HomeDO NOT recruit your friends and familyFish Where The Fish Are…


Fish where the fish are…

I am a very strong believer that you should not try to recruit your friends and family into your business opportunity.

And the following is one of the primary reasons you shouldn’t be trying to in the first place.

If I’m planning to go fishing, it would be very convenient for me to just stand in my living room and cast all day.  I wouldn’t have to travel anyplace.  The temperature is set exactly how I want.  The lighting is perfect.  I’m not going to have to dress or prepare for inclement weather.  I don’t have to worry about getting sunburned, I don’t have to wear sunscreen.  I don’t have to worry about getting wind burned. Its not going to rain on me.  I don’t have to worry about insects.  Nobody else is going to be competing with me for my spot. The conditions are perfect.

John Deckard Living Room

And, it’s very convenient. I don’t have to wake up before the crack of dawn.  I didn’t have to travel anywhere.  I didn’t have to load all my gear into the truck.  I didn’t have to hook up the boat trailer. I didn’t have to decide where I was going.  I didn’t have to pack a lunch or drinks.  Everything is very convenient for me…and, I’m very comfortable.

The one teeny tiny little problem is…there simply are no fish in my living room… I don’t even own an aquarium…

So while it’s very convenient, and I’m very comfortable, it’s incredibly unlikely that I’m going to catch any fish.

If my goal is to catch fish…I’m simply going to have to go fishing where the fish are.

The same thing holds true for trying to recruit from your list of friends and family members.  While it is unquestionably more convenient, and more comfortable, to talk to your friends and family…it’s also highly unlikely that any of them are actively looking for a business opportunity.

Very, very few people in your sphere of influence are “fish.”

I promise, nobody that you know is sitting around saying “Man…I wish John would call me up and offer me a business opportunity.”

John Deckard Waiting for call

Believe me when I tell you this…NOBODY IS DOING THAT!

Why, why, why is everybody being taught to recruit their friends and family members? It just doesn’t make any sense. (Read the article “Do NOT recruit your friends and family members” if you REALLY want to know)

Will a certain number of them sign up with you?  Yes…some will sign up simply because it’s “you” asking them to join, and some will sign up because they feel obligated because it’s you. (psst…that’s one reason why you’ve been told to recruit them!)

But here is the more fundamentally important question: Is someone that signs up with you…just because it’s “you”…likely to go out and build a big business?

Unfortunately…the answer is “Probably not.”

So again, I have to ask… Why are you fishing in your living room?

Work with me here…if I’m going to try to catch fish…the first thing I’m going to do is decide what type of fish I want to catch…am I after just any old fish, or am I trying to catch something specific?  Next, I’m going to decide on a body of water that could possibly hold that type fish…you won’t find marlin while fishing in a mountain stream.  Then I’m going to have to travel to that body of water, put my boat in, and cruise around with my fish finder until I find out exactly where the fish are congregating.

Once I have found the fish, I have to determine if they’re in the mood to bite..is it the right timing…or am I too early, so I’ll need to wait around a bit.

Then, and only then, am I going to break out my gear…and that is where I’m going to fish.

John Deckard tackle-box

This is exactly what you need to do when you’re prospecting for your network marketing business.

First, you’ve got to decide what it is that you’re looking for in a new recruit. (I cannot emphasize enough how important this step is!)

You’ve got to find out where those types of people are likely to be found.

You’ve got to determine if the timing is right for them, and they are currently open to looking at a business opportunity.

And if they are…

Then, and only then, do you present them with your business opportunity.

Right about here is where I usually get interrupted with the question…

”So how do I find these people?”

(Hint: it’s not going to be in your living room!)

And my answer is always the same…You prospect!

You get out of your comfort zone, you get out of your living room, you go out and meet people.  You turn on your fish finder and you look for fish.

John Deckard fish

I recently heard an appropriate quote…(unfortunately I don’t know whom to give credit)…but its spot on what I’m talking about here…”Everything we ‘have’ is tucked up nice and neat inside our comfort zone…everything we ‘want’ is outside our comfort zone.”

If there is something that you want…that you don’t have…chances are its not in your comfort zone…so you’re just going to have to suck it up, and get out of your comfort zone!

I can hear ya…”Okay John, it’s a cute little metaphor but what the hell am I supposed to ‘really’ do with this information?”

Let’s break it down…

Get out a notepad and a pen.

I’m not talking figuratively here…get a physical notepad and a pen.

(As a side note, if you really want to learn something, then you have to be “teachable”…and part of being “teachable” is doing what the person trying to teach you asks you to do!  So get out a damn notepad and a pen right now!)

John Deckard Pen-and-Paper

Now, write down a list of what your perfect new recruit looks like. What are their habits? What are the traits you want them to have? Include as many specific characteristics as you can think of, and put them on the list.  We want to create a very detailed picture of our perfect recruit.

You might think this exercise is silly… But how are you going to know whom you’re looking for, or more importantly where to go find them…if you don’t know exactly what they look like.  We’re trying to decide if we’re going after marlin or trout…OR…if we’re going to continue jacking around, just trying to catch anything that’ll bite.

I could provide you my list here, but I’m intentionally not doing so, because my product may not be the same as your product.  The perfect recruit for me, might be something entirely different than the perfect recruit for you.

So write your list and figure out what you’re fishing for.

(One little hint…”teachable” should definitely be on your list)

Once you’ve completed your list, take a good look around your living room and see if a person like that is sitting there.

John Deckard Living Room

Yeah…I didn’t think so…

So, where might you find a person like that?

Do you see where we’re going here?  You have to stop the insanity of chasing after your friends and family members and approach this business… LIKE A BUSINESS.

Determine your target market.  Determine where you will find those types of individuals.  Develop a marketing plan specifically for them. And get in front of your target market.


~John Deckard

Why do so many people fail at Network Marketing?  Find out HERE!



Fish Where The Fish Are… — 22 Comments

  1. Would you mind generally if i quote a couple of your respective posts provided that
    I provide credit and sources to your blog? My blog page is within the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would genuinely make use
    of some of the information you present here.
    Please inform me if this okay along. Thanks!

  2. Fine method of explaining, and good post to get information concerning
    my presentation subject material, which i will convey in college.

  3. This is the perfect website for anyone who really wants to understand this topic.
    You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa).
    You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that has been discussed for decades.

    Great stuff, just wonderful!

  4. Remarkable! Its really awesome article, I have got much clear idea regarding from this piece of writing.

  5. Awesome I took out a my business notepad and wrote down my ideal target audience. This was some great advice I’m really enjoying your blogs. Thanks for creating them for creators and artist to become better

  6. Thank you for the reminders .. I am a Realtor that is working on finding that fish .. I really like the process of writing down the specific profile of the “fish” where they are and develop a marketing plan.

  7. Great advice John.As a filmmaker looking for investors is the hardest part.
    So I need to find more of that type and then educate. Thank you.

  8. Haha so true. I have to get my big girl pants on and get out of my comfort zone. There’s a saying that “you’re success ads up to how many uncomfortable conversations you are willing to have.” I don’t know who the author is. I still struggle with this but am a working progress. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Thank you John,
    I needed to see this. It seems so obvious now that I’ve read the blog. I haven’t been out fishing in a long while. No wonder I’m hungry again.
    Thanks Again,
    T. Byrd (@RoxxHoffner)

  10. This is spot on! Extreme wisdom spoken here. Anyone who has been convinced to reach out first to family, friends and community thru some ‘make amazing money’ MLM knows better. I love the approach to define your target then decide where they ‘swim’. And yes, I think truth be told, we’ve all had to do some sales in our lifetime.

  11. My approach to network marketing has changed much since my Amway days. The large groups are rapidly created by prospecting one distinct group: network marketers!
    There are two main ways of doing that: a) use your social media contacts that purport to already are or have recently been in a network marketing company or b) buy a list of former networkers
    Works for me.
    Best to you.

  12. Great blog. I agree with everything … especially the bullshit aspect of it all. But have you ever sat in an Amway convention? Truly one of the most nauseating bullshit-laden experiences of my life … and yet the top levels are dripping in cash. You gotta wonder, other than religious affiliation in the underworkings of the entire scheme, WTH is keeping people so gullible?

  13. John, having been the editor of Network Marketing News (1995 to 2004) I have two things to comment on, if I may.

    1. Well written with cute metaphors.

    2. As you develop this trainjng further; Suggest you include examples from your own “fishibg expeditions” … sure your prospect type may be diffetent but it is easier to follow a direction with ‘visuals’ … keep up the great work & thanks for following me on #Twitter!

  14. I love the fish metaphor in your post, and of course you are absolutely right, friend and family are not the people to talk to about your biz op unless of course you want to socially isolate yourself.

    Great blog my friend

  15. Having to “bug” people that are you friends and family are exactly why selling never appealed to me. You awkwardly approach all the friends and family and try to get them to “throw you a bone”… some do some don’t either way it seems to end up in making everyone uncomfortable.

    I also like the pen and paper and getting so specific regarding what exactly “your fish type” looks like.

    Nice job John–

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