Sep 222010

MLM Business Building


This series is derived from the publication Better Business Building which I wrote in 1996 while doing business as “Health Education Library Publications.” It was targeted at distributors of Nature’s Sunshine Products (NSP), a multi-level marketing (MLM) [“Network Marketing” is now more politically correct] company. The product was formatted as a set of index cards which could be studied serially, browsed for ideas, or turned up one-each-day for inspiration.

Better Business Building was a lot of fun to write (and enthusiastically used and endorsed by several senior managers), but it is no longer in print. For this site, I have removed the company-specific information and reformatted the cards into topic articles.


Some of the advice in these cards is contradictory or included just for humor. Some things work for some people but aren’t right for others. If something just doesn’t feel right to you, throw the card away or mark it up and put it in the back.

This guide is packed with clichés. Some people claim that clichés are trite and don’t always apply. Those critics are throwing out the baby with the bath water. I think clichés are the distilled wisdom of our culture. So it’s up to you; if the shoe fits, wear it; but if it’s not your ladder, don’t climb it. This guide is also packed with quotes. For instance:
“The words of truth are always paradoxical.”
-Lao Tzu

This information should help you generate ideas. But, YOU are the judge of the commitments that you accept and the choices that you make. Be warned – don’t start a business without deciding why you’re in it. Any business, especially one like this, can change your life.

Ideas for using this guide

These pages do not have to be kept sorted into any particular order. I figure that some people will want to reorganize them by type of idea while others will want to organize them by personal priority or how well they apply to individual situations. You will probably have an even better idea. But I numbered the cards just in case.

This is not a good book to read straight through. I suggest that you only read a little bit at a time. It’s more like a collection of poems than a novel. Scan it first to see what’s in it, read some of the pages that look interesting and then put it down for a little while. I hope that you’ll end up reading the whole thing but I’ve got a hunch that it will digest better in small bites, chewed carefully.

* You can search for ideas for distributors who are having trouble.
* Borrow ideas for your newsletters and business meetings.
* Clip the cards to a bicycle to make noise against the moving spokes.
* If you see a good idea, use it.

“I see the better way, and approve it; I follow the worse.”

“When one happens on a book of this kind, he is well advised to throw it away.”

A philosophical disclaimer

Dear Friends,

Although I have drawn from many spiritual and secular sources for the ideas and quotes included in this card set, I hold the Bible as my distinct authority and guide. In fact, I hold the Bible in such high esteem that I have deliberately held back from citing it in many instances where I recognized its influence on my philosophy. It didn’t seem appropriate to apply scripture to the secular activity of selling supplements.

I am more comfortable trying to keep a gap between the nutritional work I do for profit and the spiritual counseling done on a “receive free/give free” basis. I suppose this work falls short to the extent that my faith affects my overall thinking and the everyday conduct of life. By writing books and selling information, I expose my philosophical core.

Please do not conclude that the things I have written belong to some economic, political or popular religious school of thought. Although it is obvious that I subscribe to an ethic of personal responsibility, I also recognize that “The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” -1 Corinthians 3:19

Additional quotes of interest

“Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.”
-Herbert Otto

“Can it really be said that before the day of our pretentious science, humanity was composed solely of imbeciles and the superstitious?”
-R. A. Schwallerde Lubicz

“One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.”
-Joseph Campbell

“The heart has its reasons that the mind knows nothing of.”
-Blaise Pascal

“Without love the acquisition of knowledge only increases confusion and leads to self-destruction.”
-J. Krishnamurti


Commitment means that progress occurs over time and that you need to stick with your goals in order to achieve them.

“Far away, there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
-Louisa May Alcott


“Moral courage and character go hand in hand – a man of real character is consistently courageous, being imbued with a basic integrity and a firm sense of principle.”
-Martha Boaz


When you do what you know is right, you are at peace with yourself.

“Cowardice asks the question, Is it safe? Expediency asks the question, Is it politic? Vanity asks the question, Is it popular? But conscience asks the question, Is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
-Martin Luther


We should be aware of our spiritual need. Recognition of our relationship to our Creator keeps us balanced and secure. This respect and affection for the divine wisdom of our Creator makes us want to imitate His qualities and gives us appreciation for His creations.

Copyright 1996, 2010, David Satterlee

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which essentially says that you are free to share the work under the conditions that you attribute it fully, do not use it for commercial purposes, and do not alter it.