Top 12 MLM Myths: Common Myths About Network Marketing

Today, I’d like to cover some of the most common MLM Myths. Before I dive too deep into this topic, I think it would be wise to define the word myth. Here’s what I found online:

A widely held but false belief or idea.

If you are a network marketer yourself, you’ve probably discovered that many people you talk to have preconceived notions about our industry, for whatever reason. Maybe they know someone who tried the business and failed. Maybe they tried and failed.

I would argue that we are a misunderstood industry, because (1) many untrained reps in our industry say or do bad things due to ignorance or inadequate training, and (2) network marketing is not taught at any school or university.

I also believe that if most people peeled the onion back, and objectively looked at what our industry offered, compared to other industries, they would find our industry very appealing.

Top 12 MLM Myths

Top 12 MLM Myths

What you will see below are 12 things that are often misunderstood by people in our industry, and by people outside of our industry. They are listed in no particular order.

# 1: MLM is a Scam

I always laugh when I hear this. Our industry does more than $100 billion per year in sales, actually much more than that. It is a proven, reputable business model for more than 60-years now.

The media doesn’t like us because we don’t spend money on advertising. Plus, many people have quit, or know someone who tried it and quit, but that definitely does not make it a scam. No, it’s not for everyone, but to call it a scam simply because you don’t like it is quite ignorant.

The reason you many have heard it might be a scam is because someone you know, may have joined a company, realized that there was actual work involved and then quit. To make themselves feel better, they then tell their friends and family that it was just a scam to save on any embarrassment. Today, it is just an easy excuse.

Source: Network Marketing HQ

# 2: MLM is Not Sales

Some people will tell you that to succeed in network marketing all you need to do is SHARE. Or, you don’t need to know how to sell to be successful. That is not true. Network marketing is selling. The # 1 job of ANY entrepreneur in any industry is to make the cash register ring. That is selling folks.

Of course, you don’t need to use hype, hard-selling or deceptive strategies to sell, but you do need to be able to look someone in the eyes and ask them to purchase your product or service or join your business. At the end of the day, selling is about influencing someone to make a favorable decision.

Like it or not, if you’re joining a MLM, you’ll be selling. It’s a matter of what you’re actually selling. The biggest mistake that most new network marketers make is concentrating on building a downline before building a market.

Source: Refer2Prosper

# 3: MLM is Easy

Anyone who tells you this is lying to you. Nothing worth accomplishing is fast, free or easy. Anything worth achieving in life takes a big commitment and hard work. This will be one of the hardest things you ever do, but it’s worth it.

The truth is that network marketing requires hard work, dedication and developing specialized skills in both sales and management – because you won’t really start seeing real money until you are managing a team of successful sales and management people.

Source: Refer2Prosper

# 4: All You Need to Do is Talk to More People

Yes, this business is a numbers game. But, it is also a game of skill and strategy. Talking to a lot of people is good, however, you will get much better results if you focus on improving your skills.

Improving your skills will lead to higher conversion rates and less frustration. Ultimately, skills pay the bills. You don’t have to have all of these skills mastered right out of the gate, but you want to develop and fine tune them as quickly as possible.

In the beginning, what you lack in skills, you can make up for in numbers, but it’s still incredibly hard to succeed long-term without the required skills.

# 5: This is a 2 to 5 Year Plan

This is a myth in my opinion. It’s ONLY a 2 to 5 year plan IF you are willing to put in the work and be persistent and consistent growing your business. If you’re NOT doing something to grow your business each and every day, you won’t make it in 2 to 5 years. If you do the work, it’s actually quite possible to be successful in less time than this.

The amount of work you’re willing to put in decides if network marketing is going to work for you or not. You are now your own boss and are not answering to anybody, but your effort is only going to help you more. Your growth depends on you and only you.

Source: Medium

For any business you need to sincerely invest your time and effort

# 6: Anyone Can be Successful

I believe that anyone can succeed IF they are willing to put in the time, work on their skills, focus on their personal development and put in the numbers. Sadly, most people are not willing to do those things. The people that do normally do quite well in our industry.

Not everyone succeeds in their businesses. In the same way, not everyone succeeds in their network marketing business. In fact, the top crème (1-10%) making fortunes with MLM are the same 1-10% network marketers that work tirelessly and consistently in their business.

Source: SoftwareSuggest

# 7: All You Need is Two Who Get Two

This sounds good on paper, but it never works out that way. To find two who get two, you will probably need to sponsor at least 20 people. What I have found from personal experience is that at least 80% of the people who join the business never even sign up one person or do anything at all.

You aren’t serious about a business if you hope to only have to recruit two people. Imagine owning a hardware store and hoping to only have to get two loyal customers that were going to share your store with their friends. That is a bad expectation right? You would most likely go out of business.

~ Ray Higdon

# 8: Everyone is Your Target Market

Not everyone is in your target market. Not everyone will be interested in your products, services or opportunity. That is a fact.

Every business has a target market. In your business, you have a target market for your business and one for your products or services. It would be in your best interest to identify what groups of people are in your target market, and focus on reaching out to them exclusively.

People think that we need to talk to friends and family and make use of them for this business which they don’t like sometimes. Network Marketing is not simply making use of only your friends or family.

Source: infinite mlm software

# 9: Recruiting is the Key to Success

Actually, RETENTION and DUPLICATION are the key to success in this industry. You can recruit new reps until the cows come home, but if no one orders the products, signs up others, finds customers and stays on auto-ship, you have nothing more than a revolving door in your business.

In other words, your continued recruiting = your continued success. Or, you can stop your recruiting efforts any time you want to, but know that eventually some of your current downline will temporarily or permanently quit.


# 10: Everyone Fails

This might just be one of the biggest MLM Myths you will ever hear. Yes, a lot of people do fail in our industry. But in reality, it would depend on your definition of failure. No, not everyone makes money. But, not everyone joins the business to make money.

Some people join solely to get a discount on their purchases. Others join for the personal development. Some people join to meet new friends, have fun and travel. Some people join to earn enough money to get their products for free each month. Calling everyone a failure because they did not make much more, or any money, is a bit deceiving.

The MLM industry is growing by the leaps. It is garnering sales in billions globally and thus to say that a Network Marketer does not make profits is false. Having said this, it is true that only the hard workers get to earn in this industry. Simply put, your income is a product of your hard work and caliber and you can keep earning more and more if you put in the right amount of smart efforts into the business.

Source: Ventaforce

# 11: Only the People at the Top Make All the Money

You could argue that this is true in any profession. The people at the top do make the most amount of money in our profession, and rightfully so. The CEO always earns more than the Vice Presidents, managers and hourly employees.

The beauty of network marketing is that everyone starts at the bottom and has a level playing field to earn their way to the top. Plus, you can always make more money than your sponsor or upline does!

The truth is, in good network marketing companies, members can make any amount of money, regardless of where they are in the organization. Income is related to effort, not position.

Source: the balance

An actual illegal pyramid scheme provides no products or services

# 12: It’s an Illegal Pyramid

First off, all businesses and organizations are shaped like a pyramid: your employer, your church and the charity you volunteer at. Pyramids themselves are not illegal. MLM is structured like a pyramid, but it’s more like a reverse pyramid. Everyone starts at the bottom and has to earn their way to the top through hard work.

Plus, no one gets paid to sign people up. We are only paid through the legitimate movement of products (or services). If nothing is bought or sold, no one makes money. Everyone who joins gets the same deal.

Pyramid selling aims at making quick money out of the network whereas MLM businesses focus on building and extending distribution networks primarily aimed at selling their products and thus generating income out of sale of products.

Source: Management Study Guide

Final Thoughts

I hope you have enjoyed my article about the most common MLM Myths. What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with me? What did I leave out? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional

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5 thoughts on “Top 12 MLM Myths: Common Myths About Network Marketing”

  1. Hi Chuck,

    I have tried MLM marketing years ago, and I admit I wasn’t successful at it and scoffed at the idea of this networking approach for many years. I wasn’t given the whole piece of the pie, so to speak, which led me to fail or just give up. Maybe the person didn’t have a lot of knowledge herself. Recently I learned that my friend who works for a huge MLM company has had some success and I applaud her. For anyone who says it’s easy or you can start making money right away- that simply is not true. It took my friend years and dedicated herself and Trained me the right way! Most companies like Tupperware, makeup, MaryKay all use the networking approach – you just have to believe in it.


    1. No matter what type of company or business you own, it is HARD WORK to build a successful business. I’ve never met one successful entrepreneur who had it easy. Also, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. There is uncertainty, and lots of ups and downs. You have to be mentally tough to handle that.

  2. Amazing article, I have seen so many people just hating the industry and calling it a cult but I think this article would be good enough to share to my prospects if they get again with that like MLM is not good. Keep up the quality articles. Thanks.

    1. Kathy,

      Unfortunately people don’t like or turn their nose down to what they don’t know. I believe that if people took the time to learn about MLM they would go in that direction instead of the 9-5 because they will find out that they can have the schedule they need, income coming in (which could be more then they ever would have made) and possibly be less stressed. I love the MLM business.

  3. Chuck,
    Good article. Did you know that Wacthers Organic Sea products was one of the orginal MLM’s started in 1932 (pre Amway). Yep Over 86 years ago. Last time I checked they were still putting along with about 50 million in annual sales.
    Happy Thanks Giving,
    Tom Bennett

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