I was recently giving some thought to financial freedom and realized that it really isn’t about the money. It’s really about time freedom. Now, before you conclude that I’m crazy and stop reading, let me quickly prove my point. There are many very wealthy people out there who do not have financial freedom, because true financial freedom means that you don’t have to work for money. A few examples would be physicians, attorneys, and corporate executives (as we’ve seen in the news, there are many of those who aren’t really working for the money they receive, but that’s a whole different story). These are all people who work long, hard hours for the money they receive. Yes, they are making very nice six-figure incomes, but if they stop working, they stop earning.
So, the real key to financial freedom is to have an income that doesn’t stop, if you stop working. That’s what we call residual income. It’s the kind of income you would earn if you wrote and published a best selling book or produced a platinum recording or had a killer investment portfolio (if that is even possible these days). You do the work once and get paid for a long time after (hopefully the rest of your life). It’s also the kind of income we earn in network marketing. If you build a solid network with lots of great leadership and loyalty to the product/service and business, you will earn long after you’ve stopped working.
From 1995 through 2001, I worked with a very talented team of people and built a large international network marketing business. I then retired to help plant a church and write a few books. Eight years later I still earn a full-time income from that business, but don’t have to work at it. That’s the power of residual income. But, the question that is probably in your mind is: “how can I do that?”
That’s a very good question and I intend to answer it in the balance of this article. After having studied the top income earners for many years and doing it myself, I believe that there are a few keys to building financial freedom. I’m sure there are probably more, but these are the most important:
1. Picking the right company – don’t just go with the first company that a friend or family member recommends. Ask yourself if they know any more about network marketing than you do. If they don’t, perhaps you should do some research and find a company that fits you. First, if you aren’t much of a risk taker, then DO NOT go with a start-up company or even one that is under two years old, as they have a much higher chance of failure. However, if you are a risk taker and can get in early with a solid company, you can make some serious money quickly. Next, make sure that the company has a product or service that you can get passionate about, as that will make it much easier to talk with people. Finally, make sure that the compensation plan is going to suit you. If you find sponsoring easy and can enroll hundreds of people, then you can do well in just about any compensation plan. However, if you’re like me and most others, you’ll probably want to look at the binary and unilevel plans. They are typically the best for those who are only going to sponsor a hand full of people. Personally, I like the binary plan, because it forces teamwork and every person you sponsor goes below someone else to help them. Plus, you only have to build 2 legs and most people can do that.
2. Picking the right upline – I’ve been with some great companies, but had bad upline. They were deceptive and encouraged me to do the same. I couldn’t do it and so I failed in the business. When you are researching companies, make sure you pick an upline team that is going to fit your values. Also, you want to find a team that offers great training and support through web sites, web conferences, teleconferences, and live meetings. Check to see if they will do 3-way calls with you and your prospects. Although it’s fun to be sponsored by a top income earner, often they don’t have time to work with you personally, so some times it’s better to find a big hitter just getting started with a company or a big hitter in the making.
3. Treating your business like a business – there is an old saying that if you treat your business like a hobby, it will pay you like a hobby and if you treat it like a business, it will pay you like a business. If you invested a million bucks into a McDonald’s franchise, you would certainly work long hours each day to recoup that investment. Unfortunately, we only invest a few hundred dollars to start a network marketing business, so there isn’t as much incentive, but those who invest the hours each week to prospecting, follow-up, sponsoring, training, and supporting, will build large businesses and enjoy financial freedom.
4. Sponsor leaders – don’t just sponsor anyone who can fog a mirror. Rather, find people who are already leaders – who have influence over groups of people. You can find them in business, government, the school system, in non-profits, and at church. Look for those dynamic people that everyone wants to be around and follow, as they will bring large groups into your business. Interestingly enough, they are typically approached less often for business opportunities, because they are on everyone’s “chicken list.” So, go past the fear and talk with them about your business. You will probably find them very open to listening and they just might be your next big business builder.
5. Help your people become successful – I discovered a number of years ago that if you can help your downline members earn $500 a month consistently, they will never leave you. They can’t afford to. So, study your compensation plan and talk with upline leaders to develop a plan to help everyone in your downline earn $500 or more a month. The more successful they are, the more successful you will be, which reminds me that your focus should always be on them and not on yourself or the money. Zig Ziglar said (paraphrased) that you can get everything you want in life, if you just help enough people get what they want. There is tremendous truth in that statement. So, go out each day to serve and help others and in no time you will have a rapidly growing network.
Yep, financial freedom isn’t about the money, it’s about how you earn the money. Building a large network marketing business that takes on a life of its own will result in a solid residual income. That will result in your ability to have financial freedom, which creates the opportunity to make your own choices each day – when you work, when you play, when you travel, when you spend time with family – no longer does an employer or a business dictate when you can do the things you love. If you have true financial freedom, you can throw away the alarm clock and wake up when you want. You can leave on vacation at the spur of the moment and not worry about arranging for vacation or how much you might pay for airfare or hotel. You can take month long vacations or work one day a week. Financial freedom gives you choices that others don’t have. So, the only question is: “are you willing to do what it takes to enjoy financial freedom?” Most people won’t! You have to be willing to do what others won’t in order to later do what other’s can’t. So, pick the right business, upline, and product/service. Then treat it like a business and do what it takes to become successful. If you just do that long enough, you will one day enjoy total financial freedom and have the time of your life.
NOTE: If you are struggling in network marketing or just haven't found the right opportunity, e-mail me by clicking HERE and let me know, so I can help you gain true financial freedom.