Create INdependent Leaders Not DEpendent Followers

When new people join the MLM profession they dream of living a life of time and financial freedom.  They imagine themselves walking the beaches of the world, spending quality time with those they love, and living a life of bliss.  Why on earth then are reps building their MLM business the wrong way?  People are not creating leverage they’re creating organizations of dependent people who can’t survive without their help.

I call it the “Mother Theresa Syndrome.”  You know what I mean, a new rep joins and you feel that you have to do everything for them.  You feel like it’s your duty to protect your new rep from any challenges or roadblocks that they might encounter.  What you fail to realize is that you are actually setting them up for failure.  You’re cutting their leadership legs right out from underneath them.

You see folks, experiencing adversity is part of leadership development.  How else can someone develop the ability to help others go through adversity if they haven’t experienced that adversity themselves.  By you protecting your new reps from everything and trying to do everything for them you’re forcing this person to rely 100% on you.  Well what’s going to happen when you aren’t there?  Or worse, what’s going to happen when you have 100 people on your team?  You can’t be there 100% for everyone.

So what should be your focus?  My opinion is that you should focus on creating independent distributors, not dependent ones.  How do you do this?  You empower people.  As a leader you lead by example, but you don’t do things for people.  Don’t stack reps under other reps thinking it will motivate them.  It won’t, it will debilitate them.  Don’t handle all their problems, teach them how to use Rep and Customer support from the company.  Don’t call their list for them, teach them to call their people.

I’m not saying you don’t provide some nurturing and support for your new rep.  You need to do that, especially in their first week in their business.  Those first few days you should be attached to them extremely tightly.  Take them through the orientation of your business, show them around and how the system works.  Teach them where to get support and how to plug into the team and company events.  Over the next week help them with 3-way calls and follow-ups.  But as that new rep hits their 1.5 to 2 week mark they should be plugged in and capable of handling their day to day business operations.  I’m not saying you disappear.  I’m saying you push them to take a little more responsibility.

By doing this you’ll be creating a leader in the making.  Have you ever heard the saying, “Feed a man a fish you feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.”  If you do everything for your reps they might tell you how great you are and praise you tremendously.  But by doing this you’re feeding them for a day.  They will rely on you for everything and worse, so will their team!  On the other hand, if you teach that person how to navigate their business and seek out support on their own by using the resources the company provides – as well as you – you’ll be creating a more confident distributor.


Overcoming the Challenges of MLM

If you have been a part of the MLM industry for more than a few months you have most likely encountered many of the challenges that we face in this industry.  You’ve had people throw some negativity your way.  You’ve had people stand you up for appointments.  You’ve had some commit to joining and then not join you in your business.  Others will join and then not do anything.

All of these are challenges that at one point or another you will encounter.  Well, to be successful in MLM all you need to do is push through these challenges and continue building your business.  This is what separates those who are successful from those who are not.  The people who fail in this profession quit.  They stop building their business when they experience these challenges and therefore are no longer actively adding new reps and customers to their team.

So if the key to being successful in MLM is consistent action, how do you overcome the challenges you face in this industry?  I believe there can be many factors that will aid your longevity in the MLM industry but I believe one stands out from all others.  I call it, “Finding Your Pain.”

You see, when people join the MLM profession they are taught to “find their why.”  For most people they focus on reasons such as money or time freedom.  These are wonderful things that would bring extreme pleasure to that new rep.  The problem is that I don’t think that’s a big enough motivator.  I agree with Tony Robbins when he says, “More people are motivated by pain than pleasure.”  Think about it for a moment.  Why do you get up and go to work each day?  Is it because you absolutely love someone telling you what to do all day long?  Is it because you love working for less than you’re worth?  You go to work each day because if you don’t you’ll be fired.  And being fired would lead to you not being able to provide for yourself and your family.  So you are motivated to go to work each day out of fear of letting your family down and putting them in a dire situation.

If pleasure was a big enough motivating factor then everyone in MLM would be successful.  Everyone wants a nicer car, bigger home, different zip code, etc.  But not everyone achieves it.  From what I’ve seen over the years, it’s the people who are driven by fear of experiencing pain that have the best results.  The problem is people in MLM aren’t using pain properly.  Most people want to avoid pain because it obviously doesn’t feel good.  That’s why new reps in MLM avoid making calls to their list – because they want to avoid the pain of being rejected.

Unfortunately the fear of pain of being rejected overcomes their desire for pleasure, and they quit.  But what if they were taught to use their fear of pain another way?  What if they were taught to use it to their advantage as something that would motivate them?  Well everyone can do it!

When I started in MLM I was 19 years old.  It wasn’t my passion, I just did it to make a little extra cash while in school.  I dabbled in that company for 3 years and after 3 years I had 24 reps on my team (23 of which I paid for to join – and yes, none of them did a darn thing).  The next 3 years I put over 3,000 people into that team.  What changed?  I found my pain.  You see, I made a promise to my wife that once our first child was born she wouldn’t have to back to work.  Breaking that promise to her was something I was afraid to do.  Breaking that promise would cause me more pain than experiencing the fear of failure and rejection that I experienced while building my MLM business.  All it took was for me to look at her and it was a constant reminder of that promise and it pushed me to build my business, even when I didn’t want to.  And yes folks there will be times when you don’t want to build your business.  But that’s the secret, finding something that pushes you to build your business even when you’d rather not.

So my advice to you is to look at your life and find something that you truly want to achieve, something that would bring you extreme pleasure and then ask yourself why would it be painful to you if you didn’t achieve it.  If that pain isn’t strong enough to internally motivate you to take consistent action in your business then you need to look harder.  For example, let’s say your goal is to pay off debt.  That obviously would bring you pleasure.  But think about the pain that will be caused if you do not do it.  What will happen to your credit?  Will it prevent you from being able to buy your dream home?  Will it force you to live a life you don’t desire?  Will you be letting your family down by not changing that situation?  My opinion is that if you aren’t motivated by pleasure then focus on the pain that is caused by not achieving your goals.  Doing this will help you push through the challenges and adversity you are going to experience as you become a leader in the MLM profession!

Do 97% of Network Marketers Really Fail?

There’s no doubt you’ve heard it around the web, “97% of Network Marketers fail … and that’s why you need to buy our training.”  It’s an advertising line that true Network Marketers and leaders in this industry can’t stand to hear.  Why?  Because these true leaders understand that these people are twisting the numbers in Network Marketing to create doubt in the masses of Networkers out there.

You see folks, the reality is that 97% don’t fail.  It’s that 97% don’t work hard or consistently enough to create a substantial income (high six figures).  The fact is that there are a tremendous amount of people in Network Marketing that set goals and reach them.  To me that means they have been a huge success.

There will be some that set small goals, such as earning $500 in their first month.  If someone does that have they failed?  Of course not.  They’ve achieved their goal.  Others may set a goal to make an extra $1,000 a month.  They go out and work hard enough each month (around their regular life) to earn that $1,000.  Would you call them a failure?  Of course you wouldn’t!

97% of the people in Network Marketing are doing it part-time.  So why on earth would we expect 97% to make a six figure income?  The problem comes with the false expectations people have.  People join the Network Marketing industry expecting to get rich with little or no effort.  That is only setting people up for frustration.  That person joins a Network Marketing company and when they don’t hit $10,000 their first month with only a few hours worked they think the industry isn’t for them.

In my opinion Network Marketing is the last hope for the people of our country to achieve their dreams.  If people can just step back and remind themselves that everything worthwhile takes effort to achieve and that you get out of something that you put into it, I think people would be a lot more satisfied with their time in this industry.

Why Lightyear…

In case you missed our team training call I recorded it:

In this training I explain why I chose Lightyear over other opportunities.

Great things happening at Lightyear!


Take a look at the first of many steps Lightyear Network Solutions will take in their aggressive expansion efforts:

I think this pretty much sums it up…

“The River” – Garth Brooks:

You know a dream is like a river
Ever changin’ as it flows
And a dreamer’s just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what’s behind you
And never knowing what’s in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores…and

I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I’ll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry

Too many times we stand aside
And let the waters slip away
‘Til what we put off ’til tomorrow
Has now become today
So don’t you sit upon the shoreline
And say you’re satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance the tide…yes

I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I’ll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry

There’s bound to be rough waters
And I know I’ll take some falls
But with the good Lord as my captain
I can make it through them all…yes

I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry
Like a bird upon the wind
These waters are my sky
I’ll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry

Yes, I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry
‘Til the river runs dry

Luck By Design

Sometimes I hear people say to me, “Ben, you’re so lucky to make so much money in Network Marketing.”  Or they’ll say, “Ben, you’re so lucky to have such great leaders on your team.”  When I hear this I smile and I think to myself, “If they only knew.”

Don’t get me wrong, every day I give thanks for the blessings in my life.  But you’re never going to see me apologize for the “luck” in my life.  Why?  Because in the MLM world there is no such thing. 

You see, for 3 years in MLM I had nothing.  24 reps on my team (only 1 active), thousands of dollars spent, a lot of rejection and frustration.  But I stayed at it.  I worked at getting better.  I worked at following a system.  And I stayed at it.  Then I stayed at it some more.  I sacrificed time with my family.  I sacrificed time doing the things I would have rather been doing.  I worked countless hours trying to help people only to have them give up and quit on themselves.  And I stayed at it!

Then, as I continued to stay at it those that were ready to follow my lead began to listen.  They what I did, they got out of their own way and they started following the system.  Soon there were signs of duplication.  So what did I do?  I stayed at it.  I experienced more frustration, sacrificed more time with family, and I stayed at it more and more!

Then, leaders started to emerge.  People began to work independently of me, creating my first taste of leverage in Network Marketing.  This was danger zone for me.  It was so cool to see income coming in and not have to work for it.  A very dangerous experience to someone not used to that!  So did I stop building?  Nope.  I kept building.  In fact, I invested more time, more money, more effort and I pushed harder and harder.  I made sure I put myself out there even more.

The result?  More growth, more leaders, more leverage.

So the result of a few years of all out massive action, thousands of no’s, thousands of instances of frustration and disappointment, a lot of money spent, has been complete financial indepence.  More money in a month than most make in a year.  More time freedom at the age of 32 than most will ever experience in their life.  More time with my family and doing the things that I love to do than I ever imagined having.

So, did I get lucky?  I’ll let you decide for yourself but I’ll leave you with a quote that I heard from an unknown author… “It’s funny how the harder you work and the longer you do it, the luckier you seem to get.”

To your success,

Ben Sturtevant

One Lucky Network Marketer!  🙂