Being a Lone Wolf in Network Marketing

Being a lone wolf in network marketing is a big mistake. I think so. It’s one of the most common mistakes I see people make. Heck, I’ve made this mistake MANY times myself in the past. I’m not proud to admit that, but it’s the truth.

Most people who join our industry try to do everything on their own, either out of ignorance or pride. Rather than learning from their successful coach, they take the lone wolf approach and think they have to come up with all of the answers themselves.

They reinvent the wheel. They create new training. They brainstorm creative, new ways to grow their business. They come up with a fancy new method to give a presentation. They deviate from the team’s system. And the list goes on…

In most cases, these folks don’t survive much more than 90-days in the business. They end up thinking the business doesn’t work, because it didn’t work for them. Had they been a team-player and plugged into their ACTIVE upline, their results would have been much different.

MLM is a Team Sport

This is a Team Sport

Network marketing is a team sport! It’s nothing like traditional business. In this industry you aren’t competing against anyone else. If you have some wits, you will collaborate with successful distributors in your upline, so you can work smart. Many of these folks are a tremendous source of wisdom and experience.

Your upline is your FREE BUSINESS COACH. They have been in the business longer than you AND they have a vested interest in helping you succeed. If you make money, so will they. As a result, they want to help you. All you have to do is ask them for help.

Unless you are the master distributor for your company, someone in your upline is a wealth of knowledge, and would be a tremendous resource for you to partner up with. It might not be your sponsor, or immediate upline, but I can assure you that if you keep calling upline you will eventually find SOMEONE who knows what they are doing, who will help you.

Whatever you do, don’t think you have to figure everything out on your own. Every “great” idea that you have about the business has been thought of before. Trust me. Your upline is a great resource to validate your ideas before you end up wasting time and money on something that does not work.

lone wolf in network marketing

Reasons Not to Be a Lone Wolf in Network Marketing

Why shouldn’t you be a lone wolf in network marketing?

First off, you don’t know what you don’t know. If you are new to the industry and don’t have a strong background in leadership, people skills, sales, marketing, prospecting, lead generation, and running a business, you’re going to spin your wheels until you learn what you are doing. A good upline can shorten your learning curve.

Someone who has been doing the business twenty, ten, five, even three years is a wealth of knowledge. Chances are, they’ve tried just about every idea you can think of. That’s why you want to work with them and bounce your ideas off of them, so you don’t go down the wrong rabbit hole. They know what works AND what doesn’t work.

Another reason not to be a lone wolf is CREDIBILITY. You see, most new distributors don’t have much credibility (about the business) with the people they know. However, if you let your upline share the same information with your warm market, there is a good chance those people will listen to them. When you have someone in your upline with a proven track record and financial success, they are a great person to get in front of YOUR prospects.

Another reason not to be a lone wolf is SUPPORT. If you’re new to the business, you will get discouraged at times. Heck, I’ve been in the industry 18-years and I still get discouraged at times. Your upline is a great support system, if you let them be. Whenever you are feeling sad, down or depressed about your business you can give them a call and get some encouragement.

In addition, your upline can train you. Once again, trying to figure out everything on your own is a big mistake. You can take their experience, knowledge, systems and tools and get started right.

Within six to twelve months, you can learn just about everything you need to know to be successful in network marketing. If you were left up to your own vices to figure everything out, it would take you MUCH longer than that.

This is a team game and you won’t win if you try to take it on single-handedly. Do not try to isolate yourself. Work in a team and try to build your own team in the process. This is the key to success in network marketing businesses.

By surrounding yourself with other successful network marketers and people who you can rely on, you build a positive atmosphere that will help you and support you while moving forward. Stay with your team and encourage your team members to do the same as well.


Ways to Leverage Your Upline

Ways to Leverage Your Upline

There are many ways to leverage your upline. Here are a few things I can think of:

  • Closing prospects
  • Assisting with presentations
  • Leading meetings
  • Hosting weekly training
  • Helping your new team members get started right
  • Answering questions
  • Providing encouragement and support
  • Product education
  • Business planning
  • Prospecting and lead generation ideas
  • Vetting ideas
  • Recognition
  • And much more!

Once again, trying to figure out all of these things on your own would require a huge learning curve.

People tend to think of entrepreneurs as lone heroes, but this isn’t how it works in real life. Many live up to their reputation as risk-takers and some remain outsiders, but despite this outlier status, entrepreneurs need support to be successful. In fact, we’re a lot like Formula 1 race-car drivers: The person in the cockpit gets all the glory since fans tend to forget about the pit crew and the behind-the-scenes effort it takes to keep the driver on the track. Business is no different; an entrepreneur does not succeed alone.

Source: Richard Branson,

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that it is foolish to be a lone wolf in network marketing. This is a team sport. Your sponsor and/or successful upline are a tremendous wealth of knowledge and support. To get their help, all you have to do is ask. After all, they have a vested interest in helping you succeed with the business. The more money you make, the more money they make!

What are your thoughts about being a lone wolf in network marketing? Do you agree or disagree? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes


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

P.S. Level up your life today! FREE resources to help you improve your health, finances, business, and relationships. I'll even give you FREE leads and a free business plan template. Learn more.

6 thoughts on “Being a Lone Wolf in Network Marketing”

  1. You must leverage your upline and make them work for you. It is in their best interest that you succeed and succeed fast. If you try to go off on your own, they will think you are not serious and you will be eventually left all alone with no support. Get all the tools they have, attend every meeting and always be learning something new about your business. Those that have gone before you have made all the mistakes for you so when you join their team go ahead and play with them.

    1. Definitely. Most people in our industry do mess this up though, especially newbies who have lots of college degrees or entrepreneurial experience. What they quickly discover is this industry is unlike any other industry they’ve been in. It’s just different. And learning how to succeed from someone who has already done it is the best way to go.

  2. I don’t think being a lone wolf in network marketing is a good idea. I think if you ask any successful business person, or anyone in any profession really, somewhere along the way they’ve had someone, or more than one someone that they have looked up to, and that has helped them out. And Chuck, going with what you said about living close to your mentor, my mentor lives in Puerto RIco and I talk to her almost daily through Facebook, email or telephone. It’s more than possible. I agree…’s in the thought process.

    1. Yes, having a mentor is vital. It’s so much easier to learn from someone else than it is to try and figure out everything on your own. This is why many professional actors and athletes have coaches. Even though they are so good at what they do, they still have coaches and advisors.

  3. You had a comment from a Facebook poster here that seems to think he is in a lone wolf position. I just wanted to discuss this. Yes, maybe your mentors are not helping you, but you came here…that is how you are not being a lone wolf. If one mentor will not help you, find people that will.

    I believe that no business, whether traditional or network marketing will succeed with the lone wolf thought pattern. We all need others who can help us. It may be through training, mentor-ship, outsourcing or any other business related item where you need other people. We just cannot do it all ourselves.

    Great post Chuck

    1. I’ve never met ANY of my mentors face to face or in person. All of my mentors have come from books, audio programs, videos and courses. Living close to a mentor, in today’s technological world, is not a requirement.

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