Network Marketing: Your greatest dream or worst nightmare?

Many sole traders in the health and wellness industry have been approached at some time or another by a network marketer promising a fantastic lifestyle, ‘beach money’, passive income and the freedom to work wherever you want whenever you want. This is certainly the truth for some, but a very high percentage of people never get beyond a two or three figure income each month, so what is the truth about network marketing?

We have all seen the ‘ugly’ side of network marketing from people whose product knowledge and integrity is far outshone by an over-exuberant fanaticism designed to make you feel that you are missing out on your millions if you don’t follow their cult-like hysteria. Couple this with most people’s lack of understanding of the difference between network marketing and its illegal, unethical predecessor ‘pyramid selling’ and the whole thing looks like an absolute sham…. but is that an accurate impression of the industry?

When you look more closely, you see that many of the successful people in network marketing have given up careers in banking or accountancy and that there are, indeed, many ‘rags to riches’ stories from everyday people. Certainly, network marketing is a great equalizer: everyone enters the business at the same level regardless of qualifications or experience, everyone has the same opportunity to grow the business and everyone is selling the same product at the same price, so if one person is successfully bringing in a high income from it and another person is not after the same length of time, then guess where the weak link is…!

The difference between failure and success is that some people approach network marketing with their ‘party head’ on instead of their ‘business head’. They are seduced by the money that is indisputably there to be had and the lifestyle it brings instead of seeing that there is a product to be brought to market and to do it successfully they must work consistently and diligently, just like any other business owner. There are no short-cuts and earning a ‘passive income’ most certainly does not mean you do it with a ‘passive effort’!

Unlike in the corporate environment where team and product managers are recruited and instantly given a high salary in the hope that they will live up to expectations, in network marketing everyone starts at the bottom and works their way up. Skills are gained on-the-job and everyone earns what they are worth to the business with extremely generous bonuses on top of commissions for those who put the effort in. There are no glass ceilings, there is no sexual discrimination, there is nothing stopping you from caring for an elderly relative or a young child, you do not need a certain level of education to get started and most significantly of all, you do not need money in the bank to get started. Network marketing truly offers an amazing opportunity to all, but as with any business, it requires consistent effort, particularly in the early days,

What’s your problem?

I am in the fortunate position of having my own Chinese Medicine business for 10 years, so I understand marketing in general, but network marketing was a new concept to me 3 years ago. In spite of having a successful business, I faced three main challenges:

  1. no clients = no income’ so when I went on holiday there was not just the cost of the holiday itself, but the loss of income.  NM now gives me a passive income.
  2. The time-for-money business model meant that my income was always capped by the number of hours in a day and the number of patient I could see in that time. NM means my business and my teams in other countries earn me money while I sleep
  3. Buying and storing stock for resale. As a small business owner I found it difficult to purchase in advance and then stock the range of herbs I needed for my patients. It equated to money sitting on the shelf and the soaring cost of room hire gobbled up the resale profits. NM means orders are shipped straight to the customer, I have no up-front costs and the commission goes into my bank automatically.
  4. As an herbalist I found the European laws stifled the business and put costs up for patients and my key suppliers were put out of business. I therefore needed something else to offer my patients that was both effective and affordable.

I therefore turned to network marketing as a business model that could solve all these problems and I chose the Juice Plus company because the product is simple: organic, vegan, gluten-free encapsulated fruit, vegetables and berries. I was not worried about my reputation in clinic because of the vast amount of research into Juice Plus that can be found on PubMed and Medline and finally I shared the values that the company seemed to represent – and now having met the CEO and many of the top management, that is true more than ever.

If you want network marketing to work for you, then you need to follow some golden rules:

  • Choose a product that you like, believe in and want to use for yourself regardless of the business opportunity.
  • Choose a company that is well-established and fits with your interests and values. (I recently met a beautician who tried to get me to convert my household utility bills to another provider – not convincing!!)
  • Choose a company that has industry accreditations that attest to its integrity, professionalism and money-making opportunities such as Business From Home.
  • Make sure the person recruiting you into the business will give you their ongoing support and training. They must understand what you want from the business, what your goals in life are because with the right upline, you truly can have every opportunity to achieve them, so try to ensure that person is someone you like and trust because if you are to be successful, you will be spending a lot of time with them!

If you are facing any of these issues and think network marketing may help you, then please do get in touch and we can arrange a Skype call. I will not be pressuring you to join my team because I invest a lot of time and effort into my team members so unlike many people in NM, I want to get the right people and focus on them rather than just sign up as many as I can!

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