When I first investigated network marketing as a business model, in the early 1980s, I was interested to see if it was something that should be included in the business courses at the university where I was teaching. I’d read and heard about it, but I’d also seen the damage inflicted on friends and colleagues a decade earlier by pyramid selling schemes, before they were outlawed. I was concerned that network marketing might just be a fresh attempt by devious, unscrupulous companies to get around the anti-pyramd selling laws.
Why I was qualified to make an informed, reliable choice
I was qualified to make a reliable evaluation by my professional experience at the time…
- More than 18 years of starting and running successful small businesses of my own.
- 20 years of senior management experience in large and small companies, mostly in marketing, advertising, sales and training positions.
- 4 years of teaching business and marketing at two leading universities.
- 3 months of consulting to pyramid selling companies (before I realised the truth about pyramid selling and resigned these clients, a year ahead of them being outlawed in Australia).
- 2 years of writing articles for business journals.
Naturally, a lot of that experience had overlapped. I typically worked as a senior manager and ran a small business — or taught — at the same time. I don’t recommend that kind of crazy work load, by the way. You pay a penalty in damage to your health and family relationships — the real basis of your personal happiness in life. It was dumb… but I did learn a lot about business!
Why I was impressed — and seriously UN-impressed — by MLM
To make a long and involved story shorter and simpler, I was impressed by the principles and concepts of network marketing, but seriously UN-impressed by the way most companies and distributor organizations were trying to do it. After more than 25 years of first-hand experience as
- a professional network marketer and team leader, and
- best-selling author, trainer and management consultant to network marketing and party plan companies in Australia, the USA and South East Asia,
here’s what I’ve managed to learn. And why, despite the very real and serious risks involved in network marketing, I still prefer it as a business model to any other.
By the way, that often-quoted 90% failure rate for network marketing companies — and for part-time network marketing distributors — is accurate. But that doesn’t mean a lot, quite frankly, because the SAME 90% FAILURE RATE applies equally, and for exactly the same reasons, to these more conventional business models…
- small business (90% fail in the first 10 years.)
- property investment (90% of investors have a negative experience)
- share and options trading (90% lose money)
So network marketing, in the conventional, FIRST Generation versions that prevail, is merely ‘par for the course’ alongside other business model. There’s NO magic bullet or talisman to protect you from ignorance, fear, greed, laziness or stupidity.
You either KNOW the right things to do to succeed, and the right reasons for doing them, or you don’t. There’s no advantage in guessing, and even less in doing what everyone else does. (90% of them FAIL, remember?)
The PLAIN TRUTH about network marketing in the 21st century
Network marketing, when it’s done PROPERLY, is the most ethical, enlightened, efficacious, equitable, egalitarian and empowering way to do business of all — but ONLY when it’s done properly by people who are equally ethical, enlightened, efficacious, egalitarian and empowering!
That’s the problem, of course. Network marketing is mostly done by people and companies who don’t understand the principles — the ‘why-to’ — on which it must operate in order to succeed. Instead, they focus on the procedures, practices and structures — the ‘how-to’.
They’re not the same thing. Principles never change. Procedures, practices and structures change constantly.
They get it wrong due to ignorance, incompetence or, in too many cases, corruption and greed (they’re outright scammers). The result is that more than 90% of all so-called ‘network marketing’ opportunities are not REAL network marketing at all. They’re imitations. Counterfeits. Fakes. Not all of them intentionally, I hasten to add. But the end result is no different. That’s the inescapable bottom line.
So you can imagine how careful I am when it comes to choosing a network marketing business to which I’m willing to put my name and hard-won reputation. They’re extremely rare. But they do exist, despite being the best-kept secrets in their fields.
I don’t promote my personal involvements on my generic Network Marketing resource sites as a matter of principle. They’re amongst the most popular and respected help sites in the world, and they exist to help anyone wanting to become more professional or to avoid the multitude of boobytraps and scams that infest network marketing. They’re declared “safe” sites where you can send your people to learn without risk of them being poached. They include…
All About MLM – The good, the bad and the ugly… no spin, no hype.
Is It a Pyramid? – How to tell a legitimate MLM from a pyramid scam.
The Profit Clinic MLM Help Centre – FREE information, insights and ideas
Network Marketing PRO. newsletter – twice-monthly newsletter, FREE
FREE Coaching Online – FREE coaching for anyone, anywhere, with any network marketing company, with NO strings and NO hidden catches. See why for yourself.
MLM Rescue – FREE help and support for people hurt by counterfeit MLM.
I hope this explanation of why I choose network marketing as my preferred business system is helpful, and that it supports your own reasons for choosing it.