A few years ago, we invited network marketing leaders to articulate their vision for how they see our profession and business model evolving in the coming years. Their unanimous excitement about the future was based on some obvious factors, including:
- The evolution from a home-based model to a completely mobile business anyone can conduct from anywhere in the world
- How raising our standards of professionalism will make network marketing even more universally accepted.
- How the social nature of our business plays directly into the rising economic significance of the social web.
There also was a general consensus about an even bigger vision: by showing individuals how to take charge of their financial future, network marketing presents a potential solution to some of the most pressing problems our global community faces. As economic turmoil forces people around the world to develop a more entrepreneurial mindset, moving from dependence on governments and corporations to taking personal responsibility, network marketing can hugely facilitate this shift.
In 2012 I met Reverend Francis Michel Mbadinga from the Republic of Gabon, a small sovereign state in Central Africa. Together with his wife, Reverend Francis heads up a network of churches all over Africa. Entrepreneurs and educators at heart, they founded a university for continuing education, starting with a curriculum in Bible study. Acutely aware of the need for teaching self-reliance in a culture where people have counted on donations and subsidies for generations, they added a Leadership and Wealth Creation track.
Reverend Francis had joined a network marketing company just two months before we met. He had already built a team of more then 200 people. Upon hearing his story, I gave him an issue of Networking Times featuring a Master Networker from Nairobi, Kenya.
After looking at it, he asked me for an extra copy. “I’m meeting the President of our country in a couple of days and want to be able to give him a copy,” he said.
A week later he sent me pictures of himself with His Excellency Ali Bongo Ondimba. During a private audience with President Ondimba, he had a chance to present network marketing as a powerful solution to what ails Africa. He talked about the built-in system for success our business offers and how it teaches skills people can apply in every area of their lives.
Thought leaders have described the shift in the last few years as humanity moving from adolescence, characterized by entitlement, excess, and instant gratification, into adulthood, rooted in accountability, contribution, and a trans-generational perspective.
As evidenced in Reverend Francis’ story, network marketing plays a role in this evolution. We are part of the solution and our future is bright.
I believe one of the callings of our profession is to put power and prosperity in the hands of people who earn their wealth by being servant leaders dedicated to empowering and enriching others.
I also believe that if we can heal Africa, we can heal the world!