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?

Backup solution for multiple devices including your smartphone and tablet.

MLM or MBA? What’s the difference?

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) has more value than a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). The funny thing is that MBA’s are likely to be offended by that statement. (My apologies in advance to MBA’s. This is to demonstrate a point that will make sense later.)

Masters in Business Administration (MBA)

Business woman with a briefcase.This designation tells me that you have the ability to study, stay focussed and finish what you start.

An MBA likely spent four or more years in University and $60,000 to $100,000 of someone’s hard earned or borrowed money. Many graduate with large student debt and missed the opportunity to make double that income. That means the true cost is likely upwards of $300,000. (Average cost of Tuition in Ontario:  $8,474)

Now it’s time to find a job or start a business. I have heard of people graduating with their MBA only to end up in a retail job making $30,000 a year with a debt load equal to two times their annual salary. Let’s see, the cost of a $60,000 loan would be approximately $552/month at 2% for 10 years. That’s if you are lucky enough to get away with 2%.

Should you want to start a business, it will cost you thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a franchise or start a business from the ground up. Let’s see, you have a monthly commitment of $552 a month with no source of income and you want me to lend you money to start a business?

Congratulations! You’re an MBA!

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)

This is a Life Long Learning Plan! “Tuition” may be as little as a couple of hundred dollars, once. From there, the ongoing costs can usually be controlled by you.

man-with-barsFor example, one my wife and I are involved in has a one time cost of $249 and then the only fixed cost is a monthly membership in a #LegalSavingsPlan that ends up saving us far more than the cost of the plan itself. Some people make a few dollars a year while others make hundreds of thousands. Like any business, it’s what you are willing to do that makes the difference.

Between meetings and our membership, our average operating cost is about $150 per month. You can’t realistically work in any sales industry for less than that. When I was in financial services, my monthly cost as a consultant was about $1,000 per month. If you can’t afford $150 a month, you shouldn’t get involved in any business.

What are the benefits?

Most MLM companies provide continuous education in areas like financial planning, sales techniques, time management, personal development and more. They also provide a supportive environment where you can feel safe and try new ideas.

What are the negatives?

The reality is we, ourselves, are the negatives. Success in a MLM opportunity is totally up to you and what you are willing to do.  Will you focus on your activity and use your time effectively? Can you make the choice to tune out the naysayers?

MBA or MLM

Only you can decide. What’s the old saying? “Different strokes for different folks”!

3D-Women-Arrow-02Some need the structure that an MBA and employment bring to their life. Others are more entrepreneurial and self directed and will find MLM a better way to go. There is no right or wrong direction, just the right or wrong one for you.

In my opinion, MLM is a path that those who lack huge financial resources can take to achieve their life goals, not necessarily just money. I have seen huge personal growth and transformation in many people over the past few years in our business, including an MBA who came to heed his father’s advice after trying corporate Canada!

What will you choose?

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for opportunity. I’m thankful for differences. I’m thankful for life long learning.

I knew it! MLM’s and Direct Marketing Companies ARE Cults!

Cult is the root of the word culture.  Multi-level marketing and direct marketing companies all have their own culture and family dynamics.  Yes, I said family.  Therefore, they are cult(ure)s.

 

WHY BE PART OF A CULT?

Picture of my wife holding my newborn son.Here’s the thing, you were born into one.  Whether your family adheres to certain religious values or just specific societal values, when you put these factors all together, it identifies your particular cult.

As we grow in life, we face choices in direction.  Part of that is deciding where we fit into society.  Some have to make very drastic decisions like minimizing exposure to family because that particular culture is deemed to be a negative influence.  We find others more like ourselves with similar beliefs and value system.  This includes where we live, work and play.

The world is made of a multitude of cults.  We all need to decide which ones we will be a part of.  Being part of a culture gives a sense of security that comes from being surrounded by like minded people that you know, like and trust.

 

CHOOSING A CULT(URE)

Most of us will be approached many times throughout our lives to join different groups and each will have it’s unique culture.

  • Corporate America (Canada?)
  • Family (Your life partner and their family)
  • Faith (or non-faith)
  • Team (Sports or academic)
  • MLM (Multi-level or direct marketing company)

Picture of cartoon people joining handsThey’re all cults, just different environments in various parts of our lives.  It’s importance to choose carefully as each has the potential to change you in ways you might never have imagined.

Corporate America may drain the life out of you with the demands on your time and lead to early death or make you resent getting out of bed in the morning.  Your life partner influences how you see the world and how you go about giving back to society.  Faith can lead to enriching the lives of your family and those around you.  Being part of a team may teach you how to compromise and MLM’s may lead to such personal growth that it changes you and everyone around you.

Choose carefully!

 

 MLM’S ARE CULTS

Just like corporations and churches, MLM’s are cults.  Every business has it’s unique culture.  Each has it’s unique value proposition, social structure, educational system and economic model.  Find one that fits with who you are and who you want to become.  Participating in this business model will change you, it’s inevitable.  

By Nicole Shapiro

By Nicole Shapiro

As in every area of your life, there will be individuals who will try to hold you back but unlike many other businesses, there will be more people who will help you to learn and grow.  

Find the group and opportunity who reflect who you want to become and join in that culture.  You may need to try a few different ones before you find the one that fits the best.  Much like dating until you meet that special person that makes you whole.

Some will try to tell you that you can’t be part of their group unless you commit to only working with them and no one else.

 Run as fast as you can!  They will try to dominate and control you rather than supporting your growth.  You likely won’t be able to mix the groups together because of competing values but you can participate in each on their own because you have found where they fit in your culture.

It’s up to you to define who you are and want to become.  When and if you decide to join one group exclusively, let it be your choice.  Not theirs.

 

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for opportunity.  I’m thankful for friends.  I’m thankful for free speech.

What are you thankful for today?

 

Buying and Selling: What’s your preferred distribution model?

There is more than one distribution model for buying and selling products and services.  How do you like to sell?  How do you like to buy?

DISTRIBUTION MODELS

3D-Women-Arrow-02How many ways can you buy and sell?

 

I would be glad to hear about any other ways that you know of.  In the meantime, lets look at the differences and similarities of these models.

similarities

  • All provide a product or service.
  • All are legitimate methods.
  • All create “jobs”. (Some may be self-employed)
  • All offer opportunities for personal growth and development.
  • All contribute to a growing economy.

differences

  • Ownership.
  • Organization.
  • Product and service distribution.

BRICKS AND MORTAR

Businesses that set up in physical locations are commonly referred to as a “bricks and mortar” business.  These are most commonly retail and wholesale operations and personal or business to business service providers.  I can’t say I have heard of anything less than $50,000 unencumbered cash to get started in some years now.

  • Lawyers; Doctors; Dentists; etc.
  • Salons and spas; auto repair; plumbers; electricians; etc.
  • Grocery stores; Car dealers; Electronics stores (Future Shop, Best Buy); etc.
  • Marketing firms; Print shops; Management consultants; etc.

More often than not, these companies have a top down, pyramidal management structure.  Sometimes the roles all fall to one person!  You will rarely see direct sales companies, MLM or Network Marketing companies with a bricks and mortar location outside of their head office.  There are some exceptions.

 

INTERNET

gvo-Header.jpgSome companies are purely internet based.  eBay for example has a physical office for administration but don’t have a location that you can walk into to do your shopping.  Starting your own internet business from scratch will require specialized skills and a fair bit of cash for servers, software, internet services and so on.

Most distribution channels will use the internet for marketing.  Some will have call centres where you can talk to a real person.  These companies still have a top down structure.  Others may combine Direct Sales models or Network Marketing with their Internet marketing efforts.

 

DIRECT SALES

Companies like:

are direct sales companies.  Products and services are typically sold through home demonstrations and you have the ability to build a team under you.  You will likely be paid on the productivity of your direct team but not much further down.  If you stop selling, your income stops with it.

 

MULTILEVEL MARKETING OR MLM

Are you looking for a business opportunity that requires little cash outlay or specialized skills to get started?  Opportunity knocks!  The greatest advantage to Multilevel Marketing (MLM) is the opportunity for personal development and the opportunity to learn while you earn.

 

Why Robert Kyosaki recommended Network Marketing from Morse Wong on Vimeo.

 

I would suggest the greatest challenge is choosing companies and products that fit you.  Like any companies and franchises, there are bad and good opportunities.  You still need to do your due diligence in choosing your business partners.

MLM’s are different in that they recognize the importance of the front line sales people.

Although the MLM structure is very similar to most corporations, the treatment of people and profitability for business partners is very different.  You are treated as a business owner, not an employee.  You are paid as a business partner, not an employee.

You are paid:

  • To learn,
  • to sell,
  • to lead,
  • to teach.

When you have built a solid business, most MLM’s with a solid service or product, will pay you for many years after you stop “working”.

 

WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED BUSINESS MODEL

man-with-barsAll of the above models are legitimate.  Your job is to find something that fits with your “Why” and then decide how to deliver your product or service to the marketplace.  The only “right” answer is the one that fits you and your budget.

You may want to consider taking baby steps.  Robert Kyosaki does a great job of talking about this in “The Business of The 21st Century” and in “Cashflow Quadrant.

I love that old saying: “Life is a journey, not a destination”.  I would suggest that if you don’t like roller coasters, don’t go into business!

 

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for all that I have learned through network marketing.  I’m thankful for all that I learned through corporate Canada.  I’m thankful for opportunity.

What are you thankful for today?

 

 

 

 

Turnover is natural. How will you handle it?

Man walkingMLM, or Multi-Level Marketing opportunities abound.  A friend once told me it takes an average of eight different MLM experiences before you find the one that suits you.  This means that turnover is natural and should be expected.

How will you manage your expectations?

EXPECTATIONS

When you are approached about a business opportunity, the presenter is usually very excited about what they do and you can get caught up in their excitement.  You see this in most sales industries.  Financial services, real estate, car sales, they all have the same history.

The important thing is to remember that MLM involves sales and sales is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding careers.  As a result, many people are attracted to the opportunity of a career in sales, and a great majority give up because it’s hard work.

COMPETITION

competition for moneyWe sometimes forget that competition in sales is on multiple levels.

You are:

  • competing against personal demands for your time (family, friends, home).
  • competing in your product or service marketplace against similar products.
  • competing for a piece of disposable income.
  • competing for sales representatives.

As a result, there is a high rate of turnover in the sales industry, MLM or otherwise.  Many can’t manage the competing demands and simply give up.  Others find they don’t have the passion they thought they did for the particular product or service.  Turnover is just part of the natural order of things.

TURNOVER COST

There is a cost to turnover.  You spend a lot of time, energy and sometimes money, to train people.  Many people don’t stick around and will move on to another opportunity or get out of sales altogether.  If expectations aren’t managed up front, this can lead to frustration, depression and further erosion of the sales force.  Make sure your team understands the challenges up front.  No surprises.

You need to demonstrate by example that turnover is natural and expected.  Don’t go around complaining that so and so has gone on to another opportunity and being disrespectful of that individual because the made a decision you didn’t like.  It’s not about you!  Wish them well and leave the door open for them to return.  Sometimes they just need to take a look elsewhere to understand that they have a good thing with your opportunity.

TURNOVER BENEFITS

woman carrying moneyThere can be benefits to some turnover:

  • Lessons learned.
  • Fresh ideas.
  • More sales prospects.
  • More leadership prospects.

The key to benefitting from turnover is making sure you understand the lesson.

Did you scare your associates with unrealistic expectations?  Did you make sure your people were properly trained, taught to manage their own expectations?  This list could go on and on, you get the picture.

New people bring their own ideas, skills and expectations.  Keep your mind open and just maybe, they will teach you something new.  These associates will also have a fresh list of prospects.  Each new person could be the next leader on your team.

Remember that each person who leaves your organization is also an opportunity for growth.  They will be around a whole new  group of people and guess what?  There are people in the new organization who don’t fit there and are looking for another option.

Your former associate may now be your best referral.  It’s all in how you manage and maintain that relationship.  If you are disrespectful and arrogant, they will likely return the same.  Now you both look bad.  On the other hand, you show grace and they will likely return the same.  Win/win.

Turnover is healthy, if you let it be.  It’s all up to you.  What will your choice be?

 

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for every opportunity to learn.  I’m thankful for every opportunity to expand my circle of influence.  I’m thankful for you.

What are you thankful for today?