Promote Yourself!

Promote Yourself!

James Morrow

Take on more responsibility and earn more money by network marketing on the side

For decades, multilevel-marketing organizations have pitched their business opportunities as offering the salaried workers of the world a chance to break the shackles of wage slavery and become fully independent, autonomous businessmen and businesswomen with no traditional job to tie them down. The only problem with this scenario, say experts, is that many of the approximately 10.5 million network marketers in the United States today don’t earn nearly enough to achieve financial independence. “Too many people fall into a trap where they look for the `ultimate freedoms’ that network marketing can afford them,” says Rod Cook, editor of the monthly newsletter MLM Insider. “Then, when that doesn’t happen for them, they quit the business and get discouraged. Instead, what these people should do at first is treat their network-marketing businesses as second jobs. That way they can concentrate on slowly but consistently building a profitable organization.”

That’s just what Jerrie Norton and her husband, Michael, of Redding, Calif., did. Back in the early 1990s, the Nortons were told about the network-marketing industry and were intrigued by what they heard — namely, that there was the potential for massive financial rewards in exchange for a minimal outlay of effort. “We were really attracted to the idea of growing a business and helping ourselves while at the same time helping others become successful,” says Jerrie, who helps people every day in her regular job as a home-health-care nurse. “But the first companies we went to work for were never able to really deliver on this promise.”

The experience didn’t sour the pair on network marketing. Rather, it strengthened their resolve to find a company that was right for them. They also came to recognize that it would be far wiser to grow their business in their spare time while they held on to their regular jobs. With that, Jerrie and her husband, who manages a local grocery store, spent a year researching network-marketing companies. They finally settled on Symmetry, a nutritional-supplements company. “We joined Symmetry about 19 months ago,” says Jerrie, “and we are on target to reach our goal of bringing in $40,000 through the business by the end of the year.” And with the money they’ve earned through Symmetry, the Nortons have pulled themselves out of debt and bought a new car with cash. The couple spend between 10 and 15 hours a week running and growing their business: “Our philosophy has been to do just a bit every week and be consistent about it, not to focus on getting rich quick.” As Cook — who has been studying the industry for 15 years — puts it, “You have to forget all your visions of exploding downlines. Work on slowly building your organization, even if you’re bringing in only one new, solid member a month. If you are willing to keep doing that over a number of years, you’re talking about a pretty sizable income.”

Within a year, the Nortons say, they’ll be at the point where they’ll be able to leave their regular jobs, but in the meantime they are staying realistic. “The great thing about the way the company’s compensation system is designed is that it lets you have a ready, supplemental income stream almost immediately while at the same time you’re building the foundation for later growth.”

Another couple who have successfully adhered to the Nortons’ slow-but-steady philosophy are New York City’s Barbara and Wayne Quamina. The Quaminas, Trinidadian immigrants who have lived in this country for more than 20 years, became aware, soon after settling in the United States, that they weren’t going to get rich by working for other people. They tried their hand at running a series of traditional businesses but found that each venture either required more capital than they could afford or simply ate up too much of their time. “Eventually we heard about network marketing,” says Barbara. “And we realized right away the power of duplication” — the phenomenon whereby network marketers share their vision with others, who subsequently catch the bug and go on to convert still others, building bigger and bigger downlines all the while.

Today, three and a half years after they started their own Symmetry business, Barbara has been able to leave her job with Delta Airlines, while her husband, Wayne, continues in his position as an engineer with ABC — something he does as much for the creative outlet it gives him as for the extra paycheck. Indeed, with annual income well into the six figures from just their network-marketing operation, a Jeep Cherokee and a Lexus LS 400 in the garage, and second homes in Trinidad and Atlanta, the Quaminas have, by following the same strategy as the Nortons, reached the level where a full-time job provides only supplemental income. But it’s not just the money that has kept the Quaminas in network marketing for so long; it’s also the opportunities for personal growth that the business has afforded the couple. “Before I started my Symmetry organization,” says Barbara, “there were a lot of people I didn’t feel I could or would be able to speak to. But now I have the self-confidence to meet anyone I want, talk to anyone I want, and conquer the world.”

COPYRIGHT 1999 Success Holdings Company, LLC

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group