What is it about MLM that gets people so emotional? (Part 3)

July 4, 2010 at 10:35 am | Posted in Lifestyle, MLM | Leave a comment
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This is becoming a very interesting journey. I started down this path looking for the logical explanation to the question with an expectation that once having uncovered the root cause of all the angst, that there would be a perfectly simple resolution.

But so far, nothing that simple. What we have discovered so far is:

  • The industry is huge and supported by over 65 million people worldwide.
  • Those involved seem to have, overwhelmingly, a positive opinion of the industry
  • By and large, the industry weathered the GFC well and continues to grow.
  • Significant business commentators and educators seem equally positive in their assessment of the industry.
  • A financial assessment of some of the significant players in the MLM industry reveals listed corporations that are well managed, financially sounds, and, for the most part, good investment prospects.
  • And the business model provides an equal opportunity.

Which has got me to the point of looking at

  1. Is it the ‘marketing’ part of MLM that gets people worked up?
  2. Is it telling people you know that you are involved in a MLM business?
  3. Is it a personal fear of failing in a business where anyone (and I do mean anyone) can succeed?
  4. Or is it just the fear of something we don’t really understand?

Let’s take a moment and get analytical about these 4 possible answers.

#1 Marketing, selling, the fact is we all sell every day.

From the first time we negotiated with a parent for the toy we wanted in the store we began selling.

Presenting ourselves to someone new (we only have one chance to make a good first impression); convincing friends that we should go to the new Mongolian restaurant; making sure the boss understands the phenomenal job we did on the new project; inviting the good looking new team member to lunch; negotiating with our children, spouse, partner, family on just about every thing imaginable; and even selling ourselves on the idea that it will all work out ok in the end if we just work harder, give more, learn more.

And the list goes on and on.

But, whatever it is or isn’t, it sure is selling! And we all sell, every single day of our lives.

#2 Hi Mum, guess what your favourite son, the budding lawyer, is about to do?

(this is courtesy of my business partner – I am, of course, much nicer Smile)

I remember the first time that a good friend asked me to look at a new business opportunity. Until then no-one had ever prospected me for anything (something to do with an attitude that even a Mum has problems with) so I had no idea what network marketing was about, but I sure as heck had an opinion; not worth anything, but nonetheless my opinion.

So, as all good friends would do I immediately let go with both barrels and told one of my closest friends exactly what I thought of people who got involved in ‘that sort of thing’ Now, I must have been really good at selling my opinion (no facts, no experience, no research, no basis for anything I was saying) because he quit on his dream.

And that is what we do when we are too lazy, too arrogant, and too full of our opinions; we sell our garbage to everyone else.

Roll the clock forward several years. I am running my own multinational software business with an ego that has not got smaller with the passage of time, and my wife tells me we are going to have coffee one evening with our closest friends and hear about the new business that he is looking at.

Wow! Déjà vu, it’s one of those things again (I just know, my antennae are alert to this sort of rubbish) but I agree to behave and go and listen.

Body language (arms crossed, head down, legs crossed) says ‘ok, do your best, you’re not getting my wallet’ but I listen; perhaps because they have a friend, Irish, interesting, a successful businessman doing the talking. He explains the business model, he talks about creating passive income, and he shares how he has built the life of freedom that he has always expected, but never saw, in his own business.

What I saw was the starkest contrast between his new business model and my conventional business model that had me running a day-care for very expensive, very talented, adults.

What I saw was an opportunity to have the income, the time, and the ability to live my life on my terms, not according to the demands of a boss or a business.

So, for me, the journey started, and I thank God every day for network marketing.

Well Mum, no lawyer or business executive, I have decided to take control of my life.

#3 Fear of failure? Most people are driven more by the desire to avoid pain than the desire to gain pleasure.

But, failing is just not in the vocabulary – right?

It is, after all, such a simple business programme so how could I, especially having enjoyed some success in a far more complex business structure, be anything other than an overnight success?

But success in MLM is not based on prior success, education, or any measurable demographic; it is an industry predicated on being the last bastion of free enterprise, the ultimate level paying field, the peoples franchise.

So, if an unemployed college dropout can become a superstar in MLM, what does that mean for my success prospects if future success is not based on my past successes?

Start from scratch, learn a new business, learn new skills, become more focused on the success of team members, and become a committed coach and leader.

Seems like this is either a great encouragement for the serious team builder or a great threat for the solo act.

#4 Fear of the unknown

I heard an expression some years back to the effect that ‘the only people not involved in MLM are those who don’t understand what it is all about’. Bit extreme perhaps, but I guess we are controlled by a fear of the unknown.

Certainly MLM is a business model that is, for most of us, the antithesis of every other business or job we have been exposed to. Now, for me, that was its #1 appeal; it is so not like a conventional business.

    • If you are struggling you don’t get fired; you get support and encouragement and mentoring for as long as you want.
    • People who have succeeded want to share their insight not hoard it as their ‘edge’.
    • There is no glass half empty mentality; other people’s success does not diminish your prospects, it grows the industry, so we all win.
    • The more successful we are in helping others achieve everything they want, the bigger and stronger the business that we end up with.
    • But, look at the dialogue that goes on in our head

But it can’t be that easy; after all, we all know that if it seems too good to be true then it probably isn’t true.

Yep, that’s it; too good to be true.

But who said that it was easy?

What they did, or should have said, is that it is a very simple business with minimal overheads, low downside risk and great upside benefits.

Simple; not easy!

Nothing worthwhile is easy; it requires hard work, commitment, learning new skills, stepping outside our comfort zone, and growing as a person.

We don’t become different people because of our success; we become successful because we change as people.

Growth is always confronting, always uncomfortable, always a stretch. But if we have a desire to be more, have more, contribute more then we need to become more than we are right now.

Makes sense when you think about it. If right now we were everything we needed to be to be more than we are, then why aren’t we?). Easy to see why

MLM has been described as a total immersion personal development experience!

And maybe that’s it.

Perhaps the idea of becoming a different person is just too scary; and what if it isn’t enough? What if I can’t be the person I need to be? What if I don’t know how to grow into that person?

Ok, I will stay where I am, after all, it isn’t that bad. Right?

Yeah …. right!   But, what if I did succeed, what if I could have a different life?

Questions …..

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

What could you achieve if someone could show you and coach you on a system that takes the guess work and uncertainty out of building a successful business that creates real passive income?

For about 2 million people this year that possibility is the Holy Grail in their quest for true freedom.

Now, that sounds like another good topic ….


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