Archive for July, 2014

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance German Cyclist

John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans.”

I’ve got another one: “Network Marketing is what happens to you when you’re getting on with life.”

So the phone rings in the middle of a Thunderstorm. It’s a lone German cyclist wanting a bed for the night (actually what he’s wanting is a TV for the World Cup Final tonight).

Never mind, we are accommodating; even though The Studio, our luxurious Bed and Breakfast suite – (Google for full over-the-top description “Deben House Bed & Breakfast”) – was still in disarray from last night’s guests, Tamsin rushed around changing sheets and I was despatched to the supermarket before it closed at 4.00 p.m. for bread, yoghurt and fresh fruit compote.

Bread and yoghurt I can manage. But what exactly is Fresh Fruit Compote and where would you look for it? This is when a few grey hairs (very few, as it happens) come into their own. Shop assistants take pity on the poor old buffer with his shopping list and lead him meekly to the chiller cabinet.

Then, in contrast to the dismissive attitude I sometimes experience, the young man said: “Is that everything? Can I help you with something else?”

No, I assured him, that was everything…

Actually, no it wasn’t. I tracked him down again – to where he was scooping up handfuls of frozen fish to put them back in storage for tomorrow: “I just wanted to say thank you. Not everyone is as helpful as you’ve been and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate it.

– Oh that’s OK.

“Have you worked here long?”

– About six years.

“Really, and is it a good place to work?”

– Well it’s OK but I’m beginning to think I’ve been doing the same thing forever. Maybe it’s time to move on, you know…”

“Is that so? Well in that case I wonder whether I have something you might like. Now this might be for you and it might not – only you can decide that … but it’s a way to get yourself more money and more free time without it affecting what you’re doing at the moment. If I were to send you some information, would you take a look at it and tell me what you think?”

Certainly he would – and we’ll be talking again at 1.30 p.m. tomorrow to see what he likes best about it.

If he turns out to be a superstar, then the German cyclist and his piles of wet clothes will have been worthwhile after all.

Bed & Breakfast v. Network Marketing

I love doing Bed & Breakfast – not because of the man who asked, with a rather startled expression, if I could please remove the dead mouse from the mousetrap in the airing cupboard or the couple who broke the bed. But because I get calls like this:

“Hello is that Mr Passmore. This is Georgia calling from Happy Utilities. Is it yourself who looks after the gas and electricity.”

(Well it is myself but I’m not moving them because my Network Marketing business supplies Gas and Electricity so you can guess where I’m going to get them from. But Georgia does not know this.)

So she says: “I’ve sent you an email, have you seen it? Well do you know the end date of your contract? Oh, you’re on a domestic contract? So how come you don’t pay the full rate then? Because of the the telephone and phone and broadband? How’s that then?”

And at this point I put her out of her misery. I say: “But I would like to thank you for the call. Clearly you’re very good at what you do – after all I wouldn’t still be on the phone if you weren’t. But I have a question to ask, is that all right?”

– Certainly.

“Do you work on salary or commission or a combination of the two?”

– Well we get a small bonus if somebody joins.

“That’s good. I’m glad to hear that. I bet you get some good bonuses.”

– Well they’re not very good and we’re on a very low wage.

“Oh dear. Well I’ve got something you might like. How would would it be if you got paid when somebody joins – and then got paid again every month when they pay their bill?”

– That would be ace!

“Well that’s how I get paid. Do you know I went to see a lady in Ipswich in April 2005 and she’s paid me every month since then. Currently she’s paying me about £5 a month and I only ever went to see her the once for about 40 minutes. Now if you add that all up it’s a lot of money for 40 minutes work.”

– It is a lot of money…

Actually I think I love Network Marketing more than Bed & Breakfast.

*For more tips on how Network Marketing in the Cold Market, see the Cold Market Academy tab at the top of the page.

Lunch for the dragons

I claim that nobody told me we had run out of crickets. It is my job to order them online but it is someone else’s job to tell me to do so and Norbert and Kreetcha make no sound at all.

OK, so now I have your attention, I owe you an explanation. Norbert and Kreetcha are bearded dragons and part of the Passmore menagerie. It must have been ten years ago on a visit to the dinosaur park that we got them – the man who sold them  explaining that they ate live crickets in the same way that a dog breeder will say “puppy food”.

Live crickets were a surprise, I can tell you – especially when Mrs Passmore opened the first batch and plunged her hand into the envelope to find 1,000 live crickets loose in there. You could hear the scream in Chelmsford. Also they’ve been escaping for ten years so now the house sounds like sunset in Mombassa.

Never mind, that’s not the point. The point is that it was Friday night and too late to order any more. The only thing to do was to go to the pet shop for a tiny overpriced tub of crickets to get us through the weekend.

The old petshop, that is. The new petshop is much to grand to sell crickets. In fact I don’t think it sells anything at all that’s alive – just rows and rows of dog food and racks of plastic bones and kittyloos and whatnot.

The other thing about the old pet shop is that it’s gloomy – not just the subdued glow from all the fish tanks but the staff are gloomy too.

The man behind the till pointed me to the crickets “where they’ve always been”. He took my money without a flicker of a smile.

This made it rather awkward because my standard opening in shops is: “You’re really cheerful, are you just starting or are you about to finish?”

In fact I thought about not saying anything at all. But the one thing I have learned in Network Marketing is that you just never know – you never know who’s going to want to know. You never know who’s going to join – and you never know who’s going to be any good. You just have to ask everyone.

So I asked him: “Look, I don’t know if this is of any interest to you but I always say the same thing to people in retail so if it’s alright, I’ll say the same to you…”

– What’s that.

“Well I’ve got something you might like. It’s a way to get yourself more time and more money but it doesn’t affect what you’re doing at the moment. If I were to send you some information, would you check it out?”

And this is what he said: “More money? Well I could certainly use that. We’re closing next week. They offered me a job in Colchester but that’s miles away. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Yeah, more money. I’ll check it out…”

A question of ethics

Tamsin marathon narrowHere’s one for the ethics committee:

Tamsin had a stall at the school fete so she could promote her fifth and final marathon of the “five in five months” for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust. I went along to help – so did our 11-year-old, Hugo.

The stall was pretty simple. All you had to do was lob a £1 coin at a magnum of wine and if your coin was closest at the end of the day, the bottle was yours. There was a Lindor chocolate the size of a football for the kids – and that was only 50p.

All day long people lobbed their coins. We did brilliantly. It was clearly addictive – or alternatively the Kyson School parents are all compulsive gamblers because they would keep saying: “No, I can do better than that…” and emptying their pockets.

It poured with rain (this was an English school fete). The people sheltered under the tea and strawberries gazebo. The rain stopped. They came back and lobbed more coins.

It was towards the end of the day that Hugo reappeared lugging a bin liner as big as himself and filled with the sort of plastic junk we had been trying to get rid of for eleven years. Because he paid £1 for it out of his own money, this made all the difference. Now he wanted a go at the giant chocolate.

It did cross my mind that there might be a conflict of interest here. But I’m afraid I was so high on the amount of cash we were raising that such tiny details were swept aside as he tossed coin after coin from his pocket money into the coffers of the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

Until one of them landed so close to the Giant Lindor that it was almost touching.

Desperately, I looked around for some other child with a keen eye, a 50p piece and an insatiable chocolate habit.

Hugo, meanwhile, was chanting: “I won! It’s mine! I won! I am the champion!”

Modesty is not his strong suit.

The only thing I can think of doing is buying another giant chocolate….

… and you might think that none of this has anything to do with Network Marketing – but you would be wrong… because everything has something to do with Network Marketing.

What happened next was that I became so anxious about the niceties of my own son winning the giant Lindor that I sought advice from the next stall. The woman there was selling tiny intricate pieces of jewellery and the most beautifully painted greetings cards – all done by her daughter. Her daughter was clearly very talented. Apparently she made some good money from it – which meant the daughter was an entrepreneur….

Now, it just so happens I’m always interested in meeting entrepreneurs. As it turned out, she was just overthere  by the cake stall.

And now she’s looking. Or as she put it: “More money? I’m always interested in more money!”

People are, you see. You just have to ask – and have a chocoholic 11-year-old… and an athletic wife…and a bit of luck…

P.S. Tamsin did complete her last marathon. Hugo ran two miles with her. I walked round with the dog and a bucket. It means that so far she has raised more than £2,500 towards her target of £5,000. If you would like to help her make up the deficit, she accepts, cheques, cash and online donations at


For more Cold Market tips, click the Cold Market Academy tab at the top of the page

Who smashed the phone?

Number One son’s phone is broken.

It wasn’t his fault. Number Two son knocked it off the chest of drawers in the hall.

What do you expect if you leave it right on the edge (Number Two son’s explanation)

– I didn’t…(you don’t need to know any more about this).

The fact is that today I took the phone into town to the mobile phone repair shop. This is an amazing place where the man behind the counter said immediately: “Ah, Samsung Galaxy Fame” as soon as I took it out of my pocket (I had to take the back off, remove the battery and look up the model number on Google before I knew what it was).

Anyway he can fix it (of course he can fix it).

But the unexpected part was that in all the time he had been working there nobody had ever gone in and prospected him for my Network Marketing business. This was astonishing because mobile phones are what we do (well, part of what we do).

“You mean nobody has ever come in and said: ‘If there was a way to get yourself more free time and more money without it affecting what you’re doing at the moment, is that something you might like to look at?” They never said: “Do you like to keep your business options open” or “Are you planning to do this for the rest of your career?”

He looked blank. He said: “No”.

So now he’s not looking he’s looking at my business – and the best part is that I’m not going to forget to follow up – I have to pick up the phone tomorrow…


For more Network Marketing tips see The Cold Market Academy at the top of the page.

What’s it all about?

This is the diary of a successful Multi-Level Marketer making money from home and fitting a part-time business into a busy life.
Over the years it has developed but the objective remains the same: To demonstrate how anyone can build a successful network marketing business in "the nooks and crannies of the day".
Eventually this spawned a training programme which I called The Cold Market Academy. This began as a seminar available only to MLM-ers working with my company. Then it went online as an e-learning course.
Now it is a book available through Amazon: MLM, Network Marketing and the Secret of the Free Prize Draw (you can see more about this on the "MLM Prize Draw" tab above.)
But at the heart of the Network Marketing Blog is the answer to the two most common questions people ask when they look at this business - and the two biggest challenges they face when they start:
1. I'm not a salesperson.
2. I don't have the time.
These are genuine concerns and all too often they get brushed aside: "Don't worry about that. We'll show you how..."
This blog is designed to show how it works in reality and in real time - how anyone, no matter how busy, can work their business consistently in small fragments of time. Because that's all you need; just a few seconds to find out if someone's interested.
And please bear in mind the entries here are only a tiny snapshot of the daily activity. Most of what goes on would make very dull reading indeed: Making calls from the list ... adding names to the list...making calls from the list...
As for being a salesperson: Have a look and decide for yourself.
Is it sales?
Let's say you call on a friend unexpectedly and find them up to their ankles in water and battling with a burst pipe.
Imagine it: There they are, soaked to the skin, trying to wrap a towel round the leak while they shout: "I rang the plumber but all I get is the Ansaphone..."
Honestly now, would you ignore their plight or would you volunteer the number of your own plumber.
Would you do what you could to help them or would you consider that going into "sales" on behalf of the plumber would be beneath you?
And what would your friend say when they realised you had deliberately chosen to leave them struggling to stem the flow and all because you felt embarrassed about "selling" something.
Network marketing is all about spreading good news and it's all about helping people.

If you're thinking of getting into Network Marketing - or already in it but not making enough money - contact me at

About Me

John Passmore,
United Kingdom.

For 25 years I was a newspaper reporter - ending up as Chief Correspondent for the London Evening Standard. Then I gave it all up and, with my wife, set out to live the simple life on a small boat while writing a column for the Daily Telegraph. Five years and two children later we moved ashore - and five years and another two children after that I ran out of money. Nobody wanted to give me a job and I couldn't afford to start a conventional business. Then at a craft fair in our local community hall, somebody showed me network marketing. It was described as a home-based business that would provide anyone with a second income if they were prepared to work for it. I was sceptical. There were claims of high earnings and something called a "residual income". But what if it did work? And besides what alternative did I have? So I threw myself into it wholeheartedly (which is the only way to succeed at anything). I'm not saying it was easy or there were never moments of doubt but if you're prepared to learn and determined never to give up, then there is a statistical certainty that you will make money. I started in April 2005. I was broke and embarrassed. Today I have no money worries whatsoever.