Tag Archives: Small business

The vulnerability factor – MLM can change your life, not just your income.

Standard
IMG_7044

Put yourself out there. Risk and find reward.
Photo credit: Gary Trent Photography

Whenever I see a site or post about Multi-level Marketing(MLM), the common theme goes something like this: “Make your dreams come true!  Make more money than you ever imagined possible! Own your life!”

OK, let’s examine. I am all for owning my life. I work in the Canadian healthcare system. I am subject to union negotiations and that alone is enough to drive anyone into the land of entrepreneurship. Yes please, it would be nice to have some control.

Make my dreams come true. Huh. What dreams? You mean the dreams of just making it through the week and ending up with enough money to pay our debts AND have a little left for dinner out? Are those dreams? Because if not, then I know not that of which you speak. Wow…really sad, but true. What the heck ARE my dreams?

Make more money than I ever imagined possible through MLM. Well, easy enough because I really did not think you could make more than $300-$500 a month selling a product by word of mouth advertising. So any more than that is more than I imagined!

After only 6 months working as an Arbonne Independent Consultant, I truly believe all the above statements are entirely possible. However, these things cannot be achieved simply by ‘joining in’ with a company and just letting everyone know. You can buy into the product a little or a lot, but the more you spend on you initial purchase STILL does not determine how well you will do as a consultant or how well you learn to ‘own your life’.

When we step out on a limb and start a new business, we are putting ourselves ‘out there’. We become subject to criticism from all angles. This is an extremely vulnerable position. Some people cannot manage feeling so exposed. They cannot tolerate the repetitive sound of ‘No’ when the offer of their product or business is declined. They react to hearing no and the resultant feeling of shame by getting aggressive, or simply losing faith in the business as a whole. They quit and walk away, making sure to tell every single person they encounter what a ‘scam’ MLM is.

Timing can be vital. Personality is key. Are you the kind of person that has the confidence to withstand hearing ‘No’ again and again? I personally loved the analogy of the waitress/waiter offering coffee to diners.  They are employed to walk around to each table and ask that complex question: “Coffee?” If you tell them “No thanks.”, do they get upset? Do they feel rejected? Do they question whether they are truly made out to be servers? No, of course not. They ask again and again unfailingly. They circulate and play the numbers game, surely SOMEONE is going to want coffee? If you treat your business the same, asking everyone and simply moving on without an emotional reaction when you hear ‘No’, you can succeed.

This is a simple concept, but when we examine the strength of character required for this persistence, it is NO wonder that 90% of attempted MLMers fail. Show yourself some compassion. Allow some time to read, learn and study how to succeed in this business before you judge it. Do you really believe in yourself and your ability to create a successful business? Do you really believe that the products are outstanding and have a unique solution to your clients problems? Do you understand and believe in the model of multi-level marketing? Do you believe in your company and their values?

You MUST have concrete belief in yourself, your company, your product and the dynamic system of MLM to succeed. The ability to create something fresh and new that is entirely your own places you out front and centre. As vulnerable as it gets. Embrace this space of fear and push through. Allow your mistakes to become your pivot points, turning you toward your goals daily.

To understand the structure and goals of Multi-level Marketing…read The 45 Second Presentation That Will Change Your Life by Don Failla.

For a simple explanation of how MLM works, fill out the contact form below and I will email you some fantastic reading material free of charge!

The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Out on a limb.

Standard

PENTAX Image

The spirit of an entrepreneur. Is it possible that it exists intrinsically everyone? The brutal truth is ‘no’, it is not in all of us, but in some it lies dormant like a sleeping dragon.

Many of us grow up hearing the same phrases, repeatedly echoing from the mouths of elders. “Go to school. Work hard. Get a good job.” That is success. This is the dream. This is as far as they want or expect you to reach. In truth, now that I am a Mother myself, I can empathize! Perhaps they are  just trying to keep us safe. They want us off the street. They want us to be able to feed ourselves, pay our mortgages and put clothes on our back. Our parents want to know that if they were not around, that we will be ok. It is understandable. Many a respectable life is led this way.

There are a rare few mentors though, that have the sense to inspire a little more. Or perhaps, the entrepreneurial spirit is burning stronger in others by nature. The need to work outside of the basic rules and framework established by school, job, school and then (hurray!) career. Energy and inspiration seems to burn aflame in these fantastic folk. They persist and keep reaching every day for what they want, ‘rules’ be damned! They fail. A lot. But they just keep on going! ‘No’ does not resound harshly and deflating to these ambitious types. It just means not yet, keep going.

Of course, the spirit may move us conventional types later on in our lives too. In my case in particular, the shift was unintentional, unexpected and subtle. I keep reading a quote that inspires me. “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where all the fruit is.” It now has a permanent place on my vision board. A vision board is a fantastic tool for those of us in transition. We are just babies when it comes to following dreams. Vision boards are our baby walkers…helping us to form the permanent ability to walk and then run on our own. Dreaming and pursing those dreams becomes a daily habit, not a random act when you get frustrated with your job.

Psychologically speaking, not every human is capable of thinking this way. For some people, their hardwiring is too permanent. They are not only unwilling to change, they cannot comprehend the need or desire to strive for anything other than security. A steady income is a safe harbour. These folks need offices, desks, deadlines, rules, policies, co-workers to complain to and a boss to lead them. They can be harsh and cruel to the entrepreneurs when someone breaks free of the structure. “You will fail!” “Are you crazy?” “Why would you risk all this?” (insert arm-wave gesture sweeping from worn grey carpeting up to buzzing fluorescent lights).

I can tell you now why branching out on a limb is all worth it. Self-discovery. You will learn more about yourself in a month than you can learn in a decade of working at a JOB (just over broke!). Where are your strengths? Where are your weaknesses? What are your fears? How strong is your vision and your belief? Can you make the changes necessary to achieve your goals? The freedom to dream about possibilities will keep you energized beyond any dose of self-inflicted ‘caffeination’ in your old routine.

So let them bray… it’s ok. To walk a separate line takes great courage and the insights you will gain are tremendous.  So climb up that trunk and stare at the branches. Choose one that looks good to you. One that speaks to you. Take a deep breath and start climbing.

CB

A Mother’s work is never done… Scheduling for greatness #2

Standard

Today’s post will be a bit ironic as I am not currently home with my children working my ‘Mommy Biz’. I am on a break at my ‘real’ job in health care. So, my absence from my children very appropriately leads me into my first suggestion in scheduling for greatness #2.

1.Engage the help of others! – When I had my first child I though no one could teach him as well as me. He and I had THE best connection. I understood all his words, knew his signals, knew which foods he liked the most and which ones he would probably throw at the dog. So, OF COURSE he was always better off with me at all times, right? HA! When I started to stray from the nest and take a few hours to myself, I quickly saw that my little boy thrived on many occasions when we were apart. He spoke new words, tried different activities, played in new ways and became more bold in his social interactions. Retrospectively…duh! My children were challenged in new ways whenever they were placed in new situations. Not rocket science, right? Well, we Moms want to feel needed… so we may need a gentle reminder that asking for help from others and taking some time away can REALLY be beneficial for both Mom and child. Get a friend or family member to relieve you at least a couple of times per week. The benefits are huge.

2. Get yourself a smart phone. Jump in…it won’t hurt. These little gadgets have been around for long enough for you to know what they are capable of. You name it…there’s an ‘app’ for it. From wicked visual monthly calendars (PocketLife – my Arbonne appointments are pink!) to text apps that keep you in contact with your downline (WhatsApp!), they are cheap or even free and so easy to use. In small home businesses, you are your own assistant, so get organized! Social media is not an option anymore for a small business, so apps like Facebook Pages, Twitter, Pinterest and WordPress can keep you in touch with your client base everywhere you go. Just make sure that you set your limits and don’t try to check your blog views while you should be watching your 3 year old daughter’s ballet recital!! Set personal limits and schedule your business into your day!!

3. Get a journal, keep a list – Go to staples, buy a pen and journal and ignore the looks of disgust from the Millennials staring you down in the process! Every day, journal about your day, set some goals, write down new ideas or to-do lists and just think creatively. You can do this a.m. or p.m. or both! Just seeing the progress I have made in the 25 pages I have documented is inspiring!! Growth, belief, vision, all documented in my own hand. Nothing more beautiful.

Starting a new business? Oh heck, why not?

Standard

Exciting things are a-muck!!!

This pretty much sums up my last few months. Working part time in critical care at a local hospital, raising 2 small children and supporting my husband as he completes his thesis for his EMBA…as if this were not enough to keep me out of trouble!

In December of 2012 I became aware of some really great personal care products sold via network marketing. I was so in love with Arbonne‘s products and their standards, I was compelled to find out more.

So began my journey into the world of multi-level marketing.

There is something so compelling to me about gravitating to a new field of study and just going with it in a huge way. For example: watch some golf, try some golf, have some golf lessons, watch some pros, play tons of golf, become a golf addict…does that pattern sound familiar? A huge learning curve consisting of goal setting, scheduling, prospecting, sponsoring and online marketing ensued. I am LOVING the control and being my own boss!!

There is a huge component of network marketing that centers around personal development. Enter in Robin Sharma and other amazing success coaches. You cannot succeed with this type of business if you do not have focus, momentum, vision and  a clearly understood reason for bothering to try in the first place. I am expected to ‘strive for excellence’, be ‘world-class’ and never settle for mediocrity. Finally! Leadership worth listening to!

My reasons to succeed? Spending time with family and paying off debts. Simple but yet profound in our current rat-race lifestyle. What started as a way to make a few extra hundred dollars a month is changing quickly into one of the most positive, empowering journeys of my life. Who knew? Being brave enough to start my own business has built confidence that I didn’t know I was lacking. I am more centred, calm, reflective and connected than ever before. Those outcomes were certainly not in the brochure!