This is not an easy post to write. It’s a tough subject to publicly talk about.
The good owners will LOVE me for it. The shady ones won’t. But…that’s probably a good thing. I’d rather “out” the shady, not so ethical people, and shine a big bright light on the good owners and executives of the network marketing profession.
There are lots of factors that contribute to your success in network marketing. How hard you work, how long you stay at it, how good you are at recruiting, how you are at inspiring and moving people…the list is long.
But…there is ONE thing that has an awful lot to do with your success that you have ZERO control over. And…that is CORPORATE DECISION MAKING.
The decisions that are made by the people running your network marketing companies can make or break you. That includes the CEO, the Founders, President, Vice President, or anyone else that makes decisions that impact people in the field (the Independent Distributors).
Even as I write this, my mind races with countless examples…real life things that have happened, both good and bad, from a corporate perspective, that had massive impact on the Independent Distributors of those companies.
Being an entrepreneur in the profession of network marketing has huge advantages! Low start up costs, mobility, unlimited upside potential, tax breaks, the opportunity to travel, make new friends…there are tons of great reasons to be involved in a network marketing opportunity.
However…it doesn’t come without some risk. All businesses have risk associated with them. While the financial risk in network marketing is super small in comparison to starting a franchise or any other brick and mortar business, there are other risks involved.
One of the biggest risks we take is getting involved with a company that is poorly run or mismanaged. To invest our time in something, only to have it fall apart before our very eyes, because of bad decisions that you had nothing to do with, is a very tough pill to swallow.
There are a lot of great Owners, Founders and C-Level Executives in Network Marketing.
I’m friends with many CEOs, Founders, and Presidents of Network Marketing and Direct Selling companies that are amazing people. They are incredible LEADERS who make WISE decisions. This profession is wrought with incredible people.
If you’re reading this and for some reason don’t know what C-Level means, it’s means this. A C-Level person is someone who is operating at an executive level in a corporation.
You might want to take note of this. Even the BEST owners and C-Level people in the world sometimes make decisions that aren’t the greatest. That’s called being human. I want to be super clear as I lay this out for you, that even the very best owner or C-Level person in the world may make an occasional decision that doesn’t work out so well. So…make sure you give them a break and the chance to make good on something that didn't work out so well, if and when they make a not so good decision.
But…here’s what I’ve found about those types of people. They always make good on it…and they do it quickly. They right their wrongs SUPER FAST. And…it’s obvious. You can literally see it happen! You'll be like, “Wow! I thought that didn’t work! But…how cool is that that they fixed it so quickly??!!”
On the other hand, there are quite a few owners or C-Level people out there that simply are NOT good people. Just like in ANY OTHER LINE OF WORK, in any industry, there are highly qualified people, and some that are not so qualified, or simply shady, greedy, thoughtless or self-absorbed.
I’ve seen a LOT of HORRID things happen in my 25 years of being around this profession.
I’ve seen countless, hyped up pre-launches that never actually launch. They were promoted as the biggest thing to happen this century…ever, only to actually NEVER happen.
I’ve watched a company launch a broken product that didn’t work at all, and REFUSE to refund their customer’s money. How do you think distributor and customer morale was after that episode?
I watched a company change their compensation plan to only impact a few people that had gone into into “semi-retirement” , only to FORCE them back to work. My friend was forced to go back to work at a time in his life where he wasn’t really physically able, only to try and retain his earnings.
I closely witnessed a company shut their doors because the owner had such an uncontrollable gambling habit and pulled so much money from the companies coffers that they had to stop paying checks to their distributors. It left thousands of us who were expecting a check the very next month without a network marketing home.
There are some things that would personally concern me if I was a distributor in a company…and cause BIG RED LIGHTS to go off in my head. Red lights…means “Warning! Something is very wrong with this picture!”
If your network marketing company promises you something, and then doesn’t actually deliver it, I’d be concerned. For example. They promised a “vacation” as a bonus for some type of production, and then actually fail to deliver the reward, that’s a BIG RED LIGHT for me.
If your network marketing company is constantly late on checks, that is a BIG RED LIGHT for me. I wouldn’t worry if your check usually comes on the 15th…and it arrives on the 16th one month. But…constantly LATE CHECKS is never a good sign.
If your network marketing company is ALWAYS making changes, that is a BIG RED LIGHT for me. Change is inevitable. But…if you get the feeling that the change is constant and never ending, probably not a good thing.
If your network marketing company owner or C-Level person is buying lavish cars, real estate and other fancy items when the company isn’t actually doing that great, that would be a BIG RED LIGHT for me. There’s nothing at all wrong with your C-Level people or owners buying nice things, but if that’s happening while your company is in a flat our downward trend, I’d be a bit alarmed with their decision-making.
If your network marketing corporate website looks like it was put together by a 4-year old, that would be a BIG RED LIGHT for me.
You’re an adult. This is your business. But…don’t walk around blind. Be aware of what’s going on. Don’t ignore signs.
On the other hand, don’t be paranoid either. It takes a little calmness to get through some of the changes that are inevitable with every company.
Better to be aware and have a plan than be the last person standing on a sinking ship…if you’re unfortunately ever faced with that type of situation.
Do your homework on your owners. Look at their history. And…do not let GOOGLE be your sole source of due diligence. Anyone can write anything they want and have it come up in a Search Engine. I’d use Google to look for stuff, but I’m not going to blindly believe everything I read. And…I hope you wouldn’t either.
If something alarms you…look into it. You may find that it’s nothing. Or…you may find that it is something. But…a search and a click really isn’t due diligence.
As I said earlier, there are some amazing people out there who run Network Marketing and Direct Sales companies.
There are surefire signs that a company is being run by qualified people. And…they as well are blaring and obvious. Let’s call these signs GREEN LIGHTS. These aren't ALL of them, but you'll get the overall THEME of what I'm talking about.
If your network marketing company consistently pays checks on time, that would be a GREEN LIGHT for me.
If your network marketing company has a corporate office that you can actually visit, that would be a GREEN LIGHT for me. Granted…in today’s marketplace, there are a few companies that operate on a shoestring with an extremely small office, or they’re in “Start up” mode and don’t have a big fancy office just yet. I’m one of those guys that would like to actually SEE the “Home Office”. It can be a very telltale sign of legitimacy.
If your network marketing company delivers products/services in a timely fashion, that would be a GREEN LIGHT for me.
If your network marketing company has a well-designed website that looks like it was done by a professional, that would be a GREEN LIGHT for me. Here’s what I’ve found. If a company owner plans on doing something significant, they won’t put together a site that looks like it was done by a kindergartner. It will have a LOOK to it that FEELS big. In marketing…it’s called “an image of largeness.” Quickly thrown together corporate websites with multiple code errors or spelling errors is a RED LIGHT for me.
If your network marketing company has customer service representatives that are available and reachable, that would be a GREEN LIGHT for me.
If your network marketing company makes a mistake and they very quickly right that wrong, that is a HUGE GREEN LIGHT for me.
If your network marketing company backs their products/services with a solid Money-Back Guarantee, that is a GREEN LIGHT for me.
I’m sure there are other signs of both RED LIGHTS and GREEN LIGHTS.
It’s up to you to keep your eyes and ears open. Take responsibility for your own success. You hold the keys to your future.
I want to do everything that I can every day to help uplift the level of professionalism in our business. We as distributors…and I say “we”, because I’ve never been a corporate guy, have to do everything we can to act and do things that are coming from a place of professionalism and integrity.
And…companies themselves need to step up and do things right.
Together, we can all make a difference.
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Todd Falcone speaks and trains on the subject of network marketing success and helps people move to a position of achieving Network Marketing Mastery®. He also consults network marketing company owners as well as coaches and trains top-level distributors throughout the profession. Todd is a husband to his wife Carla, and a father to his two boys Gianni and Joey. He’s a surfer, a skier, a golfer, and loves to fish and play in the outdoors. Start accelerating your network marketing business today, download Todd's latest CHEAT SHEET on this page.