Top 20 Burke Hedges Quotes about Network Marketing

Today, I want to share my top 20 quotes by Burke Hedges from his book “Who Stole the American Dream?”  This is really a great book about the “American Dream” and why everyone should have their own home based business.

The quotes you see below really inspired me or got me thinking. They are listed in no particular order.  Each quote is in bold.  After each quote I will also share my own thoughts on the topic.

# 1 Did you know that 90 percent of all small businesses fail in the first year… and 80 percent of the survivors close their doors in the next five?  And 80 percent of those never see year 10?

My Take: If you decided to start your own business, the odds of achieving success are stacked against you.  All businesses are risky.  Most businesses fail, regardless of the industry.  So when people talk to you about the high failure rate in MLM, make sure you let them know that the failure rates apply to every type of business, not just MLM.

# 2 They say the mind is like a parachute – it doesn’t work unless it is open.

My Take: To succeed in life, you need an open mind.  Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different to happen.  Open your mind to new ideas and new ways of making money.  Only then will you notice what you have been missing all along. Just because something is new or foreign to you doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea.

# 3 We all want freedom and security for ourselves and our families.  We want more money than we have now.  We want wealth and happiness.  Basically, we want what we don’t have.

My Take: Most people want what they don’t have.  However, most people aren’t willing to change, so they will never get what they really want and desire.  Desire is the starting point to all success.  If you want what you don’t have you must be willing to do things you haven’t done before.

Who Stole the American Dream?# 4 In any multi-level structure the power comes from the bottom.

My Take: Network marketing is a team sport. People become successful because of their team. No one is successful all by themselves.  Most of your organization will just be product users, retail customers, and part-timers.  Without these folks you won’t have a business.  Learn more about what a healthy network marketing business looks like.

# 5 There’s nothing wrong with something having a pyramid structure.

My Take: Every business and organization in the world has a pyramid structure.  It is just a practical way to structure an organization.  So when people complain that MLM is a pyramid make sure they know that their church, their job, and their charities are also shaped like pyramids.  I personally like to think of MLM as a reverse pyramid where everyone starts at the bottom but has an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY to work their way up to the top.  That’s not the case in the traditional business world.

# 6 An illegal pyramid scheme is a money-making scam where the people at the bottom put money in, but the value doesn’t flow back down to them.

My Take: As long as their is a good deal for new distributors and people at the bottom of the organization can make money (or get a good value), it is legitimate.  When only the people at the top have a good opportunity, than it should be illegal.  I like to evaluate MLM Companies based upon the value they offer to retail customers, people not doing the business.

# 7 College is not the best training for a career unless it’s specialized training to become a doctor, engineer, accountant or the like.

My Take: Most people are taught to get good grades, go to college and get a job with a big corporation (or the government) with great benefits.  We all know that is a formula for failure in life.  Specialized knowledge is what you really want if you want to make it big in life.  You must do that through a college or university for certain professions, but it isn’t necessary for every profession.  Developing your specialized knowledge in MLM can make you very wealthy.  To succeed in MLM, you need to get an education.  I like to call it MLM School.

# 8 Today it takes two incomes for us to achieve the standard of living our parents had with one paycheck.  And that’s a stretch.

My Take: Surviving in today’s world is very difficult. Taxes and inflation are at record highs and most families need two incomes just to live a modest lifestyle. I think this will continue to get worse in the years to come.  Most people need a Plan B, good tax advantages, and a vehicle that gives them unlimited opportunity.

# 9 Most small business entrepreneurs don’t own their own businesses – they own their own jobs!

My Take: Unless your business has leverage (through people, money, or systems) your business is nothing more than an overworked, underpaid and glorified job!  Just ask any small business owner and they will tell you the same thing.  The real role of the entrepreneur is to create a business that does NOT require them to do the work, but they still get paid. Simply put, if YOU are the business, you don’t own a business.

# 10 There’s neither security nor freedom in having a job.

My Take: Profits are better than wages.  I learned that from Jim Rohn.  There is no such thing as job security (even if you work for the government).  Your odds of getting wealthy through a job are pretty low.  And if you ever lose your ability to work (or no longer wish to work), you are really screwed!

# 11 The A students are working for the C students.

My Take: The people who do well in life aren’t the people with the best grades. The people who do well are the mavericks who refuse to conform to what society wants them to be.  It’s the folks who don’t follow traditional advice or conventional wisdom that do well in life.  And there is little correlation between getting good grades and building wealth.  What’s most important is learning to think for yourself.  I once heard that A students end up teaching and B students work for C students.  I think that is about right.

# 12 Everything that distributes goods and services is a pyramid.  What matters is whether or not value flows down through the levels of the pyramid in direct proportion to the dollars that flow back up.

My Take: Everything you buy in the store or online is distributed through a pyramid model, normally from the manufacturer to the jobber to the warehouse to the company selling the goods to you.  MLM Companies distribute their products and services through a pyramid model and there is nothing abnormal about that.

# 13 I’d rather run a profitable business in an unconventional industry than an unprofitable business is a conventional industry.

My Take: Making money with the business should be the #1 priority of the business owner. The industry you choose isn’t what matters most.  What matters most is whether or not your business puts profits in your pockets.  As long as your industry is legal, moral and ethical, not much else matters.

# 14 If you want to catch major flack in this world, go out and do something in a new and better way – then duck!  Nay-sayers are everywhere.

My Take: Any time you try and accomplish something worthwhile in life, people will hate and try to bring you down to their level.  It just comes with being successful.  Don’t worry about what others think about what you are doing.  Chances are they are only thinking about themselves anyway.

# 15 80 percent of the cost of getting a product to consumers today is the result of marketing expenses.

My Take: Marketing is the most expensive part of the traditional distribution model.  For most businesses, acquiring a new customer is their biggest expense.  What makes network marketing so exciting is we don’t have marketing costs.  Those savings are paid back to us in the form of profits and commissions.

# 16 Success in our business depends on a lot of people doing a little bit each.

My Take: If you want to make it big in MLM, just remember that your success boils down to finding a lot of people who do a little AND a few people who do a lot.  80% or more of your team will just be product users, about 10% will be retailers, about 10% will be part-timers and no more than 2-3% will be your serious business builders.

# 17 You will never create real and lasting wealth trading time for money.

My Take: Unless your business has leverage you are, nothing more than a hamster on a hamster wheel.  You can leverage yourself through money, systems and/or people.  The problem with trading hours for money is that you have to keep working to get paid and if you ever lose your ability to work, you are in big trouble.

# 18 How many self-employed people do you know who can take off for a month and come back to a bigger paycheck than when they left?

My Take: Most people who own a business are a slave to their business.  In essence, their business owns them.  The day they stop working is the day their income dries up.

# 19 The media has no love for an industry that doesn’t have any major advertising bills to pay… and never will!

My Take: One of the major reasons the media hates our industry is because we don’t pay them anything in the form of advertising, whereas most traditional companies do.

# 20 80 percent of all bankruptcies would be prevented if people had as little as an extra $250 per month!

My Take: Most people focus on the big money in MLM, but at the end of the day anyone can make an extra $300 to $500 per month in MLM.  And for most people that extra income will have a big difference in their lifestyle. I call this the little money in MLM.

Final Thoughts

In summary, these are my top 20 Burke Hedges quotes from his book “Who Stole the American Dream?”  Overall, I give this book an 8 of 10 and consider it a must read for any network marketer.  It’s also a great book to give to your prospects.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should.

I would love to hear your take on any of these quotes and what they mean to you.  Just leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

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6 thoughts on “Top 20 Burke Hedges Quotes about Network Marketing”

  1. I was really grabbed by the last quote. It is true, many people could live a more comfortable life just with an extra $200-$300 a month. I believe some people set their goals much too high. I think that setting low, short term goals, a bit higher mid-range goals, and high long term goals is a better system.

    Many people set their goals outrageously high and when they do not attain them, they quit. If we as network marketers set lower goals that are reachable, I believe more people would stick with it.

    This sounds like a great book with much wisdom in it.

  2. Number 8 makes me wince. It is true that many families (or couples) need to have two incomes to be able to pay their mortgage, own two cars, etc. However, this is not the same quality of life as the generation before. It is only recently that people think that having huge houses, expensive cars and costly cell phones are necessities. My parents lived frugally, just as everyone else in town did, and they were fine. They lived within their means. And having a parent at home with the children actually meant that their standard of living was higher. Now, I’m not saying that things aren’t tough out there, because they are, but some of that is because consumers just want more.

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