Doing MLM Part-Time vs. Full-Time: What You Should Know

Today I want to talk about the differences between doing MLM part-time and full-time. One of the most common mistakes I see in our industry is people going full-time in their network marketing business WAY to soon.  To be quite frank with you, this business is really designed to do part-time for a few years BEFORE you go full-time.

In fact, you can build a six figure income doing your network marketing business part-time. Believe it or not, some top earners in our industry still have day jobs or traditional careers because they enjoy them!  Their MLM Income is simply a second, yet solid income stream, even if it is six figures.

Most people who go full-time in our industry do it out of necessity, rather than choice.  Either they are unemployed, can’t find a job, or need money today.  Or, they think going full time will allow them to build their business faster.

What they quickly discover is that going full time in their network marketing business too soon is often the kiss of death. You see, most businesses in the real world take a year or two just to get profitable. And most businesses take five or more years to get established and working smoothly.

Network marketing, just like any other business, takes time to build.  In most cases, the first couple years in your business (whether doing it part-time or full-time) is hard work with very little pay (just like any other business).  You have to pay your dues, develop your skills and build your foundation for success.

Benefits of Part-Time

Here are some of my best reasons for recommending “part-time” with your business for the first few years.  Please keep in mind that my definition of part-time is working your business 10-20 hours per week, 52 weeks per year.  Anything less than that is really a hobby, or non-commitment.

# 1 Develop your skills – First and foremost, it takes most people several years to really develop their network marketing skills.  Once you have developed these skills, the business becomes easy to do.  However, until you have these skills (prospecting, inviting, show the plan, following up, training team and getting customers) mastered, the business will be a struggle.  You have to learn by doing and it’s going to take you a few years to figure all these things out.

# 2 Steadily grow your business – What grows fast dies fast.  What you really want to do is be consistent with your business.  I would rather see someone consistently sponsor four people per month, every month, for five years, than see someone sponsor 30 people in their first 30 days and then do nothing.

# 3 Keep your work-family-health-MLM balance – Contrary to what most people teach, I do believe in the work-family-health-life balance.  I understand your business needs to be a big priority, but it should never take over your life or take precedence over your family, career or health.

# 4 Have enough money from your job to pay your bills – The most important reason to stay part-time is so you can keep your day job or primary income and keep the financial pressure off your back.  Let your day job pay your living expenses and use the money you make from your business to reinvest back into your network marketing business.

# 5 Keep the business funThe business should be fun.  It should be a labor of love.  If you go full-time before you are making enough money to live off, you will NOT enjoy the business.  You will see it as a burden.  If the business isn’t fun for you, you probably won’t succeed with it.  In fact, you’ll probably quit.

# 6 Avoid burnout – Going full time in network marketing too soon often leads to burnout.  Let’s face it the business isn’t much fun if you are working full time, yet not even earning a part-time income with it.  I’ve seen a lot of people start out really strong for their first three to six months, only to fizzle out and quit shortly thereafter because they got burnt out.  No one can maintain a 100% all in effort for a long period time.  You can have short bursts of energy, but not marathons of bursts.  Does that make sense?  Steady pace does win the race.

When to Go Full Time in Network Marketing

From personal experience I can tell you that the best time to go full-time in network marketing is when your MLM Income is AT LEAST three times your job income AND you have six to twelve months of living expenses saved in your bank account.  Doing so before that is typically a big mistake.  That might not be what you want to hear, but it’s the truth as I see it.

Best Advice from a Top Earner

My mentor has close to one million people on his team.  His advice for new people in the business is typically the same thing.  The first thing you need to do is “get a job” so you can pay your bills and live while you build your network marketing business part-time.  He never recommends anyone start out doing the business full time.  I agree.

Something I Heard One Day

A few months ago, I heard something online that said network marketing is the best part-time business out there, and the worst full-time business.  The person said that making $3k per month part-time was making $10k per month full-time.  I have to agree.  Do the math for a minute to hear me out.

If you can work your business 10 hours per week and build up a $3k monthly income, you would earn $75 per hour ($3,000/40 hours per month).

On the other hand, if you work your business full-time, like most top earners do, and work 60 hours per week to make $10k per month, you only earn about $40 per hour ($10,000/240 hours per month).

What’s more appealing to you?

Your Story

To most people the story of earning $3k extra per month, by working an extra 40 hours per month is VERY appealing.  Most people don’t want another full-time job or career, but if you can show people how to make some extra money “on the side” lots of folks will want to learn more.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that part-time is often better than full-time when it comes to network marketing.  This business is best when you do it 10-20 hours per week, as a part-time project. Starting out full-time, or going full-time too soon is often the kiss of death and typically leads to frustration and burn out.

What do you think about this concept?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes


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

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15 thoughts on “Doing MLM Part-Time vs. Full-Time: What You Should Know”

  1. I really appreciate this post. It has helped me become certain as to how I want to run my MLM business. Initially, I started this business full time with nothing to depend on financially. I ended up being depressed and frustrated.

    1. Glad to be of help. No new business is designed to generate a full-time income right out the gate, especially if you do not have the skills or experience. It’s best to keep your day job and do your business as a part-time side hustle for a few years, and then decide. I hope that helps.

  2. This is an awesome post and I appreciate it. I started my network marketting business three months and have been running it side by side with my full time job. There will always be pressure but here it is being minimized.

    Any post on the best way to selling a product especially when the MLM is recruitment based?

  3. Nice post. I am currently working on my Network Marketing business full time but having difficulties saving money at the end of the month. I’ve recently been offered a full time job and I was not sure whether I should stay full time and try to increase my income, or to go part time and let my salary cover my expenses.

  4. I have often thought about Jim Rohn and the talk he gave about his little side job working on his fortune. I see no need to ever be full time when you can make a huge income part time. Teach a lot of people that concept and you will have a huge income and tons of fun!

  5. I have seen it and I think you have too. A person is doing just fine with their network marketing business part time and suddenly they decide to go full time. Everything falls apart on them and they wonder why. It is an easy answer…pressure. Knowing they have to earn full time money, they start putting pressure on themselves and that pressure comes out with everything they do. People feel the pressure, and they don’t get the sign ups they were getting when there was no pressure. Personally, I have no plans of going full time with network marketing. The part time system is just fine for me.

  6. Nice post. As with any business, it takes time for you to make a consistent income with network marketing. If you want to go full-time, do so after you’re comfortably making a full-time income from your MLM business. You can use the income from your day job to cover your business expenses and pay the bills.

    I think this concept can also be used when recruiting. When you tell people about an MLM opportunity, a lot of them assume they’ll have to quit their day job or business. But if you tell them that it’s a part-time business, more people will say ok.

  7. For me the leap into full-time was gradual. I wasn’t in a financial position at the time to be 100% in, so I appreciated the part-time opportunity to learn and grow and earn more capital before I went off totally on my own. That part-time period was critical to my success when I entered into MLM full-time. I think if I didn’t have that initial period and had gone in full-time initially, I likely would have failed miserably.

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