“I’d love to chat with you about what I discovered”…“Learn about an exciting new opportunity” – have you ever received one of these emails? Chances are, if you are over the age of 40, you’ve received many of these emails! It is the first step in the backbone of recruiting for multi-level marketing. This sales technique is usually accompanied with either flattering you as a hand-selected, unique individual for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity or boasting the sender’s prowess as a business-thought leader that is now driven out of “retirement” because of this great product. In either technique, you are being sold more fiction than fact.

I was recently reminded of this when someone I knew claimed that they “came out of retirement” and began this type of email campaign in hopes of getting to step two of the multi-level marketing plan – the sales pitch. Promises of an abundant life, enjoyable retirement and “this is the future” are all part of the standard “pitch.” While it is possible to make money in any venture, it’s unlikely to achieve the results described in the pitch, including in the real estate industry. An interesting book on multi-level marketing was written by Jon M. Taylor, MBA, Ph.D., president, Consumer Awareness Institute. In his free eBook, Mr. Taylor found that 99.7 percent of people will lose money in network marketing. The dream of making money by not working and building a down-line is just that, “a dream.” And, in a case where it seems too good to be true – it actually is.

A better strategy for obtaining your goals is to bet on yourself. This is where the power of focus will help you succeed in reaching your goals. To be successful and earn more money, you need to become a specialist in your field. To become a specialist, you need to continue learning. I strongly agree with Malcolm Gladwell, who identified in his book, Outliers, that people who become experts in a field put in a practice time of around 10,000 hours to master the skills in their chosen discipline. Because of this dedication to practice, they were able to become very successful in their occupations.

Who makes the most money in any profession? The world rewards people who have obtained specific skills. This holds true for all professions. If you are a doctor who becomes a heart specialist, you will achieve greater financial rewards than someone in general medicine. The same holds true for the leaders in business who developed specialized knowledge of an industry, financial dealings or organizational development.

The next time you are approached about an exciting new opportunity that promises residual income with an ever-growing down-line, do yourself a favor and bet on your own abilities. After all, a half truth is often a great lie. The process of obtaining special skills is only achieved through committing to improve your knowledge, focusing and then applying that knowledge to your career and your life. The truth for everyone is that time is our greatest asset. Are you going to spend it developing your skills or hoping that others you recruit will spend their time selling for you? Right now, someone is betting on themselves and becoming an expert. If you want to guarantee your future, you should do the same.

Here is to betting on yourself. You are worth the power of focus!

Peter