At some point in your search for the perfect side hustle, I’ll bet you stumbled into a network marketing opportunity and like most people, dismissed it out of hand. Most people do. Too much negativity among the majority of the population. Network marketing has a bad rap, but what if I told you it was one of the best side hustles you’ll ever come across?
In a previous article, I laid out my reasoning for Why Network Marketing is a Great Side Hustle. I won’t repeat too much of that information here, but I just want to fill you in on a few truths I’ve learned since taking on a network marketing opportunity as a side hustle almost five years ago.
First, a personal truth. When we joined our current company, I had absolutely no idea it was a network marketing company. I actually knew nothing about the business model this company employed.
What I did know was that I had been happily paying for the service they offered for over three years. Not only was it one of the best products I’ve owned, or ever come across, but I had been telling everyone I could about this amazing service. Turnes out this ideal is at the heart of network marketing.
When I found out they would send me a check if some I shared the product with bought a membership, I was in. I looked at no information. I saw no presentation. I attended no meeting. I asked no questions.
By the time I found out this company was a network marketing company, I didn’t care. The service worked and the checks cashed. That was good enough to get started.
As I started peeling back the layers of the onion, I became fascinated by the concept of network marketing and really dug into public opinion of this business model in an effort to figure out exactly what I had uncovered.
Nearly five years later, I feel I have a solid handle on the truths of Network Marketing and I want to share a few of them with you. These truths were not passed on to me, although many successful people share them. These are the facts I discovered throughout my own journey
#1. Network Marking Companies are Legit – Period.
“It’s a scam.”
“I can’t believe you’re involved in one of those pyramid schemes!”
“You’re going to jail.”
Almost everyone who has explored network marketing, even as a side hustle, has had words like these hurled at them from their closest friends and family.
So many people have tried network marketing and been taken out by the ignorance of those around them.
Let me clear it up for you, network marketing is not a scam. It’s not illegal. It’s not a pyramid scheme. Most of those people who have told you this can’t even define an illegal pyramid scheme, so they shouldn’t be slapping labels on things they don’t understand.
I’m not saying there haven’t been companies with shady, or downright illegal, business practices that have gone bankrupt, indicted and charged for breaking the law, but if you’re going to judge an entire industry on the few bad apples that get the most publicity, your ignorance is remarkable. You can find examples of those companies in every industry. Remember 2008?
If you can’t buy the fact that network marketing is a legitimate business model, you might as well save you time and not read the rest of this article. It’s clearly not the side hustle you’re looking for, despite its advantages.
#2. There’s a High Rate of Failure
I’m not going to lie to you. The odds of someone finding success in network marketing is slim. When a prospect asks me how much money the average associate makes in my company, I look them straight in the eye and tell them nothing. Then I politely tell them they may want to consider another path. Network marketing is not a business for average people, despite what you have been told.
It’s been my experience that only 20% of the people that join a network marketing company do anything. Only 20% of those few achieve any measurable level of success. It’s a business model for driven and motivated individuals with a desire to make a real change in their lives.
#3. Most People Won’t Make a lot of Money
This point is a given following #2. The 80% that don’t make the first cut often lose their investment, but such is the risk with any business.
The other 20% will generate some level of income. How much is impossible to say, but the ratios also don’t tell us why an individual joined an opportunity. Some just want a discount on products they love. So did they fail if they only make a few bucks? Of course not. That’s not why they’re here.
Others join to become part of a social group. They enjoy the people they meet and love hanging out with their new friends. Did they fail because they didn’t make a lot of money? Nope.
Thr truth is people join network marketing for different reasons. Most come for the money, some find it, most don’t. Some leave, some hang around for reasons other than money.
But let me be clear. In a solid and reputable network marketing company, if someone joins and then doesn’t find the success they are looking for, don’t blame the industry. It works just fine. It’s the individual that didn’t.
#4. It’s Not a Get Rich Quick Scheme
If your network marketing company promised you financial freedom in any less than 5 years, find the door, quick. It’s just going to happen. Like any good business model, this one takes time to grow and mature. Much longer than even a traditional small business, because chances are you’re working your network marketing business part-time.
Experts used to say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. That’s about 40 hours a week for five years. Network marketing is no different. It might not consume 10,000 hours but count on three to five years to build a substantial business, especially as a part-time side hustle.
A lot of people fail because they’re not willing to make such a long-term commitment. They’d rather commit to a career building someone else’s dream for the next 30 years with no chance of finding true financial freedom. Be thankful that you’re different.
#5. You Need to Spend Something to Make Something
One of the requirements for success in network marketing is a constant stream of new prospects. It’s one of the more challenging aspects of this industry and a place where so many distributors get it wrong.
Here’s a simple formula I’ve used to grow my list. Each name on my list cost me something. That’s right. There are no freebies in business. If the names on your list didn’t cost you something, they’re worthless, or more likely, you don’t have any names on your list. You can’t blast out a post to all your pseudo-friends on Facebook and sit back and wait for the sales to roll in. That activity didn’t cost you anything.
You can read all the sponsored posts on Facebook about generating hundreds of leads for free for your business, but it’s just not going to happen. You’ve got to come to the same understanding as every other successful business owner. You got to spend something to make something.
Each new name on your list should have cost you something. Favors, time and money are probably the three most valuable things to trade for names. You’ve got to figure out which of those currencies you want to spend on acquiring new prospects. As my checklist for a successful side hustle has both time and money limits, the cost of prospect acquisition must be measured carefully.
#6 You Won’t Find a Better Side Hustle
#7 It’s The Greatest Business Model in the World