Why did I get so defensive?
I would say for a few reasons. I had an idea in my head of what this type of business was all about. You solicit all of your friends and family to spend a lot of money to buy product and sign up...Not sure how that stereotype was ever planted in my head but it was a pretty firm belief.
Another reason was that I had ZERO interest in using the products that this company was affiliated with and I had even less of an interest in selling them.
Lastly, I didn't see it going anywhere. My thought was that it was a "get rich quick" scheme, that would fizzle out as soon as people realized it was a scam.
What changed, and how did I end up working with a Network Marketing Company?
I will say that my objection about believing in the products is still a real one for me when it comes to network marketing. If you don't have a genuine interest in the products or services that the company you are associated with then you will have to "sell" them. What I mean by that is, if you don't wholeheartedly believe that your widget or service will make someone life's better, then you will need to try to convince them or sell them on it. If you are meeting a need that they have you are just making a recommendation based on what has worked for you. A personal example for me is my experience with the workout program Focus T25, this was the first program that I really did from Beachbody. It got me into incredible shape all while working 50-60 hours per week. The 25 minute length of the workouts was perfect for my situation I had a need for exercise, I had a busy schedule and this program filled that need.
There is a big difference between referring quality products that you enjoy using and peddling crap just to make a profit. We sell things everyday without knowing it: we tell our friends where we had lunch and recommend/sell them the idea of going there also. We tell/sell people about TV shows or movies we watch that we think they would like.Take a look at some of the services you use: your realtor, your accountant, the church you go to, where you bought your last car. I would guess you either worked with a friend in one of these industries or a friend told you about who they use. I've come to realize that this is all network marketing is...you tell people about your experience with a certain product or service and if they end up seeing value in it then they will pass along those recommendations as well.
My view of what network marketing changed VERY slowly. Laura had joined on as a coach in July of 2012 and for those first 6 months I was hesitant with what she was doing. My perception of what she was doing focused more on how she was working so that someone above her would make more money. Her sales helped their bonuses and her recruiting helped their rank advancements. Somewhere around the spring of 2013, I changed my focus. Instead of looking up in our organization, I started looking down. How was she helping her coaches make money? How was she helping people below her grow their businesses? How was she helping people grow as individuals with their confidence and health?
This idea of looking down instead of up totally changed my impression of network marketing. That's why I love this quote from Zig Ziglar.
Specific to Beachbody,
- Will these products help them with their health?
- Will this coaching opportunity fill a desire of theirs to help people?
- Will coaching help them have an outlet to share their story of health and fitness?
- Do they need to feel like they are contributing financially to their family?
- Do they need extra income on top of their current income?
Just because something is different doesn't make it good or bad, it's just different. If you look at the hierarchy of a traditional business with a CEO, VP's, middle management, supervisors, and finally employees it looks a lot like the same structure of a network marketing business. The difference is that in network marketing the ability to climb the proverbial corporate ladder is much easier. By "climbing the ladder" in a network marketing organization you don't have to displace someone in that position. Everyone has equal opportunity to grow and advance. Compare that to a standard corporation, usually someone has to leave a position before you are able to get promoted. There are certainly benefits to a corporate job, mostly the health benefits are what most people mention. There are also benefits to network marketing though: freedom, ability to work anywhere, unlimited income potential, residual income and being your own boss to name a few.
One of the benefits about network marketing versus starting your own company is you don't have to go all in from the start. The startup costs are very minimal. A lot of coaches within our company are doing this just as a part time job, working maybe an hour or two a day. They are doing it because they love being held accountable themselves for their fitness and health and they want to help others with their health and fitness goals. The range of coaches varies from the person that just wants to get fit to the person that wants to grow a huge team and make a 7 figure income and everywhere in between.
Why I Now Love Network Marketing
There is a small part of me that thinks back to the opportunity that I was approached with 8 years ago and wonder if I should have went for it. I now see how network marketing is a viable business and not a get rich quick scheme. In just 2 1/2 years with our business we have been able to pay off nearly all of our debt and I've been able to leave my full-time job and now stay at home with our son. More importantly, this business has helped me reclaim my health and meet so many amazing people that have similar interests and goals. I also see the potential in this business to give us the freedom that we want in our life and not be tied to a 9-5 job.
I'll close with this because I wish someone would have told me this 8 years ago: don't judge this business by the 1 or 2 bad experiences that you've potentially encountered. Just like any industry there are going to be people working with integrity and there are going to be people that lack a certain level of professionalism and customer service. If you have a bad experience at a restaurant are you going to stop eating out all together, absolutely not. You may do your homework the next time and learn about where you want to go and other people's experiences prior to going out but 1 bad restaurant experience isn't representative of the entire industry. One bad experience 8 years ago left a bad taste in my mouth, but I did my research and found something that I can believe in and I know will change lives and that has made all the difference.