I have always been an independent sort. I am often proud of this fact, but this trait has also kicked my butt at times. Let me give you some examples. Maybe You can avoid some of my pain.
I became a computer programmer when I was 19 years old. Over a period of 17 years, I got promoted, started making good money, and had the respect of many of my peers. Nothing that unusual – millions of people have done the same in all kinds of fields.
Then, I became bored. Let me tell you, boredom is a VERY dangerous thing for me. I decided to go into marketing the services of computer programmers and get away from the daily grind of programming myself. I thought about starting my own company, but instead I took a job with a small, growing consulting company owned by a woman about my age. Things were great at first. I was learning new things, I wasn’t bored, and I started making great commission checks.
I watched her try to do almost everything in the company herself. She worked a ton of hours and paid herself very little. She plowed almost all of the revenue back into her company. She took everything that happened with the company personally. She was ecstatic when we got a new client or exceeded a financial goal. She was in the dumps if we lost a client or a consultant quit. It was as if she made no distinction between her as a person and her company.
Well, I was SO smart that I decided I would NEVER have my own consulting business. I deserved a life! So, I just kept on selling services and watching my commission checks get fatter and fatter.
You know the saying “all good things must come to an end”? My gravy train came to a halt over a six month period I now refer to as my six months in hell. Apparently, if you work in your own business for 7 years and you’ve sacrificed your money, free time and sanity, you’re apt to do some illogical things. Like turn on your number one salesperson (yes, that was me) and torture her on a daily basis.
I won’t bore you with all the gory details, but suffice it to say, I was going to have to work someplace else. I had signed a non-compete agreement, so I couldn’t own or work in a similar business. And, remember I was WAY too smart to start my own company.
Or not. Maybe the six months in hell caused me to shed some brain cells. Or maybe my butt-kickin’ independent streak got activated. In any case, I decided to start my own consulting business catering to small businesses.
But, I was SO smart (are you noticing a pattern here?) that I would NEVER make the same mistakes as my old boss. Which for the most part, I didn’t. I made all NEW mistakes. Like, taking on a partner that I didn’t know very well (that mistake drained my retirement savings account). Or, hiring people (I was too smart to try to do everything myself, you see) I couldn’t afford and then not being able to make Payroll.
OK. Now that you’ve heard how NOT to run a small business, let’s jump forward to today. After 2 ” years of having my own business, I’ve quit actively growing it. Why, you ask? Because I found something better. It’s called Network Marketing. Let me explain.
In my own small business, I had to figure out how to do everything. There was no mentor or team or system. I had to create my own system. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve read a lot of books, talked to the Small Business Administration, and met and talked with countless other entrepreneurs. And, I’ve learned a lot. But, it would literally take years to develop myself and my company into a well-oiled profit machine. Remember my old boss? She didn’t really “make it” until she’d been in business for 5 years.
Contrast that with Network Marketing. There are existing products, mentors, teams and systems. And, they already work! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. All you have to do is find the best company and upline and do exactly what they have done. Duh! I try not to think about how wealthy I’d be if I would have chosen Network Marketing at the age of 19! I told you an independent streak can be a bad thing.
Not to say that you don’t have to work many hours in Network Marketing. You do. Or that you’ll be a millionaire in 90 days. But, having an existing, proven system in place is what drives profits. It’s as simple as that. Why do you think franchises like McDonalds are so popular? It’s the system, stupid.
So, in closing, I’d like to urge you to do a couple of things. First, watch out for that independent streak. Harness the good aspects of this character trait, but don’t try to be the Lone Ranger. Actually, the Lone Ranger had Tonto, didn’t he? Hmmm, maybe there is something to be said for this teamwork thing. And secondly, don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Find a successful, proven system and lock into it. Is it really smart to spend 5+ years of your life developing a system when there are already so many good ones out there?
(c) 2001 Suzanne Miley
Suzanne Miley is a Network Marketer that loves to work with and
help other like minded people. To contact Suzanne or find out
more about her, go to http://www.greatestnetworker.com/is/suzannemiley
You may reprint this article as long as you publish
it in it’s entireity.