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.

 

Losing In Amway – 2013 $$ Retrospective

Quite the interesting title, yes? Well, I chose it specifically to get the attention of people who are specifically looking for “Negative” on the anonymous interwebs about the Amway business opportunity. Why would I do that? Well, as mentioned in my previous post about a month or so ago, I’m here to share with you how much money / dollars / cash / dinero / moolah someone who does barely anything with their Amway business would lose. Wait….did I say lose? Oh dear…..my mistake. I apologize. You see, I’ve been fortunate to have been mentored and coached by World Wide Dreambuilders. Based on what they have taught me, even though I barely had any increase in my overall organization (ie: I was pathetically lazy, didn’t put any work in and barely increased the size of organization – #sadface) AT THE END OF IT ALL I STILL DID NOT LOSE MONEY!

How that can be when some of the most hardcore negative website posters out there will say EVERYONE loses money in Amway is a total mystery, apparently. Well, unlike those other “sources” I’ll do what I did last year (see: https://transparencyofadreamer.wordpress.com/2013/04/10/wwdb-and-amway-cost-2012/ ). Share with you my operating costs of running my Amway Business, share the costs of utilizing the WWDB (World Wide Dream Builder) training and mentorship system and how over the course of the year I came out IN THE BLACK. And the scary thing is – this is just me doing barely anything in the business. Ask any traditional business owner how much their overhead was and be prepared to wince.

I share these details because I believe it can help provide some perspective when people end up seeing so many multiple “opinions” online from “anonymous” sources. Anyone who goes through an education and information gathering process with a potential sponsor would see and be educated on what I’m sharing with you now in reference to costs of running the business. Maybe not in the first one or two meetings, but definitely before you launch. I also share this because I don’t see any other “sources” who claim to be “ex-Amway distributors” accurately discussing or sharing monthly resource costs to run the business within the past few years to present. That sure adds credibility now, doesn’t it?

But for now, the point is that even for the most low activity business owner, if you do what is taught, stay diligent with your personal finances, you will not go backwards. Please see below for the actual breakdown of expenses. Expenses are for myself as one IBO.

So: with that said – lets get to the numbers, shall we?

Communikate: (Toll Free 1-800 number access / voicemail / voice messaging service / conferencing solutions / Fax services / dedicated email)
Monthly cost $36.95. Yearly Cost = $443.40
– Side note this did not increase in price over the last year.

Digital Delivery: (Unlimited access to WWDB audio library featuring training / teaching / motivation for direct streaming and .mp3 download for use on iPod / Smartphone / mp3 players on the go)
Monthly cost: $25.00. Yearly Cost: $300.00
– Side note – this did not increase in price over the last year. 

Premier Membership: (Hosted and created website, personal web training / prospecting website, free iOS/Android apps, free guest tickets for major functions, training utilities, discounts on personal development / training books, discounts on training tools)
Monthly cost: $49.95. Yearly Cost: $599.40
 – Side Note – this did not increase in price over the last year.

Current Totals: $111.90 /month. $1342.80/year.

Major Functions
Dream Night: $70.00 (includes catered dinner) / (No increase in price over the past year)
Spring Leadership: $125.00 (no increase in price over the past year)
Family Reunion: $250.00 (includes catered dinner / breakfast / hotel room for 1 night) / ($10.00 increase from previous year)
Health & Beauty Product Seminar: $25.00
Free Enterprise Days: $125.00 (no increase from previous year)
Total Cost: $595.00

Major Function Hotel Costs
Varies by location. Average $150.00/night X 5 Nights = $750.00
(Increase of approx $50.00/night over previous year due to industry costs / increases)
(2 Nights for Spring Leadership / 1 Night For Family Reunion / 2 Nights for F.E.D.) 

Business Support Materials (BOV’s / Web Tours / Books / CD’s for prospects etc)
$20.00 / month X 12 months = $240.00

2013 total Cost Run Down:
Communikate: $443.40
Digital Delivery: $300.00
Premier Membership: $599.40
Major Functions: $595.00
Major Function Hotels: $750.00
Business Support Materials: $240.00
Total Business Cost: $2927.80

Lets bring it all together here, folks.

Total Cost To Run Business: $2927.80

Just like I said last year – “Oh No! I’ve been scammed! I’ve lost money! My upline lied to me! I didn’t put in any work to sponsor anyone this last year and its everyone’s fault but mine! The business doesn’t work! What a total scam!!!”

Hold on now Mr. Negative – Due to running my own business in a country that incentivises business owners to run their own business I received tax benefits that entitled me to a refund for the 2013 year. Add profits from retail sales and volume bonus’ and at the end of year, with all incoming funds combined, you wouldn’t lose money.

Don’t get me wrong, if you look at cost to run the business vs barely running a 50/150 business you could run at a loss. And a loss is a loss – there’s no beating around the bush about that. Before a tax return, you may not break even if you do not do what is taught. But one of the benefits of running a business is being eligible for legal tax write offs to run said business. If I only got my standard return of 400.00 – 600.00 from just my regular job (its what I got before I was in business), then I would have to agree with the naysayers that it definitely is possible to lose money while doing what is taught. However, my point is that while a tax return cannot considered income, my overall bottom line from incoming funds from running my business overall and at the end of the day / year did NOT put me in the red. That is my point which runs completely counter to word on the internet street. Any funding to pay for running my business on a monthly basis to give me the tax return that I received was worked into my monthly budget so as not to go backwards in my regular finances. That, and the monthly and weekly income Amway paid me went directly towards covering the costs of running my business. So – bottom line = payments to me from running my business in total from Amway Bonus’ / Amway Retail Payout / Legal Business Tax Refund – I didn’t go backwards ultimately even with a “technical” loss.

I maintain that anyone can lose money in Amway if they are not taught how to budget correctly, how to track their business expenses and ultimately if they do not stick to their budget. Above I’ve shown how the breakdown can work if someone is diligent and on top of their affairs. Period.

After all the numbers came in for 2012 I was in the black. This year, I’m in the black even moreso. Am I happy and excited that I barely grew my business this past year? Absolutely not. As I said above, I’m a bit embarassed. I’m counselling with my upline regularly for coaching to improve myself to grow my organization – but ultimately it was my lack of action this past year that restricted my growth. In spite of that, not only did I NOT lose money. I was further ahead than I was last year.

Oh of course there is a bit more of expenses to be sure.
4 regional seminars/ rallies per year = $80.00.
6 Organizational Opens = $60.00
Total = $140.00.
So now I’m in the black a little bit less. Oh my good lord, no! / sarcasm.

“What about gas to drive to your meetings / plans?”
Excellent point! My gas for business / personal usage is included with my normal paycheque gas budget I set for myself on a bi-weekly basis much like food and bills etc. As such, it’s not a seperate expense. Thank goodness for WWDB and my upline to teach me how to budget properly so as not to go backwards in my finances! I had to follow my budget though.

“What about the coffee and food you buy at your starbucks meetings?”
Very valid question! Yes, there may be some extra costs associated with doing a Meet and Greet at local coffee shops. However, like I said last year – if I had purchased hundreds of more dollars in coffee and snacks for Amway Meet and Greets – I would be in Silver Qualification by now and my Amway payout would be MUCH more. The unfortunate truth (hence my blog title “Transparency”) is that I barely had any meet and greets or sit downs to expose this business to people this past year. As such, my expenses were quite low. But, its good to know that I had A LOT of breathing room based on the overall outcome of the cost of running my business.

So, as I wrap up I hope I made my point very clear – you will not lose money running your own Amway Business powered by World Wide Dreambuilders…. IF you are diligent with your finances, and if you don’t blow your budget your coach sets with you. You WILL lose money running your own Amway Business powered by ANY training system IF you don’t have a budget, if you don’t ask for help to set a budget, if you ignore your budget etc.

It’s never fun to publicly state that you didn’t really do anything with your business and barely grew. Yet, in spite of barely growing (only added one downline in 2012 and they added two downline in 2013 – I have hit 50/150 consecutively for almost two years now) I still came out on top. Better than last year, to boot. I did not go into debt to do this. I DARE you to ask any traditional business owner how much it cost them to run their business. When I tell someone it cost me under $3,000.00/year and they spent anywhere from $15,000/year to $500,000/year they want to throw up in their mouth. I know I would.

I have no employees. No stock. No warehouses. No utilities to pay outside of my home. I barely grew, but came out in the black. The hardest part, but the most financially rewarding is now to duplicate what I have done. As I duplicate, my profits will multiply. Thats the beauty of exponential growth. I can’t do that with my job at Rogers.

Finally – I will say again – if you have someone who is looking to show you this business, they should be taking you through some kind of education process. This process should be, at minimum 3 – 4 weeks. You should be given educational books on the industry, educational audios to listen to as you research as well as have multiple meetings to see the way the business works and to have your questions answered. Usually at the second or third follow up you should be given details on the finances – how much it costs. If your potential sponsor is affiliated with WWDB and is doing what they are taught, you should be educated on some of the numbers I shared above in regards to cost for access to your training and mentorship system.

If you get a weird vibe from your potential coach or if the person is going for a hype up, sign up on you and isn’t looking to get to know you over the course of 3 – 6 weeks – run away. You will find many better sponsors who will have your best interest at heart. A sponsor who has your best interest at heart will be happy to take the time to educate you, answer your questions and go over details over a 3 – 6 week process. Keep in mind – they will be wanting to make sure you are worth their time to help build your own business. And you won’t find any other business that will have people wanting you to succeed more than this one.

Summer is almost here! Enjoy the sun!

Best wishes,

~C

Amway In The Globe And Mail

Sooo about that credibility issue surrounding Amway. I’m just a random online blog dude who should have absolutely no credibility with you if you haven’t met me. But the Globe and Mail, on the other hand has been in circulation since the 1930’s and currently is Canada’s 2nd most read news publication.

So when this came out on the front page, I figured it would make sense to share – considering how pyramid like the business is, I’m sure The Globe and Mail would be able to shine some light on the subject, right? They would confirm how horrible and terrible the direct selling / network marketing industry is, right?

Quite honestly, I wouldn’t share this with anyone who is super negative. They’ll just tell you that The Globe and Mail is full of garbage, a trashy newspaper with horrible columnists and have no credibility. THEY know much more about how it REALLY is. /sarcasm

Source: The Globe and Mail – December 3, 2013.
Author: Stephanie Chan with The Globe and Mail
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/jobs/the-amway-generation-struggling-workers-find-new-calling-in-direct-sales/article15732077/

There was a time when the average Mary Kay or Avon seller was a housewife, but an increasingly competitive job market has launched a new wave of faces into the industry – Generation Y.

Concerned about an aging demographic of sellers in the ’90s, the industry has worked over the past decade to change the perception of direct selling to appeal to a younger generation. A new marketing strategy, in tandem with the tough job market, means that Generation Y, born between 1981 and 2000, is approaching the direct-selling model as a viable career option, rather than simply as a side business.

“That solidarity of having a stable job just doesn’t exist any more,” said April Tu, who left university early four years ago at 21 to pursue Amway, a direct-selling giant that markets everything from cosmetics to health supplements to cleaning products. “Students are investing thousands of dollars into school. … You’ve been told to do something that was supposed to work for you, but when you went out into the economy all you were met with was pure frustration.”

Young people such as Ms. Tu are increasingly seeing direct-selling as a way out of low-paying, entry-level positions after graduation, especially in an economy where youth unemployment hovers around 14 per cent, up from around 11 per cent in 2008. The number of long-term unemployed youth has also skyrocketed to over 40,000 as of October, 2013, more than triple what it was a half-decade ago.

But for Amway, Generation Y is its fastest rising demographic. Millennials have gone from representing just over 10 per cent of its global sales force in 2005 to nearly a third in 2012. Gen Y now makes up a third of new Canadian memberships. Mr. Johnson also says that between 2011 and 2012, Amway has seen Gen Y shoot up 21 per cent in recruiting and 19 per cent in sales generated.

The demographic trend is also reflected at cosmetics giant Mary Kay Cosmetics Inc., where just over 20 per cent of the 38,000-strong Canadian sales force is Gen Y, while half of the U.S. sales force is under 35. The company, once synonymous with shopping parties, has taken great pains in the last decade to enhance its appeal, using online showrooms, virtual makeover applications and a widening social presence to attract a new generation. Sponsoring such events as the MuchMusic Video Awards has also created a new, younger Mary Kay culture.

“They have a very strong entrepreneurial spirit,” said Lynda Rose, vice-president of marketing at Mary Kay Canada. “They’re saying, ‘We want to travel with our business and we want to have it at our fingertips.’ … Their income is reflective of the amount of effort they put into their business, and they love that.”

Ms. Tu had only completed her first year of university when a stranger at a gas station approached her with the Amway opportunity. That stranger later became her first mentor after she quit school, and since then she has gone from new recruit to team leader of about 50 people, a team so dedicated that they clear about $20,000 worth of sales a month. Her weekly team and informational meeting in Waterloo, Ont., is attended almost exclusively by millennials, with another dozen from out of town who tune in to the live webcast – one logs on every week from Calgary.

Ms. Tu, 25, and her husband Jack net roughly $45,000 a year from their part-time business, made from a combination of sales and bonuses she receives from Amway for training her team. Membership has also seen a recent surge, with over a quarter of her team having joined in the last year alone, a product of an environment that Ms. Tu says appeals to her younger crowd.

“We recognize people for everything, whether it’s ‘I started a conversation’ to ‘I made a sale.’ We understand that in the normal world, people are not recognized for their achievements,” she said. “When you plug into an environment that is so blasted with positivity and hope and belief, it becomes something that you crave because it’s literally the best part of your week.”

The direct-selling opportunity is providing Gen Y with an alternative work environment outside of the nine-to-five, says 22-year-old Alex Bakay, who has spent roughly $1,000 on his business in the six months since he joined. He earns around $100 a month. The investment, he says, is more than worth it.

“Being told what to do all day isn’t the nicest thing,” he said, “so being able to hang around business owners all day who make their own schedule and who are disciplined – it brings a new mindset.”

Roberto Artwell, 19, who has also been with the team less than a year, is so optimistic about his business that, within the next 12 months, he sees himself with his own team of 50 people.

“The first time I walked into a meeting, I thought it was going to be a bunch of old people who’d already been successful and be the awkward one out,” he said. “The first time I came, I went, ‘Oh my gosh, half these people are around my age.’ … You know that if he’s 25, he’s 20, and I’m only 19, why can’t I do what he’s already doing? The reason why so many young people are jumping at this opportunity is because our infrastructure is so simple.”

Direct selling, or multilevel marketing companies (MLM), typically follow a basic model whereby sellers are recruited to market products, but also to recruit other sellers. Originating sellers earn extra percentages of pay based on the performance and size of their team.

For years, the industry has faced harsh criticism for seemingly harbouring scams and pyramid schemes, which has led executives to drastically change marketing strategies. The shift is well timed: Gen Y remains relatively unaware of any stigma that surrounds MLMs. An Ipsos study commissioned by Amway found that 79 per cent of millennials in North America were favourable or neutral to the direct-selling model.

Nowadays, “we present it in a much more common-sense, basic presentation,” said Jeff Johnson, national sales manager for Amway Canada. “What’s in it for them. What can they earn. … They want to know the bottom line, and they don’t want a PhD thesis given to them.”

Mary Kay does not post earnings, though Amway parent Alticor Inc. has reported consecutive years of growth, having hit $11.3-billion (U.S.) worth of sales in 2012. The performance of other publicly listed MLMs also shows a slowly expanding industry. Both Herbalife Ltd. and Tupperware Brands Corp. announced record third-quarter earnings in October. Avon Products Inc. saw another dip in earnings, but the company is struggling with more than just sales, having changed leadership last year.

For many in Generation Y, the industry’s accomplishments suggest a future where the young can achieve entrepreneurial success, with or without a degree.

“They want financial independence,” Ms. Rose said. “… They almost see work and fun time as mixed. Maybe my generation you have work and home. Our lives were separate. But a Gen Y person looks at their life and goes, ‘My work has to be fun, my life has to be fun and I want to do a job that’s fun.’ ”

Good Morning Primerica

Instead of waking up on my own this morning I received a phone call at around 10:35am. This was to be my sleep in day as we’re getting ready to hit the road tomorrow morning for Portland Free Enterprise and I won’t get sleep in time while down there.

The lady sounded professional and friendly and advised me that she had gotten access to or found my business card – how I can’t figure. I leave my card in free draws that local business’ put on for a free lunch or similar things but don’t generally leave them places like on bulletin boards telling people to call me to get rich or whatever . I only give them out, normally to those I’ve spoken to directly and even then, I don’t use them often when looking to sit down with someone to start a process with them. So I was kind of surprised when she laid a Bill Hawkins on me. I swear she had just finished listening to Bill Hawkins’ “How to Contact and Invite”.

We’re currently looking to expand our business in your local area and are looking for some great people to head up our new location. Are you open to other opportunities or are you locked in to what you’re doing right now?

In my semi conscious state I had to smile to myself as right away I knew this was a non-traditional business opportunity just by hearing that line. Not that there’s anything wrong with the line as it is a legitimate question – straight to the point and relevant – its just that   what I’ve been taught is that this is similar to beginning training and basics we would have a new IBO listen to just as a very very basic framework so they can start from there and build up their own dialogue with people.

So, even though I had no plans on taking on another side business I told her I was always open to learning more about other opportunities just to learn some details. I like learning about other networking companies and how they roll as I can talk to people about it from my personal experience with them. Personal experience always holds more weight than hearsay (hint: that’s why personal use is as important as it is) and it helps me because I can get details I can share with prospects when I sit down with them and educate them about the industry or talk about during my “pyramid scheme” part of plans when I’m on the board for our team.

She advised me that the opportunity would be managing an office or location for Primerica. I advised her I had heard of Primerica before and knew of it to which she seemed quite pleased. She went over a vague outline of how they are looking for people to help run the new office. Since I had been looking into new job opportunities to see if I could get a new job with better hours (even after 6 years with my current employer I’m still lucky to get 1 or two weeks a year with a decent Monday – Friday schedule) I asked if this was for an hourly or salaried type position – because I was looking for that if the schedule was better than what I had now with a salary close to what I was currently earning.

She confirmed that it was a commission based position which told me I would directly be involved with selling Primerica services or the Primerica opportunity. As soon as I was able to confirm that it was not an hourly or salaried position as an office admin or manager I thanked her for her consideration and the opportunity, however I was already committed to my current job and business until I phased out of my job in a year or so.

The lady, who to her credit remained very friendly, courteous and non-pushy, advised me that many people who were involved with Primerica were able to also replace their full time income to walk away from their regular jobs. I told her I thought that was awesome because trading time for money was the worst way to make an income and the opportunity sounded like it allowed people to do things differently which was great! She got excited that it seemed that I was one of those who “got it”. Who understood that making money by trading my time, while kind of secure, wouldn’t ever allow me to live the way I wanted and had no gaurantees.

I then had to repeat that I already had other commitments that I had made to my team and my coaches who are already in place helping my partner and I create our asset and that currently my extra time is already dedicated to building that asset. I thanked her again for the consideration but at this time would no longer be interested in any further details.

As mentioned – to her credit she represented herself well – polite, professional, friendly with a great phone manner. Nothing shady, pushy or intrusive. So she represented her firm well. I knew she probably got a lot of people hanging up on her or insulting her or yelling at her how she’s in a pyramid scheme or how she is trying to scam people and so on. And while, I don’t ever plan to stop or change what I’m doing, I’ll be happy to listen politely before declining because as long as these other people in legit opportunities aren’t out to scam someone or misrepresent what they are or do, I’m glad that they’re trying to do something different. To have a plan B in place.

Now, if she had been pushy or a bag about it, I would have enjoyed tearing her apart regarding the “opportunity”. Because the main issue that came to me was that the position was commissionable only. Put it any way you want to folks but that’s selling. Anything you have to sell you need to recreate those sales on a monthly basis. As I’ve said before in many posts I’ve made – I’m not a sales guy. Neither is my partner. I will never go door to door “ding donging” people when they’re relaxing at the end of their long day. I will never cold call and interrupt someone who is not expecting me to call them. People are busy with their lives – the last thing they want is to hear about some opportunity from someone they’ve never met who hasn’t had a chance to even get to know them or find out if they have a need or want in their life to do more than what they currently are.

I enjoy the Amway business because selling is about 5% of what I actually do. I have to get a measly 50PV worth of customer volume every month. That’s about $150.00 of client sales/month. You ask any sales guy or girl what would happen if they only made $150.00 for their company how long they would be employed. Most of those only get 5% commission on eligible sales IF THEY’RE LUCKY. My commission is anywhere from 10% – 35% on product sales. Now, to be honest, I barely sell. I don’t like it, I’m not good at it and it can be intimidating.

However, the small amount of customers we do have are regular customers because we treat them awesome, give them small incentives and they regularly need our products. I don’t have to recreate my sales every month because one of our customers needs her vitamin D and Vegetarian Omega 3 supplements on a monthly basis. Every month I have guaranteed volume. I don’t need to go out to recreate new sales to hit my target 50PV target. No cold calling, no ding donging.

How did we get that customer? I was helping a family friend around her home and I had a bottle of perfect water and during a lunch break took my Double X vitamins. She asked what I was taking and right off the bat I’m in a natural conversation about my products without being a greasy, dirty sales guy looking to scam people out of their money. I was able to find out, through normal conversation, what her needs were and recommended a free sample (which is a write off) which she enjoyed and boom – we have a regular customer. We have about 6 – 7 customers that we do business with and because of the multiple product lines that Amway has, our customers use these products and need them regularly on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. We have one or two customers who are 2 – 3 times a year purchasers on random stuff but we treat them awesome which is why they’re happy to do business with us.

To be completely honest, I don’t know the Primerica plan at all. Their website talks about financial coaching and how to help people pay off debt and let their money help them earn more to increase their savings or whatnot. But once I sell an insurance policy or financial advise or whatever, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to do it again and again. Its a one trick pony. There’s nothing residual to it, from what I can see. If I do business with someone, they shouldn’t have to use my services again one month later. I would hope not in this scenario.

Any business that has one or a very limited product line is going to be very challenging to continue to run a high level of volume or, if not for you, any downline you bring on. By having a tiny selection of products or services you significantly reduce the need and demand for your services because you have only one or two things. Most people’s needs or tastes vary greatly from person to person. So by having a limited selection of products and services, you eliminate a lot of your market.

My customers need laundry soap every two – three months / vitamins monthly, one water filter per year / glass and multipurpose cleaner every few months / and some skin care every month. That’s our few customers. I haven’t even tapped XS, perfect water or Ribbon gift cards for goodness sake. That’s why I’ve created my customer base once, and now I just focus on serving them well. We can now provide a real focus on building our team and helping them do what we’ve done, help them get their finances on track, help them afford a solid first circle into their existing budget and be there to help them as they learn and grow. I dont need to re-create new customer volume every month and go after leads. I don’t want to take time to do that every day or month. I would rather set that up once and focus on everything else.

Its taken us two and a half years to get this customer base, true. We’re not the fastest IBO’s in the pan. As Dave Severn said when he started his business, “I don’t think our upline is opening up new bank accounts to hold all of the huge income our leg is producing” – but we have a great foundation from which to teach our team correctly – which is why they’re not only killing us with retail volume, but in personal width as well(and we’re super excited for them too!)! All we did what our upline told us. Personal use in front of people, gain interest, share the value of what you use if it can provide value to them (don’t push them into buying something they have no need for) and it got us customers. I didn’t have to do any crazy selling things at all. No annoying people or bugging them like this friendly Primerica woman had to do.

My partner posed a very relevant statement to me after I told her about it – “For all of us who are already doing their own thing and decline these other offers or those who just say no, how many do you think actually go for it?” While I don’t know, I’m sure its a great point. I’m just glad that through World Wide and my coaches I’ve been able to learn about this opportunity and see it in a way of how it can be built not only in a successful way but also in a way that doesn’t bother people who aren’t looking and with a moral standard. With integrity. When I read about and hear about all of those horror stories its easy to see how this industry gets the bad rap that it does. I’m glad that my friend found the right people to be in business with.

Once again, that’s why I will always say that if you get presented this opportunity and you aren’t taken through an education and qualification process – walk away. This business is built at the speed of trust between you and your potential upline, coach and mentor. If they want to sign you up to make millions in the next few months, get away. If you’re being offered an opportunity with a small product line like a super juice of the gods but nothing else or just one service – you’ll be pigeon holed to that one product or service.

Best of luck to you Primerica lady. I wish you good fortune, but I’m excited about where we are, what we have our hands on and the foundation we have laid.

Free Enterprise Day is coming up this weekend. My best friend Dean and his wife Marcie are being celebrated as New Diamonds. We are so fortunate to have them as our direct upline and coaches. This weekend is going to be absolutely nuts! We have two cars going down and can’t wait to share details of the trip and some pictures as well.

Have a great weekend!

~ C