Your Closest Friends and Family Will Not Support You. Why?

When I entered into the world of direct sales, or Multi-level marketing, by becoming an Advisor for AdvoCare  a few short months ago my friend and up-line (MLM term referring to the person who signed you up) said something totally out of their character. He said not to be surprised if your closest friends and family do not go along with your offering. He said in most cases this would prove to be true. I thought how strange to hear this coming from a guy who is one of the happiest most-positive individuals you will ever come across. And…I thought him wrong.

Turns out he was right. My friend and his lovely wife have built a business with AdvoCare that pays them $20,000 per month on average. And their business is growing. They expect to be making $40,000 per month within a year. And they’ve done all this in only three years, on their own. He points out that his Best Friend from 3 years ago STILL hasn’t come on board as a distributor. To my understanding (I could be wrong) neither have his closest family members including his sister, who I also know and have worked with. My up-line has over 1200 people signed-up as AdvoCare Distributors or Advisors. Remarkable!

English: A simple binary tree diagram illustra...

A simple binary tree diagram illustrating the hierarchical structure of a multi-level marketing compensation plan.

And yet here’s what I found. MY BEST FRIEND, who could stand to greatly benefit from the weight loss and nutrition AdvoCare products provide, not only hasn’t joined me. He won’t even listen. He hasn’t a clue what AdvoCare is or provides. And I’m his best friend, and he’s mine. Remarkable. The list of those close to me who won’t listen to anything my wife and I have to say about this company that has us so excited doesn’t stop with my best friend. My immediate neighbors and business partner in my video production company, Total Broadcasting Servicelikewise will not only not sign up as our customers or distributors…they won’t even hear a presentation. Remarkable!

English: A picture of Atlanta Motor Speedway t...

A picture of Atlanta Motor Speedway where the annual Labor Day Weekend AdvoCare 500 takes place.

And yet it turns out…not so remarkable. In a blog entitled “Why Friends and Family Members Won’t Support the New You”  business coach Ray Higdon spells out some of his ideas why this phenomena is so common. He says , in so many words, that those closest to you won’t support you because they’re used to who you “used to be” and can’t fathom you being different, in the mode of a marketer or successful person. He also intimates jealousy plays a part. They don’t want you to be successful because it will reflect poorly on them.                        I’m not sure about all of Higdon’s assertions. Direct-Sales companies face skepticism from everyone already, not just friends and family. It’s my job, and yours, to find people who you can help either with your products and service or with the income opportunity from the MLM, or both. There really are people who want to be their own boss and are disciplined enough to work a business as a business, and grow it, slowly at times, but grow it nonetheless. If you’re looking for a get-rich quick scheme most of the time you’ll be disappointed.                                                                                                                                    In this rather poor quality video Russ Howe, a network marketer with GDI, Global Domains International, actually says approaching friends and family about your business is actually a BAD IDEA:

Higdon correctly points out that your success can and will be determined by you going out and meeting and selling to new people. Which has proven to be true with me. In the approximately 3 months that I have actively represented AdvoCare 35% of the folks I’ve gotten involved with AdvoCare on a retail customer or distributor level I had virtually no previous or extremely limited contact with.  Another 53% I only had tangent contact with; which is to say periodic and infrequent. And the remaining 12% I was relatively close to and contacted with some frequency. And all this while working AdvoCare as a business very seldom. While only putting in 5-10 hours per week training myself, email corresponding, meeting in-person, and making phone calls I’ve managed a small income that has already proven valuable to my family. And since this has been done over a mere three months and with little actual time devoted I have every reason to believe the actual amount of return from this business will grow.

I find it remarkable that those who know you best are least likely to support you and your new business. You would think just the opposite were true. But facts are facts. Don’t let your friends or family drag you down. And realize it’s not personal and its not unusual and lots of folks, like my friend and sponsor, move past the disappointment of friends and family not participating in your new exciting business and go get those new friends who really do want to live well and independent.

I’m really curious to hear from other MLM representatives and tell me what your experience has been on this subject.

Private side note to any friend or family of mine: Yes, you not helping me and my wife build our business and enjoying what we have clearly benefited from DOES disappoint me. But it is what it is. Own it. It’s your decision. Meanwhile, I still love you. Period. 

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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