Pyramid my arse.
Start something new
One year ago, I decided to stop swapping time for money, and start a network marketing business.
I decided to make some time for it in amongst the other office work and businesses I run, and supported by my gorgeous thriller-writing husband, who knows what reoccurring income is all about (and how hard you have to work for it), and got started.
A year is going to pass whether I start something new or not, so it was fantastic that the natural energy I had for the business combined with consistent learning, being coachable and being open, oh and that special ingredient determination and elbow grease, is now paying off.
From a year ago, there's now a network of thirty of us doing this business, some fast, some slow, as well as a network of clients numbering in the hundreds who choose our pure, safe and beneficial 500-strong range over the toxins that appear in store bought products.
Still though, there's something we continue to come up against, time and again, which is the preconceived idea that a network marketing business is akin to running a pyramid scheme.
To that, I have to say - quite politely, but firmly:
Pyramid my arse.
Word of mouth meets online business
Network marketing is more than anything, a marathon, a 3-5 year business plan where you slowly but surely build a strong business through consistent activity, positive mindset and a 'never give up' attitude. It is an online business and an entrepreneur's game. It is a retail business without a shopfront, driven on word of mouth. It is smart and savvy and sophisticated. It is 110% legal and it is the business of the 21st century. It deserves our education, understanding and respect and I will continue to talk and show it in a positive light.
In the USA, where I recently visited to build my team, network marketing is known and accepted as a way for people to earn an additional income stream by having an online business that sells products that they love.
At an event I ran, there were people who have run 3-4 different network marketing businesses in the past years and were just looking for the one with the best fit for them.
Best fit meaning...? I'm talking about the smartest products, smartest compensation plan, best fit in terms of company culture and people.
Ask the hard questions
We all go online every day, shop online, and use word of mouth to inform our buying decisions every day.
If you are unsure about something you've heard or read, gather and ask difficult questions of the person who is talking to you about the business.
Don't go into what I jokingly call the Witness Protection Scheme.
Ask the hard questions, and listen to the answers with an open mind, then make yours up after that.
a values-driven business
The Arbonne business I run and am building globally, is about having a strong set of values. It is about having a heart, serving others, being the best person, having adventures, getting uncomfortable, having vision, being generous, learning each day, failing forward, spoiling people, being kind to others, focusing on family, and showing love.
My online business is about building a network of thousands who love the Arbonne range as fervently as I do (and when you see the difference in your skin and wellbeing, you'll know why); it is about looking after people; about building prosperity in my team; about giving back to community; about keeping it real and changing lives.
And if you're thinking it still looks like a pyramid to you, take a quick look inside the corporate world and most of our comfort zone, and see how likely you are to make it as CEO in your organisation.
I know that one place on the bucket list that I'll be sure to take our entire family, first class, in 3-5 years time. This place. Which looks nothing like the business I'm running, with its equal opportunity, integrity, and 21st century characteristics firmly entrenched into everything we do.
The good thing is, our kids know this already. They see us live it every day and they will be able to make audacious decisions about how to live their lives and escape the rat race, when the time comes for them.
And that's all that really matters. Family. And having incredible time with them.