I get asked this question a lot.
I also see some really interesting debates break out online in regards to this.
My short answer to this question is not necessarily.
My long answer to this question is much more detailed.
First of all, let me clarify that some of the best entrepreneurs I’ve ever come across are involved in the network marketing profession.
But, and I mean but, there are a massive amount of people who are in no way shape or form, entrepreneurs, clogging up the industry.
How do I know?
Well, lets dive into it together.
First of all, the clear sign is the “loyalty” network marketers show to companies.
Who the fuck told you that was a thing?
These all in, kool-aid drinking, consumers who are “ride or die” for their deal, are the clearest case of “not entrepreneurs” you’ll ever find in the industry.
If you watch the show Shark Tank, one of the best moments you’ll find on there is when they tell the entrepreneur/business owner to scrap their idea.
It’s bleeding money, you don’t have the correct patents, your product blows nuts, etc.
It’s ruthless, but it’s true.
Entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily supposed to be feel good.
It’s supposed to end up profitable.
Sometimes those two co-exist…
A lot of times, it doesn’t.
Why did I bring up Shark Tank?
Because network marketers have been pushing for decades that they are business owners, that network marketing is a REAL business, and that they should be treated/respected as such.
I get it.
I was one of those people.
But, I’ve always known when to “scrap” the project.
Back to the loyalty card.
Who wrote the rule of being loyal?
You are an independent distributor.
If you are a network marketer, your “job” is to market a product, and build a team of people who market a product.
Products and services come and go.
Your job however, is ALWAYS that.
So if you see stuff that doesn’t make sense, leadership being shady, your company bleeding money, getting kicked out of countries, people jumping ship, or any of the other million red flag signs out there, WHY on God’s green Earth are you trying to show loyalty?
Your loyalty should be to yourself, your team, and possibly your family first and foremost.
There’s far too many people sinking on the Titanic, preaching this loyalty bs, and picking up the violin while everyone else is hopping onto a flotation device.
Don’t be this person.
Why do companies sell?
Why do they shut their doors?
Why do they terminate people?
Why do they offer deals but say they don’t?
It’s because the company is usually ran by someone who is an actual entrepreneur, who knows that the “loyalty” thing is to just keep you consuming, keep you paying your autoship, meanwhile they are looking for the first raft off the sinking ship.
No, in mlm, it’s not ladies and children first.
So stop being the gullible person who is playing the game that nobody else is playing.
Real entrepreneurs know when to “be loyal” and when to swan dive off that sinking ship.
The next part, which I’ve talked about before, is branding.
I see so many times want-repreneurs branding their company before themselves.
Remember, you’re a network marketer.
You aren’t a professional Nu Skin rep.
You aren’t a professional Amway distributor.
You are a network marketer.
This means, that you should be branding yourself as one.
Don’t put your company’s name/products before your own.
Don’t be the person who incorporates the product or service in your public Facebook page name.
I would never call myself Jesse Verve Belvin.
… That is beyond dumb, and does nothing to build yourself as a professional network marketer/entrepreneur.
I would call myself Jesse Belvin, a professional network marketer, and list verve as one of the products I’m affiliated with.
This allows for flexibility if you want to be involved in other things, and ensures you’re not picking another dumb-ass name when/if your company closes it’s doors or sells.
I hope this is making sense.
Lastly, I’m going to pick on the lifers.
I’ve always looked at network marketing as a vehicle to allow me to do stuff I really care about.
My wife and I are having a blast building business online. This is what we’re passionate about.
Network marketing and direct sales are just an ATM machine that allows us to do that.
Ask yourself, do you want to be a network marketing lifer when you’re 70?
Then learn how to point out and possibly avoid the “leaders” who are on track to do just that.
It’s a great profession, but some people are so caught up in the industry, deals, and what’s hot that they’ve basically signed their life away to the industry.
Look at how many deals they’ve been in.
I know, AT LEAST they realize when they’re building a turd sandwich and they know when to move on…
.. But why aren’t they able to find that one thing that will be long term and help them fund something outside the profession?
You see, these are the people who are telling you how to build the industry in 2018/19 and beyond.
Think about that.
These network marketers, claiming to be entrepreneurs, can’t last outside the umbrella of autoships, BDA’s, and downlines.
So why put so much time and faith into learning from them?
I look at the people who get in for a short period of time, learn a skill, make money, have fun, and then create something on their own.
That doesn’t mean you say peace out to the industry.
I’m clearly still in it.
But my wife and I have built something REALLY special outside of the industry, that was being funded by the network marketing profession.
That’s why I’ve always been smart about who I take advice from in this industry.
I never wanted to be someone that stood on stage with my cane, saying I’ve been in this industry for 50 years, 60 different companies, and if you listen to me, you can “make it” too.
So, to sum up again, YES you can be an entrepreneur AND in the network marketing industry.
But, just because you’re in the industry, doesn’t mean you’re a business owner and damn sure doesn’t make you an entrepreneur.
If you found this interesting in the slightest, or have any questions, feel free to drop them below!