Tag Archives: robert kiyosaki

Is This a “Pyramid”?

What do people even mean when they ask that question?  Do they even know what they mean?  It’s seems to always be asked in reference to network marketing (aka direct sales) companies.  Personally, I think…

Network marketing gets a bad wrap

I’d honestly not given much thought or consideration to this question until recently – despite the fact that I’ve been involved in four network marketing companies (one currently, as a part of my overall wealth-building strategy) over the course of my adult life.  Just in the past few weeks, however, I’ve had two different people call my and my company’s integrity into question due to its utilization network marketing and my affiliation with it.  One… an 18 year old.  Another, surprisingly about 50ish.  So, I set off on some research of my own, and discovered some things.

  1. A “pyramid” is, in architecture, considered to be a very strong shape. (Think about the Egyptian pyramids, for instance.)
  2. Pretty much every company or business under the sun (unless it’s a single-owner, single-operator business) has a hierarchical structure of a “pyramid”. There’s a person at the top:  usually a CEO type.  Beneath that person are other supervisors, a Board of Directors, or other “management”.  Beneath those people are even more department managers.  Beneath those people are an even greater number of people who serve various functions.  And, the list goes on and on.  You get the idea.)
  3. Some of the most successful and notable business people on the planet find network marketing (aka direct sales) companies to be the best business model of this century for ambitious people, because, in a traditional model, you’ll never be able to earn more than the person “above” you, but in network marketing, you can – and plenty do.  (Disclaimer:  Some make no money, due to the fact that your income is a reflection of your personal efforts, business growth, leadership capabilities, and other factors.)
  4. Those same successful and wealthy business people find network marketing companies to be some of the best investment opportunities around. Why?  Because they’re very lean when it comes to expenses that usually wreak havoc in traditional businesses, like:  advertising expense, benefits, etc.
  5. Network marketing (via the independent contractor and home-business status) afford individuals the opportunity to create their own business for very little capital investment and then qualify for legitimate tax deductions they’d never otherwise be able to take advantage of.

So why are people so cynical about network marketing?

If I had to guess, I’d say it goes back to the beginning of the industry, as a whole.  I can see it this way, anyhow.

Shane Rudman, Network Marketing Icon
Shane Rudman

A very successful network marketing mentor that I once had the honor and privilege of working with once told me,  

As with many things, it’s common that the greatest asset can also be the weakest leak if not properly cared for and tended to.

What did he mean?  Well, in network marketing, people are the greatest asset – for sales and company prosperity and distribution.  Therefore, people can also be the weakest link —  and not even mean to be.  How?

As with any new venture, people are often very excited – as well they should be!  When we were kids, we had many dreams.  With age, society and those closest to us douse our dreams.  Not intentionally, per se, but nonetheless.  This means, when people are actually provided an outlet to dream again and find themselves in the company of others who are also once again seeing the possibilities of their dreams, a certain energy and synergy takes over and begins to grow.  This makes new people want to tell everybody “everything”.  Often the challenge is in the fact that they barely understand it themselves!  Inadvertantly, friends and family get bombarded, people who might otherwise be interested in the same business opportunity get misinformation, and, in general, I think people feel “duped”… and nobody likes feeling “duped”.  So, the nay-saying and network marketing-bashing ensues.  At least that’s what I think has happened – and, to some degree, continues to happen.

I also feel it’s quite plausible that those who are unsuccessful in network marketing leave their company, then go tell everybody they know what a “scam” it is… instead of accepting their own responsibility in that failure.  The fact of the matter is, in my experience, if you do your due diligence in aligning yourself with a solid business that’s transparent, it’s rarely the company or the company’s products that are the source of the person’s lack of success; it’s most often the lack of action, implementation, or tenacity on the part of the individual.  Now, before you get your drawers all in a bunch over that statement, let me also say that I’m in no way saying some people don’t suffer a lack of training or poor leadership or any of those sorts of things.  I’ve had the distinguished blessing to experience it all – good and bad.

I can honestly say that I really have nothing negative to say about the other network marketing companies I was involved in prior to my current alignment (a wealth-building vehicle and strategy, bear in mind).  And, in each of them… there are, were, and have been very successful individuals.  Perhaps, as I feel was the case with me, you simply have to find the right company for you and be willing to commit, allowing yourself to develop into the person you must become (mentally and academically) to achieve the level of success you seek.  It seems few people these days are willing to accept personal responsibility for who they are, where they are, the fact that they are who and where they are as a result of their own choices and decisions over time, etc.

Now, combine that scenario with the fact that there are obviously a lot of people who are ignorant about what a “pyramid scheme” actually is – or the fact that a true “pyramid scheme” is illegal… or the fact that there’s actually a regulatory agency (in the US anyway – Direct Sales Association) to monitor the companies who are its members – and you have people who (too young to even remember the birth of network marketing or “pyramid schemes”, as well as more than old enough that they could’ve educated themselves on the topic had they chosen to) simply walk around applying stereotypes and ignorant labels to everything they neither understand nor take the time to learn more about.

That said, I’ll be the first to tell you:  Network marketing is not the best business model for every person on the planet.  In fact, the video below by Robert Kiyosaki (a huge supporter of network marketing) leads one to believe there are far more people who it’s not for than those who it is.  Why?

Because you have to want to WIN to be successful in network marketing, and even though nearly everybody says they do, few will raise their hand, put their money-where-their-mouth-is and do what it takes to be successful… for a variety of reasons.

It would stand to reason, however, if successful business people and investors like Robert Kiyosaki, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and scores of others – with their vast knowledge base in business, people, and great achievements – are in support of network marketing, the least the rest of us could do is educate ourselves and stop “bashing” out of ignorance.

Your partner in success,

Crystal Schwindt


Passive Income vs. Residual Income

What’s the difference between passive income and residual income?

Many people don’t know… and it’s easy to understand why.  In some instances they can be interchangeable.  In other cases, not so much.  And, according to the IRS, not really at all — but that’s a topic for a whole other post.

Let’s see if we can make sense of this.

Passive income is monies derived from sources or investments that require no active participation on the part of the benefactor.  Most commonly, this is associated with things like rent.  It could also be pensions or other retirement payments, inheritances, and so forth.  The term passive income is also fairly synonymous with “unearned income”.

Residual income is monies derived from recurring sources that require the benefactor to only do the work once but receive payment again and again.  This could be everything from royalties on a song or book to sales of consumable products that create auto re-ordering to online membership sites to affiliate sales to network marketing.

In all fairness, there are times and in some circumstances where residual income really can and does become passive income in the sense that a sale is made and the residual, recurring payment from that one sale is now passive.  Does that make sense?

If asked, probably everybody would say they want passive income.  The picture below of Robert Kiyosaki’s Cashflow Quadrant illustrates the various sides and where (and how) you need to be positioned to capitalize on passive income.

Robert Kiyosaki's Cashflow Quadrant illustrates where passive income resides and how to get to it.

Learn more about passive income and the Cashflow Quadrant with Robert Kiyosaki’s book.

                     Cashflow Quadrant (EN - Paperback) by Robert Kiyosaki          Cashflow Quadrant (Spanish) by Robert Kiyosaki          Cashflow Quadrant (Kindle) by Robert Kiyosaki

Paperback                                  Spanish                                   Kindle

Improve your financial IQ… then grow your residual income into passive income.

Your partner in success…

Crystal Schwindt



Choose Your Reality Carefully

Choose your reality carefully.

Does that sound like an odd statement to you? What does that even mean? Aren’t we all living the same reality?

The short answer: No, although realities do co-exist, overlap, and tend to be shared. How can that be?

About everybody has heard the sayings…

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
“Perception is real to the perceiver.”
“See things through their eyes.”

Most people glean over such expressions as merely whimsical notions, but I assure you that’s not the case. And, to take it one step further, if you’re an investor, business owner, self-employed person, or employee… If you work in a service or product industry… Especially if you work in sales, network marketing, or affiliate marketing… “Ha!,” you say. “That’s pretty much everybody who’s a productive member of society.” To that, I’d say, “You’re absolutely right!” And you better KNOW these sayings are more than notions; they’re ways of expressing the fact that reality to every person can, may, and, for the vast majority, does differ. Even more importantly, you’d be well-served to know and understand that that “world”… is chosen by the person living it.

When a person says things like…
“I can’t do that.”
“I can’t afford that.”
“I’ll never be [good] enough.”

They’re right. Likewise, when a person says things like…
“Why not?”
“Of course I can do that; it’s easy.”
“How can I afford that?”
“I deserve that… (job, promotion, relationship, happiness, or opportunity)”

See, the human brain doesn’t know the difference between reality and fantasy – until and unless WE tell it how to qualify the difference. It’s like when people say, “If I can touch it, feel it, smell it, taste it, and see it, I’ll believe it.” Science tells us that, right? And science offers and establishes some pretty cool stuff, so that must be the end-all-that-be-all! Well, yes… and no – because science also tells us that the human brain has the capacity to live a life of illusion, yet believe with 100% certainty it’s real. We tend to say that people who do this on an extreme level — not consistent with what “the rest of us” see, feel, think, and believe – suffer from all kinds of mental issues. Perhaps. I mean, we do know there are people who become a danger to themselves and others as a result of what goes on in their minds. The reality (pardon the pun) is, however, that we ALL do this – to a greater or lesser degree; so I caution you to choose your own reality carefully. And, to take it one step further, if you want to be successful in whatever you do, it’s imperative that you apply this knowledge in reverse.

See, if you’re in sales and you’re only concerned about your own reality, ignoring that chosen by those you serve, you’ll struggle to be successful. If you’re a business owner who fails to consider the challenges faced by your customers, your business may survive but will likely never grow to its full potential. Even investors (who are at the “top of the food chain”) who fail to address “what’s in it” for the other person or parties, may have some success, but it will be much less than it could be. Why? Because if you know how others view their “world” and what’s going on in it, you’ll also know the problems they encounter. And if you know the problems they encounter, you’re much more capable of providing excellent service, solutions to those problems, and win-win investment negotiations, meeting the needs of their reality. This translates into more success for you.

"You can have everything you want if you just help enough other people get what they want." ~Zig Ziglar
Here’s an example I used to use with my son when he was younger that I think illustrates this perfectly – especially in today’s world:

For YOU (by the mere fact you’re reading this), reality is that there are computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and so on. These devices yield the power of the internet and a massive amount of technology!

If you take a child, however, at birth, and place them in an environment where they never see or are exposed to such devices, their reality dictates that they do not exist. There’s no internet to them. The technology we all use every day doesn’t exist. People (children and adults, alike) who live in severely impoverished regions, may or may not be aware of what so many of us consider common-place and take for granted. In fact, they may be totally unaware of TV… or radios… or even events happening outside of their immediate area.

So, it is ever-so-important that, if you want to achieve success – whatever that is for you, you

Choose Your Reality Carefully

…because you’re betting the rest of your life upon it.

Your partner in success…

Crystal Schwindt

Leverage: The Key to Success

Ask any truly successful person you know what the secret to success is, and I have no doubt they’ll tell you, “leverage”.

Gates, Buffet, Kiyosaki, Gates CollageStudy notable, successful people – Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates — and you’ll also find they all say the same thing: Wealthy, successful people become that way (and, probably more importantly, stay that way) because they learn and master the skill of utilizing effective leverage.


Many people believe that the word “leverage” in this context only applies to money. You know, the use of “other people’s money”. OPM, right? We hear about this a lot. That’s certainly accurate, but also pretty narrow-minded, in my point of view.  If you dig just a bit further, though… below the surface… you’ll find that the truly successful, ultra-wealthy find and utilize not only the leverage created by using “other people’s money”, but also time, talents, skills, locations, and a multitude of other variables.

See, the poor and middle class are often slaves to their money because instead of learning to leverage their own money (or the use of “other people’s money”), they put their money in “investments”, where the person or institution handling those investments is actually leveraging that exact same money – for their own benefit.

It’s like this: You put your money in the bank – like, a savings account or something. Many checking accounts pay 0% in interest or dividends unless you already have upwards of $5k or more in that account. Well, the vast majority of America’s (statistically) have less than $1k in savings, let alone their checking, which tends to be the put-n-take account to pay bills from, as a norm. So, let’s forget about checking accounts and look at savings, right? Right! Okay, here it goes.

Your money goes into your savings account. IF your account even pays or qualifies (two very different things) for interest or dividends, it likely pays you 1% or less. That same bank, however, uses your money to fulfill loans to other poor and middle class folks who also have less-than-enough money – but they’re loaning it out at 7% and higher! Usually upwards of 10, 11, 12, 13, or higher percent! That means you get your measly ½ to 1% in interest or dividends, and they get the difference: 9% and up, on average. Are you excited yet??

“But,” you say, “I don’t have more money… or enough money… to do any leveraging with, so I can create wealth.”

That may be true… for now. What do you have, though, that you’re squandering — instead of leveraging — to put yourself in a better position? Understand this:

If you’re not using leverage to your own advantage, you (by your very essence) are probably serving the role of leverage, helping to grow somebody else’s wealth and success.

The big asset being squandered by most of us: TIME.

ClockIn my opinion, time is the most valuable asset each one of us has, yet it’s also the one most often wasted.  It’s spent doing nothing productive.  Sitting in from of the TV.  Playing video games.  America is the most entertained country in the world!  And, since the implementation of “No Child Left Behind” and decision to cease teaching things like handwriting in our schools, we’re also on the fast-track to becoming the dumbest, too.  (Don’t misunderstand, I don’t condone teachers or schools who pass children along into higher grades just to get them out of their classroom.  In their quest to slow things down for some children to catch on, however, they’re also damaging the more advanced students who need a faster pace and more engagement to keep their brains learning at an optimum rate.  Likewise, I disagree with things like removing handwriting in exchange for typing or computer skills because the mere act of hand-writing has been scientifically proven to create more activity and synapses in the brain than the act of pecking at a keyboard.)

Most people are just sleep-walking through life, never making good use of the time God has given us. So, here’s a novel idea for you: If you’re currently lacking money (but want some… more…) but have plenty of time, leverage your time right now to move yourself ahead, by learning new skills and trades or changing your mindset in preparation of the wealth you’re going to create, so you can recognize and take full advantage of those opportunities when they arise — then keep that money when you get it.

Once you begin to see results in this area, begin making the shift away from trading time for money. Leverage. Remember: What’s your most valuable asset? Time, right? I mean, you do realize that time on this planet for a human being is finite, yes? And do you also understand that none of us (Can you say NONE of us?) truly know whether our time ends today, tomorrow, or another 20 years from now? Internalize that for a moment. Truly. Stop and think about that fact for just a minute. Once you get that into your heart (not your head; your heart), you’ll find you better start playing life full-out!

“Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid!”
~ Basil King

A business acquaintance of mine recently shared with a group of us that about a week ago an incident occurred with his mom that shook him to his core and brought this realization into a very personal state for him. I mean, of course he logically always understood it… but now it’s really real.  Here’s some background and the way it went down:

He’s grown and successful with his online network marketing business. HE has traversed the “great divide” that many in network marketing seek: moving from a part-time to a full-time, self-sustaining business. One of his goals and reasons for getting into that kind of business is the fact that there are no “glass ceilings”, and he wants to retire his mom… who continues to work two jobs, despite some significant health challenges. He wants her out of that situation – and, for the record, I believe he’ll accomplish that in very short-order now.

Well, I believe it was just last week… His mom’s blood-sugar level apparently hit bottom in a fast way, causing her to have a reaction that HE mistook for her dying… in his arms! He said when he went to her, she was unresponsive, and he felt no detectible signs of life. He shook her. He yelled at her. He even called 911, I believe, because he felt her go limp in his arms and thought she’d died – right there, right then. Just a few minutes later, his mother “awoke”. She remembered none of it and was behaving as though nothing had happened. That moment, he said, changed his life and focus in a matter of just a few minutes. He said he realized – despite his work ethic and current dedication – he’s not doing all he could to achieve his goal of earning the income necessary to retire her for life.

Now, he’s already pretty darn good at leveraging his skills and focusing on the “tasks at-hand”… but do you think he’s even more focused now?? Of course he is! Do you think he’s coming up with some very creative ways to leverage his resources so that goal is met on a shorter timeframe? Yes, I can guarantee it! (By the way, incidents like this are not only motivational but, internalized correctly – like Bruce is – become leverage against the little voice that lives in nearly every person’s head that says, “You can’t do that, “ or “Slow down, what’s the rush,” or “It’s just too hard”.)

As we embark on a new year and you’re making whimsical resolutions Goals – or, if you’re more serious and intent with your life, perhaps you even take the time to sit down and write out your goals – don’t just make a list of stuff that you’re going to give up on three weeks after the new year starts. You’re already taking the time to do this task… Why not leverage that same time and energy to find even more resources that you already have that you can use as leverage to propel you into your future success for 2015?

That would be time well spent!

To your success…

Crystal Schwindt