By David Lee
There is a scene in the movie Office Space where Peter, the main character, uses a drill to take down a wall in his office cubicle. After doing so, he leans back in his chair, puts his feet up on his desk and relaxes.
Peter is fed up with his job and everything that surrounds it—his “eight bosses,” the bumper-to-bumper commute to and from work, the receptionist with the squeaky voice. He just feels trapped in a mundane and predictable life.
You’ve probably felt like Peter before. You probably feel like Peter today. And you will probably feel like Peter tomorrow.
More and more Americans are altering their traditional perception that corporate America is the safest and smartest career path choice. The sluggish economy has left many people unemployed or underemployed; company benefits, such as 401(k) plans, don’t mean as much when the stock market takes an uppercut to the chin; and with the uncertainty over the future of company-provided health insurance, you can see how the result is a rapidly changing business culture.
Instead of climbing the corporate ladder, many people have slid completely off. Best-selling financial author Robert Kiyosaki says, “The problem with climbing the corporate ladder is that when you look up, you see somebody’s big fat butt above you.”
Kiyosaki’s philosophy: Don’t climb the corporate ladder; own it. Of course, owning your own business isn’t easy, but that hasn’t stopped people from looking for something different—something better.
“Sometimes, we have to get pushed out of the nest in order to fly,” says syndicated radio host and financial expert Dave Ramsey. “There are a lot of eagles out there who haven’t spread their wings in a while. Whether they’re starting a new business or expanding their vision in this new economy, now, all of a sudden, I’m seeing these eagles soar. Their creative juices are flowing again; they’re smiling again; they’re happy again. These are the right kinds of people who see this recession as an opportunity to improve.”
Network marketing is becoming a popular and viable way for people to earn extra income or to replace their full-time income altogether. It’s also a way for people to find the kind of unique freedom that just doesn’t exist in corporate America.
Free to Be Your Own Boss
One of the biggest reasons people choose to build their own business is to get away from having someone else tell you what to do and when to do it. No more asking if you can take a day off or letting everyone know you’ll be in 30 minutes late. Building a successful network marketing business isn’t easy, but when you are working your business because you truly want to, you are free to run things as you see fit.
Having important decisions made for you that can greatly affect your life just doesn’t appeal to many people. Dale Collie, author of Winning Under Fire, lists “lack of control” as the No. 1 work-related stress. Raises, bonuses, health insurance, and just the fear of losing your job—they are out of your hands when you work for someone else. Working for yourself puts these decisions in your hands, allowing you to choose what’s best for you and your family. Plus, you’re never going to fire yourself!
Free to Set Your Own Schedule
People who succeed in network marketing almost always cite “spending more time with family” as one of the top benefits of running their own business. When you’re free to set your own schedule, you decide when to work and when to attend your child’s school play or baseball game. Also, when you work from home, you eliminate the wasted time and expense of a long commute.
Having the ability to set your own schedule can allow you to work more efficiently. Of course, some days may require 10 or more hours of work, but on other days you might determine that you only need to work two or three hours. It’s up to you. For example, some people are more efficient when they can work intensely for two hours and then take a long break. Some people like to work at night. They key is that you are free to grow your business on your terms.
Free to Work with Whom You Want
The nature of network marketing is building relationships. You choose with whom you want to work. Most of us network with people every day, even if we don’t realize it. There are more than 500 million active users on Facebook. And what are they doing? Networking. Have you seen a good movie lately and told someone about it? That’s word-of-mouth marketing. It’s at the core of network marking, and it’s a skill just about everyone has.
As you build your network marketing business, you build new relationships while helping others build their businesses. When they succeed, you succeed. You’re in it together, so you are part of a team that has a common interest in helping everyone succeed. You are not by yourself.
The rise of social media has taken network marketing to a new level. Actually, social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others are tailor-made for network marketing. It’s all about communication. There have never been more tools for network marketers to find people to build their business with. The power is completely in your hands.
Free to Work from Anywhere
“Work from home” is almost becoming an outdated phrase. Sure, a lot of people run their own businesses, but these days, you often don’t even need to be home to do it. There are more ways to communicate today than ever. Many cellphones today can be essentially an office in the palm of your hand. Talk, text, email, go online, submit a blog—you pretty much can do anything you can do at your home computer.
Keeping in touch with other people in your network is essential to growing a successful business, and that is easier to do than ever. Contact lists can be carried with you, and you can conduct a conference call from the coffee shop down the block.
If you’re considering starting your own network marketing business, the technology and opportunity available today couldn’t be more fitting. Millions of people are enjoying the unique freedoms that network marketing can bring. You can, too.
Note: This article originally appeard in an issue of Success from Home magazine.