Paying Forward

mango tree

Once, a neighbor was watching an elderly 70 years old man planting a seed of a mango tree. Curious, as he knows that the tree will take years to grow before it can bear fruit, he asked,”Old man, why are you planting the tree for? I don’t think you would be able to enjoy the fruits.”

The old man looked at him, smiled and replied, “Young man, throughout my life, I have been eating mangoes grown by other people. It’s time I do my part.”

In spite of what the “what’s in it for me?” culture think or do, let’s find a way to start planting seeds that would benefit our future children or grandchildren. We must believe that in one way or another, our life are connected.

The saying goes, “we reap what we sow.” But there are times when what we reap is not what we planted but we keep on planting good seeds that will benefit our loved ones. We sow what we want to reap.

As the Lord Jesus Christ said through the Apostle Paul, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” We give or sow cheerfully.


20 Series of Questions to Ask before joining MLM

In recent years, with the failures of a lot of network marketing and multilevel marketing systems, a lot of people say that it is just a pyramid scheme, a type of scam most commonly known as “Ponzi Scheme”.

When it comes to the nature of business, network marketing, multi level marketing or a distributorship, if you may call it, is very similar to a franchise. Explore carefully the particular network marketing business before you join in. Some require you to carry inventory and incur expenses that could be beyond your initial expectations. Most Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) or direct selling businesses can be operated on a part-time basis.

Some groups will just pay you a straight commission on products that you sell. Others will also provide you additional sales incentive, like commissions for volumes sold by your sponsors, and their sponsors and so on. Some MLMs also provide goal-oriented incentives like gifts, laptops, cars, and travels abroad for certain sales rank achieved.

Before putting your hard earned money and join a network marketing system, you may want to ask your sponsor this set of 20 questions in order to lessen the risk of a pyramid scheme.

  1. Are you using the products? Are the products registered or proven in its claims by studies or its results been published? They must be users of the products so they know what it feels like using it. The products itself must be effective and reasonably priced.
  2. Are you enjoying the savings in using the products? Savings may take the form of less time, less money and convenience.
  3. Where can I purchase and get the products? If you can purchase online and have it delivered, it is better and easier.
  4. Is there a minimum purchase required for home delivery? How much? It’s much too hassle if you need to pick up the products yourself and deliver them personally to the members of your group.
  5. Is there a wide variety of products available? What kind of products do they offer? The more variety of products is better for you. You want a wide variety of selection so that you and your team will buy from your products.
  6. Are they the manufacturer of their own products or just exclusive distributors of products? This determines the quality of products.
  7. Is there an unconditional full-satisfaction, money-back guarantee on the products? You want the MLM company to guarantee the products you offer to your friends and relatives.
  8. How many years has the company been existing? What countries do they operate? The more countries that the company has been operating, the better, more stable and counts a lot in making sure that the company has a good reputation worldwide.
  9. How much is the joining fee? What do I get in return? Are there any product samples in the business or joining kit? The joining fee must not be expensive and there should not be too many product samples in the kit thereby making the joining fee exorbitant.
  10. Is there a money-back guarantee for the joining fee in case I change my mind later? A 30-day buyer’s remorse clause is preferred. Where and how can you get the refund?
  11. Does the joining fee allow the participant to operate the business abroad or within just the Philippines? Definitely, it would be better if you can also operate abroad with a single license or membership. Is there an annual renewal fee? How much? The annual renewal fee should be minimal.
  12. What is the marketing plan? How many people do I have to “sponsor” before I start making money? You should start making money with the product movement and not only with every person joining your organization.
  13. Is there a commission paid to the person who sponsors me? There should be no commission paid directly to your sponsor as this gives you a hint that your sponsor needs to help you develop a group or help you distribute products before he or she makes money. Otherwise, your sponsor might abandon you as soon as he or she gets the money for your joining fee.
  14. How is the commission scheme structured? The commission must be performance-based. Can I make more money than my sponsor or anyone who joined ahead of me? How so? Regardless of performance, if you always make less than people who joined ahead of you, then do not join the company.
  15. How is the commission computed? How will I get my commissions? How often? How do they track down commissions, even worldwide? How many levels underneath you will earn commissions from? The levels should not be the basis but the product movement within the organization.
  16. Is there a sales performance quota or targets that you must meet to maintain your active membership? What are the penalties if you do not meet the quota?
  17. What time commitment are you asking from me? Will I be forced to attend meetings and functions to maintain my MLM membership? The meetings and trainings must not be mandatory or requirement in maintaining the membership.
  18. How many members have succeeded in their MLM business? Who are they? Can I speak with them?
  19. What kind of marketing or merchandising support am I going to get? Do you have brochures or product catalogues? Do you advertise in mass media? It is advantageous to you if the MLM group does not advertise. In this way, you can corner down your own market share without too much competition generated by advertising.
  20. What kind of training and support am I getting and what other activities do you conduct to stimulate sales or the building of your MLM group? The trainings should include personal and professional development including selling, marketing and training people. How committed are you to the MLM business and who are the leaders of the group? Are they committed to succeed in the MLM business? You must join people or teams with a great desire to succeed and not the “lukewarm” people. This is more about system and culture within the organization. I attended quite a lot of MLM companies’ seminars.

There are inspiring speakers who talks a lot about their success stories. There are students who make it big. Some say that even though they did not finish their schooling, they are richer than those who are educated. Others claim that they’ve traveled a lot of countries because of their MLM business.

Well, I do believe these people. I’ve seen their expensive cars. I’ve seen the copy of their checks. A lot of times you will be encouraged to join because of these things but my advice is before you join, ask your sponsor the following set of 20 questions above. In this way, you would be able to choose the right MLM company that suits your personality and skills.

For those interested to explore network marketing, I am happy to present you the opportunity that I saw. Text me at +63915-3622744 or email me at for international inquiries. I’ll be your personal guide in this business. As your partner, I will also be your personal finance coach on savings and investments to be sure that your earnings are not only spent on things that depreciate and other liabilities. Be blessed!

To your success,

Jake De La Cruz

P.S. If you’re in the Philippines, let me know so we can set a schedule for a one-on-one session so you can see for yourself what’re available.

©2014 Jake De La Cruz. All rights reserved. 

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