I’m the first to admit that network marketing’s reputation has been tarnished by rogue affiliates who mislead people with false promises and hype. It’s low and it’s dirty.
On the other hand, network marketing AKA direct sales can be a rewarding long-term opportunity for professional-minded adults who understand how business works.
For a minimal investment, the company handles almost everything for you: Manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, fulfillment, merchant accounts, order processing, marketing, regulations, customer support, returns, refunds – and all the other headaches that accompany running a business.
In exchange for all of the above, your role is to generate product sales on your schedule, from any location that works for you. That may mean four hours a month or forty hours a week, from your bedroom or your basement. It’s entirely up to you based on your unique goals and work ethic.
Yes, work ethic! Just like building any legitimate business is work. Any mature and responsible adult knows that. The problem is, there’s such a low barrier to entry when it comes to starting a network marketing business (a few hundred dollars usually) that it’s so easy for so many (unqualified) people to join.
Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. That’s what networking marketing is; being an entrepreneur. Which means time, work ethic, self-discipline, staying focused, overcoming challenges, being consistent, personal development, money management. Not everyone has those qualities, and that’s okay.
That’s also why the vast majority of people who join network marketing companies falter. It’s why those income disclosure statements always show 90%+ of people earning less than a few dollars yearly. They’re being transparent! Legitimate direct sales companies publish those statements so people can make an informed decision.
Just as those companies are being truthful about average earnings, it behooves anyone who’s considering joining a direct sales company to be truthful with themselves about whether they have what it takes. For most people, it’s easier to plunk down a few dollars to ‘get started today’ than it is to answer that question honestly.
Not being honest with oneself, combined with high pressure tactics by rogue affiliates! It’s not long before the reality of starting and running a business sets in. Even if it does afford flexibility and freedom, it’s still a business. Complaints and cries of “Scam!” soon follow, and before you know it, you’re one of the 88% earning $3/year.
It’s easy to point fingers at a company’s income disclosure statement. It’s not so easy to understand the dynamics behind those numbers. If that tiny percentage of people who actually make money in a company scares you away, good! That’s your first clue that defying the odds to build a successful business isn’t for you, and that’s okay.
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