I have joined four networking marketing companies in the last 7 years. Yes, four. Prior to joining the first one, I knew very little about them and what I did know (or thought I knew) didn’t appeal to me. So when my friend asked me to come to an event and bring a friend I was reluctant, to say the least. It was a health and wellness company…mostly shakes. I had just found out I was pregnant and I didn’t even want to sample the shakes at the event for fear of what was in them and that they could harm my baby. Looking back, I suppose it was a lack of trust in my friend that I wasn’t even aware of. That and, knowing what I know now about the food industry and some of the ‘food’ stocked in my local grocery stores, given the opportunity to go back to that day, I would’ve drunk the shake.
So it wasn’t until a year an a half later, when I was a month away from going back to work after having my baby that I reached out to that friend again. I had been following him on social media and started to wonder if maybe the business was a viable option for me. An opportunity for me to stay home…and not have to go back to work. I mean, after a year away from the grind, I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to go back. I did, however, need to contribute financially to my household AND I was starting to crave something for me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my baby and was super grateful for spending the whole first year of her life with her…almost exclusively. But I missed the daily adult interaction. Colleagues can be like family. I missed sharing the good the bad and the ugly with my work family. I missed helping people. I missed being challenged.
Turned out, a month wasn’t long enough for me to establish a sufficient enough pay cheque to get out of going back to work. But it was long enough for me to get a taste of what network marketing is about. And I liked what I was experiencing…a lot.
If I liked it so much…why have I joined 3 more companies since then? Well, to be honest, health and wellness wasn’t my thing…hadn’t ever been my thing. So, while the shakes were delicious and nutritious…and the 90 Day Challenge was actually just what I needed to lose that last bit of baby weight…and my new found friends were showing me what a lit up life looked like…I wasn’t passionate about the products or the company. So it was hard for me to share about it. The next two companies…basically same thing. One was a jewellery company…and I didn’t even wear jewellery…half the time I don’t even wear my wedding rings. Why the hell did I join that one then? Honestly? I missed the community….and the event I attended before I joined was electric….so.much.fun. The third company was an essential oil company…just before they became ‘cool’…and while maybe that company would’ve grown into something huge, I wasn’t feeling it. There was not community and their back office technology wasn’t what I was used to. So…while I still love EOs…they are not my passion.
Now…nearly three years with my third company, a skincare company, I am home. Literally…I am home with my 3-year-old every day. I put my 7-year-old on the bus…every day (except snow days and PA days and sick days..then she’s home with us). I am home. I am surrounded by a passionate, purposed driven, uplifting, supportive, encouraging tribe of women. A sisterhood I never knew I needed. Since I’m being honest I’ll share that, like the health and wellness company, skincare wasn’t my thing when I started with this company either. But I had friends joining this biz…and having great success. And, despite my inner critic…the one telling me that I had already tried this three times…the one asking me what my network would think…the one reminding me that I may be compromising my integrity…despite all of that…I just couldn’t get over my FOMO. And I’m glad I hushed that inner critic ego of mine…because I am happier now than I ever remember being. I am thriving.
So here’s a taste of…5 things…that networking marketing is about. It’s a short list. Compiled from a very long list.
- A Paycheque. Yep, you can actually make money. How much is up to you. It can be likened to any commission only job. Only, there is no limit to how much you can make AND…it’s your business so the only person you’re answering to is YOU. YOU set your targets. YOU set your hours.
- Personal Growth. You’re encouraged to dig deep. To acknowledge who and where you are and dream of where you want to be. I naturally started to gravitate towards all things personal growth…books, blogs, mentors. And…I started doing the work. The inner work. I’m still a work in progress…but progress I have made…a lot of it. And I’m striving for progress over perfection…every day.
- Flexibility. You can work your biz where ever whenever you want. Think, at the park…think during breaks and lunch at work…think your commute…think at the hockey rink or gymnastics club or the pool or soccer field (think your kids extra curriculars)…think before the kids get up in the morning…think after the kids go to bed at night…think waiting at the dentist’s office…think waiting at the coffee shop. I’m not saying that your biz will take over all of this time. What I’m saying is that if you do any of these things…pick a couple and spend 5 minutes doing something for yourself. (psst…you’ll be helping others too).
- Connection…sisterhood…tribe…community. This is one is near and dear to my heart. The whole idea of network marketing is to connect and reconnect with people…and share something you love. In this tech-driven world we’re living in connection is sometimes lost…especially if we aren’t ‘connected’ to wifi. Even if we have hundreds of ‘friends’ on social media…we rarely connect with them. We rarely get to know what is really going on. We rarely take the time to truly care. We aren’t supportive or genuinely encouraging. I mean…we may comment something supportive or encouraging…but then we get on with our lives and may not give it another thought. That’s where sisterhood…tribe…community come in. Whether your biz affects a partner’s bottom line or not…you are family. You actually communicate. It’s a safe space. One without negativity. One without judgment. One without close-mindedness. The environment fosters confidence…growth…dreaming…boldness…brilliance…light. Personally, I didn’t realize I needed this until I found it. Now I don’t know where I would be or what I would do without it.
- Changing Lives. And…the best for last. Each of the companies I clicked ‘join now’ with had a mission to change lives. And I believe most network marketing companies share this mission. The products are, in my case, best in market. And when people use them and have results they feel great. They are more confident…which is a great place to start when you’re seeking something more. And the business opportunity is a vehicle for change. If you can dream it you can achieve it…with some hard work. Maybe it’s a vehicle to leave your day job…maybe it’s a vehicle to stay at your day job but pay for that trip to Africa you’ve been dreaming of for as long as you can remember…or maybe it will help pay the mortgage or daycare…or mani-pedis…or massage. Or maybe it will be a way to donate to something that has already changed your life. Whatever it is…nothing changes if nothing changes.
If you are craving something more I encourage you to check out your social media feed. Chances are some of your friends are already changing their lives. Ask them what they’re up to. It won’t hurt..and you’re not committing to anything except hearing them out and being open-minded.
Until next time…try dreaming bigger. It’s fun..and sometimes it lights a fire.