The Shiny Object Syndrome in MLM

In the network marketing industry, we have a huge problem that I call the Shiny Object Syndrome.

This is when people switch from company to company or opportunity to opportunity every three to six months (or less) because they aren’t getting the results they desire in their current business.

They don’t get the results they want with one MLM Company so they QUIT and join another MLM Company hoping that things will be easier and better.

When they don’t achieve the success they desire in their new MLM Company right away, they jump ship again.

Many distributors repeat this process for YEARS.

I’m guilty of doing this myself (in the early years anyway) and I am embarrassed by it.

I know some distributors who have been in the industry more than 20 years and have worked with close to 50 companies!

shiny object pin

Learn more about the Shiny Object Syndrome

How can you expect to achieve success in any business model when you are constantly jumping around like that?

I don’t think it’s possible.

When you keep switching companies you lose momentum.

You have to keep starting over.

Even worse, you lose your credibility with the people you know, and rightfully so.

People simply won’t take you seriously when you are promoting a different company every week.

I know I wouldn’t take someone seriously if they called me every few months with something new.

Would you?

The Internet Ruined Everythingshiny object syndrom

I love the internet.

I really do.

It has changed my life and business for the better.

But it’s also really damaged our industry.

The major problem with the internet is information overload.

There is so much false and contradicting information online.

There is so much hype.

You see ads like:

  • “Follow Our System and Make $10k Your First Month!”
  • “Get Started for $500, Do Nothing, and Watch the Money Roll In!”
  • “Work 10 Minutes a Day and Make Six Figures Your First Years!”
  • “Ground Floor Opportunity!  Get In Before Everyone Else and Make It Big!”
  • “Homeless Man Earned $200k in His First Month!”

I could go on and on here, but I’m sure you’ve seen tons of ads like this.

Most people receive SEVERAL emails per day with the next greatest business opportunity.

The ink on their signature of their distributor agreement hasn’t even dried yet and they’re off to the next company.

Have you had people on your team like this?

I can’t speak for you, but I get pitched online at least 10-20 times per day by email.

Combine that with how many people call me trying to recruit me and it’s even worse.

Throw in Facebook and it’s a winning one-two combination for the people who run these Shiny Object businesses.

Back in the day, before the internet, people had access to very limited information.

This was a good and bad thing.

Now, anyone can logon online and be completely bombarded with business opportunities and scams.

I think the major problem with the internet is that it feeds on so many people’s desire to get something for nothing.  

That’s why Shiny Objects are so rampant online.

Because people want them!  People want quick, easy money without doing the work.

They want it free and they want it now.

God forbid that have to actually do something to make money.

People place HYPE based and FEAR based ads online because they work!

I’d never respond to that type of ad, but many folks do.

Learn more about how the internet changed our industry.

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

  1. The Problems with Recruiting MLM Reps on the Internet
  2. The Internet Isn’t a System For Your MLM Business
  3. Top 10 Internet MLM Marketing Tips
  4. Four Ways the Internet Has Changed the MLM Industry
  5. Sample Website or Blog Business Plan

Wisdom About Business

When you study the most successful people in the network marketing industry (or any other industry), you will quickly discover that they buckled down and stuck with one company (or business model) for 5-10 years (minimum).

They made a decision that they would succeed, they persisted and they kept moving forward UNTIL they made it.

Also, they got knocked down nine times and got up 10 times.

They took massive action and learned from their mistakes.

I think there are some valuable lessons to learn from the Shiny Object Syndrome.

# 1 Building a profitable business of any type is not easy to do.

Most businesses fail!

Statistics vary by source, but it’s common for 9 out of 10 businesses to close down within their first five years.

The MLM Industry has similar statistics.

Most businesses that do make it big take several YEARS to become successful.

It requires lots of hard work and persistence.

The bottom line is that no business is fast or easy success.

# 2 Most business owners have no clue about what it takes to really succeed as an entrepreneur.

The skills that helped you succeed as an employee will not help you succeed as a business owner.

Until you learn to think and act like an entrepreneur you will struggle in EVERY business that you do.

It really boils down to developing the right mind-set and skill-set.

You can develop these skills, but it won’t happen by chance.

You need mentors to guide you.

Most importantly, it takes time to do (several years).

# 3 If you really want to make it big in business, you will have to stick with one thing for a long period of time (at least five years).

I don’t know any successful person in any industry who quit their business and started a new business every few months, and eventually made it big.

Top earners in network marketing stick with one company for the long haul, normally 20+ years.

# 4 If you stick with one thing (like I recommend) you still have to be flexible and adapt.

You must change with the tides, make adjustments when needed, and sometimes try different STRATEGIES.

But, don’t change your business or business model when you aren’t getting results you want, just change how you “operate” your business.

My Hope for You

My hope is that starting today, you will make the decision to build a profitable network marketing business with your current company.

If you aren’t happy with your current company, by all means find a new one.

But once you do that, make it a point to stick with that one company at least five years before you even consider looking at another company or business opportunity.

Be a leader for others to follow.

Think for yourself.

Be a MAVERICK, not a WIMP.

Make a commitment that you will not be lured away by any shiny objects that you read about online or hear about from someone else.

Put on your blinders, roll up your sleeves and take massive action.

Never look back!

You must be the master of your own destiny, rather than thinking that your chosen MLM Company is what will make you successful.

Remember, the most important part of the success equation is you, not your company.

What are your thoughts about the Shiny Object Syndrome?

Just leave a comment to tell me what you think.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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32 thoughts on “The Shiny Object Syndrome in MLM

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Tips for MLM Beginners | Online MLM Community

  2. Britanica

    I have this issue and it really does hinder work. We all need to accept what we have and be thankful for it and focus on one thing at a time so we know where we are heading. I get too distracted to easily and this is a problem I am not alone with here! Great post!

    Reply
  3. Aveseh

    I was so discouraged this week and almost switched teams. But my friend encouraged me to act like a Leader and stay. His argument made lots of sense…lots of people are ‘leading selfishly’, that is why I felt like I didn’t belong to a team. He challenged me to use all the lessons I have learnt and begin to lead people under me selflessly. He told me, as a leader, I would lose my credibility with the people under me. And also that ‘just before down is the darkest peach of darkness….So, I decided to stay and pull through to success.

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      My thoughts are that it doesn’t matter what your leader or upline does. It’s your business. Be the leader and you will attract leaders. Most successful leaders have very little upline support. The grass is not greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it. No business (of any kind) is fast or easy!

      Reply
  4. Greg Boudonck

    I believe that anyone and everyone who is honest with themselves go through the shiny object syndrome stage sometime in their lives. Some come out of it quickly and others just never discover that it doesn’t work. I know I have found myself in that stage at different points. I believe if a person can stick through the storm in their business, they will see great things. Most people jump ship before or during the storm.

    Reply
  5. James Luhmann

    I think the Shiny Object Syndrome is alive and well. I have a big team with my MLM Company and I get 5-10 calls a week from people in my downline who are about to jump ship to the latest and greatest thing. They think the opportunity is the answer to all their troubles so they keep switching companies. Personally, I’ve never met anyone who achieved success who didn’t pick a company and stick with it for the long haul.

    Reply
  6. Lance

    I think this is the American Way. People want things and they want it now. They like the idea of getting rich quick or getting something for nothing. That’s why you see all these FB ads talking about making $10k a month in 90 days or less with a home business. How likely is that to happen? Not likely. But it sure does sound good.

    Reply
  7. Stuart

    I’ve had the “Shiny Object Syndrome” for many years. I’ve probably done 30 different businesses in my lifetime. I don’t think it’s a bad thing though. I ended up as an insurance salesman and I make a very nice living doing that. Sometimes you have to try out a bunch of things until you can find something that is right for you.

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      You’re right, Stuart. Sometimes you do have to try out different things. But there comes a point in time if you’re just trying new things out every few months for a long period of time, you won’t accomplish much. Just my two cents.

      Reply
  8. Jasmine

    Oh the “Shiny Object Syndrome” Chuck. I can tell you that it is alive and well! I’ve only promoted three different MLM Companies during the past 20 years, but I can’t tell you how many people in my team during that time would leave our company within the first few months to go and chase the latest and greatest thing! It’s hard to make money when you do that. People think the grass is greener on the other side, but it’s not. All businesses are hard! And you need certain skills to succeed. Until you do the work and develop those skills, you will keep failing! I try to tell people that, but they never want to hear it.

    Reply
  9. Marlene

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fallen prey to the next greatest thing. I probably had this disease for nearly 10 years. It wasn’t until I finally said “enough is enough” and stuck with one thing for a period of time that I achieved success. If you fall prey to the “Shiny Object Syndrome” it will poison your future. Don’t do it.

    Marlene

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      This happens to most of us at some point or another. Fortunately, many people learn from their mistakes and discover they need to stick with one thing if they want to succeed.

      Reply
  10. Andre

    The truth is, most people are lazy and are looking for an EASY way to get rich without having to do much work. When you are honest with people and tell them it’s hard work to succeed in a business (of any kind) and there’s a high chance they will fail (in any business) it isn’t too sexy. So when people say crazy things like make six figures in 90 days people want to believe it. That’s why I think the Shiny Object Syndrome will be around for a long time.

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      You are so spot on Andre. I still think it makes sense to keep it real with people and be honest with them. Treat people well and never lie. That goes a long way, even if you lose some prospects along the way.

      Reply
  11. Allisson

    I think the “Shiny Object” Syndrome holds true in just about everything in life. People always think the grass is greener on the other side. Sometimes it is, but in most cases the grass on the other side of the fence is the same grass as the stuff on your side of the fence.

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      I guess you could argue that “shiny objects” happen in the forms of new jobs, spouses, diet plans, and many other things. Commitment is something a lot of folks struggle with.

      Reply
  12. Lexis

    I’ve been tempted by the Shiny Object Syndrome many, many times. Fortunately, I never gave in. I’ve been with the same company (Shaklee) for 12 years now and now earn a very substantial income. The first five years were a bit tough, but I finally figured things out and built a large team. I can only imagine what my life would be like right now had I chased every shiny object that was presented to me.

    Lexis

    Reply
  13. Bobby

    I think this problem affects just about everyone in America. It applies to diets, marriage, relationships, businesses, financial planning and just about everything else in life. Most Americans want it now and don’t have the patience or discipline to finish what they start.

    Bobby

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      Good points, Bobby. The Shiny Object Syndrome definitely affects most people. You are right when you say that most people don’t have the discipline or persistence to finish what they start.

      Chuck

      Reply
  14. Diamond Grant

    My grandfather always told me that when you are on the verge of the most greatness that is when you are going to experience the most turmoil. I find this point to be so true. I cannot count how many times things got unbelievably rough for me and I was tempted to give up. Yet, by holding on I was able to walk into a new realm of success that was totally worth all of the blood, sweat, and tears.

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      Before your greatest victory is your darkest hour. You have to be able to ignore the Shiny Object Syndrome and focus on what you are currently doing. Eliminate all distractions and stay on track with what you are currently doing. If you switch business models, or start a new business, you lose your momentum and some of your credibility.

      Chuck

      Reply
  15. Todd

    I agree Chuck…been guilty of this syndrome as well. But I am starting to learn to focus and plan goals a lot better. And I agree Shiny Object Syndrome happens in a lot of areas, especially in the make money online arena with a ton of products out there. Thanks for sharing the truth!

    Todd.

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      You’re welcome, Todd.

      I’m guilty of having the Shiny Object Syndrome too, especially in my early years in the industry. I’m much better now. The sad thing with the Internet is that we get bombarded with messages daily about new opportunities. Sometimes it’s hard to tune them out and stay focused. However, I’ve found that if you want to make it big you have to stick with one program and FOCUS for a period of a few years. That’s what all the successful people do.

      Chuck

      Reply
  16. James B

    The Shiny Object Syndrome you describe is not exclusive to MLM marketers alone. People are always looking for the next rung they can use to climb further upward and many will reach for whatever is within reach, taking what they perceive to be the easiest way. An attitude adjustment could really help some marketers.

    Reply
    1. chuckholmes Post author

      There is no easy way to success. The Shiny Object Syndrome is alive and well in our industry, and many other industries. When people realize that building a business takes sacrifice, hard work, discipline and normally several years before you make any type of profit, they tuck their tail between their legs and run back to their “job.” There’s nothing wrong with that. It takes a special person to build a profitable, successful business.

      Chuck

      Reply
    2. Amy Skalicky

      I think this is a trap many who are just starting out, whether it is in MLM or other small business ventures, are snared by. The internet alone entices us with shiny objects every day, tailored to snag us and send us of on a completely different road. I recently read a post by Kathryn Greenstreet called “Eeek! Shiny Object Syndrome!” that talked about getting distracted even while staying within the business you started with. I can relate totally with this, for I have tons of ideas and a list a mile long of things I want to do RIGHT NOW, but I’ve only just started out myself, and I have had to be disciplined about taking on a few things at a time. As Chuck’s article states, I’ve had to “Maverick” up and focus on doing a few things well while using my business plan to determine when I can take on more activities. I’ve set clear, specific goals, to keep the “Shiny Object Syndrome” in check.

      Reply
      1. chuckholmes Post author

        The Shiny Object Syndrome is tough. Many companies and businesses have very effective marketing that is extremely persuasive. Their products, services, or opportunity look incredible, especially when your current business isn’t getting the results you really desire. However, every time you switch business models you lose momentum and credibility. Ultimately, you have to pick something and stick with it for many years. As most of us have learned through life experience anyway, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

        Chuck

        Reply

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