MLM Success: Tips, Ideas, Strategies, & Success Formula

This is my mega-post about MLM Success.

Everyone’s looking for a shortcut or the SECRET to success in the MLM Industry. After all, we live in the “I want it now” society. People don’t like to wait for things.

Here’s the UGLY truth. There is no secret to success in the MLM Industry. You can take that one to the bank. I spent YEARS looking for it, only to come up short.

Success in MLM is similar to success in any other type of business. You must do certain things in a certain way for a certain amount of time. Success boils down to a combination of hard work, timing, a good game-plan, special skills, connections, and even a little bit of luck.

What I’d like to do in the paragraphs below is cover every aspect I can think of concerning MLM Success. This would be a good post to bookmark and read several times.

how to achieve mlm success

How to Achieve MLM Success: The Basics

Let’s begin this training by sharing my best tips about how to achieve MLM Success. If you study the most successful people in the network marketing industry, you will quickly discover trends. Yes, each successful person in our industry has a different personality, and different strengths, and builds their business differently than others do. However, if you study the top earners you will quickly discover they also have many things in common.

What is Success?

Before I share my best success tips, it’s important to understand that everyone has a different definition of success. While a select few want fortune and fame, that’s not why most people join our industry.

Most people join our industry simply to get a discount on their product purchase. Others want to belong to a community and make new friends. Some people want to supplement their income with an extra $100 to $500 per month. A select few want to replace their job income with network marketing. And only a tiny percentage have the desire (or work ethic) to make six or seven figures via MLM.

In my opinion, success means getting what you want. If you joined the industry to get a discount on your products, and you do that, you are successful. If you joined the industry to earn an extra few hundred dollars per month, and you make that happen, you are a success. If you joined the industry to make new friends, and you did that, you are a success. Make sense?

What you see below are the basic steps of building a successful MLM Business.

# 1: Pick the Right Company at the Right Time

You can succeed or fail in any network marketing company. Every company has successful distributors who have risen through the ranks, and people who struggle or quit.

When it comes to picking a MLM Company, I personally believe it is paramount to join the right company at the right time. You want to join a company BEFORE it becomes a household name. You want to join a company AFTER it has been in business a few years, but BEFORE it hits the momentum phase, and everyone knows about it.

Yes, you can still join an established company and make money. I don’t deny that. I personally believe it makes more sense to work with an under the radar company that is growing, but hasn’t exploded yet, than a company that is past its prime. That way you can ride the momentum.

Another thing you want to do is research the company founders and management team. Check out their credentials. See if they have network marketing experience, a proven track record, a clean background, and sufficient capital.

In addition, the company should have products or services that are MASS MARKET appeal, priced fairly, and offer real value to CUSTOMERS.

In addition, be cautious of new start up companies. Most will fail. It’s better to wait until the company has been in business two or three years before you take the plunge.

find a mlm mentor

# 2: Follow a Successful Mentor

All successful people have coaches and mentors. Network marketing is no different.

The fastest way to achieve success in something is to find someone who has done what you want to achieve and model their actions. Find a mentor, humble yourself, and listen to their advice. That is what smart people do.

Whether your mentor is in your upline, your personal sponsor, or even a generic trainer, it’s vital for your success to PICK a mentor. Every successful rep I’ve talked with credits a mentor as a big part of their success.

The last thing you want to do is be a lone wolf and try to figure out everything on your own. This business is a team sport. Take the time to find a mentor so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or figure everything out on your own.

[To succeed,] you need to be willing to listen and learn from mentors. The way this industry is structured, it’s in the best interests of the [MLM veterans in your company] to help you succeed, so they’re willing to teach you the system. Whatever [your mentor] did to become successful, it’s very duplicatible, but you have to be willing to listen and be taught and follow those systems.

Source: Entrepreneur

# 3: Determine Your Why

You need a WHY that makes you cry! This business can be emotionally draining. It will be an emotional roller coaster. If you don’t have a strong enough why, you won’t make it through the tough times in this industry.

Spend the time to clearly define your why. This is your real reason for doing the business. It’s what sets your world on fire. It’s not money either, it’s what you would do with the money. Put some serious thought into your WHY.

For example, my why is to create a summer camp for kids to teach entrepreneurship and create an animal rescue. My MLM Business will give me the time and money to do that. That is my big goal, what motivates me to persist and put in the work.

One of the best things you can do is create a vision board. Cut out photos that match your goals and paste them onto your vision board. Post this vision board in your bedroom at look at it every day.

# 4: Develop Your Game-Plan

Once you have your goals written down, you need to develop a game-plan. This is important if you want to achieve MLM success.

This is your strategy or plan of action. It consists of your business plan and daily mode of operations. This includes the strategic and operational work in your business.

In other words, what are your goals and what EXACTLY will you do each day to reach your goals? How will you acquire new customers and build a team? How much time will you spend on your business each week? What activities will you do during your business hours and at what time?

How much income do you expect to make each year? What will your anticipated expenses be? You might not have all these answers, but make your best guess.

I suggest you draft up a simple business plan that outlines what you will do each day, week, and month to move your business forward. You can use a simple MS Excel® Spreadsheet to record the critical tasks you must do each day to build your business.

This is hands down where most people in our industry struggle. When it’s time to work their business, they don’t know what they will do. As a result, they focus on busy work, rather than income producing activities.

Always have a work schedule. Plan your work and work your plan. Create a simple daily “to do” checklist you can follow each day.

That’s what I do. It works for me and I know it can work for you. Would you start any other type of business and not have a business plan? I doubt it.

Never believe in the myth that the success of a business is based on the decision made through instincts. Planning is the most essential element in a business. And do not plan verbally because you may forget to mention a few things and even worse you may forget what you have planned. So, it is important for you to make a blueprint. It will not only help you to work systematically but will also help you to make changes in your plan accordingly. The discipline of writing down a plan is the best way to make sure you actually understand how to transform your idea into a business.

Source: Home Business Mag

# 5: Launch Your Business

The next step to achieve MLM Success is to launch your business properly. How you start the business has a big impact whether you stay in the business long-term or drop out.

You must have a sense of urgency and act as if you have one million dollars invested in your business and you have just one year to pay it back.

Most people fail because they have no financial skin in the game, so they don’t take their business seriously.

You want to start quickly, by making your name’s list, have two or three private business receptions, sponsor four to eight people your first month and get off to a quick start. This will build your success story and belief in the business.

What most people do is sign up and then just sit around and dabble. As a result, nothing happens in their business, so they quit. Do NOT make that mistake.

network marketing personal development

# 6: Work on Your Personal Development

Your business will only grow as much as you do. Our business is a personal development business with a compensation plan attached to it.

What you did for work prior to network marketing will either be a blessing or a curse.

Like other industries, this is a profession. It requires a certain set of skills to succeed. Very few people enter our industry with these skills already in place.

You need to study your company, leadership, sales, marketing, communication and the network marketing industry. Be a student of your business. Attend events. Read daily. Counsel with your mentors and join mastermind groups. Listen to CDs and watch educational YouTube videos. Don’t be cheap with your business education.

Make it a point to learn something new each day. Evaluate each experience, reflect on what you learned, make the necessary adjustments and press on. As you grow, your business will grow.

# 7: Work on Your Skills

Every industry requires a specific skillset. In our industry, you must master the basic skills such as prospecting, closing, inviting, promoting events, retailing, and launching new reps. You don’t have to master these skills to make SOME money, but you must master these skills to make the BIG money. Best of all, you can earn while you learn.

For most people, it will take about five to seven years of consistent part-time effort to truly master the basic network marketing skills.

The best way to learn these skills is to (1) get in the trenches and stay in the trenches so you learn by doing, and (2) serve as an apprentice to a successful mentor.

The good news is, that once you develop the skills of network marketing success you have them forever. Your network marketing business will have ups and downs like anything else, but if you are consistent and apply the right skills, you can eventually reach your goals.


mlm work the numbers
# 8: Work the Numbers

The next step to achieve MLM success is to work the numbers. This business is a numbers game. It always has been and always will be.

Yes, you can work through fewer numbers of people as you improve your skills and strategy, and get better results, but you still have to go through the numbers. Initially, what you lack in skills you can make up for in numbers.

Here’s the truth, so you understand. Most people you talk to aren’t going to be interested in what you have to offer them. Most people who join your team will quit, regardless of what you do to help them. Be prepared for it.

At the end of the day, you’re probably going to need to personally sponsor 100-500 people to build a big team. That number sounds huge, but if you personally sponsored just one new person per week, you would do that in about two to ten years. Anyone can put in those numbers, even part-timers.

Here is what I suggest you do:

Sponsor 2-4 new distributors every month, no matter what, and never stop.

This is million-dollar advice. The only real question is: will you do it? To make that happen, talk to 3-5 new prospects daily.

# 9: Work with the Willing

You cannot make anyone else successful in the business. Trust me, I’ve tried. Your job is to be nice to everyone, to meet people where they are at, and to work with the willing.

No more than about five to ten percent of your team will be willing to work. It’s probably an even smaller number than that. Most people will not return your calls, do their homework assignments, or sponsor anyone.

Your job is to identify people who have a strong, burning desire to succeed, are coachable, and willing to work. Whether these people are personally sponsored by you, or by someone else on your team, you need to work with these people directly.

Show them the ropes, do three-way calls with them, form new friendships, and help them whenever possible. These are people who will build a business and will be responsible for most of your growth.

Never do more for someone else than they are willing to do for themselves. Don’t try to drag people across the finish line. It’s better to run with one than drag twenty.

mlm is a leadership business

# 10: Find & Develop Leaders

This is a leadership business. Customers and reps come and go like the common flu, but leaders are what you are really looking for. This represents no more than 1% of your team, if that.

These are people who catch the vision and want to build a big business. This small group of people will be responsible for a majority of your growth, volume, and commission check each month.

What’s great about our industry is that you only need a small group of leaders (2 to 5) to build a team with tens of thousands of people in it, and earn a six-figure income. Your job is to keep your eyes and ears open for leaders and potential leaders in your team.

When you find someone with leadership qualities or leadership potential, take them under your wing and mentor them. Build a strong friendship with them. Help them. And whatever you do, don’t let your ego get in the way and mess things up. Just enjoy the override commissions.

To attract quality leaders you must become a quality leader yourself. Studs do not want to work with duds.

# 11: 100% Commitment

The low cost of entry is the blessing and curse of our business. Most people do not treat their network marketing business seriously because they only have a few hundred dollars (or less) invested in their business.

Let’s keep it real for a moment. It’s easy to put your business on the back burner when you don’t have much money invested. It’s easy to quit when things don’t go as you expect. It’s easy to let life get in the way and distract you.

What you want to do is ACT AS IF you have one million dollars invested in your business and you only have one year or two to earn it back. You must be part-time with a full-time attitude if you want to succeed. Dabblers never make much money or make it to the top in ANY business. Commitment is key.

It is easy to start a MLM business, which can be a threat. People do not take their new venture serious as the investment is low, and treat it as a hobby. If you treat your business as a hobby you will likely to get paid as a hobby.

Source: Business For Home

# 12: Focus On One Thing Until Successful

If you want to succeed with network marketing, you must have a laser-like focus. This means you only promote ONE MLM Company. This means you only use ONE strategy or system. It means your business is your baby and it has your attention, time, love, and money. Being scatter brained or trying to promote multiple opportunities at once is a recipe for disaster. Success in this industry boils down to how long you can stay focused and consistent in one company.

# 13: You must give yourself time to succeed.

The goal the first year in business is to learn and survive. That is a fact. Successful businesses are built over a period of years, even decades, not weeks or months. Give yourself at least FIVE years with ONE company before you decide if the industry will or won’t work for you. “Trying it out” for few months will only lead to failure and disappointment.

And here’s the most important tip.

You MUST approach at least 5 to 10 new prospects DAILY. If you aren’t doing that, it doesn’t matter what else you do, you won’t make it in this industry long-term. Recruiting and retailing are the lifeblood of your business. The only way to make that happen is to connect with a steady flow of new prospects DAILY.

MLM Success Ratio

Your Success Ratio

Selling is a VERY predictable profession. All salespeople have a success ratio, whether they realize it or not. The top producers KNOW their success ratio and they do EVERYTHING in their willpower to improve it. On the other hand, the poor performers seldom track their stats or know their success ratio.

Your MLM Success Ratio is the ratio between the number of people you initially contact to the number of conversations, to the number of presentations given, to the number of new sign ups. Here are a few examples of the MLM Success Ratio in action.

Example # 1

Joe contacts 100 people. Of those 100 contacts, he has conversations with 50 people. From the 50 people, 20 people watch a presentation. Of the 20 people who watch a presentation, two join his team. Based off this formula, Joe knows that for every 50 people he contacts, he will sign up one new person in his business. This makes his business predictable. He knows that if he contacts 500 people, he will sign up 10 people into his business.

Example # 2

Mary is brand new to the business. She has limited skills. She contacts 100 people. From that she actually talks with 60 people. Out of those 60 people, 15 agree to watch a presentation. Of the 15 who watch a presentation, 1 joins her team. Based off this formula, Mary knows that for every 100 people she contacts, she will sign up one new person in the business. This makes her business PREDICTABLE.

Example # 3

Tony is a network marketing professional. He has fine-tuned his skills during the past 10-years in the industry. Tony knows that if he contacts 100 people, he will have conversations with 80 people. From those 80 people, 40 will watch a presentation. Of the 40 who watch a presentation, 10 will sign up in the business. Based off this formula, Tony knows that he will sign up 1 in every 10 people he contacts. This makes his business predictable.

Calculating Your Success Ratio

For the next 90-days, keep track of the following stats.

_______ of prospects contacted

_______ of conversations

_______ of presentations given

_______ of new sign ups

If you do that, you will be able to determine your success ratio for your business.

Improving Your MLM Success Ratio

If you want to improve your success ratio, you must do two things:

# 1: Work on Your Skills

You must work on your skills. Skills pay the bills in our profession. Be a student of your business and fine tune your inviting, presenting, closing, and follow-up skills. You will naturally improve your skills in time. Plus, you can read books, attend events, and work closely with your mentor to speed up this process. As you improve your skills, you can talk to fewer people and sign up more reps.

# 2: Approach Better Quality Prospects

The only other thing I can think of that you can do to improve your success ratio is to talk to better quality prospects. Instead of going after broke people, look for successful people. Look for people with credibility and contacts. Look for people with a good attitude and a big sphere of influence. Look for people who are already have a good self-image and are successful at what they do, regardless of their chosen profession. These are your best prospects.

Here are a few additional insights I have learned during the past 19+years that might help you improve your success ratio.

When you are just starting out in the business, it’s vital that you focus on your warm market first. With your warm market, you already have the like, know, and trust factor going for you. You have credibility. Not so in the cold market. Get your practice with your warm market before venturing into the cold market.

Every great network marketer was a lousy network marketer at first. No one starts out good in this business. The key is to just get started and keep improving.

Even the best recruiters don’t sign up more than 1 or 2 in every 10 people they approach. You’re never going to recruit (or sell) everyone you talk with, no matter how good you are. Make sure you have realistic expectations.

This business is a numbers game. Even someone with a low success ratio can out recruit a top performer IF they talk to more people.

Be a student of your profession. Learn everything you can about your company, its products, and the industry. Realize that people join people and you must become someone worth joining.

If you don’t track it, you can’t improve it. Great salespeople track their stats daily, because the numbers never lie.

the mlm success formula

The Success Formula I Teach My Team Members

Next, I’d like to share my personal MLM Success Formula with you. This is a formula I’ve learned from other leaders and fine tuned.

The MLM Success Formula

Skills + Mindset + Massive Action + Sustained Period of time = MLM Success

In the paragraphs below, I will cover each part of my MLM Success Formula in greater detail.


Everything begins with your skills. Every profession requires a specific set of skills.

Fortunately, there are only a few basic skills we must master if we want to succeed in this amazing industry. We must learn how to generate leads, share a presentation, follow-up, close a sale, retail products, promote events, and launch new reps. As you do that, you must master your LEADERSHIP skills as well.

Best of all, we can earn while we learn. You can start making money BEFORE you master these skills, but you will never make the big money in our industry UNTIL you master these skills.

The best way to master your skills is by listening to your mentor AND getting in the trenches and staying in the trenches. You will learn more by doing that for a few hours than you will by STUDYING about how to do it for 100-hours.

For most people, it will take about 2 years working the business part-time to learn the basic skills and about five years to master their skills. 


Next, you must develop the proper mindset. You must become mentally tough so you are emotionally detached from what others say and do. You must accept and handle temporary failure, setbacks, and disappointments. If you are mentally weak, you will not last long in this industry. You must be the lighthouse, not the weathervane.

Nothing worth accomplishing is fast, free, or easy. Success never goes on sale. You must pay the full price.

More importantly, you must take the long-term view and think like an entrepreneur, not an employee. You are building an asset, not trading hours for dollars. Building an asset takes TIME, hard work, and patience.

The best way to improve your mindset is to spend time with successful people in the business. Create an inner circle or mastermind group and surround yourself with shakers and movers and positive minded people.

Massive Action

As you work on your skills and mindset, you must take all out massive action. This means you approach MINIMUM five to ten new prospects DAILY. Anything less than that and this is a hobby for you, not a business. If you are really serious about your business, you should approach at least 20 people daily.

Read that paragraph again so it sinks in. It is the most valuable lesson in this article.

If you are self-disciplined and have a solid game-plan and system, you can contact 20 people in less than 2-hours per day. Anyone can find two hours per day for their business IF THEY CHOOSE TO, even part-timers.

Where do you find these people? You must learn how to generate leads or you must buy leads or get really good at meeting new people. Any of those options will work. Pick the option that is best for you, based upon your personality, skills, and budget.

Sustained Period of Time

As you take all out massive action, you must work your business DAILY, five to six days per week, for at least 18 to 24-months with ONE company. Go all in, never look back, stay focused, and keep the accelerator pressed to the floor.

Do not make the mistake of starting and stopping. For each day you do not contact at least 10 people, add another 30-days to your estimated timeline for success. Doing these income producing activities CONSISTENTLY is what gives you momentum and rapid growth.

In a Nutshell

This is my MLM Success Formula. These steps take commitment, dedication, and hard work. Most people will not do them. Most people will not pay the full price. Some people will follow these steps for a few weeks. Others will do it for a few months. But only a few will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes.

It takes a big why and lasting commitment to get started, do the work, and stick with it UNTIL you hit your goals. That’s why so few people achieve lasting success in our industry.

If you want to earn the big bucks and be recognized on your company’s stage, this is what you will need to do. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. 

Now you know. Will you do it? I hope so.

One Last Thing

Before I close out this section, I want to put things in perspective. If you were starting a traditional business, you would need to do these same things.

  1. You must develop your specialized knowledge.
  2. You must develop the right mindset.
  3. You must market and advertise your business daily.
  4. You must focus and work your business consistently for the first few years to launch your business, make it profitable, and get established.

Plus, you’d probably have to invest anywhere from $10,000 to $1 million just to get started. We have a better way with network marketing.

estimated timeline for mlm success

Estimated Timeline for MLM Success

Next, I’d like to share what I consider to be an estimated timeline for MLM success with a traditional network marketing company.

Please note this is just my opinion, from my personal experience in the network marketing industry, and from what I’ve seen others do. You might disagree with what I think and that’s okay. As a legal disclaimer, individual results will vary.

Estimated Timeline for MLM Success

You can ask any entrepreneur in any endeavor and you will quickly discover that most business owners don’t expect to make a profit during their first few years in business, and sometimes even longer than that. Yet, people join our industry and complain because they aren’t rich by their third month in the business, even if they did NOTHING to build their business. I just don’t get it.

The advice I am going to share with you below is for the serious, committed network marketer. It’s not for the person who just wants to make a few hundred dollars per month in their business. It’s not for someone who is “dabbling” with their business.

This advice is for someone who will work hard growing their business five to six days per week, for at least two hours per day, and wants to create a full-time income from our industry. If you’re willing to do that, here’s an estimated timeline for MLM success.

One Year to Get Profitable

Very few businesses I know of are profitable in their first year. With the different types of businesses I’ve owned, ALL of them took me at least one year to earn a profit. Some took even longer than that.

I might have earned revenue during the first year in business, but it typically wasn’t more than my business expenses.

Normally, when you start a new business, you do not have the skills, credibility, exposure, contacts, customer base, capital, or market share to succeed right out the gate. You have not built your reputation yet. Very few people know about your company or what it offers.

The beauty of network marketing is that you CAN be profitable starting from month one. With the low cost of entry and small monthly overhead expenses (normally less than $100-$200 per month) it doesn’t take much to be profitable. But just because you CAN be profitable right out the gate, it doesn’t mean you will be.

With most businesses, this is not even an option. Why? Because you have to invest substantial money (tens of thousands of dollars or more) just to cover your start-up and ongoing costs.

My best advice is this: Think of your first year in network marketing as MLM School. This is where you will learn the ropes, improve your skills, change your attitude and mindset, and learn the tricks of the trade. Be patient and give yourself a chance to succeed.

If you make money during your first year, great. If not, don’t fret. Keep learning, keep growing, and keep working on your skills. If you can do that, things will sort themselves out. You must give yourself a chance to succeed. If you aren’t willing to commit at least 12-36 months to your business, there’s no reason to even get started.

Two to Three to Years to Earn $20k to $50k per Year

Once again, most people I’ve met in the network marketing industry who achieved success took two to three years to earn a $20k to $50k annual income (net profit). Sure, a select few do it quicker than that, but most don’t.

If you are expecting to replace your job income your first few months in the MLM industry, you are kidding yourself. Think about it this way for a minute. You work full-time in your job, and chances are, you’ve been in the job market many years. Why would you expect to start a new business, working part-time, and make more in your new part-time business than you do in your full-time job? It’s ludicrous to think that’s even possible.

Assuming you work your business part-time, consistently each week, week in and week out, you should hit this income goal within two to three years.

I want you to think about that for a moment. This is an additional, residual income, from a part-time effort. Plus you have the tax advantages to minimize your taxable income.

I think an extra $2,000 to $4,000 per month part-time income would be completely life changing for most people. What do you think?

Five to Six Years to Be a Six Figure Income Earner ($100k per Year)

Most top earners I’ve studied take five or more years to make a substantial six figure income in the industry. That normally means five years with the same company.

Once again, this is for a part-time effort. As I see it, that’s a great deal.

When you first join your business, five years sounds like a long time. But the truth is, the time will go by anyway, whether you build your business or not. You can have your job income the entire time, with this extra money coming in on the side!

Seven to Ten Years to Be a World Class Earner (Mid Six Figures)

There is lots of money to be made in our industry. Plenty of people earn high six and even seven figure incomes with their MLM Company. Some people in our industry earn that much money each month!

To become a world-class earner, you must be committed to your company for a long period of time. You must take massive action and stay persistent and consistent for many YEARS. It will require a big sacrifice, but the payoff is huge.

Most of the people I have studied have been with their company about five to ten years to get to this level. Considering most of that time was part-time, it is a pretty amazing feat.

Something to Think About

When you hear stories about someone who joins a company and makes it to the top of their new company’s compensation plan in a few months, you’re not getting the full story.

In most cases (98 out of 100 at least) that person is simply switching from one MLM Company to another MLM Company and bringing their team with them. Once in a great while a true newbie will come in and take a company by storm, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Study the top earners from just about any company and here’s what you’ll quickly discover:

  • They’ve been with the same company at least five to ten years.
  • It took them a year or two (or longer) of struggling and figuring things out before they started making ANY money.
  • They stayed consistent with their business no matter what.
  • They took daily action, but stayed with the long-term approach to growing a business.
  • They sponsored 100 to 500 people personally during their career (averaging 2 to 5 new personal reps each month).
  • They make most of their income from jut one to three of those people.

I think we can learn some valuable lessons from these trends. Knowing this information upfront is more than half the battle.

Studying People Who Don’t Achieve MLM Success

If you want to be successful in network marketing, look at the masses and do the opposite. Look at what most people in our industry do (which isn’t much) and do the opposite of what they do.

Instead of treating this like a hobby, treat it like a business you have ONE MILLION DOLLARS invested in. Come up with a solid marketing plan and daily mode of operations. Invest in your business education and focus on improving your skills. Find a mentor and follow their lead. Instead of talking with one prospect per day, talk to 30 prospects per day.

Instead of acting like an amateur, act like a professional. Amateurs earning nothing, yet professionals get paid.

How Can You Succeed Quicker?

If you want to build your network marketing business quicker than the estimated timeline for success I shared with you, there is a secret.

It all boils down to how many exposures you make per day, and how quickly you make them. After all, this business is a numbers game. The person who shares the products and business opportunity with the most amount of people, in the least mount of time, is the person who will win.

You can multiply your success rate by multiplying your efforts. I don’t mean working harder or working longer either. What I mean is INCREASING YOUR EXPOSURES. Instead of approaching one or two people a day, approach 20 to 50 people per day. You can compress your results by compressing your activity.

Trust the process Your time is coming

My # 1 MLM Success Tip

Here’s my # 1 MLM Success Tip. If you want to succeed in network marketing, you must act as if you have ONE MILLION DOLLARS invested in your business and you only have one year to earn it back.

You see, the blessing and curse of our industry is the low-cost of entry. Anyone can get involved. There is no screening process, background check, or credit check. It is easy to join and easy to quit. It’s easy to put your business on the back burner when life gets in the way. That’s what most people do.

How else can you explain someone “starting” a MLM Business and not signing up one person, getting on auto-ship, attending one event, or finding one customer? How else can you explain someone quitting in their first 30 to 90-days? As crazy as it sounds, this is the NORM in our industry.

In my opinion, that’s the equivalent of a restaurant owner opening a restaurant and never ordering food or menus, and then closing down the restaurant in 60-days telling everyone the “business didn’t work”.

We are the only industry I’ve ever found where people start a business and then do NOTHING. I will never understand this mindset.

Unfortunately, most new distributors do not act or think like a traditional business owner. They think of their business as anything BUT a business. And then they wonder why they don’t succeed.

A traditional business owner invests tens of thousands of dollars (or more) to start a business and works around the clock to make their business successful. They are 100% committed. They are all in. There is no other option. They do everything and anything to make their business successful because they have a lot of money invested, and they want to protect that financial investment. Who can blame them?

This the mindset you want to have in your MLM Business, even though it’s inexpensive to join. You want to act as if you have one million dollars invested in your business and you only have one year to earn it back. That is my # 1 MLM Success Tip.

This mindset will give you a sense of urgency. It will motivate you to do the things you know you should be doing, but don’t do consistently.

If you had invested one million dollars to start your network marketing business, what would you do differently? Think about that for a moment. Would you?

  1. Talk to lots of new prospects daily.
  2. Complete the getting started training.
  3. Read the success guide.
  4. Join the team’s Facebook group.
  5. Improve your skills daily.
  6. Attend every conference call.
  7. Hand out samples.
  8. Plan your work and work your plan.
  9. Associate with other successful reps.
  10. Set written goals.
  11. Work on your personal development daily.
  12. Use the products and be on auto-ship.
  13. Have a daily mode of operations.
  14. Create a written marketing plan and business plan.
  15. Read books about your industry.
  16. Attend events about your industry.
  17. Follow the advice of a successful mentor.

If you knew that doing those things would substantially increase the likelihood of you building a successful network marketing business, wouldn’t you do them frequently?

Chances are you’ve already been taught to do those things. You just don’t have the self-discipline to do them consistently because you do not have this million-dollar mindset.

It’s okay if you aren’t committed, dedicated, or serious about your network marketing business. Most people aren’t. It’s your business and your choice. Just know you will never build a successful network marketing business, or any type of business, if you just wing it or dabble with it. Success doesn’t work that way. Success requires a 100% commitment even if you are doing the business part-time.

Going forward, I hope you will adopt this mindset in your network marketing business. I hope you will be part-time with a full-time attitude. I hope you will think of your business as a MILLION DOLLAR business and treat it accordingly. While I can’t guarantee your success if you do that, I can guarantee your failure if you don’t.

my mlm success story

My MLM Success Story

In this section, I want to share my MLM Success Story. This information is difficult to write, but important to write. I hope my story will inspire people and help people, especially people who have struggled in our industry for many years. After you read my story of the ups and downs, trials and tribulations, you should have a new sense of hope. If I can eventually figure this great industry out, I know you can too!

My Life Prior to MLM

I grew up in small town Skowhegan, Maine, a town of about 8,000 people. I had a great childhood with loving parents. My dad was an entrepreneur (antique auctioneer) and my mom stayed at home and raised my brother and I, AND helped my dad with his business. We never had much money, but there was always food on the table and lots of love.

My parents taught me great values. They taught me to be a person of my word, to work hard, and never quit. They taught me the value of a dollar. Whenever I wanted something, I had to earn it! From the time I was eight or nine, I was always wheeling and dealing, selling stuff, to earn extra cash. I was definitely molded into being an entrepreneur.

After graduating high school in 1995, I enlisted in the Army and moved away. The Army was very good for me. It gave me purpose, direction, and discipline. After serving in the Army for a few years, I decided to become an Army Officer. I attended ROTC, earned my Bachelor’s Degree, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in May 2000, and was assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado.

My First MLM Company

I first learned about network marketing in March 2002. At the time, I was serving as an Army Officer (First Lieutenant) at Fort Carson, Colorado. I was 24-years old. One day, a fellow Lieutenant (Christine) invited me over to her home to learn about additional ways of making money from home. I’ve always been motivated to earn extra money, so I agreed to attend.

I showed up at her home, along with 10-15 other guests. The presenter was another Lieutenant in our unit. He was dressed to impress in a blue suit, with a white shirt, and red tie. He started drawing circles on a dry erase board and talked about concepts such as residual income, leveraged income, and network marketing. Come to find out, it was an Amway presentation (known as Quixtar at the time).

Up until that moment in my life, I had never heard of network marketing, residual income, or Amway. I was not skeptical. If anything, I was curious. I loved the idea of finding six people who “get it” and being able to potentially create a full-time income from home.

From day one in Quixtar, I was all in. Yes, I was VERY rough around the edges, and needed lots of personal development, but I was hungry and determined. I went to every meeting. I listened to tapes daily. I did what I was taught (most of the time). I was a difficult person to get along with and deal with (at the time), but I did outwork just about every other rep I ever met.

I achieved modest success in Amway, the 2500 PV pin. Over the course of 2+ years I sponsored 13 people and built a team of about 67 people. At the height of my business, my commission check was maybe $800 to $1,000 per month. I spent about 27-months in Amway, and ended up leaving the business when I was going through a painful divorce.

I have nothing bad to say about my experience there. Amway sold me on the (1) the power of goals, (2) the power of association and (3) the importance of personal development. It also sold me on network marketing.

The Dark Years

2004 to 2014 were the dark years for me in the network marketing industry. During this time, I bounced around a lot. My 20s were very difficult for me. Even my early 30s were very tough. I struggled with depression, mood swings, and did not have a good attitude. I believed in the industry and loved the industry, but I was not mentally prepared for success.

If anything, I was a dabbler. I was attracted to shiny objects. If it sounded good or looked good, I tried it. I bounced around to many different network marketing companies during this time. I am not proud to admit that, but it’s the truth. I never lost faith in the industry, but I had serious doubts as to whether or not things would work out for me.

Looking back, I’m glad I experienced this dark period of time. It wasn’t fun. I wouldn’t want to redo it, but it did make me mentally tough and prepared me for future success. The only thing I really did right during this time frame is I kept working on my personal development and skills.

my 1 mlm success tip

Making the Decision

Finally, in mid 2014, I made the decision to become a network marketing professional. I said to myself, I will succeed in this industry or die trying. This is the turning point in my business. I joined a company and over the next two years, I sponsored about 110-120 people and built up a team of approximately 1,200 to 1,500 people. Despite that, I never earned even $1,000 per month with the company. Most months I made $500 to $800.

I poured into my team doing webinars, conference calls, and training, yet nothing seemed to click. There was zero duplication. Attrition was high. I started to question my sanity. How can I work so hard and make so little money? While I still hold that company in high regards, I realized it was simply not the right fit for me, so I stopped building.

After leaving that company, I was a wanderer again, for about a year, until I found my way to a different company. I spent about 27-28 months with that company. During that time, I personally sponsored around 300 people and built a team of more than 3,000 people.

I created systems (no upline or company systems), led the training, provided free leads for my team, and worked very hard to support my team. Despite that hard work, I never made more than $2,500 per month. Once again, I questioned my sanity and had serious doubts about the industry! I even quit the company for a six month period of time, but went back to it.

It wasn’t until May 2019 that I found my current MLM Company and had my big breakthrough. From the day I made my decision to be a network marketing professional, it took me five years to earn six figures in one year in network marketing. I don’t count the time before that in the industry, because I was nothing more than a dabbler. Now that I think about it, five years isn’t that bad, especially considering I was working my business part-time and running my other non MLM businesses.

MLM Companies I’ve Worked With

Here is a list of some of the network marketing companies I worked with in the past. There are more than what you see on this list. I just can’t remember them all.

  1. Amway®
  2. Life Force International®
  3. Melaleuca®
  4. My World Plus®
  5. Watkins®
  6. Visalus®
  7. Send Out Cards®
  8. Herbalife®
  9. Isagenix®
  10. Young Living Essential Oils®
  11. Avon (2x)
  12. Essante Organics
  13. USI Tech
  14. Trunited
  15. Purium
  16. Regenalife (2x)

I have nothing bad to say about any of these companies. They either weren’t a good fit for me, I didn’t do the work, or I wasn’t ready to achieve success yet.

My Big Breakthrough

My big breakthrough came in 2019, my 17th full year in the industry. My big breakthrough happened when I joined the right company at the right time and I did the work.

I worked harder in my previous two companies and made substantially less money in those companies. Those were good companies, but they were not the right company at the right time. They were either mismanaged or past their prime. They were a tough build.

In May 2019 the stars aligned (for me anyway) and I found a company that I knew was going to be amazing. They had everything I was looking for in a company:

  • An Email Marketing System
  • Free to Join
  • No Membership Fees
  • Free Websites
  • Amazing Products at Fair Prices
  • The Perfect Timing
  • International Opportunity

Starting my first month in my new company I earned more than I had ever earned in any other MLM Company. Once again, I joined my current company in May 2019. It is now January 2022. In those 2.5 years, I became a top earner. Our team has approximately 190,000 people in it (in just 30+ months). I don’t think I could stop the growth now if I tried. We have duplication. We have leaders. The “little guy” is making money. People love the products and are happy. I can easily see myself making 7 figures here within the next five to seven years.

What I Credit to My Success

What do I credit to my success? Why did I eventually succeed after struggling for so many years? Here’s what I came up with.

successful mlm reps

The 10,000 Hour Rule

There is an unwritten rule that says you must put at least 10,000 hours into something to truly master it and become an expert. Knowing what I know now, I agree with this rule 100%. I put in thousands of hours to learn, develop, and master network marketing. I paid my dues and put in the time.

Taking 100% Responsibility

It wasn’t until I made a decision and took 100% responsibility for my success that I made it. It wasn’t until I acted AS IF I had one million dollars invested in my business did I start to make good money. I used to blame others for my shortcomings and failures. Now, the buck stops with me.

Learning to Lead Others

In my early years, I was not someone worth following. I was a horrible leader. I needed a ton of personal development to become more likeable and be a better leader. Over these past 19-years, I have refined my leadership skills and now do a great job leading my team.

Mastering Marketing & Lead Generation

Starting in 2014, maybe even a year or two earlier, I got serious about learning lead generation and marketing. I studied the all time greats. I watched hundreds of videos, bought courses, and attended events. Because of that, I became VERY GOOD at lead generation, which allowed me to sponsor LOTS of reps and customers.

Leveraging My Talents & Abilities

Another thing I credit to my success is leveraging my own talents and abilities. By nature, I am introverted, but I love to write and teach. So that’s what I did. I created a blog and started writing. For nearly 10-years I’ve been publishing content online and offline, pretty much 7-days a week. This is known as attraction marketing and it has helped position me as an expert where others seek me out. I did the business the traditional way for my first 10-years in the industry, but I did not enjoy it.

Joining the Right Company at the Right Time

If I could only credit one thing to my success, it’s that I finally found the right company at the right time. Yes, you can join any network marketing company and succeed (or fail). However, I’ve learned that joining a company in pre-momentum was much easier to build than joining a company that everyone has already heard the name of before. Plus, finding a company that is good for the “little guy” is vital, since the “little guy” or “the part-timer” represent around 99% of the people in our industry.

The Future

At the time of writing this post it is January 2022. My goal is to earn $10 million cumulative in the next 10-years (not an income claim, just my goal) and hopefully more than that. I did not get off to a fast start, but I am stubborn like a mule, and stuck with it. It just proves my point, which I often tell my team.

It’s not how you start that matters. It’s how you finish!

Anyone can start fast. Anyone can start slow. But, can you finish what you start? Will you stick with something even when it’s not working? Will you stick with something even when your spouse and friends think you are crazy? Only you can decide that, but I’m glad I did!

how to attract success

One Final Piece of Advice

Here is one last piece of advice that I learned from one of my mentors, Jordan Adler. He has earned well over fifteen million dollars in our industry.

It took him 10 YEARS to sign up his first person. Here is what he says that all top earners have in common:

  • Stick with one company at least five to ten years.
  • Sponsor 100 to 500 people personally (average 2-4 new people a month, every month for five to ten years).
  • You will make 80 to 90 percent of your income from just one to five of those people.

That’s the secret folks. Follow that advice and you will achieve MLM Success.

If you’d like to read a few books that could help you succeed in MLM, I highly recommend Go Pro by Eric Worre, Beach Money by Jordan Adler, and Six Figures in Six Months by Clay Stevens. You can click on any of those links to order them from my Amazon store.

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In review, this is everything I know about MLM Success. What are your thoughts? What did I miss? Do you agree or disagree with me? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. 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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4 thoughts on “MLM Success: Tips, Ideas, Strategies, & Success Formula”

  1. It took me three days to to complete reading this post. I did that because of its values . Thanks very much chucks for taking time to share all these tips most especially your personal story, I really enjoyed it. I’m still moving towards my great breakthrough in this industry and I’m certain it’s very close.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. I appreciate it. We are all on a different journey. Some people achieve success quickly while others take a while. Just keep pressing toward your goals and never quit. At some point, things will click and work out for you.

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