From The Desk Of:
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Is It Worth It?
"The good, the bad and the ugly of Network Marketing."
The purpose of this page
This page aims to answer the question: "Why Network Marketing?" Perhaps you are stuggling with your current venture and may have become frustrated at a lack of answers; or you are simply looking at your options and considering getting involved. Hopefully this page will provide you with the information you need to make your decision - or at least help to reaffirm your previous one.
So then... should you get involved?
Network Marketing is open to everyone, but is not the best choice for everyone... If you have been around in the industry, you may have heard the following saying that conveys the same message:
"Network Marketing is for everyone, but everyone is not for it."
Unfortunately, most of the time the provided training material disregards the fact completely and conveys the impression that you can walk out into the street and start building a business within minutes, no matter what your particular situation or goals are... In theory yes, but in practise: not even close!
The problem however, does not lie with who you are, but in what you know. A lot of people seem to think that only "born sales-people" can be involved in sales and marketing. The question you have to ask yourself is - can you be born a sales-person? We all get born the same way: pink, small and screaming our lungs out! After a while, we start copying our parents - we try to walk and we try to talk. Eventually, we learn how to ride a bike and to drive a car - think about it, are you in your current profession, because you were born a doctor or an accountant, or did life teach you what you know over a long series of linked situations and circumstances?
Yes, it is true that some people seem more naturally predisposed to certain professions. There are many factors that could make it easier for an individual to be good at a particular type of work or activity - the point is that all of us have the capability to learn something new. The excuse of "not being a good sales-person" is simply not valid - sales simply involves good communication skills and that is something that anyone could learn, if they are willing to put in the effort to do it.
What is sales, really?
In any business, you have to sell something - whether you are consulting or providing some kind of service. There is no way around it - if you accept the money for your work, you have made a sale. Think about it: you had to sell yourself and your ability to provide the service before-hand and then you had to sell your customer on the value of what you have provided, so that you will get paid. Whether you call it "doing business," "networking" or "sales," it comes down to the same thing.
Luckily, you will not have to be a fantastic sales-person to do well in Network Marketing. Network Marketing is more about marketing and training than the traditional way of doing sales. In fact, sales-people generally do not do well in Network Marketing over the long-term.
In any case, thanks to the expansion of the Internet, it has opened up a lot of attractive options for all of us - even the introverts (see "InterNetwork Marketing" for more details). You just have to look for another way of going about it. I will use myself as an example... I am not a complete introvert, but I find the traditional way of prospecting for business, very uncomfortable and inefficient. Do not get me wrong - I know how to do it and I have done it successfully in the past... I simply dislike doing it so much, that I will avoid it at all costs - even at the cost of being stuck in a job or position that I hate.
You see, even though I have a solution that might help many people, I also believe that I should respect their privacy - if they are looking for my solution, they will bring it up with me and not the other way around. Fortunately, I had no choice: I had to have financial freedom! That meant I just had to find another way - there are many ways to skin a cat (not that I condone skinning of cats!). For more information, see the section on "Lead generation."
A balanced view-point
Now that we have established that it does not matter who you are, but what you know and what you want to accomplish, we can look at whether you should be involved, from a more objective level. Like every other industry on our planet, Network Marketing has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. I will start with the bad, so that we can end this page on a positive note.
Networking Marketing: The bad and the ugly...
Network Marketing has a stigma - unfortunately, there is no way around it (although there are ways to soften the blow!).
Due to the multi-level, hierarchical organisational structure of Network Marketing, people have historically confused it for a "pyramid scheme" (see the section on "Avoiding scams" for more information). To make things worse, there are people out there that go out of their way to make the lives of aspiring Network Marketers and those who are looking for the solution it provides, more difficult.
Most of these people bought into the hype, got disappointed and became angry. Some of them are friends with those people and are just parroting the bad news, without analysing the facts for themselves. However, a few of them have some valid points and in my opinion, when it comes down to the source of the problems, we find the following:
- Watered-down and out-dated lead generation methods,
- a perceived lack of professionalism,
- ineffective training and outright lies, as it relates to Network Marketing and a well-rounded business education
- and the unfortunate "get-rich-quick" mentality that the industry seems to attract so much.
These problems are being addressed by individuals within the industry and hopefully you will find more than enough information on this site to get you going in the right direction... However, if you do get involved, you will have to accept that the industry has been doing this to itself for quite a while - some people are simply not open to a different point of view and might not even like you for having yours...
Luckily these people are few and far between - however, that also means that they have to try and be the loudest. When joining a Network Marketing company, there is a decision you are going to have to make:
- Either you learn the facts, get on with it and use it to become financially free;
- or you focus on the opinions of others and forfeit what it offers.
Also remember: any business, including Network Marketing, involves a long-term commitment to build a stable, expanding income. Due to its multi-level nature, the odds are that you will not make enough money to replace your income at first... The benefits to Network Marketing do not kick in immediately - you have to do the work first and have the patience to allow your organisation to take on a life of its own. If you are looking for instant riches: Network Marketing is not the place to find it.
Network Marketing: The good!
If you can get over the bad and the ugly, there is a lot of good waiting for you as well... The main reason to choose Network Marketing as part of your strategy, is: creating wealth. It gives you a chance to build a self-expanding empire that allows you to earn a stable, monthly, residual income - even if you decide to retire in a few years.
There are two features that, in combination, sets Network Marketing apart from any of the other business models:
- "Residual income" (or "passive income")
- and "leverage."
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, "residual income" is when you receive a pay-cheque every month for work that you have done already - whether you continue working or not. "Leverage," in this case, is the ability to earn from the efforts of others as well; similar to the way that a business owner can have employees - except without the hassles of actually employing anyone. To learn more about "leverage" and how it applies to Network Marketing, please click here. To find out more about "residual income," feel free to follow this link.
Apart from the above, some of the other benefits include the following:
- Personal development and self-improvement,
- the opportunity to be your own boss and work from home,
- being able to mix with other positive people
- and various travel opportunities.
So then... why Network Marketing?
Again, it depends on what you want to accomplish.... If your focus is on short-term profits and you are not the type of person that can commit to the medium- or long-term development of a business, then Network Marketing might not be the best option for you... Yes, most pay-plans do offer short-term solutions, like product retailing - the problem is, that if that is your only goal, you will probably be better off choosing a more lucrative business-model like direct-sales.
However, if you are looking for a medium- to long-term solution that will last and provide you with income for years to come, Network Marketing might be what you are looking for. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot combine it with other business-models as well, like Affiliate- or Information Marketing, in order to boost your up-front profits.
In fact, that is the exact strategy that I am following, myself.
If you would like to find out a bit more on how Network Marketing stacks up to a few of other available business-models, when it comes to creating wealth, I invite you to click on one of the following links:
- Find out more about Network Marketing vs. Affiliate Marketing,
- Network Marketing vs. conventional business,
- Network Marketing vs. forex trading and stocks,
- Network Marketing vs. property investments.
I hope this section has provided you with some useful information and made your decision easier. If not, feel free to contact me with your questions by clicking here.