Salespeople can make decent paychecks. But they have to keep selling in order to get paid. If you can teach others how to sell for you, you experience much bigger rewards. I’m sure you know Zig Ziglar’s quote, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Let’s take a look at what drew you to network marketing. Perhaps the product is great, and you felt you could sell it to others and make some extra money. Most people however get involved in the business because they are drawn to the idea of getting override commissions on other people’s sales. Once their mind has been opened to the concept of leveraged or residual income, they want it badly. Who wouldn’t prefer to get paid a little piece of every sale that hundreds or even thousands of other distributors are making? Freedom comes from having ample finances and the time to enjoy life. The best way to achieve this freedom is by building a team of people who help you acquire customers you keep getting paid on.

Every business owner needs to begin with the end in mind. Picture having a team or organization that consists of ten or twenty leaders who each are running teams of thousands of distributors. What would your passive income be? This sure sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

The only way to achieve this is by having a proven plan and working that plan. First, you must know the system your company has in place. Your goal is to be a follower of this system, and follow the leader you are mentoring under. Work diligently to become a master follower. You want to be intentional about learning every aspect of the business—from giving presentations to attending meetings and doing conference calls for your team.

As you are following, you will be learning from your upline leaders. In doing what they are teaching you to do, you will essentially be leading by example for those your recruit, as they in turn follow you. Your team will watch what you do—good or bad—and emulate you.

If you are doing IPA’s (Income-Producing Activities), so will they. If you stop, they will likely stop right behind you. Your team will respect you as a mentor only if you practice what you preach. Never ask your team to do things you are not willing to do yourself. Your words must be congruent with your actions.

As your team begins to grow under you, more and more people are going to look up to you as their leader. Yes, you will still be selling and recruiting yourself. But your goal is also to teach your team how to sell and recruit on their own. Anyone can do this, because all you have to do is show them how you are doing it, so make sure you let them watch you.

The way my mentor taught me was “tell and show” and then let me “try and do.” First he told me what to do. Then he showed me how he does it while I watched. Then he let me do it myself with him looking on. Once he felt I had it down, he let me go do it on my own.

This approach to teaching is brilliant, because I never felt alone. It’s always a bit scary to do something you haven’t done before. If your mentor lets you get comfortable while he presents to your first prospects, it’s easier to get over your fear. Make sure to have an expert help you with signing up your first recruits. Once you’ve cashed some checks, and you know how to model the activity you saw, you have the confidence to go forward and try it yourself.

Confidence is a crucial element to success in our business. People who lack confidence will not pick up the phone or make appointments. Embrace the process of working with your mentor to gain the skills and confidence you need as part of the plan.

The next part is for you to turn around and do for your recruits what your mentor did for you. Empower them with the skills and confidence in the same manner. You will find that you will speed up your learning of a subject when you have to teach it. For example, if you know that three-way calling is the best way to close a prospect, then you will need to teach your team the what, why and how of three-way calls.

One day my mentor told me he wanted me to present this topic on a training call. It’s funny how fast you learn something when you know you have to teach it in two days. This really caused me to learn at a deeper level. Through my preparation for this training call, I learned so much about the ins and outs of three-ways that I became extremely effective at using them for the next fifteen years in my career. Why? I became confident; I felt I had developed some authority on the subject. I also knew that three-way calls make you money, so I wanted to teach it to every single person in my organization.

In our business we have to slow down to speed up. People need to know you care. Being by their side makes them feel connected and empowered. There are several ways for people to learn in network marketing, all of which add value. They can listen to CDs and training calls; they can attend seminars or classes. I have attended hundreds and listened to countless hours of CDs. But it’s the one-on-one coaching that sometimes removes the “lid” you might be bumping into. Knowing that your teacher has “been there before,” navigated through it, and now can show you the way, can change everything. Again, the end game is to teach a dozen people to become leaders, and equip them to do the same in replicating themselves a dozen times. This is how you’ll build an army across the map.

I have been building my business for fifteen years. My team has recruited more than 400,000 people and this number is growing every day. I still spend half of my time bringing on new recruits, and the other half teaching the rising stars how to become teachers and leaders of their own teams. The true reward is not just the millions you may earn, but the countless stories of people you’ve mentored and who have retired from jobs, become stay-at-home parents, or become successful in their own way. My game plan: recruit a bunch, to find and develop a few, who will go out and recruit the masses.

BRIAN CARRUTHERS is the author of two bestselling network marketing books, Building an Empire and Making My First Ten Million. See his books and training videos at

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