Sit down with a group of women network marketers over lunch at an event and you'll often find the conversation much different than that of the men. Instead of talking about the latest strategy to "max out the compensation plan," women will be actively engaged in finding out more about each other's families, jobs, interests, and hobbies. They will get to know each other's stories.

Even if these women have just met for the first time, by the time lunch is over, many will be well on their way to becoming great friends.

Through learning each other's stories, we develop support systems to uplift and empower each other. We learn and develop good communication, listening, and business skills while building our confidence in the process.

Network marketing builds the inner confidence women need to succeed through product sales (yes, sales, it's not a dirty word!), team-building, and developing our own income through our own efforts. These successes and business skills are priceless and will serve us in all areas of our lives.

Women tend to be more challenged in terms of having confidence in their own business skills and decisions. Perhaps this comes from years of subtle programming about what roles we are expected to play. Network marketing lets us break out of those roles.

Women make such a difference in network marketing because of our nature as nurturers, encouragers, and supporters. We are cheerleaders who love empowering others to believe in themselves, even when we are dealing with our own self-doubt. While we may enjoy recognition ourselves, we love nothing more than seeing those on our team reach the top and be recognized.

Women also think differently about money. We certainly want to do well financially and enjoy the finer things in life, but we are often motivated by the idea of making a difference in the lives of others through the incomes we earn. A study cited in The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko showed that among female millionaires, the average donation to charitable causes was 7 percent of annual income—almost three-and-a-half times the average for most U.S. households.

In the process of developing my business and growing a team, I became aware of my own strengths, gifts, and talents, and have been able to expand these and help others who struggle with the same challenges. Network marketing has allowed me to be successful in business, to have confidence in my abilities, and to empower other women in the process.

Our business is a perfect fit for women. We can pursue our dreams and passions while sharing an opportunity to "have it all" with others in our circle of influence. We aren't forced to choose between our jobs and our families. We can truly make a difference in the lives of others and enrich our families at the same time. It doesn't get any better than that!

JACKIE ULMER is a network-
marketing veteran, coach and author. Having built a solid
business while being a mom and wife, her passion
is helping others build successful home-based
businesses online and offline.