The home business scene – especially network marketing and direct sales – can be confusing, frustrating, and in many cases, disappointing for a lot of people.
It is touted as being ‘so simple! All you have to do is plug in!’ And it seems like you’re always hearing about someone who has completely crushed it, and is making crazy money while taking their kids on bucket-list vacations. You see pictures of them chilling on the beach in Australia, snowboarding in the Alps, and cruising around the Mediterranean in the summertime. They have all the time freedom they want, their kids are probably all set to go to college debt-free, and they credit their home business for making it all happen. Yet MOST people, upon choosing to start a business from home, never get a taste of that lifestyle. Why? The reasons are many, and aren’t necessarily what you might think.
Most of the home-based businesses that are on your radar probably involve everyday lifestyle products such as jewelry, home accessories, health and wellness products, cosmetics, kitchen gadgets, handbags, etc. Either you’ve been involved in one, or you know someone who has. It’s always the same story: make a list of everyone you know. Call ‘your top 200 people’ (there’s a script for that). Have a ‘business launch party’ in your home. Ask others to host parties on your behalf, online or offline. And then if you’re really serious, maybe you’ll take it upon yourself to learn some cold market prospecting techniques so you can stoke the fire once you’ve exhausted your warm market. This is where most people get frustrated, get cold feet, lose focus, stagnate, and close up shop.
There are plenty of reasons why this happens.
Often, people like stay-at-home moms are romanced by the notion that this will not only be fun, but will also give them an opportunity to work on a project other than the family. It’s an opportunity to engage with like-minded adults and resuscitate (partially) that feeling of being a professional and having something to contribute to society other than cupcakes for the PTA bake sale or nursery decor advice in some online mom’s group. Plus, the products are awesome and there’s a discount! It seems like a no-brainer: “I’ll make some new friends and enjoy some new makeup, and maybe even start to cover my car payment!” But the majority of people lack the entrepreneurial mindset to see this through. If this is you, then the question you ought to ask yourself is, “What’s more important to me: a great deal on lipstick, or a business that will allow me to upgrade my life and potentially solidify my family’s financial future?”
By the way, for the record, OF COURSE IT IS POSSIBLE to partner with any of these companies and majorly upgrade your life. As I mentioned, plenty of people do it. But most people do not. This is a simple and unfortunate fact. Let me be perfectly clear: I love network marketing. I believe that the network marketing model can be as effective at creating financial freedom (for those who put in the effort), as electricity is at generating power. Furthermore, not a day goes by that I do not use a bunch of products from various direct selling companies. On top of that, my personal experiences with several of these companies have provided me with skills I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to learn. Having said all of the above, in my opinion, if you want to start a home-based business that positions you for the greatest possible outcome, there is a less painful, more efficient, and potentially much faster way to do it than by limiting your income to a single stream generated from your partnership with a traditional network marketing company.
Now you may be thinking, “Hold on there, chief! The multiple streams of income trap?! My sponsor told me that if I want to be perceived as a leader, I have to stick with one company! I have to stay focused! I want to be taken seriously. If I’m not putting 100% of my energy into one thing, people might think I am flighty, blowing hot and cold, or worse — just all about the money!”
They might think that, if your methods are limited to spamming your Facebook wall with ads for different opportunities. But you are a professional. And just to be clear, I am not suggesting more than one primary network marketing company, if you choose to build a business with one, at all. What I am saying is, building with one network marketing company alone, and having no other income source or working capital, it can take a virtual eternity to reach your income goals. Sure, you can do it. It’s a matter of personal preference (and of how much blood, sweat, and tears you are willing to sacrifice). So what the heck am I suggesting here? It’s called affiliate marketing. If you want to learn how it can help you (or your business), just ask. 🙂
Meanwhile, let’s get back to a few of the reasons why most home businesses fall flat:
There is a lack of support. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “You’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself.” Totally true. However, some people have really, really, really shitty sponsors. You may have a ton of potential, but if you were brought in by someone who was involved in the company for a week and then left — or someone who is also brand new — and their upline is also brand new, and THEIR upline is someone who you can’t seem to track down, then you have to take matters into your own hands. Do you know what you’re doing? I would be NOWHERE today, were it not for my sponsor in my first network marketing company. What’s lacking in most companies is the guarantee of consistent, quality support. You deserve a company with tailored, personal mentorship from day one, no matter what.
Most people are looking to get rich quick. It’s OK. You can admit it. Who wouldn’t want that? But anyone with half a brain knows that even if you have loads of passion and tons of support, it still takes some time. Not 40 years, but a few. You earn (great money) as you learn and grow. Ironically, a common story in network marketing is that lots of people reject this business model outright, because they think it sounds like a ‘get rich quick scheme.’ When they realize it’s a real business backed by a bunch of professionals, they decide to get started, and then — in a stunning turn of events — they discover it requires work, dedication, and patience! They take their leave, and are off to find the next bright, shiny object.
There is no clear-cut way to scale up. The typical network marketing company does not teach its distributors how to scale their business up, other than the typical: “teach your team to duplicate, duplicate, duplicate!” Duplication is great, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.
You look salesy, and it scares the crap out of people. For 99% of people, sales does not come naturally. They suck at it. They hate doing it. And do you know what? Most network marketing opportunities do not require even the slightest bit of sales background. It’s better if you have NONE, as a matter of fact, because network marketing is not all about selling stuff. But without proper coaching, some people can’t help but look like toothless carnies shouting at you to line up for a ride on the tilt-a-whirl (especially on social media). They look freakishly salesy. No one wants to do sales. No one wants to alienate their friends. So no one is going to join the team of someone who does nothing but pitch their products all day. Which brings me to the next reason why so many of these businesses never go anywhere:
Lots of people have the whole branding thing completely backwards. They’re sacrificing their image and destroying any hope of developing a personal brand, in favor of identifying themselves with a company that may already have made millions. And what’s the immediate, short-term goal/payoff? To sell some products that range in price from $7-$70 (and invite others to do the same). Umm…sounds pretty much NOT WORTH IT!!! Companies come and go. If your company closes its doors or you fall out of love with it, now you’re not Lily the Lush-Lash-Mama anymore. So who are you? Fortunately, this is an easy fix.
Cold market prospecting is scary. Cold market prospecting (barking up the tree of people you don’t know) is not for the faint of heart. ESPECIALLY if you’re doing it offline. It’s something you pretty much MUST be willing to do once you exhaust your warm market (the people you know). It takes loads of practice, you have to be prepared for anything, you have to have an impenetrable constitution when it comes to rejection, and even when you’re ‘seasoned,’ it can just plain suck. Especially if you finally get someone on the phone who is actually interested in what you have to say, only to have your four year-old interrupt your conversation by yelling from down the hall, “Mom! Come wipe my bum!” Aaawkwaaard…
Two words: target market. Do you even have a clue? Has anyone ever told you to identify your target market? Who are they, anyway? Hint: if your answer is, “Everyone,” you’re screwed.
Hitting up your family and friends is weird. The first thing you’re told to do when starting a business with a direct sales company is to go bark up the trees of your family and friends. Maybe they want to try some skin cream? Maybe they want to start their own potentially life-changing business. You’d be doing them a disservice if you didn’t tell them, right?! Perhaps they would like to host a party in their own home, and invite their own friends to come over and eat Doritos while you showcase your array of fashion jewelry? Or maybe host a ‘party’ on social media, and invite people on their friends list who they haven’t spoken with in over three years. And don’t forget the obligatory “You can show up in your PJ’s” line! There is so much weirdness here, I don’t even know where to begin. Basically, if they aren’t a part of your target market, then back off. Please don’t be weird. Just because you started a business, that doesn’t mean your friends and family are obliged to become customers, or are open to starting a business of their own, for crying out loud. I will say that hitting them up for referrals, provided you use the right language, is pretty legit. But for now, I’ll just move on…
If you treat it like a business, it will pay you like a business–NOT! This statement is meant to mean ‘don’t just dabble if you want to make the big bucks,’ which is sound advice. But if you take it at face value, it isn’t necessarily true. Most people who join direct sales companies have never had a business before, and can only guess what it means to treat this like a business. You may be the CEO of your business, but you have a long road ahead before you’re earning income on autopilot. I say, treat it like a job. Act as if you’re being monitored. You must produce. You can’t call in sick. Your livelihood depends on this. Treat it like a job UNTIL it pays you like a business. If you wake up on day six and say, “Meh, I’m a home business entrepreneur now, so I can take it easy today,” YOU’RE TOAST. And that leads me to the next point:
It can be challenging to shift from an employee mindset to that of an entrepreneur. This is another huge reason why so many people throw in the towel. Your network marketing company is probably not going to help you with this, and believe it or not, it’s incredibly important. The answer is, you do a shit-ton of personal development. You read books, you follow successful people, you journal, you visualize your goals coming to fruition (oh yeah, you have to set some goals), and you get laser-focused on your success. You fail fast and you fail often, and then you dust yourself off, take your kid to the playground, come home, de-louse yourself, and start fresh. You maintain your posture even though you know you’re going to face plenty of adversity and rejection. You detach yourself from the outcome of each individual encounter, and instead focus on the bigger picture. And, you have to actually want to do these things.
Most people lack a compelling vision. Everyone is told they need “a WHY that will make them cry.” I suppose that’s OK. But is it necessary? For the longest time, my why was that I couldn’t f***ing stand ironing. I wanted to hire it done. And if that’s my why, so be it! That was my ‘emblem of success’ – that I would send the laundry out! What I think is really meant most of the time by WHY is actually VISION. We all have a why that boils down to having more money, more consistently. Maybe even becoming financially independent. The question is, WHAT WILL THAT MONEY DO FOR YOU? How EXACTLY do you envision your life, once you are earning an extra $2000 per month? $5000 per month? $15,000? You must be specific. I’m certainly not going to get all misty-eyed about the possibility of hiring a professional laundry service. But when that is just one small piece of a big, beautiful picture, then yeah, I’ll be shedding tears of gratitude. What is your grand vision? If you’re not laser-focused on it, then you’ll lose the motivation to push ahead in your business. Unfortunately, crafting this detailed and compelling vision is not an exercise that most new business owners take the time to complete.
Fear of how you ‘might look.’ Please don’t let your fear of what other people think of you deter you from possibly having a deeply positive, life-changing impact on someone. It’s understandable that when starting a business, you are still guarded about your self-image. No one wants to experience rejection. But your belief in yourself and your venture does not require that everyone else believes in it. Six figures from now, you are not going to care about the person who may have looked at you like you were insane. That person has limiting beliefs that have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with his or her own life. I recently heard a statistic that 95% of people, by the time they reach 65, are either dead, broke, or still working. If you want different results, you have to do what the other 5% are doing. If you continue to do what you’ve always done, then you’ll continue to have what you’ve always had. Six figures from now, you are going to feel awesome, because you took a leap of faith, contacted people you were afraid to, and helped them transform their lives.
Fear of failure. You’re not feeling the whole entrepreneur thing yet when you feel this way, and that’s OK. You’re going to hit lots of stumbling blocks and sometimes fail at something outright. That’s what helps you grow. You can’t fail at the whole shebang unless you simply give up. And if you’ve got that vision we talked about, then you’d be crazy to do that. Entrepreneurs know that, more often than not, failure is a blessing in disguise.
Fear of success. You’ve heard of self-sabotage? Maybe the business starts to gain a little traction, and you’re experiencing some wins. But if you’re emotionally addicted to being average, or if struggle has become part of your identity because you dealt with it for so long, or if you don’t believe you are truly deserving of your successes, then it can be scary to think you’re leaving that ‘comfort zone’ of struggle and mediocrity (as weird as that may sound). This is actually quite common, and you must overcome it, otherwise your business will tank.
Lack of belief. You won’t ‘believe it when you see it.’ YOU WILL SEE IT WHEN YOU BELIEVE IT. Think about that. I saved this one for last, because it is the most powerful. 🙂
I could go on and on (clearly). I am glad you are here, and it would be my most sincere pleasure to help you get started and get your business rocking and rolling quickly. Whether you have been involved in a home business before or are just looking into it for the first time, I can assure you that you are in the right place. My business is set up in such a way that no one is left behind. The support and step-by-step direction is invaluable.
If you just want to chat or ask some questions, then add me on Facebook (and send me a message so I definitely know to accept your friend request). You don’t have time to screw around. You barely have time to brush your teeth. Let me help you do this once and for all, and make it count.