The following was written by Carmen Marshall. Carmen is the founder of the Soul Craft™ line of modern-spirited educational programs, products, gifts, and wisdom to help you create a life you (really, actually) love—while earning great money. Based on her distinctive body of work that focuses on a unique east-meets-west approach, Carmen is a fierce advocate for designing your work around your lifestyle, and teaches men and women from around the world how to craft their souls—and their pocketbooks. Carmen is also a 2 Star Diamond Director, Million Dollar Club Member, Foundation Executive Diamond and has been an Elite Bonus Recipient, Growth 25 and IDC Member.
So you’ve heard about Network Marketing as being a viable way to create wealth. You’re intrigued, but for some reason Network Marketing makes you feel little uneasy.
In my experience, I’ve found that 7 myths usually create an uneasy haze in people’s mind (I know it did with mine), and can stop you from truly evaluating if it could be fit for you.
MYTH #1 -> NWM IS A PYRAMID SCHEME
Often the pyramid shape of a NWM organization worries people. However, if the shape of the organization determined if a company was pyramid scheme or not, all government, churches and most businesses would fit into that category because they all have a pyramid structure.
So it’s not the shape of an organization that determines legality.
What is a pyramid scheme exactly?
“a form of investment (illegal in the US and elsewhere) in which each paying participant recruits two further participants, with returns being given to early participants using money contributed by later ones.”
In other words, pyramid schemes are money games, where participants are compensated primarily for recruiting other participants as opposed to selling products or services. In a pyramid scheme products or services may be sold, but compensation is generated primarily from recruiting others.
What is network marketing? (aka direct selling, multi-level marketing or MLM).
“a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated for the sales of products or services they generate, and for the sales of products or services of other salespeople that they recruit.”
The big difference is whether the program generates revenue based on the sale of products or services. An illegal pyramid scheme pays according to how many people you recruit and/or the money they are putting into the system (think gifting circles, the airplane game etc).
Legal network marketing programs offer quality products and services that are sold to consumers. Enrolling new members allows for increased income based on the volume of sales in the entire team.
SALES OF PRODUCTS OR SERVICES IS THE IMPORTANT FACTOR IN CALCULATING INCOME, NOT THE NUMBER OF RECRUITS.
Other laws legitimate network marketing companies follow include publishing average income statistics, no inventory requirement and refund options.
Additionally, some network marketing companies are publicly traded on the NASDAQ or NYSE. I find this one of the easiest ways to explain that why network marketing isn’t an illegal pyramid scheme – a public company is required to disclose information to the public that allows you to do your own research.
MYTH #2 -> THE PERSON AT THE TOP MAKES ALL THE MONEY
Interestingly, this sentence more accurately describes a job. A CEO always makes more than all employees – even if it’s sometimes arguable that some
employees works harder and longer than the CEO.
In fact, that was one of the main reasons I wanted to start my own business – so that my time, focus and work ethic could go towards creating my own financial success, not someone at the top.
In NWM, you’re rewarded for your efforts – if you work harder than the person/people above you, you’ll make more than them. It also doesn’t matter when you join (ie you don’t have to get in at the beginning).
For example, in my first network marketing company I surpassed my sponsor’s income. He had joined the company 6 months before me. In the current company I’ve been with for 15 years, I also surpassed my sponsor’s income – and they had joined 5 years before me.
MYTH #3 -> YOU HAVE TO BE A SALES PERSON AND / OR AN EXTROVERT
Nobody likes to buy from a pushy sales person and I would venture to guess that you wouldn’t want to be a pushy sales person. While there are people like that in ANY industry, that doesn’t have to be how you are.
THE BEST AND MOST SUCCESSFUL NETWORK MARKETERS THAT I HAVE KNOWN ARE GOOD LISTENERS, SOLUTION FINDERS AND NOT AT ALL PUSHY – YOU LIKE AND TRUST THEM AND THEREFORE WANT TO BUY FROM THEM.
A good network marketing company’s products tend to be higher quality and unique to what you can find elsewhere (their niche). If you join a company, it should be because you are passionate about the products, use them yourself and believe other people will benefit from them as well. It’s always easier to recommend something you believe in, without feeling like a pushy sales person.
And finally, while there are many extroverts in NWM (and any industry), there are an equal amount of introverts. For example, I’m an introvert. You can be enthusiastic, reserved, an extrovert or introvert – you get to be you. What is most important is a belief in what you are marketing, caring about others and an ability to listen and see if you can provide a solution.
MYTH #4 -> YOU HAVE TO TALK TO AND ALIENATE ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY
While many of my friends and family are on the products, most of them are not in the business. And 98% of my business hasn’t been built from people I know, but from someone that starting taking the products or started the business who then introduced someone else, who then introduced someone else etc.
More importantly, there are so many ways to build a NWM business, if you treat it like a real business. For example, if you loved ice-cream and opened up an ice cream store, would you only approach your friends and family to become customers?
OR, WOULD YOU TALK TO PEOPLE IN ADDITION TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY, TRY ADVERTISING, NETWORKING, STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS, ONLINE MARKETING – AND MANY OTHER SMART AND FUN WAYS TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS?
In my first NWM business, we had just moved to Australia and I didn’t know anyone except for my husband and in-laws. So I ran an advertorial. 6 people I had never met previously joined from that ad, and from those 6 people – I built my entire Australian organization.
For my second NWM company, we were living back in the US and so I initially started building with with friends and family, and then doing what I loved (teaching dance). Then in 2011, took it online.
I personally recommend a combination of friends, family, building your business around what you love and online strategies – but there are many other modern ways to build a hugely successful NWM business.
MYTH #5 -> THE MARKET WILL BECOME SATURATED
Saturation is impossible because the world’s population is always growing, with new people being born every day. As of January 2018, there were 7.6 billion people on the planet, with another 1 billion people being estimated by 2030. We won’t be running out of people anytime soon.
Another great way to look at the myth of saturation: Do you know anyone that doesn’t have some kind of digital device? Almost everyone already owns a computer, laptop, smart phone or iPad, but that doesn’t stop Apple from making more – because there are always new and existing customers to sell to.
When you have a great product (and a company that keeps innovating) that makes a difference in people’s lives, you will always have new and repeat customers.
MYTH #6 -> YOU END UP SELLING A PRODUCT THAT IS OVER-PRICED AND THAT NO ONE WANTS
Just like in any industry, some companies do sell over-priced products that there isn’t a market for.
However, a good NWM company will be marketing products that are high quality, priced at what people will pay for their value, and are products that people need and want (if that isn’t the case, don’t join that company!)
One of the best features of NWM is the residual income – which comes from customers and associates re-buying products. Customers will only re-buy products if they love them and notice a difference using them – hence why I believe consumable, high quality and unique products to be one of the most important things to consider when evaluating a network marketing company.
MYTH #7 -> NWM DOESN’T WORK
In 2016 alone the direct selling industry grossed $183 Billion worldwide. It’s one of the fastest growing segments in the Global Economy and ranks higher in global sales then the music, movie and gaming industry, the NFL and organic products.
It’s true however that not everyone succeeds at network marketing – but that’s true of any industry. Many business owners, bloggers, Amazon sellers, yoga teachers don’t do as well as they would like, fail or quit, but you don’t hear people saying that business ownership, blogging, Amazon or yoga doesn’t work.
There are also different kinds of success. Some NWM’ers want to earn a huge income – so they put extra and consistent work, time and focus into their business.
SOME WANT TO MAKE ENOUGH INCOME TO STAY AT HOME WITH THEIR KIDS, HAVE EXTRA MONEY FOR TRAVEL, ADD AN ADDITIONAL INCOME STREAM TO THEIR WELLNESS CENTER, OR PAY OFF DEBT.
Success should always be measured by what your personal goals are and what is most important to you…not necessarily if you became a millionaire through NWM (unless that is your desired goal and you’re committed to doing the work it takes).
BONUS MYTH #8 -> NWM IS A GET RICH QUICK SCHEME
Exactly the opposite. Done correctly, NWM is a get-financially-free-over-time with work, focused effort, consistency and personal growth. But that goes for building any business, or anything worthwhile.
When I was faced with the idea of climbing the corporate ladder over the next 40 years to make another business owner or company wealthy – the idea of putting my own work ethic into building my own business made much more sense. If you’re going to work hard – wouldn’t it be better to put it towards creating your own time, financial and creative freedom?
Choosing to do NWM was one of the best decisions I have ever made all those years ago, however I almost didn’t even LOOK at the business model because I had so many “myths” and assumptions floating around in my head. I hope this has helped dispel some of those same myths so you can evaluate if NWM is fit for your own personal goals and where you want to head.
OVER TO YOU
What do you think about the above NWM Myths? Do you have any others that have been wondering about? What would be your personal reasons and goals for doing NWM?
Share below – the best insights happen in the comments when we share our ideas and strategies.
Lots of love,
The earnings portrayed in this literature are not necessarily representative of the income, if any, that a USANA Associate can or will earn through his or her participation in the USANA compensation plan. These figures should not be considered as guarantees or projections of your actual earnings or profits. Any representation of guarantee of earnings would be misleading. Success with USANA results only from successful sales efforts, which require hard work, diligence, and leadership. Your success will depend on how effectively you exercise these qualities.