The Network Marketing Game: Playing to Win? or Playing NOT to Lose?

Are You Playing the Network Marketing Game to Win or Playing Not to Lose?Have you ever stopped to look at your strategy when playing the network marketing game, or questioned the strategy of others on your team?

Why do so many people in network marketing struggle and fail in their businesses?  Why do so many other people go on to change their lives and the lives of hundreds of other people in their network marketing businesses?  Is it mindset?  Is it perseverance?  Is it having a big enough why?  I have learned to look at the network marketing  game differently, as a game that we either play to win or play not to lose.

Investing in the “equipment” to play the network marketing game:

In the last 5 years of being a network marketer I’ve purchased over 14K worth of training courses, books, CD’s, seminars, conferences, etc. (that doesn’t include the value of the freebie trainings, teleconferences, free ebooks, blogs, etc. that I’ve consumed) trying to figure out how to improve my network marketing game and learning how to build my business online.

There are a few of us information and personal development junkies out there, but unfortunately the majority of network marketers who get into the industry don’t invest in themselves and their businesses and in my opinion it’s that lack of time and financial investment that causes so many people to fail in this network marketing game.

But in my case, I invested, I studied, I trained…but my downfall was that I dabbled and I hesitated because I doubted myself and my abilities.  I played the network marketing game not to lose.  I followed the RULES.

A network marketing game changer:

But I had a game changer this year.  I learned something significant about myself this last year…a major personal development discovery that made me realize how tired I was of being average in this network marketing game.

I’ve always been an A-B student.  I could have easily been an straight A student, but every time I’d get close to success, I’d pull back.  I didn’t know why, but it was my M.O. My teachers always told me I wasn’t working up to my potential.  I’ve always know this to be my style “in typical Heather fashion” I’d say to myself when I was frustrated about not reaching a goal in my business.  (How’s that for some great self talk?)

The game changer for me was discovering I had mild ADD. Not enough that I’m willing to go on medicine to change it.  I believe that healthy eating and supplements should be able to take care of that for me.  As a mom of 3, I’m always going in 3 directions at once anyway. Interruptions are just part of the day, and life is crazy.  But, discovering and learning about ADD has helped me in so many ways.

It’s built my confidence to new levels.

Did you know that the majority of successful entrepreneurs in this world have ADD?  (The majority of criminals do too.)  We LOVE to break the rules, and in the entrepreneurial mind, breaking the rules are centered around things like deciding to get out from under the thumb of an employer and start our own business.  That makes me perfect for the network marketing game, because thinking outside the box is essential to standing out from the crowd and building my personal brand!

One example I read in one of the dozens of books on ADD I’ve consumed in the last 9 months is instead of watching a teacher explain how photosynthesis works, a child with ADD will stare out the window and wonder how it works on a cloudy day.

That was me!  HUNGRY for information on how all this internet marketing worked and how it fit in with network marketing.

The point where I dropped the ball was actually in getting online and trying it. Putting it to the test, making tweaks, seeing if ZYX worked better than XYZ.

I wonder how many other network marketers are struggling in limbo between building their businesses off line and getting them online?

Knowing now that I have had ADD my whole life explains SO much…but the best thing it showed me was how tired I was living the way I am and it allowed me to give myself permission to look at my life and my business in a whole new way.

Awareness is huge.  Being aware of all the little things I’ve done my whole life to sabotage myself (make life more challenging and “exciting”) is scary and hilarious at the same time.

I can see it so clearly, the pattern of being unfocused because it was fun.

I’d been making life a game! Playing beat the clock…trying to get ONE MORE THING done before I left the house and then strategically planning all the different routs I could take to get to my destination on time.  Oh, and how I always waited until the last minute to grocery shop and clean when company was coming to visit and then falling into a chair exhausted but thrilled to have made it moments before they arrived.

Things shifted for me when I started to look at my online marketing and business like a network marketing game. How many people, who need what I have to offer, can I get in front of every day?  Can I get in front of one more today than yesterday?  How can I increase the leverage I have in my business?  How can I maximize your pay-out in my compensation plan?  How can I reach my bonus levels? Can I get more visitors to my blog this week than last week?

Playing the network marketing game, not to win is playing it safe; not taking big risks, not pushing your comfort zone, not getting out there in a big way and seeing how you can help others with your specialized knowledge.  Playing not to win is playing just good enough that your upline doesn’t have to check in with you because you’re bringing in the volume, but you’re not getting noticed as someone who’s rising the ranks.

Sometimes looking at the big goals can be overwhelming and especially to someone with ADD, so what I’ve done differently is look at each activity as a point.  Writing a blog post 1 point.  Sharing it with my friends on the Unified Tribe 1 point. Talking to a lead about my opportunity 1 point. Coaching someone in my down-line 1 point. Etc.

My goal is to hit more points this week than I hit last week, in my network marketing game. (I wrote a post last week about  how you handle obstacles in your network marketing business, that explains the 4 different styles of people and how they approach their goals.  It would be helpful for you if you like to self assess.)

This requires RISK and strategy.  Growing outside my comfort zone…doing things even when I’m not quite sure if I’m doing it right.  Being here…online instead of in limbo between wanting to be online and actually doing it.

The results?  In one month of blogging (the online version of the network marketing game) consistently…(I’ve had a blog for about 9 months but updated it very inconsistently) I’ve hit the mark of getting about 70+ visitors to my blog daily, signing up about 3-5 people a week on my mailing list, getting 1-2 people asking about my opportunity, growing my twitter followers by almost 1000.

I’ve gotten so much better at follow up and being creative about leveraging my communication with my preferred clients.  Using autoresponders for my business building actives off line.  Setting up a blog for team communications and team support.

I don’t know if you or someone on your team is where I was, but shifting my viewpoint to looking at this as a game has helped me really push farther.  It’s gotten my competitive spark burning inside of me and is helping me to overcome the obstacles I placed in my way of reaching my goals.

How you do one thing is how you do everything, right?

Do you show up for the network marketing game in gear ready to play, or do you show up in gear ready to sit on the bench and watch everyone else have fun?

I’ve done both, and I’m here to tell you that the network marketing game is a whole lot more exciting when you’re out of breath and wiping sweat off your forehead because you’re pushing yourself!

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  1. You are so right, Heather! There are so many times when we think that we are doing just enough to get by, but in the end that is how we end up not getting anywhere. For example, Italy is one of the best soccer programs around, but they have lost several World Cups because they tried to sit on a 1-0 lead only to get beaten by people who don’t give up. People who try to not to lose tend not to lose so much as they don’t win.

    • Heather C Stephens says:

      Hi Steve,

      I just listened to an audio this morning from Bob Proctor that talked about the 7 positive emotions. One thing that stuck out for me was his comment on Hope. He said that hope opens our eyes to all the options around us. It made me think of this post and how it would be good for me to stop and frequently ask myself, “Where is my Hope? Am I hoping to win, or hoping I won’t lose?” The things we hope for, and focus on build into the burning desires Napoleon Hill talks about in Think and Grow Rich, and help us get emotionally involved with what we want, which I believe gives us the energy and enthusiasm to go out, play hard, and make it happen!

      Here’s to playing a bigger game!

      I appreciate you sharing, Steve! Thanks so much!


  2. Hi Heather, I’ve done both too but for me there was a lot of unrest in showing up and just sitting on the bench. It was easy enough to do but it can eat away at you if that’s not what’s really in your heart.

    If you’re unhappy in your life, your accomplishments aren’t what you’d like them to be, then there has to be some soul searching going on. It can be a tough journey but, in the end, it can be a rewarding one if you can just pick up that ball and run with it 😉