Successful Network Marketing–Knowing How To Analyze An Opportunity BEFORE Spending a Dime

To be successful network marketing – knowing how to analyze an opportunity BEFORE spending a dime will save you years of struggle, frustration and starting from scratch over and over again.  On the other hand, if you have already signed on the dotted line with a company and are struggling to create that income from home as an online network marketer, I strongly suggest and recommend that you find a mentor with a servant’s heart to help you look at the opportunity you are currently in to see where there can be some improvements made. Usually it is just a matter of learning some skills, a network marketing education if you will.

How many times have you started a network marketing company, only to find frustration with the duplicable system, the upline support is next to zero or non existent and the compensation plan just does not add up as you were shown in the presentation? 

How many times have you been burned? That’s right. You thought you saw the light at the end of the tunnel; had an organization of twenty, thirty or even hundreds in your downline when…BAM! Something turned it off. You found yourself holding the bag. Sound familiar? Perhaps you were terminated without cause, the company went out of business or changed it’s business model from MLM to direct sales.  Heaven forbid the company may  decided that it does not need  sales reps at all of any kind, direct or MLM distributors.  What happens then? 

My hope would be that you would determine just how much of a risk the company you are thinking of joining will be before you join.  But if you find that you skipped that step and are in a company now,  there is still a way to determine how much you are risking by  using the 5 Pillars technology. Once you read the book Success in10 Steps written by Michael Dlouhy you will, when finished the free training course,  have an equivalent of a University degree in Network Marketing. 

You will learn:

  • How to avoid scams that are masked as legitimate MLM Companies and turn out to be pyramid schemes
  • What is the best compensation plan? 
  • What is the best system for duplication? 
  • What is the best MLM company for YOU?
  • What to say and when to say it.

Just imagine how you would feel if you were NEVER scammed again, could finally create a residual walk away  income of 10K a month or even more and could finally say I have found a company that I can call HOME.

Just what is your desired income, perhaps an extra $500 a month is good enough for you?  Will your Policies and Procedures as well as your compensation plan allow you to retire and/or will your business to your heirs. 

The Policies and Procedures will in most cases indicate that you can retire or leave your residual income to your heirs; succession. But, have you read them close enough to know that there may be qualifications that MUST be met by your heirs, or even qualifications that may prevent you from ever retiring.  Oh you can retire whenever you wish, but in most contracts in MLM if you decide to retire and do not caring on with your training responsibilities and your team building responsibilities; you will no longer be eligible to receive YOUR residual income that YOU created.  Making it impossible for you to retire and take a vacation when you want if you still want to receive that residual income that you worked so hard for.  This income, if you choose to walk away from a contract written like this will now roll right back to the company. OUCH!!

Read your PnPs for your self.  Look for words such as “ongoing” training, responsibilities, succession. What do your heirs have to do to qualify to receive what you have willed to them in your last will and testament?  How will your heirs feel when they realize that in order for them to receive what you have willed to them, they MUST sign up as a distributor and perform all the same duties that you do now?… Recruiting, selling, pitching your deal, training your downline.

You can  put any company to the 5 Pillars test.  Using the 5 qualifications listed in the 5 Pillars qualifying technology that will allow you to determine what your chances of success and or failure will be with any company.  You can find out what the 5 Pillars technology is by contacting us and we would be honoured to explain this important tool for evaluating a business opportunity.

What would have happened if you had the ability to properly analyze an opportunity before you decide to spend a dime? If that sounds like what you want, then give us a call and we would be honoured to share with you what we have learned over the past few years.

Commit To Success Today
Dave and Darlene Mills
Leadership With A Vision

“You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself.” — Galileo

Millionaire Comes Out of Retirement for Start Up

What are the odds of anyone surviving a start-up MLM company?  You have heard all the slogans, “Prelaunch! Secure Your Position!  Ground Floor Opportunity!  Exciting Start-up! This Is The Biggest Opportunity On the Net Today!  Max Millionaire Sold His Telecommunication Devices Business and Has Now Come Out of Retirement For This One!  Get In NOW!”

What a crock of bull the above slogans are.  Before joining any MLM company, whether it be 50 years old or a new baby, start-up and in prelaunch or prelaunch for the third time around; yeah there are companies that never get out of prelaunch, please consider the following:

  • What do the industry standards tell us about the survival of a new MLM company? There have been suggestions that in the first year alone 80% to 90% fail, shut their doors for good. Yes I am playing devils advocate here, do please Google and see what results you find. You will be amazed.
  • Michael Dlouhy, who is the author of Success in 10 Steps says that 90% of all MLM businesses fail in their first year, and 90% of the remaining 10% fail in their second year. Not a good average for the distributor. You put your blood sweat and tears into a company only to have it close it’s doors 6 or 7 months into the deal.  Come on!

The break down of all the statistics; after two years only 1 of every 100 start-up (New and in Prelaunch) MLM companies will survive long enough  to be sending you a pay check to your mailbox. The business has a 1% survival rate.

Most marriages last longer than this before there is a divorce.

Friends of ours, Bob and Anna Bassett explain it like this…

Now picture yourself at the casino, intent on a pleasant evening of playing the slots.  According to a good friend of ours who loves to gamble in Vegas, slot machines can pay out anywhere from 83% to 99% and must be signed as to their payout.

So there you are with your bucket of nickels looking at one machine on your left that reads 83% Payout and one on the right that reads 99% Payout!

Which machine do you choose to play? It’s a no-brainer, right? Unless you believe in choosing by color or by intuition, you would sit down at the machine with the 99% payout. A much better chance of a big jackpot, or more realistically, you get to keep your nickels longer!

Be careful how you choose.  Your choice could bring you success or years of struggle and frustration, jumping from one prelaunch to the next and the next.  It is like some kind of epidemic for some people.  They just can not seem to help themselves from being attracted and attached to start-up companies.  

Would you choose a company with a payout signed at 1% or a company that has been in business  for two, five, seven years and is signed at a payout of 10% up to as much as 50% just like the Vegas slots.  

To me the choice should not be that hard to make. Which company do you choose? 

After two years, a company has a far greater chance of surviving a couple more years, and perhaps many years into the future to take care of you. 

Life is a gamble, but making a decision about which MLM company to join does not have to be.  Think of it like this, you can make a wise investment or you can  loose your shirt as we almost did and our  friends have done, to the tune of $200,000 with maxed out credit cards and a re-mortgaged house to boot.

If you’d like to take the gambling out of choosing the very best MLM company for you, simply get in touch with us and we would be honoured to spend time with you and share some of the things you should be looking for in a company as well as what you should avoid.

To Your Ultimate Success

Darlene and Dave Mills

Leadership With A Vision

The White Knight – Naked

Network marketing companies come and go. So do opportunities in life. How many times do you see your friends quietly slip out of your life when things appear to go south for you? They don’t mean to do that sort of thing, they just have an internal fear it might rub off on them. So they slowly do a disappearing act and you are left alone, smack dab in the middle of some of the biggest challenges that life has thrown at you.

Now this happened to a good friend of mine, Richard Dennis. However, he shares his thoughts on "The White Knight of Network Marketing".  Read Richard’s story below:

I’ve heard him called The White Knight of Network Marketing.

Good grief. Gag me with a spoon. I knew the man before he became "St. Michael."

We have strong disagreements. It’s not personal. I’ve known Michael since 1997. In person, away from business, he’s a charming, lovable character. Fun … almost cartoon-like. Many people are drawn to him. Me? Michael Dlouhy often rubs me the wrong way. Let me tell you some things.

1. Michael spends 7-10 hours a week teaching his own network marketing COMPETITORS every secret he knows. He gives them FREE every tool he uses. His phone calls & e-book show them EXACTLY, step-by-step, how to take business away from him (if they can) … and then he doesn’t even charge them for the training! (You’ll learn his reasoning for this in a couple minutes.)

Reminds me of the guy at the intersection with his spray bottle, dashing out at red lights, washing your windshield. Michael would probably do THAT for free, too. You don’t see any other MLM "Heavy Hitter" ignore the time-tested "profit rules" of direct marketing. They’d go bankrupt. But Michael does it … and his business and income get bigger anyway.

2. Michael’s income comes from his MLM business. Yet on his conference calls, he NEVER mentions the company name. He NEVER says a product name. He trains his people to NEVER close a sale. He trains them to NEVER recruit. He tells them to NEVER promote to friends & family. And yet they move a TON of product, and they build like crazy! That can’t possibly work, can it? You sure wouldn’t think so. But it does.

Michael tells his motivation, how he was abused as a kid. His Aunt Honey rescued him and loved him. Connect the dots, and you realize he wants to be Aunt Honey to all these abused network marketers. Oh, brother! Wouldn’t Dr. Phil have a field day with this?

If you liked "The Brady Bunch", you’ll love Michael. Bright and cheery 99% of the time. Only when the subject turns to MLM "Heavy Hitters," THAT is when his blood boils. In "Success In 10 Steps", Michael catalogs every lie they’ve ever told. He’s driven to help those who’ve dreamed entrepreneurial dreams, and then been fleeced & abused by the evildoers. So when he gives everything away … it’s an "in-your-face" to the Heavy Hitters.

And this leads people to picture Michael riding his white horse across the countryside, The White Knight of Network Marketing, Sir Michael of MLM.

Gag me with a spoon.

3. Michael leaves profitable MLM marketing systems on the curb if he can’t use them to build others. People instantly relate to him, trust him. They’re loyal. He makes relationship-building look way too easy. And he trains his people to use his e-book do the same thing.

It’s great to care about people. Any reasonable person does. But the numbers say, most people fail in network marketing. The numbers say, if you bet everything on your people and they fail, then YOU are down the tubes. People are unpredictable.

But to Michael, it’s all about relationships. The game wouldn’t be fun to him if that wasn’t his focus.

4. First time I met Michael, a few years ago, he called to ask if he could drop by. He lives 250 miles away. He’d been in my downline for years. I figured I was in for some hard sell. Instead, I got a warm, engaging storyteller. No hard sell.

Michael is an animal on the phone. He can talk from dawn to dark. However … he’s also a very good listener. That unusual combination makes him a lot of fun to talk to.

5. But he still annoyed me. He emailed and called and dropped by from time to time, letting me know that it was perfectly OK if I wanted to work with him … OR NOT!

So it’s OK if I work with him. And it’s OK if I don’t. That’s just wonderful.

I didn’t need the aggravation. Really. I didn’t give a rat’s ass about Michael Dlouhy. Why the heck should he care about me? And right there, THERE is my problem. I’m very curious.

Several people have told me they lost money in MLM for years before connecting with Michael. Now, they’re profitable. Despite his craziness. How can that be? How can you give everything away and make a profit? I called him up. We talked for a long time. It was the start of a business relationship that has greatly benefitted both of us. I discovered there is a fascinating method to his madness.

You’ve heard of Plan A and Plan B? The business a person is working now is Plan A. The fallback position, if Plan A fizzles out, is Plan B. Most people don’t have a Plan B.

I call what Michael does, "Plan B Recruiting". When he talks to a prospect who doesn’t have a business, Michael wants to be Plan A. When he talks to a prospect who already has a business, Michael wants to be Plan B.

Michael gives away so many great, useful, business-building resources because he knows this industry. MLM companies come, go and change like crazy. When Michael builds trust with people, he’s sowing the seeds for working together some day. Just because a person is in love with their Plan A company today doesn’t mean they’ll feel the same a month or a year or 5 years from now.

And whenever they’re ready for Plan B, Michael is ready for them. Ask yourself one question: how many people do you know who stay with one MLM company their whole career?

I can’t name one. Which makes this a brilliant plan. Very productive. You should use it yourself. It means – and this is really key – you NEVER argue with anyone about whose company is better. If someone is in a company, you never talk to them about yours. You just help them and help them and help them … and you are the first person they think of when they need a Plan B … which is almost certain to happen.

I’ve come to believe Michael is a networking genius. He is to relationship-building and network marketing what Muhammed Ali was to boxing, what Elvis was to rock ‘n roll, what Bill Gates is to the personal computer. These kinds of people don’t do things the way they’re supposed to. Rules just get in the way of their creativity and obsession with their work.

It took me years to realize what annoys me about Michael. It’s EXACTLY what makes him unique. Michael does not follow anyone else’s rules. He’s almost like a Mother Teresa, searching through the network marketing woods, looking for the orphaned, injured baby MLMer. He takes it in, bottle-feeds it and nurses it to health. In some ways, Michael is still 6 years old. He thinks every network marketer out there is Bambi, and he’s got to protect them from the Hunter.

6. There have been days (I swear this is true) Michael called at 9 am to talk about some marketing idea. I can’t reach him in the afternoon, because he’s on the phone for an hour and a half doing a 3-way call with someone on his 74th level, who he just MUST help. At 8 pm, he’s doing his nightly 1-hour training call (or 2 or 3 hours, depending on how much help his people – AND his competitors! – need). And then he emails me at 3 a.m. When the heck does he sleep?

I once asked Linda Dlouhy when her husband sleeps.

Her answer?

"He doesn’t."

THIS one is personal. Why should I feel guilty about getting a good night’s sleep? I don’t. But some nights when I lay my head down at 1 a.m., I know that Michael is still on the phone, doing a 3-way call for someone in Singapore who has a new prospect in Australia. I do a lot of work. I get a lot done. But Michael never seems to stop. That pisses me off.

7. Michael Dlouhy couldn’t legitimately "market" his way out of a paper bag. I know a thing or two about direct marketing. I was in marketing guru Jay Abraham’s "Protégé" group, back in 1989. In 1990, I worked briefly with direct mail geniuses Gary Halbert & John Carlton, writing sales letters for some of Halbert’s client.

In 1993, I got a call from Dr. Joel Wallach at the old "Eagle Investments" MLM. Doc asked me to help him promote his "colloidal mineral" product. I took one of Doc’s old seminar audiotapes gathering dust in his closet, titled it, "Dead Doctors Don’t Lie," and began promoting it. Eventually, over 250 million "Dead Doctors" tapes were circulated. It’s still the benchmark against which all other network marketing promotions are measured.

In 1996, I wrote the full-page ad, "I REALLY Expected To Be Dead By Now!" This ad appeared in numerous national magazines and many direct mail packages … along with my book, "The Strangest Nutritional Secret!" These pieces brought us a couple million dollars net over the next few years.

Michael, on the other hand, has never created ANYTHING like these pieces. All he does is call up people who have downloaded his ebook and build relationships with them. For a few, he’s Plan A. For most, he’s Plan B. And then he teaches them to do the same.

"Build people. People will build your business." Michael says that a lot. So instead of some mile-wide, inch-thick marketing thingy, he builds tight relationships with hundreds of people who would follow him anywhere. It’s NOT direct marketing. But man! In an industry where people change companies so often, Michael understands his market and what they want better than anyone else in this business. His "Plan B" plan is the smartest thing I’ve ever seen anyone in MLM do.

8. Using direct marketing, I built a couple huge & profitable downlines in the 1990s. But I never built relationships. I would never, ever shoot Bambi. But I’d never give her my phone number, either. Let alone go out in the woods and search for her.

And then those companies disappeared. So did my income. I’ve learned a lot from Michael … but nothing more critical than how to talk with a new person, quickly spot which of the 4 personality types that person is, and bond with them. It’s an incredible skill that we now teach to everyone in Mentoring For Free.

What I have learned from Michael is that to build an MLM income that lasts, you MUST build relationships. You MUST build people. As Michael says, people join people, not companies. If your focus is on a company, or on a compensation plan, or on products, then your focus is wrong. To build a lasting long-term network marketing income, your must focus on building relationships.

Hope it doesn’t take you as long to learn that lesson as it took me.

We specialize in assisting you in discovering how you can learn and apply these same principles.  We may no longer be with Mentoring For Free but we have learned much and can pass that on, there is nothing to is FREE!

To Your Success,

Dave & Darlene Mills 

Leadership With A Vision

The Shocking Truth About ViSalus Acquisition

I just read an interesting news article about developments surrounding the possible acquisition of ViSalus by Blyth, Inc., which happens to be a publically traded company. The article was dated in LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13, 2012.  You can read the whole news article here at PR Newswire. So with the potential acquisition of ViSalus, where does this leave imageViSalus Distributors? Please also note that it is NOT my intention to bash Blyth, Visalus, ViSalus distributors, their management team or  owners of either of these companies. I would however like to draw your attention to the fact that in a publically traded company the shareholders are the bosses and say what is what.

For those in network marketing and those who like to keep a pulse on what is in the news,image developments of this sort are worth taking a look at. Just days ago Blyth, Inc., completed the 3rd phase of a 4 phase procurement of ViSalus.

The interesting thing to note is that Blyth is a publically traded company.  So when times get rough (and all companies go through growing pains) it is time that distributors to pay attention to warnings when they surface.  

Who is going to get paid first? The Distributors or the Shareholders? Exactly, the Shareholders. When revenue is tight where will the money come from to pay the shareholders? Right again…the commissions that should have been paid to the distributors is now going to the shareholders. It comes from the checks of the Distributors!

Read the following paragraph from the article and see if you see the same warning signs that we see”:

All three company co-founders, Ryan Blair, Chief Executive Officer; Blake Mallen, Chief Marketing Officer; and Nick Sarnicola, top sales leader, have agreed to stay on with ViSalus in their current roles. The founders personally invested $14.6 million from the proceeds of the acquisition in restricted stock of parent company Blyth, Inc., making them the largest inside shareholders after the Goergen family.

These guys now become part of the top shareholders.  To be exact they will be the second biggest shareholders next to Blyth, Inc. All three now answer to someone else. They no longer will be the final decision makers on any aspect of business that goes on with the company or with the distributors or if the company business model  will remain MLM or become direct sales business model. Look ViSalus is a great company with great products, they have to be or they would be out of business by now.  These guys; Ryan Blair, Chief Executive Officer; Blake Mallen, Chief Marketing Officer; and Nick Sarnicola are top notch guys, but with a deal like this the distributors will no longer be first in any financial concerns.

Anyone paying attention knows that ViSalus has had a great growth period this year  from $34 Million in 2010 to $231 Million. A seven fold increase.  Not bad at all. This should be a warning sign to any distributor in any company that it could spell potential hardship in the future of the company. Right now it looks like a great deal for everyone in the company including the distributors who should have received some pretty good commission checks.

But what really happens when ViSalus becomes a “household name”? Will ViSalus keep it’s current business model or will they go direct sales….will they need the distributors any longer? This situation has happened many times in the past when the company becomes so big and everyone knows about them that the distributor base is terminated and the company resorts to retail selling.  They change the business model.

This whole news article that we read at PRNews brings up a lot of concern for us.  We always encourage network marketers to READ their contracts.  Your contract is what is referred to as your Policies and Procedures which also includes your Terms and Conditions as well as your detailed Compensation Plan.  Why do we encourage people to read this information.  Simply because it is YOUR LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT!

Right now you probably do not fell the ViSalus or any other company would ever terminate their distributors and change their business model.  Well they would and they can. They CAN and they DO, just like in the case of Bazi and Xelr8 Distributors.  Read their story here.

ViSalus distributors should take a look at their Policies and Procedures, which is the binding agreement between you the Distributors and the company. It’s all spelled out there in black and white what they can do.

We found this clause in the ViSalus  Policies and Procedures which states that  Distributors are forbid to be in any other Network Marketing company. Here’s the clause:

24. During the term of this agreement (and any renewals) I will not participate in any other network marketing companies. In addition, during the terms of the Agreement and for (1) one year thereafter, I will not solicit or recruit, ViSalus employees or Promoters, whether active or inactive, to participate in any network marketing program. I acknowledge that my violation of this provision will result in immediate termination of my Promotorship and payments of any kind

imageIf the procurement of ViSalus by Blyth, Inc. does go through that means that they will own TWO network marketing companies.  PartyLite and then ViSalus (this hinges on “if’s” at the moment remember)  It looks to us that it is quite alright for the company to have their hands in two companies but not the distributors.  The old saying, “What is good for the goose is apparently not always good for the gander!” in this case.

Where is the integrity in this guys?  When a company isn’t managed with integrity and when the going gets tough they either shut their doors or change their business model and eliminate all of their distributors. You know, the people who have built the company in the first place. Why? Because the management cares more about THEIR bottom line than the well being of their distributors. 

There are companies that don’t want you to know this. Some companies make it virtually impossible for you to find their P & P’s. You may be in a company now, that on the surface, looks great and you think, they would never do something like terminate you for no reason. It may be two years down the road, but if you are in a company in which the policies and procedures dictate that they can terminate you at any time for any cause, then it can happen to you.

Just like any other career, there are skills and education that everyone needs to build a successful network marketing business. Part of that education is knowing what your contract says. In network marketing you are in business for yourself, but you work for a company that controls the way you are paid. The employment contract in network marketing is your Policies and Procedures. You MUST read your Polices and Procedures and OBEY it to the letter.

Visalus is a remarkable company with expert people doing their marketing. They rock the industry with their product that is certain.  We are just concerned about the information that we are reading and seeing the hand writing on the wall.

This article was not written to bash or bad mouth anyone, it is however; our personal opinion on the matter which we are entitled to.  We recommend that everyone think as a critical thinker when it comes to their long-term success as a network marketer and never suggest that you substitute our opinion for your own.  We believe that everyone should be asking questions.

We learned early on from our mentors Michael Dlouhy, Frieke Karlovits, Jennifer Fisher and Bob and Anna Bassett to be critical thinkers.  We learned how to think and not what to think.

We ask that if you consider calling, leaving a comment or writing us, please don’t just do so to throw names around or accuse us of not telling facts. Please explain exactly what we got wrong. Our opinions are ours, and we are entitled to those. If you can point out what is verifiably inaccurate, we will be happy to make any and all corrections to those mistakes, or to make clarifications when and where necessary.

Commit To Success Today
Dave and Darlene Mills
Leadership With A Vision

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Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just
passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. Joel A. Barker Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. by Joel A. Barker

Network Marketer, What are the First Steps to Get A Business Going?

It is clear that most of us struggle to get our network marketing business of the ground and running as we hoped it should and would. There are many reasons for this, but the biggest is that we lack the training, education and skills such as knowing just what to say.

Funny! Distributors spend hundreds of dollars on products, services, advertising, travel, promoting . . . just to get prospects . . . and not a single dime on learning what to say… when they get them.
Stop the insanity. ~ Tom “Big Al” Schreiter

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit~Conrad Hilton

One such struggling network marketer sent this question to Tom Schreiter.



Question to Big Al.

Dear Big Al,
As a network marketer, what are the first steps someone should take to get their business going?

I am with a company for about 2 1/2 months now and I have not sponsored one prospect.

The problem is that I don’t really go a lot of places to prospect. I mostly go to work, then home and then church (and I don’t want to prospect at church). I don’t have many friends. And I can’t afford leads, so that out of the question.

So what is a person to do? Please help!

I wrote back –

Hi Joe,

You want a business that pays over $10,000 a month. I understand.
There are two choices.
1. Purchase a business that pays you over $10,000 a month.
2. Create and build a business that pays you over $10,000 a month.
If you choose #2, then you will have to learn how to find prospects, learn how to enroll them, learn how to train and motivate them, and learn how to market products or services.

I don’t think you can learn all of these skills by simply reading one book, or surfing a few pages on the Internet. It will take time, money and energy to learn and master these skills.

Yes, people do earn more than $10,000 a month, but most of them provide more than $10,000 a month in value to their networking companies. We have to provide value to receive that much money in return. We are not providing value by staying home and not talking to anyone.

It is not a matter of choosing a company, sitting back and collecting. Most companies pay well if we provide enough value to them.
So, the real question to ask is:
"When am I going to learn the skills necessary to provide more than $10,000 a month in value for a business that will pay me?" Sometimes we get it wrong in our presentations. We end up spending more time on the technical features and details, and too little time on building trust and a sense of partnership with our prospect.

To Your Success

Dave and Darlene Mills
Leadership with a vision