Avoid The Network Marketing Hustlers, Surround Yourself With Quality And Substance

Here’s my Jaguar, but so what? The story

network marketing: trends, tools, teachers & paths

OUR GOAL FOR YOU

My colleague, Judy Berg wrote an outstanding article here today, People Do not Dislike Network Marketing,They Dislike Network Marketers!

I have encouraged her to share specifics with our readers from her wealth of personal experience and success in network marketing. And it looks like we’re starting to be treated to her thoughts and wisdom.

It prompted me to offer this follow-up discussion.

WHY ARE HONORABLE NETWORK MARKETING FIRMS SHROUDED IN MYSTERY?

There are outstanding companies, some with billions of dollars in annual sales, that only sell their quality products through independent distributors or consultants. Their management, finance, IT and R&D are as good as other major corporations.

They are viable options for someone looking to build their own business and create residual income from their efforts without having to create their own products and start the entire business from scratch.

But for whatever reason that I will never understand, most of these corporations have refused to advertise and explain themselves and network marketing to the general public. They focus only on communicating with their distributors, strangely preferring to let their distributors do all public communications, advertising and marketing for them.

So they remain cloaked in mystery to the average person. And so does the network marketing industry as a whole. Consumers remain confused, and everyone looking to define their career path, develop a side income, or change careers in mid-stream is done a disservice. If you try to understand network marketing, to decide if it worthy of your working life, and to learn enough to commit to it, you encounter a minefield littered with mis-information and hustlers.

INFORMATION TO FILL A CRITICAL NEED

In this year’s chaos of economic and social transition, millions of people will look for an oasis of calm, information they can trust, and a new path to support their families.They will need to find new, short-term income and long-term careers, not to be hustled out of their limited resources.

Our focus at Thinking Big Works is on the positive. The site presents who we are, what we represent, how we think, what we believe, and what we are committed to achieve. Each week it, hopefully, offers more information and incentive to others to believe in themselves and to succeed in their lives while bettering their families and communities.

Just as we’re providing resources for corporations to implement their own effective research, planning and marketing, and not just hire us, we’re also not selling people to join our downlines or become our affiliates.

We aim to provide useful information and insights based on decades of corporate, government, and entrepreneurial marketing experience. This includes, (but is far from limited to) network marketing and Internet-based marketing.

BE POSITIVE BUT WITH YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN

We are all being bombarded by the hucksters, both for multilevel marketing and Internet-based marketing.

They are the “experts” who will teach you how to make big, easy money like they have. They prey on the common desire to win the lottery, to make millions with little work and retire in luxury.

They have the mile-long web pages with photos of themselves leaning against their Rolls Royces, telling you they can train you to follow in their admirable footsteps. (Seeing a few more of these sites this week prompted me to include the above photo with this article. See the story below.) Most of us legitimately want to be compensated well for our time and effort. But I have a hard time imagining the CEO of General Electric flaunting his wealth in an ad to convince you to come work for them or buy from them.

A lot of the self-promoting “experts” use a network marketing approach, or an online affiliate marketing model, selling you their “opportunity”, maybe renting you their hot prospect lists and/or offering to market to their hot lists on your behalf, etc.

God bless them. May they succeed in their dreams, but may they do it without hustling you.

I cringe every time I hear another story of garages filled with products and discouraged, “failed” network marketers – because it was more profitable to build the downline than to sell the product and service the customers.

In the midst of this din, there are real companies with valuable products and services. There are valid and useful techniques to build a profitable business – if that is your desire. There are real network marketing millionaires and “thousandaires”. The majority are sincere, even phenomenal people, who will mentor you, who will care about you and your success, who may become your true friend. These are the companies and people you should want to find and work with.

I look forward to Judy’s next installment and our ongoing conversation.

YOUR INSIGHTS AND ISSUES MATTER TO US

Do you have hard-earned experiences to share? Do you have questions as you try to understand if network marketing is for you? Please leave a comment or question.

Sincerely,
David VanAmburg

The story of the photo above

We all have dreams that we visualize, then work to realize. For many, cars symbolize success, for other they are status symbols. At one point in my business career, I drove a white van. I was strongly advised by a fellow businessman that I was not projecting the right image. He was correct – because we are all influenced by visual cues. So I acquired a Black Saab 9000 Turbo, and absolutely enjoyed it for 220,000 miles before passing it on to someone who loved it for another 80,000 miles.

For classic car aficionados, autos provide a link to the past or an appreciation of design beauty. I fell in love with Austin Healeys as a youth and ultimately learned how cars work by restoring a few through ground-up restorations, one part at a time.

The picture above is of a 1976 Jaguar XJ6L that currently sits in my garage. Because I have that car doesn’t mean I am more or less successful than the next person. It just means that I love cars and the lines of this particular one, and that I have transferred some of my work into cash and then into this vehicle.

Be careful what images you accept from others. The folks displaying the biggest houses and most expensive jewelry may not be wealthy at all. They may or may not be the people you want to influence you and to allow into your inner circle.

My personal rule of thumb is that I only want to acquire tools that are toys, and toys that are tools. I am going to spend a lot of time with each, so if it’s mechanical or electronic, I want to know how it works – how to take it apart and put it back together.

Each should be functional and most should enable me to make money or to create (e.g., musical instruments). I guess I never understood acquiring collections of knick knacks.

I want to know that I can afford to purchase and maintain it, when I expect to pass it on and that it will be resalable if that is my goal.

And who needs all that stuff anyway? It will age and break and collect dust, and attach itself to you, and call for your attention and maintenance. It’s only stuff.

Collect only what you lovewhat really fulfills you, makes you feel better about yourself, motivates and helps you to fulfill your destiny. Napoleon Hill’s story of the expensive suit comes to mind. He had a friend who dressed only in suits that cost thousands of dollars each (in the 1930s, folks). He once jokingly asked if his friend would pass them on to Mr. Hill when he replaced them. The friend replied something to the effect of, “They would do you no good. My internal vision of myself is much different that yours. When I clothe myself in these suits, I feel that I can accomplish anything. For you to purchase such expensive items would be a waste of your money. For you to wear hand-me-downs would be demeaning to your sense of self.”

I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably repeat myself again. If you want to really learn from someone who earned millions, lost them, and earned them again, it won’t cost you a penny. Download the PDF version of my favorite Napoleon Hill book, Think and Grow Rich. Or give some just royalties to the Napoleon Hill Foundation and purchase the paperback – Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller. Think about his concept of wealth. Just read it. Thanks.

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4 Responses to “Avoid The Network Marketing Hustlers, Surround Yourself With Quality And Substance”

  1. JudyBerg Says:

    Your comments are very insightful David.

    I find it interesting that your favorite book of all time was, "Think and Grow Rich", and I was delighted when we first met to see an original print copy in your library.

    This book is the primer for most network marketers because it really emphasizes the importance of our state of mind for success. That awareness is so much of what we want to achieve in our communications through this website. The fact you are an economist by education, and fell in love with this book in your traditional businesses, is an imporntat insight into what is necessary for success in network marketing, is exactly what is important for success in any other type of business.

    And the exciting thing about network marketing is that, it is the place where you will be given free mentoring on these concepts and transferable skills. Robert Kiyosaki alludes to this network marketing advantage in his book, "The Business School for People Who Like Helping People."

  2. JudyBerg Says:

    Your comments are very insightful David.

    I find it interesting that your favorite book of all time was, "Think and Grow Rich", and I was delighted when we first met to see an original print copy in your library.

    This book is the primer for most network marketers because it really emphasizes the importance of our state of mind for success. That awareness is so much of what we want to achieve in our communications through this website. The fact you are an economist by education, and fell in love with this book in your traditional businesses, is an important insight into what is necessary for success in network marketing, is exactly what is important for success in any other type of business.

    And the exciting thing about network marketing is that, it is the place where you will be given free mentoring on these concepts and transferable skills. Robert Kiyosaki alludes to this network marketing advantage in his book, "The Business School for People Who Like Helping People."

  3. JudyBerg Says:

    Just also wanted to comment on the "shroud of mystery" that the industry has taken on as it "mode of operation" that you refer to in your article.,

    Amway is a pioneer in the industry. A few months ago, they launched a massive prime time television and print ad campaign explaining their roots and who they are with a catchy close…"and now you know."

    Recently, I see they are now advertising one of their main product lines, "Artistry" – their makeup line on prime time television. Perhaps they are showing that after 6 decades they are still going to be the leaders in innovation.

  4. David VanAmburg Says:

    Thanks, Judy.

    Before getting in (or after if you didn't take this step first), investigate and understand the top 20 network marketing firms – what they sell, the differences in their compensation plans, what your real investment needs to be, etc.

    For anyone trying to understand network marketing, Wikipedia offers a fairly balanced history of Amway, its mistakes and tribulations, and its current resurgence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amway.

    While it was out-of-control Amway distributors who caused some of the tsunami awareness among the public that if anyone walks in your house and pulls our a blank pad of lined yellow paper, get up and run. It's an Amway ambush trying to talk you into joining their downline.

    It got so bad they had to change their name. (Now they're returning to the original name, which is a wise move because of the universal awareness of Amway.)

    Yet I've known some extremely successful Amway reps, great people who realized quality products and represented the company with integrity. One friend was a GE manager who earned $30,000 a year on the side, then $70,000. When he reached $150,000, he decided to retire from his day job.

    The key to any job or business is to understand it intimately – BEFORE jumping in. Understand the industry first. If you choose network marketing, get involved only in a business that sells products you know and love. Select the company based on its reputation, its competitors, its inner workings – NOT simply on someone telling you how great it is and how much you can make.

    If you don't, shame on you.

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