Yup this is a post about what I learned from my time in a network marketing. I won't be listing any names or the company but I will tell you what I liked about it and what I disliked. Will you gain anything from this post? You will get an unbiased look into the world of network marketing, so let's dive in.
I was in a network marketing company for a little over three years and met a couple of great people there. So now one sentence into this post I already know what everyone wants to ask me. How much did I make during my time as a network marketer? In all of my time as a network marketer I made less than a hundred dollars. Josh if you only made that much how can you give an unbiased look into the world of network marketing. I hold no ill will towards the company, I personally know people who made decent money while doing network marketing. No I'm not talking about people who I met once I joined, who were already established in the company. I'm actually talking about someone who joined after I did and was in the same graduating class as me in high school. See someone the same age as I was able to make money in network marketing, why is that? It's because they worked hard.
The reason I mentioned this person and the fact that they made more money than me because of their work ethic; is because people view network marketing as an easy way to make money. That's exactly why I joined the network marketing company. How was I introduced to this network marketing company? A very good friend of mine was a part of it and they invited me to come take a look at it. So I took a look at the presentation, the part of the presentation that made me want to join was the idea of owning my own company. Other than that the presentation was pretty standard, it used Robert Kiyosaki cash flow quadrant as one of its main focus and also brought up the old social security study . What social security study, the one used by Earl Nightingale in his famous speech "The Strangest Secret". This study basically says that only five percent of the people who retire will be financially independent. I love this study because it shows how important it is to have passive income. The only gripe I have about the presentation was how much it down played other forms of passive income. The presentation said the only way to make livable passive income off of real estate you have to own the Empire State Building or entire city blocks. This is not true because you can make over twenty grand a year off a multi family unit in certain states. Same with the stock market you can make decent passive income off of investing without having million in the stock market. But that's a topic for another post.
So after watching this presentation I signed up for the company a week later. The up front cost wasn't too high only like five hundred dollars. So what did I get for my five hundred dollar investment? I received a bunch of products that I never fully used, an mp3 player with audios loaded up and a training that was supposedly second to the military. My training started with one on one coaching on the basics of the company by the person who brought my friend into the company. These lessons lasted for about two hours and took place once a week, before each weekly presentation. After I was done with me basic training I started going to a more advanced training that was in a group environment. In each of these meeting I always heard the speaker talk about what they learned at the big upcoming event and why we had to attend it. Naturally I was curious about this big even so I bought a ticket. The cost of the event was only about seventy dollars but adding the bus fare along with the hotel fee it was about three hundred dollars. The event was a convention where you get to see some of the top leaders in the company give their stories on how the company changed their life. These conventions ranged anywhere from fifty a ticket to two hundred and sixty five a ticket. The events were not selling a secret to succeeding in the company or ever steps to build your business. What these events actually sold was belief, the belief that anyone could succeed in this business. Belief is a powerful tool which is why Hitler was able to rise to power and start the second world war.
In the beginning I thought the way to make money was by selling products which would generate me approximately thirty percent profit or using our portal to shop. Only after being in the business for a while did I learn that the only way to make real money in this company was to recruit other people. This is something that I sucked at and even though I was able to recruit some people, it wasn't nearly enough to build a "team". The reason I'm putting quotation marks around team is because you needed to recruit a lot of people. I found out that you needed to have about fifty people on each of your legs to generate a couple of thousand of dollars a month. This made me sit down and really evaluate the business. What I found out was that the income wasn't truly passive because if people left my team, I would lose money. So I could technically never retire from recruiting, which meant it was not passive income. Passive income is defined as income which is generated even if you are not involved. After coming to this realization I decided to write a list of the pros and cons of continuing my network marketing journey. Unfortunately in my case there was almost no ROI. I was spending thousands of dollars a year not seeing any profits. I'm not saying that the system can't work it just didn't work for me. So now let me talk about what I loved an hated through my journey.
Before telling you what I liked and loved about my time doing network marketing let me start by telling you what I disliked. The first thing I disliked is the sheer amount of meetings I had to attend. In a normal week there was meeting almost every day. Monday was call workshops, Tuesday was a presentation, Wednesday was training from the senior leader, Thursday was our direct leaders training and Sunday was our team's presentation. Yet these meeting were nothing compared to the conventions. If the convention started at nine am we would arrive at the convention center at seven am. For two hours we would stand outside and have meetings before we were allowed to enter. Once we arrived inside we had to run to secure seats. We would then sit through about four hours of content then it was time for lunch, but not for us. We had to have a twenty minute meeting after meeting. After lunch we sat through three more hours of content before getting dismissed. But we didn't go back to the Hotel we had another meeting before leaving for the bus. Once at the hotel the guest were allowed to do what ever and the partners had to stay for another meeting. As you can see it were way too many meetings. The other thing that I disliked about my time during network marketing was the tickets and the mentality behind them. I always felt as if I was forced to buy the tickets and it wasn't just one ticket at a time but rather a three ticket minimum. One ticket was meant for you and the other two were for guests or new partners. These three tickets could add up to as much as $795. So if I was unable to sell the other two tickets I ended up "eating" the cost. I was told that I could claim it on my taxes but I never found that to be the case.
So what did I actually like or find beneficial from my time of network marketing? It allowed me to come out of my shell and I learned how to talk in front of groups of people. It also taught me about the importance of passive income. It also help me start reading again by introducing me to business building books. I even met people inside the business who I would remain good friends with even after we both exited the business. I know that people only see these types of businesses in a negative light but Yin cannot exist without Yang. Which basically means that nothing has only negative experiences but also a couple of positive aspects. I did lose a friend by joining this company but upon reflecting on it I learned that they were never really a friend. Also I'm still friends with the person who introduced me to the business and I hold no ill will towards them. Do I regret joining this company, nope because those experiences made me into who I am today and helped me launch my own company. So do I recommend network marketing for the Average Joe. I can not because the percent of people who succeed is very low. You have a better chance of succeeding if you launch your own company than you are at networking marketing. You can make money but it requires more work than most people are willing to put in.
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