Tag Archives: Small business

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

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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!

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The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Out on a limb.

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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