FACT: Your network marketing paycheck is a barometer of your leadership.

QUESTION: How do you become a better leader and increase your income?

ANSWER: Set the right example and inspire others to success. The better you do these things, the more you’ll earn.

Sounds simple, but there’s a trap. You can set the right example; you can develop a presence that inspires—but you can only inspire those who want to be inspired.

Last issue, this magazine featured wonderful success stories of network marketing families. Inspiring stories—but for many of us, the toughest folks to inspire are those we love the most, our family members. In fact, the biggest frustration that my wife, Gingie, and I have experienced in this profession has been our lack of success in getting our own families to take a serious look at this business.

Notice: I didn’t say, “Get in the business.” I said, “Take a look at the business.” It’s not about selling them—it’s about providing information.

Why do we have difficulty getting our families to look at the business? The same reason we have difficulty getting others to look at the business. They’re not like us. They don’t have the motivation to change their life. They’ve confined themselves to an ominous “comfort zone.” They fear even thinking about leaving safe harbors and venturing into uncharted waters. For them, the world is flat.

One of the toughest lessons that we have to learn in this business (and in life, for that matter) is that all the people you know, including those you love most, are where they want to be.

Ten years ago I stumbled upon my current company. After some due diligence and a test run, I knew I had a winner. I’d proven to myself that the products moved. I saw the plan was realistic for the average person. This was too good to pass up.

Family is the most important thing in the world to me. Being a workaholic my whole life, I’d missed a lot of time with my family. I saw this as a real opportunity, not only to do something together in business but also to create a walk-away income that would allow us to spend recreational time together. I received tacit approval from them to be plugged into the system. I was very excited!

There was nothing financially self-serving about this. My recruiting was going quite well; I didn’t need their names on some roster to get paid. I wasn’t looking for them to “make me rich.” In fact, the compensation plan allowed me to structure my business so that I wouldn’t receive any royalty off of any of their efforts. (Nor did I have to “buy in” for them; I was already moving a ton of product.) To eliminate any potential conflict or internal jealousy, I positioned each so that none would receive compensation from the efforts of any other family member. It was perfect. I then went about building my business—and their businesses by default.

One of the toughest lessons that we have to learn in this business(and in life, for that matter) is that all the people you know, including those you love most, are where they want to be.
As time passed, the numbers geometrically expanded. I couldn’t have been happier. I’d positioned all my siblings and children to be rescued. Within two years I had positioned each of them to earn over $300,000 a year. In fact, the revenues that I generated put half of that on the table for them, but they wouldn’t receive a dime unless they matched my efforts.

To my shock, when I alerted them that there was money (and commensurate time freedom) on the table and that it was time for them to take a serious look, I met with everything from complete indifference to outright hostility. I had the phone slammed down on me by a family member with whom I had never had a cross word. When I tried to explain to another family member how well-positioned he was, he told me, “Nobody asked you to do anything for us. Worry about yourself!”

I have often wished that someone would have done for me what I did for them. But guess what? I didn’t need it. I was self-motivated. I wanted to change my situation in life. I wanted more time with my family. Apparently they either didn’t or weren’t willing to pay the price to achieve it.

Had they looked a little closer, they would have found this is a business where you get paid for self-improvement. It doesn’t get any better than that. You can lead a horse to water—but you cannot make him drink, no matter how sweet, cool and refreshing the water is.

If your family is “in,” congratulations! If not, xin loi, as they say in Vietnamese—“sorry ’bout that!” Same thing with close friends. Move on, as I learned to do many years ago. The emotional capital you’ll spend trying to change the situation is too high. Time management is critical to success. Don’t waste time trying to help those who don’t want to be helped—even if it’s family.

Discipline yourself to do those things that set the right example: use and move products, attend events (and always, always have prospects with you), and show the plan. Develop a presence of success by coming from an attitude that success is a foregone conclusion. Do these things, and you will inspire those who want to believe that they too will become successful.

In the process, you’ll not only earn more cash, your psychic income will increase. And who knows—maybe then the light will go on and your family will wake up!

Frank Keefer is a veteran
networker, Publisher Emeritus of
Networking Times, and author of the
recent release Reflections of a Master.