‘…. the direct sales industry, of which network marketing is a part, grossed $35.4 billion in sales in the United States in 2018. Further, more than 6.2 million people in the U.S. are involved in direct sales. These numbers indicate that network marketing can work. Success or failure has less to do with network marketing itself, and instead, is determined by the amount of effort one puts into their business.’
Source: The Direct Selling Association
Our Editor-In-Chief Clara Rufai chats with network marketing Shine-Star Kemisola Ajetunmobi, to discover some of her thoughts about network marketing. Kemisola bursts some of the myths and also shares insights about the qualities required to succeed in the industry.
1. You have a substantial followership online and offline, and are known in some circles as ‘the Queen of Network Marketing’. What’s the story behind that?
I gave up a career in the aviation industry to go into network marketing, and the reason was because I wanted my schedule to be around my children. I needed them to be at the center of every other thing I was doing, I wanted to be able to move my schedule around to suit my family’s needs, and I remember saying to myself, I think this is something I should take a closer look at. I didn’t assume that because a few people I knew had succeeded at it, that it would be easy. I actually started by carrying out extensive research.
I started watching videos and learning about network marketing, so I could build my own confidence. That gave me the confidence I needed to launch my own business. I gave myself at least 5 years to build this business because all the trainings, videos and the books I read made me understand that the reason a lot of people don’t succeed with network marketing is because they quit too early. They come in with high expectations and no real intention to stay the course and do the work. I had no intention of doing that!
I gave myself at least 5 years to build this business because all the trainings, videos and the books I read made me understand that the reason a lot of people don’t succeed with network marketing is because they quit too early. - Kemi Ajetunmobi
2. If you could name 2 qualities required for success in network marketing, what would those 2 qualities be?
I think one of the qualities would have to be the ability to take action. Nothing can beat that! Just take the right action at the right time. Don’t wait too long. When you know there’s something you need to do, just do it. Sometimes, you don’t need to know whether it is going to work out or not. You don’t need to see the end from the beginning, just start by taking action. So those are basically the two qualities that stand out for me. When you have these two qualities, you can go on to conquer the world of network marketing.
Another quality would be the ability to see things through; and this is a quality that’s really needed for leadership and team building, because when someone joins your team, you want to take time to simplify the business for them and show them what it means to stick around and see it through.
3. What would you say are the 3 biggest myths about network marketing and how would you counter them?
The biggest myth about network marketing is that it is a scam, and I’ve found out that majority of people who say network marketing is a scam, are scammers themselves, or have been scammed. They were scammed because they fell for something that wasn’t network marketing, something else that was presented to them in the name of network marketing. The truth is, there are a lot of ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes around, and sadly, those who are unenlightened about network marketing just assume they’re all the same, because there’s a referral involved. A wrong mindset is responsible, where people think network marketing is a get-rich-quick scheme, that doesn’t require work or require skills. Now those are myths.
A wrong mindset is responsible, where people think network marketing is a get-rich-quick scheme, that doesn’t require work or require skills. Now those are myths. - Kemi Ajetunmobi
However, to succeed in network marketing, you need to partner with a reputable company and not fall for pyramid or ponzi schemes. How would you know this? Well, the first red flag is when there is nothing to sell, no real products that can be promoted or exchanged for value.
Secondly, you need the right skill set. You need to acquire some skills like you would do for any other job. You need to invest time learning about your company and your business. When people come into my business, there are 3 things I usually try to address from the get-go: the 1st is Perception, the 2nd is Mindset and the 3rd thing is I try to simplify, to ensure they get the right understanding and are not overwhelmed. I prep and manage their expectations. I never ever tell anyone that they’re just going to start making money, I let them know work is involved.
I prep and manage their expectations. I never ever tell anyone that they’re just going to start making money, I let them know work is involved. - Kemi Ajetunmobi
Thirdly, rejection is part of the game, so I tell my new partners to expect rejection, but I teach them how to handle rejection. There are skills to be learned and unlearned that help with handling rejection.
4. You turned 40 recently and you unveiled a special passion project to mark it – can you tell us a bit about that?
Yes, in 2019, I published my book ‘40 Pearls of Wisdom’, which I co-authored with 39 other women – that was a very proud moment for me. The book is something I had been wanting to do for some time and the occasion of my 40th birthday provided the perfect opportunity. I was lucky enough to have 39 amazing women say YES, and a beautiful book titled ‘40 Pearls of Wisdom’ was born in 2019!
Anyone who knows me will tell you I love seeing women succeed. I’ve worked with a lot of women over the past 6 years, and I have always encouraged them to tell their stories, because I know the power of storytelling. Whenever I tell my personal story, I see people get inspired to want to change their lives. That made me decide to create an avenue to capture and share women’s stories. I wanted to give women a voice, and an opportunity to share their wisdom and lessons gained from life.
Whenever I tell my personal story, I see people get inspired to want to change their lives. That made me decide to create an avenue to capture and share women’s stories. I wanted to give women a voice, and an opportunity to share their wisdom and lessons gained from life. - Kemi Ajetunmobi
I didn’t want money to deter any woman from telling their story in a global book, and that’s why I decided to single-handedly make the financial investment to get the book out. I am super excited and very proud to have been able to deliver on that particular passion project of mine. I’m so happy to see lives being touched through the book 40 Pearls of Wisdom.
5. You are Founder of ‘1000MomAcademy’, and of NETWORK MARKETING TRANSFORMATION SCHOOL – what is the inspiration and the story behind them?
The 1000 Mom Academy, now rebranded to ‘50K Gang’, is tan academy where I work with women showing them how they can enjoy life, travel, see the world and earn a six-figure income through network marketing. I also founded Network Marketing Transformation School, which is a platform that exists to fill the gap of network marketing education in Africa. These are the sort of tools I wish I could have had access to when I first joined the industry. I decided to create them to guide and educate other people wanting to make impressive income from network marketing.
I see network marketing Transform Africa and network marketing transformational school, as becoming one of the biggest business schools in Africa, helping people to understand and love network marketing. Network marketing is really all about self-development, self-awareness, and skills acquisition - my aim is to allow people to access all that in one simplified platform.
6. Tell us: what comes to your mind when hear the word SHINE, and what does "Shining" look like from your point of view?
To me Shining means not holding yourself back. Shining is taking action. Shining means believing in yourself. Shining means leaving your past behind so you can focus on the future and thrive. Shining means allowing yourself to explore possibilities. I feel like Shining MUST be a conscious effort. First you DECIDE to Shine, then you damn all the consequences and just do it!
To me Shining means not holding yourself back. Shining is taking action. Shining means believing in yourself. Shining means leaving your past behind so you can focus on the future and thrive. - Kemi Ajetunmobi
I can tell you that one of the things that help me to shine in every aspect of my life is ability to be spontaneous when it comes to doing getting things done. When I identify something I need to do, I don’t waste time beating about the bush: I just do it. It comes naturally. I also am not one to hold on to mistakes of the past, or beat myself up over past failures. I simply learn the lesson and I move on to apply it.
7. Finally, if you could highlight one particular Shine Moment in your career, what would it be?
I’ve experienced many ‘shine moments’ in my network marketing career, far too many to count. One of my shine moments was when I achieved my ‘Executive’ title. That was a high-point for me - in the history of network marketing in Africa, I don’t think anybody has ever beaten that! Receiving a 26 million Naira Mercedes Benz car award is a big deal. For me, that was a bright moment in history!
The truth though is, with network marketing, as long as you’re doing your business well, building your team the right way and getting results, you are always in the Shine Zone. That’s the greatest feeling in the world! I’m having the time of my life, fulfilling my personal goals, as well as giving my family the care and attention they deserve!