If you’re one of the outside-the-box-thinkers who…after getting a degree or working in a particular position or for the same employer for many years…discovered what most people (afraid to break out of a comfort zone) fail to understand about launching a business in the network marketing industry can do to unshackle your life from the constraints of “Corporate America”, then you’re probably not the person I’m talking to.

As a free-thinker, YOU already KNOW the feeling of true freedom one can achieve in becoming a professional network marketer!

I’m talking to those individuals who have stood on the sidelines watching their friends, family members, neighbors and work colleagues take a different path…and have success…observing with a critical eye and preconceived notions of what networking and becoming a network marketer truly means.

So, let’s peel back the layers of what it takes to be a pro in the networking industry!

  • LEADERSHIP

This might be the most recognizable quality of being successful in this industry or any industry for that matter. It isn’t rocket science, but it is the basic principle of building a growing organization that a lot of smart people misunderstand when they form an opinion about what a true leader in the network marketing industry does to create success and wealth.

Here’s the wisdom nugget: Some people who are considering the leap into network marketing, eyeing the goal of building a business for themselves and others (because that’s how it works), think they have to coddle or hand-hold the people in their organizations. But wise networkers know that would cause burn-out and eventually the potential strength and size of their organization might suffer. Network Marketing Professionals don’t sit around waiting for people to step up to the plate and think it’s just going to fall into place. They also understand you can’t do everything for individuals who choose to join the adventure. Professional Networkers lead by example and empower people to do what you’re doing by showing them a system they can duplicate. By giving others a guide to create their own organizations…they are doing it alongside team members without doing the work for them. Industry pros know the true path of empowerment means involving people who then learn to do it on their own. It’s basic mentorship, and it’s repetition…consistent and persistent.

  • DESIRE AND PASSION

People are usually compelled to do a thing because it feels good or it will get them the outcome they want. I believe the impetus for this is, plain and simple, happiness. But it is rooted in a “WHY?” Why you do something is the driving force. It takes a burning desire and fiery passion to set and achieve a goal. One must remain dedicated to the outcome. It’s easy to find things we just want, but remaining steadfast in obtaining it takes an unwavering pledge. A friend in the industry once explained it this way:

She and her mother were very close. As she began sharing more excitement about her feelings on becoming involved in the networking industry…painting vivid pictures of goals as she discussed the milestones it would take to achieve level after level…her mother (who had always been such a cheerleader in her life) began calling her “unrealistic and silly” for engaging in the events and conferences (which are popular “tools” that lead to success in the networking industry). The daughter turned to her mother and flatly told her, “If you continue to cast doubt on my ability to create success using this business model, then we are going to be spending less time together because I cannot surround myself with people who think so little of my abilities or lack the capacity to celebrate the happiness this is adding to my life.” This feedback sparked a conversation about how the mother felt that her daughter was putting her “business” above her family and their relationship. But my friend shut it down with this one statement: “I’m putting MY dreams for MY life front and center, (there’s a difference), so if you think you’re going to make me choose you will lose. You’re either going to support and trust my decision without criticism or our relationship will be reduced to phone calls and holiday visits.” This woman is now a leader in the network marketing industry and female entrepreneurs seek her guidance, and her mother has been richly rewarded by her daughter’s steadfast pledge to follow a network marketing career path by being her plus 1 on earned incentive trips to tropical getaways.

I’m not suggesting you have to break up with the people you love in order to pursue a lucrative career in this industry. In fact, a great number of people find that locking arms with their friends and family is what makes it an even more rewarding choice for earning an income. But I want to make it crystal clear that weeding out the naysayers, putting mufflers on those people who don’t really know diddly-squat about what they think they know, and limiting your time with people who lack vision, is part of the sacrifice one willingly makes in order to seize on the opportunity to live an uncommon life.

  • CONSISTENT-PERSISTENT ACTION

You can have all the knowledge in the world on a subject, but nothing will happen until you follow it up by taking action. Consistent and persistent activity will best the efficiency of a lazier person every time. You can go out and talk to ten people and sign nine of them into your business. The winner goes out and talks to 100 people…signing up 10 of them into their organization! They signed more and they filled their funnel. Never underestimate the power of timing and revisiting the people you’ve shared with. They aren’t always saying no forever or even to you. Sometimes they are saying no to themselves, and that’s where your consistent-persistent activity comes into play, also. I don’t mean for you to pester people…just be willing to revisit them and keep the lines of communication open, and genuinely touch base with them because you care.

  • BE A VISIONARY

Nearly every successful network marketing professional, business leader and entrepreneur has the ability to craft a clear vision for their future. They have a grasp on what they ultimately intend to achieve. This visioning begins with the basic principle of how one views themselves. Visionaries understand that thoughts become things and words become actions, so they make choices to implement tools in their daily lives to manifest the vision to fruition. It’s not a magic spell or a wish. I’m talking about a positive affirmation to set the tone for the day and end the day on a high note, and it starts by repeating it, like a mantra, as your very own mission statement. Be thoughtful about how you create these affirmations and make sure you are using terminology of empowerment. You’re focusing your attention and your intention on the best possible version of yourself and the best possible outcome. Looking on the bright side and having a full-glass mentality will help you grow into a successful leader, person, teacher, parent, etc. etc.

  • EXPERTISE

As people we are growing, evolving (hopefully), and learning something new each day. As an entrepreneur in the networking industry, you are a perpetual student and you are always developing new skills and becoming the expert in your field to grow your business. It’s the one trait that separates a professional from a dabbler. When you make a point to increase your knowledge of a subject by reading five books, you’re increasing your odds of knowing more than 95% of people out in the world…including people versed in that subject matter. What do you think will happen when you choose to read even more books, say, 15 books? You’re putting yourself in that 1% category of people who do what others aren’t willing to do in order to achieve what others only dream about. The top 1% of income earners in the network marketing industry earn enough money to have someone read books to them whilst a cabana boy fans them with palm leaves and a smiling islander delivers them an umbrella drink served in a coconut. Becoming an expert = winning! (Yes, I like Piña Coladas, Rupert Holmes…and cabana boys fanning me with giant palm leaves)

As a Bonus, wisdom nugget: Grab a highlighter pen and go to town as you begin to read and learn. Keep a journal and perfect the art of using this to create your own tutorial for your team or as training in a YouTube video, blog post or tidbit to share on social media to drive people to your product or services. Share your knowledge and become a sought after resource…one with the expertise to help others…in the industry or a particular area of the business. This is an industry of sharing and caring. You’ll receive more and be rewarded when you are open to giving and sharing your secrets of success more freely.

  • GET OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE

You’ve heard this before. You’ve heard it in many areas of life. You have to be willing to be uncomfortable in order to grow, to connect with more people, to open yourself up to opportunity, to face fears and move past them. To be successful in this industry you are automatically signing up to help TONS of people build their businesses and create massive success. You win when they win. It’s a genius system! As in introverted-extrovert, I can tell you this has been my most challenging area to overcome, but it comes with the greatest reward. (See previous Piña Colada comment and palm leaf fanning cabana boy.)

Getting past fear enables you to be in the trenches with your people and live by example. You’re sharpening your skills, honing your talents and simultaneously developing credibility with individuals in your organization who are watching and implementing the systems you’ve used to cultivate success. Many of them…not all…need to see you doing to the deal! This part of being a leader seems to be more relevant to the newcomers, but once they’ve been exposed to the techniques you share they are on their way to getting outside their own comfort zones and becoming the experts, themselves. Like I said, it’s a beautiful system of empowerment!

As the leader of an organization, what’s important is the activity. You’re encouraging people to engage and showing them how…whether in B2B, face-to-face sit-downs, parties or community gatherings like events hosted by your local chamber of commerce, or on social media. They respond by seeing how you’re leading in the area, and you’re capable of showing them how to duplicate your system so they are strategically doing the same for themselves and their organization. Ultimately, you wind up working with the kind of people willing to do what the majority of people aren’t in order to achieve success. These are the same folks getting outside their comfort zones and willing to be trainable.

  • DETERMINATION (aka Good Old-Fashioned Grit)

Years ago I watched a video about a poll of thousands of successful business owners with net worths in the millions of dollars. This video resonated with me because it also tied into the success of children in school and beyond. As the parent of a youngster, I was searching for ways to instill this valuable characteristic in my own child.

It boiled down to finding the ONE fundamental quality among all entrepreneurs. At the heart of each millionaire was the common theme of determination, ergo GRIT!

Grit directly relates to that consistent-persistent activity discussed earlier. It’s doing the “do.” It’s rain or shine. It’s ride or die. It’s day in and day out…no matter the challenges. It’s predominantly known as determination, but I prefer “Grit” because I’m from the South. (Y’all)

  • SHOULDERING THE RESPONSIBILITY

A lot of truly remarkable network marketers are probably going to take issue with this…especially those that might have a little ego and don’t like to be wrong, (or those that reason not everything is in our control as human beings), but the bottom line is successful entrepreneurs take full responsibility 100% of the time for everything in their lives.

I’ll admit, (as a former victim), I totally get why this would be hard for some people to process, but it’s also the single most empowering part of being a successful network marketing professional. You could reason that freak accidents, tornadoes, car accidents, or the irresponsibility of other people are things we can’t control and therefore shouldn’t accept responsibility for…and you would be correct…but stay with me here:

No matter what happens in the life of a successful entrepreneur, they simply refuse to succumb to a victim mentality or be reduced to losing their faith in themselves or the focus of their longterm goals…based on setbacks (of any magnitude)…because it relinquishes their mental power and hands it over to some invisible force outside themselves. Instead, in the moments of trial and tribulation, they find themselves embracing the situation and examining how they can learn and grow from the experience. They recognize the way they would be failing themselves, and possibly others, if they blame shift to something outside themselves. There will always be challenges, and no one can control 100% of life 100% of the time, but you can ALWAYS CONTROL 100% of your response to it!

Begin to recognize the ways you can wield supreme control over your life…your finances, your response to setbacks, your response to success, your participation in action steps or your tendency to procrastinate. You have the power to create your own reality, how you address professional and personal challenges and live a more fulfilling life of crushing your goals and living the life of your dreams! You gotta step up your game and get real with the person in the mirror.

  • SELLING

Sales and rejection go hand-in-hand. It’s a fact, but it doesn’t hurt. The absolute best example I’ve heard to getting past the fear of rejection and becoming a better salesperson…or sharesperson (because sharing is caring…it genuinely is)…is an invaluable tidbit I heard from a seasoned industry leader who said this:

“Go out and talk to people. Get 100 “No’s”. Go home and strip naked in front of your mirror. Turn around and around…There will be no blood!!!” ~R. Forrester

Anyone who wants to reap the rewards of building an organization to positively impact their life, and the lives of other people, is prepared to take “no” for answer and carry on until they find a “yes.” The “no’s” simply don’t matter. And as I said before, a lot of folks aren’t saying no to you…they are saying no to themselves because they don’t believe they can do what you do simply because they don’t know how, or they have a preconceived notion about the way it is and that viewpoint is ill-informed. Successful people in this industry don’t take the “no” personally and they wind up being the ones who create more wealth…in the form of financial benefits and in personal development…rather than those who allow the fear of rejection to stop their activity.

This way of thinking will cement a person…ground them in fear…from doing something remarkable and trading 20 years of their lives working a job they hate, and that is a profoundly sad way to live. On the upside, that feeling of rejection and fear diminishes the more you put yourself out there. That’s why they say the fear melts away! Eventually it truly fades.

  • BRANDING, PROMOTION & MARKETING

In a way, you are your own brand. You’re a brand whether you’re in business for yourself or not. People will make snap judgements about you based on clothing, age, height, whether you have tattoos, if you’re a man, woman or youth. The beauty is you are also a niche and totally unique. You can use the free, simple tools of social media to share your individuality that will ultimately connect you with like-minded people. Likewise, you’re able to invite other people to join your circle or network which opens you, and them, up to the growth that comes with getting past those snap judgments based on appearance. You share a product or service that someone needs and you’ve broken a barrier and bridged a relationship that might otherwise not have happened. When you master the branding, promotion and marketing part of being a professional networker you will become more successful, faster, and truly make the most of being in the “freedom industry.”

Online marketing, social media platforms, lead sites, funnels, capture pages are all tools that are either free or at a low cost to you and require that consistent-persistent exposure…with a rhythm, of course, because you’re wanting to attract and not repel or turn people off. This really is a tremendous way to drive business your way and increase your chances of a face-to-face meeting. When I say face-to-face I’m also speaking of the numerous online tools to reach people via video conference in different time zones and on other continents. You are, quite literally, in two places (or three or four or five) at once! It’s the grooviest thing ever!

Creating marketing campaigns to funnel business your way puts you in a leadership role and not at the back of the pack. Setting trends using other skills you might have…Are you a wordsmith? Are you artistic? Have you developed a loyal following on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube? Are you well-known and community minded?…will all enhance your ability to be more successful as a network marketing professional.

Remember, too, that you can create a grassroots marketing campaign or seize on those already established in your local community. Attend events, fairs and various business pop-up’s, advertise using signage on the backs of menus in mom-and-pop restaurants, pin your business cards to the message boards in the coffee shops, sponsor local school teams and programs, go to themed functions for female entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs under 30, seek opportunities to marry your product or services with other businesses in the area that can be symbiotic and work well together for an event. These are primary, easy and low-to-no-cost, ways you grow your business, nurture your connection to other people in business for themselves and people who need your products or services but just don’t know it, yet.

I hope these tips empower you on your journey to becoming a network marketing pro or if you’re someone generating a residual, side-gig income. Reach out to the person who shared this article with you, and request more powerful information on the way to get you closer to truly living a life of freedom while earning a living. – Sonja