Business and Friendship – a Slippery Slope

January 16, 2024

I’m sure you’ve heard the term never mix business with pleasure. Right? And I truly believe it takes a special relationship to be able to pull this type of thing off. My husband, Nick, and I were both in the golf industry and we’ve worked at the same golf clubs during our 17 years together.

But ultimately it has never been a good fit for us. Not because we argue or get sick of one another, although I can totally see that happening to certain people. But it just doesn’t work because of our schedules.

And quite frankly, it isn’t fair to the employer, unless you’re self employed, right, to ask them to lose not 1, but 2 employees if, say, we wanted to go on vacation or had a family emergency, maybe needed postpartum care, whatever.

The Challenge of Balancing Business and Friendship

And outside of the social selling network space, I feel like you don’t see this happen often. I mean, think about it. I don’t personally know of many, if any of my friends who work with their spouse or partner, what you are constantly seeing on social media about friends, you know, from high school or college or work or or or or their spouse is part of their social selling network marketing business.

Like, it’s all intertwined, and those lines definitely seem to get blurred in this network marketing and social selling space. And it makes sense, right, when you think about it. So you’re most likely going to promote, share, whatever you wanna call it. Selling, ultimately, k, to your warm market, which is who? Family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etcetera.

Right? Those are the people who are closest to you. And, yes, if you’re involved with network marketing, you’re typically going to be encouraged by your upline mentor to share with those people first. Why? Because it’s an easier whim because people purchase from those they know, like, and trust.

Leverage your existing connections for business growth in the social selling & network marketing space

My very first customer and coach I recruited to my team was my mom. She was getting amazing results and has always been my number 1 cheerleader, so I knew she’d trust me with her journey.

And plus, I knew she was gonna promote me to all of her friends. She would talk about the products, hey, get in touch with my daughter, yada yada yada, tenfold compared to someone else. It was a no brainer.

My next recruit, if you will, was one of my oldest friends from high school. Next, my best friend from college’s sister. You get the idea. Right? And in my decade of social selling, I’ve helped my family, my best friends, college teammates, coworkers, friends of friends, and, yes, random strangers on the Internet who have become some of my closest friends.

And I could sit here and tell you about all the beautiful trips we’ve had together, the laughs, the support during the most difficult times of our lives, and more, but you already know that side of the story.

You can make those assumptions, and you constantly see it on social media. Right? All the reels floating around about finding your girl gang or community. Yes.

And it is very, very true. As I sit here boarding. I am staring at a photo of when we’ve gone to our annual conference and there’s 40 women all grouped together. Right? So those stories, they’re true. They’re very, very true.

But I always want to share the other side of the coin for you when it comes to business because I think it’s important to set expectations when you begin your entrepreneurial journey.

When it comes to those you’re selling to, recruiting to your business, and choosing to do work with if you do choose to outsource some of the work.

First and foremost, understand that you will always, always have different goals and a different work ethic than most.
Balance different work ethics and goals within your team

K? There are a lot of people on the Internet who love to throw shade at those who have found success in network marketing and social selling. And to that, I say, work harder.

There’s a reason why there’s a 1% in the world, whether it’s your graduating class in high school, professional athletes versus amateur players, those who work their way up to become CEOs and CFOs of their companies. You name it. Right?

It is found in every single industry. If everyone could do it, whatever it may be, then they would, but the reality is they can’t.

And for the last 10 years that I’ve been involved with network marketing, I’ve had several instances where my goals were out of alignment with others on my team.

And, yeah, sometimes it’s that I’ve wanted to work extra hard and they were okay with not having the same achievements.

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And then there’s been other times, specifically early on when I first started, where I had things going on in my life, so I had to pull back, you know, whether it was I was working multiple jobs, I was planning my wedding, yada yada yada, and the leaders on my team, they started to soar because that’s life.

You’re always going to have different things going on. And if you do, of course, so does everyone else that you’re working with. And these times taught me a lot about leadership in general.

So first and foremost, if someone wants to run with the business, Let Them Run. Do not ever hold them back for your own ego. I promise you that will just burn you in the long run.

And I know how hard it can be to see someone hitting achievements that you ultimately want, but quite frankly, at the moment, aren’t willing to work for or don’t have the time to work for.

You can feel left out. And honestly, yes, sometimes you will even feel pangs of jealousy. But remember, those emotions come from the enemy who is planting seeds of doubt into your mind and fear. That does not come from your creator. K.

Your creator does not support fear. And when I first started in network marketing, I did have a couple of gals that I was building my business with. They were rising up in the ranks as part of my downline.

But the reality was they were older than me, and they also had really strong streams of income from their spouses. Whereas I was working multiple jobs as a golf professional, Nick and I were living in free housing to try and save money.

I’ve said this time and time again, like, you know, in the golf business, you gotta work really, really hard to get to a level that you’re finally comfortable with.

And in the beginning, you’re not making a lot of money. Right? And so our lives, you know, me and those other leaders, they just look different.

And they had a lot more time to grow the business than I did despite the fact that they even had young children at home. Because the fact of the matter is they could work on their business at hours of the day that I couldn’t. Right? Like, okay.

Challenges in Building and Growing a Team in Network Marketing

I never take it away from someone who is a work from home mom because I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Right? I understand how difficult that is, but the reality is you also have more time working in corporate America.

You know, if I’m at my job at corporate America or, you know, a country club, I can’t be working on my side hustle. Right? Because I’m at that job getting paid to do work for that job.

Whereas someone who is working from home, yeah, they can squeeze in some work during nap time or before their kids wake up in the morning or, you know, if they’re going to bed early, whatever. Like, it’s just different, and our lives just looked a lot different.

And the fact of the matter is, I don’t care what anyone tells you on the Internet. Like, this takes a major time commitment if you truly wanna grow to multiple 6 figures annually like I did.

Right? Like, do not let anyone convince you that you can do this by working 1 to 2 hours a day on social media. I’m looking at you, master resell rights. It’s a Mirage, and it is very misleading.

So, you know, our company, as I had mentioned, has an annual summit, you know, leadership conference that all the leaders attend, and I’ll never forget that I didn’t go to the very first one that I was eligible to go to because I was nervous to even ask my new boss.

I started a new country club, and I just wasn’t bold enough to ask him for 5 days off in the middle of the golf season in July. I mean, like, it just I just didn’t have the nerve. Right? And in hindsight, I’m sure he would have let me go, because he was just that type of boss, but I didn’t feel right doing that. I felt like that was my commitment.

That was my career. Right? My career was being a golf professional, and the side hustle came second. So it just didn’t sit with me. But one of my personally sponsored coaches did go to that and she was there all by herself.

And at that leadership event, the company was, at the time, really promoting. I mean, they still promote, like, building a team, but they were really stressing, and don’t ask me why.

But they were stressing, like, branching off from your upline. Like, branch off, build your own team, blah blah blah blah. And so naturally, You know, when you’re surrounded by 1,000 and thousands of people and you’re hearing this messaging, what did my leader do? She did just that.

And I believe that everything happens for a reason, both good and bad things came out of that experience. Okay? You know, you hear, preach community, community, community all the time online. But when teams start splitting off, there becomes this natural divide.

And I’m not gonna dive into all of the drama that can take place because let’s be real. It does. You know it. You might have already experienced it if you have been involved with network marketing.

But ultimately, though, this particular situation worked out with my leader because she ended up soaring to the top of the company for years, which obviously, as her offline sponsor, benefited me.

Right? And, ultimately, we’ve worked things out. We’re dear friends to this day. We run events together. We regularly. Like, we share ideas.

So, yes, was there a time where for about a year and a half, we had a very uncomfortable relationship. Yeah. But it also forced me in that time period, to go out and really grow myself.

Personal growth resulting from a period of discomfort with leader

Like, I wasn’t resting on my laurels, so to speak. And that’s what I did. Like, I literally took that. We went so circling back when we weren’t really speaking, that was, 2017, and I’ll never forget going to that animal annual summit once again. And, like, we didn’t hang out. We barely talked. It was brutal. And this was someone I used to talk to every single day.

Right? And it was at my wedding, yada yada yada, and I just didn’t wanna feel like that anymore, so I was forced to build my own team just like she did, and I did.And that’s when things obviously really started taking off for me, and then we got back together, like, because I believe too that and I respect her for this, that she wanted to be surrounded by people who wanted to run.

And if I wasn’t willing to run, I was, what, holding her back. So good for her that she went off and ran. And then once I made the commitment to running, that’s when we linked arms again because you never wanna be the smartest person in the room. Right?

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room, and you gotta surround yourself with people who are like minded, and that’s what she wanted to do.

So once I have this, like, come to Jesus moment where, like, hey. This sucks.

I don’t wanna feel like this, and I started to make these changes, that’s when everything really started to heal for us as in our friendship, in our business relationship, and going forward.

And, you know, I’ve also had this experience work out a lot differently where coaches have branched off from my core team.

And then unlike this other leader, their team started to dissipate because their leadership style didn’t have the same focus as mine. Right? They weren’t running at that level. So, therefore, anyone who wanted to kinda do what I was doing, their direct leader, who now they were in a separate group from, separate team from, yada yada yada, wasn’t matching that pace, so they felt like they were alone because their upline’s paste didn’t match theirs.

And I’m always there for my entire downline, but it can make leaders feel uncomfortable when their personally sponsored coaches kinda go over their heads, so to speak, and reach out for help to someone who’s, like, a level or two above them. Right?

And that never made sense to me because, ultimately, don’t you want your team to succeed no matter what? But I digress. It happens, and it can definitely drum up drama.

The Reality of Being a Work-From-Home Mom: “I don’t care what anyone tells you on the Internet. Like, this takes a major time commitment If you truly wanna grow to multiple 6 figures annually like I did.”

And there have been plenty of times where our team has been trying to hit particular goals. And because it’s a team building business, if someone doesn’t reach a certain rank or level, whatever, it can affect the whole team’s goal for the year. And the first few times it happens, you feel super defeated. Right?

But the longer you’re in business, you understand that you can only control what you can control. So rather than just relying on one person, it’s up to you as a social seller network marketer to build and find more people.

Just like when my leader went off and built her own team, and I felt like, you know, the lone soldier at that summit, it forced me to get outside of my comfort zone and said, okay. I’m gonna build my own ridiculously strong team, and I did. And you have to come to terms with the fact that people are gonna let you down, okay, such as life.

And I relate this whole experience, it’s very similar to sports, which is why I personally think that I’ve had an easier time adjusting to the disappointments than others who maybe, have never had experience in the arena of sports because you can be an all star player.

But if you’re playing on a team, you’re only as good as the rest of the players on the field. Right? Like, that’s what will get you to the championship game.

Everyone needs to work together as a team, which ultimately is probably why I’ve always loved golf because my success is determined by my own diligence, effort, and skill. No one else’s.

And even in college, you played on a team. But even if your team came in last place, If you played really well, you could still be the individual medalist for the event, and you could win the whole thing by yourself.

So maybe your team didn’t win, but you won as an individual. Okay. So we understand the business side of it in recruitment. Right? Let’s move on to actual products. So the goal when you’re promoting a product is: You wanna share your results, what you know about the product. Right? It’s super important to be knowledgeable.

Importance of Product Knowledge and Realistic Customer Engagement in Network Marketing

I don’t expect anyone on my team or anything like that to know every ingredient or this, this, and the other thing, but, like, have a general sense of what it is you’re promoting. Right?

Because you are gonna get questions and it makes you seem, because you are an expert at whatever it is you’re promoting, and that builds the like, know, and trust factor.

And you need to be able to answer whatever questions about a prospect, a potential client, whatever, may have. But it is not your responsibility for them to be obsessed with the product as much as you are. K?

It is not your responsibility to push play on a workout for them, apply the shampoo, the skincare to their bodies, whatever. Right? They need to be held accountable for whatever offer you’re presenting to them. Welcome to adulthood.

Acknowledge the different opinions of your prospective and current customers

And time and time again, I’ve seen people get so bent out of shape when a customer doesn’t like the product, returns it, or whatever the case may be.

These social sellers take it so dang personally because they’ve been positively impacted by the company, its products, and the whole experience, and they’re hurt to not see others feel the same way.

But, honestly, like, take a step back and ask yourself, do you love every restaurant, movie, musical artist, brand of clothing, whatever that your best friend is obsessed with? Probably not.

My best friend is obsessed with Taylor Swift. I cannot stomach the woman. Right? So why do we expect the same when it comes to the products we promote?

And I believe it’s because we’re consumed by, dare I say it, a cult like culture, especially in network marketing where we are constantly surrounded by people doing the same thing as us day in and day out, so therefore, we think people are absolute, you know, idiots.

If they don’t believe the same because we’re in this bubble, right, where everyone’s doing the same thing and liking the same products, yada yada yada, getting great results.

But the world is full of 7,000,000,000 people. You can’t expect everyone to love what you love. So we’re good on that. Right? So set your expectations that you are gonna have people who return things, who don’t purchase it, who don’t get the same results as you, but that’s not a reflection on you.

This isn’t a one size fits all industry, and you just gotta accept that.

Time Management and Outsourcing In Your Business

And finally, you know that I’m always talking about time and time again about time being the only resource that you can’t get more of, and I 100% believe in outsourcing elements of your business.

But personally, I wouldn’t recommend hiring a friend to do those jobs. K? In the past, I did have a dear friend of mine who was my virtual assistant, and she was excellent at what she did.

She’s super creative, has a great eye, but there were also times where if I wanted changes or didn’t like the way something was designed, like, I felt awkward telling her, but that wasn’t on her. That was on me. That was a ‘me thing’. Right? I didn’t wanna offend her because I love her.

And it can also make things kinda messy when it comes to payment. Right? They may feel uncomfortable asking for a raise. Right? Or in, like, our situation, ultimately, we decided a few years ago that it was better to go our separate ways for our friendship because she needed to be paid off the books.

And as a business owner, I wasn’t willing to do that in case I, God forbid, got audited. You know, I pay all of my employees 10.99, and, ultimately, that’s what sealed the deal for our work relationship.

And when you’re hiring someone professionally, there are expectations when it comes to the work they’re getting paid to do. So if someone you’re hiring is not meeting your needs, you’re gonna feel a lot more comfortable telling them to make changes and get things done because you’re paying them in a timely, regular manner.

If the work isn’t getting done, you have a leg to stand on to say something or even ultimately find someone else to do the job.

There are typically contracts involved where you’re gonna go your separate ways if you need to give, you know, and you may need to give them a certain amount of notice and vice versa. They may ask that of you, but you’re running a professional business and It should be treated as such.

Like, this is so important when it comes with working with third parties to help build your brand. It gives you that level of confidence and it makes you feel like a true business owner.

And just as a heads up, the same goes for those that you’re hiring. Right? So just like you can go your separate ways from someone you’ve contracted out or, you know, you feel like you’re telling them what you need. Right? You have a leg to stand on that. They have every right to flip the script and say that they no longer wanna work with you either.

It’s a two way street and I’ve had people previously on my marketing team threaten to drop me as a client because of personal reasons.

So remember my best friend who is my VA? Well, one time, unbeknownst to me and not with my approval, she added a Donald Trump quote to my email series without my consent.

And the thing is, Trump is extremely triggering for people on both sides of the aisle, And this was back in 2020. So really, really tumultuous time, yada yada yada. Right? And my marketing gal at the time and I, we had to have a long conversation about it.

And, ultimately, we worked it out and we were working together for another year beyond that, but it was stressful. Like, I got this random text message while I was in the middle of teaching golf clinics. And I was like, I don’t know why you would put that quote in there.

I’m like, what quote? What are you even talking about? And I said to my best friend, I’m like, why would you even put that quote in there? And she’s like, it was a really good quote. I’m like, yeah.

But, like, just look who said it. Like, you know, like, it doesn’t matter who you voted for, like, you know and trust me, my best friend is the complete and opposite of me. Trust me.

She did not vote for him, but I just said you can’t do that. Right? Like, that’s a big marketing no no. Right? I don’t even remember how my people, like, unfollowed or unsubscribed from my email list that day.

But that’s just something that I, as a business owner, especially at that time, would have never done. Like, that’s not there’s millions of quotes in the world that you could’ve pulled from. Like, we didn’t have to choose that in 2020 leading up to the election. Right?

And that was me blindly trusting her, my VA, right, to think the way that I thought, which doesn’t necessarily happen, which is why it’s so important to have these expectations and job tasks laid out for anyone you do end up hiring.

And so like I said, that was a learning experience for me as a business owner in going forward with my outsourcing.

And, you know, there are other times where someone that you outsource, this has also happened to me, they may wanna condense their client list. Right?

So a lot of times, people, when they’re first starting out, they have a bunch of different clients because they’re trying to get established and obviously earn income. And as they continue to grow their network, and get better at what they do.

It makes sense for them to work smarter, not harder. Right? That’s always the goal. And what they’ll do is they’ll condense their list, but they’ll charge more. So they’re charging more, making the same, if not more income, but working with less clients.

So you have to be aware that when a contract is getting ready to renew or is up, those that you hire, they have every right to move on from working with you if they choose to, and/or they can ask for an increase in payment if you wanna keep them on retainer. So you just gotta kinda keep that in mind. They’re business owners too. Right?

And I also recommend before you hire anyone that you definitely vet them and make sure you’re aligned.

This will help you avoid any issues in the future, like the ones I’ve just mentioned. Right? And if necessary, it’ll be a cleaner break without drama. Right? And I recommend that you go listen to the podcast episode I did with my friend, Jennifer Chalker, about the importance of hiring a virtual assistant.

It’s a fantastic note and we discuss all of this and much more in detail. So as you can see, whether it’s building a team, promoting products or outsourcing your work, it is important to understand that this is a business.

When you look at it from that perspective 100% of the time, you will protect yourself from the drama. Well, most of the time, and you can be clear headed with your decisions. It’s nothing personal.

It’s business. And I really hope this episode helped give you some clarity on social selling and the expectations of it all, but also how you can still make this fun.

I don’t want anyone discouraged by the drama that they’ve heard or read on, you know, Reddit threads, whatever, because, yes, Will it happen? Sure.

But it can be contained and still allow you to find major financial success without a headache if you have certain expectations and are truly treating it like a business and not a sorority. K?

If you wanna get more of this type of content, make sure you follow me on Instagram at @macrowley. And if you love this episode, let me know by tagging me on IG or even leaving a podcast review. See you next week.

Level Up Your Finances and Achieve the Lifestyle You’ve Always Dreamed Of

And if you wanna learn more about how to succeed in the online social selling space and work with me as your mentor, I encourage you to join my 90 day live group coaching program.

It will help you stop wasting your time and start making sales. It isn’t full of some boring modules you’ll never watch. K? I’m not about that.

Nor am I asking you to drop money and have you never hear from me again. That’s not how I roll at all, but you’re gonna receive actual help that is unique to your income goals and your particular industry from someone who has been building multiple streams of income for over a decade.

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If you wanna get more of this type of content, make sure you follow me on Instagram at @macrowley. And if you love this episode, let me know by tagging me on IG or even leaving a podcast review. See you next week.

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