My good friend and mentor Tom Schrieter is famous for coaching this: “Every company has problems. Pick the one you want to have your problems with and marry them for life.”
A few years ago we recruited a couple into our business. They were supposed Network Marketing superstars, although they had not built in any company in over three years and had no residual income from any company in which they had built. Several of those earlier builds resulted in over 200,000 Distributors in their group. They obviously knew how to build … just not in the right company. So, finally they decided to build in ours.
They knew tons of disenfranchised Distributors. Great people who just needed a home.
We agreed on a strategy … No going after existing Network Marketing Field Leaders actively building in a Network Marketing company, and that I would participate in the conversations with the first wave of people they would prospect.
51 people flew into the corporate headquarters over a three month period. 51 experienced Networkers. 51 Leaders. 51 sets of dreams, all of whom even after multiple companies and an average of 15 years in the business, still had not found a home. I met with all 51. 50 enrolled. The one that didn’t was because I didn’t want him to (so I let him know that in not-so-subtle ways).
My part of the “pitch” was simple. I asked them to tell me their stories … from day one. What company did you first join, where, when, why and with whom? What was it about that company that attracted you and how did you do in building? Each story took 30-45 minutes depending on how “fascinated” I was.
As people talked about starting with company A, then moving on to B, then C, then D, etc., I would take notes. When they were done I would write each company in chronological order down on the white board in my office. In almost every case, the first company they joined was still in business and had far more success and credibility now than when they joined and quit. And then I would ask them the following questions:
- Where do you feel you would be in your life right now, this year, this month and this day had you just figured out how to stick it out with your first company?
- What would be your net worth compared to now?
- What would be your income?
- How would your health compare?
- How about your relationship with your spouse? Your friends? The rest of your family?
- How about your self-esteem and your credibility?
- How about the recreation, fun, travel and adventures that you might have been able to have the time and money for … how would those compare?
- How about your peace of mind and heart?
In EVERY case the person took on this subtle but powerful look of horror … of sickness in the realization of a couple of things:
- In almost every case the first company they joined was still in business and had far more success and credibility now than when they joined and quit.
- They left as a reaction to both a letdown in their current company and an empty, hyped up promise in a new or "shinier" company.
- They had wasted the better part of their Network Marketing life, which in most cases spanned decades … or their best years.
Picking the right company in which to build your Network Marketing Residual Income Empire is the most important decision you can make.
Most people choose their company based on who and what excites them in the moment … the promises they believe in the moment. Most people make mistake after mistake until their belief in the Network Marketing wealth-building concept is burned out of them and their credibility with their network is trashed. Whether it is after their first company or their tenth, they end up a statistic … road kill in the stampede for easy riches.
Here are a set of Values-Based questions that might support you in making a wise choice … one that will honor you for the next 50 – 100 years. Don’t answer how you think you SHOULD. Answer with what is your TRUTH. This is not a test. I am not going to grade your answers. You are.
1. What is more important to you?
The possibility of earning $20,000 a month for a few months or even a few years and then perhaps looking for a new and better opportunity or earning $5,000 a month for the next 50 years? Or $100,000 a month for a few years or $20,000 a month for the next 50? Are you sure? Depending on your answer you ought to look for a company on this scale:
Promises <------------------------------------------------> Longevity
How do you know a company will be here for the next 50 years? Based on what they tell you? Promises or based on what they have already done?
Promises are nothing more than Hype. Hype is marketing spin, promotion, claims and lots and lots of shiny objects. Fish like them. We know they are probably all not true … not exactly … maybe not at all, but we like hearing it. It helps us believe and we so want to believe.
What is more important to you: A product that is simple and easy to sell or a product that might change people’s lives … like really change it for the greater good? A product that you find cool and simple or a product that changed your life?
Are there any that do both? It’s as rare as 20-caret, perfect cut and color diamonds. If you feel like you found one, marry it.
Easy or impactful?
Easy <------------------------------------------------> Impactful
Culture is defined by a set of common values that are held up high and important to the group. Values that anchor every product introduced, every event, every program and every word written and spoken by the leaders of the group. Someone that does not subscribe to the culture can exist inside it but not comfortably and not successfully.
What is more important to you: To do your own thing, create your own culture, or none at all, operating in an environment where anything goes, or operating in an environment that has expectations based on a common set of values?
“Free for all” <------------------------------------------------> Culture
These are the three main considerations in picking a company … a company that might honor YOUR values. After all, building any Network Marketing Empire takes vision, motivation and lots of action over a sustained period of time … years. You might as well pick the best partner.
If and when you do or did get married, I don’t suppose the ladies would pick the first guy that drove up in a shiny new sports car offering to buy you one as well. Or you men wouldn’t have married the first lady that allowed you to touch her body. We met a lot of people, watched and listened to a lot of people before we got married. And if you have made a mistake in marriage, well you know all too well how important it is to your net worth, income, health and peace of mind to make a solid values-based choice next time.
If I were building again as a sales leader, this is what would be important to me … remember, just me. You may be different.
Because I hate starting over. I am not any good at starting over. It literally makes me ill. I like to know what to expect this year and next. I like seeing the same people at every event … new people as well, yes, but it gives me comfort seeing the top leaders over and over again and building on those relationships. I like seeing the same owner and knowing who he or she is and what they stand for. I like continuity. It makes me feel safe.
Because I want Residual Income. I want to build something once even if it takes me 4, 7 or 10 years. I want to know what I am building can withstand the test of time both in success and adversity. I want to be ABLE to retire and go sit on an island naked sipping a mojito and smoking a fine cigar. Not that I would, but I want that freedom.
What if something happens to me or a loved one and I cannot continue to build or lead my business? I want the security of knowing my income will continue. I want to be able to tell myself I am a multimillionaire with my $5,000 to 10,000 a month income, and if I get it up over $50,000 a month, be able to know I am a 10 million dollar man. I want the asset value that comes with pure residual income.
How will I know this company I am choosing will last?
I will look first at the ownership. Who owns it? What is their name? Where do they live? What else have they done in business, in life, in family, in Network Marketing? I will look for failure as well as success. We don’t learn much from success. We learn a lot from failure, especially if we get back up to pursue our vision. I will ask myself: Are they a Network Marketer? Do they believe in the concept of Residual Income? Do they bleed Network Marketing? Is it in their DNA?
If the owner is a nameless, faceless legal entity with profit as its core value, I will pass. Sooner or later “it” will likely sell me out.
I will look at the company’s track record. If it is new, the owner is of paramount importance as is cash. Starting a competitive Network Marketing company today requires millions of cash and that alone guarantees nothing. Which of these people have started Network Marketing companies that did not make it past 3 years? Pat Robertson of the 700 Club, Zig Ziglar or Ted Turner? Answer: All of them and 10,000 more. I will vastly prefer a company that is 7 years or older and is growing.
Which of these older proven companies are no longer growing: Nuskin, Herbalife, Shaklee, Amway, Forever Living Products? Answer: None. They are all growing. Amway in fact is doing a billion dollars a month now. Don’t believe the stigma Network Marketers put on the established companies. They kick all the shiny company’s asses and could buy and sell them in their sleep.
Why don’t you hear about the sales leaders in these companies? Why don’t you hear about how much they earn? They don’t have to tell you. They really earn it, tons of it. They don’t need you.
I want a product that people rave about, that people thank me for, that people swear changed their lives. I don’t mind mastering what it takes to educate and enroll people in the idea of it. I believe that is part of what a company is paying me millions to do.
I will look for a product line that has a chance of being relevant for as long as I want to earn my residual income … which for me is at least 50 more years. I don’t want to be 75 years old when all of a sudden my income runs out. I don’t want to be “invented” out of existence. I don’t want to sell anything technology or service-based that some 15 year old wunderkind will make obsolete in a few keystrokes of his computer.
I want a product that will change people’s lives so much so that they declare, “This is the best darn ____________ I have ever used. I see it. I feel it. And it is going to change how I function and how others see me for the rest of my life. On this day I declare I am a _________________man/women and I will never look at another option for this as long as I live.”
This is a life branding decision. People have been making these for centuries. Whether it is Ford Trucks or Folgers Coffee or Nutrilite Vitamins, these kinds of life branding decisions have a chance of lasting a lifetime.
I will look for a culture … an extreme culture that matches my values. I will look for honesty, integrity, vulnerability, fun, leadership, personal development and honor. When I say “extreme” I mean that I am looking for the culture to scream at the world who they are. I want that from the owner on down … everyone is held accountable to express the culture.
I want these rules. I want this order. It helps me become a better man. Let me loose for the rest of my life at Burning Man and I will explode in a burst of indiscretions. And I expect most people will. I want to be around people I can trust to protect me and my honor, to hold me accountable to do right.
And I want culture because it is essential for longevity of the organization. A culture that matches my values will fend off the cancer of greed and competition. All great societies were rich in culture. Everything else is just a frat party.
We belong to one of the greatest professions. And yet our lack of awareness about what is really important to us leads us to join just any shiny thing that is dangled in front of us. So many of us make our decisions this way that now there are far more shiny opportunities available than relevant ones. We have become our own worst public relations nightmare.
You will have an opportunity to change that in your own small way next time you are in a position to research and choose. Choose wisely my friend. Your life literally depends on it.