I worked in corporate America for 17 years in various management positions in accounting, finance and even sales. Additionally, I’ve been involved in the MLM industry for 15 years, so I’ve been on both sides of the fence so to speak. Here’s the reality, MLM and corporate America are very different!
One of the things that I find myself saying a lot is “This is MLM not corporate America.” I say this often because so many people who join our industry are accustomed to working a job and adapting to the philosophy that exists in many companies. They have what I refer to as “job mentality.”
Let me be clear I’m not knocking jobs, just merely pointing out that there is a big difference between working for someone else and running your own MLM business. To be successful in our industry you must adapt to the culture that exists in network marketing which is very different from corporate America.
Here’s one of my observations: People that have been highly successful employees attempt to run their MLM businesses with the same philosophies that exist on their jobs. For example, I know that in corporate America it is sometimes frowned upon to admit that you don’t know the answer to a question. Admitting that you don’t know the answer may be viewed as incompetence which may lead “management” to question whether you’re the right person for the job.
Also, asking for help may be viewed as a sign of weakness. As a result, employees learn not to do either and instead try to figure things out on their own. When people begin their network marketing careers, they sometimes feel uncomfortable asking for help or admitting that they don’t know the answer. I have to remind them ” This is MLM not corporate America; it’s OK to ask for help.”
The difference is also apparent when someone earns a promotion in MLM. I remember when I worked in a corporate setting and received a coveted promotion which came with a corner office. Very few of my co-workers were genuinely happy for me and even fewer actually congratulated me. By contrast in MLM when you’re promoted, you receive messages of congratulations from numerous people (many that you don’t know personally), people are genuinely excited for the success you’re having and the recognition ceremony is high energy.
Promotions often come with certificates, plaques, cash bonuses, vacations, etc. Your name is scrolled on the jumbo screen at the company convention and published in the quarterly magazine. It’s so great to watch a new person experience a promotion in our industry for the first time. They quickly realize that MLM not corporate America truly knows how to recognize and celebrate a promotion.
Another difference between the two is that corporate America has managers versus MLM where you have mentors. This is a major difference and you’ll find out very quickly that you cannot operate as a manager in MLM. You have to be in the trenches working hard and setting the pace. Unlike corporate America, people won’t do what you tell them to just because of the position you hold. In MLM you must create a “following” and earn the respect of your team through production and proven successes. When people are new to MLM they have to learn this and they’ll sometimes ask, Why aren’t my people following me? The answer is simple, “This is MLM not corporate America.”
People join MLM because they want to not because they have to. Once they are involved, they must learn to work as part of a team. Here’s another difference; you must be team oriented versus in corporate America where oftentimes you operate as an individual. In corporate America you work very hard to stand out and be the shining star, whereas in network marketing you work very hard to create leaders and let the light shine on them. In MLM it’s not about me, but rather “we.” The teamwork concept is a must in our industry.
So now you know where some of the major differences lie between these two industries. Thanks for stopping by and reading this post!