe in the products?
- What is the history and longevity of the company you are considering joining? Are they well established, forward thinking and do they give and serve others?
I find these questions to be of the utmost importance. In my opinion, your investment in the company should NOT be large and you should not have to maintain inventory. You should not have to maintain quota or EVER be at risk of losing your people or downline. You absolutely should not be paid to recruit. Your products should be simple, yet affordable, and your company should be amazing. Most importantly, you MUST believe in what you represent with such a fire in your soul that you would share it whether you got paid a dime or not.
And there you will find an amazing future of OPPORTUNITY. It truly does await you if you will learn to look for it and be willing to put in the work in between experiencing the freedom of a Network Marketing lifestyle.