Network marketing and internet marketing are different but overlapping business models. At the same time, many of those that work in these “industries” run them like a cult. (Note that I said “many” – not all.) While I may write about other cult-like aspects of various “make money online” groups, network marketing companies and, upline leaders in an MLM, in this article I’d like to address quitting. Getting out. Stopping.
Many colleagues know, due to my post of April 27, 2013, that I decided to quit all of this (My disclaimer.)
Today I was cleaning out some stuff and found a tiny leaflet called, “Why I Quit Network Marketing: An Honest Perspective.” The dishonesty in the leaflet is immediately apparent, and it is hard to know whether to chuckle or get angry (leaflet scan at bottom of post). I guess it irritated me to the point of writing this post.
Although the leaflet’s title says, “Why I Quit Network Marketing,” it is clear from the back cover’s exhortation that this is not someone who quit: “Never, Never, Never Quit.” Instead the title was a catchy title meant to get the reader’s attention while being quite untruthful.
The leaflet contains a number of briefly stated excuses or reasons that people use to quit along with a briefly stated rebuttal to each of them. Basically, the rebuttals all fall into one of these categories:
- I did not have the discipline to keep working and doing what I was told.
- I did not have the courage to continue despite the fact that 90% of others will quit, including those in my downline, because that is the industry standard.
- I was not honest: I entertained the possibility that it may have been wrong for me to build a network marketing business and came to this dishonest conclusion – “I did everything I could; network marketing does not work for me.”
Talk about lack of honesty. There is a heck of a lot more to success in either network marketing or internet marketing than discipline, courage, and honesty!
I’m sure we have all heard that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re going to get what you’ve always gotten. In short, discipline alone is not the key. There are right ways, better ways, and ways that will flounder. There are ways that work for some people but do not work for others because some “ways” are personality-specific.
As a life-long teacher and technical trainer, I can tell you that prerequisites are key to successful learning of new skills. I am talking about prerequisite skills, habits, and patterns that one has acquired. If someone is not much of a people-person and has years of communication habits that tend to slow down or negate relationship building, their success at network marketing will be stymied. Yes, a few do overcome such a prerequisite handicap, but not often.
So, all of the rally – festival – conference mind-twisting, hoopla, and exhortation… what is it for? To keep aspiring marketers from quitting. Why? Because these “marketers” are mainly customers. Not just a customer of the health product, collectable coin, or legal service, but of a huge cornucopia of tapes, books, seminar tickets, and other marketing aids. Marketing leaders make a lot of money, and in some cases most of their money, by promoting their own marketing aids to their followers or downline. So their gut reaction to those who quit is to stop them from quitting, even if that includes berating, belittling, blaming, or deriding them.
Again, there are some intelligent, talented, and successful marketers in these industries who treat others with integrity, including those who quit. But they are rare birds.
If someone has little aptitude for higher math, what is the point of urging them on to a career as an astrophysicist? Perhaps some dishonest university will keep taking the disqualified student’s money, but if that student is going into debt for a career at which they will fail – the honest thing is to counsel that they quit that training.
And network marketing is not for everyone. The make money online niche is not for everyone.
No, at some point, it is dishonest to continue. That point may vary but staying in debt for several years with network marketing or internet marketing is clearly a bad sign. Something is wrong.
Successful marketers put out mixed and therefore confusing messages:
“It takes money to make money.” And this is true. But going into debt to start a business in not highly recommended. In many cases you cannot buy into an expensive franchise if you cannot prove you have enough money to survive two years of no profit.
“Borrow your mother’s credit card and do what it takes to get to this life-changing conference.” Well, how many times?
“You shouldn’t spend a lot of money. Wait til you have made some money.”
“Don’t use cheap business cards [web sites, meeting locations, DVD covers, automobiles]. If you don’t look professional, whose going to do business with you?”
Do you see the mixed messages there? Even many “leaders” have difficulty with giving wise and honest counsel because they have a vested interest in the money their followers spend on more ebooks, more webinars, and more conferences.
Not everyone can be a professional football player. Not everyone can be a successful violinist. There are prerequisites.
Unfortunately, the nature of specific prerequisites is not always clear. In some cases, “trying to learn” one of these marketing” businesses may be the only way to figure it out. Other times it is probably evident from the start. But if it takes you a while, if you have in fact invested a lot of time, energy, talent, money, discipline, and courage, and if you have evaluated your progress as honestly as you can and have determined that you need to do something more productive, you need to quit, then do it. Don’t feel guilty.
It may be the most honest thing you have done in a while.