OUR TOPIC- HOW TO NOT JUDGE YOUR FRIENDS IN NETWORK MARKETING
So what I want to talk about this week is something slightly, not really controversial but I think one of those things that we kind of have in the back of our minds but we don’t really admit to and that is, are we judging our friends who are in network marketing?
So anyway, maybe you guys have been placed in a lot of Facebook groups for random virtual parties for products that you don’t recognize by a friend who you’re not quite sure what her motives are so there are a lot of hate forums about these things. There’s a lot of the girls to do these kinds of things who are defending themselves understandably.
And so I feel like this is going to be a pretty interesting conversation to have. And of course, we’re also looking at this from a Christian perspective. We don’t want to be judging other people anyway. But when we don’t fully understand something and where we can feel or we can actually be drugged into something kind of without our permission, things can get a little ugly and a little unfortunate. So let’s discuss this today.
How many of you guys have been, I don’t want to say hood-winked but that was the word that came to mind by someone who is selling some kind of candle or I don’t even know everything that’s offered or stamps or jewelry or nail wraps or you know, a body cream or a shake of some kind. There’s lots of these and don’t worry, girls who do this. I’m not going to slam into the bus. I’m actually going to help defend you here,okay?
But just how many of you guys have been approached by someone who does something like that? And maybe your experience was beautiful and that is, I think the way that it can be done. I think that this can be done really well but I’ll get to that in a minute. But it can also be done really poorly, right? It can be done really, really poorly.
I remember this one lady who I had a friend in common with from church but had not met in person. She reached out to me and was like hey, you know, just whatever, I don’t even remember what the original message was. Something like, “You have a beautiful family and it’s just so fun to connect on here. Love what you’re doing” . And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, that’s so sweet!” and then she started asking me if I would be interested in joining her team and I was very flattered.
I don’t know what I initially responded, I can’t remember. I don’t think I was trying to run away but at the time, and here’s a very important thing, I may have felt less comfortable saying no. But I do know I’m very, very comfortable saying no very lovingly but very firmly and very unconditionally Unconditional no. So I kind of just hid. But this woman didn’t take that as an answer. And so she probably sent me 30 to 50 messages over the next couple months.
Even though I was not responding. And finally, I just blocked her from my messages and she’s such a nice lady. But it’s kind of like a guy who approaches you at the airport and doesn’t get the hint and you’re just like, I’m going to have to leave and walk over toward where security is then. You know, I don’t think you’re getting the memo. So it can be done really poorly.
Then, there was another really sweet lady who, from the same company actually. I don’t know if they teach maybe more aggressive tactics there. Maybe not. She approached me to Starbucks and apparently, she had her kind of up line coach. If you guys know what that means, it’s the person who they work with who has a couple a little bit above them. A little bit beyond them who approached me to Starbucks. he was like, “Oh you have gorgeous skin (yada yada yada) and would you ever be interested in doing this?”
And I don’t remember my response again but I was along the lines of “I’ll think about it’’ or “no”. And she was very sweet and kind of let me go and touch base with me later found me on Facebook or LinkedIn or something like that. But she never pestered me and I have always thought, finally of her even though I don’t really know her. And I told her no, right? So I want to kind of just set the stage here. I want to just explain what’s going on.
Network marketing has had a big resurgence. It’s what a lot of people would call it. There was the kind of Mary Kay, Avon days. Not that they’re gone but there was that surge and then now we’re back and there’s this new wave of women, primarily, who are joining network marketing companies and building a stay-at-home business. And there’s really nothing wrong with it is the first thing, right?
These things are very closely, closely, closely monitored by the Trade Commission. I think that’s the one that it’s called. Forgive me, I don’t know my government agencies very well but they’re very closely watched and the ones that are doing anything that truly is a poor business practice are shut down or eliminated. So these are not bad companies necessarily, right? The ones that are, are taken out of Commission, kind of. But the ones that remain are generally doing things well. They’re just not training these masses of women who are signing up through a form online with you know, a couple hundred bucks maybe, how to do business well.
So the first thing I want you to know is that the companies themselves are not that bad, right? usually they’re selling a product which is generally a decent product and they’re providing a service or meeting a need. Kinda like what we’ve been talking about. They’re providing a service or a need that people do like or do have or do want or do need. And so, in and of itself it’s not that bad. The business structure is one of the things that’s often critiqued. They are often dismissed as a pyramid scheme. And so, I would love to just explain for a second why that really may be accurate but it’s not accurate in the way people are using it.
If you think of a pyramid scheme, pyramid rather, right? There’s a person in power at the top who has the most control and is making the most money. And then, from down, they have people who they’ve hired to help them build their business at different ranks, different levels. And so, let’s use a traditional business structure. The CEO and then, you have executive directors and you have managers and then, you have project managers and then you have admin assistants, right? And so, that’s a pyramid. Think about the American government. We have the president.
And I realize that there’s like a little kind of three you know thing up there but he does have veto power and there’s a lot of power just in him. Then, you kind of go down to all the people who work for him and there’s very trusted people at the top. And then it goes down and it goes down and then you’ve got the people who are working at the post office who are technically government employees but they’re not exactly, they don’t have the power or the income slightly of the president, right?
Think of the military or that in the Marine Corps. The Commandant is at the top and you’ve got all these generals with different star rankings you’ve got cardinals, lieutenant colonels, majors. And as you go down, there’s more of them. They get paid less and they do less important or impressive work and they have less power. So I do often see people saying, ”Oh ,that’s a pyramid scheme” And I would love for us all to be educated well enough to go “Almost everything is a pyramid scheme”.
Almost everything is a pyramid scheme. So let’s just at least remove that argument or way of really being upset about this from our vocabulary because it’s not really accurate. And the reason that it’s inaccurate for most of these businesses is that people will say “Well you, only make money by standing up other people” And that’s really not true.
IT’S NOT A SCAM
Most of these businesses have a product that they sell that someone can earn commissions on. And so, there is something being delivered. There’s a product. A good being delivered. And it’s not a true scam in the sense that there is nothing being delivered and someone is being tricked into signing up who then has to go trick someone else into signing up. That’s not the case.
People are signing up people to see if they would also like to sell this product which actually provides a service. And then, they go on down like that. But everyone has the role of selling a legitimate product to the marketplace and filling a need. And that’s why it’s not a scam. It’s not a scheme. But it is a pyramid like every other power structure out there.
WOMEN IN NETWORK MARKETING
So that being said, just because there is a legitimate business structure, a decent business goal ,that doesn’t mean that the women who are doing it are doing it well. But you can’t blame them for signing up and wanting to join these things because there are a lot of women who have done tremendously well in these companies doing great work helping people with a good product and helping other people change their lives.
I, particularly, my bet would be if I had to pick an area, it would be toward the health products. Because as you all probably are not surprised to know, find health and wellness, do you want to be most important fundamental aspects of a healthy life. I don’t think you really need a certain brand of jewelry to be happy. I think you really need a healthy, happy body to be happy and to be flourishing. So, I would veer toward that one, personally. But most of these companies have had ways where people have been able to change their lives that brought in more finance for their families. They are healthier and in some way perhaps.
So they really are doing well and I have heard a statistic and it is known to be undocumented. No one knows the source and so you call the statistic or call it hearsay but it is an interesting concept because from having been around this world and having been around the traditional entrepreneur and the other entrepreneurs who aren’t in these companies’ world. Having seen the corporate world, having seen lawyers and doctors, I went to Johns Hopkins as an undergrad. I’ve been seeing lots of these people and seeing what they’re doing now. Apparently, I think eighty percent of women, they say, who are making six figures do it in network marketing companies. That’s crazy and I know it might seem like, well, I’ve heard about this woman but they don’t exist.
And I’ll tell you, I just met with a woman over this last weekend in Aaron, Destin Florida. She is a very successful blogger. She runs a blog about organic foods, an online blog. And she has a couple of cookbooks, 100,000 likes on Facebook and traditional publisher book deals. A big real deal established woman. Andin the last maybe, two years or so, joined one of the marketing companies that supports and that has a product that could help support her followers that’s a health product that helps them solve a problem that she kept finding that people who are coming to her had.
Well, this is silly. I mean, I’m teaching how to do that. Might as well get compensated for it. So she joined. And because she understands online business and she already knows how to run webinars and Facebook ads and do branding and reach out to people through this whole medium that most of these women don’t really understand. She’s killed it and in two years she’s been top recruiter and she’s made six figures and everyone in the company is like who is this, what’s her name? And so she’s completely coming out of the blue so it is possible to do this. It’s possible to do it well.
The products are often decent it’s just most people aren’t doing it well so if you’ve been spammed, if you’ve been cornered, if you’ve ran out of the grocery store because there’s that friend who’s talking about that thing, then, I want to first of all, encourage you to return to love.
RETURN TO LOVE
I want to encourage you to return to a place of love and not attack because she’s doing something that isn’t evil, that isn’t wrong, that isn’t even impossible to understand. how she could
have gotten into it because it is a good thing and many people are succeeding at it and there’s a promise and a dream. If there was a call in her heart to try to create that too, then fantastic.
Her job, she may or may not be living it out and it’s not your job to make her do her job. It’s only your job to do your job. Her job is to offer an opportunity to you, potentially and be okay if you say no, right? Now, a lot of people do follow up and that’s understandable because many of the greatest success stories in these companies are people who at first were, very skeptical and said no.
And the person said, you know, two or three months later, ‘hey just want to check in you know, just see if you were still interested in this.” And that was I think, was that first one I talked about idea with me and little did you know, no but no but no but they have a right to do that it just needs to be polite and it needs to just kind of have a social miss about it, right? There needs to be a social awareness.
One of the problems with these companies is that there are deadlines and there are incentives to make certain advancements to sell a certain amount of products by a certain time or within a certain frame or by a certain month or something like that. And so, people will get desperate quite frankly. It’s almost like a person who’s desperate to get a date or desperate to get a job or something and well, just throw themselves out there to the world of people with a passionate plea, “please buy my stuff”, right?
So that’s the problem and that’s kind of their issue, right? They need to have the security that if they show up and keep working, it will happen. There’s no need to do that but you need to realize that when your girlfriend spam attacks you like a rabid animal who’s not had a meal in weeks, it’s probably partly because she doesn’t have that sense of security in her self.
What she’s doing and that company that she’s in wisely, understandably, set some kind of incentive for her to go and pursue a certain amount or certain number of people or whatever, by a certain time frame. So she has been told over here, “Hey, you know you can do this. You’re amazing. We have an incredible offer and if you do such as such by this time frame, you know, invite enough people into this, you’re going to get whatever an extra five hundred dollars this month or something like that.” So of course she thinks “Okay, okay. I gotta do this. I gotta try this. And she attacks with the desperation and if any of you have tried that with men, you know it does not work.
Desperation is never attractive but also in action is never effective. So there’s this delicate balance and most of them aren’t hitting it but another thing that I think you guys should know is that many of these women are finding something in these companies, who are outside of them don’t realize and don’t see and that is, (1) one, incredible business training. I have run my business now for over three years and I can tell you right now I have spent tens and tens of thousands of dollars and tens and tens of thousands of hours on trying to figure out how to make this airplane fly. As they say, build the plane as it flies. Well, I have done that and it was tricky and it was tumultuous. And my husband was like “What the heck are you doing ?” And it was stressful.
And now, looking at what business training that these companies offer for simply the rate of being in the company with you know, little monthly fee that is and some of them are much larger than others for sure. You get so much access to these people who are mentoring you and who are telling you how to really get things done the most efficient way possible. Well, it is your responsibility to take that action. They can’t make you. But there is access to this business training and I wish I had known. I would have joined one of these things just for the training. So that is something these women are benefiting from and there’s also this incredible sense of positive community.
I don’t know about you guys, but it is very difficult sometimes to find a community of girlfriends who are positive. Who are action takers, who are not going to complain, who are aware of all their shortcomings in the messiness of life but they’re going to keep showing up with a smile on their face and dedication to growth. And that’s the kind of things that these companies really provide these people because the people who are at the top have had to do
that. It’s had to create that to get where they are. And so, they’re turning around telling everybody, “ Look, it’s all about your mindset. It’s all about being positive. It’s all about your confidence. It is all about you know, being grateful for what you have even as you’re going after what you want.” And so, they create this incredible sense of community that these women are finding there.
So the next time you have a girlfriend and you’re like “Oh no! She joined that thing.” I want you to take a step back and I want you to realize that these companies are not scams or they would not be in business. They are very closely monitored. They are actually providing a good or service that many people want or need or find enjoyable in some way. And that keeps them from being a pyramid scheme or pyramid scam. Because just like any other business, the US government or the US military, there is that triangle with the most powered money at the top and all the workers underneath. But because there is an actual good or service being provided rather than just tricking people into signing up for nothing. It’s not an actual scammer scheme. So they’re signing up for something good.
There are so many women, so many women who you and I have never heard of. We hear of successful doctors or lawyers or whatever. But it’s amazing when you get inside a network marketing company. There are these like, superstars who everyone’s heard of and is amazed by in that company. None of us even know who she is like I’ve never heard of these people, right? So there are many, many women who are doing this really well.
Like I said, that unknown floating statistic of eighty percent of women who’ve made over six figures do it the network marketing. So these girls who are signing up have decent reasons too. But again, there’s a good and a bad way to do it. So, do they need to learn to not be desperate? Yes, do they need to study the company well. Make sure they are actually personally passionate about the product. This is so they can maintain what it takes to build any kind of business including one of these? Yes. Do they need to not attack their friends? Offer it, that’s their prerogative. It’s your prerogative to say no. It is their prerogative to follow up and check.
It’s your prerogative to say no again and then drop it and to focus on just the fact that their positivity and not being desperate. So it’s tough. I know it’s tough for those girls who feel very (sometimes) desperate and scared. It’s tough for the girls to feel like they’re being attacked by a friend who they used to go to talk to safely. And now, she’s just constantly trying to pitch her thing. But I just want you to have a heart of love toward these women.
I want you to have a deeper understanding of what it is they’re doing . I want you to honestly, to some extent, have a redemptive view of network marketing. So be kind be compassionate, be savvy be aware. Know that this is an incredible opportunity for a lot of women who want to bring in that side income from home. It’s that flexibility that we’ve been talking about. They’re just scared. They’re not well trained. They don’t know how to do it well.
Very, very few of them are coming from an online business background. They’re just desperately trying to get their friends to sign up to get that incentive by that cut off or whatever it is so be gracious. Don’t gossip about them behind their backs. Do not trash them with your other friends. Don’t feel betrayed if one of them signs up. It’s just an opportunity.
People come and go from these things all the time but they’re not quite as bad as they look. It’s just a matter of how it’s done. So be gracious, be compassionate and I mean, if you’re interested in these things, I think it’s fantastic. I have done one and I think it’s been one of my most life-changing things so far. Which I’m shocked to say based on the story that I told you at the beginning of being a constant.
But there is a lot of positive power community in there. There’s a lot of excellent training. But just like in every area of life there’s a lot of great training around being healthy. You’re working out, there’s a lot of great training around having great relationships. There’s a lot of great training around being productive at work. But not a lot of people take it and use it and stick with it. That’s the same thing you’re seeing here coupled with that desperation to meet some kind of goal. And here, the target is just be patient with them. If after all of our conversations about financial independence and your side income and this is something that you are interested in, fantastic.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with these things. I think there are ways to pick which one you’d like to join. That’s what I’m going to talk about next week because there are a lot of factors that people don’t consider. They often just go with the pushiest friend.
There are ways to make a very wise decision if this is something that you’re interested in. But in the meantime, as you see people come in and go out of them, just be loving. Be aware, be compassionate, be considerate. Don’t trash them and realize that they may be out in two months or they may actually have stumbled on something that changes their life. So let’s be happy for them.
I’d love to hear your comments, any questions you guys have about this. And just kind of the view that I have of them or experiences that you’ve had. Whether you’ve also been accosted in Starbucks or sent 50 messages. But sometimes, this is done beautifully. And I think we should celebrate those women who are trying to create a gorgeous life for themselves and their families. Help other people.