So, You are Thinking of Starting a Company: What You Need to Know

Sean Smith Shares Powerful What You Need to Know

The direct sales industry is on the rise. I’m approached every day by people looking to enter the direct sales market with a startup company. Here at InfoTrax, we launch an average of three startup companies every month and due to the growing main-stream acceptance of direct sales, I expect the trend to continue.

Starting a direct sales company, or any company for that matter, is never easy. There will always be unforeseen issues, unexpected costs, and unruly personnel. These types of issues are not unique to your company. The business gods are not picking on you for any particular reason; you will simply have to be prepared for anything to happen.

At InfoTrax, we have launched hundreds of direct selling companies on our software. Year after year, I see companies face struggles that could have been avoided. Watching the growth of these companies has taught me that every company should answer three questions before they launch: 1) What exactly is your product, and does fit in the direct sales space? 2) Do you have someone at the lead with Direct Sales executive experience? 3) Do you have capital to fund the project?

Starting an MLM Company That Will Last, Part 2 by Mark Rawlins

Mark Rawlins Shares The Ever Evolving distributor motivations

Multilevel Marketing is big business. There are dozens of companies (including Infotrax) that sell products and services to MLMs new and old. My company has been supporting companies in the industry for decades. I have seen a lot of companies start: some fail some succeed beyond their wildest expectations, and many others fall somewhere in between.

Evolving distributor motivations

As a company grows, the needs and motivations of the distributors it attracts change. Just as companies are started by entrepreneurs, the first distributors who join a company are themselves entrepreneurs. However, as a company becomes more established, it attracts distributors who are more conservative, more risk adverse.

Starting an MLM Company That Will Last by Mark Rawlins

Mark Rawlins Shares Phase one: 10 orders a day

Multilevel Marketing is big business. There are dozens of companies (including Infotrax) that sell products and services to MLMs new and old. My company has been supporting companies in the industry for decades. I have seen a lot of companies start: some fail some succeed beyond their wildest expectations, and many others fall somewhere in between.

Most of the advice you’ll come across for startup direct sales companies is about mistakes to avoid, problems to expect, and best practices for set up. One thing we don’t spend enough time talking about is what the roadmap looks like for a company going from startup to class enterprise. If you’re always focused on the problem of today, you aren’t thinking about where you’re going.

There are all sorts of things that create success, or bring on failure. But we have identified a set of common challenges that companies face as they grow, and we have identified several distinct phases companies go through. Each of these phases have their own challenges and opportunities. Obviously the number of orders per day and the monthly sales volume vary by company but we’ll use both of those metrics to divide company growth into phases.

Jason M Elrod 7 Secrets to Success – Pt 4: Show Up Early and Stay Late

It’s time for more of those Secrets to Success I’ve been sharing with you. To quickly recap, here are the first three secrets I shared in previous posts:

  1. Listen more than you talk
  2. Be a servant leader
  3. Be a student of your craft – never stop learning

And now…

Lesson #4: Show Up Early and Stay Late

In both your personal and your professional life, you’ll find certain things are out of your control: the weather, the stock market, the decisions made by your friends or coworkers, etc. So when it comes to your success in life, the sometimes frustrating truth is that you can’t control all of the variables around you. This is why it’s so important to focus on the things you CAN control. And in my opinion, the most important personal trait that you can control is your work ethic.

There will always be someone smarter, richer, or luckier than you. But you are in full control of whether or not other people work harder than you. And as the old saying goes, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” From businessmen to professional athletes, the most successful people in their fields aren’t always the smartest or the most talented. But you can pretty much guarantee they are among the hardest working.

As my title suggests, there is no substitute for putting in real time and effort. Showing up early and staying late is simply a way of saying you can’t take shortcuts and expect to be successful. Michael Jordan, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey—these people did not get to the top of their industries by doing the minimum required. Instead, they did WHATEVER was required.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you have to give up any kind of personal life, family life, or fun to be successful. What I’m saying is that when you ARE working, work hard, minimize distractions, and give it all you’ve got. If you’re working your own business on the side and can only give it two hours a day, that’s fine. Just make sure you spend those two hours working hard on the most important things that need to be done. As your business grows, it will probably require more of your attention. When the time comes, are you willing to step up and do what’s required?

You see, it’s human nature to want all the good stuff but none of the bad stuff. We want the awesome panoramic view, but we don’t want the 10-mile hike. We want the fit muscular body, but we don’t want to eat right and exercise. It’s just the way we’re wired. We have to fight that part of our human nature and practice the disciplines that will get us where we truly want to be. Your personal success story is waiting to be written. Will you do what it takes to write it?

Jason M Elrod’s 7 Secrets to Success – Pt 3

Welcome to 2014! It’s hard to believe that one month of this year is already over.

As you could tell by my silence, things got pretty hectic towards the end of the year, but I’m happy to be sharing with you once again. Let’s get back on track with those Secrets to Success…

Most people spend the majority of their childhood in school reading, learning, and taking notes.  I’ve been out of school for a while; but I still consider myself a student. Not because I wear a backpack or sit in a classroom all day; but because I still read, learn, and take notes. And I always will.

Lesson #3: Never Stop Learning

Be a Student of Your Craft

A graduation ceremony from school never means you’re done learning. Your future of self-education may not involve formal instructors, but it should always include learning something new. The day you believe you’re done learning, is the day you begin to fail.

From entertainment and sports to business and technology, the world is always changing and evolving. There’s always a new or different way to do things. If you don’t keep up, pretty soon you’re going to be left behind.

Starting with the very first days of my career in real estate development, I went out of my way to soak up as much knowledge as I could – from wherever I could. Books, articles, blogs, and people with more experience than me. I was always watching, listening and writing down good ideas. And guess what. I continually got better at my job and have enjoyed a lot of success.


Two heads…

You’ve probably heard the saying “Two heads are better than one.” The main idea is that you don’t know it all. Getting advice, listening to experts, reading the blogs of thought leaders will ALWAYS make you smarter and better equipped than if you just did what you know how to do right now. And if you read or listen to 9 other people, then 10 heads are 1000% better than 1.

More wisdom than any library

We live in an awesome time. We have more information available via our smartphones than exists in entire libraries. And I don’t mean just book knowledge (although books are still a huge part of my self-education.) I’m talking about “people knowledge.” Blogs, articles, YouTube videos, podcasts, etc. There are literally millions of sources of information. I’m a regular visitor to places like,, and many other news and blog sites. You should find good, credible sources. Search for topics important to you or your business. Then read, listen, watch, and learn.

Knowing is good. Doing is better.

Nike nailed this theme when they created their “Just Do It” campaign. The message was basically, “Stop talking about what you’re going to do, and just do it.” Well the same goes for knowledge and wisdom. All the reading, listening, watching and learning is USELESS if you don’t put it into practice.

Let’s say you’re in sales, and you read an article like “7 Things the Best Salespeople Always Do.” You read it. You understand it. You’ve learned it. But if you don’t turn around and do those things in your own job, you will go NOWHERE.

You want to be successful? Never stop learning. Ask questions. Take notes. Read, listen, watch, and improve yourself a little bit every day.

See you at the top.

Jason Elrod On Success: 7 Secrets to Success – Pt 1

Personal confession: I am a book and advice junkie. I love to learn about how other people have achieved their success. Over the years, I have incorporated dozens of good ideas because, to be honest, it’s a lot easier than re-inventing the wheel. Even today (or maybe especially today), as president of WakeUpNow Inc., I always read, watch and listen to learn what makes people successful.

This is the first in a series of blogs about some of the key principles I’ve witnessed and personally experienced on the road to success.

Lesson #1: Listen More Than You Talk

There is a Japanese proverb that translates to “None of us is as smart as all of us.” What does that mean? It means that even the smartest person in the room doesn’t know everything. It means that asking others for their feedback or advice is smart.  If you ask for those things from intelligent, knowledgeable and experienced people, that’s even smarter!

We’ve probably all met people who don’t listen to feedback or new ideas. Why? Is it insecurity? Arrogance? Maybe. Some people just don’t like to admit they need help or constructive criticism. Maybe they see it as a sign of weakness or some kind of admission that they’re “less than”. Whatever the reason, it isn’t smart. Closing the door on everyday learning opportunities is a surefire recipe for limiting your growth as a person and as a professional.

My advice to those people? Be realistic about your limitations and start learning from the experts around you. Want to be a better entrepreneur? Read blogs and watch Ted Talks from successful entrepreneurs. Then LISTEN. Your investment of time will yield huge returns in the form of new ideas, motivation, and a sense of direction.

Want to be a better sales leader? Ask customers questions about their fears, frustrations, hopes and dreams. Then LISTEN. They will basically give you a roadmap to meeting their needs or solving their problem. John Maxwell put it best, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” So listen first.

Want to be a better husband or wife? Ask your spouse honest questions about how you treat them, love them or support them. Then LISTEN. If things are rough, what you hear might sting a little. But would you rather hear it and have a chance to improve on it? Or just be blindsided when things get worse?

The bottom line is this. Smart people listen to the wisdom around them. Smart companies listen to their customers. Smart executives listen to middle managers.  Not because everything they say is valid or because every suggestion should become policy; but because it’s information. The more you have, the better decisions you make. Whether you’re in a board room or in your living room, listening proves that you care about the issue, that you are a thoughtful decision maker, and that you value the efforts of those around you. If you can prove that, more people will be listening the next time YOU talk.

Jason Elrod On Success: 7 Secrets to Success – Pt 2

As we continue our series, it’s important to remember that if you truly want to be successful, there is always work to be done or a price to be paid. This week’s secret requires us to do a psychological gut check and find a way to put our ego in the back seat.

Lesson #2: Be a Servant Leader

None of us works alone. From the smallest home businesses to Fortune 500 companies, people work with other people to get things done. All enterprises (whether you have 2 employees or 20,000) require structure and leadership.  But how do you get the most out of the people you work with?

Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

I’m a fan of war movies. And most of those stories portray two stereotypical kinds of leaders. The first type is the one wearing a clean-pressed uniform who barks orders from the safety of a remote command post, unaware or apathetic about the struggles of the men in the trenches. The second type is the one covered in dirt, sweat, and blood who raises their sword and leads the charge into battle.

Without getting into a debate about military strategy, there is a simple lesson to be learned from these scenarios. Leading by example brings out the best in those being led.  You want to earn respect? Be willing to do the things you are asking others to do. Somehow, I don’t think William Wallace’s horseback speech in Braveheart would have had the same effect if he had ended it with “And good luck! I’ll be waiting back here if you need me.”

So roll up your sleeves and work to clear the path that you want your army to take. Leaders like that don’t demand any credit or recognition. It just happens naturally. When the battle is over, the troops know which leader put their butt on the line to get the job done.

Humility vs. Elitism

From higher pay to greater recognition, people pursue leadership positions for a variety of reasons. We all know someone whose leadership style involves nothing more than flexing the muscle of their ego or title. Sometimes it’s as simple as “get me some coffee.” Other times, they make major policy changes with the always helpful explanation “because I’m the boss.” That’s elitism.

When your face needs to be the one on the brochure or in the commercial (even if market research says to go a different way).  When you worry more about getting the credit than about getting results. That’s elitism. And in the long run, it’s not effective. Elitist leaders do not earn respect. They might demand (and get) temporary obedience; but they won’t win the hearts and loyalty of their people.

There’s a better way to help your organization succeed… Help other people succeed.  It takes effort to build people up. It takes humility and courage to put your pride aside and invest in people. Whether that investment takes the form of time, energy, or sweat equity; it always pays dividends.

When you take a chance on people and work side-by-side with them – you give them a chance to grow, to perform, and to surprise you. That’s servant leadership. Can you be burned by putting trust in