Network Marketing – A Model For Future Business?

Emerging Opportunities
Kingston, Ontario

Network Marketing


Our Thursday blogs are dedicated to a discussion of the network marketing industry, what it is, and what it may offer as a model for the future economy. We welcome comments and debate!

Network marketing is a six decade old industry which, in terms of the life of an industry, makes it not much more mature than a teenager – and like most teenagers – it is incredibly misunderstood. It is a model we want to pay a great deal of attention to because we think it has a great deal to offer for emerging marketing methods.

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler


Is the concept of network marketing totally new to you?”

Are you currently building a business with a network marketing company?”

“Are you inspired and hopeful about the possibilities network marketing holds for taking responsibility for your future?”

“Were you involved with a network marketing company in the past and maybe something didn’t ‘feel right’ for you or maybe you got involved but you didn’t get the results you had hoped for or expected? If ANY of the above apply to YOU – this BLOG is for you!

If you have never been involved with network marketing – congratulations, you are discovering the industry at the most exciting time of its six decade history – this BLOG is for you.

If you are in the network marketing industry and loving it – hang on – you are about to love it even more as we paint a picture of how it will look in the next six decades – this BLOG is for you!

It also means, if you have at one time been involved in network marketing and felt hopeful about your future but left the industry disappointed, disheartened or discouraged – there is hope – we understand. We have seen and experienced it all – so this BLOG is definitely for you.


Network marketing, in its purest conceptual form, was intended to be the most ethical marketing model in the free enterprise system. It is about “people helping people.”

“When you help enough people to get what they want – you will get what you want.” – Zig Ziglar

But somewhere along the way, that ethical vision became distorted, either deliberately by some corporations, or by the sales leaders in those corporations, or, by some overly enthusiastic individuals who saw dollars and profit above ethics and people.

However it occurred, the distortion of networking as a business model, was unfortunately created not only in the minds of those who bought into it and failed to succeed, but also in the eyes of industry onlookers, giving the industry an ill-deserved negative reputation. Half-truths, personal frustrations, victim-based comments (it wasn’t my fault – there is something wrong with the company, industry, the leaders, etc”) perpetuated by those unhappy participants, their friends and relatives; or other onlookers, without fully investigating fact and fiction, made it difficult at times for the industry to be recognized for its true value.


In spite of the purity of its intention, network marketing has, all too often, been confused with illegal pyramid schemes, sullied by ‘get-rich-quick shysters’ who set up companies knowing they could grab quick profits, and then disappear, leaving “Joe the Plumber”, with broken dreams and a garage full of products.

Even in many of the wonderful, legitimate companies, the conceptual model suffered, as it became institutionalized. By institutionalizing, we refer to those leaders who came into the industry from traditional business encumbered with ‘baggage’ containing ways of doing business in the profit-driven western model which was never meant to be part of the network marketing model. Profits yes, but not at the expense of the people and relationships. Network marketing is a relationship-based model.


Traditional methods of building a business based on power, control, win/lose, “climb the ladder at any cost” and attitudes of competition driven by scarcity thinking all too often found a home with many network marketing companies. These traditional business leaders shifted the relationship focus of the company. They, all too often, became profit-driven centers, first and foremost… promoting not JUST profits but a quick way to make profits with very little or no effort. They were selling false hopes – not a business building model through which you could aspire to your hopes and dreams.

The language and marketing methods often became male-dominated, in spite of the high percentage of female participants. Network marketing became an industry, all too reminiscent of other western industries – one that was not totally open and honest with its constituents about its practices, successes or failures.


In the middle of 2008, the world began to see the problems associated with business practices based on consumption, deception and over-emphasis on profits. What seemed like a financial issue limited to the United States and the subprime fiasco, soon rolled over to the global financial community revealing corruption and insatiable greed. When great, seemingly impenetrable, financial institutions began to crumble, the world was shocked, and business at all levels became nervous.

This economic crisis has created the opportunity to embrace new and emerging business models of which we contend network marketing holds a winning key. The world will undergo great changes in business practices as a result of this financial meltdown. So too, will network marketing, when it lets go of any practices that detract from relationships and trust, and promotes abundance, interconnectedness, consciousness and hope for all. All living systems need to evolve to survive. SUCCESSFUL corporations are living structures. Network marketing is a living structure – it, too, needs to evolve to survive. It is well-suited to the structure of the Enlightened Organizations of the future.


Organizational Behaviour Consultant
Imagine Your Soul Abundant: Attracting Success, Fulfillment and True Happiness
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