Mentor?

I don’t need no stinkin’ mentor.

A mentor is going to look at what I am doing wrong.  At my mistakes.  A mentor will see that I don’t know everything.  I struggle, sometimes with simple things.

A mentor in MLM is someone who has built an organization.  Someone who does recruit.  Someone who shows you how to recruit.  If you do not have an up-line who can call prospects with you and show you how it is done, you work with a huge disadvantage.  I have concluded that most uplines do not know how to teach the business for one simple reason.  Most of them have not done it themselves.

I avoided being seen as not knowing things since at least the fourth grade.  When we began long division, I could not ask for help.  I had studied it last year.  I had to go home, go thru the book, study how it was done and learn it again.  I could not admit not knowing.  That would mean I did not understand.

Well, the time has come.  I don’t know lots of things.  I have been slow at learning about relationships.  I think too much.  I am too careful.  I keep my lamp hidden.  In fact, I have almost made it invisible.

Now, I am ready to learn.  I am ready to build a business.  I have found a mentor and with hin, I am ready to go.  Guess what, even mentor’s don’t know and can’t do everything.  Who knew?

Going it alone?

I did everything alone.  I could almost not ask for help.  I can attest this is not a good way to live or simply exist.

I tried doing business on my own, since no one would hire me.  I did not do well, but the trying kept me going.  I tried to tell and sell.

The thing that started to turn me around was BNI (Business Network International).   The first meeting I attended sounded good, but why would I pay $500 to join.  I did not see the value.  I struggled.

My second meeting, a year later, I was ready.  I heard the message.  The motto of BNI is simple, “Givers Gain.”  Your purpose is to find referrals for other people.  You build relationships.  After all, 95% of the people you meet are not going to do business with you.  However, everyone is looking for something.  By having trusted friends, I give you a referral.  That referral makes me look good.  I am building relationships, not selling.  Relationships do work to build business.

What did I learn?  Don’t try to sell my product or service to everyone you meet.  Find out what they need and help them get it.  I know my time will come.

I also began to see the need for a structured program to succeed.  BNI tracks almost everything that may affect referrals.  You are not likely to do this by yourself.  Why try?  Find some people who can help your succeed.  BNI training is great.

Everyone is not my customer.

I can’t do business alone.

I have to find trusted people to help.  Most of us need that help.  Do you?

MLM

I looked longingly at network marketing for years. Outside of the scams, it is a great way for an individual to start a business.

Why? Or better yet, how?

1. Low cost to start.

2. Can do it part time, or part time leading to full time.

3. Ideally, the business is like a franchise without the startup fees.

4. You will have someone to show you the ropes and mentor you.

5. As a business, you get tax savings.

There are potential problems:

1. There are scams and you need to learn how to spot them.

2. The part time person would have difficulty making any income with the plan. These people will be a big part of your success. If they can’t make it, you will not either.

3. You may not really have a mentor or other help in learning how to make the plan work.

4. There are other potential problems.

In spite of the pitfalls, the opportunity is real. So what do you do?  So what was I doing wrong?

Stay tuned.

Personal Networking

Many small business owners start out by being riffed, being over 40, and not able to find jobs.  “Uh, oh,” you say, “Now it’s time to network.”

Not!  Yes, you should have been networking already.  The best time to start is years before.  The next best time to start is now.

For the new small business, business networking is a vital.  Fortunately, networking is  a skill that you can learn, even if you are network unaware.

You can learn.  First, learn what networking is and then how to network.  You learn and refine your networking skills in groups like BNI, Business Networking International, with the motto, “Givers gain.”  First you help others, then some of them will refer clients to you.

Social Media usually refers to taking this networking to the interne.