When I am wrong I say I am wrong, and BOY was I wrong- or actually, uneducated!

I try to think of myself as a very open-minded person.  I am usually great with change and thrive on deadlines and challenges and new adventures. I am beyond passionate about health and fitness and nutrition and fighting the obesity epidemic. For both Ben and myself, our entire lives center on health.  We eat, sleep, and breath trying to live and help others live healthy every waking moment.

There are many reasons why.  The biggest would have to be my personal battle with obesity my entire life.  in a nutshell, I used to be 350 pounds, had gastric bypass and lost 140, became a runner and a personal trainer, broke my back, gained back 35 pounds, was angry because I could not run and had to now live with daily pain even after my back surgery to fuse everything back together, and wanted to get that weight off I had gained even though my exercise was extremely limited.

A good friend of mine, who is both an RN and CBN had been telling me for a year about this product she found after having a baby that helped her get the weight off.  She also knew I suffered from sugar crashes and thought this product, which she was now a rep for, could maybe help me.  I was so hesitant, first off I do not do diets and diet pills and had the misconception that this product was both.  Second I LOATHED multilevel marketing. I had seen too many friends trying to sell makeup, jewelry, kitchen stuff, candles, those ridiculous body wraps, and my least favorite, the workout program that nobody really sticks with.  I hated it all.  I had visions in my head of the horror stories of Amway and people who bought up all of these products and tried to push them on their family and friends.  I had heard all about the idea of how the company was more about getting more people than really selling anything.

Then I had heard all about pyramid schemes- which by the way are not legal and so no true operating network marketing company out there can be a pyramid, but I digress- we will save that for later.

Okay, I admit, just like 90% of the people out there and 95% of who will read this blog, I was uneducated about the newer concept of network marketing.  I finally decided to try this Plexus product for a week just to get my friend Casey to STOP telling me about it.  I knew it was going to be a joke just like most of the other things I had seen out there in the weight loss community.  She kept telling me what a great tool it was to go along with your bariatric procedure.  Well I did not listen, but should have since she is a bariatric coordinator and dealt with these procedures daily.  So for a week Ben and I drank this pink drink and took our accelerator capsules.  This was only after much research into the ingredients and knowing they were all natural.  (And yes there are many lies out there on the internet regarding the accelerator capsules and I have read them all so save your breath if you are one of those people who are going to tell me the plant-based ingredients could hurt me.  Doctors who are educated are using these products and it makes me laugh to hear people concerned about what they read on the net regarding some natural plant extracts yet they will eat crap food filled with chemicals and ingest aspartame and drink alcohol and eat toxic sugar like it is nothing.  Do not even get me started on what is in the packaged food we eat daily.  I could go to the internet and find an article by some whacko saying water is bad for me if I look.  Plexus is 100% natural with no chemicals.  This is why even nursing moms can drink the Slim. This is why doctors nurses and internists are using it with their patients.  So save the drama.  I have done my homework as have the thousands who are seeing awesome results.  Oh and 2 accelerator capsules have the same amount of natural caffeine as an 8oz cup of coffee.  Again- I digress)

What happened to us after a week of drinking this pink stuff that tasted like a strawberry Tootsie Roll? Well several things happened.  First off we each lost about 4 pounds.  (Most people lose more that first week so do not expect this to be a weekly thing) We had more energy, less appetite, zero cravings for junk, and our nighttime snacking tendencies were curtailed. These were all great things, but the biggest by far for me, I did not have a sugar crash all week.  Now this may not sound like a huge deal, but as a gastric bypass patient, reactive hypoglycemia can be a really big deal and for me it was.  There were times that it was unexpected, had nothing to do with my choices in food, and could be quite debilitating.  To go 7 days without a crash was huge.

I called my friend Casey and admitted I had been wrong.  I could see this was not a diet pill and that I still had to do the work, but it was a great tool to help me make better choices.  I purchased a 30 day supply of the stuff for Ben and I and agreed to try it for a bit longer.  I continued to do my research and learned a lot about this company.  It was during this time that my friend Casey informed me that she was retiring from her nursing job to be at home with her kids and what a blessing this was to her as a single mom.  Nurses, and bariatric coordinators for sure, work long crazy hours and miss many things with their kids.  I could totally relate as I had lived as a single parent for a number of years and missed out on many things with my kids.

I decided to sign up as a distributor for this product just to get the discount.  All of a sudden people were asking Ben and I what we were doing and we sent them to our website after telling them about this great product and next thing you know the paychecks started coming.  And growing quickly. Network marketing has been a true blessing to our family and has allowed my husband to work with me from home full-time on projects that are important to us like fighting obesity.  We have only been involved a few months and have already has the satisfaction of not only bringing in a nice income, but also in seeing other lives changed as well.  I was so wrong about what network marketing was and looking back now feel like a prize idiot for spouting the same rhetoric others uneducated about this awesome form of getting products from manufacturer to consumer really can be.

Now let me preface by saying there really are a lot of bad companies out there.  Unfortunately, the few bad apples give the whole bunch a bad name.   This is why I love working with Plexus.  I am not selling something that is a luxury or some kind of fluff people do not need, but we are providing a product at a great price that truly helps people.

I recently read a book called The Flip Flop CEO.  I won it as a door prize at the Plexus Christmas party of my friend Sara Marble.  Best book I have read in years.  I wish I could buy every person I knew a copy of this book.  I learned so much and also saw on paper these women affirm what I was learning about the truth of network marketing.  Many myths I had were dispelled.  Then I read a book called Go Pro, by Eric Worre, and I learned even more!  This network marketing deal was not what I thought!  My next read was Rocking Your Network Marketing Business by Sarah Robbins.  And then my upline gave me a copy of The Four Year Career by Richard Bliss Brooke.  I soon realized that this was a wonderful and healthy way to make a living and help others in the process!

I am now a firm believer that in this economy, where people are getting laid off and losing benefits left and right, there is no better job security than to own your own business.  Let’s just take care of a few myths right here.

Myth #1- “Network or multilevel marketing is a pyramid and is just wrong”

Really?  So let me get this straight, the CEO of a huge company like Coke or Nike or Wal Mart or ANY huge company in America making billions while the little guys doing the work barely survive is okay, and yet a company like Plexus where we share the profits and 50% of EVERY sale goes back to those in the field with no fat cat at the top doing great while we all struggle is bad?  Um….okay when you can show me the logic in that let me know.  I used to try to say the same things when I was ignorant to true network marketing. Which one looks more like a pyramid now?

Myth #2- “How can you sell something that you know is overpriced because there are so many people to pay?”

We have been so socially constructed and manipulated to think it is OKAY to go to the ballpark or the movies and pay $4-5.00 for a soda that costs a few cents to make, or to pay $50-100.00 for a pair of athletic shoes that cost $5-6.00 to make, or $4.00 for a cup of coffee that cost them .35 at most, or $15.00 for an entrée in a restaurant that cost $4.50 to make, or $4-5.00 for a cocktail in a restaurant or bar that cost .50 to make, etc. and yes I could go on and on.

In truth, most direct sales products are BETTER priced because there is no ad agency, distributor, chain of stores, PR people, celebrity endorser, million dollar commercials and print ads, and overheard of retail locations.  DO NOT even get me started on the conditions under which many things we use daily are made.  That is a whole different topic.

Network marketing relies on word of mouth.  If you buy something and like it, you tell others, and as is explained very well in The Flip Flop CEO, we all do this daily without getting paid for it.  How many times do we tell a friend about a product or service we love and they then use it or buy it?

I feel much better about buying a product that is helping others take care of their health and at the same time helping someone feed their kids, than buying a product that is lining the pockets of a huge company that does not always take care of their employees or some celebrity millionaire who doesn’t need my hard-earned cash.

Myth #3- “Those companies care more about bringing in new people than about the product.”

I am sure there are companies like that out there, of course there are BAD apples in everything which is why you have to do your research.  With a good network marketing company like Plexus, you want both.  OF COURSE the main focus is to tell others about the awesome products and get them to try them to improve their health and have a new tool in their arsenal to fight obesity.  AND OF COURSE you want to share the opportunity to do the same with others who may need a job that allows them to be home with kids, or who has a disability that makes it easier to work from home, or who JUST WANTS TO BE THEIR OWN BOSS AND LIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM???  I love sharing both the products AND the opportunity.  It is called word of mouth and NETWORK marketing for a reason.  WE ARE HOW THE COMPANY GROWS AND SPREADS- not by paying millions for ads and celebrities but by adding people to our network who also help spread the word.

Myth #4- “Network marketing only works if you bug your family and friends” 

NOTHING could be further from the truth.  If you are bugging people who you love who do not want or need what you are offering, you know nothing about the proper way to network market.  If you have a good product and truly believe in it, it will sell itself and all you will need to do is talk about it.  I a very honest and tell people my personal experiences with this product.  If it is for you GREAT, if not that is fine too. Everything is not for everyone.

Myth #5- “It costs a fortune to start a network marketing business and they expect you to invest a ton of money you will never make back.”

This may be true if you are with a shady company.  I have had friends tell me horror stories of spending thousands to start a cosmetic distribution or having to buy tons of jewelry or kitchen products to get their business going and then only make a few hundred dollars a month and have to do all of these home parties etc. Another reason to do your research!  For example- to start my Plexus business I spent less than $150.00 and that included a month of the products for me to use as well as my website and business tools for a year AND samples to give others.  I made that back in three days.  A good company is not going to tell you to invest tons of money or tell you that you have to buy a certain amount of product a month etc.  DO YOUR RESEARCH!

It is not about trying to get rich quick or become a millionaire.  For me it is about the freedom to attend all events my kids are participating in, to be able to do a 24 city tour next year without being tied to a corporate 9-5 job, to be able to give to my favorite charity, to help others, and to live life on my terms, not the terms of some huge company that sees me as a number.

I recently had to sit by and watch as a very dear friend of mine who has made a nice living was ripped apart and called greedy by ignorant people who did not know her from Adam.  Little do they know how much this woman gives to others, to charities, and how much of her income she uses to help struggling single moms set up their own businesses.  My initial thought was pure anger and then I realized I needed to pray for wisdom for these people.  I refused to participate in such ignorance and knew nothing she said would get through to them.  It was truly sad. I had to realize the unfortunate truth that some people are just ugly and nothing I say or do will change that and therefore I do not even waste my breath on them trying.  Those people could be missing out on a chance to really do something amazing, but will never know because of their closed minds.  I used to be one of them.  I admit it totally.  Now I would never have sat and ripped someone apart in a public forum, but I would have been thinking, HELL NO to network marketing.

I have another friend in network marketing who has recently funded an orphanage.  Ben and I were recently able to offer our online fitness and nutrition program for free.  The day I got online and was able to tell my clients to STOP the PayPal payments of #12.99 a month they were paying for personal training services was a very happy day indeed.  Most true network marketers are philanthropic and love being able to give back.  My dream is to earn enough money to be able to provide everything we do to the public at zero cost.  I want to help as many as possible fight this awful disease of obesity.  That is my why.  We all have very different ones.

The ones I addressed above are just of the few myths surrounding network marketing that I have seen, and there are many many more.  I hope I have helped to educate you on the truth about network marketing and how it can change your life and give you an outlet to help others at the same time. Support your friends if they carry a product you like.  It is no different from buying local.  Same concept.  I am not saying to go out there and buy stuff you do not want or need just to help a friend.  It is about getting good products at a fair price from someone you know and trust.

2013 was a rough year for me physically as well as financially because of my back and surgery.  I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to 2014 and a lot of that excitement is due to my network marketing business with Plexus.  I work with so many incredible people on this team and am truly blessed to know them all.

If you want to learn more, or have questions about Plexus or network marketing, feel free to email me erineakey@gmail.com. We also have a Facebook page here.

DO your homework, and if you think network marketing could be for you, find a company you love with a product you truly believe in as Ben and I did and it really could change your life!

Wishing you all a very blessed and healthy 2014!

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About Erin Akey

I am a formerly morbidly obese wife, mother, Christian, author, speaker, water fitness instructor, nutritionist, anti-obesity advocate, and Emerald Ambassador with Plexus Worldwide. I am passionate about helping people fight the disease of obesity and also preventing and addressing obesity in children. I believe we have so many amazing tools available to treat this disease and we all need to take advantage of the ones we feel are right for us. I am also passionate about women taking the time to care for their needs. We live in a world where so many of us spend all of our time taking care of others that we neglect ourselves. I am all about making God the center of everything and letting His will take control of our lives and watching the beautiful blessings come from that release of power! Live, Laugh, and LOVE every day! Be grateful and be humble and watch the world around you change!
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