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June 1999


What Do You Say "How Much Do You Make?" - Coy Barefoot

Whether you're brand new in Network Marketing or a top performer with years of experience, there is one question that never fails to pop up now and then: How much do you make? Most often, this query is followed by something like: If this opportunity is as good as you say, then why aren't you retired yet? or Are you rich yet?

We turned to some of the industry's hardest working leaders and asked them how they personally handle that situation, and what they teach people in their organization to say to that question.

Barbara Williams-Sandhu is a Supervisor with Biometics. She and husband/partner John live in Livermore, CA. Barbara has been with the company since April of 1996.

I say: I'm not being evasive, but what I earn-- whether it is high or low-- is not pertinent to what you will make, because we each bring something different to the marketplace. So if I give you an answer and tell you how much I make, if the figure was too high you might find that intimidating. On the other hand, if the figure was too low you might lose interest in the opportunity. What I make personally is actually irrelevant to what you're going to be able to make in this business.

Everyone comes to Network Marketing with different skills and different levels of commitment. In all honesty, I don't see how much I'm making at any given moment as pertinent to someone else's chance for success. Owning a Network Marketing business is not like a job, where you fill a position that makes a certain amount of money.

When a person asks that question, what they really want to know is `can I make money doing this?' The response is:

Of course you can. There's no limit to how much you can make. But more importantly, how much money do you want to make, and are you willing to do what it's going to take to earn it?

Once I know how much money someone wants to make from the opportunity and how much time they are willing to commit, then we can move forward with a plan of action-- but it's different for everyone.

Miyuki Edwards and her husband John are Crown Performers with Royal BodyCare. They live in Chesapeake, VA.

We say: The truth is, Network Marketing pays really, really well-- if you are willing to stick it out and put forth the effort. But you don't just get rich by signing up. Network Marketing is about developing relationships with people, and building relationships takes some time. Growth can come quickly or slowly, depending on how much time, love, and effort you give your business.

I think this question can be really intimidating for new people who aren't making any serious money yet. What they need to know is that it's okay to be honest and say:

Hey, I'm new at this, and right now I'm not making as much as the people that are helping me.

I think prospects can relate to that. It's honest and straight forward, and that's always the best way to begin a lasting relationship.

Eileen Silva has been involved with the Network Marketing industry since 1982. She and her husband and partner Taylor Hegan are Crown Presidentials with First Fitness International. They live in Southlake, TX.

If someone asks me personally if we've gotten rich in Networking I say: Yes, we sure have. But I coach the new people in my company who haven't reached that level to share the success stories of others, whether that's in our company or from the profiles in Upline.

People are just curious whether the money is really there to be made, and they want to know if they can do it. People have to believe-- in the products or the services they represent, in the people that they work with, and in themselves. And real belief doesn't come from hype, it comes from sharing the truth. It's very important for people who aren't making big money yet in the industry to be very truthful about that fact; don't be evasive. Tell the truth. And don't be afraid to tell prospects you're new at this and you're learning.

I say: Networking is similar to other professions that pay big money; the beginning is a real internship period. If you wanted to make money as a doctor, you'd first go to school for years and pay a boatload of money; then you'd go to work for free as an intern; then you'd start at the bottom as a resident making just a little money.

Professional people are used to the concept of interning, of being mentored in a business before you make big money. We're in a business that looks easy, but those of us who've been around for a while know that it takes time to learn the skills.

A Master Executive with Idea Concepts, Cheryl Gonzalez has been involved in Networking for almost ten years. She recently relocated to San Antonio, TX.

I'm doing extremely well. I've retired my husband and brought him home, and I have several tens of thousands of people in my group.

I personally wouldn't have any problem with a question like that, but I know that question can be hard on new people-- people who think they're only credible if they already have a big paycheck. I tell new people to say:

I'm doing extremely well. I'm meeting the goals that I set for myself and my business, so I'm doing great.

But whenever someone asks that question, I think they're really asking how much can they reasonably expect to make in the business. And that's a fair question, but...

What I'm making has no bearing whatsoever on what someone else can make. It all depends on how much someone is willing to learn and what kind of time they want to put into it.

Keith McEachern is an Ambassador with FreeLife International. He has been involved in the industry for ten years. Keith lives in New Fairfield, CT.

I say: We really don't feel that the money we make is anybody else's business. And besides, in Network Marketing it's all about lifestyle and quality of life; it's not about how much you're making. Seriously, a guy making three or four thousand a month in Networking can be a full-timer in this industry and enjoy a lifestyle that's incredibly better than someone making $50,000 a month with a chain of restaurants. So whether it's three thousand, or eight thousand, or one hundred thousand a month, it doesn't matter, because you can be guaranteed it's a better lifestyle than any poor slob who's hooked to a desk all day.

Look, this is how I live: I play golf twice a week; I fish once a week; I have lunch at school with my kid three days a week; I take my wife out to dinner whenever and wherever she wants to go; I get up in the morning when I want to; I take my family on vacations whenever and wherever they want to go. You guess what I make. And let me ask you this: How much would you have to make to live like that? Whatever that amount is, that's how much I'm going to help you make. It's about creating the kind of lifestyle you want for yourself and your family, not about making a certain amount of money.

Share your best "What Do You Say" with us! Send your, our your team's, proven Networking one-liners, phrases, questions and answers, to Coy Barefoot at the Upline address, or email them to We just might include them in a future publication. Be sure to include your name, company, and a little neat information about who you are.

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, What Do You Say - June 1999, 888-UPLINE-1,