Recently, a major network marketing company folded due to the scrutiny of the attorney general’s office in the state in which they operated, as well as heat coming from the SEC. While I don’t believe the founders of the company set out to intentionally scam people, they were unable to handle the explosive growth they experienced in a short period of time, and they were no longer able to operate within the strict rules and regulations of a legal network marketing company.
It is still a gray area where they went wrong and what kind of tactics were used to get the company to close. So much so, in fact, that legal representatives are investigating the matter further to see if there is a case to re-open the company.
Who knows what will really happen, and if it does re-open, it could take years. I’m sure it will be a very different company with a different compensation plan at that point.
That being said, I must state that what I observed in the aftermath was almost as tragic as the initial travesty of the closing of the company, and it really angered me to see the predatory behavior of my fellow network marketers. Let me paint the picture for you.
When this company shut down, many people lost a lot of money, and thousands more lost their dream of getting to a place of financial comfort and abundance. These people were hurting. They were vulnerable. They were wounded financially, mentally and spiritually.
First, the mud-slinging began. While the company was still open, people were just waiting for them to fail. Network marketers from many companies publicly maligned this particular operation. Was it envy? Was it hoping to tear people away from there and bring them into their own company? Was it waiting to prey on the fallen? Regardless of their reason, they were waiting for and predicting that moment to come.
When that moment DID arrive, how the naysayers rejoiced! I find this so terribly sad. As a blogger on the topic of network marketing, I write to help other network marketers become successful, regardless of the company they are in. If they choose to join me in my businesses, that’s great. However, I am here to help the masses no matter what network marketing company they are in.
Regardless of whichever company we choose to align ourselves with and build our dream business, aren’t we all working to achieve the same thing? Shouldn’t we stick together and support each other? Unfortunately, this did NOT happen. Once this company DID fold, the “I TOLD YOU SO” rhetoric began, and it was thick, heavy, and hurtful. People used this event to say, “This won’t happen to us, OUR company is solid, OUR company has the best products, OUR company has the best compensation plan ever seen… ” You get the picture. They used it to make themselves look better.
Beyond that were the predators, the people waiting to swim in the sea of failed network marketers. I was privy to some emails and social media posts that were sent out by other network marketers to these people who were victims of the closed opportunity. These emails were written in such a way that they put down the leaders, mentors, and business builders of the folded industry, they put down the company and its product/service, and then they went on to tell the network marketers who may very well have lost everything that THEY have a solid business opportunity with a compensation plan that compares to no other. It was disgusting to read, and the posts/emails were too numerous to count.
Isn’t it time we raised the bar? Isn’t it time we run our businesses with more professionalism than that? Yes, business – whether it is a traditional or a network marketing business – can be very cut-throat and competitive. Does that mean that we have to perpetuate the model? Why can’t we create a whole new reality for network marketing?
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the negative stigma that often comes along with the network marketing industry. I want this to be a recognized and accepted business opportunity. I want more people in this country to have other options besides working 40-plus hours per week for somebody else for the majority of their adult life, only to struggle in retirement. I want people to have the option to spread their entrepreneurial wings without having to take on the massive financial risk of opening a traditional business (start-up costs of a network marketing business are minimal compared to traditional business models). I want people to be able to get out of debt and enjoy their lives while they are still young and vibrant, and with enough energy to truly do so to the fullest extent.
How can we do this?
Let’s stop the sleazy door-to-door salesman or used-car salesman-types of tactics. No offense to used car or door-to-door salesmen and women meant, but that is the perfect example of the need to shake a negative image.
There are great ways to market your business both online and offline. Study marketing and become a master of your business. One way I recommend you do that is through information marketing. Become an expert in your field and disseminate information to the public. Once you position yourself in this way you will stop selling; instead, people will seek you out.
There are many ways to do information marketing. You can provide free reports, perform webinars, write a blog, just to name a few. Add some good technology to your marketing efforts and track your effectiveness – I have written several articles on my blog about this idea. Do a little research, and in no time you can do it yourself.
I myself follow a system that I discovered in my own research to become a more effective network marketer. In addition to it being comprehensive and multi-faceted in its approach, I found it to be ethical and easy to follow.
When speaking to people, stop pretending to “share” an “amazing opportunity” with them. You are not sharing anything. You are selling. Admit you are in sales, embrace it, and sell your product or service (as well as the business opportunity) with confidence that you are providing them with the best. If you don’t feel that is true, get out of your company and find a product or service that you can sell and still sleep at night, as well as a compensation plan that is understandable and fair. Also, make sure the business is duplicable – in other words, people can take the exact same steps to become successful as the ones who brought them in, and everyone else before that.
I beseech you, fellow network marketers, stop competing with each other! We are networking to work together as a team. Even if we are in different companies, we are still on the same team with regard to our business structure. Let’s be ethical, treat each other with kindness, and help each other out. There are enough people in this country – heck, with international companies, there are enough people worldwide – who are not yet in network marketing. Let’s bring them in, ethically and with confidence, to the best possible option available to develop a business for themselves in today’s harsh economic climate. Remember, it is in giving that we recieve! You don’t get something for nothing. When you give of yourself, that’s when wealth will flow easily to you.