The Biggest Time Waster in Network Marketing

What is the biggest time waster in network marketing? That is the purpose of this article.

First off, time is your most precious asset. It’s the one thing you can’t get more of. Once it’s gone it’s gone.

Because most people involved in network marketing are part-timers, it’s vital that they learn how to work smart and be effective. It’s vital that they learn how to manage their time effectively.

When it comes to network marketing, there are many different time wasters reps make. Here are a few examples of common time wasters.

  • Watching YouTube videos
  • Surfing Facebook
  • Cleaning Your Office
  • Working with The Wrong People
  • Organizing Your Leads
  • Navigating Your Back Office
  • Reading Company Literature
  • Studying the Products or Compensation Plan

While those are common time wasters, there is one that is much worse.

the biggest time waster in network marketing

The Biggest Time Waster in Network Marketing

I believe the biggest time waster in network marketing is MANAGING and MOTIVATING people.

I know that sounds harsh, but please hear me out.

First off, each person on your team is their own CEO. They own their own business. They are responsible for their own success, time management, and motivation.

Yes, you should show them the ropes. Yes, you should be accessible. Yes, you should offer them a system to use. Yes, you should train them. But keep in mind it’s not your job to save others or make other people successful in the business. That’s their job.

In the corporate world, people MUST listen to their boss, or they get reprimanded or fired. In our industry, you don’t have that same authority because you are no one’s boss. Therefore, all the time you spend trying to manage and motivate others is time wasted, because in most cases they won’t do what you teach them anyway.

What Most MLM Reps Do

Here’s what most people in our industry do. They sponsor one to eight people and then they go into management mode. They stop retailing and recruiting personally, and instead try to manage and motivate their personally sponsored team to produce more.

They’re constantly answering questions, providing guidance, and checking in. They work around the clock to “support” their team. They create tools and resources for their team. They call their team members daily to check in. They spend a lot of time “talking” with their team in Facebook chats or conference calls. These things are not bad, but they are not the best use of your time.

Why do people in our industry try to manage and motivate others? Most network marketers’ transition to management mode because that’s how the corporate world works. Managers manage others. That’s what we’ve been taught to do.

In addition, it’s a lot easier to manage and motivate others than it is to keep personally recruiting and retailing. When you are supporting your team 100% of your “work time”, you don’t have to get out of your comfort zone, talk to strangers, and experience rejection. That’s why so many reps LOVE managing and motivating their team.

Keep in mind, in this industry we are not managers. We are leaders. We lead a volunteer Army. No one must follow our lead. Our job is to lead by example and INSPIRE others by our own  personal example, rather than try and boss them around.

What Successful MLM Reps Do

This is what successful reps in our industry do:

  • Lead by example and set the pace for their team.
  • Create systems for their team to use.
  • Provide training in a group setting.
  • Work in depth with the newest, most excited distributor.
  • Promote and attend events.
  • Keep retailing and recruiting personally.

Yes, successful reps do manage and motivate others to a small degree, but it’s mostly through their systems and personal example, not their one-on-one time.

mlm management mode

The Cold Hard Truth

The cold hard truth is you can’t manage or motivate anyone on your team anyway. It’s their responsibility to motivate themselves and manage their own business. You can provide guidance, support, and direction, but it’s up to them to follow your lead and get to work.

Remember, your team member is not your employee. You can’t force them to listen to you (even though I wish we could sometimes). Chances are they won’t do what you teach them anyway. If that’s the case, why would you try and motivate and manage them? Doing so only leads to frustration and burnout.

And here’s one final point of consideration:

If it’s your job to motivate and manage hundreds, or thousands of team members each day, you might as well quit the business now. That’s a never ending, miserable task.

My Mistakes

I’m guilty of trying to manage and motivate others in the past. I tried that for many years. I would have been much better off to keep recruiting and retailing personally and spend my time working in depth. I’d still support everyone, but through my systems and group time. In fact, it wasn’t until I started to do those things that I became a six-figure earner.

busy work in mlm

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, I believe the biggest time waster in network marketing is managing and motivating others. Yes, we are a people business, but each person in our industry is their own CEO and is responsible for their own motivation, time management, and success.

The best thing you can do is lead by example, use systems, and work with people in a group setting. And whatever you do, never, ever stop recruiting and retailing personally.

How about you? What do you think is the biggest time waster in network marketing? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day!

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Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (21+ years)
Top Recruiter & Top Rep

3 thoughts on “The Biggest Time Waster in Network Marketing”

  1. I have noticed with myself, the biggest time waster is wanting my reps to be like me. I have big goals, and work daily to achieve them. Most of the reps I have signed have done little, or nothing. I need to recognize that not everyone is going to be like me, and not everyone needs to be either. This article has really helped me look inside myself. I am going to approach things differently.

    1. Been there done that. That has been my biggest frustration in network marketing through the years. I’ve always wondered how someone could sign up and then do absolutely nothing. The best advice I can share is to expect nothing from each person you enroll, but hope for the best. That way you are never disappointed. Plus, never want success more for someone than they want it for themselves.

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