The Five Year Rule for Network Marketers and Entrepreneurs

I first learned about the Five Year Rule from Brian Tracy.  Brian is one of my favorite authors, mentors and motivators. 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.  You must get started, work hard everyday, keep learning from your mistakes, 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.  If you are working part-time 20 hours per week, it would take you 10 years to reach 10,000 hours.

The real moral of the story is that there is no such thing as overnight business success.  You have to be willing to pay your dues and pay the price.  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.  But you have to stick with something long enough (at least five years) to learn the ropes and develop the right skill-set and right mind set.  Basically, you need to have a big vision, be consistent and persevere.

In the internet age, and with the instant gratification plague that destroys our society, I believe Brian’s advice is really spot on.  Speaking from personal experience, I am at the five year mark in my internet marketing career.  The first few years were really difficult.  I committed 12-16 hour days, normally seven days a week, for the past few years building my websites and developing my skills.

During that time, I had hundreds of reasons to quit.  I was broke.  I had no money coming in.  Sometimes I worked an entire month and didn’t earn $1 profit.  Yet, I persisted.  I kept learning.  I kept pressing forward.  And now, almost five years later I am starting to see the fruits of my labor.  Each year that goes by, I look at my business finances and see HUGE growth.  Within another year or two, I will reach my first major business goal.

But I’m no exception to the rule.  I’ve interviewed several of my entrepreneur friends and they have similar stories.  They talk about the early struggles in their business, the cash flow problems, wanting to quit and all the other issues that come with starting and running a business.  Yet, as they talk about these things, you can hear the pride in their voice now.  They treasure these experiences and realize that the “struggle” made them who they are now.

I believe the Five Year Rule is more relevant than ever.  And I don’t believe that it just applies to entrepreneurs either.  I think the five year rule applies to careers, relationships, goals, etc. For instance, when my marriage reached the five year mark things really started to get good.  It continues to get better each year.

If you own a business, or are thinking about starting a business, I hope you will remember the Five Year Rule.  You need to have realistic expectations about how long it takes to achieve business success.  It won’t happen overnight.  If you start a business, and quit within a year or two, and then start a new business, the Five Year Rule starts over.  Never forget that.  It’s much better to stick with something for the long haul than to keep trying new things.

I see countless people jumping from business opportunity to business opportunity every few months to a year because they aren’t getting the results they want.  They think the opportunity or business model itself is the answer to their troubles, but they never realize that THEY are the answer.  If they could only get started and stick with something until they reached their goals they would be much better off.

When it comes to network marketing, this advice is very true.  Study any top earner from any company and you will see they have spent many years with one company.  They are committed, loyal and steadfast.  They put on their blinders, paid their dues and followed their vision.  They weren’t worried about how much money they were making at the end of their first month, or even their first year.

They knew they had to develop their skills, learn the ropes, and put in their time to figure things out. You will have to do the same thing in your network marketing business.  Roll up your sleeves, put in the work and have some patience.  Good things take time!

And please keep in mind that you are doing this business part-time.  I think it’s a pretty good deal to think you can build a big business in five years of part-time effort.  How about you?

Final Thoughts

In summary, the FIVE YEAR RULE states that it takes at least five years to achieve business success.  It takes time to develop the right skill set and mind set to build a thriving, profitable business.  You can’t expect to start a business and achieve instant success.  It’s much better to get started, learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward with the same business than it is to keep jumping from business opportunity to business opportunity.

What are your thoughts about the five year rule?  If you have a successful business, how long did it take you to become successful?  Please leave a comment below to share your personal story.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Chuck Holmes


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7 thoughts on “The Five Year Rule for Network Marketers and Entrepreneurs

  1. Mickiyas

    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. Diamond Grant

    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. Greg Boudonck

    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. chuckholmes Post author

      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. Mark Scott

    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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