In the article, “Why Now Could Be The Best Time To Start A Business”, I discussed the current state of affairs in the U.S. and how the issues facing the country, and middle class as a whole, would make starting a business a viable option right now. In this article I will go into this a bit further in terms of some of the opportunities that are available, which would fall in line with the state of the economy in this country. I will also discuss briefly the difference in mindset between the rich and the middle class and why this sincerely affects a person’s financial destiny.
When I say “fall in line” with the state of the economy in this country what I am referring to are the opportunities that would help solve the problems facing Americans today. This means that there would be a market for these opportunities. After several months of research, I have learned about several types of potential businesses to own, using a variety of business models. Each business model has its pros and cons, however, one in particular appears to have more pros than cons.
This business model is Network Marketing and it is becoming more and more popular as a business model these days because it offers “average” individuals the opportunity to start a business with little capital or time investment. Couple this with the fact that it saves companies quite a bit of money on advertising, it can be a win-win situation for all involved.
Obviously one reason this is so appealing right now to “average” individuals is because so many people are losing jobs and needing to create an income just to survive. These people have limited resources with which to do this. You might be thinking, “If someone loses his or her job, how are they going to want to SPEND money if they are needing to make money?” It’s a good question and one that would no doubt be asked by the majority of the population because this is the type of mindset with which we were raised.
As Americans, particularly from the current generation, we were also raised with the mindset of credit and of owning things we can’t afford, regardless of whether we need them or not. We think all of our money is spoken for — and it is…in a way — but we think it is spoken for as a need, rather than a want. In reality, most of what we have is not a necessity but a want, and things we could do away with and be perfectly fine.
In Part I of this article (Why Now Could Be The Best Time to Start a Business), I briefly discussed how the rich make their money. I mentioned how they leverage other people’s time and money to make money. The other thing the rich do is limit their spending on “things”, particularly things they don’t need, especially in the beginning, when they are first starting out and creating their fortunes. When people look at the rich they seem to think that they became so overnight, or perhaps were born with proverbial silver spoons in their mouths. While this might be true for some, it is not true for most. Most financially successful individuals started out with practically nothing. They had to learn how to spend their money on only the necessary things — food, shelter, etc. It isn’t until they created a good-sized income that they start spending money on wants.
While this is happening, they most certainly “live within their means,” but once they’ve learned how to create financial freedom they no longer “live within their means,” but make their means grow to accommodate them. Keep in mind what it takes for them to get to this point – education. It isn’t until they learn how to become self-sufficient that they are truly financially free.
One of the other things the rich learn to do that is significantly different than what the middle class do is to use debt as a way to benefit them financially. Instead of getting into debt to buy things, they get into debt to make more money. By limiting the money they spend and only spending on things they need (unless they have enough money and have budgeted it to purchase something they want) they have more capital to invest in assets that will help them make more money.
My reason for stating this is to show that the rich have a different mindset than the majority, or the middle class. The point is that, if you have an income, you most likely have discretionary money as long as you know how to spend wisely. Even for people that have lost their jobs there should still be discretionary money available. In cases where people have lost their jobs, in general they receive unemployment benefits from the government; and in other cases they’re able to find even menial jobs that allow them to put food on the table.
Although people have lost homes and possessions during this crisis, they are still able to figure out how to survive and in many cases they still have some luxuries. This just goes to show how resilient the human species is. The truth is that, as long as you are resourceful enough to survive, you are resourceful enough to take in on opportunities that could create financial freedom. One of the most important traits a person needs to become financially free is discipline. We have to realize that, while that pretty, red, shiny car would be awfully nice to drive, it is not a necessity and the money spent toward that car payment would be much better spent on investing in opportunities and education that could one day help us own that car free and clear.
In terms of people that are “struggling” just to survive, or at least those that perceive this to be their situation, it turns out that there is even more of a motivation to overcome the obstacle. It is well known that most self-made millionaires started out poor — not middle class, but poor. The less a person has, it seems the more he or she is determined to work hard and overcome the situation. In some ways it is an advantage that the poor have over the middle class. The middle class are comfortable. They have food on the table, roofs over their heads, and sufficient cash for entertainment. The poor on the other hand do not have these luxuries. It is much more likely for someone with less money to work on himself and overcome a difficult financial situation, as long as he does not think of himself as a victim. The bottom line is that the discretionary income of most people in the middle class, even those that have lost their jobs, could be turned into a fortune given the right tools and education. One of the tools of course is the opportunity or type of opportunity, such as network marketing.
One of the biggest benefits of network marketing is that the opportunities are inexpensive considering their value and the value of the education that comes with that initial investment. Most network marketing opportunities offer extensive training to representatives on how to share the opportunity with others.The companies make their opportunities affordable to “average” individuals, i.e. those that are not necessarily well off.
Network Marketing employs the concept of leveraging other people’s time to make money, just as the majority of the rich do. The way that people involved in network marketing make their income is by sharing the products that the company offers and also by sharing the opportunity (for selling the products) with others. Representatives make a percentage of the profit of the products they sell and the products sold by those individuals that the representative introduced into the opportunity. In addition, the representative usually makes a bonus for signing other representatives into the company.
Initially it could take time to create a worthwhile income but due to the structure of the business model, which is also commonly referred to as multi-level marketing, or MLM, eventually a representative could make a six- to eight – figure yearly income. In the meantime, the individual is creating an extra income. Who couldn’t benefit from extra income? And depending on the amount of work the representative puts into the opportunity, he or she could make tens of thousands of dollars in a few short months. The operative word here, however, is work. This is extremely important to understand.
One of the few downsides to network marketing is the way the companies share their opportunities with people. It is not that the companies share incorrect information. In actuality the information shared by network marketing companies regarding their opportunities is completely accurate. The downside comes during the sharing of the compensation plan and the fact that the companies do not make it clear that it takes an enormous amount of effort to get to the higher levels in the company. The way I see it is that, typically, the mindset of the audience is very different from that of the presenters/company. It could be that that presenters/company believe that the individuals watching the presentation are fully aware of the amount of work it takes to own a successful business and already have the mindset of an entrepreneur. In actuality their target market is the middle class and the middle class do not receive that type of education in school nor do they think to seek it out on their own.
Most individuals belong to the middle class, and therefore could be considered “average,” and we know that the “average” individual does not have the mindset of an entrepreneur. This type of mindset is neither taught in school nor in the home and therefore it must be self-taught and then cultivated. Most “average” individuals were raised in a world of instant gratification and therefore have little patience to wait for an opportunity to blossom to its potential. But for the few that are willing to change their mindset — to self-educate — and to work on their patience, the payoff is huge.
The compensation plans of network marketing opportunities are such that representatives are paid on several levels of their organizations, and multiple levels means exponential growth. If one person recruits five people into the opportunity and each of those five recruit five and so on, at the fifth level of that first person’s organization there are 3,905 representatives for which he or she can take credit. The concept is quite remarkable.
For this reason, more than anything, network marketing is a great business model. In addition, because so many people need to create an income either to supplement an existing income or to actually create a primary income due to a job loss and because the investment, both financial and time, is so small compared to starting traditional businesses, the risk is low. If a person makes the decision to become financially free and takes the steps to become so, he or she could do it in a relatively short period of time.
Of course, like anything else, not all opportunities are created equal. Even in network marketing some opportunities have better compensation plans, higher quality products, and/or more marketable products/services than others. It is important to do your homework when looking for an opportunity. There are also policies that must be followed and therefore it is important to learn those policies BEFORE starting a home business. For logical reasons, including these, education is imperative. With the proper knowledge you cannot lose.
Again, the most important thing to remember is that even with network marketing a business is a business and a business requires work. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” nor would anybody’s fortune be. In addition to work, and perhaps equally or even more important, is self-education. In order to fully understand how to build any type of business a person must be willing to learn and must apply herself and seek out information. With hard work, determination, and a self-education, a person has the tools to truly succeed!