Network marketing or Multi-Level Marketing (aka MLM) is one way to earn a bit of extra money, or even build a Plan B to replace your current income.
Sure you can get excited by the talk of “unlimited earning potential”, but you might be worried that you might work at it, earn very little, and end up with nothing but expenses.
These are valid concerns, so it’s important to compare earning MLM money to the other choices you have.
1. Getting A Second Job.
In a job you swap your time for money. It costs nothing to start, once you find one. You can predict what you will earn, but if/when the job stops, the money does too.
In comparison, an MLM will usually need you to have some money to begin with, for the MLM program and some tools/extra training. But there is no ‘unemployment’ in an MLM, and there is an MLM for any budget.
In an MLM, money comes from your results not your hours spent, so you can set goals, but you can’t plan like a job. You will need to budget more carefully at the start, until your results become more predictable.
Once you are earning ongoing commissions from your sales you are getting predictably paid residual income over and over again, whether you continue to work or not. That is the key long-term difference.
2. Working On Commission
Like a job, it usually doesn’t cost anything to start. But like an MLM, money isn’t paid by the hour, but as a commission from each sale.
Some pay structures even have trailing commissions and other forms of residual passive income.
However with commissioned sales you don’t get the leverage from training others and earning a percentage from their efforts too. The long-term and bigger results from an MLM depend on the work of others that you help get started.
3. Internet marketing / affiliate marketing.
Unless you are selling your own product, online marketing means earning money by marketing someone else’s products ie affiliate marketing.
When you break it down, this means internet marketing is the same as working for a commission in #2 above, except without a boss.
The difference is flexibility. As long as you have a computer and an internet connection there are no barriers to entry, and the range of options is enormous. Choices includes e-Bay, drop-shipping, affiliate marketing, Google Adsense, Clickbank, and new ones starting literally every day.
Many MLM’s are now online too, and once again the key difference is in leveraging the efforts of others that you introduce and train in your business. Instead of being one person earning online, you can have a whole team delivering you a commission.
4. Doing further study or going back to college / university.
Many people hope the extra training will help them get a better job or make them more likely to get a job in the first place. This is not such a guaranteed path to success as it once was.
If you get good marks academically you get the skills and knowledge, and a qualification. If you get good marks in MLM you get knowledge, skills, along with earning during your ‘education’ and a solid income at the end.
5. Buying a Franchise.
Franchises almost always cost a lot more money upfront, and you have ongoing financial commitments for employees, capital equipment, maintenance, leases, franchise fees etc.
With an MLM, the ongoing commitments are much lower, so you can stop and restart much more easily and decide how to fit it into your life. You control your business and your lifestyle much more. Not surprisingly, this can also mean that people don’t take an MLM as seriously as they would a franchise, even though the earning potential can be just as good or even higher.
Overall, making money in an MLM is not a choice to be taken lightly. But neither is any other way to earn an income if you are serious about it.
In the end, you might do best to combine these methods. For example, it is a good idea to work an MLM part-time on the side, until you are earning more than double your income from a job and can safely move to doing MLM full-time. Or, as I do, you can combine internet marketing for more immediate cash with an MLM for the long-term leverage.
Don’t be fooled by the hype of “MLM Money!“, but in comparison to your other earning choices it can be a powerful part of a plan for financial and lifestyle plans.
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