Teen Business Owners-Part Four: The Stigma of Network Marketing

“Word of mouth is still the best advertizing”.

“Most people look for work, successful people form networks”.

Both these quotes were part of a conversation I took part in with two other business owners the other day. And these comments are not uncommon.

It is a well-accepted fact among Entreprenuers that people spreading their positive opinions about your business is the best form of advertizing. It’s highly effective, mainly because people trust recommendations from their friends a great deal more than commercials, newspaper ads or celebrety endorsements. Also, one of the main advantages to the business owner is that this highly effective form of advertizing is completely free!

Think of the most successful business owners in your community and the world. Do they stay to themselves, work alone or avoid associating with people? No, they don’t. Instead, they create teams and groups aka, Networks.

Yes, there have been network marketing companies who’ve sullied the industry with unethical behavior. And, folks have run with this fact saying that all network marketing is a scam, a pyramid scheme or some other illegal form of money making.

But, do we make this generality when we experience a horrible meal at just one restaurant? Or, does one car wreck mean all cars are not to be trusted? Obviously the answer is no!

The benefits of network marketing are proven and varied. Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki both defend network marketing in their book, “Why We Want You To Be Rich”. Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “The Business of the 21st Century” is cover to cover about why network marketing is the business of the future. Personally I think the track record of these business men is cause to, in the very least, investigate the Network Marketing industry.

Picture yourself and your children standing at a fork in the road. On the left you see a sign that says “Employment in an industry that brings a bit over average pay”. On the right the sign says “Extraordinarily high income, travel, debt-free living- as long as you work hard”. I cannot imagine a single parent reading those signs telling their children to choose the left side of the fork. Do you? Of course they wouldn’t. All parents want their children to achieve extraordinary success. Well, according to the congressman I mentioned, this type of success is available through Network Marketing for those willing to step outside the norm, be coachable and work hard.

I remember a while back a well-meaning friend heard that I am a network marketer. His advice to me was to not do it because “the number of people who really succeed” is really low. First, this was a friend who had ever researched the industry. Like many folks he based his conclusion on hearsay, news reports and the fact that he knew a hand-full of people who had failed in their network marketing business. Let’s consider a few folks who tried and tried again despite the low odds of success: Abraham Lincoln, the Wright Broghters, Nelson Mandella, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, Roger Bannister, Jackie Robinson, Lee Iacocca, Neal Armstrong, Spud Webb and Harriet Tubman. The list could go on for pages and pages.

How dare we look our friends and also our youth and tell them not to aim for something extraordinary and unconventional because the odd of success are low. I can tell you first-hand that the reaons most people fail at network marketing is because they do not put forth the same amount of energy and time they would put forth in a traditional job. That’s not a flaw in the industry, it’s laziness and fear on the part of the participant.

Have you ever visited http://www.bbb.org and investigated the ratings of network marketing businesses. Legal Shield is a network marketing company I’m a part of and they have the highest Better Business Bureau rating of A+. Mary Kay Inc. shares this same rating. A while back Legal Shield enjoyed the honor of receiving a letter from a congressman who explained that Legal Shield and companies like it were at the forefront of creating financial independance for more individuals and families than any other industry in human history!

What does this mean for our teens? It means that there is a viable business avenue we should teach them about. It means that we, as adults, should push passed the knee-jerk reflex of avoiding Network Marketing we should educate ourselves on how it can teach our teens to:
1. Leverage their time
2. Create a network
3. Lead a team &
4. Help others succeed

Isn’t that what we should want for the next generation?

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