Tweamster's Blog

No Jobs?

July 7, 2011
2 Comments

Jobs & Recession/Depression/Economic Uncertainty

Since there seems to be widespread disagreement about what to call the current economy, but pretty much everyone agrees the current economy is in the trash can; yet there can be a silver lining in every cloud. Some of the biggest and brightest companies in the U.S. were started or formed in recessions.

Also remember that whenever someone loses money by selling a stock, someone else is buying that stock in hopes of making money.

Home businesses always thrive in a recession as people look for ways to supplement, increase or replace their incomes.

With those positive notes in mind, here is an article that outlines part of the problem:

Porter Stansberry: This is why there are no jobs in America

Monday, May 23, 2011

I’ve decided to re-publish the most popular essay I’ve ever written. For some subscribers, this will only be a reminder about the serious problems we face in America. But for the many subscribers we’ve added in the last several months, this will be all new.

If it resonates with you… if you see these same problems in your communities… I encourage you to pass this along to your friends. This is a message we must get across to our fellow citizens. Robbing Peter to pay Paul will not lead to national wealth or prosperity. It will only lead to bigger problems for our children and grandchildren.

This Is Why There Are No Jobs in America

I’d like to make you a business offer. Seriously. This is a real offer. In fact, you really can’t turn me down, as you’ll come to understand in a moment…

Here’s the deal. You’re going to start a business or expand the one you’ve got now. It doesn’t really matter what you do or what you’re going to do. I’ll partner with you no matter what business you’re in – as long as it’s legal. But I can’t give you any capital – you have to come up with that on your own. I won’t give you any labor – that’s definitely up to you. What I will do, however, is demand you follow all sorts of rules about what products and services you can offer, how much (and how often) you pay your employees, and where and when you’re allowed to operate your business. That’s my role in the affair: to tell you what to do.

Now in return for my rules, I’m going to take roughly half of whatever you make in the business, each year. Half seems fair, doesn’t it? I think so. Of course, that’s half of your profits. You’re also going to have to pay me about 12% of whatever you decide to pay your employees because you’ve got to cover my expenses for promulgating all of the rules about who you can employ, when, where, and how. Come on, you’re my partner. It’s only “fair.”

Now… after you’ve put your hard-earned savings at risk to start this business and after you’ve worked hard at it for a few decades (paying me my 50% or a bit more along the way each year), you might decide you’d like to cash out – to finally live the good life.

Whether or not this is “fair” – some people never can afford to retire – is a different argument. As your partner, I’m happy for you to sell whenever you’d like… because our agreement says, if you sell, you have to pay me an additional 20% of whatever the capitalized value of the business is at that time.

I know… I know… you put up all the original capital. You took all the risks. You put in all of the labor. That’s all true. But I’ve done my part, too. I’ve collected 50% of the profits each year. And I’ve always come up with more rules for you to follow each year. Therefore, I deserve another, final 20% slice of the business. Oh… and one more thing…

Even after you’ve sold the business and paid all of my fees… I’d recommend buying lots of life insurance. You see, even after you’ve been retired for years, when you die, you’ll have to pay me 50% of whatever your estate is worth. After all, I’ve got lots of partners and not all of them are as successful as you and your family. We don’t think it’s “fair” for your kids to have such a big advantage. But if you buy enough life insurance, you can finance this expense for your children. All in all, if you’re a very successful entrepreneur… if you’re one of the rare, lucky, and hard-working people who can create a new company, employ lots of people, and satisfy the public… you’ll end up paying me more than 75% of your income over your life. Thanks so much.

I’m sure you’ll think my offer is reasonable and happily partner with me… but it doesn’t really matter how you feel about it because if you ever try to stiff me – or cheat me on any of my fees or rules – I’ll break down your door in the middle of the night, threaten you and your family with heavy, automatic weapons, and throw you in jail. That’s how civil society is supposed to work, right? This is Amerika, isn’t it?

That’s the offer Amerika gives its entrepreneurs. And the idiots in Washington wonder why there are no new jobs…

©2011 Stansberry & Associates Investment Research. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. This website may only be used pursuant to the subscription agreement and any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, LLC. 1217 Saint Paul Street, Baltimore MD 21202.

Why Network Marketing?

For my money, the best way to leverage one’s time, create residual income, and minimize Uncle Sam’s intrusion into our lives is network marketing.

To learn why it’s such a brilliant concept, please watch Brilliant Compensation.

Okay, Looks Good, What Next?

All right, so now you need to find a company that will allow you to make the concept you learned in Brilliant Compensation work.

If you don’t know how to pick a good company with a great product, network marketing probably won’t work for you.

One of my favorite mentors came up with a book and course called “MLM-The Whole Truth.” In it, he lays out what he calls the 12 Critical Success Factors™. You can get a free introduction to the factors he’s isolated by going here. It’s a 7 day series of emails where you learn 7 of the 12 concepts.

I Already Have A Company, But It’s Just Not Working For Me

Okay, fair enough. Did you get the 7 day series of emails? Does your company/product meet the qualifications that he talks about? If not, you probably need to go back to the drawing board and find a company/product that does meet the 12 Critical Success Factors.

If your company does meet them, then my next recommendation is to run, not walk to get your copy of “Professional Inviter” to learn how to do the business. In it he covers what is communication, the six steps of the “Inviting Formula”, how to tell when you’re done greeting someone, what qualified means when prospecting for network marketing business partners, and much, much more.

For more info or to order the course, go to “Professional Inviter.”

Quote  

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” – John Maxwell


Pipelines

June 6, 2011
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What Is A Pipeline?

Originally, a pipeline was a pipe or system of pipes designed to carry something such as oil, natural gas, or other petroleum-based products over long distances, often underground. (For some reason not entirely clear to me, a pipeline carrying water is not generally referred to as a pipeline, instead being called water pipes, water mains, or aqueducts.)

Near as I can tell, this was then generalized to: a system through which something is conducted, especially as a means of supply. So you could have a manufacturing pipeline, or a food pipeline, etc.

This more general definition then morphed into a popular expression for things that are in process. For example,“There are over 10,000 condo units in the pipeline, in various stages of construction or conversion.” Or “I’m not worried about apartment move-outs this summer because I have a number of prospects in the pipeline.”

Why Do We Use The Phrase “Pipeline”

In any business, there is a sequence of steps that one has to go through to get the final product. These steps can then be likened to a pipeline.

For instance, in putting together a marketing campaign, one might first come up with some bright ideas, these would then be presented to the client, who would pick the idea that they felt best represented their company or product, then someone would come up with ideas of pictures, videos, etc. to represent that idea, all the way to the final roll-out of the campaign to the public it is intended for.

In my electronics repair business, the pipeline started with someone bringing in their broken electronics for repair. Then we would diagnose the problem and give them an estimate. After the customer approved the estimate, we would order the parts needed for the repair. The parts would come in. We’d install the parts, test the item for proper operation. Create an invoice. Call the customer. Customer comes in, pays, picks up his electronics and goes home happy.

So pipeline is a handy phrase to describe the process or the sequence of steps that one has to go through to get the product that one is aiming for.

The Pipeline & Network Marketing

In network marketing, since we are marketing a product, we are moving our company’s products into the hands and homes of consumers. Whether it’s vitamins, water, legal service plans, or home decorations, nobody makes any money unless someone buys that product.

The customer pipeline begins with the methods you are using to interest people in your product. Once a person has expressed interest in some form, he is in the pipeline. You give him more information. You might give him samples. Go to a meeting to learn more. He comes out the other end of the pipeline as either a customer or a non-customer. To keep customers coming out of the end of the pipeline, you have to keep putting new people in at the beginning of the pipeline.

No people entering the pipeline, no customers coming out of the pipeline.

Lots of people entering the pipeline, lots of customers coming out of the pipeline.

The Pipeline

If you chose your company/product well, you have a great product at a competitive price that your customers use and reorder or buy more of. This creates residual income, every time someone uses up their stuff, they buy more and you make a little bit each time.

As you continue to add customers these add up to a stream of income that you don’t have to create from scratch each day/month/year.

This becomes similar to the gas pipeline for the oil company, as long as the product is moving through the pipeline, the oil company makes money.

Lou Abbot has come up with a great little video based on a book by Burke Hedges that illustrates this in a very entertaining way.  I recommend you go watch it. When the site opens, scroll down the page to step 1 and click on “View the demo!” Click “START” on the next page. Go here to click over to it.

Make it a great week!


Rooms For Rent

September 6, 2010
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What?

For those of you who weren’t here last week, I made a comment comparing the network you’re building in your business to real estate. My exact comment was: “Think of it like real estate. Once your network reaches a certain size, that network becomes an asset that continues to generate income whether you work or not.” (For the whole article, you can go to Don’t Trash Network Marketing.)

I realized on further pondering that that is actually a very apt analogy. Plus it capitalizes on a very similar analogy made by Tim Sales in his amazing video Brilliant Compensation.

Why Real Estate?

Real estate investors look for properties that can return a positive cash flow, whether it’s a house, an apartment, commercial or industrial properties.

Do you think that real estate investors think that 100% of their properties are going to be fully rented and paid every month? Whether it’s waiting for the right tenant to arrive, remodeling before the tenant moves in, having to deal with a tenant that’s not paying, or whatever, they know that there is a certain amount of time with any property where that property is not generating any income.

The commonest solution is to have enough properties so that if some of them are not generating any cash flow, the other properties keep the cash flow happening.

And?

So if you’re building a network marketing business, the people you recruit are your “properties.” They are what are going to build your cash flow.

Do you think that all of your “properties” are going to produce sales and recruits every day, every week, every month? They’re not, so what should be your solution? More “property,” i.e. more people in your network.

Let’s paint an example. Let’s say that, on average, everyone that you recruit, recruits 2 people, period. But out of 10 recruits, 1 of the people goes to town and recruits 1 person every month. To keep the math simple, let’s say the people who recruit 2 do so in their first 2 months. Further, let’s say you are one of the guys/girls who are acquiring 1 “property” per month. Here’s how the numbers of “properties”  might go. 1st month – 2 (you and your first); 2nd month – 4 (you and your first plus both of you recruit another); 3rd month – 8; 4th month – 14; 5th month – 22; 6th month – 32; 7th month – 44; 8th month – 58; 9th month – 74; 10th month – 92.

After 10 months, you have 92 people in your network of whom exactly one is doing something every month, yourself. But, you had things happening all the time. Every month there were new sales and new recruits. And you had your first “property” that begins generating cash flow every month. At the end of the second 10 months, you’ll have another 184 people plus your 3rd and 4th person doing something every month (another for yourself, one for your first every monther) . At the end of the third 10 month period, you’ll gain another 4 people who do something every month (one for you, one for the first guy, and one each for # 3 & 4).

After 30 months, 2 ½ years, you have 8 “properties” generating cash flow every month. Let’s just say for the purposes of the analogy that each “property” generates $100 in cash. Okay, so after 2 ½ years of blood, sweat and tears, you have $800 in cash flow. I can hear you thinking, “oh, wow…”

Bear with me, after another 10 months, at the 40 month mark (3 year and 4 months) you have 16 “properties,” $1600 a month, better, but really, for 3 years of work? Okay, 10 months later, 50 months (4 years, 2 months) you now have 32 “properties” bringing in $3200 per month. Another 10 months (5 years now) and you have 64 “properties” bringing in $6400 a month. 5 years and 10 months, you have 128 “properties” and $12,800 per month. Stop me when you get excited.

Okay, not bad, but 5 years?

All right, name me some other occupation where, with no education in the business at the outset, you can earn this much or more in that time frame and have it turn into residual income to boot.

And who’s to say that you couldn’t double your efforts or increase your effectiveness and do it twice as fast? It has happened.

So, How Many “Properties” Do You Want To Buy?

If you’re considering joining the network marketing industry and haven’t made up your mind yet, check out the video by Tim Sales called Brilliant Compensation.

If you don’t have a company yet, or you’re looking for a better one, check out www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the (free) “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter.

If you already have a company, and need tips and how to’s on marketing, check out John Eberhard’s RealWebMarketing Blog.

Here’s a couple blogs that I like that are specifically on network marketing:

http://www.marcus-baker.com

http://karyrogney.com

Hope you’re enjoying your Labor Day weekend! Have a good week.

Quote

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.  – Conrad Hilton


Don’t Trash Network Marketing

August 30, 2010
1 Comment

I Seldom Get Upset…

But, one of those rare occasions when I do happened the other day. I was reading some blogs and commenting on them like I try to do once in awhile. I started reading a blog post titled “Residual Income,” always a favorite of mine given that that is one of my primary attractions to network marketing. Think of it like real estate. Once your network reaches a certain size, that network becomes an asset that continues to generate income whether you work or not. (For my take on residual income, see here.)

So I start reading this blog post called “Residual Income” and this individual starts trashing network marketing in order to build up his solution to residual income, which, by the way, was and is a valid solution, but did not require bashing network marketing to make his solution look good. It would be kind of like Ford trashing GM to sell more cars rather than pointing out the features and benefits of owning a Ford.

Anyway, it annoyed me enough that I decided to write about it.

What Do Others Say?

“While seeking rewarding methods for my Network Marketing career, I will employ techniques and strategies that reflect positively on the MLM industry, my company and me.”  – from the Code of Ethics of the Multi-Level Marketing International Association (MLMIA)

When considering purchases, I will attempt to purchase at retail from another MLM/Network Marketing company.  – from the same source

Member companies shall not make misleading comparisons of another company’s direct selling opportunity, products or services. Any comparison must be based on facts that can be objectively substantiated. Member companies shall not denigrate any other member company, business, product or service – directly or by implication – in a false or misleading manner and shall not take unfair advantage of the goodwill attached to the trade name and symbol of any company, business, product or service.  – from the Code of Ethics of the Direct Selling Association (DSA)

In his book “Big League Sales Closing Techniques,” ©1971 (out of print, unfortunately) Les Dane says of the technique of running down the competition to promote your own company or product, “The second salesman got the sale for two reasons: he didn’t try to convince the prospect the competition was junk; didn’t spend his time knocking the other dealer.

“And, he did spend the time selling his product, with facts, and with sensible arguments. … The salesman selling tractors did the same thing. Rather than concentrate on pulling his competitor down, he sold his product and his dealership, being fair to the competition in the process.”

A Bad Taste In My Mouth

Even though he had a valid idea, finding or creating a product to market and sell on one’s own website using all the available channels to attract people to one’s website, after he belittled the entire network marketing industry, I had no further interest in what he said. I did read it, to ensure I didn’t incorrectly duplicate his intention, but, alas, he was just bashing network marketing to build up what he was selling. So, I left a comment, in civil terms, explaining that he should not do that, and that he would get better results if he pushed the features and benefits of his system.

Examples

Remember the old Avis car rental commercials back in the 70s? They used their number 2 position in car rental to position themselves as “we try harder.” They didn’t belittle Hertz (# 1) or say their cars sucked or that Hertz has crappy service, just that one memorable little line, “we try harder.”

Miller Lite, “less filling, tastes great.” No mention or knocking of Bud or Coors or any other beer.

Have you seen any Coke or Pepsi commercials lately? Do you ever see them mention the other one in their commercials? Don’t think so. They sell you on why you should drink their beverage.

So What Am I Saying?

If you work with Mellaleuca, don’t knock Shaklee products, don’t knock Shaklee’s compensation plan, don’t call Shaklee distributors ethically shaky.

If you work with HerbaLife, don’t denigrate Amway.

If you work with NuSkin, don’t put down ReLiv.

If you are selling your company, your products, your compensation plan; sell them. Don’t try to make them look better by making someone else look bad, you only end up making yourself look bad.

We’re all in this together, so let’s act like we are and be supportive of each other.

And if you need something that is sold by another MLM, please do so.

More Data

If you’re considering joining the network marketing industry and haven’t made up your mind yet, check out the video by Tim Sales called Brilliant Compensation.

If you don’t have a company yet, or you’re looking for a better one, check out www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the (free) “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter.

If you already have a company, and need tips and how to’s on marketing, check out John Eberhard’s RealWebMarketing Blog

Here’s a couple blogs that I like that are specifically on network marketing:

http://www.marcus-baker.com

http://karyrogney.com

Till next time, make it a great week!


Why, Oh Why?

June 21, 2010
7 Comments

What Is A Why

My dictionary says that a why is a reason or an explanation.

As it applies to your home business, it’s your reason, your motivation, what turns you on about being in business for yourself or for that matter, not just being in business for yourself, but anything that isn’t easy where the rewards, whether material or spiritual, outweigh the hurdles, barriers, effort or time required to make that venture succeed.

What makes an actor or a musician struggle to make it in their industry? Ask them, they all have a reason. It could be for the money, it could be they have something they want to say, they might just want a better life for themselves than they saw their parents had.

What makes a small businessman get up every day for years going to work to make his business prosper? Why does he want to prosper? Does he just want to survive – eke out a living? Does he want to provide for his family and ensure his children have a better start in life than he or she did? Or does he have stars in his eyes and want to ensure that he can help end world hunger? Or help bring relief to victims of natural catastrophes?

Whatever it is, they’ve got a reason, a why for doing what they are doing. A reason big enough to put up with the trials and tribulations they put up with on their journey to success. Your why defines your journey, it’s the goal or the target, it’s where you’re headed. It’s your explanation of why you’re doing what you’re doing.

How Do I Find A Why

You may already know your why and be on your road to success, if so, this may be a refresher or a look at better ways to help your business partners discover what they are striving for, what motivates them.

I’ve seen a few different methods on how to find a why for doing your business. The simplest is to ask yourself what you want out of the business? The answer is whatever it’s going to be, but keep asking. If it’s money, ask what would having money do for you? You may say so I can take time off when I want to. Ask what would you take time off for? You could answer something like: so I can go to events in my children’s lives and spend time with them and bring them up the way I want them raised instead of having them raised by schools and daycares. Whatever it is, it will be highly personal and highly motivating for you.

Another way I found is in a book by John Kalench. He lists some questions to help you discover your motivation in life.

1)    If I didn’t have to work for a living – what would I love to do?  (This is about “doing what you love.”)

2)    If I were just given $1 million tax free, what would be the first thing that I’d do with it? (Of course you’d pay off your bills, we want to look beyond survival. Think BIG prosperity, stretch yourself and think of what you’d really love to do with the money.)

3)    If I learned that I had six months to live – what would I do with the rest of my life? (Assume they are six healthy months – what would you do?)

4)    If I did that or had that, what would it bring me? (As above, you may have to ask this a few times to get to the bottom of it, or maybe not, it may be sitting right on the end of your tongue waiting for the right question.)

There are many ways to do this, but the basic idea is what do you want a business for, what do you want to achieve with it, what will it enable you to do?

Whose Why Is It

You might be tempted to take someone else’s reason as your own, because that seems simpler than all this hard thinking about your reasons for being in business. Trust me on this, this reason, explanation, why, is what will motivate you when the going gets tough, when that new recruit you thought was in the bag says no or disappears, when one of your best producers goes off to another company.

Why Do I Need A Why

Knowing why will keep you going, Len Clements says one of the top five reasons why people fail in network marketing is THEY QUIT. Knowing why you’re working your business will keep you working your business and carrying on towards your goals, instead of giving up.

Help Your Partners Find Their Why

You’ve probably noticed that not only can you use this information to find your own why, your own purpose; you can help your business partners get on the right road to success by helping them find their why for doing the business.

Time Freedom – Geographic Freedom

This topic (of whys) was sparked into life by something I was reading from one of my mentors about his whys for building a network marketing business. He wanted time freedom and geographic freedom. When I read that, chills ran up and down my spine. I had forgotten that was one of my whys, but there it was and I got all excited about it all over again.

I want to be able to go visit my Dad whenever I want, I want to be able to take a month off to take a motorcycle cruise around some part of the country, I want to be able to jump in at a moment’s notice and go help my church at major catastrophes to bring relief to people who lost everything.

If you build that stable, long-term residual income, all these “I want to’s” become possible. Find a why that’s big enough to take you there.

Why, Is There Anything Else?

Once you’ve got the why for your business , you can pick a company and product that fits in with it and aligns with what you want to achieve. In order to do that, you have to know how to research and investigate network marketing companies to find the company that will help you achieve your goals.

Now here’s what might not be so obvious about all this fuss about finding your why and finding the right company. By finding the company that best fits you and your why, your passion is assured and that passion will be obvious to your prospects and make your business easier.

For more info on what to look for, go to www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter. (The cost is $4000 with a temporary 100% discount if you sign up right away!)

Humor

Just to close out on a lighter note – here’s some funny ads courtesy of Len Clements.

Earn $90,000 in One Year or More! Pretty safe claim, isn’t it?

You Can Make A Fortune-By Passing Out, or Mailing Tapes I Will Give You. Passing out seems like less work and a lot more relaxing.

Free Allergies Sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, and if you act now, they’ll even throw in a little athlete’s foot!

See you next week!


Duplication

June 7, 2010
5 Comments

Who Wants To Duplicate

Whether you’re a network marketing veteran or you just signed up with your first opportunity, you’ve probably been told that the big money comes from duplication or that everything we do has to be duplicatable.

Duplication gives you leverage which multiplies your time, effort and money (instead of your blood, sweat and tears). For more on leverage, see my earlier post “What Else Do I Need To Know.”

Too many people, I think, believe this means to do everything exactly as your sponsor, mentor or trainer does everything. Even though I can already feel the slings and arrows headed my way, I disagree.

But I Don’t Want To Be Like ______

I spent several years trying to figure out why it seemed like I was doing everything that my sponsor asked me to, but it just didn’t seem to be happening for me. Of course, there were all those things that they told me to do that I just wouldn’t do; like harassing, haranguing and hassling my friends and family to come to a meeting or let me give them a presentation.

I would have rather failed than do that. I didn’t do that with my earlier electronics business, why would I do that with my network marketing business. With my electronics business, I told all my friends and family that I was in business and what I was doing and they came to me when they needed something I had. Why wouldn’t I do the same thing with my network marketing business?

You can probably see why I didn’t want to be like _______ because ­­­­_______. Fill in the blank with whoever you didn’t want to be like; with whatever reason you didn’t want to be like them. Mine was chasing friends and family, what’s your “I don’t want to do that?”

The first key to understanding this for me was watching all the successful people up on stage giving their stories; some of them did chase their friends, some started there and moved on, some never did chase anyone. Hmmm, what’s that all about?

So, if duplication is not “duplicating everything your sponsor or mentor is doing,” what is it? Let’s kick off from there.

Definition

Duplication, according to the dictionary means the process of making an exact copy of something, or identically copied from an original.  It comes from the Latin duplicare “to double.”

So, if it’s not your mentor or sponsor you’re supposed to duplicate, what are we supposed to duplicate?

What Do Most People Mean When They Say Duplication

I get the feeling sometimes that too many people in this business actually think we should duplicate our mentor or sponsor. I’ve met people who started talking and acting like their mentor to the point that I started wondering where did Bill go, this guy looks like Bill, but he sounds like Mr. Mentor.

Just because Mr. Mentor has a spiel that works for him, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for everyone else. It might, but if it’s out of character for you to the point where people wonder when and how you got possessed, it probably isn’t going to work for you. People like to feel like they’re talking to someone that cares about them; that they can know, like and trust. If you’re not being you, they’re not going to know, like and trust you.

What IS The Big Deal About Duplication

The big deal about duplication is that more so than any other business model, network marketing depends on duplication. What is network marketing? It’s the movement of goods or services to people via person-to-person or word-of-mouth marketing. It requires customers and it requires customer finders.

When I say that network marketing depends on duplication, I don’t mean can they duplicate you or duplicate exactly what you did or duplicate what the latest trainer on stage said or what the company literature says to do.

You want to find people who can find a few customers and a few more customer finders. That is what you want to duplicate, and that is the big deal about duplication. HOW you do that is not as important as whether you do that.

Michael Clouse says duplication is the ability to get someone to do something, whether you’re there or not.

So, to wrap up, can you train your recruits in a way that’s realistic with their current skills to talk to people about their business in a way that they will do whether you are there or not? In a way that people will get interested in the product or the opportunity?

Duplication and The Company You Work With

Aligning with my continuing theme of how to select a company to work with, you might ask “What does the company I’m working with have to do with the duplication that occurs under me?” Remember, to be successful, you have to have your team duplicating success. Or, in the words of Zig Ziglar, “If you help enough people get what they want, you will get what you want.”

If the company violates or doesn’t meet any one or more of the 12 critical success factors™, the likelihood that the company will be there to allow you to have duplication goes down with each missing factor. If your company survives and thrives, this allows the duplication to continue and grow. And we’re back to leverage and that long-term, stable, residual income.

Another point that enters in here is the training that your company makes available. Does it really teach you all about the product? Does you it make you aware of all the ways that others are using to make their business grow? Or does the training raise more questions than it answers?

To find out more on what questions to ask, go to www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter. (It’s still free… )

Quote

People prefer to do business with those they know, like and trust. You can’t get that through mindless duplication! You’ve got to leave room for the personal in your system. You’ve got to establish yourself as someone who’s likable and trustworthy. And you’ve got to teach your downline to do likewise.  – Joan Linwood


Pyramid, Scam, or For Real

May 31, 2010
9 Comments

What Are They and What’s The Difference?

I sometimes wonder why there is any confusion on these terms as they apply to working from home, but then other times I think it’s just par for the course. There seem to be people on this planet who enjoy denigrating, confusing and muddling up the issues. So, to piss off those types of people (who like to denigrate, confuse and muddle up things), I am going to inject some clarity into the subject. All right?

I guess being the unserious type; I should inject my humorous look at it first. The difference is in who gets screwed: with a scam everyone gets screwed (except the guy who thought it up); with a pyramid, the latecomers get screwed; and with a real business or opportunity – no one gets screwed.

Definitions

Scam – A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle. An illegal plan for making money. A scheme for making money by dishonest means.

Pyramid – An illegal scheme in which participants give money or other valuables in exchange for the opportunity to receive payment for recruiting others to participate in the scheme.     A fraudulent money-making scheme in which people are recruited to make payments to others above them in a hierarchy while expecting to receive payments from people recruited below them. Eventually the number of new recruits fails to sustain the payment structure, the scheme collapses with most people losing the money they paid in.              From the Federal Trade Commission – “Pyramid schemes now come in so many forms that they may be difficult to recognize immediately. However, they all share one overriding characteristic. They promise consumers or investors large profits based primarily on recruiting others to join their program, not based on profits from any real investment or real sale of goods to the public. Some schemes may purport to sell a product, but they often simply use the product to hide their pyramid structure.”  – http://www.ftc.gov/speeches/other/dvimf16.shtm, paragraph 4

Network marketing – Most definitions of network marketing get way too complicated; here’s my favorite simple definition: “Any method of marketing that allows independent sales representatives to recruit other sales representatives and to draw commissions from the sales of those recruits.”  – Wave 3  The New Era in Network Marketing by Richard Poe ©1995  “Network marketing is a form of distribution of products and services that, through word of mouth promotion, uses the power of duplication  of effort.”  –  The New Entrepreneurs by Rene Reid Yarnell ©1999                                           “Some people confuse pyramid … schemes with legitimate multilevel marketing. Multilevel marketing programs are known as MLM’s (or network marketing) and unlike pyramid … schemes, MLM’s have a real product to sell. More importantly, MLM’s actually sell their product to members of the general public, without requiring these consumers to pay anything extra or to join the MLM system. MLM’s may pay commissions to a long string of distributors, but these commission(s) are paid for real retail sales, not for new recruits.”  –  http://www.ftc.gov/speeches/other/dvimf16.shtm, paragraph 7

Another way to define it is who gets paid; in a scam, the originator gets paid; in a pyramid, the early birds get paid; in network marketing, anyone who makes a sale gets paid.

Examples of Scams

If you get an email from Nigeria wanting you to send money to prove you’re worthy of helping them transfer money into the U.S.; delete immediately, it’s a scam.

If you get a check from anywhere that you weren’t expecting, and when you call to verify, they ask you to send them the cash in exchange for the check; call the authorities – it’s illegal and is called bank fraud & mail fraud; and yes it’s a scam.

Examples of Pyramid Schemes

If there is a one-time fee to buy into the program or “business,” and there are no ongoing product sales, it’s most likely a pyramid. If all recruiting stopped today, where would the commission payments come from?

If most of the money comes from recruiting someone and the actual residual income comes from a tiny percentage of an ongoing purchase of a product or service, that is probably a pyramid even though it is well disguised.

If the ad says “One-time fee, no buying, no selling, no recruiting, we build your organization for you.” RUN quick like a bunny! If they don’t need you to sell or recruit or buy anything, why do they need you? (Hint – it’s your money) Your money/cash/commissions are only coming from the people that join after you. It is a pyramid.

If the start-up fee is your cost to purchase a report, and you make money by selling others the report to get them started; look out Martha, it’s a pyramid.

Examples of Network Marketing

Okay, I’ll admit I’m only going to pick obvious companies here that have stood the test of time. The whole point of this series of blogs is to teach you how to pick a good and worthwhile company that you can use as your vehicle to create that stable, long-term, leveraged, residual income.

Disclaimer: I am not recommending any of these companies as your home business opportunity, if you are looking at joining any of them, it is up to you to research them and do your due diligence and figure out if it’s the right company for you.

Amway, Herbalife, Mannatech, NuSkin, Pre-Paid Legal, Shaklee, Visalus, Xango are all network marketing companies.

Mary Kay Cosmetics and Melaleuca are not network marketing companies, but if they were, I would put them on the list too.

If you want to be amused, check out how many company names are on a reasonably current list of network marketing companies at: http://www.mlmconsultant.com/mlm_company_list_directory.htm

Now That You Know The Difference

You have learned one more of the basics, for more info, go to www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter. (No money down, no obligation, it’s freeeeeeee…)

Quote

“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.”  – Robert T. Kiyosaki, entrepreneur and author


What Else Do I Need To Know?

May 23, 2010
1 Comment

Before We Move On

Let’s recap. So far we’ve looked at the company track record, financial strength and the caliber of the management and how these things interact and what they mean to you as the prospective entrepreneur working to build your home based business with that company.

We understand what residual income is and why we want it. And the relationship of the three factors in the first paragraph to creating a reliable, long-term, residual income.

So, let’s move on.

Leverage

If you’ve ever been to an opportunity meeting, or a home party, or a business presentation at your local Starbucks, you’ve probably heard the word “leverage” mentioned. You may have a good idea what was meant, or you may not have a clue, or maybe you’re wondering why you have to have a crowbar (a type of lever) in network marketing. So, let’s define it.

One meaning is “the mechanical advantage gained by using a lever.” If you’ve ever pried the lid off a can of paint, you’ve used leverage, the screwdriver was the lever, it’s use was leverage enabling you to open the paint can.

Let’s narrow this down and find a more appropriate definition for business usage, “to increase, enhance, or optimize something.” So, any tool that you use in a business would be a type of leverage. A computer would be a type of leverage, you use the computer to enhance your ability to keep track of sales and expenditures. A fax machine is a type of leverage by increasing your ability to send and receive documents so that you don’t have to wait for the mail.

Leverage In Network Marketing

Okay, there’s a general idea of leverage, now let’s apply it to network marketing: “Every successful person or business takes advantage of leverage. There’s only 24 hours in a day! And no matter how talented you are or how much you get paid per hour, if you don’t take advantage of leverage you’re limited by the number of hours in a day. By learning to leverage your time, you can also benefit from a percentage of other people’s efforts, and dramatically increase your income and freedom. …

“The unique and wonderful thing about the network marketing business is that everyone has the same opportunity to become the owner of their own business with a fraction of the investment of time and money of a traditional business. Instead of worrying about training people to become their competitors, in network marketing the people at the top have a vested interest in helping others on their team to succeed.”   – excerpted from http://www.mlm-company.net/leverage-income.html

Here’s another quote that I found very enlightening from an Australian chap named Nic Brits. The site that I found this quote at no longer exists, but it’s still a good example of how it works: “True leverage is turning small numbers in to large numbers.” In an earlier post, someone had asked how to have 10,000 people in your downline. Nic continues, “Teach 5 people to each teach 5 people who in turn each teach 5 who in turn each teach 5 people who in turn each teach 5 people each to another 5 people and at this stage you will have 15,625 people in your downline team. … starting with a small number you create a large number by using leverage.”

You may have heard this quote before: “I’d rather have 1% of 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own.”  – John Paul Getty

What Does That Have To Do With Residual Income?

If you recall in my blog on residual income, we had the following definition: “RESIDUAL INCOME is income from efforts which continue to generate revenue over time without requiring any additional effort.”

If you put those first five people in place and you train them correctly and they find five people, are you doing all the work? Is leverage beginning to work for you? Might you start seeing leveraged income turn into residual income?

Summary

Leverage increases your ability to enhance your income. What we’re looking for is reliable, long-term, leveraged, residual income. The company itself should provide reliable and long-term. You provide the leverage by how well you build and train your organization. Residual comes about from the longevity of the company and your ability to provide what the company needs – product sales.

Want To Know More?

For more info, go to www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter. Did I mention it’s free?

Quote

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”   – Mark Twain


Five Things To Evaluate

May 17, 2010
9 Comments

Harvard School of Business?

I don’t think I can count how many opportunity meetings I’ve sat through where the five things to evaluate were given as coming from the Harvard School of Business. Three digits, anyway, easily over a hundred times. While the five things to evaluate are all good things to investigate and answer, I have been unable to find anything on Google that actually connects the Harvard School of Business with this simple method of evaluating a business opportunity.

My second problem with them is – WAIT – I’m starting off way too serious here for my own comfort.

A Stupid Joke

What did the Kentucky Fried Network Marketer say to the chicken? “We’ve come up with a better way to sell chickens. You get a cut of every chicken marketed; as America eats, you get rich.”

The chicken says, “I don’t eat chicken.”

The KFNM says “No, no, you don’t understand, we pay you for every chicken you sell.”

“Why would I want to get paid for selling chickens? I don’t want to sell chickens.”

That is probably the worst joke I’ve ever invented, but it makes a point. If someone doesn’t want to sell what you’re selling, are they ever going to put in the work required to be successful, if you somehow manage to convince them that they should join you in spite of themselves?

Back To Harvard

Here are the five areas that the Harvard Business School (or the Harvard Business Review, depending on who you’re talking to) allegedly (by the way, if you know when or where Harvard Business School or Harvard Business Review said this, please send the information along to me) recommends that you evaluate:

1)    The company

2)    The need or the marketplace

3)    The product

4)    The compensation

5)    The timing

I think I’m approaching the record for the most tortured use of different punctuation marks in one sentence.

Okay, so what’s missing, what’s wrong with this list? Well, it’s a good start, but as a saying that Mark Twain popularized goes, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” In other words, you need to do your own research and see if the statistics your prospective company is showering you with are real. Do they bear any relevance to what you need to know about a company that you’re considering working with?

Examples

For instance, if a company says the company is rock-solid, is that rock sitting at the top of a thousand foot cliff, or is it sitting on a few million in the bank and debt free?

If a company says they are the fastest growing company in the automotive  widget industry, but the other companies are growing at 1% a year, what kind of growth is the company really experiencing?

Our sales grew 115% last year! From where, to where? If the year before was $100,000 and it grew to $215,000 last year, that’s not very exciting, promising, but not newsworthy. What about if sales went from $100 million to $215 million? Hmm, maybe they’re on to something here. The right answer depends on what you’re looking for.

What Are You Looking For?

Which brings us to one of the things missing from the 5 areas to evaluate. What are you looking for? What are you good at? What are your strengths and weaknesses? In evaluating any company, or any product, you have to look at yourself and decide if the company and product are a good fit for you. Can you believe in the product? Does it help people? Try the product yourself so you can tell others what it’s done for you.

What Else Is Missing?

One of my favorite mentors has come up with and trademarked what he calls  “The 12 Critical Success Factors™.” He goes into much greater depth on how to find and select a company to enhance and maximize your chances on creating that long-term, stable, residual income.

For more info, go to www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the free “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter.

Quote

“Dream with me for just a minute,” (Rick) encourages. “Imagine traveling across this great land of ours on your own schedule. You have no alarm clock screaming for you to blast out of bed each morning. You can afford to stay at any hotel and eat in any restaurant you choose. You can purchase clothing and extras without too much notice of the price tag. While you are at your leisure, thousands of people are putting thousands of dollars in your bank account each month.”   – from The New Entrepreneurs, by Rene Reid Yarnell


Residual Income

May 10, 2010
2 Comments

What Is It & Why Do I Want it?

People join network marketing companies for many reasons. I’m sure you can think of several; a like-minded social group to hang out with, a little extra spending money, something to do, a source of personal growth, getting a great product at a discounted price, being able to help someone with a product or service they provide through their company, because they benefited from the product or service and thought others should know about it.

Residual income is, or certainly should be, one of those reasons. So, let’s define what residual income is. Here are some definitions that give a very good idea of residual income and how it might apply to network marketing.

Refers to the income or monies that arise from earlier efforts which still continue to generate a revenue flow over time without requiring the need for any additional effort (e.g., a stream or flow of future royalty payments from a song).   http://www.tuition.com.hk/dictionary/r.htm#Residual_income

Royalty income that accrues to the owner of an intellectual property, such as art, books, lyrics, music, patents, etc.  http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/residual-income.html

RESIDUAL INCOME is income from efforts which continue to generate revenue over time without requiring any additional effort (e.g., a stream of future royalty payments from a book).  http://www.ventureline.com/accounting-glossary/R/residual-income-definition/

The word comes from the Latin word “residere,” meaning “to remain behind, rest,” from re- “back, again” + sedere “to sit.”

In other words, you get to sit back and keep collecting income once you’ve done the work to generate the income. Personally, I kind of like this idea.

My brother likes it, he’s a musician and he gets residuals on things he’s done over the years long after he actually did them.

Insurance agents like them, they collect residual commissions as long as you keep paying your premiums.

J. K. Rowling (of Harry Potter fame) most definitely likes them.

Okay, So How Does This Apply To Network Marketing?

Let’s say that you sell someone a bottle of vitamins. Let’s say they pay $40 for it, and that out of this $40, you make a commission (income) of $2. The vitamins work well for them, they notice a difference in their energy level or they sleep better or they don’t get colds anymore. They keep buying these vitamins every month and you collect your $2 every month.

You keep telling people about these vitamins and they try them and like them and you have more people buying vitamins and you get your $2 from each of them (as a commission from the company you’re working with). Maybe you have 20 or 30 people buying vitamins from your company and you now are getting $40 or $60 each month which means your vitamins are now covered by your income. Hey, free vitamins, not bad, but you’re just getting warmed up.

You keep working at it and a couple of people who love the vitamins want to start selling them too. They each tell some people and start selling a few vitamins and a few of their customers want to start selling. And they do and they get their customers and a few want to sell these great vitamins. And so it goes…

Let’s keep it simple and say you get paid on four levels down; you sign up Bob who signs up Joe, who signs up Rose, who signs up Jack. You get paid on any vitamins that Bob, Charlie, Diane and Erin sell. And to keep it really simple, let’s say you get $1 on each month’s worth of vitamins sold in your organization. Each person signs up two people to sell vitamins and each seller sells 10 people vitamins every month.

You

Bob     Becky

Charlie  Crystal  Chad  Cara

Diane  Dave  Dominique  Dylan  Deirdre  Donny  Deanna  Dyan

Erin  Eric  Evvy  Erica  Erina  Eddy  Ev  Edsel  Erry  Elly  Eva  Edina  Ed  Edrick  Ev  Es

That’s 2 plus 4 plus 8 plus 16 = 30 people in your organization. Thirty people each selling vitamins to 10 people makes 300 people buying vitamins every month and you make a dollar for your part in helping the company acquire these customers. That makes $300 every month plus the $40 or $60 on the customers you personally acquired. Still not the gravy train, but are you selling those 300 customers every month? Are you answering their questions about the vitamins?

This is a very simplistic example, but I wanted to give you the flavor of residual income. Now, since you’re not selling all of these customers every month, does that give you just a tiny bit of incentive to go out and find more customers and more customer finders?

What if everyone on the above list decided to play a sales game and everyone found 2 more customer gatherers? Now you have 60 people selling vitamins and they all find 10 customers, that’s 600 customers or $600 every month. What did you do for that extra $300? You found 2 more customer finders.

What if the company that you worked with was paying $10 on the product you were selling? And $5 on the first 4 levels? Hmmm, $5 x 600 customers =$3000. Not wealthy yet, but I think you’ll breathe a lot easier at the end of the month with that extra 3 grand in your pocket.

What if they paid five levels deep? You really should start getting excited about residual income somewhere along about here when you start playing with the numbers.

If It’s That Easy, Why Isn’t Everyone Doing It?

I don’t recall saying it was easy, but it certainly is rewarding. Did you ever get anything without working for it? Learning is the key to succeeding in this business. Work hard, learn lots, discard what doesn’t work for you, find mentors. There are hundreds of ways to make it difficult or impossible. Mentors will help you avoid those.

Want to increase your odds? Check out your company first before you put your blood, sweat and tears into it. Go to www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter.

Quote

“Everybody’s a self-made man; but only the successful ones are ever willing to admit it.”