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.

An open letter to foreign women travelling alone to India

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In the wake of a recent incident that had a British female tourist jump of a window of a hotel room fearing a rape and fracturing a leg, India is facing a lot of wrath of being highly unsafe for women tourists. Data from Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry shows that in first three months of the year the number of women tourist have dropped by 35% . As an Indian journalist having travelled in India extensive and yet safe, I get saddened at stories of rapes and loots on women tourist. But, I find that even female tourists are to be blamed as they have some unrealistic expectations from the country. The following are a few points you would thank me for, so read on.

  1. Build your network beforehand– In your own country if you know a colleague, an acquaintance, a friend or anyone you know is an Indian just talk to them beforehand and ask them to let their families or trusted friends know that you are travelling to India and ask them to introduce you through skype or a call. Exchange phone numbers of their families or women friends.
  2. Location! – Travel websites like www.makemytrip.comwww.yatra.comwww.travelguru.com may be helpful in connecting you to good hotels. Also, state hotels that are usually a safe choice for example MP Tourism and Rajasthan Tourism offer some great hotels at affordable prices.
  3. Booking your travel– Indian domestic airways and Indian Railways are your best bets. If you plan to travel by rail, always book your travel at www.irctc.co.in 3-4 months in advance as it is a very busy website. If money allows travel by AC three Tier and AC two Tier as most families travel in that class. Befriend a family with kids and women. They will provide you with security you need in your rail journey, you may also sit with them until 9 pm just before its time to hit the sack in IST inside the rail, if it’s an overnight journey. Do not book yourself in first class as it allows only 2 people in a coupe. If you want to travel by road make sure it is through the hotel and make sure it’s the hotel’s private taxi service. Most tourist destinations have a railway path, if not a domestic airway connectivity.
  4. First things first– If your High Commission suggests you to register your itinerary with the diplomacy, then do so, no questions asked. Many of us abide by the rule of our own countries but why do we have to flout rules when we go out of our country? Do yourself a great favor by keeping the local Indian Police station in loop.
  5. When in Rome, be on your own – We are often on our own when in our countries doing painting, renovating etc. As far as deals and restaurants are concerned Google is our best friend. Then, why suddenly in places like India do we listen to the flimflammers? There is no deal that an auto rickshaw driver, taxi driver or a local tourist guide will give you, if it sounds too good to be true then you are risking your security.
  6. Cheap Deals are a passé’ – There are no cheap countries left in the world. A decent hotel will cost you average $60-$70 USD per night. Reputed hotels like Radisson and the likes of Marriott may average at $119 USD per night but the experience is safer and peaceful. Any hotel charging you $20-$50 USD per night may be a bummer.
  7.  Communicate– When checking-in to a hotel, let the manager know that you already registered yourself with the local police station and they have your itinerary. Also, include you wouldn’t require a room service and will not entertain knocks and if not abided by, just call 100 (Indian version of 911) even if at the end it turns out to be a false alarm.
  8. Night life – Night life is not a safe time to explore India. Period.
  9. Do not get overwhelmed– You will find taxi driver, coolies, beggars hounding you like vultures most of the places in India, do not show your frustration as these moments make you look for a back door. There is no place a local guide will show you that you haven’t seen in your recce.
  10. Listen to your gut– As women we all have been gifted with a sixth sense that helps us when there are doubts hovering our mind. Respect your gut no matter how luring a deal or an argument by anyone seems and go by your instincts.

P.S- Indian experience is humbling and exhilarating at the same time. It is all that is touted to be colorful, hospitable, enlightening, empowering, traditional and tranquilizing. Just do your research and plan ahead, you will love India.