How I became a network marketing ninja.

I never, ever, ever thought I would be a network marketer. I remember going to a friend’s house for a candle party many years ago and feeling slightly annoyed to be purchasing mandarin orange scented tea light candles, although I must admit that I did like the wine and the socializing. I wrote my cheque, promised myself never to host a party where I would sell things to my friends, and brought that box of candles home. Over the next decade I saw that box of candles every time I moved from apartment to townhouse to our current home until I finally dusted them off, stuck them into pumpkins and burned them into oblivion this past Halloween.

So how did a scornful candle buyer find herself as a distributor in the world of network marketing?

I have done things my own way for as long as I can remember. My older brother was a rebel and our eldest sister and youngest sister were both super achievers who skipped grades, left a wake of admirers and got straight A’s. My brother had epic ducktail hair, pointy shoes and a tendency to do things his own way. In my youth I liked cutting my own hair, wore strange clothes, considered homework to be a suggestion, pulled occasional pranks on my teachers, and loved metalwork, cooking, art and drama above academics.

I was pretty decent at sports, though. Especially the ones where fearlessness was an asset. In gymnastics I loved doing flips, vaulting and learning new tricks. In volleyball I learned to dive all over and make spectacular defensive plays. In basketball I wouldn’t think twice about stepping in front of opponents who were charging at full speed down the court because I liked to collect the foul.

I was never the best on the team, in fact my high school volleyball coach told me that I would never make a university volleyball team with my 5’4” frame which was too small for volleyball. My response was to earn a spot on 2 different university volleyball teams and to compete in quite a few different countries in beach volleyball. I also played university basketball and rugby for 1 year each. Not too shabby but still never the best on the team.

I guess being an underdog middle child helped me develop some bravery and some grit. These are serving me well as I have found myself immersed in the world of network marketing. How the heck did I get here?

When I was in university, deciding what to do next was horribly tough. I settled on becoming a Physical Education teacher. A great job for a mom with chances to make a difference for people and nicely scheduled for someone like me who needs structure.

Flash forward through a marriage, a Masters degree, 2 children, 15 years and 3 teacher strikes. In June 2014, I was slumped in a chair yet again on the picket line. I saw the great teachers I work with feel angry, disillusioned and powerless and I decided that I needed to do something different. The 3rd strike is a pattern, I thought, and no one else is responsible for my life or my happiness. I considered my options. I would keep teaching, but I could also open a fitness club out in the boonies, take out small business loans and work myself to the bone trying to earn my investment back. The only question was, how long would it take for me to have a nervous breakdown?

And then my friend Stacy called to invite me to a party at her place. Of course, I couldn’t go as I had to take our small humans to soccer practice. I had heard of the company she was talking about from another friend a few months earlier so decided to do my research. Voila, I was so impressed by what my research turned up that I called her and told her that I was in!

And suddenly my life turned in a whole new direction! But wait until you hear what happened next!

My husband came walking down the hallway, “Hey, I think our credit card has been hacked! There is this weird charge on the Visa. Do you know anything about this?”. It was the same moment that I had opened the box and stared at the contents with total terror, realizing that I might have just turned myself into a “candle” selling gong show.

I used my best acting talents and tried to convince my sweet hubby that everything would be fine, that I had partnered with a company that had such great products and that I could certainly learn to be successful. At any rate, I figured that this idea definitely beat out my other plan which was to open a gym and have a nervous breakdown. Unfortunately, he was not easily appeased, as being on strike combined with 4 flights we had booked for a family vacation had our credit card smoking hot. I had made my sweet husband very angry.

The first time I used the product I repeated to myself “Please work, please work, please work…” about a hundred times. When I realized that this product that I am now selling works like a charm, I started jumping around and saying “YES! YES! YES! Do you know what this means? This is the best! Thank goodness!” I do have a tendency to get excited about things by the way. This routine lasted several minutes and repeated itself for several days.

Soon enough, my sweet hubby decided to try the product because he didn’t want to “look like he was 50 while I looked like I was 30!”. He was very impressed and soon began to explain to me how great this product is several times a day! He also began to come to trainings with me and even came to the annual convention. He is very happy to be my teammate – see, I told you he was sweet!

Now, I do need to be clear that in the 9 months that I have been doing this business part-time, there have definitely been challenges,  tears and many lessons.  First of all, I had to let go of all kinds of terrifying thoughts. I feared that my friends would think that I was trying to make money at their expense, that people would judge that network marketing was beneath me or a scam, and that I might publicly fail. Each objection that came up for me, I battled back against. I decided that if my friends didn’t trust me enough to know that I cared about them and wanted what was best for all of us, that they didn’t know me very well. I decided that I wasn’t prostituting myself by partnering with a legitimate company with a proven business model. I decided that fear of public failure was not even close to a good enough reason to live a groundhog day life. I decided that while my safe job was fine while everything was going well, when major problems appeared in life, I wanted to be able to have every option available to solve those problems.

I have been lucky enough to have a business partner introduce me to Kim Klaver which helped me to stop annoying my friends and family. I have read many books that have helped me including The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen and Go Pro by Eric Worre. I still have a very long way to go to get to my goal of having the resources to face any big problems that arise with all the help I could want. I know that there are skills and perspectives that are essential to success that I will continue to develop. I do now know, however, that network marketing is a very real industry. It is a business of professionals where, with the right skills, you can reap tremendous rewards.

Thankfully, I came into this adventure as an underdog and my bravery and grit beat out my fear of failure. I am happier than ever because I can continue to teach and I can do so with the knowledge that when the next strike comes I will have something positive to focus my energies on. When the next strike comes, my stress will be eased with the knowledge that I am learning a new skill set that can help me build financial security. When the next strike comes, I will be the teacher with a Plan B. When the next strike comes, maybe some of my colleagues will come to my party. When the next strike comes I will be a happier person. When the next strike comes, I will be ready.

One thought on “How I became a network marketing ninja.

  1. This article hits the nail ON THE HEAD on why I (now) love the world of relationship marketing. Years ago, I failed trying another network company despite putting in my blood, sweat & tears–for over a year! Last summer, after 30 of us got laid off at the TV station I was left frustrated, disappointed, and feeling doomed to going back to a mind numbing 9-5 paper pushing job.

    I’m SO grateful you had the guts to tell me about this kickass company last December on that sunny soccer mom morning. Having you as a “workout partner” to go through the bumps is a blessing. THANK YOU for helping me succeed in this biz with your kindred spirit! 😀

    Like

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