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One thing I love about a network marketing business

There is actually much to love about a network marketing business.  [If you are a reader of this blog, you’ll know that I use the terms “network marketing” and “direct selling” interchangeably – both are a business model that sells its products/services through an independent contractor/distributor base.]

In recent days I’ve come to the conclusion that the thing I love best about this industry is that it is not a respecter of age. Or race. Or religion. Or economic level. Or social status. Or education level. Or work experience.  It is an industry open to all who are willing to:

  • work hard
  • learn what they don’t know – be teachable
  • be coachable
  • be a follower…of a proven system of success [you don’t have to re-invent the wheel – why waste the time?]
  • dream BIG dreams – be willing to dust off the dreams you put in the back of the closet in that box marked “miscellaneous”

As a person with just such a business I love the time freedom of it.  I work out of the comfort of my home – right now I’m sitting on the sofa in my living room waiting for another half hour – I have a “date” to take my husband to lunch.  This is also one of the things I love about this type of business – I’m the boss so I decide when and where I work, how long I work and what I’ll do.  Since I’m committed to building an international business, I work a lot – but it is totally by choice.

I’ve been utilizing some online tools to build my business and am networking with people from all over the country.  What is so very cool about a direct selling business is that I don’t have to put limits on how old or young a person is – well, the one caveat is that they must be of legal majority in the state in which they live.  Depending upon the laws in any given state, a 16-year old can [with their parents’ participation] become an independent distributor.  Or, conversely, a 75-year old can start a business of their own.  Why not?  Anyone of any age can benefit from the income derived from such a business.  And anyone of any age can do this type of business.  How can I say that?

Many of the successful direct selling companies out there offer:

  • good support materials for promoting and growing your business
  • good systems for plugging into for support, training and inspiration for growing your business

With this type of business you are in business for yourself [an independent distributor] but you are not in business by yourself – you have a whole family of independent distributors within your company who are excited to welcome others into the excitement. And it is exciting.

There is no glass ceiling in this industry.  I am absolutely loving the fact that women can achieve however much success they desire with a business of their own in this industry.  And your product(s) doesn’t have to be cosmetics [I’m not being negative to cosmetics, it’s just I want to point out that makeup is not the only option open to women].  There are many types of products and services with which to build a successful business.  I have chosen a juice product.  Why?  I fell in love with it as a customer first.  I have great passion for this product.  Now I can marry my passion for the product with building my business.  Cool!

Another thing I absolutely love about the direct selling industry is that I don’t have to be a salesperson.  I don’t like sales.  What I do instead is to share. Just tell others about my product.  Some people are interested, some aren’t.  That’s okay.  There are 6+billion people on this planet.  I’m not worried.  For those interested I also share about the benefits of having a business of their own.  Again, some people are interested, some aren’t.  That’s okay.  In this type of business I’m not looking for a thousand people…I’m only looking for a few people who can dream BIG dreams, want more than their current income allows and would love this product.

So, okay…my initial beginning of saying that there is one thing I love about a network marketing business has evolved into several.  There is much to like.  It’s not a difficult business to start…and in many cases it’s not even expensive to start…and it’s not a difficult business to grow.

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Make a network marketing biz your Social Security

What’s Social Security anyway?  At  HowStuffWork’s  there is a great article that explains that Social Security “describes a program that uses public funds to provide a degree of economic security for the public….” 

This program was begun in 1935 and is now 74 years old.  Millions of people currently get Social Security benefits of one kind or another and millions more are hoping to in the years to come.  But, let’s look at that little definition again.

  • it is a government program that uses public funds
  • its stated purpose is to provide a degree of economic security
  • it is for the public

A government-run program that uses public funds for the public’s use.  Here’s the kicker : it only is meant to provide a degree of economic security.  It’s my thought that Social Security was never meant to be the entire economic security of a person or a family.  I don’t think it was meant to provide the only money coming into a household. 

I’ll tell you this from firsthand knowledge, in many cases the monthly allotment is not enough to house, clothe, feed and provide health care for an individual.  Before my mom retired, she worked for a property management company that managed government subsidized housing.  Many of the residents were on fixed incomes…provided by their Social Security checks.  There were people whose entire monthly income was $500.  That’s it.  Even with the subsidy on the housing, it was extremely difficult for these people to provide their most basic needs.  After her retirement, my mom’s fixed Social Security income was about $1100.  That’s it.  She, too, then lived in subsidized housing and because her income was so limited, had to make very hard choices.  Her health issues took up much of her income so she would often have to put off repairs to her car or gifts for the grandkids.    I wish she had lived long enough to join me in my business.

This degree of economic security is just not enough anymore.  What if you were to provide your own Social Security?  Might not be that pension fund you thought you had.  I know of people whose pension funds disappeared last year when the economy in the U.S. had its meltdown.  There is no nestegg.   You might think you will be able to stay in your job until you’re 65 or 70 years old.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Many companies have downsized and eliminated positions or laid off workers…there is no such animal as job security anymore.  And, even if you did work until age 70…if you were to live into your 90’s, that’s over 20 years of housing, food, health care, transportation, clothing, gifts for the grandkids and lifestyle choices still be paid for.

There is an answer.  A network marketing business, run from your own home, in your own time, can build to a point that it provides passive residual income that will give you the Social Security – that degree of economic security – you’ll need as you age and stop working at a job or career.

A network marketing business, or direct selling income opportunity, is a great way to:

  • bring in extra money now to help pay immediate expenses
  • bring in money to purchase the extras your salary just can’t manage
  • build an income stream that will see your financial future secured…without needing to wonder if the government’s Social Security program can sustain your future lifestyle
  • have freedom: financial freedom, freedom of choice

You don’t need prior business experience.  You don’t need specialized knowledge.  All you really need is a capacity to be teachable, a willingness to work hard [which you probably do already in your current job or career] and the desire to provide your own financial answers, your own financial security.  There are wonderful direct selling companies out there who are doing billions of dollars, earning their independent distributors good income, offering great products and are available around the world.  Find a product you can be comfortable telling someone else about.  Join that product’s direct selling company and learn from those who sponsor you and use the training they offer [most offer incredible tools and training] and build your own business from the comfort of your own home.

  • *if you have an interest in the nutritional, functional beverage industry – which is a trillion dollar industry – then I invite you to send me an email and ask for information.  I’m currently working to build an international business.   The direct selling company for which I’m an independent distributor is offering free enrollment through the rest of 2009.  Now is the time.]

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Scrapbooking, both big and small business

img_0618This past Friday I attended a  Scrapbook Expo  at the fairgrounds in my area.  I’m new to this method of memory keeping and wanted to see what all the fuss was about, see what different options there are in types of materials and supplies and see what this niche market is doing in this economy to keep on its feet.  It was a very fun day and very well attended.   I enjoyed it so much that I invited my daughter to attend one this fall in Sacramento, CA.

What I discovered is that Scrapbooking is a BIG business.  There were many vendors…so many it took me the entire img_0616day just to visit each booth once.  A good number of the vendors offered a “make and take” project at their booth which gave visitors the opportunity to use their products and take home a sample.  Some of the projects were free of charge, others had costs from $1 to $4…I only saw one or two with a cost more than $4…and the projects were really cool!  I learned alot just sitting at the tables at the booths and working with the materials and talking with other customers and the vendors.  As to whether the current economy is hurting this niche market is unknown to me, but from what I could see superficially was that people were buying products, paying for workshops, paying to do the “make and takes,” spending money on food and beverages…not to mention the entrance fee and parking fee.  And there were hundreds of people there.

img_0617I also discovered that Scrapbooking is an interesting small business.  There were several vendors there representing companies who offer home-based income opportunities…you can become an independent consultant with that company and earn money by selling their scrapbooking products, holding “crops” and other types of events where scrapbookers can get together.  Three of the booths I remember offhand [I’m sure there were more] were  Creative Memories  , Heritage Makers  and  Close to My Heart  [I’m not endorsing these opportunities, just mentioning them].

This morning I listened to a documentary-type video made by someone who is an independent distributor with the company I’m associated with and what he said really rang true…a network marketing business is just about the only vehicle that offers the potential for financial freedom.  What this opportunity meant for him and his young family was time.  He now has the freedom to choose how he spends his time each day…and one of his goals was to be able to have that choice of spending much time with his children.

A network marketing opportunity – or direct selling opportunity – same/same…can give you leverage.  Time and financial leverage to make the choices of life that you want.  Do you want:

  • to abolish the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workweek?  Or more realistically the 60-80 hour work week?
  • to have the joy of attending your children’s sporting events and other activities no matter what day of the week or time of day?
  • to have the ability to choose to take your family on vacation anywhere in the world?
  • to have the ability to pay off your mortgage and own your home outright?
  • to be able to help your family, neighbors and friends who are financially hurting right now?

All this and more is realistically possible with a home-based network marketing income opportunity.  Scrapbooking is but one niche.  Nutritional juice products are another huge niche doing quite well [this is my niche]; there are other products/companies out there right now whose independent consultant/distributors/contractors ranks are swelling because so many people need to bring in extra money.  And, yes, there really are customers out there for your product…including yourself.  It truly isn’t complicated.

Take a look for yourself.  Choose a product you like and do a search engine search for that product plus the words “income opportunity” and see what comes up.  Or take a look at mine by clicking on the “My MonaVie Business Website” in the business links to the right of this blog page.  Join the population who are taking a measure of control of their financial lives by adding the potential a home-based income opportunity offers.

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Direct Selling is viable income option

Are you looking for a viable income option?  Are you among the millions who have lost their jobs over the past year?  In California are you one of the 20,000 who are being laid off ?  Has your income been cut  because your work week has been reduced from 5 days to 4?  Has your company been bankrupted – and with the closing of the company’s locations was yours among the thousands of  jobs lost? – Circuit City is a case-in-point.

The big question for “every day people” is: how are you going to make ends meet?

The answer is: find income.

One place is in the direct selling industry.

Over the weekend, sitting on our driveway next to the newspaper [wrapped in a clear plastic bag due to the rain] was a clear plastic bag protecting an Avon company catalog.  On the front cover are the words:

  • “…Take Control of Your Finances…Join Today…Make More Money in 2009….”

On the back cover are a few testimonials to the value of being an Avon representative and the wording:

  • “…Why not you, why not today? For more information on the Avon direct selling opportunity, contact the Avon Representative who gave you this brochure….”

I’m not a representative of the Avon company, I’m an independent distributor for a nutritional juice product, but my point is that Avon asks the right question: “…Why not you, why not today?”  Direct Selling is a very real, totally viable option for bringing in needed income. 

With a direct selling opportunity, you are your own business person: you set your hours; you decide how much you will work –parttime, fulltime, evenings, weekends; and with the variety of direct selling income opportunities available, you can find a product or product selection that you can get excited about. 

You can learn to sell – actually what you learn to do is to communicate and relate to people.  I don’t “sell” my product to anyone, I tell them about it, let them try it and then provide them with a vehicle – my business – to purchase it.  I build relationships.  Direct Selling is relationship marketing.  The key to direct sellingis that the products sold can only be purchased through independent distributors/representatives/consultants of those products.  You can’t go to a WalMart and find it on the shelves.  This makes the products unique and valuable.

So, you might ask, how do you find these direct selling opportunities?  Well I just told you about two good ones, the Avon company and mine [just email me for information].  You can go to directselling411.com and access the member directory and find a huge listing of product categories and countries and then search for companies.  Then look up those companies and do your due diligence.  You can do internet search engine searches; you can ask friends and relatives.  Once you start looking you’ll be amazed at how huge the direct selling industry is. 

Help yourself and the economy by joining the positive side of commerce: earn income, spend it wisely.

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What my parrot’s nutrition has to do with my business

George

George

Four and a half year-old George – a Double Yellow-Head Amazon Parrot – has been in our family since he was 6 months old.  He’s amazingly intelligent, independent and loving. And curious.  And mischievious.   And, yes, he talks – a lot – and sings

But what does his nutritional habits have to do with my business?  In this photo George is chowing down on his morning serving of green leaf lettuce.  Some mornings he’ll eat only part of the leaf, other mornings none at all…but some mornings he’ll eat two full leaves.  The interesting thing is that he’ll only eat the dark green leaves…and they have to be fresh and crisp.  [I’m the only person at my local grocery store who buys lettuce based on the quality that her parrot demands.]
George’s diet includes a variety: a daily serving of dried biscuit-like food and only a tiny amount of seeds and nuts – parrots are even more susceptible to the dangerous effects of fats in their diet than are humans.  He also gets a dish of fresh vegetables and some fruit.  His favorite vegetables are English pea pods, fresh green beans and asparagus; celery, lettuce, thawed frozen peas, fresh corn on the cob, fresh acorn squash, even pumpkin and he loves butternut squash.  He’ll try other vegetables from time-to-time.  This bird has a “sweet beak” for fruit – but for his own health we do limit the amount.  His favorite fruits on the planet are blueberries…he will purr in delight as he eats them.  He loves Washington Red Apples [only Washington Reds]; he loves manadarin oranges [whole ones, he likes to peel them], he’ll try strawberry once in a while, pear, papaya, mango and other fruits I buy in summer.  Although he’s not a fan of the melons: watermelon or cantaloupe.
His diet sounds nearly perfect doesn’t it?  He eats better – more nutritionally – than most people.  Minimally, we humans should be getting either 5-7 or 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  Do we?  Are you?  It’s not as easy as you would think.   I have to admit that my little family eats more nutritionally since bringing George into our family than before.  But it’s hard to stretch the food budget in this economy.
One of the reasons I started the direct selling home-based business I did was for the product.  My product is a nutritional fruit juice.  It has such a variety of fruits in it that I am confident I’m getting at least what I need in fruit every day from my morning glass of juice.  It’s one of the selling points of my product for customers that they can help their nutritional needs by drinking this juice.  It makes me feel good knowing that my product helps people’s overall wellness regimen.
There are many home-based business opportunities to choose from.  If you are interested in starting a home-based business – and there are many reasons to start one now in this economy – check out those whose products help with wellness.  Just a suggestion.

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2 sure-fire ways to kill your home-based business

Doubt and Inaction.  The two fastest and deadliest ways to kill your home-based business.

Let me ask you a question: are you your business’ #1 fan?  Do you use your own product?  Do you talk about how wonderful it is?  Do you buy it, use it, buy it again on a continuous basis?  If not, why not?  How will you expect anyone else to want your product if you don’t use it and be excited about it?  I think that if you aren’t your product’s #1 fan it is because you doubt its value.

Doubt will kill your business.  It will cause you to second-guess yourself and rob you of opportunities to succeed.

Replace doubt with positive thinking“At the beginning of any task, more than anything else, your attitude will affect its successful outcome.” Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey Gitomer also says, “In business, your positive thoughts and lifestyle choices lead to your personal success and your career success.”

Which leads me to the 2nd business killer…inaction.  I know of people who have a home-based business and they complain that their business is not growing.  They complain that they have no customers.  A close look at their business reveals why: they aren’t doing any activities that would generate business.  You actually have to do something to achieve success.

Yes, believing in yourself, your product and business is important.  Having a positive attitude is important.  But if you are not pairing that up with action…you’ll just spin your wheels and dig a rut.  You actually have to talk.  You have to share.  You have to communicate.  You may have to travel.  You have to give presentations.  You have to make it known that your product is awesome and if people want to try it they must purchase some through you – then you must tell them how to do that.  If someone expresses interest in your business you actually have to follow-up with them…call them.  Not once, maybe not even twice…follow-up until you and they are satisfied that all the questions have been answered.

Having a home-based business is challenging…but you won’t stand a chance of meeting those challenges unless you banish doubt and inaction.

*As a demonstration of what I mean…I have a home-based businessI am my product’s #1 fan – I buy it, I drink it, I buy it again…continuously.  In fact, my mornings are not complete unless I have my glass of MonaVie.  Yes there are other very good nutritious juice products out there…I happen to love MonaVie, believe in its nutritional value and wouldn’t think of starting my day without it.  It energizes me.  I tell everyone about MonaVie because I want people to know there are choices in this niche market and that my product is a valuable one.

I also love to tell people about the MonaVie income opportunity.  I love to give presentations and show people how they can get involved.  If I didn’t think the potential for serious income was real I wouldn’t waste my time…I’d just be a customer.  But I have the best of both worlds – a wonderful nutritious juice and a valuable home-based income opportunity.

I have no doubt about my business; I’m with MonaVie for life.*

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Keys to a successful direct selling business

Magic belongs in the world of Harry Potter and other works of fantasy and fiction.  There is no such thing as magically building a successful direct selling business. [Direct Selling, Network Marketing, Multi-Level Marketing…however you label it]  However, there are KEY elements.

The Direct Selling industry is an industry best described by the communities it builds.  It is a relationship building business.  The basic skeleton of a direct selling business begins with a single person…the independent distributor or contractor.  It involves sales of product or sales of service.  One relationship is retail...business person to end consumer.  Another relationship is sponsorship-you show another person how to start their own business.  The uniqueness of this model is that you are their sponsor, but they have their own unique business.  The business model builds in incentives to make both retail sales attractive [direct retail profit] and to make sponsorship attractive [commissions and bonuses on combined group sales].

So what are the KEYS to success in a direct selling business?

*Having a BIG dream…a BIG why to start a business in the first place – is it more time to spend with family?  Are you working so many hours a day to make income that your children are asleep when you leave in the morning and asleep when you arrive home at night?  How many school events have you missed because you have to be at work?  Is it income enough to be able to send your children to college?  Is your current income inadequate to meet the needs of caring for both yourself and elderly parents?  Is “retirement”  a word that strikes fear because there is no 401k secure enough or big enough to meet future needs such as longterm healthcare, or being able to stay at your current level of lifestyle or to travel and see the world before you’re too old?  Are there local and global causes that sit on your heart but you’re unable to help because you either don’t have the time or the money or both? 

*Staying focused.  The direct selling industry impacts people’s lives.  The company for which I’m an Independent Distributor, has a corporate goal – the goal of its leadership – to be a $20 billion company in 20 years.  Well, it has already surpassed $1 billion in sales…did that in just a little over 3 years.  No other company has ever done that.  Stay focused on the dream. 

*Think long-term.  Be persistent.  The Direct Selling industry utilizes the idea of compounding…I alone do this much, but if I build a community of business owners, together we do this much…there is power in compounding.  I wantmy downline sponsored community to succeed.  I want them to meet their goals…why wouldn’t I?  Together we do more than any of us could do alone.  Think 2 to 5 years, not “be rich overnight.”  Here’s a question: if you started a direct selling business today and it took 3 years to grow financially to the point where you could retire on the residual income [which will continue to grow] will it have been worth the time spent?  If you stay in your current situation will you have financial security in that same 3 year time period? 

*Delay gratification.  The Direct Selling business is not an instant gratification, you’ll-make-a-million overnight business.  It is a business of building relationships one person at a time.  Whether you meet that person face-to-face or you meet that person via the internet, you still take the time and effort to build a solid relationship, a solid foundation for future success.  The beauty of the Direct Selling business model is that the delay in gratification may only be months or a couple years….rather than the 30 years of a traditional employee paycheck job. 

*Do your business.  Don’t exhaust yourself thinking about your business…get activeTalk to peopleSmile, and when someone asks you why you look so happy…tell them.  Share with people the benefits of your product or service.  Do your business, don’t just think about it.

*Persist.  Finish what you start.  Keep your vision of your future in front of you.

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