It is crucial that you must become educated about your network marketing business. How can you make an informed and brilliant decision without the necessary education that will allow you to know if a particular opportunity or sponsor is right for you? This “how-to” guide article will save you time and effort and show you the way to become successful in your network marketing business.
Much of society seems to be built on a scarcity mentality. It’s a mentality that tells people that there is a lack in life, that opportunities are few and far between. This is, of course, useful for society because if people feel that there is a lack, then you can get them to buy stuff; thus, the economy and society can continue to thrive and prosper by reinforcing a scarcity mentality in people.
The scarcity mentality can be quite painful for the individual and create a lot of unnecessary fear, anxiety and desperation. An abundance mentality, on the other hand, tells you that there are always new chances and opportunities. This relieves much of the pressure you may feel if you have a scarcity mentality that makes you think that you’ve only got one shot right now. Or it makes you feel like an utter failure just because you stumbled and things didn’t work out. An abundance mentality can help you improve your performance since with it, you’re creating a lot less pressure and anxieties within your own mind.
Here are a few tips to create and reinforce your own abundance mentality.
Look for the symptoms of a scarcity mentality. If you have a scarcity mentality then you will probably take things too seriously. You may think to yourself: “If I fail, the sky will fall”. It won’t, though, and you know that and need to remind yourself. But you think it will, you become overly nervous and POOF! you have invited that failure because your negativity becomes an obstacle on your path to success. If it’s a game, then you may fumble with the ball. If it’s an exam, then you may not have been able to sleep and will perform poorly on the test. If it’s a date, you may come over as too needy and nervous and not as your usual, more relaxed self. Regain your empowerment by remembering all the opportunities you have been afforded and know that it is all a flow that will always continue.
Focus on the abundance, not on the lack. What you focus on, you will see in your world. Since you can’t take in everything around you, your reticular activation system – your focus system in the mind – will bring into focus what you focus your thoughts on.
This will allow you to see the abundance in your world that you may be missing right now. If you, for instance, have a lack of money, then don’t focus on your lack. Focus and think about the abundance of possibilities in the world to make money. Soon ideas and opportunities to make that happen will start to “pop up” in your world. It’s almost a bit freaky how things that hold solutions for you – perhaps books or acquaintances – that have been there in the background for quite a while just one day suddenly jump out at you.
Appreciate. One quick way to revert from the pretty normal habit of thinking about what you don’t have is simply to appreciate. Appreciate your food, life, your roof, your friends and family and so on. This can not only turn a sour mood into a more positive one within minutes, but it can also help you notice opportunities you have missed or forgotten about. And it’ll create a more open vibe within you, a vibe that makes it easier to focus on the abundance. So, make a habit of appreciating something in your life for a few minutes each day.
Get organized. When you don’t feel abundant or good about yourself or life in general, that can mean you are simply not in order. Have your home clean, your clothes folded, your digital files in place, and your finances organized. Have some order and discipline, and you’ll start seeing results.
Get an abundance vibe from other people. Since you get a scarcity mentality from, say, advertising and media, then you can change your input to change your mentality. Cut down on watching the news. Record your favourite shows and skip the commercials. Or just cut down on your TV and media consumption, period.
Replace the scarcity vibe you get from that input. How do you do that? “Hang out” with people that have an abundance mentality. Read, listen to and watch personal development material. Besides reading your favourite personal development blogs, read success stories in books and magazines. Have a positive attitude to the abundance and success of your friends, family and co-workers. Hang out with people in real life who have more of an abundance mentality and less of a scarcity mentality. Be selective with what you put into your mind. Create your own environment of abundance.
Share the wealth. One very good way to acknowledge how much you have is to share it. Do you feel like you’re not making enough money? Give some away. Not enough love? Give some away. Not enough validation, appreciation, recognition? Give it all away. It’s hard for something to feel scarce when you’re giving it away.
Create win-win situations. People with a scarcity mentality tend to see every relationship is win-lose, as in: “It’s either you or me, buddy, and I want it to be me.” People with an abundance mentality, on the other hand, try to create mutually beneficial relationships in which both parties can win. Instead of winning an argument, for example, try to reach a consensus that you both can be happy with. Instead of competing, collaborate.
Remind yourself. It’s very easy to slip back into your old thought patterns. You just forget about what you should be thinking about. A useful tool to keep yourself from slipping is to use external reminders. You can, for example, use written notes posted at places you can’t avoid seeing several times each day – your workspace, fridge and mirrors – or put a bracelet on your wrist. Seeing words or quotes that remind you of your new abundance mentality can help your mind snap back into the right head-space once again.
When you face your greatest loss, it may contain your greatest opportunity. If you lose your job and are close to losing your housing, you could sell off anything you don’t like, want or immediately need to cut back on your physical possessions. That means less to move, so starting over might as well be where you always wanted to live. You have to find a way to make a living, so it might as well be entry level in whatever you always wanted to do instead of just looking for a job, any job. Shoot high. Those crises are the point in life where everything that held you back can be left behind and moving toward something better than you’ve ever had will make any sacrifices meaningful. It’s very different being frugal and living small because you’re just starting out or living a reduced lifestyle viewed as a failure. Use the chance to give yourself something that money can’t buy, like time and freedom.
As admittedly wonderful and fascinating as the human brain is, it definitely can feel like our brain is out to get us sometimes.
Summed up perfectly in the many observations of the “Scumbag Brain” meme, our brain does seem to engage in “sabotage” in terms of how it naturally reacts to situations.
The scary thing is that in some circumstances, these feelings are backed up by actual research!
We’ve already discussed how poorly our brain operates while multitasking (despite tricking us to feel fulfilled while we do it), and today I’d like to expand upon 5 new dangers present in our ‘scumbag brains.’
In this post you’ll learn how to combat your brain’s own brilliance, overcoming it’s instinctual reactions which often have devastating effects on those all-important long term goals that you set for yourself.
Let’s get started!
1.) Your brain can hurt your goals by fantasizing too much
Would you believe that fantasizing is the #1 way your brain can unintentionally ruin your goals?
It seems unlikely, right?
The thing is, the proof is in the pudding (or in this case, the research): psychologists have found that while positive thinking about the future is broadly beneficial, too much fantasy can have disastrous results on achieving goals.
Researchers tracked the progress of how people cope with four different types of challenges.
As an example, in one of those challenges (trying to find a fulfilling job), those who had spent the most time fantasizing performed the worst in a variety of critical data points:
- they had applied for fewer jobs
- they had been offered fewer jobs
- if they were able to find work, they had lower salaries.
Why could fantasizing about a positive end take a turn for the worse?
Jeremy Dean, a psychological researcher at UCL London and the owner of PsyBlog had this to say about the researcher’s conclusions:
The problem with positive fantasies is that they allow us to anticipate success in the here and now. However, they don’t alert us to the problems we are likely to face along the way and can leave us with less motivation—after all, it feels like we’ve already reached our goal.
It’s one way in which our minds own brilliance lets us down. Because it’s so amazing at simulating our achievement of future events, it can actually undermine our attempts to achieve those goals in reality.
Our poor brain is thus a victim of itself.
Again, this is not to say that visualizing goals is necessarily a haphazard strategy for achieving them, it’s just that we need to be aware of the dangers of excessive fantasy.
Instead of being entranced with what the future may bring, we need to learn to love the work here and now.
Enjoying our day by day progress and realistic ‘checkpoints’ is a much more practical way to create our future; getting lost in grandiose dreams that focus on the ultimate end is not.
As they say, don’t give up on your dreams, but don’t fall under their spell either.
2.) Your brain procrastinates on big projects by visualizing the worst parts
Procrastination, of all of the things on this list, is likely the most recognizable: everybody realizes that they procrastinate from time to time, and it’s something we are forced to battle with every day.
How can we fight this persistent opponent?
Interesting research from Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik (of whom the Zeigarnik Effect is named after) reveals to us an interesting tidbit about the human mind: we are better at remember things that are partially done.
Ms. Zeigarnik came to this conclusion by testing the memory of folks doing simple “brain” tasks like puzzles or crafts.
She then interrupted them and asked them to recall (with specific detail) the tasks that they were doing or had completed.
She found that people were twice as likely to recall more detail about the tasks they had been interrupted in than in the tasks they had completed.
What does this have to do with procrastination?
Before we get to that, know this: in a study by Kenneth McGraw, participants were given a very tricky puzzle to solve with an “unlimited” amount of time.
The thing is, all of the participants were interrupted before they could finish, and then told that the study was over.
Guess what happened next…
Despite being told they were done, nearly 90% of participants continued working on the puzzle anyway.
What both of these studies teach us is that when people finally manage to start something, they are much more inclined to remember the task and finish it.
The Zeigarnik Effect and the subsequent McGraw study assure us that the best way to beat procrastination is to start somewhere… anywhere.
Our brain has the habit of envisioning the impending huge workload of an upcoming task.
It also tends to focus on the most difficult parts or sections, and this is where procrastination begins to set in: as we try to avoid the “hard work”, we find ways to skate around it and trick ourselves into thinking that we’re busy.
Just starting though, triggers our brain in a different way.
It’s the same way that cliffhangers are utilized to keep us coming back to our favorite TV shows; we’re primed to remember the last episode because the story was interrupted, and our brain wants a conclusion.
It’s the same with your tasks: start, and your brain will overcome the first hurdle.
This seemingly small milestone appears to be the most important one to overcome if you wish to defeat procrastination.
After starting a task, your brain will be more enticed to finish it to it’s “conclusion.”
You also tend to see that it’s not as big a mountain as you initially imagined, and that the work involved in completing this task won’t be so terrifying after all.
3.) Your brain will “abandon ship” at the first sign of distress
Anyone who’s fought the good fight with dieting will likely recognize this phenomenon.
You’re on a diet, and have been doing well for about 2 1/2 weeks, but you know your defenses are at risk.
To make matters work, you’re having dinner with friends tonight.
Instead of the healthy meal you could have made at home, you’re forced to use a restaurant menu.
The problem is this: At the bar before dinner, you had a little “cheat” moment by ordering snacks and drinks, after all, you’re with your pals tonight, right?
You know that those drinks and snacks, combined with the bread you had before dinner, leave you with one option to stay a bit over your caloric intake goals: you must eat a salad.
The thing is, your brain is yelling out “BURGER!”.
Instead of finishing the day a tad over your 2000 calorie goal, you order the burger with fries and don’t look back.
The crazy thing about this scenario?
It’s much more than a momentary act of weakness: psychologists have observed that this is much more likely to happen as a result of you missing a previously set goal.
Specifically, in research by Janet Polivy and her colleagues, people who were actually on diets were tested with pizza and cookies.
In the study, two groups of participants (those on diets and those not dieting) were told not to eat beforehand and then served exactly the same slice of pizza when they arrived to the lab.
Afterwards, they were then asked to taste and rate some cookies (I’m getting hungry already : )).
The thing was, the experimenters didn’t really care about the cookie’s rating, they just wanted to see how many people ate.
This is because they tricked some of the participants into thinking that they had recieved a larger slice than the others (using framing and false information). This was to make them believe that they had most certainly “ruined” their diet goals for the day.
When the cookies were weighed, it turned out that those who were on a diet and thought they’d blown their limit ate more of the cookies than those who weren’t on a diet.
This doesn’t paint the true picture though: they ate over 50% more!
On the flipside, the dieters that did think that they were in their caloric limit ate the same amount of cookies as those who weren’t on a diet at all.
Truly, our brain is geared towards a call of “Abandon ship!”, whenever we come short of our goals.
Don’t let this happen to you!
The best way to combat your brain from signaling ‘Mission Abort!’ after you’ve missed a short-term goal is to re-frame what just happened.
Yes, you did fall short or maybe mess up this time, but remember the progress that you’ve made.
With the diet example, you could look at all of the “good days” you’ve accumulated thus far: even if you fell after only a few days of starting your new diet, it’s still an accomplishment to have started one and to have set long-term goals for yourself.
Short-term lapses in your end-goal is not like a bad apple spoiling the bunch: you have gotten things accomplished so far and you need to stay focused on the long term, not become distraught by a singule mishap.
Research tells us that this is the best mindset to take for misfortune and failure in general: your progress and achievements go so much farther than that slip-up; don’t let your brain convince you that all is lost!
4.) Your brain loves mindless busywork disguised as progress
How fitting that this should be posted on a site that relates to social media!
One of the ways in which your brain continues it’s trickery is through busywork: work that gets “something” done, but not something that produces any measurable results.
In fact, research by John Bargh and colleagues reveals that our brain just loves to become robotic and to even mimic people out of habit.
I shouldn’t have to tell you that this is disastrous to achieving long term goals!
This busy work is often a mechanism our brain uses in cohesion with avoiding big projects (mentioned above): instead of diving into the difficult tasks we KNOW we should get done, we’ll instead float around doing semi-related (read: barely related) menial tasks to make ourselves feel productive without actually getting anything done.
Here’s the thing: you’re not going to build a thriving business or a successful blog with that kind of busywork.
It takes doing the hard work and it takes deliberate practice, there’s no way around it.
The thing is, your brain knows this, that’s why you have to
remind it remind yourself that the challenging stuff is often the stuff that produces the results you desire.
Also remember that you can fight that procrastination by just getting started.
When you look back at what you’ve gotten done by the end of the day, make sure you’re proud of what you got accomplished, don’t let your brain ruin your goals by diverting you from what needs to be done!
5.) Your brain is not good at “winging it” when it comes to planning… ever!
Every night before I go to sleep, I like to write a simple “to-do” list that I group into two categories.
I put some in category ‘A’ (must be done tomorrow) and some in category ‘B’ (must be worked on or done in 2-3 days).
I do this because when I sit down at the computer to do work without a plan, I tend to fall flat on my face.
My so called “work time” turns into the not-so-productive “check email time” or “browse Reddit” time; nothing of any importance gets done.
It seems that I’m not alone!
In research by Gollwitzer and colleagues, the subject of “if-then” plans was discussed in relation to how we set and stay consistent with out goals, and the results are not surprising but reveal a lot of insight into how our brain reacts to planning (and even some great tips).
The thing is, researchers found that not only do well laid plans seem to get accomplished more often, but planning for failures along the way (“In case of emergency…”) helps people stay on task under duress.
Let’s continue our diet example from above.
Say you did have that lapse and go over your calories for the day.
Instead of “winging it” and letting your brain crumble to it’s likely response (discussed above), you should have a backup plan ready to know what to do when failure strikes.
This could be something like: “If I go over 2000 calories in a day, I’ll finish the day as close to 2000 as I can, and then the next morning, I’ll go for a 15 minute run as a ‘penance’, make sure I eat an extra healthy breakfast, and then continue the rest of my day as normal.”
You are likely no stranger to feeling ashamed about getting off track, we’ve all been there.
Having those “In case of emergency…” plans help us to have a gameplan in case we do falter, and including a small ‘penance’ like I discussed above can help us get over it quicker.
If you failed on your diet for a day and then ‘punish’ (again, just with a quick run) yourself by running in the morning, you can go about your day knowing that you got what you deserved, instead of sliding down the slippery slope of guilt through the rest of the day.
So remember to include an “If-Then” plan for your next big goal, you’ll be able to beat back your brain’s guilt over slipping up now and then and you won’t have to ever “wing it” in case something goes wrong!
If you’re one of those people who constantly worries what others think of you, this article may help you get off in the right direction, reversing those unpleasant thoughts. No matter what it is that you obsess about — looking good for complete strangers, listening to rumors, getting into a negative cycle — this article should help. Let you begin to turn your life around.
Stop over-thinking. Although this may sound harsh, you are not the most important person in the world, at least not to everyone. Most of the time, when you think you are being judged, you probably aren’t. It’s just too hard to judge every single person you meet, analyzing their flaws and imperfections like they’re a test you’re grading.
- One way to test this is to push your limits a little and do something that is a bit out of the ordinary for you. See how people react. Chances are that only your “friends” will notice the change and make comments, but a random stranger really won’t care.
- Learn to catch yourself when you start over-thinking. Recognize this pattern of abuse and do something to overcome it. For example, every time you over-think, force yourself to compliment an aspect of your personality. This should help to give you a better self-esteem:
- “Thinking is good. I pay attention to all the little details. I notice things that other people don’t notice, but I should use this ability to be positive, not negative.”
- “I care about being good at something. No one can achieve perfection, but I try to put my best foot forward. If I fail or under-perform, it’s not like I didn’t try. That’s all I can do.”
- “I care about principles. I have values, and I try to live by them. The world doesn’t always work the way I want it to, but that doesn’t mean that I’ll stop trying. I will accept it when it doesn’t.”
Put things into perspective. People who obsess about what other think tend to put ‘issues’ under the microscope and can’t see the forest from the trees. People who don’t obsess about what other people think tend to look at the big picture. You only get one chance at life; are you going to allow other people’s thoughts make it less enjoyable? Sounds silly now, doesn’t it.
- Give it some time. Apart from the fact that life really is too short to worry about things like this, the other aspect is that people’s feelings change. For example, say one moment people insult you for wearing yellow shoes, giving you the impression you shouldn’t wear them. What if this person’s opinion changes, and they start wearing yellow shoes themselves? People change their minds, so what they think now might not matter in the future.
- Make a list of all the things that you are grateful for. Putting it into a list really helps. It makes things tangible, more real. Once you see everything that has gone right for you — maybe your family, your intelligence, your health — you begin to realize that life is more about what you do have than what you don’t have. Be appreciate of what life gives you, not resentful of what it doesn’t.
- Take pleasure in the small things in life. Begin to see beauty in everyday things, like a child playing with a dog. Take comfort in everyday things, like a warm cup of tea. Find happiness in everyday things, like a story about overcoming hardship, told by your friend.
Be confident in yourself. What if we could eliminate the amount of times we second-guess ourselves? Well, you can. The trick, if you want to call it that, is to simply be more confident in the decisions and actions you are taking.
- Have you never seen someone who is sporting something out of the ordinary, but just seems normal and isn’t being judged? If you are wearing yellow shoes and are clearly uncomfortable about them, people are going to target you: they can see your insecurity and they’ll attack you in order to feel better about themselves. Don’t pre-judge yourself before others do; they’ll be less like to judge you in the first place!
- Here are some small, but powerful, self-confidence boosters that you can try on for size:
- Smile. The act of smiling may boost your self-esteem organically, science suggests. If you smile more often, you send messages to other people that you are friendly, and they’ll be more likely to smile back, be happy, and even forgive you.
- Visualize success. Don’t think about the “what if I fail…?” thought that is probably wandering around in your head. Instead, think to yourself: “How will I succeed?”
- Break down goals into small pieces. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Set yourself up for success. If your goal is to be more confident around guys (or girls), break the goal into small parts: eye contact, conversation, flirting, etc. Reward yourself when you complete a small part of each larger goal.
Learn to control your emotions. When you start to push your limits and get more confident, you’ll undoubtedly have mixed emotions. From stress, worry and fear, to relief and happiness, it can be a bit of a roller coaster of the mind; that is where controlling your emotions comes in. The simple practice taught by Eckhart Tolle goes a bit like this:
- Be conscious of an emotion inside you — e.g. fear or worry
- Observe it within your mind
- Notice that if you are observing it, so it can’t be a part of you
- Watch the emotion disappear
- As soon as you observe an emotion, you are separating yourself from it and thus it can no longer exist.
Accept yourself for who you are. Understandably, accepting yourself is not the easiest thing to do. Everyone in the world is filled with some kind of doubt; it’s all about how they manage it. Luckily, there are things you can do that will help.
- First of all, think of all the things that you don’t like about yourself and write them down. Now, look at them more closely and see if there is a possibility to change them.
- For example, if you are thin and don’t like that, then look at ways in which you can gain weight and bulk up. If you aren’t willing to put in the work to change something that is fixable, you don’t have the right to complain about it.
- However, If you wish you were taller, that’s not exactly something you can change. Think about how your situation could be worse, for example: if you are 5′ 7″ and really don’t like that, think about all the all the people in the world who are 5′. You might not be at your perfectly desired height but there are people who are “worse off,” and presumably some of them who don’t even mind that they are 5′.
- As time goes by and you realize how unimportant some of the things you worry about actually are, life gets easier and your constant concern starts to plummet as your confidence rises.
- First of all, think of all the things that you don’t like about yourself and write them down. Now, look at them more closely and see if there is a possibility to change them.
Why do people jump from MLM Company to MLM Company? That’s a great question. I’ve been guilty of doing this myself during my career. In fact, I’ve been with 20 different companies during my 23 year career. I am actually quite ashamed to admit that, but it is what it is.
There are many reasons that people jump from MLM Company to MLM Company. Here are a few common reasons I can think of:
1. They aren’t making any money: Most network marketers don’t make any money. It’s also true that most network marketers don’t do anything to build their business. Rather than complaining that you’re NOT making money, why not ask yourself WHY you’re not making money. Answer that question and then go do something about it.
2. They think the grass is greener on the other side: Lots of people think the grass is greener on the other side. Not true. There is no perfect company, perfect product or perfect compensation plan.
3. They think a “company” is the answer to their problems: No company is the answer to your problems. You are the answer to your problems. Fix yourself and everything will fall in place.
4. They have poor mentorship: If you don’t have a mentor in your company, find ONE. Keep looking upline until you find someone that is qualified to help you and wants to help you. Whatever you do, find a mentor. Even if you have to look outside your company for mentorship, do it!
5. They’re frustrated: Most network marketers are frustrated. They’re frustrated because they’re not getting the results they want in their business. You’ll be frustrated in any company you participate in until you learn the right skills.
6. They’re bombarded with information: The internet provides information overload to most people. There are millions of websites, ads and videos pitching the next greatest thing. Most people get 10-50 emails per day about the next great thing.
7. Their upline jumps to another company and brings them with them: Don’t follow your upline blindly. Remember your business is your business. Always keep your best interest first!
Now that we’ve covered some of the common reasons people want to join from MLM Company to MLM Company, I want to be blunt with you.
First of all, if your company sucks, leave it and find something better. But once you find that new company, you need to draw a line in the sand and dig your boots in. Make a commitment to stay with your company for at least ten years. That’s what most of the top earners do.
Next, take the time to develop your sales and marketing skills. Until you develop these skills, you will fail in any company you work with. Furthermore, don’t think the company itself is the answer to your solutions. Your company is nothing more than your company. Ultimately, YOU are the critical factor, not the company. If you’re frustrated, or not getting the results you want you can do two things: quit the industry or take the time to develop the right skill-set and mind-set.
As far as information overload is concerned, tune it out. Turn off your computer and stay focused. If you are online, don’t go looking for “better” opportunities and don’t even be receptive to other opportunities. Finally, if your sponsor or upline jumps ship, you have to make the decision whether to stay or go with them. This might not be an easy decision. Whatever you do, put some serious thought into your decision. If your upline jumps ship now, there’s a good chance they might do it again in the future. Be careful.
If nothing else, I hope I can inspire you to pick one good company and stick with it for the long haul. You will be glad that you did. Don’t be a MLM Junkie who jumps from one MLM Company to another MLM Company!
The new March 2013 FTC regulations were introduced as a way to help consumers feel they can trust online advertising as a source of information. While there were already some regulations put into place by the Dot Com Disclosers Report of 2000, this current report digs deeper into the mobile, online and social media space.
“Clear and Conspicuous Disclosures in Online Ads”
For an online advertisement to be “clear and conspicuous” in its disclosures, there are a number of guidelines that must be followed.
- Disclosures must be very close to the claim it’s disclosing.
- When possible, avoid having to scroll to see the disclosure.
- If using hyperlinks for disclosures they must be obvious, labeled appropriately, go directly to the disclosure upon click-through, repeated in long advertisements and be monitored for effectiveness.
- In space-constrained ads (like Tweets, Facebook posts, or Pins) the disclosure must still be obvious and clearly stated.
- Disclosure is needed before the decision to buy is made (before someone “adds to cart”).
- Above all else, the claim needing the disclosure must actually be disclosed.
How the New FTC Regulations Affect Social Media
Until now, there was little regulation on disclosure in social media. Due to the limited space often allotted in posts, many marketers didn’t bother with disclaimers in ads on social media networks. That, however, is no longer a valid excuse according to the FTC.
- The FTC gave an example of a tweet by “JuliStarz” promoting a diet pill she claims made her loose 30 pounds in 6 weeks. Because those aren’t typical results and because “JuliStarz” was paid to Tweet that, she is in violation of the new FTC regulations.
- For a post to follow the FTC regulation, it must first state that it is an advertisements and be followed up with the disclosure to the claim. Example:
- If you choose to link to the disclosure, it must be obviously included next to the claim. For example, JuliStarz cannot say that she lost 30 pounds in 6 weeks then follow it up with a link to the disclaimer but not state what the link leads to.
- To properly link to a disclosure, make sure the user knows that what they’re clicking on is the disclosure link.
- The new FTC regulations also affect how bloggers must disclose posts about products they received for free. Before the current regulations, providing a disclosure or hyperlink to a disclosure at the end of the blog was sufficient. Now the FTC warns that consumers could become distracted in the post before reaching the bottom to find out what they read was provided by the company.
- For the disclosure to be “clear and conspicuous”, the blogger must tell readers at the top of the page that the product was free from the company.
While adding “Ad:” to the beginning of a post might not be the sexiest way to advertise your product over social media, it helps ensure consumer trust and keeps the FTC happy. And everyone knows, if the FTC isn’t happy, no one’s happy.
This post originally appeared on the PinLeague Blog as How New FTC Regulations Affect Social Media Marketers
If not, what’s the difference between network marketing and a pyramid scheme?
Let me guess, somebody has just approached you and asked you to join their network marketing business and your instant thought was – is this one of those pyramid scams?
You made the right decision to do some research and be concerned, because pyramid schemes are illegal and can put you in to a lot of trouble. The good news is that network marketing or Multi Level Marketing (MLM) is a legitimate and legal business model. On this page I will help you to identify the differences between network marketing and pyramid schemes, including a checklist of things to look for.
To start with we will review the similarities and then work to distinguish the two.
Generally, the initial concern for people when introduced to a network marketing opportunity is when they see the compensation plan which resembles a pyramid in shape. Instantly they fear the worst as they draw a resemblance to illegal pyramid schemes. The truth is that this pyramid structure is the same as every other sustainable business model across the world. This is best highlighted in the diagram below (figure 1.)
Is it the shape of the business model that dictates whether a business model is illegal?
No, of course not. If this were true every profitable company, government, church and school would be illegal and shut down. It is not so much the shape of the pyramid that people should be concerned about, more the way in which the pyramid is created that distinguishes whether or not it is legal. Lets review.
Pyramid Scheme (illegal scam)
A pyramid scheme can be defined as a fraudulent money-making scheme that is based on a non-sustainable business model that involves the exchange of money primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme without a legitimate product or service being delivered. Eventually the number of new recruits fails to sustain the payment structure and the scheme collapses with most people losing the money they paid in.
In a more practical sense, probably the easiest way to identify pyramid schemes is firstly there is no legitimate product or service involved (ie.. you do not get a legitimate product in return for your initial investment). The second way to identify pyramid schemes is that you do not get a financial return unless you have successfully introduced a number of new recruits into the pyramid. Basically, pyramid schemes concentrate on the money that you could earn by recruiting new people into the pyramid and generally ignore the marketing and selling of any products or services.
Network Marketing (legitimate, legal business model)
The concept behind network marketing is a distribution model that allows a company to sell their products directly to the consumer. Choosing to use a word of mouth approach (networking) instead of advertising through traditional streams (eg media). Therefore instead of paying the media for advertising, network marketing companies are structured to reward distributors through commission in return for selling their products and finding new customers.
Therefore the main focus of a network marketing company is product distribution. In fact, in a legitimate network marketing company, distributors are not required to recruit new distributors in order to earn a commission, they can earn money purely by selling the companys product.
Although distributors can choose to sell the companys products to earn their commissions, not everybody wants to be a sales person and therefore choose to recruit more distributors into their organization as a means to build their referral base. Not only does this create a group of loyal customers, it also allows you to leverage the efforts of others to create a residual stream of income.
I would rather earn 1% of 100 peoples efforts than 100% of my own efforts
– John Paul Getty (American Billionaire)
Therefore the recruiting element of a network marketing business is merely a way of distributing more products and helping to build a leveraged income.
Why do distributors in network marketing normally receive a commission when a new recruit joins their organization?
To join a network marketing company you have to purchase an initial start up kit. This kit usually includes training, some sales and management tools to assist you to build your business, and a certain amount of product. Because there is a certain amount of product included in the start up kit, the sponsoring distributor is now entitled to a commission. For example, when becoming associated with a network marketing company there are normally a number of different business options available, whats the main difference between the cheap business options and the more expensive ones? The amount of product you receive in the package, that is the more you spend up front, the more product you receive as part of your initial package and the greater the commission the sponsoring distributor is now entitled to.
The opposite is also true, most network marketing companies now offer a very low start up option where you do not have to purchase any product to get started, just the training and business tools. In this scenario the sponsoring distributor does not receive any commission in return for you joining their organization, they do however now have a new distributor (and customer) who they introduced to the business and therefore any future product that is bought or sold by this new recruit is eligible for commission.
In summary, when trying to understand network marketing, distributors are paid a commission – not for recruiting new members, but for the amount of product that is sold through their organization. Therefore recruiting new members into a network marketing company is purely a way of expanding the distributors network and customer base. Any commission made through recruiting new members is a result of the product sold in the start up package and not for the recruiting itself.
Another big distinction between pyramid schemes and network marketing is the fairness of good maths. To prevent network marketing companies from falling over like pyramid schemes (where people at the top make all the money and people at the bottom lose everything), there are restrictions placed in the network marketing companys compensation plan that limit the number of people who can earn a commission off any given sale. Basically there are only so many ways you can split a dollar, therefore, network marketing commissions only travel so far. This not only makes the business model sustainable but also makes it fair in the sense that it doesn’t matter if you got in first or last, you have the same opportunity as everyone else.
Please bear in mind that every network marketing companys compensation plan is structured differently. To learn more about the basic structures please refer to the compensation plan chapter after finishing this page.
So in summary, despite the fact that network marketing and pyramid schemes share a few similarities (i.e. the pyramid shaped business model shown in figure 1, and that in both you can recruit new members) network marketing is a legitimate business opportunity and one where you can earn a substantial legal income. You dont have to take our word for it, network marketing is now being endorsed by a number of leading businessmen worldwide.
If I lost everything and had to start again, I would find myself a great network marketing company and get to work!
– Donald Trump (David Letterman Show)
A word of advice when looking into a network marketing business opportunity – unfortunately some pyramid schemes have tried to mimic the network marketing business model before being discovered as fraudulent, therefore you have every right to be initially concerned. For your benefit we have put together a list of questions that you can ask yourself prior to signing the dotted line to help you identify a legitimate company from a fake one.
In particular, the following 2 questions:
- Is there a legitimate product involved?
What do you get in return for your start up investment, other then the potential to earn good money? If you’re not getting a product or service or if the training tools appear to be overpriced you could have discovered a scam. For more information about recommend products please refer to the “choosing the right product” chapter.
- Do you get commissions based on product distribution or on recruitment?
If they are paying commissions based purely on recruitment, walk away now.
Additionally, you should also consider the following factors that might influence long term success.
Be aware of hype and ground floor opportunities
Although some people might claim you earn more money if you get in first, this is never the case and these are companies that normally fold within the first couple of years. It is much safer to join a company with a proven track record.
Does the company have a proven track record?
If the company has been around for a few years then there is a fair chance that governing bodies that police pyramid schemes have already pulled the business model apart and given them the OK. Publicly traded companies are normally your best bet.
Will the company buy back any unsold product?
Most network marketing companies have a money back guarantee which means that if you are unhappy with the products you can send them back for a refund. Given that the majority of your start up kit was product, if youre not happy with the business you should be able to send back any leftover product to refund most of your start up costs. Try network marketing and potentially become very wealthy, or if its not working for you send your product back for a refund, its a win-win! Naturally a pyramid scheme is not going to refund your money.
Is this a get rich quick scheme?
Although there is a lot of potential to earn very good money in network marketing very few have made it quick, most make their millions through consistent effort. So if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
If you are looking into the industry for the first time dont be scared to look at other business models and products, particularly if you dont know which company to join. There are many discussed within this webpage.
What training do they provide?
A good company has a solid training system.
To finish with, we strongly advise that you take the time to make your decision, dont be pressured into joining right away, do your homework. This webpage will give you a lot of the information you need to be successful and common mistakes to avoid.
If this webpage has helped you in any way, I are glad to be of assistance. In the spirit of networking please feel free to recommend this webpage to others to help give the industry a good name.
Staying Afloat when Life gets YOU Down
Often times we may know how to care for everyone but ourselves. So when things get overwhelming, how do we handle it all? How do you face the world, when it seems like the world has you down? Whether it’s a family or relationship issue, or any personal struggle, it may be hard to face day-to-day life when we’re feeling down. Here are steps on how to get through your struggles while managing your career, family, social and love life. So that “even when you’re a mess you can still put on a vest with an ‘S’ on your chest.”
Make Up Your Mind – A lot problems start with “dis-ease” of the mind. If you’re going through a struggle make your mind up that you’re going to be okay. Our thoughts are very powerful, so think good ones. Say to yourself, “I’m going through a trial right now, but I know everything will work out for the better.” It may sound cliché, but what doesn’t kill really does make you stronger. Look at your situation as a chance to grow or make some necessary changes. With a positive outlook you’ll be ready to make the decisions to overcome the challenge.
Talk to Him/Her – Whatever your religion, spiritual connection or lack thereof, if you believe in a power higher than yourself prayer and meditation can definitely get you through a situation when things seem out of your hands. Take 5-10 minutes to yourself each day and block out the world to meditate or seek spiritual refuge. Be sincere in this and you never know how great the results may be. As the saying goes, “When prayers go up, blessings come down.”
Time Out – If everything and everyone is stressing you out, it may be time to get away. It can be something as small as powering off your phone for the day and going to your favorite park or a café. Or taking a weekend excursion for some peace of mind. Don’t be afraid of solitude. And, don’t be afraid to “get ghost” on a few folks temporarily either. Sometimes it can be a good thing. Getting away from a stressful environment can rejuvenate you and help you see things from a different perspective.
Don’t Over-Share – As much as people may ask you, “How are you doing?” or “How is everything?” it’s best to only share serious issues with close friends and family. For example, spilling your heart out to a co-worker about how the love of your life cheated on you is probably not a good idea. Nor is discussing a personal issue at your place of work or around individuals whom you don’t know very well. There’s nothing wrong with getting advice, but be sure to seek it from those you believe can really help you. Not someone who is just lending an ear for the time being.
Seek the Right Advice – A wise person knows she doesn’t know everything. And you know your limits. Sometimes when things feel like they’re out of our hands, they are. As much as we may try to work things out on our own, we don’t have all the answers. But it may not be wise to spill all the beans to someone who can’t help you clean them up. If it’s a relationship issue, rather than seeking counsel from single friends, it may be better to get advice from a couple who has been together or married for a while. They may have gone through and survived a similar situation. If it’s a serious health issue, don’t be scared to look for people who have overcome the same battle. You don’t have to suffer in silence or alone. There are an immense amount of support groups for various health-related and personal issues, so why not take advantage of them.
Know the Issue(s) – Before you can even attempt to solve an issue, you have to know what it is. What is bothering you? Why are things going wrong? What is the cause of the problem? Sometimes we could be feeling some type of way and not even know why. Think about what’s triggering your emotions or stress. Before you rush to blame others, look within and make sure you’re not letting your own shortcomings get the best of you. If the problem is coming from another source try to identify exactly what it is and then address it. Whether its family or friends, work related or financial strains, remember there’s always an answer; no matter how bleak things seem.
Stand Up – You’ve cried. You’ve sought advice. You’ve prayed. You may have even cut off all your hair. Now it’s time to face the issues head on. Don’t harbor negative feelings, procrastinate or sweep things under the rug. Make a plan of attack and get on it. If you feel you need to make a big change (move, go back to school, career change) start checking off that to-do list ASAP. If your significant other did something to hurt you, communicate that. If you feel like a co-worker or superior has disrespected you or treated you inappropriately, look into your company’s protocol and figure out the best way to address it. Or if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one and need time alone, express that to those around you. Whatever the case may be get on it. Know and believe yourself enough to handle it.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ll be aware that your company probably needs a blog.
Maybe you have a blog but it’s not really doing so hot. Or maybe you just need some solid facts to help convince the boss that a finely tuned blog is worth the time and resources.
Here are some very good reasons to start blogging the right way on your company website:
1. It Boosts Your Brand
Companies that blog share a better connection with their customers. Who would you rather do business with?
- Company A – with 50-100 employees, spread across three states and no discernible “personality” or
- Company B – with an owner named Ross who is passionate about inventing and drives an old Bronco with a questionable history, a President named Mickey who paints, shows fabulous Maine Coon cats and knows everything there is to know about the production cycle and Matt, the Web Guy, who fixes up motorcycles and juggles 11 websites.
Blogging humanizes people and companies – gives them a “personality.” No one wants to be seen as the forgettable, dull, out-of-touch business or worse… the “large-faceless corporation.”
Here’s your chance to build a brand image that reflects who you are, what you do and why your customers should care. It’s also a great opportunity to provide customer support, in a personal and meaningful way.
Another brand-boosting benefit of blogging is the chance to establish your expertise in your field. You might not realize it, but no matter what field you’re in, you probably know a lot about it! Sharing the steps that allowed you to successfully complete a project, data and information relevant to your industry or even lessons learned from a failed venture can be extremely valuable to your readers.
A good business blog is not just a repository for old marketing materials or another place to throw down your sales pitches; it’s an opportunity to reach out to your customers on a personal level and give them something of value for free.
“For Free” you say?! This might seem counter-intuitive, but the method is proven and sound. People don’t have time to read anything that they don’t see as “valuable.” So sharing your expertise in your particular industry or writing something that is entertaining gives people a reason to go to your site. Gratitude for providing something that a person needed can be a very powerful motivator to help convert browsers into buyers.
You’re not only making connections and building relationships, you’re also scattering bait for search engines. You’re attracting an audience that otherwise might never find you. You’re increasing traffic to your site which increases page-rank which, in turn, increases conversion.
This brings us to the second reason why a blog is so important for your business:
2. It Helps your Website to Perform
The number of business websites out there that are “static” –without new, regularly added content is staggering. Without a steady supply of new and valuable content, continued interest in your site, and the perception of your company’s value, will wane.
But consistent, fresh material increases your site’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Google robots index your site every so often and if, over time, they don’t see anything new guess what? Your page-rank tanks. What this means for your company is that when a potential customer searches for your product or service, your site might be listed waaay at the end.
- 60% of all clcks go to the top three search results. 75% of users never scroll past the firstpage of search results.
- SEO is critical to your company’s success on the web and a great blog is a great strategy to put you at the top!
- No matter what your business website’s main objective is, informational, eCommerce, lead-generation, blogging will increase your traffic.
According to a recent survey by HubSpot, businesses that blog increase their site visits by as much as 55%. Not too shabby.
3. It’s Better than Traditional (Old Fashioned) Marketing
Blogging is more interactive than newsletters or email blasts. If your posts are interesting and informative, or even a little controversial, your readers will be much more likely to engage, post replies and share socially. You’ll have a much better understanding of your customers, and every marketer wants that, right?
- Good blogging is highly social. Encourage your readers to share and repost links back to your blog on social network channels. This increases the reach of your brand and your message.
- Companies that blog have 434% more indexed pages. That means more leads.
- Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links resulting in huge increases in pagerank.
- Blogging costs significantly less than traditional marketing such as direct mail, telemarketing and trade shows.
So blogging on your company website seems like a no-brainer. It’s a great way to boost your brand, turn up the juice on your site’s performance and get more for your marketing dollar.
Plus, a good blog gives users a reason to come back to your site! (*hint – come back to our site!)
In the past many people have made fortunes in network marketing, and many still do today! Today they live their lives, and enjoy a freedom that most people only dream about.
Usually, it was only a small number of people went on to become the top money earner’s in any company. “Generally it was the individuals who already had marketing skills and knew how to put them into action!”
This left the majority of distributors – associates out in the cold, failing to achieve any measurable level of success!
Today there are more resources than ever before to help you become successful! The challenge today is, knowing who to trust.
Today we have companies that offer a multitude of products and services, items that the average person uses on a daily and consistent basis. And, many of these companies are embracing social networking “Twitter, Facebook” to get their message out.
No matter where you look, you will at least find one if not more companies offering something you are passionate about like:
Communication Services, Internet Access, Nutritional Products, Weight Loss Programs, Water Filtration Systems, Financial Programs, Electrical Power, Solar Power, just to name a few.
The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right.
-Hannah Whitall Smith
When you know how it works, you will
significantly increase your odds of success!
Becoming successful requires understanding “What Is network Marketing.” Many individuals fail to understand this and attempt to diversify instead of focusing on the tasks that will ensure their success.
Several years ago I received a mini calendar from Rich Dad it listed ten steps on “How To Get Out Of The Rat Race.”
While all ten are important step Nine really struck home, it is an area where we can all improve it is called F.O.C.U.S. – Follow One Course Until Successful.
Once you understand what it is and “How Network Marketing Works” you will place yourself in a much better position, thus increasing your chances of ultimate success!
Everyday an untold number of individuals are asking the question of “How Do I Get Started In Network Marketing?” In my opinion, it really is far to easy to get started!
Although I’ve found a few companies that do it right by setting a few requirements before you can present it to your friends, family and public.
As you are looking at all the different companies out there today, how do you choose one? And, do you know what it is that you should be looking for in a network marketing company? Of course, these companies should provide products or services that are unique or consumable, this is very important if we want repeat orders from customers.
Today the power, and the reach of the internet has made the stocking of products obsolete. Your customers are just a click away from ordering directly online. In fact, many of them are shopping and doing their research there right now.
Keep in mind that what you may find exciting and you are very passionate about, your friends and family may not be.
On the other hand, they maybe very excited about them if they can actually save them money or give them better quality then what they can get from their local stores. Check out my recommended network marketing company.
There are two things you’ll need in order
to achieve network marketing success?
1.) A desire to Learn.
2.) A willingness to take action.
Training For Network Marketers How Important Is It?
Getting a solid education should be one of your highest priorities, as an independent business owner it is not anyones responsibility for your ultimate success or failure but your own.
When you get right down to it, it’s easy. Yet, our human nature leads us to over complicate it. A vast majority of us get our start in this industry only to stray off the beaten path.
While the internet information age has opened a whole new world of information, to entrepreneurs, it has also derailed a vast majority of them as well.
What Will It Really Take For You To Become Successful?
It will take commitment and determination from you in time, money (marketing budget) and consistent action from you to build and market your business.
This is why the right Network Marketing Training is not only necessary but vitally important to your future success.
If your serious about making this your life style, to have the ability to call your own shots, then take the time to really learn how to be a true professional!
Our human nature is to achieve the greatest results with the least amount of energy expended. Think about it, by carrying over our employee mentality into our business, we our setting ourselves up for failure.
When you want to call your own shots, be your own boss, you had better show up for work. There is not going to be someone there standing over you holding you accountable, that’s your job now!
Which Tools And When To Put Them Into Place!
In reality there are very few network marketing tools you actually need. The most important tool is you! Step ten of getting out of the rat race is to “Never Stop Learning!”
Everyone gets started with the best intentions. Yet, many of you have never done this before! This is a people business, which means our communications skills have to be developed! These skills are more important then just about anything else you’ll ever learn!
Everyone wants to tie the internet & network marketing together with their business, and you should, yet you can fall into the trap of not focusing on the essentials that you’ll need to become successful. I’ve said it for years that are learning curve is not linear but moving along parallel paths.
Laying a proper & solid foundation for your business with the right tools will pay you huge dividends later.
Why Do Network Marketers Fail with Leads?
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
– Dale Carnegie
Old School or New School, it really doesn’t matter eventually your going to have to talk with your prospects or customers. It doesn’t really matter where you get your leads from a company or self generated, your conversion rate is going to depend on you and you alone.
Common mistakes we’ve all made;
When prospecting, are initial reaction is to place way too much importance on our company, the online presentations or your companies compensation pay plan. Yet, while they are all important we tend to overlook the obvious….
… And often fail to address the true want’s and needs of our customers – prospective new business partners. One of the big reasons people fail in this business.
What does your prospect care about?
This is what you have to discover, what it is that they truly want. When you begin to understand that a lead is more then just a name and phone number or email address, it is a real person that you’ll be talking to!
Today we have advertisers selling us courses on how to “Create an endless Flow of Free Network Marketing Leads.” If this really worked why are they paying for advertising in the first place?
Generating your own leads will not guarantee your success, you still must establish credibility and trust with your prospects and customers in order to become successful!
What Is Important to Remember:
Is that this business is not just about systems, video’s or email campaigns, these are just tools we employ as part of the sales process. What it really is about, is the development of long lasting personal relationships with both your customer base and downline members.
Even if it takes several years to learn how to effectively communicate and connect with people, once you do, you’re set for life no matter what you do!
And, with today’s economic conditions, network marketing is still the best work at home business you could ever start!