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This was a terrible book. It never acknowledged the primary and most ...
on December 28, 2014
This was a terrible book. It never acknowledged the primary and most obvious criticism of network marketing. Only a small fraction of a percent of people who go into it succeed. It provided one misleading suggestion to the contrary by quoting Warren Buffett. But to my knowledge Buffett never said and never would say that going into network marketing (e.g. as an Amway independent business owner) is a good way to make money.
This book distinguishes between the loser in us and the winner in us. It says: “How do you know when the loser is speaking up? “Oh, I can’t afford that.” “Oh, that’s too risky.” Or, “What if I fail?” The winner is up for the risk, but the loser thinks only of safety and security. “ It encourages us to think like a winner and take risks, rather than a loser who worries about risk. What it doesn’t tell us is that only a small fraction of a percent of all independent business owners associated with network marketing companies like Amway make any real money. It also fails to mention that most successful people in business are successful in no small part because they often think like “losers”. Success in business requires the kind of critical thinking skills that allows us to tell when the risks are too big. Virtue is a mean between two extremes: a willingness to take risk and prudence.
The book says contradictory things about the importance of other people in business. On page 91 the book says, “Depending on someone else for your financial future is like rolling the dice. The reward may be there in the end, but the risk is steep.” But don’t you depend on others in Net Work Marketing? Isn’t that the whole point of network marketing? You develop a network of others whom you depend on. And why is depending on others more risky than depending on oneself? It is arrogant to think that the mere fact that I am in control means that there is less risk.
The book was extremely dismissive of alternative perspectives and at times was guilty of the very things it was critical of others for doing. For example, on page 106 it says, “If you have the idea that you can start a network marketing business and expect to start making money right away, then you are still thinking like someone who lives in the E or S quadrants.” Who’s looking for quick returns, the person who expects to be a multi-millionaire in 3 to 5 years after working for Amway or the person who goes into medical school to become a doctor? Amway and similar organizations attract people by suggesting that in 3 to 5 years they can become rich. Medical schools do not. They require more work, promise less money, but are far more likely to deliver. The book preaches one thing (avoid get rich quick schemes), but it practices another (it tells us how to get rich quickly (or relatively quickly)).
The book has a totally black and white, simplified view of the world that admits of no complexity and (most importantly) puts the responsibility for one’s success almost entirely on oneself. This is not the real world. In the real world success means knowing both oneself and the world and finding a niche for oneself in an ever changing world. For example, does a market ever get saturated with a given network marketing company? Isn’t this something one should attend to?
The book failed to recognize the importance of academic intelligence. On page 112 it says. “Financial intelligence has little or nothing to do with academic intelligence.” That’s false in my experience. Financial intelligence has a lot to do with mathematical ability, which most certainly is a matter of academic intelligence. Interesting that in a book with such specific advice for its readers there is so little focus on the actual money that can be made by a typical network marketer.
It contained many false claims such as the following claim on page 113: ““You can train a monkey to save money and invest in mutual funds—which is exactly why the returns on those investment vehicles are historically pretty pitiful.” This is false. The average mutual fund tends to generate a modest return on the investment , though not all do. Historically the U.S. stock market has done well. The fact that as an investor one don’t have to actively get involved in it is part of what makes stocks an attractive investment. The book claims that rich people have their money work for them while poor people work for their money. If so then doesn’t this mean that rich people should invest in things that don’t require their attention like stocks rather than investments whose success is bound up with oneself? Again, the book seems inconsistent about one of its major points.