Treating It Like a Business

By Laura Kall

There’s a standard joke in the network marketing industry that goes something like this:

A guy named John dies and goes to heaven. Everything is beautiful and peaceful, everyone is happy and nice, there are angels flying around making wonderful music. After a few months, John is bored. He finds St. Peter and says, “You know, this place is really boring. There’s no action, no energy … everything is too serene. Isn’t there anywhere else I can go?” St. Peter says, “Well, there is another place downstairs. I could give you a one-day pass.”

John happily accepts his offer and goes downstairs. It’s one big party: beautiful women, drinking, dancing … all sorts of fun. John has a ball. When the day is over, he returns back upstairs.

Another few months go by; John is bored again. He finds St. Peter and says, “Pete, I’m bored again. Can I go back downstairs?” St. Peter says, “I told you, that was a one-day pass. If you go back again, you’ll have to stay forever: there’s no returning.” John says, “I don’t care. I loved it there. I want to live there for eternity.” St. Pete grants his wish and lets him go back downstairs—only this time, things are different.

It’s hot; everyone is mean, ugly and nasty. There are no parties or dancing, just a lot of unhappy people working really hard. John is completely confused. He says to a guy walking by, “I don’t understand. I was here a few months ago and this place was completely different. Everyone was happy and playing ….”

The guy looks at him and says, “Oh—you must’ve been here for the opportunity meeting!”

Obviously, each industry has its ups and downs, high points and low. Why should network marketing be any different? We all know the benefits: unlimited income potential, being your own boss, working from home, flexible schedule, working with people you like …—it’s everything we share with our prospects during opportunity meetings!

But I do believe there is something very significant missing in our industry … something that is intangible, yet often contributes to people’s failure: most people simply don’t treat this business like big business.

And why should they? They didn’t have to go to school for a degree before they could start. They didn’t have to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to launch their business. They didn’t even have to quit their current occupation to give it a try. Why should it be surprising that most people treat it like a hobby—and quit after they get their first taste of rejection?

One of the first things my sponsor (who is also my dad) taught me was,

“Treat this business like big business—and it will treat you the same way. Treat it like you just paid a million dollars for it—and it will pay you back many times over.”

If I could change one thing about our industry to make it perfect, I would give everyone a magic pill that would immediately let them know how fortunate they are to be a part of our industry—so they’d treat it with the respect it deserves!

Laura Kall
is President of Gabriel Media Group, Inc.,
publishers of Networking Times.