According to Wikipedia, business entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, while social entrepreneurs also take into account a positive return to society.

Based on this definition, network marketers are definitely social entrepreneurs. In fact, social entrepreneurship is built into the essence of our business model, as it is virtually impossible to succeed in network marketing without making society, and the world overall, a better, more positive place.

One way this happens is through cause-related activities—on the distributor or the company’s part—that create a positive social impact locally, nationally, and/or globally. Many network marketing companies are now implementing programs to make charitable contribution a core part of their culture.

For instance, my wife Pennie and I recently returned from a company-sponsored trip during which thirty-six of us, including spouses, guests, and top corporate executives, traveled to Indonesia to work on one of three contribution projects. This is part of our annual “7 Continents in 7 Years” sustainability initiative, whereby we travel to all seven continents over a seven-year period and commit to leave each continent better than we found it through some type of social contribution. We brought electricity to a village in Ghana in 2012 and reforested an area of the Brazilian rainforest in 2011, the year we launched the program.

While this initiative directly impacts those communities, another significant positive result is how it affects the contributing participants. These trips have changed Pennie’s and my life in many ways.

Our profession also creates positive social impact through its pay-it-forward culture of “succeeding by helping others succeed” and through our commitment to personal development. As we guide and mentor others to grow personally and professionally, the ripple effect into society is considerable.

We often hear that the ultimate result (or product) of network marketing is that it produces a better you. What can create a more positive, long-lasting impact on society than helping individuals become better people? A person of greater character and integrity; a person with greater vision and commitment; a person focused on giving before getting.

The collective positive impact of our profession is so far-reaching that it is virtually immeasurable. For me, it’s what makes network marketing the most fulfilling profession on the planet.

For almost twenty years BOB QUINTANA was a traditional entrepreneur and management consultant. In 2006 he made a commitment to network marketing and became a top leader in his company—and in the profession.