MLM Manifesto: An Open Letter to Network Marketers

Welcome to my MLM Manifesto.

Network marketing is quite perhaps the last business model in existence where an ordinary person with very little money can start their own business and earn a leveraged, residual income, without needing capital, lots of connections, or a secret business idea.

It’s not easy. It is not perfect. But the possibilities are endless.

Yes, most people quit the business. But some do succeed, so you know it is possible. Ultimately, only you can decide if this business is the right fit for you.

The message you see below is my MLM Manifesto. Think of it as an open letter to all current and future network marketers. The goal of my MLM Manifesto is to inspire you, explain how network marketing works, tell you why you should do it, and teach you what to expect. Enjoy!

mlm manifesto

MLM Manifesto

Dear Network Marketer,

I want to share some important wisdom with you today via this MLM Manifesto. I learned this wisdom the hard way, through the School of Hard Knocks. I wish someone would have shared this information with me when I initially joined the network marketing industry way back in 2002. It would have saved me a lot of frustration, money, time and disappointment.

What is Network Marketing?

First and foremost, you must understand what network marketing is and what it isn’t.

Network marketing is not a scam. It’s a legitimate business model that has been in operation for more than 60-years. This industry does more than $100 BILLION in sales each year!

Network marketing is not a part-time job. It is a business. That means you don’t get paid for the number of hours you work. Instead, you get paid based on your RESULTS.

Network marketing is not designed to provide a livable income, especially in the early years. It’s not designed to solve your current financial challenges. If you need money today, go get a full-time or part-time job, and work your business on a limited, part-time basis.

This industry is not the lottery. MLM is not a game of chance or luck. Like any other type of business, success in our industry requires hard work, time, patience, and special skills. The beauty of our industry is you don’t have to start out with these special skills. You will learn them as you grow your business.

There are thousands of ways to make money, but the real purpose of network marketing is to build a LEVERAGED, PASSIVE income. It’s about building something once that can continue to pay you for many years to come. It’s designed to do part-time, consistently for a few years, UNTIL it replaces your primary source of income.

That’s when you go full-time (or just keep it as a great part-time income stream). As I see it, the real purpose of network marketing is to work hard for a few years and eventually earn your time and money freedom.

My Failures

For more than thirteen years, I dabbled in this industry. I was never “all in” or 100% committed to the company I partnered with. I was excited about the possibilities, but I wasn’t willing to pay the full price. You see, success never goes on sale.

During those thirteen years, I joined more than 14 different companies. I’d get started with a company, lose my excitement after a few months, decide the company wasn’t for me, and then go look for something better.

I’d usually be excited for 30 to 120-days and then realize it was HARD WORK to succeed. Or, I’d find something about the company I did not like. So, I’d quit the company and join a different company thinking things would be much easier and much different.

I repeated this process over and over and over. The only reason I stayed in the industry is because I liked what it offered: time and money freedom. I couldn’t find any other business model with the same perks.

The Truth

What I didn’t realize at the time was the problem was me, not the company I joined. I simply did not have the right mindset, skill set, or commitment it took to succeed in network marketing.

I didn’t accept the idea that it takes special skills, hard work, and TIME to build a successful network marketing business. It’s no different than any other business. Ask any successful business owner and you will quickly discover they put in the work for many years, and their business was very difficult at first, until they learned what they were doing.

No business is fast, free or easy to start and grow. Expecting it to be any of those things is a delusion.

Many of us go to college minimum four years FULL-TIME just to earn a degree. And we pay a LOT of money to do that. Yet, we don’t expect to be awarded our degree after just two semesters. Nope. We know it takes the entire four years to earn that degree.

We know that if we put in the time, and earn our degree, there is a decent chance we will find a good paying job (as compared to not going to college).

Yet, these same people question network marketing, or quit, if they aren’t making much money after their first few months in business.

Remember this…

Building a business of any kind is HARD WORK. The goal your first year in any business is to survive and learn. Typically, it takes two or three years to build a profitable, stable business of ANY type. And in most cases, it takes three to seven years to start making a substantial income with ANY type of business. Yes, there are a few exceptions, but not many.

Considering we are building our network marketing business part-time that is one heck of a good deal. What other business models even offer you the ability to have time and money freedom? Most business owners are owned by their business and are stuck on the hamster wheel, working harder and longer hours each year.

If you succeed in network marketing, you can easily out-earn most small business owners. And, you can live a better lifestyle than most millionaires! However, success takes time AND tons of hard work!

At a minimum, it will take most people three to five years working part time in their network marketing business to replace their job income, assuming they are persistent and consistent, week in and week out.

I know that timeline might scare some of you, especially those with an employee mindset. If you are accustomed to working for 40 hours and getting paid for 40-hours of work, you will quickly discover that entrepreneurship and network marketing do not work that way. You will need to change the way you think about making money, or you won’t survive long-term in this industry.

When you own a business, you typically work for less than minimum wage during the first year or two, while you are getting your business off the ground. However, as your business grows and matures, so does your income. Eventually, if you built your business right, you could cut back on your hours substantially, without affecting your income.

I’ve also learned this. If money is tight for you right now, GET A JOB to get your finances in order and build your business at night and during the weekendsNo new business is designed to solve your current financial situation or provide a livable income from day one.

I’ve owned many types of businesses. All of them took me a couple of years, if not longer, to get off the ground. Some businesses I’ve owned took more than three years to become profitable and successful!

timeline for building a business

My Regrets

I have been with a lot of network marketing companies through the years and my only real regret is not picking one good company, putting in the work and just sticking with it for the long haul.

Had I done that, many years ago, who knows where I would be today?

Yes, I eventually cracked the code and figured things out, and built a wildly successful business, but it didn’t have to be so hard or take so long. Don’t make the same mistakes I made!

How to Succeed

If you want to succeed in network marketing, in a big way, you must do the following things.

First off, you must DECIDE you are going to do it. You can’t be wishy-washy. You can’t be half in. You must be ALL IN, be part-time with a full-time attitude.

Next, you must know WHY. Your WHY is your purpose. Without a strong why, the how does not matter. Without a strong why, you will not survive the challenges, disappointments and setbacks you will experience.

Once you do those two things you need to find a company and product line that resonates with you. You must be passionate about these two things. Joining a company, you are not passionate about, just because you think it will be easy money, is a recipe for failure.

Now that you’ve found a good company, the next step is to set a goal, develop your plan and get to work. Plan your work. Work your plan. Be persistent and consistent week in and week out. Show up every day to build your business. Create a work schedule and follow it!

As you build your business daily, you will improve your skills. The best way to learn is by doing. As you master your skills, you will start to make more money in your business. Why? Skills pay the bills.

Finally, you must stay the course. You can do ALL the other steps I mentioned above, but if you do not stay the course, you will fail. You must stick with your decision, long after the initial enthusiasm is gone. Focus minimum three to five YEARS (not days).

Most importantly, you must do all these things with ONE network marketing company. Building two companies at once is a dead-end road. Switching companies is a dead-end road. You must commit to ONE company for the long haul!

nothing goes exactly as planned

One More Point

Nothing will ever go exactly as planned. That is how life works. Your timeline for success will be much different than what you expect. Just stay the course, do what you know you should be doing each day, and remain focused for the long haul.

Avoid shiny objects at all costs. Do not try to promote multiple deals or money-making opportunities. Focus on one thing until successful.

Be prepared for setbacks. Be prepared for disappointment. You will experience both of those things. Life is not fair. Things happen. Be committed to your goals but be flexible on the path or journey you take to achieve it.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading my MLM Manifesto. I hope you got some value from it and learned something new. What are your thoughts about my MLM Manifesto? 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 (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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6 thoughts on “MLM Manifesto: An Open Letter to Network Marketers”

  1. thank you Chuck for giving your knowledge on this subject. I went through your bootcamp, and I learned a lot about mlm and how to get it started. You seem like you know a lot about this business, and I am honored to have ran into you and get some good advice on starting an online business

  2. Good sound advice. I like how you don’t sugar coat anything with your team. It gives them realistic expectations. I’ve never been to found of mlm hopping I like find one place and settle in. I talk to so many people who are “trying” to build 2 somethings 3 different network marketing companies and wonder why they are not having any success. I like to stay away from hype marketing. this attracts the wrong type of person who most of the time has that lottery mentality.

    Good stuff Chuck thanks for sharing this with us.

  3. Awesome post, Chuck!

    If there’s one thing I’m proud of out of all my experiences in MLM, it’s that I stayed with the same company no matter what, even during the most uncertain times. Everything else is details. Love your honesty and setting a realistic timeframe for your distributors. Anyone who is serious about pursuing this business needs to read this. Thanks again!

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