I’m writing this blog in the airport, on my way to Arbonne’s Global Training Conference in Las Vegas. It’s a fun weekend filled with some of the best trainings, new product launches, and a chance to celebrate all of the inspiring leaders who had an amazing year. It’s also a reunion with some of my favorite people on the entire planet. Like almost anyone, I started my business for the money. Who doesn’t need an extra couple hundred a month, or some more free time? But when the going has gotten tough (which it inevitably does because… ya know, life), it’s not the money that keeps me going. It’s the community.
As our lives become more and more digital, we are missing a hugely important aspect of human existence. Community. We used to find it in churches, neighborhoods, clubs, etc. Those still exist, but they aren’t as ubiquitous or engrained in our American culture as they once were. And the isolation, in my humble opinion, is dangerous and damaging to our mental health. I find a lot of people actually love joining companies like this specifically because they find a community of people with common interests and desires.
Community of some sort can be found in any job. But I was always a little dissatisfied with the communities within restaurants and performing. The general culture can be highly competitive, snarky, and judgmental. I’m sad to say I used to buy into this attitude. I loved snark (it’s a pretty effective defense mechanism if you haven’t tried it.). At the time, I didn’t even realize I was craving a group of people that would cheer on my successes without qualifying or diminishing them behind my back.
The culture for most network marketing companies highly stresses the importance of personal development. The top leaders are always reading and/or listening to something that will improve their mindset, interpersonal relationships, or industry-related skills. The expectation is that we are all working daily towards improving ourselves, because improving one area of your life usually tends to bleed into others. Learning to take sales rejections less personally leads to taking cryptic texts from tinder dates less personally. Building a habit of meditating every morning can keep you present and focused, and thus you become a super-listener. What fun! So the wonderful side effect of all this growth is that the community is filled with superheroes that want nothing more than to see you succeed and celebrate that success. It doesn’t even sound real, but y’all. It is.
One of my dear colleagues recently promoted to the level of Regional Vice President. In our company, it means she gets a full time income (working part time) and a snazzy Mercedes. It’s the level most sought after and most coveted… and a level I’ve been trying to get to for over three years. When she promoted, the strangest thing happened… I was genuinely and wholeheartedly happy for her. I wasn’t jealous, I didn’t think she had some leg up or advantage I didn’t. I just acknowledged she did the work with bravery and grace, and deserved every bit of her success. I cheered my face off when she was honored at our conference last year. I’m embarrassed to admit it was a strange and new feeling, to have happiness for a friend supersede the once familiar feeling of jealousy. I truly believe it’s because of the work I’ve been doing for the last few years.
Also, there is a mentorship program already built into these companies. The person who signs you on gets a teeny tiny percentage (smaller than yours) of the sales you do. So, it’s in their best interest to help you succeed. I think it’s the most misunderstood part of our industry. I don’t have a boss who doesn’t work while I toil away to make them money. I have a mentor, a coach, and a friend all wrapped up into one human helping me navigate this industry. They’ve been through it all. They are at the top of the mountain, and they are reaching down and showing me the way. Sometimes she gives me tough love, and sometimes she lets me take a seat. And guess what? She supports me no matter what. I’ve had some of my most vulnerable and most empowering conversations with my leaders. This is the culture instilled in most companies.
So, maybe you’re not craving money or time freedom. Maybe you’re just looking for a group of people that can hold space, cheer you on, and work with you. This was something I didn’t even know I was looking for, but I’m so glad I found it.