Failing Your Way to Success in MLM

Today, I want to write about failing your way to success in MLM.  Several years ago I read a book by John Maxwell titled “Failing Forward.”  The book had a profound impact on my life and business.  The key takeaway is that successful people keep failing until they succeed.

Successful people let each failure be a learning lesson.  They take their temporary failures, learn from those mistakes, make the required adjustments, and press forward until they succeed.  They focus on getting better every single day.

I think this is a really important lesson for network marketers.  I’ve personally never met one network marketer that was successful right out the gate.  Most top network marketers failed for several YEARS before they ever became successful.

Most top earners have had the same defeats, failures and setbacks that you have experienced. They simply looked at each temporary failure as part of paying their dues. They realized that they needed to learn new skills, and the best way to do that was to be out in the trenches taking action and making mistakes.

They simply chose not to let those temporary failures keep them from their long-term goals. They turned each failure into a valuable life lesson and business lesson, and then they pressed on.

It’s so true; you can’t succeed your way to success.  You have to fail your way to success. Even an All Star baseball player doesn’t reach first base 7 out of every 10 at bats.  He fails way more than he succeeds.  It’s just part of the game.

Don’t be scared to make mistakes.  Don’t let temporary failure keep you from growing your business.

Nothing is easy when you first begin doing it.  As a child, when you try to walk for the first time you fall down over and over.  But, your parents keep encouraging you to get up and try again.  And they do this UNTIL you learn to walk.

The same holds true with learning to drive, building a strong marriage, building a business, training for a sport, or anything else in life.

You’re going to mess up.

There will be times when you are disappointed.

You’ll feel like quitting.

People will let you down.

Your hottest prospect will quit.

People will stand you up.

You will mess up on some of your presentations.

You will turn off some people.

You will say the wrong thing.

You won’t know how to answer certain questions.

Do it anyway!  Build your business everyday.  Take your three steps forward and two steps back.  Get knocked down 10 times and get back up 11 times.  Be a warrior.

Don’t be scared of failure.  The only real way to fail is to QUIT.  As long as you stay in the game, keep working, keep trying and keep learning you will eventually succeed.

No, it won’t happen overnight.  You have to pay your dues and develop the right skill-set and right mind-set.   However, within a few short years you can really transform your life and business if you take each failure and learn from it.

From this day forward I challenge you to look at each failure as a learning process.  See what you can learn from each failure, take that new knowledge and press forward with your business.

That’s what winners do!

What do you think about failing your way to success in MLM?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

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Chuck Holmes is a Network Marketing Professional, author, and blogger. He's been in the industry since 2002. He is currently the top producer in his network marketing company. He is happily married and lives in Florida with his beautiful wife, Rachel. He enjoys flea markets, reading, writing, walking, fishing and funny movies. You can call Chuck during business hours at (352) 503-4816 EST or you can email him at

17 thoughts on “Failing Your Way to Success in MLM

  1. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t made mistakes and failed. As has been said here several times, it is what we do with those failures that defines us as humans and business people. We can either let the failure control us, or we can learn from and control the failure.

    I also like the analogy of baseball players. That many failures, but they are still recognized as professionals and the best. It is because they take advantage of the successes and let the failures fade away, but still learn from them. We learn from them, but do not dwell on them and we are on the high road to success.

    • Success is never a straight line. We all experience temporary failure.

  2. This is the most motivating post I’ve read so far on the site, it really got my engines revving and now I feel like taking some chances, getting my hands dirty, and making some mistakes to better myself. I think that successful people must be in this state of mind constantly. Every success story I’ve ever heard involves multiple failures, increased persistence after each failure, and an indomitable determination to reach goals. Network marketing is a business that requires this kind of spirit. Like baseball, MLM is a game where you fail more often than you succeed. Of the massive number of people you contact about your business, a very, very small percentage are going to become customers or distributors. When you hear NO more often than you hear YES in your line of work, you need to have the mental tools to get your through rough times and keep your eyes on the prize.

    • Good analogy. Even the BEST baseball players fail 7 out of 10 times!

  3. With the right attitude, failure can be a huge blessing and can teach you a lot about yourself, your business model and the right and wrong way to market. I like what you said – be a warrior – and face the risk of failure head on and embrace it. Even if you do everything correctly, you might still fail and even that can lead to success and new ventures.

    • It’s impossible to succeed your way to success. You have to fail your way to success! Let each temporary failure be a building block to expand upon.

  4. Really true! You are an inspiration to me. God bless

  5. The only people who make no mistakes are the people who try nothing new, or nothing challenging (or just nothing at all). Mistakes can make you wiser. Most of us look for mentors or teachers with experience, and experience is just a fancy word for someone who has years of mistakes behind them, yet learned and persevered in their field.

    • I’ve made many mistakes in network marketing, in business, and in life. I try to learn from each one so I can improve. I look at each mistake as a life lesson and try to be a better man because of it.

  6. An ideal way of moving ahead towards success in network marketing is to get off your failures, ride the horse again and hit even harder. You learn some of the biggest lessons in business and in life by making mistakes.

    My idea of dealing with failures is that I write down the areas where I fail and analyze what mistakes I made that lead to failure. Next time I try even harder and what I have to do is just avoid those mistakes. It makes hard things easier.

    • Every successful person I have ever met has failed a lot. They simply learned from each temporary failure and kept pressing forward.

  7. I have never heard a story of a person who was an instant success. Even though sometimes society makes it seem that way, there is always a backstory that involves numerous failures that we often do not see. I used to be very discouraged by my business failures, but it seems that they aren’t really failures at all. Rather they are simply stepping stones upon which to build a greater success.

    • Stepping stones. That is a great analogy Diamond. That’s how I think of all my past business experiences.

    • So very true! Many of the successful people who ended up changing the face of the world and life as we know it failed many times. Edison tried several hundred times to make the light bulb. Einstein failed at simple things like tying his shoes. Failures can teach us lessons, make us stronger, and they can also help us focus n the areas where our strengths truly lie.

      • The only way to fail is to quit. You have to let each temporary setback be a stepping stone to future success. Very few people are ever successful right out the gate, or on their first time around.

  8. This is a very unique approach to the idea of learning from past mistakes and turning failures into very powerful learning opportunities. I enjoyed reading this and will be sharing it with other business minded friends too!

    • The only way to fail is to quit. If you let each temporary failure be a stepping stone, you will be much better off.

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