I work at home. I am lucky enough to be associated with a legitimate company, but, sad to say, not every work at home opportunity is legitimate and aboveboard.
The very nature of the work at home opportunity lends itself to manipulation by unscrupulous people and businesses.
First of all, people seeking to work at home with some sort of home based business or network marketing opportunity are usually entering an area they know little about. They tend to believe in the claims made by the ads they read or commercials they see on TV.
Even if they don't truly believe, hope and a desire to find a way out of their present life encourages them to at least “check out" the latest opportunity to work at home that they encounter. After all, it seems so easy, and many people know someone who is actually making some money this way. . . or know somebody who knows somebody who is.
To make matters worse, many completely honest network marketing, or other work at home businesses are closely duplicated by a myriad of dishonest people and companies which promise the moon, but generally don't even deliver a good, honest clump of dirt! Additionally, once in a network marketing program, many people see the only way to make money is to make claims that will help them build their downline.
Still, the biggest problem with any work at home business opportunity has to be the ignorance of the participants. I do not mean this in any detrimental way, but it is a simple fact that most people who sign up for a network marketing business opportunity or other home based business have no idea what they are getting into, or what they have to do next.
As if that weren't bad enough, what they DO know, or think they know, often does not apply to many network marketing or work at home business opportunities. Just look at business hours for one. Most people are used to working at least some sort of schedule. A network marketer or anyone else who works at home either has to be able to set up a work schedule or accept the fact that they must work when there is work to be done. If that is 3 AM, then so be it. That's when they will have to go to work!
Another example of the sort of thing encountered in network marketing and other home business opportunities was recounted in Richard Poe's classic, “The Wave 3 Way to Building Your Downline. "
In this instance, a successful real estate investor got caught by a turn in the real estate market. He saw his wife's network marketing business as a way out of his financial straits. However, despite the fact that he was an excellent and experienced salesman, he still had an office to work out of and bring prospects to, and many other factors which had served him well previously, he was failing miserably in his attempts to recruit new members for his downline.
A more experienced and highly successful network marketer reviewed his presentation and HIS recommendations were to lose the office, the slick presentations, and the business suit. . . all the things that had helped support the image of the successful real estate investor. He was now dealing with truck drivers, school teachers, housewives, house painters, small business owners. . . most of whom were intimidated by the thought that to be successful they had to drive a Cadillac, wear a Rolex, and have their own office.
The truth is that in network marketing, Cadillacs, Rolexes and even offices come somewhere after success, and sometimes they don't show up at all. Many network marketers may have the money to do what they want, but what they want may be to drive an old Chevy, and who needs an office when you can do quite well using the community room at Half-Price Books or even sitting in the park feeding ducks!
Here's another point not mentioned in Poe's telling of this story, but is it possible that the young married couple just starting out in life, or the older couple hoping to improve their retirement might have seen the slick ex-real estate investor as some guy in a suit who drove a big car that he was going to pay for with their hard-earned money!
Looking at it that way, is it any wonder that many people often have a certain degree of mistrust for anyone who claims to be able to show them the way to wealth? At the same time, something inside of them wants to believe that maybe, just maybe, it all COULD be true!
So, along comes somebody with something that looks like a good deal. They buy in, and the next thing they know, their money is gone and they have nothing to show for it.
To make things even worse, those who sign up for a completely legitimate network marketing work at home business opportunity have a good chance of losing every penny. The sad fact is that network marketing is relatively simple, and there are many people succeeding with every kind of work at home business imaginable. However, there are skills to be learned, and, as we have seen, some to be unlearned. There is training that must be undertaken and real work to be done.
The first thing you must do to protect yourself from a work at home scam is to do your homework. Find out everything you can about the company and the opportunity. Get as much independent information as possible. Don't just read the company brochures and listen to the line of the person recruiting you. . . no matter how much you respect them.
Next, make sure the company is a good fit for you. My personal test is to ask myself, “Would I feel comfortable recommending this company's goods or services to a close friend or family member if I were not going to get paid a penny?" If the answer is, “Yes!", then you are on firm footing, and making presentations or explanations later will be easier.
Create the mindset that you are going to have to work to make this business successful. This means learning about the company and the product. It means that you may have to do something uncomfortable such as speak to a group, or interact with strangers. This doesn't have to be too difficult, by the way. Network marketing is about networking more than marketing. Go into these situations with the intention of making friends and having interesting experiences. Eventually someone will want to know about that. . . whatchamacallit. . . that you sell. This brings us to a final point.
Do not expect success to come overnight. Most of the people I know or know of who have been successful with a network marketing business or any other work at home opportunity have spent at least a few years building their business to the point where they felt they were successful.
Finally, do not let greed cloud your judgment. The old adage, “If it looks too good to be true. . . it probably is" holds just as true here as anywhere else. True, fortunes are made in network marketing, but the money does not leap into your hands any more than fish leap into the boat when you arrive at the lake with a fishing rod in your hands.
Donovan Baldwin is a Dallas area writer and network marketing professional. A graduate of the University Of West Florida (1973) with a BA in accounting, he is a member of Mensa and has held several managerial positions. After retiring from the U. S. Army in 1995, he became interested in internet marketing and developed various online businesses. He has been writing poetry, articles, and essays for over 40 years, and now frequently publishes articles on his own websites and for use by other webmasters. His network marketing business provides affordable health care benefits to individuals and both traditional and nontraditional family groups. He is actively seeking those interested in starting their own home business .