Is MLM an Addiction?

Is there such thing as a MLM Addiction? Let me start by telling you that I am not a doctor, psychologist or medical professional. So, what I’m about to share with you is just my thoughts. It’s not based on any scientific data; just my experience in the industry.

According to one online source, “an addiction is “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.”  Common addictions include alcohol, smoking, drugs, gambling, food, video games and the internet.

I DON’T believe that many people in our industry have a MLM Addiction (some might), but I do believe that people can easily get addicted to the idea of “get rich quick” or “financial freedom.” That is one of the reasons so many companies are based on hype and excitement.  They want to appeal to people’s emotions.

I’ve met many of these people during my 13+ years in the industry.  If you’ve been in our industry for any period of time, you will quickly find people who switch companies every few months.  They get excited about the possibilities their new business offers, but once that lust or excitement fades (typically in 30 to 90 days) they are off to the next shiny object. I like to call these people MLM Junkies.  If anything, these fare the folks with a MLM Addiction.

I think that when we talk about MLM Addiction; we have to put it in context with other things though. People can get addicted to a variety of things, to include drugs, diets, pornography, caffeine, sex, food, cigarettes, and alcohol.

I can understand how some people could get “addicted” to the idea of “financial freedom.” After all, it’s a pretty powerful idea. Once you learn about this industry, and believe in it, it’s hard to ever look at your job the same way again. Does that mean you’re addicted? I’m really not sure.

My best advice to you is to spend some time asking yourself “why” you are involved in this industry in the first place. Spend some time to reflect on this question. It might help you out. If participating in this industry is destroying your marriage, your happiness, and your personal finances, by all means quit our industry and stick with a job. If MLM is “destroying your life or psyche” please stop immediately and seek help.

Personally, I don’t believe our industry is bad. Yes, we do have a high failure rate. But when put in context with other things, this isn’t much different from the failure rates in other industries and businesses. For example, most people who start a blog never make money. Most new realtors never sell one home. Most new insurance agents never sell one policy. Most people who start diets fail. Most people who start a business of any type fail. Most marriages fail. Failure is normal in just about any endeavor.

But, you can’t deny the fact that some people make it huge in this industry. Our industry has helped many people change their lives for the better. And our industry is well known for teaching personal development, and helping people learn new skills such as leadership, communication, sales and marketing.

Final Thoughts

In summary, some people might have a MLM Addiction. While I don’t believe our industry is addictive or bad, some people with “addictive personalities” could have issues. If you feel that the MLM Industry is negatively affecting your life, psyche, marriage, or happiness, by all means quit our industry and go get help.  Our industry is definitely not for everyone.

However, please keep in mind that the MLM Industry has had a positive affect on many people, even if they didn’t make a lot of money. This includes personal development, new friendships, learning new skills, and learning how to run a business.

Thanks for reading my post on MLM Addiction. What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional.  This article is for educational purposes only and is just my opinion.

chuck holmes


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

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9 thoughts on “Is MLM an Addiction?”

  1. Is it addictive? Or is it masochistic? (wink)

    If it is a personality trait to be attracted to business which requires hard work and dedication, with long hours, I would not call that a bad addiction. But rather than categorize the people who jump from opportunity to opportunity as “addicts”, I would perhaps say that they have short attention spans.

  2. Maybe this is the one addiction that its profitable to have, if there is such a thing as a good addiction. It seems like with the degree of hard work and time necessary to devote to it to be successful is automatically, unavoidably going to become an addiction.

  3. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I tend to be trusting and naive. I’ve been involved with two companies (so long ago that I didn’t know anything about MLM) and thought I could use them to come up with some extra cash – and it worked for the short term. What I never realized was that I needed people under me, and I needed to push through the slow times. I think that comes from lack of education within those companies, however. I’d be willing to try another company, but this time I’d look first and leap second. I’m certainly not addicted to the concept, but I think it has its merits!

  4. This has absolutely got to be one of the wisest posts I have ever read on the MLM industry.

    I must admit that I have always been very skeptical of most MLM opportunities. I look back and I should also have been just as skeptical of jobs I had taken too.

    With any position, you will gain by what you are “putting in.” Many failures in MLM come from the individual not doing the “steps.” It works the same way in normal jobs; if you don’t follow the work procedures, you fail and the unemployment line is your next step.

    I worked for many years for a large Home Improvement Corporation in sales. It was the same as doing the MLM thing. I had to produce or I didn’t eat. That is life and you can and will succeed if you follow the correct path to do so.

    Thanks for your piece of wisdom.

    1. Most people are skeptical about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Like anything, you have to peel open the onion and do your homework first. Take a closer look and gather up as much information as possible, so you can make an educated decision.

      1. Yes, and I believe you need to leave your emotions on the back burner. I think in many cases, it is a lot like slot machines–it isn’t really the casino that is the addiction, the addiction comes in the thought of getting rich quick. If people would do more research they probably wouldn’t play slot machines, and if they researched the MLMs they are joining, they would discover the pros and cons and would be able to make a rational decision.

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