article repost: Dreams continue, even after retirement

I am reposting an article written by Gelo Cimagala, one of the very able distributors of Reliv for Business Insight Malaya. Go Gelo! :) 

Dreams continue, even after retirement

Retirement has been good to Sonia Lim, a former trade marketing staffer at a multinational food corporation based in Paranaque. Recently retired at the relatively young age of 50, Lim has found a new passion to fill her time. Instead of the mind-numbing task of sorting through endless paper work she has found the exciting world of Mary Kay. In fact she does not consider herself retired.
"Yung retiree, yun yung nasa bahay talaga," she quips. "Parang nag-shift lang ako (ng work). Hindi pa ako retired."
Lim targets sales of P10,000 a day and employs one or two employees called "beauty consultants" to assist her with her work.
Lim is not alone. There is Oriel Magno, 63 a public relations practitioner by profession but who derives a huge chunk of his income from a company called Reliv.
He was with other networking companies before as a company executive but only with Reliv did he decide to become a distributor.
He narrates his first year with Reliv: "It was all excitement. I was able to get excited distributors...Before one year we earned P1.5 million."
More than the business however, he says he has found relief from his hypertension while his wife no longer suffers from the ill-effects of lupus. All thanks to their product.
Cyril Salvo, 51, was able to send her 7 children through school with the help of her Fuller Life business. "Nakapag-patapos na ako ng mga anak. Mga daily needs, mga gamit ng anak. Naging bread and butter namin (ang Fuller Life)...Pati sa kamag anak, na share ko ang benefit dahil sa direct selling."
She has come to depend on her business for most everything that they need in their daily lives. "Isipin ninyo hindi na ko bumibili ng appliances...lahat yan incentive. Mga rice cooker, electric fans. Halos lahat yata ng gamit namin sa bahay ...galing sa regalo," she says.
Mary Kay, Reliv, and Fuller Life are all multi-level marketing (MLM) companies operating in the country.

The industry

According to the Direct Selling Association of the Philippines (DSAP), the recognized group of MLM companies, there are an estimated 2 million individuals engaged in the practice of face-to-face selling. It does not have a retirement age, and anyone can do business regardless of educational background.
"It’s a great business for someone who has limited capital and wants to enter initially into retailing quality products. Risk is small because there are limits to entry fees. Rewards are great because of the way compensation plans are designed," explains lawyer Jolly Gomez, vice-chairman and in-charge of communications and government affairs of DSAP and also the managing director of Reliv Philippines.
Globally, the industry contributes $114 billion with products spanning food supplements, consumer goods, water, books, apparel and other services. For the Philippines, the industry has grown to P20 billion and is expected to expand despite current difficulties with the economy.
Gomez sees the industry developing further as there is much room for expansion. "This is a steady growth in a population which today is closing in on 90 million. This is one direct seller for every seventy five people. Compare this with the US which has 15 million direct sellers in a population of 300 million or a ratio of 1:20."
Gomez continues: "The Philippines is a market with very few players in the industry. We have only 27 DSA members as compared to 300 in Malaysia. The result is that there are fewer choices but better standards. With the Asean Harmonized Tariff scheme we may see the entry of many new companies from the region co-existing with local direct selling companies."

What exactly is network marketing?

"Direct Selling is face-to-face selling to the consumers through independent distributors or sales people. It is a legitimate marketing medium that is used to sell practically anything," says the DSAP website.
What is even more interesting in this business is the network building and the overrides or royalties one earns from the efforts of these "downlines."
Think of it as working in Human Resources, Marketing, Finance, and Sales in a corporate setting, all rolled into one. The distributor markets and sells the product, collects payment, and recruits people. These people will be trained by the sponsor who in turn will duplicate the system, otherwise there is a risk of losing them from the organization.
Magno relates: "A legitimate network marketing company is work. Your efforts are tied directly to the growth of your organization. It’s hard work but fun. Rewards mo mas malaki.....As you build your organization, once it hits someone who starts to earn lots of money you can’t stop that person if he wants to be successful."
A sponsor or upline then earns additional income through overrides, an additional percentage from the sales or earnings of the individual within his organization.
"Overrides can really pay you for life," declares Magno.
On the other hand, Salvo earns additional income from those she can encourage to re-sell her products by giving additional discounts to them.
"Lahat ng tao gusto kumita... (Sasabihin ko sa kaibigan ko) bibigyan kita ng percentage. Parang nagmu-multiply ang hand mo. I-share mo sa kanila ano ang nagiging benefit para sa iyo, paano sila mag-earn ng extra income."

A caveat

However, the industry has unfortunately earned for itself a reputation for being a source of dishonest practices.
"People still associate this industry with scams but the truth is that most of the scams that hit the Philippines in the past 10 years involved money investments and not the sale of consumable products," defends Gomez.
Gomez concedes, however, that there are those who make staggering claims, ones that are too good to be true.
"Unfounded and exaggerated health and income claims also damage the industry because these make health and medical practitioners resistant to health products. DSAP is involved in educating the public on the legitimate ways to do business in the Philippines. We are also in the forefront in the drafting of a Direct Selling Law in the Philippines," Gomez says.
As a reminder, Magno has this advice: "Choose one with a track record."

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