Not only does Network Marketing have a bad reputation in the minds of many people, while the trash talk may be misinformed, some of the issues have traces of truth to them which has lead me to the following questions: Would I ever leave? Would I ever go back? Would I do it all over again if I could?
Here’s the deal: I’m a decade in. I’ve made it to the top. I’m a pioneer in Canada. My family still lives on my network marketing income. While it was once six figures and gave me trips to Maui, trips all over the United States and Canada, Tiffany jewelry, a luxury car, purses, bags, swag, shiny things and more… I’m not motivated by stuff. That’s all nice and everything but it doesn’t get me out of bed and over my own procrastination or resistance.
Still, after five years of ‘taking a break’ my family of five still lives on the income that my network marketing business pays me. Crazy right? Or is it smart?
Trash Talk: So much promise, so little return.
Truth: You get what you are willing to build. What is worth sweating over to build?
Here’s the thing: I don’t respect ‘follow the leader’ groups (come on now, as if one person could have the answer for everybody), nor do I find any enjoyment in hotel hypey meetings (rah rah rah blah blah blah), and I really cringe when I hear ‘tactics’ for selling that involve ‘overcoming objections’, or ‘facing your fears and doing it anyway’. Why do objections need to be overcome? And surely our fear instinct has a purpose. How about just listening to the objection and being fearful of what is truly dangerous? I got to the ‘top’ of my business without ever having to overcome anybody’s objections or feel my fear and do it anyway. I didn’t do what I was afraid of. I did what challenged me instead, and I listened for the YES that worked for my clients and for me.
Trash Talk: It’s a cult.
Truth: You’re a business owner.
Here’s the dilemma: Business success in network marketing is based on your ability to teach thousands of people how to follow a simple business system over and over and over again – a.k.a. duplication. The truth is, network marketing success is no different than implementing the ideas in Michael Gerber’s The E-Myth. So really, people, calm down, it’s not brainwashing, it’s following a system. That said, without ‘jargon’ and ‘hype’ and ‘rituals’ and ‘a top ten list’ how does motivation and duplication happen? And while we’re here, how do you mass duplicate “just tell the truth and serve the people”.
Trash Talk: I hate those rah rah rah motivational selly things.
Truth: Find your own motivation, you’re not a sheep.
Here’s the challenge: Network Marketing isn’t for everybody (neither is team sports), yet anybody can do it.
Not everyone is going to find fulfillment in the network marketing industry, not everyone is going to generate wealth. Not everyone is going to enjoy the process either yet the doors are always OPEN for ANYONE to join in, and lots do.
I soooooooo respect an open playing field.
I sooooooo champion all-access-opportunities.
I live by ‘all’ is greater than ‘some’.
Trash Talk: Coffee isn’t for every-body
Truth: yet almost everybody drinks it.
Here’s the insight: In today’s wacky world of broken rules, cracked systems and mega-marketing (like who do you believe anymore?), we all need three streams of income to be bulletproof. I learned this from my friend Cat in Toronto. She said to me “we all need three legs to stand on because when (not if) one gets broken, we still have two to stand on”. True right? In the decade that I’ve been in this industry, I’ve had a third baby, almost lost my marriage, let go of my house, had a life-direction breakdown (okay, a mid-life crisis), parented emotional teenagers, lived through a recession, saw friends lose babies, divorce and experience financial ruin, and to top it all off, last year I had CANCER.
Mother Fudrucker. Are you kidding me?
Yes indeed, we all need three legs to stand on because sometimes it takes more than six weeks in a cast to mend a limb. Sometimes the leg is severed and simply needs to be replaced and that takes time. Over the last ten years, my network marketing business has been the only constant revenue our family has had, be it a gangsta paycheque or an average one. I sometimes forget that’s a worthy leg to stand on for sure.
Trash Talk: Why do you need a plan B if you already have a plan A?
Truth: Because you do.
Here’s what I’ve learned: Nobody wakes up dreaming about building a career in network marketing (well, none that I’ve met anyway), but everyone wakes up needing cash for food, shelter and peace of mind. Some people wake up desperate for a chance to GO FOR SOMETHING BIG, but most simply just want to be happy. Lots of people yearn to be appreciated, to be known, to be part of a community, and a select few decide to create it themselves.
Most of us have ALL that it takes to be successful in network marketing:
- like people.
- love the product you sell.
- learn to communicate.
- practice remembering that yes is an answer just as much as no is and that neither is better than the other, nor is it to be taken personally.
- be habitual.
- be reliable, be kind – and above all else…
- LOVE PEOPLE (more than you like them).
Yet… so few think they have what it takes.
Even me sometimes, and I’ve been to the top. I drank the kook-aid. I wore the logos. I cried at the conventions. I even drove (drive) the car.
Trash Talk: So many people fail in network marketing.
Truth: So many people quit.
The truth is: I respect this industry more than any other industry I’ve ever been in because it’s real and there’s nowhere to hide or to pretend. The truth will ALWAYS out in network marketing because it’s a people based business. People have the best ‘sniffer’ I know. They can feel authenticity, they can smell a ‘sell’.
Oh yeah, and really… like come on… where else can I work 15 hours/week like it’s a ‘j.o.b.’ and make gangsta money? Where else can I go to ‘business school’ and get paid to learn how to be an entrepreneur? How else can I make ‘career’ money without having to have a career?
What other business allows you to have all the crazy goodness that comes with a franchise opportunity without having the million dollars you need to buy a frickin’ franchise? I can’t deny that. Just look at the numbers. Truly, don’t listen to the rah-rah-opportunity -this-will-change-your-life-stuff, just look at the bloody numbers. They don’t have ‘spin’ on them.
I’m an artist. I’m a momma. I’m a wife. I’m a writer, I’m an athlete (well, becoming one again), and I’m a coach. I don’t have time for a job. I got shit to do. Big shit. Big loud, fabulous, life-affirming, world tilting shit to do. I’m not here to waste my life pretending to play small when I’m not. No. That’s not me. I have a calling to fulfill, and so do you.
Network Marketing is not my career, yet it encompasses all the things that I’m designed to do: build community, see greatness in people, write, speak, perform, and make a difference in this insane world of lying lying lie lie lie selling. Thank you Jerry Seinfeld – you crack me up. Did you you click the link? Here it is again.
Network Marketing, you are the gift that keeps challenging me to grow up, to ‘fess up, to lift up, and most importantly to SHOW UP. Without you, I wouldn’t know what I know now and I wouldn’t be here on TinaOLife living out the calling that’s been with me since I took my first breath.
So to answer my own questions:
Would I leave?
ummm probably not, that just seems stupid. That’s callous, I know, but really, some things are pretty obvious when you can finally see them.
Would I ever go back?
Well, I’m certainly not working my biz the way I did ten years ago because that was sheer insanity (even though it worked), and technology has changed since then, so I don’t have to. It’s kinda nice to have a global business from the comfort of my bed and in my fuzzy slippers.
Would I do it all over again if I could?
That’s the easy hard one to answer: Yes. Yes I would. It’s kinda like: “if you knew what you know now about marriage and having children, would you do it all over again?” – yes, yes, yes and more yes. It’s frickin’ hard. It’s totally real and it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
The deeply challenging things that expand us usually are.
Wanna know about my business? email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
TinaO is a writer, speaker and the founder of TinaOLife – a hub for all things worth living for, the workshop Live Your Best Story, and her coaching practice: Tall Poppy Living. She’s also a professional network marketer with a decade in the industry. She teaches: selling isn’t slimey and marketing isn’t make-believe. You can be yourself and be successful in Direct Sales.