Network Marketing in a Nutshell

If you’ve had painful past experiences with network marketing, you wouldn’t be alone. Although network marketing is one of the most ethical business structures for our modern world, to the point that it’s even taught at Harvard Business School, it’s also had both the good and the bad in it.

A large network marketing company led the charge, and even though they are now one of the major players in the network marketing industry, the methodology that their representatives used to bring people to meetings did untold damage to the credibility of network marketing. People felt deceived when their friends invited them to hear about a “great opportunity”, only to find that they were in fact attending a recruiting meeting.

But network marketing doesn’t have to be like this. As with any business, we can operate in a state of absolute integrity, and be exceptionally successful.

In his best-selling book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki talks about the four quadrants. They basically go like this:

  • You work for someone else (ie. you have a JOB – which is also an acronym for “just over broke”)
  • You are self-employed (which is only one step up from working for someone, ie. you now “own” a job)
  • You are a business owner, meaning you now have a business and people that work for you, helping you to grow your wealth)
  • You are an investor, and money now works for you.

Business owners and Investors understand the power of leverage, where you “leverage” off the efforts of multiple people (eg. your staff, as in a business owner, or your “team”, as in a network marketing business owner), or you leverage off money (the way that investors will use real estate and shares to create both capital growth and cash flow).

Robert Kiyosaki has a great article on network marketing, where he refers to it as an Asset, not a Job.

When asked by so few people make it to the top of their network marketing system, he answers that it’s simply because they quit too soon. Having joined with the thought of making money, they get frustrated with the time it takes to establish the right foundations, and from here they become discouraged and quit…or they see another “shiny object” (network marketing company promising greater returns) and they jump ship. As he says,

Joining to make a few quick dollars is not the reason to get into the business.

Instead, there are 2 essential reasons to join a network marketing business, and that’s to help yourself, and to help others. Both sides of this equation need to be present for you to be truly successful.

If you think about the first and second quadrants, you will understand that both of these people need money to survive. They are conditioned to spend “x” number of hours, and to receive a return of “$x” in exchange for their time.

The third and fourth quadrants don’t operate like this. To be successful in these quadrants, you need to be prepared for an exponential return….and the same is true for network marketing.

You put in “x” number of hours in the beginning, and that’s your investment. That return will indeed return to you, but not until further down the track. But the beauty of this system is that when it returns to you, the sky’s the limit.

It’s a lot like a see-saw. At first, one side (the money that you receive for your efforts) is at ground level. Lots of effort, minimal returns. Then your team grows, and you see more and more returns coming your way. You get excited – your efforts are producing results, and you can see the money flowing in. But here’s where it gets really exciting – as your team “matures” and you have more and more people loving the products (As you do), and sharing their passion with others, there is a “tipping point” – just like the tipping point on the see-saw. And suddenly the money is growing more and more, so that you are receiving an insanely good return for every hour that you put into your business.

I liken this point as being like the eagle, when the wind catches its wings and propels it upwards in spirals, high into the sky. It’s a fantastic feeling when you see that happening with your network marketing business.

So let’s come back to Robert Kiyosaki for a moment, and to my comment that network marketing is the most ethical business structures for our modern world.

As Robert says, “The beauty of most network marketing systems is that you do not really make much money unless you help others leave the “E” (employee) and “S” (self-employed) quadrants, and you help them succeed in the “B” (business owner) and “I” (investor) quadrants. If you focus on helping others make this shift, then you will be successful in the business.”

That’s why I say it’s ethical. Network marketing can bring you phenomenal success, and wealth that is unrelated to your level of education, or how “deep” you are in the network marketing family tree structure. Your success is a combination of your efforts, your talent, and the efforts and talent of the people you introduce (and they go on to introduce). And it all comes about because you are making a difference in other people’s lives.

But it’s also the best personal development journey you will ever go on! You get to piggy back it off your passions and hobbies, especially with a company like Young Living that has such diverse products you can pretty much choose your areas of interest and grow a business within that niche, using a subset of the Young Living product range. You get to leverage off your natural gifts and talents, but you also get to develop new skills and strengthen areas of weakness. You get to meet wonderful like-minded people who will become your friends and extended “family”….and all this while you are making a difference in the world.

So in network marketing, your goal is to create “assets”, and these assets are like-minded people who share your vision, and who are wanting to be their own business-owners. The more of these people you help to foster, the more success you are likely to have.

This is very different to a traditional business model, where the Business Owner wants only employees and/or self-employed contractors working for them. It’s a form of pyramid, no different to “pyramid sales” (which is illegal in most countries). Just on this topic, network marketing is completely different to pyramid selling. Pyramid selling is where people purchase a position in the pyramid, and no products are exchanged. In a pyramid selling situation, the higher you are to the top, the more money you make. If you are one of the unfortunate people at the bottom, you are contributing to everyone else’s wealth!

Network marketing is completely different to this. In network marketing, it doesn’t matter where you are positioned in this family tree – you can become more successful, achieve a higher rank and greater income than the person above.

Can you see how disempowering a model the traditional business/pyramid model is, compared to Network Marketing? This is another reason I say that Network Marketing is one of the most ethical business models I know.

So are you surprised to hear that Robert Kiyosaki says, “I strongly recommend that all my employees look into network marketing as their own part-time businesses.”? That’s because he wants them to have a pathway where they can be financially free.

And in case you are saying “But I love my job!”…..think about this. How would it feel to have an abundance of cash flow, so that you could still do your job if you love it that much, but without the financial stress?

I’m a great example of that! I was originally a zoologist working for the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Then I changed careers and worked for many years as a practitioner and psychic with my own private practice. Now that I’ve been blessed with financial freedom through my love of oils and the Young Living network marketing structure, as well as a lot of internal perseverance, my life has come full circle (but in a really great way). Now I volunteer up to 2 hours a day for a local wildlife rescue group called WIRES, helping to rescue animals in need. I still do readings and practitioner work when I feel like it, but it’s usually for friends and loved ones, and I don’t need to charge them for it!

(Robert Kiyosaki’s quotes come from a great online article from “The Business School for People who like helping people”, by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter, CPA.)


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