The Role Of Education In Network Marketing

 

How many of you are under the mistaken impression that there is no role for education in the network marketing world? Judging by most of the advertising I have been exposed to I can see where you are coming from as I too believed the hype in the early years of my introduction to network marketing.  I fell for the “point and click” simple anyone can do it, for the “if you can copy and paste” you can do this, and for the “if you can understand how to send an email” you have what it takes rhetoric.

This only served to start me on the wrong foot and headed in the wrong direction. Needless to say I spent a few years almost more than I care to mention chasing one opportunity after another due to the disillusionment of the rhetoric. I just kept blaming the opportunity because I certainly could do all those simple actions they claimed I needed to be successful so it could not be my fault it did not work. I stand convinced that to be successful in network marketing you need to check your ego at the door, admit you do not know everthing especially if you are new to making money online opportunities, and embrace the opportunity to learn everything you can about  this business.

Here is what a wise man once said and it is just as true today:

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

Aristotle

Most of us just jump into one opportunity after another without thinking twice only to move on after we abandon it for something else. What is wrong with this picture, I did this more times than I can count and I consider myself educated graduated from college with a 3.9 GPA. Yet education and educated are two separate things as I have learned. Aristotle knew this when he spoke these immortal words. I understand this now and the implications it brings when I apply it to the way I now approach network marketing opportunities. I think about the offer, look past the rhetoric, engage in some due diligence, and then decide if it is a viable opportunity.

Here is what I would consider a viable opportunity; it would have to have a product that I believe serves a purpose, it would show some signs of longevity, it would have to have some type or organizational leadership, it would have to have a responsive support staff, and last but not least it would need to have a structured training approach that included specific training on the opportunity as well as general training in the network marketing arena. Only after I have gone through this process and entertained the thought of joining will I make a decision to join or reject the opportunity.

Having said that, the object of learning is really to effect some form of positive change and if you undertake any learning endeavor for the sake of merely learning you may be wasting your time. Here is Carl’s take on learning;

The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.

Carl Rogers
Here is my take away from these profound words; knowledge does not manifest itself until the learning is actually applied. Take for example a heart surgeon that has never performed a single open heart operation may well have all the knowledge required to perform one, but until he performs the actual surgery that knowledge serves little purpose to the person that needs one.  While it may instill in him/her a great sense of achievement there will be no fulfillment if they never perform a single surgery. One of my college professors often used the phrase “conquest of the useless” when he was talking about someone mastering a language never intending to actually converse with someone in that language, and it took me a long time to understand his meaning. I know at the time that it could equally apply to my education.

The same applies in the network marketing arena and I am a prime example of that as I went from believing that I did not need to learn anything to be successful online to the other extreme. I became obsessed with learning everything I could about network marketing and have completed enough courses to almost qualify me for a degree in the discipline yet I failed to implement what I was learning. Needless to say as you are probably well aware that in network marketing success is elusive at best and impossible if you do apply what you learn by taking some form of action.

Herbert Spencer sums it up in a short and concise fashion with the following words of wisdom:

The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.

Herbert Spencer

 

Do not spend your time online learning just for the sake of learning as simply acquiring knowledge will not put money in your pocket.  It may give you a sense of achievement but if you never apply what you have learned if falls into the category of a “conquest of the useless” as my professor once said. Having said that I am a firm believer that one should be in a constant state of learning and my approach is to learn something that will help me in my business, apply or take action based on that learning, and then teach it to others to help them with their business.  In doing this I reinforce my knowledge and get better at its application.

 

This continuous learning concept is one that is embraced by professional and trade organizations as well which is why there are professional and trade journals published on a regular basis.  Regardless of the profession, trade, or network marketing opportunity it is foregone conclusion that changes are happening all the time. In order to stay knowledgeable in our network marketing business we need embrace learning but not just for the sake of learning.  Our learning needs to be focused on our particular business and with the intention of actually applying it. Knowledge is not something you put on a shelf it is meant to be an integral part of that which makes you a profit.
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