"They’d never expressed the slightest interest before…"

During the ice breakers call last week, we discussed the importance of knowing something about the business you’ve chosen to be in. Did I say “know something about”?

I mean, love the business you’ve chosen to be in. Especially if you’ll be contacting people about it directly. Here’s one reason, from the Washington Post last month (thanks, Kris):

“I like working for a large company, but I understand the many others who dream of owning their own businesses.

Lately, however, I’ve noticed a number of folks who have started their own travel agencies. Several friends and family members have approached me asking that I use their Web sites to make my airline, hotel or car rental reservations. Mind you, most of them have never previously expressed the slightest interest in helping people travel. 

Yet they have signed up with an online company that markets home-based travel agencies. In this business venture, you pay a monthly fee for a personalized Web site with back-office support. You then direct people to your Web site to book travel on which you receive a commission. In this network-building business, you can also make money by getting others to establish their own Web sites. Travel agencies may also partner with other companies like Jettly that can provide private jet services.

My concern is that too often people are so eager to earn extra money or are looking for a quick way to wealth that they are enticed to start a business in a field they have little knowledge about. They get sold on a small-business venture because of an inspiring hotel presentation.” 

She refers her readers to the Small Business Administration, whose FIRST recommendation for starting your own business is:

· Know what you love and love what you do. If you want to own a successful business, start with figuring out what you do best.

More SBA tips here.

If it’s just some quick money you seek, chances are you’ll tank if you choose NM to get it, and you’ll have put some unnecessary pressure on your relationships as well.

For quick fast money, a part time job might be a better solution.


About the author

Kim Klaver


  • I have started to see this trend as well, and not just in travel. I have a friend who recently started with a NM company selling what is supposed to be healthy food. I asked her if she had looked at the nutritional information for the food yet, but she hadn’t. She was surprised to see that most of the items where high in sodium and saturated fat. But, she has a lot of time and money invested, so she feels she has to stick with it.

    I have been in business for myself for 20+ years, and I love what I do and am very knowledgeable. I am not a millionaire yet, and probably won’t be soon, but I am still at it 20 years later. How many network marketers reading this have been with the same company for 20 years?

  • This makes so much intuitive sense and speaks directly to building a networking business that grows out of a love and use of products. It always blows me away when I see people involved in a “health and wellness” network marketing company who haven’t the slightest interest in living a healthy lifestyle in all the other areas of their life. It is so much easier for our warm market to “buy in” to our new business when it seems like a natural fit with who we are and what we are all about.

  • Let’s look at the other side of that coin. I’ve done network marketing for about 15 years, all in nutritional products. I knew all my products inside out. As many of you who have worked with nutritionals know, there can be problems, like the FDA constantly pushing a new agenda to restrict direct marketing of nutritional products. I battled that for years, writing to congressmen, etc.

    Recently, one of my best friends with whom I’ve been in a couple of NWM companies, joined one of the online travel businesses and invited me to join. At first I had zero interest, but I kept looking at all they could offer and decided to give it a try.

    Since the online travel agencies use the same type of search engine as Travelocity, Expedia, etc., you go to their site and do the same thing. Just because the MLM’s also have a marketing arm, doesn’t make their service any different. The thing to understand is that the other search engines pay millions of dollars for all that advertising that comes into your e-mail box daily. They do that so they can book more travel and get more competitive prices. The price of that advertising in passed on partially to the customer in the price of their travel. The companies that also are NWM companies don’t do that kind of advertising. We advertise by word of mouth or the agents themselves doing advertising on a much smaller scale. We have to have more agents to book more travel and get more competitive prices. It all the same, just a different mechanism.

    There is training to be a Certified Referring Travel Agent (CRTA). If you want to book cruises and vacation packages, you do another training and that gives you your CLIA certification. So, at least in my company, a person can’t really do the business without going through these trainings. In addition to that, there are training calls every week, training files in the back office. There’s really no excuse for someone not to know what they are talking about. If a CRTA gets a question they can’t answer, they call the home office and there are people there to answer those questions. The various vendors like Carnival, RCL, etc, are at the convention doing training classes for a couple of days. We book so much travel with Carnival, a carnival employee is housed at our home office and we received Carnival’s award for having booked more Carnival cruises than any other agency in the U.S.

    So, I can’t speak for any other online travel companies, but I know ours does have extensive training.

    On the other side of the fence, when you go to Travelocity and book your own travel, do you require Travelocity to show you their credentials? Of course we don’t. In our company, our travel search engine that people go to and book their own travel, is the exact same search engine used by Travelocity. So why would anyone require more of our site than they do Travelocity, or Expedia, or, etc?

    I’ve never offered to book travel for my friends before because I didn’t have the vehicle to do so. Now, I’ve told my friends and family that when they are booking travel online to visit my site, just like they do the others and choose the one that gives them what they need. I can choose to give them a bit more service like scoping out the hotels in the town they are going to and recommending several that I see that seem to stand out, or I can let them go to the site and do it just like they would on other sites.

    The online travel sites are not meant to be competitive with a brick and mortor travel agency. They were started because more and more people were booking online for themselves and we just provide another avenue to do that.

    When a person has a “brick & mortor” agency, they pay several thousand dollars up front for their Sabre booking engine and then pay over a thousand per month for it. People with the online travel MLM’s have to pay fees to be licensed and certified to have the search engine and they pay a much smaller amount per month. So the situation is very similar; but the MLM’S are less expensive.

    I have booked my own travel online for years and have learned a lot about how to choose the cruise ship, the cruise, the layout of the rooms, etc. The man at the Holland America office who helped me with the details of my last cruise was a CRTA, just like I am now. He earned a commission for helping me. Individuals who have had the same training and have the same certification deserve the same privilege.

    It could be that your friends who never before professed an interest in helping you with your travel, simply didn’t have the mechanism to do so, but now that they do, they’d like to see you enjoy your travel and want to help you get the best price and have the best experience you can.


  • Judy – thanks for your comments…you say “So why would anyone require more of our site than they do Travelocity, or Expedia, or, etc?”

    That is not the point of my message. No one has asked that. The problem is people starting a business about which they know little or nothing. Then expecting their friends to suddenly perceive them as ‘experts’ in travel or nutrition, when they have neither travelled much, nor live a healthy life style.

    Because we do direct marketing to others, there is much more opportunity for people to ask us questions, and that’s where the trouble starts when the new business owners don’t walk the talk.

    Individuals are not accorded the credibility of an Expedia. We need to be MORE than that. Which is why people who travel can explain the benefits of the service, and those who don’t, have no credibility. So their friends don’t buy through them.

    Same for nutritional products. Who listens to recommendations or buys nutritional products from people who themselves live an unhealthy lifestyle?

    Those that walk the talk get my business, when I’m dealing with people directly, like a tennis pro from whom I buy a racquet or other gear.

    It is the DIRECT marketing to others that requires a higher standard because people have a chance to ask you questions.

    Unlike Expedia or Amazon. They’re mass marketers. We are not.


  • I have always said to follow your passion when looking for a business venture – network marketing or otherwise.

    Most people spend their whole lives trying to find a way to make money doing something they love. Nowadays, Network Marketing has a wide range of options available for people to follow their passion.

    I am fortunate to have found a way to get paid for 3 of my biggest passions in life: health, weight loss and travel.

    In the case of health…after conventional medicine failed to alleviate my suffering, out of desperation I turned to alternative medicine and studied it extensively searching for relief. The more I learned, the more interested I became and it quickly became my passion. I eventually discovered the product that gave me my life back which fueled my passion for sharing it with others.

    In the case of weight loss…it became my passion when I had my accident and could no longer lose weight. I tried everything and nothing worked for me. I could no longer exercise like I used to (I was a gymnast and fitness fanatic) which was very frustrating for me. I went on diet after diet and took pill after pill that all promised to be the answer – and they weren’t. I lost a pound or two and then gained even more back. Once I found something that worked, I couldn’t help myself. The last thing I needed was another business. But I also knew that there are so many people just like me who desperately want and need to lose weight and can’t – and I need to help them too.

    In the case of travel…for years I have been organizing group travel and booking travel for people online because I’m really good at finding great deals and fun things to do. I have also traveled extensively myself so I know where to go and what to do in those places. I also organized side trips for Tahitian Noni friends when we had an event. So it was no surprise to my friends, business associates, and networking associates that I could now book their travel on my own site. In fact, I paid a lot of money to become an “outside travel agent” with a big company just to do so, but then found out it was a scam and I wasn’t really a travel agent (not a networking company). At the same time, a friend had just signed up in YTB so I was thrilled to find a way to be a travel agent and build a network. Just icing on the cake.

    So I really believe that Kim is right (isn’t she always?) – you need to have an interest and a passion for what you do. I tell everyone it is the “secret” to success in network marketing. That is why I require people to LOVE the product first before they sell it. If they don’t love it, how will they convince anyone else to love it?

    One of my favorite quotes is “If you love what you do for a living, you will never work a day in your life.” I am grateful to have been able to do that for the last 10 years and I plan to do it for many more years to come.

    It is my wish that everyone find their passion and find a way to earn money following it. There is no greater blessing. It is a dream come true.

    Michelle Sanchez
    Network Marketing Success Coach

    You can find me on NetworkMarketingCentral – the coolest networking place on the net.

  • What if I told you… much of what the average person believes about good nutrition is bogus???

    What if I told you… you’ve been dooped by manipulative big companies who have websites/etc. that “appear” to be third parties and unbiased???

    What if… some of what the health minded community tells us is simply a regurgutation of wrong information???

    You want to be a better label reader? Go to this site for starters…
    Weston A Price Foundation Be sure to read the articles on Soy too.

    You might want to read this on “saturated fats”
    The Truth About Saturated Fat Also, type in the “search box” while there. Search things like… splenda, aspartame, cholesterol, fluoride etc. and get information that’s not been paid for by some big company.

    And, if you really want to get the animal portion of your diet really up to speed, you might want to try this… Grass-fed

    I don’t typically talk to people about nutrition unless they very specifically ask and even then I tone it down. I don’t talk about it much because the population has been so conditioned to believe utter garbage as truth.

    Here’s a good quote…

    “A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed…When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” ~ Dresden James

    If you want to read something enlightening about fats check this out… Coconut Oil after reading that you will want to read this… Warning Letter

    We sit hear reading and talking about NM, the bad rep and so forth. And right under our own noses the biggest scam and manipulation is happening with the foods and products everyone trusts and consumes daily… and it doesn’t have a thing at all to do with NM people.

    Ha, talk about a double standard!

    Read the labels of your products… all of them, NM products and the others. Then, walk your talk.

    We’re trying to get my company to stop using plastic bottles. Many of our products are in glass, but some aren’t. I don’t want plastic touching my food or supplements.

    I also don’t want my organic produce misted with chlorine, fluoride water. In my mind, when the stores mist the organic produce with that water it’s contaminated, it’s not fit for ingesting.

    Excuse my rant. The fakery, misinformation and manipulations out there are my bug-a-boo.

    Another quote…

    “The guaranteed way to do better tomorrow is to do everything today consciously.”

    1500 Ways to Escape the Human Jungle, # 621, Vernon Howard

  • Kim’s teachings make more sense everyday…..I have always felt that instant credibility was a must and for those who didn’t know me, I would introduce myself as Dr. Oliver….

    However most do not have that edge.

    There is a reason why marketers are always using testimonials……WHY? “Consumer Credibility”…..I am told it is there most powerful marketing tool.

    Thus back to the power of Kim’s teachings……of our First Date Script……Unless one has a degree or owns a health food store etc, a personal testimonial is perhaps one’s greatest marketing tool….only second to what the product did for a loved one.

    Mentor Dr……

  • Kim, to me the real point is authenticity (again). That and the gut reaction of a commenter to the article who spoke of not wanting to be constantly ‘guilt-tripped’ into ‘buying parties’.

    Someone who feels authentic saying ‘I’ve started my own travel agency’ or ‘I help people start their own businesses’ or anything else that is really an incredible stretch… that someone just won’t ‘get’ that a large and growing percentage of their ‘prospects’ have a negative response to NM in general. In carrying on with openers that are overstated, they’re adding to the problem (not to mention not doing themselves any favors).

    Like the Washington Post columnist, most folks are either too polite or just can’t be bothered to even raise a question like ‘Really? How does that work then?’. Instead they mumble something like ‘I’ll check it out’ or ‘I’ll take a look’. The NMer goes away smiling, believing they’ve snagged another potential prospect. Said ‘prospect’ later comes up with excuses for not having checked it out or attended the ‘party’… ‘Been really busy’ or ‘Gosh, I completely forgot!’

    Only by truly understanding how lack of authenticity hurts the image of NM and that you’re not likely to get an honest reaction from most people can network marketers even begin to shift that dynamic…

  • Greetings Kim

    Two things really got my attention with this post,
    · Know what you love and love what you do.
    If you want to own a successful business, start with figuring out what you do best.

    I knew from a very young age I would work with animals. After many years in corp America and the birth of my son I finally found where I belong working with animals. The only reason I started with Network Marketing was because the products are such a great fit with the animals and their people I see everyday. I know if I hadn’t been here with these great pets I never would have given the business a second glance.

    So I can honestly say I Know what I love, and Love what I do with my daily work with animals and blending my Network Marketing with that.

    Thanks Kim
    Healthy Pets Now

  • First, let me apologize for my extremely long and rambling previous post on this subject. I’m going to attempt to be more focused this time.

    I will agree with Kim and everyone else that there are people in our industry who go to a presentation, hear about the money being made, get all excited, buy into the line that the product or service sells itself and signs up with the dream of making money and never gives a thought to his responsibility of customer service. I also agree that we are all discredited by people who go into a business only thinking about how it will benefit them.

    The writer of the article says:
    My concern is that too often people are so eager to earn extra money or are looking for a quick way to wealth that they are enticed to start a business in a field they have little knowledge about. They get sold on a small-business venture because of an inspiring hotel presentation.” [emphasis added – KK]

    She refers her readers to the Small Business Administration, whose FIRST recommendation for starting your own business is:

    ·” Know what you love and love what you do. If you want to own a successful business, start with figuring out what you do best.”

    I totally agree with the first part of that statement about knowing what you love and loving what you do. However, I don’t know that I agree that you can only have a successful business by going into a business doing something you already do best. Many people hear a presentation (some are hyped and some are not)and make a decision to try it because they have a dream of having their own business, they liked the people they’d be in business with, liked the company philosophy AND WERE TOLD THAT TRAINING WOULD BE PROVIDED. I would guess that a large percentage of us in this forum fit that description. So, can’t we also say that we can have a successful business by choosing a business that SEEMS to be a fit.

    In my opinion, this is where the responsibility of the rep comes in. In most NWM companies, an abundant amount of training is available to any rep who wants it. We can usually access it online, in meetings, in one on one’s with our leaders, in the company handbook and on conference calls. How the rep takes advantage of that training is more of an indication of how successful the business will be than knowing beforehand it was something they loved to do.

    Granted, a person shouldn’t go into the travel business if they hate to travel; or into the supplement business if they hate to follow a supplement regimen. But a person can be very successful if they trust the people making the presentation, follow their inner knower, AND, (emphasis added)they take full advantage of the training that is offered. The get-rich-quick mentality in most cases won’t spend that time and people end up feeling used and our reputation as professionals suffers.

    In this specific case in the article,in my opinion, the writer is doing her friends and family a slight dis-service. The travel website is designed for people who are already booking travel online at Travelocity, etc. The travel rep is simply saying, when you are booking your travel in the future, I’d appreciate your checking out my website. The family member or friend is asking that this writer, who already knows how to use an online booking site, try out their site, which is just like the others. They are just offering another alternative. They don’t really have to be a trained travel agent to do that. But, back to the training. If that person truly wants to give service over and above that provided by the other sites, they can avail themselves of tons of training made available by the company and then truly service their customer.

    To me, it all gets back to the person’s attitude and their responsibility toward their customer. The better commitment to customer service, the better their chances of being successful. Most people can be trained to do a job, the attitude that causes them to go above and beyond has to come from within.


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