The single biggest mistake networkers make is wasting time trying to convince middle-class prospects on the merits of network marketing. They never get it, and never will: that’s why they are the middle class.

Now, before you start lobbing rocks at me, let me define what I mean by “middle class.” It has nothing to do with anyone’s socioeconomic status. Nor education. Nor what they do for a living. It has to do with the way people think.

I’ve spent the last 20 years of my life identifying the distinctions between the middle class and the world class. I’ve delineated the five major levels of consciousness, or thinking.


The First Four Levels of Consciousness

The lowest level of thinking is what I have labeled the Poverty Class, which represents about five percent of the American population. These people live in a world of fear and scarcity. Many of them are convinced the world is out to get them. The mantra of the Poverty Class is, “Life stinks—and then you die.”

Moving up one level we find the Working Class, which represents roughly ten percent of our population. This group is chock full of fear, negativity and cynicism. Their mantra is, “Work just hard enough to avoid getting fired.”

The next level up is the Middle Class, representing approximately 70 percent of the population. This group tends to be more neutral than negative: they avoid risk at any cost. Above all, the Middle Class loves to be comfortable. Their mantra is, “Fly below the radar, keep your nose clean, and hopefully you will live a comfortable life.”

The Upper Class is next, representing about ten percent of the population. These people are highly driven to succeed, and they usually do. Some are even billionaires. Their Achilles’ heel is ruthless self-centeredness. If you get in their way, they will run you over. The people of the Upper Class are often unhappy and unfulfilled, and they attempt to mollify these feelings by achieving ever greater success. Many of them are confounded by their inability to manifest happiness. Their mantra is, “I am the best!”


Welcome to the Top Floor

The World Class is the highest level. This represents approximately five percent of the population.

These are the most successful performers in the world, and unlike those of the Upper Class, they are not only successful but also fulfilled.

The mantra of the World Class is, “I am responsible.” They believe if they want to get better results, they must become better performers. They see themselves as the problem and the solution. While the masses are blaming their lack of results on other people, circumstances and other uncontrollable factors, the World Class are laser-focused on their own personal development.

They like to say that they work harder on themselves than they do on their busi- nesses.

Among these five levels, which do you think will make the ideal partners in your business?


Stop Searching for Excellence in Mediocrity

Sponsoring Middle-Class thinkers is an energy drain. The fear these people live under will infect everyone in your group. Could they evolve to a higher level? Of course. And the truth is, most won’t. This means you’re going to waste an inordinate amount of time prodding, coaxing and motivating these people to action.

If you’re ready to upgrade your prospect list, stop using prospecting techniques that attract Middle-Class thinkers.

Stop posting signs at intersections advertising your opportunity. (World-Class thinkers don’t call phone numbers listed on signs.) Stop stalking people at grocery stores, gas stations, the post office and any other public venue.


Seven World-Class Strategies

Here are seven ways to locate World-Class thinkers and great business prospects:

1. Visit Civic Clubs
The people at organizations such as Rotary or Kiwanis, are activists attempting to make the world a better place. (

2. Visit Toastmasters Clubs
Toastmasters International is the largest public speaking organization in the world—all people interested in bettering themselves. These groups meet once a week to practice their public speaking skills. (

3. Attend Charity Events and Fundraisers
The more expensive, the better. These events attract World-Class thinkers who seek fulfillment by contributing. They are loaded with people who have international networks of contacts and the credibility to influence them.

4. Attend Personal Development Seminars and Workshops
People who think enough of themselves to attend self-improvement programs are great prospects.

5. Join Clubs
Join the nicest country club, health club, dinner club, yacht club, tennis club, golf club or any other club that the most successful people inhabit in your hometown. Is it expensive? Absolutely—and that means it weeds out the small thinkers.

6. Move
Move into the nicest neighborhood you can possibly afford, even if it means having the smallest house on the block. The neighborhood is more important than the dwelling, because it gives you instant access to a large group of successful people.

7. Speak
Become an entertaining public speaker and write a 20-minute speech that you can deliver to civic clubs, chambers of commerce, men’s clubs, women’s clubs, etc. Public speakers are seen as leaders; if you give free speeches on a regular basis, people will come out of the audience to meet you.


STEVE SIEBOLD is co-founder of the Gove-Siebold Group,
a training organization that helps networkers
develop world-class
communication skills.