Network marketing should be an exact science; it isn't.

This is due in part to the many different products, goods, and services being offered, and in part to the countless creative ways companies come up with in their efforts to set themselves apart from the competition. Furthermore, a lot of the complexities in the profession can be traced right back to the very reason many of us decided to become involved in network marketing in the first place: We wanted to be our own boss, set our own hours, and work at our own pace. All good things, to be sure--except when duplicatable simplicity of the system is your desired end result.

However, even with all its complications, network marketing can be an easy business to get started in, to build, and to prosper from. That is, as long as we agree on our definition of easy: something you can do. With this in mind, your next step in getting started is to learn all the ways you can build the business--your business.


Let Me Count the Ways...

Sit down with your sponsor, support team, or local area leader, and find out how many different ways there are to build the business. When you do, you will probably learn that there is more than one way to become successful in the time you have to invest.

Some of these different ways include: 1) generating retail sales, and creating preferred customers; 2) building your business using one-on-one, two-on-one, home meetings, and/or formal presentations; 3) utilizing business events, and trade shows; 4) working through the Internet; along with, of course, 5) any accepted forms of advertising.

Your goal is to uncover all the different ways successful people are already building the business--then select the way that works for you. Why? Because, if you stay within your comfort zone, by applying that which is easy for you to do, you'll succeed more quickly, simply because you will most likely continue doing that which you find easy to do.


Stay Inside The System

In the first article of this series ("Principle #1: Get Connected--Stay Connected"), I explained the concept and benefits of the system. Indeed, the system will show everyone on your team a specific way to: 1) get new distributors started; 2) explain when, where, and how to find prospects; 3) teach distributors how to professionally present products and services to potential customers, as well as the business opportunity to prospects; and 4) be simple enough so that the cycle--the system--will continue, time after time, new distributor, after new distributor.

However, when I recommend that you learn all the ways there are to build your business, and then choose what's right for you, I am not suggesting you venture outside the scope of your sponsor's, support team's, or company's established methods of doing business. What I am suggesting is that within the system, you will usually discover more than one way to create success.

For example, to effectively build your business, you will need to find a few good prospects--and there are several great ways to do this. However, once you've found those prospects, you still want to introduce them to the business and get them started using the system.

Ask your sponsor about the system he is using, and how he recommends you get started. Again, odds are good that the system is already in place, and if you simply follow it, you truly can achieve any level of success you desire.


The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Network marketing often attracts those with the entrepreneurial spirit. Wanting to be their own bosses, set their own hours, and work at their own pace, many of these energetic and enthusiastic entrepreneurs want to create incomes of $10,000, $25,000, or even $100,000 per month and more! Often these creative and energetic people want to bring into their new businesses a former corporate idea, strategy, or campaign that might have worked well in the past--or one they always wanted to try, but never had the chance to do so. This situation ends up sounding a little something like this:

"I think if I could just change the system a little and do it this way, then we would really have something...."

The challenge--and it is a challenge--is that even if their way (or your way) is better, it may not work long-term. Why? Because, again, this business attracts so many energetic, and enthusiastic entrepreneurs, if everyone took their best shot at making the system better, in a very short period of time you would have no system at all!

Ask yourself this question: "What do I really want?" If your answer is that you want to "build it once, and get paid on it for a lifetime," then warmly embrace the duplicatable simplicity of the system, and focus your entrepreneurial spirit on building your empire!

In network marketing, duplication is what success looks like.


This passage, the fourth in a series of five, is excerpted by permission from The Fifth Principle, by Michael Clouse.