The Story Behind the Story in MLM

Today, I want to talk to you about the story behind the story in MLM.  More than likely, no one has ever shared this concept with you before, so I hope my explanation hits home and opens your eyes about some of the realities in our industry.

To begin with, things are seldom what they seem.  There are always at least two sides to a story, and sometimes even more than that.

When you hear someone talk on stage, or in person, or read/watch/hear something online, you are only getting PART of the story; the part that they tell you about.

I’m not saying the person is lying to you.  You just might not be getting the entire story.

And the part of the story that you don’t hear is probably more important than the part of the story that you do hear.

The Olympic Athlete

I know we’re talking about network marketing, but I think this short story will paint the picture.

the story behind the story in mlmLet’s just take a moment and look at your typical Olympic athlete.  Most of these folks have been “laser-like focused” mastering their sport for 10-20 or more years.

From the time they were small children (in most cases), all the way through their adulthood, they have committed a large amount of time and money EXCLUSIVELY on mastering their sport.

They have survived injuries.  They have given up hobbies, sometimes even relationships.  They have had setbacks.  They have moved three steps forward and two steps back.  They have done EVERYTHING in their willpower, just to become GOOD ENOUGH to QUALIFY for the Olympics.

Yes, they may have some natural gifts, but it’s their COMMITMENT to mastering their craft and the tens of thousands of hours (probably more) they have invested mastering their craft, that made them good at what they do.

What’s crazy is MOST of these people never even qualify for an Olympic medal.  Most go home with nothing, even though they’ve committed a large part of their life to their endeavor.  It’s crazy.

This is the story behind the story most Olympic athletes (and professional athletes) endure, yet we seldom hear of. To me, this story is even more powerful than their actual victory at the Olympics.

Everyone wants the Gold Medal.  Few people will put in the work it takes to become that successful, and most who do put in the work will still come up short!  Despite that, it’s still worth it.

And who they become in their commitment of excellence is their real reward.

The Story Behind the Story in MLM

When you see someone in a video or on a blog or on stage tell you they made $10,000 or more last month, it is seldom 100% true.  I’m not saying they didn’t earn $10k last month.  They probably did.  But that doesn’t mean they earned $10k PROFIT.

greatest networkerIt just means they had $10k revenue.  In many cases, they might have spent $5k-$10k or more in advertising, just to earn that $10k.  Just like when someone shows you a large bonus check (which they shouldn’t do) from their MLM Company.  What they don’t talk about is their expenses!

Furthermore, when you hear about someone who joined a network marketing company and reached the top achievement ranks in 30 to 90 days, it sounds very impressive.

However, what they typically forget to tell you is that the person has probably already been in the industry for many years and simply brought their team from their old company with them to their new company.  In some cases, leaders are given certain titles and cash bonuses for switching companies. Yet, they never tell you that.

Sometimes, you hear about the person in a binary plan that sponsored two people who both became top earners.  What they forget to tell you is that they sponsored another 100 people who did absolutely nothing with the business, in order to find those two people.  Or, they knew these two people from a previous company.

Also, there will be times when you hear leaders promoting a certain way of building the business for their team.  But when you dig deeper you find out they did not use this system themselves to build their own business.  They are only promoting the system the company teaches to be unified with the other leaders in the company, and prevent confusion within the ranks.

Another thing to keep in mind when you hear a top earner speak on stage is that what you are seeing is a FINISHED product.  You don’t see the years of failure, struggle, personal growth and setbacks that had to endure to become that person.

And then you end up comparing yourself to them, and sell yourself short.  You don’t realize that when they were just getting started in the business, they were a lot like YOU.

They might be a polished speaker and leader NOW, but what you don’t realize is that they were once afraid of speaking to groups.  At one time they were afraid to talk to their prospects.  Or, they lacked confidence.

They’ve just had years of personal development, refining and fine-tuning their skills.

Putting It All Together

I could go on and on here and give you even more examples, but the moral of the story is that there is ALWAYS a story behind the story in MLM, and in life.

beach moneyThere are always more things to the situation than are being presented (or that you realize).

I am not saying any of this in a bad way.  I just hope that you won’t take everything you hear or see at face value.  I hope you will listen to what others have to stay, but still do your due diligence and look at all the facts.

Always ask yourself “what aren’t they telling me that I should know about?”  or “what’s the story behind the story here?” The answer to those two questions is just as important as the information they are telling you.

What do you think about the story behind the story in MLM?  I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.  Just leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  Have a great day.

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10 thoughts on “The Story Behind the Story in MLM”

  1. I love this post Chuck. I really wish these people were more honest about it. I think people like myself have heard those “hyped up” speeches so much, and we know that it is impossible. Yes, there are still gullible people in this world, but I think the amount is getting less.

    I often think of the people that go gambling and say they won $5000. What we don’t know is in winning that money, they spent $6000. In all actuality, they lost $1000. People, in general, love to exaggerate. The next time you are at one of these meetings or speeches, ask the person a simple question when they are alone and you get that moment. “You say you made this amount in 6 months; how much did you spend to make it?” Watch their reaction then and it will tell you a lot. They probably won’t tell you, but their reaction will.

    1. Maybe so. Is that gross or net? And while there is always an exception to the rule, a story like that is FEW and far between. For every “overnight success” there are hundreds of “much longer” success stories.

  2. I don’t get it Chuck. I’m constantly on these social networks and these kids are taking screen shots of their company website showing their rank/income level. All from social media.

  3. These are young guys I’ve actually had a phone conversation with. I contacted them because I wanted to know how they were making so much money in a short amount of time.

    I also posted a comment on your article “How to Build Your MLM Business Offline: The Best Way to Do it” It involves the 24/7 pre-recorded message.

    1. My advice is don’t believe it. In my 12 years in the industry I have never met one person who earned six figures a year that did it in their first year in the industry. The only time you hear these stories is when someone already had a team and then switched companies and brought their team with them to their new company. There is no such thing as get rich quick in business. It’s just what people use in their advertising online, because it sounds so sexy, and attracts so many people. All businesses take time to build, normally a year just to get profitable and several years to build a nice income.

  4. Idk about this Chuck. This is true in most cases, but I’m looking at a lot of the young people in the industry and they’re making 10k or more a month in 4-6 months strictly from social media. They haven’t spent a dime on advertising. They’re starting off with no list, and don’t even target people already in MLM. Most of their leads are opportunity seekers.

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