Being Busy vs. Being Productive in Network Marketing

Everyone I know is busy.  How about you? Most people I know are busy getting nowhere fast.  They have fooled themselves into thinking that keeping a busy schedule means they are being productive.  This applies to people in our industry and people not in our industry.

I’ve never met ANYONE who isn’t busy.  When I talk to prospects every single one of them tells me how busy they are.  They tell me they don’t have the “time” to build a business, because of all the other things going on in their life.

Sadly, many of these folks are broke and unhappy, and not living their dreams, yet they will not take the time to assess what they are currently doing and accept that it isn’t working.

As I see it, “being busy” is nothing more than an excuse or alibi to justify your poor time management skills.  That might sound harsh, but I believe it to be true.  If people would just be honest with themselves and evaluate how they spend their time, it would be an eye opening experience for most people.

The truth is time is our most precious asset.  We all have the same amount of time in a day.  Some people manage that time effectively while others let the time manage them.  Being disciplined with your time is quite perhaps the # 1 skill you can develop if you want to change your life for the better.

What I want to talk about in the rest of this post is the difference between being busy and being productive in network marketing.

Most distributors in our industry are part-time.  I respect that.  They have a day job, a family, and other commitments.  Most of these distributors WANT the time freedom and financial freedom our industry offers, but their schedule limits what they can do.

Because most of these people are not disciplined with their time, they never really get started in the business.  Instead, they let their busy schedule be an excuse not to build their business.  They let this excuse justify their inaction and justify why they eventually quit.

On the other hand, people who eventually succeed in our industry, at any level, realize that their time is a limited asset.  They make their business a top priority and they set aside time every day to build their business, no excuses.  They realize that if they don’t make their business a top priority it will never get built!

Successful distributors are productive.  Everyone else in the industry is busy.  Let me say that again so it sinks in.  Successful distributors are productive.  Everyone else in the industry is busy.

In our industry, there is busy work and productive work.  Just because someone makes the business a priority and works their business for an hour or two each day does not mean they will be successful. The tasks that they do during that time will ultimately determine their success.

Here are a few examples of busy work in your network marketing business:

  1. Cleaning your office
  2. Studying about the products
  3. Spending time on Facebook
  4. Watching YouTube videos
  5. Organizing your leads
  6. Thinking about your business
  7. Talking to the same prospects over and over
  8. Going to events and meetings
  9. Listening to training calls and conference calls
  10. Looking through the company’s catalog
  11. Talking with your upline

The reason I label these tasks busy work is because they don’t put money in your pocket.  They don’t grow your business or bonus check.  They aren’t money producing activities.

I’m not telling you to never do any of these tasks.  Only do them AFTER you have done the productive tasks.  Never spend more than 10% of your business hours on these tasks, AKA the busy work.

On the other hand, being productive in your network marketing business is much different than being busy. Here are a few examples of being productive in your network marketing business.

  • Following up with a customer to make additional sales
  • Getting referrals
  • Sending a handwritten note to a customer or team members
  • Recognizing or rewarding a team member
  • Meeting new prospects
  • Closing prospects
  • Inviting people to presentations
  • Doing a presentation
  • Training your team
  • Acquiring customers
  • Following up with leads

These are frequently referred to as the money producing activities in your business.

Regardless of how much time you spend each week building your network marketing business, you should spend at least 90% of that time on these productive, money producing activities.  Once again, these are the activities that actually grow your team, increase your volume, and beef up your bonus check.

eing Busy vs. Being Productive in MLMMost people do the exact opposite and spend 90% of their time on the busy work and only 10% of their time on the money producing activities if that.  And then they wonder why their team isn’t growing.

Now you know the difference between being busy and being productive.  I hope you will make the decision to be disciplined with your time and set aside 10-20 hours per week to build your network marketing business.  During those business hours I hope you will spend 90% or more of your time on the money producing, productive activities, not the busy work.

Do that and your business will grow!  Don’t do it and you are only kidding yourself.  I don’t say this to be harsh.  You simply need to know the difference.  In fact, I wish someone would have told me this when I first joined the industry.

What are your thoughts?  How do you spend your time?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think about being busy vs. being productive.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Have a great day.

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Chuck Holmes


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8 thoughts on “Being Busy vs. Being Productive in Network Marketing

  1. Greg Boudonck

    You know Chuck, don’t tell my wife this, but she is great at keeping me busy, but you are good at showing me how to be productive.

    Great article!

    I have learned to start the day with a plan of action. This helps me stay productive and leave the busy stuff for some other time. Instead of procrastinating productive work, I am learning to procrastinate the busy work.

    I have also noticed a great way to tell when I am being productive versus being busy… I just take a look in the mirror and see a smile of satisfaction.

  2. Mickiyas

    Hi Chuck,

    “Successful distributors are productive. Everyone else in the industry is busy.”
    I love the way you put that, very true.

    Evaluate yourself and ask, how much time are you spending doing something, and how much of it is spent doing the things that will actually bring you the outcomes that you desire.

    Also the list of examples of busy work, are funny but true.


  3. Diamond Grant

    Very good list distinguishing being busy and being productive. I think when I first started out I did mistake some of the busy work as being productive, but the fact remains that those activities had no real bearing on the growth of my business at all. They were just things I was doing for my own liking I guess you can say. Of course there is nothing wrong with such activities in my opinion, there just has to be time set aside for those activities separate from work you are doing for your business.

  4. Jeff Atkins

    Great article Chuck. Thought I would stop by and say hello. Man, if could get back all the wasted time I spent early on doing the busy work and could redirect that time into income producing activity I can’t even imagine the difference that would have made… Live and learn… Or better yet… Learn from the mistakes of others… With the information we now have so readily at our finger tips and all the great mentors who are providing quality advice there are few excuses left not to be successful…

    Have an awesome day!



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