Almost 2  years ago, I decided that I would like to open my options up for earning my own income. I was working part time at my sons school but I could only do 3 years at school. I wanted the option to work from home and be with my kids as they grow up. I started filling out those forms that people send in e-mails “work from home” and I found out that it’s a form letter for people who have network marketing businesses and they purchase a list that has your name on it. I had a lot of people call me with different business opportunities. I finally came across a service that I thought was great and could earn income introducing this service to other people and teach them how it works. It’s a great business for me and it has opened up so many new opportunities for me. I enjoy it and the benefits.

As I have gone out to network and learn more about network marketing, I have come across a lot of other network marketers. There are some great people in the business and after meeting many people I have decided that my best approach is to introduce it to people and if they are interested, show them a demo and if they like it, they sign up for the service, if not, we are still friends and I still do business with them. Many of the network marketers have tried to persuade me to join their business. “My business has so much more to offer and the pay scheme is better in my group.”.  “You could do both businesses and make more.”. “Your thing is OK, but this is so much better.” There are also the tireless people nagging their friends and family to do business and join them. “Your life could be so much better by using this product, and even better by selling this product”.   These people are getting on my nerves. Nagging people doesn’t get you anywhere. Neither does putting down what others do.

What these network marketers should do is build new relationships regardless of the outcome. They need to invest in other peoples lives and show them they are interested in them whether or not they will eventually do business with them. Network marketers would also benefit and build credibility by going a step further and refer people to do business with the people that they meet and make friends with.

I prefer to call Network Marketing, Relationship Marketing. I have already written a blog about what networking is all about. When I go out to network, I am looking for relationships. The kind where I invest time and myself to. I am looking to make a contribution in the life of another. People want to do business with someone they are friends with, they want a relationship with someone that cares about them and their needs.

One day I was talking to a friend (who had some networking friends in her past try and get her into their business) and we were talking about different churches and church membership. She was saying how people from other churches were always trying to coerce her into going to their church. She’s already a Christan, she is already in a community she enjoys yet these people are still wanting to get her to their church. This friend is passionate, has influence and performs. By performs I mean, she has served in every area of the church and knows and does a lot. She was lamenting how these people are always trying to attract her to their church and I said “It’s just like network marketing!”.

Rather than trying to speak to a friend who doesn’t know the message of Christ they are trying to recruit someone who already knows and lives the message of Christ and they know she will perform. They want her and their church because she can do something for them.  I have also been invited by friends “oh you should come to the Church of Facebook, they have parents night out and if we bring friends I can get extra movie tickets”,  “My Twitter Church is awesome, we have a youth program and every year we rent a hotel floor for camp.”.

I am smart enough to know that this is not the message that churches are trying to spread. It’s important to have programs in place and to work on building a community. What some in the church community may not be focused on is the message. They belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Network Marketing. I know churches spend a lot of time in advertising and that is OK but anyone who has ever run a business knows that the best way to build a business or a group is by referral. Those who enjoy it, will tell others about it. True, the church is not a business but they do use some business ideas and cannot manage a ministry without some business sense. They have people who try to attract other church members rather than try and recruit new believers or people who have turned from the church community all together.

The message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Network Marketing is to recruit other church goers for the benefit of the church. The message of Christ is to love each other and serve each other, to tend to the wounded, to make sure their needs are met. The church isn’t about recruiting people from other churches, the church is supposed to be a community that serves the people around them and having a mutual relationship.  The focus of the church is to build relationships, without trying to get something from them first. I have been to numerous churches where I was the “normal” person and they try and get me “plugged in” right away. I have taught classes, served in the kids area, served in the youth area and so forth. I have talents and gifts I feel the church could benefit from but rather than be asked what I would like to do, each church tried to get me into an area I wasn’t interested in serving.

I, personally, am looking to invest in the lives of women whether they are in my church community or business community or my neighborhood, or kids school and so forth. I have created my own ministry area. I invest in the lives of these women and have influence with them without trying to get something from them in return. Turns out that I have made some great friends and have developed some close relationships. I have invested in these lives and I get to have close friends who I can also share with and have community with. I knew that I would have a benefit by making these investments, one can’t just put out and not get anything back at all. The relationship has to be mutual to a degree.

Networking can apply to all areas of life. I built a community of friends by intentionally going out to have relationships with others. I share what I have and I benefit from the experience and knowledge of my friends. I can minister to these women on a deeper and more intimate level and they can do the same for me. They aren’t people trying to get me to do, be, buy something but people who care about having a relationship with me. There are many elements of a community, if we live our lives with a positive networking mind we can serve others and multiply that service.

What sort of networking are you doing?