Before we dive into it, you should know that I’m not anti-network marketing. In fact, I’m a product of a network marketing company, so you’ll never catch me insinuating that network marketing isn’t a viable career. I’m passionate about helping others learn and grow based on my own mistakes and findings, so I’ve compiled this list of the 5 most important things network marketers need to stop...like, right now.
1. Stop: Not Knowing Your “Why”
Your “why” is your reason for doing just about anything in your business. If you don’t know why you do what you do, why would anybody raise their hand to join you? “It’s just what I do,” is not going to convince others to join your team, or invest in whatever it is you’re selling. Your “why” will make you more relatable, leading to a stronger, bigger network - and isn’t that the whole point?
Having a clear “why” is crucial because on the inevitable bad days, the days when you lose customers or are told “no,” you’re going to have something to lean on to keep you motivated and moving forward. Need help defining your “why?” Start by acknowledging why you’re passionate about your business, what your goals are, and what keeps you motivated when things get tough.
2. Stop: Thinking It’s All Just a Numbers Game
Say it with me: it’s not all about the numbers. If you’re in a network marketing business or MLM, my guess is that you’ve been told it all boils down to the numbers. And while yes, they certainly play into your successes and failures, like in any business, numbers aren’t everything. A network marketing business is about exactly that: your network. And trust me when I say it’s about quality over quantity.
Your relationships with people are the foundation of your business, and it’s crucial that you invest in these relationships in order to find success. Because the truth is, people know if you’re looking at them as just another dollar sign, and if all they are to you is a number, it’s unlikely that you're going to gain their trust. Instead of focusing on the numbers, focus on building relationships, teaching your tribe, and giving them reasons to stick around when things get tough.
(Rather listen along? Tune into The Beyond Leadership podcast, now!)
3. Stop: Believing You Have to be A Carbon Copy to be Successful
Everyone has a different leadership style, shaped by their own unique personality, strengths, weaknesses, goals, and “why”s. So why should you need to copy others in order to be successful? You don’t. In fact, when I was in the world of network marketing, I was nothing like my upline. Sure, I tried to emulate a lot of the things she did in her business because I saw them result in success for her, but that doesn’t mean I had to actually be like her to thrive. The way she operated her business wasn’t the way I wanted to operate mine, so I didn’t waste any energy trying to emulate her every move. What are your priorities? Lead according to those, not someone else's.
4. Stop: Thinking Everyone on Your Team Wants (or Needs) to be Like You
Not everyone wants to be a leader, and that’s okay! As a leader yourself, it’s your job to respect the goals of your teammates, and while it’s important to know your own vision, it’s equally as important to know the vision and goals of your team on an individual level. Some may join your network marketing company to earn a perk like Starbucks money, and others may join so they can earn enough to pay off their mortgage or win a top-level incentive. Each individual is different and so are their motivations. This means they all deserve an equally unique approach to being managed and led. Different people, different goals, different leadership approach. This is crucial to developing your team!
5. Stop: Failing to Develop Other Leaders
Now, this isn’t a total contradiction from point #4. But not everybody needs (or wants) to rank up, earn the car, or win the trip. Those who are capable of “more” deserve to be developed accordingly. As a leader, it is your responsibility, your purpose, and your honor to raise up more leaders. But who should we invest our time and energy in developing? The people on your team who both want it and are capable of achieving it.
When it comes to leadership development, there are three tiers to consider:
Tier 3 consists of people who are happy where they are. For example, someone who is content with earning their Starbucks money and does consistent work. Lead these people by loving them where they’re at, giving them what they need, and not pushing them harder than they want to be pushed.
Tier 2 consists of those who are testing the waters. You likely see potential in them and perhaps they’ve hinted at being open to more responsibility but aren’t quite there yet. Lead these people by giving them a little bit of extra responsibility to see how they do. Offer mentorship and encouragement to help them shine.
Tier 1 consists of people who are ready and willing to move. These people are explosive, and show up consistently with energy for their business. Lead these people by coaching, encouraging, mentoring, and training them. Allow them to lead next to you, coach them through inevitable mistakes, and support them as they grow. Check-in with them, share how you tackled similar obstacles, and help them overcome obstacles of their own.
If you’re a network marketer and any of this triggered you, I’m sorry (not sorry), but I’ve seen too many women making these mistakes and missing out on their higher potential. Believing these myths will only hold you back. If you make these shifts and work these changes right now, I guarantee the script is going to flip. A lot of the things you consider difficult will become infinitely easier...and fast.
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