In his book, “Super Prospecting: Special Offers and Quick-start Systems", Tom “Big Al" Schreiter tells the story of an old lumberjack who observed a young lumberjack laboring to chop down a tree. After watching the youngster work himself to nearly exhaustion without accomplishing much, the old man said, “Looks to me like it'd be easier if you sharpened the axe. "
To which the younger man replied before returning to his attack on the tree, “I don't have time to sharpen the axe, I have to get this tree cut down. "
Now, it seems obvious to most of us that a sharp axe would probably make the work go faster and easier. The young lumberjack would be able to cut down more trees with less work just by taking a few minutes to sharpen his axe. Prepare his tools. Learn his trade, you might say!
You know, it's funny. Most of us have no problem seeing the point of that story, but everyday, people sign up for network marketing programs and then start hacking away with very blunt axes! Most of these folks have no idea of what network marketing is, how to go about it, or how to measure success.
I recently received an email from a gentleman interested in getting into network marketing. He asked some very insightful questions, but one demonstrated his misunderstanding of most genuine network marketing programs.
He asked, if I remember correctly, how long it would take to make a significant income from a certain network marketing program, and seemed to indicate that he would expect a sucessful program to generate an income of about $48,000 or more within a relatively short period of time. Otherwise, he would consider it a scam.
Well, honestly, I guess my two friends who I often hold up as examples somehow missed that point. It took each of them about three years in perfectly legitimate programs to begin making money anything like what my correspondent expected. At that point, by the way, their incomes began to grow exponentially until they were taking home over $100,000.00 a month. We'll say nothing about countless Avon ladies who are network marketers and whose income from network marketing is less than $20,000.00 a year, who consider themselves successfully affiliated with an honest company.
Or, I guess I should be concerned about my affiliation with a nationally recognized company (you've probably seen their commercials on prime time). The first year, I only made a few hundred dollars. The second year a few thousand. I'm in my fifth year with them, and I am now making the magical number. . . a six figure income from that program alone. I presently have over 200 fully satisfied customers and tons of repeat business. Not what I would call a scam!
I don't mean to insult the gentleman who sent me the question. His questions were valid, and I understand his concerns and applaud his attempt to gain some insight into network marketing. However, it appears his understanding of network marketing is limited to a desire to find a program that will in some way do the work for him. . . make income for him. Unfortunately, network marketing is a business. . . albeit a special kind of business. . . and it works best when worked certain ways. Many successful network marketers have written many excellent books and articles on the subject, and there are marketing and internet marketing training programs available for those who wish to learn. Some colleges are even offering courses and classes on network marketing and internet marketing.
People going into network marketing should be doing more than simply listening to the person who recruits them and scanning the company literature. If they were hired to do any job they had never done before, no matter how menial, they would recognize the need to familiarize themselves with the business and how it is conducted. Especially if they intended to rise in the business and succeed.
A few books the beginning network marketer might want to read are:
- Super Prospecting: Special Offers & Quick-Start Systems by Tom “Big Al" Schreiter
- Your First Year In Network Marketing by Mark and Rene Yarnell
- The Wave 4 Way To Building Your Downline by Richard Poe (and several others)
- The Greatest Networker In The World by John Milton Fogg
- Off-The-Wall Marketing Ideas by Nancy Michaels and Debbi J. Karpowicz
The person who fails to educate himself or herself about network marketing in general and their chosen business in particular, has chosen to fail. Like the young lumberjack, they will flail at the tree until their strength or motivation fails them, and then they will wander into the forest. . . perhaps complaining loudly about trees, axes, lumberjacks. . . anything but themselves. They will not know why they failed, how they could have succeeded, or how to measure success.
Their axes will be dull, indeed.
The author is retired from the Army after 21 years of service, has worked as an accountant, optical lab manager, restaurant manager, and instructor. He has been a member of Mensa for several years, and has written and published poetry, essays, and articles on various subjects for the last 40 years. He has been an active internet marketer since 2000, and now makes his living online. To learn more about network marketing, please visit http://networkmarketingsecrets.net . To read more articles by the author, please visit his blog at http://donovanbaldwin.blogspot.com/ .