Academic Resources?

I am a university student and also a network marketer. I would like to write a literature review on why network marketing is a viable business compared with other business opportunities, and which areas should be looked at when selecting a network marketing company. However, I have had a lot of difficulties in finding academic resources; most of these examine the legal aspect, are too general or are behavioral articles. They don't look at network marketing as a business opportunity.

I have found many useful books and resources, such as How to Select a Network Marketing Company, by D. Falter and New Professionals, by C. King and J. Robinson; however, I cannot use books in literature reviews. I would like to find more academic journal articles that discuss these issues. Could you please point me to the right direction as to where I could find helpful materials? Thank you so much, your help is much appreciated!

--Melinda Hu


The Editors respond:

We appreciate your difficulty: network marketing, both as a profession and as a business structure, is still a scant presence in the academic world, despite the fact that it has been widely and extensively developed in practice for over 60 years. We applaud your effort and hold every expectation that serious efforts such as yours will soon help change that fact!

If you have not already done so, you might find value in reviewing our inaugural edition, in particular its lead story, "The Coming Network Marketing Boom," by Leonard Clements. (Len is widely regarded as an authority in the profession; he has been called upon, for example, as an expert witness in a number of prominent court cases.) In his article, Clements offers a brief analysis and historical review of ten compelling trends that suggest a bright future for the profession.

You can access the article by going to our web site ( and creating a free membership in our online community. Should you wish to peruse other back issues, an efficient way to do so is to become an e-subscriber.

Another resource worth pursuing is the web site of the Direct Selling Association ( The DSA is our profession's trade association; their non-profit public education arm, Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) sponsors extensive research, and works directly with the academic community to further a greater awareness of our profession. We featured an interview with DSA president Neil Offen in our Oct. 2003 issue.

Melinda, please stay in touch, and let us know where your research leads. We'd love to publish something on your results.


Career Transition

I am the founding chapter director for the Pennsylvania Professional Employment Network (, Westmoreland County chapter. We are an all-volunteer group that helps our members in career transition. For the past three years, I have been helping people learn how to network their way to new employment opportunities.

I have used information from Networking Times, from specific articles to the selected quotations in your "Words of Wisdom" column, as ideas for our members to use in presenting themselves to prospective employers and others who may help them in providing leads through networking.

I have been going through this current edition [the "Learning" issue, September 2003] and underlining things on what seems like page after page! At the start of our meetings, I tend to take a few minutes for my "comment of the week." In the past, I have used several sources--but now I can keep it simple and use this one edition for quite some time to come!

--Daniel Durishan


A Spiritual Journey

This issue ["Spiritual Networking," August 2003] was fantastic! Reading it and reflecting back, I realize I began my own spiritual journey through my network marketing business.

To become successful in MLM, I embarked on a study of self-improvement which led me down many paths and to reading many new authors, including Eric Butterworth, Wallace Wattles, Florence Scovill Shinn, Paul Zane Pilzer and many others. It opened my mind and my heart in so many ways. To see it wrapped up and reflected editorially in this particular issue really gave me a renewed sense of pride in what we do and who we are as networkers. Thanks for your great work in promoting ethics and professionalism in network marketing!

--Amy Posner,


An Abundance of Support

I attended Steve Siebold's six-week telecourse entitled "Mental Toughness Training," held in June and July of this year. This program was an incredible experience for me; thanks, Steve!

In correspondence with Steve, he thanked me for my membership in and appreciation of Networking Times. "It's always great to hear back from people who are reading the magazine," he said, "We never hear from most people."

Well, here goes! The national monthly magazine I read that supports my other business contains an average of one article on self improvement and one on business development; with Networking Times, I get an average of 20 articles monthly--all great reading, all succinct and to the point. I read your magazine from cover to cover as soon as it arrives in the mail. In fact, my appreciation went up a notch last month [with the August "Spirituality" issue], when I read, as an aside, in a reply to a letter from a reader, "We do not pay our contributors; all articles are offered freely as a gesture of service to the profession." This really shows to me where these writers' hearts are!

Thanks to each and every one of you.

--Ethel Black