I’ve started a new business and would like to get a second opinion from you…
…Let’s grab a coffee! Are you free tomorrow evening at seven o’clock? I’d bring a friend if it’s okay, as he’s better at telling you what’s it all about.*
I bet we’ve all received a call just like that in the past year or so. Some have agreed to meet. Many have become quite defensible, asking what’s it all about or couldn’t it be told over the phone (or messenger). But the answer’s always been that it’s better to meet.
So we meet, only to understand someone’s showing us the next network marketing plan…
But is it all that bad? Should we stop them and run away? Or should we listen? Maybe even consider joining?
Background in network marketing helps!
All cards on the table, even I might have made a call just like that to you.
My parents joined one of such businesses in 2007, when I was still 13. Two years later, I signed up my first friend. And we’ve all been building it since. Using great products. Attending leadership seminars across the world. Reading business books of all kinds. Listening to success stories on audio CD’s. Getting hundreds of No’s. And helping many people earn extra cash or become more entrepreneurial.
I must say, I would not be an entrepreneur, nor would Shipitwise exist if there hadn’t been this particular network marketing business.
Moreover, I believe any network marketing business is a great place to start your entrepreneurship career!
You don’t have to have your own idea. The product is already there. You only need to start selling it.
How’s this helping anyone start their entrepreneurship career?
Most of us have no real business ideas. Because we’ve not learned how to see problems. As no one’s taught us how. Nor do we know where to get this information ourselves.
Maybe we even see a problem and think of solutions. Perhaps thanks to our parents or teachers that taught us how to. But now there’s the question of making it happen.
How to understand if people do experience this problem? Is this really the solution alleviating their pain? Am I able to build the product myself? Or who to build it with? How to find a co-founder? Where to get the money for starting up? How to approach customers? How to deal with No’s? What does a sales process look like? How to start a legal entity? How to do taxes? Etc.
There are thousands of questions that need to be answered in order for us to start our own business.
And yes, it’s possible to learn how to answer them by going through a business school.
But most people don’t.
We should study how to actually make stuff. And then make ‘em. Sell ‘em. And make some more. And live happily ever after. Or something like that…
Thus, in order to really answer all those questions, we should get some practical experience of building a business. While taking as few economical risks as possible. And that’s where network marketing comes to play.
We’re selling the opportunity, not the product.
It’s easy to sell a product. You give me money. I give you a shampoo. Or an energy drink. But selling is only half the work. Everyone’s able to become a salesman (if they truly want). Though, it’s a giant step from becoming an entrepreneur.
There’s also taking responsibility. Leading a team. Teaching a team. Finding more people to the team. Helping teammates get over obstacles. Thinking new ways to optimise the sales cycle. Setting up a legal entity to get paid. Paying the taxes. Learning how to do it all over in another market. And probably many more things that I’ve learned throughout my years in network marketing.
How I’ve learned it all? By attending leadership seminars. Reading business books. Listening to success story audio CD’s. And building the business itself. While asking help from my teammates when I’ve been stuck.
Yes, all those things could be done outside of network marketing as well. And many have. But as mentioned before. Building a network marketing business simply helps. Because all the leaders before you are eager to teach you. Even if they don’t get anything back from it. As that’s the culture. People truly love to help others become successful and entrepreneurial. Knowing that others will help them do the same.
Should you join a network marketing business?
Yes and no.
First, it’s damn hard work to get any results in any network marketing business. But then again, it’s also hard to build any other business.
Second, choose wisely which business to join. Because hundreds of new such businesses spin up every year. Some better, some worse. Some legit, some not so much. Many with real products that people really are using, others promising you to become rich fast (probably not entirely legit). Thus, inspect ‘em.
Third, know why you’re joining. Is it because you’re hoping to become insanely rich? Or is it because you generally like the products, the learning potential and the people who’re already at it? It’s possible to get any of those results. But it depends on how much time you’re willing to put into it.
E.g. I’ve never put more than four hours a week into it (excluding the time I’m spending to learn), and thus have never hoped for higher returns than a couple of thousand euros extra passive income. But I’ve learned a lot, gained many friends and earned some cash throughout the process. So I’m happy!
PS! All five members of the founding team and many of the first investors in Shipitwise all come from the same network marketing business. And we met thanks to the business. Take it as you want…
So that’s my experience with network marketing. If it hadn’t been for it, I might not be an entrepreneur now, nor would we build Shipitwise. Thus I believe, the world would be a much sadder place without such businesses.
And frankly dear, I don’t give a damn what you think. But if you want to hear more, let’s talk!
* Disclaimer: Not everyone asking a second opinion from you is trying to show you a network marketing plan. Some have really come to a new idea and are looking for a second opinion. Or a co-founder for their next startup…