Quite simply, the person that runs your company controls your destiny even in the great industry of mlm. It’s a fact. O.k., they may not be your “boss”, but they are definitely making everyday decisions that can change your life for better or worst.
Years ago, I remember watching the movie, The Wizard of Oz. One part struck me, stayed with me, and now has prompted me to make an analogy of what I am witnessing in an industry I so love. In The Wizard of Oz when the curtain was pulled back from and the wizard was exposed at the controls of the most magnificent city in the world while learning very quickly that he was just a man pushing some buttons. A man pulling the levers, puppeteering, manipulating, and controlling the way people lived their lives and more importantly changed the way people perceived their life. That one person had so much control and power, much like the owners of our own companies.
Now, how many of us really know who the wizard of our company is? Have we done our due diligence and researched the person or people running the business that potentially could make our break us? If we haven’t, why not?
In my 22 years of networking, I have seen and worked with THEM ALL. The smooth talking charismatic owner, the hard working yet unknowledgeale, the owner with a whole lot of money but no experience, the business minded owner that thinks he knows marketing when they clearly don’t. I know owners that have owned then dissolved many companies over the years leaving many good people financially broke and even a group that have known past criminal records that own companies in this great industry. Lastly a new breed of leaders, I guess I can call them the “show offs” (more on them below). Don’t get me wrong…THERE ARE GREAT OWNERS OUT THERE! You just gotta find them and stick with them.
It had hit me hard when I realized we have become a nation of “follow the leader” regardless of the direction we are being taken. Not good. Networkers are proud of their ability to “think out side of the box” and NOT “follow the pack”.
I recently watched a video where the owner of a rather successful mlm company (at this moment) is actually touting and proud of their dark pasts. Openly admitting to their past gang affiliations on live national TV, laughing about the industry and the dealers as a whole (on stage) in front of hundreds of other mlm owners while still collecting their money and taking it to the bank. This owner has even touted his self taught “buy low, sell high” belief system. That’s gotta give you the “warm and fuzzies”. Their top money earner laughs at the law by making the comment “you shouldn’t text and drive since it is breaking the law” which he did throughout the entire video. These leaders are so arrogant and cocky, it sadly hurts an industry that fights daily to prove we are a viable, legitimate business.
As an industry leader, HECK…as a human being that believes in respect, ethics and dignity, I think it’s my moral obligation to keep my friends and family as far away from this sect of people as possible. Heck, you can sell drugs and make a lot of money fast, but it doesn’t mean I’m gonna introduce Aunt Sally to the local drug dealer.
This great industry we are all a part of, IS A BUSINESS. This is not a get rich scheme or community for our loved ones to lose their money.
First rule of thumb when searching out your business, find out who the owners and management team are. What is their track record? What are their “pitfalls”? They all have them, it’s your job to weigh them against one another. Is the wizard behind the curtain the right one for you and your family? Are you introducing your new distributors to a solid and ethical team that knows what you need and will stop at nothing short to help you succeed? Or, are these wizards only out to line their pockets with our hard earned money?
I’m only writing this blog because I was “sucked in” by that video (mentioned before) depicting the great lifestyle, and success of one of these arrogant, self loathing, know it all’s. Sure his car was nice, so was his house, his dog was really cute and his “pitch” was not bad, but once I really understood the culture, I knew this was a direction many would follow for a short time until they pulled back the curtain and exposed who their wizard really was.
Making business decisions are hard. I have been bankrupt twice in my life and I’m certainly not proud of that. I have also owned and operated over a dozen corporations over my lifetime. Some failed, some succeeded but all were learning experiences and have brought me to where I am today. I have learned running a conventional business is hard, but a successful mlm company is even harder and statistics prove it.
The decision you make for the company you choose should only be based on logic, past experience, who’s involved, and timing. Do not get fooled by the glitz and glamor. Any business that is solid and has the likelihood of beating the 95% failure rate for mlm companies is worth taking a few weeks to investigate. Again, start from the top and understand that the wizard will guide you down the only path they know and their culture will soon be yours. Can you live with that?
Great products and great compensation plans will come and go. Sadly, many great companies in our industry will do the same. The part you need to worry about, which may always haunt you, is being labeled a leader that chose the wrong companies which could affect you for years to come.
Be wise, do your due diligence and seek out the experts to help you make the right decision. Life is short…it’s o.k. to fall down (many times in my case) but the real leader gets back up and charges forward only to count his past mistakes as learning experiences.
~ Eric Caprarese