Almost twenty years ago I sold my ownership in an investment firm to my partner and left the business permanently to pursue network marketing. It was the best decision I have ever made.

I came to network marketing through a client, Paula Pritchard, who was already very successful in her network marketing business. Paula was unaware that I was not enjoying my investment business. I was having great success, but felt trapped. I couldn't imagine where else I could go with my bachelor's degree in education and make the kind of money I was making at the investment firm.

Over the next several months, every time I saw Paula we would talk about her business. I knew how much she was making and became convinced that I could do what she was doing, too. I started part-time, and within six months was able to leave the investment business permanently.

The promise of leaving behind a career I didn't enjoy was not the only thing that drew me to network marketing. When I thought about all the people over the years whom I had told they could not afford their dreams, I now saw network marketing as a solution for them.

During my years in financial planning and investment, one of the hardest things I ever had to do was sit across the table from an individual or couple and tell them they did not have the assets to accomplish their dreams, whether it was retirement, a new home, college for their child or a change in careers. The standard cliché among financial planners is that these people "didn't plan to fail: they failed to plan."

But this is not always the case. Many did plan and worked hard to achieve those plans, but life got in the way. Someone lost a job, or became sick, or they simply weren't able to generate the amount of money they needed to make their dreams a reality. For many, there is just too much month left at the end of the money, no matter how hard they plan.

A perfect example of this is all the baby boomers who poured years of earnings into their 401(k)s only to see those retirement funds cut in half (or worse) in recent years. Now they face retirement with apprehension instead of anticipation.

Network marketing is the perfect answer for these people.

This nation was founded and developed by individual entrepreneurs. We were a nation of small businesses and small farms, and each person took responsibility for their own success. Our current system, with people working for large corporations by the thousands, has occurred only in the last hundred years. Network marketing returns us to a world of entrepreneurship, self-reliance and control over our own destiny, together with a sense of self-respect and self-esteem and the ability to help others find the same.

I will be forever grateful that Paula walked into my office and showed me a different path.

KATHY ROBBINS has reached the top position in
several network marketing companies. She does training
and consulting for network marketing companies in the
areas of operations, sales and market expansion.