Part of my journey to achieving financial freedom is to take part in a network marketing business. Back in college, I was first introduced to this type of business via a friend. She recruited me to be a part of NuSkin Philippines. Having encountered the products of NuSkin several years back and knowing that they were products I will be proud to be associated with, I joined immediately. What followed were days of hardships but great rewards. I became a fast rising distributor with lots of promise and I earned a lot! But sadly, I was not yet aware of how to handle huge sums of money so I lost almost all I earned until it came to a point when I became tired and decided to focus on my studies which I left hanging because I focused on my business.
Now, 7 years later, I am again engaged in another networking business – AIM Global.
For those of you who are not familiar with networking and are filled with negative connotations about it, please don’t leave this site just yet. Allow me to explain why I keep joining networking businesses and why I keep entertaining them. Before I joined NuSkin and AIM Global, I have attended several presentations of different networking groups.
The CASHFLOW Quadrant
If you are familiar with Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Cashflow Quadrant, you know that in order to achieve financial freedom, we need to move from becoming an E (employee) or S (Self-Employed) to becoming a B (Businessman) or I (Investor). True financial freedom is only found in the B and I quadrants.
I am an E sometimes becoming an S because of the odd jobs I do such as freelance writing. But to be financially free I need to move to becoming a B and an I. I can try to become an I at once but it is better to understand how businesses work by becoming a B first since I’s invest in B’s and I will know which good B to invest in if I experienced becoming a B.
I hope you followed my reasoning in the last paragraph. I will expound on this more in some other post.
So now, since I know I have to become a businessman, what businesses are available to me?
I can try the traditional way of creating my own business system. Take note, we are talking about a business here which is defined as something that would continue to generate income even if I am not physically present 100% of the time. If I were to build an eatery wherein I am the cook and I have to be present for it to run, then I am merely a self-employed person and not a business person. However, if I built an eatery, hired people to run it for me, and the eatery generates income even while I am on vacation, then I have built a business system.
But building a business from scratch takes a lot of time and capital. At the start, I need to perfect a system that would entail trial and error on my part. After all, I know that I need to fail several times for me to effectively learn what works and what doesn’t. Then there is the question of capital. How much capita do I need and how much of it I can afford?
At this point, turning my entrepreneurial ideas into a raging business will have to wait. Simply put, I have no capital and my time is tied to my day job.
So moving on to option no. 2…
If I do not have the time or the knowledge to build my own business system, I can always get a franchise. There are food carts and milk tea shops that would allow me to franchise their system for even below P100,000.00.
But the question remains of capital, sadly I do not even have the capital required of even the cheapest franchise system. And the cheapest doesn’t necessarily equate to quality.
So now, I move on to my last option…
Network Marketing to most people seems like a scam. I can understand their suspicion as the business system has been exploited and used by many scrupulous individuals to lure unsuspecting victims into a scam business.
My antidote to this: knowledge. Once I began to research network marketing, I learned that it was in fact a legitimate business model. The calculations made sense. The entire framework made sense. And everything presented – be it the binary model or stairstep model – are all legitimate means to earn money.
By doing my research diligently, I made my decision to join networking based on FACTS supplied by historical data and sound business models instead of OPINIONS supplied by well-meaning but misinformed friends and family telling me I was getting into a scam.
Networking business requires the least amount of capital and depended more on “sweat capital”. This is the type of business wherein all I have to really invest in is my time, my willingness to learn and my willingness to overcome all my personal inhibitions when it comes to networking.
Let me summarize my main points for joining a networking business:
- Entry level is usually low. For a small sum of money, usually P7,980 (in the case of AIM Global), I am able to join the network and start my business. For this amount, I get products and various other benefits whose value is actually far more than the amount I invested. Plus, I get to access the system.
- I am trained in the areas of leadership and people skills. I am proud to say I am a student leader in all my student days but I was immediately awakened to the reality that being a student leader does not necessarily mean I will be a good leader in the real world. Leadership involves so much more than what I have experienced in school organizing projects and fund raisers. Leadership means I have to be able to deal with all sets of different types of people – some even smarter and better than me – and rally them towards a common goal. With networking, I am able to develop this skill.
- I am trained to overcome my fear of rejection. With networking, I am forced to meet new people every day. I have to learn to “network”. Talk with strangers and get them to see the business. Many will reject me but I have to push through because there will always be someone who will see the business as I see it and join. The hardest rejection usually comes from people I love because more often than not, they do not understand what I do.
- I get to be surrounded with like-minded people. Nothing beats being with people who share the same passion as you – the passion to become financially free. The path to financial freedom is a tough one. It is the road less travelled. But the journey doesn’t have to be done alone. Networking provides me with the support of people who are also on the same phase of the journey as I am and the support of people who have made the transition to financial freedom successfully.
I look at the people successful in networking and I see in them the life I want to live. A life of financial freedom where they get to travel wherever and whenever they want, get to buy whatever they want and they need not worry about earning because they are at that point in their lives where money is already working for them. I want this life.
Both path of life tends to be hard work but which hard work will I choose? I choose the path less travelled.
Disclaimer: I am not there yet. I am still a full pledge employee with no large networking group. I am in ground zero as of the moment. I am writing this post to remind myself also of the reasons why I have made the decision over and over again to become a full pledge networker. Now is the time for me to act on it.
Disclaimer: Not all networking companies are legitimate. Do your research. Also, choose a company you will at ease with. The reason I look at so many networking presentations is because I want to make an informed choice. I want to choose a company based on their business model or marketing plan, their culture and their product. The product is important but I learned from Kiyosaki that if I want to be a businessman, it is the business system (or marketing plan) that I must look into and not the product (lest I want to become a salesperson). The culture is important because not all networking companies have strong positive culture geared at mentoring their distributors to achieve financial freedom.
I hope this post has enlightened you about networking.
Why am I doing network marketing? Because I need to learn to become a B.
Why is it important I learn to become a B? Because I want to be a successful I.
Why? Because I want to be financially free!
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