On the surface, there may not seem to be any lessons to be learned from rescuing animals that could be applied to network marketing. But, often when I’m going about my daily life, I notice similarities in the oddest of places.
My start in animal rescue came about casually, much like my introduction to network marketing. In both cases, I was brought in by a family member. I got involved in animal rescue recently because of my sister. My brother first introduced me to MLM back in the 80’s when Amway was king. A large percentage of people are first introduced to network marketing by a family member or a friend. After all, when you make a list of the people you know, it’s comprised largely of family and friends. Now, I disagree that that is the best way to recruit people into your business unless you have already achieved a level of success, but I won’t go into that again here, since I’ve already talked about that in a previous article.
Whether you are rescuing animals, or trying to build a successful network marketing business, both take a lot of work – especially at the start – to get going. But, just like a rescue that has chores that need to be done on a regular basis, you have to keep working on your network marketing business as well. I know there are a lot of ads out there claiming to have a system that works completely on auto-pilot, and you may be able to make some money on auto-pilot, but if you want to be truly successful, I guarantee you it’s going to take some work on a regular basis to get there and then to maintain it.
You see, when I’m contacted by the pound and asked to take in five orphaned puppies, I know that there will be some work involved. I can’t just put them in a cage and let them go on auto-pilot. They have to taken care of. So does your business. You can’t just throw up a website and expect to be successful. There are several other steps you have to take.
An important thing to keep in mind is that setting a schedule is crucial to your success. Kittens and puppies need to be bottle fed on a regular schedule. So do your leads. Now there are low or no-cost tools on the internet that you can use to do this. One of the best is an auto-responder. You simply type up a series of responses to send to your leads, and the system takes care of the rest on a regular schedule that you set. But, even this never reaches true autopilot (unless you pay someone else to write your material for you!). There is never a time when you can stop feeding your pets!
Now, it does get easier to feed your leads, just as feeding orphaned animals gets easier. For instance, Eddie the kitten started eating solid food yesterday. So now I can just set down a saucer of food and he will feed himself while I bottle feed the five new pups. After the first few weeks, most of your leads probably don’t need to hear from you quite as frequently.
Some of your leads are going to be able to digest your “canned” material and achieve health and independence on their own, but some will need some additional support. When the pups start crying first thing in the morning, I don’t necessarily feed the loudest one first, nor do I feed it the most. I usually try to feed Portia, the runt of the litter, first and see if she’ll eat a little more when the rest have been satisfied to make sure she gets enough to eat. Some recruits are more demanding than others. Sometimes they are demanding because they truly need a little help to get going and will take what you feed them and grow. Others are just whiners. If you hold a puppy all the time, it will want to be held all the time. But, if you feed it, love on it and then put it down, it will learn to be content without being held continually. Sometimes we spoil our recruits. We try to baby them, and do every for them because we want to succeed and we want them to succeed. What you end up with is a dependent recruit who never does anything for himself. One of the best things you can do is introduce your recruit to great resources so that they can mine the information they need on their own to be successful.
Unfortunately, not every rescued animal will make it. The same is true for your recruits. Some will make it in network marketing, and some won’t. While it’s disappointing to lose one, you have to be able to let go and move on. There are plenty of other kittens, puppies and recruits out there that deserve a chance. So, put the failure behind you, shift your focus, and move forward.
The good news is, with the right mix of food, support and encouragement, your orphans – animal or human – can make it. They can become healthy and self-sufficient and the real bonus is they can also become enjoyable companions. There is nothing quite as satisfying as helping someone else make it.
On a personal note, if you live in the Arkansas River Valley and know of anyone who is looking for a family pet, send them my way!
Until next time…