Free Enterprise Aftermath

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Well, the F.E.D. swings are complete ending in Edmonton, AB this past weekend. It was a historical weekend as over 4,500 people sold out the first ever Free Enterprise Days hosted in a Canadian City. Historically, all F.E.D.’s have been located state side which led to some long road trips for the Canadian business builders. However, with the mentorship, guidance, example and growth set originally by David and Carolyn Payn, Mike and Brandi Wagner, and, of course our good friends and upline – a wave of leadership blew the doors off of the Edmonton Expo Centre this past weekend.

It was clear that the largest room in the whole centre won’t be able to hold the next major function next year and we’re moving onwards and upwards. Jeff Johnson who works for Amway did a talk as a voice for the Amway Corporation in Canada and told us that as little as a few years ago, W.W.D.B. IBO’s amounted to only 12% of the Canadian Amway market. Now that has jumped up to 35% and is climbing. And those numbers are coming directly from the servicing corporation. That’s a huge jump!

For the second year in a row, new Diamonds were celebrated as they walked the long red carpet, received their championship ring and placed their name on the W.W.D.B. Diamond trophy.

Ty and Vanessa Crandell were celebrated for their achievements and after watching and hearing them speak Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, it was no surprise that they were a diamond couple. All heart and fire, their team have in them an awesome example of work ethic and integrity.

As a surprise, long time Amway Diamonds, Leif and Bonnie Johnson were recognized as W.W.D.B. Diamonds – back under the W.W.D.B. banner after a long hiatus. While I am not familiar on the situation or the details, the Johnson’s are one of Ron and Georgia Lee Puyear’s Diamond Legs. So that was a cool surprise to hear of their experiences and story over their long storied IBO-ship.

Looking back on the weekend, there is also a solemnity that hangs over the memory of this function due to the unfortunate murder of one of our Canadian Soldiers in Ottawa. And only just a few days earlier in Edmonton we were celebrating our Armed Forces for their sacrifices in the past, the present and the future for allowing regular joe’s like us, the opportunity to live how we want, choose how we want, pray how we want, work how we want and love how we want. We celebrated them and honored them, as does every Free Enterprise function in the U.S. as well. And only days later, a grim reminder of the cost of our freedoms that we enjoy here in North America played out at the War Memorial in Ottawa.

F.E.D. had not only an excitement but some excellent speakers and teaching. New Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds continue to grow to bring more people to higher levels of success and Founder’s Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds continue to share new wisdom learned through their experiences. Lastly the Diamond speakers and above provided wisdom, heart, comedy and education based on their experiences and knowledge.

Aside from the multitude of Platinumships, Rubyships, Sapphireships and Emeraldships the Diamondships represented as speakers were from across World Wide: Integrated Diamonds David and Jaimee Felber, Diamonds – Norm & Pam Kizirian, Diamonds Leif & Bonnie Johnson, Diamonds Ty & Vanessa Crandell, Diamonds – Bob & Shelly Kummer, Founders Diamonds – Glen & Joya Baker, Our upline Diamonds, Founders Diamonds Tracy & Kimberly Eaton, Executive Diamonds Dan & Sandy Yuen, Double Diamond Leslie Wolgamott, Triple Diamonds Greg & Laurie Duncan, Crowns Brad & Julie Duncan, Crown Ambassadors Wonbo & Joyce Shim and Founders Crown Ambassador – Leonard Kim.

And that’s just Diamondships and above. Aside from that were two Emerald couples (one new, the other as Founders Emerald) and six new Double Eagle Ruby couples. Founders Double Eagle Ruby and existing Ruby’s, Sapphire’s and Emeralds didn’t get any stage time which easily could have been packed with many more impactful leaders.

Considering the cost of any other training convention out there – a $125.00 ticket goes a heck of a long way ESPECIALLY when you consider the fact that you can directly apply the teachings to a vehicle that you can access without going into debt to access.

Below are some quotes and lines that I found impacted me. There were many, many more, but everyone is impacted differently from what is said or shared. Ultimately, the opportunity is mentorship. It just happens to come with an asset that can be built on the side to create financial freedom, if a person chooses to work. Like anything in life, however, if you are being shown an opportunity that is Non-Traditional – like this or a Network Marketing opportunity – make sure you are taken through a 4 – 6 week education process.

The process may vary from person to person, or couple to couple – but there should be one. Starting first and foremost with building a bit of a friendship and a trust – on both sides! Over the course of the weeks make sure you ask questions and get answers – that way you will be able to make a solid choice based on information as opposed to making a choice based on emotion and random opinions from people who have no experience or knowledge of what you’re looking at. Anonymous internet blogs and forums are the worst to get information from. Every single one of them have agenda’s and bias! Mine included in case you couldn’t tell (At least I’m open and honest about it, eh?). As such, they are the least reliable source for information as all you’re getting is opinion and rhetoric on an individual’s experience – that does NOT = everyone’s experiences. And if anyone has an opinion on the opportunity but hasn’t met the people you’re working with, that experience is irrelevant unless they’ve worked with the people who are taking you through the process.

Thats why building a friendship first is important. Without that, whats the point in partnering up with those people? That’s why the process is so powerful and helpful to every party in the equation. It helps root out the people who may not fit with this opportunity, it also helps you root out people who may not be good mentors, or coaches. Those typically are the ones who will try to hype you up and sign you up – and that, friends, is a scary thing. Do your homework and make sure you get homework so you can empower yourself, and your decisions properly on a foundation of facts.

Enjoy the crisp autumn days and cozy evenings with friends and family.

~ C

“You won’t move ahead in life until you take your eyes off of yourself and put them on to others.”

“Be remembered for what you did. Not for what you didn’t do.”

“The pain of discipline always is outweighed by the pain of regret.”

“You can do it. I did it. Why not you?”

“In any business there’s room for one dream and if you aren’t the owner of the business, there isn’t going to be any room for your dream!”

“When it comes to this business you can be impressed from a distance, but at a major function, you’re impacted up close.”

“The testament of a good business is not only if the kids want to do what their parents are doing but if the parents want the kids to do what they’re doing.”

“I’ve never seen a positive result come from a negative mouth.”

“You can’t be disappointed with results that didn’t happen because of work you didn’t do.”

“It doesn’t matter whether the glass is half empty or half full. What matters is who is filling the glass.”

“In everyday life I’m judged daily of my shortcomings and failings. In here I’m reminded daily of my future victories.”

“Your team will grow only as big as your ability to lead.”

“You will have the best of the day or the day will have the best of you.”

“When you don’t believe, you compare yourself to others.”

“Work is measured in change. Not time.”

“Imagine if we graduated with a self image and not just a piece of paper.”

“How can we expect other people to trust us if we don’t trust ourselves?”

“There’s a huge difference between being emotional and showing emotion.”

“It’s better to have heart with no words than to have words with no heart.”

“Without empathy for others we become emotionally tone deaf.”

“True compassion demands action.”

“Minimum wage becomes minimum mindset.”

“When everyone else was playing the lottery, we were out building our own.”

“Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions.”

“It is in serving each other that we become free.”

 

Would You Join An MLM For Retirement Income?

I didn’t really have any plans of posting so soon after my previous post, but I had a Facebook friend share this article / opinion / experience from a Forbes article posted this past August. The author actually has an interesting experience and point of view of what they learned from asking some questions of business owners around the Network Marketing industry. While there is no mention as to what companies or products the Business Owners contract with, there’s some solid advice given that works with any business in order to succeed. Cool stuff.

Always interesting to get an outside view of the industry.

Happy Autumn To All!
~ C

Author: Robert Laura
Title: Forbes Contributor
Original Article: Would You Join An MLM For Retirement Income @ Forbes  ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertlaura/2014/08/29/would-you-join-a-multi-level-marketing-company-for-retirement-income/ )

At some point in your life you’ve been pitched a multi-level marketing (MLM), direct selling, or network marketing business opportunity. While the pitch varies from company to company, it basically promises a chance to ditch your 9-5 work schedule, be your own boss, and make lots of money while making new friends in the process.

It all sounds good on paper, yet there is a seemingly endless debate over whether these companies and programs are legitimate business opportunities or not, so I dug in and got the real scoop. As a result, I believe that the entire industry is poised for explosive growth and can be one of the most significant solutions to America’s current retirement savings crisis.

Initially, that may sound like a bold statement, but it’s not if you understand retirement the way I do. The reality is, making a successful transition into retirement has more to do with psychology than with money… and the same may hold true for multi-level and network marketing.

Don’t get me wrong, money has a role in retirement, but it’s not the primary one every one gives it. Combine that concept with eye-opening statistics like AARP’s estimate that half of all baby boomers (76 million) are interested in starting a business and the makings of a massive trend are in place.

As far as the retirement saving crisis is concerned, more and more people are coming to terms with the fact that they probably aren’t going to be able to save enough money to just sit around and slowly deplete their nest egg from age 62 to 100. With the average 50 year-old estimated to have less than $50,000 in retirement savings, there is an obvious need to find alternative ways to either save more or generate supplemental income starting now, and continuing throughout retirement. Moving beyond just the dollars and cents, boomers are growing tired of feeling guilty or bad about their past savings habits and are interested in moving towards possible solutions.

Another growing reality that could benefit MLM and related businesses is the increasing number of baby boomers who are disenchanted with their current careers. They’re worn-out from years of the corporate grind and don’t feel the connection between their job and the people it impacts outside their office walls or company grounds. They’re shifting their focus from accumulating a giant nest egg to a desire to be part of something bigger and better… to have a positive effect on others… and working in retirement. Facets of life that can be fulfilled with specific types of products and service available through some MLM or Direct selling opportunities.

MLM and direct selling programs also offer very low barriers into entrepreneurship, often providing training, support, and ample encouragement along the way. As retirees begin to realize they need activities that keep them busy, relevant, in good health, and connected to others, the time, energy and cost to participate in these kinds of companies make them very appealing to large segments of the population caught up in these dynamics.

This is not a ringing endorsement for the entire industry. Like any investment of time, money, and energy, people need to be aware of what they are getting into and do their homework. That’s the primary reasons I began researching the topic by reaching out to regular everyday people involved in these types of businesses and who were willing to skip the hype and offer a transparent view of the programs and give their opinions as to whether this can be a realistic source of retirement income.

I initially spoke to a retired friend who said she joined a health and beauty direct selling company as a means of meeting new people. She had recently remarried and moved to a new location, so she combined the practice of meeting new people with making extra money. After almost a decade in the business, she’s built a small niche business with family and friends despite switching to from one company to another competitor after three years.

She admits she doesn’t attend all of the company’s local meetings and goal-setting sessions because she’s not interested in becoming a top producer. She just likes to use the business activity to keep busy (particularly in the winter) and use the extra money she earns to travel and spoil the grand kids.

Having studied the psychology and behavior of boomers, this example represents a major shift in my thinking about the industry. I no longer perceive these types of opportunities as money-making pyramid schemes. Instead, I now see it as a way to enhance many of the personal aspects of retirement that are rarely discussed let alone planned for, with the added benefit of supplementing other popular retirement income sources such as pension and social security.

Daria M. Brezinski Ph.D, a practicing psychologist and former marketing director for a multi-level marketing magazine, echoes these sentiments. “Many people don’t realize that multi-level marketing companies are successful because they help people satisfy a number of important human needs, including feeling significant, having connections, learning something new, and making a difference. I have heard people in network marketing say again and again, ‘I’m doing this because I’m meeting amazing people … making so many connections … and I feel so good about myself.’”

Dr. Brezinski’s point is well taken and easy to see practiced by popular network marketing companies. Many MLM and NM companies tout a three-to-five year plan to attain freedom and wealth, yet many of the people running company meetings have been in the business for five or ten years and still haven’t left their full-time job or landed on easy street. “As it turns out,” Dr. Brezinski notes, “when other human needs are being met, the members and consultants don’t focus solely on the financial aspects.”

Continuing my interviews, I challenged three others who are in the business to be straightforward, and prove to me that the process really works. What I found was good, consistent business advice applicable to any new business.

Lorene Hochstetler, from Ohio, recommends keeping your current job while slowly making the transition into MLM. She’s been able to replace her full-time income but explains, “It didn’t happen overnight, and I still work every day. I am very disciplined with my business and wake up every day knowing what I have to do in order to succeed at this. You have to treat it like a business and be willing to follow advice from others who have made it.”

Tracy Willard of California began her MLM career out of necessity. “Prior to getting involved in my business, I told my friends to never let me join one of those things… but when our family was hit by the mortgage crisis I had to do something different.” She started her business with the intention some retirees may also find themselves. “I started with the idea that I just needed to make my month easier. My company helped me figure out what I needed to do in order to make an extra $500 per month.”

She reiterated a common theme I heard throughout the interviews. “If you treat it like a hobby it won’t pay you like a business.” She also acknowledged that, in spite of her success, she doesn’t sit around eating bonbons every day waiting for residual checks to hit the mailbox. “That’s a common misconception,” she said. “I work hard at my business every day, although it doesn’t always feel like work. Similar to other entrepreneurs who profit from their passion, she says “It’s rewarding because I found a product that has made in difference in how I look and feel… and I love selling it and helping other people start a business.”

Staci Cahill runs her Washington MLM company in a way many people can appreciate. She keeps her personal life separate from her business life by avoiding home parties, offering instead workshops that educate prospects on the products she offers. “I didn’t want to be that person others hid from because they thought I was going to ask them to host a party. I like to keep my business life and personal life separate.”

When I asked her if she was successful at her craft, she pointed out an MLM approach different from what many might expect. “Yes, I am very successful given what I wanted to get out of it. I’m a single mother who used to work 50 hours per week outside the home. Now I’ve cut it to 20 hours, which is a major upgrade for me and my family.”

As a five-year veteran of MLM, she attributes her success to the fact that, “I switched companies a few years ago once I realized that pots and pans don’t change people lives. The products I now offer has changed my life and that of others… and I find a lot of value in waking up and going to bed knowing that.”

The interviews and psychological connections lead me to conclude that MLM and NM companies, along with other small businesses opportunities, are important considerations for anyone entering retirement. In fact, I believe the concept of starting a business for retirement income will become one of the most significant trends impacting retirement in the 21st century. But it has to start with redefining entrepreneurship and framing it into a retirement lifestyle. That means helping people find ways to turn a passion, hobby, or personal desire into extra money in their pocket… not to mention helping people see the importance of planning for the non-financial aspects of retirement such as replacing a work identity, staying relevant and connected, as well as keeping mentally and physically fit.
Something multi-level marketing as well as network marketing companies are poised to capitalize on. As a result, the industry could soon experience larger than life growth, spurred by baby boomers looking to adjust their retirement feelings and plans.