Every network marketing business can benefit from a training system. The trick is to create a training coherent enough to be useful in duplication, but flexible enough to accommodate individualization. The key is to use a format that allows you to create a personalized Business Plan based on your own strengths and resources ("assets"), and challenges ("liabilities").

The following exercises (condensed from a training workbook) lay the groundwork for setting goals and planning action steps. As you read through this plan, jot down your own answers in your journal or planner. If you like, copy and duplicate this outline with your people--and help them each create their own personalized business plan!

1) Strengths and Challenges
This first exercise is crucial; skip it and you risk tripping yourself up later with unforeseen obstacles. The exercise is best done with a business partner or upline. Often we cannot see our own limitations and strengths! Ask yourself:

a) What resources are available to me, both as an individual and as a networker?

b) What are the personal strengths and resources I will bring to my business?

c) What are my limiting beliefs and obstacles?

d) What challenges will I have to cope with, such as time constraints, financial limitations, family pressures, geographical considerations, etc.?

2) Motivation
Any entrepreneurial business relies on powerful motivation because you're called upon to overcome challenges every day. Build in some rewards along the way; don't wait till the end! The more clearly you know what success means to you and why you want to succeed, the more likely you will experience success. Here are some guiding questions:

a) What are the ultimate rewards that will motivate me to succeed?

b) What will I do to reward myself on a regular basis to "taste success" along the way?

c) What visual or other reminders can I create to establish the image of success as a daily motivator?

3) Personal Expectations
How successful can you be? Expectations are a powerful factor: What you believe combined with what you intend will create your level of expectation.

a) Belief: How connected am I to my products, my company, the network marketing opportunity, and my own vision?

b) Intention: How passionate am I about accomplishing my goals? How often and to whom will I declare my goals?

c) Expectation: Do I expect to achieve the goals I set? What will I do to realign myself or set new expectations?

4) The Compensation Plan
Your company's comp plan is your road map. Be familiar with it, particularly those parts most relevant as you progress toward your goals. Study the documents or online information that relate to these points:

a) How do I earn cash as soon as possible (Fast Start incentives, title bonuses, retailing profits, etc.)?

b) What does it take to start earning commissions (requirements and rewards of each title)?

c) What is the keystone title, if there is one, that provides the foundation for the compensation plan?

d) What are the more advanced titles, their benefits and how to achieve them?

Here's a great way to grasp the power of your comp plan: Figure out your income on one month of commissionable sales volumes, based on a scenario that will yield a financial goal you've set. Put a diagram of the results on the wall by your desk.

5) Set Your Goals
Include timeline expectations for achieving each goal. Every time you achieve one, create another; if you find you cannot reach your current goal in the predetermined time frame, create another. Include financial and lifestyle goals and any other indicators of success.

a) What are my long-term (five years or more) goals for my business?

b) What do I expect to achieve within X (three, six, whatever number is relevant to you) months?

c) What do I expect to achieve this month?

6) Strategies
Now that you've evaluated and planned, create the Business Plan that suits you. Consider these factors:

PASSION. Where is your passion? Look closely at your company's product lines: What products and/or markets are you most passionate about?

STRATEGIES. List those strategies that you know are currently achieving success in your company. Start with those you judge most likely to succeed.

TEAMWORK. This is the heart of networking. Who is on your current team or teams (upline, downline, crossline)? How does each one support you? Where will you find new business associates for your business? Start a list!

TECHNOLOGY. List your tools (computer, fax, phone services, website, software, etc.) and check those that need upgrading.

7) Action!
Once you create your Business Plan, you must take action. Choose three to five strategies to put into action; each must attract new customers, new business associates, or both. Be specific about when you will begin each one, noting associated costs or preparation. The more thoroughly you do this, the more likely you'll reach your goals.

Remember that the only constant is you. The market changes, the product line changes, the compensation plan changes, your downline changes and your strategies and plan will change--but you are always at the center of your own business. That means your actions to reach your goals in your lifetime!

is a veteran network marketing leader; she was featured as the
"Master Networker" in our January 2003 issue.