There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not being approached in one way or another about a “Ground Floor Opportunity”. It’s become a cliche of sorts, where you can already determine what the other person is going to say after those headliner words.
“They have the best compensation plan ever”….
“Jim made $2,000 in his first 4 hours”….
“No other company has this”…
“You can be on the ground floor”….
I think we could all agree that we’ve heard it all, and could do away with hearing any of them again. But the truth is that with the economy at an all time low, the home based business industry is on the rise.
Despite the feelings of burn out and disgust with the thought of hosting another home party from veterans (like myself) who’ve been around the block, there are over 8,493 new home based businesses opening every single day with eager, hungry, driven, ambitious wanna-be’s who have champagne dreams of making money while on the beaches of the world………
But despite my personal experiences, I must say that Network Marketing is the best way to develop short term income to fund your long term dreams, while developing personal development skills that is unparalleled to any other form of education that exists today. The caveat however, is having clear expectations for what your getting yourself into, and who you’re partnering with in the process.
If you overlook this one important step (of doing your due diligence with these 5 important points), you may find that you’re setting yourself up for failure and can be flat out wasting your time.
Yesterday, I sat down with a good friend of mine to discuss what I’ve always looked for in a company despite the hype. I find that most people tend to lead their opening lines about their businesses with “money” as the main focus, but not considering the important factors that exist within the fabric of the company that will guarantee you’ll really earn a solid income AND maintain a peace of mind in the process.
Now more than ever, with the multitude of businesses popping up, you MUST go through this checklist and do your due diligence to ensure that you’re partnering up with the right opportunity AND the right people. Otherwise, you’ll become a bitter soul from your battered experiences due to negligence on your part from not doing your due diligence.
Network Marketing is WORK…. although you are in control of your day and time, you are still going to be working. As a matter of fact, you work longer hours than your day job, but the key is making sure your working them, doing something that you love and with people that you enjoy being around… (listen up to me seriously, cause this makes a HUGE difference. You’ll thank me later for being honest).
Below I have listed 5 things to look for when joining a network marketing business, and I list what you need to look out for to avoid putting your money in a sinking ship.
#1. Company Leadership, Values, Integrity & Vision: The first thing that I pay attention to is who’s driving the boat of this ship.
If you pay any attention to football at all, you will notice that the Cowboys have had a very challenging year during this 2010 season. In the game of football, if the team losses, the coach is fired. After accumulating one of the worst records in Cowboys history of 1-7, the head coach Wade Phillips was instantly given his walking papers due to his inability to lead the team to a winning season.
I find it very ironic that although the team is playing the game, the coach is fired. You would think that all of these high paying athletes who are known to be the best in their profession, would have some level of accountability, but they don’t. The reason why is simply this, a good coach has the ability to bring out the best in his players, and allow them to see who they can become versus who they are. Coaching is like sailing a ship, where the guidance that a coach gives can navigate the direction of the entire team.
Obviously, Phillips continously led the Cowboys into a losing streak. In the game immediately proceeding the release of Phillips, the Cowboys went on to win their 2nd game of the season, beating the NY Giants.
Do you think coaching had anything to do with the win???…………. My point exactly!
And so it is with Network Marketing Companies. Depending on who’s coaching the team of your company, they will determine whether you really win or lose while playing the game of Network Marketing under their leadership.
When I look into a company, I’m looking at the Owner, what his vision is, if he’s authentic or a b.s.’er with canned speeches like a politician, telling the reps what they “want” to hear, and not what they “need” to hear. And if he’s truly passionate about what he does as well. As you know, there’s a lot of money in the ownership of these companies, and if you pay close attention to the ownership, you can sense their hearts and motives for why they’re here.
Just look at AL Williams (founder of what is now PriMerica), or the owners of solid companies like Pre-Paid Legal or Amway. I am in no way associated with these companies, but it’s very clear that these owners are very adamant about creating long term success, and I doubt that they’re going anywhere any time soon.
So should you join them… that’s not my point…you be the determining factor for what business you choose!
But my point is this, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE LEADERSHIP and you can provide yourself with the “Oh No He Dint Guranatee……!!” LOL;)
If the leadership is “BUYING LEADERS” in hopes of building a reputation very fast…. BE CAREFUL!!
If the leadership is allowing select leaders to influence the direction of the entire company…. BE CAREFUL!!
If the leadership compromises integrity in certain areas and make exceptions in certain situations…. BE VERY CAREFUL!!
Ask questions, pay attention and get to a Live Event if possible to scope out the company and the attitudes of the leadership… you’ll learn a lot if you pay attention!! Trust Me on this…
#2. Upline LeadershipListen up!! THIS IS HUGE!!!….
This is almost as important as choosing your spouse and understanding their background and what they bring to the table BEFORE having kids with them. Why?? Because you will be spending a lot of time with them, or without them… and if you’re serious about building a large solid organization, you’ll want someone that you’d prefer to spend time with rather than without.
Here’s the deal. As I said earlier, Network Marketing is WORK! It is very challenging to build a large organization BY YOURSELF… As a matter of fact, the most miserable part of building a business can be when you’re forced to do it alone, and have to carry the weight of hosting training webinars, phone calls, 3 way calls and whatever else is needed… BY YOURSELF! Burnout is very prevalent in our industry, and this is a huge reason why people eventually walk away, even after earning a great deal of income.
Regardless of how much money you make, it becomes very burdensome when you don’t feel like you have support from your upline.
Now there’s a catch 22 with this that I must address. Some people reading this may think “Oh, Christos said that my upline should be calling me and should always be there just for me!”. No, I’m not telling you that you need to rely on your upline 100% for building your business, because they have to focus on building as well. But quality leadership from your upline means that THEY PUT SYSTEMS IN PLACE to help the team grow BUT… it also means that YOU MUST BE PLUGGED IN TO THAT SYSTEM AND THAT YOU PLUG YOUR TEAM IN AS WELL!
I would be remissed if I didn’t convey the message that it’s not the leaders job for you to succeed. But it is your job to make sure that you do whatever you can to “earn” the attention from your upline by becoming a “producer” and utilizing the systems that they put in place to ensure your success. Far too many times, I’ve seen this point misconstrued to the demise of upline leaders. However, there is a balance in my message to say that you have to do your part in building your business before expecting your upline leaders to do theirs.
So now you see why I have a huge emphasis on connecting with the right leadership that will help you with the growth of your organization. The company should have “training” as a standard provision for all reps. Your upline leadership is then a 2nd support system that links a system together that provides team wide training and support.
The bottom line is this….you want to be associated with ACTIVE LEADERS who have SYSTEMS in place to help carry the burden of your growth.
#3. Systems, this word in itself says it all. If you didn’t know, the acronym for System stands for “Save Your Self Time, Energy & Money”.
Why is a system so important?
You should ensured that systems were in place before hand, so you can put more emphasis and focus on building your business and simply PLUGGING YOUR TEAM IN TO THE SYSTEMS THAT ALREADY EXISTED.
Quick commercial break…….
Let me say this. With me just sharing all the things above that I had to do to set my team up, do not take it for granted when you’re in an organization that already has these things in place. Instead, be grateful and know that you’re under quality leadership from someone that really cared enough to get this going (or a company that had the vision to fulfill this need to benefit their reps). Also, if your failing and you don’t understand why BUT you have systems and quality leadership in place, then maybe you need to re-evaluate the hardest person to influence… YOURSELF….
Anywhoo…didn’t mean to go off on that tangent….
Now back to our regular programming….
Systems and quality training has become a neglected area for many newer companies, and I highly recommend that you dig in ahead of time to see what systems are in place to ensure you and your teams success. Otherwise, without them, you’re leading a trail towards RESPONSIBILITY BURN OUT!!
#4: Compensation Plan Although it’s not “only about the money”, let’s be honest here and admit that MONEY DOES MATTER!! With all of the compensation plans that exist today, this topic can easily become very overwhelming. Especially for those of us who are comp plan illiterate.
Why?? Cause you have binary, unilevel, weak leg, strong leg, minimum qualification requirements and the list goes on and on.
However, what you can determine is if the potential income earned is worth the time invested.
For example, I’ve seen some comp plans where they pay out a commission of $2 per person that signs up in the business and THAT’S IT!!
Okay, let’s think through this for a minute. Let’s say hypothetically that I go out here and join this Company with an earning of $2 per person. I then go through the same process as I would with any other business of seeking people to recruit them in my company to pay their $100 or whatever it is to join, and then I earn $2.
If I have a goal to generate an extra $2000 per month, I would have to sign up 1,000 people to earn my monthly goal of $2k.
Tell me if I’m wrong here, but that’s just waaaayyyyy too much work and effort to recruit 1,000 people for a measly $2k.
Yes $2k is good money but not to be pestered by 1,000 other people who are frustrated because they’re only earning $2 per person, and putting forth far too much effort to build their organizations.
My point is this, do the math to see if the comp plan is worth your time. At the end of the day, no matter what company your with, they all require the same amount of time invested to really create a comfortable income. Keep in mind that you still have to talk to people, you have to expose them to your business via webinars, one-on-ones or live presentations, and once you sign them up, you have to keep them motivated to build.
If your going to have to do all that work anyway, why not do it for a company that really pays….. If you ever heard of Top Tier Companies, they generally become more attractive to experienced Network Marketers because each person recruited results in a much higher earnings, sometimes $1,000 minimum for most companies.
So think about it, review the comp plan and do the math because you can clearly be wasting your time with a company that will never position you to become financially free.
#5: Product Yes, I intentionally made Product #5 because it is important, but as for priority, it does rank very-very high on my list.
Products do matter, but in the industry of Network Marketing, it’s really about the relationships and the leadership. As they say, “people join people, not opportunities” and I’ve seen some companies that have a product that totally sucks. But because the leaders were great at establishing relationships and creating a culture where people wanted to be apart of whatever it is that they do, the company still grows despite the product.
I believe in reputation..
When selecting a company, you want to make sure that people are already buying what your selling. On the other hand, you want to make sure that your company has some form of competitive edge over what already exists on the market today to make it more irresistible.
In our in industry, there’s only 2 ways to earn an income:
And if you want to sustain true residual income, you want to spend a good percentage of your time obtaining retail-wholesale customers in addition to building an organization because they help to build up the consistent purchases that will pay you monthly. Be sure to properly assess what you have and ask yourself if you would buy it had someone approached you with the same products. If your answer is No, then don’t waste your time.
There’s no need to fool yourself into believing that you can succeed at selling something you don’t believe in. All your doing is delaying the time before you mentally check out and give up completely on that company. I wouldn’t even bother adding the unnecessary stress of having an upline badgering me about attending events and trainings if I knew I had no interest.
Trust me, in the end you will regret it and you will beat yourself up thinking about all the time you wasted trying to force yourself to want to do this.
Network Marketing is NOT for everybody.
As a matter of fact, there are certain people that shouldn’t even try to engage in this industry and I’ll name a few:
◦People who prefer a consistent guaranteed check (i.e. getting paid every 2 weeks)
◦People who don’t like talking to or dealing with people
◦People that don’t like the idea of having your own business and building it
◦Extreme Pessimists who always find the negative side of life
I know that when someone is desperate to build their organization, they say anything possible to increase their chances of earning a new recruit. But in the end, it bites all parties involved in the butt when knowing that the new recruit wasn’t a good fit but was forced to join anyway.
Listen up people, Network Marketing is a great tool for financial growth, personal development, relationship building with like-minded people and to gain recognition and discover your personal talents and gifts. But I will repeat this…. IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE!
After writing this very very very long blog entry, It is my hope that you do a self-assessment to determine if this is a good fit for you. And if so, review the 5 Most important things that really matter when partnering with a company, and make a wise choice.
The average person goes through 10 jobs in their lifetime and I’m sure that the average Network Marketer goes through 10 companies in their lifetimes as well(i am with the same company after four years). However, very few people stick this industry out long enough to succeed due to a negative experience with the wrong company.
So in closing, choose wisely. Be honest with yourself. Make a decision based on what “YOU” really want and not what someone wants for you.Happy Network Marketing to you!!
Empowering Tomorrows Entrepreneurs Today
Online Marketing Entrepreneur