The Top 5 Network Marketing Myths That Will Stop You From Achieving Life-Changing Success
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Contributed by Craig Schulze
I have spent 15 years in the network marketing industry and have built a thriving business in over 100 countries, travelled the world and earned millions of dollars along the journey.
Having done the work, experienced the challenges – the highs and the lows – and navigated through nearly every situation in the network marketing industry, my goal is to give you everything I know and have learnt along the way to help you achieve your lifestyle goals.
Along with the journey and having built teams of over 200,000 I have witnessed a common theme that happens over and over again.
That is that people quit too easily. In fact, people quit most things too easy. They quit jobs, gym programs, university courses, marriage, business and they will quit network marketing too. I am here because I want you to be a winner – not a quitter!
Are you a healthy sceptic about the network marketing industry, or is your inner cynic blocking you from finding life-changing opportunities?
As a former engineer in the corporate rat race, who then became an owner of five gyms (who worked far too hard for no lifestyle gain) – I transitioned to a career in network marketing in which I have built a business in over 100 countries. I work from home and have complete “time and financial” freedom.
So I think I can speak from some authority on the need to break down the myths that are preventing some from looking to network marketing as an alternative that has enormous “life-work balance” benefits.
Healthy Scepticism vs Cynicism
Don’t get me wrong – scepticism is healthy. When coming from a place of balanced thought, It is merely a form of due diligence. In fact, the more questions people ask me about my opportunity, the more excited I become because it is just smart to ask the right questions.
The danger is cynicism.
Cynicism is the belief that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honourable or unselfish reasons.
Let me ask you this – are you selfish or unethical if you want to have a better life where your work, family, health and lifestyle are balanced to give you the freedom to achieve anything you want to do?
Let’s look at it another way – who would you effect negatively if your work, finances, health and family life are all entirely out of balance and heading for a “train smash”? Certainly not just you – it effects many who surround you when things are not going well.
So, by looking after yourself and improving your life – by default you improve the lives of others – you have a much higher chance of resonating positive effect on those around you.
However, the cynic does not see life through this lens, so they must create myths to uphold belief systems that frame anyone who is wanting to improve their life as people who are inherently selfish or unethical and will do anything to step above the rest.
To be honest, that cynical worldview sounds more like the corporate rat race, and the dog eat dog business world that the masses gravitate to out of fear of “doing something better for themselves”.
Get The Right Information From The Right People
If uninformed myths about network marketing have made you cynical, you could be self-sabotaging your future. There is good, bad, ugly in all aspects of life, so the key is to get extremely good at using healthy scepticism to find and filter the right information from the right people.
As an investor in property, shares and business, I prefer to lead with a healthily sceptical decision-making process that includes speaking to highly credible people – not my broke mate that is just keen to go out on a Saturday night and waste away my Sundays.
The people I take advice from have what I am working towards.
If I want a multi-million dollar property portfolio, I only consider advice from people who have multi-million dollar property portfolio’s. Would you take health and fitness advice from an overweight personal trainer who smokes? NO.
As a seven-figure earner network marketer, I want to show you what myths are commonly spread that dissuade people from finding the real truth about network marketing and how it can help them reach ultimate lifestyle potential.
MYTH 1 – NETWORK MARKETING IS A SCAM
As my network and contacts lists have changed over time, this question has rarely come up in conversation. However, for those not yet in network marketing, it is a common myth espoused – so let’s address this Myth first.
Network marketing is an industry just like franchising is an industry, the corporate world is an industry, and the traditional business world is an industry.
You will get a percentage of rotten eggs in any industry – so the myth of network marketing as a scam is like calling traditional business a scam. Are there scammers in the conventional business world? Yes, there certainly are. Does that stop people from setting up and succeeding in ethical business? No!
Network marketing is called a scam by cynics because they often misunderstand it. You have to remember that if someone has a firm belief that doing something to improve his or her life equates to being selfish or unethical – then a raft of myths need to be built around that, to pass on that belief to others.
We know that there are scammers in any industry – so let’s take a look at demystifying network marketing so the cynic in you does not hide opportunities from you that the healthy sceptic part of you could be checking out.
Network marketing is a strategy used by businesses who have products to sell that are built on word of mouth and social networking, that cuts out all the middlemen.
These middlemen include sales reps driving company cars, the human resources teams who are required to train and develop organisations, the advertising and marketing teams, etc.
In traditional business and the corporate world, these – often large – departments are huge money pits of salaries, marketing budgets and many other costs. How can companies afford this? The answer is either A) by increasing the cost of the product, or B) decreasing the quality and cost to make the product.
In businesses using network marketing to distribute their products, the money saved on all of those middlemen costs is used to pay out to its distributor team of word of mouth marketers, and also to improve product quality.
The reality is that there are scammers in any industry, and as there are literally 10,000’s of network marketing companies, you need to do your due diligence just like you do for any other business, job application or investment.
Understanding network marketing is the first step in the right direction by doing the right kind of research.
MYTH 2 – NETWORK MARKETING IS A PYRAMID SCHEME
Pyramid schemes are illegal and they should be because someone will always lose. There are clear distinctions that separate pyramid schemes from network marketing.
Network marketing is a word of mouth method of marketing a business. When people think network marketing is a pyramid scheme, it’s like thinking paid advertising is a pyramid scheme.
Pyramid schemes are not a method of marketing – they are an illegal activity involving deception and theft conducted by unethical companies or individuals. When it comes to avoiding pyramid schemes, you have the same situation as any other traditional business or investment offer on the planet, and that is to do your due diligence. There are a small percentage of bad eggs in every single industry or method of business.
There is always a balance between a network marketing company’s business opportunity (essentially a marketing and sales system) and the company’s products.
If a company is only promoting and selling (for a fee) entry for recruits into an opportunity – to then sell just the opportunity to more recruits – and there is little or no product sold to consumers, then this is NOT network marketing – it is a pyramid scheme where people are rewarded for enticing as many other people as possible to buy a promise of some return of value at a future date.
The tragedy is that they are buying nothing and the pyramid scheme is exposed when investors want their promised returns given. When there is nothing there, it all collapses.
In a network marketing business opportunity, you are paid based on the product/service volume that is sold – not the number of people you recruit to the opportunity. If your organisation is big and lots of products are sold, then you are paid well. If your volumes are small, you are paid accordingly.
In the network marketing industry, if you want to avoid being sucked into a pyramid scheme run by unethical companies, your safest way to know you are joining a legitimate network marketing company is to ensure they are a Direct Selling Association (DSA) company. To be a member of the DSA companies are required to go through a rigorous process that is effectively an audit of their business.
Pyramid schemes are money games where there is NO product, or the product/service has little to no value. Just like scammers, no industry is immune to illegal pyramid schemes.
MYTH 3 – YOU’RE JUST MAKING MONEY OFF YOUR FRIENDS
Here’s the deal. If you are promoting a network marketing company’s opportunity and products that you do not fully believe in, and you are doing it just for your financial gain – then you won’t last long in this game, and your friends and family won’t be very interested in what you are promoting. You will fail. In this case, you won’t be making money off anyone – let alone your family and friends.
If you join a company with a product or service that you are emotionally attached too, then this is a different story.
Your mindset will change to “I need to share this with my friends and family to help change their life”. One of your due diligence points should be that you can be a loud and proud brand ambassador, and you would want everyone you know to benefit from your company’s products. When you do this, you will invariably have some family and friends invest in the product and opportunity you are promoting – BUT they will not be the only ones. You will attract more people outside of your friends and family circles with the attitude of helping others.
Do what you love > Align with what you love > Promote what you love!
For example, for me, if the business opportunity was based on selling cigarettes – no matter how good the opportunity looked I just could not put my name to that business. I have never smoked, and I am anti-smoking.
I actually represent a youth enhancement company that I love, and which has scientific and cutting-edge products that I love, so I get the benefit of ultimate health, looking younger for longer and an opportunity that allows me to live my life by design. I love the company’s principles, I love their products (I use them myself regularly), and I love the opportunity. My heart is in it fully, and so I have no problem at all with recommending it to my friends and family – but they are not the only ones by a long shot, as I have grown my business globally purely because I love what I do, and love what I promote.
People are forever recommending cafes, restaurants, clothing brands to their friends and family. They are doing it because they love the products and the service. However, they are in effect being responsible for the sale, so they should also be receiving a commission for their recommendation.
It is just smart to align yourself and get paid for recommending something you love and believe in, but the key is not aligning with just anything. You have to believe you are helping people look better, feel better, save money, improve health – or whatever your product or service does that you are promoting.
MYTH 4 – ONLY PEOPLE AT THE TOP ARE MAKING ALL THE MONEY
According to a network marketing survey, the number one reason people join a company is because it is launching and they are “the first”.
A launch is the icing on the cake of a business opportunity. However, there are many key points you need to tick off to ensure you are joining a company for the right reasons – and “being first” should not be one of them.
Joining a company purely because it is launching will often end up being a disaster. You are joining a business, so start being a business person and make savvy business decisions rather than succumbing to the “Fear of Missing Out” (FOM).
Timing can be essential because the sooner you know about something, the more opportunity you have to tell people. However, do not confuse the timing of knowing about an opportunity with people at the top making all the money.
The distributors at the top of a network marketing company are not necessarily above everyone else in the “genealogy” of a downline. They have qualified to be at the top of the pay plan not necessarily because they were “the first”. They have got to the top of the pay plan by meeting the qualifications to be at the top of the pay plan. To reach the top of the pay plan means they have gone out into the field and shared the products/service with lots of people, and then helped others who want to build a business do the same.
I have built two incredible businesses during my journey in the industry. The first opportunity was 15 years old, and so there were 10,000’s of people above me in the genealogy. However, after three years I was one of the highest paid distributors. That only happened because I met the qualifications/goals required to progress to the top of the pay plan by going out and working – NOT BY BEING THE FIRST. I got paid according to the size of my business, and my business was bigger than the people above me. To me, that is just fair, and the way it should be.
It is in the corporate world, where the people at the top are making all the money!
The CEO makes the most, the executive team the second most, the senior managers all the way down to the cleaners and other low skilled roles. The only way to make more is to climb the ladder. The only exception to this rule in the corporate world is if your salary is tied to sales bonuses.
Network marketing pays you for your effort and results. Not for joining first.
MYTH 5 – MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY GOT BURN’T IN NETWORK MARKETING
Unless you have not done your due diligence properly and joined a pyramid scheme where you’re investing in nothing of value (which as already shown can happen in any industry), it is pretty hard to get burnt in the network marketing industry.
Often you can join your company ranging from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars. This usually depends on how much product you want to start with, and often a start-up pack will give you a bit of a discount on the product to start your business. You may also have a business kit and a website cost in this package which is usually less than $50.
So your cost to start your own business as a distributor for a network marketing company is:
1. the cost of buying the products that you use yourself and give samples/sell to others, and
2. the cost of any startup business kit that may involve a website etc
So, you are in business, with a website, with business promotional systems provided, with a product to promote (that you also use), and if you are smart, you will have joined a company and have a global opportunity where you can promote anywhere any time from home.
So how can you possibly get burnt? There are a number of areas to do your due diligence on:
1. If the product is rubbish, you will “get burnt” just like in any other industry. If the “product” is an investment in something that can lose value very quickly – again, a big risk there that you can get “burnt” just like with any high-risk investment.
2. Most ethical network marketing companies will provide FREE training – you just have to be coachable, willing to learn, and follow proven steps! Beware of companies with compulsory expensive training costs – if your network marketing company does not have leaders that provide you with the best training for FREE – then this is a red flag.
Before transitioning to network marketing, I owned five gyms. There was the cost of fit-out, equipment, launch, signage, etc. before I even made one sale. You can certainly end up in hot water doing traditional business when small things go wrong.
The worst-case scenario in network marketing is you do not do anything, you do not make anything, and you consume all of your incredible products. However, you can exit without going bankrupt.
The often bad taste in people’s mouths is the way they were introduced.
If you are prospected by someone with the line: “if you join you will make all of this money” – run a mile!
Remember network marketing is a method of marketing a business and you are paid on product sales, so you cannot join a company and make a heap of money by recruiting more people on the promise of making more money. If someone is doing that, they are partaking in a scam or pyramid scheme as discussed above.
People join people. So if you want to build a business in this industry – you will need to develop and grow into a leader for the company you want to promote. So one of the skills you will learn is how to share the story of your company’s product/service so you become a great information broker, so people can make educated decisions to buy your chosen company’s product.
In today’s society, people do not accept responsibility for their actions and decisions. 99 times out of 100 people have not been burned from network marketing or their company – more likely they have been over promised and under delivered information from an unethical distributor, and they have not done their due diligence. If they took that same approach in the stock market things could become messy.
In summary, network marketing is one of the fastest growing industries on the planet. I often refer to it as the new age of business. It is the ultimate social business model where you can join a company for a small amount of capital. The product is created already. Your company gives you a website, marketing tools; they pay you and your distributors, they invest in infrastructure for future growth and opportunities. Everything is built for you.
Your responsibility is to go out there and tell the world, and with social media, technology and the internet it is so much easier. If you treat it like a business, it can become a big business, but if you treat it like a hobby, it will be a hobby.
So go out there, find a product or service that you love, you believe in, you can emotionally attach with – become an expert and use social media, technology and the internet to share your information – and when you find someone else that wants to join your tribe teach them to do the same.
See you at the top!