MLM Mindset: How the MLM Top Earners Think

In today’s post, I’d like to discuss the proper MLM Mindset. I will cover the primary differences in thinking between top earners and the average MLM Rep.

Let me begin by telling you this. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Write that down and remember it. We become what we think about. Our thoughts are things. I learned these two valuable lessons from the books Think & Grow Rich and The Secret. 

Mindset is everything in this business. Without the proper mindset, you won’t succeed, even if you have the skills. The ups and downs will be an emotional roller coaster and will wipe you out. You’ll become a statistic. In addition, most people who do not have the proper mindset will not invest the time and money (or stick around long enough) to develop the proper mindset and skills.

Our society is filled with short-term thinkers. I don’t blame people. It’s what we are taught. Most of us are taught to be employees. Most of us focus on the next pay day, not what our future will look like in ten or twenty years. I’ve even heard that most people spend more time planning their vacation than they do planning their life. Think about that for a moment.

the mlm mindset

Short-Term Thinking Syndrome

In the paragraphs below, I will share my thoughts on the Short-Term Thinking Syndrome that is rampant in today’s society.

The Instant Gratification Mentality

Our society has a deadly plague that is destroying our country. It’s called “instant gratification.” As I see it, it will be one of the major downfalls in our society in the years to come. Most people do not want to pay their dues. People expect instant results and instant gratification.

When people first get married, they want the dream home, not the starter home. When people go to a restaurant, they want their food and they want it now. When people buy a car, they want the car their peers will envy, not something they can afford.

When people start a diet they expect to lose a bunch of weight their first week, or they give up. People expect a high paying job right out of college, rather than working their way up the corporate ranks. I could go on and on here, but I hope you get the point.

To succeed in life and business you must flush your “instant gratification mentality” down the toilet and develop a long-term view of things.

Nothing Worth Accomplishing is Fast, Free or Easy

There is no free lunch, except in the public school system. Anything you want in life worth accomplishing requires some level of sacrifice. Nothing worth accomplishing is fast, free, or easy. If it was, everyone would do it. Every successful person I know sacrificed a lot to get where they are today.

They might have sacrificed their health, their values, their relationships, their happiness, their time, or countless other things.

Once you decide what you want in life you must determine what you are willing to give up in order to get it. Something has to give. Have some patience. Know there will be trials and tribulations. Get up one more time than you are knocked down. Be realistic. Realize nothing goes exactly as planned. NOTHING! Success is never a straight line. Instead, it’s filled with zigs and zags, ups and downs.

If you want something bad enough, you must pay the price. Things will not be handed to you. You must earn it!

It Takes Time to Build a Successful Business of Any Kind

Most entrepreneurs “in the real world” start a business and don’t expect to make ONE PENNY of profit for at least two years, if not longer. Most entrepreneurs hope to get their initial investment back within five years, if they are lucky.

You don’t see someone start a restaurant and then close it down three days later because they aren’t rich yet. You don’t see someone open a barbershop and close it down 30-days later because they aren’t millionaires yet.

The people in this industry drive me crazy with their short-term thinking. We are one of the only industries I know of in the real world where the people who start a business aren’t really even entrepreneurs.

Most people in our industry who get started know nothing about entrepreneurship or how to think like a business owner. Instead, most are employees, unemployed folks, or folks who are in dire financial straits. Don’t get me wrong here. There’s nothing wrong with these folks. They’re good people. They just need to “change their thinking” if they want to become successful in the business world.

What’s great about our industry are the relatively low start-up costs and ongoing costs, especially when compared to a traditional business. You COULD be profitable your first month with your network marketing business, although most people will take two to three months to get profitable.

Successful businesses in every niche are built over a period of DECADES, not months or even years. You must take the long-term view with your network marketing business if you want to make it to the top. You need a minimum three to five year plan for your business, with ONE company, and preferably a ten to twenty year plan. Develop a vision and make sure that everything you do is designed to support your long-term business goals.

It Takes Time to Fix Your Problems

It takes time to get into problems and it takes time to fix problems. No one gets 50 pounds overweight overnight. Instead, it happens over a period of months or years, little by little.

Marital problems happen because people make small mistakes repeatedly over a prolonged period of time. Financial hardship often works the same way; people mismanage their money for years and it finally catches up with them. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but they are few and far between.

If it took you YEARS to get into financial trouble, it will take you years to fix it. Our industry is not the lottery, or some magic pill.

People amaze me. They join our industry making minimum wage in their day job that they have had for several years, but they expect to make $10k per month working part-time their first month in their network marketing business.

Really? Get real folks. No business works that way. In most cases, it will take you several years to build a successful MLM Business, if not longer. This is not a get rich quick industry. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Good things take time. Considering you are doing the business part-time, it’s a great deal.

The bottom line is that “short-term thinking” won’t help you much in life or in business. Yes, there are times when you need to think about the short-term; however, most successful people in life and business are more focused on the long-term.

To succeed in your network marketing business you need the long-term view. That is the only way you will succeed. You must commit to your company and the industry for the long-term if you want to make it to the top. That is non-negotiable as I see it.

go through life with an open mind

The MLM Mindset of DIAMONDS & Top Earners

Now that we’ve discussed the Short-Term Thinking Syndrome most MLM Reps have, let’s focus on the MLM Mindset of Top Earners.

Top reps think differently than reps who struggle and fail. The fastest way to turnaround your business, and get better results in your business, is to develop the proper MLM Mindset.

What you will see below is my opinion of what I believe is the proper MLM Mindset. These are valuable lessons I have learned during the past 19+ years, after studying hundreds of top earners and eventually becoming a top earner myself. When I look back at my many years of failure in this industry, I now know it was because of my mindset and thoughts.

I hope you will evaluate yourself in each one of these areas and identify what you can improve. Keep in mind that even small improvements can pay huge dividends.

# 1: I know where I’m going.

I see things before they exist. I visualize my goals and success. I have a vision for my business. I know where I want to be in one year, three years and ten years. Every decision I make about my business is aligned with my long-term goals. My goals are specific and written down on paper. My goals are my road-map to success.

# 2: I know why I’m doing it.

I know why I am building my business. I have a WHY that makes me cry. My WHY keeps me in the game when things get tough. My why is WHAT I will do with the money and “time” I will earn once my business is built. My WHY is my purpose.

# 3: I act as if I invested ONE MILLION DOLLARS in my business.

My business is not a hobby or a little part-time thing. I might work the business part-time, but I have a full-time attitude. I treat my business as seriously as an entrepreneur who invested MILLIONS of dollars to start their business.

# 4: No one can stop me.

It doesn’t matter what other people say or think about me. It doesn’t matter what others do. No one can stop me, because I am a person on a mission. I love myself, believe in myself and know I will reach my goals.

# 5: I’m 100% committed to my business, goals and dreams.

I have drawn a line in the sand and jumped in with BOTH FEET. I got rid of my exit strategy. I do not dabble. I do not make excuses. I work my business daily and I do not let life get in the way because my business is ALWAYS a top priority.

# 6: I work on my daily personal development.

I know that my business will only grow as much as I do. I am 100% committed and dedicated to my personal development. I read books daily, listen to videos and audio training, attend events, and talk with my coach. I set big goals and improve daily. I will be the best version of myself possible.

# 7: I am 100% loyal to my company’s products.

I use my company’s products and never use a competitor’s products. I believe in my company’s product line and I am a product of the product.

# 8: I’m looking for my GENERALS.

I always have my eyes and ears open looking for serious people in my team. I am looking for my 5-10 GENERALS who want to build their own Army of reps. I am a GENERAL and I attract other GENERALS.

Ultimately, I am looking for people who are equally (or more) sharper, motivated and committed than I am. Once I find them, I will build solid friendships with them and we will get rich together.

Of course, I love on everyone else and treat everyone well, but I realize the GENERALS are what I am ultimately looking for. The GENERALS generate 90% or more of my commission check!

how mlm top reps think

# 9: I’m focused on my team, not my upline.

I will always respect my sponsor and upline because they introduced me to the business, but I will spend more time helping my own team than I do hanging out with my upline. I will edify my upline, but my top priority is helping my team.

# 10: I am a product of the system.

I will follow the system, keep things simple, and be a great student.

# 11: I don’t need any one specific person.

I want to help everyone, but I am not emotionally attached to any specific person. I don’t care who joins or who doesn’t join. I don’t care who builds a business or who quits. I focus on what I control (my activity and example) and work through the numbers.

# 12: I always lead by example.

I set the pace. I set the example and I set it VERY HIGH. I will be the most committed, steady, and dedicated person on my team. No one will outwork me or outperform me.

# 13: I look for the good in others.

I have flaws. Everyone on my team has flaws, but I focus on the good in people. I speak belief into others. I believe in other people UNTIL they start to believe in themselves.

# 14: I will humble myself and be coachable.

I will humble myself and listen to the advice of people in my UPLINE who are successful and willing to help me. I will never be a know it all. I will always keep my EGO in check and remain humble. I understand that I don’t know what I don’t know. I also know the fastest way to achieve success is to follow the path of someone who has gone before me.

# 15: I work with the willing.

I NEVER do more to help someone with their business than they are willing to do for themselves. My leaders and doers get my one-on-one time. Everyone else gets my group time. If someone isn’t coachable or willing to put in the work, I love them from a distance and replace them with someone who will do those things.

# 16: I understand the law of large numbers.

The numbers never lie. If I turn over enough rocks and sift through enough dirt, I will find my gold and diamonds. I cannot make leaders. I find leaders. I will talk with however many people I need to, until I find these people.

# 17: I don’t nickel and dime my business to death.

I INVEST in my business, even before I start making money. I buy tools, training and resources that will teach me new skills and help me work smarter and get better results. These tools are an investment in my business, not an expense.

# 18: I focus on serving and helping others.

I understand that my income is a direct reflection of how many people I serve and help and how well I do that. I focus on servant leadership. My only goal is to help others get what they want: whatever that may be. To grow my check, I simply need to serve more people AND serve them better.

# 19: I will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.

I don’t care how long it takes me to succeed. I don’t care what I must go through. I will make it to the top of my company’s compensation plan, even if it takes 5x to 10x longer than I thought it would. I understand I will experience setbacks and temporary defeat, but that will not stop me. My haters and tribulations will be my inspiration to build a big business, not a reason to quit.

# 20: My real product is people.

Products do not move people. People move products. My job is to grow the people if I want to grow my business. Other people are my most valuable asset. I invest in other people, help other people, serve other people and build other people. I build people and people build the business!

servant leadership

Additional Insights

Very few people join our industry with the proper MLM Mindset. Why? Most people have not achieved massive success in life before the business, nor have they done network marketing before. Also, many people struggle with self-confidence, fears, low self-esteem, and doubt.

Other people have simply been beaten down by life. That’s okay. You start where you start. The great thing is we can all improve. If you can improve your mindset by just 1% per day, you will be 3.65 times better in just one year. How amazing is that? All it takes is a decision and commitment.

Mindset Tips for MLM Newbies

Just to keep things interesting, here is an email I sent to my email list covering my best MLM Mindset Tips for Newbies. 

# 1: You will be bad before you are good. Every great network marketer was a lousy network marketer at first.

# 2: Start where you start. Improve daily and don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

# 3: You might be an expert at your job or profession, but humble yourself and admit you know NOTHING about MLM and follow the lead and advice of someone who has achieved what you are trying to achieve.

# 4: This is a business, not a part-time job. You are not trading hours for dollars. You are building an asset that can pay you for many years to come.

# 5: The tax advantages alone justify doing this business.

# 6: Some of your friends and family will support you. Most won’t. Go meet some NEW friends.

# 7: 18-24 months of intense focus (connecting with 10+ new prospects daily) is what it takes to create momentum and build a big check.

# 8: Starting and stopping will destroy your business. Treat it like a hobby and you will lose money because hobbies cost money!!

# 9: You can’t chase two rabbits and catch one. Focus on ONE opportunity.

# 10: Be part-time with a full-time attitude.

# 11: Pretend you wrote a check for ONE MILLION dollars to start your business and you have just one year to earn it back.

# 12: Everything you do is moving you closer to your goals or further from them. Choose wisely.

# 13: The only two ways to fail are to (1) do nothing and (2) quit.

# 14: It is a numbers game, but it’s also a game of skill and strategy. Work on your skills, mindset, and strategy.

# 15: People join people, not businesses. Your prospect will evaluate you more than they will your opportunity. If you want to recruit more people and make more money, you must be someone worth joining.

# 16: If you can go to your job every day, even when you don’t feel like it, you can do something to build your business every day.

# 17: Our industry is not perfect, but we do have a better way!

# 18: Your business will only grow as much as you do.

# 19: It’s worth it! Even if it took you five years to build up a 2k monthly residual income, that’s the “asset” equivalent of having 600k in an investment account earning 4% annual interest. Could you save 600k in five years?

How to Develop the Right MLM Mindset

To develop the right MLM Mindset, you must do a few things.

First off, you need a mentor. You need someone you can follow. They can shorten your learning curve and you can learn from their mistakes so you don’t repeat them. Once you find a mentor you respect and trust, humble yourself enough to listen to them. Do not be a lone wolf and try to figure out everything on your own.

The next thing you must do to develop the right MLM Mindset is to determine your WHY. Do not skip this step. Your why should be your # 1 source of motivation. It will keep you in the game, even during the difficult times. Write down your why, read it daily, and let it consume your mind. Consider putting it on a vision board so you can visualize it.

Furthermore, you must work on your personal development. This means you read daily and you listen to podcast and audio programs. Basically, you feed your brain. You seek knowledge and are a sponge. You are a student of your business. Your goal is to learn everything you can about network marketing and entrepreneurship.

Next, you must surround yourself with others who are trying to achieve something similar. This is known as the Power of Association. To clarify, I am not telling you to get rid of your non-MLM friends. Your friends should always be your friends. However, you need to create your own mastermind or Circle of Influence of other moves and shakers who believe in network marketing. This will help immensely.

You should attend every company and team event. Events will motivate you, train you, inspire you, and help you develop the right MLM Mindset. There’s something powerful about being in a room with hundreds or even thousands of other self-motivated people.

Next, you must set goals and develop a game-plan. Your goals are what you want to achieve in the business and your plan will dictate what you must do to reach your goals.

Finally, you must get in the trenches and stay there. Learn by doing. Fail forward and learn. Get into action mode. This is the best way to learn new skills and become mentally tough.

Do those things consistently, for a few years, and you will have the proper MLM Mindset and you will be on your way to the top!

Suggested Books

If you want some books that will help you develop the proper MLM Mindset, I highly suggest Think & Grow Rich and The Magic of Thinking Big. There’s also a great book titled The E-Myth Revisited. That book will teach you how to think like an entrepreneur.


In conclusion, having the proper MLM Mindset is the difference between success and failure in this amazing industry. Of course, you still need to do the work. However, without the right MLM Mindset, you won’t become the person you need to be, in order to succeed. You won’t hit your full potential. You won’t get the results you expect.

Just start where you start, and work on your MLM Mindset daily. As you focus on your personal growth, get in the trenches and stay in the trenches. Learn by doing. Stay plugged in with your successful upline and become the best version of yourself you can possibly be. Do that and stay the course and you will be amazed at (1) who you become and (2) what you accomplish.

What are your thoughts about the proper MLM Mindset? What did I leave out that you think I should have included? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

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chuck holmes


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

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2 thoughts on “MLM Mindset: How the MLM Top Earners Think”

  1. When I look at all of the successful speakers who share their accomplishments and stories of how they were able to become successful I see a couple things in common. One, they followed other successful people. Two, they created a plan and followed it. Three, their mindset was as if they had already hit their goals and constantly took steps to improve themselves. Lastly they never gave up! Each speaker has very different stories but I have found that their strength was in the things that they have in common. Each of them also strives to help others which is why their success continues to grow.

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