One of the most powerful and attractive elements of a networking business is the fact that you don't have to do all the work by yourself. The vehicle of a networking business allows you to leverage yourself--your money, time and energy--through the efforts of others in your network. This opportunity to create leverage is what makes it possible for your business to generate a residual income.

But there's a catch. You have to be able to receive.

Despite the powerful possibility this principle of leverage creates, you may never experience or enjoy its glorious benefits--if you fall prey to one of the strongest and most common "scarcity patterns": the inability to receive.


Making It On Your Own

No matter how much time and energy you put into developing your business and your network, if you don't have the ability to receive, it may be difficult if not impossible to enjoy your residual income--that is, the income you receive rather than "earn."

For the principle of leverage to work, for your business (and your life) to be authentically abundant, you must be able to receive. Unfortunately, many networkers have grown up with the message, "It is better to give than to receive." When offered something as a child, were you ever told, perhaps in a discreet, whispered aside from a well-meaning parent, that you shouldn't accept it? Were you ever told--or did you ever think--that you shouldn't accept it because you didn't deserve it? Do you have any memories of feeling awkward or somehow "wrong" about accepting money or other rewards?

Many of us learned at an early age that we were supposed to be humble, to not be proud or conceited, to "not think too much of yourself." Well-meaning advice, no doubt, and not without its merits--but for many of us, this set in motion a pattern of discounting ourselves, of deflecting compliments, acknowledgment or recognition. Of refusing to receive.

We live in a culture where independence is highly valued; as a result, we've grown up thinking that we should be able to "do it by ourselves," that we're not supposed to accept charity or help, that we have to "make it on our own."


Are You An Old Wineskin?

A network marketing business contradicts much of what we've learned and how we've operated for most of our lives. There is great value in the Biblical expression, "You can't pour new wine into old wineskins." If you do, the old wineskin will spoil the new wine, and eventually the wineskin will burst.

As attractive as the ideas of leverage and residual income may be, it may also be new wine that you're attempting to pour into an old wineskin--that is, you! The ability to receive may not be in its makeup. You may be uncomfortable receiving acknowledgments, gifts, money, or kind comments from others. You may dismiss or discount these things, and turn down support--especially if you have the thought that you don't deserve it.

Until you have actively and consciously developed your ability to receive, thus creating in yourself a new wineskin, you will be limited in the amount of abundance available to you--including the abundance of residual income. Without the ability to receive, your abundance is limited to that which you can create, make, earn and/or handle by yourself.


Five Steps to a New Wineskin

The best way to reclaim your power and develop your ability to receive is to practice. Here are five steps for developing this all-important ability. You can start out by practicing these every time you receive a compliment or acknowledgment.


1. PAUSE. The first step is simply to pause: this prevents your "automatic deflector shield" from going up.

2. BREATHE. Remind yourself what it feels like to receive by taking a long, deep breath. Don't just think this, actually do it, physically.


3. RECEIVE. Consciously receive whatever is being given to you. Consciously let it in (if it's a compliment or a suggestion) or physically take it into your possession (if it's something tangible).

4. THANK YOU. Once you've received it, simply say "thank you." Nothing else--no qualifications, no elaboration, no rebuttal, no return compliment, no sarcasm, no explanation! Just, "Thank you."


5. PUT IT TO USE. Once that which you've been given is now yours, the final step is to determine how (or even whether at all) you will use what you've received.


As you become familiar with these five steps, practice them in other areas of receiving. Whenever anyone offers you something--an offer of assistance, help or coaching, encouragement or support, money, a gift--use these five steps to strengthen your ability to and increase your comfort with receiving.

In Creating True Prosperity, Shakti Gawain says, "Until we learn to receive appreciation, we won't be able to fully (or easily) receive love, nurturing, success, money, fulfillment, and/or other forms of abundance."

If you were attracted to your networking business for the opportunity to create a residual income, then start actively developing your ability to receive--and not just earn. You might be amazed at what happens!

is founder of Access Abundance,
an organization dedicated to helping people access greater levels of
abundance, freedom and fulfillment in their daily lives. She lives with her husband, Dan, in the small town of Baraboo, Wisconsin.