Finding Career Path
Jimmy and John were buddies. They were in the same class in the university and undertook the same degree. Their friendship did not end once they graduated from the university as they remained in the same circles. They shared a lot over the years.He
Jimmy landed a job with a very successful global brand. The job offered a lucrative pay and benefits that included a company car, paid holiday and health insurance.
John was not so lucky. He got short term contracts from time to time but nothing long term. It was after years of frustrations that a friend invited John for a business presentation in the city one Saturday afternoon.
He had already tried everything he could think of to attain a regular income but had failed. He had even tried his hand at selling land for owners but it did not go well.
John was disappointed to discover that the business opportunity was actually a network marketing presentation. He purposed in his heart that he would stay out of politeness for the friend who invited him, but he would definitely tell him in no uncertain terms after the presentation that he had zero interest in network marketing.
The disappointed John sat near the back waiting for the presentation to end. He listened as a young lady explained about some wonderful products for personal use and how they would benefit one’s health.
A young man ran up to the stage after the young lady and started talking about money. He was very entertaining and John sat up in his seat and got absorbed in the young man’s talk.
“How many of you know anyone running a small business; a kiosk, a roadside hotel, cooking food and delivering to construction sites, a small outlet selling clothes, shoes, handbags or some other item?” Everyone raised their hands, including John.
“How many of you have heard of Safaricom?” Again, all hands went up. “How many of you have done business with Safaricom today?” Just about every hand in the room went up. “How many of you had to go to a Safaricom shop today to transact business?” One hand went up.
This was getting all exciting for John and he actually forgot that he was not supposed to enjoy the presentation. “How many are aware that Safaricom is one of the most profitable businesses in Kenya?” Just about every hand went up.
“Let us try and answer a simple question here; Why is Safaricom one of the most profitable businesses in Kenya and that small business you know of isn’t?”
What followed was a very interactive discussion about the difference between the two business models. John had never heard such things in his life. He heard about the power of SYSTEM (Save YourSelf Time, Energy and Money) and how a business without a system is limited (like the small businesses mentioned earlier).
He heard about LEVERAGE: which is growing your assets without depending entirely on your own money and efforts as well as about PASSIVE or RESIDUAL income which refers to working once then getting paid over and over again for the same effort.
John was sitting at the edge of his seat by now. He removed his pen, borrowed a piece of paper from someone and jotted down some notes. “As Robert Kiyosaki, the best selling author of the Rich Dad Poor Dad book often says, financial struggle is often the result of working all their lives for someone else”, the speaker was saying.
The young man’s voice kept on ringing in John’s mind. He tried to sleep that night but he couldn’t. He was completely restless. He got out of bed, took out his laptop and turned it on. He started researching about what he had learned at the presentation earlier in the day.
He could not believe what he was learning. He was taken by surprise when the cock crowed and he realized that it was almost morning; he had been awake almost the entire night. He made up his mind there and then to register for the opportunity and give it his best.
Life was initially very tough for John. He still got some short term job engagements from time to time but he devoted most of his time to learning about network marketing.
He bought books with every coin he could spare. He spent hours online watching videos and taking notes. He attended every event the company he was building in held.
3 months passed and he had no one in his team but he was undeterred. He was already so much in love with what he was learning that he could not turn back.
Jimmy in the meantime was doing well in his job and he would share information with John about which companies were hiring and how he could increase his chances of landing a job.
John knew in his heart that he would succeed in network marketing no matter how long it took or what it cost him. Many in his circles felt sorry for him because they felt that desperation had pushed him so low as to put his hope in network marketing, something they considered to be for failures and hustlers.
The Difference Between Formal and Informal Career Paths
Ten years had passed since John got started in network marketing. He was living the life; he was married with 2 daughters. His wife had resigned from her teaching job to build the business with him full time.
His family owned their own home in an upmarket part of the city. He and his family had been on 2 international trips and they did not have to worry about money any more.
Jimmy on the other hand was still in employment. The job had become more demanding over the years and he rarely had time for his family. His relationship with his wife was strained because of his unavailability.
He was on treatment for high blood pressure probably because of the heavy workload and the stress of his marriage. His little girl was in a good school, he was paying for a house through mortgage and even though finances were not that perfect, his family was getting by.
Many people struggle financially all their lives because they have been trained to work for someone else. However, there are 3 ways to break free from the bondage of having to work for someone else all your life.
1. Build your own big business (like the business quoted above, Safaricom). A business makes sense if it has a great system and you get others to work that system. The system puts money into your bank account whether you are working or not, because it is not dependent on you working it.
Many Kenyans use the Safaricom system every day. If you are going to build a successful business, you will need to think about the right business partners and mentors. You cannot build a business all on your own especially if you are not experienced.
2. Buy a franchise. You buy a ready made system and this saves you years that you would need to build your own business.
3. Network Marketing. This is a new model of building a business so it is still not well understood. Training in the field is also not readily available.
With a start up capital of a few hundred dollars (Kshs. 20,000 or 30,000), you are able to buy into a business system and instead of spending years working on technicalities of a start-up, you focus fully on building the business.
If you invest in acquiring the skills and put in the work, network marketing enables you to become a big business owner in a few short years. Technology has made the work of building a business easier, but you have to invest in learning how to use it to your advantage.
This article is written by Susan Catherine Keter, life coach, mentor, network marketing professional, freelancer and blogger.
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