“The richest people in the world look for and build networks; everyone else looks for work.” Robert Kiyosaki
For some of us, a quick trip down memory lane is sure to inspire colorful images of cosmetics and plasticware neatly displayed in suburban living rooms. These “parties,” as they were called, were the predecessors of today’s massive network marketing events and conventions hosted all over the world. As the expression goes, everything starts at home; marketing is certainly no exception.
The traditional office space has been replaced by coffee shops, home offices, park benches, and airports – anywhere a laptop can go. With that change came incredible new opportunities in the world of marketing. Suddenly, the world became our living room and perfect strangers became friends. Those wonderfully-packaged items on display for friends and family to pore over with delight are now objects of your creation, tailormade for your target audience.
Times are tough, money is not easy to come by, and the public has certainly taken notice. We all hear about side businesses, part-time jobs, even courier services anyone can sign up for to earn some extra cash. It seems as though everyone is doing something on the side to make ends meet. What many fail to realize is the power of word-of-mouth advertising and good, old-fashioned networking.
In this case, I define networking as any exchange of information (specifically regarding products and marketing tactics) with others to gather exposure and develop vital social contacts. Quite simply, networking is creating a group of people who support you and your product directly (such as customers) or indirectly (those who have no use for a product but recognize its potential for others). Refer back to my article titled 10 Incredible Benefits of Joining a Network Marketing Company for more information on networking and the principles behind it.
Today, let’s discuss how a side business could turn into a major money-maker.
#1: Ownership and Accountability
A quick disclaimer: in no way do I promise wealth and success with network marketing. The fact of the matter is that network marketing isn’t for everyone; however, if we have big dreams and faith in ourselves, then what matters is that we do not quit. Go back to the market and study it. See what’s trending and take advantage of it. How much one gets out of their business is directly proportionate to the amount of work put in.
When we own our own business, we become our own boss. We answer to no one but ourselves, and there is no limit to what we can achieve. This is a double-edged sword in the sense that it can lead to our success and our demise. Think about it: we are solely responsible for our success. There’s no one to tell us what to do or when to do it. We are entirely self-made and self-reliant. Once we move past the fear and trepidation of newfound freedom, the sense of empowerment and accomplishment becomes our main motivator. The negatives go hand-in-hand with the positives. There will be hard times as well as good times. The secret is to strike that balance and learn how to tip the scales in your favor – you have total control.
#2: Hone Your Skills
Becoming an independent business owner, while daunting, promises to polish one’s skillset—an obvious benefit since increased versatility, better time management, increased business savvy, and much more are always good to have under one’s belt. As your business grows, so too will your skills. Through trial and error, you will become business savvy in the long run, and your business and customers will reward you for it.
With better skills comes better results, and better results means a higher profit margin for you! Use this learning experience to the best of your ability to not only become a better businessperson, but also a better people-person. They say if you want to make a million dollars, make a million friends.
#3: Widen Your Reach
Network marketing, with the help of social media, allows us to extend our reach beyond just those we personally know. We live in the most modern and sophisticated time in our lives where social networks open up entirely new possibilities to make organic connections that will last a lifetime. In the past, marketers hosted “parties” to expand their group and make sales. Instead of inviting the whole neighborhood, we have the option to invite the entire world with a few keystrokes.
Rather than wasting time trying to find people interested in your product, they will find you. Their support and shared belief in your product will work to your benefit in the end. Remember: word catches like wildfire. Fan those flames!
#4: Make Lasting Connections
The connections we make with other people are two-fold: they satisfy our need for socialization and also expand our worldview. As social creatures, we like to socialize. Marketing is all about learning how to capitalize on our social instincts to increase the sale and visibility of a given product, and we do that by exploiting our intrinsic need to share and collaborate with others.
It’s important to remember that bad news often travels faster than good news. While this fact can definitely be a hindrance to your business, know that good news travels farther. Conceptualize a product, create a social media presence, and engage with your client. As I often state, we are in the business of people helping people, and we certainly want to make sure that our peers view us as people, too. Gone are the days of faceless, big-box, brick-and-mortar businesses influencing the masses. The power of one person is truly remarkable.
Want to know more? Read up on my entry titled: What it Takes to Build a Direct Sales Company from the Ground Up.
#5: Secure Income
It’s an unfortunate reality that job security is no longer a guarantee in our current financial climate. However, this doesn’t necessarily spell disaster for our business ventures. If anything, it means that we must work smarter as opposed to harder to get where we need to go. The path may have changed but the end goal is still the same. What truly defines success is one’s willingness to try, time and time again.
A side business offers unprecedented room for growth, but it’s up to the individual to harness that power to the best of their ability. When we are able to grow a business from the ground up without sacrificing our day job or other responsibilities, it lends a sense of security since we no longer rely on a single source of income. There is power in freedom.
#6: Create Win-Win-Win Scenarios
The network marketing system is comprised of three parts: the owner, the distributor, and the customer. When working in harmony, we have what’s known as a win-win-win situation where all parties involved reap the rewards of this business structure. The customer supports your product by making purchases which the distributor then fulfills which ultimately benefits the owner (you!). The end product is a happy customer, a busy distributor, and a successful owner – everybody wins.
Although a side business can be a great way to make extra money, be wary of gimmicks and marketing tactics that may not work in your favor in the long run. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It is through hard work and determination that I was able to make a name for myself, and I believe the same is required of everyone who wants true financial freedom.
Marketing is a lucrative business, and while I don’t suggest diving head first into the field, I certainly do recommend getting one’s “feet wet,” as the expression goes. Focus not only on the end goal, but also the process; you must learn how to crawl before you can walk, and you must learn how to walk before you can run. There are valuable lessons to be learned along the way and the personal development is priceless in our profession. In order for anything in your life to change, you must develop within. Believe me!
Start small, start with what you can afford, and be kind to your supporters. You will go far if you conduct your business with honesty and integrity. Whether you’re working a job you can’t stand or doing what you love, always give it your all.