The Business of the 21st Century

Millie Leung lighter white copyIf you are looking to establish an extra stream of income or to start a business and I tell you that there is a business that requires no employees, no office rent, no quota, no inventory, you don’t need to worry about sourcing or shipping your products, and you can build this business globally from your home, from coffee shops or from the beaches of the world, just with a laptop or mobile phone and an internet connection.

You could build this business part-time, spare time or full time, and there is no income ceiling.  There will be someone to mentor and coach you, and a training system in place to support you.

World-renowned entrepreneurs, coaches and investors like Warren Buffett, Tony Robbins, Sir Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, and Robert G. Allen all endorse and support this business model.  And this business model is taught in universities today as part of their degree curriculums.

Sounds too good to be true?

Let me tell you – What if, this business model is True, Real and Legitimate and it only takes a few hundred dollars to get started, would you be interested to take a look?

If you are open-minded, I believe you will be like most people and answer ’Yes!’

If so, read on!

The Business Model of Network Marketing

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I am talking about the business model of ’Network marketing’ – also known as Multi-Level Marketing or MLM.

People’s opinions on Network Marketing is probably as polarised as the topic of politics.  Most people either love it or hate it and most people believe they are right.

So in this write-up, I am not trying to argue with anyone.  But rather, I just want to express my experience with Network Marketing – at least the experience I have personally lived through and witnessed in the last 5 years.  Since just like you, I am entitled to my opinions.

Truth be told, however way you are feeling towards this business model right now, I have most probably felt the same way at some point in my life – Negative, skeptical, dislike, avoidance, ignorance, confused, intrigued, interesting, positive, amazed, grateful.

What Is Network Marketing or Direct Selling?

Simply said, Direct Selling is the marketing and selling of products directly to consumers, often away from a fixed retail location.  Network Marketing is a form of Direct Selling, where the sales and marketing is often done through the person’s network or through referrals.  It is a form of word-of-mouth marketing.

Let me give you a hypothetical example.  Suppose you recommended a great restaurant to a good friend.  Your friend and her husband made a reservation for dinner and, during the meal, the waiter asked them how they heard about the restaurant.  They mentioned your name.  How would you feel if the owner of the restaurant send you a thank-you letter and a coupon for a free meal in appreciation for your recommending his restaurant?  It would probably make you feel wonderful.  The restaurant owner also explained in the letter that because of your recommendation, his restaurant has gained a new long-term customer.  This customer didn’t come from them paying for newspaper, radio or TV advertising.  Therefore, the owner wanted to reward you for this new word-of-mouth customer.

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Anytime your friend visits this restaurant in the future, the Owner would send you a check for 10 percent of the value of the meal as a continuing thank-you.  Sure enough, every several months you receive a small thank-you check.  You are so impressed that you encourage others to visit the restaurant.  This generates more free-meal coupons plus more 10 percent small checks each month.  After several years, you have helped to create hundreds of monthly customers for the restaurant, which generates thousands of dollars of extra, no-hassle income to you.  That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

This is the theory behind Network Marketing, as it is now called.

Bad Experience with Network Marketing?

In every industry, there are some ’bad apples’ – those people who didn’t do justice to the industry and give it a bad name.

Buying insurance? Yes, sure, there are some bad insurance agents.  Buying a house? Yes, sure, there are some bad real estate agents.  Eating at a restaurant? Yes, sure, there are some bad waiters and waitresses.  Seeing a doctor? Yes, sure there are even some bad doctors.  Working in a job? Yes, sure, there are plenty of bad bosses too.  So certainly, there are bad network marketers too.

So does having some ’bad apples’ make the business model or the industry itself a scam?  (I hope your answer would be ’No’ – otherwise ANYTHING in the World would be a scam)

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It is my personal belief that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things.

So if you are open-minded to get started in this industry, the key is to find someone who is honest, sincere, experienced and have the genuine interest in helping you to succeed.  Find the ’good apples’ – and there are many!

Moreover, look for a company that has a good reputation and a solid track record and also look for products that you are genuinely excited and passionate about.

Pyramid Schemes

Legitimate Network Marketing Companies are NOT Pyramid Scheme.  Pyramid schemes are illegal.  In many parts of the World, Network Marketing companies are fully regulated and require a legal license in the country to operate (Malaysia, Taiwan, China just to name a few).

After doing my research about the industry… nowadays, when people tells me that Network Marketing is a pyramid scheme, I know they are misinformed or uneducated about this type of business model.  No offense to anyone – I was like that at one point in my life myself.

Often times when I ask these same people to give me their definition of a pyramid scheme, they don’t even have a clue.  They would say something like ’The person on top makes more money than the person on the bottom.’ (Isn’t this also the case in any company?  The CEO makes more money than the Vice-President, the Vice-President makes more money than the District Manager, the District Manager makes more money than the Employees… If so, every company in the World would be a pyramid scheme!)

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In fact, in a legitimate Network Marketing company, ANY person can earn more than the people who join the business earlier than them.  And ANY person, regardless of how soon or early they join the business, have a chance to become a top income earner in the company.

Because in a legitimate Network Marketing company, income is based on productivity.  Anyone who is more productive has the same chance to earn an amazing income.  I know this is the truth, because I have personally seen this happened many many times in the last 5 years – where people who join a legitimate network marketing company at a later time, but because they are more productive, they earn more than the people who brought them in or join earlier (aka, the people who are ’on top’).

Facts About Network Marketing

As I researched into this business model, here are the FACTS I found.

Fact vs Myth

Direct Selling is a multi-billion dollar industry.  According to WFDSA Global Statistical Report 2010, the global direct selling industry is sized over US$132 billion in estimated retail sales.  Worldwide, more than 87 million individuals are direct sellers.  The industry is growing at an exponential rate.

The model of Direct Selling and Network Marketing has been around for decades. Throughout the decades, this industry has supported hundreds of thousands of families to have the opportunity to leverage on an existing system and easily start their own home-based business during their spare time or part time, and create an extra income or build a residual income to support their families.

Warren Buffett, one of the the richest man on earth, has publicly said that ’dollar for dollar, network marketing company is the best investment I ever made’.  Warrant Buffett believes in this business model.

Tony Robbins, the World’s # 1 Life and Business Strategist, has publicly stated that he is a big supporter of the network marketing industry.

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group and the World’s # 1 Business Icon, has publicly stated that he is a ’tremendous believer of Network Marketing’ and that ‘all the future jobs in the next 20 or 30 years will be created by Network Marketing entrepreneurs and other entrepreneurs around the World’.

Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the World’s # 1 best-selling personal finance book ’Rich Dad Poor Dad’ also endorses the industry and states that Network Marketing is the ’Business of the 21st Century’.  Kiyosaki supports the Network Marketing industry because of the opportunity for Personal Development and it gives time for any individuals to be on their own pace to learn how to transition their mindset from an employee to become an entrepreneur and a big business owner.

As much as you hate or love Donald Trump as a politician – as a successful businessman and multi-billionaire, he stands behind the industry of Network Marketing.

Trump and Kiyosaki wrote a book together called ’Why We Want You To Be Rich?’, advocating the Network Marketing industry.

Bill Clinton, ex-President of USA, has publicly endorsed the Network Marketing industry.

Robert G. Allen, entrepreneur and bestselling author of the book ’Multiple Streams of Income’ is a big fan of Network Marketing and he calls Network Marketing the ’Ultimate Money Machine’.

Jim Rohn, America’s Foremost Business Philosopher, said ‘Network Marketing is the big wave of the future. It’s taking the place of franchising, which now requires too much capital for the average person.’

Jack Canfield, Entrepreneur, Author of the best-selling books ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series and ‘The Success Principles’, also known as ‘America’s Foremost Success Coach’ supports and endorses the Network Marketing industry.

Academically, Network Marketing is being taught in many universities and colleges around the World.  Dr. Charles King, a Harvard University PhD graduate and a Marketing Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago teaches Network Marketing as part of its Marketing curriculum and states that ’Network Marketing is a true profession’.

The ’Wall Street Journal’ calls Network Marketing ’The Ultimate Social Business Model’ in its July 2011 issue.

The ’Success Magazine’ frequently features success stories of the Network Marketing professionals.

So, who are you listening to?  Those who are financially free and have succeeded in business and investments, or those who are broke, stuck in a rat race or complain often about their jobs?  Remember, whoever advice you choose to listen to, you are ultimately buying their lifestyles.

Change your mindset, change your life.  

An Important Success Element – Built-In Mentorship

A real important element that contributes to the success and continued growth of the Network Marketing industry is the element of ’Mentorship’.  In a legitimate Network Marketing business, it is in the best interest of the team leaders to help their teammates to succeed.  The more successful the teams are, the more successful the leaders become.  Therefore, Mentorship is built-into the business model by nature.

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Great team leaders would spend their time and effort to mentor, train and support their teammates, sharing their experience, expertise, tools to help their teammates to succeed – which, you may not always find in the dog-eat-dog Corporate World.

In fact, World-Class network marketing companies focus on Training and Personal Development because they understand that the only way to grow sustainably is to invest in and grow their people.

Take a look at this fascinating article by Forbes Magazine (I love this article!), ’The Correlation Between MLM Success and Mentorship.’

Equal Opportunity

In the last few years, I have witnessed people from all walks of life achieving major success with Network Marketing – as young as 21 years old, as old as people in their 80s, men, women, unemployed, bus drivers, teachers, stay at home moms/dads, athletics, high-flying corporate employees, CEOs of corporations, presidents of major banks, doctors, nurses, dentists, lawyers, traditional business owners, insurance agents, real estate agents, pilots… you name it, I have heard their stories, met them, shook their hands, had meals with them, mentored them, or sat in their houses listening to their stories, struggles and triumphs at some point in the last few years.

The only commonalities I could find within all individuals who have succeeded, are that they all have a burning desire to change their lives, they are willing to learn, they take massive actions and they are not quitters.

They don’t all have the same skin color, they don’t all belong to one age group, they don’t all have the same work experience, many of them came from no money, but yet many came from highly-educated and professional backgrounds with stable high-paying jobs.

Network Marketing is one of the last few true ’equal opportunity’ business models around the World.  Regardless of age, skin color, gender, education background, family background, social status, you can have a chance to take part in the industry with a very low startup cost (typically just a few hundred USD maximum) and achieve a level of income and success based on your own desire and effort.

Just like any other businesses, building a successful and sustainable Network Marketing business takes time and hard work.  But, the only barriers to achieving success in Network Marketing are the barriers you put on yourself.  And the sky is the limit. 

The Ultimate Truth

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In the last few years, I have witnessed how people’s life have been touched and changed because of their Network Marketing businesses.  I have witnessed how people have grown and found meanings in their lives.  I have witnessed how ordinary people have turned their lives into extraordinary by putting in time and effort for a season of their lives.

I have witnessed how true leaders in the industry who care so much about the success of others, they poured their hearts and souls into helping people and helping them to fight for their dreams.  They worked hard together, they laughed, they learned, they grew, they hugged, they cried together with their teams through the ups and downs of their journeys.

I have witnessed how when a true leader stepped on a stage and shared his or her journey or being recognised for his or her achievements, thousands of people in the audience cheered and cried together.  Why?  Because these are true ’servant leaders’ who have rolled up their sleeves, worked closely with people, listened to their dreams, mentored them, guided them and made a REAL impact on the lives of the others – on personal growth and on financial terms.  These leaders have opened their hearts to touch the hearts of others.

So… How Do You Define Success?

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I don’t have an answer for you – that is for you to answer.

For me, real success is not only measured by monetary terms – real success is measured by the impact you make to this World, the souls you touch, and the lives you change. If you focus on adding values to other people’s lives, the money will follow.

With this definition, I found that there is no other business model better than the business model of Network Marketing.  Rock on MLM!

Lifestyle Entrepreneur

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With lots of love,
Millie Signature

About Millie Leung

Millie Leung teaches people how to Escape the Rat Race, Work Anywhere and Live a Life They Truly Love. Click HERE to get her FREE eBook 'Lifestyle Entrepreneur' (US$27 value).

1 comment on “The Business of the 21st Century

  1. Dearest Millie,

    Indeed you have inspired so many of us in many ways. This is probably one of the most cogent and well written post on Network-Marketing online.

    Thank you for taking time to bless us with your insights and adding value to the masses.

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