Every chapter in "Your First Year In Network Marketing" by Mark and Rene Reid Yarnell tends to speak to me, and Chapter 3 - Dodging the Depression Torpedo, unfortunately, is no different. Thank God I love this industry as much as I do, and thank God my "why" is big enough to get me through, because there are days that are just MISERABLE! Of course, there are those "yippie yi ki yay" days that truly make it all worthwhile.
In the corporate environment, it doesn't seem to matter as much if you are having an "off" day. Goodness knows many of your co-workers thrive on the sheer joy of whining, complaining, and being depressed. However, in network marketing a positive, uplifting personality and intense enthusiasm are requisite for the job at hand. After all, why should anyone join your business if you appear not to be having a good time? They won't. I realize that it's hard to be that happy all the time, but to achieve success in MLM, it is important to keep your attitude in check.
MLM depression has all kinds of causes - the friend that promises they are going to come to an opportunity meeting and pulls a no-show; the person who you know is going to be your "diamond" distributor quits, or worse yet joins another MLM and takes half your downline with him; friends that no longer will return your calls - whether you talk about your company or not; and on and on. No shows, attrition and not being taken seriously are all facts in this business. Unfortunately, knowing this doesn't make it any easier.
One of the huge mistakes I made very early in my MLM career is that I did not go Upline when I was down. I chose to share some of my negative thoughts with a close friend and distributor who was building the business with me. After all, we had gotten in at the same time and we were learning everything together. We were both in this for life - right? Wrong! I shared with him all kinds of feelings that I had about the way the company was promoting the product wrong, how we didn't have the right support, and so on. Eventually my attitude did a complete 180 as the company made some vast improvements in their way of doing business. Although I was able to see the positive changes my company was making, the damage had already been done. It was only a couple months later that my "diamond" distributor left without notice and has not returned a phone call or email in 7 months. Remember, it really doesn't matter how close you are with your distributors, the rule remains the same - when you're down, go upline; when you're up, go downline. Of all the mistakes I've made thus far, that one has been the most costly - more personally than financially, but I can honestly say, I've learned my lesson!
Optimism is the key in network marketing. This is such a fantastic industry and there are so many reasons to appreciate the gift that we've been given. The Yarnell's share many of the reasons that this is true:
1) it is an entrepreneurial business with literally no downside. The products are great and the price to get involved is relatively low compared to a traditional business of any kind.
2) There is no ceiling or limit on earnings. When you are trading time for money, there are only 24 hours in the day that you can devote to your company (and we do need to sleep). By having a residual income, you are literally making a living while your are sleeping - and you can make quite a life that way!
3) Time freedom. You can make all the money in the world, but if you have no time to enjoy it with your family and friends, really - what's the point?
4) "If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." (That's one of my many favorite quotes in this book.) This reminds me that the only stress that I am experiencing is self-created.
5) MLM is a 3-5 year plan instead of a 45 year plan. Frankly I don't want to work until I die. As US Department of Labor statistics clearly show, 95% of us are "on the graph." We start working around age 18-21. We get some decent raises (well maybe not so much anymore) until the age 0f 32-35 when our income levels off to that wonderful 2-3% cost of living raise. We'll then work 100,000 hours making money that we're having a hard time surviving on, and then at age 65-72 we'll retire at 1/2 to 1/3 of what we couldn't survive on before. No thanks. I'd rather work really hard for the next 3-5 years and build a residual income that I can rely on for the rest of my life. THAT's the beauty of network marketing.
6) Recognition. Holy guacamole! It's a fantastic feeling to be recognized by your peers. Walking across the stage; going on exotic trips, being presented with HUGE checks, being applauded by hundreds of thousands of people - just for being good at what you do. Now THAT is not something that happens in the traditional career world!
7) See the world. How many trips can one person take? I know with my company you almost have to quit your day job once you become successful, as they send you on so many free trips it's hard to get the time off work. Aside from the fact that when you're building teams around the world, your travel becomes a write-off. Sweet!
One of the best things that I've done for myself lately is participating in a 30-day Mental Cleanse. Through this process I am reading and discussing "Think and Grow Rich" chapter by chapter with a mastermind group. I am not watching or listening to any news of any kind - no radio, talk shows, newspapers - nothing. (If something really important happens, I'm sure someone will fill me in within about 2.5 minutes of it happening anyway. I don't need to pollute my mind with negativity.) I have to say, so far I feel great. As a matter of fact, I've turned this into a 6 month cleanse, and after that I'm sure it will continue for the rest of my life.
In order to torpedo the depression, I am constantly filling my mind with great, positive books (like this one, of course), listening to audiobooks and seminar tapes when I'm in the car, and saying my affirmation all throughout the day, "I am having fun inspiring others that they can create the life of their wildest dreams as I have created mine." You see, that's my "why." The money is nice, but there's far too many people out there that just don't realize how powerful they are, and if they can just believe in themselves, take some well calculated risks while working with a mentor, and taking action towards the achievement of their own dreams and goals, I believe that we can accomplish anything we make our minds up to do.
The last and most important thing is "Whatever you do, just don't quit!" In network marketing, it does pay to be the last man standing. Sticking with it, believing in yourself through the darkest hours, and being persistent in the pursuit of your dreams is the key. After all, "As many as 95 percent of those people who remain in this industry for ten years or longer reach the highest pay levels in their respective companies." Whatever you decide to do - DON'T QUIT!