Connecting the Dots


“Few understand that Smartphones were pioneered in the 1990s and it was only until Apple launched its iPhone in 2007, did this new Growth cycle hit its Momentum Stage. The key points to understand are that the growth is explosive, few people understand it and all companies have to innovate with the new cycle. Global mobile company Samsung moved with the times and now makes billions from Smartphones, Nokia did not.”

Now I’m no economist, but wouldn’t it have been smart to foresee which trend was going to take off back in the nineties, and wouldn’t you be kicking yourself for missing that boat?

How many other examples of such waves are there out there at the moment?

In all my naïvety, I expect all of the financial people in the world – bankers, accountants, financial advisers, investors, stock brokers – to know to the letter which companies are going to boom, and why. But then, surely they would all be millionaires by now, right? So perhaps knowledge on a company isn’t enough. Knowledge isn’t king. Perhaps something else is also required to urge people onto those winning tracks.

What do a primary school teacher, a stay-at-home mother of four, a police officer, a dance teacher, an estate agent, a charity fundraiser, and an interior designer all have in common?

The foresight to get involved in a company that will soon see a boom of epic proportions akin to the Smartphone era, and has already turned them into household names in their company, and millionaires in their pockets, without an iota of an MBA between them?

Yes, my friend, I don’t expect you to get this one straight away, because the answer is they are all Network Marketing professionals who showed Sir Alan Sugar what he was missing out on.

Sure, it is possible to live a life exploring your own personal career choices to great aplomb – be that from teaching to creating, cooking to training – and yet still become involved in the Network Marketing Profession. But if so, why do so comparatively few do it?

Let’s call a spade a spade. Most of you will read Pyramid. Most of you will ignore ‘Profession’.

I started an International Business degree when I was eighteen years old, and before I was half-way through I vowed never to work for an international organisation. I didn’t trust the ethics of a multi-national company, the ground floor workers were treated badly in whichever country they lived in, paid very little, and found their native towns and villages tossed and trampled for the sake of making money for the big bosses at the top, while hot-suited middle men fought over the scraps to make a killing themselves, and mostly talked without using any real laboured-skill. That was my first impression of big business. What stood out for me was the pyramid shape it came in.

Fast-forward six years and I become a police officer – far from business, or so I thought. Unfortunately, the government has had its way and the police service in Britain has become more about running a business, a number-crunching-stats-equate-to-profit-and-loss model that has seen face-to-face policing disappear behind telephones, car windshields, and computer screens. Human crises now have a monetary value, with front liners taking on more work for less pay, whilst the office officers keep their bonuses and cars. Disillusioned, I made good my escape and vowed never to work for such a ‘pyramid’ organisation again.

I set my mind on working for myself, to be my own boss, answerable to no one, open-minded about growing and the direction I would build in, knowing that I didn’t want employees, I wanted business partners.

Suddenly thrust into the business world, with an open-mind, a desire to be challenged, a will to do good, to help others, to create, and to be democratic, the answer to a more stable business idea came in a Network Marketing-shaped box. And I never, ever thought that that would be the case.

Statistics and economics and business plans aside, what drew me in was the emotional energy. Not from anyone else, but myself! It felt right. It hit my heart like Cupid’s arrow finally landing on target. Here was a business opportunity that I could run myself, and with the support of others. Where I could help, and be helped. Where I could grow, and nurture. Where the title was not the be-all-and-end-all, but it was all about the person I could become, and the dreams I could shape, and the future i could move towards. This business sang my song. Suddenly those greedy hot suits became inspirational leaders, they were normal people who have found themselves on a journey of self-discovery and created millions in their pockets and a crowd of happy admirers around them along the way. Normal teachers, normal accountants, normal lawyers, normal hockey players, normal parents, normal pensioners. And in my mind those poor bee workers became courageous and brave dreamers who were looking for a better way, and daring to try something that they hadn’t been taught about in school, or had been advised by all and sundry to avoid like the plague, because it hadn’t worked for their father’s cousin’s boyfriend’s neighbour’s uncle. And they knew about pyramids, but they signed up anyway like a revolutionary wave of workers going against the mould of society.

What also dawned on me was that there are a lot of interestingly successful people who are recommending Network Marketing. But why does it appear that no one wants to listen? Why does the local salesman scoff whilst Warren Buffet builds three of his own? How can the knowledge gap be so wide? What was it that scared people, which surely explains the disheartening avoidance behaviour that most Network Marketing Professionals endure at some point in their quest to change the world?

A few ideas (based on empathy alone because these aren’t actually my own feelings of this profession) are that it’s simply something different to the norm and many won’t attempt anything new; that it’s not an advertised product therefore if no celebrity is endorsing it then it’s not worth it for any consumer; that it is illegal; that it’s hard work; that it doesn’t work because you don’t get rich within a month. There are probably many more, and I would be interested to know what reasons people have for objecting to a Network Marketing business but would happily ask the bank for a loan of £10,000 – £100,000 to start a company and wait up to five years to break even. For little me, with little business acumen (so I’m told), this seems silly, and a whole lot scarier than getting involved in a Network Marketing business with a low start up cost and free business training. Notice I haven’t used excuses here – I have no time, I have children, I can’t sell, I don’t know anyone, etc. Simply because excuses don’t count towards valid reasons not to start anything, they are just excuses.

Of course, it can all depend on the Network Marketing business that people come across. I count myself as one of those who have had the foresight to spot that opportunity boat when it was put in my lap. I agree, I’ve fallen lucky, the one company that I come across happens to be the one company that Network Marketing professional economists are raving about. Ed Ludbrook in particular. Read his company’s report here on the health and wellness company Arbonne, one of about 250 who are regulated by the DSA: The New Professional Boom of Network Marketing.

The comparison can be drawn for any company – if you’re offered a job then you will have likely done your homework, do most people consider their would-be employers to be building illegal franchises or to be involved in money laundering? If you don’t get on with the interviewer or the new boss, are you likely to take on the position? Due diligence is also business sense. If it doesn’t feel right, is that you, or is it that you’ve a nose for uncovering organised crime?

So would you recognise a booming industry? Would you smell, feel, and understand an opportunity if it passes under your nose? Do you have what it takes to grasp the power of the Apple wave when it’s there before your very eyes?

Just bear in mind one of the late, great Steve Jobs quotes about not missing that boat when you see it on the horizon, because you may just have to swim out to it:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
~ Steve Jobs

Ludbrook Research International [LRI] is a Direct Sales strategic research company focused on the Direct Sales industry and hyper-growth industries. Ed Ludbrook books explaining the ‘Pioneer Age’ of Network Marketing has sold more than 1.4 million copies in 20 languages. His new book explaining the new Professional Age is published in 2014. A summary of this book is available free at

LRI or Mr Ludbrook has no financial involvement in Arbonne. The company or its representatives has not paid for or endorsed this independent report.

By Yvie Johnson

"You are the root of your success."
Turbulent times will bring out the best in you, to make you stronger for yourself, and for others. Living with ME(cfs) and Bipolar Disorder, I'm taking one day at a time and arming my spirit and body with joy, love and gratitude for the journey ahead.