Thursday, March 30, 2006
It's true in this business like any other. It's the number of outlets that you open that generate your success.
Let's look at why this is -
First, leaders show up at all different times and on all different levels. When I look at my own report, I see leaders on just about every level. Some I sponsored, some I obviously didn't. That means that some who I sponsored ultimately led me to leaders somewhere. Or, rather, led leaders to me.
Some people need to sponsor 5 people to have a leader show up. For others, it is 50. That reality doesn't need to discourage you. The bigger your numbers grow, the closer you are, really! And, with a solid, equitable pay plan, it doesn't matter where they show up!
In my first company, my biggest leader came early on. Because of the way that pay plan was structured, my upline made hundreds of thousands of dollars. I made thousands on that leg. Big disparity. And, certainly not what I would call equitable. But, that experience became invaluable because it taught me to closely evaluate pay plans, and understand the good, bad and ugly.
Believe me, there is a lot of "ugly" in MLM pay plans. You may think yours is great. Don't be afraid to play devil's advocate with all aspects of it to be sure.
You may be struggling with the "when is it going to happen for me" syndrome. I know how you feel, I've been there myself.
And, it's hard to hear - "Oh, just go sponsor another rep."
But, it's true. If you don't feel you have yet landed someone on your team who shares your same drive and passion. That's okay. They are on their own agenda and that is fine.
Your agenda, however, is to keep uncovering stones until you find one, or two, or twelve. Or, until they lead you to someone.
It's tempting to think - "I must be doing something wrong, or I am not doing enough."
Nope, not true. It's not you. How do I know this? Well, there are some on the team who have a large team growing and really don't provide anything in terms of support or coaching. I recently contacted one of my frontline people, who had dropped to inactive. She has a LARGE organization developing under her. I asked her if she realized what she was missing now, and what she would miss potentially by not getting back involved.
She is now on board again and we'll see what happens. I don't know if she is ready to build a business, seriously, yet, but I did want to point out what can happen.
That growth happened without any effort on her part. A leader was there and took action.
So, as long as you are directing people to the tools and support they need, and fulfilling your end of the bargain, relax. It's not you. It's not anything you are doing or not doing.
Keep turning over stones and keep adding to your frontline. Don't be tempted to "stack in people" for growth. Go wide, wide, wider until you can't control the explosion.
Start that snowball rolling!
Sunday, March 26, 2006
MLM Lessons I Learned at McDonald's
When I was 16, I went to work for the new local McDonald's that had opened up in town. It was THE place to work. The new hub of a small town. Before long, I started dating one of the managers, and was soon invited to events sponsored by the owners.
Getting to know the owners really opened my eyes up to the possibilities in life. I come from a very average, middle class family, and while we never lacked for things, we didn't live like THOSE people lived. The house; the vacations; the cars; the boats - it wasn't long before I knew that I wanted to live THAT type of lifestyle.
When summer came around, I was offered a job as a part time book keeper for the store. The pay was better, although the hours were not. Working the night shift was hard on my social life, but I look back now and I am so grateful that I took the job. I learned a lot about having a business mentality from working with the numbers of that store.
The day the shake machine broke down and had to be replaced was a real eye opener. It was EXPENSIVE and didn't seem to me to be a necessary component to running a successful McDonald's store. I guess that's why I was just the part time night book keeper and not the owner.
I remember mentioning something about my thoughts on the shake machine to the owner, who quickly told me that although it was expensive, it was a required piece of the business and in order to be successful, a business has to have what its customers want when they want it.
Interesting. I had only really looked at things as earning money, and keeping as much of that money as possible, or spending it on things I wanted.
Now, as a MLM business owner, I understand the value in the lessons I learned. Having a successful business means investing in the tools that are necessary in the business. It's not about short cutting whenever possible.
When a top income earner tells me the steps and the tools he/she used to get to the top, you better believe I take notes. I don't listen and then determine for myself what will work and what won't work, or what I am willing to do, or not do.
McDonald's is successful as a franchise because it runs a very effective business system. New store owners don't negotiate with Headquarters about what they will and won't buy, or will and won't do. It is non-negotiable.
Have you ever done this in your MLM business? Have you ever been coached on what you need to have and do to be successful, and then find yourself mentally making note of what is "stupid, or extravagant, or unnecessary?"
Or, do you have people on your team who do this?
If you are doing this, chances are you are attracting business partners who do the same thing.
Think about it.
My company offers a Fast Start Pack, similar to many companies, and it's loaded with all of our products, business building tools, etc. It is truly the best way to get started in the business. I personally enroll a large percentage of people who purchase this pack. I believe in it, I share that belief, and I offer the value in why it is important. My belief sets me up so that I don't attract many business partners personally who try to negotiate the road to success with me.
On the other hand, I have some further down on my team who do encounter this. I have one particular group that tries to short cut everything. And, they complain about the cost of everything. When new products come out, the see the negative. When new tools come out, they look for the shortcomings. I watch this group's volume and am never surprised by the decline or slow growth.
When I reflect on this, I can see why the employee mentality is what stunts many people in their network marketing growth. Unless you've been exposed to the realities of starting, running and sustaining a business, and the costs and requirements that go along with it, you may not realize the key piece you are missing. Until you are willing to invest in the tools of a business that will contribute to your success, you will likely never see the type of success you desire.
90% of life is copy. If you want to be successful, copy the action steps of others. ALL of those steps. Not just the ones that seem to fit you. Success leaves clues, but you can not pick and choose the clues you want and expect to get the same results.
Develop your business mindset and move from employee mindset to business owner mindset.
Grow yourself first, and your business will grow along with you.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
MLM and Honesty
I'm going to ask you two very direct questions that I want you to think seriously about. Are you letting your prospects know the truth about what it's going to take? Are you providing a real picture of the steps needed to build a successful business?
The business of MLM is an awesome career choice, and like any career choice,it has its learning curve and challenges.
How many times have you heard -
"It's easy, anyone can do it."
"All you have to do is talk to your family and friends."
"You can make a lot of money, fast."
Now, I ask you, do you believe any of this to be true? Have you experienced
any of this yourself? Do you believe any of these statements?
I sure don't, and I am guessing you don't either.
So, with that in mind, let's talk about some honesty in MLM and what can say
and do to increase not only your sponsoring ratio, but also your retention rate.
First, make sure your prospect has a realistic idea of what it is going to
take to build a successful business. And, depending on what your business is, it will be slightly different.
When I am in conversation with someone interested in the business, one of the first things I ask is - "Are you aware of the three ways we have to make money with this opportunity? What methods are you interested in using to build your business?" This is very important for a couple of reasons -
1. I know what their expectations of me will be in terms of training and guiding them along the right path. And, I can then plan for the training process and assist them in laying out a business plan for success.
2. The process in making sure they know what will be expected of them is more
3. It's easier to determine how serious they are about the business and the
The biggest mistake that most networkers make, which leads to ultimate
failure in the business, is that they try to make it seem too easy and don't
share enough details about what it is really going to take. Why do you suppose
I think it is because they are afraid that they won't sign most people up if
the truth is out there. And, I also believe that this could not be further from
There is often too much focus on quantity of sign ups vs. quality of sign ups. Big difference between the two, wouldn't you say? Please know that the infamous days of "Throwing them up against the wall and seeing what sticks" are over. Thankfully.
The down side of signing up people who are not really right for your business
is that is eats up your time, your energy, and can lead to your own disillusionment with the business if people don't stick. Your time would be better spent finding quality people who understand what it is going to take to build a successful business and are up for the challenge.
Prospect number one, who expects it to be easy, fast and without a lot of effort will often quit your business after a month when things don't happen as he/she thought they would. Without a clear understanding of what it will take to be successful, he/she has no concept of the effort that will be required.
Prospect number two, on the other hand, understands the task at hand, what it
will take and the time frame involved. With a clear understanding, he/she will
not have an unrealistic view of how fast success will come and the effort required. And, he/she will likely survive more than the first month because the expectations are realistic.
Would you rather have 10 people who fit the profile of prospect number one? Or one who fits the profile of prospect number two?
Besides the obvious advantage to you, and your business, imagine the positive
aspect this will have on the network marketing industry as a whole? Fewer people will go away with a bad taste in their mouth about the "hype, false information, etc., of a network marketing business."
Imagine how much better it will be to have people saying they tried it and it
just wasn't for them, but it was a positive experience. Much better than what is
out there so often now - "Those things don't work, and the people involved are scammers."
So, what can you do to increase your success and raise the level of integrity
associated with our industry?
First, get clear yourself on what it takes to be successful. This means understanding the process, budget required and action steps. Like any business, a clear cut business plan is essential.
Two, don't be afraid to share the facts of the business with your prospects.
Most people will not want your product or your business. And, that is okay. You don't need most people. You just need a few who are committed and serious. And, they will then find a few, and so on.
Three, truly form a partnership with your new team partners. A partnership means getting clear and understanding their goals, their desires for building the business and assisting in laying out a reasonable plan of action steps to follow.
Four, make yourself available and accessible to your new team partners. Don't
be afraid of the challenges and requirements of building a team. Challenge yourself to grow with your team and continually add to your knowledge and tool box for assisting your team. You don't need to know all of the answers, but you should be willing to assist your new partner in finding the answers.
Finally, make a commitment to always represent our industry, your company and your self with integrity and ethics. Rehearse and fine tune your presentation and make sure it is honest, factual, and offers your potential partner a realistic view of the reality and the beauty of our industry.
Always take the higher road and watch your business soar to new levels.
Now, when you think of honesty in MLM, I hope you'll remember the importance of ethics and integrity.
Friday, March 03, 2006
If you are a mom (or even a dad!) building an MLM business and wondering how to keep balance and sanity in your life, then this MLM training segment was written just for you. So, let's chat - mom to mom.
First, let me share a little of my story so you'll know that I've "been there, done that" and am not talking some MLM theory. I've built my business through baby number one, a pregnancy, baby number two, and on up to my current position of one teenager and one pre-teen. All the while, my kids were at my feet and I was home with them. Simple? No! Fast growing? Nope! Worth it? Every second!
Perhaps like you, when my husband and I decided to have children, we were adamant that one of us would be home with them. Since he was the major breadwinner, that meant I would be home. And, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
But, it's hard to make it on one income, so I began looking for a business. Long story short, MLM kept coming up, and although I was skeptical, I educated myself and jumped in.
Today, I am happy to be among the ranks of the six figure MLM income earners, but it didn't happen overnight; it wasn't easy; and there were many times along the way that I wanted to quit. Does this sound familiar to you?
Here are some ideas that I hope will help you as you move along your MLM journey, especially as a mom building strong kids and a strong business.
1. Get very clear on your reason why. This will sustain you when someone tells you no, or things get slow. Make sure your why is very powerful to you and that it means more to you than what anyone else might say or think. For me, the ability to create a fabulous lifestyle for my family and to never have my kids in day care meant more to me than anyone else's opinion.
2. Realize that as a mom with small children, you will have to balance and prioritize in a different way. Communicate with your sponsor and your team about your commitment, your priorities and how you will balance the two. Never feel the need to compromise your values in building your MLM business. I didn't and you don't have to either.
3. Get organized. And, I mean in every area of your life. Organize your business and your life. Set up one calendar with everything about home and business. Mark out times that are strictly family, and every other non-negotiable time in your life. Then, (and this is important) find times each day that you will work your business. Commit to these times, no matter how small the time frame. Be consistent and don't procrastinate.
4. Ask for help in anyway that you can. Talk to your spouse about taking the kids for an hour so you can make calls. Talk about splitting up household duties differently. Invest in help as your budget allows. I know hiring a cleaning lady was a priority for me as my business and profits grew. The grocery store can help with this. Buy pre-chopped fresh vegetables; marinated meats; and whatever you can to make things simpler. I am a stickler on healthy meals and nutrition, so I have never resorted to the "fast food" syndrome. Get a crock-pot and use it! Make healthy, delicious meals a snap.
5. Form a babysitting coop with other moms in your area. Then, use it and reciprocate. I used the times I babysat other kids as playtime for my kids, and then used the times when my kids were at a friend's to work my business. This was an amazing resource for me as my kids never felt like they were at a babysitters. They just saw it as a play date with someone from the play group.
6. Set clear goals and intentions for your business. As Yoda said to Luke in Star Wars II, "There is no try. There is only do, or do not." Same for your business. Make success non-negotiable. It's a marathon, and not a sprint. So what if it takes you seven years to become a top income earner, or hit your income goal. Will it be any less worth it? NO! Make it happen.
7. Work on Self Development. MAKE time for it. If you look for time in your schedule, it will never happen. You must make time for your business and make time for the very important task of developing your mindset and growing your business from the inside out. This is the single MOST important ingredient in your business. I'll share my favorite book by clicking here!
8. Use technology - Today, with the internet and all of the tools out there, keeping in touch: delivering timely information to your prospects; training to your team and even putting yourself out there so that people who are ready and looking for a business NOW can find you through the search engines. Do NOT let technology scare you. I had moderate success in MLM doing it the "old fashion" way. I created a full time income, but not "obscene money." Today, using the internet exclusively in my business, I'm a VERY HAPPY Six Figure Income Earner working about 30 hours a week. I'm able to work fewer hours than the "typical networker" because I let technology be my sales force and "PR People!"
9. Get your kids involved - From the time kids are two, and maybe even younger, you can find helpful, fun and educational ways to get them involved in your business. In my business, toddlers can place labels on brochures, the bottom of candles and other products, envelopes, etc. They can fold letters, stamp postcards, and have a great time "working" alongside of mom. Relax, and let go of your perfectionism. When was the last time you paid any attention to how straight the stamp is on a letter you received in the mail? Get them involved in non-business activities, too. My 13 year old son made dinner for our family the other night. Now, if you are thinking he pulled out the box of Mac-n-Cheese, think again. He made baked chicken with Apricot/Mango Sauce; Quinoa; Green Beans with Pine Nuts and Red Peppers and a salad with goat cheese. I'm really not kidding. I LOVE to cook and have always loved having my children cook right alongside of me. Now, he is ready to do his own thing. Imagine what kind of time that offers me!
10. Compare yourself to no one! This is so important. Who are you competing with? Only yourself. That's truly it because competing with anyone else is like apples and oranges. Everyone has different strengths, weaknesses, life challenges, ambition and goals. Comparing yourself to anyone else is a waste of energy. If you must compare, then use yourself and your past accomplishments as the measuring stick. Track your steps and then strive for more each week. Your business will soar!
11. Reward yourself. Life is meant to be fun and so is business. In the beginning, it's more difficult to set income goals, because you are building the foundation. This was always frustrating to me, until I discovered that by setting activity goals in the beginning, I could track my progress and feel good about the steps I was taking along the way to make things happen. And, as my action steps picked up, the rewards kept coming, and my business kept growing, producing those earlier elusive income goals. So, look inward and take outward action. Get busy charting your own game plan and focus forward. Along the way, treat yourself for a job well done. And, it doesn't have to be extravagant. Make it fun, though!
10. Believe in the power of your dream. The subconscious mind is a funny thing. It does not know the difference between what is real and imagined. So, since YOU are the one who controls your thoughts, daydream some powerful thoughts. Let your mind go nuts as you wander through your own field of dreams. And, while you are "there," BELIEVE it! Believe it and it will come true.
As a mom, you have the ability to offer the greatest gifts of all to your children and your family. You have the ability to raise happy, wholesome and educated children. You have the ability to contribute to the family income without the need for make-up, pantyhose, or glass ceilings. What a relief! You truly have the ability to "have it all" and "have enough" without compromising your children along the way. Grasp the opportunity before you! I promise, you will never regret it.