I receive calls and e-mails every day from members seeking advice on team building. My question is always the same: "Do you see yourself as a recruiter or a sponsor?" Most will say, "What's the difference?"

Let me walk you through the five stages of moving from a mediocre recruiter to a legendary sponsor:

1. Scrambling Recruiter
About 20 percent of networkers do not advance past this stage. They never seem to realize that they have to personally develop their downline if they want to grow indefinitely. Since they are not developing leaders on their front line, their attrition rate is always through the roof and they carry with them a negative, burned-out attitude.

2. Surviving Recruiter
In this stage, just as with the Scrambling Recruiter, these networkers don't do anything to personally build their front-line leaders. However, they do seem to keep the majority of their downline. Somewhere around 50 percent of all networkers get stuck in this stage. Their teams are merely average and they always wonder why they are not experiencing the huge financial success that they see other team leaders achieving.

3. Professional Sponsor
About 10 percent of network marketing sponsors see themselves as Professional Sponsors. These are the team builders who take the time to develop their first three levels into students of the business. They train them to use the system that continually brings in the numbers on their teams. They use the Law of Large Numbers, which states: "Bring in quantity and quality will stick." However, they do not take the time to build personal relationships with their front-line leaders, with the result that these leaders often leave the team after they have invested a great deal of time-though not enough effort-in helping them to develop a successful system.

4. Synergy-Building Sponsor
This is the stage where you come to realize what you must do to become a true success as a sponsor. You start forging strong personal relationships with your front-line leaders from day one. You also take the time to mentor your front three levels of downline members. You empower your front-line leaders to reach their maximum potential by building synergy with their own personal front-line leaders. This type of sponsoring causes a domino effect throughout your entire organization.

5. Legendary Sponsors
Few Synergy-Building Sponsors achieve this level. They simply do not realize that they truly can make a long-term difference in the lives of their team members. Sponsors who do reach this stage have developed strong loyalty and tremendous respect from their front-line leaders. The one percent of sponsors who succeed in reaching this level of sponsorship are those who go down in history. They are able to leave a legacy long after they have passed the baton of leadership on to the next generation of sponsors.

Are you truly committed to developing yourself to the highest levels of sponsorship and becoming a Legendary Sponsor? If you are, you must be willing to face the challenges of building your downline, to mentor your front-line and empower them toward becoming Legendary Sponsors themselves. Each time you develop and empower one of your leaders, you are planting the seed for a new Legendary Sponsor to grow.

Remember, the challenge is never found in the harvest but in the soil where you plant the seeds!