Day 1: MLM Boot Camp

Today is day one of my 7-day MLM Boot Camp. I hope are here with an open mind and you are ready to learn how to succeed in network marketing.

You should know upfront that I am a No B.S. and no hype kind of guy. I’m going to speak to you as if you were my best friend. I don’t sugarcoat things. I’d rather tell you the truth, as I see it, then tell you what I think you want to hear. Some of you will dislike me for that, but that’s okay with me.

I’d like to start this boot camp by telling you the good, the bad, and the ugly about the network marketing industry. I’ll be the first to admit that no industry is PERFECT. Nothing is perfect.Day 1 MLM Boot Camp

There are many things I LOVE about this industry, but there are also things that drive me borderline crazy. All of these things are important to understand, if nothing else, so you have realistic expectations. Listed below, we’ll briefly cover each area.

The Good Things About the MLM Industry

There are many great things about the network marketing industry. To keep things on point, I’ll just focus on my top 10 favorite things.

# 1: Low Start-Up Cost

What I love the most about the network marketing industry is that you can start your own business for less than $300, and normally much less than that. In the traditional business world, that’s almost impossible to do.

Many people who want to start a business of their own can’t afford to do it, because of the high start-up costs. Our industry has leveled the playing field so anyone who wants to start their own business can afford to do it.

Furthermore, most traditional business owners invest minimum $10k to $100k just to START a business, plus they have a huge monthly overhead cost, and they must work 60-80 hours a week or more just keep the business going. Despite the huge capital investment and hard work, most traditional businesses still fail. With network marketing there is practically ZERO financial risk.

# 2: Leverage

Another thing I really love about network marketing is the LEVERAGE. You can leverage yourself and build a huge sales organization of independent reps and customers. You can earn a small commission from each person’s efforts. That is much better than just getting paid from your own efforts.

In most traditional businesses, you need a TON of CAPITAL and EMPLOYEES if you want any kind of leverage. Not so in network marketing.

I would rather earn 1% of the effort of a 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts. ~ Jean Paul Getty

# 3: No Geographical Restrictions

You can work your network marketing business from anywhere in the world. As long as you have a phone and internet connection, you can build your business. You can sit on the beach in the Caribbean sipping on a cold drink while you build your business. You can have a mobile business. You can even work from home in your pajamas if you choose to. In addition, you aren’t restricted to a territory, a state, or even your home country.

Compare that to a traditional business where you are typically stuck in a physical location. No thank you!With network marketing the sky is the limit While there is no guarantee you will succeed or make any money at all you have the potential to make as much money as you want to ~ Chuck Holmes

# 4: No Income Ceilings

With network marketing, the sky is the limit. While there is no guarantee you will succeed, or make any money at all, you have the potential to make as much money as you want to. There is no prejudice against your race, religion, gender, political views, or age. It doesn’t matter what your education level is. There are no office politics or butt kissing. It doesn’t matter if you grew up on the right side of the tracks.

This is true MERIT-BASED pay. You get paid based off you and your team’s production. That’s it. You might make millions. You might make nothing at all. For anyone who is a producer, it’s awesome to have no income ceilings.

# 5: Residual Income

You have residual bills. That’s why you need residual income. This is money that comes in month-after-month for something you did a long time ago. Everyone needs residual income. It gives you options and helps you sleep better at night. This is much better than linear income where you have to keep trading hours for dollars.

What’s best about network marketing is that you can earn a LEVERAGED, residual income!

# 6: Low Monthly Overhead

Most businesses are expensive just to keep in business. Most businesses spend THOUSANDS of dollars per month just to stay in business. They have huge monthly overheads, which includes payroll, rent, insurance, utilities, inventory, etc.

Not so in our industry. In most cases, your monthly overhead will be less than $200 per month to maintain your business, and that includes products you purchase for your own personal consumption. If you think that’s a lot of money, you probably shouldn’t be in business.Our industry is simple but its not easy Dont confuse the two The steps to success are clear They are easy to do But they are easy not to do ~ Chuck Holmes

# 7: No Employees

If you’ve ever dealt with employees before, you will be THRILLED to know that you won’t need any employees to grow and manage a successful network marketing business. I would rather pull out my fingernails than have employees. For most companies, employees are an asset, but they are also a huge liability, with tons of headaches.

# 8: The People

One of the things I love most about this industry is the association. You get to spend time with other people who want to create a better life for themselves. You get to hang around people who have dreams. You get to hang around people who uplift you, encourage you, and bring out the best in you. Even better, you get to choose who you sponsor, sell products to, and work with. You can’t say that about your co-workers at your job.

# 9: Personal Development

This is the best thing about the network marketing industry. The personal development, and the skills you will learn, will help you in many areas of your life. You’ll learn how to set goals, how to lead people, how to communicate effectively, how to sell, how to inspire others, how to manage your time, how to run a business; and countless other things.  These skills will benefit your business, your relationships, and your career. Some people say that our industry is nothing more than personal development with a compensation plan attached to it.Our industry is really misunderstood I would argue that 100 of the people NOT involved in our industry dont really understand it or they would be involved And at least 95 of the people IN our industry do not understand it or they would take it seriously ~ Chuck Holmes

# 10: Time Freedom

Let me be honest with you. During the first few years of your network marketing business, you will work your ass off.  You will put in a LOT of work, and you might not make a lot of money during that time. That’s normal in any business. That being said, if you build your business right, it will be much easier to maintain in the years to come.

Many top earners in our industry only work their business a few hours per week, just to provide training and stay in touch with a few of their key people. Most people who own a traditional business have no exit plan. They have to keep working harder and harder, year after year. Of all the successful entrepreneurs I know personally, the successful network marketers live the best lifestyle!

The Bad Things About the MLM Industry

Our industry is only bad if you’re looking to get rich quick, or if you have unrealistic expectations about what it takes to build a successful business. To be honest, there is no such thing as get rich quick in ANY legitimate business. Most businesses in the real world take a couple of years just to get profitable, and five or more years to build a solid and stable income.

Our industry is simple, but it’s not easy. Don’t confuse the two. The steps to success are clear. They are easy to do. But, they are easy not to do.

Chances are, this industry will be the HARDEST thing you have ever done in your life. That’s the way it’s been for me anyway. Even though it can be hard, it will be worth it.

The reason it’s so hard for most people is because:

  • They’ve never owned a business before.
  • They haven’t mastered their people skills.
  • They’re comfortable enough financially that they won’t step out of their comfort zone and risk failing.
  • People struggle to deal with delayed gratification.
  • They don’t have sales or marketing training.
  • They have unrealistic expectations.
  • They don’t have the discipline to work for themselves.
  • They don’t have much money invested in their business, so they don’t treat it seriously.

These things don’t make the industry bad. Instead, they help explain why so many people struggle.

What’s really bad about our industry is the low cost to join. This means ANYONE can join. That is a blessing and a curse. Because it is so inexpensive to join, we attract a lot of non-qualified people. Even worse, there is no screening process to eliminate non-serious candidates like there is in the traditional business world. For example, if you wanted to buy into a franchise, they would do a background check, a credit check, and you would need to come up with a substantial amount of money. Not so with network marketing.

The Ugly Things About Our Industry

Our industry is really misunderstood. I would argue that 100% of the people NOT involved in our industry don’t really understand it, or they would be involved. And, at least 98% of the people IN our industry do not understand it, or they would take it seriously.

The worst things you will hear about this industry are posted by anonymous people on the internet. Anyone can set up a website and write whatever they want, even if it’s just their opinion, and not a fact. While some of these stories might be true, you have to question the validity of something when it is 100% anonymous and not justified with any data. Or, if the person has an agenda to write something negative about our industry, just to get website traffic to promote an affiliate product or sell their own anti-MLM book.

We are the ONLY industry in the world that I know of, where people start a business, quit in less than 90-days, say they were scammed, and then set up a blog to talk about it. Could you imagine someone owning any other type of business quitting in 90-days or less, let alone create a negative website about it? I didn’t think so. No real businessperson quits a business in 90-days. We are the ONLY industry in the world that I know of where people start a business quit in less than 90 days say they were scammed and then set up a blog to talk about it ~ Chuck Holmes

You must realize a few things.

First off, most people you will talk to have never even had even one hour of instruction about owning their own business. It isn’t taught in most homes, schools, or universities. Most people have simply been taught to be an employee.

You know the deal. Get good grades, go to college, and get a secure job with the government, or with a big company, and retire when you are 65! When you talk to prospects about becoming their own boss, you need to understand this. People are hardwired to be employees.

You also must realize that our industry does not spend money in the media to advertise (not normally anyway). That means the media has no incentive to endorse our industry. Hopefully, that makes sense to you.

Next, you must understand that most businesses of any kind fail. Depending upon what source you cite, nearly 90% of all businesses fail within their first five to ten years. Keep in mind the people who own these businesses have invested an INCREDIBLE amount of money, and they were building their business FULL-TIME. Despite that, they still failed!

It’s true, most people who join our industry will not make profit in their business. Don’t let that scare you though. Most traditional business owners don’t make a PENNY of profit their first several years in business. The truth is, it normally takes several years to build a successful business of any kind.

With network marketing you could lose money, but it wouldn’t be much compared to a traditional business owner. Even better, the sky is the limit with how much money you could make in network marketing! You might make millions, but you might not make anything at all. Individual results will always vary.

You might even hear stories about people getting divorced because of their MLM Business, losing their health, and ruining relationships with friends. Some of these stories might be true.  Anything is possible, but I would argue that there is probably much MORE to the story than what you hear. And, you could argue those same points about any type of business.

I’d like to close out this section on a final note. The major reason our industry has a bad reputation is because of uneducated and ignorant distributors. We’ve ruined it for ourselves. We’ve had so many people join our industry with unrealistic expectations. We’ve had a small group of people do shady and dumb things that ruined it for everyone else.

In essence, it’s our own fault. That’s why YOU have to take the responsibility to be a network marketing professional and build your business the right way!

Final Thoughts

When I look at all these statements, I personally think the good things about network marketing easily outweigh the bad and the ugly things. In fact, for the average person, I am 100% convinced that network marketing is the best chance they’ve got to become financially independent.

But, I’ll be the first to admit that network marketing is not for everyone. It takes a person with a big vision, a strong work ethic, and lots of self-discipline to succeed in a big way. If at some point you decide network marketing isn’t for you, that’s perfectly okay. There are many other ways to earn money and have your own business.

Don’t think that just because you couldn’t get your MLM business to work that you can’t succeed in another business model. Failing in MLM does not make YOU a failure.

I should also let you know that most top earners in our industry failed in several companies before they eventually succeeded. In addition, most traditional entrepreneurs failed in several ventures before making it big.

Failure is a normal part of becoming successful. You will fail in life a lot more than you succeed. Even the best baseball players in the world fail 7 out of every 10 at bats. If you can bat .300 in this industry you can become a millionaire.

If you’re one of those people who has a burning desire to succeed, a willingness to work hard, and a commitment to keep on keeping on, I’d like to say welcome home! I believe this might just be the perfect business for you. If not, use the products as a wholesale customer and do something else with your life. Life is too short not to do something that you love.

chuck holmes


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

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42 thoughts on “Day 1: MLM Boot Camp”

  1. Wow! Amazing, Chuck.
    I see it was posted in 2015. It’s 2021, and I had began reading the article and noticed I needed to write these down for future team training. Alot taught, good humor and what an adventure MLM business is.

    Thanks Chuck for the free tons of wisdom you offer. May God increase your seeds to bear a hundred fold fruit.

  2. This was very helpful. Set me straight with what to expect. I’v been doing MLM business for 1 year now. Love the personality development and being able to learn how to be personal. It’s hard, but nothing good has come easy.

    Thanks Chuck!

  3. I really enjoyed this article. It reinforces what I have learnt in the past. MLM business will expose you to the world of life-changing trainings for optimal growth. It is not a get rich quick option. One needs to work himself or herself up the ladder of success.

  4. Great article and thanks for bringing out the distinction between “simple” and “easy”. Indeed, nothing comes easy no matter how simple it may look. This will motivate me to put more efforts in achieving best results forthwith.

  5. Wow chuck you made day one of your boot camp eye opening…I recently joined a networking company and I was excited about the amount of money I was going to make. After a month I realised that it’s similar to a traditional business where marketing and sales need to compliment each other. I formed partnership with my cousin And we help motivate each other when the bad settles in. Just like any other business it’s not easy and not for everyone. In weekly meetings they encourage us to recruit distributors and build pyramids but me and my partner had other ideas. We realised that it’s first all about the service you give your customers and Honest dealings.

    We use, wear and talk about our products and services. People want to see and believe what you tell them and we promised each other (me and my partner) to work towards building a stable and profitable business in 5 years time.

    I’m happy I subscribed to your website and I appreciate your honesty and informative article. I can’t wait for day 2.

  6. Hello and thank you for a realistic view of this industry. I started to feel a little nervous while reading the “Bad” and the “Ugly”, but when you used the analogy comparing it to working in a corporation, it made so much sense. Why do so many of us think this is a get-rich-quick scheme? …because it so often is introduced to us that way! If we would just think realistically for a moment, we would realize that there would be ten times more millionaires in our society if that were true. We expect to work hard to climb the ranks in a corporation, why should it be any different with a MLM company?

    So many (too many) MLM people try to motivate people in joining them by luring them in on how much money they can make and how great it all is. You can make a lot of money and it is great to be around other people who really want to exceed, but if you don’t prepare potential downline for the “Bad” and the “Ugly”, they may end up as “deer in the headlights” when the first disappointment comes their way.

    This honest approach, I believe, will weed out those who aren’t willing to put in the time and will attract those who are.

    Thanks again. You are turning around what was an industry with a somewhat questionable label, to one that is honest, ethical and revenue producing.

  7. Good article for day one….very honest and the last two paragraphs got me thinking though, cause I have failed in one MLM before and thinking if I will be any better in the next one am planning on joining…..guess what I really lacked in the first one was marketing and sales skills…..and the part where you said just because someone fails in MLM does not mean the person will fail in other business also…..that statement gave me a little relief….anyway thanks, great day one article looking forward to the next.

  8. Great stuff! It’s nice to read an honest assessment of the industry. I’m one of those statistics of failure in previous MLM companies. Blame is to be shared-myself, first and foremost, but poor training factors in as well. Beginning your “boot camp” has me motivated to take another look. Thanks-looking forward to day 2 !!

    1. If you do the business right you will never alienate anyone, let alone lose friends. Treat everyone with respect, never use hype, lies or pressure, and always do the right thing. Be a professional and you won’t turn anyone off.

  9. Appetizer to beginners!

    I must agree, you can attain your dreams if you go entepreneurial, mlm but you need to change your mindset and work habits.

    Dont wait too long working 20yrs, where you can achieve your dream income in 5 years time.. Using mlm and doing it right.

    One must consider the stability and program of the mlm company.

    Good info , worth reading the next one!

    Hon Arroyo RN
    Club Royale

    1. Yes, teaming up with a successful, proven and stable company is very important. The last thing you want to do is build up your business and then have the company go away in a couple of years.

  10. Great article, Charles. Very good information for both new people lot the industry as well as a refresher for old-timers.

    Mike Stokes
    Baton Rouge, LA

      1. For the first time I have heard an MLM expert put everything honestly.Thanks alot I look forward to further interaction.By the way where can I get a full list of your products,their prices plus shipping costs.I live in Nairobi-Kenya

  11. I’m a retired USAF LtCol with over 32 years on active duty. I wanted to have my life and time back and working for another “company” wasn’t what I wanted. I found a great company w/ a recession proof “service” and now–slowly but surely creating a nice residual income. I never knew or heard of “passive or residual” income…wish I did “decades” ago. After just this one article I’m re-training my brain to think customer and service not just recruit, recruit, recruit… thanks, I enjoyed Day 1 very much…Cheers,

  12. That’s a great analogy, comparing network marketing to dating! You never have to commit. If you don’t get what you want, you just leave and go on to the next one. Maybe network marketers should treat their businesses like a marriage! Make that commitment and work at it every day!

  13. I really enjoyed this article! I am involved in the online marketing industry but have an interest in MLM. I found lesson one to be very informative and inspirational. Thank you! I especially liked that you included the ‘bad’ points of MLM. If you’re not ready to work for it, success through MLM will not be easy.

    1. Online marketing is no easier and no different. You have to develop a certain skill set, pay your dues, and learn the ropes. It takes time and money to do that. So many people are intrigued by all these online ads promoting fast and easy money. There is no such thing as fast or easy money in ANY legal business.

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