I am actually going to say it right here. It is pretty easy to lose an MLM business. The myth is that most stories of failure involve people who never really get started. People who make their initial investment and never make their list, buy leads, sponsor a single distributor or sell product. Rarely does the MLM failure story focus on the person who builds a business of a 100 to 500 distributors only to have that business fall apart. A business loss of that magnitude does happen and it is heart breaking when it does. No distributor who ever builds a downline once wants to do it again. That is one of the reasons top distributors take "key leaders" with them when they leave one company and move to another. So you are on your way to building your business, you are getting monthly or weekly checks. What are the 5 things you can do to make sure it all goes South?
Decide to do the minimum. One of the key parts of developing and growing your business is developing an SOP, Standard Operating Procedure. Built into the SOP are the minimum things you need to do each day to bring your business forward. Trouble is, as your business grows doing the minimum can become the norm. As your business grows the thought "I will talk to at least 5 people per day" will become "I will only talk to 5 people per day." A business coach of mine once said "monkey see, monkey do." If your downline sees you talking to 5, they will talk to 2, Having people in your organization does not give you permission to do less. Operating at your maximum will protect you against the crazy gyrations your business will take. Operating at your minimum only magnifies the business setbacks that are sure to happen, because setbacks occur naturally in business. The only way to protect yourself against the inevitable business challenges that will come is to constantly have new prospects, distributors or customers in your pipeline.
Decide something isn’t your responsibility. Your company has just launched a new product and you are super excited. You see the product as a way to gain new customers. You are worried about making the investment in multiple packages of the full-sized product to use as samples for potential customers to try. You want the trial-sized product, but the trial size is back ordered. You decide that it is the company’s responsibility to have trial sizes available, so you decide to wait until the trial size is available before showing your product to new customers. You decide not to invest your personal resources in purchasing full-sized products for potential customers to try. That decision just cost you a fortune in new customers. A member of your downline sponsors an enthusiastic new distributor then becomes inactive. The new distributor really is enthusiastic and calls you for assistance. You agree to help but in your heart you feel this isn’t your responsibility. You "accidentally" miss a few follow up calls with that enthusiastic distributor; suddenly they aren’t so enthusiastic. In fact they aren’t even active any more.
You decide to write a manual for your team. There are some things you wish your upline had told you when you got started so you decide to codify those things in a manual. You diligently create your manual with visions of mass duplication dancing in your head. It is finally done, you hand it out and and instead of getting duplication of effort and results you create instant critics of your manual. Your team doesn’t duplicate your business building efforts, they instead spend hours reading your manual then criticizing your writing style and your apparent lack of clarity. The more detail oriented members of your team decide to rewrite your manual in an endless cycle of analysis and information begetting analysis and information, rather than effort and results begetting effort and results.
Affiliate your team with a lead company. The damage will be compounded if the lead company is also an MLM. The best leads are the leads you and your team self-generate. Because you often don’t know how the lead was created, the leads your team spends its precious money on may be no more specific to business ownership than the person walking down the street. In fact compared to some lead sources, your team might get better results walking down the street and accosting strangers.
Decide contests are not important. Contests serve to generate enthusiasm for the company product or service and they can be a way for teams to come together, rank advancements can occur during contests. Your team can come to view you as a credible leader because of the results you attain during a contest. You miss an opportunity to solidify your team if you ignore the contests.
Being a business owner is tough work. MLM is no different. The paths to the beaches of the world are littered with the remains of would be business owners who zigged when they should have zagged and failed to recognize and learn from their mistakes. It is so easy to do each of the things I’ve outlined and do damage to your business. What happens? You just get tired. You get tired and it becomes just too tempting to do the minimum. You get frustrated and you get tired of the buck stopping with you. You get tired of answering the same questions so a manual or website seems the right thing to do, until you end up spending precious business building time on site maintenance and manual rewrites. Leads are the food of your business so it is only natural to want to find a company that can keep you and your distributors fed. Your company has contests all the time and it is easy to decide to ignore the current one, and get excited about the next one. The company knows something that you should know. Their income grows during contests and so can yours. The point is that it is just as easy to do the well-meaning things that will ultimately damage your business as not.
What is the solution? You are. Take care of yourself. Recognize the danger signs of frustration and fatigue develop a system of emotional self care and personal integrity in which you learn to speak the truth to your team. Tell them that they need to learn to generate leads for themselves and teach a few simple strategies to do so. Don’t be the answer man or woman but learn to point your team in the right direction so that they can learn to answer questions on their own. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to build a team of independent business owners. Having a program of self care doesn’t mean that you are too busy with spa treatments and meditation to build your business, but it does mean that you recognize that you are in business for the long hau: five years minimum if you have no previous MLM experience.
If you knew the day you signed your application that you were going to be in business for 5 years, how would you treat yourself? Would you make a daily practice of exercise, reading holy Scripture? Getting plenty of sleep? Would you make a daily practice of gratitude? Here is a bonus, lack of gratitude, appreciation, for each achievement level or each income level is a sure fire way to ruin your business. Never hate on the $100 dollar check because it is not $1000. Practicing gratitude will unlock the door to prosperity. Seriously. If you want to do damage to your business do the 6 things outlined here. If you want a different result, take a step back take a look at your business, examine your recent action steps and adjust accordingly.