“Network Marketing on the Dark Side of the Moon”

It is so good to read an article that confirms you are doing things right [Lead Story, our interview with Michael Gerber, Sept/Oct]. We have seen our sponsors recruit the masses and play the numbers, only to have people throw their arms up and walk away. We have walked away from that type of recruiting and are looking for professionals with solid work habits, people able to follow our system. Networking Times is a great magazine to print an article like this.

—Todd Tannehill


This is a really great article. I’ve kept myself from asking questions because I felt it was bringing up the dark side, and I didn’t want to discourage anyone! I’m building an organization with some success (12 people after three months), but I’ve got folks going off on their own in ways that I don’t see are necessarily duplicable. I feel out of control of my organization, so I don’t trust that it will sustain itself.

I also really like the 12-step analogy. I’ve felt it myself, because of the “chain” effect in helping each other. You don’t usually help the person who helped you, you help your downline, which is similar to sponsorship in a 12-step program.

—Ruth Rinehart


The “Best Plan”

About a week after I read your article, “The Best Plan” [The Close, Sept/Oct issue], I was approached by another company’s distributor via email. As I read her email, her main message was the company’s compensation plan—it was the best, the most generous, and so on. Of course I had to write her back and explain to her the truth. The more people who read your article, the better off we’ll all be.

—Gary S. Hons
Alliance, Ohio


Amen and amen! I get so kinked in my neck when I hear the “our compensation plan blows them away” and so on presentation. Surely we need to have our prospects see the comp plan, but as you said, the bottom line is integrity, good product, and an approach others can duplicate.

1. Is the company run with ethics and integrity? I have earned $15 K a month with a company that wasn’t, and poof—down the septic it went. Thank God I am the best asset I have and I could create it all over again with a better company. Leadership lesson learned.

2. Is this a product that most people will like—and like it enough to reorder and tell their friends?

3. Show how easy it is to duplicate! Your prospects, once they are past the initial phases and are ready to really think this through, are now thinking, “Can I do this?” If you make it simple and easily duplicable, you’ll close a lot more and get more leaders as well.

Your article was fantastic! I hope a thousand new business owners will learn this lesson and watch their checks go sky high.

—Sandi Krakowski


You said it, lad! People are often so disappointed when they learn, “Ah, gee, you mean I have to work to make this money flow to me?” Great article!

—Elizabeth Webster Goddard


What’s the Value of an E-book?

I continue to be amazed that e-books that require no paper, printing, cover art or binding often sell for as much or more than bound and printed books. There may be an advantage in that delivery is immediate but there is certainly no price advantage!

—Pat Spencer


Why do you allow greed to contaminate your programs?

I spend over $2000 a year on seminars, CD’s, books and other training materials. When I spend $15 on a hardcover book, I get a book that I can share with a dozen people, a book that I can resell. I know I got tremendous value.

When I see a sell-out like Bob Burg, banging out an electronic e-book and marketing it for $24.95, shooting for a profit of $24.45 with electronic vapor, I blame Networking Times for letting Burg and Greed rear their ugly heads together.

Bob Burg knows damn well that he could sell that e-book for $15 to $17 and he’d still make a very nice profit and share some of that profit with Networking Times. But the trend today says, who gives a s**t anymore, let’s promise the moon in our ads and let’s rip people off for as much as we possible can, for integrity today is merely an afterthought.

Just another disappointed customer,

—Kevin McGee

Bob Burg replies:

Thank you for your note regarding my e-book. I feel bad, not only that you had such strong negative feelings regarding the price I charged, but also that you came to the conclusion that I am “greedy,” “uncaring,” a “sell-out” and one for whom “integrity is merely an afterthought.” If you ask around, I think you’ll find that’s not how people who know me or have done business with me would characterize me.

All the accusations and personal attack aside, I think your question is: “Is $24.95 a fair price to pay for an e-book?” That’s a very fair and legitimate question. Thus far, readers of this particular e-book have responded enthusiastically and report that they are getting great value from it. We’ll see what verdict the marketplace renders after a few more months.

Your question also raises a larger question: what’s the value of a book, regardless of its medium? The cost of a “normal” (paper-based) book is not in the paper and ink; that’s pennies. The cost of a book is in the knowledge, understanding, experience and expertise the writer brings to bear, as well as the skills of writer, editor and designer in communicating it in such a way that the reader can “get it” and apply it in his or her own life. That’s what people pay for.

I suspect that you have not in fact purchased a copy of the e-book, but if you did and feel you have not received your money’s worth, please let the good folks at Networking Times know so that they can refund your money.

With respect and best wishes,



ERRATA: Due to a printer error, the very last line of two of our feature stories (Nov/Dec 2004, hard copy) were left off. The last line for A.E. Hotchner (Lead Story, page 37) should read: “That’s right. That, and you have to care.” The last line for BK Boreyko (Heart of Business, page 47) should read: “BK offers opportunity for those who will work for it—and to those who need support and encouragement so that some day they can.