Surviving Your First Year in Network Marketing

Surviving your first year in network marketing is critical, if you want long-term success in the business. Like ANY other type of business, the first year is normally the hardest. It can be an emotional roller coaster filled with ups and downs.

The goal your first year in ANY business is to learn and survive!

Please remember that: The goal your first year in ANY business is to learn and survive. To be quite frank with you, I know of VERY FEW businesses that are/were profitable in their first year. And I’m not just talking about network marketing businesses either.

I’ve owned more than 10 businesses in my life and NONE of them were profitable during their first year. Had I judged all of these businesses based upon the first year results, I never would have succeeded. Of all the businesses I’ve owned during my life, all but one were turned into profitable business ventures. But it took time to succeed.

I have many entrepreneurial friends who say the same thing. During their first year in business they struggled financially, their family thought they were crazy for leaving their “secure job” and they often doubted themselves. 

As a network marketing distributor, you really have to do what you can to help your team members survive their first year. If you can get people to stick around, and incubate, and make it past their first year, there is a good chance they will be with you for the long haul! And that’s exactly what you want.

Now, even if you have a game-plan and do your best, lots of people will still quit in their first year, and many of those folks will quit within their first 90-days. Probably 75% of your entire team will quit in their first year. Maybe even 90 percent! Just make sure YOU aren’t one of them.

When someone is set on quitting there is very little you can do. But, there are many things you can do with your team members to keep them from getting to this point. That’s what I want to talk about today.

Surviving Your First Year in Network Marketing

Surviving Your First Year in Network Marketing: My Best Tips

Here are my best tips on surviving your first year in network marketing and how to help your team members do the same thing.

# 1: Know Your Goals and Why

Success starts with your why. This sounds silly, but I believe it to be true. If you don’t have a big WHY you will never survive the tough times in your business. Have a why that makes you cry. Write it down. Share it with your spouse and coach. Create a vision board and look at it daily. Your WHY should move you and be much more than just making extra money.

# 2: Launch Your Business Correctly

If you want the best results possible, you need to launch your new business the right way. Amateurs start a business. Professionals LAUNCH a business. There is a big difference between these two things. This means you schedule your two launch parties with your sponsor, you make your name list and you contact at least 100 people you know, inviting them to take a look at your company and/or products.

You should ALSO be retailing the products

# 3: Get Profitable Quickly

The fastest way to get profitable quickly is to acquire three to ten retail customers. Once your business is profitable, your spouse will be more supportive. Also, your belief in the business, and yourself, will skyrocket. Very few people who are profitable, making money, will drop out of the business.

# 4: Work with a Mentor

Do not be a lone wolf and go it alone. Find someone in your upline who is successful, knows what they are doing and is willing to help you and follow their lead. Humble yourself enough to do what they teach you. Do not make the common mistake of being a lone wolf.

# 5: Follow the System

Follow your company’s or team’s system. Do not reinvent the wheel or do things your own way. Follow what works. Follow the proven system.

# 6: Use the Products

Be your own best customer at all times. Sign up for auto-ship. Use ALL of your company’s products or services. This will help build up your belief in the products and help you build a rock solid personal story you can share with others.

# 7: Attend Events

Events are the glue that keeps your business together. Events give you social proof that the business works. They help you build up your belief in your company, the products and the industry. Attend every company and team event. If necessary, budget for them. If money is tight, go retail some products so you have money to attend. Attending events is vital to surviving your first year in network marketing.

Building width creates profitability while building depth creates security

# 8: Build Depth

Start building depth in your team. Chances are, the people you sponsor will not be your studs or leaders. Instead, they will lead you to your key people. Work through everyone you sponsor and drive depth in each leg of your group. Help your team do the same thing. This gives you (and them) something to lose. The deeper you go, the more money you make and the more secure your business is.

# 9: Build Relationships

Build relationships with people you want to stay in the business. It’s harder to quit on a friend than quit on a stranger! Long-term relationships equals long-term money in this business. Start building friendships with everyone on your team, especially the people who are serious and show leadership potential. Also, spend some time and build a good relationship with your sponsor, coach and mentors.

# 10: Work on Your Personal Development

This is where the magic happens in network marketing. Your business will only grow as much as you do. During your first year in network marketing, make it a goal to read a book a week about the industry, or something personal development related. Enroll in automobile university. Counsel with your coach. Attend events. Work harder on growing yourself than you do growing your business. You can’t lose money when you invest in yourself!

These are all things you should do yourself and encourage your team members to do.

And the Big Thing

And one last thing. Quite perhaps the most important thing to surviving your first year in network marketing is to manage your expectations. This business is not the lottery. It is not designed to get rich quick. It’s hard work. It’s simple, but not easy. It takes time to grow a successful business of any kind. Make sure your expectations are realistic.

For example, if you make $40,000 per year in your job, that you’ve had for 10-years and work full-time at, don’t expect to make the same type of money here right out the gate. Why? Because you don’t have the skills yet and you are working this business part-time! Good things take time. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

If anything, think of your new network marketing business as a long-term, part-time project!

Final Thoughts

Surviving your first year in network marketing is tough, but it’s so worth it. Like anything else in life, there will be good times and bad times. I would guess that at least 90% of it is mental. If you can manage your expectations, and work on your mindset and skill-set, I believe you will make great strides during your first year in business.

What are your thoughts about surviving your first year in network marketing? Do you agree or disagree with what I said? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

chuck holmes


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

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4 thoughts on “Surviving Your First Year in Network Marketing”

  1. I must also mention Chuck, that in the first year, and the whole time for that matter, you want to gain a lot of retail customers. By doing so, it will help you survive that first year. If all you are doing is attempting to sponsor people, the chances of survival drop. By having customers buying the product or service, you can make a nice profit, and it will give you more inspiration.

    Do you agree?

  2. With any business, the first year can be the toughest. If a business can survive that first year, there is a good chance it will succeed. The same thing works in Network Marketing. It is that first year when you are still learning the ropes, and gaining a good reputation. It takes a lot of hard work and endurance, but can be quite satisfying in the end.

    All of Chuck’s tips here are great. Following them will help a lot in surviving that first year.

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