TNMM January 2024 “Ask Uncle Russ” by Russ DeVan

Russ DeVan

Dear Uncle Russ:

I love my products. I know they work, too, because I’ve used them with fantastic results. Here’s my problem; In my enthusiasm, I’m afraid I come across as “pushy” and I don’t want to be thought of that way. Help!!!

“Ms.You -gotta -try – this” _____ Boise, Idaho

Dear “Ms.Gotta”:

First of all, I love your candor. Your concern is shared by millions of networkers world wide, so go easy on yourself. Be as ENTHUSIASTIC as you want to about your products…it’s THAT very energy, when matched with authenticity, that gets the job done! It’s your self consciousness about it that gets in the way of someone buying. Ask yourself: Am I more interested in communicating the TRUE value of this product or them actually buying it. Let GO of the result  of your communication being a sale, and I promise you more people will buy because it;s THEIR choice and idea, and not yours!


Dear Uncle Russ:

How do you determine if someone is a prospect?

No….really!!?

Amy E. ______ Thomasville, N.C.

Dear Amy:

Did you ever stop and ask yourself what it was about YOU that made you a prospect?

Was it a special concern that you had and it was heard and addressed? Were you curious and open- minded? Was it your love of people? Perhaps ALL of these! Make a list of the qualities and values that make you…well…YOU! Make a list of the traits or values you admire in others. Then STOP “prospecting!” Instead, engage in real and interested conversations with ANYONE you feel like talking to and listen for these qualities to “occur” or show up. Prospects are like gold. They may be hidden in plain sight, but if you know what they look and sound like they can be readily unconcealed.


Dear Uncle Russ:

Network Marketing has been around for several decades and recently seems to be in somewhat of a revival. In your experience, what do you see as the 3 biggest differences from Companies and opportunities 30 – 40 years ago and what might be attracting people now? 

Therin M. 

____”Eastbound and down – loaded up and truckin”

Dear Therin:

What an interesting question, thanks! 

Watching and participating first hand in the evolution of this business model for nearly 43 years has been quite the journey. Literally THOUSANDS of companies have launched, some reaching a billion dollars a year in business…and vanished. Others have remained and become cultural icons. When I first became a distributor in 1980 the ONLY “legitimate” compensation model outside of a simple one or two tier variation of the “party plan” was something called a “stair- step breakaway” which rarely, if ever, paid deeper than 5 levels, and then, only 1% or a fraction. There were practices of “front loading” and “buying positions” which is why many of the anti-pyramid regulations were established. There were no “Binary” plans, “uni-levels” “spill – over matrixes, “infinity” or “matching” bonuses. Fax machines and gigantic cell phones were “breakthrough” technologies. Personal development was pretty much limited to books or Cassettes you could play in the car. Distributor applications and orders were mailed in.

So I could go on and on about how technology has shifted our lives, as well as its impact on MLM, but would rather talk about what is NOT different. The most unlikely and ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Individuals leveraging love, passion, vision, heart, and people skills to set themselves free financially, and thousands of companies providing an opportunity to do that.

 But even with all the advantages that the internet and modern technology provides, and CHANGE remaining as the only constant, there is one thing that I believe is and will always be fundamentally true. Without people, network marketing does not exist. Robots and AI cannot build relationships and NOTHING can replace human creativity or ambition.

Yes, large organizations can be built mechanically…but can they be sustained?

Some may see network marketing, or at least how they perceive it as outdated and on the path of extinction.

I see it as the future. Liberating people from paradigms that have kept them in financial bondage from the beginning of capitalism. A “people’s franchise.” 

Great opportunities are born every day, as are Network marketing opportunities. And fortunately so are innovative, courageous, male and female entrepreneurs eager to capitalize on them without feeling they have to “reinvent the wheel”

Love, Uncle Russ…


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Russ DeVan
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