Having Realistic Expectations in Network Marketing

Today, I want to do a post about realistic expectations in network marketing.  I truly believe the # 1 reason that people quit our industry is because they have false expectations. Many folks who join our industry have never owned a business before and they have very little prior experience, if any, in sales, business, marketing, entrepreneurship or leadership.  As a result, they don’t really know what to expect or what to do.

To make things worse, many sponsors use a lot of hype and promise fast and easy money.  In addition, many folks who join our industry are in “dire” financial straights and need immediate income to pay their bills.  When they don’t make a full time income their first month they call it a scam and quit.

As I see it, almost all of these things can be avoided by giving your prospects and new team members realistic expectations.

Having realistic expectations about what to expect in your network marketing business will definitely help people stick around longer.  There will be less disappointment and frustration.  It will also help you prepare your new team members for success.  After all, when you know what to expect upfront, day-to-day challenges are much easier to deal with.

What I want to do in the paragraphs below is help give you realistic expectations about network marketing, so you can have the proper mindset.  These are just a few things to help you with your mind-set.

# 1 Not Everyone Will Be Interested

Contrary to what you might have been told by your upline, not everyone will be interested in your products or business opportunity.  In fact, most people WILL NOT be interested in what you are offering them.  Your family and friends will typically be your biggest critics.  Sure, some of them will support you, but most won’t.  If anything, many of them will try to talk you out of it. After all, they think they know what is best for you, and the last thing they want is for you to succeed.

Don’t let that stop you though.  Just like selling, this is a numbers game. There are more than 350 million people in America alone, and close to seven billion people in the world.  Many of those folks will be interested in what you have to offer them, if you approach them the right way.

You should also know that this is no different than any other business.  If you opened a restaurant, not everyone would support you.  If you had your own barbershop, not everyone would have you cut their hair.  Even if you were walking around town offering free $100 bills not everyone would take one.  Hard to believe but true.

It’s just reality folks.  Accept it.  Embrace it.  Prepare for it.  And don’t take no personally.  People are simply saying no to what you are offering them.  It has nothing to do with you.

# 2 Your Initial Excitement Will Go Away

Just like dating, no one stays in the “lust” phase forever.  At some point, your business won’t be perfect like it was when you first joined.  At some point you will no longer be excited 24/7 about your network marketing business.  I’ve found that just about anyone can stay excited for the first 60 to 90 days. After that, the initial excitement fades.  It’s what you do at this point that matters most.   Most people will just quit and then go look for something else to get excited about.

What you really need to succeed is commitment, discipline and daily activity.  Successful people in our industry succeeded because they do the little things consistently day in and day out, even when they don’t feel like it.  Excited people actually scare me because I know that most of them will disappear once the excitement is gone.

# 3 It’s Not Fast, Free or Easy Money

No legal business is fast, free or easy money.  It takes time to build a successful business, normally a few YEARS.  Just ask any entrepreneur.  No business is like a job.  You aren’t trading hours for dollars.  You only get paid for PRODUCING RESULTS.  It doesn’t matter how many hours you work if you don’t produce any results.  This system is a performance based pay system.

Most traditional business owners in the real world don’t expect to make one penny of profit for their first one to three years AND they’ve invested huge sums of money to get started.  The real beauty of our industry is the low cost and the fact that you can be profitable from your first month.  Not many business models offer that opportunity.

In addition, you are building an asset.  A business is an asset.  The asset is what pays you.  Your asset also has equity value.

# 4 Most People Who Join Your Team Will Do Very Little, If Anything At All

Most of the people you bring into the business will drop out and quit within 90 days, regardless of what you do to help them.  It has nothing to do with you, either. Most people quit everything they do, including diets, marriages, and weight loss plans.  I’ve found that 50% (or more) of your team will typically quit each year. And most of the people who do join the business will not order the products consistently, let alone sponsor other distributors and customers into the business.

To be conservative, here’s what to expect.  About 80% to 90% of your team will do nothing but order the products from time to time.  About 10-20% of your team will have a little part-time business where they retail some products and sponsor a few people.  And about 2% to 5% of your team will be committed people who build it big.  In most cases, most of your commissions will come from the work of one or two people, even if you have personally sponsored hundreds.

# 5 Your Sponsor Won’t Build Your Business for You

It’s your business.  It’s not your sponsor’s job to build your business for you.  It’s not even your sponsor’s job to help you. They should help you, but it’s not a requirement.  Even if you joined a company with a “power leg” don’t expect to earn anything from it if you don’t actually bring people into the business yourself.  At the end of the day, no one cares as much about your business as much as you do.  Don’t expect anyone to do it for you.  This is not welfare.   There are no free handouts.

Don’t be one of those folks who blames your lack of results on a bad sponsor. That is nothing more than a cop out.  Many successful people in our industry had a sponsor who quit or did nothing to help them, yet they still succeeded.  At the end of the day, your success is up to you and you alone!

# 6 Most Businesses Fail

Most businesses, in every industry, have a very high failure rate.  So the failure rate in network marketing is not unique.  There is no guarantee of success in ANY business.  Just because most businesses fail does not mean the opportunity is not there to be successful.  You just need to do things differently than most people do.  I suggest you study what the successful distributors do and copy them.  In addition, you need to be consistent for several YEARS before you can expect anything significant to happen.  Working 1-2 hours per week for a year or two will not make you rich!

Be grateful for what you have your hands on.  Most traditional businesses fail AND costed their owners tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get started, plus large ongoing costs.  The fact that you can do your business part-time while you keep your day job is quite amazing.

# 7 You Only Get Paid to Produce

No, you don’t get paid by the hour in network marketing.  This is not a job.  However, you have to sow before you can reap the benefits.  If you don’t work your business consistently, why would you expect to make a profit?  If you owned a barbershop and only opened it for 30 minutes a day or 30 minutes a week, how much money would you make?  Not much!  Sure, you can earn a nice part-time income and make an extra few hundred dollars per month by working a few hours each week, but you are going to have to make a full-time effort to make the big bucks (or work part-time consistently for five to ten years).

And remember, you only get paid for results.  Effort means nothing when it comes to your paycheck.  No results, no money!  That applies to any business not just network marketing.

having realistic expectations in your mlm business# 8 There is No Magic Push Button Formula System

Contrary to what some people say online, there is no magic push button formula to recruit and retain people.  This is a people business.  You have to be out in the trenches talking to people and building relationships in order to grow your business.  Yes, you can use the internet to generate leads and meet new people, but never forget this is a people business!

If it sounds too good to be true it is.  There is no such thing as free lunch.  Ignore all those ads you see online that talk about getting something for nothing or easy money.  All they are doing is appealing to your greed, or desperation.  No matter what type of business you do, it’s going to require lots of hard work.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  If you can follow the advice in this post and develop realistic expectations for your network marketing business, you have a much better chance at becoming successful.  To be honest with you, ALL businesses require hard work, a lasting commitment and persistence.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.

What’s great about network marketing is you really can build up a solid income within a few short years of persistent, part-time effort.  It won’t be easy, but nothing in life worth accomplishing is fast or easy.

What are your thoughts?  What do you think about my realistic expectations in network marketing?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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8 thoughts on “Having Realistic Expectations in Network Marketing

  1. Kristen

    These are all very true and definitely things that someone new to network marketing should know. People shouldn’t be built up by hype in the beginning only to fall later, and then wonder why.
    I like all of these, but I think the one I like the most is “You get what you put in”. I also like the analogy you used about only opening the barbershop for 30 minutes. So true.
    Great post!

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      You do get out what you put in, but like any other business you ultimately get out what you produce. You don’t get paid for your time. You get paid for your results.

      Reply
  2. Greg Boudonck

    As I reread this post, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at one of the statements. In #1 you said that not everyone will be interested, and in the paragraph it states that some sponsors actually have prospects believing everyone they talk to will be interested. I must admit upon reading that, I almost spit all my coffee out onto my laptop. It would take a very gullible person to actually believe that everyone would be interested.

    If your sponsor is telling you unbelievable things, call them on it. Network marketing has too many people telling BS and it needs to stop. It hurts all.

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      You could be giving away free cash on a street corner, and not everyone would be interested. No matter what you have to offer, not everyone will want to buy it, try it or join it.

      Reply
      1. Kathy Marie Howell

        Great post as always! You make many good points and ones I have said often myself. I can’t imagine starting a business and then fail to open it every day or at least, 5 days a week. That’s it truly setting yourself up for failure.

        One of the things that surprises me the most is what you said about giving money away on the street and people wouldn’t take it. In the past I would have said, no way but I have seen it for myself.

        What ultimately matters is what I do, the rest will fall into place.

        Reply
  3. Greg Boudonck

    Shame on the many MLM sponsors who use lies and hype to get distributors. This system has caused a bad outlook on network marketing. Most of the unrealistic expectations I blame on these people who outright lie to get people to sign up.

    It is not easy money. No business is, and if it was everyone would be doing it.

    The best quote I found in this post is the last one Chuck: You get what you put in. This is so true. If a person just sits on their keester hoping for magic to happen, they will get that magic…all their savings and dreams will disappear. Network marketing takes work. It is not magical, but if a person will put in, they will receive.

    Another great post sir.

    Reply

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