Tag Archives: Entrepreneurship

How to Choose the Best Network Marketing Company

So, maybe you’ve read a previous article about network marketing and the companies that utilize direct sales as their marketing and distribution platform.  And, maybe (hopefully) you’ve taken the next step and reviewed Robert Kiyosaki’s video describing the type of person who will do best in network marketing.  If not, you may want to do that now.  Okay, now that we’re square on that, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

First, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:

Not all network marketing companies are created equal, in my opinion.

Second, they span across a multitude of industries.  As of today’s date, when I Google “network marketing companies”, there are 52,500,000 results!  Yes, that’s 52 million.

52,500,000 Network Marketing Results in Google

Now, in all fairness, it is Google, so it’s also likely that not ALL 52+ million results are actual companies.  Some of these results are likely network marketing haters and nay-sayers posting videos and articles bashing one company or another.  Still, there are a lot!  Agreed?

How do you even begin to find the right one for you??

Although I’m really going to hone in on the business-savvy and logical aspects of targeting the best network marketing companies, I also believe whole-heartedly that it’s vital to find one that’s aligned with you, your personality, and your passions.  Why?  Because it’s going to be difficult to do what you need to do if you’re dreading dumping yourself out of bed every morning and there’s nobody and nothing “there” to motivate you to do it – like a boss who you have to answer to if you’re late… again.

So, to begin with, I think it’s best to ask yourself what’s really important to you about a company you’re going to align yourself with.  Truthfully, this should be a consideration and thought process that takes place whether it’s network marketing or a traditional employment situation.  I mean, you can get just as burned out (if not moreso) at your j-o-b than working as an independent contractor in a network marketing situation.  If you’re in alignment, that’s less likely to happen.

Where do you begin paring down 52 million results, though?                        Man holding head leaning by question mark

Well, for me, some important things were:

  • transparency (in dealings, complaints, value, compensation, and so on)
  • a fairly wide open market (leaving plenty of room for growth in all directions)
  • stability (I think the stats are something like: 50% of all new companies – traditional or not – fail within the first five years and 50% of those remaining fail within the second five years)
  • leadership (both of the company and my sponsor)
  • consumable products (or at least those that I can see people paying a monthly subscription for)

When you start looking at these things, the list gets shortened pretty darn fast.  Believe me, though, I’m in no way trying to say that even with all these things in place a publicly-traded company – with all it’s “transparency”, years of operations, seemingly stable leadership, in-demand and barely tapped market, and needs-based products that are consumable – can’t dupe the American population.  They can and will – even with the government’s knowledge!  History has shown us that.  It’s no different than a traditional business, however – whether online or off – as we’ve witness by the dot-com bubble, real estate bubble, pending economic bubble, and the list goes on.  We’re just hedging our bets here.  Even with a traditional job, you can be hired this week and the business be insolvent in another one or two.  (This actually happened to a friend of mine.)

So, to further narrow down the search…  IF your list is similar to mine…  It may be wise to check into DSA (Direst Sales Association) registration, listings, complaints, and standing status.  See, the DSA only ranks about the top 200, I think, so you’ve now gone from 52 million to 200 with just this one criteria!  (For instance, the company I chose to align with is within the top 10, I believe, and is the only one in that range for its industry – health and wellness.)

New York Stock ExchangeWith this knowledge in hand, you should be able to wipe out the vast majority of even the DSA’s list of 200.

  • Find something you feel passionate about and can “get behind”
  • Check the DSA for stats, complaints, standings
  • Look at company performance on the NYSE

Next, are there any documented endorsement or testimonials.  Be sure you understand I said “documented”.  How come?  Because – especially with the use and ease of the internet – people can throw whatever they want up on a web site.  Again, using my company as an example:  Would you agree it’s pretty powerful to be able to tell people (customers and potential network marketers, alike) that the company’s products are endorsed by over 600 professional athletes – some of whom are Olympians??  I mean, those people are tested, right?  And they have to be in optimum physical condition.  Those things help in terms of customers wanting to do business with a company backed with that kind of confidence by people who use the very same products they’re considering using.  Plus, those building a home-based business within the company get the confidence of knowing that that very same confidence exists outside of themselves, their sponsor, or even the company president.

Then, the biggie:  earnings.  As discussed in a previous article, network marketing is a place where you can make no money, some money, or an Shiny Gold Dollar Signabsolute abundance of money… depending on your own focus, efforts, growth, etc.  The company’s statement of average earnings should be a great indicator if you’re serious about your business and know the income level you’re aiming for.  (Some people just want a little more money at the end of their month, and some want six and seven-figure earnings and beyond.)  Again, almost every company has at least a few who are or have been quite successful.  As is said in the industry, though:  “Those results are not typical.”  I’m the kind of person who (although I’m tend to be very optimistic) will always evaluate for worst-case scenario, knowing that everything above that is “gravy”… a “bonus”, if you will.  With that said, I look at a company’s average earning statements this way:  If I can accept the lowest amount on the statement for average earnings, then I’m pretty good with everything above that.  See, one of the companies I was a part of did have million-dollar earners… but the majority of people aligned with them made no money.  None.  Conversely, when I saw my current company was paying out an average part-time income of $25,000, that seemed reasonable to me.  (I supported my son and myself on less than that a few times during my 16 years as a single parent!)

And lastly, let’s look at the leadership.  This applies, in my opinion, to both the company and the sponsor.  (No, I don’t believe your sponsor directly determines your level of success.  One of the beauties of direct marketing is that your “boss” can be a total jerk, know less than you, etc., and you can still go on to earn more money than them!  I do believe having a great sponsor as a leader can dramatically reduce your learning curve, though — and thus, speed at which you achieve success.)  I’d suggest you really evaluate why the company was started, how it’s been developed, whether or not it’s aligned with your personal values (One of mine is philanthropy, so it was important for me to find a company that also “gives back” in proportion to its success.), and what their overall mission statement is.

Believe me, if you’re seriously considering a network marketing business for yourself and just spend a few hours on one day to go through these things on your own, I have no doubt you’ll find…

The absolute best network marketing company for you.

Your partner in success…

Crystal Schwindt


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Ditch Your Friends Now

I say to you, “Ditch your friends now.”

“But I like them!,” you may say.  “Why do I need to ditch my friends now?”  Have you ever heard…

‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’

~ Jim Rohn

The premise behind this quote, I believe, is because of two things:

The Law of Averages

The fact that most people reflect their environment

See, the Law of Averages dictates that when you “plant seeds” many will die.  But, because you continue to sow, some will also grow – simply because you continued to sow and the Law of Averages demands that, over time, you’ll reap rewards on that which you sow consistently.  That said, you may be thinking, “Well, Crystal, I continue to sow the seeds of what I want consistently, so I’ll reap those rewards eventually no matter what.”  In reality, no… because those who you spend time with and the environment you lock yourself into will affect the quality of seeds you’re sowing.  The seeds may be dropping, but the soil may be of poor quality or the water may be scarce.

Even I pride myself on my ability to submerge myself in environments and people who are far removed from “where I am” in terms of life, level of success, etc. and remain unaffected, but that doesn’t mean I’m totally unaffected and have total disregard for the influencers in my life and never need a reprieve.  For most people, if you spend the majority of your time around negative people, let’s say, it won’t be long before you’re talking and thinking just like them.  It’s very difficult to be unaffected.  Likewise, if those people earn less income than you want to, they’re unable to stretch you and your thinking to the point you need to be, to become the person necessary to receive and responsibly handle that which you seek.  Their view of the world is different.

For instance, the average person will use the terminology “spend time”.  I want you to think about that for just a moment.  Spend time.  Most of us would agree that “time” is our most valuable asset, right?  Time to “live”.  Time to learn.  Time to “spend” with friends and family.  Right?  Isn’t it fair to say, then, that we don’t “spend” our time anywhere, doing anything… we invest it?  When you invest, you do so expecting a return, do you not?  So, by the same premise, do you spend time living?  What about learning?  Do you even spend time with loved ones – because you at least expect to receive an enjoyable time and, perhaps, some great memories to take with you, yes?

 Measure Your Assets


Now take a quick inventory of two things:

  1. Who are the top five people you invest your time (really, your thoughts, energy, and future) with?
  2. Are those people where you’are currently “at”, where you’ve “been”, or where you want to “be”?

If you invest your money but get no return over time, would you continue to invest your money there?  Likely not.  The influence of your environment and those you hang around most are no different.

Now, am I saying that you need to ex-nay every person whose shoulders you’re unable to climb upon for your own personal gain forever and ever?  Absolutely not!  In fact, you should never, in my opinion, only gravitate toward people who are “ahead of you” for the purpose of your personal gain.  Despite the fact that you may be “behind” them at the current moment doesn’t mean you also have nothing to offer them.  Nor does it mean that those “behind” you have nothing to offer you.  Simply make a decision to make the top five influencers in your life of a status and quality that you seek to become.

Yes, I can hear you now, “Well, I want to be a millionaire, but I don’t know anybody who’s a millionaire.”

The truth is:  It’s great if you meet them, form a relationship, and so on… but it’s not required in order for them to influence you.  Read about them.  Learn their life’s lessons.  Glean their wisdom from interviews, auto-biographies, etc.  They’re still going to influence your learning and, hence, your life and lifestyle.  If you submerge yourself in such a way, you’ll find yourself walking in their confidence, talking like them, thinking like them, and taking actions they would take.  And, before you know it, you’ll look around and find yourself meeting real live millionaires!

So… take personal inventory today, look at where you are and where you want to be in life, and decide if you need to …

Ditch Your Friends Now!

To your success…

~ Crystal


How to NOT Be a Leader

Leaders are born, not made.

I’ve  heard that said.  In fact, I probably grew up being told and believing just that.  Truthfully, I’ve not believed that for quite some time; it appears society is taking a while to catch up with my progressive style of thinking, though.

See, I now believe that the capacity to become and be an incredible leader is likely within each and every one of us.  Does that mean we’ll all respond to the “call”?  Absolutely not!  You don’t even need statistics to prove that to you; just look around.  The majority of people won’t respond.  Why is that?

Because it’s just too darn comfortable to NOT be a leader!

Here the top four things you can do (or continue to do) to secure your spot in life as a “non-leader”:

  1. Cling to your title, position, or longevity at all costs

Once upon a time, title, position, and longevity (or you may know it as seniority) was everything; today… not so much – from the company and employee viewpoints.

See, respect (a characteristic found in all great and effective leaders, whether you like them personally or not) is something earned… not freely given.  Let me qualify that statement, though, because I can hear some of you groaning right now.  Take me, for example:  I’ll show a certain amount of respect to every human being on this planet – just for being who they are!  That said, I also keep some “in reserve”.  This means there’s some I hold on to, allowing people to earn and maintain the respect they actually deserve, from my vantage point.

And, sadly but justly, in my opinion… respect can also be lost – in the blink of an eye, by one single action done, statement said, or failure to do what you should.  Once lost, it can be extremely difficult to get back because we’re all human and forgiveness probably doesn’t come as quickly, frequently, or easily as it should.

For me, titles, positions, and seniority, well, they mean virtually Corporate Titlesnothing.  YOU are a person, and your “title” doesn’t define you!  My “judgment” and amount of corresponding respect comes in time and is solely based upon who you are and your personal actions and/or statements – never the words you may feel tell the world who you are.  (Note:  From a self-esteem perspective, allowing these things to define who you are can lead to a very detrimental outcome in your life one day, so be very careful with this!)

  1. Settle for mediocrity

As a non-leader you want to fit in with everybody else, right?  I dunno that I want to go so far as to say you’re a follower… but you are, kinda.  And, as a “follower”, the society of today would dictate that you just need to sit down, shut up, and settle for the mediocre, mundane life you’ve been dealt.  I view it as the “minimalistic mentally” in it’s healthy, thriving mode.  It can be very alarming to watch, let alone experience.  For example, today I went through my local Starbuck’s drive-thru.

I don’t go there a lot, but somewhat regularly at any rate.  I placed my usual order (tall, vanilla bean frappuccino – plain) and drove to the window, then handed the girl my card, which she promptly ran.  When handing it back to me, she said, “Okay, here ya go.”  No offer of a receipt, nothing about my order…  Nothing.  I sat and waited.  A few minutes goes by and another girl comes to the window with a vanilla bean frappuccino… with whipped cream topping!  As she opened the window, I told her I’d ordered my drink “plain”.  She asked if that meant I didn’t want whipped cream on it or anything?  I said yes… plain.  She replied, “We didn’t know what you meant by that,” and walked away with the drink.  She returned – mmm… fairly quickly, I guess – with a vanilla bean frappuccino… with “no” whipped cream and a flat lid.

Now, I’m relatively certain she just took the drink, spooned out the Mediocritywhipped cream topping (as evidenced by the indention that remained in the top of the drink), slapped a flat lid on it, and brought it back to me.  Some would say, “What’s wrong with that?”  From a business perspective, makes perfect sense, right?  I mean, “throwing away” that drink and making me a new one with NO whipped cream topping is throwing away product.  Here’s the thing, though…

What if I’d ordered my drink “plain” because I was allergic to whipped cream topping?

Can you say, “legal liability”?

Poor customer service… and likely the loss of MY business (and now I’m telling YOU, right?).  There are just too many other Starbucks for me to choose from if I want a PLAIN vanilla bean frappuccino!  Minimialistic mentality.

  1. Stand for nothing

Some people say, “go along, get along,” but I tend to not adhere to that credo.  I understand completely that no matter how I may try to be likable, please people, be a good person, etc., the fact of the matter is… not everybody is going to like me.  Period.  I’m okay with that.  I’m not going to “like” every other person on the planet either.  I love my fellow man, regardless – but that doesn’t mean I like all of them.  Nor does it mean that I’m going to allow others to dictate and control my own moral and ethical compass.

You’re likely a non-leader if you struggle with either of these things – not because you don’t want to be; more likely because, for whatever reason, your value is misplaced on a thing (i.e., title, sense of needing approval or acceptance of others, etc.) rather than found and defined within  yourself.  Leaders tend to stand their ground and speak their peace — at least unless provided a viable alternative that fits within their personal boundaries.  (Yes, they usually develop the skill of knowing when, where, and how to do so… but they do typically do so. Lol)

Just today, I’d finally had my fill of observing a particular scenario over a period of time:  A few people in an office receive a fair amount of flack for various things that it seems others are allowed to do,

Winston Churchillwith absolutely no recourse.  So, when the opportunity presented itself, I made a comment.  That comment led to the other person defending those who were being allowed to do these things (most of them have worked there a while together, are social with one another, and so on).  She also became rather worked up about my unwillingness to abate my position:  If it’s okay for some, it should be okay for all – in general terms anyway.  See, I didn’t really care which way it went (all allowed or all disallowed); I just cared that the “rules” be consistently applied to everybody.  Could I suffer some repercussion due to the expression of my “moral and ethical compass”?  Perhaps.  Time will tell.  I’d like to think not.  I think I’m right and believe most would feel as I do, given the same situation.  That’s not always the world we live in, however.

  1. Think small

Non-leaders tend to think small.  This doesn’t always mean “small” as in lack of a greater vision (although true leaders are, as a norm, very big “thinkers” and dreamers); it can merely be not thinking forward enough into the future to see what your actions today may bring you tomorrow.  Many people get tangled up in this.

When I was younger, I was fairly quick to say whatever I felt at any given point in time.  And, well, I’m pretty quick-witted, with a darn sharp tongue sometimes.  There’s no doubt I likely said some sharp, hurtful things.  We all start where we are, though, and that’s all the “tools” I had in my “tool belt” at the time to express and deal with things.  As I grew (mentally, emotionally, and in years), I acquired more “tools” that afforded me more choices when faced with things.  More ways to respond and deal with situations.  More “tools” also meant more… bigger… possibilities.  More ways to make my bigger thoughts and dreams become reality.  Life is defined by whatever it is you think you can do.

Henry Ford

So, if you simply adhere to these four things (forget about the plethora of other options available), you’re almost guaranteed to not stand out in a crowd – whether literal, virtual, or proverbial – and you’ll likely have mastered the fine art of…

NOT becoming a leader!

I challenge you to do, be, and become more… greater…

Starting today.

~ Crystal



Cash Is King


We’ve all heard it, right?  But is it really?  Still?

It seems you really can’t even function in today’s world without a debit card, credit card, department store card, or some other kind of “card”.  In fact, I remember my late father getting so ticked because he never had (or believed in) any of those “cards” and would get so hassled for it whenever he traveled.

There was one time he was ranting to me because he’d tried to rent a car.  The reservation representative told him he needed a “card” to rent one of their cars.  He kept insisting that he had cash!  They kept insisting on a “card”.  Finally, they explained that the “card” would be authorized for the “incidental” deposit, then credited back if the car was returned with no damage.  He told them he had enough cash to give them, and they could just hold that until he returned the car.  They disagreed.  He found alternate means of transportation.

Think about it, though.  Car rentals, hotel reservations, etc., pretty Credit Cardsmuch require a credit card.  Department storesoffer “specials” and “discounts” for using their store credit card.  And, even when you don’t run into that situation, they’ll incentivize you with a “loyalty” card. (Have you ever really thought about what information is being collected and analyzed about you every time you use that darn thing??)  There are even some gas stations that ONLY accept a credit card of some kind as payment. Cash isn’t even an option.


A few months back, my son and I took a short road trip.  Drivable in about five hours or so, I think.  Short enough you didn’t mind driving; long enough you still had to fill the car up with gas a few times.

So… we’re on the drive back, watching the gas gauge, figuring out where the best place to stop might be, etc.  Then, like an oasis in the middle of the Sahara (I kid you not; it was just like that!) stood a lone gas station and convenience store… just out in the middle of nowhere.  (When you drive in the Midwest, though, almost everywhere seems like you’re in the “middle of nowhere”. Lol)  It wasn’t even that great of looking establishment – but something caught my eye…


Well, since I’m all about saving money any and everywhere I can, I had to investigate further.  We pulled in, and I read the sign more closely.  (Life – and my natural inquisitive nature as it relates to all-things legal – has taught me to always look for and read “the fine print”.  Are you with me?There was no fine print!  It said, “2% Discount for Cash” and nothing more.  So, I had to step inside to confirm with the clerk.

“I saw your sign about a discount for paying in cash.  How does that work?”

“Tell me that’s what you’re doing, and I’ll turn the pump on for you.  When you’re done getting your gas and come in to pay, we’ll take 2% off the top if you pay in cash.”

Shut the front door!

Look, I know 2% isn’t that much, but it’s 2% more than I got to keep had I not paid in cash.  Needless to say, I was stunned by this old-fashioned way of doing business (and my own excitement over saving money on a commodity that I feel is SO over-priced anyway) that I immediately took advantage of this offer.  Now, in reality, that merchant is really just saving themselves the expense and inconvenience of dealing with a credit card processor that charges them that 2% for processing every single “card” transaction.  Regardless,  I was satisfied with the treasure I’d found and money I’d “saved”.

The moral of the story?  We may live in a credit-hungry, “card” happy world nowadays, but, if you look (or even ask, which I’ve learned to do now and, surprisingly, you get more similar “discounts” when  you ask for the option), you can still find proof…


Cash is King

~ Crystal