The Break Free Blog

Where you are not alone in Breaking Free

Product Presentation At A Conference

In this short series of articles on network marketing/multi level marketing/direct selling we have so far examined understanding the people already running such businesses and how to discover if they are the sort of people with whom you can find freedom.

You want to be going alone as a business entrepreneur but also as a part of a network so you need products to promote too.

All businesses in all walks of life need products to sell: whether it is a solid item you can touch or a service.

80% of all businesses fail and this is true in direct selling. Often the reason is the products do not sell.

Of course it all depends on you but to find freedom it is always better to have a diverse range of products so if one does not sell well in a situation, you have another one to promote. The expression ‘not having all your eggs in one basket’ is especially relevant to people breaking free from the job market to find freedom.

In direct selling therefore diversification means strength: having one product is weak, two products are better but the ideal is a range of many products.

I repeat: any business has to have a product. This product has to be sold at a profit for an enterprise to survive and for you to find freedom.

It is essential you understand how any network marketing company makes money and how any bonus structure works. If the product is not specified and certainly if it does not even exist, make your way to the exit otherwise you may be entering into the dangerous world of money trees or chain letters.

The truth is there are widely varied ranges of products to be found in direct selling and it depends on you to find the ones that suit you and will help you find freedom.

Always avoid schemes where there are not benefits to everyone involved or there are no products.

Two businessmen in a friendly handshake

It depends on you to be responsible for You Inc. or You Limited so you must be clear if it is worth tying your budding enterprise to the one offered. Are they really worth your valuable time and effort?

As with all businesses you have stakeholders to satisfy: your family. Act like the business entrepreneur you are.

But the benefits need not necessarily financial. Good direct selling companies will offer training, which can be valuable in its own right.

Are you clear how the training works? Is it good quality and well structured? Can you see how it can help you find freedom?

The principles of success are timeless and universal: they have been taught since at least the time of the Bible. They work if applied in the right way and will improve your self worth and help you in going it alone so ensure any training system teaches them.

Also satisfy yourself that the organization will stand behind you and support you all the way.

In his interesting book, ‘Why We Want You To Be Rich,’ Robert Kiyosaki puts it this way:

“Donald Trump and I recommend and support the network marketing or direct sales industry primarily because of the education aspect of the industry. Not only do most of these businesses focus on training people to be business owners, many of these businesses also have great personal development and sales-training programs. Select an organization for the education aspect more than for the compensation.”

Another benefit to be sought in direct selling is the social side. I learned a lot from the success systems but have also made many friends too. That may be important to you and useful as a business entrepreneur. Once again it would be worth getting to as many meetings as appropriate where you can meet others breaking free to find freedom and ask their opinions.

Undoubtedly there will be a cost to the meetings and education system as no one can reasonably be expected to provide books, audio programmes, video programmes and meeting venues for nothing. But again it depends on you to assess if the costs are reasonable.

People have told me they were persuaded into parting £12 000 for support materials. Be self dependent : no-one can force you to part with large amounts of money without your permission. Keep aware and know when to get out when things are simply not worth the cost involved.

Be hard when assessing a network marketing business and understand if what is being offered really works and is of benefit to you.

Act like the business entrepreneur you are and you will find freedom.

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Two happy salesmen in suits

In my second post on network marketing or multi level marketing (MLM) I will examine who you can trust and who to avoid.

Obviously when you are breaking free to find freedom it depends on you and your feelings about people: I can only guide you.

I believe every one of us is born with a natural sense about people a whether they can be trusted or not. You only need to observe young children and indeed dogs to see this in operation. Both children and dogs take an instant like or dislike to someone with no apparent reason.

Learn to trust your own natural instinctive intuition and common sense when breaking free and going solo. This is particularly true when choosing a network marketing company.

Find out all you can about the people with whom you will be working. Many hold recruitment meetings and you can use these to find out more and meet the people involved.

If at all possible, get to meet them face-to-face and look them in the eyes. Ask as many questions as you can. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with them. Do you really trust them? What is their body language telling you?

Don’t be afraid to be a nuisance as at this stage it all depends on you to find out all you can. A confident businessman will be flattered you are taking such an interest in his way to find freedom.

If however those involved will not look you in the eye and will not answer your questions, say goodbye and walk away. You are a business entrepreneur and need to make the right decisions at this stage.

Incidentally, if you want find out more about studying body language, Allan Pease is an acknowledged expert.

Two woman entrepreneurs in conversation

I have learned to be wary of what I call ‘Flash Harrys.’ These are people who are hyperactive, shouting quick fire slogans and making you jump up and down.

The only sort of ‘ra-ra’ I like is a type of skirt. In business it seems simply false and does nothing for me and my efforts in going it alone to find freedom.

False friendliness makes my skin crawl too. Be careful of those who employ false smiles and flattery. I am also wary of men with dodgy facial hair. It may be me, but a pencil-thin beard is too perfect for my liking.

Don’t get me wrong, of course it is right to look your best when breaking free and wearing a smart suit is important in the right circumstances, but to me there is a difference between flashiness and classic style.

My preference is for someone who does not take himself or herself too seriously but is prepared to sit down quietly with me and discover my needs, wants and dreams and then motivate me accordingly. Someone who can be a genuine friend. They are out there.

Having said that, I think it is worth giving someone a fair hearing no matter how snappily dressed they are but it pays to be wary.

Watch for what I call ‘smoke and mirrors.’ Discover the man (or woman) beneath the image and hype. I am afraid I get little from the high energy selling and motivation that is all-too common. Above all, avoid the hard sell: if they are out to sell to you whatever, be prepared to rebuff them in as rough a manner as necessary. I have seen too many people buy something they didn’t need and regret it soon after. Huge sums of money have been lost in this way.

As you look for ways to find freedom, always avoid someone at the other end of the spectrum too.

If somebody cannot make the effort to look presentable but continually turns up in a ripped T-shirt and scruffy jeans or has some indescribable antisocial habit, go home. They cannot even be bothered to make an effort to look professional or to present a good image. Clearly they are not interested in helping you become a business entrepreneur or find freedom.

People are at the heart of any good business – even online – and it is worth getting good at assessing those with whom you deal. It is a great way to ensure you tie up with reliable contacts and even to later help other people find freedom themselves.

The best business entrepreneur in my experience is the best at people skills.

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A popular way to break free and find freedom is going it alone as a professional photographer.

Here, photographer Anthony Maddaloni gives tips on how to become self dependent as a freelance photographer.



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The Freelance Revolution

Dec-1-2010 By admin


Tuesday 23 November was National Freelancers Day in the UK. In its edition published in conjunction with the Professional Contractors Group (PCG) on the Saturday before, the Daily Telegraph examined the growth of the freelancer.

In particular interest to those wanting to break free and find freedom was an interview with futurologist Dr James Bellini.

In this interview, Dr Bellini felt we are about to experience a Freelancing Revolution which could have an impact as massive as the agricultural and industrial revolutions.

This could well be true. I will try to explain why people looking to be self dependent and breaking free from the job market could change the look of business.

Prior to the industrial revolution, most businesses were self dependent and were the original cottage industries. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as mass production took hold, the population gradually moved to large towns and worked in large factories and offices.

With the advent of mass technology and communication in the twenty first century, many will break free and start going it alone. The internet is helping people find freedom.

Dr Bellini explained that a desk in an office represents a wasted asset, being occupied only 43% of the time on average. In fact the whole system is inherently wasteful.

The Telework Association predicts by 2020 80% of workers will not be commuting to work fixed hours at a workplace. Immediately there are savings in time wasted travelling and in transport costs. The trend towards people breaking free from the outmoded system would even benefit the environment following reduced transport emissions and less industrial development!

Of course many jobs may not be outsourced to self dependent people, such as in manufacturing, but on the other hand, many can. Indeed, some professions have been doing it for a long time such as electricians, film crews and session musicians.

Economists have even come up with a description for this: Giganomics.

Advantages To Companies

Companies can now find people to do specific jobs and pay on outcomes. It is up to the individual how he achieves the outcome.

If times are hard, employers simply contract less freelancers. In the retail sector a significant number of employees are agency workers so are not freelancers but nonetheless the retail companies can simply increase or reduce the number of agency workers used day-to-day.

Using self dependent freelancers, companies are less likely to be blindsided (caught out by rapid changes in the market) as they can move relatively quickly and, indeed, be tapping into innovational thinking from those who are breaking free and not be hampered by company dogma.

In any case, using contracted self dependent individuals means companies will have greatly reduced fixed costs so hard times are less likely to hit so hard.

Advantages To Individuals

Of course, the flexibility available to employers would mean uncertainty for those going it alone, but there are significant advantages that should offset this.

Freelancers are able to work to their own abilities and follow their passions. They are more likely to think freely (so be more useful to companies), be more entrepreneurial and dynamic. They will also break free of office politics.

The self dependent individuals are able to set their own timetables and working hours (subject to the constraints of work demands, of course). Days off and holidays can be taken when they are able and not when the boss says they can.

There is an element of security with those going it alone having several projects running producing multiple sources of income. They could even employ several varied skills. Several local shopkeepers are beginning to support their high street activities through online sales, for example. Thirty years ago business guru Charles Handy described this as ‘portfolio careers.’

Breaking free from the job market means reduced stress and costs as a result of the reduced need for commuting. This could result in more time with family and friends (although the hours worked may increase initially) and indeed more time meeting neighbours. This answers the criticism that self dependent workers may well see less people, especially if their work is largely online.

Potentially individuals will spend more time in their community, have more time for volunteering and take up more hobbies. Clearly this would have wider social advantages.

Many of the resources for self dependent individuals are already available. There are market places for talents online (such as Elance) or even for those wishing to add to their incomes using affiliate programmes (Clickbank is an example).

Undoubtedly, as with a favourite electrician or car mechanic, companies will tend to stick with freelancers who have been reliable in the past.

Conclusion

The giganomic revolution would totally change the way we do business. Obviously there are already self dependent individuals (like us) who have been breaking free already, thus pointing the way for the future.

The present shaky state of the economy, the number of people losing their jobs, a desire by individuals to find a different way of doing things and the availability of technology all mean many more freelancers will be breaking free to find freedom in the future.

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