The upside to adversity is that it delays the downside of attainment. Unfortunately, most people never anticipate the unintended consequences of goal accomplishments.

An example is what happened to Susan Boyle, the charming British singer who inspired us all with her performance on the reality show “Britain’s Got Talent.” Her life had been about hardships, setbacks and burdens, yet in one brief moment, Susan charmed millions, including me, with her unique voice.

But less than one month later, Susan went into a stressful tailspin that had nothing to do with adversity. She crashed from the downside of attainment. Like the proverbial lottery winner who commits suicide or becomes intolerably depressed, she became the latest casualty in the humiliating game of effortless celebrity and accelerated goal attainment.

Fulfillment comes from the process of facing hardships, setbacks and troubles, not avoiding them or taking a path of least resistance. That brings me to the purpose of this essay. Network marketing is the greatest opportunity for unlimited attainment via hardships, toil and setbacks. No other profession brings so much challenge while also providing limitless upside potential.

During tough economic times, network marketers prosper even more because more people start realizing that they’ve been betting on others, and those other people can’t even carry the mail.

One of my friends recently called me in a state of shock, after he discovered that his pension had been squandered by a CEO who misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars and bankrupted a solid corporation. After twenty years he was hooped, but he knew I had an opportunity that would help him face adversity and succeed in time for retirement.

I’ve received dozens of those calls over the years and been able to help people bail themselves out so long as they were willing to work our system, talk to large numbers of people, and face a tremendous number of roadblocks and setbacks on their way to financial recovery.

I believe the upside of adversity is simply this: The only time human beings achieve true fulfillment is when they are engaged in the process of reaching through adversity to the stars.

Networking is not for the weak or faint of heart; to pretend otherwise is folly. Ours is a challenging profession with absolutely no limits but plenty of exciting setbacks.

I’ve had my share of victories, and never found any of them as fulfilling as the process of facing the adversity along the way. Many years ago I memorized something by a man who had his share of adversities and could have stopped at any time. Nelson Mandela said, “I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibility, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.”

MARK YARNELL is a successful network marketing
leader who built an organization of 300,000 people in
21 countries. He is bestselling author of
Your First
Year in Network Marketing and co-founder of the
training company The Holy Grail of Network Marketing.