I still remember the day I met Agnes for the first time. We connected on Facebook and she opened up to me about her financial struggles. She had a good job but her husband had been unemployed for over 3 years, making her the sole breadwinner. Both her parents plus her parents-in-law were battling some serious health complications and the responsibility for their treatment fell on her shoulders, on top of providing for her family of 5. She was up to her neck in debt and her family was about to be thrown out of their house because of rent arrears.
I invited her to a business opportunity meeting and she readily accepted. Agnes was among the first guests to arrive. She did not come alone but came accompanied by her sister-in-law. I welcomed them to the presentation and let them know that we would catch up once the program was over, since I was one of the speakers and would not be free until we were done. All went well and I spent some time with them after the presentation.
Agnes was clearly excited about what she had learned. Her sister-in-law was unsure about the opportunity though. Agnes told me that she was thankful that the opportunity had come her way. According to her, it was an answered prayer since she had been praying for a way out of her problems. She told me that she would attain a 6-figure income in her first year, no matter what it took. She wrote down the training schedules in her diary and we parted, agreeing to keep in touch.
It did not take a week before Agnes turned up ready to get started. The staff guided her through the enrollment process and she left beaming with joy, promising to be back soonest. True to her word, she was back before the week was over. She was accompanied by her sister-in-law who was ready to get started in the business too. Agnes now had one person in her downline, and she was barely one week old in the business!
The next few weeks were busy ones for Agnes and myself. She brought people to the presentations every week. She was keeping her word that she was going to do whatever it took to attain a 6-figure income in her first year in the business. I gave her the support she needed when I was required to. Two months passed, then three months. She still had that same one member in her downline; her sister-in-law. I gave her a book to guide her in the journey. I gave her links to online trainings and as far as I was concerned, we were headed in the right direction.
After 3 months, Agnes stopped attending presentations. Whenever I would call her to check on her, she would not pick the call but would send me a message that she would call me back. She never did. She continued receiving the regular email and sms updates about the business, but she completely went out of circulation. All efforts to either have a telephone conversation or a face to face meeting with her proved futile. She was never available. We bumped into each other almost 2 years later, at an unrelated function. We sat together during refreshments and that was when we got a chance to do some catching up.
When Agnes spoke, it became apparent to me that she was angry and bitter. She actually spat out the words, explaining how she worked so hard but never made the money and how she devoted so much of her time to a business that did not pay her.
Agnes’ story is not uncommon. In fact, it is very common. Many people join network marketing excited and expecting to become millionaires in a matter of months. They have the wrong mentality that network marketing is some sort of short cut to riches; which it isn’t.
Increase your chances of success in network marketing by setting realistic goals
A goal is an objective toward which an endeavor is directed. The reason goals are so necessary in order to achieve success is simple. Habakkuk 2:2 tells us to “write the vision, and make it plain so that he who reads it may run.”
If we do not know where we are going (our objective), it is impossible to know if we ever get there! Until you take the time to clearly decide what it is you want in life, specifically write down your goals and map out a plan to accomplish them, you will remain unfocused and largely ineffective in accomplishing them! We can learn the importance of goal setting from Apostle Paul. In 1 Corinthians 9:26 Paul said; “Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.”
Goal-setting is very empowering.
DID YOU KNOW THAT ONLY 3% OF THE POPULATION EVER PUT THEIR GOALS DOWN ON PAPER, MAKING THEM 90 TIMES MORE ACHIEVABLE? THAT SAME 3% OWNS MORE THAN THE OTHER 97% COMBINED. Jim Rohn constantly said; ‘Get away from the bottom 97%.’
Achieving your goals is not really the problem; it is the process of setting of those goals that is typically the problem. The no. 1 reason why majority give up in network marketing and quit is because of having unrealistic expectations.
They get excited about someone else’s journey they forget that we are all unique and our paths are different. ‘So and so qualified for a car in 6 months; I will get my car in 6 months…’ Sometimes they get excited about someone’s accomplishment but fail to look at the price that person paid to get there. The simplest way to map out (in writing) and visualize your goals and dreams is to ask yourself some specific questions.
Begin with the end in mind. Where are you currently; in terms of income, skills, personal growth, networks, etc. Project yourself into the future. Where do you want to go and what period of time are you working with? Who do you want to become?
Do you understand what it takes to move from point A to point B? For example, you plan to attain a monthly income of Kshs. 100,000. Do you understand how many people you will need to have in your team in order to attain that income? What skills will you need to master in order to grow your team to that number? Who will you need to work with; a mentor, an accountability partner, etc.? How many hours will you need to work every week in order to get those results?
Do you understand exactly what you need to do; invest in study to acquire the skills, learn from the experts (could be in form of books, videos, audiobooks, etc.), invite people to look at your opportunity, do follow-up, etc.? If for example for every 10 people you show your opportunity to, one will enroll, how many people will you need to talk to before you have the size of team you require to take you to the income you are seeking? How will you manage to show your opportunity to that number of people (will you shoot videos and post them to Youtube, will you hold home parties, have an advertised Facebook business page, etc.)?
* Ask yourself questions: What is important to you? What are your values? How important is achieving these goals to you? Why are you embarking on this journey? What will keep you going when you face challenges?
* Write down a list of your most important goals. Tick 10 of the most important goals.
* Come up with a clear roadmap how you will move from point A to point B. Indicate clearly the tasks that will enable you to make that possible. How frequently will you evaluate your progress?
* Break your bigger goals into small, manageable steps. Focus on accomplishing one step at a time.
* Keep going until you arrive at your destination. If you do not get the results you are looking for, evaluate your strategies and make modifications where necessary. Giving up and quitting is not an option. You have your WHY clearly written down (the reason why you are embarking on this journey).
Network marketing is a business; it is NOT a shortcut to riches. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and everyone would be rich! When you start a traditional business, you expect to work at least 6 months to a year before you break even, sometimes longer than that. Network marketing is no different.
Why then would you expect to become a millionaire in 3 months, 6 months? There is work to be done and it is going to take the time to realize your goals, but it is going to be worth it. If you work hard and are consistent, you can have a comfortable income in 3 to 5 years, just like in any other business. And if you keep doing what needs to be done and you don’t quit, you can be a millionaire in 15, 20 years. That is far much better than working a job for 30, 40 years and retiring broke.
This article is written by: Susan Catherine Keter, Network marketing professional, life coach, mentor, freelancer and blogger