I encounter many desperate cases in the course of my work with women. Some have been cooperative and have been able to transform their lives. I have seen cases of women who were once 100% dependent on someone else become financially independent in a few short years. Some have gone on to become very successful and can serve as role models to others.
I remember the day Irene contacted me through Facebook. She was very desperate and sounded suicidal. I told her that I would wish to meet her face to face rather than trying to get the whole story from her through chat, especially because she sounded so upset. I told her that I would be conducting trainings in the city in a couple of days and gave her the address.
She turned up at the training venue just as I was getting ready to begin training. I requested her to sit through the training and I would spend some time with her when I was done. I was conducting a leadership training for Trevo life and health coaches. The session went quite well. I sat down with Irene after the training. I asked her why she was so stressed.
Irene’s story was heart breaking. She got married straight after high school. Her husband stopped her from going to college even though she had passed well, telling her that he would provide and she did not need to work. She had dreams of becoming a beautician but she shelved her dreams in order to obey her husband.
It was now 8 years since she got married by customary law. She had 2 daughters, both in primary school. She had just discovered that her husband was in a long term relationship with another woman and they had a 4-year old son together. He was building a house for the other lady and had met her parents to discuss the process of legalizing the marriage.
Irene’s husband is a successful businessman and he traveled extensively so she had never suspected that he could be using the frequent absences attributed to business as an excuse to be running a parallel family. When she confronted him about the other family, he beat her up thoroughly and threatened to throw her out. He told her that he would kick her out and remain with their two children since she was not even in a position to provide for them.
Irene’s mother is single and is battling a number of health complications. Going back home was therefore out of question as her mom could not cope with the extra burden. She had been following my posts about different kinds of programs I run, including women empowerment forums. That is how she contacted me.
I asked her to calm down as we explored the best way forward for her. I guided her to list down the different skills that she possessed and what she could do to become productive. She seemed to be convinced that the only thing she was capable of was becoming a house help; cooking, cleaning and other domestic chores.
That would be challenging with two kids since a house help normally manages to save by living with the employer’s family. Renting a house for herself and buying the basics for her survival on a house help’s salary was therefore a tall order.
I asked her to explore what else she could do. She said that the only option was for her to go to college and study what she was passionate about then get a job. She had no capital to pay for her studies and no one to finance her. That again hit a dead end.
Is Network Marketing Illegal?
I showed her the network marketing opportunity I am involved with and asked her if we could explore ways she could make it work for her. The start up cost is very low and I could support her to raise the start up capital by getting an order from a client.
Her reaction surprised me. She told me in no uncertain terms that she is a Christian and she cannot do illegal things no matter how desperate she is. I asked her what she meant by illegal things and she proceeded to tell me that network marketing is pyramid schemes and people take advantage of others so she would not even look at it because she is an honest person.
Traditional Career Path
Irene’s reaction did not entirely surprise me. I meet many people who are closed minded about network marketing, people who are not willing to do their research to get a hold of the facts.
Network marketing is an industry that has transformed my life. Whether we like it or not, the traditional career path is no longer adequate for today’s circumstances. Our parents would get absorbed into formal employment and work for 30, 40 years for the same employer and retire with a pension.
Today, people change employers every few years. They reach a point they are no longer attractive to employers so they get edged out of the job market. They find themselves retired before they are ready, and without a pension! And for many who are lucky to remain in employment, they find themselves overworked and underpaid. They are forever in debt and they also have no free time for their families.
You need to question the traditional career path. Is it what you really want for yourself? Can the traditional career path secure your future? Question the status quo; don’t follow the masses blindly. Have you seen someone you know retire from employment, even from a prestigious job?How is the person’s lifestyle 5, 10, 15 years after retirement? Is he productive in society?Is he able to maintain his previous lifestyle? Has he been able to give back to society? Does he contribute to the family’s well being or is he a burden? Is he independent or dependent on others for survival?
Network Marketing is a Better Way!
Years ago when the network marketing industry made its appearance in Kenya, most professionals shunned it. It became the route of escape for failures and jobless people. Many who got involved were not prepared to follow the right path to success. They lied to people, misrepresented facts, leaving many victims all over the place.
Today, professionals are struggling in a very hostile environment. They are highly qualified but the competition is too stiff and they are not getting ahead financially. The only thing some of them pride in is titles and being recognized by society, but they are really struggling to make it in life. Many qualified people are finding themselves jobless after retrenchment and retirement. People are looking for solutions.
What are some of the benefits of Network Marketing?
Network marketing has produced some of the most highly paid professionals in the world. There is no ceiling on income. Build it consistently for 10, 20, 30 years and you could attain incomes beyond your wildest imagination. On the other hand, there is a ceiling on income if you are in formal employment even if you work for 30, 40 years.
Chance to build a long term career that has no retirement age, no risk of retrenchment. Work hard for a number of years and build a big business, unlike small businesses that are very common in Kenya (which are dependent on an individual’s ability to work, have no passive/residual income, have no capacity to grow into big, international businesses). Establishing a big business normally requires a lot of capital (building your own company from scratch or purchasing a franchise). Work a full time job and build a secondary income, working part time from home.
Do you have dependents? Create incomes for some of the dependents who are hardworking but have no jobs, or have jobs that are not up to their level of qualifications. Don’t give them handouts; plug them into the system and get them trained to earn their own income.
This will impact other areas of your life positively, including your job and relationships. Network marketing is a solution for hard working, high achievers who could have struggled all their lives in traditional jobs. Invest in yourself. Develop people skills then touch people’s lives.
Become a pace setter as people seek solutions for today’s challenges. Show the way, that network marketing is a respectable profession for those who will invest in becoming professional. Become a lighthouse so that those who are seeking solutions to today’s challenges can look up to you.
This article is written by: Susan Catherine Keter, Personal development and business coach, mentor, network marketing professional, freelancer and blogger.