Choosing to live your life by design
Work smart, not hard

Choosing to live your life by design

There are two ways to live your life: by design or by default.

This blog encourages you to set a goal to live your life by design where you work towards passive income that will sustain you.

Are you stuck in a rut, thinking you have to follow the old pattern of living your life and earning an income as it has always been done? Or are you ready to strike out with a bold vision of what your life could be, and what it could mean with a passive income?

Living your life by default means you coast along and passively accept what life offers you. This doesn’t mean you necessarily like it; it just means that, though you complain about your life and the static salary you struggle to get by on, you do nothing to change the situation. Days, weeks, months and years go by and you find yourself at a destination you didn’t intend to be at. You regret the lost years of not taking control of your circumstances sooner.

Living your life by design, on the other hand, means you make plans and take action so that those plans can materialise. It means acquiring new routines and habits aligned to goals you set for yourself that reap rewards. It means following strategies that will give meaning to your life and the world around you. Live your life by design: work towards passive income that will sustain you.

Four ways of income generation

Robert Kiyosaki is well-known for his “Cashflow Quadrant” or the four ways of earning an income / making money. Fundamentally, he suggests that there are four financial or income generation options. Two of these require you to work long hours to earn an active income (living by default); while the other two use systems or money to earn a passive income (living by design). It is important to accept that no one is going to take care of you financially. YOU need to take responsibility for this. This is the only way to improve your finances.

The Cashflow Quadrant - 4 ways to earn an income

Let’s talk about the four income generation quadrants

Employee Quadrant

This is most likely where most of you reading this blog are, and where I’ve been for a large part of my working life (but don’t want to be any longer)!

You have a job working for a boss and earn an active income for the many hours of hard work you put in. No matter how hard you work, however, your income is always capped. You have very little time for yourself and your family as a result of full-time work. In addition, many employees in more and more organisations work after hours and over weekends as a result of easy connectivity via mobile phones and the internet. Despite what you may believe, there is no security in the job, as you could be fired if the business is down-sized or fails.

Self-Employed Quadrant

You trade your hours for money, just like the employee does – earning an active income. When you work, you get paid… and no work means no pay. I am in this quadrant now, and believe me… it’s often worse than being an employee! In the early years while I was setting myself up as a consultant, I found that I most often didn’t work from 9 to 5… I ended up working 5 (am) to 9 (pm) most days – and weekends! This quadrant isn’t much different from having a job. You’re generally tied down. There are many obligations which you have to take responsibility for. You can’t just pick up and go as you please (unless you’re willing to take the financial cut for the time out or holiday). And oftentimes the remuneration isn’t quite what you expected.

Business Quadrant

You want to journey towards THIS quadrant! In this quadrant you own or buy into / join a system (or well thought-through recipe) that works to increase your passive income / cashflow. You leverage off other people’s time and energy, so you have much more freedom financially and time-wise. Instead of you personally working long hours, you now have other people contributing their hours collectively towards achieving an end goal. John Paul Getty is famously quoted as saying: “I’d rather benefit one hour from the efforts of 100 people, than work all 100 hours myself.” This is what we want to aim for!

Investor Quadrant

Investors use money to create more money. They don’t have to work because their money is working for them. They source assets such as real estate, foreign currency, stocks, mutual funds and cryptocurrency that provide a steady income in the form of passive cash flow, and they often use other people’s money to attain those assets. This quadrant may be a difficult one to enter into immediately, as large amounts of funds are needed to start, one would need to study how investing works, and connect with master investors to learn the tricks of the trade from them.

Moving to the Business (“B”) Quadrant … to live a life by design

The Business Quadrant offers you the opportunity to earn a passive income. The aim is to work SMART, not hard. Passive income means you earn an ongoing income whether you’re awake, sleeping, or on vacation. How do we get there? What would we need to know or learn? And what businesses out there are helpful to tap into? Very few of us are able to purchase a business or, for that matter, have the know-how to run one! Franchising is an option, but generally out of most people’s league financially. For example, the estimated set-up costs for a Wimpy franchise in South Africa is 2.2 million ZAR and an initial franchise fee of 114,300 ZAR (excluding VAT)!

Network marketing is a viable alternative business model

The industry is very similar to purchasing a franchise, but allows you to start your business at a fraction of the cost to obtain the system*. In addition to comprehensive training and minimal start-up costs, network marketing offers you the choice of either full-or part-time work, and a work-from-home option. You have very low overheads, as the business is generally conducted by word of mouth, as well as online. The advantage is that it offers all the aspects of being a fully-fledged business owner and the opportunity to earn a passive income.

The industry of network marketing has, over a number of years, generated more millionaires than any other profession. To this day it continues to give more people an opportunity to grow a business; it offers a system, training and a like-minded community; and it sustains more families than any other business. Now that’s worth talking about!

So how does network marketing work?

People have the ability to build what is known in the industry as downlines within network marketing. You register with a company to promote their products, while being a customer as well. Consequently, you become an affiliate of that company which pays you for referrals and for duplicating yourself. You then share information about the business / products with people and invite them to join you in it. Now you teach them to do exactly what you’re doing, and in so doing you leverage your income by using their time and energy to duplicate your efforts. The result is that you (and they) get rewarded monetarily. So now you’re no longer trading time for money. You and your team benefit from collective effort to increase your passive cashflow. That’s the power of network marketing – because you get paid a commission on members in your team across a number of levels! You begin to live your life by design by working for a passive income.

Robert Kiyosaki recommends that you ask the following questions to determine whether the company you decide to work with is workable:

  • Control – Do I have a protected system that belongs to me?
  • Leverage – Can I train other people to work for me?
  • Creativity – Will the business allow me to be creative and develop my own personal style and talents, while ensuring that the brand is retained?
  • Expandability – Can my business grow indefinitely?
  • Predictability – Is my income predictable if I do what is expected of me? If I am successful, and keep expanding my business, will my income increase with my success and hard work?

How do you retain a strong team in your network marketing business?

If you’re more concerned about earning an income in network marketing than building relationships and developing your team, you may as well not start this business. Network marketing is all about building relationships and trust within your team. It’s about helping people develop and supporting them along their journey.

FIRST invest in your team, train them, help them get established. The end result is living your life by design where you earn passive income that will sustain you for years to come.

7 ways to be a great Networker:

  1. Be the first to reach out.
  2. Give more than you take.
  3. Choose kindness over clever.
  4. Be present.
  5. Talk less, say more.
  6. Learn people’s names.
  7. Be authentic.
Invest in your network – it’s your net-worth!!!

Ready to move from living your life by default to living your life by design?

Now that you understand how to move into the Business Quadrant through a very simple system, what will you do about it? People with no degree or formal education; people with severe health issues; single parents and people with obvious language handicaps have excelled in network marketing. What’s stopping you?

Thank you for reading the blog. I welcome any comments and questions.

Wendy Arendse

* Note that Mema does not require you to pay a registration fee to join the company, start your part-time or work-from-home business and benefit from using its system to earn profits when you successfully share information about the company with others and help your team to grow their business.

(I would like to acknowledge Robert Kiyosaki and Jan Janzen for their comprehensive teachings on the subject. I researched their and other network marketing professionals’ work to write this blog.)

3 people talking

NETWORK MARKETING – What it is and how to share your business opportunity.

Many people are unsure about the business of Network Marketing and what it is. Network marketing often gets a bad rap. Because it’s a different way of doing business with a new form of business system, many people look at it suspiciously and think of it as a scam.

This article provides some information and guidance on how to share your particular business opportunity.


Network Marketing is simply a form of distribution that uses “word-of-mouth” advertising as a way to educate the public on the particular benefits or a particular product/service. It eliminates the need for costly media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines) advertising which can represent more than 50% of the product cost.


Have you ever recommended a good movie to a friend? What about the latest deal you found at a particular store or the quality of a certain product you just purchased? When you refer others to a business establishment or to one of their products, you are marketing their products or services – without being paid for it. Many service oriented businesses want happy customers who will spread the word about their quality services. As a result, they will PAY you to advertise their services through word of mouth to people who know and trust you.

Many people are sincerely and diligently building successful network-marketing businesses that have made a positive impact on their own and others’ financial futures.


Profits are shared between the company and the Independent Business Affiliates

Wouldn’t it be great if you were paid a percentage of the revenue you brought to a business because you referred someone to them? This is the concept behind Network Marketing. Network Marketing companies can afford to pay their Affiliates what they save in advertising. Instead of allocating the money to media advertising, Independent Business Affiliates are paid in the form of commissions and bonuses to those responsible for creating the sales.

For a reasonable entry fee or monthly subscription (often only a few hundred Rands), you can join an existing business system and immediately begin building a business. And because of technology, this can be done almost entirely online and automated. Paperwork, order processing, distribution, accounting, and follow-up are generally managed by the network-marketing software. This allows you to focus on building your business instead of worrying about the normal start-up headaches of a small business.

Residual income is an attractive feature of Network Marketing

Residual income is income that is paid to you long after the original effort for the sale that was made. Insurance agents earn residual income each time one of their customers renews their policy. It required only the original effort to get the account (and maybe some effort to maintain it) and he/she gets paid each time the policy is renewed (and the subscription paid).

Network Marketing takes this a step further. It gives Independent Business Affiliates the ability to leverage themselves by earning from the efforts of others in their network. (This is called duplication when people in your network build their own teams – thus doing what you had originally done.) Each time any of those in your network renews a product/service purchase (pays their subscription), even though it may not have been directly related to your effort, you earn residual income because it was your initial effort that, either directly or indirectly, generated the sale.


Most “Networkers” feel the same way. Network Marketing isn’t about getting friends or family involved in something that you don’t believe in. You must believe that it will help everyone (not just friends or family). If you don’t believe in it, you should never pursue it. Those who believe they can succeed with it have hope, confidence and the ability to set goals and carry them out.

Network Marketing is a business, NOT a “get-rich-quick” scheme. It should be treated like a business – only more important, since it is YOUR business (as an Affiliate to the company you’re working with). If you started your own “traditional” business – how would you promote it if you didn’t believe in it yourself?


  • Always remember that people are looking for solutions to their problems or challenges.
  • First establish if the person you’re engaging needs an additional income and is open to exploring another income stream option.
  • Then share the business concept.
  • NEVER talk about the amazing product you have! That’s the LAST thing you’ll share! You’re offering the person an opportunity to earn an extra income. You’re offering (“selling”) a solution!

Establish whether they:

  1. DESIRE to increase or supplement their income
  2. Are OPEN to exploring another way of making money part-time
  3. Will put in the TIME, EFFORT and COMMITMENT it will take to increase their income
  4. Are WILLING to help others achieve the same goal
  5. Have easy access to a mobile phone/laptop and the internet and have their own email address.

If so, they’re good to go…

Now hand them your Affiliate referral link, assuring them of your FULL support as they build their business.

Happy sharing of your information to earn an income!

Did you find this article useful? I would appreciate your comments.

Wendy Arendse