Pyramid or Business Opportunity? That Sounds Like One of Those Pyramid Schemes.

Why are so many involved in one of those pyramid schemes? This is the problem. We assume a business model we don’t understand is a pyramid scheme. They are not pyramid schemes, they are an alternative business opportunity that levels the playing field, making it affordable for most to get started with limited resources.

Pyramid Scheme

Pyramid structureA pyramid scheme has no final product. When you “buy in”, you give your money and then go and get others to do the same. In one model, you recruit levels below you and when it reaches so many levels, the top person leaves and the next two split to form two new pyramids. This continues until you can no longer get people to cough up the money to join the pyramid.

Notice that at no time did anyone buy a product or service. That’s what makes it a pyramid.

Here’s the rub, if you look at a “traditional” business model or a network marketing business model on paper, you will see a pyramid.

“Traditional” Business

In a conventional bricks and mortar type business, there is usually an individual who starts the business. They may eventually grow large enough to need more people. This is when the pyramid begins!

CEO

Vice-President Sales and Marketing | Vice-President Operations

District Sales Manager|Director Marketing|Director Facilities|Director Purchasing

Are you starting to get the picture? A “traditional” business eventually starts to become a pyramid. It can’t survive growth if it doesn’t. Those who believe they can do it on their own eventually give up under the weight of the business demands.

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) or Network Marketing

In the world of MLM or Network Marketing, there are a few challenges.

Legitimate MLM or network marketing companies offer a service or product that meets a particular need in the marketplace. For example (Yes, these are my affiliate links.):

Image representing Canadian justice.When you decide to try a network marketing business, you have to decide if you are going to just sell product or service or are you going to develop a business enterprise. The choice is yours to make. You are the CEO of your own business. You have just decided that your business is going to represent a company and their product or service. How you do that is up to you. MLM is an alternative business model where you will have built in systems and coaching. Your mind is like a parachute. It only works when it’s open.

Sales isn’t for everyone. The challenge is that we don’t know if we don’t try. Most of us are selling all the time and don’t realize it. Whether it’s convincing your boss to try something new or your spouse to go see a movie, you are selling the idea. You might to learn some skills and tactics specific to your chosen business to succeed. Go in with an open mind and be willing to learn.

Some find that they can be consumed by the business for a while. Think about it. Have you ever seen a friend or family member open a shop and all of a sudden, it seems they dropped off the face of the earth? They didn’t. They are focused on growing their business and sometimes have to make sacrifices. What are you willing to do? Are you one of those people that have a negative impact on people close to you who have tried to start a business, MLM or otherwise?

At times, the greatest challenge is your own mind. If you don’t believe in your own ability to achieve success, you can be guaranteed that you won’t. In the immortal words of Earl Nightingale, “you become what you think about most often“.

The bottom line is that most of those “pyramid schemes” are legitimate business opportunities. Are you afraid of them because you don’t believe you can succeed? Does labelling the opportunity a pyramid scheme allow you to excuse yourself from taking any risk and maybe achieving financial and time freedom?

The choice is yours to make. Don’t let others tell you what to do.

The video below is a little dated and some might think a little “cheesy” but it does a not bad job of discussing MLM versus pyramid.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for people who are able to think independently. I’m thankful for people who aren’t afraid to ask me to look at their business opportunity. I’m thankful for any chance to learn. What are you thankful for today?

 

MLM (Multi-level Marketing) sucks!

MLM really sucks if you don’t have the 6 following traits:

  1. An open mind:
  2. Willingness to learn;
  3. Willing to work hard;
  4. Willing to use the system;
  5. Willing to be coached;
  6. Willing to make your fortune.

MLM

Multi-level Marketing (MLM) levels the playing field for everyone regardless of where and how you grew up, your current social position or your education.

Great MLM companies have compensation plans tied directly your efforts. Some will progress faster at the beginning because they are more open minded or coachable. Others may have already learned the basics before.

Your progress will be determined more by your personal efforts and willingness to learn. Is your mind open to creating your wealth and success?

Open Mind

Question?Most of us grow up and learn certain biases. For example, your parents may have always told you weren’t as smart as others so there is no way you will ever be rich. To make themselves and their children feel better, they constantly cut down rich people and said how evil they are. “Why would I want to be like them!”. When something is reapeted often enough, we start to believe our own lies.

Your mind is like a parachute, it only works when it’s open. Are you willing to consider that pre-conceived ideas could be wrong?

Willing to Learn

If you open your mind and are willing to learn, great MLM companies offer a lot of free training that would likely cost more than a university and would benefit you with new knowledge and might actually pay you in the process.

Doing business of any kind usually has some cost associated with it but when you are working MLM, it’s likely that it’s more likely that when you make the effort to applied your learned knowledge, the resulting profits outweigh the cost of your time and maybe a little money. Are you willing to apply what you learn?

Willing to Work Hard

You are your own boss. No one will be telling you what to do in a MLM Opportunity. Your income is the direct result of your efforts. When you “hired” yourself, did you consider your “employee’s” work ethic?

We get nothing for nothing in this life. The greatest cost in your business is your time and efforts. What are you willing to do to get what you want?

Willing to Follow A System

collaboration imageGreat MLM companies have a proven system of success. Can you accept that they know more than you and can help you achieve your goals if you open yourself up to change?

I’m not saying you have to do your business exactly as your sponsor did. Successful systems have room for individual expression. Find the parts that fit your personality and use them. For example, maybe you are more comfortable using technology, use that for your initial exposures and then follow up. Alternatively, maybe you prefer to meet in person and use a flip book. Then, do that!

Whatever the system is, find a way to make it fit your style without breaking the business model. This is a business.

Willing To Be Coached

Odds are pretty good that you have a fairly strong personality or you wouldn’t consider MLM as an option. Don’t kid yourself, you might just be passive aggressive. This means your ego may get in the way and it could take a while before you realize it.

Most of us go through that period where we insist we can do it. I may find my sponsor too aggressive and decide I don’t want to be like him/her. They have already proved they can do the business or you would have been their sponsor!

When you realize you don’t have to be exactly like them, you only need to open up o them coaching you and success just might show her face. If what you are doing is easy, it probably won’t work. Let your coach show you how to stretch and get outside your comfort zone.

Ask yourself, am I coachable?

Willing To Make Your Fortune

authorityBlogThinking you want success and money is very different than actually believing it you deserve it. We all have a map burned into our brain that we get directions from. This map was created when you were very young and is seared into your subconscious. Many of us sabotage our own success because we get stuck on the road that is mapped there. I highly recommend reading T Harv Eker’s book, Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind to help you understand what you need to do in order to break the patterns established over your lifetime.

Is your success worth doing some reading to help yourself? Are you willing to make changes? Are you willing to make your fortune?

It’s all up to you to determine what success is for you and how much of a fortune you want.

Just decide!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful Jeff Olsen taught me to read 10 pages of a good book every day. I’m thankful my sponsors don’t give up on me. I’m thankful my wife supports me.

What are you thankful for today?

The Sales Process: Do you have one?

Your sales process will define your success. Do you have one? Make sure you understand the difference between sales and marketing when you develop your processes.

What is a “Sales Process”?

Process flow chart.The sales process is every step you take from marketing a product or service to post sale maintenance and support. The sales process isn’t finished at the point of sale. You still need to build in post sale follow up to ensure your client stays sold and becomes a raving fan. Referrals should be part of the sales process.

Marketing isn’t sales!

Marketing is the promotion of your idea whether a service or product. This is part of the sales process but not the actuall selling. You never close a sale when you are marketing.

Most people don’t know they need what you are selling. Marketing is educating your prospect about the value you bring to the table and helping them understand why they should buy from you. You’re not selling at this point. You are effectively creating the customer.

Marketing

Define your opportunity.

Man with list of check marks in a column beside him.Here are five questions you need to answer before you get anywhere near developing your marketing strategy and sales process.

  1. What are you selling?
  2. Why are you selling it?
  3. Who are you selling to?
  4. When are you selling?
  5. Where are you selling?

Design a sales process.

  • Creating a list of prospects.
  • How will you approach them?
  • What is the follow up?
  • How will you close?
  • What is the post sale process?

Selling

Work the plan.

Once you have designed your sales process, it’s time to work your plan. The challenge will be sticking to your plan. Part of a good plan is “Plan, Do, Review”. Set a schedule. Once your plan is done, decide how long you will work the plan and when you will sit to review what works and what doesn’t.

There will be nay sayers who will try to convince you a business is a bad idea. Everyone will have suggestions on how to run your business. It’s prudent to take in good advice but don’t let it derail your plan. Wait for the review and then weigh the advice you have received against your experience. Tune up the plan rather than making wholesale changes and go back to the “do” period.

Earn Referrals.

3D-Women-Shake-Hand-01During your sales process, you will make an impression whether you win the business or not. By selling with intent and integrity, people will come to trust that you are the consumate professional. When you have earned their trust, you have earned the privilege to ask for referrals.

Back to the dating analogy, when people know, like and trust you, they will be very open to making an introduction if you ask them. Tell them who you want to meet. Describe your ideal prospect and ask for introductions. If you don’t ask, they don’t usually think to offer.

Earning and asking for referrals should be built into your sales process.

Business In A Box

Does all of the above sound like a lot of work? You bet it is! You have choices to make. What are you willing to do? You can work out your own strategies. Alternatively, you can buy a “business in a box”. You can buy a franchise system and set up multiple distribution points.

Robert Kyosaki wrote a book called “The Business Of The Century” explaining that MLM is the next business evolution. Faster and more effective, you could consider a multi-level marketing opportunity to get you started.

woman carrying moneyIf financial resources are limiting you from building a bricks and mortar business or buying into a franchise, consider working with a Multi-Level Marketing group to get you started. Remember, MLM is a business and there will be costs.

Make sure you understand what the ongoing operating cost is and be realistic in your expectations. MLM is like going to university. You will learn and it will change you. You may decide the MLM is all you need or you will learn and earn while you work toward your ultimate dream business.

“If it’s to be, it’s up to me”!

What are you willing to do?

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for opportunity. I’m thankful for justice. I’m thankful for chances for personal development.

What are you thankful for today?

What do you say when someone criticizes your faith in your business?

Wouldn’t it be great to be prepared with an answer when someone criticizes your faith in your business? Don’t get sucked into a debate. Be prepared with a response that lets them know where you stand in a respectful manner and let it be.

What does faith have to do with business?

If you thought this would be a discussion about religious faith and business, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I will be up front and tell you that this blog was prompted by something I saw in Church presented by Andy Stanley, a new series called “Prepared”. That series is about being prepared when people make critical comments to Christians but the same principles apply to you and your business.

Man giving thumbs down.Have you ever been involved in a business opportunity and people drop comments in a conversation that really don’t invite discussion but are meant to convey a negative opinion of your particular position or business? You are left feeling shut down and wondering if you are dealing from a position of strength. What if you could be prepared with a response that respecfully conveys your conviction without inviting further conversation?

In Andy Stanley’s “Prepared” series, he gives a response for Christians that I think will work beautifully when someone challenges our belief: “I believe Jesus died for my sin and rose from the dead. But, I don’t believe it because the Bible says so, it’s better than that…” and he leaves it at that. He’s suggesting to make the comment and then just move on. This clarifies a position and really doesn’t invite any further debate.

Just as Christians have faith in Christ, we need to have faith in our business beliefs. How strong is your faith?

What can I say when someone challenges my Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) business?

There will always be crabs who will throw comments your way in order to justify their own fears and ignorance. In the majority of cases, they really have no idea why you are involved in a particular project or business. What they do know is that you may have to leave them behind. I’m not convinced they are ever consciously aware that is what they fear.

Let’s pretend someone has just said something like “I can’t believe you’re still involved in that legal thing!”. Maybe the response could be something like “I believe that everyone deserves equal access to the justice system. But it’s not just because the system is broken, it’s more than that…” and leave it at that!

Make new friends.We understand that most MLM or Direct Marketing Opportunities provide people with one of the greatest ways to grow as individuals whether they ever make money or not. Being involved in a business opportunity, whether MLM or bricks and mortar, changes you.

  • We learn about connecting with people.
  • Learning how to learn.
  • Finding ways to grow.

Some are content to just have a supportive community of positive and like minded people. Yet others make the decision to take the business to different levels and help others realize their greatest potential.

Entrepreneurial Faith

Do you realize you are in a very great minority? Most people don’t have what it takes to think outside the box and do something great. You are part of an elite group of true leaders. You are willing to make changes others aren’t willing to risk. Now, there is another choice to make. Will you keep the faith in yourself and your business?

Like having faith in a supreme being, we often face challenges to belief in our businesses. There are days when that faith is shaken. The challenge is to look  inside and rediscover that faith. Those are the days when we need to make the decision to be very careful with our associations. Sometimes, it may mean limiting our exposure to family and friends.

There will be days when you will have to draw on your entrepreneurial faith to get through bad hours, days, weeks or months. Some will be more difficult than others. Find someone who is like minded that you can call on those days and that you trust you can count on to help you “see the light” again. The wonderful thing about great MLM or Direct Marketing groups is that they recognize we go through tough times and are there whenever we are ready to re-engage.

Your entrepreneurial faith will make or break your business.

Will you keep the faith?

Nearly all men can stand adversity but if you want to test his character, give him power. - Abraham Lincoln

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Jesus Christ. I’m thankful for my LegalShield family. I’m thankful for open minded people.

What are you thankful for today?

 

 

Stop Worshiping MLM Leaders

We need to stop worshiping MLM leaders so that they can be more effective. Have you ever been a leader and felt some days like you just wish you could hide because of the pressure that the expectations of others creates for you? We are designed to worship but not to be worshiped.

Carey Nieuwhof from Connexus Church does a great job of drawing on references from the bible and making connections to every day people. You and me. You really need to watch Week 4 of that series on being overwhelmed.

What do I mean “worshipping MLM leaders”?

man-flyingI have been to many events where they have invited people from within the industry and put them at the front of the room to perform. Master of Ceremonies (MC) will introduce the speaker with such deference that you might think it was God Himself coming onto the stage.

Imagine the pressure that puts on leadership! Everyone has expectations of perfection. Over time, you often see these people become very narcissistic and lose track of their own identity. Eventually, people start to lose respect for them. If the leader is lucky enough, he or she will realize what is happening and return to their roots. I believe that is why many of them become more spiritual as they regain their identities.

Respect, not worship.

We instinctively look to worship. The MC is only reacting to that natural instinct and because he or she has great faith in the business and speaker, they use language that reflects their commitment to their cause. The challenge is to ensure that it doesn’t become devotional and lead to worshiping people, money or possessions. Don’t get me wrong, realistic goals are great and relative to where you are at any given time. Worship is destructive to the idol and to you in the end.

3D-Women-Shake-Hand-01By all means, respect the person and their achievements. Learn from them and thank them for sharing their knowledge. Keep in mind they are human just like you and me. Maybe offer the take them to dinner to thank them for their time but don’t worship them. It’s a long fall off a pedestal. Do you want to be part of the problem that leads to their fall from grace?

Love and appreciate them and that will leave them free to do the same for themselves and others without being destroyed.

Whether you are spiritual or not, I highly recommend watching the complete series of “Overwhelmed“. There is so much insight that applies to business and life in general.

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for my faith. I’m thankful God finds people like Carey Nieuwhof to deliver messages in a way we can understand. I’m thankful for the Internet!

What are you thankful for today?

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