Mark and I worked together in the same office years ago, before I quit my job to bring up my kids. We lost contact for years, so it was a surprise when we bumped into each other in a networking event. We did some catching up after the event. It had been close to 20 years since we last communicated. Mark got retrenched over 10 years ago. He found himself jobless with a young family to take care of. His journey was a painful one. He applied for jobs everywhere but none was forthcoming. He leased a piece of land and went into farming. He planted cabbages, tomatoes and other vegetables. He believed that one can never go wrong with food since people buy food whether the economy is doing well or not. He got into the business without much preparation, acting so much on assumption. When his produce was ready he discovered that he did not have a market. He had no idea how to penetrate the already existing markets. He had assumed that the demand for food exceeds the demand so he would have no problem selling his produce. With perishable produce he learned the hard way that it is a race against time. He ended up kind of harassing people in his circles to buy produce from him. Many ended up taking the produce on credit since they had not ordered. Some paid promptly but many delayed to pay while others did not even pay. He made losses. He did not give up that easily and he pushed ahead with farming for a couple of years but that line of business did not favour him so he eventually quit. He then registered a company doing supplies. He got tenders to supply stationary in some institutions and the business went well. The main challenge was delayed payments, which affected his cash flow, sometimes pushing him into debt. It was at that point in time that he came into the network marketing industry and that was how we bumped into each other at a networking event. He was just months in the industry and was building his network marketing business part time while still doing the supplies business. There are some lessons we can learn from Mark’s journey. I have been asked a number of times why I choose to build a network marketing business rather than just doing traditional business like most Kenyans do. I have been in formal employment, I have done traditional business and I have also done network marketing. How would I compare the different options? Networking is becoming a way of life in the business community. Much as many Kenyans still don’t understand this model of business, almost every major retail company around the world now offers affiliate referral commission programs. Banks also offer affiliate referral commission programs This was unheard of years ago and would actually have been scoffed at. The Team I get many people who have issues with the network marketing business model. They argue that the business should be about selling/retailing and not about recruiting people. Let us compare the two business models. A traditional company or business would typically have someone who heads the marketing arm of the company, with several regional managers reporting directly to him. Those regional managers recruit, hire, train and manage several area managers who, in turn recruit, hire, train and manage several sales representatives. Sales representatives sell retail products, goods, and services to customers. They work to find new sales leads through “cold calling”, business directories, client referrals from new or existing clients. Clearly, the higher the level the higher the pay and there is less room at the top for advancement. In a traditional business, it is mathematically impossible for each and every sales representative or employee to rise to the top regardless of how good they are at their jobs. What is the difference with network marketing? One of the major differences with network marketing is that each individual starts at exactly the same level – at the top of their own organization and has exactly the same opportunity as everyone else and is compensated in direct proportion to the activity or success that they have had an influence in generating. It does not matter when you come in or what rank the person above you is at. You work hard and you can rise to the top of everyone. Network marketing is the fairest when it comes to compensation for your hard work. There is no hidden agenda when it comes to climbing through the ranks. Your team makes the volumes for a certain rank and you qualify for that rank no matter how many people in the company are already at that rank and no matter whether the people above you are still at lower ranks; your volumes take you where you deserve, even if it makes you overtake everyone. I have been told by several people that in network marketing only the people who get in first make the money. That is far from the truth! The people who put in the work and keep going long enough, make the money. It does not matter when you got on board; you don’t put in the work, you don’t make the money. Another outstanding difference between network marketing and traditional business is that one doesn’t need to be a sales person to reap the level of financial benefits normally associated with company owners, sales managers and marketers. Not good in sales? You can still be very successful in network marketing. In traditional business, you have several employees working with other employees under one roof for the benefit of someone else’s company. In network marketing, you have a network of home based business opportunity owners, working each under their own roof, networking with other home-based business owners, all working for their own companies. You have a network of people working largely from home. This means no debt, no employees and no complicated administrative procedures. Employees require a tremendous obligation from the business owner; mentally, emotionally and financially. They have to be paid, trained and supported in various ways. When it comes to network marketing, other independent distributors in the organization, while working their own home-based business, supply the same benefit to us as employees would to a traditional business. We have people working for us as they work for themselves. We train and support them but we do not pay them as their earnings are from their commissions. You can put together a large organization whose productivity pays you. These people serve the purpose employees would serve, but you do not pay them. Each and everyone earns commissions from their efforts. Passive or Residual Income
Residual income – also known as passive income – is income that continues to be generated after the initial effort has been expended. If we compare this to what most people focus on earning: linear income, which is a one off compensation or payment in the form of a fee, wage, commission or salary, we shall begin to appreciate the network marketing profession. Residual income is not understood by many people since what most are familiar with is working once and getting compensated once for that effort. You recondition a car once, you are paid once for that work. You conduct an audit once, you get paid once. You conduct a surgery once and you get paid once. Unless you have been a successful network marketer, insurance agent or marketer, author, musician or actor, it is really difficult to understand the tremendous power of residual income. Starting on a part time basis, a person with vision, desire and persistence can, within a period of 3 or 5 years or probably slightly longer, build a big enough residual income to last a lifetime. Building a residual income can be compared with flying an aircraft. It takes a significant amount of fuel to get it off the ground, but once it has reached altitude, it can cruise on a fraction of the fuel needed for takeoffs. The big difference between network marketing income and linear income (wages, salaries, etc.,) is that a residual income can “fly” seemingly forever with a little refueling along the way. The income stream can be passed on from generation to generation. It means that the stream of income does not dry up when one can no longer work. All the other benefits of Network Marketing, such as being able to choose who to work with, low start up costs and flexibility in working hours are important, but Residual Income is the bomb! If you operate a traditional business such as your private practice if you are an expert in your field, that stream of income will dry up when you can no longer work. That is not the case if you choose to build a network marketing business (which you can do either part time or full time). This is because in network marketing you duplicate yourself in other people, who will continue working even when you can no longer work.
The income potential for network marketing is unlimited. In corporate jobs, the biggest limitation for an ambitious, hard working person is that regardless of how hard you work, your income is tied to a “market standard” for someone with your skills. In network marketing, that’s not the case. There is no cap on how much money you can generate.It is up to you to decide how much you want to earn. A network marketing company doesn’t hold you back in the same way the corporate environment does. As long as you invest in acquiring the skills of a trained network marketer, you make whatever income based on your stamina, dedication, and your willingness to help others. The no. 1 challenge many face is because acquiring the necessary skills not only takes time and effort but also requires one to be self motivated. Once you have trained yourself to become a marketer, you can market anything you choose and generate that income you seek. And once you have trained yourself to become the CEO of your network marketing organization, your income potential is unlimited. You can build a large organization and earn as much as you are willing to work for. The network marketing profession favors ambitious, hard working people who are self motivated. There is a lot of work to do in the initial years as you are ‘preparing your aircraft for take off’ but the workload get lighter once you have duplicated yourself in others. You have a choice to either work for you employer for 30, 40 years and retire poor and dependent; or to work hard for 5, 10 years, build a significant passive income and retire financially independent. With an ever growing population and more traditional businesses closing down due to the Internet, there are now less jobs for people to go for. This means that employers can and do take full advantage of this, demanding that people work longer and longer hours for the same money. This is becoming more and more common and is making people work in an environment characterized by fear and uncertainty. Do you want to continue to live like this when there are choices?
If you are an ambitious, hard working, self motivated and persistent individual, network marketing could be a very rewarding career for you. Yes, you can choose to put all your energies into building your own fortune rather than somebody else’s. This article is written by: Susan Catherine Keter, Life and Health Coach, Trevo LLC, USA Website: http://trevo.life/susanwamucii/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Financial.Literacy.Africa/?pnref=lhc Telephone: +254728999136