The Five Year Rule in Network Marketing

Today, I’d like to take a few minutes to share a concept known as The Five-Year Rule in Network Marketing.

I first learned about the Five-Year Rule from Brian Tracy. He is one of my favorite authors, mentors, and motivators of all time. The Five-Year Rule basically states that anyone who wants to become successful in a specific endeavor must be willing to commit AT LEAST five years to it.

  • To be a successful realtor, it will take about five-years.
  • To be a successful insurance agent, it will take about five-years.
  • To be a successful businessperson, it will take about five-years.
  • To be a successful network marketer, it will take about five-years.
  • To be a successful blogger, it will take about five-years.

You must get started, work hard every day, keep learning from your mistakes, pay your dues, and adapt and persevere until you succeed.

This is very similar to the 10,000 hour rule, which states that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. Assuming you are working 40-hours per week at something, it would take you five years to reach the 10,000 hours. On the other hand, if you work part-time 20-hours per week, it will take you 10-years to reach 10,000 hours.

The moral of the story is that there is no such thing as overnight business success. You must pay your dues and pay the full price. Success never goes on sale.

In some cases, it might not take you five years to reach your business goals. And in other cases, it might take you 10-years or longer. Everyone starts at a different space but assume it will take you at least five-years to master something.

You must stick with something long enough (at least five years) to learn the ropes and develop the right skill-set and right mindset. Basically, you need to have a big vision, be consistent, and persevere UNTIL you succeed.

The Five Year Rule in Network Marketing

The Challenge

The biggest challenge most people deal with is unrealistic expectations. We live in a society where people have short attention spans. People expect instant gratification. Most people do not have the patience to stick with something long enough until they truly master it.

This is one of the major reasons so many people to not achieve big success int heir life. They don’t commit to ONE THING for the long haul and truly master it.

But that is what you must do if you want to become a professional at network marketing, or anything else for that matter.

My Experience

I joined the network marketing industry in 2002. For the first 13-years, I dabbled with it. I simply was not consistent, did not put in the work, and kept starting and stopping. I switched companies, chased shiny objects, and did not commit to one opportunity. I had a bad attitude and did not spend much time or money developing the required skills it takes to succeed.

In 2015, after dabbling in the industry for 13-years, I made the decision to become a network marketing professional. In 2015, I decided I would:

  1. Act as if I had a million dollars invested in my business
  2. Succeed or die trying
  3. Act like a professional
  4. Work my business at least 2-4 hours daily
  5. Invest time and money on my personal development
  6. Be a student of my business
  7. Listen to a successful mentor
  8. Focus on one business/company and stick with it

From the time I made that decision in 2015, it took me five-years working part-time to earn my first six figures in the industry. In that fifth year (after deciding to be a professional), I earned more than I earned in the previous 17-years in network marketing combined. Now, in my 6th year as a professional, my income has skyrocketed again and I don’t see it slowing down.

Of course, some of the previous experience in those first 13-years helped, but some of it also hurt me. I had a lot of baggage and “stinking thinking” to overcome. Thank goodness I stuck with it and decided to get serious about the industry.

If I can do it, I know you can too! Remember this.

Most people overestimate what they can do in a year or two, but underestimate what they can do in five-years.

If you want something bad enough, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.

It takes time to build a successful business of any kind That includes network marketing Work hard keep your vision in front of you and stay the course~ Chuck Holmes

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the five-year rule in network marketing is TRUE. There are not shortcuts to success. If you want to build a big team and rock-solid residual income, it will take time, normally at least five-years.

My best advice is to find a company you love, get started, make mistakes, learn as you go, and stay the course UNTIL you succeed.

What are your thoughts about the Five-Year Rule in Network Marketing? Do you agree or disagree with me? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes


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

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7 thoughts on “The Five Year Rule in Network Marketing”

  1. Exactly, I agree.

    Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. There are people who find success within months or a couple years into a business.

    But look at any of those types of people and you’ll see that they have backgrounds or past experience in something related to the business or industry they’re in.

    Success is for the taking. Learn to use your time wisely, and apply some time management best practices to be able to focus on your money producing activities, and you’ll reach there.


  2. Putting it out there right from the beginning that a minimum five year commitment is needed is a great way to weed out people who come into MLM for quick money. If people knew early on the investment of time and resources they would need in order to reach a certain level of success, they would be able to make a more accurate decision about whether this is the industry for them. Luckily I knew what I was getting into and didn’t get discouraged when things weren’t happening as quickly as I liked.

  3. I am affiliated with Brian Tracey and I firmly agree with the 5 year rule.

    You made a great point. We live in a society that wants what they want, and they want it yesterday. Many people coming out of school assume they should be the CEO of a company without having to work to get to it.

    Everything takes work to get success. I honestly believe that if we didn’t have to work hard, and be patient to gain success, we would have a boring and uneventful world.

    It means so much more if we have to work hard to gain. When we just have stuff handed to us, we do not appreciate it in the same fashion.

    1. Thanks, Greg.

      Every successful business I have ever built has taken me many years to get to that point. I see so many folks in our industry quit in 90 days or less. It’s really a joke. You won’t build any type of successful business in that amount of time, in any industry. It takes hard work, commitment, and perseverance to build a successful business. Sometimes, sticking around is more than half the battle. You have to give yourself a fair chance to succeed. A fair chance is at least two to five years.


  4. This is a great article! I am so happy that I started with a great company that has great support from all lines. I have 6 figure earners always there to help me and I just started. I am looking for a great team if anyone is interested! Awesome new up and coming company! Great time to get in!

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