In 2004, I was working full time as a Training Manager for a Call Center.
I made good money, especially for a guy in his early 20s who didn’t even have a Bachelors Degree.
However, I wanted more.
I had big dreams and big goals.
I wanted to be a millionaire by age 30 and I knew a middle management position in Corporate America wasn’t going to get me there.
So after hours I was constantly on the lookout for ways to build a business on the side. I had stumbled across ebooks. This was before even Amazon launched Kindle and eventually became the number one seller of ebooks.
I was making a few hundred dollars a month selling ebooks online. It was cool. However, that wasn’t going to get me to a million.
It was then that a friend of mine invited me over to his house to take a look at a business opportunity.
I really wasn’t that interested until he told me that his father was doing it. When I heard that, I was very interested.
I knew that his father was a man of high character and integrity and that he wouldn’t be involved with anything that wasn’t above board.
So I went and that was the day that I was exposed to the concept of network marketing.
Now, I want to be clear. I am not here to bash network marketing.
Network marketing is simply a method of compensation for a sales force. That’s it.
If you own a company that sells a product for $100.
It might cost you $20 to make the product.
It might cost you another $10 to go back into your company to cover all your expenses that aren’t directly related to making the product.
You might want to make $10 profit for every $100 sale. So that’s $40.
The other $60 you may reserve for those who are responsible for selling the product.
What many companies do is they say, whoever sells the product, I’m going to pay you $40 per sale. If you sell 50 of these things I’ll pay you $50 per sale. If you sell 100 of these things I’ll pay you $60 per sale.
That’s a traditional method that companies use to compensate their sales force.
What network marketing does instead is take that same $60 and divides it up into different levels.
They then pay the money out based on who made the sale, what level they are at and who above them occupies levels that makes them eligible for some of that money as well.
So for instance, the person that made the sale might make $20. The person that recruited them into the business if they are at a higher level might make $10.
There might be a person above them at a leadership position who is earning $20. Then there might be another person above them at a higher leadership position that is earning $10.
That top person though might be earning $10 a sale from an organization that’s doing 10,000 sales a month.
Even if they aren’t even actively building the business anymore.
That’s what attracted me to network marketing.
Now while there is nothing wrong with a desire to have leverage and to be able to produce income for yourself that comes in that doesn’t require you to have to go out and work for it every day.
That’s literally why we have retirement accounts. So we can have money come in when we are old enough that we cannot work or no longer want to work.
The network marketing business model exposed a character flaw inside of me that I wasn’t aware of.
The flaw is what I like to call the SFN Syndrome.
SFN stands for Something For Nothing.
The reason why I was so attracted to network marketing was because if I built a team that could produce enough sales without my involvement.
I could get paid money for doing nothing.
A lot of money.
Enough money to allow me to become a millionaire by age 30.
However, the SFN Syndrome violates a very basic law of stewardship.
In stewardship, we don’t get something for nothing.
As stewards we are responsible for managing resources that are in our possession.
If we do a good job at it, then we get more resources to manage.
If we do a bad job at it, we don’t get more to manage and in fact we could lose the very little that we are currently managing now.
The SFN Syndrome prevented me from seeing the truth about the network marketing business model.
The truth is…
1 – The percentage of people who get to those top levels are a very small percentage. It’s literally fractions of a single percent.
2 – Most of them who are at those levels are still working just as hard, if not harder than they were working when they first got started.
3 – Many of them didn’t even build their organization in that company. They were in other companies prior and they made big money when they brought their organizations over to the new company often getting a “special deal” to do so.
Now don’t get me wrong there are plenty of people who did build it in that one company with no special deal. I know a number of them. However, there are enough people who have gotten special deals that it’s something you need to be aware of.
4 – The few that are truly retired and still have big incomes coming in? They built their businesses for 20, 30 even 40 years full time to get to that point.
Now this isn’t to blame network marketing.
Network marketing is completely neutral in the matter.
It is a method of compensating sales people. Nothing more, nothing less.
There’s nothing inherently good or evil about it.
The issue was the flaw within ME and that’s what needed to be addressed when it comes to becoming a better steward.
There are a number of people who suffer from this same syndrome.
They think the problem is they haven’t found their “vehicle” to get them to the lifestyle that they desire.
However, the reality is the SFN syndrome is like a virus inside of their mind, sucking away their rational thinking thus making them susceptible to bad decisions.
For example, a friend approaches you about an “awesome investment opportunity.”
You invest $500 and for every $500 you put in, you get back a minimum of $1500.
Sounds too good to be true right?
Absolutely, if you are thinking rationally.
However, when you suffer from SFN syndrome this is exactly the type of opportunity that you would jump into.
Especially when your friend tells you that they put their $500 in already and got back $1500 in less than a week.
As a good steward you can absolutely have what you desire.
However, the reality is if you study almost every true success story you will find a common denominator.
It was slow and steady that won the race.
It was hard work and sustained effort over years, if not decades that got the job done.
Not this get rapid results quickly foolishness.
That’s classic SFN Syndrome.
It’s not only found in investing either.
If you are constantly trying the latest new “diet fad” hoping that this new thing will finally be the thing that gets the weight off and keeps it off for good?
You likely suffer from SFN Syndrome.
If EVERY person that you date turns out to be horrible even though you are a “good” man or a “good” woman?
You almost DEFINITELY suffer from SFN Syndrome.
If you’re constantly buying the latest online course hoping that this will finally be the answer to help you build a business?
You’re showing all the symptoms for SFN Syndrome.
The good news is there is a cure for this disease.
The cure is a renewal of your mind in this area.
You must accept the fact that if you aren’t happy with your life right now, it is due to the fact that up into now you have been a bad steward over one or more of the five areas of stewardship.
A bad steward of your time.
A bad steward of your talents and skills.
A bad steward of your finances.
A bad steward of your health.
A bad steward of your relationships.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow but it is a necessary one.
At the worse parts of my life, I was a bad steward in ALL FIVE AREAS!
Once you recognize this, the answer is to remove your bad stewardship habits and replace them with good stewardship habits.
While recognizing that is going to take TIME to fix your life and that there are no shortcuts.
At the retail counter of success, you must pay full retail.
If it took years for you to be broke.
It’s likely going to take you years to get back on track financially.
If it took years for you to be in bad or no romantic relationships.
It’s likely going to take you years to get into good romantic relationships.
However, by accepting this reality and being willing to put in the work, you now set yourself up to be in position to cure yourself from the SFN syndrome.
We here at The 10 Talents would love to help you to do just that!
Roosevelt Cooper – The10Talents.com
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