Before I became a Beachbody coach everything I ever heard about network marketing and MLM aka mutli-level marketing was negative. I heard a few things: 1) the system is totally flawed 2) only the people “at the top” make any money and 3) you will only succeed at the expense of others.
Sounds great, right? Actually, it sounds a lot like corporate America to me. 😉
But let’s face it, network marketing doesn’t have the best reputation. Not because it doesn’t “work” but I believe people have a false impression of what it takes to be successful in this business. Perhaps Uncle Fred went a little too crazy with the water filters and it left a bad taste in your mouth (literally or figuratively, take your pick!). Or maybe you’ve spent a good portion of your life attending home parties. Either way, it’s not too often that people associate network marketing with Christianity. But perhaps they have more in common than we think.
When I became a Beachbody coach I took a leap of faith. Despite all the negative stuff I had ever heard about network marketing I kept coming back to the same thought of WHAT IF? WHAT IF I can really do this? WHAT IF *this* is what I’ve been waiting for? WHAT IF this is really what He wants me to do?
And even worse…WHAT IF I don’t do anything?
So finally one day I said WHY NOT?
A few months later I was doing some personal development and came to this excerpt from Your First Year in Network Marketing by Mark Yarnell. It flipped a switch in my brain (or maybe it was my heart) and for the first time I believed 100% in what I was doing and I’ve never looked back since. Perhaps you’re thinking about joining a network marketing company or maybe you already have and are still struggling with your decision because of the negativity you continue to receive from friends and family. Either way, I hope it helps you the same way it helped me.
Network Marketing vs. Christianity
(excerpt from Your First Year in Network Marketing by Mark Yarnell)
Dr. Robert Neff of Dallas, Texas had received a lot of negativity from those for whom he held tremendous respect in the first year of building his networking business. Their greatest argument was that the industry was fundamentally flawed: “taking advantage of others for your own personal gain.” He knew that this wasn’t his experience, but their words stayed in his head and held him back from building his business. Why? Because these words depressed him.
Although he had been raised as an atheist, Dr. Neff was growing in his understanding of spiritual values. As he was coming to grips with his place in the industry and his emerging religious faith, he had an astounding realization one morning: Network marketing was modeled after Christianity.
He frantically wrote down the parallels that he saw, and as he did so, the doubts he was harboring about this industry left him. He knew at that moment that network marketing was an inherently good industry that revolved around helping others help themselves.
It was the act of writing this down that was so beneficial to Dr. Neff. We love his analysis and couldn’t have expressed the parallels more eloquently—even though we were both trained as professional theologians! Reading these similarities between network marketing and Christianity, it’s easy to understand how they helped to alleviate Dr. Neff’s depression. Here’s what he wrote:
1. It is very unlikely you’ll learn about it unless someone else invites you to see it.
2. You are shown something that initially sounds too good to be true.
3. You are given support for its validity, but mostly through personal stories, and hence your belief is based mostly on faith.
4. You are told that you must first believe before you can experience the incredible benefits.
5. You can measure your belief by the amount of good that goes on around you.
6. You are given a manual to guide you.
7. While you may not understand it at first, you are asked to be teachable and follow those who have already experienced what still lies ahead for you.
8. Along the way, you will encounter difficulties and you will need to ask for assistance.
9. When up, you’re asked to help others beneath you; and when down, you’re able to get help from above.
10. That assistance will be given in a form that will make you stronger and more self-sufficient.
11. You will not be perfect along the way, but as long as you believe, you will reach your destination.
12. You are asked to delay gratification by putting your own needs aside for the time being so you can help others first.
13. Providing this help will require dedication, persistence and hard work.
14. Do not fear people, but instead offer a hand to them even though many will say they do not need your help.
15. By surrounding yourself with other good people who also carry the same beliefs and commitments, you are protected from negatives that can hurt you.
16. You are invited to come together on a regular basis to renew your vision.
17. As a result, you will learn more about yourself, about others, and about life.
18. In the end, you will have directly or indirectly helped thousands of people to live better lives and move on to a better place.
There’s also one more point I’d like to add to Dr. Neff’s list. Sometimes we form opinions on different things based on our perceptions…not our experiences. For example, before becoming a coach my opinion of network marketing was pretty negative. Not because I had any personal experience, it was simply because I heard other people talking about it and I watched their behavior. I just didn’t want to be a part of it! However, now that I AM a part of it, I see there’s a WHOLE other side of it that I didn’t see before.