30 Things You Should Know About Network Marketing

Today, I want to share 30 things you should know about network marketing.  I can’t point you to a resource that validates any of these things, but I can tell you that they hold true from my personal experience in the industry (and from the wisdom of many successful people in our industry).

I think these are things every network marketer should know about before they get started in the industry.  They are listed in no particular order.

# 1 Most of your income will come from the efforts of 1-2 people on your team, even if you have personally sponsored hundreds of people.

# 2 Most top earners have personally sponsored somewhere between 100-200 people; some as little as 50 people and some as many as 500-1000 people.

# 3 Most successful network marketers have been with the same company at least five years, and typically ten to twenty years.

# 4 Most people you sponsor will do absolutely nothing at all to build their business, regardless of what you do to help them.

# 5 To succeed in network marketing you need to develop a unique set of skills, such as selling, marketing, people skills, leadership and communication.  These skills take time to develop, normally several years.  Most people do not have these skills when they first enter the industry.

# 6 There is a huge difference between failing at something and quitting at something. Contrary to what people say, most people to do not fail in our industry.  Instead, most people quit.  As I see it, you can’t quit something you haven’t even started.  

# 7 It’s a lot easier and faster to make $500 per month by building a team of retail customers than it is with distributors.  This is one of the reasons I think every distributor should have at least 10-20 customers, before they try to sponsor anyone into the business.

# 8 Network marketing offers an equal opportunity for everyone, even though there is not an equal success rate.  Everyone starts at the bottom and has to work their way to the top.  There are no barriers, office politics, or good ole’ boy system.  Everything is based upon your performance.

# 9 Just because most people fail in this industry does not make it a bad industry.  Most marriages fail, but people still get married.  Most realtors fail, but people still become realtors. Most insurance agents fail, but people still become insurance agents.  Most traditional businesses fail, but people still start new businesses.  Most weight loss programs fail, but people keep trying to lose weight.  Most people quit everything they start.

# 10 Contrary to what most people will make you think, an overwhelming majority of the top earners in our industry still do their business 100% offline.

# 11 This business is the hardest business when done wrong and slow.  It’s much easier and more fun if you do it right and quickly.

# 12 Typically, about 50-60 percent of the people on your team will quit, 30-40 percent will become loyal product users, 10% will do something to build the business and 1-2 people (from the 10%) will be your rock stars and produce 98% of the results.

# 13 The tax savings alone from owning a network marketing business are substantial, if you treat your business like a real business, keep good records, and take every legal tax deduction that you can.

# 14 You never know WHO will actually build the business. People will definitely fool you.  The people you think will build it big will typically quit and the people you think will quit will build it big.  Also, the people who NEED the business seldom join or do anything.  At the end of the day, there is no way to look inside of someone and see the level of desire that they have to change their life for the better.

# 15 The only money producing activities in our business are prospecting, showing the plan, following up, training your team and getting customers.  No other activity helps grow your income.  Spend 90% or more of your business hours on retailing and recruiting.

# 16 There is no secret, no fast or easy way to build your business.  There are no magic words. There is no push button formula or magic dust that will help you achieve success quickly.  You have to roll up your sleeves, get to work, and stay persistent and consistent for several years.

# 17 Building a huge team of distributors will be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done in your life.

# 18 What makes this industry so wonderful is that you get leverage (without employees or money), you can create residual income and in most cases you can get started for less than $300.  I can’t name one other business model that lets you do that.

# 19 The most important part of the success equation is you.  The company you join or the sponsor you pick won’t make you successful.  At the end of the day, your success (or failure) is totally up to you.

# 20 There are lots of great companies in our industry.  You should definitely pick a company that is established, has a proven track record, and has a product line you can get passionate about.  You want a company that is positioned to be around for the long-term.

# 21 The biggest struggle you will deal with in this business is time management.  You definitely have to learn how to manage your time wisely, especially if you are a part-timer, and have a day job and family responsibilities.

# 22 There is no ONE set way to build your business.  You don’t have to use your upline’s system to succeed.  At the end of the day, you need to leverage your own talents and abilities and come up with a game plan that works for YOU. You want to help each team member do the same thing. 

# 23 If you aren’t getting good results in one company, your odds of switching to a new company and getting better results are quite slim.  Until you develop the right skill-set and right mind-set, you will struggle in every company that you join.

# 24 Just because you are good at selling in the real world does not mean you will be successful in network marketing.  This industry is not like traditional sales.  This industry is all about sponsoring and teaching, not mass selling or mass recruiting.

# 25 Building a huge team in one company is hard to do.  Building a huge team in two companies at the same time is even harder to do.  Ultimately, you need to focus on one company exclusively for a long period of time.

# 26 The difference between the top earners and the people who fail is nothing more than the number of exposures they make on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  The key to success in this business is EXPOSURES.  The more people you expose this business (and products) to the better you will do.

# 27 Most successful distributors took at least five years to become successful.  This is not some get rich quick business model or “meal ticket.”  It takes time and hard work to succeed.

# 28 You literally can make a small fortune from just one productive team member. There are plenty of people in our industry who make $10k to $30k per month (or more), just from the efforts of one person on their team.

# 29 Many MLM Companies fail, just like traditional businesses.  You should do your due diligence and pick a company that is already established and proven.

# 30 Most people you talk to will need you to follow up with them at least ten to twenty times before they ever join your team or buy a product.  Very few folks will see the plan for the first time and just sign up on the spot.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading my post on the 30 things that you should know about network marketing.  I hope this article will open your eyes and help change the way you think about our industry.  I’d love to hear what you think about this list.  Feel free to leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  Have a great day.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

Suggested Resources:
  • The # 1 Home Business for 2024 & Beyond! Weekly Pay. Free websites and marketing system. Free to join. 15 ways to earn. Turnkey online business.  Learn more.
  • Request 200 Free MLM Leads. I'm giving away 200 free MLM Leads and my secret texting scripts, for a limited time. Claim yours now.
  • Buy and Sell Advertising Online. Make money buying and selling ads. Get the details. 

14 thoughts on “30 Things You Should Know About Network Marketing”

  1. Man I wish someone would have told me these 30 things before I got onto business. You quickly learn these things are true but it would have changed the way I initially looked a the business had I known some of this up front. I could have saved a lot of time and energy wasted on distributors and made more money just selling the products and getting the retail bonuses. I also would have planned my days in a way that had me doing more income generating activities than anything else.

    1. Yes, a lot of people are misinformed about network marketing. They either got involved with false or unrealistic expectations. Teaching people what to expect ahead of time is a wise move.

  2. #23. If this were an actual book I would highlight that and stick a post it on the page. This is sage advice to give anyone in network marketing. A lot of people think that when they don’t get the results they hope for with one company, if they just swap to another company they’ll get better results. Because it’s the company, right? Wrong. You hit the nail on the head with this one! Until they develop their skills and have the proper mindset, they will always struggle.
    Great post, all around.

    1. Skills. It’s a word that very few people talk about. Most people who join our industry HOPE they will make it, but they don’t commit, they don’t work on their personal development and they don’t follow through. The people who make it to the top spend just as much time working on themselves as they do working on their business.

  3. You know Chuck, I believe there really are very few differences between a traditional business, and a network marketing business. One major one is the amount of money you have to invest, but otherwise everything else is similar.

    You have to work hard and be patient. You must work on the money making parts of the business, or it will fail. You need to get retail customers (If franchises just kept selling the business, and not the products too, they would close down)

    I wish that the population would look at MLM with this frame of mind. It can be helped if network marketers treat the business as they should.

    1. The bottom line is that most people who get involved with MLM do not take it seriously. Those that do typically do well. No one would open a restaurant, only have it open one hour a week, and expect to make a profit. But that’s exactly what people in our industry do.

      1. Yes, you are correct, and in many cases, it is not the fault of the prospect themselves, it is their sponsor who fed the lies and hype. I see it so often in my spam emails: You can make fist-fulls of money by spending 1 hour a day doing this simple thing or While you are sleeping, your computer can make you millions. It is scammers like that that give MLM a bad name.

        I am so happy that this blog is available so people can have a true understanding of how network marketing really is. It is a business; it takes persistence and work to succeed. You have to put 110% into it to get out.

        Thanks for what you do Chuck. Hopefully people will come here before they jump into an MLM with the thoughts of not doing anything and making tons of money.

  4. Point #21 about time management is so true. When I first started a few years ago I struggled with time management, and even today I still have some struggles managing my time. Over the years I have learned some tools such as cutting out distractions, setting aside specific hours to get things done, and using a planner/to-do list to plan out all of my tasks for each day.

  5. Thanks Chuck, a brilliant article! I personally would modify a few of the points you made, although I understand them and primarily agree. One, the most successful are so not only because of the number of exposures they make, but the number they and their team make. Two, I do think finding the right company that one really resonates with can make all the difference at times. Core deep belief and enthusiasm is powerful, and for me at least is rare to come by. A lack of that can dampen resolve and results!

  6. You put together a very good list here of things everyone should know when it comes to network marketing.

    There are some of these that stand out more than others. #7 is a prime example. I have always stated that no business is going to go anywhere unless its goods or services are sold. When we as network marketers make getting customers our first priority, getting distributors will fall into place.

    #14 is also a great mention. We have to be careful that we don’t try to analyze people and think who will be great and who may quit. In many circumstances, it will go just the opposite of your prediction.

    All the rest are great information too. Thanks Chuck.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The # 1 MLM Company for 2024. Join for free. Secure your position in my power leg.