My Top 3 Business Lessons Learned from Our MultiLevel Marketing Experience

So, in the last episode of my work-at-home mom story, I shared a little about Greg and I’s experience with multi-level marketing and direct selling. And how even though we chose not to continue that business, we learned a lot – about business, about people, and about ourselves.

So, today, here’s my top 3 business lessons learned from our Multi-Level Marketing & Direct Selling stint.

#1 – The Dream, The Plan, and then the Reality

You dream of starting a business, of earning extra income, of getting out debt, of staying home with your kids and still earning money, of working on your own schedule, in your own way.  And that is good.

To dream is  necessary. The Dream, the why, will sustain you through the ups and downs of your business. In fact, without the dream, without the why, it’s hard to stay with and in your business.

But to make it happen, you need a plan – and more importantly, and actionable plan. 

Dreaming and planning is FUN….

But for any real results to happen you have to get out and work your plan!

I know, crazy.

But the reality is to get any business going, to keep any business going, you have to do the work.

It’s easy to get sucked into the dream, and the plan, and the best intentions. But when push comes to shove… even part-time and at-home businesses need to be taken as seriously as a JOB. And while BOSS isn’t going to fire you if you don’t show up and do the work, the results are the same – no income.

The dream will keep you going, the plan will keep you on track, and the reality – doing the work – will keep you moving forward and produce the Results.

#2 – Relationships Matter – But Not in the Way You Think

The phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” always makes me cringe – mostly because it feels a little elitest to me. But the reality is that relationships do matter in business.

Now, in multi-level marketing and some direct selling, newbies often think that they will get their friends and family on board, and life will be all cherries and roses. But it’s just doesn’t work that way.  Close friends and family often take a “wait and see” approach, to see if you are going to make the opportunity work. 

But relationships do matter – the relationships you build with customers, with prospects, with others in complementary businesses and industries, even competitiors.

You never know where a referral will come from. And quite frankly you want those referrals. And you never know what you’ll learn.

Don’t worry about selling someone who isn’t interested. Help them out, build a relationship with them, send business their way if the opportunity comes up. Over time, that relationship may grow into more business, either directly or through referrals.

And,  if nothing else you’ll know another interesting person who enriches your world and adds to your perspective – or even your story

#3- Business is Often Just a Numbers Game

People will refer their friends to you if they know, like, and trust you – and they’ll even buy from you if that relationship is there and they have a need or desire for what you are selling.

But, the bottom line is that not everyone has a need or desire at the same time. To have consistency, it’s often simply a numbers game.

And knowing your industry’s average numbers allows you to step away from that emotional feeling when things are not happening as fast as you’d like, and check to see where you are at numbers wise - with leads, with calls, with follow-ups, with your traffic, whatever it is in your business.

Are you reaching the numbers necessary so that word can spread about you and your product or service?

For whatever reason, making that realization that it wasn’t “me”, it was that I wasn’t doing the work to reach the “number” of people I needed, was freeing.

Knowing that if I do the work, work the plan, build authentic relationships with people, give great customer service, and simply put in the numbers, it will eventually all come together - I like that.

And it’s a concept that I’ve found true in every business opportunity I’ve pursued. Bottomline, if you reach enough people, you’ll find those that are in need of what you are offering or they’ll be referred to you (which is the best thing ever!)

So that’s that. My top 3 business lessons learned from our multilevel marketing experience. There are more, but that’s a book, not a post :)

Next up in this series… My first real ”Work-at-Home Mom” experience once K was born.

Until then… remember, I believe in you!

…Shannon

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