My life has always been about healthcare, every piece of education has driven me in this direction, and apart from a very fun year living in Canada I have never worked anywhere but a Hospital. I have loved my life and my work but I have always wanted to own my own business. Unfortunately, the skills I have learnt over the years are very non-transferable to the business world, giving me little opportunities to use my skills to build a business. But one day a friend came along offering me a Clean 9 and a very interesting business opportunity. Now, even though I was very interested it still took a year, a lot of research and many questions until I eventually decided to join the ever growing world of network marketing. Now, before you run away, this industry has had a bit of a bad reputation and I also had my doubts and concerns. But, as I said, I did my research and I found out there is a lot more to it than you think so just hear me out.
So what is network marketing? It is part of the direct selling organisation that means taking out the middle man. All shops on the high-street are basically the middle man between the manufacturer and the consumer, requiring staff, buildings and advertising. Direct selling gets rid of those factors and makes the process far cheaper. My research has told me this usually results in products being of a higher quality then their high-street counterparts (more money to invest in products while still making a profit). Network marketing is one step further by building and developing a network where you also get recognized for your team’s achievements as well as your own.
So alarm bells might be ringing and some of you are thinking pyramid scheme right? Well let’s compare this to how a normal sales business works. If you are an employee and you have a boss you would expect them to get paid more, correct? This is due to the extra responsibility, management, development and training that boss has put into your team. If your boss invests more in you, you will in turn make more money for yourself and the company. They will then get recognised by the company for developing a strong and successful team. This is exactly the same as in network marketing, your upline (person that recruited you) gets recognised by the company for their investment (time, skills and training) into you and developing a strong successful team. They DO NOT take a cut of your profits. This means it is always in their best interest to help you achieve more and this is how successful people and businesses are developed, guidance and support! In fact this business model called MLM (mulit-level marketing) is actually getting some good press and is being recognised as a superior business model.
“I realized that mentorship is one of the reasons that the multi level marketing (MLM) business model is so successful. Mentorship and coaching are important in all aspects of life and if you look around at the most successful people, I bet 9 out of 10 of them have or have had a mentor. Multi level marketing businesses have built it right into the business model. Brilliant!” Jody Greene, www.Forbes.com
Also, unlike normal companies your experience does not limit you, if you are driven and put in the man hours you can overtake your boss earning more money and gaining more recognition. Still not sure? So pyramid schemes are illegal in the UK, and many network marketing companies are well received by the UK government as a great way to develop new business owners. The growth of the economy relies on people taking risks and actions to better their lives and income. Not only that but when small businesses are doing well they create jobs, with an emphasis on empowering people to make money and support themselves the government will be very happy!
This industry is now rapidly growing, especially with the growth of social media and especially for women and it has a lot to offer. Many people are looking for a secondary income, lets face it the cost of living is going up more than salaries are. Many people like me want to own a business even though there current background severely limits their possibilities. Others are drawn in with a life of luxury travel, limitless income potential and a life of working from home sat by the pool in there luxury home (these people exist, I've met them!). Most people have some requirements though, they need a company that would help train and develop them and have a very small start-up cost. Most also require a role that works alongside a current job until it provides a comparable salary and usually requires an area of work you find interesting, and network marketing can offer this.
So do you think this is right for you and do you what to become an entrepreneur? The definition of an entrepreneur is a “bearer of risk”—a person who has an idea or ideas and is willing to take the risk of acting on them.
“MLM and direct selling programs offer very low barriers into entrepreneurship, often providing training, support, and ample encouragement along the way.” Robert Laura www.forbes.com
There is actually a lot more to becoming your own boss than just opportunities and money, there is evidence that it can be good for your health. There are the obvious work/life balance benefits, not having to wait till your 110 to retire (amazing) and the control of being your own boss. A study looking into the health of entrepreneurs versus employees showed some valuable insight into the long term health benefits. It was discovered that entrepreneurs showed significantly lower incidence of physical and mental illnesses, lower blood pressure, lower rates of hypertension, made fewer visits to the hospital, and enjoyed higher overall well–being and life satisfaction.1
“Many people don’t realize that multi-level marketing companies are successful because they help people satisfy a number of important human needs, including feeling significant, having connections, learning something new, and making a difference.” Daria M. Brezinski Ph.D, Psychologist.
So I hope if nothing else I have made you a little bit more open minded about the world of network marketing. I think it’s fair to say that this is an industry that is sometimes still looked down on and can get criticism. Like many other people starting a small business, blood sweat and tears has gone into it and so I urge anyone that these are people just trying to develop themselves and build a better future. If you find someone that wants to offer you the same it’s because they believe in you, would like to work with you and it is nothing but a compliment. Stay open-minded, ask questions and if it is not for you that's fine a polite no is all you need. If it’s a yes than you’ll have all the support you need to achieve anything you want in all aspects of your life.
1 - Stephan, U. and Roesler, U. (2010), Health of entrepreneurs versus employees in a national representative sample. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83: 717–738. doi:10.1348/096317909X472067