Network Marketing: A Business Model Fit for Today's Economy

by Carrie Pepper

Network marketing. How do you feel when you hear those two words? Are the feelings positive or negative? If you're like most, you probably lean toward the negative -- and rightly so. Since the mid-50's thousands (can you believe 60,000?) of network marketing companies have been created. The majority of those have failed. Some still operate and there are a handful that are immensely successful. Yet of the 60,000 only 6 still exist that are creating sales of $1 billion or more a year. Of those, only one is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and still growing. In fact, they are creating a new cash millionaire every six days.

But before I tell you about this company, let me ask you again -- how do you feel about that industry called network or multi-marketing ? or MLM for short? Pretty bad I would imagine. You have every right to feel that way. I felt that way and so have hundreds, probably thousands, of others. But one thing about MLM is that it works.

Say you've been out of work for a while now, or you just loathe your job, or your hours have been cut, or you're sick and tired of just getting by and dream of a little house on the ocean or a cabin in the mountains, or a new car or a different life altogether. And say, you've tried network marketing before. You actually saw the potential and you were gullible enough to believe you could do it. But for one reason or another, it just didn't work for you. You either grew tired of the chase or you just didn't make any money. If you were one of the minority who did make money -- maybe a lot of money, then you know that network marketing does work. You learned that you could do it.

The only real question most of us have, deep down, is could it work for me? If we truly believed we could do it, and we could be successful at it, and we could make the money we've always dreamed of, the money to get our little dream cottage on the beach, the money to pay all our bills and take away that oppressive stress of finances forever, a passive, residual income that will give us time freedom so we can breathe and start to dream again, to let our hearts begin to open like a flower and realize the endless possibilities that are out there for us -- if we just didn't have to worry about the money. If you knew it was truly possible, why wouldn't you do it? FEAR. It all comes down to fear of not knowing how. And possibly, the fact that there is work involved in network marketing.

Imagine any profession that comes with a hefty paycheck. There are plenty of them. How about a heart surgeon? (granted it also comes with plenty of stress, but still, they have a pretty good cash flow) or, a successful investment banker? Or a high-paid attorney? But in order to make what they make, they had to be trained to do it, right? Their wealth just didn't come overnight. And if you trained to be a heart surgeon, theoretically, you could make what they make, couldn't you? But that would take years of education and training and money. My point is, if you knew you could do what they did, you could get what they got. Agreed? But those are "real" professions; those are reputable. And with all of those, no matter how big the paycheck, they are all trading time for money. They don't show up; they don't get paid. So, if you knew that you could be successful with MLM, and you could make passive, residual income -- whether you stay home, go to the beach or just stay in bed, why wouldn't you do it? Why is it different?

It's different because of these 60,000 companies that have ruined the dream for so many of us. It's different because the majority of the companies -- the ones still in existence as well as the ones who've fallen by the wayside (taking a plethora of talented people with them) don't know how to run a company, don?t know how to treat their people, don't know what high standards are, don?t have integrity. It's different because when we think ?MLM? we think of all the bad things that have happened and all the times that it didn't work for us and, once again, our dreams get crushed. We pull our heads back into our shells and button up tight, refusing to let our selves dream again. Multi level marketing just doesn't work. It didn?t work for me. I believed and I got hurt.

That all happened to me. I can't say I was with as many MLMs as some I know, but I did have four under my belt -- and of those four, one of them seemed to have their act together. Good products, good management, great personal growth training. That was what kept me going -- the books and the trainings that helped me grow, helped me get stronger, helped me believe in me. How do you put a price on that? But at the end of a five year run (and having my car repossessed) the company went out of business. Not with a big bang, but just a slow deflation and realization that once again, my dreams were put back on the shelf. It didn't work for me. But it did work for me.

The heart of Network Marketing is the personal growth and you don?t learn this in just a few weeks. You have to stick around for a while. You have to get knocked down and realize that you?re getting stronger and that as you improve, your business improves. Fancy that. We get better, our business -- and our sales -- get better. Our personal relationships get better. Pretty simple really, but not easy. Network Marketing is hard -- it's very hard. It's hard because the payoff, the reality of what is possible is so high. But, it is simple. And anyone with desire can do it.

And so, after a year of sending off resumes and waiting for someone to hire me to do another job, I stumbled across my last MLM. I didn't know it was multi level marketing at first. I looked at product videos and news clips and I was impressed. I saw things and science that had a wow factor I couldn't ignore. So, when I did realize that it was multi level marketing, I'd already seen the movie. And I liked the movie so I decided to take a closer look. I took an up-close and personal look and bought a plane ticket to the corporate office. I met the president; I met the CEO; I met the scientists and the lab technicians; I talked to 20 year veterans and to distributors who'd just been "in" for a few months. There was unity. There was integrity. There was patented technology that will change the world. I saw it. I felt it. And my heart began to open once again. The dreams are still there and the flower is beginning to unfurl.

Multi level marketing does work. If you have the right company. And if, you are willing to learn a new trade. Here, they will teach you. There is hope and it begins here.

Contact: Carrie Pepper
[email protected]

Filed under: Marketing
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About Carrie Pepper

Carrie Pepper (Sacramento, California) is a freelance writer who has written on a variety of topics (health/sports, anti-aging and skin care, environmental, natural resources, etc.) for local and national publications. She is a monthly columnist for Health and Fitness magazine ( and has been a contributing author for Health Communications, Inc. (HCI Books). She is currently working on a collection of short stories and a memoir about her brother who was killed in action at Khe Sanh, Vietnam. He was never recovered. You can read more about her at:

Recent articles by Carrie Pepper

Nov 16, 2011 Fighting Free Radicals with Antioxidants
Jul 27, 2011 Slow & Steady Wins the Race
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