Network Marketing - My Honest Experience

my experience in network marketing
With much enthusiasm, I first got involved with network marketing about ten years ago (at time of this post). I could see its potential to make me wealthy or at least financially independent. The reality for me, however, was something totally different.

Hi, my name is Paul Beamon and this is my story:

Actually my story, with network marketing, began in 1998 when I met a bloke at a church meeting. This guy was into Amway and he was really passionate about his business which got me curious. Long story short, after a lengthy discussion with this guy he invited me to see a business presentation.

What he shared with me made a lot of sense so I jumped in feet first boots and all. I don't know if you know anything about Amway, but at the time when I joined there was no Internet marketing for network marketers. Basically you had to invite all your family and friends and once you're done annoying them you had to approach complete strangers, yuk!

Now this might be okay for some people, but it was not my cup of tea! Me and Amway did not get along very well. After about six months of losing money on products I didn't really want and failing to recruit a single person, I left the organization for good, well almost. I rejoined again after being approached by a good friend who was making $2000 per month in Amway.

This friend promised to teach me a new way to recruit, so once again I jumped in feet first. It was not long before I realized that nothing had really changed as far as recruitment went. Basically my friend had just put a slight spin on some scripts to use on strangers to try to convince them to come to a business presentation.

Please understand, I'm not against Amway I'm just presenting 'my reality' of tying to build a network marketing business with this company. Anyway, after about another six months I could see that this was not the way I wanted to build a business so I left, this time for good.

Although I fully believed in the potential that network marketing offered, I didn't get involved again until the Internet came along and I purchased a computer. As you may well know, the Internet changed so many things for so many people including network marketers. 

So with renewed passion I began to research network marketing companies that were online. During this time I joined several companies to try them out. Back in the early days of the Internet you had to join up just to get the basic information you needed to make an educated decision about the company. Fortunately it's not like that now.

After trying out various companies for a couple of years, I finally settled with one that suited me well. In the network marketing industry it's vitally important to only sign up with a company that you trust and feel confident to recommend to others.

Strong Future International is the network marketing company I finally settled with. Again, I'm not here to criticize this company, I'm only sharing my personal experience with the network marketing industry. This company, by far, is one of the better ones among the many. If you're reading this post and you're looking to make a start in this industry, go ahead and check this company out. Just google SFI or Strong Future International and you'll be on your way.

On with my story: After two years with my chosen company I had built a team under me of 2300 members. Now that's a pretty decent sized team in the scheme of things. However, even with a team of this size I was not making an income that could retire me from my day job. The truth is I only had a small part time income. Why?

Now here's one of the major problems I encountered with this network marketing company, free membership. You could sign up for free and remain a free member forever, if that's what you wanted to do. However, this works against you because when you've got a team full of free members you won't make a lot of money, as was the case with me.

I believe, if memory serves me correctly, out of 2300 team members I had about 100 active paid members. I estimate that I would have needed at least 500 active paid members to make a full time income.

I should mention at this point that there are presently several hundred or so SFI members who have become wealthy, so it is possible to make good money. You should know, however, that these people got in at the top when the company first opened or close to that point. Also, these people have been at it for years and have put in many long hours. 

There are others who joined this company several years after it first launched and are making a decent income as well, but not many. My point is simply this, to make money with network marketing you've got to be prepared to work hard and put in some long hours.

After I had been with this company for two years I felt I had to make a decision whether to continue on or not, which meant more hours and a whole lot more stress. Yes there is stress involved with network marketing.

For me this stress came as a direct result of my paid team members leaving the company. Often times the attrition rate in network marketing can be very high. People come and go all the time in this industry. There's nothing quite like waking up in the morning, logging into your back office only to discover another one of your key members has just left you, it's very stressful and discouraging to say the least.

If you're looking to build a network marketing business you must except the following things to happen on a fairly consistent basis:

1) People coming and going all the time

2) Long hours at the business wheel

3) Earning very little in the beginning

4) The company may change its commission structure. This happened to me, which unfortunately reduced my earnings somewhat. To be fare to SFI, they did give us plenty of notice. In the long run this 'commission restructure' may have improved my earnings, however, it required so much more effort on my part to bring my commission levels back up to where they were before. I chose to leave about one year after this commission change took place; I simply did not want work more for less.

Conclusion:

If you're looking to get into network marketing, you must be aware of the above mentioned pitfalls. Some people like to view these pitfalls as mere challenges to be overcome, and that's fine. If you can keep this attitude intact you may do well. The problem is many don't, therefore the attrition rate for the network marketing industry will most likely remain high.

Your biggest challenge, other than recruitment, is getting people to stay and build their respective businesses. This was certainly the case for me, and I can guarantee will be the same for you.

This then is my network marketing story, I hope it's helped you a little along the path of making an educated decision about this industry. 

So what am I doing now? Well, after a long break from network marketing I'm moving over to affiliate marketing. I can see the awesome potential with this business model so I'm pursuing it to the best of my ability. I've basically gone back to school, but I'm loving it. So stay tuned to this blog for updates on my progress. 

Although I know some things about affiliate marketing, I consider myself a life-long student of the industry and I would welcome any constructive comments, tips and tricks of the industry, so drop a comment or two ;-)










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