My Winding Road to Online Network Marketing

I didn't set out to be an online network marketer. It was a winding road.In my last post about being a great Dad by working from home I told you that I would share the roundabout path that led me from a “normal” corporate job to building an online business in network marketing that allows me to work at home and spend a lot more time with my kids. I’m going to do that now and share more about why I chose to build my network marketing business online.

I used to work as a software developer, first in C and C++ with a little Visual Basic thrown in. Then Java came around and all of the internet technologies like Java Server Pages (JSP), servlets, JavaScript and so on. That’s what I used to do. I don’t know what it is like now (I’ve been out for ten years), but back then a lot of software architects and developers designed software that was, in my opinion, artificially complex. It seemed like they needed to justify their existence or something. It was a world of deadlines and other pressures that lead to a lot of stress. I got very tired of it, so I thought I’d try something else.

My Introduction to Wellness

My wife had recently graduated from massage school, so I thought I could do that too. It was an absolutely crazy idea because I really didn’t care to touch or be touched by other people. There was one other guy in my class, and naturally all of the girls paired up together leaving him and me stuck with each other on our first hands-on massage class.
I really enjoyed massage school. We met two nights a week for three hours and on Saturdays for fourteen months. It wasn’t just about giving and receiving massages. You learn a lot of anatomy and physiology – how your body is put together and how it functions. The human body is an amazingly complex and interconnected structure.
We had classes about energy – the chakras, meridians, auras, acupuncture and acupressure. One of the best classes that we had was on Myofascial Release (MFR). I enjoyed it so much that I went out and attended a three-day seminar to really learn it. My classmates enjoyed it too once I got back to class. I would do MFR on my partner while we were supposed to be practicing our neuromuscular massage. My instructor let me get away with it as long as I could perform the strokes I was supposed to be doing when she called on me. I sometimes had my hands-on partners scheduled several classes in advance.
The road to success is always under construction. - Arnold Palmer Click To Tweet
The idea that I want you to get here is that I became very interested in learning about the human body and how we can help each other be more healthy and comfortable.

Magnets are Energy

My anatomy and physiology instructor was a nurse from the local hospital. Sometime toward the end of the program she mentioned a book, Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About by Kevin Trudeau.
I picked up the book and my wife and I tried to read it. I do not recommend the book. It is difficult to read and the author keeps harping on various conspiracy theories involving the government, drug companies, and others to keep people sick. I don’t remember there being much useful information in the book until about three quarters of the way through when it said that everyone should be sleeping on a magnetic mattress pad.
This was completely new for me. At that time all I knew that magnets were good for was pinning your kid’s artwork on your refrigerator. I had never heard of using magnets for the body, sleeping or otherwise. I had to find out more about magnets, so I asked another massage therapist that I knew who did energy work what he knew about magnets. He invited me to a meeting at someone’s house.

My Introduction to Network Marketing

The event was a traditional network marketing meeting. What I didn’t know was that this other massage therapist had just joined a network marketing company a couple months earlier, and this company marketed magnets to help the body. They even had the magnetic mattress pads like what I read about in the Trudeau book.
We went to the meeting and met some people. We learned about how network marketing and all of these amazing product were going to save the world. We borrowed one of the magnetic mattress pads to try out for a few days. I share my experience of my first night sleeping on the magnetic mattress pad in another post here.
A couple weeks later I signed up to be a distributor. As a new massage therapist I thought it made sense to have products to promote along with the business. Massage is very manual labor and you are limited to how much money you can earn in a day by how many hours you can work. Having a product to promote too, especially magnetic massage tools that the client could take home and use themselves, can really supplement your income.

Traditional Network Marketing Sucks

My sponsor, that other massage therapist that I originally asked about magnets, and I tried to build our businesses by dragging all of our products (my products for the most part) to business expos and wellness expos around the area. We made a few sales and we got a few people who would come to one of our upline’s meetings, but we (that is, I) were spending more money than we (I) were making.
For the most part people at these expos looked at us like we had three heads or something. We could attract high school girls with a chair massage with a magnetic roller and we could get lots of young kids who thought the water filter was really cool. All people too young to be able to make a buying decision or to legally join a network marketing opportunity.
Traditional network marketing sucks! It has a limited local reach and requires too much time. Click To Tweet
Probably the most interesting person we met turned out to be one of the technical writers for the scientist who developed most of the magnetic products that we were displaying. It was very cool talking to her and getting a different perspective on what we had.

There Has to Be a Better Way – The Internet

I can’t say that going to events doesn’t work because it does work for many network marketers. I can say that it didn’t work for me, so I had to find another way. I decided to try the internet. Sure, I worked on websites all day long in my job, but for an individual to create that kind of website with those technologies was prohibitively expensive. Needless to say, I did finally figure out how to get online. Maybe I’ll go into the details of how I did that next time.
Building an online network marketing business is definitely the way to go. When you go to events, you are trying to bring in people who may not be looking for what you have. It can be a very hard sell. Online you can focus on only the people who are looking for and open to learning about your offer. The Internet also works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can take time off, but your website keeps working.
Probably the biggest benefit of using the Internet to build a network marketing business, or any business for that matter, is that you aren’t limited to your local area. I’m in the southeast United States. The network marketing company that I am with will ship to all of the US and Canada. The Internet makes it possible to reach that entire market. There are still a couple of the Canadian provinces and territories that I haven’t sold anything to yet but I have sold to most of them, and to all of the US states.

The Beginning

I have been online now for about eight years selling the products from my network marketing company (the same one that I joined ten years ago) and earning an income. I have also added some team members who wanted to do what I’m doing. Even with the success that I’ve had so far, I still feel like I’m just getting started. The Internet is constantly changing and new ways of connecting with people are constantly appearing. I know there are so many people who want to be able to build a steady income so that they can work from home, or work from anywhere as they travel. That’s what I’m working on now, how to help my teammates learn to do what I do online without me having to give up the freedom that I have worked to create by having this business. That’s my next step.
That’s most of my story. What do you think? What has your story been like? Please share in a comment below. I’d would love to connect with you. Share this post with your followers then connect with me on social media. I spend most of my time on Facebook and Twitter. There are buttons to find me at the top-right of this page.

Disclaimer

I earn my income through online network and a little bit of affiliate marketing. Sadly, my results are not typical of everyone who starts a network marketing business. As with anything, there is no guarantee that you will make any money in network marketing. It requires time, effort, persistence and all of the other qualities that you associate with work. I find it to be entirely worth it.

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4 Responses to My Winding Road to Online Network Marketing

  1. Hey Ben,
    I love your story because it resonates with me so much. My Journey or love for what I do started out when I was very young, but more recently as an adult I have actioned it into my life for the last 10 years.
    Like you I loved learning about energy. In fact I did a Reiki course and Reiki Master course and thought I would just do that on people. How far my life has come as this was just a piece in the puzzle.
    Like you as well, I love the internet since it is on a global scale. I live in a small town so work or employment can be limited. But the sky is the limit when it comes to being on line and it is always improving.
    I love doing video since it is more real and personal to people in that they feel like I am sitting in the room with them. I loved your story and I loved your post. I think we share a lot in common. Thanks Jennifer

    • Ben says:

      Thanks for visiting again Jennifer. I’m glad you enjoyed my story. I appreciate that.
      The Internet is an amazing tool. If I was still doing software development then I would probably have to commute at least an hour each way to work. Instead, the Internet allows me live where I want to be, do my own thing and connect with people like you who live on the other side of planet from me. It’s really amazing when you stop and think about it.
      I appreciate your comment as always.

  2. John says:

    Great article Ben, I really enjoyed hearing more about your background and how you came to do what you do!
    I agree with your point about traditional network marketing, and I believe the way you do it by using the Internet is a far better way that is much more scalable as well.
    I think a lot of other network marketers that struggle with the phone calls and meetings etc, would benefit by bring their business online!
    Great post 🙂
    ~John

    • Ben says:

      Thanks for the comment John. It is always appreciated. That’s exactly how I build up the team side of my business, by showing others that you don’t have to do all of the meeting stuff. Thanks again.

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