The “Missing Ring” in Network Marketing

By Jan Ruhe


I had just published my latest book, Lady of the Rings, about the “Ten Rings” that make up a successful network marketing business, when I received an email from John David Mann, asking this question: “What’s missing from network marketing?”

I pondered the question for quite some time. Is there something crucial missing from this business?, I found myself asking. Is there a missing “ring”?

From the bottom of my heart, I believe in the opportunity offered by network marketing; it is outstanding, it is exciting; it works. This is not simply my belief, but also my experience—I don’t just believe it, I know it to be the truth. Yet, after pondering the question, I realized that, yes, there is something missing.

Many of the people involved in network marketing have not really understood its power.

They work at their network marketing business part-time with the anticipation that their first few months (first few recruits, first few sales, etc.) will pay huge dividends. When this doesn’t happen, they get discouraged, quit and go back to their jobs, disillusioned and negative about network marketing. They have been role-modeled that getting a “real job” where they can count on a monthly check and garner “benefits” is the most secure place for them.

This is not how I approached the business. The idea of simply making a monthly paycheck, with no hope of ever being able to increase it through my own efforts, instilled in me a sense not of security, but of fear! What’s the difference between this viewpoint and that of so many would-be networkers? Simply this: many new distributors don’t know how to work as an independent contractor; they approach the business as dependent independent contractors.

They don’t successfully make the transition from being dependent on the “employer, parent, spouse” to being their own boss. They think they need someone to feed the information to them. They have no one to be accountable to and are not accustomed to being accountable to themselves. Their upline is too busy or doesn’t know how to be a personal “independence” coach. They don’t get the training they expected. It’s not that network marketing is too difficult—it’s that they find that their doing the business is too difficult, and their commitment is short-lived.

It’s not about the industry being known better or respected more. It’s not about the corporate office giving more incentives or recognition. It is about working on your own personal growth and development; it’s about being an independent contractor.

Life under the protective wing of the corporate world is not the only way to achieve success and security. Buy your own benefit package: create a business that will let you afford your own insurance, your own car, your own days off…and here’s an idea: instead of taking off sick days, take off well days!

The quickest way to become financially independent is to become “independent” in network marketing. That is what’s missing in network marketing.

Jan Ruhe
is a veteran networker and
contributing writer for Networking Times.