Network Marketing: Just a Different Kind of Rat TRAP?

I was very fortunate to have a very successful career in “corporate America” where I was earning a substantial income and I did like my job but that came with a price.  A price, that over time and maturity, came a realization that it just wasn’t worth it anymore because I was sacrificing time, family and balance working all the time.   In essence, a good work ethic didn’t serve me well because I was giving the best of myself to some company.  Hello?!

I eventually came to a crossroads in my life.  Do I continue on this path, working my life away for the sake of the almighty buck for the privilege of retiring in 20 years with a pretty substantial retirement nest egg IF I’m even alive long enough to enjoy the fruit from years and years of labor? OR do I find a better way – a way to create wealth, on MY terms, WHILE having a life?

Well, the downside to having a high paying job that requires you to work all the time, is that decision isn’t so easy.  If you rely on that income to live and support yourself and your family in the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to, can you just quit?  If you’re working all the time, do you have the time and energy to build something alongside so that eventually you can quit?  Or are you trapped?  Well, I was, WAS.  Luckily I did make sacrifices and a decision to escape that trap and did.  It wasn’t easy but I got it done!

What’s funny though is how history repeats itself….

After a little over 2 years working from home, I found myself at an all too familiar crossroads.  A large chunk of my income came from my network marketing operations.  However, things were happening with the company I was with that prevented me from being able to build my team anymore.  I just couldn’t get myself to do it.   I didn’t like what was happening and I’ve got to believe in what I’m doing.

So, I focused my attention, instead, on building my other income streams.  Then about 6 months later, my ill feelings about the company materialized.  High income earners were terminated and left stunned and in financial hardship because their large residual income, that many worked years to obtain, was now gone in the blink of an eye.

What has transpired is that many have moved on starting over in new ventures (some being very vocal in a negative way specifically targeting their former company to promote their new venture – BAD move – their new company can experience a similar fate in the future!) and others have stayed, some I suspect who have too much invested to quit so do they carry on even if they secretly don’t believe in the company anymore?  I suspect some of the high income earners who have stayed have a different view and still believe in the company but who really knows for sure?

Whatever the case may be –  that’s a position I do NOT want to be trapped in.  I do NOT want to feel like I’m trapped because of the money.   And I do NOT want to have my income controlled by someone else where it can be ripped away at their whim.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the Network Marketing Industry.  There are many positives.  It has been a major player in my ability to escape the rat race of corporate America and it allows me to reach my goals by helping others reach theirs.  I can’t tell you how much fun it is to be a part of someone else’s success.  That’s a HUGE motivator for me and that’s one of my favorite aspects of the industry.

Because of this, I researched extensively for another company but I kept coming back to the same conclusion.  What happened can happen with ANY company.  Look at the big players in corporate America – here’s just one example So, it’s not that network marketing companies are bad, it’s just that change is inevitable and what may be a solid company today may not be tomorrow – it’s just the way it is.

So, reluctantly, I seriously thought about getting out of the network marketing industry altogether.  I was faced with the question “Do I really want to be building a team only to have to start all over again a few years down the road?”  It’s a much better alternative than working for “The Man!” but is it just a different type of rat trap?

Isn’t it funny how history repeats itself?….  What’s good though is that prior experience gives us insight and helps us make better decisions in the future.  That’s IF we learn from it.

Well, I learned that burning yourself out for some job isn’t worth it.  I’ve learned that putting all your financial eggs in one basket is too risky.  I’ve learned that no matter how stable a company is, that can change.  But most importantly, I’ve learned that you need to really grasp what past experience has taught you so that you don’t just jump from one trap into another.

So, IS Network Marketing just a different kind of rat trap? Well, it can be but the good thing is It Doesn’t Have To Be.  Yes, it’s good to take the bad with the good.  After all, it’s the bad that makes us appreciate the good more.  However, if there’s a way to get the good and eliminate the bad, that’s even better.

My past experience has served me well because without it, I probably wouldn’t have recognized when I was at the right place at the right time this time around and fully appreciate what I now have my hands on.

It’s funny but oftentimes it’s those bad experiences that teach us the most.  What bad experiences have you had that you can attribute to your success today?   Also, do you think that motivation to prevent something that you DON’T want can oftentimes be stronger than motivation to get something you DO want?   I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

To Your Success!

Laura Paulson

Laura is a digital marketer and entrepreneur building assets that spin off passive residual income. She created the Marketing Training Portal with 'Quick Hits' Marketing Tips Blog and Newsletter to help fellow entrepreneurs sort through all the noise and information overload for real-world, actionable tactics and strategies to put into action to accelerate their business growth.

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Glyna Humm - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Laura – You have such great insight into this topic. I do worry about my network marketing company staying around for years to come. You never know what can happen just like you mentioned here! Thank you for sharing your knowledge about both types of industries! I wish you luck in your new adventure
Glyna Humm ..Appreciation Marketing – A Must Read For Home Business Owners!

LauraPaulson Reply:

@Glyna Humm, Hi Glyna. Thank you. Change in the marketplace is inevitable (and that’s good actually) so a person just has to be aware of that with a long-term vision and strategize accordingly. You’re an awesome person and leader so I’m sure you’ll be successful no matter what you do!! 🙂

Marc Korn - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Laura,

Thanks for sharing this insightful post…you have done a great job of illustrating the pros and cons of working the traditional job versus the Network Marketing Industry.

Just like you, I love the Network Marketing Industry and the fact that you can be your own boss, help others to achieve success, leverage your time, make lifelong friends, gain time and financial freedom and much more.

But, as you stated, it can vanish quickly if you don’t have your geneology protected and you have all your eggs in one basket.

It sounds like you found a solution that EVERY Networker should look at to be able to protect their future earnings.

Thanks for keeping us informed,
Marc Korn ..Company Terminates Distributors..And Another Isn’t Paying Its Members | Monitium Protected Geneology

LauraPaulson Reply:

@Marc Korn, Hey Marc, oh I agree, well obviously LOL It is a paradigm shift though but in time…. It just makes so much sense. The Network Marketing industry is just such an awesome industry so it’s very exciting to be part of setting the standard for excellence in the industry to make it even better.

Paul Reimers - 6 years ago Reply

I was on a training with a well known Network Marketer who’s primary focus is online and he made the comment that your real business isn’t your Network Marketing company, it’s your list. Companies can come and go but what matters most is the bonds you have as a team so that if something terrible like what you mentioned happens, you still have those relationships.

Also…multiple streams of income are a good idea too!
Paul Reimers ..Asking Better Questions – The Most Overlooked Tool in Personal Development

LauraPaulson Reply:

@Paul Reimers, Hi Paul, most definitely, I agree, that is key although I don’t think in terms of just your list but your network as a whole. People don’t join companies, they join people they know and trust, leaders and that should be your focus so you’re exactly right.

This is why I’m so excited to finally have a platform where I’m able to build and focus solely on my team outside of any company and build that team one time. And especially considering the duplication factor – I may be able to be successful in this or that but if it can’t be duplicated by the masses….

marquita herald - 6 years ago Reply

Enjoyed your article and insights Laura. For nearly a decade I worked for one of the global giants of direct sales that also featured a MLM component for Reprs. That experience nearly brought me to my knees and I’ve never been so happy to leave a job or an industry. Honestly, I have no problem at all with MLM, network marketing or for that matter direct sales. I just learned the hard way that it wasn’t for me.
marquita herald ..Rejection: It Could be the Best “No!” You Ever Heard

Justin Hammonds - 6 years ago Reply

Great post Laura and to answer your questions:

1. What bad experiences have you had that you can attribute to your success today? – 2008 the death of my mother at the age of 54 and I was 20. This experience allowed me to become closer the Christ & threw into man hood and I haven’t looked back despite the loses I’ve taken. I’ve become exponentially better than I was at the time because of the blessing He has bestowed upon me.

2. Also, do you think that motivation to prevent something that you DON’T want can oftentimes be stronger than motivation to get something you DO want? I believe the first type of motivation is only temporary because fear never lasts in the presence of God. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. With this being said it is almost foolish to only focus on prevention when you have the power to create the life you do want.

Thank you for this enlightening article and God bless you.
Justin Hammonds ..How to Become Rich in 30 Minutes a Day

CJ Priestley - 6 years ago Reply

Great piece. Something definitely stuck out for me from this post-High income earners were terminated and left stunned and in financial hardship. I find it really sad that because of poor business decisions on the company part or whatever the case the employees are the one to have to pay the price while ones above you in the company continue to receive raises and make poor decisions.

I have never heard of someone being terminated from an MLM company for earning a high income but in reality is rewarded with bonuses and perks for their work and more often than not don’t have to worry about that income disappearing, can you say sign me up? lol

If people open their eyes and change their thinking they can be the ones to say bye bye to their job instead of vice versa.

Nova - 6 years ago Reply

hello it’s a great insight post,i am very much thankful i found this post its giving me an idea and i learned something for this day i am looking forward to read that u build your team and time.
Companies can come and go but what matters most is the bonds you have as a team so that if something terrible like what you mentioned happens, you still have those relationships.right!
Nova ..Guilty Pleasures In Life

Louise Steiner - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Laura…great post thank you. Putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea and the same goes for our income streams. No matter whether we are relying on a job for income or a network marketing company or any other income stream, it always pays to diversify, just like we would your investments. Network Marketing is a fabulous way to create financial independence, but it should never be our only source of income for all the reasons you have set out.

Monte - 6 years ago Reply

First, I want to say that picture of the mouse is the cutest thing. Having your own business of any kind can be another trap. Many entrepreneurs work as long (or longer) and as hard (or harder) than employees. However, the longer, harder, and smarter I work, the more rewards I receive. Excellent employees usually just get more work laid on them! That being said, anyone with their own business can one day find they do nothing but work! (ask me how I know this :))
Monte ..7 Steps to Have Young-Looking Skin

LauraPaulson Reply:

@Monte, Hey Monte. I know, isn’t that cute hehehe I chuckle every time I see it. Oh yes, I agree with you. Of course the rewards of working for yourself are so much better and farther reaching but it’s important that you balance so that it’s not all work and no play. So you need to utilize the tools available to create that time freedom along your path to financial freedom. Thanks for the comment!

Kevin Schmidt - 6 years ago Reply

Hi Laura,

Great story. Your point about not putting all your eggs in one basket, is a good one. That’s why the multiple streams of income model is such an effective approach.

I had a not so bad, but not so great either, experience with a network marketing company that was all offline… home and hotel meetings, etc.. that I had pretty good success with, but it was every night out of the house and that got old pretty quick. That’s when I turned to Internet Marketing and I thank the heavens above everyday for it!

Thanks for sharing! Best of luck in building your last team!
Talk soon,
Kevin Schmidt ..5 Reasons Why Google+ is Not the New Facebook and Why That is a Good Thing

Dr. Bob Clarke - 6 years ago Reply

Hey Laura,

This post has come at a very good time for me, since I am also at a crossroads. I’ve learned much from the 2 Network Marketing companies I’ve been with but like you, I became disillusioned with the last one and could no longer market their products in good faith. I had to get out.

But I’ve learned so much from the people in this company, so I’m able to move forward in many different ways — info marketer, Internet marketer or networker. Not sure what I’ll do yet, but your post gave me a lot to think about.

Appreciate the information, Laura!
Dr. Bob Clarke ..What Does My Son’s New Girlfriend Have To Do With Improving Your Blog?

Dr. Robert Doebler - 6 years ago Reply

Great point, Laura. I guess I have to agree with you here. Nothing in this world is permanent. Who knows what’s going to happen in a decade or two. For a lot of people’s sake, let’s hope for the better.

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