Thursday, June 02, 2011

Where are You on the Mastery Learning Curve?

The news that Bethany College, USA, had added a Network Marketing and Servant Leadership degree to its curriculum intrigued me. Needless to say the usual nay-sayers are out in force, lambasting the college board for their insanity in trying to "legitimise" network marketing and pointing out their negative statistics about the industry.

Yet, despite the prolific output of those who feel "it's all just a pyramid scheme", the statistics on the US DSA website give a better picture. Over $28 billion sales in 2009, in the height of a recession, with 16 million distributors of whom 84% are female, 92.5% work part-time and 77% are married.

Of those 16 million distributors, just under 5 million are inactive, and just over 4 million distributors only buy products for personal use. That leaves 3.7 million distributors and 3.2 million team/group leaders to retail the lion's share of those $28 billion sales.

The question is, how many of those buying products for personal use would at least retail properly if they got the right coaching? Maybe a degree course isn't such a bad idea after all?

Take a look at the mastery learning curve chart below. This pattern plays out repeatedly in our industry; the timeline can be from 3 months to 10 years, depending on the company and the distributor involved:

Superstars (those with unstoppable focus, limitless cash and a really strong family support network) will go onwards and upwards. Those are the ones we all look at on stage in conferences, applaud like mad, then go home and think, "I'm never going to be able to do the business like that." They get there through a lot of hard work and make sacrifices that many of us cannot, or choose not to, do.

Mastery Apprentices are those of us who stick with it, but spend a long time being disorganised and not "getting out of our comfort zone". When we finally find out what works, usually through trial, error, and a lot of Life getting in the way, we can catch up with the Superstars amazingly quickly. We relate better to a lot of new starters in the industry, and we have personal testimonials of earning realistic amounts whilst still juggling home, work, family and social activities.

The rest? Well, they're the ones who aren't supported properly, for whatever reason. That may be because they are genuinely uncoachable - coaching is a two-way process; one-way coaching is lecturing and extremely enervating for the coach. Or, they have personal issues that cause them to feel unloved and unwanted despite their best efforts and those of their sponsor - those personal issues can include very negative family members. Of course, there are poorly trained sponsors as well, who perpetuate a cycle of poor training in their turn. The Unsupported will quit once they perceive the work to be too hard, too difficult, or taking up too much of their time, unless their sponsors can help them move out of their motivational trough and find their resolve.

Where are you on the chart?

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