A Forbes Review of MLM & Confessions of a Former Non-Profit Leader
The September 27, 2012 edition of Forbes.com had an interesting article. “Is MLM a Bad Word?” I read and enjoyed this short, very well done piece by Jody Coughlin, the CMO and co-owner of Chic CEO, a free resource for female entrepreneurs.
Before finally honoring and expressing my entrepreneurial spirit, well into mid-life, I spent most of my career as an employee in non-profit leadership positions. Often referred to as “The Third Sector,” meaning neither business nor government, the non-profit world can only exist because of government grants or the philanthropic generosity of those usually from the for-profit sector.
What Network Marketing has taught me is that what I used to look at as “selling,” I now see as sharing something about which I am passionate, while providing products that can be truly helpful. I was in non-profits to help others, and am in an MLM to not only help others, but to help empower them as well. Who can't benefit from enhanced physical and fiscal fitness?
Still, I have many friends and former colleagues who seem puzzled by my passion for Network Marketing. What I can say is that once you’ve been bitten by the bug, there is no mystery whatsoever. The personal growth I’ve experienced rivals the heady joys of my graduate years in Seminary; and believe me, there are few experiences more gratifying than receiving a theological education. That is until I started studying the mindset materials exemplified by Napoleon Hill, Wallace D. Wattles, Bob Proctor, Lisa Nichols, Jim Rohn and others.
Quite honestly, I wasn’t ready for the challenges and joys of multilevel marketing until mid-life. Much of my career I was focused on receiving the approval of others rather than being true to myself and expressing the many gifts with which God has blessed me. I was overly cautious in certain areas. Napoleon Hill has written, “The person who takes no chances generally has to take whatever is left when others have finished choosing.”
Entrepreneurs take risks and make bold choices, and consequently we often enjoy what others deny themselves. Some never give themselves permission to dream big dreams, while others are living their dreams. Which one describes you?
In her Forbes article, Coughlin touches on the long history of MLMs and their sometimes “bad rap” as well as how companies and options have evolved. Home-based businesses have definitely become mainstream; and while not for everyone, they truly are the best thing that has ever happened for many of us.
There are literally as many compelling reasons to get involved with a sound, proven MLM as there are success stories. I think the ideal way to enter into one is through having a life-changing experience with a product or products that you feel joyously inspired to share with others.
Make sure you do your due diligence, research the company, its products, the leadership and compensation plan. There are many variables and each is important. As with anything else in life, there are bad ones, good ones and great ones. Select a winner.
Does the company provide all the tools, training and support systems you need to succeed? Do the company's values align with yours? For example, the one with which I am affiliated is committed to significantly improving world health, empowering their associates, and providing solutions to physical and financial pain. There is also a company-wide commitment to philanthropy. What priorities do you want in a company, so that you would be proud to represent it?
Initially I wasn't interested in, or intending to join, any network marketing company. And then the products of one did for me what drugs, traditional medical care and physical therapy couldn't do. I went from skeptic to believer as the results I experienced became irrefutable.
This is actually one of the hallmarks of excellent MLM companies. Many have unique products not available in traditional stores, and have instead chosen the networking model to make these products available. This eliminates the so-called middle man, and the company shares the profits with its distributors. This website will give you a sense of one possibility www.wheycoolhealthstyle.com
The motto of the company I represent is, "If its not right for the associates, its not right for the company." Find a company that will value you.
Given my remarkable experience with the products, how could I not want to share this with those about whom I care deeply? So often we hear heartbreaking stories and feel we have precious little to offer. We listen, we offer to pray, and we long to be able to do more. When we find viable, life-transforming solutions, everything changes.
As author and top network marketer Susan Sly wrote in, MLM Woman, "Your why is the fuel that fills your heart and makes you unstoppable. So what exactly is a massive why? Is it a goal? Or is it the result you are seeking? The why worthy of your life is often a culmination of who you become and what you achieve as well as how you are able to contribute to others along this journey."
If you are tempted to discount MLMs, as I confess I once did, I encourage you to heed Jody Coughlin, as she sums up her assessment and reflections with this directive: “So, the next time you meet someone who runs a “home business” or “MLM” give them a high five for taking their career and life into their own hands and becoming an entrepreneur.”
This is the book I wish I had read, and couldn't find. So I wrote it for you!
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