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Why network marketing is no longer a wacky idea

For decades, network marketing has been held as “alternative employment,” held in the type of regard as “alternative medicine” and “alternative agriculture.” Our industry was populated only by a few adventurous men and women willing to risk the stormy entrepreneurial seas outside the safe harbor of conventional business.

Now that’s changing, in large part because of the dramatic transformation of the American workplace.

Unemployment is a sobering fact of life. Depending on where you live, the rate in recent years has been 8, 10, 12, 15 percent.  You know the litany—nearly millions of jobs lost in the last decade in nonfarm sectors, electronics, construction, managerial/supervisory. It’s hit collars of all colors. What’s different about this recession/recovery is that this time an alarming percentage of the jobs lost are gone forever. Some economists are wrestling with the idea of 7 percent unemployment being permanent. Why?

Because the changes we are witnessing in the American workplace are not just a series of seasonal or even cyclical alterations, but a dynamic transformation to a new and better way of working. The focus of business: leaner, cleaner, and meaner.

The corporate view is, business cannot afford to pay the going human being wage rate if the same work can be done by a computer or a machine. An American auto worker earns $75,000 in pay and benefits. A middle manager makes $60,000. If a robot or computer can do their jobs, without need for day care, life insurance, sick leave, or paid vacations, there is no dollar-sense in keeping them on. And that’s what’s happening in both blue- and white-collar professions.

Where will this cost-for-performance trend show up next? In marketing. Marketing (meaning promotion, advertising, sales, and distribution) is 80 percent of a product’s cost. If a corporation can invent a way to pay less for its marketing efforts, increase sales results in current and new markets, and pay only for sales results after those sales are made, they’ll do it. Wouldn’t you?

As jobs are cut (but not forgotten by the people who once had and still need them) and as corporations become more bottom-line oriented, network marketing will become the beneficiary of both business megatrends. People will turn to network marketing to augment their incomes, as a hedge against unemployment, and ultimately as a positive, full-fledged career choice.

Corporations will turn to network marketing, or multi-level marketing, as a way to increase sales, enter new markets, and pay for both only after the results are in. In both cases and for both reasons the network marketing industry stands to benefit greatly.

Network marketing is an answer to the employment dilemma for the disenfranchised American worker and workers around the world as the networking explosions in Poland, Brazil, South Korea, and Austria attest. It is a solution to the cost-versus-productivity problem faced by businesses around the world.

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