Monday, 24 September 2012

So, I was thinking...

Maybe it's because my mind is blurry from the man-cold I've had the last few days, or maybe it's the dizzying high from the first cigarette of the morning, but I had an idea that I could/should write about my experience with network marketing and personal development.

There are many, many amazing experts in this field, my personal favourite being Jim Rohn.  I don't know if I can offer anything new, but if anyone (particularly 'newbies') can find this helpful, then fantastic.  I don't have a specific plan for these, other than to write my thoughts and experiences as I develop my own business with Kleeneze and how that has helped my financial and personal lives respectively.  

I've read personal development books for the past 6 months, most recently 'Twelve Pillar's, given to me by my Upline, Marie Corner.  Your Upline is above your sponsor (more on that in a bit), who is like your manager, except you will actually like them, and they won't bust your balls every day.  They have all of the benefits as a guide, holding you by the hand and being an encyclopedia for any and all questions you may or not have.  Your sponsor is someone who got you into the business and shows you the ropes of how to set up and maintain your newfound business. 

I actually started Kleeneze in February 2012.  One of my best friends, Josh Fowler (@joshmfowler) came, from Hertfordshire up to Shropshire (where I moved to in 2009 with my now wife) for two reasons.  The first was to meet my daughter (born in December 2011), and the second was to talk about what he's been doing with himself.  He, like many others, had gone from job to job, searching for something that was 'just right'.  Generally, people look for two things when it comes to jobs:  something you enjoy doing, and something that pays 'enough'.  He showed me a folder full of information about the business and showed me some testimonials from people who had gone from mediocre to extraordinary through network marketing.  "Bollocks" was my first immediate thought.  These are clearly either incredibly lucky people, or people who have been paid to big up this company.  Naturally I was very cynical about the whole thing, but I listened to him anyway.

Now, at the time I was a full-time support worker for adults with learning difficulties.  I liked the job, it was very interesting and morally rewarding.  However, since my daughter came to be, I started to evaluate my current position.  Is my wage going to be enough to support my wife and daughter?  Will we be okay if something went wrong?  Will I be able to afford a mortgage?  Will I have time to spend with my daughter?  As a support worker you do very long shifts (6 hours being a half shift, 12 hours being a standard and 15-48 hours can be spent at work at any one time) for not very much money.  Now, if anyone reading this is thinking about becoming a support worker, then do it.  It's an experience you will never forget and you will find it incredibly valuable.  It has helped set me up as a parent by developing my patience and understanding, as you are working with people.  It has helped me in a more specific way as my daughter has Down's Syndrome. 

So I bought into this idea as a chance to no longer work under anyone, but rather take control of my situation.  I thought it was great and begun to get very excited, however I made a few mistakes very quickly.

Mistake #1
I didn't discuss it much with my wife.  I should've spoken to Dot more about what I had planned to do, what it meant and where it can take us in the future.  By the time I did explain all of this, I had already ordered my first boxes of catalogues (I will be assuming that readers will know the basics of network marketing from this point).  This lead to understandable tension between us and you should definitely try to avoid this as much as possible.  

Mistake #2
I didn't think of the bigger picture.  
  Naturally, you will hit obstacles in your life, and the same is to be said when you start network marketing.  Try to work out in advance what things may interfere with your new business, such as work and family.  I, being naive thought I could fill in all the time that I wasn't working with my new business.  On paper, that's great, because it would've meant that I would still be able to pay the bills as well as improve and progress as rapidly as possible.  However, I inadvertently sacrificed time with my family for this.  I spent the majority of my time out of the house and away from the most important people in my life.  Finding that balance is key, and you may find, like me, that you work this one out as you go.  Planning is a must.

Mistake #3
   Darren Hardy has an audio book called 'Making the Shift', which you must get.  He speaks about the shift between being in a job and under the corporate bosom to being your own boss and shaping your own destiny and how hard this can be.  It's easy to set yourself up and aim, aim, aim but never fire.  It's the easiest thing in the world to say "I'm gonna do this, and then this and this and I'll feel great doing it" but it's another thing when that day comes along and you're nice and warm in your bed or you just want to stay in your pajamas all day and play World of Warcraft.  Again, this is something you will go through yourself and something you will learn to control as you go along.  Just make sure that you actually DO stuff, because talking alone doesn't cut it.  I tried.

There are probably loads more mistakes I made, but they are the three I will stick with for now.  And besides, that was then, I'm sure I've changed since.  And I have.  I'm thankful for the set back, because I ended up stopping Kleeneze and network marketing for a few months, until I could free up some more time. I could've stayed the way I was, but I doubt I would have a happy marriage, which would've affected my business anyway.  Instead, I decided to go part-time with support work to focus on my business.  I saved up and as of this coming Wednesday, my new business venture will begin.  Is it scary?  Hell yeah!  I'm crapping myself with the thought of being solely responsible for my income.  If I don't get out of bed and do the work, and do it right, I might not get enough money to pay the rent, or worse, buy cigarettes!  Now, this isn't intending to scare you away from this because, if it does, you probably aren't in the right mind-set anyway.  That is the main key in this.  I hope I'm making sense.

The people around you are the most important in your life.  Whether they, or you, know it they shape who you are day in and day out.  And these exact people will be the first ones who will tell you not to go into this.  "It's a pyramid scheme", "It's a scam", "It's too risky" are three examples of what I heard from those closest to me.  Sound familiar?  The two worst things about these things were 1)  I am crap at arguing verbally.  Put me behind a computer screen and I'll take to the hills, but face-to-face I'm crap.  So I didn't have the knowledge or the where with all to tell them otherwise.  2)  These are the people I expected to be in board with me and see it how I see it.  But they didn't.

That can be really difficult to get your head around.  Most of the time, their intentions will be pure, in that they are genuinely concerned that you are falling into a trap, but ask yourself why exactly they are doing this?  Are they just trying to protect you, or are they protecting themselves?  Do they see your bold and exciting change in direction as a threat?  Do they feel that they will have to follow suit and take control of their own lives?  Don't ask them these things, unless you want a domestic, but it's worth thinking about.  Now I'm not going to try to convince anyone to join network marketing or Kleeneze or anything, because that's entirely your choice.  

Now, I'm sure if/when you are/were shown this network marketing thing, there is a chance you may not feel any emotional connection with it.  Well, I didn't.  I didn't see what was cool about delivering catalogues to people.  Chances are you don't see it as cool, either and it isn't if you look at it from that warped perspective.  It's not about being a delivery boy.  It's about working when you want to work, how you want to work and where you want to work.  And that's just scratching the surface.  I'll be talking about the other amazing benefits from this as I personally progress.

I've probably not made much sense, so I apologise if you're left scratching your heads.  Hopefully this'll make sense as we move forward.  If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

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