Fear Factor and Network Marketing

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It is said that we were born with only 2 fears-fear of falling and fear of loud noise.By the time we hit our teens we have developed around 4000 fears.It is strange but true that every time we say ‘No’, most of them are generated with an innate fear of either being fooled;being vulnerable;being carried away;of loosing. Our first instinct is to say ‘No’ not because we have a reason but because we have made some fear a part of our DNA and will be passing it onto our scions. How have we crossed these several years day in and day out pregnant with several fears hovering us?As if fear can change the future.But I am sure not having a fear can change the future.

And now I come to network marketing.How much we hate people who reach on to us during our busy lunch hours at office with a catalog! As soon as we see a woman approaching with a glee in her eyes and a catalog in hand, we sprint towards our bathroom and pretend to give a short smile. It is astonishing that how much we hate consultants from a network marketing company but on the other hand we are spending our weekends subtly selling our thoughts, recommending products, giving advice, swearing by a certain esthetician or a mechanic. We never know our friends to whom we are recommending, selling, advising in such confidence might be mumbling ‘Here she goes again’, but because they do not have the option they listen to you and sometimes honor you too.If we do it ourselves why do we hate that woman or a couple who are trying to do just the same for some extra bucks?Here I am not talking about scam companies and  schemes;I am referring to legit network marketing companies.

We would rather run to the most expensive shops and buy stuff from there thinking that’s the real deal. Don’t you think we are fooling ourselves?Everyone in this world wants a piece of that paycheck in your pocket.Nothing wrong in it, you also work for money and this is how economy works.

Why are we so averse to Network Marketing? Is it because we are in fear of opening up to a person with a catalog in hand? Is it because we think that woman will get a commission?But so does the salesgirl at the shop.And so does everyone gets a piece of your paycheck whether its government, retail, your boss and in some cases you! Are you not recommending your colleagues on Linkedin or ask for a recommendation? Linkedin exists because it harps the prospects of network marketing;pear to pear recommendations and that is a legitimate approach.

Many argue that these network marketing consultants have no training then how can they recommend a product? Hear me out, are you trained to advice your friend but you go ahead nevertheless? And when do we listen to the trained consultants, even we have spoken to a financial advisers we always go by our instincts..then why the pretense of not buying from a network marketer just because they have tall claims and have less training?

Some of the great products I have is from network marketing companies and I will never go back to the retail for those specific products. Yes they are little pricey because there is normally a great deal of research that has gone in those products and they are niche’.But they will be the ones to give you more bang for the buck with goodies and discounts because they have eliminated the middle man. The truth is network marketing or Multi- Level Marketing (MLM) is a business model existing since 80 years, tried and tested. It has a catalog because they want to reach directly to the customers. They want to eliminate the overhead costs and the money they make from you as a customer hence redirecting it to the development of the product, therefore better quality for customers and higher compensation for consultants.

If you are a prospective customer then you better start warming up to these consultants because chances are that the way business will be conducted in future.Most of the business start ups now want to eliminate the overhead costs hence dissolving the wholesalers and retailers. So, open up and just don’t say ‘No’ out of a fear. Make sure you have valid reasons.

And if you are a consultant and a network marketer just don’t accept a ‘no’ and be afraid.Dare to ask ‘Why’?

Business is not just jargons, number cracking and predictions. There is a more humane way to do business and you want to ride that wave! Don’t forget everybody needs a human connection! Don’t operate out of fears, operate out of reasons.

A life without ‘Facebook Life’

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to belittle people who love to share the snaps on Facebook, believe me I am one of those. I love those people for sharing their snaps with me.I am here to just add a perspective on the same topic.

My affair with social media is almost 8 years old..I started in 2004. Since then it has been a smooth ride.It has given me a lot of business and fortune and I don’t regret being with it even for a single second. I hate to admit it, but it is now guiding us in our behaviors, habits, idiosyncrasies, our relationships and more so life.. Whether its a recipe; a new decision; a new job;vacation, birthday bash or plain party..we are just not capturing the moments but clicking “Facebook moments’ or ‘Facebook clicks’ and this my friend is not the mistake.The mistake is to live for those ‘Facebook clicks’.

Just yesterday I had spoken to a Canadian friend who complained endlessly about how her boyfriend has not been taking her for any vacations for past 3 months and how their photographs on Facebook are not generating enough ‘Likes’. I wanted to let her know that is not what life is..but how could I, when I knew deep down that even I like to have some ‘Facebook clicks’? Facebook friends and Facebook  life all travel with us on vacations,sit between us in our sitting rooms through the  Facebook clicks and even define our relationships. I was not surprised when my friend from India complained that I didn’t wish her  New years whereas I wished another friend of mine on Facebook. Are we not taking our Facebook life too seriously? I have recently put some beautiful moments of my life on Facebook and loved to share it with my friends and family online. But I am going to be more cautious the next time I click any snap, that these would be also cherished in a photo album. I intend to put all my special moments in a photo album.According to Threatmetrix, published in an article on socialmediatoday, 50% of consumers do not trust Facebook stores.This is enough for me to work extra mile as a social media consultant. But still, I do not advocate living a Facebook life, even though that’s my profession.I know that the Facebook life is not my only reality.

Facebook may profess freedom and autonomy. It may be good at creating phenomena but our lives are not phenomena.I am not against social media but I think we all can try building our own quality life as well with building the social media life as well. Facebook has given great business to many people, social media is an amazing tool for increasing the bottom lines;for marketing, for business strategies and has changed the whole business phenomenon all in positives. Its all great! It has given us a way to find people that otherwise was not possible for us to meet.As humans we are born to connect whether online or offline and this need is the impetus of companies like Facebook and Twitter.

I do have a ‘Facebook life’ that inspires me to do great professionally; helps me connects with my friends and family; adds to my confidence but my life out of Facebook is equally fulfilling. Out of my Facebook life I am a mom, a wife, a person who serves community and loves to talk over coffee sessions post dinner.Out of my FB life I call my friends, visit my old aunt, talk and comfort friends.For all of you who are somewhere renouncing your unique life and copying a life that exists on Facebook that may or may not have been clicked just for Facebook. Its a Face and not the soul.Our lives are not phenomenon, they are at times exciting and at times boring;its not necessary for something to be happening all the time. I am not here to stir a debate on cyberoptimist or cyberpessimist.I am neither because I value logic and life. What makes sense does make sense and what dosent will never.

So get out with that digi cam or DSLR of yours, click the most amazing soul stirring pics and get them printed ! sometimes somethings should only be for you !!

Shahrukh Khan, I accept you as an Indian superhero

Just came back from the second last show. First, I am no movie critic and will not attempt to be here.Second, I went for the happiness for my 2.5 year old son and 3.5 year old nephew. Third, I am not talking tech stuff and comparing revenues .Fourth, I went there to be thrilled as a normal audience and was thrilled!

After all the years of singing ,dancing and glamorizing the big Indian family, here comes a real thriller. Something that is a spine-chiller. No it is not at all bollywood masala, apart from the “jhatkas‘ of the song ‘Chammak Challo’, sang by the renowned international singer Akon and “go home happy Bollywood syndrome”. Based on a very normal yet special theme of a geeky dad,Shekhar Subramaniam (Shahrukh Khan) aspiring to be a  for his son who is not-so impressed by his dad’s wits. The way Shekhar does it is by developing a sci-fi game, only to realise that the villain RA-ONE is booted for life. He is Live to make the life of Shekhar’s son a living hell and to kill him. The potpourri of comic romance with Kareena, who is Shekhar’s wife and off and on knocks of Ra-One always somewhere close threw me into chills. Never a dull moment. I am not going to go into details as this will not be review..you go and watch for yourself or google the story, internet is swarmed with such reviews.

As a prejudice I thought that getting the song Chammak Challo sung by Akon, was just a popularity and unique stunt to one-up Ra-one against other movies of the kind and give a grand and expensive aura. But after watching the movie I realised that not only that, the thought behind that song by an international artist was because it was sung by a superhero, which was developed in UK and off course is virtually a robot, so there has to be a unique feel to the song. I am impressed. Not to forget the Mumbai train sequence where Shahrukh Khan hops  from boogie to boogie perpendicularly was a squeaker and had a disclaimer for not attempting it was cute and useful so teens do not try to emulate it. The regular reminders by G-One , Shahrukh Khan for not smoking the cigarettes was as well a heart stealer for me. The way Shahrukh Khan,  uses his stardom to give anti-smoking adverts is something that only he can carry-off  and still looks like a part of the story.

Guest appearances by Sanjay Dutt, Priyanka Chopra did not intrigue me as much as Rajni Kantha’s ‘chitti’ avatar. There may be references from ‘X-men’, ‘Iron-Man’ but I must applaud Shahrukh Khan for making a movie as ambitious as Ra-One loaded with VFX. Another thing I loved was the Indian swears by Kareena Kapoor which come across as innuendo’s more than the real swears. Arjun Rampal has a done a good job looking absolutely spooky and doing justice to the role. The suit is absolutely going to be  a rage in coming days.

The promotions that started with just a poster sans Shahrukh Khan in Dec 2010 and then later Shahrukh Khan tweeting on Jan 1, 2011 the first poster did wonders to its A-Value (anticipation value).A strategic move by director Anubhav Sinha by releasing two teaser trailers during world cup wa s a classic example of ‘Parasite marketing’ that worked wonders. Coupled with viral marketing and a dedicated You Tube channel for Ra-One trailers  built up the tempo in just the right spirit. Not to forget the brand tie-ups with Nokia, Godrej, coca colas etc which always work right if the movie is reallyconvincing. 

 Yes Shahrukh Khan I accept you as an Indian superhero for bringing to Indian audience its first VFX loaded, extravagant sci-fi thriller, high-end visual quality that is actually acceptable. You will like the movie if you do not compare it hollywood flicks. Nonetheless it can be compared with pride. Honestly I would not care for detailing flaws as much if I am entertained.Shahrukh, I love you for taking the risk as an actor and a CEO.

I like the movie, the men and the moves !