As you become successful in network marketing and your income begins to grow, it’s easy to buy everything you’ve always wanted and start living life way above your means. I know what it’s like to go from earning $18,000 a year as a maintenance manager, up to my ears in credit card debt, living in a fourteen-foot trailer, to making $1.5 million a year as a network marketer.

Everybody wants to sell you something, loan you money, invest your money for you, send you credit cards, have you invest in their business, borrow money and take your donations. That’s dangerous territory and it’s very easy to go broke despite all the money coming in.

I’ve met many big-name network marketers who are completely broke. They live from paycheck to paycheck, just like an hourly worker. If anything happens to their company or their organization, they are in serious trouble. One unfavorable mention on national television and a company can crumble. The loss of a key leader can send a company into a tailspin. A bad decision can destroy years of hard work building a company or an organization.

So much of our success is showing success, and we often compete and overspend. I am not saying don’t treat yourself. I’m not saying don’t buy those things. You worked hard for them and you deserve them, but if you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it. If you really want to enjoy that new Corvette, don’t finance it, pay cash.

I was with a great company that was sold, then merged and then resold twice. The ownership and management were like revolving doors. My income went from $40,000 a month to $12,000 a month within a two-year period, despite my best efforts. Twelve thousand dollars sounds like a lot of money, but when your expenses are running at $30,000, you have to start selling things at fire sale prices.

I had no choice. I had to sell a lake house that I loved. It was a heart-breaking decision, but I learned my lesson. I won’t go down that road again.

Today I follow three rules:

First, decide how much you need to live on and stay within that budget, no matter what. That amount should be 20 percent less than your after-expenses, after-tax income, or even less—but no more.

Second, make investments in your business. Feed the goose. It’s okay to miss a meal, but never miss making an investment in your organization.

Third, hire an excellent accountant. Be sure that funds are taken out of every paycheck and put into a special account to cover income taxes.

The key is to be cash-rich and debt-free and to never, ever overspend—especially on big items that commit you to big monthly payments.

JOHN HAREMZA knows what it’s like is to deal with obstacles.
As a child, he faced an invisible mountain and no one knew
the problem existed until he started school: he could not read
because he has severe dyslexia. Back then no one knew what
dyslexia was so everyone assumed he was slow, dumb, stupid or lazy.
When he got his first job in maintenance, John and his family thought
that he had arrived. But when he was introduced to network marketing,
his whole life changed. Today he is the master distributor for a
$40 million company that started from ground zero just a few years ago.
John’s favorite quote: “Network marketing can change your
life in ways that are beyond your imagination.”