black people and money

Miss Money Sense: Is network marketing worth the risk?

Miss Money Sense: Is network marketing worth the risk?

By Teneshia “Miss Money Sense” LaFaye

It’s funny how people reach out to me and want to know what I’m doing and how they can do it also because they want to be rescued from the rat race of working paycheck to paycheck to barely get by on their bills. But then, some of them don’t want to do what I’m doing once they find out it deals with direct selling or network marketing.

However, the joke is on them because the majority of women, including me, who make six figures do so in direct-selling organizations. Wealthy business mogul John D. Rockefeller once said that he would rather get 1% of 100 people’s efforts than 100% of his own, which is the basis of network marketing — leveraging small production from a little army of people who make up a team of business owners who all share a piece of the profit pie.

People who didn’t master the art of team building like to label network marketing as a pyramid scheme. But the Federal Trade Commission regulates pyramid schemes to shut them down. So I wonder why the ultimate pyramid — corporate America (aka the new legalized slavery/sharecropping) — hasn’t been closed down.

In corporate America, the CEO is the owner making most of the money and the army of workers earn far less while trading time for money. They work. They get paid. They don’t work. They don’t get paid. Even pro athletes experience this. They get paid well while they’re working, but an injury or retirement leaves most of them bankrupt. Jobs are just to pay bills for the moment.

However, businesses can pay bills for a lifetime and for generations to come. You can’t will your job to your children or relatives. But you can pass down a business.

If you truly want to live and enjoy life, you should pursue business ownership, where you control your time and have the potential for limitless profits that can be passed down for generations like the Rockefellers, the Fords, the Hiltons. Yet, traditional business ownership is risky because most businesses fail to make a profit the first 24 months and shut down within five years of opening. Plus, the cost to start a business is tens of thousands of dollars to millions in addition to ongoing costs to operate the business, such as rent, electricity, inventory and employees.

Network marketing provides the answer. It’s actually working smart. For a small investment, an individual can start a business with little inventory and small operating costs and leverage a team of people, who are creating their own paychecks, and the sky is the limit for how much an individual can make. I love the example one of my partners gave recently. He said that it costs $1.5 million to open a single McDonald’s franchise, and the owner is guaranteed to make $150,000 annually. Yet, my partner makes that in a week — $150,000 weekly — and he borrowed only a few hundred from his mom’s credit card to start his network marketing business.

Sure, 97% of people fail in network marketing while 80-90% of businesses fail and 95% of people who start working at the age of 21 will be dead or broke by age 65. So failure is likely no matter what you do. So ask yourself which risk would you rather take. Spending most of your life building someone else’s dream on job after job only to retire with nothing? Taking out a loan or liquidating your life’s savings to start a traditional business that fails? Invest a few hundred dollars in a network marketing business that may make nothing or could lead you to wealth or at least an extra income. My recommendation is to choose the lowest risk with the highest potential for reward.

So if you are ready to take a little risk and want me to coach you, check out what I’m doing on and reach out to me.

Teneshia LaFaye is a former award-winning newspaper journalist and a nationally certified financial education instructor. She owns a health insurance agency and has written two books, What My Mom Taught Me About Money and Mom’s Money Lessons, available on her site, Get her FREE daily money tips to work on improving your financial mindset by “liking” her MissMoneySense page on Facebook.

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