Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why Network Marketing Makes Sense

Almost everyone when asked if they would prefer to be in business for themselves or continue to work a job will say they would prefer to be in business for themselves.

Many of those same people however don't have the time, capital, and more importantly the knowledge on how to effectively run a business of any sort let alone start their own. That's where network marketing comes into play

Becoming an Entrepreneur

When considering becoming an entrepreneur a few things have started to happen. First, you are probably realizing that you were not born with a W-2 form attached to your birth certificate.

Second, working a job is okay initially if all you want to do is make a living, but is not ideal if you're trying to make a life.

And lastly, you really are not control of your own income if you're working for someone else. You've heard the famous joke about the guy who said he was his boss's right-hand man and as such could not get fired. Well soon after that statement his boss got left-handed really quick.

So what business could you start? How do you know what type of business or industry you want to get into? Where do you learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur and business owner?

You might want to consider network marketing as this business model will answer all those questions and then some.

An Entrepreneurial Shortcut: Network Marketing

Robert Kiyosaki is an investor, businessman, self-help author and motivational speaker and is best known for his Rich Dad, Poor Dad series of motivational books and other material.

In his book, Business School, he affirms: "If I had to do it all over again, rather than build an old style type of business, I would have started building a network marketing business." Strong statement from one of the world's most sought after entrepreneurs and business minds.

But what is it about Network Marketing that makes it so attractive and why should it be the first choice for people looking to get into business?

Here are some key reasons why network marketing is very attractive to new entrepreneurs.


Most network marketing businesses are very easy to get involved in and typically have a very low start-up cost. So there is no real risk of losing any money at the forefront and if you find the business is not exactly what you were looking for there is usually a money-back guarantee on your registration. Investing millions of dollars in a franchise just to get it off the ground is much more daunting than a couple of hundred bucks to get started in your own business.

Training and Support System

Most people don't have any knowledge on how to build a business of their own because no one is taught how to do this in any formal form of education. The education system is set up to teach people how to get a job and is more focused on developing skills. Jobs require skills but business ownership takes mindset. Most network marketing businesses have very extensive personal growth programs and support materials to help you make that transition from a job mentality to a business-ownership mentality. I recommend not focusing on the products of the business but their education program. Even if you do not make much money with your involvement, the education you receive will be worth the time invested.

Low Risk

Network marketing businesses are designed to be built during the spare time of the person looking to become an entrepreneur. So it is not possible to participate in a lot of these businesses full time like a conventional business or job. Because of this, there is no risk to what you may be currently pursing as a profession. It takes much more risk to totally stop your current form of income to pursue something that you have no real knowledge about with no guarantee of income in the future. A network marketing business will give you that flexibility to keep your day job but create the lifestyle you really want during your spare time. The famous saying is "You make a living from 9 to 5, but a life is made from 5 to 9."

No Limit to Potential Earnings

Once you understand how the business is run there is no limit to how much income you can create in a network marketing business. Because most of these businesses are focused on direct sales of products and services, you can outperform any distributor based on your own work ethic and your own effort. It is strictly performance based.

This is usually tough for most people who are used to showing up to work, surfing the internet for 8 hours and then getting paid at the end of the week for doing an average job at work. Networking marketing will teach you the hard lesson about what real business is about: you want a raise, you give yourself a raise. If you're not making money it is no one else's fault but your own.

How to Choose a Network Marketing Business to Partner With

Robert Kiyosaki also encourages people not to focus so much on the products that a network marketing business offers but to focus on some of the more intangible characteristics. In his book Business School, he affirms once again that he endorses any network marketing organization that is "first committed to developing you as a human being, more than developing you into a salesperson."

He reiterates that people should seek organizations that:

  • Are proven organizations that have successful track records and a distribution system and a compensation plan that has been successful for years.
  • Have a business opportunity you can succeed with, believe in and share confidently with others.
  • Have ongoing, long-term educational programs to develop you as a human being. Self-confidence is vital on the right side of the Quadrant.
  • Have a strong mentor program. You want to learn from leaders, not advisers. People who are already leaders on the right side of the Quadrant and want you to succeed.
  • Have people you respect and enjoy being with.

According to Kiyosaki if the organization meets these five criteria, then and only then look at its product. Don't take my word for it, take his. Good luck!

Why Affiliate Marketing

Business are generally very difficult to get up and running.

Making a profit is not usually a short-term goal and in reality most conventional businesses are lucky if they can even get into the black the first two years.

Affiliate marketing represents a business opportunity that can be profitable in a very short timeframe.

Affiliate marketing is an Internet-based marketing practice in which a company rewards numerous other businesses for each referral business brought about by their marketing efforts.

It is a form of online marketing which is frequently overlooked by advertisers but more companies are starting to realize just how revolutionary this marketing strategy is. While search engines, e-mail, and website syndication captures much of the attention of online retailers, affiliate marketing carries a much lower profile.

For entrepreneurs however affiliate marketing is a very attractive industry to currently get informed and educated about. The social networking website buzz that hit the business world recently is a direct result of this.

Young kids in their early twenties are becoming multi-millionaires by simply tapping in to the concept of providing different revenue streams for different companies as long as the different affiliate companies use them for their advertising. It is ingenious and more importantly it works. is a great example of what an affiliate marketing business can accomplish in a short period of time. They have used their affiliate program to drive online sales, and in the process have made a ton of money for all of their affiliates.

The Amway-Quixtar Corporation is another one of the better affiliate marketing business models and taps into a huge alliance of companies which aid in the servicing of their customers. There are plenty of affiliate programs out there to chose from. Affiliate aggregators like Commission Junction allow you to tap into literally hundreds of affiliate programs for free.

So what makes this affiliate marketing business model so appealing to companies, customers, and budding entrepreneurs alike? Here are some key points about affiliate marketing.

Multiple Products

Probably the most important benefit about affiliate marketing is that it gives the parent corporation access to a variety of products and services. When asked usually about a website like Amazon for example and what products they sell the answer is usually this: everything.

The question really should be "what don't they sell"? Because they partner up with so many different companies and give them a platform that they can use to get the word out about their products. Amazon used to only sell books but now they sell almost anything you can find in a mall.

A Business That Is Not Expensive to Start

This is important to understand about affiliate marketing. This business model gives both large companies and individual entrepreneurs who are looking to dapple in small business the opportunity to do so. For big companies, forming or becoming part of an affiliate marketing program usually requires certain criteria be met but once this is taken care of the company now has access to a client base it otherwise wouldn't have.

With regards to small business owners, to participate in an affiliate marketing program is usually just s couple of hundred bucks. For companies like Amazon it is free, and all you have to worry about is the distribution end which isn't usually expensive.

Support Systems Are Available

Biggest fear about getting into business is the lack of knowledge or technical know-how involved in building and operating successful business. Affiliate marketing programs are usually privately owned and funded and have their own proven training and support system that you can plug into to learn everything you need to know about running and working that particular business.

The key term here is that they are "proven" systems, which means they work as long as you do the work to get the results.


The most exciting aspect of affiliate marketing programs is that you get paid strictly on your own performance and how much traffic you can drive through the portal. The greatest part about this is that the income potential is limitless.

You earn what you work for which is very appealing to most people looking to get into business but aren't ready to make the heavy investment that is required to get into conventional business.

What It Takes to Become an Entrepreneur

The best thing about being in business for yourself is this: your financial future is now in your hands.

The worst thing about being in business for yourself is this: your financial future is now in your hands.

Most people dream of being the boss with no worries, no stress, a balcony overlooking the beach, lemonade and sunglasses in the sun, trade winds coming from the east with sun tan lotion so you can bake as long as you want, etc.

But if this is the reality that awaits us, why are so few people not ready to take the big first step and go out on their own?

The reality is that becoming an entrepreneur is much tougher than working a job and people inherently know this. Most people are not ready to leave the security of a job and move into the more exciting adventure that is entrepreneurship. It offers no guarantees and as such the income potential is limitless. So it takes a totally different mindset to become an entrepeneur.

Let's take a look at some of the characteristics of successful people in business.


Most entrepreneurs are visionary thinkers; they have a dream that is going to require a number of years to achieve.

They are committed to seeing their dream come to reality and as such understand that showing up to work every day is not just for a paycheck but is bringing them one step closer to what they really want. If you're looking to become an entrepreneur you must begin with the end in mind or you shouldn't even bother getting started. If you start anything for the wrong reasons you will eventually quit for the wrong reasons.

Know what you want when you want it, and what you're willing to give up to get it. Knowing the sacrifice you're willing to make is more important.

Long-Term Thinkers

This goes hand in hand with the first characteristic. Entrepreneurs understand that they are in business for the long haul and whatever temporary setback they face is simply just that: a temporary setback.

Their focus is always on their long-term goals for financial independence or freedom or whatever they may be shooting for. If the dream is big enough, setbacks will be seen as little speed bumps along the way that you have to slow down for just so you don't ruin your vehicle but the second you get past them you can put your foot on the gas and keep on trucking.

Mentally Tough

Entrepreneurs understand that they are different from the masses and as such never seek approval from them but can still handle critics. When most people tell them that they're working too hard that means they're on the right track. And furthermore, when people criticize their product or idea they get even more excited because that means they're on fast-track. A famous quote states that "if people aren't criticizing you it probably means you're not about to do anything great."

Entrepreneurs understand that when you stick your head above the crowd and do something different you're liable to get tomatoes thrown at you. This is part of the job description and does not diminish the belief they have in what they are doing.

People-pleasers, people who worry what everyone else thinks about them, never become successfull entrepreneurs.


If you are going to be a successful entrepreneur you will eventually have to develop and possess leadership qualities.

People will only follow leaders stronger than themselves and so your business and the people working for you will be a reflection of your leadership. Successful entrepreneurs are obsessed with personal growth, which is why their organizations always seem to be growing rapidly.

If you can get on a personal development program of books and tapes, you will be well on your way.


Enthusiasm is a character trait that every successful business owner possesses.

To become a business owner you must develop a genuine enthusiasm for your product or service. Enthusiasm is contagious and produces excitement in those around you.

You cannot transfer enthusiasm because this comes from passion. You can however transfer excitement. If you promote your value to others with passion and enthusiasm you will soon have a following of many excited people who eventually become committed to the vision for your company. And if you're not an enthusiastic person, just act enthusiastic!

Eventually it'll become part of your personality.

Key Takeaways for Would-Be Entrepreneurs

The biggest takeaway is that becoming an entrepreneur takes less educational intelligence and more emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to control your emotions regardless of the outcome.

Business is not steady. It never grows as fast as you want it to and never will. While becoming an entrepreneur, you will experience more emotions than you probably ever have your entire life but that is what makes it so worth it.

Entrepreneurship is tough enough to keep the weak ones out, but simple enough that anyone can take a shot at it. If you think you have what it takes then I encourage you to go ahead and take the first big step.

An old Chinese proverb states that "the best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago. The second best time is now." Don't waste time, do it now, because your dreams and goals are yours to claim this lifetime. Good luck!

Wal-Mart and Distribution

Wal-Mart is more than just a success story.

It is the largest grocery retailer in the United States, making up about 20% of the grocery sales market last year. As a business, it is ranked number one in revenue when compared with other public corporations. There are so many more accolades to list but it is safe to stop here and just say that this company is not going anywhere in the near future.

The most intriguing aspect of Wal-Mart is that it specializes in non-glamorous products. The company is in the distribution business and is, if not the best, one of the best at it. You can find almost anything in Wal-Mart and at an affordable price. Their business model focuses on buying in bulk at a discount and selling products at a much cheaper price than its competitors.

Okay so we know Wal-Mart is in distribution, we know they are absolutely dominating the market right now, and yet they do this by selling products at the lowest prices possible. What is about the distribution market that makes a company like Wal-Mart continue to improve its revenue every year since the 1960s?

Distribution is not limited to one market

This is probably the best part of being in the distribution business and Wal-Mart's discount business model only makes this better. Big warehouse grocery stores like Wal-Mart, Costco, Hannaford, etc, all have the ability to expand their product inventory because of this simple reason: they distribute everything.

You can find products ranging from perishable items like eggs, milk, meat and poultry, to bigger warranty items like tires, television sets, dishwashers and bed frames. Because Wal-Mart is not limited to one market they have the ability to sell whatever consumers want. Imagine being in the VHS cassette tape market just two decades ago.

You were making a lot of money in the early eighties to early nineties. But right now if you were still in the VHS business you would be bankrupt and out of business. Compact Discs and DVDs have revolutionized that industry and cassette tapes couldn't be any more obsolete. Wal-Mart's strength lies in its ability to sell whatever is hot on the market. If consumers like Mp3 players then Wal-Mart will start to distribute Mp3s.

Distribution helps you leverage what is hot in your favor because you are not in manufacturing so have the leeway to move in and out of the supply chain wherever it is convenient from a profit standpoint.

Disintermediation: Middle-men can be eliminated

In every supply chain there are multiple intermediaries that aid in getting the product or service from the manufacturer to the consumer. The only challenge here from a business standpoint is that as a result the amount of profit potential possible to the eventual retailer is small compared to what they otherwise would get to keep if they owned the whole distribution chain.

With the advent of the internet a lot more of the intermediaries that used to be deemed irreplaceable in the supply chain can now be replaced and their profit shifted elsewhere. Wal-Mart's business model eliminates the wholesalers and jobbers and lets them access the manufacturers more directly. This is why they are able to offer a wide range of products at very cheap prices.

If the products were allowed to pass through the hands of the other intermediaries then the price would have to go up because Wal-Mart would have to incur the cost of paying the jobbers and wholesalers. So distribution gives you the ability to access certain links in the supply chain based on your company's competitive advantage and eventually eliminate some of them so you can keep more of the profit.

Internet makes the world an even bigger oyster

The internet has without a doubt revolutionized the way we do business today. There is no question about that. The distribution industry is no different and Wal-Mart like other companies is leveraging the ability the internet has to reach a worldwide audience.

For a long time Wal-Mart was the middle-man for most large-scale manufacturers. But ever since the internet came along the internet essentially replaced big warehouse distributers like Wal-Mart and took the place of middle-man in the distribution world. More and more companies are not just lining up to get a website, but also are looking to develop a larger customer base online.

The three biggest expenses for almost every company are advertising, employees, and overhead. What the internet has enable distribution companies to do is cut down costs tremendously in all those three areas. Not good news for people looking to work for these companies, but very good news to the owners.

Most effective advertising online is through word of mouth and referrals. So making the transition from conventional stores to online shopping for Wal-Mart has been a piece of cake. More and more people are getting used to shopping online and it is fast-becoming the more prevalent way to shop now. There are projections that by the year 2010, 30% of all revenue generated through distribution will be captured via the internet.

You can expect that these distribution companies are enjoying the costs that the internet is helping reduce and the profit potential it brings.

Be rest assured that distribution is not going anywhere. There is a lot of profit to be made in any part of the supply chain but perhaps the most lucrative today would be in the actual contact with consumers.

The future belongs today to the company that can get products to consumers faster and without the help of additional intermediaries along the way. Wal-Mart is doing this and doesn't look like they are slowing down. They aren't concerned with innovation because they let the consumers dictate what their inventory looks like. They access manufacturers directly and as such keep more of the profit when the final sale is made.

For those of us thinking about getting into the distribution business, hopefully this stimulated some ideas. The further down you are in the supply chain the better. Manufacturing is probably not the smartest industry to get into, but the service industry is continuing to produce more opportunities for budding entrepreneurs.

Tips on Time Management

Time management is hard for many people.

No matter the industry time management is not easy in today's world simply because as a nation we are busier than we have ever been. So rest assured you are not alone in this dilemma. If you feel multi-tasked out and always seem to be juggling more balls than you can catch and toss up at once then perhaps it is time for a paradigm shift.

The most successful people are ruthless with what they spend their time doing. The greatest thing about success principles is that they are always the same no matter where they are applied.

The rest of the article will highlight some of the key aspects of effective time management that most successful people understand.

Important Versus Urgent

The biggest challenge in running and operating a business is that you still have a life! But life is not going to stop so you can effectively run your business with no headaches, no challenges, no setbacks and no stress.

You have twenty-four hours just like everyone else does. And here's a tip: even if you had twenty-five it would still seem like you don't have enough time. So the first step is to make sure to decipher when something is urgent and when something is important.

Sadly most urgent things take the place of important things, and important things end up being pushed back on the list. If something is urgent and requires your immediate attention then take care of it. But, take care of it only if by not taking care of it you will jeopardize taking care of the more important things to do.

Important things and urgent things vary from person to person so you can be the judge.

Managing Priorities

First rule about time management: you can't manage your time. Time is not going to wait for you and time cannot be compartmentalized. You can't manage your time but you can, however, manage your priorities.

Make a list of priorities on a first day-to-day and then week-to-week basis and put them in ascending order of importance. Knock off the most important once first and only then can you move on to the next items on the list.

It is easier to manage priorities than to manage your time because time is definite but priorities do not have a timeframe. Sometimes you may underestimate how much time something may take or even overestimate how much time something may take you to complete and so managing your priorities is the most effective way to get yourself being more efficient.

Wake Up Early

Waking up early is the best habit you can pick up. Most successful people rise early and go to bed late. And trust me you will not die from lack of sleep.

Set a goal for yourself if you are not a morning person to rise at least an hour earlier than you have been and to go to sleep an hour later than you have been in the past. You'll find that that extra hour you wake up gives you ample time to really plan and schedule your day effectively and the extra hour at night gives you ample time to reflect on the day.

If you are spending most of your time sleeping then success is going to always be elusive for you. Success is not going to attack you in business, you must pursue it with all you've got and this means with every hour you can muster.

Sleep less!

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions usually come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are self-induced and some you just can't do anything about. The focus here will be on the self-induced distractions.

Some common ones are cell phones, internet browsing, television and exercise All four of them seem harmless but they take up more time than any other thing people do on a daily basis. The average American is said to watch an average of thirty-eight hours of television a week. That's like a part-time job with no pay!

The first step here will be to anytime you find yourself distracted from doing what you know you're supposed to be doing, write down immediately what the distraction is. You'll find that it is usually one of the four things listed previously. Once you can identify which distraction is usually the culprit it will be easier to stay away from them until the tasks are done.

Distractions are really things you should do after you do what you're supposed to, but choose to do earlier than you should. There's nothing wrong with watching television, but if it is getting in the way of you finishing up your proposal then it is a distraction.

Budget Relaxation Time

It is very important to fit in relaxation time into your schedule. Most people don't do this and find themselves feeling overworked. It resonates more when you can actually fit relaxation into your schedule versus trying to find time to squeeze it in.

Pre-planned relaxation always feels better and rejuvenates. Squeezed relaxation leaves you feeling guilty and exhausted thinking about the work you have to do tomorrow. It is okay to even allocate one day a week to just do something fun so you can decompress and be ready for the working days ahead.

Remember the saying: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy -- they should add exhausted too.

Tips on Setting Appointments

There are only two real reasons for a general lack of appointments: the fear of the phone and not knowing what to say and how to say it.

Some people are just afraid to pick up the phone to make prospecting calls. These people either never get going at all or only make a few calls. They never generate enough positive activity to succeed.

There are also the fearless ones who can burn through a prospect list in no time. However, they lack basic skills. In the absence of these skills, they can turn a great prospect list into worthless pile of paper and end up discouraged and defeated.

The following appointment setting techniques and principles will give you some great tips for making successful sales calls and booking appointments.

Set the Prospect at Ease

For your prospects to be open to your message, it is essential that they first be set at ease. A statement of familiarity must be made early in the call to capture attention, create interest and raise the level of comfort your prospect has with the calls.

Make sure to state immediately the purpose for the call and the potential benefit of the both of you getting together. People always want to know what is in it for them, and if you can communicate this early on it will increase the length of the conversation by increasing their curiosity.

Take Control

The person asking the questions is always in control of the conversation. You must master the skill of asking questions that people are compelled to answer and get them talking about their needs.

When people hear themselves telling you their likes and dislikes they automatically start to become endeared to you and want to hear more about your product. Be sure to be bold when asking questions and try and show some empathy about what their plight might be. Do not be so quick to move on to the next person on the list because the prospect will feel that.

Enthusiastically Assume the Appointment

Do not ask for an appointment. Asking for it puts the ball in their court. You never want the ball in their court.

Force them to either go through the awkwardness of saying no to sitting down with you or acquiesce to your request because it is obvious to them that you expected them to. Your expectation is the most important thing you bring to the phone call and will set the tone for how the conversation will go.

Expect then Manage Appointment Pushback

You can almost always expect initial resistance to your request for an appointment from both qualified and unqualified prospects.

The key is to properly manage this initial pushback to determine if your prospect's resistance indicates they are really not qualified or if it is just an automatic response from an otherwise qualified prospect. This initial resistance to an appointment is normal, welcomed and easily managed.

Reaffirm After Confirming Date, Time and Location

Always make sure to repeat all the prospect's information back to them. It reminds them of the information themselves as well as emphasizes them that you are putting this information down in writing.

This places more importance on the meeting and helps them understand that this meeting is important to you and more importantly that you will be there. They will show up most times just for that reason.

The Root Cause of Failure in Entrepreneurship

Most businesses are guaranteed to fail within the first five years for a number of different reasons.

The sad reality, however, is that most of these businesses fail due to their having been founded by inexperienced overly-enthused entrepreneurs.

This is usually the single most important reason for business failure early in a business.

The first step to fixing a problem is identifying what it is. So let's take a look quickly at some of the reasons why most businesses fail. If you are looking to start a business or have already started a business of your own, you can use these tips to hopefully avoid some of these pitfalls in your own business career.

Wrong Motivation

As a business owner you are hopefully starting for the right reasons. I cannot tell you what your reason should be but I can recommend it be something that you think about often, something that perhaps gets your emotions going, something other than just money. For most people it usually is a shock that most successful people are more passionate about something else that is dear to them which is why they are successful at what they do which is also why they make a lot of money.

Here's the big takeaway: if you start something for the wrong reasons, you will stop for the wrong reasons. If your only intention for getting into business is to make lots of money then your resolve and mental toughness will be test greatly if after five years you haven't even turned a profit. Attach the monetary value that you are shooting for to something bigger. Maybe you want to build a school, or donate money to charity, or retire your mother, something that will keep you going when life hits you upside the head.

Poor Management

Many a report on business failures cites poor management as one of the biggest reasons for failure. New business owners frequently lack relevant business and management expertise in almost all business functions and do not have enough capital to hire the necessary people to take care of what they do not know. Unless they recognize what they don't do well, and more importantly seek help, business owners may soon face disaster.

A successful business owner is also a good leader who creates a work climate that encourages productivity as well as innovation. You must be skilled at hiring competent people, training them and able to empower people to go above and beyond the call of duty. A good leader is also skilled at strategic thinking, able to make a vision a reality, and able to confront change, make transitions, and envision new possibilities for the future.

A tall order for someone who just gets into business, which is exactly why most people are not able to defeat the battle of attrition that comes with new business.

No Mentorship and Lack of Experience

A lot of the setbacks and hiccups, failures and hurdles that are encountered along the way can either be avoided or alleviated with the help of a business mentor. If you are starting out a business entirely on your own you might as well have started the journey five years ago blind-folded.

A mentor can help you identify potential pitfalls as well as confirm certain setbacks you will face if you continue what you are doing. They are an invaluable asset that you must seek to have in your corner if you want to be successful in business and at least get your business off the ground.

Failure to Change with the Times

The only constant in business is change. The ability to recognize opportunities and be flexible enough to adapt to changing times is a key ingredient to surviving and even prospering in the toughest business climate.

The challenge is that most new entrepreneurs are so excited about their idea that they fail to see some of the cons of pursuing it. They choose to ignore their competition that most times are more familiar with the industry and are leveraging the changes in the marketplace. Be sure that as you pursue your business venture you pay respect to the economy before you and the competitors you currently have. They have been running the marathon longer than you have and are still running.

That is a good enough reason to pay attention to what they are doing as well as how they are reacting to the economy.

Inadequate Goal-Setting

Business owners often fail to establish clear goals and create plans to achieve those goals, especially before starting out, when they fail to develop a complete business plan before launching their company. You can't achieve your goal if you do not have one. Having a goal gives you purpose and direction.

Goals act as your life map. They are like the dashboard on your car and chart your course and tell you when you have arrived at your destination. Most young entrepreneurs focus too much on the details versus just mapping out the end of the journey. You needn't worry about how you will achieve your goals. Simply concern yourself with the process of setting short term, medium term, and long term goals.

A written goal is infinitely more likely to be achieved that one that is merely kept in your thoughts or spoken aloud. Write your goals down and review them consistently.