I can remember the first time I saw a network marketing business presentation. It was for Amway. My friend drew those circles for all he was worth. My eyes were as big as saucers by the time he was done. All I had to do was to get to the top level and I’d be making $100,000 a year. On the way home, I just kept saying, “you, me 6-4-3.” Those were the number of people I needed to recruit on those levels to make it to the top.
I never did make it to the top level of Amway. The funny thing is that I tried Amway 2 other times after that. I was convinced that I could make it work. I never made it work.
What went wrong? There were probably a lot of things that went wrong. Here is a list of the top 8 things that I did wrong.
I set my expectations too high
This is a typical thing for people who are new to the business. Who could blame me for thinking big. My sponsor was spinning tales of vast riches, lavish homes and vacations around the world. It sounded really good, but I don’t think that it was reasonable to think that way. Sure, some people make it to the top levels and they have all of that stuff, but not many.
I don’t say this to burst your bubble, but wouldn’t it have been more reasonable to think that I could start off by making an extra $500.00 per month? I’m not saying that I couldn’t have built up my income to that $100,000 per year level, but it makes sense to me that it would take a while to do that.
I believed that it would be easy money
My sponsor told me that it would be easy to make money in the business. After all, the products were the best around. They would be easy to sell. All I had to do was demonstrate how well they worked and they would sell themselves.
If I needed to recruit 6 people, all I needed to do was to draw circles and they’d pull out their credit cards and sign the dotted line.
I was totally unprepared for how difficult it would be. I suffered through disappointment after disappointment. The products were too expensive and everyone I talked to had jobs and no one wanted a side business.
I didn’t learn the skills that I needed to run a successful business
I didn’t even know that there were any special skills to learn. I was told that it would be easy.
I didn’t talk to enough people
It was 1981, when I joined Amway, the first time. The news show, 60 Minutes, had aired their negative report about the company. The few people that I talked to showed no real interest in the company. I did manage to sell some of the products, but it was not nearly enough to offset what I bought for my own use, let alone enough to turn a profit. Without having any of the skills that I really needed to run a network marketing business, I’m not sure that it matter how many people I would’ve talk to.
The people I did talk to got an ear full
There were a couple of people that I thought were going to join the business with me. The unfortunate thing was that I kept talking and talking and talking. I was finally able to talk them out of joining. If I hadn’t been so busy getting in my own way, maybe I could’ve made a go of it.
I didn’t talk to the right people
The advice my sponsor gave my about recruiting people was, talk to everyone. I had no idea that everyone wouldn’t be interested in it. I didn’t know that I should be screening people. Making sure that they were at least interested in making some extra money. I talked to everyone. Like I said, I suffered through a lot of disappointment!
I never built a customer base
If I had to do it all over again, I would’ve built a good customer base. I could’ve sold a couple of products to each member of my family and to my friends. I think they would’ve supported me that much. Even if I only managed to generate a few hundred dollars each month, that would’ve kept me in the game. I know that if I were making a little money that I would have had an easier time getting people interested in the business opportunity.
If I could say, “I’m making an extra $400.00 a month, in my spare time!”
How many people would respond, “I’d like to make $400.00 per month, too. How do I did it? Will you teach me?”
How easy would it be to sponsor people who say that?
I think the worse thing that someone can do, in a network marketing company, is to quit. I know, because that’s what I did. It was so much tougher than I could have imagined.
I know that there is only so long that anyone can stay in business while they are losing money. I was no different. It finally got to be too expensive and I had to quit.
It’s okay to make mistakes. I know that I’ve made more than my fair share of them. As long as you are learning from the mistakes that you make, you’ll be okay.
If you’d like to share some of the mistakes that you’ve made along the way, please fell free to leave a comment below.
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