Is MLM Really That Bad?

Today, I’d like to answer a common question in our industry.  And that question is: “Is MLM really that bad?” I’d like to shed some light on whether or not the MLM Industry is as bad as many people make it out to be. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that our industry does have a pretty high failure rate. Lots of people do lose money or end up failing.

But, this doesn’t paint a completely accurate picture of our industry. Of the 97-98% who reportedly fail in MLM, a very high percentage of those people never did anything to build their business to begin with. In other words, most folks who join our industry (1) don’t sponsor anyone, (2) don’t find customers, (3) don’t use the products themselves, and (4) don’t stick around more than 60 days. If you were to eliminate these folks from the 97-98% failure rate, you would quickly discover that most people who do what is taught (sponsor distributors, find customers and build a team) DO NOT fail.

Therefore, the truth is most people quit our industry, not fail. And that is very true with anything in life. Most people quit marriages. Most people quit diets. Most people don’t save for retirement. And most people don’t follow through with what they start. I think it’s just human nature to give up and quit, especially when the going gets tough.

However, the MLM Industry does have lots of things going for it. It is cheap to get involved. You can leverage yourself through others and earn a residual income. You can work from home. You can start a part-time business while you keep your day job. There are also some great tax incentives. These are my favorite things about the industry.

The idea that MLM is bad is pretty crazy in my opinion. Most people will work a job they hate their entire life and end up broke or dead by the age of 65. Most people who start a business of any type will fail. I believe that MLM is just like any other business model. It is simply a business model. What you do with it is up to you.

Most of the people who enter our industry expect to get rich quick. They think they can build a successful business in 60 days. And when they don’t make money, they quit. This always makes me laugh because these same folks have worked in a job for YEARS, and they’re still broke. But, they don’t quit their job because they aren’t rich yet.

It’s a proven fact that the MLM Industry does work from some folks. These folks are the ones who set a goal, get started and never quit. This same advice holds true to almost anything else in life. Therefore, I don’t believe that MLM is bad. I think It is simply a business model. Ultimately, your success is up to you.

What do you think?  Leave a comment below and let me know.

chuck holmes


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

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4 thoughts on “Is MLM Really That Bad?”

  1. Like any other industry, MLM is as good or bad as the people in the business: it is not the industry, it is the people in it. Funny, how the people who stick with MLM for the long-term are usually successful, and they know that the work came before the success, not the other way around.

    I had to laugh when I read your comment about people who work a j-o-b for years and are still broke, but don’t quit those jobs to try something different. It is so true!

  2. Is MLM god or bad is not the true question; it all comes down to the person. Is that person good or bad. A prime example would be to say that every Italian restaurant in Chicago is bad just because you visited one that had terrible service. Essentially, by saying MLM is either good or bad, it becomes discrimination. If we break it down to the individuals, then we have a leg to stand on.

    MLM’s are made up of many different business structures. We need to look closely at those and the people running them.

  3. Strictly speaking, MLM is as bad or as good as the marketer’s attitude. Good attitude produce love for the job and subsequent massive progress. Negativity adds to the problems that exist by default. MLM critics are really not born to do MLM so their attitudes tend to be really bad and opposed to the rules of success. I think the best way to bring up quality prospects is to encourage them to love what they do, how they do it, when they do it and why they do it. Love will generate passion and passion success. Negative failure rate should not be mentioned anywhere in a good marketer. My two pence.

  4. This is very helpful. You’ve articulated well a good response when people are negative about the ‘failure rate’ of network marketing. Particularly the point about giving up after 60 days, yet maintaining a long time job which hasn’t helped them any more prepare for their future and/or obtain financial freedom.
    Thanks for sharing

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