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I keep seeing posts and YouTube videos about Network Marketing being the best business for anyone looking to get out of the 9-5. Not two seconds later, I will see another shouting that it is all a scam. So what is real?
This blog IS about health, nutrition and food, but it is because of a Network Marketing company that I got started on this path, writing this blog, and am working towards certification as a Holistic Nutritionist. So, I felt it prudent to share my experience and tips on Network Marketing.
In 2016, I was in my early 40’s, had recently lost my full-time job due to downsizing, worked work two part time jobs at minimum wage t still not make enough money and was in the beginning stages of perimenopause.
There was a lot going on.
My best friend and soul sister had over the years worked for different network marketing companies and had some success and was happy with the business model. She had asked me a few times during those years to give it a shot, but I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Until everything snowballed in 2016.
I was stressed out over the job loss and what I was going to do, time wise and money wise (two part time jobs wasn’t going to cut it long-term), I had gained some weight ( combination of stress eating and hormone changes) and I didn’t want to be in that situation of unknowing again. It wasn’t fair to me or my husband.
So I jumped on board with both feet.
I had some lofty goals right off the bat, but I was in for a big surprise.
- My friends and family are very supportive, so I assumed they would jump on board with me. WRONG. They were supportive of what I was doing, but they didn’t want the product or business. Realistically, I didn’t either until everything came to a head, so who could blame them.
- Next step, attend events. Events are fantastic! You are in a group with 10 – 30 up to thousands of people, all on the same wavelength as you. It is a truly satisfying and heady feeling. You feel vindicated and fired up to get home and put everything you learned into action. But once you get home, you are on your own. The company I am with has amazing resources and online support via zoom calls and YouTube, but you still have to attend those and do the work.
- Social media. This is a tough one for me. I am generally a very private person, even my personal Facebook page has very little personal information or pictures. Meeting people in a grocery line and connecting on social media is not for me. Just one of the common suggestions in most companies to open up your warm market. By the way, I hate that term.
- Last but not least (at least for me), Vendor Shows. My soul sister and I only do a couple a year and we always have a good time, but do we get results? Not really. We have a lot of interesting conversations with people, make a lot of contacts with other vendors (usually the other vendors are the most interested) and get our name out there.
But is all that worth it? For me, that is a big yes!
Here are my tips to make a decision you are comfortable with:
- Know your comfort level – Getting out of your comfort zone is necessary in Network Marketing as you are essentially your own boss (which is the appeal to most people) but if you break out in a cold sweat or get nauseous at the thought of meeting new people, it may not be for you. You must be willing to try new things, say yes to the unknown and learn from the experiences.
- Love the product – YOU MUST LOVE THE PRODUCT!!! This may seem pretty obvious but I am amazed at the amount of videos I have watched where people are trashing their former companies and the products. There are actually two reasons to love the product. The first is, why would anyone buy something you recommended if you don’t believe in it. The second is, it may take a lot of time to start making any of your money back but in most cases, you have to maintain a minimum order to be eligible to get paid. It may seem like a vicious cycle, but if you love the products and use them, you are not really out anything extra. I will use my own example at the end.
- Know the compensation plan before you start – There is no set compensation plan structure. These are set by each individual company. However, they are not all created to be fair to the person starting out, some have levels or tiers which affects the compensation you can receive for doing the same thing as someone above you. Ask questions, from more than just the person enrolling you, as high up or as low down the ladder as you can, to get a realistic idea of what you can expect to get out of your investment. As for the PYRAMID SCHEME debate/objection, the bulk of your commission/compensation should be from a customers’ purchase of a product or service, not enrolling people into your company. Some companies offer a bonus for enrolling new people which is no different than a sports team offering a signing bonus to a new player. As long as that is not the main objective of the compensation plan you should be safe.
- Be realistic – I have seen people start after me and simply leap to a position that allows them to quit their day job and focus on network marketing full time, but they are the exception, not the rule. Most people, me included, must be realistic about our abilities, knowledge and network of people we have access to. If you go into a company with the expectation of quitting your day job in one year, you are most likely going to be very disappointed.
So to continue on with my story and my example of loving the products.
The company I chose was Isagenix®, a health and wellness company. As I said at the beginning of this post, I was getting chunky, in my early forties (which makes it a little harder to lose the excess) and stressed out. I was also working two part time jobs, so it was really a leap of faith into the unknown financially.
First, the money question, (what most people always want to know first), Have I made any money? Yes. Consistently? No. Would you like to know why this doesn’t keep my up at night? Let me tell you.
- The products work. I lost the chunky and feel great.
- I use the products everyday, so I am literally eating my investment. I am able to stay active (tip #2 above) by ordering what I actually use. That is not to say I don’t have extra product, but that is a personal choice.
- Last but not least, I found a new passion for nutrition. I started reading and following well-known functional medicine practitioners and knew it was something I wanted to be able to share with others as well. That is how this blog got started. The blog was only the starting point though. In order to help people fully, with or without using Isagenix®, I needed a bit more clout, and starting looking for formal training. Which I found and am halfway to becoming certified as a Holistic Nutritionist.
Network marketing isn’t good or bad, it just depends on what you expect to get out of it.
I didn’t end up quitting my day job, but I am getting great nutrition daily and instead found a new career that I can mold however I see fit.
I call that a Win-Win.
P.S. To any network marketers out there, past or present, please don’t trash your company or anyone else’s. It only makes you look bad and discredits your sincerity. If you are asked point blank, you can simply say that you don’t know, and bring the conversation back to your own products.
Would love to hear your thoughts or comments.
Back to health posts next time. Let me know if there is anything specific you would like to read about.
Until next time.