Scene at my local supermarket: An old lady around 50 years old, is discussing loudly with the young girl at the cashiers desk. From the conversation I realize that the old lady is very good friends with the young girl’s mother. So the lady pays for her shopping and leaves. Then the young girl takes the conversation to her colleague next to her. “See this lady who just left? She came back from the UK. She lived there many years and made a fortune from selling popcorn and candy floss! Now she build a palace and retired in Cyprus!”
So isn’t that funny! Most people, including myself, have spent a lifetime of studying, going through exams and piles upon piles of books to achieve something. Not to mention the cost for all this education that counts up to hundreds of thousands of Euro/Dollars whatever is your currency. Then you get a degree and a Masters’ and some people even get a PhD. So you then look for a job and you are offered the ridiculous salary of 1500-2000 Euro per month. (Lately even this is debatable in this economy). Then you work your ass off from dawn till late night, usually in a high pressure environment and all you get in return is one disappointment after another. At the end of the year you may get a salary increase of 50 Euro a month, or you may get nothing at all. Lately some people even get a decrease “because there is a crisis out there and you should be happy you even have a job”! This situation leads nowhere. The Americans are calling this the RAT RACE.
“A rat race is an endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit. It conjures up the image of the futile efforts of a lab rat trying to escape while running around a maze ratraceor in a wheel. In an analogy to the modern city, many rats in a single maze expend a lot of effort running around, but ultimately achieve nothing (meaningful) either collectively or individually. This is often used in reference to work, particularly excessive or competitive work; in general terms, if one works too much, one is in the rat race. This terminology contains implications that many people see work as a seemingly endless pursuit with little reward or purpose.”(Wikipedia). No wonder since salaries nowadays are so low and life so expensive that people barely make it until the next month.
Many people have realized this today and they are searching for an alternative. The solution usually lies in the realization of your own business. Like the old lady in my example, when you have your own business, you are your own boss and you get the majority of your earnings yourself and not some demanding and unfair boss of yours. OK you say, but what about the expenses to build your own business? You need money, equipment, office space, staff and more money! Not to mention the closure rate of most small businesses especially in the European South.
The answer is simple. There is one type of business that even during economic crisis, it enjoys big prosperity. It does not need much training, or investment and it is perfect for almost everyone. All you need is to find someone you trust that has already done it successfully and follow him! I am talking about Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) or what some other people call network marketing. Some people will stop reading here, thinking about pyramids, scums and brainwashing. Well I ask you to give me a bit more of your time. You will not regret it I promise!
What is network marketing?
A company practicing the traditional marketing methods, will spend thousands, or millions of Euros to advertise in magazines, radio stations, TV Channels, road open your own business posters and elsewhere. The smallest ad in a local Newspaper can cost about 500 Euro, while an advertisement of few seconds in a TV Channel can cost thousands. Yet this is not the most efficient way of advertising. How many times did you try a product, a chocolate or a coffee brand just because some friend or relative recommended it to you enthusiastically? Maybe you had even seen the advertisement hundreds of times, ignoring it but you did try at your best friend’s recommendation!
Research has shown the most effective way of advertising is from mouth to mouth. Therefore a lot of businesses have developed a mechanism where instead of paying 70% of their revenue to expensive advertising with questionable results, they pay you and me to advertise for them to our friends and relatives.
This activity can make you independent since you can work at anytime, anywhere, and for any amount of hours you like! You have your own business and you act however you like, being your own boss. You can put as much work in it as you like. Even better, you are not tied to a normal brick and mortar office. Since you can work from anywhere you save unbelievable amounts of energy and time by skipping the morning rash in the streets.
However the best part of this type of business is the way it pays. Your payment is multilevel. Let’s say you advertise and sell your product, whatever that is. You will get paid. If your buyer, also becomes a team member of yours, an associate in other words, and he sells to somebody else, you get paid for that too. If that somebody else does the same, you get paid for that too! The possibilities are endless. By building a large team, your profit is increased but your work is decreased. This is unlike any other type of business! This is where the name “Multi-Level Marketing”, or MLM, comes from.
Another benefit offered from most good MLM companies is training, in order to cultivate their business representatives and associates. After all how are you going to be successful and productive if you do not know what you are doing or how to produce results? So there are training events on the products and business themselves but also there is training on marketing, internet marketing, and social networking which bring results in today’s business models. Final but not least, is the advice, training and motivation on a personal development level in order to remove the stress and negativity from today’s corporate lifestyle and bring self-development and confidence to one’s personality! Here I have also noticed the following paradox: Many people who are outside of this MLM pro-positive energy and attitude when they see the results they believe these people have been through brainwashing! Yes, that is our situation today! When we see happy and positive people we take them for brainwashed and crazy!
As a final point, since MLM implies teamwork and positiveness, you will get to make new strong friendships, in contrast to other work environments where usually you get hostility and spitefulness.
Are all MLM companies the same?
Are all cars the same? How about coffee shops? I have been in a restaurant where the food was so horrible, I left without paying! Have you ever bought a “lemon” product full of problems? How about an insurance company who didn’t want to pay, or a horrible internet provider “from hell”? Well you get the point. Like everything else in life, when it comes to MLM you get bad companies, good companies and great companies! Unfortunately some companies in the past, or even some people in these companies, without necessarily being the company’s fault, have done great mistakes, they have worked the wrong way, trying to cheat people etc. Thus many people have negative feelings and opinions about MLM. Even worse, some other companies or people are just crooks trying to steal your money.
So how to you choose the right company, avoiding the “lemons” and the crooks? There are 10 basic criteria that will help you do that.
1. Has the company been around for at least 5 years?
If you want the efforts you put in today to pay off for many years in the future, choose a company that has proven that it will be around for the long term. 90% of all companies, including network marketing companies FAIL within their first 2 years. You don’t want to invest your precious time and resources (not to mention your future) in something that may not be in business next month, do you?
2. Is the company well capitalized?
In other words, does it have the cash that it will need to grow, to maintain a solid infrastructure, to attract talented management, to keep pace with technology – and, of course, to pay your commissions! Perform a small research about the company’s financial history and status before you join.
3. Does the company offer products or services that are unique or competitive?
That is, they’re not readily available elsewhere (especially at a discount) and they’re not just another “me too” product that has loads of competition.
4. Is there a genuine need for the product or service?
You’ve probably heard horror stories about people ending up with a garage full of expensive water filters – the reason that happens is because only other distributors will purchase the product at that price! Your product or service must fill a REAL need at a fair price – and there should be a large untapped market for it. In other words, it MUST provide tremendous value, so the customer is the biggest winner.
5. Is the product or service trendy or a fad?
You can’t build long term residual income (i.e., your retirement!) if the product or service only has short term appeal (e.g., beanie babies, etc.). Think long term instead. Is the product or service something that your customers will continue to use for a long time?
6. Can you generate immediate income?
So that you can finance your marketing and expansion efforts from cash flow. In addition you will gain confidence and energy to work harder when you see the first results soon!
7. Does the marketing system take full advantage of technology?
Not everyone is a sales type, but ANYBODY can plug into a system and tools that do the selling and sorting for you! Furthermore you will be able from anywhere in the world you like! You will only need a laptop and internet connection.
8. Is the person who is introducing you to the opportunity committed to YOUR success?
If they are, the company is strong, and the product or service is a winner, (and, of course, you’re willing to learn) you WILL succeed. There’s a big difference between a “sponsor” and a “recruiter.” A sponsor coaches, motivates and trains and a recruiter just signs people up and in most cases, abandons them
9. Is there a way to build your business part-time without losing your full time income?
At the beginning, until you built your team, or network, MLM business do not pay adequate money to cover your needs. In order to start being adequate you will need at least 1-years. Some people made a fortune in that time but it is not the normal. So be sure that you have the opportunity to work part time and keep your normal job until your network up and running. In addition the company could have automated systems that can do the heavy lifting (i.e., selling and sorting) for you so that you can use your limited time efficiently, but if not, don’t worry there are ways to do this on your own. Once you succeed though, say goodbye to the RAT RACE and hello to your new life!
10. Will you have FUN?
Although this may not be an element of your current JOB, we think it’s important! Most people with a normal job, hate the moment their alarm goes off to wake up for work from homework. You should have a lot of fun with your business partners while you work together to build a long term business and your financial army. After all I already mentioned about saying goodbye to stress and the rat race. MLM companies are also running fun events with uplifting music and parties with the people of your team; the team that will built together your financial success and future!
So there you have it – ten criteria for selecting a superior network marketing opportunity. Of course, even with a great company, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. You WILL have to work! But, with the right opportunity (unlike your job), it won’t have to be forever until you are 80 and realized your children are married and you have grandchildren (and you didn’t even realized anything)!
Imagine going to your boss and telling him, you would like to work for 10 years more and then quit. However after you quit, you would like to receive your full annual salary or more, forever. Can you imagine the expression of his face? With network marketing this is what you can achieve!