Can Everyone and Anyone Succeed in MLM?

Can everyone and anyone succeed in MLM?  This is something one of my own team members asked me the other day and I thought it was a wonderful question.

My immediate answer to the question is that anyone CAN, but most people won’t.  But, I should also chime in and tell you that it depends on what your definition of success is (more on that in a minute).  What I want to do in the rest of this article is talk about why I think how I think about this issue and what you should know about it.

First and foremost, starting a business of any kind in risky.  It’s not for the feint at heart. Entrepreneurs are a different breed than employees.  You have to be mentally tough and have “brass balls” (excuse my French) to make it in your own business.  Most people DO NOT have what it takes mentally to be a successful entrepreneur.

Growing a successful business is even harder.

You could easily argue that the odds are stacked against every small business owner in America.  Some sources say that 90% or more of all businesses fail within the first five years. I’m not sure how accurate that number is, but when I drive through the town where I live, I think the numbers are pretty close.

Whatever the statistic is, most small businesses in every industry FAIL.  The only exception might be franchising.  And most traditional businesses have tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in their business, just to get started.  Many of these folks lose their life savings and several years of their life trying to build a successful business.

I’ll say it again to get my point across.  It takes a special person to build a successful business of any kind.  They must have determination, mental toughness, a good work ethic, and good skills.

When it comes to network marketing, here are my thoughts:

First off, not everyone who joins our industry does so to make money. Many people join for the social aspect, to meet new friends, or simply to get a discount on the products.  To call these people a failure because they didn’t make a lot (or any) money is misleading.

Of the people who join the industry to make money, here are my thoughts:

Anyone can earn enough to get their products for free or make a couple hundred dollars per month.  That doesn’t require any special skills, talents or major commitment.

Anyone who is willing to commit one to two hours per day CONSISTENTLY every day, for a couple a years, should be able to make $500 to $2,000 per month with their business.  I can’t guarantee that, but I think it’s ultra realistic.

I know this sounds crazy, but a huge majority (at least 90%) of the people in our industry do very little, if anything on a consistent basis to grow their network marketing business.  It’s probably closer to 95%.  If you’ve never put in the work for at least two years, you are not a failure, you never even got started! And there is a big difference between these two things.

It does take someone with special skills, determination and the right mindset to make it to the top 1-3% and earn a substantial income with their network marketing company. It’s called the top 1%-3% for a reason.  You will quickly discover that the top 1%-3% in ANY profession do things differently than the other 97-99%.  The same holds true in network marketing.

You will quickly discover that most people in ANY “commission only” based pay structure, in any industry, don’t make a lot of money.  The top 5-10 percent earn the lion’s share and everyone else earns little to nothing.

In addition, the turnover in the insurance sales, realtors, door-to-door sales, and other “selling” industries is extremely HIGH.  When it comes to merit based pay, most people do not have what it takes to succeed.  That’s why so many folks like job security, good benefits and a steady paycheck.  Not that there is anything wrong with that, but that way of thinking won’t help you grow a successful business.

What I love most about our industry is that anyone CAN make the decision to become a top earner and then put in the work to make it happen.  It won’t happen overnight.  But anyone can do it IF they stick with it and do the work for five or ten years (at least).

Yes, everyone says they want the big bucks, but very, very few people will pay the price, work through the numbers and stay the course.  I think it’s human nature to give up when things get tough and don’t go exactly as planned.

Another great thing about our industry is that you don’t have to have these skills when you first get involved.  You can learn the required skill-set and mind-set as you go through your success journey.  I can’t speak for you, but I have become a completely different person over the past 13 years in this industry.

The real question you should ask yourself is “can I succeed in network marketing?”  If you think you can, you’re right.  If you think you can’t you’re right.  The second question you need to ask yourself is “will I do what it takes to make it to the top?”  Only you can answer that question.  I think your answer to these two questions will ultimately determine how well you do in our industry.

At the end of the day, most people will not make the decision or pay the price.  I wish more people would, but things don’t work that way.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  These are my thoughts on whether or not everyone can be successful in network marketing.  I would love to know what you think about it.  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  Have a great day!

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Chuck Holmes


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8 thoughts on “Can Everyone and Anyone Succeed in MLM?

  1. Mickiyas

    Not everyone can succeed in MLM, it’s sad but true.

    In my opinion, some people are better a person as employees, and others as traditional business owners, and so on.

    If you don’t have entrepreneurial mindset, then MLM isn’t right for you.

    Then again, I honestly believe that, almost anyone can do it. There’s no start-up capital required and all the skills you need, you’ll learn on the job. You’ll get better through time, and if work hard consistently, you can build yourself a passive income.

  2. Diamond Grant

    I can agree with you that most people do have the potential to succeed in MLM, but most people also don’t have the drive or dedication. Some people know how to channel their potential in a way that produces great results in MLM. Other people just don’t have enough guidance sometimes and other times just not enough personal motivation to see success in this industry.

  3. Greg Boudonck

    I have to agree completely with your take on this subject Chuck.

    I think anyone can succeed in network marketing, but many won’t because they have the wrong mindset. It is not a lottery, it takes hard work. Not manual work, but work in that you need to give yourself to the business and follow the steps.

    I believe this is true with all business, and that is why so many fail; it is either all in, or fail in my book.

    Hopefully more people find that network marketing can be lucrative, but only with the proper attitude and work ethic.

    Very good post sir.

      1. Greg Boudonck

        Another thing I wanted to mention is the definition of success. Some people have a notion that driving a new car, owning a huge house and having a fist full of money is success. While for them, they are defining it for their own wants, but my definition of success is having a smile on my face and enjoying the life I have. No, I don’t have the items I listed above, but I am happy and I have what my heart desires…wonderful kids and grandkids, a beautiful wife and a life on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico suits me just fine. Sure, there are bigger goals, but I can say that thus far, life has been a success.


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