Be more productive, get up an hour earlier – noooo!

The extra  hour

A while ago, I was at a networking meeting and we were talking about time management, productivity etc. One person said they were writing a book and had got it finished by getting up an hour earlier to write. Everyone nodded in agreement and applauded. Except me.  All I could think was ‘Are you going to bed an hour earlier or have you been sleeping an hour too long then?’  I’m not a morning person – I’m writing this at 8.30pm – but this isn’t about when you are most productive, it’s about one of the most important things we do – sleep, and the impact of missing sleep.

Are you getting enough?

‘Seven for a man, eight for a woman, nine for a fool’

Most adults need 7-8 hours sleep every night (there are a few souls who can get by on 5 hours, very few) . It may vary over a lifetime, but that’s a pretty good rule of thumb.

But we seem to have a really macho attitude to sleep, and this isn’t helped by our ‘get more done’ mindset. Lack of sleep is a trigger for lots of health problems. And not just missing whole nights – I think we all know how we feel when we do that! Shift work, anti-social hours and simply missing an hour or more every night, all take their toll on our physical and mental health.  There is a growing tendency to manage on 6-7 hours instead of 7-8 hours, as if this were something to be proud of. Want to know more about the power of sleep?  Check this out:

So, rather than simply getting up an hour earlier to ‘get more done’, maybe we could get more done if we got enough sleep and had a good morning routine, as many successful people seem to.  Start the day with meditation/mindfulness/gratitude and some form of exercise followed by a good breakfast, before checking any form of electronic media, seems to be the message from most high achievers.  This sets you up for a productive day, and if it works for them ……

So what do you think?  Should my networking colleague get up 2, or even 3 hours earlier and get even more done?  Or just hit the snooze button?

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What to look for in a network marketing company – part 2

In my first post, I talked about how important it is to choose a company with a product or service you can really get behind.  So, apart from a range of products you can happily use and recommend, what else should you look for?

DSA Member

The Direct Selling Association in the UK and other countries is the industry watchdog, amongst other things.  All reputable MLM companies are members and I wouldn’t look at any company which wasn’t.

Track record, sound financial basis

Does this sound as exciting as ‘get in on the ground floor …’ be the first …’? No. But it does sound like you’ll get paid every month. MLM companies come and go, especially in some parts of the world, and for lots of reasons. The new kid on the block may look glamorous, but that typically means no history, no reputation and a limited support structure, possible teething problems etc. And please watch out for a long ‘pre-launch’ period.  To me, that says ‘not ready yet!’  Great for the trailblazers and gamblers and creates a real buzz, but may not make it.  Of course, every successful company started somewhere and it’s brilliant if you’re in on the ground floor of something massive.  Just be a bit cautious.

Payment system

Unless you’re really into numbers and prepared to spend a lot of time comparing various systems, you’re probably not going to make a useful comparison between the various plans (or, if you’re like me, even understand one of them properly!).  They’re all good as long as you get paid every month.

Just avoid these:

  • any scheme where your payment is kept in a ‘holding account’ until it reaches a certain level or until the company releases it to you. Sound dodgy to you?  It does to me, but there are companies who do this.
  • anyone who tells you that their company’s plan is better/more generous/faster than someone else’s. How do they know? And how will you know?
  • be wary of companies where you reach a certain position but lose it if you don’t maintain a level of sales.  Life happens, you may need to take a break, but you shouldn’t have to keep proving yourself.

International presence

This may not be important to you but, if you have friends and family in other countries or plan to live in another country at some point, check how easy it is to grow your business abroad.  Some companies only operate in their home country.

Finally, avoid like the plague any company which actively encourages their distributors to recruit from other MLM companies.  Yes, it happens and I’ve never understood why.  I wouldn’t be falling over myself to recruit someone who was already unsuccessful and unhappy elsewhere, nor someone looking for where the grass is greener (it’s usually fake or fertilised with bullshit, as I’m sure you know).  To me, it sounds lazy and desperate – what do you think?

Find a good company, work hard and learn and stay with them, it pays off massively.

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What to look for in a network marketing company – part 1.

I started my network marketing (or Multi-level marketing, MLM, call it what you will) business many years ago.  I had never heard of this way of doing business, I just loved the fact that I could build an income very part-time around my job, and have an escape plan. Now I’m no risk taker and I’m very sceptical, so it still surprises me that I didn’t check it out at all.  I thought it over for a few days, realised that, whatever happened, I’d still have a box of products I could use, and jumped in. After all, I wasn’t signing my life away!

If I had done some checking online, what would I have seen? Some useful information, some opinions, and some really dodgy stuff, mainly from people trying to sell me their sure-fired recipe for success.  You see pretty much the same if you look up all the leading MLM companies.  So it’s just as well that I didn’t look, because I might have said no, which would have been a big mistake.  And it worked out well for me.  Luckily, I joined a reputable, ethical, supportive company with really solid finances and a good track record. But some of my colleagues who loved the business model, had bad experiences before finding our company.  Companies going bust, changing the rules to suit themselves, closing down because the owner had made enough money! And cowboy companies still arrive on the scene, and then disappear taking people’s livelihoods with them, and leaving a lot of disillusioned distributors.

So if you love the business model, and want to find a company which will be right for you, I’ve got a few tips.

  1. Can you get passionate about the company’s product or service? Will you use it yourself? Can you wholeheartedly recommend it?  If not, ask yourself if this is really the right company for you.  You may simply want to recruit lots of people, but that’s not a great way to build a stable business and most companies require a minimum level of sales.  After all, if no one sells anything, there’s no business!  If you’re not recommending your product or service, why should your team? And if you’re not using it yourself, why would anyone you know use it? So choose a company with a product or service that’s relevant to you, and learn to love it.

For more tips about what to look for, read the next instalment! Or, if you can’t wait –

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