Is Network Marketing still an honorable profession? Do we have a future?

I want you to read an article ... not written by me and not written by anyone in our profession. It is an article posted on a mainstream business site: a site that deals with all business worldwide ... the business of Ford Motors, Starbucks, Amazon and Apple computers. 

Network Marketing may seem like it has come under some intense scrutiny lately.  

It has. And we've probably deserved a lot of it. We will continue to deserve it until we change our ways ...

  • Until we quit selling crappy products, the only customers for which they are priced are those chasing our financial opportunities. 
  • Until we quit recruiting people with the promise of getting rich (the odds of which are 1 out of a few thousand). 
  • Until we quit hyping our opportunities as the only game in town ... the best, the fastest, the soon-to-be biggest.

I don't know when we will quit doing all that. Maybe when the market and the regulators figure out how to make it quit paying off. People tend to follow money and recognition regardless of morality. 

Regarding the most recent siege we are subject to, allow me to offer some perspective based on a 40-year Network Marketing career vs. a 4-year career. 

If we were looking at a graph of bad press and regulatory intervention, we would see it look like this: 

In 1979 and 1980, for example, the states of Iowa, New York, and North Carolina shut down the company where I was a distributor for what they thought were violations. They completely shut us down for up to a year in our highest-producing states.

It happened all the time in the '70s and '80s. And there were less than 100 Network Marketing companies based in the U.S. Because we were pre-Internet, the media, the regulators and all of us didn't even know most of the other companies even existed. How would we? It's hard for a post-Internet mind to wrap around, but think about it. 

What did we do?

We built around it, through it and over it. We got better, more legal and more ethical. We banded together more often.

In 1992 SUCCESS magazine did a feature article on how Network Marketing companies helped people build millionaire empires. That issue outsold every issue in the 100-year history of the magazine. That was a watershed moment.

We banded together even more with events like MasterMind, The MLM Cruise, Believe and Go Pro. We vowed to champion each other.

Today we have regular fantastic articles in all types of media, including Forbes and The New York Times. We have the "Rise of the Entrepreneur" video by Eric Worre ... a full-length documentary on our profession. 

We have over 1,000 US-based Network Marketing companies – 10 times as many companies and 10 times as many distributors – all out in the open for anyone to Google, YouTube or check out on Facebook. We are all out in the open. There is a sanitizing light on us. It is a good thing.

But ... there are 10 times the opportunities for some of us to do it wrong, and a million times the opportunity (Internet) for people to see what is wrong.

This little blip you've seen in the last year is sandbox stuff. It's nothing we cannot grow through. Put your big girl panties on (even if you are a guy) and go build it better, higher and with more integrity.

And read the article attached. I believe it will help you see how deep our quality roots go, how the biggest company in our industry sees our future and what they are doing to create and prepare for the inevitable growth.

I believe in you,

- Richard -