Why Do People Join a MLM Company and Do Nothing?

Why do so many people join a MLM Company and do nothing? How can someone start a business and then sit there stagnant, not even doing one thing to advance their business?

Could you imagine a restaurant owner writing a check for $300,000 to start a business and then not buying food, hiring employees, or decorating their restaurant? Me neither.

We are the ONLY industry I know of where people “start” a business but don’t do anything to build their business. It’s so weird.

Here are a few examples:

# 1) You sponsor Joe. He’s excited. He buys a $200 kit and tells you he’s going to be your most serious person. You work with Joe for a few days to teach him the ropes. He appears interested but is slightly hesitant. Ten days later, Joe stops answering your calls. He unfriends you on Facebook and blocks your number. You wonder what happened.

# 2) Mary comes to your opportunity meeting with her husband. She’s got great energy. She has several questions. You answer her questions and she signs up. She purchases a kit and books her first meeting with you. The following day she calls you to tell you that she changed her mind about the business.

# 3: Mike joins in January. He attends every webinar. He orders every month. He tells you he wants to build a big business, but he never sponsors one person or sells one product. 

These situations are quite normal. If you have not experienced them yet, you will. Just give it time.

Understanding why people join a MLM Company and do nothing can save you a ton of time, money, stress, and frustration.

How can someone join a company and…?

  • Not get on auto-ship
  • Not sign up anyone
  • Not sell one product
  • Quit in 30 to 90-days.

How can someone invest a few hundred dollars, even a few thousand dollars to join a MLM Company, and then do these things?Why Do People Join a MLM Company and Do Nothing

Why Do People Join a MLM Company and Do Nothing?

After sponsoring thousands of people personally and building teams of more than 100,000 people, I think I’ve figured it out. Here are my thoughts:

# 1: No Skin in the Game Financially

Let’s keep it real for a moment. If you dropped $500,000 to start your business, like many entrepreneurs do, you would do everything in your willpower to be successful.

You would be coachable, read the training manual, follow instructions, draw up a business plan, set a work schedule, find a mentor, sell products, and put in the work. You would show up early and stay late. You would work around the clock, seven days per week.

Because of the small financial investment our industry requires, most network marketers do not adopt this mindset about their business.

Tip: Act as if you have one million dollars invested in your network marketing business and you only have one year to earn it back. Do not think of your business as a side hustle or “part-time” thing. Think of it as a real businessBe part-time with a full-time attitude.

# 2: Fear

Most new distributors fear rejection. They fear failure. They don’t want to look foolish to their friends and family, even though their friends and family don’t pay their bills! They fear what others will think, say, or do.

Tip: Fear is normal. It’s okay to be scared. Courage is being scared but doing what needs to be done anyway. I’ve also found that action cures fear. The more you do the things you fear, the less you fear those things.

# 3: Don’t Know What to Do

This is a common excuse many new reps give to justify their inactivity. They claim they don’t know what to say or do to move their business forward. I don’t accept this excuse because anyone can go to YouTube and watch 2-3 videos and know what to say and do. When there is a will, there is a way.

Tip: If your new rep is coachable, give them specific step-by-step instructions on what to do next. Most people entering our industry come in with an employee mindset. That means they are accustomed to being told what to do. Just do it in a nice way so you don’t sound bossy.We are quite perhaps the only industry where someone starts a business and then does absolutely nothing to build or grow it ~ Chuck Holmes

# 4: No Desire to Do the Business

Most people who join a network marketing company join to get a discount on their product purchase. As a result, they have no desire to recruit, retail, or grow a team.

Tip: Ask each person you sponsor what their goal is. Find out if they want to be a wholesale customer, earn a few hundred dollars per month, or do this as a career. Never expect someone to be as committed to their business as you are to yours. Meet people where they are at, and help them reach their goals, whatever they might be.

# 5: Don’t Know Their Why

Other than not having any money invested in their business, this is the second most common reason most reps don’t do anything to grow their business. Here’s the truth. The skills you need to succeed in this industry are VERY EASY to learn. You can learn them in a few days and master them within a year. However, if you don’t know WHY you are doing the business, you will never go out and do the work and face your fears, and the rejection.

Tip: Invest some time with each new rep and help them figure out their why. If they don’t have a why that makes them cry, they will not STAY in the business when things get tough.

# 6: Not Cut Out to Be an Entrepreneur

As tough as this sounds, not everyone is cut out for sales or entrepreneurship. While the idea of working for yourself sounds sexy, it takes an incredible amount of self-motivation and self-discipline. Most people do not have these two things (that’s why they work for someone else).

Tip: Before you join network marketing, or start any type of business, ask yourself if you genuinely want to be an entrepreneur. Make a list of your strengths, talents, and skills. You might find out that you value security and a steady paycheck more than you value opportunity.

Your Expectations

If you want to survive this industry, you must have realistic expectations about the people you sponsor. Not everyone is going to join. Not everyone who does join is going to build a business.

Most people you sponsor will do NOTHING to move their business forward. Most people on your team will quit in 90-days or less. These are facts.

If you sponsor 100 people, 80 will do nothing, 19 will do something, and 1 will do a lot.

If you understand these things ahead of time, it will save you a lot of frustration.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, these are my thoughts on why people join a MLM Company and then do nothing and quit. Keep in mind this is just my opinion and we can agree to disagree.

What are your thoughts? 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 (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

P.S. Level up your life today! FREE resources to help you improve your health, finances, business, and relationships. I'll even give you FREE leads and a free business plan template. Learn more.

2 thoughts on “Why Do People Join a MLM Company and Do Nothing?”

  1. This is a great question. I have had so many people join my team, excited to get going, then nothing! I know I am giving them the tools, and resources to get going properly. I think “no skin in the game”, and “not cut out to be an entrepreneur” are the top 2 reasons people don’t stick around.

    1. This is very normal, Jessica.

      In a traditional business, there is a screening process. You have to go through a bank ground check and credit check (in most cases). Plus, you have to invest a substantial amount of money, normally five to six figures (in most cases). People who go through those screening procedures are much more “qualified” and “serious” about starting a business.

      Our industry is easy come, easy go.

      If people simply acted “as if” they invested a million dollars in their MLM business, and then acted accordingly, there is no doubt in my mind they would get much better results.

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