Today, I’d like to take some time to discuss the most common fears in network marketing. I’ll also share some practical tips to help you overcome your fears.
Everyone fears something. Even people who appear confident have things they fear. It’s normal. While fear might be NORMAL, the major difference between people who succeed and people who fail is people who succeed have the courage to face their fears. Courage is taking action in spite of your fears. Feel the fear and do it anyway!
What is Fear?
Here are two definitions I found of fear online:
An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
An unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.
If I was to put it in my own words, I would define fear as being scared of something, whether real or not.
The Most Common Fears in Network Marketing
Based off my 18+ years in the industry, here are the five most common fears in network marketing, as I see it.
- Fear of Failure
- Fear of Rejection
- Fear of Success
- Fear of What Others Think
- Fear of Being Perceived as Pushy or Salesy
In the paragraphs below, I will define each fear and share a few tips to help you overcome it.
# 1: Fear of Failure
Many people worry they might get started with the business and lose money and fail. Perhaps they’ve tried a home-based business before, and failed, and don’t want it to happen again. They fear failing, because they don’t want to look bad. They don’t want to be viewed as a failure. This fear often paralyzes them, so they never even get started or give themselves a fair chance to succeed.
Here are some basic tips to help you overcome your fear of failure.
Define what failure really is. Hearing a no is not failure. Having a customer cancel their auto-ship is not failure. Learn the difference between an obstacle, setback, and failure. Everyone experiences obstacles and setbacks, but you’re only a failure if you quit.
Focus on your activity, not the results. You have no control over who joins, buys, or starts working the business. All you can control is the number of times you share the business or products with others. Focus on that and you can’t go wrong. Besides, if you do enough activity, the results will naturally follow.
Improve your skills and work on your personal development. Work on your mindset, attitude, and beliefs. Improve your skills. Try to figure out WHY you fear failure so much. Read books, listen to tapes, and attend events about success, mindset, and attitude.
Look at every failure as a learning experience. If you learn from an event, it is not a failure. It’s only failure if you quit (or keep repeating it). Let each setback be a learning experience, so you can find ways to improve.
Remember WHY you started. When times get tough, and they sometimes will, don’t forget why you started. Always keep your why in front of you. Visualize success and focus on WHERE you are HEADED, not where you currently are in the business.
Try new things. Experiment with different strategies and ways to grow your business until you find something you are comfortable doing.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
# 2: Fear of Rejection
The fear of rejection is when someone fears another person telling them NO. They fear others won’t accept or approve of what they are saying or doing.
Here are some simple tips to help you overcome your fear of rejection.
Expect a NO but hope for a yes. Even if you are a superstar recruiter, at least 70 to 80 percent of the people you talk with will NOT be interested in what you are offering them. Thinking everyone will tell you YES is crazy. You will hear five to ten times more NOs than YESs.
Make it okay for others to say no. Give others permission to tell you NO. This takes a lot of pressure off you and them. Say something like: “This might or might not be a good fit for you. Whatever you decide is fine with me.”
Think of yourself as a coach, not a salesperson. Adopt the mindset that you are a coach or consultant. Your job is to help people determine if what you are offering them is a good fit for them, rather than forcing or pressuring them to buy from you.
Focus on building relationships, not just making sales. Treat everyone you approach as you would your own best friend. Focus on building a relationship first, and if a sale comes from it, great. If not, you still have a new friend.
Calculate the value of a NO. If you earn $50 per sale and you normally close 1 out of every 10 people you talk with that means that each person you talk with is worth $5, whether they tell you YES or NO.
Don’t take it personal. Try not to take it personal when people tell you NO. Think of yourself as a waiter or waitress walking around a restaurant refilling everyone’s coffee cup. Some people will want a refill and others won’t. Yet, the waitress doesn’t have an emotional breakdown when someone says NO. Instead, she just moves to the next person.
You can’t control how people are going to react but you can choose how you deal with that reaction.
Source: Direct Selling CEO
# 3: Fear of Success
The fear of success is when you intentionally or unintentionally self-sabotage yourself because you fear change. You fear that you will outgrow your friends or social status or become a better version of yourself.
Here are some tips to help you overcome the fear of success.
Enjoy the journey, rather than only focus on the destination. Success is a journey, not an event. Enjoy each step of the process. Enjoy your failures, obstacles, and setbacks, as well as your victories. They help mold you into the person you need to become to attract the success you desire. Focus on the future, cherish the past, and live in the moment.
Decide what success means to you. Success means something different to each one of us. Never compare yourself to someone else. They might have bigger goals than you. Decide what you want to achieve with your network marketing business and develop a game-plan to get there. Even if your goal is simply to earn enough commissions to cover the cost of your monthly auto-ship order, that’s great.
Create a list of “what could go wrong” and decide how you will overcome each obstacle. If you are naturally a worrier, take out a pen and paper and make a list of everything that “could” go wrong in your business and spend some time to think about what you can do to prevent it or resolve it.
Think about who you could become. What excites me the most my business is becoming a better version of myself. While I am happy with who I am today, I’m more excited about who I will become in the years that follow. You should feel the same way about yourself.
It takes serious self-reflection to understand why you keep shooting yourself in the foot in the first place. Taking the time to peel back the issues you seem to be inflicting on yourself can lead to a deeper awareness, as well as give you insights into yourself and your underlying motivations and desires.
The most successful people are those who take the time to think through their choices, decisions and actions. Successful people learn from what worked or failed to work. They then adjust their course of action by taking a different approach. Only through self-reflection will you gain the necessary insight, perspective and understanding to begin the process of change and transformation.
# 4: Fear of What Others Think
Many people (normally those with low self-esteem or self-worthiness issues) fear what others will think about them and their profession. They fear being judged or ridiculed. They normally have this fear because they want to be liked by everyone.
Don’t try to please everyone. No matter what you say or do, you will never please everyone. Accept it. Whenever you step out of your comfort zone and try something new or different, you will have critics.
If they don’t sleep in bed with you or pay your bills, stop worrying about what they think. I had a mentor give me this advice. It helped me a lot. Why take advice from people who aren’t trying to help you succeed or help you improve?
Realize most people are not thinking about you anyway, they’re thinking about themselves. Even if you think people are thinking about you, accept that they aren’t. Most people are so absorbed by their own problems and goals, they spend very little time thinking of you.
Don’t take it personal. Opinions are like butts. Everyone has one. Some people are jerks. Some people don’t want you to succeed. Accept it.
Acceptance from others is a strong desire that many people have, and it can cause us to question the things we do by wondering what other people are thinking: about us, about our businesses, our plans, and our goals. I know this can cause many of my coaching clients to put off making decisions or taking actions.
The reality is that most people are too busy worrying about their own problems to be scrutinizing what others are doing.
Second, who cares? We have enough of our own negative thoughts to deal with without adding other people’s potential negativity to our list of obstacles to overcome.
Keep focused on your goal, and don’t worry about the thoughts of others. The right people will be supportive of you, and those who aren’t shouldn’t be the people you pay attention to.
# 5: Fear of Being Perceived as Pushy or Salesy
To some people, selling has a bad reputation. They think of sales as high pressure or pushy, normally because of an experience they previously had. They don’t want to come across this way to their prospects.
Here are some simple tips to help you overcome the fear of being perceived as pushy or salesy.
Don’t use pressure or hype. This should be simple advice. Be nice to everyone you talk with. You never need to hard-sell or pressure anyone, but you do need to always ask for the sale.
Do more listening than talking. Listen 80% of the time and talk 20% of the time. You can’t learn anything by talking, but you can learn a lot by listening.
Ask questions and identify a problem BEFORE offering a solution. This is practical advice. Ask questions and identify a pain point or problem, before you talk about your products or business opportunity. That way you can position what you are offering as a solution to their problem.
Be a professional. Always act like a professional. Learn everything you can about your industry and company. Treat people with respect. Don’t lie. Be nice to people.
How to overcome fear of being pushy requires you to dig deep. We think of sales as something manipulative or sleazy because we often think it’s coming from a place of dishonesty. While there are certainly unscrupulous people trying to make a quick buck, the fact that this makes you feel bad means that you aren’t likely to be one of those people.
Instead of focusing on making the sale, revisit what makes you passionate about your business. What do you like best about the products or services you offer? The more passionate you are about these things, the better.
Action Cures Fear in Network Marketing
I learned in the Army that it’s okay to be scared. Everyone fears something. It’s how you REACT to those fears that matters most. The key to success is to not let your fears control you. Rather than have your fears control your actions, let your actions control your fears.
The only way to cure your fear in your network marketing business is to take massive action. Take one step at a time. Do something small to grow your business today. Step out of your comfort zone and do something that makes you uncomfortable.
Talk to a stranger. Call a lead. Just do something. And then take another step. As you keep taking steps, day after day, something funny will happen. Your fears will eventually disappear. What was once uncomfortable for you will now be FUN to do (or at least tolerable)!
- You will look forward to sharing your business opportunity with prospects.
- You will enjoy introducing yourself to the sharp looking prospect because you are confident in yourself and what you have to offer.
- You will put a smile on your face as you do a group presentation because you know it moves your business forward.
- You will have confidence in yourself, your products, and your business opportunity.
- You will feel worthy and deserving of success.
Remember, it’s okay to be scared. But don’t let your fears control you. If you want to overcome your fears in network marketing (or in life) you must do something about it. That is the only way to cure your fears.
The more you do something the more comfortable you will get with it. If there is something holding you back in your network marketing business (fear) make it a point to take baby steps so you can get through it.
Must Read Books
There is a famous, best-selling book titled The Magic of Thinking Big. I believe it was written in the 1950s. This is the one book that really helped me overcome my fears and self-limiting beliefs in life. It is written by Dr. David Schwartz.
The thesis of the book is that most people underestimate themselves. Most people sell themselves short and think WAY too small. To succeed in life, you need to think BIG. If you struggle with fears of ANY kind, I suggest you study the material in this book.
The second book that helped me overcome my fears is How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger. Every sales rep, network marketer and entrepreneur should read this book and study it.
These two books helped me immensely. I know they can help you too.
In conclusion, these are my thoughts on the most common fears in network marketing and what to do about it.
Everyone has fears. It’s normal. Courage is doing what needs to be done, even if you are scared. Feel the fear and do it anyway. If you want to succeed with your network marketing business that’s what you need to do.
What are your thoughts about fears in network marketing? Do you agree or disagree with what I said? What are your fears? What holds you back? And what do you do to overcome your fears in network marketing? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.
- The MLM Mindset: How Top Earners Think
- Must Read MLM Books
- My System for Building My MLM Business
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