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Network Marketing Made Easy



Israel Tjikana

My name is Israel Tjikana. I live in Soshanguve – a township North-West of Pretoria, South Africa.

I live a modest life in a section of the township regarded as a poor section. The houses here are what we call in this country RDP houses. These are houses built by the government and given for free to people classified as poor. I don’t own one of these by the way. I rent a tin house, or a shack if you like.

I landed in network marketing by accident. The year was 1993.

One evening, arriving home from work, I was greeted by books of various sizes clustered on our living room floor. My wife must have realised that I was a bit confused 'cause she said “I just bought a set of encyclopaedias for the kids.”

But my mind was not on what was lying on the floor. I knew it was an encyclopaedia set. What was on my mind was, if she bought these things, then she has just added a few thousand rands to our already overloaded burden. And I promptly asked the question “how much did you pay for it?” Her reply confirmed my suspicions...

She had just committed us to another ZAR7 000 (about US$1000 at the time of writing). And we had to pay this off over a period of 36 months.

At this time we were just over three years into our new home and still adjusting to the bond repayment. Our children (we have three) were all at school and fees at this school had to be paid monthly.

As I saw it, there was no way we were going to cope with these payments in the long run.

I think it is my love for books that saved the situation. For instead of outwardly showing my anger at what I considered a bad financial move, I enquired about how she thought we were going manage the payments on this acquisition considering that we are barely making it from month to month.

“The lady said if we can get three other parents to invest in a set like ours we will have this amount paid off. And if we continue finding other people to do likewise, we can earn ourselves some extra income.” She said something along these lines.

It didn’t make sense to me at the time. So I asked to see the person who sold us the encyclopaedia set. It happened to be her colleague. She explained as best she could…

  • how our financial fortunes may change for the better if we took up this opportunity
  • how we may end up earning from the work performed by others
  • how we may earn ourselves fully paid vacations overseas,
  • and
  • various other benefits we could enjoy by just being involved and doing the work.

There was no mention of the words ‘network marketing’ or ‘multi-level marketing.’ I only came to know about these terms about a year later.

Theoretically, what she said looked possible. But being human, I was skeptical. Two things specifically were at the centre of my mind.

One, I’m not what you would call a sales person. I’m an office boy, so to say. In fact, my friends consider me an introvert. And I agree because I am not outgoing. I find it difficult sometimes just to start a conversation, let alone to keep it going for long. But the saleslady assured me that it should not be a problem because the whole thing involves team work. She told us about the training, which happened to be taking place "this coming weekend".

Second, I could not see where I was going to get the time to do all this selling. I was arriving home from work just before sunset almost every day and I needed my rest to be ready for the next day. There was just no way that this thing would work. And I made this clear to her. She explained how we could find the time by doing away with things like watching television, using our weekends for visiting families, etc.

Though I saw the potential of the opportunity presented, I was determined not join because it sounded too good to be true. But there was the ZAR7 000 to repay. And our current income was not sufficient to cover it. On the other hand my wife kept telling me that the only reason she committed us to this kind of money was because she knew we can do it.

I’m sure you know what happens when a woman says you gotta do something. It gets done if you happen to be her husband.

So we attended the very next training session. Two days in a row. Thankfully, my attitude changed for the better during these two days.

To cut a long story short, we later became what you would call a success in that company. We became the envy of many of our peers in the company. On the material plane…

  • We paid off that encyclopaedia set within nine months of joining.
  • My income from this part time work exceeded my full time income more than twofold in less than eighteen months.
  • We moved into a new home in a more affluent suburb.
  • We moved our children from public schools to private schools.
  • We attended our first national and international conference within two years and have been at these conferences for three years in a row.

The cherry on top was that, at most of these conferences I was given an award for one thing or another.

Perhaps what should stand out as odd among these awards was the top personal producer for our area. This is something I never thought possible considering that I’m an introvert by definition.

At the mental and spiritual level I grew exponentially over the years. I can’t imagine how my outlook to life would have been had I not been involved with network marketing. It built my character to a level I never thought possible.

With all these achievements, I did what I believe you would have done had you been in my position – I quit my day job and focused on the network marketing business.

But things did not remain this rosy.

The company we were in was a family owned private company. A few years later, relationship problems reared their head in the family. These filtered through to the company and it finally closed shop. In fact it was bought by foreign owners who came with their own rules. I was not happy with the new management. So I quit. I became jobless. My income stream simply dried up.

Needless to say, circumstances changed for the worse.

The bank repossessed the house. Tempers flared once in a while at home. Children had to be taken back to public school, and so forth. The saddest thing of all is that our marriage did not survive this turmoil. My wife and I divorced early 2002. By this time I had already moved to another city.

Since the sale of the encyclopaedia company, I got involved in a few other network marketing companies, but not at the success rate I had with selling encyclopaedias. Until lately, I hopped from one company to another at a rate I now consider unacceptable. Every now and then I would think the next company is better than the one I’m currently representing. It always turned out not to be the case. I ended up being counted among the more than 97% of network marketers who do not make any real money in network marketing.

My story is anyone’s story. It could your story. You may have gone through similar experiences in the past. You may be at a point in your life where you now think ‘network marketing is not for me’. And I can understand you. I’ve been there. And if I were to advice you I would say...

Don’t quit

I know of no other business that gives you and I the potential to get out of the rat race like network marketing. Affiliate marketing has the potential, but it is way too difficult for ordinary people like us.

I’ve told you my story...

I imagine it’s a story of every struggling network marketer. But there are lessons learned from such life experiences. And it is the lessons I’ve learned along the way, among other things, which I want to share with you in network-marketing-made-easy.com. Throughout this site, I will do my best to share with you helpful tips without being prescriptive.

I love network marketing. I hope you do too.

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