Is MLM a Good Stepping Stone for Entrepreneurship?

Is MLM a good stepping stone for entrepreneurship? The answer might vary depending upon who you ask, but my answer to the question is YES IT IS!  In the rest of this post I want to tell you WHY I think that.

I think network marketing is the perfect first business.  It’s inexpensive to join.  The monthly overhead is minimum.  You don’t need employees.  You can work from home.  You can keep your day job and do the business part-time.  You get a free mentor who will show you the ropes.

You’ll learn a lot about personal development, business operations, setting goals, sales and marketing.  You will get real world experience finding customers, providing customer service, building a team and being a servant leader.  You’ll also learn about managing your business finances, business planning, and business development.

The skills you will learn in this industry are unlike no other first business I can think of. Best of all, there is NO RISK.  That’s why I think our industry is a good stepping stone for entrepreneurship.  Can you name even one other industry that offers those same exact things?

I also know that most people who get started in our industry will not do the work or stick with it for the long haul. That pertains to probably 95% of all distributors in our industry.  Attrition runs high in our industry and most people quit within their first year.

Some people leave MLM because it isn’t a good fit for them.  Some people decide it’s not the best use of their time.   Some people leave because they realize that working on commission based pay isn’t for them.  Some people simply get burnt out.  Some people quit because they hate selling.  Some people simply have false expectations about how much money they can make and how quickly they can make it.

Some people who leave our industry return to a “job” or traditional career vowing to never to do network marketing again.  Some people simply decide that entrepreneurship is not for them.  And some folks who leave our industry go on to be very successful in other types of businesses.

At the end of the day network marketing is not for everyone.  And that’s perfectly fine.  We are all wired differently, have different talents, personalities and different goals.  Not everyone in the world is cut out to be an entrepreneur.  In fact, most people are NOT cut out to be entrepreneurs.  Entrepreneurs are a different breed and are a very small percentage of the population.

That being said, I think MLM is a great stepping stone for aspiring entrepreneurs.  It’s great for many different reasons, but some of the first things that come to my mind are:

  • Start part-time while you keep your day job
  • Low start up costs
  • No risk
  • Work from home
  • No employees
  • Great for personal development
  • Learn new skills such as leadership, marketing, sales, and communicating
  • Get some basic experience about how business works
  • Make new friends and meet influential people

I mentioned these earlier, but it was worth saying them again!

At the end of the day, the skills you learn and the experience you have in our industry will benefit ANYONE and EVERYONE for future career or business endeavors.  Anyone who commits to our industry for a few years will become a better person and entrepreneur, even if they decide to eventually move on to something different.  They’ll have better people skills, communication skills and leadership skills, all which prove valuable in the workforce.

I think of MLM as the best business school out there.  It’s also the best personal development course I have ever taken.  You’ll be in the trenches getting real world experience that makes you a better person, leader and entrepreneur. Trying do that in any type of MBA program!

You can take the experience and skills you learn in our great industry and stay in our industry and build it big, or you can use them to start a new entrepreneurial endeavor. Or, you can apply those skills in a traditional career.  Only you know what is best for you.

I can’t tell you how many successful entrepreneurs I’ve met who started in network marketing. Some did it for a few months.  Others did it for a few years.  Many still do it.  And many have successful part-time MLM businesses and a traditional business.  Others have stayed in our industry for more than 20-30 years FULL TIME, while doing nothing else.  Once again, what you do is up to you!

Final Thoughts

In summary, I truly believe that MLM is a great stepping stone for aspiring entrepreneurs.  I can’t think of any other business model that is a better first business.  I truly believe that anyone who joins our industry and puts in two to five years of consistent effort will develop new skills that will help them in ANY future endeavor, whether it be network marketing, traditional business or even a traditional career.

What do you think?  Do you see MLM as a good stepping stone for other businesses or do you think people should avoid it altogether?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional

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8 thoughts on “Is MLM a Good Stepping Stone for Entrepreneurship?”

  1. I’d much prefer to work a Network Marketing business than open a restaurant. At most, it is less than $500 to start up, opposed to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a brick and mortar shop.

    You are your own boss. You don’t have employees. That part right there is worth it and then some. I’m all set with managing a bunch of high school kids.

    If you are fortunate enough to get into the right company, that has a great training program, there is so much that you can learn. The personal development alone can take you anywhere in the business world and personal, for that matter.

  2. In part, I will have to disagree with you on this one Chuck. I say that because I don’t believe it is a stepping stone, but a stepping in. What I mean is: MLM or network marketing is entrepreneurship. I don’t see it as a before entrepreneur stage as “stepping stone” would suggest. I see it as taking the bull by the horns and actually becoming an entrepreneur.

    Now I must say that I am sure that is kind of what you meant. I just wanted to make it clear that when a person agrees to become a distributor and take on their own independent MLM business, they are entrepreneurs.

    Great post!

  3. I too agree that MLM can be a stepping stone for entrepreneurship. As you said, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. But if you happen to be an aspiring entrepreneur, the personal development, sales, marketing, and other trainings shapes you. Meeting and networking with other like-minded people is also gives knowledge you can apply in your life and business.

  4. The lessons learned in MLM are perfect for entrepreneurship. You get field knowledge so to speak in areas such as communication, relationship building, marketing, etc. that you can then take with you and build upon later. Granted, everyone may not want to take that leap, but if so this is a good place to start.

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