Day 1: MLM Boot Camp

mlm bootcamp day 1Today is day one of my 7-day MLM Boot Camp.  I hope you are ready to learn.

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.

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 Our Industry

There are many great things about this industry.  I’ll just focus on my top 10 favorite things.

# 1 Low Start Up Costs

What I love most about the network marketing industry is that you can start your own business for less than $500, and sometimes much less.  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 can 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, and they have to 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.

# 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.  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.

# 3 No Geographical Restrictions

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

# 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 or age.  It doesn’t matter what your education level is.  There are no office politics or butt kissing.  This is true MERIT BASED pay.  You get paid base off you and your team’s production.  That’s it.  You might make millions.  You might make nothing.  For anyone who is a producer, its 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.

# 6 Low Ongoing 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 $300 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 are uninformed about business.

# 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.

# 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.

# 9 Personal Development

This is one of the best things 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.

# 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 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 entrepreneurs I know personally, the successful network marketers live the best lifestyle!

The Bad Things About Our 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 years just to get profitable, and five or more years to build a solid and stable income.

go proOur 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.  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 that they won’t step out of their comfort zone
  • 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

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

They’ve never owned a business before.  Being a successful entrepreneur is a completely different mindset than being a successful employee.  You have to learn to think like an entrepreneur if you want to succeed in your own business.  It is also a completely different set of skills.

They haven’t mastered their people skills.  This business is a people business.  You have to become personable and learn how to get along with people.  If that isn’t a strong point for you, you will probably struggle in the business until you master your people skills. If you don’t like people, this definitely is NOT the business for you.

They’re comfortable enough that they won’t step out of their comfort zone.  We have it good in America.  You can be broke, but still have the newest Smart Phone, a 60″ flat screen television, a car, a roof over your head, and three square meals a day.  Most people are just comfortable enough, even if they hate their job, that they won’t step out of their comfort zone to build a successful MLM Business.

People struggle to deal with delayed gratification.  It takes several years to create a substantial income in MLM. Most people expect instant gratification and can’t handle this.

They don’t have sales or marketing training.  Most people who join our industry have never done sales or marketing before.  They are scared of the world “selling”.  They have preconceived notions about what it is.  This is a skill you will have to develop if you want to succeed.

They have unrealistic expectations.  One of the bad things about network marketing is that some people have unrealistic expectations.  Either out of ignorance, or a bad sponsor, some people think they can make money doing nothing.

They don’t have the discipline to work for themselves.  Most people are not self-disciplined.  They don’t realize that when you own a business, the buck stops with you.  You have to be able to motivate yourself and do the work, even if you don’t feel like it.

They don’t have much money invested in their business.  This might be the # 1 reason our industry gets a bad name.  Because of the low barrier of entry, just about anyone can get started.  There is no weeding out process.  I’ve found that when you don’t have much money invested in a business, it’s easy to put it on the back burner and let life get in the way.

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.

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.

45 second presentationWe 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 even imagine someone owning any other type of business quitting in 90 days, let alone create a negative website about it? I didn’t think so.No real businessperson quits a business in 90 days. 

You have to realize a few things.

First off, most people you will talk to have never even had 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 need to 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 need to understand that most businesses of any kind fail.  Depending upon what source you cite, nearly 90% of all businesses fail within their first five 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 $1 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, you might make nothing.  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.

I’d like to close 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 people do shady and dumb things that ruined it for everyone else.

In essence, it’s our 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.

best worst firstBut, 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 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 only reach base about 3 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.

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52 thoughts on “Day 1: MLM Boot Camp

  1. 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!

  2. Hi chuck,
    im from india.recently joined AMWAY.
    been reading your articles. believe me i have learnt a lot in last week.

    i want to ask u a question, sinc you know so much abt MLM industry, would you again join AMWAY considering now u know abt it

    • I don’t feel comfortable answering your question in public. Thanks.

  3. There’s nothing to download. Just save the link to the website.


    • Be a student of the profession. Find a mentor, read daily, attend seminars and never stop learning.

  5. 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.

    • No legal business is a get rich quick business, unless your definition of get rich quick is five to ten years.

  6. What has explained is the truth, thank you

  7. Wow! I enjoyed this article and I am impressed, inspired and motivated by Chuck Holmes words! It’s all about developing those set of skills that can take us to higher altitudes. Congrats Chuck!

  8. I will surely follow all your courses! Congratulation for the clear explanation!

  9. 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.

    • Yes, it is simple. But, it will also be the hardest thing you ever do.

  10. 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.

  11. Thank you very much for this very honest and spot on overview. I have received multiple pressure “act now” invitations and it was refreshing to actually interact with an honest man. Thank you, Chuck and I look forward to learning more each day.

    • Glad I could be of assistance. Enjoy the boot camp.

  12. 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.

    • Be honest and treat people well and there is nothing to worry about.

  13. 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.

    • Glad I could help Bobby. Enjoy the rest of the boot camp.

      • I have joined an MLM company

        I would like some assistance in creating a business plan and a website for it.

        Where can i get you privately.



  14. 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 !!

    • Glad I could help, Terry. I try to keep it real with people.

  15. Very nice article,Sir

    THANK YOU!!!


    • I’m glad I could help. I hope you enjoy day # 2 of the boot camp as well. Take your time and go through all the training.

  17. That’s nice. I love mentioning about alienating friends and few cases of divorses.
    That’s why there is a good point to read your article.

    • 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.

  18. 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

    • 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.

  19. I love it! This is a great guide to success much appreciated

    • Glad I could help Virginia. Good luck in your network marketing business.

  20. Hi, a very honest overview of what is required, to make an MLM business work.

    • Achieving success will be the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do, but it’s so worth it.

  21. 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

      • 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

        • Our company does not do business in Africa or Kenya. I appreciate your kind words though.

  22. Great article! I appreciate the honest and upfront positives and negatives.

    • Thanks, Kat. Every business has positive and negatives. No business is perfect, especially when you involve people. Also, everyone is different. A good business model for one person might not be a good business model for someone else. Just my two cents.

  23. 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,

  24. 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!

    • You won’t succeed in anything worthwhile in life you don’t commit. Success does not happen by accident.

  25. 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.

    • 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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